Forever Has Never Felt So Short: “The Weight of Infinity” Accepted for LampLight Magazine

The good news on the writing front keeps pouring in! The wonderful Jacob Haddon at LampLight Magazine has accepted my short science fiction story The Weight of Infinity for the magazine’s September issue.

Many centuries from now, the human race and human society are transformed – humanity has discovered immortality.

People can print new bodies for themselves, in any legally permitted pattern; they can literally become anyone they want. For the genderfluid, non-binary Tallyn, a crewperson aboard an interstellar merchant ship, this technology is a blessing. He was born female, but he prefers to spend most of his time as male; not that it’s anyone else’s business. With body printing, he can live the way he wants – nothing could be easier.

More than that, infinitely extended lifespans allow a host of other solutions to become possible. In Tallyn’s time, FTL drives remain outside of humanity’s reach. No problem – craft can travel at sublight speeds. So what if a mission to another world takes decades or centuries? The crew will barely notice the duration.

With immortality, the galaxy is suddenly within the human race’s grasp.

Of course, no one said the human race was ready to experience infinity. As for Tallyn, he’s about to find out that forever isn’t anywhere near as long as he expected it was going to be.

The September issue of LampLight is expected out next weekend. I’ll be sure to pass on more information as soon as I have it!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re all staying safe in these strange times.

Peace,

Mike

Two New Stories Available: A Dutch “Monster” Cursed with Bad Luck & Colonists Left to Die Above the Clouds of Venus

September is already shaping up to be a busy month. For a start, it saw two of my stories being released.

Luck of the Dead Out Now in New Fantasy Anthology

Luck of the Dead is included in the brand new anthology Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales from JayHenge Publishing, edited by Jessica Augustsson. This story is part of my Age of Asmodeus series.

Jalen is Dutch, bisexual, and – most importantly – a year ago, she was transformed into a supernatural entity against her will. Now, Jalen returns to her childhood home of Hattem, a small town in the Netherlands, for a much-needed holiday. Instead of relaxation, she finds she’s the victim of a sustained magical assault of bad luck. As disasters turn into catastrophes, Jalen begins to wonder whether she can survive long enough to identify her attacker. Further complicating the situation – the attacker doesn’t know that Jalen has powers of her own.

This book can be purchased from Amazon here, and for more information about this book, including a list of contributors, click here.

It Hungers Below Out in September’s The Martian Wave

That’s not all, Hiraeth Publishing printed It Hungers Below in the September 2020 issue of their science fiction anthology magazine The Martian Wave. This issue was edited by Tyree Campbell.

The story is set in the skies of Venus, with colonists in floating townships attempting to cope with the effects of unimaginable disaster back on Earth. That’s only the beginning of their troubles – something horrific is stirring below them, hidden from sight beneath Venus’s eternal shroud of poisonous cloud. Ferry pilot Aybeth is determined to pierce those clouds and discover the truth. There are other secrets, though, closer to home, that swirl just as much, all about her, and Aybeth may not be as good at figuring out the truth as she thinks…

This story is a standalone sci-fi tale set in the same fictional universe as The Unobservable Universe and For All These Worlds, a Messiah.

To purchase a print copy of this magazine direct from the publisher, click here. It is also available for purchase as an ePub file here. You can also purchase it from Amazon here. As always, you can read more about this magazine and the story by clicking here.

But Wait, There’s More

I’ve also had good news in the form of another short story sale. I’ll wait until contracts are signed and I know more, but you can expect another blog post before too long!

Of course, as you’ll know from earlier posts, there are also a number of other books due to be released soon that will include other stories of mine. I’ve already read galley proofs for Upon a Once Time (which will feature The Waters at the End of the Worlds) and Unidentified Funny Objects 8 (which will feature Fifteen Minutes), both of which will be out before the year end. On top of that, Something to Watch Over Us will be reprinted in an online magazine soon, and Pest Control (another story in my Age of Asmodeus series) is due to be included in an upcoming anthology.

Not to toot my horn too much, but British comic FutureQuake also accepted a comic script of mine a while back and the art on that should (as far as I know) be proceeding toward completion. I’m always ecstatic when a comic script is brought to life and I can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

I think that covers enough for now! I hope you’re all keeping healthy and staying safe. And thank you for reading.

