Where do you get your best ideas? A few months ago, a new subgenre came hurtling through my mind while I was taking a shower: a weird, alternate American Revolution period with zombies and alien technology. Flintpunk, I decided to call it.
Named after Flint, Michigan? No. The Flintstones? Nope. Flintpunk because of the flint required to fire a musket. Maybe Flintlockpunk would be clearer, but it sounds so awkward. Musketpunk? Maybe.
Anyhow, I wrote "Minutemen" in March and submitted it around to the usual suspects (Clarkesworld, Asimov's, Strange Horizons), but there were no takers. Then on a whim, I sent it to Cosmos without expecting much of a response. They're an Australian outfit, after all; what would they care about alternate American history?
Editor Cat Sparks replied a few days later: "I really love this story and I think it may well be the cleanest manuscript I've ever been offered in terms of punctuation." Yep, I was floored. And as an English teacher, it's always good to know my punctuation is up to snuff!
"Minutemen" is currently online @ Cosmos, and you can read it here for free, if you're so inclined.
**In other news, the results of my Bardic Tales and Sage Advice contest are in, thanks to The Hat. Drumroll, please!
1. First place WINNER: Anthony Rapino, who will receive a PRINT edition of Bardic Tales and Sage Advice Volume IV, which includes my Mercer tale "The Second Option" and a bunch of other award-winning stories.
2. Second place WINNER: Jay Noel, who will receive a PDF copy of Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Insurmountable Barrier of Space Junk.
Congratulations! I'll contact each of you to coordinate the delivery of your prizes.