Pinching yourself is no way to see if you are dreaming. Surgical instruments? Well, yes—but a mechanic's kit is best of all!
Copyright is a double-edged sword. On the first edge, it's amazing that after a certain amount of time, and under certain circumstances, every book, every story, every beautiful creature of the imagination that was ever created will enter the public domain, from which point they will be forever free for all to enjoy at no cost.
Dancing on the other edge of the blade, when it comes to classic SF stories from now defunct genre magazines, even when the stories are out of copyright they are often hard to find, expensive to obtain (in terms of time or money), and rarely available in a modern digital reading experience (phone, tablet, ereader, etc.)
With one exception.
One of the beautiful things about a delusion is that no matter how mad someone gets at it ... he can't do it any harm. Therefore a delusion can be a fine thing for prodding angry belligerents...
Science said it could not be, but there it was.
And whoosh—look out—here it is again!
“The Holes Around Mars” is a classic science fiction short story by Jerome Bixby.
She'd paid good money to see the inevitable ...and then had to work to make it happen! A sci-fi short story by Ray Bradbury.
He was a vendor of dreams, purveying worlds beyond imagination to others. Yet his doom was this: He could not see what he must learn of his own!
Red and Slim found the two strange little animals the morning after they heard the thunder sounds. They knew that they could never show their new pets to their parents. "Youth" is a short story by Isaac Asimov in the public domain.
I’ve got a new story out today! Originally part of a science fiction anthology, Centurion is now available as a standalone ebook (for a mere 99 cents—I’d charge less but they don’t let me.)
Here’s a little bit about the story…
New planet, new problems
Josu and his father trade up for a second chance at life by emigrating from a dead Earth to the Alpha Centauri system.
But their new role as planetary pioneers presents its own challenges.
One of which is that on this wild, waterlogged world, they always have to watch each other’s backs.
How dangerous can a little fishing trip be? Josu is about to find out.
Hope you enjoy it.
This story will also be included as part of an post-apocalyptic short story collection I’m putting together to release in December called Boys and Their Monsters. It will collect all the post-apoc stories I’ve written in the last year and a half into a single volume.
It will also mark my twelfth consecutive publication. My goal this year was to publish a new book or story every month and I’ve nearly done it. The finish line is in sight. Just in time to set bigger, badder, better goals for 2018.
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!
The next short story I’m going to publish as a solo effort is a post-apocalyptic adventure called Centurion, which first appeared in the science fiction anthology At The Helm: Volume 3.
But I like having them available as standalone ebooks, too, and since I’ve now managed to establish a brand for my post-apoc series, it’s really fun to see them all together.
So here’s the new cover for Centurion, which will be published soon. Plus all the other post-apoc stories I’ve put out this year, four of them that have covers.
I almost have enough for a low price collection.