Peace,

Mike

“The Waters at the End of the Worlds” Accepted for Air and Nothingness Press’s Fairy Tale Mash-Up Anthology

Upon A Once Time Kickstarter

The world is full of terrible crises and a small hurricane called a derecho just rolled over my house, but at least I have good news on the writing front. My short story The Waters at the End of the Worlds has been accepted for the Upon a Once Time anthology from the wonderful people at the Air and Nothingness Press. And yes, you read that book title correctly – it’s scrambled into an unusual arrangement deliberately, just like the stories it contains.

To read more about this unique and entertaining upcoming collection, and to support it, please go to the publisher’s Kickstarter page here. The more money they raise the more additional writers they can pay and the larger the book can be. Although my story is slated for inclusion already, it would be nice for as many other writers as possible to share that opportunity.

The book has a great idea at its heart: take two fairy tales, put them together and tell the tale using the tropes of a particular genre. That writing brief appealed to me in spades – there was so much scope for creating exciting and different stories!

The Waters at the End of the Worlds fulfills these fun instructions by combining the Anglo-Scottish/Irish fairy tale “The Well at the World’s End” with the German fairy tale “The Water of Life” and then telling the story through the lens of science fiction. The result? A fast-paced tale of mayhem, sieves, and an emperor who wants to live forever.

Waters

Image: Photographer unknown

The editor and director at the AaN Press, Todd Sanders, estimates a release for the anthology in May of next year. I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I have more information. In the meantime, feel free to also visit the press’s Facebook page or their website to learn more about them. Their social media contacts are:

Twitter – @aanpress
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/aanpress/
Web – http://www.aanpress.com

Not to belabor the point, but I hope you will consider supporting this project on Kickstarter. How can this not be an awesome book? Honestly, go look at their fundraising page if only to see all the beautiful exterior artwork by Serena Malyon (as well as wonderful interior art by John Anster Fitzgerald). That alone is enough to make the anthology a must-buy.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

Peace,

 

Mike

“Pest Control” To Be Included in Corrugated Sky’s Anthology of Rebellious Fae

Dark Elf Concept from God of War #illustration #artwork #gaming #videogames  #gamer | Alieno, Demoni, Insetti

Image: Creativeuncut.com; artist unknown

A pleasant surprise this weekend – Corrugated Sky Publishing have accepted my story Pest Control for their upcoming anthology about rebellious Fae. The book, provisionally titled Insurgence: A Fae Rebellion, is scheduled for an October release. Pest Control is a Day One type of story in my Age of Asmodeus series of standalone stories (no knowledge of previous stories required).

Arkwright’s Pest Control Services in the sleepy town of Godalming, England receive a very strange call for help. There’s an infestation, but the caller is reluctant to say what, exactly, has invaded his home… Our hungover hero, Harriet Pendleton, answers this desperate plea, and finds herself face-to-spearpoint with armed, ravenous fairies. These creatures know how to fight, and they’re not scared of humans. To Harriet’s horror, she finds the fairies are out for blood, and they’re going to get it.

I hope everyone likes this story – it was certainly a lot of fun to write about vicious fairies.

Other News

I also have to announce that Branching Realities have postponed this year’s edition of FrostFire Worlds to 2021. At this time, my understanding is that the 2021 issue will be a double-sized edition, and it will still include my story What You Don’t Know. That’s all I know about the delay right now. Disappointing news, of course, but things happen in publishing sometimes.

Taking into account this change, the next few months of 2020 (up to October) should still see the release of the following stories in addition to Pest Control:

Recent Releases

If you’ll forgive the shameless self-promotion, I’ll mention a couple of recent publications as well, which you can pick up now:

  • Once You Start (Reprinted in Best of British Science Fiction 2019)
  • Working from TARDIS (a brand-new Doctor Who story included in the charity collection Time Scope)

 

I hope everyone’s keeping well and will stay that way. As always, thanks for reading.

Peace,

 

Mike

“Something To Watch Over Us” To Be Reprinted in Penumbric Magazine This October

Penumbric Logo

I’m pleased to announce that Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine has accepted my story Something To Watch Over Us as a reprint in their October 2020 issue (which will be issue #3).

