New Publication: Icarus Falls, at Daily Science Fiction

September 23, 2014

Icarus Falls” is one of my better non-humor stories and I’m thrilled to finally share it with the readers! Please check it out at Daily Science Fiction!

 


An Overflowing Basket of Awesome

September 8, 2014

I’ve been so busy lately with getting the UFO3 print files ready, working on the short story collection, posting Kickstarter updates and other various things, I’ve been neglecting the blog. Again. Sorry about that. I know (or at least totally assume) that you missed me.

So, here is the run-down of extremely cool things that have been happening lately.

* The Kickstarter campaign for “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories” has funded, raising over 250% of the initial goal! There will be an e-book, an audio book, a paperback and a hardcover published in February, and a separate novella-length book released in August of 2015. Watch this space!

* My urban fantasy noir story “The Fiddle Game” has been accepted at InterGalactic Medicine Show and will appear really soon–in fact, later this month!

* Daily Science Fiction picked up two of my flash stories: “Letting Go” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” They also recently published their September table of contents, and one of my strongest-ever stories, “Icarus Falls” will appear later this month. I’ll be sure to post a link!

* I received permission from the Russian author Tatiana Ivanova to translate into English her hilarious novelette “Impress Me, Then We’ll Talk About the Money.” I’m almost done with the translation and hope to help it find a great home in the coming months.

* Speaking of translations, I managed to knock off two items off my writer bucket list simultaneously–my first commissioned story and my first Chinese translation. The difference between a solicited story and a commissioned story is that, with the latter, you get paid  when you turn in your work. A solicited story might still get rejected if the editor doesn’t like it. So, naturally, commissions are rare as they indicate a significant level of faith on the part of the editor. In this case, it’s for a super-cool contest in China. My story will be translated and published in Chinese first — the English version can be published sometime next year. I’ll write a separate blog post about this later this year because the contest it’s for is anonymous and I don’t want to give away any details about my entry.

* And as far as solicited stories go, I was invited to submit to a near-future space exploration anthology edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and published by Baen books. This morning Bryan announced the final TOC and my story “The Race for Arcadia” (about the rekindled space race between the US, Russia, and India, told from the perspective of the Russians) will appear in it alongside an all-star cast that includes such awesome writers as Mike Resnick, Bob Silverberg, Ben Bova, Jack McDevitt, and James Gunn, among others.

* On a regular day, making it into what might be the highest-profile TOC anthology of my career to date, would be the best writing-related news of the day. But not today. Today I got home from an extra-tough day at work to find a message of congratulations in my Twitter feed. Apparently, I’ve been nominated for the WSFA Small Press Award!

WSFA

WSFA is the Washington Science Fiction Association, the fine folks who run Capclave. My story “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma” has firmly cemented its place as my most successful piece of writing thus far, by becoming one of eight short stories nominated for the award this year! Here’s the press release.

There’s some incredibly tough competition, but I’m super thrilled to be considered. This story was the finalist in the IGMS 2013 Reader Poll, and it was on Tangent Online’s 2013 Recommended Reading list, but this is the first time I’ve ever been nominated for an actual, honest-to-God writing award.  And I must say, I like it very much.

So that’s my basket of awesome. I promise to update the blog more often this month. Until then, if you need me, I will be floating somewhere in the vicinity of Cloud Nine.

#SFWAPro

 


New Publication: “Notes on the Game in Progress, Played Almost to a Draw”

June 14, 2014

My latest flash story is out at Daily Science Fiction this week, and it is free to read online.

This one is dedicated to the memory of Roger Zelazny. Those of you familiar with his “Game of Blood and Dust” will undoubtedly note some similarities, though the tone and the resolution of the story is sufficiently different from his story.

And if you haven’t read “The Keepsake Box,” which also premiered at DSF, early this year, it is now live in the “Pandora’s Box” volume of Timeless Tales.

Both are very short stories, perfect to read when you have a spare 5 minutes. Enjoy!

