Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll

Doomsday Chronicles

Hey did you know that Doomsday Chronicles and consequently my short story GOAT is in the running for this year’s Critter’s Best Anthology? At the time of this writing, we’re ranked #2, right behind a horror anthology and there are only a few days left before they’ll call it.

This is another example of a place a single reader can have an enormous impact on a writer’s career. We only produce so much over the course of any year and simply being nominated is a big win, but the award accolades can make or break any cover.

Please take a moment and register your opinion.

Critter’s/P&E Annual Readers Poll – http://critters.org/predpoll

Anthology Poll – http://critters.org/predpoll/antho.shtml

 

2017 Awards Consideration Post

I know, you’re wondering “What can I do to help this author person I know?” Well, I published a bit in 2016 and some of it is eligible for an award.

Best Short Story

Best Novelette

There’s more, but those are the big one’s I bled for. All of them are science fiction of one sort or another and these are the stories I’d ask that you consider when you make your nominations and vote.

As always, feel free to pass along any story you enjoyed to a friend or leave a review. As soon as I cover it, GOAT will be published on its own along with its nearly complete companion story MONITOR.

Alt.Chronicles: Legacy Fleet ARCs

UPDATE: I have a single ARC left. If you’re interested in reading and reviewing this excellent collection please let me know right away.


I have in my hand three hot copies of an upcoming release ALT.Chronicles: Legacy Fleet, a Samuel Peralta anthology debuting later this month. One of my stories, written within Nick Webb’s universe, is featured in this collection, and this means that I have three Advanced Reader Copies to pass around. Three.

ALTCHRONLF

So, my Sunday morning dilemma is this: I’d like to pass these around to all my patrons, but I can only give them to three people. It’s imperative that I tell you that these copies come with strings attached. Per Samuel, “ARC readers must try their best to provide honest reviews for the launch day (Aug 18) on Amazon.com or shortly after. You can choose those readers however you like, but keep in mind that we do want to set an expectation that these are reviewer copies, and not freebies.”

I’m giving Patreon patrons first crack at these, but if you’re interested in reading my story LUMP as well as shorts from fourteen other authors, speak up in the comments. Depending on the response I see on Patreon I’ll mail you a copy in the e-reader format of your choice.

Chronicle World’s Legacy Fleet

LegacyFleet

Yeah, this is an announcement with a cover reveal. Coming in August from The Future Chronicles and the universe of Nick Endi Webb‘s bestselling trilogy Constitution, Warrior, and Victory.

CHRONICLE WORLDS: LEGACY FLEET


Chronicle Worlds: Legacy Fleet is Samuel Peralta, Nick Endi Webb, Therin Knite, Dave Monk Fraser Adams, Peter Cawdron, Patrice Fitzgerald, Kat Fieler, Jon Frater, Kev Heritage, Ralph Kern, Joseph Lewis, James McCormick (J.E. Mac), Felix R Savage, Will Swardstrom, Matthew Alan Thyer, Christopher Valin

IOTD

Jim C. Hines posted this a few minutes ago and I’m tripping over my keyboard with jealousy, why didn’t I think of this?

I’m thinking about trying to do a weekly blog post highlighting some of the positive and amazing things being done by various folks in the SF/F community. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how many wonderful, kind-hearted, generous people there are in our geeked-out slice of the world.

Take Pat Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders fundraiser. Pat has poured so much time and energy into Worldbuilders. (Yes, I know some of you would rather he poured all of that time into writing, but none of us can write all the time.) In the past seven years, Worldbuilders has raised more than $3.5 millionfor Heifer International, helping to reduce hunger and poverty in the world.

Or look at conventions like Windycon, where fans worked to raise $753 for the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter.

So I need your help. Email me at jchines -at- sff.net (or use the Contact Form) and tell me about people or groups in fandom doing good stuff. I’ll do my best to research and write them up, with links and pics and maybe even a quick interview or quote or something. And we can try at least once a week to recognize that yeah, at its worst, SF/F fandom can be a hot, flaming mess … but at our best, we are Frakking Awesome.

Yeah, the Hugos have once again been sabotaged by poo-gobbling attention trolls. Yes, gigantic media mechanisms are once again shining light on the unwashed underbelly of the SFF community giving the broader world the impression that we’re all bigots or morons or both.

We are better than this. Let’s draw attention to the good that we do. Well played Mr. Hines.

