Screenshot from my computer.
Yes, it’s a bland image to be sure, but writing fiction isn’t all fun, games, and glory. Once a story is accepted, or in this case two, it doesn’t mean what you’ve submitted to the publisher is perfect. It just means that it’s a good story (well, I hope that’s what it means).
It also means that someone is going to go over your story with the proverbial fine-toothed comb, pointing out issues, everything from word usage to punctuation.
Promotional image for the Black Hare Press anthology “Tick Tock” featuring me and my short story “The Tenth Second”
My short story “The Tenth Second” has been accepted for the Black Hare Press time travel anthology Tick Tock. The tales were to be 500 words long, which isn’t a lot of room to tell a full story, and they accepted multiple submissions. My other submission “The Weapon” wasn’t accepted, but you can’t win them all.
Just signed the contract online.
Here’s a sample:
Promotional image for the HBO series “Lovecraft Country”
Every once in a while, I visit Mike Glyer’s File 770 SciFi fanzine. I used to follow them and get email updates of new posts, but either due to an accidental technical glitch or me being deliberately booted off for being an “undesirable,” those notices stopped.
Anyway, I was scrolling through Pixel Scroll 8/15/20 To Clickfinity And Beyond! and came across a link to HBO’s ‘Lovecraft Country’ Brings Viewers To A World Of Monsters, Magic and Racism.
I didn’t learn about famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s racism until this last round of Hugos when he was denounced along with a lot of other dead white men.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lovecraft’s monsters and his racism have both been twisted into a show set in the 1950s which features both:
© James Pyles – My brother, my parents, and me. I’m the one on the far left. Yes, I used to be thin. The photo was taken about 35 years ago.
Just when I thought I was done with the Hugo Awards and with all this year’s drama and trauma, I ended up reading Looking Forward on Looking Backwards at the Hugo Book Club Blog co-authored by Amanda Wakaruk and Olav Rokne. I don’t know which one of them I talk to on twitter, but they seem like pretty good people.
Anyway, the blog post focused on the Retro Hugos, which are sort of “lifetime achievement awards” for science fiction and fantasy authors who were active before the Hugo awards existed. Being an “older fellow,” I’ve read more than a few in my day, plus a lot of old school Hugo Award Winners. That is, science fiction Hugo winners before the Hugos (in my personal opinion) became less about the quality of a story and more about the “wokeness” of the tale and the writer (both being a necessity these days it seems).
To quote their blog in part:
Promotional image for the Black Hare Press anthology “Lockdown Sci-Fi #3”
Remember this? I announced that my short story “The Apollo Containment” was to be published in the Black Hare Press anthology Lockdown Sci-Fi #3. I’ve even got my signed copy of the contract to prove it.
However, last night when I happened across the publisher’s Facebook page promoting Lockdown Sci-Fi #4 including a list of stories and their authors (and I wasn’t on the list), I asked about it. I got a rather terse response like “Where did you hear that? No story is accepted until we announce it here.” I immediately deleted my FB comment. They also mentioned something about stories being shuffled around, so maybe “Apollo” will still see the light of day, but who knows?
Image of the cover of Orson Scott Card’s book “How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy”
On the heels of my blog posts Looks Like the 2020 Hugo Awards Once Again Sucked, Loving and Fearing SF/F Fandom, and the currently highly popular Is SciFi Author/Editor Robert Silverberg Really Racist and Sexist (or has the internet once again lost its mind)?, a library book I just finished and am about to return caught my attention.
Written by Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead) the small book How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy was my choice to re-read in the hopes of dragging myself out of my current writing slump.
Published in 2001, all of the advice about how to publish, market, and, of course, win awards (Card won two Hugos, a Nebula, a Lotus, and in 1978, the John W. Campbell [now renamed Astounding] Award for Best New Writer) are outdated and useless.
But his lessons on how to write remain pretty much timeless, especially when you are actually learning the craft rather than trying to promote a social position, attitude, or bias (I say that knowing that all stories contain the biases of their authors, but lately, it’s gotten so much more obvious and even blatant).
Screenshot from twitter
So I came across a tweet on twitter from someone I follow named “Mara Jade” (@OG_MaraJade). It was a retweet of this.
I followed the link to the source and came up with |Blake| the Villain (@Enemies_Allies) who originated the image. He also said “This was a very successful tweet. They literally just expose themselves.”
Featured announcement from Zombie Pirate Publishing
Since Dastaan World once again has seemed to have crashed and burned, my previously accepted stories The Unreal Man and Surtr and the Phoenix have been “unaccepted,” which kind of stings.
This is why I was excited when I saw the notice at Zombie Pirate Publishing featuring my story Buried in the Sands of Time.
It’s my retro-SciFi tale featured in their anthology RAYGUN RETRO: A Science Fiction Anthology.
© James Pyles
Some time ago, I announced that my short story “The Deseret War” had been published in the Immortal Works anthology A Mighty Fortress: A Mormon Steampunk Anthology Book 4 edited by Holli Anderson.
There was some sort of snafu with the mailing, and I never got my copy of the book…
Cover art for the novel “Terminum” by Lyla El-Fayomi
Disclosure: This is my first review of an indie SciFi book for Reedsy Discovery. In exchange for a free digital copy of a book, they ask that the writer craft a review of between 300 to 400 words in length and have it published on their site prior to a specific date. Basically, it’s free promotion for the book, Reedsy, and the reviewer.
I chose Lyla El-Fayomi’s Terminum to review because the premise was compelling. An experimental virus stops people from aging but at random points in their lives. However, the darker side is that some of those infected will be abruptly killed by an unknown side effect called Sudden Death Syndrome.
In investigating a cure, scientists Yasmine Holloway and Leo Genix suddenly become fugitives, being hunted down both by law enforcement and bounty hunters. They are thrust into the shadowy realm of a group of covert operatives who have, perhaps for decades, been aware of a conspiracy to hide the truth about the virus and to prevent them from ever delivering a cure.