Another year down with not much good news, other than that all-pervading interactive pandemic franchise seems to have run its course. That said, these things tend to come back bigger but rarely better, with all the subtlety of bodies on the street, foaming at the mouth. It'll probably have Timothy Olyphant in it next time. Don't say you haven't been warned. On a personal note, our 2022 was going quite well for about 29
hours until somebody smashed our car window to steal the loose change we keep
for parking. Hopefully we'll all be granted a
longer stay of execution before the bubble of New Year optimism inevitably
bursts next year.
But on the highly-irrelevant-in-the-big-scheme-of-things writing front, 2022 started well and got better. Here's the first half:
January 9th: Mystery and Horror LLC take my story, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. That, and T-Shirt Sales for 'Strangely Funny IX', which comes out in July.
Always good to get off the mark early. Barely a token payment, I did wonder about letting a fairly fresh story go when it hadn't got the usual fifty rejections under its belt - but there's a limited market for humourous sci-fi and fantasy. I sense a market getting more po-faced all the time. And I had to fight for that ellipsis in the title.
January 26th: The Digital Mortician, a reprint, is taken by JayHenge for 'Phantom Thieves & Sagacious Scoundrels'. Nice people, they've taken a number of my previously published stories for their weighty anthologies. As submissions for this one only close on 10th December, not sure when it'll be out.
January 29th: Working Late, is taken by Black Ink Fiction for 'Ctrl Alt Del' which appears in April. More back and forth over this 100-word drabble (is there another kind?) than for many a longer story.
February 8th: A story I think of as The Watcher, but retitled as Minerva Retitled to fit with the anthology's theme, will appear in 'Wayward & Upward' from Off Topic Publishing. Although it can't be found on Amazon, I am assured it's out and that a complementary contributor copy is coming from the colonies...
It appears in early May, with a somewhat weird preamble culminating in "After reading, you could very well surmise that the author and I have plenty to disagree on (and even that could be miscalculated). And yet I have no qualms about publishing his work. Why? Simple. He tells a good story."
Well... err... that's very nice. But I wonder whether Unlikely's editor is confusing character with author?
April 8th: at the 52nd time of trying, Devil Ray at the Doorway is bought, by Medusa Tales. It appears in their first issue in June. A second issue comes out later that summer, but nothing since - I hope this is just a stutter. April 10th: contrastingly, Daily Science Fiction takes Hell Is... on only its second sortie into publishing-land. It appears in October. DSF's current submission hiatus is potentially torpedoing my annual - or better - story placement, having now had four stories published this decade. I hope they open again soon. April 12th: Aurealis take Thus with a Kiss I Die, a tale of evil corporations, mind-transference, with a dash of Shakespeare. It's scheduled for March 2023.
April 15th: on a run akin to the 60's British invasion of the US pop charts, another acceptance, and this one knocking it out of the park (JK Rowling wouldn't think so, but context, people, context).
This one is Sunrunner, taken by Third Flatiron for their 'After the Goldrush' anthology, which appears in July. In fact, this could count as two acceptances, as I also cheekily simsubbed it to Parsec Ink for their Triangulation series, and they unexpectedly took the bait, so I had to withdraw. Four submissions in total, two acceptances. Maybe I'm getting better at this making-stuff-up thing that I do.
April 17th: Edinburgh's Shoreline of Infinity takes alt. history transmigration of souls tale The King of China's Mirror. Another one that's been sent out numerous times and come back without finding a home fifty times. After a rewrite to move it from first to third person and a question over why they'd sent me a contract at their old, lower rate of pay (don't want to fall back on any Scottish stereotypes, but...) it cleared the transom. No news on publication date. May 3rd: Tales from the London Soviet, a collection of five dystopian drabbles, is picked up by Shacklebound for their 'Dystopian Drabble Showcase'. Lucky really, as it was written specially for it, and I'm not sure who else would have been interested. It drops in July. June 6th: Mithila Review buy my weird fiction take on modern art and ESP, which they retitle They Who Scream America. Wikipedia say it is the only international science fiction magazine published in India, which makes me disproportionately proud - look Mum, published on four continents! Four continents in two months!!
June 13th: Shacklebound, back for more, grab My Avatar has an Avatar, a DSF reprint, for 'Mods', which hits the virtual newsstands in September. Great to see my name on the cover. Again.
No, of course it didn't win.
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2084 - The Meschera Bandwidth
2084. The world remains at war.
In the Eurasian desert, twenty-year old Adnan emerges from a coma with memories of a strictly ordered city of steel and glass, and a woman he loved.
The city is the Dome, and the woman... is Adnan's secret to keep.
Adnan learns what the Dome is, and what his role really was within it. He learns why everybody fears the Sickness more than the troopers. And he learns why he is the only one who can stop the war.
Persuaded to re-enter the Dome to implant a virus that will bring the war machine to its knees, the resistance think that Adnan is returning to free the many - but really he wants to free the one.
24 0s & a 2
Twenty-four slipstream stories. Frequently absurd, often minimifidian, occasionally heroic.