Posts Tagged ‘Space Opera’

Let us recall January 16, not so long ago.  This had been the call:  Dramatic, large-scale stories of the distant future, focused on optimism and inclusion and blowing things up.  Weird mashups.  Actual arias.  Fat ladies singing on funeral pyres. . . .  The market in question, SPACE OPERA LIBRETTI, a mostly new-story clearly somewhat light-hearted anthology but accepting perhaps a few reprints, including my own, “The Needle-Heat Gun,” originally published in NIGHT LIGHTS (Geminid Press, 2016).  And now a complete 8cd923202896b58b34cd050eb84ab30d_originallist of authors has been released, or, according to co-editor Brian McNett:  Brian here.  Jennifer has asked me to do this announcement.  She’s swamped with life, and adulting, and the cat’s dental care.  We’ve been waiting on the final dotting of “I”s and crossing of “T”s and the signings on the lines which are dotted.

Now that all that important documentation is out of the way, I get to announce the list of contributors to “Space Opera Libretti.”

<insert the roaring of a stadium full of fanatical supporters here>

Our contributors are, in no specific order:

Ingrid Garcia
K.G. Anderson
Jean Graham
Julia Huni
Tom Barlow
Harry Turtledove
EDE Bell
James Dorr
Larry Hodges
Cait Gordon
Dave D’Alessio
Minerva Cerridwen
Bruce Taylor
Alex Kropf
Dawn Vogel
Lizz Donnelly
Dean Brink
Spruce Wells
Jennifer Lee Rossman
Brian McNett

And with a bit of a compliment after:  Jennifer and I are editing furiously, but to be honest, our contributors have shown themselves to be real professionals, even the beginners.  Our edits will only be to the end of making their perfect darlings even better.

More news when it comes.

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The call was out:  Dramatic, large-scale stories of the distant future, focused on optimism and inclusion and blowing things up.  Weird mashups.  Actual arias.  Fat ladies singing on funeral pyres.  Watery tarts distributing swords optional.  Play fast and loose.  No holds barred as long as it’s a tasteful treatment written with respect.  Lengths were to be 2500 to 7000 words with [o]riginal stories preferred but we will accept a few outstanding reprints.

So you’ve heard the tale.  I responded to test that final provision, but also at the extreme of the guidelines.  Attached is a 7000-word submission for SPACE OPERA LIBRETTI, “The Needle-Heat Gun,” that even ends with singing.  It is a reprint (reprint rights in my possession) that was originally published in NIGHT LIGHTS (Geminid Press, 2016).  And yesterday, exactly two months and one day later, came the response from Editor Jennifer Lee Rossman:  We love The Needle-Heat Gun and would like to publish it in our anthology!

With this — “the writing life,” you know — came a contract and information concerning editing, etc., with me returning the signed contract yesterday afternoon.  As a reprint the editing won’t be much, mainly just a copy edit to make sure everything’s in the right format.  “The Needle-Heat Gun,” incidentally, has been met before on these pages, notably for its original sale (see February 22 2016; November 7, 6 2014) but also for an as far as I can tell never published electronic-only reprint by DIGITAL SCIENCE FICTION (August 20, July 29 2017), that first NIGHT LIGHTS publication being paid at a professional rate to boot.  It does get around!  And now for its third (well . . . actually second) appearance, SPACE OPERA LIBRETTI is aiming for a release in August.

More as it becomes known.

Okay, so I lied.  Last December 18, that is (cf. which, at al., below), in announcing ASTOUNDING OUTPOST’s awarding my story “No Place to Hide,” originally published in in the Summer 1991 edition of SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW, the “Editors Choice” prize in their anthology/contest for “Neural Nets, Uplinks, and Wetware” stories, I told a fib or, more precisely, was misinformed.  Said I at the time, [a]s it happens, in addition to first, second, and third places, there was one other award to be given.  Or, to quote from the guidelines:  In addition, one story picked by the editors, not voters, will receive 15 dollars via Paypal and a custom T-shirt from the Astounding Outpost.  This is the equivalent of the second voted-on prize in terms of loot received (in more recent anthologies, a print copy will replace the T-shirt, but NEURAL NETS is the last that’s available in Kindle form only). . . .  Well, I haven’t seen the $15 or T-shirt either, but that’s not the point here*.  Rather, a serendipitous tiptoe through Amazon today has revealed that a print edition of NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE:  THE COMPLETE SET, with “No Place to Hide” number three in the contents, can now be found as well — and in fact may have been there since January!

The moral:  Many are the surprises we get in the publishing biz, or, to see (and perchance to buy?) for yourself press here.

 

*Also, as far as I know, there have been no subsequent anthologies either.

