Category Archives: writing career

Retiring From My Book Review Column at IGMS

I recently retired from my book review column, “The Science of Wonder” over at InterGalactic Medicine Show. I wrote a bimonthly book review column there and my column ran for roughly 2 years. It was a lot of fun, but the reading for the column became increasingly too much for me to handle given the other things I am working on.

I am grateful to Edmund Schubert for giving me the opportunity to write a science fiction book review column. It was a good experience and I hope that readers found the reviews useful.

I will almost certainly continue to review an occasional book here on the blog, but I think I am done with formal book reviews for the duration.

My Very First Story Now Has an Audio Edition

Back at the beginning of this year, IGMS: Big Book of SF Novelettes was released in paper and e-book. It contains a bunch of novelettes that appeared in the pages of InterGalactic Medicine Show and among the stories, is my very first published story, “When I Kissed the Learned Astronomer.”

That anthology recently received a stunning audiobook version courtesy of SkyBook Media. Last night, for the first time, I got to listen to a professional voice actor read one of my stories. The reading, done by Paul Boehmer, was amazing and I listened raptly to the story, as if coming to it for the first time.

The anthology (and audiobook) contain stories by Brad Torgersen, Mary Robinette Kowal, Aliette de Bodard, Eric James Stone, Orson Scott Card, and Marina J. Lostetter, among others. If you are interested in hearing what my story sounds like, you can grab a copy of the audiobook from Skybook, or Audible.

The paper and e-book versions of the anthology are available on Amazon.

Issue #37 of IGMS is out with My Story “Big Al Shepard Plays Baseball on the Moon”

In case you missed my announcement on Twitter yesterday, issue 37 of InterGalactic Medicine Show is now available. It contains my newest story, “Big Al Shepard Plays Baseball on the Moon.” For those who’ve been following my writing lately, this was the second story I wrote after finishing my novel draft back in September. It’s a baseball / Apollo moon mission alternate history. The amazing art for the story was done by Scott Altmann.

The issue looks really good. Here is the full table of contents for those who might be curious.

  • “Elsa’s Spheres” by Marina J. Lostetter1
  • “Underwater Restorations, Part 1″ by Jeffrey A. Ballard
  • “High-Tech Fairies and the Pandora Perplexity” by Alex Shvartsman2
  • “Big Al Shepard Plays Baseball on the Moon” by Jamie Todd Rubin
  • “Seven Tips to Enjoy Your Time in the Unreal Forest” by Van Aaron Hughes
  • “Into the Desolation” by Catherine Wells

There’s also the usual great features, including an interview with my Launch Pad pal, Brenda Clough.

Go check out the magazine, and if you like what you read, consider subscribing.

Notes

  1. If you haven’t read Marina’s story, “Sojourn for Ephah” in issue 30, you should. It is amazing.
  2. This is the second time that Alex and I have been TOC-mates. We also shared the TOC in Beyond the Sun, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt.

Story Sale: “Big Al Shepard Plays Baseball on the Moon” to Appear in InterGalactic Medicine Show

Back in November, I mentioned that I had sold a new story. That story is titled “Big Al Shepard Plays Baseball on the Moon.” Today I am pleased to announce that the story will be appearing in InterGalactic Medicine Show. My understanding is that it will appear in the upcoming issue, schedule to come out later this month in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.

This is a milestone story for me in many respects, but perhaps most significant is the fact that I sold my very first story to IGMS back in 2007–almost 7 years ago to the day. It’s nice to finally have another story in the magazine, especially this story, which I had a blast writing, and which covers two subjects close to my heart: baseball, and the Apollo moon landings.

Edmund Schubert, editor of IGMS, also usually publishes a “story-behind-the-story” blog post about each story in the magazine. I’ll let you know when that is available as well.

There are a lot of great stories published in IGMS, stories by folks like Mary Robinette Kowal, Brad Torgersen, Alex Shvartsman, Ferrett Steinmetz, Ken Liu, and Alethea Kontis. If you like what you see there, consider subscribing to the magazine.

Keep an eye out for the January 2014 issue of IGMS in the next week or two.

Enjoy these posts? – Tell a friend

Recommending readers is one of the highest compliments you can pay to a writer. If you enjoy what you read here, or you find the posts useful, tell a friend! Find me online here:

Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Blog | RSS

Or use one of the share buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Upcoming Appearances, January and February 2014

Believe it or not, there are enough to list here and I suspect that the number will begin to increase steadily over time. Here are the January and February appearances that I know about so far.

January 22: World-Building Discussion at Arlington Writers Group

I will be part of a 3-person panel that includes my friend, and popular fantasy author Michael J. Sullivan at the Arlington Writer’s Group in Arlington, Virginia. The discussion starts at 7pm. Also on the panel is another group member, Lori Sullivan (no relation to Michael). I think the panel is going to be run like a science fiction convention panel. There will be a moderator who will lead the discussion, and probably lots of Q&A afterward. If you’d like to attend, you can find the full details here.

January 27-28: Seminar on Going Paperless (Private)

I’ve been invited to a divinity university in Kentucky to give a seminar on going paperless to a class of graduating Ph.D. students. That day-long seminar will take place on Monday, January 27. The following day, I’ll be giving an abbreviated version to faculty at the university. Both of these are private events, but this is also a new experience for me and I’m very excited about it. I’ve been preparing for it for a while, and if it goes well (and I hope that it will) it could be the start of something new for me.

February 1: Daily Science Fiction Book Launch Party hosted by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society

Daily Science Fiction is having a book launch party for their second volume of short fiction, Rocket Dragons Ignite, Daily Science Fiction Year Two. Several authors whose work has been published in Daily Science Fiction will be attending and reading their stories, and I am one of those attending and reading. Things get started at 7pm at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society clubhouse.


