Things I’m Geeking Out About Today

July 18, 2013

This is not, strictly speaking, a writing-related post, but there are lots of cool pop-culture news I found out about today that make me smile, and I figured many of my readers would enjoy them, too:

Simpsons / Family Guy Crossover

FOX announced that they will air a Family Guy episode in Fall 2014 where the Simpsons are going to meet the Griffins.  The only thing that’s not awesome about that? Waiting over a year to see it!

Ain’t it Cool News is one of the many sites that has details as well as some videos for you to peruse.

Name of the Wind TV Series

The popularity of HBO’s Game of Thrones is already paying off dividends for the rest of us. 20th Century Fox will produce a TV series based on Patrick Rothfuss’ epic novel series.  I’m still waiting on HBO’s adaptation of “American Gods” as well, but this is definitely another one of those must-try shows for me, and yay for more epic fantasy coming to prime time. TOR.com has the news.

Firefly MMO

Firefly MMO social role playing game has been announced, and they’re already taking sign-ups.

 

As a certified, card-carrying fanboy, I’m very pleased with all of these developments. More days like this one, please!

 

dsf

On a completely unrelated note, Daily Science Fiction launched a Kickstarter campaign yesterday. They publish a ton of excellent material and all of it is available online for free. They also pay their authirs very competitive rates, respond to submissions promptly, and treat writers the way every market should. Please consider supporting them, and you can even get physical books of their stories as a reward. I own the Year 1 book and it’s enormous!

Click here to view their Kickstarter campaign.

 

 


Good News Galore

July 15, 2013

So many good news to report lately, so little time to blog. I’m going to use this post to catch up:

wt361_cover

* “A Gnomish Gift” was published in issue 361 of Weird Tales, out this week.  Weird Tales has been around for approximately ever, and has published the likes of Howard and Bradbury, so appearing on their pages is a special treat for me. Having cool original artwork drawn for my story (love the angry little gnome!) and sharing the TOC with the likes of Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee? That’s just a bonus:

wtGift

* Sold “Worldbuilding” to Daily Science Fiction.

dsf“Worldbuilding” is a tongue-in-cheek flash story that makes fun of the common SF tropes. Daily SF is a great home for it, and it will be my sixth story appearing under the DSF rocket.

* “A Shard Glows in Brooklyn” will be reprinted two more times. In September it will appear in an e-book anthology Urban Harvest: Tales of the Paranormal in NYC edited by Donna Ansari. This is a charity project and all proceeds will be donated to City Harvest.  This same story is also going to appear in the Write1Sub1 anthology, whenever that ends up getting put together.

* The Coffee anthology reached its initial funding goal on Kickstarter! There is approximately a week left in the campaign, and any additional contributions will help me buy more original fictions at professional rates. If we reach $2000, a cool final stretch goal will be unlocked!

* In related news, The Coffee anthology is open to both reprint and original submissions. I am getting a steady stream of stories and responding promptly, so send something while there isn’t a long queue 🙂

* UFO2 is off to the designer. I hope to have ARCs ready by the end of the month.

* Beyond the Sun anthology is off to the printer and should be shipping in August.

* I return to the DJ Grandpa podcast this week and we talk about Coffee, anthologies, and the challenges of crowdfunding. DJ Grandpa is one of the best–if not the best–crowdfunding podcast around. Be sure to check it out!

enigma

* There’s a new book store opening up in NYC (in Astoria, Queens to be precise), specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries. The owners want to build it up it as a cool local hangout, where people can not only buy books, but also socialize and participate in fun special events.  The soft launch is this coming weekend, and while they’re still working on a web site, you can visit their Facebook page for updates. Local book stores are a rare breed these days, and local stores specializing in genre even more so.  So stop by the Enigma Bookstore and help support these brave entrepreneurs!

Well, there you go. It’s been a busy week. I hope to report more good news soon, but for now — back to writing!


Father’s Day Fiction

June 16, 2013

Josh

Happy father’s day to all the dads out there!

It occurs to me that I write a fair amount of fiction centered around a father-child relationship. Undoubtedly, being a father myself has much to do with that (that’s my son Josh in the photo above). I selected a few of my favorite father’s day stories which are posted online:

Nuclear Family at Kasma SF – Very short. Caution: this is not a festive story.

Things We Leave Behind – Daily SF – This story is dedicated to my own father and largely inspired by my experiences of emigrating from the former Soviet Union.

The Tinker Bell Problem – Buzzy – A humorous take on the subjects of faith and family.  Family ties aren’t exclusive to humans!

