New Story Sale!

Happy to announce my short story “Those Who Wear Their White Hair Proudly” will be included in Flame Tree Publishing‘s Heroic Fantasy Short Stories anthology, joining their line of gorgeously bound gothic fantasy collections.

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This story is near and dear to my heart, and I’m very grateful it’s found a home. I’ll be sharing more about it closer to when the anthology comes out, scheduled for July.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the other authors in the anthology and join me in drooling over the cover.

New Story “The Dim Rank Dark” Now Available!

Happy to announce my short story “The Dim Rank Dark” is now available in Incarceration, an anthology about the future of prisons from SFF micropress WolfSinger Publishing.

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From the jacket copy:

INCARCERATION

The word conjures up images of jail cells, steel bars, guards, chain gangs, prison stripes and more.

In this anthology seventeen authors tell tales of possible future incarceration methods: Genetic Engineering to create a new breed of prison guards. Viral Engineering to create a medically induced coma that can be programmed for a specific length of time. Prisoners who volunteer to be human Guinea Pigs to receive early releases – if they survive. A “Fun House” that helps people to move past their prejudices and pre-conceived ideas of others.

These and other forms of imprisonment are available for you to explore – from a safe distance – in these pages. Some are indictments of the system, with those who are not-guilty punished for something they didn’t do. Some offer harsh punishments for what seems like only a minor infraction and others explore the human side of imprisonment in unique ways. Join us – we promise you’ll be released at the end of each story.

The anthology also includes stories from: Rebecca McFarland Kyle, David Boop, Melodie Bolt, Dean Anthony Brink, Dawn M. Sooy, A. L. Sirois, David B. Riley, Andrew M. Seddon, Cheryl Toner, S. D. Matley, Catrin Sian Rutland, Frank Montellano, Gerry Griffiths, Liam Hogan, Lyn Godfrey, and R. Joseph Maas.

“The Dim Rank Dark” deals with issues of penal labor, rehabilitation, and the idea of prisoners as second-class citizens. In a high-tech but physically-constrained domed city, prisoners are forced to maintain the city’s sewers. As a politician moves to strip them of their rights, a group of prisoners fights back the only way they can.

Copies of the anthology are available in ebook and in print through CreateSpace and Smashwords, so please check it out!

 

 

Odds and Ends

The last few months have been a whirlwind in my personal life, making wording a bit more difficult than I’d like. But! Some fun things have been happening.

 

StarShipSofa Podcast of “Jump Cut”

One of my favorite stories has been turned into a podcast by the team at StarShipSofa! “Jump Cut” originally appeared in Unlikely Story’s Journal of Unlikely Cryptography last year. The story is wonderfully narrated by Mike Boris and includes an interview with U of Washington professor Ryan Calo on robot law. Check it out!

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It’s also cool to see some of the scifi elements I included in the story become closer to reality. Recently, Ars Technica profiled a company called Halo Neuroscience that uses electrical impulses to stimulate parts of athletes’ brains to boost performance. Very similar to the performance-enhancing implants central to my story. To see more how Halo’s technology works, check out the video below:

 

 

SF Signal Mindmeld on the best writing advice

I was recently asked “What’s the best writing advice I’ve ever received?” for SF Signal’s Mindmeld feature, a roundtable of SF/F writers. Over the years, different nuggets of writerly wisdom have stayed with me, often as a function of where I am with my craft. Check out the column to see what’s guiding me these days.

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There’s also more fantastic advice from Alex Kourvo, Nghi Vo, David D. Levine, Pear Nuallak, Jon McGoran, Janet Harriett, Adrian Van Young, Yolanda Sfetsos, Robert Kroese, Kallen Dewey Kentner, and of course moi.

 

 

Reprint of “Forge and Fledge” in Spaceports and Spidersilk

Earlier this year, my story “Forge and Fledge” was included in the January 2016 issue of Spaceports and Spidersilk, a speculative fiction magazine for young adults. It was originally published in the now-defunct but not forgotten Crossed Genres Magazine and focuses on a young teen’s yearning for a better life than a hydrocarbon mining rig floating in the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon, Titan. Support the magazine and all the other talented authors in the issue.

