In Sputnik’s Orbit
A few thoughts to tide you over…
For three years, the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award competition has been a regular feature of my writing life, and I’m honored and proud to announce that I am once again in the running.
Each time I’ve entered, I’ve been a finalist, which I am rather proud of. The competition is judged by Baen Books editors Hank Davis, Jim Minz, Tony Daniel, David Afsharirad, and best selling Baen author David Drake. Four years ago, I’d have been ecstatic just to have my work on these folks’ radar. Well, it’s still pretty awesome, but four years ago, I’d have been counting the seconds till the big reveal, praying that I win, readying myself for disappointment. No more. This year, I’m happy to be listed alongside these talented authors
Sixty years ago, polio was one of the most feared diseases in the world.
Each year, warming weather brought polio season. Late summer was “polio season.” Public swimming pools were shut d
own. Movie theaters urged patrons not to sit too close together. Insurance companies sold polio insurance for newborns.
In 1952 alone, 60,000 American children were infected; thousands died; many thousands were paralyzed.
My aunt was one of the lucky ones; she might have been the girl in this photo. She eventually learned to walk without crutches, but the leg never grew again, and she wore orthopedic platform shoes and heaved through the house like Hephaestus, or through the school where she taught the next two generations
Greetings fellow scifi lovers!
Since winning the Writers of the Future contest myself, I’ve made it an annual tradition to interview some or all of each year’s winners on my blog. It’s fun, it’s a nice welcome, and it’s a great way to meet new friends.
As always, I’m kicking off the series this year with a veteran, the wonderfully amiable, Mathew S. Rotundo, who won in 2009. I’ll start off by saying the Matt and eight other former WotF winners has contributed a reprint to our promotional anthology, The Future is Nigh, which you can get free for a limited time from http://promo.cStuartHardwick.com (and nowhere else) and it’s no exaggeration to say that it would be a bargain at $15 in hardcover, it really is that good. But enough of that.
Stuart: Matt, welcome! Thanks for dropping by.
Matthew: Thanks for having me!
Stuart: No problem. See, this is great, because we’ve hung out at the SWFA table at conventions and worked together on the odd project, but we’ve never really gotten the chance to talk. Tell me, and my many dozens of mostly loyal followers, who you are. Where do you hail from?
Matthew: I’m from Omaha. As in Nebraska.
Stuart: Home of Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom.” Do you know the guy with the animals?
Matthew: Umm…yeah. More, where the corn is. But we have indoor plumbing, so we’re doing OK.
I’ve lived here all my life, actually, except that I was born in Germany. My dad was in the Air Force and was stationed overseas
Idon’t often talk or write about my personal life, but a recent question of social media hit a nerve. The question was, “What if it turns out we’re all wrong about gay parenting, and it is indeed harmful to kids?
Now, why would this touch a nerve with me, a straight, white middle-class man with all the benefits of a mid-twentieth century American upbringing?
Contract in hand, I can now announce that I’ve sold my most ambitious short work yet to Analog Science Fiction & Fact!
For All Mankind is the tale of two very different women, each hiding secrets from a hostile world. When their respective nations must reach across the Iron Curtain to avert disaster, they find in space, something bigger than fear or prejudice.
Spoiler alert. If you haven’t yet watched Netflix’s series, The OA, to the end yet, go away and come back after you have. It’s okay. We’ll wait.
The OA is the story of Prairie Johnson, adopted daughter of two small town Samaritans who has just turned up in the hospital and on YouTube after having been abducted seven years previous, just as she reached her maturity. As she tries to readjust to normality, she acts weird and assembles her own little quasi cult of followers who meet every night in a half-finished house to hear the spooky tale of her childhood, her abductor’s maniacal research into near death experiences, and the trans-dimentional Tai-Chi she brought back from the wichy woman at the bottom of the lake, the veracity of which is apparently demonstrated by the odd nocturnal nosebleed.
Got that? Doesn’t matter. No really,