Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction’

Move over Soyuz (cf. December 12), it looks like NASA has a new heavy-lift rocket ready to be on the launch pad next year.  And now there’s some talk that its maiden voyage could be a manned one.  No, not to Mars yet, just a lunar gallery-1458845021-slsloop-around for now, but apparently this is the one that may be used to go there eventually as well.  But see for yourself via “NASA Is Considering a Manned Flight for First SLS Launch,” by Jay Bennett, on POPULARMECHANICS.COM by pressing here.  And if that is intriguing see, also by Jay Bennett, “All You Need to Know NASA’s Mammoth SLS Rocket in Less Than 3 Minutes” by pressing here.

This anthology may include one or more genres such as:  horror, dark fiction, dark fantasy, speculative fiction, or bizarro.  Your story may occur in any time, place or space.  Mix it up, but make it thought provoking and disturbing to the human conscience.  It’s up to you whether you 16683838_930076053794765_573496424401927699_noffer the world hope, provide an answer to survival, or predict final death and destruction on the very last page.  Such was the call for MOTHER’S REVENGE, with a following acceptance from publisher Scary Dairy Press my first for this year (for prose fiction, that is, cf. January 21).  This was the one about man’s mistreatment of the environment, with possibly not so nice consequences.  And now word has come that a publication date has been set, for Earth Day 2017, April 22.

My part in the party is a tale called “Swarms,” originally published in CD ROM form in BLOODTYPE (Lone Wolf Publications, 2001) and later in print in my DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET collection, on the aftermath of the first Iraq war and some curious things that were found in the desert.  More on MOTHER’S REVENGE will be here when it becomes known.

DARKFUSE MAGAZINE Managing Publisher Shane Staley announced today that the print edition of DARKFUSE 6, including my steampunkish tale “The Candle and the Flame” (cf. January 13, et al.), has been given a May 30 publication date.  Information and advance ordering can be found here.  “The Candle and the Flame” is a variation of sorts of Hans Christian Andersen’s story of “The Little Match Girl,” sans angels conveying one’s soul to darkfuse6Heaven.  Because there are other uses for souls, more practical ones as one might say for those who can afford it — or maybe not.  With eight stories in all, DARKFUSE 6 is planned as a “mini-hardcover” collectors edition, including several signing options, and the following contents:

“Mommy’s Little Man” by Brian Hodge
“The Friday Special” by Renée Miller
“Dare To” by Bruce Golden
“Night of the Dog” by Brian Knight
“The Candle and the Flame” by James Dorr
“Fear” by Ben Pienaar
“Where They Belong” by Aeryn Rudel
“Instant Swimmers” by Ronald Malfi

Word came yesterday from Smart Rhino Publications that my story, “Golden Age,” has been chosen for final position in ZIPPERED FLESH 3.  This is an honor — just as the first two or three stories in an anthology are meant to hook the reader, so the last one is to provide the memory of what the book was about, as well as to prime the reader should a subsequent volume be published later.  Or, as Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge explains:  I’ve decided to end ZIPPERED FLESH 3 with “Golden Age.”  It’s a “quieter” story than others in the anthology, and a perfect denouement for the book.  I think, when you read the story, you folks will understand my decision.  Also, to whet appetites a bit more, Smart Rhino has offered a list of all authors selected thus far to be in the book, with more to be announced, to be sure, as they’re added to it:

Billie Sue Mosiman
Graham Masterton
Shaun Meeks463_zippered_cvr_3
William F. Nolan
Jack Ketchum
Jeff Menapace
James Dorr
Meghan Arcuri-Moran
Jason V Brock
L.L. Soares
E.A. Elizabeth Black
Sandra Rutherford Webster Campbell
Adrian Ludens
Christine Morgan

And then a reminder:  Smart Rhino has also been running a Kickstarter campaign to, among other things, provide the ZIPPERED FLESH 3 writers professional-level payment.  Need I add that that includes me?  But there’s only a dozen days left to give, including reserving some rather nice premiums, so best take a look while there’s still time left by pressing here.

