Video of the American Nazi Party Meeting at MSG (yes, it happened here)
Fifteen Underrated SF Films; list depends heavily upon your definition of “underrated”
Octavia Butler just had a landing site on Mars named in her honor. Here’s a link to other commemorative namings throughout the solar system
And speaking of – Pilot ordered for adaptation of Butler’s Kindred
Beijing intends to “destroy” the Uyghurs according to the first independent report
Metallic Glass stronger than steel (still, “Man of Glass” doesn’t have the same ring)
A Little closer to home: Sigourney Weaver confirms work on Galaxy Quest sequel
Never look down the barrel of a gun. Or a light saber.
Two favorite SF People together: Susan Wood with A. Bertram Chandler
Take a look at NASA’s lead software engineer for Apollo (Better yet, look at the stack of code needed!)
NFT’s use blockchain to create a unique individual copy of an electronic file, such as an image. Everyone should know that at the current time, anyone can submit content – they do not have to be the owner of the rights to the digital object.
FROM OVER THE TRANSOM: Emails Received
We’re finally seeing some spring weather here in Toronto, and I’ve already had my newly tuned and cleaned bike out for a couple of rides.
I’m getting this newsletter out a little earlier than recent mailings, primarily so you can take advantage of a few time-sensitive bits of news, should you want to.
Here’s what you’ll find in this month’s newsletter:
- Free March Read: Symphony (plus an interview)
- Expert Session on Marketing & Selling Short Fiction
- BookBub Deal on THE WOLF
- March Ebook Bundles
- Your Monthly Store Discount Code
- Want to Be a VIP Subscriber?
- Your Moment of Zen
Free March Read: Symphony (plus an interview)
I was recently interviewed via Zoom by Taipei-based writer, Todd Sullivan, about plot development, specifically in my short story, “Symphony,” and in my writing in general. The interview is on YouTube here, as part of Todd’s “Plotting in Fiction” series.
So I thought it made sense to make “Symphony” this month’s free ebook short story, giving you the chance to both read the story and listen to the interview that focuses on the tale. Todd uses voice-only interviews then adds supporting visuals. I think he did an amazing job with his selection of images for this one.
I wrote “Symphony” for a science-fiction short story contest the Canadian literary magazine, Prairie Fire, was running at the time. Prairie Fire is based in Manitoba, Canada, and the contest was to commemorate Manitoba-born “Golden Age” SF writer, A. E. Van Vogt. Appropriately enough, Canadian SF writing great, Robert J. Sawyer, was the judge.
“Symphony” took second place in the contest and was also a finalist for the Aurora Award for best short fiction the following year. I read the opening few paragraphs to start the interview
The story: The colony ship, The Last Chance, has fled a plague-poisoned Earth with the remnants of the human race. Launched before completion of its biosphere, the ship is only partly self-sustaining. Humanity has to find a new home—and time is running out. It isn’t called The Last Chance for nothing.
When they find the planet, it seems a dream come true. Earth-like, breathable atmosphere, unpopulated. They name it Aurora, for the beauty that dances in its skies. At least, it had seemed beautiful at the time. Now they aren’t so sure.
Now people are dying.
Gar Franck is the ship’s communication expert. When signs point to a non-human intelligence on the planet, Gar becomes the key to communicating with it.
But how can he communicate with an alien being when he can’t even talk to his autistic son, Anton, or his increasingly distant wife, Clara?
“There are two stories in “Symphony”…both converge in a spectacular, explosive finale. Smith’s prose is poetic and evocative. He creates an intricate fabric of light, color, and sound with effortless flair. The story’s fluid style and the abundance of complex, wrenching emotions [make this] another recommended story in this issue.” —Eugie Foster and Marsha Sisolak, Tangent Online
“A strong SF-nal story about a ‘sentient light symphony’ that objects to humans colonizing ‘its planet.’ How would you communicate with such and how would it react to a baby who lacks all ‘human baggage’ are some of the issues addressed here. (A+)” —Fantasy Book Critic
Download your free ebook copy of the story here.
