Category Archives: writing career

Story Sale: “Situational Awareness” to Blue Shift (Plus a New Nonfiction Column)

As I announced on Facebook yesterday, my story, “Situational Awareness” will appear in Issue #2 of Blue Shift magazine, a new magazine making its debut early in 2013. The magazine is edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and he announced the lineups for the first two issues (here and here) on Facebook yesterday. Those lineups look pretty darn good! Issue #2, with my story, will appear in November 2013, so you have a little bit of waiting to do. And it gives me time to make some revisions that Bryan requested.

If you read Bryan’s lineups, one thing you might note is that the magazine has several nonfiction columns. My friend Juliette Wade will be writing one of those columns. Another friend, Paul Weimer, will be contributing articles on gaming to the magazine. And I will also be writing a column for the magazine, with a focus on science fiction and technology.

And if all of this isn’t enough, I’m hoping to have some more news to announce in the not-too-distant future. So stay-tuned.


Contracts Signed On Two New Analog Pieces

Yesterday, I signed the contracts on the two new Analog pieces I reported on last month. The first is a short story, “The Negative Impact of Climate Change On the Unusual Beasts of the World.” This is one of the stories that I read at Capclave in October. The second is a guest editorial that I was commissioned to write for the magazine. At this point, I have no idea when either will be appearing. Typically, their lead time is about 8-9 months, unless they are filling a spot. That would put my story in the July issue time-frame (which comes out in late April 2013), but this is just a guess on my part. When I have more information, I’ll let you know.

I still get goosebumps when I think that I’ve sold things to Analog. I can remember as if were yesterday, those days in my junior year in college when I first decided to be a science fiction writer, imagining what it might be like to sell a story to Analog. It was a thrill just to think about, on par with imagining what it would be like to solo in a plane. And now I’ve sold to them not once but three times. And I did end up soloing in a plane, too, back when I got my private pilot license. The day I got my license was a remarkable one, but the day I sold to Analog was better.

And for my paperless friends, I was asked to sign and return two copies of the contracts. When I sold my first story to Analog in 2010, I think I printed the contract, signed it, and put it in the mail. This time around, I inquired as to whether I could sign and email the contracts back, instead of printing them out and putting them in the mail. That was perfectly acceptable, which is what you might expect from a science fiction magazine. I really am trying to remain as paper-free as I can manage.

Two More Sales to Analog Science Fiction

I have two new sales to announce, both of them to Analog Science Fiction.

  1. I’ve sold a guest editorial to the magazine.
  2. I’ve sold a new story to the magazine.

Guest Editorial

I’ve known about this one for a while now. Shortly after Worldcon, Analog’s new editor asked me if I’d be willing to write a guest editorial for the magazine. He asked me, in part, because of the work I’d done on my Vacation in the Golden Age, which made me very happy. I was humbled and I did my best to write a decent editorial. I must have done something right because Trevor bought the piece. It will likely appear sometime in 2013, but at this point I have no idea as to when.

This represents the first time I was ever commissioned by an editor to write something. It was a little stressful, but also a lot of fun, and big thanks go out to both Ken Liu and Michael Burstein for their feedback on the editorial. Of course, I was delighted when Trevor told me he was taking the piece. It’s one thing for a piece to be commissioned. It doesn’t guarantee an editor is going to like it. Fortunately, in this case, the editor did like it.

New Story

As I mentioned briefly on Twitter yesterday, I’ve sold my story, “The Negative Impact of Climate Change on the Unusual Beasts of the World” to Analog. This represents a couple of significant milestones for me.

  1. It is the first time I’ve made a second story sale to a place I’ve previous sold. My story, “Take One for the Road” appeared in the June 2011 Analog.
  2. It is the first time I’ve made story sales on two consecutive days. I announced yesterday my sale to the Beyond the Sun anthology.

I read this story at Capclave earlier in the month so if you were one of the ten or so people sitting in on the reading, then you already know which story I’m talking about. I’m very excited to have made this sale to Analog.

Once again, it’s too early to say when the story will appear in the magazine, other than my guess that it will be some time in 2013.

Making these sales, especially the story yesterday and today, has an enormous impact on my self-confidence as a writer. More and more I feel like I have some clue what I am doing when I sit down to write a story. They generally require a lot of hard work on my part, but I am starting to feel that with each story I write, my chances for finding a good home for it get better and better.

And at this point, I have no outstanding stories. Which means I need to get busy writing again. I’ll keep you posted on these two pieces, as well as the story I sold to the anthology. When I have a better idea of publication dates, I’ll post them.

Story Sale: “Flipping the Switch” Sold to the Beyond the Sun Anthology

I have sold my story, “Flipping the Switch” to the Beyond the Sun anthology, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt. It is a themed anthology described as follows:

Colonists take to the stars to discover new planets, new sentient beings, and build new lives for themselves and their families. Some travel years to find their destination, while others travel a year or less. Some discover a planet that just might be paradise, while others find nothing but unwelcoming aliens and terrain. It’s not just a struggle for territory but a struggle for understanding as cultures clash, disasters occur, danger lurks and lives are at risk. 20 stories of space colonists by both leading and up and coming science fiction writers of today.

Headliners for the anthology include Nancy Kress, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Robert Silverberg.

The sale to this anthology marks at least two firsts for me:

  • First time selling to an invitation-only anthology.
  • First time selling original fiction to an anthology (as opposed to a reprint).

At present, the anthology is set to see the light of day in the summer of 2013, but I’ll keep you posted on updates. In the meantime, I am doing a happy dance in my office, and attracting strange stares from my coworkers.

