Spawn of Mars
Characters and a situation are a story only if by the end something changes or something is revealed.
Mermaids & Termites
As of January
Saturday, January 28, 2023 6:13 pm
Issues and holidays have kept me from proper productivity. There is so little to report.

My submission to Sidearm & Sorcery Vol. 2 has been accepted. I think I mentioned that it is called "The Baron of Nevada & His Branded Broads." I got that title from the cover of a men's magazine from 1962. Surely the original article or story was the usual soft-core adventure. While my story is not soft-core, I did try to present some earnest sexiness. The anthology should come out in the first half of the year, perhaps even the first quarter.

I have worked with an artist to create a cover illustration for Stellar Stories Vol. 2. The illo has turned out really good. I've got the contents formatted and proofread, and much of the promotional stuff staged. I'm targeting publication for the second half of March.

With The Unshrouded Stars coming out in Cirsova this March, early 2023 will be a wee public for me. But that's likely it for the year. Nothing else is in the pipe.

I've done no writing since I submitted Baron. Four months! Typical. But perhaps I'll get on it and be writing stuff soon, not least the final Hamlin Becker tale. I need to write around 20K words to flesh out Stellar Stories Vol. 3. That is, whatever I write in 2023 will have to go directly to Vol. 3, since any intervening magazine publications would push Vol. 3 out to 2025 and I want it published no later than a year from now.

At least it has finally snowed. There was a brief bit of snowfall around Christmas but Michigan has been otherwise miserably dark and gray. Even on a sunless day the snow brightens! So my mood's been OK. Just need to rev up the writing now...
"And Who Shall I Say Is Calling?"
A Collaboration Between Me and Misha Burnett
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 9:28 am
Those few of you who actually read this blog know that I've been collaborating with Misha Burnett on a novella. It is now available for purchase at Amazon.

Well, yes, you should buy it. You'll enjoy it.

Go, now!
Cirsova Fall 2022 Is Out
Read My Story in It!
Friday, September 2, 2022 12:11 am
The latest issue of Cirsova Magazine is here! And it contains a long work by me. In fact, mine is the cover story!

Buy it on Amazon (to give the publisher money). Review it on Amazon (to increase its rank). Read my novella The Impossible Footprint and be amazed by my epicalosity.

Go, now!
Stellar Stories Vol.1 Is Out
Read All the Stories in It!
Tuesday, July 26, 2022 1:11 pm
The first volume of my collected science fiction & wonder stories has been released! Some stories are new. Some have been previously published in, for example, StoryHack and Cirsova.

The ebook is on Amazon and the paperback is on Lulu. Heck, buy both. They're not expensive, as these things go. Buy, read, and be amazed by my masterfulosity! Go, now!

eBook at Amazon
Paperback at Lulu
Mermaids & Termites
As of May
Friday, May 13, 2022 12:41 am
So Stupefying Stories was going to shut down after issue #25. As of this past March, two of my stories had been held by them, in limbo, for over two years. There was, let us say, some breakdown in their process. Given the magazine's imminent demise and my disinclination to be caught up in another pointless contract with them, I moved on. 

And so, of course, Stupefying has resurrected itself and has plans to continue indefinitely. They got their act together. Ostensibly. But here I am, out.

Very rude of them.

Just as well, I guess. I understand the root cause of their troubles, but I doubt their time of caprice is over.

Much as I would have liked my two stories to have been published, there's a benefit to their being unaccepted again. I am unlikely to sell them elsewhere but I kind of don't care. I've been putting together volumes of my collected SF stories (for sale) and of course they can't be published using stories that are caught up in exclusivity clauses. Had Stupefying not gone off the rails, both my stories would already be out of exclusivity and available for publication by me. If Stupefying still had them, it might be another year or more before they showed up in the magazine (if at all), and my volumes would be delayed — and I want them all to come out by the end of 2023.

In some ways I've lost interest in getting published at all. I still want to be in Cirsova and StoryHack, but otherwise... eh. I know I won't sell any copies of my books, but I want to try, and I don't want to put them off, and I want the two stories to be included (because they're good).

So Wayward Scarecrow and Banana Man will be "previously unpublished" additions to their respective volumes, and that might even be a bit nifty.

Normally I wouldn't write an SF retelling of a fairy tale, but Shoreline of Infinity put out a call for such stories and, hey, why not? I picked a Grimm staple that was neither obvious nor obscure and sent it along. I titled my tale An Escalation of Wishes but frankly I prefer my second choice of title, Fishes and Wishes. It might get accepted.

If it is, it will come out in their special September issue. In August The Impossible Footprint will be published by Cirsova. So autumn is when I'd like to announce my SF volumes, which will be released on some regular basis over the subsequent year. Strike when the iron is hot! Even if Shoreline rejects me, that Cirsova publication will be significant, since I will be the cover story!