These free stories are my “thank you” for subscribing. If you enjoyed this story, please post a review for this story on Amazon or Goodreads.
Expert Session on Marketing & Selling Short Fiction
I’ll be giving a free webinar on marketing and selling short fiction on Thursday, March 25 from 1:00-2:00 pm, as part of the Indie Author Project’s “Expert Session” series. You can register for free here.
The Indie Author Project’s mandate is to encourage strong relationships between indie authors, local libraries, and readers by partnering with curators and libraries across the U.S. and Canada to find the best indie-published books.
My presentation will be drawn from my writer’s guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, and will focus on rights and licensing, finding short fiction markets, a strategy for selecting markets, submission advice, key contract clauses, and all the ways to leverage second rights (reprints) to keep selliing your fiction.
Here’s the webinar summary:
Take your first step to becoming a professional short fiction writer: join best-selling author, Douglas Smith, for this Expert Session on how to leverage short fiction in your writing career. In an engaging and conversational style, multi-award-winning author Douglas Smith will share how to market and sell short stories—and much, much more. Even experienced writers will find value here as Smith takes you from your first sale to using your stories to build a writing career.
Again, the webinar is free, so if you’re a short story writer or always wanted to be, I hope you’ll tune in! You can register here.
BookBub Deal on THE WOLF
BookBub is currently offering a great deal on The Wolf at the End of the World, my urban fantasy novel set in my Heroka universe.
Up until March 16, you can pick up the ebook edition of the novel for only $0.99 (or the equivalent in your country).
The deal is available here and is offered in Canada, US, UK, Australia, and India, via Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo, and Google Play.
But it only runs until Tuesday March 16, so don’t miss it!
March Ebook Bundles
Just a reminder that the ebook bundle promotion I mentioned last month runs to the end of March, and the books in this one are free:
- SF & Fantasy Giveaway (Feb 25 – Mar 31, 2021)
Your Monthly Store Discount Code
This month’s code: MAR2021-TJT2KY (expires Apr 30)
The store offers ebook editions of all my books, but also signed, personalized print copies of my full-length titles. Scroll down through the titles, or use the filters at the top to narrow your search.
You can also get more discounts:
- another 15% off if you use the “Share” button to share any title on social media
- another15% off if you refer a friend (and they’ll receive 15% off, too)
- Additional discounts for select combinations (e.g., buy one of my collections, get the other for 20% off)
Ebooks can be downloaded directly, but you’ll also receive a BookFunnel link. If you’ve downloaded my monthly ebooks, you know how BookFunnel simplifies getting your ebook onto your reader.
Note: You can also shop my other storefront and buy directly from a retailer of your choice in your own country, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, B&N, Google Play, Indigo, and many many more.
Want to Be a VIP Subscriber?
It’s easy. Show me you’re a fan. Buy my books (here or here). Post reviews (on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, B&N, iTunes, or wherever) and point me to them. Read these newsletters. Reply with comments, questions, or suggestions. Follow me on Twitter or Goodreads or BookBub. Simply put, VIPs are my fans. I hope you’ll become one.
Your Moment of Zen
Since this month’s freebie was my story “Symphony,” I thought it fitting that I leave you with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s YouTube site where you can enjoy ever so many stunning short performances for free. Enjoy!
As always, thanks for listening and for your interest in my writing!
First Fandom Experience Publications Eligible for Locus Award
I am writing today to ask you to support the efforts of First Fandom Experience. Two of their most recent books have been nominated for Locus Awards this year:
· The Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom: Volume One, the 1930s
· The Earliest Bradbury
John L. Coker III
Resource for Black Travelers
In an effort to support Black travelers with concerns of racial discrimination and to help ensure they have safe travel experiences, our team of experts at Million Mile Secrets created, Airbnb while Black: How to avoid racism while traveling — you can check it out below:
Our guide provides insight on Airbnb’s response to accusations of racial discrimination, tips on how to prepare for travel to ensure a safe and successful trip, and alternative lodging options for Black travelers.