And it’s the first for a story in story form (as opposed to a story in verse form, cf. January 16 below) for 2017!  The story is “Swarms,” also a reprint originally seen in Lone Wolf’s CD ROM anthology, BLOODTYPE, in 2001 as well as my 2007 print collection DARKER LOVES.  The acceptance is for MOTHER’S REVENGE, . . . a passionate anthology about Mother Earth taking her world back from the humans and teaching us a lesson.  . . .  Any aspect of an ecological disaster or climate change mothersrevenge1problem can be created or considered.  And so, on the day that Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the next US President, publisher Scary Dairy Press e-replied:  It’s with great pleasure that we notify you that your story “Swarms” has been accepted for the MOTHER’S REVENGE anthology.  Our readers enjoyed your tale and thought it fit perfectly with the anthology theme!

As it happens, “Swarms” in a way has its own political component, in this case beginning with the first action against Iraq under President George H.W. Bush (that is, the father, not the son), where at least one side, and probably both, had chemical weapons whether or not used.  But spent, leaking chemicals from a bombed-out convoy could be worse than those that were used and at least dispersed, having who knows what effect on local fauna, especially of the smaller varieties like certain insects.

And so it goes, with more on MOTHER’S REVENGE to be reported here as facts become known.

The promised Kickstarter campaign for Smart Rhino Publications’s ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD (cf. January 11, et al.) is now up and running.  The idea is to raise enough money to, among other things, pay its authors (that is to say, one of which is . . . me!) a professional rate.  I can stand 3cd4144d486be1e6dbbe46ca792d3588_originalbehind that!  So, if not to donate, at least to see what the fuss is about, please to press here.

My canine in the charnel house, this time, is actually a rather sedate science fiction story, “Golden Age,” originally published in MINDSPARKS in Spring 1994 and about an elderly person’s reflection, a pioneer in the trade as it were, on replacement of body parts damaged by accidents or disease.  But, gore hounds delight, it’s my understanding that other tales, in keeping with the volume’s subtitle, could be a bit more, um, visceral.

So give till it hurts, right? — and afterwards don’t forget to buy a copy when it comes out, details on which will also be found here as they become known.

A bad omen?  Maybe.  But through the a combination of possible server slowdowns and a misread password, I haven’t been able to see it myself.  Nevertheless the word came through from DARKFUSE MAGAZINE Managing Publisher Shane Staley:  Story is now live.  Just sent payment via Paypal and created your subscription to the magazine, both with details in separate e-mails. 

Well, word from PayPal hasn’t come yet either (which actually isn’t unusual though, they do take their time, which, with money at stake, is probably not a bad idea), and at this point I may have to change the password*, but anyhow the word is “official.”  My steampunky, wintery, Hans Christian Anderseny (but with class conflict, and robots) story “The Candle and the Flame” (see December 8, November 28), of a low-level businesswoman with spunk, has now been published by DARKFUSE MAGAZINE.  More on DARKFUSE can be found here, but to see the story for yourself you’ll have to be a subscriber with, no doubt, a password of your own.

darkfuse_header1
*And a happy Friday the 13th addendum!  The password problem has been solved.  I have read the story, with my own eyes.  I recommend it!  😉

Just a quick note, that Weldon Burge has announced a Kickstarter campaign for for the upcoming Smart Rhino Publications anthology ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD, scheduled for launch next Tuesday, January 17.  In conjunction with this will be his interview with me (cf. January 8, below) with remarks on short stories, novels-in-stories, structure of novels, and TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIM298555_180672618685797_840344211_nES OF EARTH:  “I’ll be sending out the e-letter once the campaign has started, so you should see your interview posted next week as well!”  Also mentioned in the interview are THE TEARS OF ISIS and “The Poetic Principle” by Edgar Allan Poe.

