Full list of contents here – cool to see that I’m sharing that with another New Zealander – Melanie Harding-Shaw. Kind of humbled to be there alongside her – Mel is one of the shining lights of the NZ Speculative Fiction Scene..
My Aurealis Award Finalist novella from Analog last year, “Problem Landing” is now also available as a standalone in print and as an ebook. Universal Book Link here.
Toughing out life on Mars, Ciananti Burrows finds herself constantly repairing failing equipment and pushing research aside. But when new arrivals declare an issue with their landing vessel, all those learned repair skills might come in handy.
They might even save some lives.
For some reason I seem to give my protagonists names beginning with C – Ciananti, Cody, Cole Wright.
July will see the release of Cole Wright book 4, Slow Burn, available for pre-order now – UBL. By way of promotion, again, we’ll have a short story – “The Handler” available to read free here on the website from the start of July (the 4th), then available as a standalone book and in print.
The Handler –
The mugging happens so fast that Marc barely has time to react.
For Marc and Sonia, a trip to Spokane means visiting family, a little shopping and some eating out. Not having someone accost them in the street.
When Cole Wright happens by, things might just take a different turn.
In other Cole Wright news, happily the work is complete on book 5, Scorpion Bait and it’s heading into preorder for September 20th. And, yes, there will be another short story free to read in the lead up from around the start of that month.
I’m having fun writing the Cole Wright short stories too, so will likely put out a collection of the five, plus a couple of extras in October or November. If I can ever figure out how to set up a mail list, I’ll be giving away another story for sign ups.
On January 1st 2012 I gave myself the challenge to write every day. I’m a writer, after all, so that seems like nothing too challenging.
Over the years, though, despite writing lots, I would still miss some days, perhaps even some weeks. I doubt I missed a month, but maybe somewhere I did.
Still, I didn’t have that regular habit. Today, as I write this, December 31st 2021, marks the ten year milestone. 3653 days (by my calculations – I think there were three leap years in there, 2012, 2016 and 2020) of writing every day.
As part of the challenge, I recorded my word count. Some days I wrote not very much (156 words was, I think my lowest number), some days a little more (one day was over 8000 words), but most days sat somewhere north of 1000. Most years were somewhere over 500,000 words. This last year I set myself the additional goal of writing a minimum of 1600 words a day – and I hit that, for a total of 652,682 words (which is actually over 1700 words/day average – kind of what happens when you set the bar higher, I guess). Not bad. Still not quite up to real pulp speed.
One thing that kept it engaging was the thought that ‘it’s all practice’. Just practising getting better. Practising openings, practising characterization, practising the rule of threes (see what I did there?). With practice, I would hope to get better.
Along the way I’ve published a lot of my works indie – links to a lot of them are here on the website – and gone wide, so you can find me on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Smashwords and Apple.
The big sense that the practising was working, though, came when I started selling to the professional magazines – Asimov’s, Analog, Landfall, etc. Maybe I was getting better. Some writers get there real fast, but for me it’s been more of a matter staying the course. Submitting. Learning to write better. Submitting again. I still want to get better, of course. I have a bunch of courses lined up and a bunch of new goals.
The challenge continues. Writing every day. Aiming now to make it to 10,000 consecutive days. That would be something. But still, 3653 is something in itself.
I’ve probably mentioned before that while I’m a relatively prolific writer, and probably not too bad at it either (a couple of awards along the way, so I must be doing something right on occastion), I can a little tardy at keeping this site up to date. What happens then is things build up and I end up jabbering about a half dozen things every couple of months, rather than one every week.
Hoping to change that. Maybe I’ll even schedule it. After all, I write fiction every day, why not talk about it every week? Similarly, I need to keep that sidebar, that’s probably showing on the right there, a little more current. And the pages links at the top.
Anyway, there are bits and pieces of news about new releases.
My novelette “Problem Landing” appeared in the March/April issue of Analog, which was kind of cool. This story comes from watching footage of the SpaceX rocket boosters making their landings for re-use. The story, though, is set on Mars.
I have another story coming out sometime later this year in Analog – “Eyes To The Height”. Again, a failing technology story, this one set on the moon.
Yay for space.
Analog also have their own blog – The Astounding Analog Companion – and I have an interview in that, about “Problem Landing”. That came out quite a few weeks back. There are other good interviews and opinion pieces on the blog too.
I have a new book out – Core Runners – book 5 in the Captain Arlon Stoddard series. Available in all the usual places. The blurb goes like this:
“A missing ship. A distressed mother. A planet of mysteryThe disappearance of the Astro Astoria challenges the capabilities of Captain Arlon Stoddard and his crew in new and desperate ways.Finding the ship, and the familes aboard takes every resource the have.And More.Another thrilling installment in the exciting Captain Arlon Stoddard series.Space adventure at its best.”
Core Runners is available in print and as an ebook from the usual retailers – check here to grab a copy. Paperback is $9.99, ebook is $3.99.
Book 6 – Underworld Climbers – should be out in June. The copy-editing is complete, just need formatting and to organise the cover.
In the meantime, another book in the middle-grade Matti-Jay and Dub Adventures series – Blast Crater on Endemo – comes out on May 20th. This is standalone, as all my series books are (as in, you can read them in any order), but it does chronologically follow on from last year’s Great Wall of Endemo, so if you’ve read that you might enjoy this one as a continuation.
