Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Links and the Week in #storyeachnight: June 10th, 2012 Edition

Before I get to anything else, here are two short fiction-related links I hope lots of people see.

First, I've got a new gig! I'm one of the associate editors for UFO - Unidentified Funny Objects -- an Anthology of Humorous Science Fiction and Fantasy. Submissions open on July 1st; the guidelines are here. I'm hoping to see a lot of fantastic stories come through for consideration.

Second (and more time critical), there is this Kickstarter for Fireside Magazine. I read the first issue, which had stories by Ken Liu, Tobias Buckell, Chuck Wendig, and Christie Yant. I enjoyed it quite a bit and I'm looking forward to reading the second issue, which is in fact what is being Kickstarted. Fireside is aiming to pay its writers substantially better than the minimum pro rate for short fiction. Conceptually, that should be good for both writers and readers of the magazine since, over time, Fireside should see a very high caliber of stories being submitted if they can pay those rates. I really hope to see this magazine succeed -- again, both as a writer and as a reader.

Along with #storyeachnight, I've started #poemeachnight on Twitter. (This all sprang from Ray Bradbury's advice to writers that they read a story, a poem, and an essay each day. Nicole Cushing got the ball rolling with #storyeachnight and I've added the poems.)

Here are the stories and (starting on Saturday June 9th) poems from this week.  Below the jump will be writing-related links for the week.

6/3 - "The Princess and the Monster" by Ryan Creel from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION (@dailysf). The beginning of the story didn't exactly win me over but the end totally surprised me and brought a grin to my face. Glad I stuck with it.
6/4 - "An Open Letter in Defense of Our Alien Overlords" by Katherine Heath Shaeffer from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION. I had some trouble getting into it, maybe due to not much sense of POV "character." Ending wasn't really satisfying either, to me.
6/5 - "One-Way Ticket" by Nigel Brown from INTERZONE 239. An interesting twist on a familiar trope. Well done.
6/6 - "Kaleidoscope" from THE VINTAGE BRADBURY. Interesting study of characters in a hopeless situation. I was dumbfounded by the similarities to the end of John Carpenter's 1974 movie DARK STAR. (RB's story is from 1951.)
6/7 - "The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse" by Ray Bradbury from THE VINTAGE BRADBURY. This is a seriously weird, tripped-out story. I liked it though it was nothing like I expected.
6/8 - "Grand Tour" by Chris Willrich from the 5-6/12 F&SF. Family dynamics, independence and travel are major themes.
6/9 - Story: "Immersion" by Aliette de Bodard from CLARKESWORLD #69. Intricate story of culture and the lengths some choose to go to so they can feel like they belong. Poem: "Brazil, January 1, 1502" by Elizabeth Bishop from THE VINTAGE BOOK OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY (hereafter, VBOCAP). The title alludes to the Portuguese landing at Rio de Janeiro.

And now, the links:

"The 22 Rules of Storytelling, According to Pixar" (Cyriaque Lamar at io9) - An interesting list, quite of few of these rules/tips/suggestions look like things which could come in handy.

"Ray Bradbury Was a Wonderful, Inspirational Failure" (Tim Barzyk at Science For Fiction) - Reading the Bradbury quotes in this article, about the hundreds of rejections and unsuccessful stories he piled up before finding success, should give just about any struggling writer a boost of encouragement. The greats (mostly) didn't simply wake up one morning and start writing and selling pro-quality fiction. It takes years of work.

"Chasing the First Sale (Part 2): What a Pro Story Is"  (Steven R. Stewart) - Another great installment from this series, with thoughts on what makes a story a story and how you can be sure you're moving towards building a story (rather than an "emotion cloud") from your ideas.

"Do Writers Need to Blog?" (Amber West at A Day Without Sushi) - Amber talks about why writers should consider blogging if they're not already doing so and lays out some suggestions on best practices for engaging your readers.

And here are the posts from this week from my blog:

"Writing Through a Rough Patch" - Monday I talked about moving forward with writing even when things are not going so smoothly in my life.

"Short Story Sale: 'Scraps' to Daily Science Fiction" - A big announcement for me on Thursday, as Daily Science Fiction (which, as you can see from my #storyeachnight posts, I read fairly regularly) accepted a story of mine for future publication. With my earlier sale to Nature, this marks two of the three sales I need to be eligible for Active SFWA membership.

"Reading What You Write" - Thursday I also wrote about reading in the genre(s) you want to write in as well as some good reasons to read beyond those genres as well.


  1. I actually just discovered the UFO website yesterday (I think through Kazka, which would make sense) and thought it looked like a really fun anthology worth bookmarking for July. Very cool that you're a part of it!

  2. Thanks for the comments! I hope you do end up submitting to UFO, Jillian; I think it's going to turn out to be a fantastic project.

  3. Awesome post and thanks for the links. That's very cool news about the anthology and magazine!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Christine!