As reported in my previous post, way back in January, I finished the fifth Hamlin Becker story A Devil's Intuition. I'm planning a sixth. The fourth, His Own Ends, has been in the can for a long time, now. I wish StoryHack was active. I'm presuming that these stories will get accepted by StoryHack, which, I admit, is presumptuous; but StoryHack published the first three, so, hope? But the longer StoryHack is inactive, the more it messes with the timing of my volumes, which must include the Becker stuff.

Please, StoryHack... Arise!

I had intended to finish the second Hak Iri story Motive of Man, and indeed started work on it earlier this year. But in general, apart from the silly energy I spent on Wishes, I haven't been too enthusiastic about writing. Or anything.

Anyhow, part of my impetus was to have Motive ready for Cirsova's annual call for submissions at the end of the summer, but I've decided that The Unshrouded Stars would be a better submission. I wrote that for Cirsova in the first place and, fortuitously, Cirsova has a hankering for horror these days. So — perfect!

This relieves the pressure to complete Motive — which, again, was not ripping along — and also frees me up to resume the Becker stuff, which I really want to resolve before I get hit by a truck.

So that's my plan for the summer: (1) Finish Becker #6 and (2) Get ready to launch my SF volumes... which, by the way, are to be called Stellar Stories.

Oh. Some big news I almost forgot. I have fully regained my rights to the three books that Simon & Schuster published in the '90s. Not sure what I'm going to do with that, but it's nice that they're all mine again.

Mermaids & Termites
As of January
Saturday, January 22, 2022 1:41 pm
What a gloomy day. Ate something that has disagreed with me. Not motivated to write fiction. So let's finally update the blog that no one reads.

I have not, after all, resumed work on my unfinished novel The Remnant. My personal priorities have changed and thus, yet again, my writing priorities have changed. We'll see how long this plan holds up. 

Anyhow, I am resolved to finish the two final Hamlin Becker stories and two Hak Iri stories. It is possible that amidst those efforts I will also finish Sympathy of Clocks and The Baron of Nevada and His Branded Broads, but those works are low priority.

I've delayed my collaboration with Misha Burnett. Each time I check in with him he is prompted to pick it up again and add a couple of thousand words. I feel bad about falling behind, but the collaboration is very much a side project for us both. I need to finish other things first.

So why are these two Becker tales "final"? Because I pretty much know how I want the main mysteries to resolve. Strictly speaking, if I live long enough I might write more Becker stuff; but I won't have to.

I've finished the first of the two. It's called A Devil's Intuition. I wrote it with StoryHack in mind, of course, but I wonder if that mag is dead. Bryce the editor has been working on other projects and there have been no mag announcements.

I've already got an earlier Becker story in my hopper: His Own Ends, also intended for StoryHack. I need Bryce to start taking these off my hands, haha!

A Devil's Intuition is really good. It contains my first proper femme fatale. It's not terribly science-fictional, despite the Martians. Definitely a "Chandler in Space." The next (and last?) Becker story, which I haven't started, is going to be the most science-fictional. Still with lots of Chandler, though.

While I step back from Becker to allow his last story to ferment in my mind, I'm working on a Hak Iri story, Motive of Man. "Hak Iri, his friends, and his Love-Girl Esa Nal are drafted by an Aethir Pirate to fight ghosts in the environs of chaotic Ooranos!" Hopefully Cirsova will accept it for the 2023 season. (It's a follow-up, though not a sequel, to The Impossible Footprint, which will be in the Fall 2022 issue of Cirsova.)

I am counting the two Hak Iri stories in my "critical things to write" because I have some cool ideas for that world and I really want them storified. Again, if I live long enough, I'm sure there will be more Hak Iri...

Stupefying Stories is officially dead. There will be two more issues and that's it. My two accepted but unpublished stories (in their hands since 2019) are unlikely to make the cut for the grand finale. At least my stories will be released from their limbo.

It is a very sad thing, I'd say. Semi-pro short-story mags are precious. And this mag accepted two of my works.

Say a prayer for the editor & publisher Bruce Bethke, his future endeavors, and most especially his sickly wife.

I know. Mortality fogs this post. I said it was a gloomy day. And often I'm a gloomy guy. But my necessary fiction is proceeding... slowly.

Tapping those seconds, tapping those keys.

Cirsova Fall 2021 Is Out
Read My Story in It!
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 12:26 pm
The latest issue of Cirsova Magazine is here! And it contains a short work by me!

Buy it on Amazon (to give the publisher money). Review it on Amazon (to increase its rank). Read my story Dead Neighbor and be amazed by my cleversomeliness. Go, now!
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StoryHack #7
Cirsova: Fall 2022
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