Metaphorosis Kickstarter

Help support an awesome new SFF magazine thrive and grow! In its first year, Metaphorosis has published a host of beautifully-written stories by awesome folks such as Karl Dandenell, Kelly Sandoval, Mari Ness,and over 40 others (myself included). Every story goes out onto the internet for free, but Kickstarter funds will let them do fun things like add podcast narration and pay higher rates for their authors.

And if you donate at the $75 level,  you might get a story critique from me!

October 2016 Update

Brief post this month, because I’m in the middle of a 2-week academic conference travel loop.

  • Attended the Viable Paradise 20th reunion, and gave a neuroscience talk on how to understand the brain. For the countless among you who missed it, fear not: I’m working on adapting my talk into a nonfiction article for various publications!
  • Finished up a new short story, “The Hammer’s Prayer.” It’s in the second-draft stage, will need some more thought & revision before it’ll be ready for launch.
  • Sold my first reprint, of a short story that didn’t get spread far on its first sale!
  • Continuing apace with second-draft revisions of the novel. May not hit my December 1 self-imposed deadline, but I won’t be too far behind it.
    • Thus, instead of doing NaNoWriMo, I’m doing NaNoFiReMo. (That’s “Finish Revising.” Or “fire,” as needed.) But no promises since I have multiple end-of-November deadlines.
  • Current short story status: 11 submissions circulating, 3 of them shortlisted.

Reprint Sale: The Wind & The Spark

I’m pleased to announce that my first published short story, “The Wind and the Spark,” will appear as a reprint in Digital Science Fiction! This is one of my older stories, but I’m thrilled to re-release it: it’s currently only available in a paid issue of a magazine that went defunct before it published me, so not a lot of people have read it. Stay tuned for a publication date.

September 2016 Update

September was busy! September continues to be busy! (What do you mean it’s not September anymore?) Monthly update all quicky-like:

  1. My short story Shiplight came out at Metaphorosis!
  2. The text version of Sweeter than Lead (previously audio-only) went up on Podcastle!
  3. First draft of new short story! So far, pretty terrible!
  4. Novel revision status: behind schedule, but progressing! I’ve solved all the big structural problems, now I just need to implement it all.
  5. I attended a Social & Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology conference. Super-amazing!
  6. Spent today at Archon! Had my first public reading, and I was on a bunch of fun panels. Got to play the expert for a little while, and meet a bunch of excellent people.

October will include 3 weeks of travel (2 for work, 1 to visit family). Hopefully I can get a lot of revisions done meanwhile!

Social & Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

I spent last weekend at the Social & Cultural Issues in Astrobiology 2016 conference at Clemson University, South Carolina. A small academic conference (~30 people) discussing nonscientific issues surrounding astrobiology and space exploration, and an absolutely amazing chance to spend two days thinking through the future among some of the world’s foremost thinkers and researchers on the topic.

If you poke around the website, you can find abstracts on all 26 talks: two one-hour keynotes and 24 half-hour talks on everything from ethics to gene theory. Starting on the 3rd talk1, I livetweeted my notes and comments. For an overview of some of the top concerns and opinions around space travel, take a look through the Storifies below!

Session 1: Philosophy of Science

Session 2: Philosophy of Biology

Session 3: Connections and Patterns

Session 4: The Importance of Perspective

Day 2 Keynote

Session 5: Education & Outreach

Session 6: Concepts of Life

Session 7: Applied Ethics

Session 8: Ethical Theory

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!

Continue reading

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!