One of my stories has reached publication in the latest issue of NewMyths.com. “Far Gone” is about the terrible sacrifices a crew must make on a long journey to deliver their precious human cargo to a new world. It’s also a prequel to my novel, Avians of Celadon.
The novel began as a story about girl pilots, eco-friendly gliders and solar powered airships. To make that work, I had to build a whole world, with the kind of society that would drive young girls to take dangerous work. That raised questions: How was Celadon colonized? Why the divide between the technological Haves and Have-nots? Why do the locals marry so early, and why not for love?
“Far Gone” is what I like to call licking the spoon. I baked up a whole
cake planet, and I had all these stories left over. It’s a sad and bitter story, I think, and I find it strange that it has been one of my first to find success. If you click on the NewMyths link above and read it, you might be interested to follow developments a little further- “Freezer Burn” is a flash fiction piece about one of the first colonists of Celadon, and it appeared in January’s issue of Antipodean SF.
Publication in NewMyths counts as my first semi-pro sale. That is, they pay, but not at the professional rates endorsed by the Science Fiction Writers of America. After some thought, I decided to frame the cheque rather than cash it. It hangs on the wall of my cluttered office, just above a certificate for a story that won a contest. Still looking for a home for that story – “Fermi High” is about being the new kid, struggling to fit in… and roller-skating on the moon. Cute, positive and slightly romantic, it’s proving a tough sell. Anyone know a good place for something like that?
You may have noticed that all three of those stories have two-word titles beginning with F. It’s not a thing. “Flesh is Weak” has a three-word title. It’s making the rounds now, but it’s SF Horror, so that means I had to research a different market. So far my list of likely publishers is short, and just because I think it’s right for a particular magazine doesn’t mean that the editor will agree. Seriously, the F thing is a coincidence. Two word titles are a thing, despite the exception. Two words is short enough to be concise and memorable, long enough to be original and evocative.
All this activity means that my submissions spreadsheet is growing longer. And wider. I have added a column for Rights. This is where I note, in shorthand, what rights a publisher has acquired to one of my works, and what they paid for them. For instance, many magazines reserve the right to reprint a story in a “Best of…” anthology. I wish! I keep an eye on that clause for the word exclusive. Maybe one day, I’ll assemble some of my spoon-lickers into a Celadon anthology.
500 words. Time to stop.