Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

That is, if the kickstarter is successful.  To quote the blurb, SINS AND OTHER WORLDS is a dark Science Fiction short story anthology comprised of reprint stories from 28 talented authors.  The stories range from deep space, alien planets, alternate realities and beyond.  Most stories within are flash fiction interspersed with several longer works from both emerging authors and titans in the field.  The anthology collects some of the best dark sci-fi in recent memory.  But (*ahem*) the authors need to be paid, the paper purchased, the publication costs reimbursed, all of which takes money.  My part in this, I should add, is a story titled “The Cyclops,” originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR, June 2013 (see July 18 , June 17).

Or, to quote once more:  We have 25 days to raise enough funds for this project to get off the ground. Please let your social circles know of our reprint project.  And needless to say, if you can contribute something yourself, please be more than welcome.  More information including special prizes for pledges can be found here.

Then, for a sneak preview, if funding comes through here’s a table of contents:

Alex Shvartsman – The Far Side of the Wilderness
Christi Nogle – A Fully Chameleonic Foil
Dennis Mombauer – The Dust Bathynaut
Douglas Smith – Nothing
Ed Ahern – The Service Call
Eric Choi – Most Valuable Player
George Nikolopoulos – The Sin of Envy
Gerri Leen – Floating in My Tin Can
Gregg Chamberlain – Apocalypse Beta Test Survey
Henry Szabranski – In The Maze Of His Infinities
Holly Schofield – Tough Crowd
James Dorr – The Cyclops
Jeremy Szal – When There’s Only Dust Left
Jez Patterson – Between Two Distant Shores There Lies Space For an Ocean of Troubles
John Dromey – Death, Where Is Thy Sting
Ken Liu – The Plague
Kevin J. Anderson – Job Qualifications
Laird Long – The Last Racist
Liam Hogan – Remembrance Day
Lina Rather – Last Long Night
Michelle Ann King – God State
Mike Murphy – About Time
Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn – Benchwarmer
Rhonda Eikamp – Angels Behaving Badly
Robert Silverberg – Flies
Russell Hemmell – Tugship
Vaughan Stanger – The Eye Patch Protocol
Wendy Nikel – Memory Ward


The life goes on.  Amidst contests and interviews, Wednesday’s email brought a contract from Shacklebound books for my story “The Cyclops,” set to appear in the reprint flash anthology SINS AND OTHER WORLDS (cf. June 17).  Originally published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR for June 2013, “The Cyclops” is told from the point of view of a fast-growing baby with physical problems, but with an advanced enough intelligence that he’s beginning to figure things out.  Say what?  Well, the contract went back to Editor Eric Fomley later this afternoon as requested, so watch here for further information on when SINS is published and ready for purchase to see for yourself.

Well, “mid-year” more accurately, and it’s not something to get rich on, but it could buy lunch.  Actually it’s good to see that copies are moving at all, as is the case with all royalty payments, but with a single-author novel-in-stories like TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (that is, all by me) it’s especially nice since even modest amounts add up.  I might add to that, if any here would care to contribute to the mid-winter royalty check to come, Amazon still has some bargain discounts the last I looked (two, at least, under $10.00) which can be checked out by clicking the cover picture of TOMBS in the center column.  Also, if you’re seeing this and you have read TOMBS and you think it worth while, might I suggest you might write a review and send it to Amazon, Goodreads, et al.?  Reviews need not be long or detailed, just a sentence or two perhaps mentioning what stands out about it for you, but for all authors honest reviews can be a huge help.

Just saying.

A Frank Lloyd Wright mile-high Chicago tower?  A water-spouting Parisian elephant?  How about a project by Gaudi for lower Manhattan?  These and more can be found in “The 7 Wildest Buildings That Were Never Built” by Tim Newcomb, on POPULARMECHANICS. COM.  A giant Tokyo pyramid?  Food for thought for science fiction scenarios, including some steampunk (the Paris elephant predates the Eiffel Tower — had it been built instead would it have changed history?).  For all these and more, food for thought for one’s own wildest fancies (or maybe just le Quatorze Juillet fun), one need but press here.

This came late yesterday afternoon, actually, but had to wait till I could respond (my music group meets Tuesday evenings), the proof copy from Schreyer Ink Anthologies for my entry, “The Frog Pond,” in their upcoming CHILDREN OF THE SKY (see July 5). Originally published in England in HUB MAGAZINE in 2006, “The Frog Pond” is about the opening of a new planet for exploitation, but with one possible hitch that needed to be checked out first.

CHILDREN OF THE SKY itself is scheduled for publication on August 1, with the corrected proof for this story going back late last night (or, depending on time zone, the wee hours of this morning). And indeed things are moving fast, this having been just received:  The pre-order link is now live on Smashwords. The book will also be available through Smashwords’ extended retailers (Kobo and iBooks) in the next few days. You can find it there by searching. It will be live on Amazon in a day or two . . . [t]here will not be a paperback preorder but the paperback will be available on Amazon on August 1st.

