Posts Tagged ‘Space Opera’

I live near the end of a postal route which means that my mail usually arrives in late afternoon or evening — sometimes in these winter months even after dark, possibly not to be discovered until the next morning.  That’s reflected here when an item often may not get posted until the next day (though of course email items can also not be received until very late) as, for instance, now.

So what Thursday’s mail brought was a fairly bulky padded package, in which was my long-awaited author’s copy of SPACE OPERA LIBRETTOS (cf. January 1, et al.), the book of [d]ramatic, 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.  So had said the guidelines and so, at last, it was here — part of the game is that authors’ copies, at least in print, often come slowly, publishers having to fulfill paid customers’ orders first — including my own tale in number three spot, “The Needle Heat Gun,” a saga of heroism and love on an uncharted planet with, if not formal singing, a lot of humming.

If interested, “The Needle Heat Gun” is one of twenty stories of music and outer-space (or thereabouts) mayhem, more on which can be found by pressing here.

Then for a quick Friday addendum (or electronic copies can come much faster), today’s email brought a PDF authors’ copy of SEVEN DEADLY SINS:  LUST (see post just below) with my “A Cup Full of Tears,” a brief recounting of sweet lesbian vampire love.  With it came instructions for also obtaining a paperback copy, but with a warning:  that its arrival might be less quick.

To end 2019 with a song, word came Tuesday afternoon that SPACE OPERA LIBRETTI:  MODERN COMEDIC SPACE OPERA WITH ARIAS (cf. November 12, et al.) is out in paperback, with a Kindle edition set for Saturday, January 4.  The problem with space opera is that there’s not enough opera in it, and certainly a dearth of coloratura diva sopranos in the third act.  This anthology sets out to fix that by placing the music front-and-center.  We’ve created a glittery disco-ball of fun.  20 stories designed to amuse.  Some actually take place in space.  There’s even an actual opera in here.  We didn’t hold back.  Time-traveling cats that quote opera. . .  Intergalactic singing competitions. . .  An endless song that becomes the soundtrack to countless generations of rebellions. . .  And, of course, invisible space bears made of black holes that may or may not be extinct.  My dump in the drama pops up in third place in the story contents, a swashbuckling symphony of stubbornness and song, “The Needle Heat Gun” which, accompanied by nineteen additional tune-tales, can become yours by pressing here.

It had originally been planned for late summer but there were delays.  Such often happens.  But SPACE OPERA LIBRETTI (cf. November 2, February 11, et al.) Editors Jennifer Lee Rossman and Brian McNett plugged on and, now in the homestretch, another milestone has been passed.  The cover and back cover have been designed and can now be revealed.

For those who’ve forgotten, this is the anthology for (quoting the guidelines) [d]ramatic, 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.  Stories were to be from 2500 to 7000 words, mostly original but with a few “outstanding” reprints.  Thus my own entry, “The Needle Heat Gun,” is one of the latter, originally published in NIGHT LIGHTS (Geremid Press, 2016), with the tale it tells one of two brave spacemen, though only one can be the hero, and equally heroic music badly performed.

But all this should be available soon as publication time draws nigh, with more to be reported here as it becomes known.

A quick Saturday note from SPACE OPERA LIBRETTI (cf. February 11, January 16):  We need updated bios for each of you.  However you wish to write them, but ideally two paragraphs or less, written in the third person, and including social media links if you’d like them.  The anthology theme is probably self-evident, my part in it being “The Needle Heat Gun,” a tale of two intrepid spacemen and a song badly sung, originally published in NIGHT LIGHTS (Geminid Press, 2016).  And so — as quick as that! — the bio was sent as requested, with more to come here as it becomes known.

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.

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).




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