Woo hoo!  We may recall from December 7, et al., that voting was ending for best story in Astounding Outpost’s NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE anthology, in which my story “No Place to Hide” appears.  Results are now in!  0riginally published in the long-dead pro magazine SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW in 1991, “No Place to Hide” has ended up in a hotly contested tie for eighth place.  But wait — there’s more.

As it happens, in addition to first, second, and third places, there was one other award to be given.  Or, to quote from the guidelines:  In addition, one story picked by the editors, not voters, will receive 15 dollars via paypal and a custom T-shirt from the Astounding Outpost.  This is the equivalent of the second voted-on prize in terms of loot received (in more recent anthologies, a print copy will replace the T-shirt, but NEURAL NETS is the last that’s available in Kindle form only) and, as it turns out, it seems there’s a dance in the old dame yet.*  Or, to quote again from the source:   After a very rough editorial battle, we can announce the WINNERS OF Neural Nets, Uplinks, and Wetware.  First place goes to Burner, second goes to Catching Cameron Ellis, third to Never Lonely.  The editors choice goes to No Place to Hide.  Congratulations to the Neural Nets winners.  To check out the site for oneself, press here (then, to find the stories as well, press “Astounding Stories” at the upper right, but be prepared to scroll way, way down since the stories to be in the next anthology are in the process of being added).

One might then add that all stories, including the winners, can be read in the Kindle edition of NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE which may be purchased by clicking here.  (And also all writers receive a royalty on copies sold, so if enough of you . . . well, it does add up.)
.

*”a dance. . . ,” incidentally, is actually a quote that I couldn’t resist from ARCHY AND MEHITABEL (1927), one of a series of books by Don Marquis.  The specific poem is “The Song of Mehitabel,” the memoir of a somewhat disreputable alley cat (Triana, take note!) as transcribed by her friend, the cockroach Archy, and may be read by pressing here.

tourjours gai tourjours gai

We may recall from last Friday that voting had started for best story in Astounding Outpost’s NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE anthology, in which my story “No Place to Hide” appears (see December 1).  The “prize” for the three top vote-getters is a bit more pay for their stories, but last I looked my story was running in about eighth place.  Well, okay, so in a way it may really be more a popularity contest, at least in part, for Astounding Outpost “regulars” of which I’m not one, but still. . . .

Well, still, votes are nice, and in the words of the immortal Yogi Berra (I think) it ain’t over till it’s over, so herewith be reminded that voting was to be for one week only, making today the LAST DAY.  So, should one have the urge, one may read “No Place to Hide” by pressing here, or, more to the immediate point, the page for voting can be found here.

Also, just below (December 4) I noted that bargain prices for my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH were still available on Amazon, both in print and in Kindle (for which *ahem* one may press the book’s picture in the center column).  A quick check today shows that substantial discounts are also to be found from Barnes and Noble, at least in print (though NOOK copies are also available for $8.49, marked down from $8.99), notably one copy for as low as $8.98.  Perhaps your favorite book dealer has discounted copies too.  Or, in any event, to check out B & N’s prices (and check as well for special sales which may apply, one of which that ends December 10 may be good for an additional 25 percent off one item with the code GETGIFTING), though with fewer reviews on their site, one need but press here.

Two items today, the first that the current issue of STAR*LINE arrived Friday afternoon with a three-line mermaid-vampiress poem, “Wet Work,” by me on page 12.  Hidden, where one would not expect her, look for her down in the depths on the right.  STAR*LINE is the publication of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) which also runs an annual Rhysling competition for speculative poetry.  More information on that and STAR*LINE can be found on their website by pressing here.

Then ASTOUNDING OUTPOST (for more on which see just below, December 1) announces that a Kindle edition of NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE is now up and on sale for 99 cents for a limited time.  They don’t say for how long the sale will last, so to take advantage one should press here now.  Also don’t forget you can vote for my story, “No Place to Hide,” by using the link in the post below and, as a bonus, as it’s third in the contents in the Kindle edition one can read it in its entirety in the sample pages at the Amazon site (much more readable there than in the original web publication, which one can also find linked to at the end of the post just below).

“No Place to Hide,” a tale of interstellar war and the horrifying fates of some who fight it.  Space opera, maybe, but also a tale that fit the bill as described above — or at least so was the decision of the ASTOUNDING OUTPOST editors!  But there was a catch concerning payment, that all dogs in this fight would not be equal.  Or as the acceptance email put it:  “The voting to determine prizes will occur during the first week of December.  Be sure to let your friends and family know so they can vote for your story.”

Such was the post here November 13.  My story, “No Place to Hide,” originally published in SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW dated Summer 1991, had been reprinted in ASTOUNDING OUTPOST’s “Neural Nets, Uplinks, and Wetware” issue.  And now it is time for readers and fans to vote for their favorite story in the issue (e.g., *hint* “No Place to Hide”) because, to quote the publisher: Remember the top three fan favorites win cash and treasure.

