My Name is For My Friends in Autumn 2017 issue of Mirror Dance!

Hi guys! Thought you might want to know that the short story “My Name is For My Friends” is in the Autumn 2017 issue of Mirror Dance. They also did a one-question interview, where I share the best writing advice I’ve ever received. Lots of other great stories too. Check it out!

Killing Mister Wilson reprinted in Uprising Review!

I have a new short story publication! “Killing Mister Wilson” is now posted on Uprising Review, so if you haven’t read it yet, or you have and want to check out some other great stories like it, be sure to check it out!

Another publication in Leading Edge!

That’s right!  My poem “Zarmina,” dedicated to Gliese 581 g (the first exoplanet discovered in its sun’s habitable zone) is published on page 98 of issue 61 of Leading Edge!

Also included in this issue is an excellent essay by Brandon Sanderson, in which he introduces his second law of magic systems.  It’s an excellent essay, and has made me rethink how I do FTL systems, especially for the Gaia Nova universe.  I’ll have to do a post a little later on that.

Besides this landmark essay by Brandon Sanderson, this issue features stories by Dan Wells and Dave Farland, as well as an interview with Howard Tayler.  And as always, it includes a number of excellent stories and illustrations.  Check it out!

(Full disclosure, I volunteer as a slushpile reader and occasional copy editor for the magazine.  However, my work always goes through the submission process under a pen name, where only the head editor knows who I am until the decision on whether to acquire the story has been made.)

In other news, Genesis Earth is now up on Goodreads, so go check that out as well!  The nice thing about Goodreads is that you can give the book a # star rating without having to write out anything else.  If you’re so inclined, I would very much appreciate an honest review–but if you do give it a rating, please be honest.  Don’t worry; even if you give me less than five stars, I won’t hunt you down like this crazy author (hint: get some popcorn and read the comments).

So anyhow, that’s what’s been going on here.  Desert Stars is coming along slowly but surely, and I’m working on getting some cover art for Bringing Stella Home.  If you have any ideas or suggestions on the art, please let me know.  I’ll probably go through my back issues of Leading Edge to search out good sf artists.  For some reason, I’m having a hard time finding anything that clicks on deviantart.  My goal is to epublish that book by the end of July.

I’m published!

That’s right–my first published story just came out in issue 58 of The Leading Edge.  I am happy to say that after three years of formally pursuing my career as a writer, I am now a published author!

The story is titled Decision LZ1527, and it’s about a guy asking a girl out on a date–as told from the point of view of the little men inside his head piloting his body like a starship. I really like the tagline in the table of contents: “A man, a woman, and a whole crew of matchmakers.”

Full disclosure: I submitted this story after I joined the staff as a volunteer slushpile reader.  Most of the editors for this issue are pretty good friends of mine (including the Production Director, who’s one of my most trusted alpha readers).  I submitted it under a pseudonym, however, so most of the staff didn’t know it was mine until after they’d accepted it.

The Leading Edge is known for the excellent quality of its illustrations, and I’m happy to say that I lucked out with with the artist the editors picked for my story!  Josh McGill is a graphic designer and aspiring children’s book illustrator.  He’s done art for issues 53 and 55 of The Leading Edge. The picture on the right is the one he did for the front page of my story.  I must say, I’m impressed!

The Leading Edge is a semi-professional small press science fiction and fantasy magazine affiliated with BYU.  It’s been in publication since the early 80s, when Marion K. “Doc” Smith’s famous “class that wouldn’t die” got together and started it, along with Quark and LTUE.  If you would like to support the magazine (and read my story!) you can purchase a copy of issue 58 at the following link:

Issue 58: “Redemption Songs”

Lot’s of people dream about getting published, but it takes a lot of hard work and rejection to actually make it happen.  As writers, though, we tend to be harder on ourselves than we ought to be.  It took almost four years for Decision LZ1527 to find its way into print, but it did.  That’s enough to make the rest of the process worth it.

Let’s hope it’s the first of many!

Twenty percent, Writers of the Future, and the INTERN

I am now 20% finished with Ashes of the Starry Sea. Huzzah!  The story is definitely picking up steam.

In related news, my seven day totals has peaked higher than it’s been in the last two weeks, up above 17,500 words.  Inshallah, that number will rise to +24,000 befoore the end of the week.

In unrelated news, I’ve decided to recycle my 2009 Mayhew story for the Writers of the Future contest this quarter.  I’ve got until July 1st to get it out, but I have a plan, and I don’t think it will require too much extra work.  That was the thing holding me back (since, really, it’s not a story, it’s just a scene), but now I’ve got something that I think has a chance of working.

It’s funny how reading other people’s manuscripts motivates you to send your own stuff out.  I mean, reading the Leading Edge slushpile, I said to myself “you know, that story you wrote two years ago could probably get a pass.” Lo and behold!  With Writers of the Future, it’s definitely worth a shot.  Definitely.

Oh, and as I skimmed through Genesis Earth 2.0 today, the thought occured to me that I’ve written a kickass story here (pardon the language).  I mean, it’s far from perfect, and it’s not the best book ever written (not by a long shot), but it’s a lot more than a “stuff happens, the end” kind of story.  Maybe I’ll even see it in print someday.  And to think I almost trashed the project a year ago.

As something totally unrelated to personal news at all, check out this awesome new blog:

The straight dope on publishing from publishing’s most fearsome figure—THE INTERN.

Nice tagline!

As I read about the exploits of this publishing intern, I can’t help but think to myself, “hey, that could have been me.” Not quite sure how I feel about that, but I’m really glad to have all this time to write and work on my craft.  I definitely need it.