Tag Archives: sci-fi

Magazine: Nonlocal #2

Nonlocal issue #2 I help the other castaways push the raft into the ocean.  It’s a big raft that took us an entire week to build — we used the wood from the signaling tower that I’d pulled down the week before, waving too enthusiastically to a passing cruise liner. The others gasp, scream, and […]

Magazine: On Spec #102

On Spec #102 I don’t normally work for cartels, but my magazine quest is getting expensive, and this cartel doesn’t pay in worthless dollars — it pays in cold, hard maple syrup.  One of the cartel bosses lays out the problem he wants me to take care of, but I don’t speak French, so I just […]

Magazine: Space and Time, issue 125

Space and Time Magazine, issue 125 A steward shows me onto the cruise ship’s bridge and introduces me to the Captain, who reaches out to shake my hand.  “You’re that science journalist I’ve been hearing so much about.” “Science-fiction book-blogger, actually.  I’ve heard your ship’s library has a copy of Space and Time Magazine that I’d […]

Coming soon to a PDC near you

In early January, many bloggers posted their plans for the coming year.  I’m just getting around to it now – that should tell you what kind of a year I’ve been having. Here’s a list of things I hope to do in 2017.  I’ll place a poll below, so you can tell me which ones actually […]

Vote for the best stories of 2016

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
We’re expanding the voting pool for the awards this year, so read this entire post to find out if YOU are eligible to vote. But first, here are the 2016 stories nominated by book bloggers across the internet: Short Stories / Novellas “Athan and the Priestess” by Schuyler Hernstrom, found in…

Award Thoughts – Indie Reading

I’ve already posted my award thoughts concerning short stories, and the better novels I read last year. At the start of 2017, I made an effort to read some self-published books (and a couple of traditionally-published I hadn’t gotten to) to see if they might be worth nominating for best SFF book of the year.  (I […]

Award Thoughts – Novel

I’m having trouble picking my favorite novel of 2016, just like I’m having trouble picking a short story.  I don’t have as many novels to choose from, so I’ve expanded my candidates to include books that aren’t the first in a series. Joel Shepherd’s Drysine Legacy was in the lead, until I realized that although the […]

Award Thoughts – Short Story

I haven’t made my choice for best short story yet, so I thought I’d share my top contenders with you. I read around 40 issues of SFF magazines in 2016, as well as several anthologies and a couple dozen stories off the web. I haven’t reviewed issue 125 of Space and Time Magazine yet, but I […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 1

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 1 I picked up volume 2, volume 3, volume 4, and volume 5 during a sale, so I decided to complete the series by going back for volume 1. There are three stories in this volume that fit with the rest of the series:  they are by well-known authors, and were mostly published in the […]

Review: Intergalactic Empires

Isaac Asimov’s Intergalactic Empires I’ve recently posted several articles about using a galactic empire as a story setting, and now it’s time to go old-school.  Back in the old days, a galactic empire didn’t cut it, a real man’s empire had to be INTERgalactic. Short Stories Chalice of Death by Robert Silverberg (1957) Humanity once […]

Setting: Galactic Empire, part 4

In part 1, I described the enormous scale of a galactic empire.  In part 2, I discussed the impact of FTL technology on the empire’s economy.  In part 3, I wrote about the purpose of the empire, and ways it could be managed. Now, I ask:  how does our empire maintain military and political control?  […]

Setting: Galactic Empire, part 3

In part 1, I described the enormous scale of a galactic empire.  In part 2, I discussed the economic impact of FTL technology on its economy.  Now I ask:  what is the point of our galactic empire? Why do some of the characters in the story support it and defend it? The empire’s purpose may […]

Setting: Galactic Empire, part 2

In part 1, I wrote about the enormous scale of a galactic empire.  If we’re going to turn that empire into a decent setting for a story, we’ll need to understand its economics. The first thing we need to know is what type of FTL (Faster Than Light) technology it has. Without FTL, the planets […]

Setting: Galactic Empire, part 1

A while ago, I decided I wanted to read some science fiction about a galaxy-spanning empire. I briefly browsed Amazon’s kindle offerings under “galactic empire”, but all I found was military sci-fi where the galaxy-spanning nature of the empire wasn’t a major element in the story. Thinking back to classic sci-fi, I’m only coming up […]

