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two Hugos, a Nebula, a Lotus, and in 1978, the John W. Campbell [now renamed Astounding] Award for Best New Writer) are outdated and useless.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.
Promotional image from Zombie Pirate Publishing
With so much going on in my life just now, I said I wouldn’t try to do this, but the theme is so compelling. I mean, I can probably write between 12,500-15,000 words in a week (starting tomorrow), but would it be any good?
Saturn. My favorite planet (outside of Earth) in the solar system just behind Mars (and I’ve written enough about Mars lately). I’ve even got a concept in mind. Am I crazy?
Promotional image from Terror Tract Press
Yesterday, I published a bit of a tease, but have since been given permission to make a more complete announcement.
My short story “The Babel Project” has been accepted into the Terror Tract horror anthology “7 Deadly Sins”. Not including the Sweetycat Press contest winner and the Reedsy publication, that’s nine stories accepted into anthologies and periodicals so far for 2020.
You may recall that my short story From Deep Within the Skin has been published by the same press in the anthology Infestation.
Both horror stories are presented in a science fiction context, but where the former included both homegrown and alien creepy crawlies, this one, like so many other stories these days, focuses on a global pandemic threatening to wipe out all human life.
That’s all I have to say for now…
…oh, except for the opening quote:
Image taken from the short story’s reedsy page.
No, it doesn’t mean I won the contest, but at least I’m a contender. The prompt is:
Two people who thought they were the last people left on Earth end up meeting by chance.
As of this writing, there are 64 entries, so my chances of winning aren’t all that great. Still, I guess I’ve got a shot.
Here’s how it begins: