Very Little Science in My Fiction

When you hear science fiction, what comes to mind? Aliens, probably. Freakin' lasers. Space ships. Weird stuff.

Watching Star Wars, or Inception, or The Matrix, you'd be hard-pressed to identify a whole lot of science amidst the fiction. I'm okay with that. I enjoy watching and reading that kind of sci-fi, and I definitely enjoy writing it.

So when I submit a story to a publication that specializes in "hard" (scientific) sci-fi, I never think my work will stand much of a chance. I teach 7th and 8th grade English, after all. I don't hold a biochemistry degree, and I don't subscribe to Popular Science. Discoveries in genetics or astronomy intrigue me, but I don't spend time researching them.

It always comes as a surprise (a good one) when I sell a story to one of these "hard" science 'zines.

"Dance by the Light of the Moon" was recently accepted by Perihelion SF. It's about a murder investigation aboard an orbiting lunar drill station, and the impartial investigator is not who he seems. Any science in it? Well, there are those lunar drillbots...

"Thanks for the Memory" was accepted by Nature Futures last week, and it's an alternate history tale of a bored rich man buying memories from Hooverville rabble outside the city gates. Scientific? Sociologically, perhaps. Maybe that counts.

Regardless, I'm going to keep writing the kinds of stories I enjoy, and I'm going to keep submitting them even to those publications where there's a slim chance of acceptance. Because the worst the editors can do is say no. And there's always a chance their response might be a very nice surprise.

If you have a story for Perihelion, you'll find their submission guidelines here. They pay $0.01 per word up to 7500 words. Nature's guidelines are here, and they pay $0.13 per word up to 950 words.

In other news, I'm raffling off four copies of Tales of a Suburban Samurai this month. All current subscribers are automatically entered to win, and you can join The Crew to be included in this week's drawing.