A Ubiquitous Award Post

Welcome to the new year. It is that time again, and 2015 was a pretty good year for me as a writer. Things got published. Things are eligible for awards.

Essays

Invisible 2 Cover-Full-689x1024 I contributed an essay to Jim Hines’ second annual anthology Invisible 2: Personal Essays on Representation in SF/F. He informs me that the collection is eligible for the Best Related Work.

Flash Fiction and Short Stories

"Walk to School"

“Walk to School”

Dispatches from the Future: B-list: Over the course of the year, I wrote a growing collection of flash fiction. As part of his recovery from kidney surgery and Inktober my friend and Army buddy Jeffrey Witty completed a illustrations for many of them.

  • I believe that this collection of stories would qualify for either Best Short Story or Best Fanzine. There are fourteen episodes within the collection, all of them are under 2,000 words (they’ve always been freely available on Wattpad).
  • Jeff’s adroit illustrations are also eligible for Best Fan Artist.  His ink work is really quite excellent; as the author, I can’t tell you how nice it is to see your words looking back at you.

Tokyo Yakuza #11: Mob Dance (6,027 words) qualifies for Best Short Story. This was a fun little project done as part of an independent tabletop game release.

Novellette

“Ser Pan Comido”

Galaxy Chronicles: Ser Pan Comido (9,891 words) is arguably my best and most popular published work of 2015. I really enjoyed collaborating with Samuel Peralta and Jeff Seymour and the Amazon sales boost this anthology produced was amazing to witness (my Amazon Author rank peaked at #71 in Science Fiction … Wow!).

  • Despite my self-doubt surrounding this story, it has done remarkably well. The collection received some excellent reviews and my contribution was called out more than once.
  • Jeff’s approach to editing was a pleasure and I hope to repeat the experience with some longer works that are on the way. If you’re filling out your ballot and need suggestions for Best Editor please consider Jeff and/or Sam.

Summary

That’s it for me (and the many people that I collaborated with last year). If you’re running behind and can only nominate one work may I suggest that you consider sending Jeffrey Witty to the vanguard. His work is good, and I’d love to motivate him to do more. He’s been secretly scripting and illustrating The Big Red Buckle and I’d love to light a fire under his can to get this done in 2016.

Go, fly, buy, be nerdy!

Galaxy Add-2

That’s right, you can now pre-order Samuel Peralta‘s next anthology that is due out November 30th. My short story SER PAN COMIDO is featured in this collection of space opera and military science fiction tales, and I’m surrounded by all the good stuff written by all the good people. Better yet, if you’re a Prime member you read for free and if not, your pre-order price is less than two bucks. That’s right, get it while it’s hot!


 

A quick couple of words on writing for Peralta’s anthology and then I’ll let you get on with the ordering frenzy. An internet friend and fellow author Chris Boore nominated THE BIG RED BUCKLE last spring. Based on the number of reads Peralta gets tossed his way I didn’t think anything would ever become of it. Samuel makes a point of saying that he reads everything nominated, but who could possibly keep up with that volume?

June rolled around, and summer started to unfold, I was not holding my breath. In fact, I had returned my focus to finishing Tess’ kayak and wasn’t spending a whole lot of time at my computer writing, when, out of the blue, I got a message from Samuel.

“I liked Red Buckle. Could you write something for Galaxy?”

“Sure, I’d love to,” I replied.

“Good, you’ve got about four weeks.”

With that brief interaction I jumped, not from the pan into the fire, but into a pressure cooker. Tess had already signed up for a sea kayaking class in July, making non-refundable reservations along the way. Now I had two very hard deadlines and not enough time for either.This is where I learned something about myself.

I write well when pressured.

Summary, I enjoyed writing this story. As I got into the meaty details of it, the challenging bits felt more like play than work. I enjoyed working with Jeff Seymore polishing the finished project, and I can recall wishing we’d spent even more time working on things like the summary. I ended this project wanting and ready to write more.

Compared to the work I’ve done for other anthologies, Galaxy Chronicles, and SER PAN COMIDO was easy peasy. A walk in the park.

Pre-order sales rank after about 12 hours on Amazon’s shelf.

Samuel’s series of Future Chronicles anthologies have tremendous reach. If you’re an author, this means access to a much larger audience. Having a story in one feels like a foot in the door. I want to say that this tastes a whole lot like a success. At this point, I’d need a crystal ball to know what it might turn out to be.