I can’t say that I didn’t sort of anticipate this, or at least hope for it, another email from Pole to Pole Publishing this afternoon:  Thank you for sending “Gas” for Pole to Pole Publishing’s RE-TERRIFY anthology.  We appreciate the chance to read it, and have decided to accept “Gas” for inclusion in the anthology.  This is the companion volume to the RE-ENCHANT anthology which accepted my story “Dust” just a few days ago so, adding previous volumes RE-QUEST and RE-LAUNCH, I seem to be four for four so far.  I might also add for fellow writers that like RE- ENCHANT, RE-TERRIFY is open to submissions through August, for more on which see the link in the post just below.

RE-TERRIFY, to quote the original call, will join our previous submission calls (now closed) for RE-LAUNCH and RE-QUEST in the Re-Imagined Series of anthologies. RE-TERRIFY requires dark science fiction, fantasy, or horror reprints on the theme of monsters which terrify.  “Gas,” which was first published in the December 1994-5 issue of EULOGY, involves cutting edge (if not on the entirely up and up) biochemical research and was inspired by the real-life basement of the Indiana University Chemistry Building.

The call was for a series of anthologies from Schreyer Ink Publishing, with the one with the guideline window for May and June titled CHILDREN OF THE SKY.  The description read Science Fiction:  stories of alien invasions, first contact, our first steps on alien worlds.  It didn’t say if reprints would be okay, as they often can be for themed anthologies (that is, the editor can hope for first class stories at “used” story rates — in this case, in fact, payment would be just a royalty share), but it didn’t say they wouldn’t be either.  So off went a story from way, way back, when I was writing much more science fiction, about planetary exploration and alien first contact purposely gone wrong called “The Frog Pond,” published originally in the UK in HUB Magazine, December 2006.  Details on first publication history were included of course.

The reply came yesterday, the Fourth of July, from Editor C. Schreyer.  Thank-you for your submission to Children of the Sky. We are excited to inform you that your story has been accepted for publication.  Please find attached your contract.  A bit more information was asked for and so, this afternoon, all went back, signed contract, formatted copy of story, and bio.  If all goes well, the next step will be receiving a proof copy, more on which will be told here when it happens.  Also, other writers, for more information on Schreyer Ink Publishing and future calls (one of which has just opened for this month and August), one may press here.

Gee, it’s a three-figure check, that is counting both sides of the decimal point!  Well maybe not quite, but mid-year mammoth royalty payments are upon us again, and the first for me is here this last day of June.  Or, well not the payment, but the report which if not huge contains one nice datum:  that the several solo items I have with this publisher all made at least some sales (by contrast to a multi-author item which usually does better, but sold zero copies this time out).  Also, however, has come an announcement that unless what’s owed exceeds a certain level, the publisher (as is my custom, I’ve declined to identify either this or the actual books involved to avoid embarrassment on both sides) says they’ll hold back sending an actual check till the end of the year.  A wise choice, I think, as I settle down to wait six more months for it.

Talk about fast!  Thursday, June 14, I submitted a story to a reprint anthology for short (1500 words or less), dark science fiction, SINS AND OTHER WORLDS.  As it happened I had a story I rather liked at about half that length,”The Cyclops,” about a deformed but hyper intelligent baby first published in DARK MOON DIGEST YOUNG ADULT HORROR in June 2013.  And in fairness, the call for submissions did say responses could come in less than two weeks.

But in only two days?  Sent late yesterday came the reply from Editor Eric Fomley:  Thank you for sending me this.  I would like to use “Cyclops” in the SINS AND OTHER WORLDS anthology.  I’ll keep you in the loop as the project progresses.  So, technically it was three hours and some minutes over two days if one reads the time stamps (assuming, that is, they’re for the same time zone), but that’s still pretty quick!

Also according to Editor Fomley there should be a crowdfunding campaign in the near future, for which expect news here as soon as it’s known.  More money raised, after all, means more money in authors’ pockets (the project will be called off, in fact, if we can’t be paid at least an advance of $0.01 a word).  Also they’re still open for new submissions, to close only when the anthology’s full — but at this rate of speed that might not be too long.  So if interested in submitting yourself, details can be found here.

Good, bad, pique your interest?  Alternatively do you roll your eyes and hope the movie itself will be better?  Welcome back to author Dennis Cooper’s blog (see post just below) and another long list o’ goodies, this time the title sequences of more dark movies than I can count, with (usually) explanations of how and why they work.  Plus, of course, links to the sequences themselves.

So, how many have you seen?  For reminiscence, comparing notes, or maybe finding what you’ve been missing, please to sample “The Title Sequences of 56 Mostly Horror Movies” by Dennis Cooper on DENNISCOPPERBLOG.COM, courtesy once more of Robert Dunbar via Facebook and LITERARY DARKNESS, by pressing here!

Then in today’s email I also received a list of questions from Martin Ingham regarding Martinus Publishing’s upcoming FORBIDDEN! anthology (see June 10).  Attached are the interview questions that you can answer at your convenience.  I’ll start running the interviews on my blog in a few weeks, and space them out as we get closer to the release date for the anthology.  So, as noted before, things are chugging along pretty quickly, with more to come (including the actual interview date when it becomes known) on these pages!

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