“Problem Landing”, my Aurealis Award finalist story, now available as an ebook (and in print)

Originally published in Analog Science Fiction & Fact, March/April 2021 issue, my novella “Problem Landing” is out now as an ebook, and in print. The piece was a finalist. in the 2021 Aurealis Awards Best Science Fiction Novella category. The Award went to Samantha Murray for “Preserved in Amber” originally in Clarkesworld #178.


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.

ebook $2.99, print $6.99 – Universal Book Link


In other news, my story “Single Point Failure” will appear in Analog’s July/August issue. A tiny flaw in a station on Io’s surface might just lead to cascading failure. Marli has to think fast and act faster.


In other, other news, the copy-edits on the Cole Wright Thriller Scorpion Bait are almost done. But we’re still doing a switch, and putting it out September, with Slow Burn preceding it July. Planning to have the preorder for Slow Burn ready to go in the first week of June.

 

Finalist for the Aurealis Awards

I’m thrilled and honored to have my novella “Problem Landing” up for an Aurealis Award.

There are a lot of categories there, and I sit in the “Best Science Fiction Novella” category.

This is the second time I’ve been a finalist in this category, following “The Molenstraat Music Festival” from Asimov’s in September 2015.

The awards will be made at a ceremony on May 28th. I would love to attend, but will be otherwise occupied that day. Fingers crossed.


 

“Problem Landing” came out in the March/April 2021 issue of Analog Science Fiction & Fact.

The magazine’s cover was by Maurizio Manzieri for Meg Pontecorvo’s story “Flash Mob”. Maurizio also illustrated the cover of the issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction for my story “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles”, and was generous enough to allow me to use one of his alternative illustrations for the story when I put it out as a standalone piece.


I will be putting “Problem Landing” out as a standalone title in the near future. It would be cool to be able to put “Aurealis Award Winner” on the cover, but I know the other stories there are pretty awesome. “Finalist” still looks pretty cool.

Cover draft on the left. Close, but still needs a few tweaks.

Barrens – new novella available May 1st

A beautiful piece of engineering, interstellar ship, Elegia Fortune should function perfectly. When the vessel falls out of warp, Lila Sansom and the crew find themselves with more problems than they can count.

Including an impossible planet in the wrong place

Deep space adventure at its finest.

_________

ebook $3.99, print, $6.99

Universal Book Link here.


Cover image © Algol | Dreamstime.com


Also coming in May, the third Cole Wright thriller, Hide Away,  on May 20th, and available for preorder now, and the Cole Wright short story “The Forest Doesn’t Care”, available to read for free on this site from May 10th, through until the release of the novel.

More details closer to the time.


 

SF Novellas, etc.

I have a new novella, Barrens, out at the start of May. It seemed like a good moment to mention novellas and where they sit in the scheme of things. Well, in the scheme of my writing.

First, a little about Barrens.

***

A beautiful piece of engineering, interstellar ship, Elegia Fortune should function perfectly. When the vessel falls out of warp, Lila Sansom and the crew find themselves with more problems than they can count.

Including an impossible planet in the wrong place

Deep space adventure at its finest.

Available now for preorder for release on May 1st. ebook $3.99, print $5.99


While I do write a lot of SF novels, and a lot of SF stories, I also write plenty at intermediate lengths. Most of my novels run between 300 and 450 pages, and my short stories anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 words, or about 20 to 40 pages.

Novellas are a fun length. Now, it depends who you ask which label gets applied to which length. Some will say anything from 15,000 words to 30,000 words is a novella, and 30,000 words and up is a novel. Some will say even 50,000 words is only a short novel.

Owlcation has a definition that seems to broadly fit – flash fiction: 53 – 1,000 words, short stories: 3,500 – 7,500, novelettes: 7,500 – 17,000, novellas: 17,000 – 40,000, novels: 40,000 + words.

I like the idea the flash fiction starts from 53 words. Very specific. And Hemingway possibly wrote a six word story – see Wikipedia for better analysis than I can provide.

Still, sometimes my stories grow into little monsters, larger than short stories, but not quite novels. I think part of what is fun about them is that I can explore the worlds and the characters with more depth than in a short story, and also that the commitment of time that a novel takes isn’t there.

To blow my own trumpet, a good example is my own novella “Goldie” in this year’s January/February issue of Asimov’s. A longer tale, taking place in a wide world, with numerous characters, over the passage of weeks and months.

To the reader’s advantage here is that they can be priced a little lower than novels (well, they are quicker reads). So my novellas sit at the $3.99 mark for ebooks, and, mostly $5.99 for print. Print is a different beast, so for some of the slightly longer ones, that price creeps up toward ten bucks. Still a bargain, I think. I will keep the ebook price at $3.99 for pretty much anything under the 40,000 word mark.

