Published…in Nature!

Well. This is a little late. Half a week, to be exact. But as they say, better late than never, eh?

Anyway, a few days ago my first professional story was published by Nature magazine over on their Physics subdivision. There’s a link there, but I’ll give you another one here, because I’m awesome like that.

This is my first professional level, SWFA-level publication, and so far the results have been incredible. Getting a pro sale at 19 is cool enough, but the amount of work and effort my editors and publicists have gone to has been incredible. I’ve had tweets all week, cover art, blog posts on the story behind the story, and even excerpts posted.

I’ve had bad editors. I’ve had good editors. And then there are these guys – the sort that extend the hand and take incredibly good care of you. I can’t thank Colin and the team over to Nature enough for picking me up and buying my story. And to be published under Pan Macmillan, too!

And then, there’s the cover art.

nphys3336-i1

Seriously, that’s some really, really awesome stuff. And as I said, they’ve been shooting out tweets like these all week…

CEUIuyLXIAAOHJl.jpg large…and I hadn’t even seen the physical copy of the magazine yet! Speaking of which, if you’re interested in chasing it up, it’s in Nature Physics: May 2015, Volume 11 No 5

But anyway, do check it out. I’ve had some feedback – both from fellow writers (who I admire very much) and randoms online, and I’ve been overwhelmed by their kind words. And to be published in Nature…I’m never getting over that. In fact, I know a veteran SF writer who told me he knew nuclear physicists and other scientists who would sell their own grandmothers into slavery to get a shot at being published in Nature.

Well, my granny had better learn how to swing a pickaxe, or she won’t last long in those mines!

Amnd

Massive Announcement: First “Professional” Sale!

I’ve been quiet about this for the past week, but I can’t keep the lid on any longer.

Exactly one week ago, I signed a contract for a short story, selling it to a magazine. Which magazine, may you ask? That magazine would be Nature magazine, published by Nature Publishing Group, a division of PAN MACMILLAN/TOR!

I won’t lie, my jaw smacked the desk when I saw that Nature had accepted my story. At 19 years old, I sold fiction to a magazine published by a division of one of “Big Five”.

Phew. Wow.

So, I scrapped my brains off the wall and popped a beer in the fridge to celebrate (it was first thing in the morning, and even by Australian standards that’s a tad early). Then I saw that Nature publishes anthologies with names like Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter, Philip K. Dick and others, and that Nature is the most cited science journal in the world, with over 3 million visitors to the website per month.

And I scrubbed my brains from the ceiling one more time. I seriously couldn’t believe it. Even now, it’s a little surreal. Hell, even family, teachers and people I barely know, who don’t even read science-fiction (some don’t even read at all) know about Nature magazine.

There are no words that can express just how riveted I feel. My editor has been phenomenal in making the story the best it could possibly be. I’ve seen the page proofs and artwork, and I love it.

But I’m not getting side tracked. This is the first step in a long, long journey that I won’t be quitting any time soon.

Look for my story in a future issue. For me, I’m back to my editing and writing. And who knows? Maybe I’ll sell another story with them in the future.

Actually, scratch that. You can bet that I will.

Hugo Nominations 2015 – My thoughts

Before we get started, I’d like to clarify one or two things. Yes, I am aware of all the controversy that’s been going on this year. No, I did not get involved in it. I am not a member of WorldCon, and I did not vote. And quite honestly, the sort of books I read rarely, rarely get covered in the Hugos, with the exception of The Wind-Up Girl (which I loved) and A Song of Ice and Fire.

So, rather than name everything I disagreed with, I’m going to highlight the ones I thought worthy of being there. There’s enough negativity in the world, and I’d rather not get into pointless debates. I don’t have the time for that, and I’m here to have fun, not make enemies. Life is too short for that.

Anyway, the full list of awards is here, incase you wanted to check them out. Here are my highlights:

Abyss and Apex: Very well deserved. I’ve enjoyed almost every story I’ve read of theirs. They’re an exceptional magazine, publishing marvelous stories, and it’s great to see them on here.

Andromeda Space In-Flight Magazine: Now this one is excellent. Based down in the tiny corner of the world that is Australia, they’re one of the last surviving SF/F magazines down here that still publishes regularly in print. PRINT! Not to mention that they have one of the best submission systems I’ve seen for any magazine ever, and the high quality of their stories, their place on this list is very well deserved.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies: I adore this magazine. One of the few on the market that actually (consistently) publishes high/epic/medieval fantasy, their fiction is free to read online and pays their contributors very well. If I could get published by any venue, it would be this one. I’m a fan and always will be.

Anne Sowards: She’s the acquisitions editor for Ace and Roc/Penguin, and she’s brilliant. She edits a colossal range of marvelous books and series and it’s great to see her on this list. Picking what books to publish is no easy task, but she does it. A round of applause!

Black Gate: I’ve been a long-time reader of this publication, and although they no longer publish fiction, it’s still great to check them out and read up on fantasy news and the like. Glad to see them on here.

Laura J. Mixon: She’s only written one major piece that I’m aware of, but that alone makes her worthy of being on here. I won’t say more than that.

Game of Thrones: “The Mountain and the Viper”: It’s Game of Throne, what do you expect? If this doesn’t win I’ll take the black. I mean that half-seriously.

