Sunday, November 20, 2022

2022 Awards Eligibility Post

The year is coming to a close and I don't expect to have any additional publications between now and the end of the year, so I thought it as good a time as any to put together my Awards Eligibility post for 2022. By far, the thing I'm most excited to have published this year is my collection At the Intersection of Love and Death. There are only a handful of awards which have categories for short fiction collections, but for anyone who is planning to vote in one of those awards, I hope you'll consider my collection when you're nominating and/or voting. (The primary ones I'm aware of which are voted on, rather than juried/judged, are the Locus Awards and the British Fantasy Awards.) In addition to my collection, I had four short stories published this year, three of which are available to be read for free online.

"Blackwater Sound" at Daily Science Fiction (fantasy)
The sun was below the horizon and dusk quickly fading as Lee Cortez pulled his truck off the road into the gravel parking strip separating Highway 1 from the quiet depths of Blackwater Sound. He yanked a ratty camp chair from the truck bed then went back to the front. He hesitated over a pile of mementos, reaching out, then pulling back. Finally, he grabbed just his cooler and headed down to the shore.
"A Book in Winter" at Factor Four (fantasy)
There’s a book on my bookshelf, “Green Summer, Orange Leaves, Purple Lives” by Gina Marshall, a library book I checked out years ago and never managed to return. It sits there, nestled between a handful of cookbooks I’ve acquired over the years and failed to use and the Bible I was given on the day of my first Communion.
"Carolina" at Haven Spec (fantasy)
Randy Joe Eastman popped a few aspirin in his mouth and swallowed them with a mouthful of last night's coffee. Two in the afternoon and he still wasn't dressed for the day. But, hell, that'd been most of the last twenty-nine years, driving from city to city, playing a night or two at whatever club or bar or honkytonk would pay him enough to keep him going. There'd been those two years—nineteen and a half months, actually—back before grunge broke out of Seattle when an actual label had carried him and he'd been on something vaguely other than his own. Those days were so far gone that he often felt like they belonged to someone else.
"The Last of That Strange Wine" at The Colored Lens (fantasy) - (Available on Amazon)
The ferryman sipped the last of his ouzo and waved me over.

"I'll take another," he said as I walked the length the bar. I grabbed a bottle and gave him a long pour. He raised his glass to me, then brought it to his lips.

"I'm tired of coins, you know," he said.

I knew, but just gave him a questioning look.

"What use are they to me?" He drank the last drops from his refilled glass and stood. "I don't even need them here."

It was true. All our drinks were free.

If you enjoy one or more of these stories and are a member of SFWA, you can recommend them to others on the Recommended Reading list.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Almost Worldcon Time!

Next week I'll be in Chicago for the World Science Fiction Convention (aka Worldcon aka Chicon 8). I've been to a number of science-fiction conventions in the past, but never to a Worldcon and I'm excited to get to go. While I'm there, I'll be on a couple of panels (one virtual) and giving a reading from my brand new collection! 

Speaking of the collection, I'll also be doing a launch party for it on Friday evening, so if you're going to be at the convention I hope you'll stop by and have a snack or a drink (or both) and help celebrate my new book. I'll announce more about the launch party on Twitter, so you can follow me there for important details (like the room number). Naturally, I'll have copies of the book with me at the show for anyone who'd like to take one home.

I'm looking forward to seeing folks I've met in the past and meeting folks I've only known online (and folks I haven't met at all yet). If you'll be at Worldcon, here's the schedule of my events. (The link on the schedule image should take you to my program participant page on the convention site.)

Friday, July 1, 2022

Coming This Summer...

I'm thrilled to announce that my first short story collection, At the Intersection of Love and Death, will be coming out this summer! There are some details below but for now, let's look at the amazing cover that Jay O'Connell created for the book.
So, details... The book consists of 26 of my stories across the speculative fiction genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I'll be launching it in early September at Worldcon in Chicago (with plans to do a book launch party there). I'm intending to do an event in Columbus in September as well, for folks who are local. For those who won't be at Worldcon or in Central Ohio, I'll be posting information here this summer about how to order signed, numbered copies. 

Speaking of Worldcon, I'll be on programming there. I don't have my schedule yet, but as soon as I do, I'll share it here. 

That's it for now; more to come soon!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Updates All Around

This site hasn't gotten a lot of attention in recent years. From time to time, I'd update my Publications page to add new entries or remove dead links, but that was about it and even then I'd frequently only get updates in months after the fact. Today, I went through and did a clean-up all around. The Publications page is all up-to-date and includes a bit of explanatory text about where to expect links to take you and I updated my Biography page as well. In the sidebar, there's now a working Twitter widget to replace the broken one, and instead of most-recent publications, I'm now choosing to spotlight some of my favorites.

Speaking of recent publications, a couple which I'll note here are "Three Things Cameron Couldn't Tell You" (free to read) which Daily Science Fiction published a year ago tomorrow and "Spending Time" in the 99 Tiny Terrors anthology. I'm pleased to have a story in that anthology since I've always really enjoyed collections of very-short stories. I grew up reading books with titles like 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories after all. (Which reminds me that I've been reading, writing, and submitting for publication what we now call Flash Fiction since before that term even existed and they were just called "short short stories"...) Unfortunately the anthology is only available as an eBook and only through several eBook providers, not including Amazon, but if you enjoy very short stories, I hope you'll track it down.

Part of the reason that this site hasn't been as active recently is because I haven't been doing as much writing and submitting, but I've still been doing some, and earlier this week I found out that two of my stories have been accepted for publication. "Carolina" will be appearing on Haven Spec's site next week and I'll get a link to it up here once it's live; the other one I'll announce once the contract is finalized.

