Posted by samuel on May 11, 2011 in site and blog updates, writing discussion, writing updates

I’ve got something like three different things to talk about today. That’s three more than usual :D

Last night i did some writing for the first time this month. Well, it was more editing actually. I received a very detailed rejection yesterday morning (an encouraging detailed rejection, not an ‘if this manuscript were paper i wouldn’t even wipe my butt with it’ rejection), and sat down with the story last night to see what could be done. Ended up adding 300 words (exactly), while rejigging and removing some stuff. I’ll let it sit for a couple days before i look at it again.

However, i’ve yet to write any fresh fiction this month. But i will have before week’s end.

You might’ve noticed i’ve taken the Responses page down. The info’s now a spreadsheet, which means i can play with the data a lot easier. Finding the average length of time a story of mine stays out is now just a few mouse-clicks away. I can sort by venue, and find out who i’ve subbed to the most. I can create graphs! If i really want to. Which i probably will.

I could’ve left the page up, and still had the spreadsheet but, in reality, having the page was mostly for my benefit, rather than containing useful information for visitors. There was also the chance an editor might decide to have a squiz at the site and see me painstakingly reporting every rejection and think, ‘what a Negative Nigel. I won’t be buying anything of his.’

Of course, i’ve only stuck the page in ‘pending review’ status, so that if i have a change of heart i can restore it. And the abbreviated stats are over there on the sidebar.

What i will do is have a monthly wrap at the end of each month, detailing response stats. I probably won’t break it down market by market, but i’ll do a touch of dissection to see if i can spot any trends. Why, yes, i am a geek! What made you ask?

I poemed a couple days ago. It feels like a proper poem and everything, not the stuff i had been writing that’s really prose with linebreaks. It was written with a competition on the Absolute Write forum in mind, but now i’m having second thoughts about sending it in. It’s strange, really. I have no trouble firing off short stories every which way, but poetry, no. Perhaps that’s because it always feels intrinsically more personal. *shrug* The contest doesn’t close for another few days, so i’ll give it some more edits and thought.

And, finally, i’m starting a new regular blog segment. It’ll be entitled ‘Recommended Reading.’

Some background: One of the W1S1ers over at AW mentioned that they’re reading a short story a day while doing the challenge. And i got to thinking, ‘what a good idea.’ See, my short story reading is typically done in sporadic bunches. I might read a few shorts over the course of an hour or two, then not read another one for days or even weeks.

So? you might ask.

Well, here’s the thing: i think routines help one improve at things. Weight training analogy coming up in 3…2…1… If you want to build and tone muscle you need to have a good training routine. No point doing some benchpresses once a fortnight, while eating burgers and cheesy fries at every meal. You need to work out about 3 times a week, coupled with a good diet, to start seeing benefits. In many respects, the diet is the most important part. Bad diet plus lots of exercise doesn’t really get you that much healthier.

To me the creative process is similar. Writing is the exercise/workout routine, but reading is the diet. Not only does reading refuel me creatively, but it also helps me increase my creative stamina. If i don’t read much, i don’t write nearly as well. And, i reason further, if i’m primarily writing short fiction, why aren’t i primarily reading short fiction?

With me so far? Eyes haven’t glazed over?

So, because i’m such a sharing individual, i figured i’d share some of my reading with you. In review form. Not every story i read. Just the one i like best that week. Ideally, it’ll go like this: read a story a day for six days, then choose the one i like best, read again and review on the seventh day.

I’m aiming for more than a ‘this is the story, it was good, go read it’ type of review. I’ll endeavor (that being the operative word) to analyse why i felt the story worked so well. Dissect even, if my little brain’s up to the task.

By doing so i hope to speed along my learning process. That’s the theory, at least. Hopefully y’all come along for the ride, too. Even if it’s only to point and laugh :D

Enough about me. How’s your week been, folks?


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Speculative Fiction News–8/05/11

Posted by samuel on May 9, 2011 in Speculative Fiction News

Hello there!

Welcome to the Speculative Fiction News bulletin for the week ending the 8/05/11.