Submit Your 2016 Nominations

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
Happy New Year — it’s time to nominate your favorite science fiction and fantasy writing for the 2016 Planetary Awards. We’re doing only two categories this year: Shorter story (under 40,000 words/160 paperback pages) Longer story (novels) If you’re a book blogger, book podcaster, or booktuber, the nomination process is…

Review: The Second Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II CS Boyack‘s second experimental notebook is the perfect book to read just before Halloween. It has vampires, a haunted house, murderers, grave robbers — What? I missed the Halloween deadline? OK, I can work around that. Let’s try something else: CS Boyack’s second experimental notebook is the […]

Magazine: Plasma Frequency Q1 2016

Plasma Frequency My buddy Jack says he can get me a copy of Plasma Frequency Magazine. Well, he says he knows “a guy who knows a guy.” I’m at his house, helping him set up for a coworker’s surprise 70th birthday/retirement party. We lift an over-sized paper cake from the back of his truck, and […]

Movie: The Possible

The Possible Last weekend, I posted a blistering review of Uncanny Magazine. I used the phrases “nonsense, bordering on gibberish” and “scatterbrained babbling”, and that was just on the first story. So, I thought I’d write something positive tonight. This movie popped into my head for no apparent reason. Although it involves time travel, it […]

Magazine: Grimdark #8

Grimdark Magazine #8 When I was a child, I passed my neighbor’s house every day while walking home from school. He would often be sitting on his front porch, tying his shoes, and would wave or say hello to me. I remember one day that was different from all the others: “Hi, Billy. I hope […]

Magazine: Phase 2, Issue 3

Phase 2 Magazine I open my front door in response to the ringing doorbell. A man in a suit holds up a badge. “I’m Detective-Sergeant Joe Friday. I’d like to ask you a few questions about Phase 2 Magazine.” “Great, because I have this really elaborate story about how I-” “Just the facts, sir.” — […]

Magazine: Shoreline of Infinity #4

Shoreline of Infinity #4 I perform a final check of my shark cage and SCUBA gear as our boat bobs up and down on a Scottish lake. The constable lies on the deck, drooling. I probably shouldn’t have darted him with enough tranquilizer to calm an angry plesiosaur, but he wouldn’t shut up about needing […]

I am the 40%

My short story received its second rejection this week. This rejection was from Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine. My previous rejection was from a magazine with a 96% rejection rate, and I turned around and submitted to a magazine with a rejection rate of over 99%. You might be thinking “doesn’t this guy learn from […]

Something for writers, something for readers

First, some news: I received a rejection letter for my first short story submission. I was originally going to give this post the pessimistic title of “Rejection #1”, because I’m a ‘glass is 96% empty’ kind of guy, not ‘glass is 4% full’. (According to The Grinder, 96% of stories are rejected at Analog magazine, […]

Magazine: Red Sun #1

Red Sun Magazine, Issue 1 I’d have known Old Man Brady was on his deathbed even if his nurse hadn’t told me. He raises a skeletal hand and motions me closer, then removes his oxygen mask to speak. “Thank you for coming. I’m sorry my wife couldn’t be here.” I don’t have the heart to […]

Interview: S. C. Flynn

I’m crossing the campus of Kakadu University to deliver my latest thesis draft to my advisor. He insisted on the topic of my doctoral research: I allow myself to be bitten or stung by Australia’s venomous creatures, and rate the pain from one to ten. Ants and wasps, centipedes and scorpions, snakes and spiders, jellyfish […]

Review: Children of the Different

Children of the Different     Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) Fellow blogger SC Flynn gave me a copy of the audiobook version of his first self-published novel, Children of the Different. I enjoyed listening to an Australian-authored audiobook with an Australian narrator — most Aussie audiobooks I’ve run across are read […]

PDC on Facebook

I’ve bitten the bullet and created a Facebook page for Planetary Defense Command. Facebook considers PDC an “artist, band, or public figure”. I’m certain I’m not a band, and I’ve never considered myself an artist, so I guess that makes me a public figure — and I didn’t even have to put on a tie! […]

Today is the day

Originally posted on Entertaining Stories:
Well, it’s one of the days. My newest book The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II is now available for purchase on Amazon. It’s a pre-sale, and the books will deliver on August 31st. That is the other day. I wanted to do a short pre-sale, but Lisa my…

