In the last year couple of years I have been writing and submitting to science fiction markets, listening to science fiction story podcasts, and collecting and reading science fiction anthologies. I learned a lot about the about the submission process and a little about publication. What I was most surprised to learn was that there were not as many professional-paying markets as I had expected and that many well-respected markets only paid token amounts. Then there was the controversy this past fall that sprang from John Scalzi’s comments about low-paying markets not respecting the authors, and ‘new authors’ complaining that there were a limited number of professional markets and that they had limited access to them. It certainly appeared that there was room for another professional-paying market.
Having the first issue actually in my hands is a good feeling, but my commitment is to establish Bull Spec as an SFWA market by following up with quarterly issues for at least a few years. I think the “pie in the sky” hope for me is that a first-time author I publish has one of their stories picked up by one of the big anthologies, or nominated for an award. That would be a great feeling, to have been a part of getting them started as an author.
And the winner is: Damon Shaw. I’ll be sending a copy of Bull Spec #1 to the address of his choice. Congratulations, Damon!
Cell is one of King’s weakest books to date. The flaws of this book are different than his usual, so I’ll give him a credit for trying something different. Usually he spends the first three-fourths of a book giving character background before getting to the main plot of the book. This one was very short for him, at only 350 pages, and the action starts right away on page 2, but the characters in Cell are surprisingly lacking in defining features. Each of them is one-dimensional and none of them felt like real people to me.
It is astounding that a contest set up for amateur writers in the very narrow genres of fantasy and science fiction still thrives after 25 years. I bought that first addition, and many others that followed. This contest has spawned the careers of many of the writers you will see gracing the shelves of your favorite bookstore today. I could spend the time listing them but this review isn’t about the writers of past, but of the future.
My newest published story is now available: What Makes You Tick, published by Brain Harvest. It’s a horror flash fiction piece, the shortest I’ve published. It’s also the same story that will be printed in Northern Frights Publishing’s War of the Worlds: Frontlines anthology some time soon, so you can look at it like a free preview.
We at Diabolical Plots have recently reached a landmark–our ten thousandth hit! Around the same time, Bull Spec, a new magazine of speculative fiction, released its inaugural issue.
One thing I like about working with Dave is that we complement each other so well. Often he’s perfectly happy to do the aspects of running the podcast that I find tiresome. I believe he feels similarly, and he’ll ask me if I’d mind doing something that to him seems an onerous chore and I’m overjoyed to do it. Splitting duties has been relatively painless because of that. As to deciding on stories where we feel differently, it’s about – like Dave said – talking it through. We’ve not yet had a knockdown drag out fight over anything. I’m actually hopeful that we do, at some point, just to see what that’s like, but so far we’ve been able to make a case that sways the other or not about each individual story. That sounds civil and boring. I should probably have made something up, about a contest of wills or a platinum battle in the astral plane.
I’ve been meaning to make it to a science fiction convention for quite a while now.Â Even before I started writing they sounded like fun, lots of people with similar tastes all getting together and hanging out, swapping book recommendations, arguing about which authors write better books and why, and so on.Â But now that … Continue reading MiniCon Report (and my first editor pitch)
I meant to post this a couple weeks ago, but life intervened. You remember last month we interviewed Matt Kempke, independent game developer? Well, the free demo of his next game is now available for download here! You can also play the entire first game for free here. If you like the games enough, I hope you’ll consider paying for the full version of A Stitch in Time when it becomes available.