It’s a relatively short bulletin this week, which probably means that i’ve missed some important stuff. So, as always, if you think there’s something that should be in here that isn’t, link to it in a comment.


The 2011 Audie Award Finalists.

The nominees for the Prix Imaginalis, which are the French Spec Fic Awards.

Fiction – Novel length

The Phoenix Pick free ebook for May is Code of the Lifemaker, by James P. Hogan. Go here and enter the coupon code 9992144 to download the book.

Are you looking for brand new SFF or H novels to read this month? Of course you are. SFSignal has compiled a list of 148 May US Releases. That’s quite a few!

Fiction – Short

Redstone Issue #12 is up.

New fiction at Fantasy Mag: Study, for Solo Piano, by Genevieve Valentine.

Onirismes Issue #1 is available for your reading pleasure. It contains fiction by Lavie Tidhar, Michael J. DeLuca, and Claude Mamier. Stories are available in written form or as podcasts.

New fiction at Lightspeed: The Harrowers, by Eric Gregory.

New at PodCastle: Tending the Mori Birds, by Caroline M. Yoachim.

Strange Horizon’s fiction for the week: The Thick Night, by Sunny Moraine.

New fiction up at Brain Harvest: Space Falling, by Jon Hakes.

Author Interviews

Here’s an interview with Paolo Bacigalupi from Orbit Books. It’s in two parts.

George RR Martin has posted his being interviewed by Joe Abercrombie on YouTube. Here ’tis (in two parts) via Mr. Martin’s blog.


Cast of Wonders is a new YA fantasy and science-fiction podcast. They pay a flat rate of 5 pounds per story.

PARSEC Ink’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Contest is now closed to submissions.

And that’s almost all i’ve got.

Here’s my final word this week (that sounds all talkshow host-ish, doesn’t it?): Ever thought about sending your work to an anthology that requires a fee to publish you (either direct money or a certain number of copies purchased)? Don’t. Ever. Do. It. Why not? Victoria Strauss tells you here. Remember, peeps: Money should always flow *to* the writer, not away.


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A Touch of Heresy

Posted by samuel on May 7, 2011 in announcements

Big Pulp has picked up my story ‘A Touch of Heresy’ for their March 2012 issue.

At 5,600 words, it’s the longest story i’ve sold so far, and i’m very happy that it’s now found a home.

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Posted by samuel on May 5, 2011 in writing updates

It’s May. Fifth month of the year. Already.

I’ve yet to do much of anything writerly this month. Though, that being said, i have decided the story i rushed to finish so i could count it as my second write story for the month isn’t actually finished. It needs waaaay more cowbell. I’ve got ideas on where it should go, so all i have to do now is sit down and write. Tonight, hopefully. We shall see :D

Two rejections so far this month. Strangely, i like getting Rs. Means i can send the story off the next place and enjoy the buzz that goes along with it.

Random stattage: it appears that right now 1 rejection out of every 4 i receive is personalized in some way. Which is interesting, and mostly meaningless, unless i spend time researching how many personal Rs versus form Rs those markets give out. On the other hand, if Clarkesworld give my latest story there a personal R, i won’t need any research to know that’ll mean something. This is my first submission to them this year, and we’re already over a third of the way through.

How’s your month started out?

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Speculative Fiction News 1/05/11

Posted by samuel on May 1, 2011 in Speculative Fiction News

Welcome to the Speculative Fiction News for the week ending the 1/05/11. I’ve moved the bulletin to a new timeslot (Monday my time) so i don’t keep missing stuff that happens on Sunday on the opposite side of the globe.

Let’s start with Award news, as there were a few presented over the last week.


This year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award has been won by Lauren Beukes, for her book Zoo City. More info at SF Site News.

The winners of this year’s Tin Duck Awards (thanks, Science Fiction Awards).

The winners of this year’s Ditmar Awards (again, thanks, Science Fiction Awards).

Here are some other Australian awards that were presented at the Tin Duck / Ditmar ceremony.