I should probably consider putting together an appearances page, but I’ve got too much on my plate at the moment.

How To Guarantee I Won’t Read Your Book

People, please don’t do this. I’ve been seeing more and more of it lately:

Book Plug

This is pretty much a guarantee that I won’t read your book. Especially when I see you spamming my friends with the exact same message. I have a documented policy on book reviews. But really, it’s just not polite to carpet bomb like this. If you are tempted to do something like this, if you are considering it, keep a few things in mind:

1. My time is really limited and I’ve had to hack more time out of my days with creative multitasking. Spam like this doesn’t make me want to slice out a piece of that ever-dwindling resource called time to look at your book.

2. I managed to read 54 books last year, a record for me. 12 of those books I read for my book review column at IGMS. The other 42 were books that had been on my to-read list for a long time, were books by friends, were books by acquaintances, and were books that I thought might challenge me. Spamming dozens of people with your title does not make me want to add your book to my growing list of stuff I want to read.

3. While I do review books for a magazine, I try to keep up with what is coming out so that I can coordinate my reviews with the release, or upcoming release of the book. Because I don’t like loose ends, and because I review 2 books per column, the slots fill up fast. (I already have book selected that take my through my July column.) I have a process for book reviews. Spamming me does not make me want to open up a slot for your book.

4. All the time I have to read and critique stories (which isn’t much, I assure you) is dedicated to a very small group of writer friends who read my stories in return and whose professional opinions on craft and the business I trust. I simply have no time to read and comment on stories by people I don’t know, especially those who spam me.

5. I was once an unpublished writer with no connections in the field whatsoever, and I know that it can be difficult to get your work noticed. What I’ve learned, is that hard work (write everyday, read a lot) and persistence (keep writing, keep submitting) pays off in the end, if you have a shred of talent as a writer. If not, well, it’s important to know what you are not good at. In the 14 years of writing and submitting before I was ever published, I think I asked one professional writer1 if they would look at a story of mine (something which fills me with horror, when I look back on it). It was very early in my efforts, within the first 6 months of getting started. And I never, ever spammed anyone. (Of course, the whole concept of “spamming” really didn’t exist when I was starting out.)

I realize that a post like this will not stem the tide of these types of requests, but putting up one of these reminders every now and then makes me feel better.

Notes

  1. Piers Anthony.

A New Reprint Anthology from InterGalactic Medicine Show (with a story by me!)

SF Novelettes

InterGalactic Medicine Show has just put out a new anthology entitled IGMS: Big Book of SF Novelettes containing reprints of stories that have appeared in the magazine. The anthology includes my very first published story, “When I Kissed the Learned Astronomer,” among other great stories. Here is the official book description:

Welcome to the surprisingly potent world of the novelette. Too long to be a short story, too short to be a novel: the award-winning magazine Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show (IGMS) has been an online haven for this powerful form of storytelling since 2005. Now the magazine’s editors have selected their all-time favorite science fiction novelettes and gathered them together in one Big Book of reading pleasure: IGMS: Big Book of SF Novelettes.

Anything that is remotely possible: Futures near and far, artificial intelligence and alien encounters, alternate time-lines and alternate theories about creating universes, planet-eating black holes and lunar race-tracks. It’s all here, under the big tent of Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show…

Featuring stories by award-winning authors including Orson Scott Card, Wayne Wightman, Aliette de Bodard, Eric James Stone, Mary Robinette Kowal, Stephen Kotowych, Jackie Gamber, Greg Siewert, Jamie Todd Rubin, Brad Torgersen, and Marina J. Lostetter.

It is very cool to see my story reprinted, but even better is the company with whom the story appears. The book’s cover is based on a fantastic piece of cover art by Howard Lyon for Mary Robinette Kowal’s story.

The e-book version of the book is available on Amazon today. A print edition of the book will be available through Amazon and other outlets beginning in January. If you are looking for some terrific science fiction novelettes, consider checking out this book.

I Will Be Reading at the WSFA Meeting on Friday at 9:45 pm

This is mostly for local folks in the Arlington/Northern Virginia area who happen to be science fiction fans and/or interested in hearing a reading. I will be reading at the Washington Science Fiction Association meeting this Friday, December 6 at 9:45 pm.

 

The meeting is held in Arlington, Virginia. Full details are available on the WSFA website. I’ll most likely be reading my story, “Big Al Shepard Plays Baseball on the Moon” which I recently sold and will be appearing sometime in 2014.

My Article on the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop is Now Online in the November Clarkesworld

For those who might be interested, my article on my experience at the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop this summer, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation,” is now online in the November issue of Clarkesworld Magazine.

You can read the article for free at their website, along with some great science fiction and fantasy, including stories by Robert Reed, Joe Haldeman, and Maureen F. McHugh. And if you enjoy what you read, you should consider subscribing to this fantastic magazine.

Look What Arrived in the Mail Today!

Me and the Sun

I got back from a writing session at the Arlington Central Library (where I added 3,200 words to my WIP) to find this waiting at home for me. My copy of the Beyond the Sun anthology, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt,  in which my story, “Flipping the Switch” appears.  For those who might be curious, here is the table of contents:

BTS Table of Contents

I am nested right there toward the top between Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and my friend Brad Torgersen. I’m still amazed looking through the table of contents and seeing just who I am in the company of. My friend Nancy Fulda is there. So are writers who I have been reading for a long, long time like Nancy Kress, and Robert Silverberg.

This is the first time a story of mine has appeared in an original anthology and it is very exciting to finally have a copy in my hands.