Go for the Dome – short story in Perihelion

fullcover046My short story “Go For The Dome” is out now in the August issue of Perihelion.

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Trapped on the lunar surface, fleeing from a wrecked ship, Maree will do whatever it takes to find shelter.

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Another hard sci-fi story, following my recent hard sci-fi story in Asimov’s. Perihelion specializes in hard sci-fi anyway. And I do like setting my stories on the moon. I’ve had a few stories in Perihelion over the years, and I’m again grateful to editor Sam Bellotto Jr. for taking this one.

2015: The year that was

japan 1drt6gAs far as writing years go, 2015 was pretty good. I’ve acheived my goals, realized some dreams, and learned a few lessons.

I had numerous publications over the course of the year, and was pleased to be in the pages of Asimov’s Science Fiction and Landfall once again. My second stories in each of those magazines, over consecutive years, and that suggests to me that the first wasn’t a fluke. I may actually be doing some things right.

I also had stories in Perihelion, Capricious, Takahe, SQMag and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. A good mix of literary and science fiction.

Good news on the competition front too. I was first equal in the Gernsback Amazing Stories innaugural competition this year for my story “Penny of Tharsis Montes”. That should be out in the first issue in February.

I self-published numerous short stories, and five novels. Sales of these have been unspectacular. Included in the plans for 2016 is more learning about marketing, discoverability and the like. I’m confident I have a good product: I lack the skills to get it noticed.

I’ve also taken more courses and read more books about writing and business. I’ll continue that next year.

As Shadows on the Snow, Kendall and I had a lot of music come out. Kendall’s brilliant at getting the stuff out into the world. Thanks Kendall!

I managed to fit in a jaunt to Japan (hence the photo), which was fabulous. Almost a month there visiting Hiroshima, Kyoto and Naoshima Island among other places, sampling okonomiyaki (yum) and green tea ice cream (not so yum).

For the fourth year running I wrote every day (including on the trip, albeit slower). Also for the fourth year in a row, I wrote over a half a million words. Funny thing; the goal is 500,000, but I hit that on November 19th. With forty-one days left, I wondered what to do. Why not write another novel? So I ran with that. Athena Setting will came in at around 57,000 words and I’ve just finished it tonight, New Year’s Eve (squeaked in at 11.59). These days, it’s not often I’m up at midnight for new year, but there you go. I celebrated finishing the novel (as I usually do) by starting the next piece. Might even be a new novel.

For the first year since starting that word count, I also published over a half million (about 100,000 over that – not bad). I have more words (should say complete stories/novels) written this year and last, that haven’t made it out yet. Next year.

Next year’s goals remain the same, with clear additions. Write every  day, write a half million words, and publish ten novels. Also; learn a whole lot more around business and marketing and so on.

Happy New Year everyone.

 

Distractions in Perihelion

fullcover034My short story “Distractions” is out now in Perihelion.

A wonderful cover by Hardy Fowler – “Taking a five minute break, a mecha pilot enjoys a quiet reverie in this secluded forest on the third planet from the sun.” Feels cool to have one of my stories hidden behind such a fabulous illustration.

This is a lighter one than my recent Asimov’s story – Robert’s boss Julianne Kette will stop at nothing to get her bounty, even if it means dragging him through hell to get it.

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Frustrated that I could only return to the cafe with bad news, I beat my way back along the dusty street. Kette would not be pleased.
Some screaming kids ran out from between buildings, a hoop robot chasing them. The thing had little pincers and zappers around its circumference. It fired barbs at them
Laughing, the kids ploughed through traffic, oblivious to the enormous trucks and skimmers speeding along. Sirens blared and the hoop robot stopped at the sidewalk’s edge.
I tascered the thin little machine and took it with me.

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My thanks again to editor Sam Bellotto Jr., for publishing another one of my quirky pieces.

Half-year review

Well, I haven’t had much to say lately, which is fine. Very busy writing, naturally, just not so much on the blog/facebook, etc. Since the end of June has slipped by, I thought I’d do a quick review, as much for my benefit as anything.

A few publications around – “Salazar” in Perihelion, “Number Man” in SQ Mag, and “Concentration” in Landfall. It seems like a very slow year, but I’m focusing on two things: submitting to more pro and fewer semi-pro mags, and also writing fewer stories and more novels. This means there’s less stuff out there. I’ve had a few other acceptances, which I’ll announce when they arrive in stores.

Perihelionsq-mag-19-cover1LF229
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Music-wise, there have been some Shadows on the Snow releases and one Venus Vulture release.00_-_shadows_on_the_snow_400Mu cover 1Nudibranch on Zenapolae
I don’t think that’s all of them – I have trouble keeping up with Kendall and his sheer enthusiasm!

Check here for A Thousand Winters Against the World. Others can be found at archive.org, Bandcamp, Kruk Records and Zenapolae.
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With the self/indie-publishing, I’ve put up quite a few items, including three novels (one horror, one literary and one sci-fi). I’ve got a few more in various states of readiness (and some more in my head). These show up at smashwords, Amazon and other ebook/physical book retailers.
the room pod 6x9 5sw second run cover 3Arlchip Burnout cover 10 smallWalking Gear2b
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The business of writing-words on the page-has progressed well too. Despite a slower time while travelling in Japan, I’ve still completed a quarter million words for the first six months of the year. I guess that’s what writing every day (even while travelling) does.

Better yet, I’ve completed more words so far this year. That is, items proofed, corrected and formatted. Over 300,000 words. Over the past few years I’ve let some items sit around (including a 92,000 word novel), but I’m feeling more onto it this year. It’s all very well to write, but if it’s not finished and submitted/published then I’m not satisfied. It feels good to be getting some of last year’s (and the previous year’s) stories completed.

Similarly, I’ve published more – 340,000 words so far. Yes most of that is indie/self published. Likewise, it feels good to have the writing out there.

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For the next six months. More of the same. I’d like to get another five to seven novels out. I’ve promised readers The Eye book three in The Hidden Dome series, so I need to write that (I expect to finish the draft of the current novel in the next few days, then get to writing The Eye). I have a few other novels fully drafted, just needed that final tinkering. That does mean more proof-reading/reader feedback, and more formatting.

The main thing, though: I’m having a ball. Thanks for reading.

Walking Gear image © Artem Popov | Dreamstime.com
Arlchip Burnout image © Kuan Leong Yong | Dreamstime.com
Used with permission

Salazar in Perihelion

Perihelion January 2015My short story “Salazar” has just come out in Perihelion, January 2015 issue. Aura’s got a mission in the sliceworlds, to track down Gideon, but it turns out Gideon might not even be the man he seems.
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AURA STEPPED FROM THE SHADOWS, feeling the shimmer off her steppingcloak glide and fade into the air behind. The brickwork wall loomed over her as she trudged through moonlight beginning her search for Gideon.

This was an unfamiliar realslice. She could sense cats, and baking. Stepping into the slices often reminded her of Middle Eastern countries. Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan. Cooking smells and shouting and animals lurking, usually blasting horns from distant traffic, but it was quieter here.
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For those who are interested, this story was my first semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. I’m glad it’s found a home.

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.

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…