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.
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.