Wait For It: Diabolical Plots, December 2017

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.

Writers of the Future 32 On Sale

Twitter WOTF Amazon 99c eBook card1If 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.comKobo, 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.

I’m back… and upcoming appearances


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!

Reading at University Book Store

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.

Gone Fishin’

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.