COFFEE Anthology Update

June 25, 2013

Click here to view the COFFEE anthology campaign on Kickstarter

We had an awesome opening 24 hours, raising 45% of the initial funding goal. Things are bound to slow down after this, but I’m very hopeful that this campaign can reach a total of $2500+ by the end of its 30-day run.

Up to 50% of the money raised between $1000-$1999 will be spent buying original stories, in addition to reprints. (The limit being only the quantity and quality of the stories I might see on submission) — at professional rates.

At $2000 I will announce the super-secret achievement (and I am pretty sure you will really like it!) which will be unlocked at $2500. For now, please spread the word of this project. There are gazillions of coffee fans out there and this book can be huge if we are able to get even a fraction of them aware/involved in th is project.

I am waiting on some contracts and hope to announce the first pair of stories contracted for COFFEE really soon.


Remember, we’ll open to original story submissions the moment this campaign reaches $1000.  So start thinking of a cool (or hot!) coffee story idea!


The COFFEE Anthology Launches, Seeks Submissions & Funding

June 23, 2013


UFO Publishing launches COFFEE: Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic.

We’re seeking to collect 40-50,000 words of fiction where coffee or tea is an integral part of the plot in some way. For the moment we’re considering reprint stories, but will be able to purchase some original fiction if the anthology is fully funded via Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter campaign launched tonight to help fund this anthology. We’re offering great rewards such as copies of the three released and upcoming UFO Publishing titles (UFO, UFO2, and COFFEE), posters of Maggie McFee’s “Boom” artwork (pictured below), and other cool items.

Please help us by spreading the word of this campaign via social media, and pre-ordering copies for yourself and all the coffee addicts in your life!



"Boom" by M. McFee. Get a poster as one of the Kickstarter backer rewards!

“Boom” by M. McFee. Get a poster as one of the Kickstarter backer rewards!


COFFEE Anthology Submission Guidelines

June 17, 2013



I’m moving forward with the COFFEE anthology  (See the cool preliminary cover above, designed by Emerson Matsuuchi).

Each story must somehow involve coffee as a major plot element. It’s not enough if an unrelated story is set in a coffee shop. I will also consider a few TEA stories as well. These stories must feature an element of the fantastic (fantasy, SF, light horror). No literary fiction please.

For the moment, I will only consider reprints.  If you published a story that you feel might fit the theme, please e-mail it to me at ufopublishing at gmail dot com. Please include information as to where and when it was first published, and confirm that the rights have reverted to you.

Pay: $0.01 per word plus one contributor copy of trade paperback and ebook

Rights:  Non-exclusive English worldwide print and electronic publishing rights.

Length: Up to 4000 words. Flash (500-1000 words) especially welcome.

Policies: Simultaneous and multiple submissions are both OK. Since these are reprints, I may take several months to respond as I won’t be holding the stories hostage and away from being considered elsewhere. I will be reading submissions until the book is filled, but no later than until end of summer. I will post a more detailed time frame soon.

There is some possibility that I’ll solicit 0riginal material for this book in the future. However, at the moment please send reprints only.




COFFEE: The Anthology

June 10, 2013


I am almost done with the final selection process for UFO2. Over the course of this week, all authors should be notified and those whose stories have been accepted will receive their contracts. Once all the contracts have been signed, I will announce the official table of contents.

While that’s happening, I am contemplating my next anthology idea. Namely, this:

COFFEE: The Caffeinated Stories of the Fantastic

This is not a submissions call as of yet — I am still contemplating the viability and interest in such a book. It would be a collection of speculative short stories in which coffee plays a major role. I would want to collect mostly flash fiction and short-short stories — the sort one can read while sipping a cup of coffee. I would want one or two tea stories as well. Because, as much as the Interwebs love coffee, some of us love tea, too.

I would be looking for reprints for this book: stories that have been already been published elsewhere rather than original material.

So, for now, I want to ask for everyone’s help.

Is this the sort of book you would buy?

