The Whalefall in The Colored Lens

cl 13My novelette “The Whalefall” has just appeared in the Autumn 2014 issue of The Colored Lens. The story of a woman searching for her father lost at sea, on a distant planet where the sea life comes somewhat larger than here on Earth.

Cool to be sharing the contents page with, among others, David Kernot from across the ditch. David’s also one of the editors for issues of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine – in fact edited the issue that came out a couple of months ago with my story “Alecia in the Mechwurm”.

The Helmet – in Black Denim Lit

Black Denim Lit August 2014My story “The Helmet” has just come out in the August issue of Black Denim Lit. There’s been some delay with the issue (BD is still pretty new), but it’s nice to see it out now. “The Helmet” is a hard science fiction story set on a ship in the Kuiper Belt.
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Baz liked it out this way, among the Kuiper belt planets. He imagined the vacuum quieter, the light dimmer, the drift through the cosmos more peaceful. They’d left Chuapa behind a day ago, and were six days out from Sarinne. Lilly’d come to Baz with another offer. Come out with her ice gathering for three months and she’d forgive his debt.

How could he refuse?

Read on at Black Denim Lit.

“Aerobrake” – short story in The Colored Lens

CLW2014My hard sci-fi story “Aerobrake” is out now in the Winter 2014 issue of The Colored Lens. The story’s mostly set in low Earth orbit. Claire’s about to call it a day repairing satellites when she gets a distress call. Another tech, ship scraping the atmosphere, could use a hand. Here’s the opening:

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The galaxy, for a moment, looked frozen. Claire’s ship pitched on its axis and she had a passing view of the stars in lockstep with her view through the forward windows. From orbit, especially this low, the distant blazing suns were always sweeping by. The ship’s current altitude, 326 kilometers, had her completing an orbit in just over ninety minutes.
The ranging radar pinged at her. She was less than thirty kilometers from the errant satellite. With a sweep on the controls, she swung the cockpit around on its internal gimbals. For a moment she was in darkness. Only another couple of hours and she would be done for the month. Back to Levithab for two weeks in the station’s gravity spin. After three months on call–basically meaning out all day every day–and a full week in the Demeter’s tiny cockpit and living quarters, she really needed a break. The ship was starting to feel dank and lived in, like old socks that needed a wash, rinse and airing.

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The Colored Lens is published for Kindle – available at Amazon for $3.58. There are a whole bunch of stories in there – a really great magazine.

The Million Word Apprenticeship

big pic miniSomewhere I’ve read something about how a writer has to write a million words before they’re good enough.

Well, I published some stories well before I’d completed a million words. Some people even said some complimentary things about them. But one of the things I figure is I’m never going to stop learning. So I keep writing, figuring each new million words as a new apprenticeship.

This year I’ve written a half-million. That complements the half-million from last year. This is the first time I’ve consciously tracked the word count. It’s nice to feel like I’ve clearly got a million under my belt. I think in all the years leading up to that I’d probably written more than a million. But that feels like another lifetime.

Last year was my most successful ever – with more paid publications than ever before. This year was even better. It feels like the work is paying off.

Next year I’m embarking on a new apprenticeship. The first half-million of the next million. Always learning.

Arms Wide – new story in Landfall

landfall 226 My short story “Arms Wide” has just come out in the latest (Spring 2013) issue of Landfall (Spring here in the southern hemisphere, though it’s summer already). I feel chuffed about this one – I’ve been submitting to Landfall for years. It’s the longest running literary journal in New Zealand and sets the bar pretty high, so getting a story in there makes me feel like I’m heading in the right direction.

There’s no online version, but I will publish the story for Kindle, Nook, etc. sometime during next year as a stand-alone.

Here’s the opening:

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The first time my daughter stole a car, her mother acted with an indifference I should have expected. Julie, my daughter, was seventeen, and the car was a 1993 Subaru with every kind of trim, accessory and modification you could imagine. The thing had lights under the chassis to shine on the road.
“Listen, Trevor,” Amy – Julie’s mother – told me from her apartment in Omaha, “I’m fifteen thousand miles away. What can I do? Let her grow up.”
“She’ll go to jail,” I said.
“Blah, blah, blah.” Amy hung up.
Julie didn’t go to jail, but, you know, it was close. Real close.
“Maybe you should go live with Mom?” I said, back at home after the hearing. She’d escaped conviction, but was on some kind of a watchlist that I didn’t understand.
“Yeah,” Julie said. She smiled and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “That’s really gonna happen.”

Stone 382 at Perihelion

augcoverMy story “Stone 382” has just been published in the August issue of Perihelion Science Fiction – you can read it online for free (though you can donate at the site: they’ve already paid me for the story). This story was an honorable mention in Writers of the Future Q1, so it’s cool to see it published.

Here’s the opening:

“We’ve got a vessel incoming,” Jimmy said.

Keith saw him reach towards his console glass and tap it. Keith wished the kid wouldn’t do that. It was a nervous habit that was just irritating. Mostly Keith liked Jimmy, but sometimes his little habits annoyed him more than they should. Twenty-three years old, fresh out of training, and cocky. Too long cooped up in the tiny stations.

The Wreck of the Emerald Sky

The Wreck of the Emerald SkyMy science fiction novella, The Wreck of the Emerald Sky, originally published in The Colored Lens magazine, is out now as an ebook and a print book. This is one of my Barris Space stories, following several others – “Barris Debris”, “Eltanin Hoop Anomaly Rescue”, published in Static Movement anthologies, as well as the recent story “Turtles” (featuring one of the same characters) published in Encounters Magazine.

Blurb:
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Light years from Earth, the liner The Emerald Sky is trapped in a Barris Space rift. No one’s ever seen anything like it. Derel Larson’s the go-to guy for Barris anomalies, but he’s on compassionate leave. The only way he’s going to rescue the passengers is if he takes his daughter along with him.
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ebook – $5.99
Smashwords
Kindle

Print – $9.99

Amazon