Last Week

I was on vacation in Maine last week. I logged in here, posted a pre-written article, and responded to a few comments, but otherwise stayed away from email and blogs. I’ll write up a full travelogue of my trip this weekend or next week, including a few photos. The alien rover has already broadcast one […]

The Olympians

I’ve read a lot of short stories. There are some I’ve completely forgotten, and others that I’d recall only if I started to read them again. There’s a smaller group I might remember if I heard the title or something about the plot. There are very few stories that I read years ago, but still […]

Magazine: Fantasy Scroll #9

Fantasy Scroll Magazine This can’t be the place. I’m looking across a dirty, crowded train station at a magazine stand. My sources tell me this is where I should look for my next magazine, but I’m thinking about looking for new sources instead. I decide not to approach right away, in case it’s a trap. I walk to […]

Books Made of Paper

In the future… My granddaughter hops onto my lap, and once again I say a silent prayer of thanks for the medical technology which let me live long enough to know her. I pick up a paperback book from the table beside my chair. “Would you like to see something from back when Grandpa was […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 5

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 5 I didn’t enjoy this volume as much as Volume 3 or Volume 4. The Wall by Howard Graham (1934) — A scientist puts a super-special lacquer on a square of material, causing a 200 mile long force field to bisect Manhattan. He and another scientist spend the rest of the […]

The Other Magazine Quest

If you’ve been following this blog lately, you know about my original magazine quest. I’m reading at least one issue from 24 (up from the original 12) different science-fiction magazines, and picking which one(s) I’ll subscribe to. I’ve only posted 14 magazine reviews so far, but I promise I’ll write up the others over the […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 4

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 4 This collection is at least as good as volume 3, probably even better. WARNING: SPOILER DRAGONS AHEAD WE CAN SPOIL SEVENTY-YEAR-OLD STORIES The Dwindling Sphere by Willard Hawkins (1940) — A scientist develops a process which converts matter to other elements, with a 95% loss in mass. (The extra mass […]

Magazine: Nebula Rift V4N1

Nebula Rift I’m not writing a silly intro story for this review, because I want to talk about the magazine’s business model. (OK, enough booing, settle down.) Most science fiction magazines pay a per-word rate to their authors. For “pro” magazines, this is six cents or more per word. For “semi-pro” magazines, it is typically one […]

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 3

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 3 I enjoyed this collection far more than Volume 2, even though both collections are from roughly the same time period, and each has a story about insects and a story about the Sun. WARNING: SPOILER DRAGONS AHEAD WE CAN EVEN SPOIL SEVENTY-YEAR-OLD STORIES N Day by Philip Latham (1946) — […]

Cirsova #2 at Kickstarter

Cirsova’s second issue now has a page at kickstarter. If you haven’t heard of Cirsova, you can read my interview with the magazine’s founder, or my review of Cirsova #1.

Review: Classic Science Fiction, Volume 2

Classic Science Fiction, Volume 2 I picked up several of these Classic Science Fiction collections at Audible when they were on sale. Since I’m very busy this month, I thought it would be a good time for some short listens and short reviews.  Each of the collections I purchased consists of three short stories: Proof […]

Magazine: Cirsova #1

Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine Issue #1 My magazine quest has gotten expensive, so I’m driving an 18-wheeler to make some money. I speak into my voice recorder.  “Trucker’s log. Date: 6-6, midnight. Weather conditions: clear, but no moonlight. Cargo: timber products. Many rigs headed same direction.” The chimpanzee in the passenger’s seat […]

Girl Trouble

It’s been two weeks since my last post, but some time in the next 7 days, I hope to resume my magazine quest, this time with a review of Cirsova (I’ll include a silly intro story as usual). If you missed it earlier this year, it’s time for you to check out my interview with […]

Review: The Awakening

The Awakening One dung Beetle (1 out of 4 rating) Abducted humans wake up aboard an alien spaceship. The aliens have been collecting apex predators from various planets, but for some reason the predators are waking up and running loose on the ship. Plus, an automated defense system is trying to kill all life on […]

Planetary Awards and Dragon Awards

The winners have been announced in the 2015 Planetary Awards. The winner for best short story was “Something in the Water” by C. S. Boyack. I wrote a little about the story when I nominated it, and I also reviewed the collection which contains the story. I ‘ve read the winner for best novel, Torchship, […]

