New Short Story Out: Planet Ugh

Just published a new short story, bringing the count to seven shorts published in the past year. Planet Ugh was inspired by Youtube comments. The aliens have arrived, and Earth makes first contact. Do they think we’re ready to meet the rest of the universe? Our representative makes his case, but the conversation isn’t going well…

One Guy’s Simple Explanation for the Disney / LA Times Fight

I hate to see friends fight. Like me, you may have been watching the fight between Disney and the Los Angeles Times over journalism, and early-access to Disney projects. It got more interesting yesterday, when the A.V. Club announced they would no longer attend Disney press screenings until the LA Times could. Now look, I…

Everybody Starts Somewhere and Other Notes

Hello sports fans … Some quick notes while I take a break from being a writer to get over this bug I came down with. Re-watching Season One of Stranger Things in preparation for the next season that releases in a couple of days. I know I’ve talked about it before, but really … I’m…

Yes, You Need Beta Readers

“Ouch,” I said. “This hurts. It’s also exactly what I needed to know.” In between updates and binging ‘Mindhunters,’ I’m talking with my Beta Readers. They are hard at work making suggestions and providing feedback on Mesh. Just hearing from them is an experienc unto itself and I wanted to talk about it. Here’s why: You…

The Sordid Tale: A Follow-Up on Handbook for Mortals

I mentioned this earlier – a book on the NYT best-seller list had the hallmarks of a massive book-selling scam. The amateur sleuthes of the Internet uncovered her story and now the truth comes tumbling out. ‘Handbook for Mortals’ gamed its way onto the NYT best-seller list for 23 hours. Now that the book is…

Five Reasons Why I Don’t Submit Free Short Stories

Okay, let me put my ‘Bardist’ hat on. I’ve submitted stories to free online ‘zines, participated in write-a-thons, and responded to writing prompts. Some friends are writers, some friends are editors. I’ve heard a lot of debate about the realities of art and commerce in the modern writing game. At a certain point, I decided…

Learning About Storytelling From Mr. Rogers

I just ran across this video essay and wanted to share it. If you’re like me, you’re interested in how the craft of storytelling is developed. You might not have considered Mr. Rogers to be a master storyteller, but he was actually very good at that job. As the filmmaker says, his storytelling reflects a…

I Know, Let’s Offend Everyone!

Science fiction is no stranger to controversy, but I always thought the controversial topics were the concepts not the people doing the talking. Sadly, the people who cannot innovate new ideas must innovate new ways to annoy us. That’s what leads us to the following abortive attempt to discuss social topics with sensitive candor:

Audience Building With @Scalzi

The Internet has mixed feelings about John Scalzi. Personally, I’m a fan. Guy writes good sci-fi and remains down-to-earth despite his level of success. Not only that, he’s always up to talk to regular people and has a fair amount of integrity: I need to re-think my goals as an author. I think what I…