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Here is the new cover for the final volume of The Stolen Future, The Cosmic City.

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This blurb makes it sound pretty exciting…

In the conclusion to The Stolen Future trilogy, Keryl Clee finds himself at the center of a crisis which could mean the destruction not only on Earth, but of Time itself.

Hostages of a time-traveling madman who is creating an army from the past to conquer the world of the future, before Clee and Lady Maire can defeat him they must come to grips with the shocking truth behind the 300-year-old Nuum invasion of Earth.

Beset by new and powerful enemies, betrayed by the Council of Nobles itself, Keryl Clee has one last chance to unite the peoples of Earth–Nuum and Thoran, human and non-human alike–because even he is powerless against those who are coming from beyond the stars to reach…The Cosmic City.

I recommend reading it, because if Time is destroyed, it could be a real downer for your plans for the weekend.

#SFWApro

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So excited that the second volume of The Stolen Future, The Secret City, is available for Kindle from Amazon from Digital Fiction Publishing!

Here is the blurb from the publisher:

In this sequel to The Invisible City, after twenty years alone, Charles “Keryl” Clee once again finds himself hurtling through a time portal to an uncertain future.

Stranded in an unforgiving desert populated by unseen predators, Clee must find a place for himself in a world that wants him only dead. But his greatest fear is that he may not have returned to the world he left behind, that he may have traveled to an earlier or later era than that he knows, and that his love, the Lady Maire, may be long dead or centuries unborn.

Finding human treachery even more hazardous than beasts, accused of a crime he did not commit, still hunted for his attempt to free humanity from slavery decades before, Clee must find his own way as a ghost in a world where all are known, and ordered, and categorized.

Discovering that everything he worked for has been lost, and that his love has formed a new alliance with his greatest enemy, he has no choice but to fight–and just when it seems he has achieved victory, he and all he holds dear are plunged into the depths of horror as a new race arises from the nightmares of the distant past to wreak its revenge. If Clee cannot stop them, they will destroy every remnant of human civilization.

For lovers of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard, The Secret City, the second volume of The Stolen Future trilogy, is a return to fantastic adventures in alien lands.

And remember, if it lives up to the hype (which it does…), please leave a review or a rating on your favorite site.

#SFWApro

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When you’re in the groove, and the writing is going well, you want to write more. You may not want to write more of anything vitally important, but you still want to write. So you think of a subject to fill four hundred words and you write a blog post. This particular four hundred words is in the form of the newsletter that I’ll probably never start.

What? you say. The writing is going well? What’s up with that? Okay, that will do.

I just finished the second draft of a short story which has been on-and-off for the past few months. I had a first draft, but I knew it had a big hole in the middle even as I finished, so I put the whole thing aside for a few weeks. (I write slowly, so things tend to incubate for a while.) Finally pieces started falling into place and I returned to it, whereupon more pieces fell into place, and now I think it’s about ready for someone to see. (Not you, my reader, you deserve better than a second draft.) I am quite pleased with the alterations I made and expect great things to result.

Speaking of “great things,” The Invisible City has been out from Digital Fiction Publishing for almost a week, and is moving along quite nicely, thank you. I fully expect that, when The Secret City and The Cosmic City come out, fame, fortune, and a Hollywood premiere will quickly follow. Invisible currently available for the debut price of $0.99 (but that won’t last). Think about it: 120,000 words of swashbuckling science fiction adventure for less than a buck. You could buy the whole trilogy for the price of a venti frappuccino. (If you do buy a copy, please consider leaving a review or a rating. It’s crazy helpful.)

But if shorter works are your bag, do not despair. I have an SF story about the importance of family, “Relative Fortune,” coming out in the November Galaxy’s Edge, and a fantasy adventure, “When Gods Fall in Fire,” in the upcoming issue of Cirsova.

And of course, my gorilla-centric unnamed novel is poking along. I still hope to finish it by the end of the year.