What does that mean [to continue the quote]?  If you’re a fan pick your favorite story.  IF YOU’RE AN AUTHOR LET YOUR FANS KNOW ABOUT THE POLL.  Share it on social media, harass your neighbors, and beg your family to vote for your story.  We’re all family here, aren’t we?  But do not tarry, voting is only open for one week, ending next Thursday December 7.

So to vote for “No Place to Hide,” one need but press here, scroll down until you find the title, and vote, vote, vote (actually I don’t know what happens if someone tries to vote more than once, so why take a chance, ask your friends to vote too instead).  Remember . . . sufficient votes mean “cash and treasure,” pour moi!  (Not a lot of cash and treasure, maybe, but easily outstripping the average mammoth royalty individual stories of mine in other publications tend to receive.  And anyway every bit counts.)

Also, if you haven’t yet, to read “No Place to Hide” yourself press here.

We live in an amazing time, technology and humans are coexisting in a way we’ve never seen before. It also can be a terrifying time. What if humans and technology can’t coexist? What if the A.I. take over, or the computer viruses jump off of the net and into our biology? What if we’re just all living in a matrix? These are just some of the questions and ideas that have shaped science fiction and this call. Give us your visions of how it all plays out.

Send us your best 7500 word or less story that relates to Neural Nets, Uplinks, and Wetware. . . .

Such was the call (cf. November 2) and my response was to send them a rather short story, “No Place to Hide,” a tale of interstellar war and the horrifying fates of some who fight it.  Space opera, maybe, but also a tale that fit the bill as described above — or at least so was the decision of the ASTOUNDING OUTPOST editors!  But there was a catch concerning payment, that all dogs in this fight would not be equal.  Or as the acceptance email put it:  The voting to determine prizes will occur during the first week of December.  Be sure to let your friends and family know so they can vote for your story.

That’s right:  Vox populi est vox pecuniae.  Or, the tale with the most votes will get the most cash.  And now “No Place to Hide” has been published, and may be read by pressing here!

(So the moral is:  Read and enjoy.  Then on December 1 and for six days after please read it again and vote, vote vote!  Heck, this is America, have your friends vote too for “No Place to Hide.”  Your parents, your children.  Significant others.  Family pets. . . !

(And in the meantime, if you enjoy it scroll down to the end and please also consider leaving a comment.)

Thus was the call:  Welcome to Digital Science Fiction.  We are excited to announce our first open call for reprint short stories in the science fiction genre.  These stories will be published as stand-alone short stories and as part of an anthology of ten short stories under the Digital Science Fiction imprint, by the publisher, Digital Fiction Publishing Corp.  The announcement went on to specify that stories needed to be from 3500 to 7500 words long, “have appeared in professional or semi-professional books, magazines, collections, or anthologies,” and not be available for free on the internet.  And for which one would be paid, well, a bit, but reprints are reprints and money is money.  And so, why not?

As it happened, in fact, I had a 7000ish-word story published in the “Space Opera” section of NIGHT LIGHTS by Geminid Press in 2016 (see April 1 2016, et al.), a bit tongue-in-cheekish, having fun with the genre, you know, and ready to trot.  And so why not indeed?  Off it went just nine days ago and today the word came back from Michael Wills of Digital Fiction:  Thank you for sending us ‘The Needle-Heat Gun’.  We think it is a great fit and would like to publish it.  We will be in touch shortly with a formal contract and details for your review.

There it was in the mailbox yesterday afternoon, a mystery package from CreateSpace.  With trembling fingers, one tore the box open and . . . yes . . . there it was!  From an original acceptance in November 2014, a little delayed, from one of three anthologies now combined into one, my science fiction story, “The Needle-Heat Gun” (see February 22 2016; November 6, 7 2014).  The anthology, to give its full title, NIGHT LIGHTS, AN ANTHOLOGY OF SHORT GeminidPressNightLightsFICTION:  FIRST CONTACT, CONSPIRACY, AND SPACE OPERA from Geminid Press, more on which can be found by clicking here.

My story is in the “Space Opera” section for reasons apparent, I think, when one reads it, a tale no more serious than it needs to be. And it’s second from last in the anthology proper,  the last spot usually good to be in since it’s one the readers will remember but in this case taken by a shorter story that had to be there — one with greater-than-natural implications — and thus nicely positioned in its own right.

Then the second item, the edited proof  from Clifford Garstang of Press 53 for “The Wellmaster’s Daughter,” originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE in November 1991, along with the contract.  The book for this one, to give its full title, EVERYWHERE STORIES VOLUME II:  MORE SHORT FICTION FROM A SMALL PLANET (cf. February 29, below), scheduled to be published in November this year.




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