Universal Book Links here:

Cami, Metta and the Cube

Fubrelli’s Ghost

Lucy Yesterday

Load Bearing Member


Also should mention that in April there are a couple of other things showing up. Book seven of the Captain Arlon Stoddard Adventures, Island Hoppers will be out on the 20th (that one’s a novel), and a twisted time travel novella Lucy Yesterday out on the 10th.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

Island Hoppers – Captain Arlon Stoddard Adventure #7 available for preorder now

I have several series on the go now, and it’s hard to pick a favourite. I like them each for different reasons. The Captain Arlon Stoddard Adventures are really just me writing the kind of stories that I liked to read as a teenager. They’re fun to write, and Arlon’s universe is broad and complex. I’ve had settings in deserts and deep space, ice bound planets and jungle-covered lands. Island Hoppers is set on an ocean world, dotted with islands.


Island Hoppers – Blurb

Captain Arlon Stoddard and his tireless crew patrol the spaceways.

Arriving on Melle, a planet covered in vast oceans, hundreds of archipelagoes and entirely lacking continents, the crew know they have their work cut out for them.

With conflicting jurisdictions, megalomaniac leaders and a mysterious ruin, the planet presents exactly the kinds of problems the crew specializes in. Impossible ones.

But betrayal from an unexpected quarter throws them into a desperate battle for their lives.

A battle that might just have Melle reveal its secrets.


Out on April 20th. Available now for preorder from the usual channels – universal book link here. Paperback available around April 17th. ebook $5.99, print $15.99.


 

 

 

 


If you love space adventure, the Captain Arlon Stoddard series is for you. A close knit crew, devious villians and near-impossible situations, all with a twisted mystery and a genuine heart.


With Island Hoppers, the series draws level with my Karnish River Navigations series with seven books. I’m just about finished drafting an eighth book in that series – Jackpot Kingdom – and hope to have that finished and out later in there year. I enjoy writing in both, so I might be alternating with them for a while.

Thanks for reading.

Sean

Two new Sci-Fi preorders

After the thriller novel, and accompanying short story in January, February sees two new Sean Monaghan releases – two science fiction long stories or novellas or even short novels if you like. Quick reads?

First out of the blocks is Cami, Metta and The Cube. A kind of cyberpunk, high-tech thriller, but definitely on the science fiction side (a rental car AI with attitude, and a hypergrid terrorist). Available for preorder, with release on February 10th. Universal book link here. $3.99 ebook, $9.99 print.


Cami, Metta and The Cube

Cami Gretton, courier, entreprenuer and getaway artist, trusts too easily. When the simple job of delivering a hypergrid Testa Cube turns sour, Cami finds herself tangled in a double cross. Or a triple cross. Hard to tell.

Could even be worse.

Cami needs every skill in her possession to extricate herself. And then some.

A near future thriller from the author of Dangerous Machines.


Second up, on February 20th, but already up for preorder, is Fubrelli’s Ghost. Science Fiction, but of a very different kind (I think). Set on Jupiter’s moon Callisto and, given the title, a little bit of the supernatural. Available for preorder with release on February 20th. Universal book link here. Again, $3.99 for the ebook and $9.99 in print. I have yet to figure out how to hang the print version into the preorder system, so that will be released a few days before the 20th.


Fubrelli’s Ghost

Jupiter’s huge frozen moon Callisto suits Claire. Suits her perfectly. Its rugged, barren landscape entrances her as she works with the station crew to fathom the icy secrets.

But when a ghost shows up, Claire and the crew face secrets that go far beyond science.

Secrets that might just change the entire nature of deep space exploration.

A space adventure from the author of ‘Problem Landing’ and ‘One Hundred’.


 

Cami, Metta and The Cube – new short novel, February 10th

Most of my novels run to something over 60,000 words – 250 plus pages. Most of my short stories sit somewhere under 10,000 words – 40 pages. Sometimes I write novellas – Goldie in the January/February 2022 Asimov’s is about 18,000 words (but with the way Asimov’s packs in the words, it runs to around 34 magazine pages).

And sometimes I write something longer than a novella, but kind of shorter than a regular novel. Depending who you talk to, you might hear that a novel is anything over 30,000 words, but you might also hear that anything under 90,000 is a ‘short novel’ (which basically covers all of my novels).

My new short novel Cami, Metta and The Cube will be out on February 10th. Since it’s shorter, it’s $3.99/$9.99 ebook/print – a little more than a short story, but a couple of dollars less than a regular novel.


Cami Gretton, courier, entreprenuer and getaway artist, trusts too easily. When the simple job of delivering a hypergrid Testa Cube turns sour, Cami finds herself tangled in a double cross. Or a triple cross. Hard to tell.

Could even be worse.

Cami needs every skill in her possession to extricate herself. And then some.

