Wednesday, October 13, 2004


My birthday week just keeps getting better, as I discover today that I am in the Table of Contents for ChimeraWorld 2. This is a dark fiction anthology edited by Mike Philbin (previously known under the nom de plum Herzan Chimera, thus the anthology title) and published through Cyber-Pulp Books. I don't yet know the precise release date of the anthology and, in truth, I didn't even get final confirmation from the editor about my acceptance, but only found out because the contents happened to get posted to a mailing list that I'm on. My story was chosen out of a list of nearly 100 submissions, and this is the first time I've had a statistic like that to know where I fell.

The story that made it into CW2 was "Abraham Lincoln's Children," a story that was originally written for an anthology that was dual themed - vampires and cockroaches. I wrote this story, which I refer to as "dark science fiction," to play on the two themes of the anthology in a hopefully unconventional way. It was rejected, and I was honestly doubtful that such a peculiar tale would find a home anywhere else. It seems that my concern was unfounded, as it marks my third appearance in a paid print medium.

More details about the publication will be posted when the anthology is actual released for distribution. It will be made available in both ebook and trade paperback (print on demand) versions, to suite a wide range of readers.

Monday, October 11, 2004


Well, it does this year for me, at least -- with a touch of Christmas thrown in. When you consider that this Thursday is my birthday, it's almost as if a guiding hand were at work. A friend told me that the chaos of this summer was just a prelude to a groundswell of good things, and I'm beginning to believe him.

My second "official" story, "Ascension," is being released in Cyber-Pulp's Halloween Anthology 3.0. This is an annual charity anthology produced by Bob Gunner at Cyber-Pulp Books.

Unfortunately, the anthology doesn't pay anything, but the proceeds go to The Read Foundation of New York City, which I have personally never heard of before but which appears to be an incredibly worthwhile organization. It helps underprivileged children read, which is something I am wholly in favor of.

In other good news, I have found that an article I wrote reviewing the online game City of Heroes will be published in issue #6 of City Slab magazine. My hope is that this will become a regular gaming column in the magazine, which would be a wonderful notch on my writing belt.

Work still goes well, with the possibility on the horizon of full employment with CTB/McGraw-Hill, along with the benefits associated (i.e. 401(k), health/dental plans, discounts, etc.). I'm keeping my fingers crossed about that.

There are currently three anthologies being edited that have stories of mine in the final round of selections. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed about them. I should hear the final word in the next few weeks -- one of them is already well past the deadline, but the editor has had a number of personal health issues.

I would be remiss if I were not to mention the passing of Christopher Reeve yesterday. I will confess that I was never the biggest Christopher Reeve fan. I was generally unimpressed with him as Superman, though I did always enjoy Somewhere in Time. When he had his accident, though, I became a fan. I doubt it would be possible for someone to take a tragedy like that and deal with it any better than he did.

I do wonder if this will have any bearing on the upcoming election. It is possible that the death of Christopher Reeves will push stem cell research even further into the forefront of the national debate, just in time for it to become an even-more-major campaign issue than it was going to be previously. It would be intriguing if his death tilted a close election in the direction of John Kerry, who has clearly stated that increased stem cell research would be a goal of his. Thus, in death, he would have somehow helped to reach the political and social change that he spent the last decade of his life lobbying for.

To those close to him, I'm sure that such possibilities would be cold comfort, but I can't help thinking that it would give his death a meaning that most of us will never have, just as his life did.

I do hope that they take some time to put together a memorial vignette or something to run after Smallville this week. Perhaps some sort of announcement of a research foundation his family would like donations sent to... it seems appropriate.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


What, you may ask, is this new experience? Well, I can honestly say it's one of the most satisfying feelings in the world.

Yesterday, I arrived home from work and checked the mail, as I'm prone to do. What should I find there but an envelope from Yard Dog Press ... the publishers of The Four Bubbas of the Apocalypse, my debut anthology. In the envelope was a check for my royalties from the first half of the year.

I honestly wasn't sure if I'd ever see such a check. I had received an advance from them and, though it was small, I wasn't sure what sort of sales figures a small press anthology like FBotA would end up with. Still don't, actually. I'd have expected the pay stub to include some sort of information about total sales over that period times my percentage of the royalties minus the amount of my advance that was still waiting to be paid out, or something similar. I'd be interested to know if the book sold 100 or 250 copies to date. To be honest, I'm not even sure what the original print run was.

I hear horror stories (the real kind) about authors never getting paid from unscrupulous "publishers." Just the other day there was a posting on the HWA board about an anthology from a couple of years back that none of the authors ever got free copies of.

I got paid an advance, received a contributor's copy, got a discount on copies for resell, and continue to get royalties. I judge that this means not only have I been published in an anthology, but in a successful anthology.

Again, copies of the anthology can be obtained at AZJ's Four Bubbas page, signed by yours truly. Do not miss out on this monumental, phenomenal, and truly world-changing event. Granted, the world that is changed is a fictional one, but it's entertaining nonetheless.