Eldritch Embraces and other news

Eldritch EmbracesI’ve been so busy with my day job, I haven’t had time to tell you that Eldritch Embraces is out! If you missed the crowdfunding campaign, now is your chance to get a collection of Lovecraftian romance that features a story by yours truly. I promise there are no tentacles in my story. Check out that awesome cover!

In other news, I’m proud to announce that Tade Thompson’s story from Steampunk World is available for your listening pleasure on the prestigious Escape Pod podcast. Please give it a listen and tell the author how much you loved it.

Speaking of anthologies, here’s your reminder that you have less than two months remaining to get me a story for Steampunk Universe. The revised Call for Submissions is here. If you’d like to know why the Call was revised, you can read about that on my publisher’s blog, here.

Now that the school year is drawing to a close, things are calming down at the day job and I have some fun blog posts planned. So stay tuned for Hopefully More Content! LOL.

Happy reading and writing! 🙂

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The Smoking Nun

I’m super thrilled to announce I have a story available for you to read, no purchase required! It’s been a while since I had one of those available. It’s called “The Smoking Nun,” and I had a hard time selling it (probably because of the second person POV?) so I’m very grateful to the amazing Jennifer Brozek for giving it a home at EGM Shorts.

In other news, if you want to read another story of mine, you can back this IndieGoGo Campaign for Eldritch Embraces, an anthology of Lovecraftian romance. I had a little too much fun writing my story, “When The Stars Are Right,” my first gay romance that also features Nyarlathotep. The project also benefits a really worthy charity, so please throw a little money at it if you like animal rescues or romance or the unspeakable horror of the void.

Thanks, as always, for your support!

Familiar Spirits and other news

Familiar SpiritsMy latest story, “The Cold Earth,” is appearing in the ghost anthology Familiar Spirits, edited by my good friend (and Sidekicks! contributor) Donald J. Bingle. The anthology is currently on Kickstarter, so if you like spooky stories, please back the project, so the contributors can get paid! Just check out the gorgeous cover!

In other news, the humble bundle featuring Steampunk World has only about 24 hours remaining, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to get about $190 worth of books and comics for $15 and support worthy charities in the process.

Thanks for your support! Time for me to go back into the salt mines…#amwriting

Humble Bundle Madness

In case you haven’t heard yet, Steampunk World is part of a Humble Bundle going on for six more days! All the books featured were funded via Kickstarter, and Steampunk World is in some very illustrious company. For less than the price of the anthology alone ($10.04 as of this posting) you can receive over $190 worth of digital books and comics, and help out the charities Electronic Frontier Foundation and First Book. I’ve purchased Humble Book Bundles in the past and found the system very easy to use. Your purchases are saved forever in your personal Humble Bundle library, so you never have to worry about a server crash or alien invasion destroying your bundle!

I recommend buying the bundle right away. Don’t wait, because the average has already increased two dollars since the bundle was first posted! If you pledge more than the average now, then you get everything, even if the average increases later. Thanks for supporting Steampunk World and these great charities!

Special Call for Submissions: Steampunk Universe

Much like the award-winning anthology Steampunk World, Steampunk Universe will be a multicultural anthology of steampunk stories. But this time, the anthology will focus on characters who do not identify as abled or neurotypical.1

This call for submissions is aimed particularly at marginalized writers, especially those who are identify as members of a minority, LGBTQ, and particularly those themselves who do not identify as abled or neurotypical.

Stories are due by June 1, 2016 to steampunkuniverseantho@gmail.com. Ideally, decisions will be made by July 1, and the anthology will be crowdfunded shortly thereafter. Writers will be paid $.06/word for original stories. I’m not looking for reprints at this time. Deadline extensions will not be granted. Your story should be submitted in Standard Manuscript Format (please check and double-check that your name and email address are on the first page!) as an email attachment in .doc, .docx or .rtf format. The subject of your message should read [Submission: Story Title by Author Name]. If your submission doesn’t conform to these specifications it may be deleted unread.

