Spawn of Mars
Men will never be free until the last communist is strangled with the entrails of the last journalist.
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.
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Spawn of Mars
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StoryHack #7
Cirsova: Fall 2022
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