Lots of updates today, including three new science articles over at PITS.
First is a long gestating article about why science fiction writer Isaac Asimov was so terrified of overpopulation, which is a great lead in to discussing the Green Revolution. Then we get into some ancient physics with my feelings on the famous story of Archimedes before landing on how boats float. Lastly I do some serious venting about why I believe that science popularist Bill Nye has done more harm than good.
If I can be so audacious as to link to my blog from within a blog post, I recently shared a complete work of flash fiction as a result of the death of the last male white rhino. "Preservation" is available in my Kindle collection "Big Ideas, Small Form" and you can read it in all its 800 word length at the link above. Just a reminder that my latest short story, "On Leather Wings," is also over at Amazon for just one dollar and people are really enjoying it. (Or so they tell me. Who can say for certain.)
Finally, some news that is a bit of a mixed bag. Just a few weeks ago I received a rejection letter for a short story that a magazine publisher had been reviewing for some time. This was no surprise, as I've become hardened to rejection letters and expect them at this point. What I wasn't expecting was the content of the rejection letter. Apparently, my story was "shortlisted," meaning it was marked for publication by three different editors, but didn't make the final cut. There were some nice things said in the letter about how few stories they are able to accept versus their submissions, and the letter ended with an incredibly emphatic request that I submit more stories to them in the future. I was a bit skeptical submitting this story in the first place, not because it was bad -- to the contrary, I think it's some of my best work -- but because it's a very odd story and I can see it being rejected for that reason alone. The really encouraging thing is that this is the closest I've yet come to selling a piece of fiction to a publisher, so as the news sat it became the best possible rejection letter I could have received. As for the story itself, I'll continue shopping it around to smaller publishers in the hopes of getting it picked up. I'll obviously be sending more work to that magazine as well.
Thanks for reading this info dump, and please check out the free articles on PITS and maybe throw a few dollars at my fiction?
The passing of Sudan, the last male white rhino in existence, was widely reported this week and not unexpected by conservationists. The one silver lining is that he died of old age and not at the hands of poachers -- a small comfort.
Sudan's passing reminded me of a science fiction story I wrote some time ago, and available in my collection "Big Ideas, Small Form." As a tribute to the hard working humans that protected Sudan (visible in the NYT video linked above), I've decided to reproduce the short piece here.
Long time without an update, but that's because I've been keeping busy with a lot of fiction projects. First some links to free stuff then some exciting news.
I somehow forgot to link to this review from months ago of "What Happened to Monday." Spoiler alert: I didn't like it. Comically the screen writer shared and "liked" this article on at least two social media platforms. Either he responds to criticism exceptionally well or never read it. Take your pick.
More recently, I have a new science article over at PITS discussing the Radium Girls titled "Radium Will Make Your Watch Face Glow and Your Jaw Fall Off." This is not a particularly happy piece, but I think you'll find it's very interesting and engrossing. (That's the feedback I've been receiving anyway.)
Now the exciting news. Along side various publishing submissions I've decided to self publish a series of short stories and novellas featuring recurring characters which will collectively be known as "The Society Series." This allows me to explore a variety of story concepts I've had kicking around for years that don't fully work as isolated short tales, but I think as part of a larger tapestry will work beautifully. Feedback on the first story from test readers has been overwhelmingly positive, so I can't wait to share this with all of you. Short stories will be available for $1 on Kindle, and eventually collected into a print edition.
Forgot to post this Blade Runner Retrospective I wrote a few weeks ago in preparation for the sequel coming out. No worries, it's still fresh.
I've been spending all my writing time working on a pair of novels. The first is my take on a haunted house, because every horror writer has to have a haunted house story, in my opinion. Plus it's a super fun sub-genre. The second is a sci-fi action/adventure satire that I'm having fun with. So two very different projects that both require a lot of time. Don't forget that you can pick up my Kindle short story collections; links over on my Fiction Page.
Cautionary tales this week, one for a movie and another for a place. I recently took my first trip to Las Vegas and shared my honest (and largely unflattering) impression at Panic in the Skies. A similarly unflattering review of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is over at Outpost 31.
No extended reviews, but I saw the latest Planet of the Apes and it did not disappoint. Nor did Baby Driver, which is my movie of the year thus far.
I have a review of last year's Red Dwarf Series XI over at Outpost 31. TLDR: I enjoyed it a lot.
I've recently added another rejection letter to my short story portfolio. At least it's progress.
My long delayed collection of flash fiction is available on Kindle and in paperback through Amazon! You can find international links on my new Fiction page. It spans genres from science fiction to slice of life, though with a good bit of satire throughout. If you do purchase it please give it a review on Amazon as that helps me a lot.
I also finally got around to telling a story I've been meaning to tell for some time. It's about what it was like to have a tweet go viral, which was such a unique and surreal experience that I feel it's worth sharing. You can catch that over at Panic in the Skies. After you read it help me figure out if I'm technically a contributing writer at Buzzfeed.
Not much for you to read lately though I have been busy. I'm putting the finishing touches on my Kindle flash fiction collection and have some very kind reviews to add to the press for it. I've started a new nonfiction book project which is going fairly well, and I've sent off a horror story to a magazine.
Of course I only post on here when I have something for you to read. Thing is, I couldn't help but write a review of the outstanding documentary Five Came Back, which you can read over at Outpost 31.
Star Trek VI and Star Trek Beyond are philosophically linked. At least that's what I argue in my latest Outpost 31 piece, which is worth your time if you're a fan of metaphor in science fiction.
Apart from that I recently wrote up a silly piece for Panic in the Skies about what other songs might be on Starlord's mixtapes.