Happy March! And a very happy March it is. I don’t usually get to announce good news again so quickly, but my story “Mother of Waters” is out in the March 2013 issue of Crossed Genres Magazine. Here’s a taste:
She shaped the mud into a tiny manikin, a baby-doll with stubby little legs and arms and a large head. She knelt in the streambed with the dolly in the palm of her hand and pressed her thumb to its forehead and said, “You are Shasa. You are precious water. You are life in the desert. I mark you with the name of God.” Then she swallowed the mud baby.
Eighteen weeks later, she gave birth to me.
Crossed Genres Magazine is kind of fascinating. I already knew their name from some very interesting-sounding anthology calls when they ran a Kickstarter to re-launch their magazine as a monthly release paying SFWA professional rates. But there’s a twist: each issue has a theme. March’s theme is myth.
You can read “Mother of Waters” and the rest of the magazine on the web for free. Each issue is also released in e-book format, and every six months they collect six issues’ worth of stories into an anthology that’s available in both electronic and dead tree formats. So if you like my story or or the magazine or both, consider a donating or subscribing so they can continue as a professionally-paying market after this Kickstarter-funded year is done. They offer two subscription options, one strictly electronic format, the other for both paper anthologies in addition to the monthly e-book issues. It’s kind of a fascinating model and one of the best editing experiences I’ve had with regards to short stories. I’d really love to see them continue it.
“So how do you screw up your karma so badly that you come back as a goldfish?”
“Quick Karma” is now available in FISH
Read “Quick Karma,” by April L’Orange, now available in Dagan Books anthology
FISH, ed. Carrie Cuinn, is now broadly available as an e-book from major online booksellers. If you buy it directly from the publisher, you get a nice clean DRM-free version. You can also get it through Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com if you prefer. The dead tree version should be available soon–I’ll let you know!
In case you’re not familiar with him, Jim C. Hines is a terrific writer of fantasy and an incredibly thoughtful blogger on a variety of issues. A couple days ago, someone drew my attention to a post he titled “SFWA Presidential Election Thoughts” by stating that if you’re a member of SFWA (I’m not, but hope someday to be), you should read this.
I’d go a little farther. If you care about the future of SF/F in the US at all, read the post. It looks like it’s on the long side, but it reads very fast. The supplemental links…read slower. But as someone who requires articles and opinions to be reasonably well-sourced before I trust them, I appreciated having them there.
In a nutshell, Beale may just be a troll. But in a world where there is a men’s rights movement that legitimately believes women are the evil enemy plotting to take everything from morally right and well-deserving [usually white] men and incidentally causing the downfall of Western civilization in the process…he may not.
The most legitimate of his first five platform points is splitting the Nebulas into two categories, with separate awards for science fiction and fantasy. Speculative fiction has been a lot broader than that for some time now, which tells me he’s out of touch at the minimum. Combined with his assertions (which may be tongue-in-cheek, but I really don’t get that vibe) that women either don’t or shouldn’t write science fiction, I find just the fact that he’s seriously running concerning, let alone what he might be able to accomplish if he actually won the position.
You may not personally vote for the SFWA president, but SFWA does have an impact on how SF/F writing and publication are accomplished in the US, and leadership does matter.
So does public opinion. Forewarned is for armed, and I no longer take for granted that absurdity cannot be elected and determine policy in US and state politics. I really don’t trust that SFWA is somehow better than that. *wrygrin*
I’ve been waiting excitedly for this one, both because I have a story, “Quick Karma,” in it and because I want to read it. FISH is now available direct from Dagan Books. It will be available through third-party resellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble soon, both electronically and in print. I’ll update you when that wider release rolls around.
The publisher describes FISH as “a genre-bending anthology of delightfully fishy tales,” and so far I agree. The very first story sucked me in, which is almost never the case with me and anthologies for some reason. I consider it a positive sign.
Want to win a copy? The publisher is doing a giveaway at Goodreads. The contest is open through February 15.
More good news: I’ve had another sale! I’m never sure how much I really ought to talk about them before the publication actually happens, but it looks like this one will be published within the next couple of months, both on the web and as an EPUB. The story may also become available some months after that in print format, anthologized with other stories from the same online magazine.
“All I want is an education. And I’m afraid of no one.” – Malala Yousafzai
Take a Stand for the Girl Who Stood up: Nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize.
This is how you do it. And these are the potential consequences. Go read about an incredibly determined fifteen-year-old girl agitating for education in Taliban-controlled Pakistan. And if you’re moved to do so, sign the petition.
I wrote Sesame Street as near-future dystopian fiction. I’m sure there’s a special level of hell for this.
In a way, this parody is all Mitt Romney’s fault. He’s the one who started the Big Bird meme. But it’s my brain that came up with it and wouldn’t give me any rest until I wrote it all down.
Please note, this is not a story intended for kids–it might scar them for life. It’s twisted, dark humor and quite grim in places. But if that’s your type of humor, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Can You Tell Me How to Get There?
Please feel free to pimp the link, save copies as an ePub or PDF, etc. Might as well share the brain-breakage. *g*
I know I’ve been quiet–sorry about that. A romance release and some editing work have been conspiring against my schedule lately.
Some fellow writers over on Twitter were bemoaning the fact that, pre-publication and especially with an e-book, it’s hard to know how long your book is in terms of page count. Which is always seemed fairly irrelevant to me, as word count is a much more reliable number, but it’s been pointed out to me that page count is the thing potential readers often want to know. So I decided to see what I could find out.
It’s impossible to have an exact conversion between word count and page count, of course, because page count varies based on writing style, form factor, and formatting, but I did find some comparative counts that can be used as a general guideline. Approximations for mass-market paperbacks:
80,000 words = 250 pages
100,000 words = 290 pages
130,000 words = 350 pages
Pages in e-books tend to be a little longer, so page counts tend to be a little shorter at the same number of words:
35,000 words = 90 pages
50,000 words = 150 pages
100,000 words = 250 pages
120,000 words = 300 pages
Trade paperbacks are the real doozy, because there are several different standard sizes and publishers have been known to…creatively adjust margins, font size, and pitch to make a book they feel is “too short” look longer. Looking at a random sampling, in general, the word count stew not appear to be too far off the counts from e-books. Hardbacks may accommodate a few more words per page, but we’re talking a difference of about twenty-five pages between a 130,000 word e-book and hardcover, so it’s probably not worth worrying about if you’re just providing a general word count to a reader before the book has reached final formatting.