Here are the Parsec Award Nominees.

The Seuin Award nominees (courtesy of Science Fiction Awards). These are a Japanese spec fic awards set.

The 2011 Hugo and Campbell Award Nominees (thanks, Locus).


New fiction up at the AE Canadian Science Fiction Review: Resolution, by Adam Callaway.

Fantasy Mag fiction this week: A Hunter’s Ode to His Bait, by Carrie Vaughn.

Want to read Fantasy Mag’s May fiction before it hits the website? Then go buy their May issue. Only $2.99. Do it!

Daily Science Fiction lineup for May.

New fiction at Lightspeed: Velvet Fields, by Anne McCaffrey.

Would you like to get all the May fiction from Lightspeed before it appears on the site? Then go and buy the May issue. Only $2.99. Well worth it.

Some free China Mieville fiction over at the Guardian: Covehithe.

Following on from that: Would you like to learn more about China Mieville and his new novel Embassytown? Then click this link to find out what he had to say to Fantasy Faction.

New fiction at PodCastle: Sinners, Saints, Dragons and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters, by N.K. Jemisin.

Issue 30 of Crossed Genres is now out.


Would you like to know what’s going on inside the editor hat of Sean Wallace? Of course you do. Read his interview with Locus here.

And here’s an interview via Duotrope with Scott T. Barnes, editor of spec fic mag New Myths.


Tor.com continues to diversify. A few weeks ago they launched a romance site (Heroes and Heartbreakers). Now they’ve launched a Crime and Mystery site, called criminalelement.com. And yes, they are accepting submissions, and yes, they do pay a good rate.

A ton of markets have opened or reopened to subs. Apologies if i miss any below.

Machine of Death 2 is open for subs from May 1st to July 15th. Guidelines here. Payment is a flat $200, and the recommended story length is between 1,500 and 7,500 words.

Fantasy Mag has reopened to subs.

As has Abyss & Apex.

And Allegory.

Apex is back open.

The Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology, Chilling Tales: In words, alas, drown I, is open to subs. Remember, you can only submit here if you’re Canadian.

Crossed Genres has reopened.

So too has Fantastique Unfettered.

The Future Lovecraft Anthology has opened for subs.

Redstone Science Fiction is another that’s reopened for business.

The following have temporarily closed to subs:


The Drabbler

Shroud Magazine


And that just about does us for this week. Write hard and write well and we’ll see you next week at this time.

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Monthly Wrap

Posted by samuel on May 1, 2011 in writing discussion, writing updates

(quick note: if you’re looking for the weekly Speculative Fiction News Bulletin, that’ll be arriving tomorrow in a new time-slot)

April is finished. May has begun. How’ve i done writing-wise?

Well, with a teensy bit of creative accounting, i’ve met my W1S1 goals. 2 stories written (though the second one, finished this morning, feels like it ends abruptly, and is a little too obvious/simplistic, but at least i’ve got something to work on later), 2 stories subbed. Those two stories are titled Mandarin Alley and Born Yesterday, and are 1350 and 2500 words respectively.

I sold a story this month (woohoo!) to Bards and Sages Quarterly. Clinohumite will appear in their October issue.

But, interestingly, i got nowhere near the amount of submission responses this month as i expected. I’d predicted i’d get 11 responses this month, all rejections. But instead, i got only 5 responses, 3 of which were rejections, 1 of which was a rewrite request, and of course, the acceptance (woohoo!).

That 5 responses blows my response predictions for the year out the window. However, looking at where i have stories out currently, i’m figuring a minimum of 11 responses this month. So, i may catch back up, as 11 responses were all i had initially predicted for May. I also predicted a sale in there too, so let’s see what happens.

I love stattage.

I know i asked in my last post how April had gone for you all, so i won’t ask again. But, i will ask: what are personal writing predictions for May?


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Posted by samuel on April 27, 2011 in writing updates

April is quickly rattling to a close. How quick time flies!