This weekend starts the Codex Writers' Group's annual Weekend Warrior flash fiction writing competition. I'm really looking forward to getting some new stories written over the next five weekends and hopefully I'll have more good news to announce later in the year!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Some Newish Publications of Newish Stories

So, it's been a while since I've posted anything here. Despite that fact, I have been doing some writing from time to time and have continued sending stories out on submission. I'll have a few posts coming up to highlight some sales/publications; this one focuses on three stories I wrote in early 2017, all of which have since been published.

These stories all came out of an annual flash fiction competition held by the Codex Writers Group. I wrote a total of five stories in the span of a bout a month during that competition and was pleased with all of them. These are the first three to have been published:

"How to Choose" was published by Nature in May of 2017.
"She always asks for two out of three, three out of five. No one ever wins, no one ever loses, and more time trickles past."

"Who Wants to Live Forever?" was published by Daily Science Fiction in July of 2017.
"Which of them had taken the test and been told, like their son, that they were unable to receive the process? That they would forever stay as mortal as the day they were born?"

Finally, "Death Rides Shotgun" was published by Galaxy's Edge earlier this month.
"Joseph took it as a bad sign when he exited the office of the motel he’d stayed in just outside Scipio, Utah, and found Death sitting in the passenger seat of his midnight black convertible Corvette."
I hope you enjoy these stories if you get the chance to read them. Before too long, I plan to write up a post about some recent anthology publications as well as a new publication of a quite old story.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Remembering My Father #1: Eulogy Given At His Funeral

I've been away from this blog for a long time. There are a number of factors there, but the most significant was the illness and death of my father, Steven Haynes, earlier this year.

It's Father's Day today and it seems as good a time as any to do something I'd been meaning to do and start a series of posts of the remembrances of him which I wrote after his passing.

This was what I wrote for when I spoke at his funeral:
Growing up around my dad, seeing him every day, I didn’t have the best perspective on just how remarkable he was. I know now that not every kid has a father who sings in the symphony chorus or a father who taught themselves to be a professional computer programmer because he felt he could write better programs than the ones he was using. Or a father who founded and cultivated a classic film convention attended over its nearly fifty years by thousands of people, some of them travelling from other continents to attend. Working more closely with Cinevent recently, I’ve realized that even more than the size of the convention, the remarkable thing about it is the place it holds in the hearts of those who attend. So many people have talked about how Cinevent is one of the highlights of their year and how they came to know Steve Haynes through attending the convention over the decades. Quite a few of them had anecdotes to tell about how he did something to make the convention special for them. He was remarkable, but I just saw him as Dad.

Even if I didn’t see clearly how special his accomplishments were, I knew that he was cool, and fun to spend time with. There are so many ways his personality is reflected in my life. He was the person who introduced me to computer programming, which became in turn my own career. I remember us typing in programs out of magazines on our Commodore computers and him teaching me specific techniques when I started writing programs of my own. He used funny voices to tell stories with. Sometimes those voices even creeped me out a bit but when I’m reading to my own children, I do that too. My taste in reading, music and movies are all heavily influenced by the things he introduced me to, both as a child and later in life. A new trailer for this year’s Star Wars movie came out just days before dad passed away and, watching it, I was reminded that he and I once went to see this really mediocre Wing Commander movie just because it had a trailer for the first of the Star Wars prequels running with it. When I go to see this year’s movie, dad will be right there with me.

Dad and I had a conversation several weeks ago, one where we talked about some of the things that were important to him for us to talk about while we could. Among the things we talked about was my writing, which he encouraged me to continue. As it happens, one of the stories I wrote in January, right before dad’s diagnosis, was about a son learning to accept his own place in the world with the passing of his father. It’s not a lesson that I had expected to be learning myself anywhere near this soon. But I’m grateful for the time I had with him and know that he did his best to give me the knowledge, experience, and wisdom to have a joyful life.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2014 Year in Review

2014 was in many ways a step backward for me in terms of my fiction writing. While I sold one more story than in 2013 (and still sold quite a few stories in general), I didn't break into any notable new markets and I only sold to one SFWA-qualifying market in 2014. Just as important, I didn't feel as if I wrote stories in 2014 which would be likely to help me break into new markets.

There were some good things. I received my contributor's copies of my first major digest publication ("Lakeside Memories" in the February, 2015 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine). One of my stories was listed as an Honorable Mention in Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year. Another of my stories made the Tangent Online Recommended Reading List. And my acceptance ratio was up a bit from 2013.

Overall, I made a total of 174 non-reprint submissions in 2014. I received 199 responses, some of which were for submissions sent in 2013. (Conversely, some of my 2014 submissions did not receive responses during the calendar year.) For those submission responses:
  • Five submissions received no reply.
  • Two submissions were withdrawn.
  • I had 17 acceptances. (I also had a paying reprint acceptance.)
  • And I had 175 rejections.
Of the 18 paying acceptances:
  • Two were to pro-rate SFWA-qualifying markets.
  • Four were to pro-rate markets not on the SFWA list.
  • Seven were to semi-pro markets, this includes the reprint sale.
  • Five were to markets which pay, but either have a per-word rate below semi-pro rates or which pay a flat rate which can fals below semi-pro. For at least one of these, my pay worked out to pro rates, but I still classify it here.
I sold 18 different stories in 2014:
  • Seven of those were flash length (1,000 words or fewer), including the reprint.
  • Seven were between 1,001 and 3,000 words.
  • Four were over 3,000 words.
  • Nine were science fiction stories.
  • Six were fantasy stories.
  • Three were horror stories.
The length breakdowns were very similar to 2013. I had more SF sales this year and fewer fantasy.

I hesitate to call any year where I sold seventeen stories "disappointing" but the fact is that I think I can do better, so in that sense, it was. I'm going to work at improving my writing and submission process and will hope that the work leads to an even better 2015.