This story was originally printed five years ago in the anthology Futuristica. You can read more here about this tale of bad karaoke, love hotels, climate change, fried octopus balls, and AI run amok in Japan. I’ve always had a soft spot for this story, as much of it is based on things I saw and did when I lived in Japan (not the science fiction parts, obviously), and I’m very happy it’s found a second home.

You might also want to check out Penumbric’s website here. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror fans can find lots to interest them in issue #2, currently available.

 

Before I let you go, I hope you don’t mind if I remind you that my story Once You Start is also being reprinted in the Best of British Science Fiction 2019, due out on July 14th. You can buy it (or pre-order it) via Amazon here.

 

I hope everyone is staying safe and well in these uncertain times.

Thanks for reading!

Peace,

 

Mike

“Working from TARDIS” Included in New Doctor Who Charity Anthology, “Time Scope”

TimeScope

I am happy to announce a new Doctor Who charity anthology has been released featuring one of my short stories. The anthology is Time Scope and my story is Working from TARDIS. The story covers the fourth, fifth, and sixth incarnations of the Doctor and his interactions with… the TARDIS cleaning lady???

Here’s a description of the book along with ordering instructions. You can also find details about the book on editor Matthew Rimmer’s website here.

Time Scope is a charity anthology e-book.

Doctor Who fans from around the world have joined forces to raise funds for Scope, the disability equality charity in England and Wales. This unofficial and unauthorised anthology of 50 short stories, interspersed with poetry and artwork, weaves its way through time and space visiting the Doctors and their friends. Along the way, cast and crew share their memories of working on the show and projects from the wider Whoniverse.

Compiled entirely in lockdown in 2020, all 114 contributors have given their work freely in order to support Scope at a time when the charity’s income has fallen dramatically owing to the necessity of having to close charity shops and cancel
fundraising events during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

100% of the money raised by this book will be forwarded to Scope.

Pay £6.99 and once your payment has been received, you will be emailed the e-book in PDF form as soon as possible.*

*PLEASE NOTE: As this is a manual process, this will be as soon as the Editor has seen the order has gone through and is able to send the email out. The aim will be to have the e-book to you within 24 hours.

Please e-mail timescope2020@gmail.com if you have any problems with your purchase.

Contributors to this book are a veritable Who’s Who of the Doctor Who world, including (but not limited to) luminaries such as James Goss (author of many excellent books), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Jon Culshaw, and on and on.

This is an amazing collection and I hope all Doctor Who fans are able to buy a copy.

Thanks for reading.

Peace, and stay safe,

 

Mike

“Fifteen Minutes” Accepted for Unidentified Funny Objects 8

UFO8_detail

I am elated to say that my science fiction comedy story Fifteen Minutes has been accepted as part of Unidentified Funny Objects 8, the latest in the popular series of anthologies from UFO Publishing, as always edited by the very talented Alex Shvartsman. The book is due to be released in late September/early October of this year.

Fifteen Minutes sees a single parent fight to rescue his young children from inside a locked car – he has 15 minutes to get them out before they die. If only there wasn’t an alien invasion going on. It’s so inconvenient.

Other writers confirmed for the book include:

Chris Hepler, Galen Westlake, Kurt Pankau, James Wesley Rogers, David Gerrold, Simon R. Green, J. J. Litke, Laura Resnick, James Beamon, Ted Wendy Mass and Rob Dircks, Gini Koch, Jordan Chase-Young, Amy Lynwander, Larry Hodges, Jared Oliver Adams, Illimani Ferreira, Eric D. Leavitt, Michael M Jones, Beth Goder, C. Flynt, Esther Friesner, Jamie Lackey, and Jody Lynn Nye.

Getting a story in a UFO book has been a dream of mine for a while. I’m so happy to find that dream has become a reality. Honestly, I’d say this this is one of my best writing achievements so far. I only hope the story makes everyone laugh.

As always, I’ll post more details once I know them. 2020 is shaping up to have quite a number of my stories released – I can never quite believe it when I sell a story and here I am with 5 confirmed sales all lined up to be released between now and October. Pinch me, this can’t be real!

