My latest release continues the theme of strange and dangerous environments challenging the characters. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of vast cities so it I had fun taking free rein creating the world of Mackelle. The blurb goes like this:
My story “Low Arc”, which won the 2014 Jim Baen Memorial Award, will appear among other winning and place-getting stories in a new volume due this autumn.
The Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest is an annual award, run as an association between the National Space Society, and Baen Books. Winners attend the International Space Development Conference, including an awards dinner for the presentation.
The contest is administrated by Nebula Award Nominee William Ledbetter. He’s edited this volume. Thanks Bill.
The contest asks contestants to “write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration”. My own story is an adventure piece, set on the moon in the near future. One of the times where I’ve gone for hard sci-fi.
This is my first pro anthology appearance, and I’m honoured to be among such company.
“A Better Sense of Direction” by Mjke Wood
“Letting Go” by David Walton
“Cathedral” by Mike Barretta
“Space Hero” by Patrick Lundrigan
“That Undiscovered Country” by Nancy Fulda
“Taking the High Road” by R.P.L. Johnson
“The Lamplighter Legacy” by Patrick O’Sullivan
“Low Arc” by Sean Monaghan
“We Fly” by K.B. Rylander
“Dear Ammi” by Aimee Ogden
“Citizen-Astronaut” by David D. Levine
“Gemini XVII” by Brad R. Torgersen
“Scramble” by Martin L. Shoemaker
“Balance” by Marina J. Lostetter
“To Lose the Stars” by Jennifer Brozek
“Cylinders” by Ronald D Ferguson
The cover is by the esteemed Bob Eggleton. Bob published a thumbnail of the cover minus the text on facebook, which is kind of cool.
After muddling my way through my website, I’ve managed to finally complete a page dedicated to my Karnish River Navigations science fiction adventure series.
The page is available here: Karnish River Navigations, or from the drop-down menu under Science Fiction at the top of the seanmonaghan.com website. I notice I still need to tinker with the page format a bit to get everything lining up. I’ll get there.
The first three books are out already, and I hope to have the fourth, Guest House Izarra, out soon (it’s written, proofed and copy-edited, just needs formatting and uploading, and I need to finalise the cover).
The story? Flis Kupe makes the mistake of burning out her embedded military arlchip. Discharged and returning home, she fights her way across the Karnth canal land to rescue her brother. Each book stands alone and the books can be read in any order. Arlchip Burnout is kind of the first, though Night Operations is probably my favorite.
The series is fun to write, and I hope it’s as much fun to read. I plan to write more in the series next year. There’s tech I want to explore, and Flis and Grae are fun characters to hang out with.
Arlchip Burnout cover art by © Kuan Leong Yong | Dreamstime.com
Night Operations cover art by © 1971yes | Dreamstime.com
Canal Days cover art by © Elisanth | Dreamstime.com (figure), © Patrik Ružič | Dreamstime.com (background)
Guest House Izarra cover art by © Antaltiberiualexandru | Dreamstime.com (background), © Algol | Dreamstime.com (figure)
I seem to be lax in yelling out when I have a new book available, so I’m going to see if I can stop and just go ahead and post. Last week I mentioned my forthcoming publishing plans, including for my new novel The Cly.
I am writing and publishing a lot this year, so I guess it’s easy for me to forget to mention things in a practical, right-brained way (practical is right-brain, right?). While I’m fairly good and writing (as in, I spend a lot of time on it), I still need to learn an awful lot about marketing and business (writing is way more fun, so I spend a whole lot less time on marketing and business).
So The Cly is my longest novel in awhile – a shade under ninety thousand words. Mostly I’m clocking somewhere just north of sixty thousand. Initially I thought it would hit that shorter length, but the plot demanded more action and more resolution.
Here’s the blurb:
Tony Brock saved humanity once. But in the mess, he lost his relationship with his daughter.
Now the Cly pose a new threat. A threat that might destroy the Earth itself.
And the aliens won’t negotiate.
So Brock’s back in the thick of it. Chasing them down, and chasing the faint hope of seeing Bex one more time.
An alien invasion novel with a difference.
I should mention the wonderful cover illustrator – Luca Oleastri. Thanks for another great image.
Available from most ebook and print book retailers (ask at your local bookstore for the print version – all 500 odd pages of it).
Back in mid-April I commented on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog post about choices. I realized that actually my comment fitted with my own blog and, in fact, could stand expanding.
When I was a teenager and wanting to be a writer and writing lots, I also drew covers for novels I would write someday.
It was kind of self-encouragement: in those days I had no idea how to write a novel. But it was cool to have a pretend cover with my name on it. In the intervening years I might have learned a couple of things about how to write a novel and I’ve practised plenty by writing a fair number of them.
So in January of this year, wondering what to write next, I remembered about that teenage dream. You know what? I sat down and wrote one of those novels. Now I have a book for my cover. Athena Setting. About a space mission gone wrong, a trapped crew about to plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere while the would-be rescuers struggle to come up with a workable plan.
I will, of course, write a more attractive blurb for the release.
Naturally, I also have a new cover for my book (that pencil scratching would look out of place, and it seems is in fact long gone). A wonderful image by Mik3812345 sourced from Dreamstime.com. I’ve tinkered with that a little. I think it helps tell the story. I do think I’ll update that tagline too – maybe “One hundred hours till rescue, ninety hours till impact” which kind of sums it up a little better.
The novel should be out around the end of May (maybe early June) as both an ebook and in print.
But after saying all that, let me tell you, I had such a fun time with the writing of the story. I got to be that kid again. It might not be my best novel, but I hope my sense of fun and adventure comes through. The kid in me can’t wait to hold the book in his hand. And try out writing another one.
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.
Music-wise, there have been some Shadows on the Snow releases and one Venus Vulture release.
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.
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 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.
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
To celebrate a year since my first re-engagement with Smashwords and ebook publishing, I’ve updated my dieselpunk story “Deadstick”. It’s got a new cover, and is combined with my steam/diesel-punk story “How Do You Like These Heights”. Combined with that, it’s also available as a print book. And a new blurb to go with that. I’ve been working on upgrading my blurbs to be a little more punchy. How’s this?
Hank’s scorching across the California sky in a race to save his son. The afterburners are overheating and Sally Jean is tearing apart around him. At 55,000 feet.
A dieselpunk story by Sean Monaghan, author of Pan Am 617 Heavy. Includes bonus story “How Do You Like These Heights”.