Archon 40 Schedule

I’m excited to announce my schedule at Archon, the St. Louis area’s fan-run SFF convention! This year, Archon 40 will be September 30 – October 2, 2016.

All of my panels are on Saturday, October 1. I don’t expect to be there on Friday, but I may on Sunday.

Author Readings with Benjamin C. Kinney and Lloyd Kropp

10am, Cahokian (GC).

Changing Landscape: Science Fiction Then and Now

12pm, Illini A (GC). Science fiction has rapidly evolved in the last 60 years. Discuss current science fiction and if the changes have been for the better.

Van Allen Plexio (M), Rich Horton, Lettie Prell, Benjamin C. Kinney, Sara M. Harvey.

Writing and Selling Short Stories

3pm, Marquette B (GC). Short stories behave differently than full-length novels in many ways. Come get tips for writing, editing, and selling your best short stories.

Benjamin C. Kinney (M), Ellen Datlow, Joey Froehlich, Joy Ward, Lettie Prell.1

Writing Sexuality and Gender in Science Fiction

6pm, Marquette B (GC). A conversation on the whens, whys, and hows of addressing sexuality and gender in your writing.

Cole Gibsen (M), Tex Thompson, Betsy Phillips, Sara M. Harvey, Benjamin C. Kinney.

Shiplight

My latest publication, Shiplight, is up today at the fine Metaphorosis Magazine! Alongside some absolutely gorgeous cover art by Vincent Coviello.

This was originally one of the first stories I ever wrote; the first words hit the page in June 2012, but it’s been vastly revised over the years. It’s a science fiction story set on humankind’s first extrasolar colony world, about fear and politics and the inevitability of generational divides.

I have some story notes below the cut, but they may contain spoilers, so read the story first!

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Mars Landing

So, remember a year ago when I said my wife was going to Mars?

Well, she’s on her way back. Tomorrow morning, she steps out of the dome, back to Earth; still the red-rock slopes of Mauna Loa, but with no spacesuit on, and the breeze in her face for the first time in a year.

I am excited beyond words. So far beyond words that I’ve had no brainspan to update this blog, not even after the amazing time I had at my first Worldcon. No promises that I’ll have a monthly update this week, either. I may have some downtime on Hawaii while she spends her days in debriefing, but I rather expect some internet scarcity!

If you want to read more about her mission, check out her blog or the mission webpage. I’d also love to point you toward the kickstarter for “Red Heaven,” an upcoming documentary about the mission. Both my wife and I have already worked with the creators & crew, and they’re amazing people, excited about the science and project. Consider supporting them – or just enjoy the trailer!

July 2016 Update

How was your July? Was it amazing? Mine was!

  1. My story “Sweeter than Lead” came out at PodCastle. Neo-Lovecraftian dark fantasy about addiction, succession and malevolent timelines!
  2. My story “The Time Cookie Wars” came out at Flash Fiction Online1. Black comedy about time travel and delicious cookies!
  3. I finished the first draft of the Conquistador Dragon novel: 106,000 words of Age of Exploration epic fantasy, now titled The Cannon and the Coin!
  4. I got my Worldcon panel schedule!
  5. I attended Mary Robinette Kowal‘s short story intensive workshop. Folks this class is fantastic. My favorite parts were the tools for expanding ideas into stories at turbo speed, and especially the methods for plot structuring. And in the process I wrote up the openings to two super exciting new stories.

I think that’s it? It sure feels like enough! This coming month will bring yet more of the joyful chaos. Two weeks until Worldcon! And after that, only one week until my wife returns from Mars!

Time Cookie Wars

Have you ever had one of those “Past Self, why did you mess this up for me?” moments? Of course you have. Past Self is a jerk.

Well, the time has come to get your vengeance on Past Self, because my story “The Time Cookie Wars” is now available at Flash Fiction Online! If you like the internet’s best short-short fiction, I strongly recommend a subscription to their fine magazine.

Go enjoy a quick little bite of black humor, then continue below the fold for some brief extra background and story notes. May contain spoilers.

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Sweeter than Lead

Ladies and gentlemen and everyone! Buckle up, and close your eyes, because my short story Sweeter than Lead has gone live in audio form on PodCastle, the original fantasy fiction podcast! (Text version now available also.)

Sweeter than Lead is a dark fantasy about succession, addiction, and malevolent prophecies. With worldbuilding so thick it will go back in time and drown you as a child.

Plenty of story notes on this one; worldbuilding this dense comes with extra layers, sources of inspiration, and so forth. Spoilers abound, of course, so stop right here until you’ve read or heard the story…

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Almost there!

Tonight, the Untitled Conquistador Dragon Novel passed 100,000 words.100kWords

It’s long enough to be a proper novel. A big milestone, but not quite the end. It needs another 2.25 scenes, probably 5-10k more words.

Holy crap. I’ve been working on my first novel draft since mid-March, and it’s going to be finished by the middle of next week.

Story Sale: Sweeter than Lead

I am thrilled to announce another short story sale to one of my favorite markets! “Sweeter than Lead” will be appearing late this summer in PodCastle, the original fantasy fiction podcast!

It’ll be free online in audio (and text) when it goes live, so once again you’ll all be able to enjoy the story the moment it comes out! This one is a bit different from anything I’ve published so far: it’s a neo-Lovecraftian1 dark fantasy about seers, prophecies, and what it means to foresee possible futures. If some kind of worldbuilding-per-page competition existed, this tale would reach across timelines to strangle its competitors’ authors in their beds.

Because that’s just the kind of story it is.