Sounds in the Cloud

And now for something entirely different: I've posted excerpts from my audiobooks on SoundCloud, and you're welcome to check them out right here. The site is akin to YouTube but for all things audio, free for listeners to enjoy and free for creative types to share up to 180 minutes of their work. So far, I've uploaded about thirty-odd minutes in total, so I've got a ways to go before I wear out my welcome.

Curious Fictioning

When it comes to sharing my work with readers, I'm all for trying whatever new avenues present themselves. So when I heard about Curious Fictions, a site where writers can post previously published work for a potentially new audience, I jumped at the chance.

I'll be sharing short stories and chapters from my longer works there every week. Some will be free while others will be available only to subscribers. So, sign up and subscribe! You'll be the first to know when I post fresh content, and tip$ are much-appreciated. 

"Girl of Great Price" is the first story I'll be sharing. It's a novelette that was originally published by MacMillan in their Girl Trouble anthology circa 2013. If you like detectives with your science fiction (future noir), check it out. Below each chapter, you'll find a link to my book The Suprahuman Secret, which collects "Girl of Great Price," "Immaterial Evidence," "Yakuza Territory," and "Chimera Effect" from The Case Files of Charlie Madison, Private Investigator.

With hundreds of writers and stories to choose from, I'm sure you'll find something to like over there. Happy reading!

Welcome to the Post-Apocalyptic Badlands

Now Available:    Amazon    Audible    iTunes

John Carrick produced this audiobook in record time and did a fantastic job while he was at it. Not for the faint of heart, Into the Wastes collects 10 of my more violent tales: "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", and "Idan's World". Good listening for a dark and stormy night...

Free Download

Meet Captain Quasar, a cross between James T. Kirk and Dudley Do-Right — except in Quasar's case, things seldom ever go right...

Join Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the crew of the Effervescent Magnitude in this hilarious collection of short stories as they confront bands of nefarious space pirates, cantankerous bandits, exotic aliens, devious powers of persuasion, mysterious ghosts from the past, deep space identity crises, a runaway hyperspeed train, an insidious computer virus, and a villain with the fastest thumbs in the quadrant.

If you're a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, or Galaxy Quest, give Captain Quasar a try. Starfaring chuckles guaranteed!

Download a free copy this week:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iBooks     Kobo

Reviews are much-appreciated. (Your reward will be waiting for you in Heaven.)

This Week in Writing...

I'm a little over 47,000 words into the new Captain Bartholomew Quasar novel, and the story is moving right along. It feels good to be back in the saddle for the past 50 days, and I'm not even saddle sore (yet). Averaging only 300 words each day isn't much, but they add up over time. And for me, the words are a whole lot easier to sling when I'm spilling them on a daily basis. I don't know how I used to reach 1K/day, but maybe I'll return to that sweet spot after the school year winds down.

In other news, here's an overview of this week's short storying:
  • Rejections from Fireside Magazine, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, and Asimov's Science Fiction
  • Submissions out to Deep Magic, Strange Horizons, and Galaxy's Edge  
  • My tale about high school bullies and teleporting samurai has been shortlisted by Daily Science Fiction. Third time's the charm? One can hope.
I need to bulk up a couple stories before I send them back out on the submission circuit; that's a project for this weekend. I have yet to hear from Factor Four Magazine, Craft Literary, Mysterion, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and Nature: Futures.

My new audiobook Alienated is selling well, and I've been raffling off Audible claim codes in my newsletter. Production has wrapped on Into the Wastes, and it should be available from Amazon, Audible, and iTunes by the end of the month. Stay tuned for details.

Gunsmoke & Dragonfire

From the drought-plagued plains of Mars, to a post-apocalyptic Canada, to the familiar American West and Mexico, to other dimensions and other worlds weird and wonderful, an international cast of bestselling, award-winning, established, and emerging authors brings you 24 strange western tales.

