UFO4 was officially released on October 15 though it took a few days for it to post to all the e-book stores. If you haven’t purchased your copy yet, here is where you can find it:
You can also find UFO4 on GoodReads (not a sales site, just for reviews/catalog purposes.)
We’ll give away some copies at SF Signal and Goodreads next week — I’ll post those details once the giveaways are live.
I had three boxes of UFO4 books ship directly to the hotel so we’d have them in time for Capclave! My first time holding one of those babies will be tomorrow. You can be among the very first to get your hands on it as well as receive two free e-books: Funny Science Fiction and H. G. Wells: Secret Agent. That’s right, free. I will give those two e-books to everyone who attends the launch party.
The launch party will take place at Capclave, in the Gaighersburg Hilton Hotel Suite 1209 this Saturday 5pm-7pm. Authors Fran Wilde, Lawrence B. Schoen and Andrew Kaye will be on hand to read from their works published in UFO and Funny Science Fiction volumes. Copy editor Elektra Hammond and I will talk about the editorial side of things at UFO and, of course, answer any questions folks might have. And there will be books!
I’m doing readings, signings, MCing an award ceremony and otherwise planning to have a great time at Capclave. Here’s where you can find me this weekend:
|Friday 5:00 pm: Crowdfunding & Alternative Funding for Writers (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists:Bill Campbell, Neil Clarke, Barbara Krasnoff, Alex Shvartsman (M)
Traditionally, publishers gave authors an advance on royalties in exchange for the completed manuscript. Today, some writers are receiving alternate revenue streams including crowdfunding of anthologies and novels in advance by the public, serialization in which the author releases a chapter (or story) as long as readers continue to fund it, and electronic self-publishing. What methods have you used and what works? What new methods do you see in the future? How will this change the creation of books?
|Friday 7:00 pm: Translating Speculative Fiction (Ends at: 7:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists:Neil Clarke, Jim Freund (M), Shahid Mahmud, Alex Shvartsman
Many non-English countries get much of their science fiction in translation. And English readers are finally being given access to more Chinese, Japanese and other non-English works. Why is this happening now? What are some of the special challenges with translating genre works? How do translators cope with invented words and concepts? What about different storytelling methods and literary techniques?
|Saturday 1:00 pm: Reading – Alex Shvartsman (Ends at: 1:25 pm) Frederick
|Saturday 4:00 pm: Non-Western Influences In Fantasy (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Salon B/C
Panelists:Day Al-Mohamed, Ann Chatham, Alex Shvartsman, Michael Swanwick (M)
Traditionally, most fantasy has been based on Western folklore, usually with a medieval-inspired setting. However, alternative settings and concepts are becoming more common with writers mining Asian, African, Native American, and Middle Eastern sources. What writers do this most effectively? How do you decide what traditions/concepts to adopt and how do research/use them? Is it cultural appropriation when writers incorporate themes from other traditions, and how do you so appropriately?
|Saturday 5:00 pm: Book Launch – Alex Shvartsman (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Suite 1209
Unidentified Funny Objects 4
|Saturday 9:00 pm: WSFA Small Press Awards (Ends at: 9:55 pm) Salon A
The WSFA Small Press Award winner will be announced. The Guest of Honor Gifts will also be presented.
|Saturday 10:00 pm: Fiction With A Laugh Track (Ends at: 10:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists:Brenda W. Clough, Andrew Fox (M), Larry Hodges, Alex Shvartsman
What are the tips and tricks in writing humorous SF and fantasy? What can an author do to avoid the obvious pitfalls, and spot the not-so-obvious ones? How do you maintain a reputation for writing humorous SF or fantasy, and what is the benefit of doing so?
|Sunday 11:00 am: Is the Anthology Dead? (Ends at: 11:55 am) Bethesda
Panelists:Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Bill Campbell (M), Bernie Mojzes, Alex Shvartsman
DAW used to put out an anthology a month, now they seem much less common. What happened? Did the themes get too esoteric or were too many stories mediocre? Why are they more common among small press and Kickstarter books? Have online magazines taken their place?
|Sunday 12:00 pm: What To Do After The Rejection Letter (Ends at: 12:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists:Sunny Moraine, Alex Shvartsman, Allen Wold (M)
You’ve written the best thing ever. But the editor sent it back rejected. Now what?
This is shaping up to be a rather spectacular week in terms of announcements, so here are a few more:
My story “How Gaia and the Guardian Saved the World” is one of the finalists in the Gernsback Writing Contest. It will be published on the Amazing Stories website and then collected as part of their anthology, release dates to be determined. The contest was judged via blind reading (aka judges did not know who were the authors of each story) and those are always especially satisfying to do well in as the story is only judged on its own merit. Congratulations to my fellow finalists, and especially to the winners.
