Archive for March, 2014

My new novelette, “Rights and Wrongs,” has gone live at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. Write and let me know what you think!


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My latest sci-fi blockbuster is set to premiere when I’m at a convention. What luck, eh? On the other hand, it’s a mystery convention. But I’m okay with that. And so you’re wondering: “He’s going to talk up his latest SF story at a mystery con. Is he loopy, or what?” Well, yes, I am, but there’s also a method to my loopiness (in this case).

First, my story, “Rights and Wrongs,” set to appear in the next issue of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, is as much a crime drama as science fiction. Very quickly, it explores just how far civil rights extend in a criminal trial context. And there’s some xenophobia, and a murder, and there was a semi-apocalypse about fifteen years earlier. Something for everybody.

But second, mystery fandom is–how can I say this–less entrenched than SF fandom. SF fandom carries around the baggage of paranoia (with some justification). It has been oppressed for so long that it’s become self-protective, and thus insular. (I am speaking in very broad strokes here.) Although SF fandom prides itself on openness, it can ironically be difficult to become a part of. And at the risk of offending my peers, it’s not just limited to the fans.

Mystery cons are different. The first mystery con I ever attended (having virtually no background in mystery fiction) I met more writers than I had in 30 years of SF cons (and I was not yet a published writer myself). Mystery cons are friendlier to newbies. Maybe it’s the average age difference, maybe it’s because they’re smaller…this has been my experience. Your mileage may vary.

I still go to SF cons, and will continue to do so. If I write a space opera or a fantasy trilogy, I’ll bang those drums at Worldcon, not Bouchercon. But in this case, happenstance has put my story’s publication and me at a mystery convention at the right time. And if that’s where I have to start my publicity tour, then I’m okay with that. Maybe I’ll even persuade somebody to switch from Sam Spade to Sam Gamgee.

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I am happy to announce that my very first professionally-published story, “Where There’s a Will,” the story that will rip the cover off the entire Shakespeare authorship question, will be appearing on the Toasted Cake podcast. Toasted Cake won the 2012 Parsec Award for Best New Podcast. This is, appropriately, my first reprint sale and my first podcast. “Where There’s a Will” originally appeared in Speculon magazine in 2002.

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