So before I end this post I’ll encourage you once more. “Go, my nerds, go buy this anthology before the price gets jacked up. Go, fly, buy, be nerdy!”

Now back to the grindstone.

Badassery Reviews Future Chronicles

An in-depth review of The Future Chronicles. Crom! you are compelled by the power of Greyskull to read the review followed rapidly by devouring the anthology as would Ammit.

The Future Chronicles has grown, from a single collection of robot stories, into a series whose unique take on major science fiction and fantasy themes – A.I., aliens, time travel, dragons, telepaths, zombies, immortality, galactic battles, cyborgs, doomsday – has made it one of the most acclaimed short story anthology series of the digital era.

Don’t Forget to Dream

D.S.I Helium 3 Transport Vehicle by Adam Burn

I’m sitting in the coffee shop; A-bear is playing his heart over at preschool, and I’m just not getting into it this morning. Derp move number one, I’ve been tugging at my chin hairs while I read from the ever expanding athenaeum of “Advice Offered to Writers on Writing and Stuff.” The truth of the matter is that I’m not sure what I’m going to write next, and my Twitter feed has once again delivered up this highly distracting narrative in which I willingly participate. Hunched over and fuming, once more, it occurs to me that this is not a good way to live your life.

More importantly, it doesn’t seem like a very productive way to spend your precious writing time.

It’s probably not helping that the new baristas have changed up the music, and I’ve since had to plug my headphones in and crank up the subtle white noise of Coffitivity. Yeah, that’s right, I’m listening to “Morning Murmur” — a recording of a coffee shop while sitting in an actual cafe drinking coffee — how’s that for bathos?

“So what, precisely, is the problem Matt?” you ask.

Well, I started with this blog post from the esteemed and successful Chuck Wendig: Peaks and Valleys: The Financial Realities of a Writer’s Life. Realize, in no way is this me jumping onto his current cluster event. Rather, it’s me taking a critical look at why I seem to come away from his advice posts feeling defeated and ready to quit.

This post and the advice it references are just one member of a distinguished lineage of columns I’d like to label “The Stark Reality Collection.” I’m starting to wonder if it’s even possible for authors, especially those in the SFF community, first to begin making a living from their work and later not tell the world how hard it’s going to be. Often I come away from reading this stuff convinced I’ve done everything wrong. I live in the wrong place, I know all the wrong people, I didn’t go to the right school, or workshop, I write the wrong things, and I put my pants on the wrong way — that’s how wrong I feel.

Defeated before I begin, my options seem limited. Maybe I should just take Wendig’s intimation and “move on to more stable ground.”

Here’s the thing. Fiction moves me. Let me say that again. FICTION MOVES ME. I love a good story. Terry Pratchett’s farewell piece The Sheperd’s Crown recently reduced me to a blubbering mess more than once. And I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from my recent readings of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Wild Shore Triptych.

I know that I’ve discovered my earthworm. I know that my stories are good enough, and my writing is compelling and entertaining. And yes, I love doing this, even when it’s fucking difficult.

Standing up to assert these strong feelings of self-determination and conviction I rip the headphone out of my computer and nearly dump hot coffee all over my lap. “But really,” I say to myself taking a calming breath. “I don’t need anyone to tell me how hard it’s going to be.”

Want to help successful-author-making-a-living-from-your-words? Stop telling everyone about the big pile of shit we can look forward to wading. That’s the thing about piles of crap; they’re apparent. Everyone knows that they’re there, usually because, much like yourselves, we’re busy trying to clean it off our shoes.

Better, tell us what moves you. Why did you stick with writing even when you weren’t sure when your next meal was coming? What do you do in the morning to warm up for writing? What inspired some piece of fiction we can’t put down. How do you deal with criticism fro your readers or even your editor? Writer’s, especially the good ones, I’ve realized have developed strategies to exceed the piles of crap life leaves on our paths.

I write a lot, I don’t sell a lot (yet). I know that I’ve yet to develop a “real” audience. The numbers necessary to lift me out of this valley just aren’t there yet. This is the sole reason I keep looking into the Library of Stark Reality. I’m looking for feasible ways to grow my audience as I get ready for near term release dates. Want to help? Tell me about the concrete things you did to expand your audience.

And while I acknowledge that it won’t always be easy, this morning I’m resolved that as I build my author platform and find more readers, I will endeavor to imagine with audacity. The boundaries that limit me aren’t worth talking about except when exceeded.