Category Archives: Uncategorized

Deserts of Fire

I’m proud to have my story “The Language of Monsters” in Douglas Lain‘s anthology Deserts of Fire: Speculative Fiction and the Modern War.img_0382



You can now read my story “Mayastray” for free at the very fine new speculative fiction magazine Persistent Visions — and view a beautiful illustration by Charlie Cody.


See the Elephant #2 is out now. It includes my short story “Summon Up the Blood”, as well as other stories by many fine authors. You can get it at places.

More stores:

MCP’s web store, (this benefits the publisher the most.)


Found this wikipedia pages of the world’s best-selling fiction authors (all time). Kind of fun to look at. Most wrote in English though its an international list (we’ve won the language lottery because we can all write in English). Most of these folks wrote at least a few dozen books, with many well over a hundred. Lots of great story-tellers on this list. If you like short stories I recommend picking up any Louis L’Amour collections if you never have. They can be found everywhere. Most of the collections are a mix of genres: South Seas adventure, westerns, crime stories, sort of like uncovering a bunch of new Humphrey Bogart movies: really satisfying reads.

>Attack of the 50 Ft. Cosmonaut


Download and have it free from Smashwords using the coupon code below:

Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: MB57C
Expires: February 22, 2011

>True Grit (2010) Coen Bros.

>I keep thinking about True Grit. I have to see it again. The thing I like more and more about the Coen’s (particularly  this most recent run: Burn After Reading, A Serious Man — both really underrated, I felt — and now True Grit) is that they are not afraid to underplay things, and to let moments hang there, and allow event to unfold, and allow the audience to make what they will of it all. I never feel insulted by these films, never feel that the filmmakers have to tell me what to think.  Which is so much at odds with the way things are habitually done right now. Contrast with the execrable trailer that played beforehand featuring an actor as Neil Armstrong discovering Transformers on the moon in 1969. Yeah, the moon shot was too boring, it needs robots.

>Free Read for Smashwords users.


Smashwords users can use this coupon code to download and read my story “Once Upon a Time … At The Learning Annex” free.

Coupon: XY83J (use by Jan 21st.) Expired! 

However, you can still read this free online in the Strange Horizons archives.

>Wheel of F&SF rejection slips.


Here are forty rejections I’ve received from the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction over the years. Some of them sold elsewhere, some didn’t.  The background is a ratty old bedspread, but it sort of disappeared, and I think the photo came out pretty cool.

>I put two more story reprints

>including this one, up at Smashwords, for 99¢ each. Kindle and B&N versions pending.

>Amazon’s Kindle and Apple iPad to ‘save classic literature’

>I can vouch for this. I’ve read a bunch of free public domain books, and have more queued up, on my device, via Project Gutenberg. I originally intend to read ONLY free books, but I’ve been buying books as fast as I can read them, too.  Link:

>A Question Of Character

>Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) from an interview by Meg Pokrass


What makes characters likable? I know this is an absurdly complex question.

This question usually makes me rant. I’ll try to keep it brief.

For one thing, I’m always mystified by discussions of likable characters. Characters are in books; you’re not going to have lunch with them. Moreover, the best books are full of trouble, so the characters are either in trouble or causing it. Most people aren’t likable in such situations.

Even if by “likable” we just mean “characters we enjoy reading about,” rather than “characters who seem like people we’d like,” then we’re not really talking about characters at all. Otherwise, the characters would be fully portable, and readers would find Lady Macbeth equally compelling in a Harlequin novel and in Macbeth. (I suppose there are people who consider Han Solo to be an equally compelling character in Star Wars novels #12 and #43, by separate authors, but, um, give me a break.) It’s like saying that the great thing about Kind Of Blue isn’t Miles Davis, but the trumpet itself. Such a compelling instrument!

Thus, character is bunk. There is plot, and there is voice, and they conspire to create an illusion we call “literature.” It is a glorious illusion and a compelling one. When a writer tells me they’re worried about a character they usually mean there’s a flaw in the plot, or the prose just isn’t pulling things together.

Also he mentions that his mentor is the incomparable Kit Reed.

via The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

>Awesome post

>Step number on an “earn money blogging” guest post on an “earn money writing and blogging” site that I’m not going to bother linking to is “make your posts awesome!”

>Stanza and other iPod reading apps.

> Stanza reads epub formats, and can opened books purchased at B&N and other some sites by reentering credit card information (once per book), plus it has in app links to some stores, and free book sites.. Kindle only reads .azi/.mobi and in general I prefer cross-platform formats. I found the B&N app terrible, and I’d much rather jump through the re-enter payment hoop to store and read books on Stanza.

The mac iBook app itself runs with excruciating slow pages turns on my previous gen iPod Touch (which is, btw, the worst named of any Apple product).

>Reading by backlight

>I’m so comfortable reading eBooks on my iPod Touch, that I don’t feel the need for a dedicated eReader.  A Kindle or other might be useful if I start subscribing to magazines, but I find the 3 inch touch screen, using either the Stanza or Kindle apps perfect for reading short stories and novels. I hold it one-handed, braced by my index finger and pinkie, using my thumb to page through.

 My eyes really bounce around the page when I read. I’ve always had trouble focusing and scanning steadily, both of which are key to reading comprehension and speed. I find I read much longer and with much more enjoyment in my device than I’ve ever read before. It’s like discovering reading all over again. I haven’t loved books this much since grammar school, and I’ve always loved books more than than just about anything.

I guess I could just post other people’s tweets…