Enjoy, and please share links to your favorite father’s day stories in the comments!

#SFWApro

 


Publication: True Love at Daily Science Fiction

June 14, 2013

dsf

True Love” is now live at the Daily Science Fiction web site. This is a very short, sweet science fiction story that seems to have been well received by the readers so far. I hope you enjoy it as well!

#SFWApro

 


A Weekend in Jersey

June 6, 2013

I’ll be spending a lot of time in New Jersey this weekend.

On Saturday at 8pm I will be a guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County which will take place at the Barnes & Noble store in Hackensack.

On Sunday, I will be at Books NJ all afternoon, to help promote UFO Publishing. You can find me at the SFABC table there.

In completely unrelated news:

* True Love, a SF flash, was published by Daily Science Fiction today. It was e-mailed to the subscribers. A week from now it will go live on the web site, and I will post a link.

* Interstellar Fiction accepted “The Sgovari Stratagem,” a stand-alone sequel to “The Dragon Ships of Tycho,” for publication in their August issue.


Publication: “Things We Leave Behind” in Daily Science Fiction

May 10, 2013

dsf

“Things We Leave Behind,” which was e-mailed out by Daily Science Fiction a week ago and premiered tonight on their web site, is the most personal story I’ve ever written.

As I pointed out in the story notes, much of it is autobiographical. Like the protagonist/narrator of this tale, I was born in the Soviet Union and my family ended up immigrating to America, after much debate between my headstrong mother and bookish father.  Just like the protagonist’s father, my dad collected books — which involved buying and selling them on the black market. And although the protective magic created by the books in this story stems from my imagination, every avid reader will agree that there is an undeniable and unique brand of magic in books, no matter what language they’re written in.

Read the story here.

 


My LunaCon schedule plus a great week of sales

March 15, 2013

LunaCon2013

I will be attending LunaCon this Saturday and Sunday. Below is my schedule one panels (plus a reading!)

SATURDAY:

10am – Humor in SF (1 hour panel) – Poplar

What are the most effective humorous SF books? Are any both funny and groundbreaking, or does humor rely on sending up established tropes? What both funny and sad? Funny and plausible? How much of SF humor depends on surprise, and how much stands up to rereading? Do SF and fantasy humor work the same way, or are there fundamental differences?

Other panelists: Elektra Hammond (moderator), Patrick Thomas, Russ Colchamiro, Theodore Krulik

1pm – How To Get Your Story Rejected (1 hour panel) – Maple

Sometimes a story is rejected simply because it doesn’t fit the needs of the editor. But sometimes there is something more. Our panel of editors will discuss what they look for and what they don’t want to see.

Other panelists: Ben Parris (moderator), Neil Clarke, Hildy Silverman, Ian Randal Strock

6pm – Finding The Right Critic (1 hour panel) – William Odelle

Choose your first draft’s enemy’s wisely. Whether a class, a writer’s group, beta reader, or editor for hire, who you show your unfinished work to can make a big difference to the finished product. How to find critiquers who get what you’re going for, and will make useful suggestions in a style you can handle — and when to stop to revising and submit.

Other panelists: April Grey, Russ Colchamiro, Myke Cole, D.L. Carter

9pm – Reading (30 minutes) – Bartell

I will read one (or more) of my stories. Out loud.

 

SUNDAY

11am – None of the Above (1 hour panel) – Westchester Ballroom B

In the ongoing debate about self-publishing versus traditional publishing, crowdsourcing is an emerging third option. What are the pros and cons of each approach, and does crowdsourcing work for debut authors, or does it require a platform of readers from one of the other routes first?

Other panelists: Ben Parris (moderator), Mark Abbott, Elektra Hammond, Patricia McCracken

12pm – Hugo Worthy Fiction (1 hour panel) – Birch

What was on YOUR Hugo nomination ballot? What do you think will make the final ballot and what would YOU vote for?

Other panelists: Lisa Padol (moderator), Byron P. Connell, Lawrence M. Schoen

If you would like to hear me speak on any of these subjects, or just want to say hello, come find me at LunaCon! And I would especially like everyone to attend the 9pm reading. Pretty please?

I also have many awesome sales to brag about this week. Four, to be exact. In chronological order:

“True Love,” a SF flash story to Daily Science Fiction

“Putting it All Together,” a SF flash story to Toasted Cake Podcast (reprint; originally appeared in Nine magazine issue 1)

“Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma,” a humor fantasy story to Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show

“The Epistolary History,” a humor SF flash story to Nature’s Futures

That’s 3 pro markets and a Parsec Award-winning podcast in one week. If I wasn’t qualified for SFWA membership, I would have qualified with this week’s sales alone. So please excuse me while I run some victory laps.

