The Root Bridges of Haemae in Aurealis

aurealis87My story “The Root Bridges of Haemae” is out now in Issue 87 of Australia’s Aurealis Magazine, edited by the renowned Dirk Strasser.

Described as “a resonant off-world story featuring a truly alien culture”, young alien Ribolee struggles with human and alien relationships.

This story made last semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. I’m pleased that it’s found a home, especially with Aurealis.

The full issue includes stories by Ian Bell and Deborah Sheldon, as well as interviews and reviews. Available from Smashwords for $US2.99.

Aurealis is expanding. For a long time the publication had been restricted to submissions from Australian and New Zealand contributors, but now it’s going global.

Here’s the story’s opening:

______________________________________

Human females survive the birth of their children.

Astonishing.

Ribolee ran this revelation around in her head again and again as she walked home from their camp.

Human females survive the birth.

And not only that, they sometimes have just one child. Imagine. A single child. How could that be? How could a species come to be with such a clear hindrance to its own survival?

Around her, the jungle dripped. The midday rains had been shorter today. She liked this time of year: summer almost here, but still cooler and the rains diminishing. The full seasons were far wilder: the dry of summer when the ground became bristlrboh dion hamilling and crackly, the leaves darkened and swelled, animals howled and rushed; the wet chill of winter when the rivers burgeoned, the ground became a swamp and the rain could last for suns on end.

______________________________________

I’m lucky enough to have my story complemented by a wonderful illustration by Dion Hamill. Thanks Dion.

Sir Julius Vogel Awards ballot

smFront-v5There is the vague possibility of my getting onto the ballot for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards – New Zealand’s Science Fiction awards for a couple of stories: The Molenstraat Music Festival in Asimov’s, and The Harpsichord Elf in Capricious. The process works by the stories with the most nominations go on the ballot.

So, if any of you happen to have read either or both of the stories (and I’m happy to send you copies if you haven’t :-/ ), and you have a moment, email the details to

sjv_awards@sffanz.org.nz

asking to nominate the story (one story per email).The nominations close on February 28th (which will be the 27th, American friends living across the dateline).

Award website:http://www.sffanz.org.nz/sjv/sjvAwards.shtml

Details to send:
Title: The Molenstraat Music Festival
Author: Sean Monaghan
Category: Novelette or Novella
Published: Septmeber 2015
Published in: Asimov’s science fiction
Full details here: http://www.asimovs.com
Category: Professional awards
Science fiction
Nominated by [your contact details]

Title: The Harpsichord Elf
Author: Sean Monaghan
Category: Short Story
Published: 2015
Published in: Capricious
Full details here: http://www.capricioussf.org/2015/09/issue-1-available-now/
Category: Professional awards
Science Fiction
Nominated by [your contact details]

Thank you so much.

2015: The year that was

japan 1drt6gAs far as writing years go, 2015 was pretty good. I’ve acheived my goals, realized some dreams, and learned a few lessons.

I had numerous publications over the course of the year, and was pleased to be in the pages of Asimov’s Science Fiction and Landfall once again. My second stories in each of those magazines, over consecutive years, and that suggests to me that the first wasn’t a fluke. I may actually be doing some things right.

I also had stories in Perihelion, Capricious, Takahe, SQMag and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. A good mix of literary and science fiction.

Good news on the competition front too. I was first equal in the Gernsback Amazing Stories innaugural competition this year for my story “Penny of Tharsis Montes”. That should be out in the first issue in February.

I self-published numerous short stories, and five novels. Sales of these have been unspectacular. Included in the plans for 2016 is more learning about marketing, discoverability and the like. I’m confident I have a good product: I lack the skills to get it noticed.

I’ve also taken more courses and read more books about writing and business. I’ll continue that next year.

As Shadows on the Snow, Kendall and I had a lot of music come out. Kendall’s brilliant at getting the stuff out into the world. Thanks Kendall!

I managed to fit in a jaunt to Japan (hence the photo), which was fabulous. Almost a month there visiting Hiroshima, Kyoto and Naoshima Island among other places, sampling okonomiyaki (yum) and green tea ice cream (not so yum).

For the fourth year running I wrote every day (including on the trip, albeit slower). Also for the fourth year in a row, I wrote over a half a million words. Funny thing; the goal is 500,000, but I hit that on November 19th. With forty-one days left, I wondered what to do. Why not write another novel? So I ran with that. Athena Setting will came in at around 57,000 words and I’ve just finished it tonight, New Year’s Eve (squeaked in at 11.59). These days, it’s not often I’m up at midnight for new year, but there you go. I celebrated finishing the novel (as I usually do) by starting the next piece. Might even be a new novel.

For the first year since starting that word count, I also published over a half million (about 100,000 over that – not bad). I have more words (should say complete stories/novels) written this year and last, that haven’t made it out yet. Next year.

Next year’s goals remain the same, with clear additions. Write every  day, write a half million words, and publish ten novels. Also; learn a whole lot more around business and marketing and so on.

Happy New Year everyone.

 

Conductive and Flammable in takahē

takahē 85

It’s been a little while since I’ve had any external publication news. My short story “Conductive and Flammable” has just come out in the latest issue of takahē.

Recently widowed, Beth’s dealing with a teenage son, a complicated estate and a neighbour who’s constantly burning stinky garden waste right at her back fence.

takahē has an enduring history in New Zealand literature (as you see, it’s up to issue 85) and I’m honored to be published there again. Thanks to fiction editor Karen Zelas for taking my story.

New Venus Vulture track on Leviathan compilation

So mostly I’m talking about writing here, but on occasion I have some of my music as Venus Vulture show up.

My ambient track “Night of Cerulean Sharks” has just come out on Petroglyph Music‘s Leviathan compilation from Kendall Keener of December Nightskies. I’m stoked to be included among such a cool group of ambient and experimental musicians.

It’s available to stream from Petroglyph Music’s Bandcamp site, and for free download through Archive.org.

Unboxing Dashkova

rev magicMy friend Thomas Carpenter is a prolific writer, with several series available. I recently read Revolutionary Magic, book 1 of The Dashkova Memoirs. A wonderful, compelling journey into a sort of steampunk, sort of magical, period Philadelphia. With well-developed characters, complex plotting and a headlong rush to the end, the book is definitely worth a read.

I went ahead and bought the next four books in the series. It was pretty fun unboxing them – the presentation of the series is immaculate. Fabulous covers by Ravven. I can’t wait to get started reading them.
unboxing dashkova 1

First equal in the Gernsback Writing Contest

writing-contest-logo-with-trademark-e1432910614435I’m thrilled that my story “Penny of Tharsis Montes” is one of the three winners of the innaugural Amazing Stories Gernsback Writing Contest.

The contest asked writers to visualize how the solar system would look in 250 years time. Mine ended up set on a somewhat terraformed Mars (hence Tharsis Montes).

The story will be published in the first issue of the Amazing Stories Bi-annual anthology early next year. Can’t wait.

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