This is the blurb for Blast Crater on Endemo:
“Filled with exotic wonderful sights, Endemo ranks as one of the most mysterious worlds in all of Ao space. With some time off after the challenging events at the Great Wall, Matti-Jay and her crew pay a visit to the stunning ancient crater in the northern reaches. Surrounded by gorgeous scenery, none of them expect bandits and crooks.But the crater holds secrets. Holds them close.Faced with impossible choices Matti-Jay and Dub dig into every resource they have. The crater gives no second chances.Another thrilling adventure in the Matti-Jay and Dub series, from award-winning author Sean Monaghan.”
Lastly, for now, I have a new Venus Vulture EP out on bandcamp. “Crystal Falls” is a suite of three tracks of gritty, drone ambient. This is my first real release of music made with my modular synthesizer system. Previously I’ve worked with FLStudio, Oscilab, paulstretch and GoldWave, among others, to put together music. It’s quite a different experience working in the analog world, and doing more actual playing of the instrument, rather than clicking on the screen.
I’ve been building the system for the last couple of years, and it’s been something of a learning curve. Maybe that’ll be a good topic for one of those every week posts.
Crystal Falls is available on Bandcamp – $5.00 for the download. You can listen online for free.
Well, thanks for reading this far.Right now I’m working on a new SF novel (which might end up just being a novella), then want to do some more short stories, and then some more thrillers. Later this year I’ll be repackaging my existing thrillers with new covers, and launching a new series. More on that to come, but there are three novels written so far – I should have two out before Christmas, with the third in January. Fair chance I can write and prep another before then, so there might be four of them by March next year.
Let me tell you that this is just way exciting for me. Not only is this Analog’s 90th year (!), but it’s also my debut in its pages.
I’ve had quite a few stories in Asimov’s Science Fiction over the last few years, which has been pretty, pretty cool for me, but Analog is another thing. I tend to play fast and loose with the laws of physics and the arrival of aliens and so on, and sometimes the science takes a little back seat in my stories. That’s made Asimov’s kind of a natural home for them.
Analog readers do want real science in their stories. So “One Hundred” fits right in there. Mars is on our minds right now, with Space X’s short-ish goal of putting people up there, and NASA’s longer term goal of doing likewise.
That whole “Planet B” concept is gaining traction. Especially in the face of a climate that’s delivering terrible fires, ferocious hurricanes and tides that keep on getting higher. And with the looming threat of pandemic very currently on our minds, creating another spot to live and breed might be a pretty sound idea.
I’m honored to have my story among such luminaries as Gregory Benford and C.C. Finlay.
Living, as I do, across the far side of planet Earth, I have to wait for shipping for my copy to arrive. I’ll probably do that thing of posting an image of me holding it when it gets here.
In other news, “Fabulous Skies” another short story, will be out on Saturday from Triple V Publishing, my little indie venture. $2.99 for the ebook. Different to “One Hundred”, but I guess I do have a style of writing.
Also, I continue to post on ProWritersWriting.com, weekly on a Monday morning. If you’re a writer and want to get a sense of my take on the writing process, go check the posts out. Of note is that there are a bunch of other writers posting there (new posts daily), and we do have different takes. It’s a great resource for starting writers.
Have a great day, and thanks for reading. I appreciate it.
The second book in my Morgenfeld series should be out on December 15th, all going well. As I speak the book has been proofed and copy-edited and print-formatted. Just need to finish the wraparound cover design for that, and get the ebook formatting done.
Oh, and write a blurb.
Here’s how things go for me in terms of writing, from easiest to hardest: novel, novella, short story, blog post, “short bio to accompany your story” and blurb. Yup, easier to write a 60,000 word novel than to write a 100 word blurb. I’ve done some work on it, taken a course or two and so I know some of the techniques – focus on the character and the problem, give away nothing more than is in the first chapter, use active language, and so on and so on. All seems very straightforward when you put it like that. Ha, ha.
I have to write my blurbs on a different computer from my writing computer. The tone and technique and parts of the brain used are all so different. Getting away from the creative space seems to give me access to a different kind of creativity, namely pretending to be a sales person.
Sales is not my natural bent. So, I practice. Maybe I’ll get something that works this time. I’ll post the blurb here in a week or two, once I’ve got it down. Or maybe just whatever I have at that point.
I am fortunate that I’ve been able to organise a space and a clunky old computer dedicated just to writing. No net, no games, no anything except the writing software. Easier to separate out that creative side from the business side.
Also in the works, getting the updated cover for the first in the series – The Map Maker of Morgenfeld. In the year or so since that came out I’ve learned some about cover design. Long way to go, but I like these new versions. Grandfailure’s images just so suit the work, the broken-down jumble of the city and the sense of space and light and time.
In other, related new, I’m just about finished with the writing of book three in the series. Right now the title is just Black Chimneys, but I do have a while to consider that, and to look for something with more rhythm closer to the other two, as in The (something) of/at (somewhere).
Also recently sold a couple of stories, one to Asimov’s, one to Analog. Excited about both, but this will be my first in Analog, and it’s always neat to see my work in a new venue. I’ll post again when I have the publication dates for those.
Since I’m rambling on, I’ll mention that I’ll be at WorldCon in Wellington next year – the World Science Fiction Convention. I’m in the process of putting my name forward to maybe be on a panel or two. If you’re going and we haven’t met, grab me and say hi.