Speculative Fictioneer

Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he's not grading papers, he's imagining what the world might be like in a dozen alternate realities. Over the past 5 years his short fiction has appeared in more than 100 publications, including AE SciFi, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction, Nature, Shimmer, and the Wastelands 2 anthology. Two novels and a variety of short story collections are now available.  Milo is represented by the Zack Company.

https://www.amazon.com/Milo-James-Fowler/e/B0058CVZT0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=sl2&tag=inmere0c-20&linkId=a441a3e316b8a7cdfe919f83d343cdbd                                   http://www.milojamesfowler.com/p/published-fiction.html

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Unreal Encounters by Milo James Fowler

Unreal Encounters

by Milo James Fowler

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Baen Books & BackTracker

So it's been about a year and a half since I first submitted my novel BackTracker to Baen Books. At the six-month mark, I received an email from one of their editors telling me that my manuscript had been plucked from the slush pile for further consideration. At the one-year mark, I received an email that there were still 20 manuscripts ahead of mine, and Baen appreciated my patience. A couple weeks ago, at the 18-month mark, I received the following:

"Your novel was strongly recommended by two of us and has made it to the Publisher's desk. Due to the volume of manuscripts ahead of yours, and the press of other business, this process may take some time. We will contact you with our decision as soon as possible. Thank you for your continued patience."

Ain't that cool? The funny thing is, BackTracker is the same manuscript that caught the attention of my agent, which led him to become my agent back in December. Baen had already been considering my novel for about a year by the time I signed on with the Zack Company -- letting them know about Baen's interest, of course.

Interesting to note: Baen has the original version of BackTracker, and my agent is now perusing the revised manuscript, which includes changes he suggested. What if, by some awesome act of divine intervention, Baen decides they want to publish my novel? What if they have their own ideas about how the manuscript should be revised? If those ideas line up with my agent's, sweet! If not, then I'll have some more work cut out for me, which I've kind of been expecting anyway. As soon as I sent the revised manuscript to Mr. Agent, I came up with another page of ideas, plot points I'd like to change. Of course there will be plenty of time for that later.

Am I anxious to see how this plays out? Heck yeah. If Baen decides they don't want to publish BackTracker, I still have an agent who believes in this novel and is determined to find a home for it. But if Baen does decide they want it, I'll be super stoked. I might even do a 48-hour happy dance. Or try jumping over the moon. And I'll have an agent to iron out all the particulars regarding international rights, audio rights, movie rights, etc.

Win-win? We'll see. For now, I'm going to focus on those phrases "strongly recommended" and "Publisher's desk." They'll keep me smiling until my next six-month Baen update.

Writing Update

After focusing on the first round of BackTracker edits and getting them to my agent ASAP, I took a month or so off and did a lot of reading and watching. It felt good to kick back and relax a bit, dive into some recent future noir and space opera novels -- two of my favorite genres. Thanks to Netflix, I also caught up on a few of my favorite series, and I finally got around to seeing a bunch of movies I've been wanting to check out.
But I didn't do any writing.
Maybe because I thought I deserved a break. I've been going full-tilt at this fun little hobby for the past seven years now, and after qualifying for SFWA membership and seeing all of my short stories published, my ultimate goal was to get an agent and see if a major publisher would be interested in my novels. I spent January burning my proverbial candle at both ends, revising a 150-thousand word manuscript, and I needed some time to recover after that. A few weeks turned into a month and a half. And it was glorious.
But then my brain started to itch. I felt restless. I needed to write again.
I started working on the second draft of The Gifted Ones, a new Charlie Madison novel. It picks up where The Suprahuman Secret leaves off and wraps up the whole mystery, once and for all. I wrote it longhand last year, so now I'm typing it up and polishing it as I go. That helped with the itchy restlessness for a while, but it wasn't enough. Because I wasn't writing anything NEW. I've had a few ideas for new Dahlia & Brawnstone, Roadkill Joe, and Captain Quasar stories, but I've kept them on the back burner, figuring it was time to focus on my novels. For now, my short story writing days were over.
Not so much, as it turns out.

At last count, I'm over five thousand words into a new Roadkill Joe tale, a couple thousand into a new Dahlia & Brawnstone story, and I'm plotting out a series of Captain Quasar tales that will take place after the novel. I'm also sending reprints of my stories out to international markets by the bucket-load. And that itchy restless feeling in my brain? Gone.
Writers write. And sure, we read and watch, too. But like Ray Bradbury once said, "If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy, or both." Thankfully, I haven't gotten that far.

And I don't plan to.

Pint-sized Audiobook Now Available

Sarah Jones did an incredible job with Maikro, and I couldn't be happier. Her voice is a cross between Julie Andrews and Cate Blanchett (Mary Poppins meets the Lady Galadriel).
If you're looking for some peaceful listening...