Today also marks my first appearance at the storied StarShipSofa podcast. Episode 404 (insert every conceivable Error 404 – Not Found joke here) and it features an interview Jeremy Szal conducted with me as well as the narration of two of my stories: “Price of Allegiance” and “Doubt.” There was also supposed to be a flash piece, “Ravages of Time” but it was accidentally left out (hey, there’s the perfect spot for the Not Found joke!) and will be included in the next week’s episode. You can listen to episode 404 here.
Think I’m done? I’ve only just began to brag! “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma” has been adapted into a short play by Matt Haynes and will be performed at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland at noon this Saturday by the Pulp Stage. If you plan on attending the festival, check it out here. Matt has made some very interesting changes to the original story (with my approval and blessing!) to adapt it to their format, and my favorite narrator Tina Connolly is going to be reading one of the parts so I am sure it will be great fun.
Finally, the first review of Unidentified Funny Objects 4 has been published at Tangent Online and it is really positive — the sort of kind words any editor loves to hear. Check it out here.
The printer is shipping out UFO4 books on Friday and they should arrive in about a week. I’m also getting about 100 copies UPS’ed over so that I can host a launch event at Capclave next weekend! I will post more details about this event soon, but there will be readings, and giveaways, and every single person who attends will get two free e-books, so mark your calendars for 5-7pm on Saturday, October 10!
I will also participate on several program items at Capclave and will be the presenter at the WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction this year.
Okay. Now I’m done bragging. At least for today.
The fourth annual Unidentified Funny Objects anthology will contain 23 stories totaling approximately 86,000 words. Cover art by Tomasz Maronski. Interior illustrations by Barry Munden.
“We Can Get Them for You Wholesale” by Neil Gaiman
“The Time-Traveling Ghost Machine of Professor Jaime Peligrosa” by Andrew Kaye
“Please Approve the Dissertation Research of Angtor” by Caroline M. Yoachim
“Match Game” by Esther Friesner
“The Transformation of Prince Humphrey” by Brent C. Smith
“In the End, You Get Clarity” by Laura Pearlman
“Project Disaster” by Tim Pratt
“Hello Hotel” by Piers Anthony
“Bob’s No Kill Monster Shelter” by Ian Creasey
“Board Meeting Minutes” by Oliver Buckram
“Armed for You” by Anaea Lay
“The Unfortunate Problem of Grandma’s Head” by Karen Haber
“My Mother Loves Her Robot More than Me and I Feel Bad” by Eric Kaplan
“The Worm that Turned” by Jody Lynn Nye
“Department of Death Predictions, Final Notice” by Tina Gower
“Champions of Breakfast” by Zach Shephard
“Keeping Ahead” by Mike Resnick
“So You’ve Metamorphosed into a Giant Insect. Now What?” by James Aquilone
“Confessions of an Interplanetary Art Fraud” by Michael J. Martinez
“Texts from My Mother about an Alien Invasion” by Tina Connolly
“Support Your Local Alien” by Gini Koch
“Topics to Avoid on a First Date with Yourself” by Jonathan Ems
“The Monkey Treatment” by George R. R. Martin
First, I’d like to thank our Kickstarter backers. UFO4 raised nearly $8500 during its campaign, enough to buy full slate of stories. interior illustration, and some exciting initiatives to be announced soon.
To date we’ve received nearly 200 submissions. Approximately 150 of them have already been responded to. We’re still considering a handful of stories from the first week of submissions and several have been advanced into the hold pile, to be decided on at the end of the submissions window. I post fairly regular updates on Twitter as to the status of the slush pile, so folks could query if the response has gone awry. Most authors should hear within 1-3 days.
If you haven’t submitted yet, please keep sending your stories! Don’t wait til the last minute. We always see a huge upswell of submissions in the last day and that’s fine, but consider this: if a story is pretty close but needs a rewrite, we’re more likely to ask for one if there’s time for the author to deliver. If we’re at the very end of the reading period and are on the fence about the story, there may not be enough time to ask for a rewrite. Of course, if a story truly wins us over, that won’t be an issue at all — but submitting earlier is good strategy in this case.
I’m very excited to report that UFO4 has already reached its initial funding goal of $8,000 and we’re now working toward our $10k stretch goal of a second, reprint anthology of humorous science fiction.
If you’re inclined to support this project, please visit the Kickstarter page and see if there are some rewards you might like?
I can also report that we’ve received a bit over 150 submissions to date and have responded to over half of them. I’m inclined to concentrate on the crowdfunding campaign over submissions today and tomorrow, but will catch up soon. Even at our “slow” times we tend to respond to an overwhelming majority of submissions in under a week, and often in 1-2 days. So send your stories — we won’t waste your time by sitting on the manuscripts for months before they’re even read!