Score One for the Good Guys! Ship of Shadows–in Visions IV: Space Between Stars

Visions IV

So last week, I was super discouraged with life in general and the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre in particular.  As a self-proclaimed good guy (a la Captain America/Luke Skywalker in my own humble assessment 🙂 ) I felt I was getting the short end of the stick on pretty much everything last week.  Then to top it off, everything I tried to read for enjoyment seemed to be some poorly written pastiche of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or Walking Dead (where the bad guys get to win).  Argh!  It was enough to make a grown man scream (or in my case, post a disconsolate blog entry).

And then comes this news from the wonderful Carrol Fix–the book that has my story that I worked on and submitted in February 2016 is OUT NOW!

YAY, Carrol!

Here is the full Press Release.  Please, Please, PLEASE, consider purchasing a copy, if not for my story being inside of the book, please consider purchasing a copy to show that sometimes the “Nice Guys” get to win!

Visions IV

Visions IV: Space Between Stars Cover

The Antidote to Boring Scifi!
It’s time to read
Visions IV
Space Between Stars

• When an influenza decimates everyone else aboard the colony ship, Evalynn Santori discovers unexpected companions.

• Should past knowledge always be preserved? Even if that knowledge is dangerous to what remains of the human race?

• Vampires in outer space. What could happen to the polymorphous vampiric body away from sunlight and gravity?

• A murderer is stalking a paradise space station at the outer edge of the heliosphere. Some believe Lady Ink’s body ink gives her special senses that will find the killer. Some think she’s the killer. She doesn’t know who is right.
Buy Now From Lillicat Publishers!
or
Buy from Amazon

Imagine the deepest regions of space between the stars. Cold, empty, silent, and vast. Someday, humankind will reach those realms and find endless opportunities for strange and exciting adventures. What will they see, and what dangers will they overcome, in the dark recesses of the deep space between stars?
Space Between Stars describes how those voyages could be made and speculates on the unique challenges to be faced. From generations ships with internally developed cultures and religions, to cold sleep and faster-than-light travel. Black holes, space warps, FTL travel—or something never thought of before—will transport future voyagers through the long night between the stars.
Fifteen talented, award-winning science fiction authors share their visions of how our descendants will live, and possibly die, in deep space.

The Visions Series examines our urge to venture outward…to explore the Universe. Visions: Leaving Earth, describes our first faltering steps to rise from Earth’s surface. Visions II: Moons of Saturn confirms that we have left the Earth and are at home in our solar system. Visions III: Inside the Kuiper Belt proclaims humankind’s domination from the Sun to the outermost reaches of the Kuiper Belt. Visions IV: Space Between Stars astounds us with the infinite possibilities of adventure and danger far from any suns or planets—in the cold, dark regions of deepest space. Beyond these volumes, we will search far beyond our solar system to colonize the Milky Way and understand the Universe.
Our vision is limitless.

Lillicat Publishers
Editor@lillicatpublishers.com
www.lillicatpublishers.com
“Communicating with the world, one book at a time.”

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The Well is Dry (Or Nice Guys Finish Last)

dry-well

Nothing in the well to write about.  I hate this feeling.  I hate trying to force my writing to come out.

I haven’t written creatively since 2/15/16 and no matter what I try, I can’t seem to put pen to paper.  This happens periodically, but this time it is life that is intruding on the writing.

NICE GUYS

I think I understand why people enjoy the “hooligans” so much these days.  Being the “hero” hurts.  It is painful and it is no fun.  Better to decimate, conquer, and have fun no matter the cost.

Trying to write is hard.  Trying to write about a hero that is suffering, but somehow pulls through despite it all is hard.

We (Americans, of which I am one) seem to want the “Easy Button.”  If it isn’t easy, then (our) society says we’re doing something wrong.

FINISH LAST

What we’ve done in the postmodern world is that both our fiction and our society has begun to coalesce around the idea that “Nice Guys Finish Last.”  IF you’re nice, then you’re never going to achieve or get anything.  So be a “hooligan.”

