Video Promotion of the “Mars” Planetary Anthology

mars

Screen capture from twitter

As it turns out, Richard Paolinelli posted a video promoting the Mars planetary anthology on twitter, which I saw when I got from my menial day job this afternoon.

You’ll have to click “Continue reading” to see it, and then you’ll have to wait through most of the video to see my credits. However, they are something special:

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My Science Fiction Short Story “Buried in the Sands of Time” Accepted for Publication!

retro

Promotional announcement for the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology, “Raygun Retro”

I can finally announce this and I’m thrilled to do it. My retro science fiction short story “Buried in the Sands of Time” has been accepted for publication in the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology Raygun Retro: A Science Fiction Anthology.

Here’s the formal announcement from ZPP’s Facebook page:

Congratulations to all of the successful authors for RAYGUN RETRO: A Science Fiction Anthology. Thank you to everyone who submitted, you made it a difficult choice.

Preorder your Raygun Retro Ebook now for half price at the link above.

Available in paperback May 1, 2020.

I’m especially thrilled, because I’ve tried to submit various earlier versions of this tale under the title “Arabia Terra” for nearly two years, and it’s been repeatedly rejected. The final version is a major retooling of the concept which, in this case, is (in my humble opinion) the perfect missive for retro science fiction that pays homage to SciFi movies, TV shows, and novels from the 1950s and 60s, plus illustrates what might happen if the past collided with the future.

Here’s a brief sample. Keep in mind, the final and edited version may read slightly differently:

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More on the “Planetary Anthology Series” and Other News

pas poster copy

Promotional image for Tuscany Bay Books Planetary anthology series

I know I’ve been harping for a while on having two of my SciFi short stories accepted into the “Mars” and “Sol” anthologies in Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Series, but I was just sent a link to Amazon that displays that entire collection on a single page.

This is definitely one-stop shopping. Pre-order all eleven volumes in the series in a single action. They’re waiting for you now.

I’ve just completed my first major edit to the tale “The Pleiades Dilemma” for the “Sol” anthology, and after doing a bit more research, came up with a different, and what I think of as a more dramatic climax to my story. Really, I’m very proud of it. Hope the editor agrees.

In other news…

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Planetary Anthologies “Mars” and “Sol” Available for Pre-Order Now!

sol

Promotional image for the Sol planetary anthology

Fantastic, and totally unanticipated news. As I’ve previously mentioned HERE and HERE, my short stories “The Three Billion Year Love” and “The Pleiades Dilemma” are being published in the Planetary Anthologies “Mars” and “Sol” respectively.

I just found out that the entire Planetary series is available for pre-order now at Amazon.

Sure, “Mars” won’t be available for download to your Kindle device until August 18, 2020, but you can reserve your very own copy by pre-ordering it from Amazon right now.

And while you won’t be able to get your (virtual) hands on a digital copy of “Sol” until November 10, 2020, you can also immediately pre-order it by clicking the link.

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Updated Publishing Schedule for the “Planetary Anthology Series”

sol

Promotional cover image for the Sol planetary anthology

A few days ago, I made an announcement about two of my short stories being featured in the Tuscany Bay Books Planetary Anthology Series. I came upon an updated publishing schedule for each volume in this collection and thought I’d share:

  1. : PLUTO: https://amazon.com/dp/B081S745L7
  2. : LUNA: https://amazon.com/Planetary-Anthology-Luna-Tuscany-Bays-ebook/dp/B08462M5W8
  3. : URANUS (March 3, 2020): https://amazon.com/gp/product/B084GXDBJK
  4. : Mercury – April 14, 2020
  5. : Venus – May 26, 2020
  6. : Earth – July 7, 2020
  7. : Mars – Aug. 18, 2020 – Features my short story “The Three Billion Year Love”
  8. : Jupiter – Sep. 21, 2020
  9. : Sol – Nov. 10, 2020 – Features my short story “The Pleiades Dilemma”
  10. : Neptune – Dec. 22, 2020
  11. : Saturn – Feb. 2, 2021

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Rising from the Ashes: Two SciFi Tales Accepted for Publication!

pas poster copy

Promotional image for Tuscany Bay Books Planetary anthology series

Once upon a time, there was an indie publisher called Superversive Press. It was based on the quaint idea that science fiction, fantasy, and even horror didn’t have to present an unending stream of tales rooted in subversiveness, nihilism, and fatalism. This downward spiral was certainly the direction science fiction began taking in the 1960s, and then became firmly cemented in by the 1970s (and since I’m an old school fan and have been reading SciFi since that period AND am currently reading a history of science fiction from the 1960s through the 1990s, I should know).

