Weekly Fiction Rec Roundup 2

As mentioned last week I’m trying to read at least one short story a day, and, if I like it I’m signal boosting it on Mastodon (If I don’t like it I’m sharing a favorite story I’ve read before). Every week I’m gathering those recommendations here in a weekly roundup.

Here are the stories I shared this week:

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Weekly Fiction Rec Roundup 1

So I’ve joined Mastodon. You can find me at @JXilon@mastodon.social. I figure I basically don’t use Facebook or Google+ or any other social media outside of Twitter so I could afford one more thing to keep up with.

I’m hoping to make my mastodon feed a happy sort of place more tightly focused on creative stuff than my Twitter is. To go with that theme I’ve started posting one photo of mine there every day and sharing one story (not of mine) every day. I’m trying to read at least one short story every day, and if I like it I’m sharing it on Mastodon. If I don’t I go to the well and share a favorite story I’ve read before.

At the end of every week I’ll be posting the stories I recommended on Mastodon here in one collected post.

So here’s what I shared this week:

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A Review Is In!

Wanted to drop a quick note to share some cool news with you:

My latest story, “A Look at the Rise of Jihyun “Sardonicus” Layne From Pirate to Chancellor Through the Official Communiques of Her Predecessor” has been reviewed along with the other ten stories in the latest (and for now last) issue of The Sockdolager over at Quick Sip Reviews.

To say I’m thrilled to see that reviewer, Charles Payseur, liked the story would be a serious understatement. If you’ve read the issue, or are the sort who doesn’t mind spoilers, I strongly suggest heading over and checking out the full issue’s review. It’s a big post for a big issue, but it’s well worth your time.

Might I also suggest considering checking out Charles’ patreon and consider lending some support there? Supporting good markets is obviously incredibly important, especially in the face of losing venues such as The Sockdolager, but reviewers like Charles are also playing a really important role in the field. There’s no point to having good stories out there if no one is reading them or talking about them and reviewers help raise visibility and get the conversations started.

New Story! (It’s Been Awhile, But…)

So, it really has been awhile since this site has been updated with anything, but I’ve good news to share and it might bring some people by so I thought I’d best put *something* up!

So: I have a new story to share with you! It’s being published by The Sockdolager, it has a ridiculously long name, and while it’s a fairly short short-story it’s now the longest thing I’ve had published. I hope you’ll find it an amusing little tale and enjoy reading it as much as I did creating it. I also hope you’ll read the entire issue and consider supporting The Sockdolager, perhaps through their Patreon?

So that’s the important news. The other thing I’ve got to let you know is that despite not having used this place for far too long I haven’t forgotten about it. Indeed, I’ve been thinking about it quite a lot. Frankly speaking, I am not in a financial position to simply flush money down the toilet and while this site isn’t expensive it does cost something. Which means I need to either use it or lose it.

I don’t want to lose it.

I’m not going to go into it now, but I haven’t been doing anything with this site because I haven’t been doing anything much about anything other than just getting by in life for, well, far too long now. That’s mean almost no writing or blogging.

That is going to change, though I’m not going to make promises about when just yet. I do have ideas though and I would like to get back to “Looking for Rabbit Holes” of story and music and culture that I enjoy and want to share with all of you.

The best thing to do for now though, if you want to keep up with me and my thoughts and writing and the things I’m sharing is to follow me on Twitter. Even at my lowest energy there’s always room for a tweet so I’ve been *a lot* more active there than here.

Hope to see you there, hope to have things to show you here soon, and I hope you enjoy the story. Please spread it far and wide if you do and remember to support markets like The Sockdolager. They’re important.

120 Authors – 230 Tales – 1.1 Million Words! All Free!

Check out that title! That is what you’ll find if you go download yourself a copy of Up and Coming: Stories from the 2016 Campbell-Eligble Writers.