The End of the World As We Know It

My last (for now) collection of short stories is available wherever eBooks are sold, featuring the following lineup of  adventures in the post-apocalyptic badlands:

"Soulless in His Sight"
"You Kill Me"
"Survival of the Fittest"
"For a Handful of Crowns"
"Drawn from a World of Hurt"
"Breath of Life"
"Sins of the Father"
"Like Clockwork"
"When Tomorrow Comes"
"Idan's World"
Fair warning: these be horror stories, and many of them are grisly. A couple, in particular. But I'm all about shining light into the darkness, so you can rest assured that good will conquer evil. It just might take a little cogitation to figure out how...
    http://amzn.to/2mVhEJ2      http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/into-the-wastes-milo-james-fowler/1125813452?ean=2940154254929      https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/into-the-wastes/id1207469479?mt=11      https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/into-the-wastes

The Weird West Radio Hour

Now Available:
Amazon       Audible       iTunes
The audiobook turned out even better than I'd hoped, complete with music and sound effects -- like an old radio show. Seeing how The Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy inspired these tales, I'd say Rich Brennan's work is just about perfect.
There's Trouble on the Range
In these thrilling tales from yesteryear, Coyote Cal and his trusty sidekick Big Yap encounter a wizard able to change his shape at will, a scheming witch, a confused zombie, la chupacabra grande, bloodthirsty vampyres, and other sordid fiends. Our heroes will have to rely on their wits, skills, and loads of hot lead to ensure justice prevails.

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

So this is pretty cool: Girl of Great Price  is going to be translated into German
 and will be appearing in Visionarium, "Das Magazin für Horror, Mystery,
 Bizarro, Urban Fantasy, Dark Fiction, Steampunk, Noir, SF und New Weird."
Also cool: Girl of Great Price  is currently free wherever eBooks are sold:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MT6H70E/ref=nosim?tag=inmere0c-20&linkCode=sb1&camp=212353&creative=380549     http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/girl-of-great-price-milo-james-fowler/1121005127?ean=2940046494211&st=AFF&SID=BNB_DRS_Evergreen_20150928&2sid=Skimlinks_3662453_NA&sourceId=AFFSkimlinksM000006     https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/girl-of-great-price/id956042155?mt=11     https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/girl-of-great-price?utm_source=linkshare_us&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=linkshare_us&siteID=TnL5HPStwNw-efOjMyV1OV6ANHLgtx6FkQ

I Have an Agent

For the first time in seven years of querying, I got the call.

A few months ago, a certain agent responded to my query for BackTracker with a request for the first few chapters. No big deal. It's happened before, and nothing ever came of it. 

A few weeks later, the same agent asked to take a look at the complete manuscript. Again: been there, done that. 2016 has been the year for near-misses, getting closer than I've ever been to snagging an agent's attention with Those Who Wait. But in the end, nothing happened. So I didn't get my hopes up this time.

Last Friday, I received an email from the agent's intern saying he'd like to set up a time for us to talk over the phone. Which we did, for over half an hour, discussing the finer points of BackTracker: what's great about it and what needs to be fine-tuned. We agreed on four key areas where I'll need to do some rewriting.

Then he offered to represent me. Just like that.

I signed the contract, so it's official: my agent is Andrew Zack, and our first project is BackTracker. Baen Books still has it, but once I fix a few of the issues Mr. Zack has with the manuscript, he'll let them know it's now a multiple submission. Will that spur the Baen folks into making a decision? Maybe. The best part: my novel will be submitted to the big five publishers I never would have been able to contact without an agent.

Holy cow, folks! It took a while, just like finding homes for all of my short stories, but it finally happened. Finding the right publishers for my novels will take time as well; I have six others in need of good homes after BackTracker. But I'm in this for the long haul, and I don't plan on quitting anytime soon. "Never give up, never surrender!" (Galaxy Quest). The fact that The Zack Company "prides itself on sticking with clients until their work finds a home" makes them the perfect fit.

Seven years ago, I started blogging once a week, and I've kept it up ever since. But I may not be as religious about it from here on out. This is what I've been waiting for all along. Now the real work starts, and I can't wait to live out the next chapter of my life as a writer.

Beware the Dinopocalypse

A month or so ago, Perihelion's Sam Bellotto and Carol Kean were trying to destroy the earth. And they wanted my help.

"Fun, dark humor, gloriously masochistic" is how they phrased it. That's what they were looking for, and they hit up a dozen sci-fi writers to see what we could come up with: our favorite way for the planet to perish. Not that it needs a whole lot of help, right? Considering all the crap going on in the world these days...

But I digress. Sure, our world can be dark and bleak. We don't have to be. We can laugh. Sometimes, that's all we can do. (Wasn't there some kind of election recently?)

In the meantime, check out 10 ways the world could end in the latest issue of Perihelion Science Fiction.