Thursday, 18 January 2018

Unknown unknowns


I was recently reading an interview with the legendary sage Eric Cantona where he was asked what his favourite emoji is.

Favourite emoji?  Is that a thing?  Am I meant to have a favourite letter of the alphabet?*  Never having tweeted or Facebooked I had no idea that I was meant to build up an emotional connection with these twenty-first century morphemes for idiots.  What next: what's my favourite spoon?

In other, less ranty, news, Third Flatiron have taken my flash story 'New Shoes' for their Spring 2018 Monstrosities anthology ("such a good idea it could have been longer"); and Terraform one called "A Second Opinion" ("wonderful").  Half way through January and I'm two thirds of the way to my annual target of three stories sold.  Which is nice.  Pro rates too, even if together they add up to a mere 1500 words or so.

* Clearly "@"

Friday, 5 January 2018

End of term report

Last year I moved the recording of my story submissions onto the Submissions Grinder, so it's dead easy to tell you that in 2017 I:

  • made 214 submissions of
  • around 45 short stories and flash fiction,
  • including seven new stories,
  • to around 85 publishers and publications, garnering
  • five acceptances, and
  • 173 rejections.
And it doesn't take Professor Hawking to conclude that 37 pieces are still out there, elbowing their way up the slush piles.  Hopefully.

The five acceptances:

On the subject of stories yet to appear, the second outing for Litterpicking on the Moon in Indie Authors Press' Chronos Chronicles is now due in the next month or two.  Hope nobody's been holding their breath.

So that's a first 'best of', a first podcast sale, a second reprint sale, and repeat business with Daily Science Fiction.  Two sales at professional SFWA rates, albeit for flash fiction.  2017 also saw the first time I've decided that it would be better for me to decline an offer to publish.  A pretty good year - my standing target of three sales met - but I'm as determined as ever to write something that'll make it to the hallowed ground of Clarkesworld, F&SF or Asimov's.  This year, this year... 

Otherwise, I had the tantalising possibility of dressing like a penguin in the heat of Los Angeles dangled before me before being snatched away, as a losing finalist in Ron L Hubbard's Writers of the Future competition.  I also scored an honourable mention later in the year.  (And, yes, I have carefully read the entry criteria, and I'm still amateur enough to qualify).

Of course, the real victory was the publication of my first novel, 2084 by Double Dragon Publishing.  This was sold in 2016; I had hoped to follow it up with a second novel sale, and the drafting of a third novel, but neither happened in 2017, even though my YA sci-fi adventure remains 'selected out of the slush pile for closer examination' by a major and well-respected SF publisher.

And, naturally, I'm still awaiting that kill fee from Carrie Cuinn at Lakeside Circus.  'Nuff said.