99 cents: Wild Concept

Followers of this blog should be familiar with C. S. Boyack. I’ve interviewed him, reviewed his experimental notebook, and posted an excerpt from his latest novel, The Playground. For just a couple of days, his first novel, Wild Concept, is on sale for 99 cents at Amazon. I’ve picked up a copy — get one […]

Magazine: Aurealis #87

Aurealis #87 The guards drag me up the stairs and shove me onto the stage. The audience jeers at me, but most of the insults are colloquialisms that I don’t understand. I do understand that the entire population of an Australian writers’ commune showed up to deal with me, and that I don’t have a […]

Free David Drake

David Drake isn’t in prison (as far as I know) – I’m referring to free David Drake ebooks at Amazon. I don’t know if these are permanently free or short-term promotions, so grab them now if you want them. Several of the books are also available as audiobooks at audible; once you have the ebook […]

Video: Talking Chicken

Some of you may doubt my commitment to fighting the talking chicken menace. These videos, taken by bystanders during my fights with a talking chicken, should change your mind: This one has several sci-fi twists: There are about half a dozen of these things on youtube if you search something like ‘family guy chicken fight’. […]

Magazine: Sci Phi Journal Nov 2015

Sci Phi Journal #8 The orderly hands me a paper cup holding a pill — the pill that will make me forget about Talking Chicken. It’s one of those long, capsule-style horse pills. The doctors didn’t take the time to read my medical history; I have a narrow esophagus. I rotate the pill with my […]

Hot Off the Press: Honest Fibs, a Collection of SSF Short Stories

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:
Here is the promised update on the progress of Honest Fibs, my third collection of short stories, written in my trademark combination of speculative and science fiction: it’s alive! Sorry, I mean, it’s live. And you can buy it for the preorder price of $0.99 on Amazon until next week,…

Questions from MarzAat

MarzAat recently nominated me for a Liebster award. If you’re not familiar with Liebster: basically you answer ten questions, then forward ten questions to ten bloggers who impress you. I’m not going to forward the questions on, as some bloggers have grown tired of awards. Reference this graphic from Entertaining Stories: However, if you would […]

Review: Heirs of Empire

Heirs of Empire I found Heirs of Empire when I was searching for a novel to nominate for The Planetary Awards. The book has a reasonably interesting plot: a military coup knocks out most of a ruling dynasty, the youngest members of the dynasty escape, and the dynasty’s allies lay a foundation for its return […]

Meet Clovis

Clovis is a character from C. S. Boyack‘s new novel, The Playground. (If I’m not mistaken, Clovis is on the short-list to receive a Nobel Peace Prize this year.) Here is an excerpt from The Playground which introduces him: The tweaker rushed around the corner behind the bushes, tried to slam the gate shut, and […]

Cover Reveal: The Playground

Freqent PDC visitor C. S. Boyack will release “The Playground” soon (pre-orders now being taken at Amazon). I’ve previously interviewed him on this blog, and also reviewed his short story collection, The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. Watch for the book’s release by following Boyack’s author page on Amazon, on Goodreads, or, if you […]

Free: Cirsova issue #1

The kindle version of issue #1 of Cirsova magazine is free at Amazon through Saturday, March 19th. I recently interviewed P. Alexander, Cirsova’s founder/editor, and I plan to review issue #1 in a couple of weeks. Get your free copy so we can compare opinions of the stories!

Magazine: InterGalactic Medicine Show #47

Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, issue 47 The department took away my canine partner, my badge, and my gun, but I’m still going to take down Talking Chicken. I leave my car by the highway and walk, baseball bat over my shoulder. I ignore the signs saying “Rainbow Farms employees only”. The huge metal […]

Magazine: Apex Oct 2015

Apex Magazine Issue 77 I down the last of my Red Bull and crush the can, tossing it into the passenger footwell with the others. The pile of cans will reach onto the seat and mingle with the empty fritos bags soon. I rummage through the bags, but come up empty. I haven’t showered or […]

Nebula Awards vs Planetary Awards

Over the weekend, the Nebula Awards nominees for 2015 were announced. You’ll notice that there is no overlap between those books and the nominees for the 2015 Planetary Awards. I’ve been brainstorming possible reasons: 1) Either the authors who vote in the Nebula Awards or the bloggers who vote in the Planetary Awards have crawled […]

