Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Welcome to Pacific City on Kickstarter

The shared-world anthology of superhero (and supervillain) stories is now live on Kickstarter. This has been a long time building. Last spring, there were a series of brief interviews with the contributors (here's mine), but then the project was put on hold while the editor moved.

But finally the campaign is live. What's really cool here is the opportunity to have your own tuckerization--name a character from the stories after yourself, someone you love (or even someone you despise...). (Within good taste, of course.) Several of those characters appear in all or most of the stories, so you get to name a character who appears throughout the anthology. And who knows, there have been some discussions of follow-up anthologies set in the same shared world, so your character may well live on in future versions of Pacific City. Some of those tuckerizations have already been claimed, so be sure to get in soon if you want one of the others!

What about my story? "Over Water, Under Surveillance" is a sort of superhero origin story, where Becklyn is initially simply a counter culture/outsider type on the edge of the city, but between body modification technology and the actions of the city's corrupt police, she begins to become something different, something more.

So check out the website (there's some fun, in-world stuff on the Welcome to Pacific city part), read the interviews that are already up, and watch for more interviews to come. And most of all, support the Kickstarter, whether you want to name a character or simply want your own copy of the anthology. Many tiers to choose from, so support the antho now.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Short story sale to Mirror Dance

I'll have some more news coming very soon about something else new, but for today a quick post that I've sold my story "Amid Stone and Sun, an Alias," to Mirror Dance. The editor of Mirror Dance is Megan Arkenberg, whose short fiction I've often enjoyed, so I'm very pleased to have a story in her zine. The story is a lyrical fantasy about escape and the magical power of names/naming. I'll share more about the story when it's published, which will be in spring, 2019.

Now diving back into writing...

Friday, August 24, 2018

Exciting Spire City news!

Not a new story, but I decided this would be a good time of the year for two things:
  1. A Sale!
  2. A new print version release
What's that now?

The Spire City books are on sale now. Whether you prefer Amazon, Smashwords, or someplace else, the prices are all slashed. (On Smashwords, Season One: Infected requires a coupon to get the sale price. That coupon should be listed publicly, but in case it isn't showing up for you, the coupon code is QE92V.)

Season One: Infected — Amazon | Smashwords
Season Two: Pursued — Amazon | Smashwords
Season Three: Unwoven — Amazon | Smashwords

Not only the full seasons, but this novelette is on sale as well (Amazon only):

"The Spire Singers" is a side story that tells of a neurotic and seemingly insignificant paper-pusher who becomes embroiled in just how strange the city is. It's always free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, and now the price has dropped for everyone else as well.

Wait, you think, isn't there another side story? Yes, the prequel novella The Patterns of Cloth and Dreams. And that's the reason for both the sale on everything else and point #2 above.

This is the story of Chels's mother, Nalariana/Nalra, a dressmaker whose striving for something more gets her involved in travels into the distant north where the old ways and strange, new technology are in an uneasy truce, a truce that may not extend to her. It has an amazing cover to go with a fun story of discovery that expands the world of Spire City significantly.

The novella itself has been available for almost a year (Amazon-only). Amazon has recently been encouraging writers to create print versions of their books through the KDP store rather than CreateSpace (even though CreateSpace is owned by Amazon as well...). I've used CreateSpace for the print versions of the full seasons and been very pleased with the quality of the books. So I didn't want to migrate those books over to the new service right now. But I decided to give it a try with this novella.

The proof copy looks great. I love to see that artwork in physical form! If you're a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, this one remains free--but you may want a print copy as well! And if you're not a subscriber but want the ebook version, that's on sale along with everything else.

So with the new school year starting, what better time to read some Spire City stories of magic, weird science, and steampunk wonder!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

On a Panel at Comic Con, Fort Collins

I've been invited to be on a panel at the Fort Collins Comic Con in two weeks, along with some other local writers. I don't even know who else will be there with me yet, but it should be a fun time. Old Firehouse Books, a local bookstore in Old Town here, is hosting our panel. So if you're from the Northern Colorado area or happen to be in the area then, be sure to stop by. My panel is on August 25th starting at 12:55 pm.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

A pair of reprints

In the first three years of the magazine Diabolical Plots, I had stories in two (years 2 and 3). Now Diabolical Plots has released collections of all those short stories from the first three years.

Diabolical Plots: The First Years includes my story "The Blood Tree War," a story about a vampiric, self-aware tree and the long battle it wages against its sibling.

Diabolical Plots: Year Three includes my story "Three Days of Unnamed Silence," a futuristic story about a high-tech society that relies on dehumanized workers whose names are taken from them. Even nameless, they rise up for an attempted revolution.

Both of these collections, which include many other wonderful stories, are available in a variety of formats, with links to the specific vendors at the Diabolical Plots website.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Children at the borders

How is this even an issue?

I wrote a big post about all the ways immigration, walls, and borders have shown up in my writing--and how it's affected me personally and many people I know or am related to/descended from. About, as well, my work with children in many different settings and from many different backgrounds and how ICE's actions will affect them as they grow up.

In the end, though, the post was too much about me. I don't want to be the focus of this post. This is about a humanitarian disaster.

Children at the border, children torn away from their families. How can we ever skip lightly past those words?

This is political. I had an editor once, giving sage advice, who would tell writers not to wade into politics for fear of alienating potential readers. Well...sure, but all art is political. I'm not going to turn my stories into policy prescriptions, but there's a moral core to any story, an underlying assumption about how the world works, and politics is a part of that. And when it comes to something like children being forcefully separated from their parents, it would undermine my moral core to stay silent.

And yet...this is an issue that shouldn't break along the usual political fault lines. I may tend leftward, but I've known people of all political backgrounds who are appalled at the actions of this administration. Too few of the president's core supporters, but a trickle of voices that could surge into something more. Stepping back from the moment, I've known people all over the political spectrum who have felt called to welcome the immigrant and the refugee, my own late, conservative grandparents high among those, who worked for immigrants first from their own homeland of the Netherlands and in later years with refugees from southeast Asia.

Somehow, self-professed evangelical Christians have fallen under Trump's cons in ways that boggle my mind, even though I grew up in similar circles. These actions against families, against children, should drive them into revolt (but then many things should have done so over the past few years). That it (most likely) won't saddens me.

But for those who see this and are appalled like I am, you are welcome, no matter your political leanings on other matters. No matter if you'd been willing to stick with Trump before. Leave the immigrant-hatred to the alt-right goon squads in their internet holes. People of faith and people of conscience from either party or none, listen to the voices of the children and don't be silent. Let's unite and insist on humane treatment. Don't be distracted by the voices trying to deflect the blame or point elsewhere. If there are policies that predate this administration, change those too!

Children at the border, crying and pleading.

I want to say that it's not who we are as Americans, but the truth is...this is who we are right now. We need to admit that, repent of it, change it. It may be who we are now, but it's not the America many of us want us to be. So let's insist on change.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Silk Betrayal is certified for Underground Reviews

I haven't used the Underground Reviews site in the past, so I'm not entirely familiar with how they work. But their focus is on smaller, independent presses and self-published books. To make sure they get books that aren't just tossed onto Amazon without the full editing, proofreading, etc. treatment they ought to have, the site goes through a certification process before approving books for potential reviewers. The Silk Betrayal is now certified for their reviewers.

That doesn't mean it has a review yet. So why am I even bothering to mention it here? Apparently you can go vote for the book, which makes it more likely a reviewer will choose it. So if you have an account at Underground Reviews or feel like creating one for yourself, then vote for The Silk Betrayal to be a featured review there soon. (How much influence does that have? I have no idea...)