This mega-anthology was put together by writers SL Huang and Kurt Hunt, themselves Campbell Eligible this year, to showcase the vast range of new talent out there in the speculative fiction field. Continue reading

Submission Stats: January 2016

Time for some accountability. The first month of 2016 has come and gone and while I have no new stories completed yet I did have my mind in the writing game. I’ve revised some older stories and I’ve been submitting. Specifically:

  • I sent out 12 submissions (including a late night new year’s eve submission that I’m counting)
  • I received 6 form rejections
  • I also got 2 personal rejections (quite nice ones actually)
  • As of this post I still have 6 submissions out and awaiting responses
  • I have one finished story I’m deciding where to send next

Regarding that last point – I’m thinking I’ll be sitting on it awhile if only because there are some currently closed to submissions markets I expect to open by April/May that might be good fits and pretty much all the markets I could send it to right now would likely take even longer than that to answer back.

So that’s January’s nutshell. Bring on February.

Please Support Fireside Fiction

Hey folks. If you follow me here or on Twitter you’ve almost certainly heard me mention Fireside Fiction. I am a huge fan the market and have been supporting them since just about their very beginning. I was also lucky enough to have my flash fiction piece, “All of Our Days“, published by them last year, and as I talked about in a previous post that made them the first professional market I ever signed a contract with. So yeah, they’re special to me.

But if you are a writer or reader of short fiction (of any genre) they should be special to you too.


Two reasons: Quality & Fair Pay

The second reason there is really the key, because by dedicating his market to fair pay Brian White, editor and publisher of Fireside, ensures that he will attract and can demand the very best stories. I mean, if you’ve written an excellent story, why wouldn’t you hope to sell it to a market paying more than twice the currently recognized professional market. (Actually, I’m  fairly certain that, with the closing of Tor.com to unsolicited submissions, Fireside is now the second highest paying market available to writers of genre fiction).

The good pay, and the quality that follows from it, also means that Fireside has attracted the attention of some of the best writers out there today. Here are just some of the people whose stories have appeared under the Fireside banner:

A. Merc Rustad, Caroline M. Yaochim, Sofia Samatar, Stephen Blackmoore, Helena Bell, Malon Edwards, Andrea Phillips, Daniel José Older, Annie Neugebauer, Lisa Nohealani Morton, Megan Grey, Rebecca M. Latimer, Nino Cipri, Jennifer Mason-Black, M. Bennardo, D.B. Starler, Jonas David, Jason S. Ridler, Karina Cooper, Adam P. Knave, A.E. Decker, Jake Kerr, Delilah S. Dawson, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Ken Liu, Kat Howard, Christie Yant , Lilith Saintcrow, and Chuck Wendig

And that’s not an exhaustive list by any means. And, of course, they also publish plenty of writers at the beginning of their careers. (*waves* – like me!)

And you don’t have to take my word for it – Issues 10 – 29 of Fireside are all available to read for free over at www.firesidefiction.com. Please – go read!

While you’re there you might also want to notice the beautiful Galen Dara art that illustrates every issue. Fireside provides a quality package top to bottom.

But when you’re done checking them out please consider supporting Fireside by either signing up for their Patreon or Subscribing to the remainder of Year 4. You can read all the details about it at their website, but the fact is Fireside has bills to pay and not enough paying readers. You can’t provide one of the best per-word rates going for writers without the support of readers. Every little bit helps, after all $2 a month to the Patreon will knock $20 off the total they need to reach to support themselves for the next 10 months. If you are very financially comfortable though, by all means check out their $50/month tiers on the Patreon and help knock their subscription drive out of the park (while getting some very cool perks). Seriously though, every little bit helps.

A couple more things:

  • Everyone thinks that it’s nearly impossible to make a good, fair, fee for selling the rights to a short story. You can help prove the narrative wrong and help change the conversation by supporting Fireside.
  • Fireside has also started publishing Novels – their first, Revision, by Andrea Philips, hit a home run with critics and readers. (Deservedly so, I read it and loved it) Don’t let this small publisher die out before they can show us what other homeruns they’ve got up their sleeves.

So please – Go support a publisher who wants to support good writers telling great stories with fair pay. As readers and writers you’ll be supporting a better world for all of us.