Nine novels down, five to go

I read nine novels in my search for planetary awards nominees, so I thought I’d give you a rundown of them before I resume my magazine quest.  I’ll also lay out my plans for reading other bloggers’ nominees. Traditionally-published, from best to worst: #1) Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia was my nominee. […]

Vote for the best stories of 2015

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
If you’re a book blogger, podcaster, or booktuber, then it’s time to vote for the best stories of 2015. You are allowed one vote per category, chosen from the nominated works listed below: Short Story / Novella: Something in the Water by C.S. Boyack, in The Experimental Notebook of C. S.…

Interview: P. Alexander

I’m in the back of a speeding van, loading a light machine gun. “How’d they find us so fast?” Cara looks over her shoulder from the driver’s seat. “Yeah, how did they spot four heavily-armed, ethnically-diverse strangers in a small town, driving a van with your logo on the side?” “Shut up, fool!” I kick […]

Review: Armada

Armada Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) I read Armada as part of my search for a 2015-published novel worthy of a Planetary Awards nomination. I place it third out of the five traditionally-published novels I read. If Armada had been indie-published, I also would have placed it squarely in the middle of […]

Magazine: Lightspeed Oct 2015

Lightspeed Magazine Issue 65 We got a call about a disturbance at the old Ferguson place. The house had been some rich guy’s mansion, then a nursing home, and most recently a failed bed and breakfast. We knew that empty places attract trouble (teenagers, meth cooks, and uglier things the people of the community pretend […]

Magazine: Galaxy’s Edge Jul 2015

Galaxy’s Edge Magazine – Issue 15 I’m shuffling through snowdrifts towards a Himalayan mountaintop temple. Why does it always have to be a mountaintop temple? Why can’t it be the ‘temple next to the burger king’? The wind dies down for a moment, giving me a glimpse of my goal through the blowing snow. Or […]

Cirsova Issue 1 Kickstarter is Live! (please share!)

Originally posted on Cirsova:
The Kickstarter for Cirsova Issue 1 is a go!  Issue # 1 is done and paid for.  We’re just taking orders and raising money for the future so I can start work on Issue #2 right away! Basic pledge rates are as follows: Individual Copies $2 – PDF $10 + Shipping…

Rath’s Deception – my choice for best self-published novel of 2015

Last week, I posted my nomination for the Planetary Awards in the short story category. In that post, I mentioned that I found a couple of surprise gems in my December novel-reading binge. The best of these was Rath’s Deception by Piers Platt. I wasn’t familiar with the author, and the polished writing and page-turning quality […]

My 2015 Planetary Awards Nominations

The 2015 Planetary Awards have three categories open for nominations: shorter story (including novelettes and novellas), traditionally published novel, and self-published / small press novel. It wasn’t too hard for me to find a short story nominee. I’ve read a dozen 2015 science fiction magazines as part of my magazine quest, and I’ve also read […]

Magazine: Clarkesworld Nov 2015

Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 110 The Sri Lankan mountainside is steep, and the ground is slick with mud and algae-covered tree roots, but I’m not even breathing hard as I ascend — I’m riding in a palanquin carried by a gang of jungle squid. They wrap their tentacles around upslope trees and pull, repeating the process […]

Submit Your 2015 Nominations

Originally posted on Planetary Awards:
It’s time for book bloggers, podcasters, and booktubers to nominate their favorite science fiction and fantasy books and short stories published in 2015. There are three categories for the 2015 awards: 1) Shorter story (under 40,000 words/160 paperback pages) 2) Traditionally published novel 3) Small press / self-published novel Nominations…

Magazine: Asimov’s Dec 2015

Asimov’s Science Fiction, December 2015 I follow the priests into the Temple of Asimov. Hooded grey robes hide their faces and bodies; I can’t tell what sex they are, or whether they’re actually human. They lead me to a reading room and motion for me to sit at an antique writing desk. One of them, […]

Magazine: Analog Dec 2015

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2015 I’m in the space station’s control room, watching two progress bars on a computer monitor. One is labeled “Analog magazine download”. The other is labeled “Space station auto-destruct”. The two appear to be perfectly synchronized. — Novelette: A Case of Identity by Edward Lerner. An AI private detective […]