What I’m looking for:

  • Your story should take place in a non-White and preferably non-Anglophone culture.
  • Your story should contain and have as a focus a character with at least one disability. It should be a major element of the story. I want to explore how steampunk technology changes the lives of people who are aneurotypical or disabled, for better or for worse. I’d love to see characters who are also members of other marginalized groups (such as LGBTQ characters).
  • Your story should contain steampunk elements. I get a lot of submissions with steampunk exoskeletons and dirigibles, but not many with spaceships or submarines. I’d really like authors to stretch themselves and instead of just writing alternate history, set the story in a parallel universe or on another planet. Read Tobias Buckell’s excellent story “Love Comes to Abyssal City” for an example.
  • I have already committed to stories taking place in North America, England, and China. While we may commit to more stories featuring other cultures in those regions, we strongly encourage you to explore stories that take place in the diverse cultures of Central/South America, Asia, and Africa.2

I’m unlikely to buy stories that:

  • Feature a disability as a superpower, such as the trope of the autistic super-detective.
  • Feature characters with prosthetic limbs, steam-powered hearts, or who are blind (I already have stories featuring these elements)
  • Involve the protagonist bravely sacrificing himself/herself at the end of the story so the characters without disabilities can survive (seriously, this is becoming a cliché)
  • Are longer than 5,000 words (bonus points if you can keep it under 4,000)
  • Contain graphic sex or violence, rape, women in refrigerators, etc. If the content of your story means you wouldn’t be comfortable reading it to your eleven-year-old, don’t submit it to me.
  • Have only magical elements and no technological ones. I love a good gaslamp fantasy, but this is not the market for it. I want gadgets and goggles!

The fastest way to get responses to questions is on Twitter. Questions may be directed to @steampunkpanda or @AlliterationInk. The best way to tell what kind of story I am likely to buy is to read Steampunk World.


1 So what happened to the original term here? Long story short, we were attempting to use a positive and inclusive term. We failed in that effort. After a lengthy discussion, the wording above was settled upon as a far better one that is inclusive, not demeaning, and respectful of the community.
2 This wording has been changed to emphasize that we are looking to maximize diversity from all regions and peoples in the limited space we have, not minimize or erase any group.

– Steven Saus, publisher

Milestones!

Writing is a pursuit full of setbacks and disappointments, which is why it’s extra super important to celebrate those rare successes, especially those that are first-time events. I’m not sure where the road to writerly success is leading me, but here are some milestones along the path I’ve recently passed. They tell me that I’m going in the right direction, even if I’m not quite there yet:

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My story “Sa fè lontan / Long Time, No See” was in the coveted first spot in the anthology That Hoodoo, Voodoo, That You Do edited by Lincoln Crisler. The anthology was actually released (with a gooorgeous cover, OMG) in January, but I was so busy that month I didn’t have a chance to say anything about it. I get paid royalties for that story, so if you buy a copy of the anthology a few pennies actually go straight into my pocket, which is pretty neat.

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I sold my first reprint a few months ago to Whispers from the Abyss Vol. 2, edited by Kat Rocha, which should be released soon. The story is “Shadows of the Darkest Jade,” the first story I ever sold, to Historical Lovecraft, way back in the day. “Shadows” is arguably the story that started all this, so it’s particularly poetic that it’s my first reprint sale. The antho also has a spectacular cover! I’m thrilled to be included in what looks like a really great horror anthology. I can’t wait to see the Table of Contents!

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I’ve saved the biggest, best news for last! Steampunk World took home the 2015 Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice Award for Best Fiction a couple of weeks ago. I’m so proud of the team of authors, publisher, cover artist, and editor (that would be me, haha) who earned the popular vote. My thanks go out to all the people who voted, because I never expected to win the award for my first nomination. There’s nothing quite like the endorsement of your chosen community to encourage you to do another volume! I’m so over the moon about this, words can’t really express it. So I’ll link you to this video of Kermit flailing so you can get an idea of what I was like after I’d heard.