“Lost and Found” Now Available on the Daily Science Fiction Website

My latest story, “Lost and Found,” which was emailed to subscribers last week, is now available for anyone to read over at Daily Science Fiction. If you are interested in reading the story, head on over there and check it out. Also check out the very nice artwork by Seth Allen Bareiss that accompanies the story. And while you are there, you might check out some of the other wonderful stories that Daily Science Fiction publishes on a regular basis.

Publication Day for “Lost and Found” at Daily Science Fiction

Email subscribers of Daily Science Fiction received my story, “Lost and Found” as the email story of the day today. The story will be available on the Daily Science Fiction website one week from today for everyone else. (Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.) I’m very excited to have a story in Daily Science Fiction. They publish some excellent stories, and I am in exceedingly good company there. I also wanted to shine a spotlight on Ken Liu and Damien Walters Grintalis, both of whom provided invaluable feedback on the story. Both are veterans of Daily Science Fiction and their feedback made my story much better.

To celebrate my publication day, I wore my Writer’s cap today:


You’ll also note that I’m wearing my Yankees sweatshirt. That is because I am going to today’s Cardinals/Nationals division series playoff game (with seats in the PNC Diamond Club) courtesy of my friend and coworker, John Osuna, who couldn’t make it to the game today. It’s my first playoff game and I can’t think of a cooler way to “celebrate” my publication day.

Writing work that is keeping me busy

I haven’t posted much lately about the writing work that I am doing. That is, in part, because I am trying to do the writing as opposed to writing about doing the writing. But since I was chatting about it with someone earlier today, I figured I share what I have on my plate with everyone else. So here it is:

  • Revisions to a story for an anthology (which I hope to be finished with by the end of the month)
  • A novella, the first draft of which I hope to have finished by the end of the month
  • An interview column for the November issue of InterGalactic Medicine Show
  • My book review column for November for InterGalactic Medicine Show
  • Some commissioned non-fiction work for another major science fiction magazine

This is keeping me pretty busy and it also means that early October, a lot of things are coming due around the same time. But I’m also having a lot of fun working on these, especially the novella, which I really think is going to be a good one.

I’m also busy keeping up with my reading for my Vacation in the Golden Age, Episode 39 of which will be appearing on Monday.

And I’ll be part of the SF Signal podcast tonight–which will go live sometime next week.

So I do have some writing work that is keeping me busy, and I have a backlog of stories that I’d like to write as I get some of these other items off my plate. So hopefully this pace will continue. It is one that I am growing increasingly comfortable with.

Story sale: “Lost and Found” sold to Daily Science Fiction

I am delighted to announce that my story, “Lost and Found,” has been picked up by Daily Science Fiction. All year, I’ve had a secret desire to get a story into Daily Science Fiction because I enjoy reading the stories they publish so much. And so I was thrilled when I learned a few days ago that they were picking up my story.

For the unlikely few who don’t already know about Daily Science Fiction, they are an online fiction magazine. They send out an original story every weekday of the year. And you can get these stories for free in email by subscribing to their email list. Not long after the story is emailed out to subscribers, it will also appear (for free) on their website. And monthly compilations of stories are available on Kindle.

“Lost and Found” is my sixth story sale.

More info on when it will be scheduled to appear when I have the information myself. Mostly, I was excited about finally selling a story to Daily SF and wanted to get the word out. Now go an subscribe to their mailing list, if not for my story then for all of the other terrific stories they put out each weekday.

An interview with me over at 40K Books

I was recently interviewed by the good folks at 40K Books. You can head over there to check out the interview. I talk about the future of books, about the origins and themes in my two stories with 40K Books, about science fiction and writing. It was fun to do.

“If By Reason of Strength” is now available in Italian


The good folks over at 40k Books have translated my novelette, “If By Reason of Strength” into Italian. This marks the first time a piece of my fiction has been translated into another language. The story is currently available in English in the Amazon U.S. store. It is available in Italian in the store. Really kind of exciting, if you ask me.

New Story: “In the Cloud” available on Amazon (40K Books)

I’m pleased to announce that my novelette, “In the Cloud” is now available on Amazon, put out by 40K Books. This is the second story of mine that 40K has put out. The first story, “If By Reason of Strength…” recently received a positive review in Analog.

Here’s the cover for the new story, done by artist Roberto Grassilli:

in the cloud.jpg

The story is currently available on Amazon’s Kindle store for $0.99. I hope you enjoy this story should you decide to check it out.

Goals for 2012: Fiction writing

I’ve learned a few things about setting goals for writing over the last few years. One is that they need to be realistic. The other is that they need to be entirely within your control. The last few years I realize that I’ve set not only unrealistic goals for my writing, but also goals that require some kind of outside intervention to come to fruition. For instance, I had a goal last year of selling 4 stories to professional markets. Writing 4 stories is an achievable goal that is completely in my control. Selling them is another matter because it requires something outside my control: an editor willing to buy them.

Given these lessons, I have a few fairly simple goals for fiction-writing in 2011:

1. Write 500 words of new fiction every day.

Why 500 words? I learned during my experiences with NaNoWriMo that I have the ability to write a little over 2,000 words in 2 hours. But with two kids and a full-time job, it is getting more and more difficult to carve 2 hours out of every day for writing.

That said, I can write 500 words in roughly half an hour and half an hour isn’t a large chunk of time. Of course, if I slow down and try and be more deliberate, it might take a little longer to get out those 500 words, but not much. In other words, it is much easier for me to find 30 minutes in the day than it is an hour or two hours. It is also easier on my family. It think it is a good compromise. After all, 500 new words of fiction every day amounts to 183,000 words of new fiction in 20121 which is far more than I’ve ever done before. The trick is making it a habit, working it into my routine, and protecting that 30 minutes.

This is also an easily measurable goal. At any point in time, I can tell if I am meeting my goal or not.

Continue reading Goals for 2012: Fiction writing

  1. It’s a leap year so we get an extra day.