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.

“Mars Bomb Bound for Titan” in James Gunn’s Ad Astra

James Gunn's Ad AstraMy science fiction political environmental thriller short “Mars Bomb Bound for Titan” has just come out in issue 3 of James Gunn’s Ad Astra from the Kansas University Center for the Study of Science Fiction.

What if authorities thwarted your plans to seed Mars with algae and higher forms? What if you went to prison for it? When Carmen gets out she’s ready to take a quiet research assistant job and put all that behind her. Except the group who want to see Titan need her expertise. And if they have to they’ll take it at gunpoint.

Ad Astra is an annual publication. K.C. Ball*, had a story in last year’s edition. I seem to follow her around a bit – I had a story in Perihelion not long after one of hers. Hopefully I can tag along to Analog, Lightspeed and Writers of the Future.

*K.C. published one of my stories in her online flash fiction publication 10Flash a few years back, so I remain grateful and admiring.

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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.

800 – published in Black Denim Lit

Black Denim Lit March 2014 My short story “800” is now out in the March 2014 issure of Black Denim Lit. This is free to read online. It’s a 3000 word sci-fi/literary tale about ageing and generation gaps. Nothing too serious. Here’s how it starts:
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Today my daughter is turning 769. July 16th. It might not seem like a milestone–no easily divisible figure like 750 or 777–but it is.

For me, at least.

Mary was born when I was a couple of months shy of my 31st birthday. This coming September I will turn 800.

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Keep reading here: 800

Quisic Smith and the Russian Puzzle Doll – fiction at Perihelion

Perihelion January 2014
Perihelion January 2014
Thrilled today to have my short story “Quisic Smith and the Russian Puzzle Doll” published in Perihelion’s January issue. This story’s a bit more light-hearted than a lot of my writing. It’s free to read online. Here’s how it starts out:

QUISIC MARCHED FOR THE back of the store. The credit bot followed at a safe distance, hovering above and behind, throwing out looping light tendrils as it checked the merchandise. One of the fluorescent tubes above the aisle flickered.

He had to find the doll set, and quickly. Trawler Cooper needed it today, and Quisic needed the payday. He was going to need more too, with the way the lawyers were fleecing him.

“Try Lavendish Mango for men,” one of the bracket displays advised him. It gave an aerosol burst of a woody-fruity scent. “Impress the girls.”

keep reading at Perihelion…

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.

Year end review, with a late rally

Close to the end of the year, close to completing some goals, distant from others.
 
My word-count goal went well: from 300,000 for the year (completed in August), upped then to 450,000 for the year (completed in November) and upped again to 500,000, and right now sitting at 497,065. Catastrophes aside, it looks like a slam dunk on that one. Yay.
 
Publishing 300,000 words didn’t go so great. It went pretty good – right now it’s around 203,000. Mostly self-published under my Triple V Publishing banner through Smashwords, Kindle, and CreateSpace/Amazon. It was gratifying to have several acceptances by publishers in there – about 26,000 words of that total were published in online and print magaziens such as MicroHorror, The Colored Lens and Takahe.
 
What about the other 97,000 words? Well, I sure wrote them. Part of it was procrastination: sitting on a 60,000 word New Zealand Literary novel instead of sending it out to some publishers (and then self-publishing it if it came back as noes). I’ll remedy that in the new year, with my new goals. Part of it was a pig-headed determination to keep things on the market – that is, numerous stories, novelettes and novellas that get rejected and go out again, rather than self-pubbing. I’ll fix that too: with some of the pieces that have been to the seven or eight main markets: the next time they come back I’ll pull them out of circulation and publish them through Triple V.
 
I felt like I spent much of the year feeling out in the wilderness: I’ve had more than a hundred rejection slips since January. Mostly form rejections, but there have been a few personal notes which has been cheering. The acceptances have helped out too – early in the year my sci-fi novella The Wreck of the Emerald Sky appeared in The Colored Lens. I had a few flash-fiction acceptances through the year, which was nice, but most of the longer works seemed to keep cycling. Then, a late rally. An acceptance for Takahe (a New Zealand literary mag), a third-placing in a regional short story contest, and an acceptance for Aurealis – one of Australia’s leading science fiction magazines. Coming just a couple of weeks before the end of the year, that acceptance has buoyed me no end: I am on the right track, and persistence pays (real money in this case, too).

Next year, I’m aiming at 500,000 words from the git-go. And aiming at publishing 600,000 (whether self- or traditional) – and have a plan in place to make the possible.

See you next year, with more goal updates.