Do you know of any stories that would be a good fit for such a book? If so, please post the link or any information you have about the story/stories in the comments below.

If you’re an author of a story that might be a good fit, you can send it to me at ufopublishing at gmail dot com. I want to stress again that this is not a submission call yet, I’m just exploring the possibility, and that I’m looking for reprints of speculative (fantasy, SF, mild horror) stories only. Published authors would be paid at the reprint rate of $0.01 per word, plus a copy of the book.

Please share whatever other thoughts/ideas you might have about this. They’re much appreciated.





UFO2 Submissions Update – May 17

May 17, 2013


We read just over 350 submissions to date.  Everyone who submitted prior to 5/12 should have heard from us by now. If you haven’t, please query ASAP.

I accepted seven stories so far, totaling 35,000 words. There are three more invited headliners who haven’t turned in their stories yet (they aren’t late; they have two more weeks) so that’s up to 18,000 more words. That means the competition for the remaining space in the book is going to be very, very tough. We are holding on to nine more stories in the final round of consideration so far, and more are sure to be added to that list. Already had to turn down some truly excellent stories and there’s a long road to travel yet.

Any reasonably good anthology, magazine issue, or contest gets far more quality submissions than they can use. It’s the nature of our field — supply always greatly outpaces demand. So if you got a rejection from us, or from anyplace else, please don’t take it personally. The editors aren’t merely looking for a good story — they’re looking for stories they can fall in love with. And that’s a very tough act to pull off, especially since tastes are highly subjective. Just keep sending it out there, until the story finds the editor who will think it’s perfect.



UFO2 Submissions Update

May 5, 2013


First of all, thanks again to everyone who pledged and promoted our Kickstarter campaign. We are fully funded and are able to produce the book in the fashion we wanted to, without cutting corners!

We received around 150 submissions in the first four days of May. The associate editors and I have been reading furiously to try and make sure that we respond very quickly and don’t hold anyone’s story hostage unless we’re seriously considering it for inclusion. As of right now, everyone who submitted on or before May 2 should have heard from us, either with a rejection or a round 2 bump. If you did not receive a response to your story submitted prior to May 3, please query us.

Here is a brief list of things we’re seeing too much  of among the submissions:

– Stories with contact info and byline still intact. I have to manually remove them before sending them over to the readers for anonymous consideration. This makes me sad.

– Zombies

– Stories that aren’t funny in any way, shape or form. We’re not sure why they were sent to us instead of a venue that isn’t seeking humor.

– Zombies

– Cliche aliens, usually with some sort of probing thrown in

– Reality TV stories

– Zombies

– Vampires

– Road trips complete with every road trip cliche, except they’re space road trips in space. Usually with a pit stop on Earth.

– Zombies

This doesn’t mean that you can’t sell us a zombie reality TV story about a road trip in space. But it won’t be easy.  When I see the word ‘zombie’ in a submission my eye begins to twitch, I extend my arms and walk around the office for a while moaning “rejeeeeect” — so you have to overcome that. Good luck.

Things that I would like to see more of:

– Unusual settings and scenarios. There are only so many times I can read a story about mythological gods in modern setting or aliens landing in rural America. Surprise me!

– Stories from international authors. We are actually doing quite good with that, so far. We have received stories from all over the world, and want more! Keep in mind that, while we are not considering reprints, we’ll make an exception for stories that were published in another language, as long as they have not been previously published in English.

– Art. We still need a cover artist/designer and possibly interior artists. While I am talking to a couple of people, we haven’t settled on anyone yet — send me a link to your portfolio soon if you wish to be considered!



UFO2 Kickstarter Campaign Ending Soon

May 2, 2013

Just over four hours remaining in the UFO2 Kickstarter campaign. We raised nearly $6500 so far, with $1500 to go! Over 200 people backed this project already, and if you haven’t yet, please do, and help us reach our goal.

