Free Subscription to Bards and Sages Quarterly

The latest issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly is now available wherever books are sold, and I received a free copy because I just so happen to be one of their loyal subscribers. I always look forward to each issue and enjoy perusing the quarter’s speculative fiction offerings. It's fun to read tales by authors I recognize, and it's equally fun to discover new talent.

Would you like a free lifetime subscription to this fine publication? If so, click here to subscribe to Bards and Sages monthly newsletter. By doing so, you’ll automatically receive a free e-copy of each January, April, July, and October quarterly issue. You never know when you might see something written by yours truly in there...

Story Sale: The Last Human Child

Last month, I shared that one of the top-tier publications I've been trying to break into extended a rewrite request on my latest submission. Now that the edits are done and the contract is signed, I can divulge more details: The publication is Beneath Ceaseless Skies -- a pro-paying, SFWA-qualifying, Hugo-nominated venue -- and after seven years of knocking on their door, I am super-stoked to have them finally accept one of my stories. The other eight submissions I've sent since 2010 were kindly rejected each time with a line or two stating what the editor liked about them, but they were never a good fit. Mainly because my fantasy often leans toward science fiction, and BCS doesn't publish sci-fi.

Except when they publish their special science-fantasy annual issue, which is where “The Last Human Child” will appear next year. While this story continues the arc of the previous four Dahlia & Brawnstone tales (published by Aoife’s Kiss, Triangulation: Morning After,The Fifth Dimension, and Perihelion Science Fiction), it's also a standalone that can be enjoyed by itself. Eyan the shapeshifter makes a reappearance, but the cast of supporting characters is unique to this story, and the worldbuilding of the earlier stories is expanded to include new friends and foes on the scene.

I enjoyed crafting every line of "The Last Human Child", but I also appreciated working with editor Scott H. Andrews to fine-tune it, going through a couple rounds of edits before we agreed it was good to go. Usually editors at this level aren't so hands-on; they’re flooded with thousands of stories every month, and they can afford to accept only the submissions that encapsulate exactly what they're looking for. In this case, BCS could have responded like so many other top-tier publications have over the years: “There’s a lot here that I liked, but in the end, it didn't win me over, I'm afraid.” Instead, this editor took the time to help me identify my story’s weak moments, strengthen them, and end up with a tighter story overall. And as if that wasn't enough, he paid me generously for my efforts. What a deal!

I can't wait to share it with you. As soon as the BCS science fantasy issue is out, you'll hear me shouting about it from a nearby rooftop.

Unexpected Praise for Westward, Tally Ho!

Now that the audiobook is available, I've been wrangling reviewers to see what they think of it. A few have already posted their thoughts on my western farce of a novel, and since their remarks are so encouraging, I've gotta share: 

“Just call this Wooster and Jeeves in the Wild West. Author Milo James Fowler writes fabulous farce. His narrator, David Bufton, provides precisely the correct (to this American's ear) accent to enhance delightfully the telling of the tale of a spoiled aristocrat and his stalwart butler in search of the butler's lurid past. Trains and horses, heroes and cowardly cravens, Indians and bad men, cattle towns and the arid western desert; all are portrayed from the viewpoint of the young adventurer seeking to follow in his father's well-journaled traveling footsteps. Plenty of western action overlaid with an eye to the absurd. Fun and funny!” 

“OMG, what a seriously hilarious novel! Clarence Oliver Edwards and his butler, Guthrie, go out the southwest of the USA circa late 19th Century. The butler, Guthrie, eventually tells Clarence that he is searching for his daughter, who was in Virginia City the last he knew. Why and how does the teen-aged Clarence steal a horse, becoming the object of a lynch mob and winding up held captive by Zuni Indians? This and other adventures are chronicled with great hilarity! This is definitely a book you won't regret buying!” 

“This is a really wonderful and satisfying story. I have read a couple of other books by the same author but I have to say that this one was the most exciting and thrilling of them all. I loved the three main characters; Clarence; Guthrie; and Kate. They were really well fleshed out and utterly believable personalities, each with their own history, passions and flaws. I loved each one for his or her self. The story which is woven around them is brilliant and full to the edges with British stiff upper lip and a generous dollop of American western swagger and gumption.”

Now Available: 


Captain Quasar Goes to China

I received word this week from China's Future Affairs Administration that a reprint of my short story “Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Insurmountable Barrier of Space Junk” has been accepted for publication and will be translated into Chinese for their 100,000 avid sci-fi readers. How cool is that? Talk about finding a fresh audience for my work! 

If you haven't already checked it out, Douglas Smith’s directory of international markets is an invaluable resource for writers looking to share reprints or original work with the non-English-speaking world. So far, my short fiction has been translated and published in Romania, Italy, Poland, Estonia, Argentina, and France, and I have a story forthcoming in Germany -- none of which would be possible without Mr. Smith’s site. Most of these publications are non-paying venues; but in the case of China’s FAA, I get paid professional rates for this reprint, which is a very nice bonus.

Will Quasar’s new fans seek him out on Amazon China? If they read English (and most students do), they’ll find the novel, novella, and short story collection available for a hundred Chinese yuan or so. If not, they'll get to read one of his misadventures in their own language when the FAA publishes it. I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoy sharing it with them.

