“War Dog” to be published in the anthology TERRA! TARA! TERROR!

 

Woof! Now that the contract is signed, I am happy to officially announce a sale to a great publisher, Third Flatiron, that pays SFWA’s pro rate! “War Dog” will appear in both e-book and trade paperback in TERRA! TARA! TERROR! in October of this year! This is my third sale to Third Flatiron since I started submitting to them exactly one year ago. I hope you get a chance to read my historical fantasy about the famous armored war dogs of the conquistadors!

Below was the call. I wrote this one to specification–specifically, that call for alternate histories. I love the Spanish Main, and have written many fantasy stories set in that world. This is my first that didn’t just win an award–this one is to be published! Alternate history, famous conquistadors, magical blood, and DOGS! What’s not to like?

“Terra! Tara! Terror!” – SF, Fantasy, Horror. Whether the setting is a cabin in the woods (Terra), Fae (Tara), or spaceship Nostromo (Terror), take us there and spin your adventure. For a bit of mood whiplash, we’d like a mixture of dark and bright stories. Examples: Obsession with odd artifacts (like Roadside Picnic’s golden sphere?), alternate histories, paranormal romance (no erotica, please, we’re PG-13).

Get yours in October from Amazon and let me know what you think! I’ll keep barking about this one. WOOF!

 

Reject Rejectomancy!

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Andy Dudak (left) interviews silkpunk author Ken Liu (right) at the 2018 Norwescon Conference in Seattle, Washington.

If you’re writing to be published, chances are you’ve suffered from some form of this mental condition. We’ve all gone through it, we’ve all caught it–some just show more virulent symptoms than others. We send out a story. It comes back with a rejection. It can be the dreaded form rejection, or it can be the encouraging personal rejection–also dreaded, because these can be even more confusing.

Then we drive ourselves nuts trying to guess why the story got rejected. This was to be the pinnacle of our writing career! The editor must have macular degeneration and have been three sheets to the wind! What other explanation is there? Oh. Maybe, just maybe, they left us an explanation, hidden secretly in their brief words. Ken Liu talked about this at Norwescon this year. He called the condition Rejectomancy. Let me get my notes. Hm. A place for everything and everything misplaced. Ah. Here it is under a tube filled with nautical maps of the San Juan Islands. Obviously! Okay, here we go! Continue reading “Reject Rejectomancy!”

40 Year Anniversary of My First Pro Sale!

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This is the 40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF MY FIRST SF PRO SALE AND PUBLICATION!

When I was fifteen I was a winner in Scholastic Inc.’s National Writing Competition, and the editor from Science World saw the story, paid me pro rate even by today’s SFWA standards, and published “The Last Ray of Light” May 18, 1978. Science World doesn’t publish science fiction, they publish articles about science, 500,000 copies an issue, to help science teachers get kids excited about, well, science! So this was a special deal for my story. It did happen to be about a hyperloop/vactrain, many decades before Elon Musk theorized building one through Tesla. There was nothing for me to read on such a thing at the time, but the country was in an energy crisis, and I just made up an energy starved future world, how they would travel, what would happen if the system failed, and the price my protagonist would have to pay to save those people trapped inside.

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Forty years later and I’m happy to say the story that kid wrote still works–editor Joe Monson will be reprinting it in the anthology TRACE THE STARS around February 2019 along with stories by New York Times bestselling authors David Farland and Kevin J. Anderson! I am thrilled this tale is coming back to life in an anthology where proceeds will help students reach for the stars! If you get a chance to read it, just forgive my naivete’ about how computers in the future would communicate–our school’s computer lab had a strong impression on me, and those of you in the know will understand why my computer says STOP at the end of every sentence. STOP.

Okay, now, you can stop. STOP.  No, seriously, I mean it, computer! STOP.

 

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Remembering David Bischoff

This was sad for me last night–I saw a post from Kevin J. Anderson on a group I’m in, and realized I had missed the news that David Bischoff died March of this year. David was a member of the Wordos writers group in Eugene, Oregon, and so was I. Mild mannered, quiet and kind, you would never have known how much he had accomplished in the industry unless you really pressed him–he was just another writer showing up to help critique for the weekly sessions. Dave and I became friends, and he really liked my writing, especially my Borg love story published in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds II. You see, among his many accomplishments, Dave had worked the Hollywood scene, had written the Star Trek Next Generation episode “Tin Man” and coauthored “First Contact,” and also wrote the bestselling Trek novel Grounded. Imagine my surprise when one day he asked me to work up a list of pitches that we’d take to Paramount to pitch to the execs at Voyager. He liked my ideas, prepped me on how fast you had to change them as the producers added their twists, and we planned our dates to go. Alas, just as we were about to buy tickets, Dave got nervous, apologized, but said he had reconsidered–having done the Hollywood scene (you make a lot of compromises in your work to exist there), he had changed his mind about going back into it. He had decided he was happy where he was at in his career, and I respected that.

