Category Archives: books

Baker’s Dozen


What I Sold in 2023

2023 has been a record-setting year in the word mines. Apparently, if you regularly write lots of stories and send them out, editors will buy some. Who knew?

Sure, the ratio for rejections/sales is still *way* off. For now, let’s focus on the positive.

Flash fiction was king of the hill this year: 6 original stories and 1 reprint.

Short fiction had a very respectable showing: 4 original stories.

You want novelettes? We got 2. And one of those was featured in a three-part podcast voiced by a classically trained British theatre student.

It was also the year of extended holds – 2 of my acceptances came more than a year after the initial submission.

All told: 12 original stories and 1 reprint. A baker’s dozen of spec fic.

Genres were certainly up for grabs. I sold stories involving the military, time travelers, assassins, wizards, mechanics, lost civilizations, ghosts, demonic possession, found family, and a happiness virus.

The last two sales this year are pending final paperwork. Nearly everything else is available online. Links here.

In order of acceptance:

“The USS Copernicus Sixth (Semi-Annual) Contraband Run”
“The Linen Closet Nexus”
“The Antidote for Longing” (print and podcast)
“Ruby Throat and Gold”
“For Better or Worse”
“Krishna’s Gift”
“Come the Waters High (Podcast)
“The Danger of Frequent Flyer Miles”*
“The Poltergeist of Fastini Crater” (podcast)
“Come the Waters High” (Reprint)
“Last Cold Beer for 50 Miles”**

*forthcoming 2024
**Appears 12/13/2023 in Haven Spec

Getting around to it

Sadly, I am never going to catch up on book (or short fiction!) releases, and therefore resign myself to read things when I can get around to them. Having acknowledged that truth, here are the intentions:

Intention #1 – Read things I want to read, not what I should read.

Intention #2 – Post reviews and boost authors, especially folks I know and folks who could use the support.

Intention #3 – Find a way to retire so I have (fewer) excuses not to write.

Piece of cake.

Galley ho!

I received my galley proofs this week for The Science Fiction Tarot: Luminous Symbols of All the Tomorrows to Come, which features my story about aliens with strange eating habits, “The Schedenfreuders.” This will be my fourth appearance (!) in a Kickstarter project associated with TDotSpec and the lovely folks at the Toronto Science Fiction Fantasy Writing Group. (Previously, my short fiction appeared in Strange Economics, Strange Wars, and Strange Religion.)

Who are Schadenfreuders? Why, just your average Little Green Men who relish the experience of human suffering like a hipster relishes kombucha and cold brew coffee. And they’re willing to pay a fair price for it. Well, a reasonable price. Talk to their lawyer.

Here’s a sneak peak. I think it’s the one who calls himself Pol Pot. Or it might be Eva PerĂ³n. It’s hard to tell with aliens.

Available for pre-order now, and generally out in the world on April 30. Get some fun fiction for your eyeballs!

Clearing the shelves again

When I added a smaller IKEA bookcase next to my writing/editing chair, I dedicated it to Mt. To Be Read: books I’ve purchased, picked up at cons, and received from well-meaning friends. [Note: you can stop giving me things to read. Seriously. A written recommendation is just fine.]

When I wanted to add some non-fiction history books I acquired from my father, I couldn’t find any space, so I turned to the “main” bookcase to see where I might put them. That was a challenge. The Billy bookcases, which fill one wall of my bedroom, are also nearly full, although it’s not all books. There is one shelf of DVDs, another for toys, and one for photos and toys.

So I thought it was time to cull. The problem is that most of the books have some personal meaning, or I wanted to re-read them (ha!), or loan them to people (hard to manage these days). There are also signed editions, novels from my instructors, friends, and college textbooks. Old friends.

But, really, do I need them? Of course not. And with all the truly great fiction being published every month, would I really want to go back and re-read some of this stuff from high school? Or loan a book with problematic characters (e.g., racist or sexist) just because it was a favorite? Again, probably not.

Perhaps it’s my father’s recent passing but I found I was able to fill up several grocery bags with books. I noticed a fair number of White Male Authors in the pile, and lots of Hard SF. It certainly entertained me on summer break from college, yet it pales next to the work I’m seeing today.

Even the novels of SFWA Grandmasters can age poorly. Into the bags you go.

In the end, I cleared enough space for the new books, and was able to reorganize the remainder so it’s easier to find stuff.

Don’t ask me about the Kindle.