I refuse.  I refuse to be a hooligan in real life and refuse to write about them in fiction.

As a child of Star Wars, I can put it plainly, I want to read/write/watch/play things about the “Jedi,” not the “Sith.”

UBI SUNT? (“Where are They?”)

Why are mainstream publishers chasing the success things like Game of Thrones or Walking Dead to exclusion of all else.  I can go to the bookstore and find a million clones of Game of Thrones, but nothing like David Eddings’ Belgariad or Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow, Thorn.

Brandon Sanderson once remarked on his podcast “Writing Excuses” that he almost got out of the Fantasy genre in the mid-90s because all they were producing was “Quest” books.

Well, now I’m where he was back then because all I see are Game of Thrones/Walking Dead “nihilism” books.  This is pushing me out of the genre.  I have no desire to read those books and I’m losing the desire to write because I know my stories won’t be accepted because they don’t fit the current “trends.”

What is a writer to do?

Color me discouraged.

Tangent Online 2014 Recommended Reading List (Hey, Would You Look at that–“Faerie Knight” is on it!

tangent

So I got accepted into a PhD English program (yay!), but I did not get any funding, so I’m going to have to find some way to pay for it (boo!).

I am very frustrated with this outcome as I desperately want to attend, but I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to pay for it and I’m worrying myself sick over it.  I also noticed that this is similar to my frustration with the writing process.  I can dream up the stories, write the stories, edit the stories, submit the stories all day long, but if editors don’t ACCEPT them and publish them, then the whole process often feels like just time wasted.  So I was all ready to write a blog entry (diatribe/rant, really) on the frustrations of being a writer and the breakdown of the writing process and how too much of it is out of your control, blah, blah, blah, when I happened across this little nugget.

My story, “Faerie Knight,” which was published in the anthology Fae, ed. by Rhonda Parrish was listed on the Tangent Online 2014 Recommend Reading List!  I had no idea that it was there.  Yes, I knew that the story had been reviewed by Tangent Online (all the stories in the anthology were to the best of my recollection), but I did not know Tangent well enough to know that they did a recommended reading list every year (I know that Locus, the granddaddy of the Science Fiction/Fantasy field did one, but not that Tangent did).  Imagine my surprise when I discovered it online just a few minutes ago while taking a break from (unsuccessfully) looking for funding awards/fellowships/scholarships.

And what’s more, it looks like they assign a “star” system to rank how well a reviewer “valued” the story.  No stars, 1 star, 2 stars, and 3 stars.  Now, I’m thrilled that the story just made the list period which is what a no star rating means, I think, but guess what?  It even got a 1 star rating beside it!

I’m totally flabbergasted!  It was for something like this–where the whole process works and completes is why I wanted to start writing Science Fiction and Fantasy in the 1st place.

I dreamed up the story years ago, but didn’t have the writing skills to see it through.  After several aborted drafts, I found a good character and plot and finished it.  It was rejected several times (7 or 8), when I decided to try Rhonda Parrish’s Fae anthology on a lark.  I didn’t think she would take it as it has someone fighting the fae, but the central character technically wasn’t a faerie.  Then she did.  Then she requested quite a few edits.  As they didn’t change the overall story/tone, I enacted all of them (although I was a bit dubious on a rather severe cut of 2-3 paragraphs at the end).  And then it was published, and then there were reviews.  Now Rhonda’s moved on to other projects and so have I, but to come back 2 years later and discover that your story was good enough that someone liked your work well enough to recommend it (and give it a star, no less) makes me want to jump with joy.

I dream up a story, I take the extra step of writing it down, I take the extra step of submitting it, the editor takes the extra step of asking for edits, I take the extra step of getting the edits done, and the editor publishes it.  We both get rewarded with the satisfaction of a published product.  It gets reviewed and it sells for a period of time (hopefully positively on both accounts).  Then the editor and writer move on.  And hopefully, somewhere down the line, either the editor or author will find someone who has read their work and enjoyed it.  Maybe even enjoyed it enough to recommend to someone else.

This is how the writing process SHOULD work.