Magazine: Fantasy & Science Fiction Sep-Oct 2015

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction September/October 2015 I wipe the dragon’s blood from my axe as I enter its lair. Everyone in the business of dragon-slaying knows that killing a dragon is the easy part; the real work is searching through its disorganized treasure hoard. I expect an open cavern, but the lair […]

Magazine: Interzone Sep-Oct 2015

Interzone #260 Sep-Oct 2015 My quest isn’t off to an auspicious start. I’ve spent eight weeks in London, trying to get into the archives of the Ministry of Science Fiction. Every morning, I arrive at the ministry to find a person I haven’t seen before sitting at the front desk. I show them yesterday’s approval […]

Inspired by the Neighbours

My County Road microfiction quickly climbed onto my “top posts” list, and inspired this follow-on story:

Free: Pearseus

Nicholas Rossis‘ book, Pearseus, Rise of the Prince, is free at Amazon from November 17th to the 20th. Nicholas is in Europe, and I’m not sure if the 20th cutoff applies to his time or to your local time, so don’t wait until the last minute to pick up your copy!

Microfiction: County Road

The Sheriff slid his patrol car to a stop on the gravel shoulder of county road 555.  He got out, looked at the setting sun for a moment, then opened the trunk and pulled out a rifle. He worked the rifle’s lever action, loading a round into the chamber as he walked towards a campfire.  Homeless […]

On a Quest

I’m setting off on a quest.  I won’t be sailing after the Golden Fleece, or throwing jewelry into a volcano. Instead, I’m searching for a science fiction / fantasy magazine worthy of my subscription dollars. I haven’t read a magazine in quite a while. For many years, my reading time was entirely devoted to scientific […]

Review: The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack Four Royal Crowns (4 out of 4 rating) I had trouble reviewing this collection of 12 short stories. Deciding on a rating was easy — I enjoy short-format stories, and was totally immersed in 9 of the 12. My problem was what to write about each of them– […]

Writing Contest

I’ve agreed to be one of three judges in a writing contest. The contest is for those who have already self-published something, as first prize is a promotion package from a book tweeting service. Stories must be 1,500 words or less, and based on one of four “writing prompt” images, but can fall under any […]

Mailing List

I’ve created a mailing list (through MailChimp) to notify Planetary Defense Command readers of special events. I expect the number of emails sent out to be very low, possibly even zero, so don’t worry that I’ll fill up your inbox. I only envision three two scenarios where I would send out a message: One of […]

Microfiction: Las Calles Rojas

Las Calles Rojas Of course I won the contract to provide animals for the “Running of the Bulls” this year – my bid was well below any reasonable cost. The problem with bulls is that, like most large herbivores, their instincts tell them to run for open space, or at best to turn from threat […]

Interview: Paul Spence

There’s still no sign of Paul Spence – author, archaeologist, and twin brother of editor Thomas Weaver. Swatting at the mosquitos covering my bare legs, I cross the jungle clearing to a stone temple. I walk along its walls, looking at carvings of fishermen using spears to catch some kind of cephalopod. I used to […]

99 cents: The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack is a long-time follower of this blog, and the second author I’ve interviewed. He has written novels in several science fiction and fantasy subgenres, and now he’s releasing a short story collection: The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. The collection is available for pre-order now, and will be released September 15th. […]

Pod People? What Pod People?

Earlier this year, Nicholas Rossis insinuated that my newfound interest in gardening might be an attempt to conquer the world using pod people. First, I’d like to deflect suspicion by pointing out this post on Nicholas’ site. Look at his pictures and decide for yourself who might be involved in the pod people conspiracy. Second, […]

Sale: Book of Lost Doors Series

Until next Thursday (August 13th), Misha Burnett‘s Book of Lost Doors Series is on sale. There is a post on Misha’s site which links to the books on Amazon. Long-time followers of this blog will remember that I’ve reviewed Catskinner’s Book, Cannibal Hearts, and The Worms of Heaven. I’ve also interviewed Misha. If you’ve been […]

Bookends: Leyfarers and Wayfarers

Leyfarers and Wayfarers is a collection of 16 stories (in a variety of genres) by G L Francis. As usual for my bookends series of posts, I read the first and last stories, then made a decision whether to continue. First Story: Tools of the Trade In this steampunk tale, Russian water spirits are killing […]

How fast can you write?