 


“Spidersong” at Drabblecast

February 11, 2013

drabblecast_271

 

“Spidersong” was my first SFWA-qualifying sale and remains one of my stronger flash stories written to date. It’s been a busy week for this little story. First it was reprinted in the anthology of Campbell Qualified authors (see previous post), and today it’s live at Drabblecast!

They do an amazing job, making the story sound awesome and creepy at the same time. It’s also really cool that “Spidersong” got the cover treatment! (It’s one of three flash stories in this week’ s edition).

 


Publication: The Miracle on Tau Prime

January 3, 2013

dsf

The Miracle on Tau Prime” went live on the Daily Science Fiction web site today. So if you haven’t subscribed to free DSF e-mails (and shame on you if you haven’t!), you can now read it online. This is the story about the Vatican miracle investigators… in space!

I had many fine stories published this year, but this may be the strongest story I wrote and had published in 2012. Do check it out.

In other news, Rebecca Roland interviewed me on her blog today.  I tried my best to be entertaining. Head over to her blog, read the interview, and let me know how I did 🙂

And finally, a completely unrelated but absolutely awesome bit, about William Shatner’s Twitter exchange with a real-life astronaut.

 

 

 


October 2012 Recap

October 28, 2012

 

Earlier this month I got to attend the Viable Paradise writing workshop on Martha’s Vineyard. It was an amazing experience, and I will write a much more detailed post about it soon — but it was so formulative and overwhelming that I couldn’t bring myself to blog intelligently about it right away.  It is on my (very long) to do list for November.

Although I’ve only written one new story this month, I’ve had a number of very exciting sales and publications in October.

Publications:

“The tell-tale ear” was published by The Journal of Nature. This is a 21st-century retelling of “The tell-tale heart” told entirely through e-mails. I wrote the story for a Shock Totem contest and was thrilled to have it sell to Nature mere days after I submitted it there, by far my fastest pro-level acceptance.  You can read this story here.

Smoke & Mirrors, an outstanding podcast by Dennis R. Miller, produced my 100-word humorous fantasy story Chill, which originally appeared in The Drabbler a year ago.  Dennis was also kind enough to plug Unidentified Funny Objects. Listen to this week’s episode here.

Combined with my Bards & Sages story mentioned in the previous post this has been quite a month for my humor stories. And, to top it off, yet another humor story will appear on ufopub.com — but I will make a separate post about it when it goes live.

Sales:

Stupefying Stories will publish “Number Station” in their November issue, edited by M. David Blake. The story was accepted by Stupefying Stories back in January and has been waiting for the right issue ever since. So technically this isn’t a new sale, but I’m pleased to share this story with the world.

Weird Tales accepted “A Gnomish Gift” for their Fairy Tales themed issue, which is likely to appear around December.

Daily Science Fiction accepted “Things We Leave Behind” — this is my fourth sale to my favorite SF ‘zine, and the first longer Friday story (at 2500 words).

So what’s on tap for November? It’s novel time! Beginning November 1st I will tackle a novel. I’ve been busy outlining and planning and generally thinking about the themes and motifs I would like to feature in the book. Although I expected my first novel to be a Conrad Brent story, I decided to start with something else instead. This will be a space opera tentatively titled “World Burner” and based on the short story “The Dragon Ships of Tycho” which I wrote last year and which was published in the Galactic Creatures anthology in Spring of 2012. I wrote the sequel story to “Dragon Ships” titled “The Sgovari Stratagem” while at Viable Paradise and the world and characters just can’t get out of my head. So I’m going to expand on these two stories and try to produce the first draft of a novel in a few months’ time.

I don’t want to abandon short stories though. I still intend to write at least one new short story per month to meet my Write1Sub1 goals. Speaking of Write1Sub1, the fine folks behind this motivational program are gearing up for its third year and they recruited several new moderators to help usher it along. I’m one of those new moderators. Which means I will be in charge of posting the weekly content on the Write1Sub1 web site for at least one month next summer, among other things. Because, you know, there wasn’t enough on my plate already. But I love the W1S1 initiative and how it helps lazy writers like myself to produce more words and helps the more timid writers among us to kick their stories out the door and into submission queues, so when they asked, it was an easy “yes” for me.

I’m looking forward to November. I will attend Phil Con and send ARCs (Advance Review Copies) of Unidentified Funny Objects to reviewers. And, with any luck, have more exciting story sales to report.