Remembering John Jos Miller

Earlier this month my friend, neighbor, and colleague John Jos Miller passed away. Not Covid, but that doesn’t really matter when gone is gone. I’ve been meaning to post before now to acknowledge his passing and the resulting loss, but it’s been hard to put the words together.

For years we critted each other’s work, sharing the ups and downs of the writing life here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was a fantastic writer who made a name for himself primarily from working in other creators’ IP, most notably the shared universe of Wild Cards. There have been a number of write ups (Locus, SWFA, GRRM not-a-blog, Westros, the Wertzone, ) that highlight the full range of his career, and if you are at all interested in the story worlds he published in, know you are in good hands. I’m just sorry there is not more of his standalone work available because I was privileged to see some of it and know it is equally as good if not better than his licensed stories.

I’m lucky enough to have shared two TOCs with him, for S.M. Stirling’s The Change anthology as well as Worlds of Light and Darkness. That brings me comfort to have our names are connected in this small way, even though he’s gone.

Victor Milan, John Jos Miller, Jane Lindskold, Lauren C. Teffeau, S.M. Stirling and Emily Mah at Page 1 Books, June 2015

He was a huge film buff, and I loved nerding out with him about movies. He shared his love for film through his posts at both Black Gate and the Cheese Magnet archives, which are full of fascinating nuggets if you are ever interested in doing a deep dive into SF/F films across the decades.

You can find his last short story “Don’t Look Back” in Dreamforge Magazine #9. I saw an early version of this, and I’m glad to know it found a home as it celebrates aspects that are quintessentially John: his love of baseball, historical fiction, and SF/F. A good read from a good man and, since it must be, a good bye too.

My copy of Dreamforge Magazine #9

This Weekend @ the Jean Cocteau Cinema

Just a quick note to say I’ll be at George R. R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this Sunday, January 26, 2020!beastlogonew

I’ll be joining authors Emily Mah, S.M. Stirling, and Sarena Ulibarri, who are all fantastic writers, humans, and coincidentally members of my local writing group here in New Mexico.

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We will be talking shop, critting off the cuff, and generally having fun, so if you live nearby, please join us! For tickets and more information, please visit the Jean Cocteau website.

Hope to see you there, New Mexico!

Happy New Year to Me!

Welcome to 2020, and already, we’re off to a great start.

I spent New Year’s day basking in the news that my story “Sing! And Remember” made Tangent Online’s 2019 Recommended Reading List. This is my first appearance on the list, and I’m so happy this story earned their notice. I talked a bit about how important the story was to me in my year-end round-up, and this just underscores all the complicated emotions that come from seeing your work in print: elation and accomplishment, yes, but also that prickly sensation of having your inner life on display for others. But to have my work noticed amongst all the other stories published in professional SF/F magazines in 2019 makes all that angst worth it.

Be sure to check out all the wonderful stories that Tangent Online recognized.

To celebrate, DreamForge Magazine, who originally published “Sing! And Remember”, is making it available to read FREE online along with the other stories they published that were recognized by Tangent’s 2019 recap.

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They are also extending their Writers & Friends $5 subscription discount to everyone until 1/15/20, so please check this great magazine out if you haven’t already!

Wishing you and yours a very happy 2020!

2019 Year In Review

This year. Wow. I am not sorry to see 2019 go. It’s been a quiet year overall for me, in part because of an unexpected death in the family. Additionally, I had my very first run-in with pneumonia, and it packed a punch. I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t affected by the tenor of politics, the lies that go unchallenged every day, the brink it feels we’re perched on and have been for awhile now. My brain can be a noisy place, and this year it was too often deafening.

But it wasn’t all bad—not by a long shot. My book baby Implanted got some award recognition which was so gratifying see now that its one-year anniversary has come and gone. I finished another novel project I’m excited about that I’ve been chipping away at for the last two years, and I’m plugging away on a new one that I not only love but love the challenge of writing it as well. There are also other ideas (of course!) percolating in my hind brain that I can’t wait to get to too. You can’t have the highs without the lows, and while this feels a little bit like a trough for me at the moment, I’m really looking forward to next year and what it might bring.

So, without further ado, the year’s highlights:

Award love for Implanted:

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New Short Story:

“Sing! And Remember” was published in the inaugural “Founders Issue” of DreamForge Magazine and illustrated by the Hugo-award winning illustrator Elizabeth Leggett.

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I talked about the story here and here on the blog, but it is a story that means a lot to me, and I’m so grateful it’s out in the world thanks to the passionate team behind DreamForge magazine.

#Authorlife Appearances:

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  • I attended the Nebulas, Armadillocon, Bubonicon, and MileHighCon and got to see old friends and new as well as participate on my share of panels.
  • I also participated the Williamson Lectureship, held each year in Portales, NM, on Eastern New Mexico University’s campus, and it was great to see my book in the library there!

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Wishing everyone a fitting end to 2019. Onward to 2020!

Potpourri – Summer Edition

I’m thrilled to announce Implanted finaled in the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal RWA chapter’s PRISM contest for best Sci-Fi and Futuristic Novel. The award is bestowed by one of the largest chapters in the romance community to celebrate excellence in published romance with speculative elements. Be sure to check out the other great books featured in the different categories. Winners will be announced at Nationals in New York City later this month. Fingers crossed!PRISM2019Badge

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My short story “No Regrets on Fourth Street” was made into a podcast by StarShipSofa. It’s narrated by Larissa Thompson, a talented voice actress, and it’s exciting to have another story featured at StarShipSofa, which published my story “Jump Cut” way back in 2016.

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If you ever wanted an opportunity to be mentored by moi—or other amazing NM-based judges—you’ll get your chance by entering The Land of Enchantment Romance Author’s The Writer contest. Our local RWA chapter will be accepting the first 5k of unpublished romantic works through July 31st. Check out the rules here.
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This Friday at the Albuquerque Science Fiction Society, Sarena Ulibarri and I will be reprising our presentation on Climate Fiction that we did for Creative Santa Fe in May. If you are local, I hope you’ll join us for readings and spirited discussions on solarpunk, cli-fi, and what’s next for our field.

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Finally, be on the lookout for my schedule for Armadillocon in Austin, TX, August 2nd-4th, and Bubonicon in Albuquerque, NM, August 23rd-25th.