Almost everything on the Dramatic Presentation (long form) list: Guardians of the Galaxy, Edge of Tomorrow, Interstellar….great films. It’s going to be hard picking between them!

Anyway, that’s about it. I haven’t read any of the short stories, novelettes, novella, or novels on this list, something that’s seriously going to need to change! Otherwise, I’m more or less pleased with the works that I’ve noted. It will be interesting to see the outcome in August!

Work. And a lot of it.

I’ve been quite in the last few weeks, mainly because I’ve been very, very busy. I’m back at university for my final year, I’m writing a new novel (and sending queries for another), writing short stories, writing reviews, and going over editorial suggestions sent it by my fantastic editors. And then there’s StarShipSofa, which is a mountain of work, but one that I’m happy to do.

And this isn’t even taking into consideration all my university work, and boy, there’s a ton of it.

It’s almost ironic, really. I’m sitting in a “Creative Writing” lecture, listening to my teacher warble on about document writing, metafiction and the blurring of nonfiction and fiction through experimental prose and what have you, and I’m sitting with my friend/beta reader, exchanging feedback for novels and sending stories to magazines. By the time my teacher starts reading out from a “book”, I’m busy signing a contract and going over suggested edits made by one of my many editors.

I hate to say it, but writing and reading short stories (as well as novels, of course!), listening to podcasts and reading author blogs, has taught me more than any lecture ever has. And to top it off, this is all practical. Most of university content is not. I’m telling you now, no lecture has showed me how to write a query letter, or how to format a manuscript, or how to submit a short story. I learned that all on my own.

But long story short (heh) I’m ridiculously busy, and it’s killing me. The only reason I can even type this out is before I’m printing out pages of a reading that I have to do an assessment on. I’ve glanced at it, and I honestly want to cry. It baffles me that people can actually cook up this garbage, let alone think it’s so profound that we as students should study it. And this isn’t fiction. Oh no, that would be too easy. This is about film philosophy and film psychology, the incredibly dense stuff. It’s a bleeding nightmare.

And I just want it to be over.

So I’m going to go back to it now. This is my last year and I’m going to charge my way through it if I have to. But if I do happen to get an agent, I’d be willing to drop everything immediately and give it my all. It’s just getting to that point.

But until then, I’ll be suffering through this…

StarShipSofa SofaCon 2 Panel

So I just got off the Sofa Con 2 panel, chatting with the incredible Rachel Swirsky and Tony Smith about experimental fiction, science-fiction and fantasy, prose, poems, and more. It was fantastic, my first panel as an editor and writer ever, and it certainly won’t be the last. It was a great experience.

If you want to catch up, or see what else we’ve got lined up, check out the website here:

Thanks to everyone who joined in. Your questions were marvelous and I was so glad to be involved.

ANNOUNCEMENT: 2014 Aurealis Awards Shortlist

jeremyszal:

The finalists for the 2014 Aurealis Awards. A fantastic list, and definitely one you should check out. The SF/F community down here in Australia is ridiculously low, and each time a book is published it’s a giant risk. Do yourself (and them) a favour and pick these titles up and support the industry. :)

Originally posted on Aurealis Awards:

Aurealis Awards - Finalist - high res2014 Aurealis Awards finalists announced

Conflux Inc., organisers of the 2014 Aurealis Awards, are delighted to announce the finalists for the 2014 Aurealis Awards.

Judging Coordinator, Tehani Wessely, said that with over 750 entries across the twelve categories, the judges had a hugely challenging job.

“As is always the case, the judges agreed that entries were of a very high standard and the final decisions were subject to much debate among the panellists. The competition becomes stronger every year.

“The trend towards quality e-published fiction continued in 2014, with a high percentage of entries published this way. Both traditional publishing and the smaller presses are well represented in the shortlists, reflecting the general entry trend.

“We would like to thank all the judges for their time and effort judging of these awards.”

Winners of the 2014 Aurealis Awards and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be announced at the Aurealis…

View original 732 more words

What’s next?

Things have been a little quite on the publishing front. Far quieter than I’d like. I haven’t sold much fiction in a while now. Almost fearing I’ve lost my touch. Of course, my energy has been focused primarily on my novel, which has received four partials and one full request to date (which I’m waiting to hear back on). And I’m targeting the pro/semi pro markets exclusively.

However, the nonfiction department has been pretty good. Really, really good. I recently sold to Strange Horizons and Grimdark Magazine in the form of reviews, and I have another review coming out from Fantasy Scroll Magazine in the near future, as well as writing up a article for Grimdark Magazine Issue #4. What about, may you ask? Well, that’s a secret. For now. But all shall be revealed soon enough.

In other news, after several months of holiday, I’m back at uni next week. Sigh. Two 13 week periods of essays, lectures, exams, notes, classes and more. Really exciting stuff. It is my final year, though. And if this whole thing with the agent goes well, I could even leave early and just write full time. That’s just a dream, of course. But it’s plausible.

My first novel had over 100+ rejections. No fulls, no partials, nothing but form rejections left right and center.

The very, very first query I sent out for this second novel received a partial request. Ultimately the agent said no, but it was still mind-blowing. And I’m not giving up. Not by a longshot.

I just hope you’re all there to see it through with me.