Story Sale: Roadkill Joe Returns

Received some good news this week regarding a story I submitted back in April: "Not Good Enough" has been accepted for publication by Perihelion Science Fiction and will appear in a future issue. (Stay tuned for details!) This will be the second time my post-apocalyptic superhero Roadkill Joe has graced the digital pages of Perihelion (following his 2012 debut in AE SciFi), and it'll be my 8th story published by this fine venue. 

Perihelion is a publication that has been around in one form or another since the late '60s. Back then, it was just a black & white print zine; since 2012, it's been a popular webzine. This year, editor Sam Bellotto, Jr. is forging ahead in a new direction: PDF issues available by subscription only. I had a chance to peruse the August issue, and PDF will be a sharp-looking format going forward.

In case you missed "Roadkill Joe" and "One-Way Ticket" when they were published a few years back, here's a little bit about our surly reluctant hero:

Joe ain't no hero. He just wants to die. 

The kids they call him "Roadkill" on account of how them Horrors sucked him up into the sky to have their way with him, then dropped him in the middle of a street full of traffic. Must've gotten run over five or six times before them cars and trucks stopped to see what they'd hit. But Joe he just stood up without a bone broke in his entire body and not a drop of blood leaking out. His back's hurt him something fierce ever since, but otherwise, he's right as rain. 

That's not to say life's been a bed of roses—unless all we're talking about is the thorns.

> Email me if you'd like a free copy of both stories: milojamesfowler AT gmail DOT com.

October Deals & Steals

Heard about 600 Second Saga?

In between current writing projects, I'm always on the lookout for new venues to share my fiction, particularly stories that haven't been in the spotlight lately. The Submission Grinder is a great site for finding publications that accept new work as well as reprints. Whilst perusing the listings a week or so ago, I stumbled upon 600 Second Saga, a science fiction & fantasy podcast.

Every week, they feature authors and "their vision of the fantastic, futuristic, and far-fetched. Each tale is an escape in less than ten minutes to a world of epic fantasy, cyberpunk, shifters, aliens, magic, and more. Authors include established and new talent from around the world." Episodes are released every Wednesday and can be accessed via their website in addition to iTunes, Google Play, and YouTube.

I sent them my story "Tomorrow's Dawn" (Trapped in a lunar tube with an alien terrorist doesn't allow much hope for the future -- or does it?), originally published by Daily Science Fiction, and received an acceptance letter the same day. The audio version will be available in a couple weeks, so stay tuned! 

Want to submit your own story? Check out the guidelines here.  

Want to hear some of the other stories on 600 Second Saga? Have a listen here.

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

The top-tier science fiction and fantasy publications that I have yet to break into are: Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Apex Magazine, Asimov's Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, and Strange Horizons. With some grit and determination, I've already managed to have work published by AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Daily Science Fiction, and Nature: Futures. All of these fine publications pay top dollar for genre stories, currently $0.06 or more per word, and are recognized by the SFWA as being the very best of the best. 

With the exception of AE, DSF, and Nature, I've received nothing but rejection letters from the other folks. Form letter rejections, friendly rejections, a few stories shortlisted for further consideration only to be rejected in the end. 

Until now.

The editor of one of those fine publications (that I've been sending my work to over the past 7 years) emailed me last week regarding my latest submission. He said he liked the story, but he had a few issues with it. He asked if I would be open to revising it. In other words, he was extending a rewrite request. First time that's ever happened! Usually the pro-paying publications either take or leave your work.

I jumped at the chance to work with this editor, and I received his notes yesterday. The changes are definitely doable, and I can see having the revised story back to him in a couple weeks. No contract yet. No publishing agreement. That will most likely be contingent upon whipping this tale into shape. 

What publication is it? What's the story about? I'll let you know as soon as I can. Hopefully after I've been offered a contract. Wouldn't that be cool? Stay tuned...

Unreal Encounters on Sale - Only 99¢


Westward, Tally Ho! - Audiobook Now Available

Amazon      Audible      iTunes

How are your survival skills? 

It's the late 19th century, and you're a young English aristocrat lost in the American Southwest. A lynch mob is after you for horse theft. Irritable natives are on your trail. And the woman with you is not the type you'd bring home to your mother. Would you survive long enough to find safety? Or would you curl into a fetal position and cry? 

This is where Clarence Oliver Edwards finds himself in Westward, Tally Ho! Bored with his privileged life in England and weary of the relatives who share his family estate, Clarence follows his recently dismissed butler, Guthrie, on a non-stop adventure from the busy streets of Boston to the dusty trails of Santa Fe. What begins as Guthrie's search for his long-lost daughter becomes a shocking introduction to the American West for Clarence. His idea of proper etiquette is stretched to the limit as he's bombarded with characters of all types: tough gunslingers, seductive saloon girls, crafty frontier traders, an eccentric Zuni Indian chief, and a wild hermit. Through it all, Clarence realizes the value of loyalty and the cost of redemption. But most importantly, he discovers a degree of inner strength he never knew he possessed. 

Will Guthrie find his daughter? Will Clarence survive unscathed? Take a wild ride through the Old West and find out!
All Content © 2009 - 2017 Milo James Fowler