All Dave Miller wanted to do was commit suicide in peace. He tried, but the things that happened after he'd pulled the trigger were all wrong. Like everyone standing around like statues. No St. Peter, no pearly gate, no pitchforks or halos. He might just as well have saved the bullet!
Read the sci-fi short story "Sentiment, Inc." by Poul Anderson. A classic science fiction story about psychologists with too much power. With text provided by Project Gutenberg.
Read the sci-fi short story "Omnilingual" by famed sci-fi author H. Beam Piper. A classic science fiction story, with text provided by Project Gutenberg.
Long have I been inspired by the music of sci-fi films. Ever wondered who wrote those haunting melodies? Or where they draw their inspiration from? Today's blog is a guest post from science fiction and fantasy author Chris Turner on the most famous music composers in science fiction.
Tomorrow, the third book in the Translocator Trilogy, The Ares Initiative, comes out, so I thought I'd give those of you who are excited about the upcoming release a chance to get started early with some snippets from the book.
I posted Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 already. Here's Chapter 3...
This Friday, the third book in the Translocator Trilogy, The Ares Initiative, comes out, so I thought I'd give those of you who are excited about the upcoming release a chance to get started early with some snippets from the book.
I'll post a chapter a day until Friday.
I posted Chapter 1 yesterday. Here's Chapter 2...
Hey there! This Friday, the third book in the Translocator Trilogy, The Ares Initiative, comes out, so I thought I'd give those of you who are excited about the upcoming release a chance to get started early with some snippets from the book.
I'll post a chapter a day until Friday.
Here's chapter 1...
I’m a science fiction writer first, so I’ve been contemplating the best way to get more SF stories onto this blog.
I always post snippets from my upcoming novels, of course, but I don’t produce full length books fast enough to keep those snippets running for long. (The next book in my Translocator series won’t be out until early next year, for example, and that’s good for about 3 snippets, or 3 days worth of blogs.) I have occasionally posted short stories on the blog, but they have historically been few and far between.
If I add a weekly column like I’ve been contemplating, something like “Flash Fiction Friday,” where I publish short short stories (likely less than 500 words) once a week, that would be fantastic…but it would also add more to my workload. That time has to come from somewhere else.
So the trick to getting this right is going to be about timing and effort, and finding a balance between the two.
So here’s a couple things I’ve got to sort out, and what I’ve been noodling on while I consider the best way to make this shift without losing ground on the daily blogging streak (which has been super fun and gratifying!)
- Have a plan. Right now I have problems, not plans, but I’ll get there. Whatever the plan is, it needs to be sustainable.
- Gather the prompts/ideas ahead of time. Either come up with some process that generates infinite combinations of SF writing prompts, or buy books of sci-fi writing prompts, or just make and keep a massive list. Most likely it will be “all of the above.” Having the prompts takes the hard decision making out of the writing—simply open the prompts, pick one that sounds neat, and you’re off!
- Build up a backlog. So that I can plan ahead for holidays/times when I’m just busy.
- Start short. Start with flash fiction and short short stories. 50 word stories. 100 words. 250 words. No more than 500 words, TOPS. One day, I’ll have a back catalogue larger than you can believe, and I’ll be able to run full short stories (5-8k words) once a week on the blog…but that’s years away.
- Think long term. I plan on reusing the stories of course, bundling them together into books when I have enough to publish. So I am already thinking about themes and genres and certain series characters that would fit together in a book. Being able to publish stories later in books/collections, makes me feel like the time I spend on stories for the blog is not wasted, but is contributing to another product that helps grow my author business. That’s important to me, too, because one day I plan on making a living writing fiction.
So that’s it, basically. Publishing more short fiction here is something I want to do, but it’s always presented a challenge of time and effort. For the past few years, the vast majority of my fiction-writing time has been dedicated to creating publishable stories and books. For the foreseeable future, the vast majority of my fiction-writing time STILL NEEDS to be dedicated to publishable stories and books.
But if I can eek out a little more from my time and regularly publish flash fiction here, especially stuff that can eventually be wrapped up into SF flash fiction collections, that will be good for me and good for finding new readers.
So it looks like the next step is gathering a ton of writing prompts, and coming up with a process to nail down SF flash fiction ideas quickly.
More soon, I hope!
Yesterday I finished my part of the sci-fi mystery cowriting novel.
The title is undecided (different than what you see here) and I can’t share much of the concept yet, but we reached 50k and the book is currently being revised by my industrious co-author.
All told I’ve probably written 30k manuscript words and 5k plotting/planning words so far on this novel. Feels awesome. And goes to show that steady work, even slow, adds up over time.
I had planned to be done this by August 1st, so I’m running a little bit behind on my original schedule. The schedule says I’ve got 4 post-apoc stories to write in August, so be on the lookout for those. I’ve also got some anthology stories to publish individually, Centurion and Low Desert, High Mountain, Big Lizard. I’ve already got covers for them. Will share those when the stories are publishing.
The Prometheus Project by Steve White (Science fiction, 2005)
I loved the cover, so I bought it. More proof that good covers sell books. Never heard of Steve White before, just exploring sci-fi based on artwork and concepts that appeal to me.
The Prometheus Project opens with a scene where the newly elected president meets the sitting president to discuss the transfer of power. There’s a lot of smoldering enmity. After the banter, the sitting president says, there’s something you need to know…we’ve already made contact. Aliens exist. And now you must safeguard this secret.
I couldn’t help but laugh. I read this right after Trump’s uncanny inauguration, so of course it was top of mind for me — but the roles are reversed here. The democrat in this book is the newly elected president, the opposite of the most recent US election, but the roles could easily have been reversed. It gave me some perspective. Two parties are like two sides of the same coin in American politics. I couldn’t help but imagine Obama telling Trump about the aliens.
Just picture the look on his face.
Anyway, from there, the story hops back to 1963. Private security agent Bob Devaney was escorting a mysterious woman named Novak to the White House when they were ambushed by gunmen. When Novak uses an invisibility cloak to make an impossible escape, she gets ready to terminate Devaney for knowing too much—until her boss orders her to bring him into the fold instead.
Devaney is then recruited for The Prometheus Project—the white-labeled men in black. What follows is a rollicking adventure woven into a star-traversing journey. The man is valuable for his action hero abilities (so he thinks), but he’s there on the request of the mysterious and infrequently seen Mr. Inconnu.
You can tell this book was inspired by mid-century sci-fi classics, but it’s written in a modern voice I found compelling. A familiar story, but the character relationships kept it interesting and new for me. I always love to see authors invent new societies and cultures, and then put confused humans there to see how they’ll cope. My kind of fiction.
The Prometheus Project is worth the read if you like aliens and action in your sci-fi. What happens to the President-Elect at the end will make you laugh.