Thanks for reading.

Peace, and stay safe,

 

Mike

“What You Don’t Know” To Be Published in 2020’s FrostFire Worlds Anthology

Asteroids

Image: Getty Images

More good news. Branching Realities Publishing’s FrostFire Worlds has accepted my short story What You Don’t Know for publication in their 2020 edition, due out in August. (I’m not sure I’ll ever get bored announcing sales!) Branching Realities was formerly called Alban Lake Publishing, by the way.

What You Don’t Know is a story featuring asteroids, the Space Force, and… donut holes?

FrostFire Worlds is edited by the delightful Jessica Sneeringer and will be available from the publisher’s own online store as well as all the usual places, both online and bricks-and-mortar. Past issues have, for example, been available from Barnes & Noble.

I will post more details as the release date approaches. This sale continues my streak of good luck, I’m excited to say, following close on the heels of sales to other collections, such as The Best of British Science Fiction 2019 and The Martian Wave, as well as Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales and Unidentified Funny Objects 8. The next few months will see quite a number of short stories of mine released into the wild!

As always, thank you for reading my posts.

 

Hope everyone is staying safe,

 

Mike

 

Update:

The publisher has notified me that this issue of FrostFire is now delayed and will be published in 2021.

 

 

“Once You Start” Included in Best of British Science Fiction 2019

BoB 2019 front4

Cover Art: Les Edwards

I am beyond ecstatic to announce that my story Once You Start has been accepted as one of the entries in the Best of British Science Fiction 2019, from NewCon Press. This amazing collection, edited by Donna Scott, is up for pre-order from the publisher here.

Once You Start is a tale of climate engineering and alcoholism, and was first printed in Alternative Truths III: Endgame from B-Cubed Press. You can read more about the story here. It was inspired by my friend Jane Hodgetts, who I miss every day.

Other authors included in this Best Of collection are:  G.V. Anderson, Robert Bagnall, Chris Beckett, Susan Boulton, Ian Creasey, Rhiannon Grist, Liam Hogan, Emma Levin, Kate Macdonald, Ken MacLeod, Tim Major, Una McCormack, Dafydd McKimm, Fiona Moore, Val Nolan, Leo X. Robertson, Henry Szabranski, David Tallerman, Lavie Tidhar, Andrew Wallace, Ian Whates

Here is the publisher’s description for the book:

Twenty-two stories, selected by editor Donna Scott from disparate places, that represent some of the best SF published anywhere in 2019: stories of heroism, stories of loss, stories of wonder.

In this volume you will encounter tales in which creatures are cut off from their loved ones; someone is trapped with an abuser; a bird sings; weeds grow where we hope for a garden; we consider what our alternative selves might be doing; we can’t sleep; we wish we could keep things just the way they were; we drink too much… and we look to rockets blasting off into the sky and think that there lies the future; that’s hope.

Best of British Science Fiction 2019 is once again edited by Donna Scott, a recent chair of the BSFA and a distinguished poet, writer, and stand-up comedian. Donna is also a free-lance editor who has worked behind the scenes for a number of major publishers over the course of several years.

I hope you’ll consider buying this anthology – it certainly won’t disappoint.

Thanks for reading.

Peace,

 

Mike

“Luck of the Dead” Picked for Whigmaleeries and Wives’ Tales Later This Year

hattem

Image Credit: Hattem town center – Wikipedia Commons

Good news from JayHenge Publishing: my story Luck of the Dead has been accepted for their September/October issue of Whigmaleeries and Wives’ Tales. Set in the town of Hattem in the Netherlands, this story features magical creatures and powers a little different from normal. To give you a taste, here’s a short excerpt from the synopsis I sent to the publisher:

A year ago, Jalen was transformed into a supernatural entity against her will. Now, she returns to her childhood home, wanting only to escape the quiet horrors of her new life. But she becomes the victim of a sustained magical assault – a curse of bad luck. As disasters turn into catastrophes, Jalen begins to wonder who on Earth would want to curse her and whether she can survive long enough to identify her attacker.

I hope that intrigues you, and that you’ll pick up a copy of this publication later in the year. More details to come!

Thanks,

 

Mike