April 24, 2012
The inaugural issue of Nine: A Journal of Imaginative Fiction is now live and includes my flash story “Putting It All Together.” This is a story of a post-singularity “digital” human trying to recreate the original simulation, which was designed to look and feel like the real world.
Nine is an interesting new concept. Each issue will feature 9 stories, and each author will earn 9% royalty from the sale; the issues are sold directly on the Nine web site. So when you buy an issue (which is only $5) you’re directly supporting me and the other eight authors whose work was included.
April 21, 2012
“Hunger” is the story of the last yeti, being hunted by the humans for the unforgivable crime of being too different. This one isn’t available to read online for free, but you can buy a printed issue or an e-book.
And if you’re getting a bit tired of my constant publication updates this month, I’ve got bad news for you: there are MORE on the way, likely to hit before the month is out. Mwahaha!
Seriously though, if someone told me 2 years ago that I would have four short stories published in a single week, I would have laughed in their face. Life is good.
April 19, 2012
Of all the stories I’ve had published so far, this is my favorite.
Conrad Brent is special. He is among the small group of people (one in thirty thousand) who can See the world for what it really is. There are wizards, and monsters, and even a giant troll underneath the Verrazano Bridge — deadly threats that an average citizen knows nothing about. Threats that are kept in check by the Watch — an ancient society which protects regular people from being taken advantage of by those with magic.
Conrad Brent is the Watch’s representative in Brooklyn, NY. When a powerful magic-enhancing shard of Atlantean crystal shows up in the borough, it is up to Brent to keep it out of the wrong hands. By whatever means necessary.
OK, given a little time and a medium cup of French Vanilla coffee, I could probably write a better blurb. But you get the idea. “Shard” is the kind of urban fantasy I love to read, and want to write.
Conrad Brent is a wise-cracking, irreverent, morally complicated character and I love telling his stories. I’ve already written a second Brent tale, titled “Requiem for a Druid,” where our protagonist butts heads with New York’s most prominent real estate mogul who has a penchant for firing people. That second story is currently looking for a home — sadly there aren’t a lot of pro markets interested in light urban fantasy short stories.
I’m also in the very early stages of planning out my first novel. It will be–you guessed it–a Conrad Brent story.
So please head over to Buzzy Magazine, a brand-new pro venue which was kind enough to accept this story, and read “A Shard Glows in Brooklyn.”
April 18, 2012
This story was written for one of the Shock Totem contests. Every few months the horror/dark fiction magazine sponsors a contest where a prompt is provided and each author submits their story anonymously, to be judged by fellow entrants. I enjoy the process and try to participate whenever I can, and it often results in pretty good stories. “Spidersong” — my first SFWA sale — was another ST contest story. For “The Traveling Fair” the prompt was to write a story under 1000 words featuring a giant monster and fireworks.
Click here to read The Traveling Fair at Every Day Fiction, and don’t forget to rate it!
April 10, 2012
Yay for second chances!
Last year I wrote and submitted a story called “The Take” to The Memory Eater anthology. The concept of anthology revolves around the device known as the Memory Eater. This technology is capable of deleting specific memories from one’s brain. Who would use such a device and for what purpose? There are many different stories that can be told based on this prompt.
“The Take” made it all the way into the final round of consideration but was ultimately rejected (although the editor told me it was a close call). I edited out the Memory Eater references and sent it to Daily Science Fiction, where it was accepted and published recently.
At some point in the editorial process, C.P. discovered that he had room for one more tale. So he reached out to me, asking if I would like to take another stab at the prompt. The catch? Whatever story I wrote had to match up with an illustration he had already acquired for use in the anthology. I was up to the challenge, and a few weeks later “Seven Conversations in Locked Rooms” was born. It’s a 1600-word SF story of a man willing to pay a tremendous price in order *not* to have his memories removed via the Memory Eater.
Want to know more? Pick up a copy of this anthology next month. Better yet, you can support their Kickstarter campaign, which is going on right now.
April 6, 2012
I’ve always been a night owl. From an early age I found myself to be at my most productive and creative in the evening hours. When I started writing, I fell into a routine where I got most of my new words output done at night, after my wife and son went to sleep and the house became quiet and distraction-free. Some nights I would be too tired to write–exhausted by the day job or various chores that needed doing. Writing being a hobby rather than a career for me, I accepted this loss of productivity and tried my best to make up for it on other evenings, when I had a bit more energy to spare.
Then my wife switched jobs.
She started at the new place two weeks ago. Her new office is very far away, and it takes her nearly two hours to commute there. This means that she has to leave the house very early, before our son’s day care opens. So now I have to get up early every morning, get Josh ready and drive him to day care. No more sleeping in till 9-10am. And those late-night writing sessions? Forget about it. By midnight my brain feels like a squeezed out sponge.
So, driven by necessity, I fell into new routine. After dropping my son off at day care I get a bit of breakfast and have several uninterrupted, quiet hours in which to write. (I don’t have to be at work till noon). The difference has been night and day–pun very much intended. I am able to attack whatever story idea I’m working on while rested, fresh, and properly caffeinated. Words are flowing more easily and quality of the output appears to have improved (says the guy who’s notoriously bad at evaluating his own writing).
In the last two weeks I wrote three complete stories from scratch. And although they’re relatively short, none of them are mere flash length, either. There’s a magical realism story I’m especially proud of called “Things We Left Behind” (2500 words) that draws heavily on my personal experiences of uprooting and moving from the Soviet Union to the United States. A 1350 word space opera-ish “The Miracle on Tau Prime” is about the Vatican miracle investigators. In space. And yesterday I wrote a 1500 word SF story “Seven Conversations in Locked Rooms,” completing the first draft in one sitting. One sitting! Normally I struggle to write 500 new words of fiction per day.
I’m liking this new productivity. Well, scratch that. I’m still a night owl at heart. I hate getting up early and going to bed on old people’s time. What I do like are the results.
Could something as simple as a routine change ultimately take me to the next level in terms of both quality and quantity on my writing? Only time will tell. But it’s certainly an intriguing possibility.