I’m a bit behind this month. I’ve got one W1S1 story written–The Race–and while i haven’t yet subbed either of my two sub stories, they’re both ready to party, and will be going out within the next couple days. However, that still leaves me with one write story to, erm, write. I’ve made a couple story starts, but they’ve not tickled me fancy so been put aside. I do have one story up my sleeve–thanks to getting ahead in Feb–but i’d really like to stay ahead, if at all possible.

But, the week is still young, so who knows what it shall bring storywise?

A couple days ago i got a rewrite request for a story, which is el-neato. I’ve already done the base rewriting, but am now letting it settle for a couple days before giving a final go-over and sending back to the zine. Good times.

In other news, i’ve been flu-sick nearly all month. Flu turned into minor chest infection, which i thought was gone, but isn’t. It’s annoying, as it’s severely hampered my brain.

The reason why white pimple on tongue can appear is microtrauma received while eating. . enterprise software development services . online casino Now in real other news, i haz writerly goodies to share. As some of you lovely readers already know, i’m a moderator for the short fiction section over at Absolute Write. There are three of us looking after that area at the moment, and the other week, perhaps foolishly, i offered to help clean up the forum stickies. In particular, the market stickies were out-of-date, and needing reorganized. So, during the long weekend i compiled an up-to-date sticky, full of links to various writer’s resources and databases (remember, kiddies, while duotrope is teh awesome, it’s not the only resource available for short story writers)..

And this is what the end result looks like: Short Fiction Markets (print, electronic, audio). Please check it out. The amount of information available is awesome!

How’s April gone for you?


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Speculative Fiction News 24/04/11

Posted by samuel on April 24, 2011 in Speculative Fiction News

Line up one and all, for this week’s edition of Speculative Fiction News.

Seeing as there were some awards ceremonies this weekend, let’s start with those.


This year’s BSFA winners (thanks to SF Awards).

The Philip K. Dick award winner for this year. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you who here. Go watch the vid.

The winners of the Australian Shadows Awards.

The 2011 Jerzy Zulawski Award Nominees (once again thanks to SF Awards). This award is for Polish SF.

The Tin Duck Awards are being presented as this goes to press, so they won’t be announced here until next week’s edition of SFN.


New fiction at Fantasy Magazine: The House of Gears by Jonathan L. Howard.

And a most excellent (nonfiction) article by Genevieve Valentine: “A silver swan, which had a living grace”: A Brief, Bizarre Collection of Historical Automatons.

The TOC for the June 2011 Analog.

Podcastle: The Ghosts of New York, by Jennifer Pelland.

Lightspeed: Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son, by Tom Crosshill.

eBook editions of Weird Tales are now available!

Subterranean Summer 2011 edition now available.

The TOC for Black Gate 15, which is shipping out April 30.


After last week’s plethora of market news, this week is a bit on the slow side.

Untied Shoelaces of the Mind is releasing an anthology that will include 10-15 previously unpublished stories. Guidelines here. They’re paying 3c a word up until $30 for stories under 2,000 words.

The New Flesh, an online zine specializing in bizarro fiction, is doing a print anthology. The New Flesh, Episode 1, is open for subs. They’re paying 1c a word for fiction between 3,000 and 7,000 words. Here are some guidelines.

BULL SPEC are currently closed to all submissions, and will be so until at least the 1st May.

Flashquake (which site looks to be currently down) has closed to subs until June 1st.

And that looks to be all this week, folks. Thanks for reading.

Until next time, this is the Speculative Fiction News, signing off.


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Playing around

Posted by samuel on April 22, 2011 in site and blog updates

with the blog look again.

I’ve fiddled a bit, and almost got it where i want it. The only thing i’m not so fond of is the stark contrast between the comment box backgrounds and the main background. I’ll have a play with that a bit more tomorrow.




Posted by samuel on April 19, 2011 in announcements

…is the title of a flash piece i started subbing in February.

This morning it was bought by Bards and Sages Quarterly for their October issue. Yay!

That’s my second sale of the year, and my first Write 1 Sub 1 sale (it’s also the third story i’ve sold to B&SQ). *does a merry jig*


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