As for ZIPPERED FLESH 3, my part in this is a strangely muted (given the promise of some of its stories) science fiction tale called “Golden Age,” reflecting a future history of worn out, or otherwise damaged body replacements (see September 9), a reprint originally published in MINDSPARKS in Spring 1994.

Another interview lurks in our future.  Completed just now, this one was rather a quickie as well, the contact coming from Smart Rhino Publications Editor Weldon Burge just last week:  James, would you be open to a short interview for the January Smart Rhino newsletter?  It would only be three or four questions, short and sweet.  But I’d need a pretty fast turnaround, if possible.  Please let me know.  Thanks!  My connection here is having stories in two Smart 463_zippered_cvr_3Rhino anthologies thus far, UNCOMMON ASSASSINS and INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS, and in a third to be coming out soon, ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (cf. September 9, et al.).  So, “sure,” I sent back, and we set things up to be done this weekend.

More, such as a tentative date, will be noted here when it is known, but I will say now that, while short, it’s one of the heavier ones I’ve done in terms of writing and writing theory, even including a quote from Poe from his essay “The Poetic Principle.”  Why that essay?  Because I think Poe intended it to apply to fiction in prose as well, perhaps then explaining his own predilection for the short story form, and hence, by extension, mine.  This is for a question having to do with my own short story collection, THE TEARS OF ISIS.  But then, from there, a question on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH brings up a discussion of form, in addition to content, and novels-in-stories or “mosiac” novels (see also, October 20), and why that form might be chosen over traditional narrative for telling certain kinds of stories.  And also, why the mosiac form might answer Poe’s dictum that effective “poetic” writing be kept short.

On the evening of November 9th, 1989, the Cold War came to a dramatic end with the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Four years ago another wall began to crumble, a wall that arguably has as much impact on the world as the wall that divided East and West Germany.  The wall in question is the network of paywalls that cuts off tens of thousands of students and researchers around the world, at institutions that can’t afford expensive journal subscriptions, from accessing scientific research.

On September 5th, 2011, Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher from Kazakhstan, created Sci-Hub, a website that bypasses journal paywalls, illegally providing access to nearly every scientific paper ever published immediately to anyone who wants it. . . .  

This one’s a bit weird, that is that I’m picking it up for this blog.  I’m a writer of fiction, so let’s tag this one “science fiction” although it’s actually about real-time research right sci-hub-websitehere and now.  It’s about a worry I have about copyright, that the length a work remains in copyright after an author’s death is far too long.  And the problem is that it’s automatic, it’s not a case of an author’s heir having the option of extending protection for his or her work, but that the protection is in force even if the heir, a grandchild or niece or nephew or even conceivably a great-grandchild, etc., may not even know a work exists.

So now you’d like to republish the thing, and you’re even willing to pay a royalty, but who do you ask to get permission?  And how do you find out?  Or, most likely, if you’re not willing to reprint it illegally, do you just give up, allowing the work to remain in obscurity until even the memory of it is dead?

For me, as an author, I’d rather be pirated than forgotten — that’s my opinion — but I just write fiction, plus some poetry, so who really cares?  But what about published knowledge in general, what about scientists on the brink of an important discovery who need to research other work in their field, perhaps skimming thousands and thousands of pages, some in journals no longer published?  No longer in libraries?  Or if available, at a cost that can’t be afforded, and that’s just to read it?  It turns out academic publishing has its own rules, too, and these may be even more restrictive to the point of preventing research — not encouraging new work and new publication like copyright law was originally intended to do.

Which leads us to today’s email trove, and “Meet the Robin Hood of Science” by Simon Oxenham on BIGTHINK.COM about what the scientists themselves are doing, which in these waning days of an at least politically weird year seems to add some hope — at least for me!  For more, press here.




  • My Books

    (Click on image for more information)
  • Chapbooks

  • Poetry

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 980 other followers