Last week, I read a message board post by a moderately-popular science fiction / fantasy author, in which he claimed that he typically writes a 120,000 word novel in 100 hours. That’s 1,200 words per hour, or 20 words per minute. That doesn’t seem possible to me, so I’m hoping those of you who are […]

Interview: C. S. Boyack

It’s midnight, and I’m standing in a snow-covered field, waiting for C. S. Boyack. Something howls in the distance. The light of the full moon reflecting off the snow is almost as bright as daylight. Almost. A man approaches, and I spot fur sticking out from the top of his jacket. This guy has definitely […]

Review: Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain

Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) The recent 4th of July holiday here in the USA brought this book to my mind. The story isn’t set during the Revolutionary War, but in the audiobook, Emperor Mollusk has a British accent, and he fights against The Sinister Brain, […]

Microfiction: Home

Happy 4th of July to my US readers (and condolences to my British readers). I recently shared a microfiction story I wrote that was rejected by 101fiction.com, and now I’d like to share one that was accepted (with revisions). In case you’re not familiar with 101 fiction: a 100 word story with a one word title is […]

Interview: Misha Burnett

Misha Burnett asked me to meet him at this riverboat casino. I’m taking shallow breaths to protect my lungs from cigarette smoke, but my sense of smell is shot. I can’t pick out sounds over the musical ringing and dinging of slot machines. I’m down two senses – is this a trap? I spot Misha, […]

Review: The Worms of Heaven

The Worms Of Heaven Three flying saucers (3 out of 4 rating) The Worms of Heaven is the third book in Misha Burnett‘s “Book of Lost Doors” series. I’ve previously reviewed the first two books, Catskinner’s Book and Cannibal Hearts. The stories focus on James, a young man who shares his head with Catskinner, who […]

Microfiction: Pills

In an earlier post, I linked to my six favorite microfiction stories at 101 Fiction.  The site opened to submissions again last month, and I decided to send in two stories of my own:  one fantasy, the other science fiction.  101 Fiction is running through a series of color themes, and this time “red” had to appear in all […]

Status Update

You may have noticed that I’ve been away from the blog for the past month. The fact that 30 days is the minimum time required for aliens to clone a fully-grown human is purely a coincidence. I just had something pop up at work, and then decided to spend my few spare hours planting a […]

Review: Leviathan

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Leviathan Four Royal Crowns (4 out of 4 rating) I’ve blogged about why I enjoy the Lost Fleet series and why I was disappointed with Steadfast; now I’m glad to see the series got back on track with Leviathan. The novel starts off a bit slow, as the two […]

Interview at SCy-Fy

I’ve just been interviewed at SCy-Fy. If you don’t follow that blog, you may not know that SCy-Fy has been interviewing a large number of science fiction and fantasy bloggers, podcasters, and booktubers. (Am I the only one who thinks that booktuber sounds like an edible delicacy?) If you don’t have time to read all […]

Review: The Might of Fortitude

The Might of Fortitude Two nuclear missiles (2 out of 4 rating) This military science fiction story follows an officer as he moves from ground combat to command of one of his space navy’s most specialized high-tech warships.  I think I need to follow the good, bad, and ugly format: The good: The author paints a picture […]

Say no to prequels

A while ago, I noticed that every time I read a novel (or see a film) that is a prequel, I like it far less than the original material. So, I’m going to make a conscious effort to avoid prequels in the future. I think I’ve boiled down my aversion to two factors: 1) Lack […]

Flash Fiction: Attica 2071

I was browsing the site of one of my recent followers, ZombieSymmetry of Trustus Pharmaceuticals, and I ran across an interesting story. It’s 1,500 words, which places it kind of on the border between flash fiction and a short story. Before reading my comments about the story, you may want to read it yourself. However, […]

Flash Fiction: 365 Tomorrows

You might enjoy 365 Tomorrows if you like your science fiction in small, regular doses. Every day, it posts a new story that doesn’t take long to read (600 words or less). I don’t visit the site as often as I’d like to; I’m not the “visit every day” type, I’m more the “guy who […]

Microfiction: 101 Fiction

For the next six weeks, I’ll be overwhelmed by career-related stuff.  I have detailed reviews and “settings” articles I’m eager to write, but I’m going to stick to shorter posts until things slow down.  This seems like an obvious time for a couple of posts about microfiction (100 words or less) and flash fiction (1,000 words or […]