I’ve become acquainted (online) with a number of “superversive” authors and editors for the past several years, and since my initial decision to begin writing fiction, have always wanted to be published by and with them.

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The Colony Trees

tree

Photo credit: Sarolta Bán

Sonia watched the last of the trees lift up and fly away. It had been her fantasy ever since she was five and first heard that Mars hadn’t always been able to support life.

She had joined the junior Arbor Society when she was eight, became a regional counselor at twenty, and now at thirty-five, she was the assistant manager for the entire Martian Forestation project.

In her right hand was her husband Andrew’s left, while on her other side, five-year-old Billy, and his nine-year-old sister Charlotte were huddled against her.

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A Woman’s Wings

thermistor

© Provided by Popular Mechanics – found at msn.com

Only 3,062 more kilometers until she beat her own personal best and was once again mentioned in the record books.

Amelia Earhart tried it on Earth in 1937, and her flight’s disappearance remains one of the great mysteries in aviation history.

It was Jerrie Mock who succeeded in becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the Earth solo in 1964, but she only did it once, and she had to land to refuel.

Since then, the Earth had been orbited too many times to count and it hardly mattered anymore.

But Shelley Parker invented a new challenge. She was an engineer and pilot, and right now, she was in the realization of her greatest design, the Hermes, a solar-powered fixed-wing aircraft specifically created to fly in the Martian atmosphere.

Shelly had already completed one full circuit of Mars at the equator without landing, and in just over 3,000 kilometers, she would finish her second.

“Eat your heart out, Jerrie.”

I found the above photo in the news and decided to make my own personal “photo flash fiction challenge.” I decided to find out if 23,464 km was roughly the distance between any two points, but that proved difficult. The circumference of the Earth is 40,075 km, so that’s a little more than halfway, but then I saw that the circumference of Mars is 12,263 km. I did a little quick math and saw that it would take only an additional 3,062 km to circle Mars twice at the equator.

So I invented my intrepid aviator Shelley Parker and decided to have her advance the cause of women like Amelia Earhart. This also helped me discover who the first woman was who made a solo flight around the world, and that was almost thirty years after Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared.

Additionally, I learned something about the proposed designs of aircraft intended to fly in the atmosphere of Mars, which is much thinner than our own.

Oh, my word count for this story is 154.

Time’s Window Expanded

whale

© Alamy

Physicist and Mission Specialist Jamie Benjamin and her team of three arrived at the orbiting Mars Base Camp exhausted after their nearly two-hundred day trip from Earth to the red planet. But they were astronauts and had to fulfill their grand legacy of being stoic pioneers. Jamie could almost feel Neil Armstrong looking over her shoulder as she stepped through the airlock and boarded the station.

“Welcome to Base Camp, Dr. Benjamin.” Commander Donald Sharp, in operational command of Base Camp and coordinator of Mars Manned Missions smiled and extended his hand.

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Time’s Window

gale crater

Gale Crater – Mars

“Temporal Shift Unit is powered up, Commander Sharp.” Physicist Jamie Benjamin and her team had spent a week assembling the complex machinery in Gale Crater, which was believed to be one of Mars’ long dried up lakes.

“If this device works as well as it did in the tests on Earth, we could very well see what this crater looked like over three billion years in the past, Benjamin.”

“I suggest we all anchor ourselves to a specific spot, Commander.” She was speaking to the entire team who had been living out of their twin solar-powered rovers for the past ten days. “When the unit activates, it will seem like we’re 5,000 meters underwater.”

“Proceed.”

“Activating projector…now.”

The thin air around them rippled and twisted, and then it was as if they were at the bottom of the ocean, which was expected. The true marvel was that they weren’t alone.

“Life.”

The What Pegman Saw flash fiction writing challenge was an unusual one this week. Normally, writers are prompted to craft a story no more than 150 words long based on some Google Maps view on Earth. Today, J. Hardy Carroll uses a virtual reality tour to take us to the planet Mars. I ended up somewhere in Gale Crater, scanning a 360 degree view provided by the Curiosity Rover.

Approximately 3.5 billion years ago, it is strongly believed the crater was a water-filled lake. I decided to manufacture a little “virtual reality” of my own to give astronauts a look at what the crater was like all those billions of years in the past. As you can see, they found something startling and wonderful.

To read other stories inspired by this prompt, go to InLinkz.com My story is 150 words long.