*Check out the Kickstarter:  Click Here

Stories by: Robert Lee Beers, James Blakey, Laurence Raphael Brothers, Zach Chapman, Sara Codair, Eric S. Fomley, Milo James Fowler, Ron S. Friedman, Carrie Gessner, Paul Alex Gray, Jude-Marie Green, Brent A. Harris, Ethan Hedman, Joachim Heijndermans, Russell Hemmell, Liam Hogan, G. Scott Huggins, Sean Jones, Mackenzie Kincaid, R. Daniel Lester, Diane Morrison, Claire Ryan, Ricardo Victoria, and Stanley B. Webb

We invite you to explore these tales in the grand pulp fiction tradition: from weird westerns, to sci-fi and space westerns, to post-apocalyptic westerns, alternate history, and time travel.

Available March 15

Alienated - Now Available in Audio

Amazon     Audible     iTunes

Collects five dark speculative fiction stories:

"Insight" - A sculptor is able to see beyond our reality, but can she control her insatiable desires?

"In His Eyes" - On a farm in the distant future, an unwelcome visitor appears in the middle of a thunderstorm.

"Reverie" - Speech is the first sign of rebellion in a hive of highly evolved telepaths.

"Mo's" - The only racism that exists in this alternate history is between humans and Greys.

"Doppelgänger Mine" - A man is stalked by his horrifying double, and only one of them can survive.

2018: The Good Parts Version

This year wasn't half bad, writing-wise. I managed to stick to a daily regimen back in May as well as this past month, churning out some new fiction. Next year, I plan to be more consistent in that regard. It's so rewarding to see a few hundred words every day gradually add up. One page at a time... Never give up, never surrender!

Short Stories Published: 5
"The Last Human Child" @ Beneath Ceaseless Skies
"Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Insurmountable Barrier of Space Junk" (reprint) @ Future Affairs Administration
"Up in Smoke" (reprint) in The Society of Misfit Stories, Volume II
"Live by the Ten, Die by the Gun" (reprint) in The Renegade
"Back for Blood" (reprint) in Crazy Town

New Short Stories Written: 31
(Thanks to StoryADay in May)

New Short Stories Submitted for Publication: 12

Novels Published: 2

Novel-in-Progress: 1
Captain Quasar Sequel - 40,000 words written so far

Audiobooks Released: 4

Audiobooks in Production: 3
The Suprahuman Secret
Deep Space
Into the Wastes

Blog Posts: 18

Short Story Submissions

I've got a dozen new stories out making the rounds, and for the first time, Flash Fiction Online shortlisted my work — twice. In the past, they've always rejected my stories outright, but this fall, they actually held onto a couple. According to the editor, they made it all the way to the final round before being cut loose. So close, yet so far, but it's renewed my determination to break into FFO someday soon.

Oddly enough, over the past few months, the same two stories were also shortlisted by Daily Science Fiction only to be rejected in the end. I've been published by DSF before, and I really wouldn't mind repeating that experience. But again the same two stories, like Moses, glimpsed the promised land of publication without proceeding any further.

What do these two tales have in common? Usually, I shy away from writing "message fiction." I don't set out to grind axes, promote ideologies, or mire my fiction in temperamental politics. I want my stories to be timeless-ish, not anchored to the angst of any given day. Even so, these stories stray fairly close to "message" territory (the voting process in one, materialism in the other).

So until these stories find homes, I'll be pondering what I'm doing right/wrong. And I'll keep writing the stories I want to tell, regardless of the current zeitgeist in science fiction.

Noveling Update

I'm writing a new Captain Quasar novel. What I'd originally planned to be a series of interrelated stories picking up after the events of The Space-Time Displacement Conundrum has instead morphed into a sprawling episodic adventure currently at 30,000 words and climbing. 

So far, each episode has been about 10,000 words or so, moving the story forward and toward Quasar's return to Earth. He's doing his darnedest to enlist as many humans as he can from the far-flung colonies, telling them what the evil Emperor Zahn did to their home planet and how they can help save it. In the process, Quasar has gathered a "fleet" of six ships and, as is his custom, made plenty of mistakes (and enemies) along the way.

This month, I've committed to writing every day, so I'm planning to have the fourth episode completed by New Year's. If I can keep the momentum going, I should have this project ready for publication by next spring. But for now, my priority is to continue enjoying every step of the process, telling the stories I want to tell and exercising my writing muscles on a daily basis again.
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