Concentration – free .pdf ebook

LF229ConcentrationQuick post. I’ve been invited to participate in Lockdown Writers Reading, at the Palmerston North City Library YouTube Channel. I’ve done a short reading from my story “Concentration” which appeared in issue 229 of Landfall in 2015. The reading is just a couple of pages, but the whole story is available as an ebook for $2.99 through Draft2Digital (and so to a variety of bookstores).  BUT! There’s also a free download of the .pdf version of the story right here on the website:

Concentration pdf download.

This is the blurb: Aaron loses concentration when Casey aims the car for the clifftop. But concentration is the new thing. Does he like her? Does she like him? A literary story that asks the hard questions, from the author of “Landslide Country” and “Back from Vermont”.

Listen to the short reading of the first few pages here on YouTube at the Palmerston North City Library’s channel.

Sir Julius Vogel Award nominations open.

smFront-v5The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are New Zealand’s science fiction awards. Presented annually at the convention in June.

The ceremony brings out the cream of the New Zealand science fiction scene – too many to list here, but I’d include Lee Murray and Octavia Cade, both of whom won awards in categories for which I was a finalist last year.

I am eligible once again, though this time just in the short story category.

I had the a few stories published during 2015 which are eligible and some of which are available as free reads.

Scour in New Myths (click to read for free)
Penny of Tharsis Montes in Amazing Stories (click to read for free)
The Bubbcat in Cirsova Issue 4
The Root Bridges of Haemae in Aurealis
Wakers in Asimov’s
Go For The Dome in Perihelion (click to read for free)
Ink for a Verbal Contract in Ad Astra (click to read for free)

I’d also like to do a shout out for a couple of others here – Lee Murray for her novel Into The Mist, and Octavia Cade for her novella Eating Science with Ghosts – Asimov’s October/November 2016. If I am fortunate enough to be nominated this year, at least it it won’t be up against these two, since they’re different categories (then again, they may have placed stories I haven’t spotted yet).

Previous winner AJ Fitwater also has some eligible stories, listed on her website there – a nice tale in Shimmer – “An Atlas in Sgraffito Style”.

Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray deserve an editors’ nomination for At The Edge, their Science Fiction / Fantasy / Horror anthology. This also includes AC Buchanan’s story And Still the Forests Grow though we are Gone.

Nominations are open at the SFFANZ site, through until March 31st. Good luck to everyone.

My current story in Asimov’s – “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” is not eligible, since it’s in the January issue. The story will be eligible for the 2018 awards.

Scour – short story in New Myths

nm_37_cover_fiunalMy short story “Scour” appears in the December issue of New Myths.

Certain there’s something living in the canal, Ava Butler sets out to prove it. Even if her uncle disapproves. Even if it means going up against the authorities.

Scour” is a story set in my Karnish River Navigations universe. Different characters, different tone, but the same world. (Hence my getting the Karnish River Navigations page up to date). Scour is free to read at New Myths. I hope you enjoy it.

There are some wonderful other stories to read in the issue too. I kind of like “Downstream” by Erica Ruppert.

Penny of Tharsis Montes – out now in Amazing Stories

amazing-stories-logo-r-375My winning story in the “Gernsback Amazing Stories” contest is now available to read for free at the Amazing Stories website. “Penny of Tharsis Montes” is nicely complemented by an illustration by Vicktor Antonov – sums uppennyoftharsis the core of the story nicely.

“A potentially deadly asteroid fall causes a Martian farmer to remember the days he spent on the red planet…and, perhaps, the days to come. A Gernsback Contest winning short story.”

My thanks to editors Steve Davidson and Ira Nayman for their faith in the story, and also their hard work getting the issue out.

Ink for a Verbal Contract – new story out in Ad Astra

Water-in-ColorTo round out a busy month of publications, my story “Ink for a Verbal Contract” is out now and available to read for free in James Gunn’s Ad Astra, together with a gorgeous illustration from Susan Nicolai.

This story goes back a long way. Once upon a time, it was a finalist (my one and only) in the Writers of the Future contest. So it came close. I’m just about to pro-out of the contest (it’s open only to non-professional writers and I’m soon to be considered professional), so it’s cool to see this story published.

With that, this story was my baby, in a way, a cherished one. I was not about to let it vanish, so it’s stayed on the submission rounds, and I’m pleased to have it in Ad Astra (my second story with them, after Mars Bomb Bound for Titan a couple of years back).

I also need to acknowledge my friend Monique Bowers for her invaluable feedback when I first drafted the story. Thanks Monique!

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Ink for a Verbal Contract

by Sean Monaghan

Gemma felt the pain right away. She sighed, stretching, angling her limbs and hips, trying to find a more comfortable position. She blinked, looking at the Arhend side table strewn with folders.

Her Gadjet saw that she was awake and sat up, a message flashing on the screen. Alex had called during the night, and the Gadjet had let her sleep, waiting until now to show the message.

“Good results here,” the message said. “Promising prospects. Call you later on.”

… click here to continue reading

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Lightning Strikes in Perihelion

PerihelionMy hard sci-fi story “Lightning Strikes” has just appeared in the current issue of Perihelion.

David Bron’s on a mission to stop his son from getting killed for the sake of an electrical art piece. Bron’s got a bounty hunter on his tail and an out of whack ship. And the electric art is about to begin.

There are some other top stories in the issue too, and a great editorial from editor Sam Bellotto.

This is my third story in Perihelion, after “Stone 382” last year, and “Quisic Smith and the Russian Puzzle Doll” in January.

“Low Arc” available at Baen Books

baen%20logotransSmallMy short story “Low Arc” is now available at the Baen Books website. This is the story that won this year’s Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest, run by Baen Books and the National Space Society.
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Colin Bertelli thought that he’d left the dangerous work behind him when he quit his job as an ice miner at the Lunar South Pole and joined NASA. But Bertelli is about to discover that, on the moon, even the most routine work can be perilous and life on the lunar surface demands heroes. The pulse-pounding winner of the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest.
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Also at the site is Marina J. Lostetter‘s wonderful second place story “Balance”.

My thanks to William Ledbetter, and Jim Minz and Tony Daniel at Baen for all their work with this.

Free Fiction – “Aerobrake” now available online.

CLW2014 My short story “Aerobrake”, originally published in The Colored Lens Winter 2014 issue, is now available free at The Colored Lens website.
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Claire’s got more than a few problems on her hands as she tries to wrestle errant satellites and ships into safe orbits. When she encounters a ship with a surprising occupant she’s going to do everything it takes to put things right.
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The whole issue is available on

Kindle, for $3.60,

or read the story free on their

website.

Thanks to editors Dawn and Daniel – this is one of my personal favourites.

Free fiction – new horror flash at Flashes in the Dark

My story “Antigen” has just been published at the fabulous Flashes in the Dark website. That’s pretty cool because it’s been a while since I’ve had a story there. Lately, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been focusing on longer stories. Flash fiction is still fun. And “Antigen” does have a lot in common with many of my longer stories – multiple viewpoints, separated scenes, and I hope a dash of humour in with the action.

Here’s how it opens.
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Bill McKinnis slammed the door shut and leaned against it, breathing hard. The key was in the desk but Hank was right behind him.

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Thanks to editor Lori Titus for taking the story. Check out Lori’s writing, both at the site and at Amazon – as well as editing, she’s a stunning writer.