Friday, August 31, 2018
It's been a while since I've updated my adoring public on ongoing projects, and things are going to get fairly busy soon.
This summer brought a major milestone in my writing apprenticeship as my short story "The Lady of Pain" was awarded third place in the Baen Fantasy Adventure Awards. The contest is one of the most substantial out there for non-professionals, and involved hundreds of entrants; previous winners include some of the more eminent emerging authors in speculative fiction, such as KD Julicher and Laurie Tom. This meant a 500-mile road trip east on I-70 to Indianapolis and a stay in one of America's sketchier Motel 6s, but also the opportunity to attend GenCon for the first time and an awards dinner seated at the same table as Larry Correia, Mercedes Lackey, and other authors and publishing professionals whose work has given me a great deal of pleasure over the years. I'm grateful to Baen for the recognition and the opportunity. Combine this with last year's finalist status for the James White Award, and the evidence seems to be mounting that I'm progressing in my craft.
As for the story in question, The Lady of Pain--which is a sort of pulp-action investigation of the tropes of the fantasy healer archetype--is still on the market. At 7500 words, it's a little long for most markets, but I have a couple of specific targets in mind.
Numerous other projects have been purchased for publication, including:
The Rule of Three. Written in the aftermath of Terry Pratchett's death as a tribute piece, this comic story of small-business alchemy will appear in Strange Economics, an anthology that's set to drop in the next couple of weeks.
Magic Beans. A dark and nasty fractured fairy tale in which flatulent pixies battle an amoral bioscientist for control of a potentially world-changing crop. A print-only October release from Outposts of Beyond.
Invincible. Thirteen year-old Pythia's encounter with a god--or, at any rate, with something godlike--locks her into a unique destiny, and puts her on a collision course with history's greatest conqueror. Coming free to the web in November courtesy of Allegory.
Screaming Timmy Must Die. He just MUST, is all. To be epublished in January by old favorite Broadswords and Blasters.
Appropriate. A flash piece in which a high school gets serious about the problem of cultural appropriation. A free audio release, probably sometime in the next few months, from The Centropic Oracle.
Wipeout. A story of persuasion, set in the world of high school policy debate. This one is very personal for me; I feel it's the best story I've ever written. Coming in late 2018/early 2019 as a free web release from Strange Constellations.
And we also have a couple of reprints coming to market sometime in the next year, including my comic story of language policing The Princess and the P in Bards and Sages Quarterly (print sales only). There's also a couple of adaptations of my work for high school speech competitors, including both The Commander and Revolution (a different take on post-mortal Benedict Arnold; I can't seem to let go of the concept) from Mushroom Cloud Press.
And, as always, there's more stories on the market, including Prodigal, a sci-fi biblical retelling set among the space Amish; Cravings, a story of Rawlsian dystopia and BBQ; and the soccer-centric The Redemption of Declan Kavanagh.
The side-hustle goes ever on and on. Glad to have you all along for the ride.
EDIT: No podcast of The Commander, evidently, as the market to which I sold it elected to go on hiatus eight months ago and never bothered to inform the writers with whom it had contracts. Editors: I shouldn't need to tell you this, but pulling a stunt of this sort provides an absolute guarantee that the writer in question will never submit work to you again.