#SFWAPro

 


The May 2014 Update

May 30, 2014

sparkV

I’m not updating the blog nearly often enough. Sorry about that. Life has been crazy, demands of work, family, and various writing-related endeavors pulling me in every direction. The good news hasn’t stopped though, and here are the highlights of what has occurred since the last update:

* “Icarus Falls,” a 2200-word SF story  has been accepted at Daily Science Fiction and will run sometime in 2014

* “The Perfect Book,” a 1000-word humor flash piece has been accepted at Fantasy Scroll (it was the story wherein I tuckerized a backer of their Kickstarter project) and will run in issue 3.

* Spark V is out, and it includes my translation of “The Ferryman” by Siarhei Bulyha. This is dark-fantasy/horror from a uniquely Eastern European perspective, and very different from what I myself might write. If you want to broaden your reading horizons, check this story out!

* “Burying Treasure,” a 3000-word humorous fantasy story has been accepted by Esther Friesner for the next installment of her iconic “Chicks in Chainmail” anthology series of humorous fantasy featuring female protagonists. In armor.  The book will be published by Baen in 2015.

* “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma” was the finalist in the 2013 IGMS Reader Poll! I’m very excited by this, of course.

* And speaking of IGMS, they also accepted “The Golem of Deneb Seven,” a 5200-word story about the Orthodox Jewish settlers caught in the middle of a war on another planet. I like to refer to it as my Isaac Babel in Space story. “Golem” is going to be the lead story in the July 2014 issue (yay color art/cover!)

* “The Rumination on What Isn’t” will be podcast at Drabblecast in late 2014.

* “The Keepsake Box” will be reprinted in the Pandora-themed issue of Timeless Tales.

* “One in a Million,” a humorous 2000-word SF story, has been accepted by On Spec.  No publication date yet — I heard they can take a little while, but it’s nice to make a sale to a new (to me) venue.

So, yeah. It’s been a good month. The tide of story sales is bound to subside a lot in the very near future, as I am running out of short stories (have been working on the novel instead of writing more). But I’m enjoying it immensely while it lasts!

#SFWAPro


New Publication: How Earth Narrowly Escaped an Invasion from Space

April 25, 2014

catinspace

One of my funny stories was recently published on the Daily Science Fiction web site. It’s called “How Earth Narrowly Escaped an Invasion from Space” and it features space cats, Internet memes, and terrible puns. What’s not to love? Read it here.

Someone recently pointed out that “…Escaped an Invasion from Space by Alex Shvartsman” can be read in an entirely different way, proving, once again, that punctuation can be pretty important. That’s a strong point. I don’t always invade Earth, but when I do, it’s from space.

In other news, my flash story “Putting it All Together” will be reprinted in a new flash fiction zine titled Freeze Frame Fiction. This story was originally published int he now-defunct Nine Magazine, and has since been podcast by Tina Connolly at Toasted Cake. However, this will be the first time the text version of this story will become available to read online free of charge.  Freeze Frame Fiction launches on July 1st.

#SFWAPro

 


New Publication: Seven Conversations in Locked Rooms

April 18, 2014

fscroll

The premier issue of Fantasy Scroll is out, featuring stories by Ken Liu, KJ Kabza and others. It includes my short story “Seven Conversations in Locked Rooms” which was originally published in the Memory Eater anthology, but never before made available online. You can read the story here.

Fantasy Scroll is currently in it’s final week on Kickstarter, so if you like the content of the magazine, consider supporting them there.

And since I’ve been a little negligent about reporting recent acceptances, here are a few stories of mine you can expect to read in coming months:

“Notes on the Game in Progress, Played Almost to a Draw” – a Roger Zelazny homage flash story, was accepted at Daily Science Fiction

“One-Sided Argument” was accepted at Nature

“Icarus Falls,” a longer story, was accepted at Daily Science Fiction just yesterday.

#SFWAPro

 

 


The Keepsake Box

January 29, 2014

My latest Daily Science Fiction story, The Keepsake Box, is live on their site. If you aren’t a subscriber, you can now read it on the web.

#SFWApro


Pandora’s Boxes

January 26, 2014

hightechfairies

This past Wednesday I had two very different stories about Pandora’s boxes published in two SFWA venues. They were written at different times, submitted at different times, accepted at different times… But both were published within hours of each other. What are the odds?!

