April/May Catching Up

I’ve been meaning to post more here, but it’s been tough recently. Being sick in April completely undermined my schedule. New issues to prep, ebooks to design for other publishers, slush to catch up on, an anthology to wrap contracts and deliver to the publisher, a trip to Chicago to talk with the Myth-Ink writers group, a family get-away, and prepping for the SFWA Nebula Awards Weekend… so a quick catch-up post feels necessary.

I’m a Hugo Nominee Finalist for Best Editor Short Form for the fifth time. The award ceremony will be held at Worldcon in Finland. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend. My travel budget is significantly restricted now that I’m self-employed and that trip turns out to be considerably more expensive than I was told it would be. Will miss attending in person, but Ann VanderMeer has agreed to accept on my behalf should I win, so I will be well-represented. 🙂 A big thank you to everyone that saw fit to nominate me again this year.

Story selections for my next anthology, More Human Than Human, are now complete. I will be announcing the table of contents and revealing the cover (an original by Donato Giancola) sometime in the next week or two. This was the one project most disrupted by that illness as it collided with previously scheduled travel and events.

I went to Chicago last month to talk with the Myth-Ink student writer’s group at Columbia College in Chicago. I enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with students and hope I was able to share some useful knowledge with them. Have to find a way to do more of this sort of thing. It was one of the things I enjoyed most about my old career and a nice way to keep that part of my life. Weather was perfect, so I had some time to wander around Chicago with some of the students beforehand. (There’s a story there about our collective sense of direction.)

Obviously, the May issues of Clarkesworld and Forever came out. I’ve been trying to do some marketing work on this side of things. I’m currently trying to make a push for the Patreon page so I can cover my healthcare expenses. It’s a considerable cost and like many others, I’m seriously concerned about what happens to me if the various healthcare changes go through. I have more than a couple of pre-existing conditions and need to maintain the level of plan I have.

Most recently, the Locus Awards announced their finalists. Clarkesworld is once again a finalist for Best Magazine, “Afrofuturist 419” is up for Best Short Story, and for the first time, I’m on the list for Best Editor. Normally, I’d be thrilled by this, but they also increased the list of finalists from five to ten and if that’s why, it’s bittersweet. It’s silly, but it wouldn’t feel earned.

Amusingly, I’ll be a short distance away from the Locus Awards this year. I’ve agreed to be a workshop leader for the Cascade Writers June workshop in Tacoma.

Before that, however, I have the Nebula Awards Weekend (the mass signing there is always something else and I’ll be participating this time), wrapping up work on Clarkesworld: Year Nine, and the June issues of Clarkesworld and Forever. Before you know it, Readercon will be upon us and the fifth anniversary of my heart attack there. Time is flying by!

Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2: Recommended Reading List

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 2 was published earlier this month in trade paperback and ebook. Each year, there are more good stories than I can fit in the book, so I include a recommended reading list at the back of the book to give them the recognition they deserve. That list is duplicated here:

2016 Recommended Reading List

  • “The Art of Space Travel” by Nina Allen, Tor.com, July 2016
  • “Mika Model” by Paolo Bacigalupi, Slate, April 2016
  • “Fifty Shades of Grays” by Steven Barnes, Lightspeed, June 2016
  • “A Fair War” by Taiyo Fuji, Saiensu Fikushon 2016, edited by Nick Mamatas and Masumi Washington
  • “The Mutants Men Don”t See” by James Alan Gardner, Asimov’s, September 2016
  • “My Generations Will Praise” by Samantha Henderson, Interzone, November/December 2016
  • “Origins” by Carlos Hernandez, The Grim Future, edited by Erin Underwood
  • “Stories of the Trees, Stories of the Birds, Stories of the Bones” by Kat Howard, The Grim Future, edited by Erin Underwood
  • “One Sister, Two Sisters, Three” by James Patrick Kelly, Clarkesworld, October 2016
  • “Kit: Some Assembly Required” by Kathe Koja, Asimov’s, September 2016
  • “The One Who Isn”t” by Ted Kosmatka, Lightspeed, July 2016
  • “Sleep Factory” by Rich Larson, Analog, October/November 2016
  • “Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson, Clockwork Phoenix 5,
  • “Seven Birthdays” by Ken Liu, Bridging Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan
  • “Elves of Antarctica” by Paul McAuley, Drowned Worlds, edited by Jonathan Strahan
  • “Not Quite Taterona Kempi” by Ryan W. Norris, Analog, May 2016
  • “Travelling into Nothing” by An Owomoyela, Bridging Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan
  • “Unauthorized Access” by An Owomoyela, Lightspeed, September 2016
  • “A Song Transmuted” by Sarah Pinsker, Cyber World, edited by Jason Heller and Joshua Viola
  • “Red in Tooth and Cog” by Cat Rambo, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2016
  • “Passelande” by Robert Reed, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November/December 2016
  • “Those Shadows Laugh” by Geoff Ryman, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September/October 2016
  • “Firstborn, Lastborn” by Melissa Scott, To Shape the Dark, edited by Athena Andreadis
  • “The Whole Mess” by Jack Skillingstead, Asimov’s, September 2016
  • “Licorice” by Jack Skillingstead, Now We Are Ten, edited by Ian Whates
  • “Everybody from Themis Sends Letters Home” by Genevieve Valentine, Clarkesworld, October 2016
  • “La beauté sans vertu” by Genevieve Valentine, Tor.com, April 2016
  • “The Mind Is Its Own Place” by Carrie Vaughn, Asimov’s, September 2016
  • “That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn, Tor.com, March 2016
  • “First Light at Mistaken Point” by Kali Wallace, Clarkesworld, August 2016
  • “Passion Summer” by Nick Wolven, Asimov’s, February 2016
  • “Painter of Stars” by Wang Yuan, Clarkesworld, December 2016