It would have been cool to have shared in that world with him, however, and I can’t help my selfish wish that we would have gone. For me, it has always been a great dream of what might have been, and it’s my fondest memory of Dave, because he had made a choice, and he knew where he wanted his writing and life to be. I’ll miss you, Dave. You were always kind and insightful, and you believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. You had a profound impact on my writing, even though my move created distance that caused us to drift apart. You will be missed by all that were graced with your kind presence.

Everything you wanted to know about Moon . . .

. . . but were afraid to ask. Well, the editor at Third Flatiron Publishing, Juliana Rew, wasn’t afraid! She put the thumbscrews to me after my beastie podcast, and I squealed everything.  Juli said I could share–just like influenza, misery loves company. (I always say misery loves comfort, preferably Southern, but what do I know?)   Continue reading “Everything you wanted to know about Moon . . .”

Awards Eligibility 2017

Short Stories

“Beast of the Month,” Third Flatiron’s Best of 2017 anthology, Third Flatiron Publishing–humorous fantasy story where a wizard’s mail order managerie service runs amok.

“Beast of the Month,” Strange Beasties anthologyThird Flatiron Publishing–where the story originally appeared in 2017. You can listen to the story for free by clicking the podcast below.

 

Podcasts

“Beast of the Month,” Third Flatiron Publishing Podcasts, read by the author, Wulf Moon. Released December 1, 2017.

FREE PODCAST! Let me read you a story…

My grandmother was Native American, of the Chippewa (Ojibwa) nation. She raised me in my formative years. She was everything you’ve read, heard, or seen in oral storytellers of the first people of America. I begged a story out of her every night, and I usually got my wish–fireside tales that fired my imagination.

Now, I get to carry on her tradition. Oral storytelling has changed a little. With podcasts, you don’t get to see that fireside glow, the sparkling eyes, the dramatic gestures. The voice must convey all. And recording that voice is a challenge. You will put up with a rooster crowing in the background on a farm–you most certainly will not in a podcast (unless it’s a story about Old McDonald). So you read in your not-so-soundproof office, and reread, and reread, and reread until finally, you do one perfect take without interruption, without error. It ain’t easy, but the results are worth it.

So let me read you a story. It won’t be a story like my grandmother’s–she was one of a kind. But her blood is in me, and it wants to sing…

Click here for “Beast of the Month” Podcast. 

The Forest Guard

I’ve been gaming for a long time. My Dungeons and Dragons team used to travel to the original TSR headquarters in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for the annual competitions. Once, we were one win away from having Gary Gygax as our dungeon master for the champion match. Alas, we did not win the tournament. I did, however, learn an important life lesson: NEVER launch a fireball in an ice cavern!

I was there at the release of the first MONSTER MANUAL…we no longer had to invent critters and their stats! Well, so we thought at the time. Seeing Gary Gygax DM for the final match was an incredible experience. With lights dimmed over the room, he had a skull on his command desk flickering with candlelight, and light from below illuminating his face in spectral glow. He had a powerful voice and a flair for the dramatic, but then, this was the guy that invented D&D. How could he not?

Twelve years ago I founded a gaming guild: TheForestGuard.com. TFG was an original guild from the start of the online game Guild Wars 1, and we trained for countless hours and fought with skill, grace and honor in Guild vs. Guild tournaments.  When Guild Wars 2 came out, we immediately established The Forest Guard in the Northern Shiverpeaks server. The guild has been home to thousands of members over the years, 300 active at present. When we ran as a wolf pack against competing world servers, no one could stop us. We regularly accomplished what other guilds considered impossible, standing against all odds and winning because we fought like centurions. Just like a Roman legion, we NEVER let our standard fall! Our Wolf Banner above has always been the symbol of our ideals, and when we claimed a keep or tower, that banner flying above ensured that it was there to stay–every member of the guild made certain it was so.

TFG remains a premier defender in GW2 today. Our success is in basing both training and guild hierarchy on wolf pack stratagems, and I still hold the rank of Big Bad Wolf. Why wolf pack? This, from defenders.org: “You might have heard the expression ‘lone wolf.’  But wolves are naturally pack animals and they develop close relationships and form strong social bonds.  Wolves often demonstrate deep affection for each other and may even sacrifice themselves to protect their family.”  THAT is TFG, and you’ll find familial friendship in every member.

Our guild motto is: Good people first, good players second, and we are DAMN good players. We search for good people in the game. We hunt loyal players that show pride in what they do. We give them a home. They become family. Everything else can be taught.

The best proof of the caliber of these players? When I asked the officers to take over my leadership duties so I could write, they never complained, and have taken the guild to new heights as they organized and guided the entire NSP server. I have had the support of the entire guild, cheering me on in my writing as they’ve continued to uphold our wolf pack ideals. For their tremendous support, for each making TFG what it is today, I give this howl out to them. Go TFG!