First up is the “High-Tech Fairies and the Pandora Perplexity,” a humorous Magic Pawn Shop fantasy story that features the same set of characters as “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma.” This story was published in issue 37 of InterGalactic Medicine Show.  You have to subscribe the magazine to read the full story, but you can check out the opening scene and beautiful illustration by Andres Mossa.  Here’s a little sample, to whet your appetite:

“Never cared much for those,” said Grandma. “The things people try to put inside! In 1935, a fellow named Schrödinger shoved his cat into a Pandora’s box to prove some sort of a point. PETA activists from the 23rd century keep traveling back in time to egg his house, ever since. Using artificial eggs, of course.”

The other one is “The Keepsake Box” a flash fantasy story published at Daily Science Ficiton.  DSF e-mails their stories to subscribers (it’s free to subscribe!) a week before they’re posted on the web site, so those of you who do not already subscribe will be able to read it for free in a few days (I’ll post the link). For now, here’s a teaser:

She dumps the contents of the keepsake box onto the table and begins to chant as she picks up the items one by one, drains them of their power, and weaves the resulting strands of enchantment into her spell.
From the twig of the tree under which she met him, she drains excitement. It’s light and full of possibilities, like beats of a fluttering heart

This is not a humorous story. It’s dark and brooding, and kind of different from what I usually tend to write. I hope you enjoy it!

On the acceptances front, I just sold a suspense story (that’s right — not science fiction, not fantasy!) to Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

I was also invited to submit a story to a New Zealand-based steampunk anthology Angels & Automatons. They just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book.

And, of course, I would be remiss not to mention the ongoing Kickstarter for UFO3. We have over 100 backers and raised a third of our goal already, but there’s still a long way to go, and I’d appreciate any and all help, in both pledges and sharing the details of this campaign.

#SFWAPro

 

 


New Publication: An Indelible Feast (aka the Kosher Pig story) at Stupefying Stories Showcase

November 15, 2013

I don’t remember exactly how it came about, but one day I got it into my head that I should write a kosher pig story. Challenge accepted! From this silly notion, “An Indelible Feast” was born.

I’m a foodie. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I don’t party — but I love a good meal. So it was only natural for me to write a story laden with foodie references.  Ferran Adria is a real chef, by the way. I guess he better open a fancy molecular gastronomy restaurant by 2015, or my story will become dated!

Read the story here:

Stupefying Stories Showcase #10

Some other exciting news to report:

Mike Resnick accepted my cybernetic-assassin-who-can’t-feel-pain story “Doubt” for an upcoming issue of Galaxy’s Edge magazine.

“Coffee in End Times,” a story I co-wrote with Alvaro Zinos-Amaro was accepted at Nature and will run sometime in early 2014.

“The Keepsake Box” was accepted at Daily Science Fiction and will also likely appear in early 2014 (though their schedule varies).

My volume of sales is likely to slow down a lot in the near future, as I concentrate on the novel instead of pumping out more short stories and I will miss it terribly. Because receiving that acceptance in my inbox never gets old!

#SFWApro

 


Spidersong on Booktrack

September 4, 2013

spidersongbooktrack#SFWApro

There’s a new and interesting way to read books that is currently launching, and I got to be a part of it.

A web software called Booktrack allows authors to publish their e-books with a soundtrack. The soundtrack can be customized with a gazillion options, including music, ambiance, and sound effects. You can change things up from paragraph to paragraph or chapter to chapter. So that, if the scene you’re reading takes place in a haunted house the reader can hear creaking doors and spooky ghost wails. The folks at Booktrack were kind enough to invite a small handful of authors (myself included) to beta-test their site.

As a reader, I enjoyed checking out several of the books. Although I usually read without any music on, such precisely targeted tracks definitely enhance the experience. As a writer, I am excited about a way to add an extra dimension to how a reader is able to interact with the worlds I imagined.

I am not very musically inclined, and yet the software was both sophisticated and simple enough to use that I was able to upload a story and create a soundtrack I both enjoy and feel fits the story with relative ease. The story is Spidersong, originally published in Daily Science Fiction.  Click here or on the picture above to check out the end result of my efforts!

The only catch? You must currently use the Google Chrome browser, or it won’t work.

Enjoy the story! I hope to post a few more soon. Particularly, The Epistolary History might be a good candidate, with each entry given its own soundtrack.