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Recently, Titan’s been in the news thanks to Cassini spacecraft’s most recent flyby, confirming that methane fills one of the largest hydrocarbon lakes on the moon’s surface. Cool stuff!

 

 

Paperback release of The Change anthology

Last but not least, The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth, featuring my story “Against the Wind,” is now available in paperback! So get yourself to the bookseller of your choice, and snap up a copy today for a great collection of post-apocalyptic adventure stories.

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That’s it for me!

For Your Consideration – The 2016 Campbell Award

I first learned about the Campbell Award at the 2013 LoneStarCon while attending the Hugo Awards. The Campbell – which is emphatically not a Hugo – is granted to an up-and-coming writer who has at least one pro, SFWA-qualifying sale. To be nominated is an honor, and to win places the writer in rarified company. The eligibility window starts at the publication of your first pro sale and remains open for two years.

Turns out I was eligible last year, and this year is my second and final year of eligibility. Awards are funny things. They stoke the competitive fires in every writer, but remain highly subjective. How do you compare one successful story to another? How do you decide which writer has more promise than someone else? Aren’t we all casting our words about, hoping to find an audience they resonate with? Award or no, we are all capable of greatness. Our potential lies in the blank page set before all of us.

And yet… Awards are shiny things full of covetous inspiration. Who doesn’t want one?

It’s nice to know I’m eligible—another professional milestone—even though the chances of being nominated are slim. My stories, while I’m inordinately proud of them, aren’t well-known enough to have made the impact needed to secure a nom, and I’m not a vocal participant in the SF/F community either for name recognition to help tilt the scales in my favor.

That’s why I think it’s very cool that writers S. L. Huang and Kurt Hunt put together an anthology highlighting the work of all the Campbell-eligible writers for this year—just in time for the Hugo nominating process. It’s a way to showcase all the amazing work being done by new writers, and an opportunity to discover folks like me who may not be as well-known.

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So get your copy of FREE, award-eligible fiction, and get reading! I’m honored to be included with the writers in this anthology. Our stories are the future of SF/F, even if there can only be one Campbell award winner this year.

Professional Milestones or The Little Story that Could

Earlier this month, Unlikely Story—a fantastic venue of, well, unlikely speculative fiction—announced they were now a SFWA-qualifying market. This was exciting news for me, as they published my short story “Jump Cut” earlier this year, and I already had two SFWA-qualifying sales under my belt. With three sales, I’m now considered a fully-fledged member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Yay!

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This is a huge professional milestone for me for a number of reasons. First off, I primarily consider myself a novelist, so to have my membership based on my short story sales has bolstered my confidence in my craft. Since novels take more time and effort than short stories to develop (at least for me), I’m grateful there are opportunities to engage in the speculative fiction community as a professional even if I haven’t had a novel published yet.

Second, because my novel-length work is often geared toward young adults and contains romantic elements, I felt it important to demonstrate I was capable of writing a wide-range of stories for all ages. Given the tensions in the speculative fiction community over the last few years dismissing women, YA, and stories that don’t necessarily adhere to elements of the Golden Age of SF/F, I wanted my induction into this community to be unassailable. That’s also why I didn’t join SFWA as an associate member when I made my first sale, because I didn’t want to risk being viewed as a one-hit wonder. (Obviously, other writers may feel differently as to when it’s appropriate to join SFWA, but this was my process. As with anything, YMMV.)

Finally, it simply feels good to know I’m creating at a professional level. Each story I’ve had published has been a labor of love, and I’m proud of every one, regardless of what market they ended up at. But joining SFWA has been a goal of mine since I started writing SF/F, and I’m happy I’ve finally achieved it. Doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do, but I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.

And all this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t kept submitting “Jump Cut” to markets. I’ve talked before about the submission process, and the time it took for the story to find a home. I was thrilled when it was finally accepted for publication, and knowing it has become my third qualifying sale is just icing on the cake. For me, it is the little short story that could.

UnlikelyStoryBannerSo thank you to Unlikely Story, as well as to Crossed Genres Magazine for publishing “Forge and Fledge” and to S.M. Stirling and Roc for including “Against the Wind” in The Change anthology. You have helped me enter a new phase of my career!

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