I’m also working on a novel that I hope to finish soon, so I’ll finally have that to add to my list of milestones. It’s important to remember one’s accomplishments, because there are long dry spells in writing where one feels like every email is a rejection and every review is negative. So, dear reader, what are some milestones you’ve achieved recently? Tell me about them so we can celebrate!

Not Our Kind is here!

Super excited to say that Not Our Kind: Tales of (Not) Belonging became available this week! If you backed the Kickstarter, thank you! If you didn’t, now’s your chance to get a copy. As usual, the best place to purchase the book is direct from the publisher’s website, but you can also get it in the other usual places. If you read it, please leave us a review. Reviews help writers and editors feed our egos families.

Not Our kind

Steampunk Shapeshifter Stories are here!

The Beast Within 4: Gears and Growls is a collection of  steampunk werecreature stories (edited by the fantastic Jennifer Brozek) that features a story by yours truly, “Wings of Feather, Wings of Brass.” Here is the interior artwork for my story (drawn by the incredible Jenna Fowler) and the awesome cover:

Wings of Feather, Wings of Brass by Jenna Fowler

 

The Beast Within 4: Gears and Growls

Here’s the Table of Contents! I’m super excited to share a TOC with authors from both Steampunk World and Sidekicks!:

The Ussuri Bear by Ken Liu

Indentured by Jay Wilburn

A Cage Gilded by Matthew Marovich

Wings of Feather, Wings of Brass by Sarah Hans

The Wild Charge They Made by Steven Saus

A Taste of the Other Side by Chadwick Ginther

Peculiar Institution by Caren Gussoff

The Clockwork Caesar by Alan Smale

The Business of Ferrets by Patrick S. Tomlinson

Dark Energy by Donald J. Bingle

The Captain’s Wife by Tyler Hayes

Red in Winter by Lillian Cohen-Moore

Legacy by A.G. Carpenter

The Man at the End of the Chain by Folly Blaine

Their Man by Mark W. Coulter

A Well-Crafted Man by Nick Bergeron

Quarantine Station by Thoraiya Dyer

Simultaneous Kickstarters

Being a writer means long periods of inactivity between frantic flurries of movement. Thanks to having months to write in between teaching gigs, I’m now in a flurry period (yay). Which means two of my short stories are in two anthologies that are both on Kickstarter simultaneously. Let me tell you about them!

Book Cover

The first is The Bard’s Tale, a collection of stories and recipes edited by Daniel “Doc” Myers of Medieval Cookery fame. That’s right, this anthology is half short story collection and half cookbook! So if you like reading and cooking (or reading and eating!) then this is the anthology for you. My story “Voice of the Revolution” is a post-apocalyptic science fiction tale about an android bard, a description I hope you find enticing. The cover of the book is also gorgeous and the stories will each feature an illustration artist David Szilagyi, so I’m super excited to see it in print (I’m really loving the trend toward illustrating anthologies that crowdfunding has made possible). This Kickstarter campaign wraps up in only 8 days, so back it now while you still can!

The second anthology is Not Our Kind: Tales of (Not) Belonging edited by Nayad Monroe. You may remember Nayad as a contributor to both my anthologies, Sidekicks! and Steampunk WorldI was also a contributor to Nayad’s last anthology, What Fates Impose, a really well-received collection of stories about divination. I point this out so you’ll understand that we have a history of stellar collaboration. My story for Not Our Kind is called “FawnGirl14” and it’s about a girl who doesn’t belong because she has (NSFW) antlers. Why does she have antlers? Dark, urban fantasy reasons that are revealed in the story! The anthology is a Kickstarter Staff Pick and includes stories by big names like Ekaterina Sedia, Lucy A. Snyder, Remy Nakamura, and Damien Angelica Walters. As of this posting the campaign has 27 days left to go, and both my critiques are still available as rewards if you’d like to have up to 5,000 words critiqued by me, personally!

I really believe in both these projects, and both offer me actual money for my writing, so if you can back one or both I’d appreciate it. And if you’ve still got some money burning a hole in your pocket that you’d like to throw at another Kickstarter, please consider the campaign for Frame Shop, a novella written by Sidekicks! contributor Donald J. Bingle. Happy backing!