It’s Alive! Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2

While I was attending ICFA, The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 2 started shipping from Amazon and other bookstores. I just returned home and found a few boxes of them waiting for me.

If you’ve ordered a copy, THANK  YOU! I hope you enjoy it.

If you haven’t and are wondering where to get it, I’ve linked to the bookstore I know about here. Ebook editions will be released on the 4th. The print edition shipped early.

Reading Period: More Human Than Human

More Human Than Human is a reprint anthology focused on the theme of androids, replicants, and other artificial humanoids that will be published by Night Shade Books in trade paperback, ebook, and (maybe) audio editions in late 2017.

What am I looking for

  • Previously published science fiction stories between 3000 and 25000 words in length.
  • Stories must include androids, replicants, etc. as a major character or plot element.

What I don’t want

  • Stories outside the stated word count
  • Poetry
  • Fantasy
  • Original stories (this is a reprint anthology, send originals to Clarkesworld)
  • Zombies (yeah, they are always on the list)

Payment and Required rights

  • If accepted, payment of one cent/word will be issued on receipt of signed contract . Pro-rata share of royalties issued twice per year (if additional payment is due).
  • Non-exclusive English language rights for print, digital, and audio editions required.

Reading Period, Response Times, ANd How to SUbmit

  • Open for submissions through 3/20/2017.
  • May make up to five concurrent submissions.
  • Acceptance and rejection letters will be emailed sometime before April 5, 2017.
  • Cover letter should include original publication information of the story.
  • All submissions must be made through my anthology submissions system at: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/anthology/

Recommending Stories

If you would like to recommend a story that you have not written, please post it in the comments section of this post.

Questions

If you have questions, email neil(at)clarkesworldmagazine.com.

Frankly, Mr. Shankly, or perhaps Dear Madam Barnum

This past Friday, I resigned from my day job and career of the last twenty-eight years. My last day will be January 31st, but I might be doing some part-time/consulting work for them until they fill the vacancy. I could probably write an entire blog post about why I’ve done this—and I still might, someday—but that’s the past and I’m more focused on the future at the moment.

I’m quite excited—and a little terrified—by the prospect of taking the leap. There are a bunch of uncertainties, like healthcare costs and filling the income gap between Lisa’s new job and my old one, but we’re close enough to give this career switch a try. As some of you know, this has been a major goal of mine since my heart attack four years ago. At age fifty, and after ten years working part-time, I’m finally going to be a full-time editor!

Naturally, my first priority has to be those uncertainties I mentioned: income gap and insurance. As I see it, I have a few things to target:

  1. I’ve altered the Clarkesworld Patreon goals to include direct salary and healthcare expenses. Would be nice if it was that simple, but I figure it’s worth putting out there.
  2. I’ll be pushing the digital subscriptions a lot more and investing a little in marketing in hopes of bumping those numbers up a bit.
  3. Now that I’ll have time, I can increase the number of anthology projects I do. I’m in the process of drafting pitches for my current publishers, but I should have extras if anyone else should be interested. I’d really like to do another original anthology sometime too.
  4. I also have the Year Nine and Year Ten Clarkesworld anthologies to wrap up. That should be a lot easier to accomplish now.
  5. I need to be more proactive in seeking advertisers for Clarkesworld. Even a small bump here could be significant.
  6. While there’s still a gap, I’ll also try to expand on the ebook design work I do on the side. It’s mindless, but I find it relaxing and it helps pay bills.

I’m getting this shot at chasing a dream thanks to Lisa, my amazing wife. I also have to thank Sean and Kate for having my back, my boys for keeping me on my toes, my parents for their support and inspiration, my publishers for their faith in me, and everyone that has ever subscribed, donated, or become a patron of Clarkesworld.

Let the adventure begin!

PS. If you don’t understand the title, you might want to do a little musical research.
Frankly, Mr. Shankly
Dear Madam Barnum