Writing

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 5)

Why You Never “Sell” a Story: Understanding rights and licensing (conclusion) Welcome back. This is the fifth in my weekly series of posts on how to market and sell short fiction. You can check out my earlier posts here. Last week, I began an overview of one of the most important topics in this series: […]

A Kepler’s Dozen

NASA’s Kepler mission has been watching a swath of the Milky Way watching for the signs of stars being eclipsed by planets in orbit around them.  This takes patience and favorable geometry, but Kepler has already been successful in finding dozens of confirmed planets and is producing lists of thousands of additional candidates.  You can […]

E-Zines vs. Dead Tree Zines: the more things change…

I have been producing fanzines off and on since 1976, shortly after encountering science fiction fandom and this particular aspect of that hobby interest. As anybody who has ever pubbed (that is fanspeak for “published”) an ish (“issue”), the life-blood of fanzines is the letter of comment (here’s another fanspeak term: loc, or LoC, depending […]

Am I A Science Fiction Writer?

Now that’s an interesting question. We’ve just launched my first novel, Shh! It’s a Secret: a novel about Aliens, Hollywood, and the Bartender’s Guide, at Arisia. It got written up in both Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal in their coverage of new science fiction releases. While I make no claim that it is “hard SF” […]

A Novel Dilemma

How do you get published when the rules and the markets are constantly shifting? Book stores are closing, mega-publishers are adopting their smaller cousins as in-house imprints, and the internet has made the leap from fad to indispensable. I can hardly keep up. A friend told me recently that he’s too busy with blogs, Facebook […]

Fiction and the Happy Brain

STORY HORDER As a child, I was a story horder. I couldn’t get enough of them. I was very fortunate to have parents who read to me, and looking back, they were saints in this regard. I was voracious.I always wanted more, and I wanted my favorites again and again. The original story of The […]

Many paths

Publishing Options – Many Choices Now Viable

Many fans of fantasy & science fiction have dreams of joining the ranks among their favorite authors someday. But as little as five years ago the publishing landscape was much different than it is today. Savvy would-be authors need to keep abreast of the changes in the industry to decide which path is best for […]

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 4)

Why You Never “Sell” a Story: Understanding rights and licensing Welcome back. This is the fourth in my weekly series of posts on how to market and sell short fiction. You can check out my earlier posts here. This week I’ll be dealing with one of the most important topics in the series: understanding the […]

The Speed of Science

Science deals with a lot of high speed phenomena, like the speed of sound and the speed of light, which can make the topic seem fast and exciting.  We also see science news on tv and the internet, and there always seems like there’s a nifty new gadget to buy.  The truth is that science […]

Nothing New Under the Sun

How does an editor manage to still be moved by a story when she has to sift through ever-growing stacks of unsolicited manuscripts, looking for a nugget of something new? I mean, how many ways can you write a romance? Or a murder mystery, a space opera or zombie invasion? Sure, there are tried and […]

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 3)

Why Short Fiction?: The benefits of the short game to a writing career Welcome back. This is the third in my weekly series of posts on how to market and sell short fiction. This week, I discuss the benefits of short fiction to a writing career. Personally, I love short stories, both to read and […]

Scientists and Stereotypes

Older male (check), glasses (check), white lab coat (check).  A scientist!  Even without the funny hat or breaker full of red liquid, everyone recognizes the stereotype. Stereotypes can be based on a nugget of truth and can be useful in situations when there isn’t much time to figure out what’s happening, but they can also […]

Five Signs You Should Self Publish

With all the changes going on in publishing these days, new writers are often left wondering if they should just publish their work themselves. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, the following five situations will help you know whether or not you should self publish. When you have the rights to your backlist. Ironically, probably the […]

It’s Getting Crowded In Here

Who decides what makes a good book? How does an editor know what readers will want? A writer’s friends and family might thrill at every new story but it still has to impress an agent, editor, publisher, reviewer and reader before it’s considered successful. Popular genres can fluctuate and morph, so that by the time […]

Satan’s Imagination Stations

I was 8 years old, and I had gotten my greedy little hands on a copy of The Hobbit. I read it by nightlight early in the morning before my family awoke. The Lord of the Rings followed shortly after, and I even wrote my grade five book report on the plot structure of the […]