So that’s my life in a nutshell, with the emphasis on “nutty.” And it’s almost four hundred words…

#SFWApro

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Now that I’m about to be published by a small press, it’s got me thinking more about the small press world. Specifically, how small presses are perceived in SF as opposed to the other realm about which I know something, mystery writing. I’ve heard from SF writers that small presses do not carry the cachet of major publishers; I’m not talking about money, which is an obvious discrepancy, but the idea that going with a small press in science fiction is seen as less prestigious, whereas in mysteries…not so much. Small press mysteries have much more chance of receiving awards, for example, than have small press SF or fantasy novels.*

Why is this? Why are mystery readers seem more accepting of non-traditionally published novels? I don’t know; I suspect the answer lies far in the past, but not having been part of the mystery scene all that long, I can’t say. (I’ll have to ask; maybe I can give you an answer in a future post.) But that’s not the only discrepancy between the two (publishing-wise), and perhaps the advantages don’t tilt all the way in favor of mysteries. Because you see, where mystery writers may have more opportunities when it comes to novels, SFF writers are far ahead when it comes to short fiction.

I did a little research, and it was surprisingly easy to learn a few facts: There are approximately 192 publishers on the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) site whose novel contracts qualify one for professional membership. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) web site lists about 53.** (Each of these allows more than the markets specifically listed, because of imprints, etc.)

On the other hand, where SFWA has 54 qualifying short story markets, MWA lists only 22. Now, I happen to know that there are dozens more SF short story markets whose acceptances do not count toward qualifying for SFWA, and there are probably equivalent mystery magazines, but I don’t doubt the former easily outnumber the latter.

Again, why is this? Are there more SFF readers than mystery readers? Is it too hard to write short mysteries? Or is it just that there are so many more novel markets out there that fewer bother to write short mystery fiction? Does that make it easier to break into science fiction?

Beats me. It’s a mystery. And maybe trying to raise the reputation of small press books is a fantasy. But I hope in the future it’s possible, because if it’s possible in the future, it becomes science fiction.

And that’s what I write.

 

*Yes, there are and have been exceptions. But they are just that, exceptions.

**I am a member of SFWA. I used to be a (non-professional) member of MWA, but their meetings were too far away.

#SWFApro

 

 

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To celebrate the end of summer (wait, does anyone ever celebrate the end of summer?), I’ve put all of my Stolen Future and Nemesis books on sale at $.99 each. That means The Invisible City, The Secret City, and The Cosmic City, as well as The Choking Rain, The Scent of Death, and The Killing Scar. Each one $.99! That’s three books for the price of one!

Whether you’re looking for classic science fiction adventure or two-fisted pulp action from the 1930s, this is your chance to pick up some great reading at a really great price! I mean, would you rather read this or that Shakespeare guy your English teacher assigned?

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Hello. I’ve been off-page for the past couple of weeks due to circumstances beyond my control, but they appear to have been resolved and now I’m back. Time will tell if this is a good thing. Moving on…

I’ve started a new novel. Not the new novel I was starting the last time I said I was starting a new novel, this is a new new novel. On the other hand, it’s going back to an old idea. So it’s kind of a hybrid, a new novel with old characters. In TV terms, it’s a spin-off.

I’m returning to the world of the Stolen Future trilogy, but this book takes place between the first and second volumes of that series, and the lead character there, Keryl Clee, doesn’t appear at all. (If you’ve read The Invisible City, you know why; otherwise, I don’t believe in spoilers.) This book is about Keryl’s best friend, Timash, who happens to be a gorilla, and therein lies the “new experiment” part of this endeavor.

You see, I’ve never written a book before with a non-human viewpoint character. Timash  is a gorilla from a time when at least some apes have been gifted with human-level intelligence, but he’s still a gorilla, and they’re not common. In fact, most are hidden. So people treat him differently. Those differences haven’t been explored much in the prior books because it wasn’t Timash’s story, but this is.

How is he going to be treated? How will he react to it? Am I going to be able to write a non-human hero who comes across as a non-human? I have no idea the answers to any of these questions. To be honest, I’m only starting to think about them. I do know that Timash has an arc; one of the advantages of working within a prescribed framework established by previous books is that I know where the character is headed.

It’s always a challenge to try to create something new, while preserving enough continuity that you carry your audience with you. And I doubt it will be easy.

But it should be fun, and that’s what counts!

#SFWApro

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When you’re just a sidekick, useful for making your boss look good and not much else, is it fair that suddenly you’re supposed to save the world?

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