Spawn of Mars
Blog of Fictioneer David Skinner
The government wins every election.
Stellar Stories Vol.2 Is Out
All of Them by Me!
Friday, March 24, 2023 11:55 am
The second volume of my collected science fiction & wonder stories has been released! Some stories are new. Some have been previously published in, for example, StoryHack
Available in different formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Lulu. Synopses, samples, and links are here
Hey, buy the ebook and
the paperback. They're not expensive, as these things go. Buy, read, and be amazed by my masterfulosity!
Sidearm & Sorcery Vol.2 Is Out
Read My Story in It!
Wednesday, March 22, 2023 6:26 pm
The second volume of Sidearm & Sorcery is here! And it contains a story by me!
Buy it to give me and the publisher money. Review it to increase its rank. Read my story "The Baron of Nevada & His Branded Broads" and be amazed by my greatillousness.Go, now!
Cirsova Spring 2023 Is Out
Read My Story in It!
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 1:34 pm
The latest issue of Cirsova Magazine is here! And it contains a story by me!
Buy it on Amazon (to give the publisher money). Review it on Amazon (to increase its rank). Read my story "The Unshrouded Stars" and be amazed by my brilliatanitude.Go, now!
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...
Mermaids & Termites
As of October
Thursday, October 6, 2022 4:00 pm
Since about the only posts I make of late are "Mermaids & Termites" posts, I have considered making that the name of the blog. But then all
I could talk about would be mermaids and termites, so it's status quo for now.
While StoryHack the magazine is apparently on a long and indeterminate hiatus (poor Hamlin Becker and his homeless tales!), its publisher is not entirely inactive. The submissions call went out for Volume 2 of the anthology Sidearm & Sorcery. The call was made suddenly on Sep. 2, with a deadline of Sep. 30.
Since S&S's brand of urban fantasy is not my usual mode, I couldn't respond with a trunk story. Luckily, within a day, an idea occurred to me. My existing plans for The Baron of Nevada & His Branded Broads had a fantastical element. Since Baron as SF was going nowhere, I extracted key pieces for a new work, entirely fantasy — and more succinct.
Problem is, as you know, with a quill I am a tortoise. Four weeks for me was a tight schedule. Still, to my happiness, I finished my 4,600-word story, and submitted it on the 27th.
I like what I wrote. It's a little hard-boiled, a little steamy, a little hellish, a little sad. Here's hoping it gets accepted...
Since I like to have hardcopies of my stories (which are, of course, written digitally), I create books though Lulu. Easier and much more fun than laboriously printing with a printer.
It is important to have hardcopies. One continent-wide EMP or one hefty Coronal Mass Ejection and poof! All your digitized life's work would be gone.
Anyhow, my collaboration with Misha Burnett — a novella too odd, a kind of Gothic displacement tale with a male protagonist — needed a hardcopy, so I created this neat little pocketbook. Purely for myself. It should arrive in the mail around Monday.
(Misha is ruminating on an anthology that could be anchored by our novella, but he's also busy right now; and so our low-priority novella is in publication limbo.)
The Impossible Footprint is in print, in the Fall 2022 Cirsova. The Unshrouded Stars has been accepted and will be in the Spring 2023 issue.
Stellar Stories Vol. 1 was released and has sold 22 copies. I also more quietly released a definitive version of Sideways of the Earth (complete with hired cover art) and that has sold 21 copies. The Giant's Walk has sold 25 copies. Granted, 90% of these were discounted sales, but they were sales. I don't know if these are small beginnings or the limits of my appeal. But I carry on.
Stellar Stories Vol. 2 is planned for 2nd quarter 2023. Its actual contents, though not nebulous, are also not fixed. It'll come together.
I'm figuring out my 2024 Cirsova submission, which is still likely to be the 2nd Hak Iri story Motive of Man. I also still need to write the sixth and final Hamlin Becker tale — although, with StoryHack on hiatus, I'd be writing for my trunk. But I do want the tale told.
Probably some other surprise, like the S&S call, will distract and energize me; and that would not be so bad, considering how unmotivated I generally am.
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!
Mermaids & Termites
As of July
Wednesday, July 6, 2022 2:35 pm
There's no two ways about it. I am capricious. Every few weeks I have a new plan for what I want to do. I can't stick to anything.
Honestly, these posts should just be updates about what has happened, not what may. I have no idea, really, what I'll be doing in a month.
So what has
I suppose there's some conformity to prior plans.
I am still working on Stellar Stories Vol. 1. Much as I like a little proofreading and getting things in order, I am truly reaching my limit. But what must be done, must be done. A small excitement is that I have hired an actual illustrator for the cover. I still did the overall design, but getting real art will be nice.
And my plan is still to release the book sometime before the release of Cirsova's Fall issue, to capitalize on my story being the cover story.
But there has been a big distraction. It was my own fault. My collaboration with Misha Burnett had been idle for a year. That bugged me. So I contacted him to get it going again and he agreed. Over the next few weeks we finished the novella. It's quite good, and a bit unusual. Misha came up with an idea to get it out to the public and we are pursuing that, but who knows what will happen.
And as for my own unfinished stories? What are my priorities right now?
My standard for prioritizing has been: "What if I got hit by a truck tomorrow?" What simply must be finished? But that standard has been oddly debilitating. I recognize that writing is work, but writing just to forestall the nonexistence of a story is truly just work. Whether or not it's frivolous, I'd rather be writing for fun.
The sixth Hamlin Becker story — the likely finale — excites me in all that I want to accomplish; but by golly, I'm not in the mood for it. Same goes for the second Hak Iri story. Never mind my poor, moribund novel The Remnant. Those are my top three Get-It-Done-Before-the-Truck-Hits-Me and I just don't care.
So what am I going to do next? Who knows. Come back in a month or two and I'll tell you what I actually did.