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

Long Time, No Write

On the blog, that is.

I realized I hadn’t updated this thing in months, which was a strange feeling on top of many others that have been rampant these pandemic years. I’ve been posting here (or on the blogspot that preceded it) since 2010 (!), and I don’t think I’ve taken a break this long ever before.

Strange times, indeed.

In my last post Reprint-palooza, I shared the news that a number of stories were being reprinted, breathing new life into old words. I can’t tell you how gratifying that feels, to know your stories have value even after the newness has faded.

On top of that, Implanted, my cyberpunk meets solarpunk / spy-fi meets cli-fi novel was named a definitive work of climate fiction by Grist.org, which was also a great feeling. Be sure to check out the full list and perhaps find a new read to get inspired to face our collective future.

Finally, I’m thrilled to announce my short story “Gray Rock Method” will appear in Chromophobia: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women in Horror from Rooster Republic Press and edited by powerhouse Sara Tantlinger. I got my acceptance just before the holidays and it was a much-needed boon to close out the year. The story is also my first foray into horror and was a lot of fun to write. The anthology comes out later this year and is already garnering a bit of buzz in horror circles. You can check out the contributors and learn how to preorder the collection here. And of course I’ll be posting more information as we get closer to the release date.

That’s it for now. I hope the New Year is off to a better start for you than it has been for me!

Reprint-palooza!

I’ve been plugging away on various projects while sending others out into the universe with the hopes that one day there will be an answer back. This is normal writerly grind stuff, but it is always gratifying when past stories, ones that have been polished and deemed publishable, get to shine once more.

Today you can catch my short story “No Regrets on Fourth Street” over at The Dread Machine, a newish online community celebrating horror and cyberpunk.

I hope you’ll take a look and check out all the other amazing stories that have been collected there. May they fill you with dread and turn you into a subscriber.

That’s not the only reprint of mine that’s been given new life. In case you missed it, my heroic fantasy short story “Sing! And Remember” was collected in Worlds of Light and Darkness: The Best of DreamForge and Space and Time Magazines. That anthology was released in May, and ALA Booklist said, “The combining of stories that have been printed by these two publications is genius. The collection spans all iterations of each of the genres and shows off some fantastic fiction in the process.” You can purchase it directly from Uproar Books or the vender of your choice.

Features my story “Sing! And Remember”

You’ll also be able to catch my story “The Life That Comes After” in Strange Religion, a successful Kickstarter-funded anthology from tDotSpec. That will be coming out sometime next April, and I’ll be posting more about that when we get closer to the pub date. But I’m excited that such a personal story of mine was selected for inclusion in the anthology.

Features my story “The Life that Comes After”

(I also have another reprint story sale I hope I can announce soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!)

Finally, I was able to have my essay “How to Build a Solarpunk City” reprinted on the Climate Fiction Writer’s League website earlier this year, so be sure to check out my recommended resources for how to build a better future!

My Virtual August

I decided to say no to all in-person conventions this year to keep our household risk as low as possible (which I’m feeling even better about now because of the Delta variant—good job, past me!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t see me this convention season!

First up, you can hear me read at the Strong Women, Strange Worlds panel on August 19th! This is a series celebrating the work of women and other authors with underrepresented gender identities.

I’ll be reading an excerpt from my award-nominated debut novel Implanted and be giving away a copy to one lucky participant. You can pre-register at EventBrite, and in the meantime, you can take a look at the previous readings in this series. Hopefully you’ll find a new favorite author!

Then, I’ll be participating in my local convention, Bubonicon, and their virtual programming for 2021, on Friday, August 20th.

Now Virtual!

I’ll be moderating the panel “Mash-ups: the How and Why of Genre Blending” which will be airing live at 8pm mountain time on the Bubonicon Facebook page (it will also be posted to their YouTube page as well). I’ll be joined by Melinda Snodgrass, Carrie Vaughn, Reese Hogan, and Marguerite Reed. It should be a fantastic conversation!

MASH-UPS: THE HOW & WHY OF GENRE BLENDING —  Readers, authors and curators sometimes struggle to classify a work. Is it fantasy? Science fiction? Paranormal? Maybe all of the above? Panelists discuss the benefits and tricks of genre blending.

I’ll also be recording a excerpt from John Lymington’s Froomb! along with a number of other Bubonicon guests. It should be a blast (and a blast from the 1965 past)!

Vintage copy of Froomb!

So keep your eyes peeled on the Bubonicon website for that and other events that weekend!

Coming Soon: Best of DreamForge Magazine Antho

Happy to announce my story “Sing! And Remember” will be included in Worlds of Light and Darkness: The Best of DreamForge and Space and Time Magazines (Volume 1), edited by Angela Yuriko-Smith and Scot Noel, and published by Uproar Books.

Includes my fantasy short story “Sing! And Remember”!

This story is one of my recent favorites, and in addition to being published in the inaugural issue of DreamForge Magazine, it was also included on Tangent’s Recommended Reading List for 2019.

I’m grateful I’ll be sharing a TOC with some of my wonderful writing colleagues, including Jane Lindskold, John Jos Miller, and Sarena Ulibarri, and all the other contributors who write stories of hope and connection and bright futures. Plus, just look at that cover!

You can check out the announcement at DreamForge’s site or pre-order the book directly from Uproar. It releases May 2021!