I spilled the beans on Twitter a while ago, but today I’m pleased to formally announce that my story “The Leviathans Have Fled the Sea” will be published by Diabolical Plots, in December 2017.
Sixteen more months feels like a long wait, but long waits are not terribly unusual for short fiction. When a single story submission can wait as long as four to six months before being read and either accepted or rejected, with submission to only one publication at a time, time horizons can stretch.
Every part of the writing and publication process can stretch out. Heck, I wrote this story in November of 2014. The draft languished on my hard drive untouched for about six months before I sent it to my writers group for critique, and it was October of 2015 before I revised my draft. Between then and July, the story was almost constantly on submission and racked up six rejections during that time. (This also isn’t an unusual number; my 1st-place Writers of the Future story, “The Star Tree,” racked up nine rejections before it won the contest.)
With a hold notice in July, followed by acceptance and subsequent announcement this month, and another sixteen months until publication, I feel it’s safe to say that writing and publishing short fiction is not for the impatient! This isn’t to criticize David Steffen, editor at Diabolical Plots, or any of the other wonderful editors I’ve worked with. It’s just a reality of the business, one that astonishes many people from outside the industry, who don’t understand the flood of submissions or the complexity of subsequent work that occurs between acceptance and publication.
I’m also thrilled to be sharing December 2017 at Diabolical Plots with Rachael K. Jones, with whom I’ve also shared tables of contents at Penumbra and Writers of the Future 32.
If you don’t read my newsletter (you should subscribe!), you might not know that Writers of the Future 32, containing my story “The Star Tree,” is on sale for 99 cents at Amazon.com, Kobo, and Nook. (I understand it’s also supposed to be on sale via Apple’s iTunes, but the link wasn’t working for me when I tried it.)
The anthology is currently the number-one best seller in Amazon’s science fiction anthologies category, as well as in the post-apocalyptic category. (Stewart C. Baker’s “Images Across a Shattered Sea” is an excellent post-apocalyptic story in the volume.)
If you’ve been on the fence about buying the book, 99 cents for the digital edition is a steal for so many great stories.
Artwork by S. Qiouyi Lu. Used with Permission.
I’ve returned from Clarion West, and my mind and heart are still blown. I’ve come back with a new group of friends, a head full of crazy ideas, and a new tattoo.
My estimable classmate S. Qiouyi Lu (who also did our fabulous Team Arsenic drawing) has written a fabulous blog post on Clarion West 2016 lessons that’s more cogent than anything I could manage right now. Perhaps I’ll have my own additions at a later date.
You probably haven’t noticed that my Appearances page has been updated. I’ll be attending MidAmeriCon as a fan later this month, just for Friday through Sunday. Towards the end of September, I’ll be a featured reader at Two Hour Transport and attending the launch of the Untethered magic iPhone anthology.
I hope to see many of you there!
Although I’m still mostly offline for Clarion West (go Team Arsenic!), I’m excited that Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology, which contains my story “Real Selfies,” is now available for pre-order at Amazon, Kobo, and elsewhere.
Tomorrow, Thursday, June 30th, at 7 pm, Stephen Merlino and I will be reading from Writers of the Future, Volume 32, at the University Book Store. We will be joined by WOTF32 artist Paul Otteni.
You’re probably sick of this picture by now.
It would be impossible to overstate how excited I am about this reading. The University Book Store hosts the Clarion West summer reading series, and Duane Wilkins, who runs the SF readings there, has been called “Seattle’s godfather of sci-fi and fantasy.” I love the readings that they host, and it’s my dream location for a reading.
Please come join us.
For the next six weeks, I’ll be attending the Clarion West writer’s workshop, a six week program designed to improve my writing and prepare me for a career as a professional author.
During the workshop, I don’t plan to update this blog, unless I’m especially inspired to do so. (I will have one automated post reminding people to attend my reading at the University Book Store on Thursday, June 30th.)
In the meantime, I’d encourage you to support the Clarion West Write-a-thon. If you’re a writer, you can sign up to participate. If you’re a reader, you can sponsor a participating writer. Either way, you’re helping to fund good people who train writers to succeed.
Not the first time you’ve seen this book cover, I reckon.
This morning, I was excited to see that Writers of the Future, volume 32 made the Barnes & Noble SF Trade Paperback bestseller list, debuting in the number three spot on their May list.
Not a bad way to start off the week!
Though SF Signal has closed down, James Aquilone has continued his wonderful Mind Meld series on his own blog. This time, he asked What are your favorite visions of the future in the SF genre?, and I answered along with other Writers of the Future 32 authors Sean Williams, Stewart C Baker, Stephen Merlino, Matt Dovey, and Christoph Weber.
I just sent out my second newsletter to subscribers. (If you’re not already, please sign up: you get a free story out of the deal.)
In the newsletter, I mention Writers of the Future 32 bestseller week (short version: you should buy the book) and my upcoming appearances, including (I’m very excited about this) at the University Book Store on June 30th.
After Matt Dovey asked me whether The Martian was Difficult SF, our mutual friend (and, to my knowledge, nobody’s nemesis) Stewart C Baker asked me about Kim Stanley Robinson‘s Mars trilogy:
Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars trilogy might be a more Difficult SF read than The Martian (although I haven’t read the latter).
It has a huge, sprawling cast which recognizes that people exist outside the USA (although said cast, to be fair, largely splits over Cold War era space stuff, with Russia and the US still playing a disproportionate role which seems dated today). Red Mars and its sequels also strike me, at least, as “emotionally plausible” with a satisfying ending, and Robinson is never afraid to pull out all the literary stops.
I have to admit: it’s been nearly twenty years since I read the trilogy, but I recall that the mission devolves in part based on deeply held personal beliefs without a clear right or wrong, lending weight to its emotional plausibility; the characters never feel like cardboard cutouts; and Robinson cares a good deal about his language at a literary level. The panoramic Martian landscapes are way more fully realized than in The Martian. (Which, again, I loved and I’m not criticizing here!)
So, yeah, the Mars trilogy points the way toward Difficult SF. Thanks for the excellent question, Stewart!