A near future thriller from the author of Dangerous Machines.

New Covers done!

So I have a little bit of a back catalogue with some, well, let’s say ‘not so great’ covers. Best I could do at the time, but I’ve learned a little in the meantime. Taken some courses. Listened to some advice. Looked at other people’s covers.

I’m slowly working my way through my novels. In between writing, and getting new things published. It’s a little bit of a job. Patience is my friend.

A few years back I started a series set in the distant future, in a distant planet:


Battle weary after years of interstellar war, Flis Kupe returns home to the quiet peaceful Karnish canal lands on Paulding, her home world. Turns out, times change. The turmoil of pirates, brigands and low lives shatters the peace. All too often.


The first was Arlchip Burnout. It was fun to write, and I knew there were more stories to tell. I noticed (later, believe me it wasn’t intentional) that the title’s initials were A.B. I’d read some of English writer Toby Litt‘s books, where each starts with the next letter of the alphabet (Adventures in Capitalism, Beatniks, Corpsing, deadkidsongs, Exhibitionism, etc). I think his next book is called Quiche.

Figuring, in my naivety I could try something similar, I embarked upon Canal Days. Then my order got mixed up. I got my titles all over. Technically the books can be read in any order (though Arlchip Burnout is the origin story), but what happened was I got to the end of Tombs Under Vaile and got distracted writing other things. I’d left some gaps.

A full page with all the description is on a page on my website here.

I like Amazon’s description of series being ordered (like Lord of the Rings – should be read in order), or unordered (like Sherlock Holmes – read them any old which way). Karnish River Navigations is like Sherlock Holmes – read them in any order. Trouble is I’ve given them ordered names. Second trouble is, I’ve left gaps. Many readers like to know a series is complete before embarking on it.

Guess I need to embark on filling those gaps then.

What’s cool with working on updating the covers, is that I’ve found a new energy to complete the series. I even made a cover for Jackpot Kingdom, though it only exists in rough draft form. Hope to knock it into shape to be out later next year. Then the L.M. book and the R.S. book in 2023. W.X. and Y.Z. can wait a little while. Thinking of some of the titles makes my head spin a little.

Six of the seven books reuse the original art, but in new ways. I like the font, I like the background and I had fun with the colors. I’m no expert designer by any means, but let me tell you, these are way better than they were before.

See the series on Smashwords or at Amazon

Goldie – my new novella coming in the January/February issue of Asimov’s

My longer novella “Goldie” will appear in the January/February issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction, available from the middle of December. Look at that amazing cover. I’m so honored to appear in Asimov’s, but to have such a wonderful cover, with the illustration by Dominic Harman, is overwhelming.

He’s captured the story so well.

More on this in January, I think.

Asimov’s

Two preorders for November and December

For the last couple of years, I’ve released a new book on the 20th of each month. Sometimes a novel, sometimes a collection, and sometimes a standalone shorter piece.

Keeping that up, I’m releasing the final two for the year as preorders already. Might as well. Also, I will be starting the release schedule of a new thriller series for next year,  so it’s good to get these out in the world now to give me a moment to focus a little planning for the thrillers and get ready for the first one on January 20th. More on those soon.

Both these new ones are novella length science fiction tales, albiet with very different focuses (as the covers hint, I hope), one very Earth-bound, and the other set in deep space.



Dangerous Machines – November 20th – $2.99 ebook, $5.99 print – available here – cover by Chepko Elelna

Gina Parker explores the underground alien tubes. The mystery of their existence draws her. Deeper and deeper. But the tubes hold more than mysteries. And Gina might just find more than the answers she so desperately seeks.

Load Bearing Member – December 20th – $2.99 ebook, $5.99 print – available here – cover by info793925

Coral Daimeer lugs her wrench around deep space vessel the Derlater. Sensors tell her what to fix. Coral fixes it. Coral’s intuition makes her great at her job. Mostly. A story that explores the question of what can a single crew member do when faced with impossible odds millions of miles from the nearest hardware store.

If you enjoy slightly longer sci fi stories with a heart, you’ll like these ones. Preorders up now, print available a few days before the ebook release date.

More news on the thrillers soon.

Right now I’m deep in the heart of writing the seventh Captain Arlon Stoddard book. It’s crossed the 200 page mark, with still plenty to go. Usually, as with most of my novels, these come in between 300 and 350 page marks, so enough left that I still don’t know the ending, but enough written that it’s feeling like it has some substance.

Hoping to have that out around early next year, depending on various factors. Then on to write a sequel to The Ergs, some more short stories, finish up the fifth of the new thriller series, then see where my writing goes. Feeling like another Captain Arlon Stoddard book might be fun. It had been a while since I’d written one, and I’m having a blast with this one. They really are a lot of fun.

Thanks for reading. Take care out there in the big wild world.