I added my short story ebooks as an extra reward for everyone who pledges $25 or more. So, on top of the signed copy of UFO2 (or whatever else you select), you will get $5+ worth of eBooks (everything I release in 2013). This is the preview of the cover for the ebook version of “A Shard Glows in Brooklyn,” which I will release as an e-book along with “Requiem for a Druid” in early June:


I should also add that we received around 100 submissions in the last 36 hours! Associate editors and I are reading furiously and will begin sending out responses in another day or two.

So please pledge to the UFO2 campaign and spread the word of it to others!


UFO2 Submissions Open Tonight

April 30, 2013


The submissions are opening tonight for the UFO2 anthology and will remain open throughout the month of May. Please read the guidelines here and feel free to submit when ready (yes, a few hours early is OK.)

I would also like to remind everyone that the UFO2 Kickstarter campaign has entered its final 48-hour stretch. At this point we still need to raise nearly $3,000 in order to be funded. The anthology will be published regardless, but our level of success on Kickstarter will determine the overall volume of fiction I can buy for this book, whether I can afford to buy additional content for the web site, whether I can afford to pay for the highest-quality copy-editing and book design services…  In short, I need the extra funds to make UFO the best possible book I can produce.

Please consider pre-ordering your copy via Kickstarter as well as spreading the word about it to anyone who might possibly be interested in the next two days. Thank you!

Click here to view the UFO2 Kickstarter page.



How to Get a Free Copy of UFO

April 23, 2013

Heads up! There is less than 48 hours remaining in the Goodreads giveaway for a signed trade paperback copy of Unidentified Funny Objects. All you have to do is follow this link and click on the giveaway. It’s 100% free. They won’t try to sell you a condo or sign your dog up for a credit card. Honest.

The only downside to the Goodreads giveaway is that you are competing with hundreds of readers who want the book as much as you do. Last time I ran a giveaway, over 1500 people signed up. Right now there are already over 800 people signed up. Still, it’s free.

Want better odds than that? UFO Associate Editor and contributor Nathaniel Lee is running his own UFO giveaway on his blog. Just post  a joke in the comments to enter, and if you’re one of the super-nice people who backed UFO2 on Kickstarter, you get an extra entree! And, I bet, if you are really nice to Nat, he might even sign the book for you.

As for UFO2 — it is possible to get a free copy of that as well. It’s called a contributor copy. All you have to do is sell us a story! Remember — submissions will open on May 1, and there are convenient guidelines posted here.

UFO Can Haz Funny Cartoon

April 19, 2013

I’ve been cheating on this blog with all the other blogs.

While I’ve been egregiously ignoring my blogging duties here, my interviews have popped up at the W1S1 site and Emma Larkin’s blog this week.  I even cavorted with several podcasts, appearing on The Gamer’s Dome (which, incidentally, is what actually lies beyond Thunderdome) and having an awesome disagreement about the merits of Babylon 5 on an episode of the DJ Grandpa podcast which is scheduled to air this coming Monday.

All of this, of course, is in the effort to raise awareness of the ongoing UFO2 Kickstarter campaign. I’m willing to dispense my cheap jokes elsewhere, dance in front of SF conventions wearing a zombear suit, and even allow my my voice to be heard on podcasts, in order to raise awareness of this book. Because it is scientifically proven (aka I read the list of referring links on the Kickstarter page) that doing such things helps bring new backers to the project.

You and I know that the readers of this blog are the smartest, wittiest, and most interesting SF fans anywhere. FDA won’t let me claim this outright as a fact, so I’m insinuating it instead. And now, you have an opportunity to prove it. Click on this link and pledge to the UFO2 Kickstarter campaign.  Not only will you get an awesome collection of humorous short stories, but you will also help prove beyond doubt how awesome you all are. Because I will be able to click on the Dashboard of the Kickstarter account and see how much support is coming from *this site*. And then I will be inclined — nay, morally obligated — to blog a lot more often.

Think about that.

And while you think, I shall leave you with this awesome cartoon, courtesy of writer and illustrator Douglas Sterling: