The Reviews Are In!

I am over the moon (no pun intended) at the reception this story has gotten. It’s hard Scifi–as in real-world science and hardware that either actually existed in 1969 or really could have, and it’s long–novelette length in an era where flash prevails. I knew when I wrote it that Trevor Quachri at Analog was my first, best, and maybe only market.

But Trevor bought it–Yay! And he put my name on the cover (a pretty big deal, since this is only my second sale to Analog and there are 16 other authors in the issue)–Yay! And he hired the great, Hugo-winning artist, Vincent DiFate to do a full, two page illustration–say what?

famcover-smUnbelievable!

And now the reviews are in:

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Meet WotF Winner, Matthew S. Rotundo

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

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A Very Nice Compliment

I got a very complimentary note from an editor today who told me “Dreams of the Rocket Man” was in consideration for his best of the year anthology till the very last cut. Of course, I’d love to have made that cut, but I also know there are many considerations in choosing works for a commercial anthology, and a long work from a little known author is not an easy sell.
 
Oh well. I will just have to become better known. Oh write shorter stories. Or both. Meanwhile, you can still read the story on my sample page, and it’s for sale on Amazon.

Tangent Online Review: “Very Well Done”

My first review in Tanget Online is in. The verdict? Well done!

“Behold the lowly copper penny! Stuart Hardwick, in his story “Luck of the Chieftain’s Arrow,” gives us the unlikeliest of heroes—the penny. Having been arrowhead, jewelry, bell, and then finally a penny, the narrator of this tale is an immortal entity trapped in copper by a shaman’s ignorance. Wanting nothing more than to be set free, it endeavors to educate its owners just enough to do so, but eventually comes to care for humanity in a way humans never seem to do for themselves. This bit of spirit-infused metal travels through history—Forrest Gump-like—mostly observing, but sometimes influencing that history. The ending is left to the reader, but satisfying nonetheless. Very well done.”

Read the entire review here.

What did YOU think of my story? Leave a comment and let me know or better yet, share with the world online. As of this writing, the issue is still free to read on the website at www.GalaxysEdge.com

A Galaxy of Talent

cheiftain

I am elated to share the news that my story, “Luck of the Chieftain’s Arrow,” will appear in Galaxy’s Edge issue #14 alongside stories by Alan Dean Foster, Larry Niven, Nancy Kress, Greg Benford, Robert Heinlein & more.

Yeah.

This stellar lineup is a testament to the work that Mike Resnick and his editorial partners are doing, and a reminder to me to keep up my efforts.

It’s a real, real, honor to be in this company.

Check it out!

My story, “Rainbows For Other Days,” is about a cyborg ranger torn between his humanity and his programming–and the hauntingly simple way in which he copes. It will appear in volume 30 of the L Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future anthology.

Release is in April. You can pre-order here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1619862654/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1619862654&linkCode=as2&tag=nothingun-20

If you haven’t read the Writers of the Future anthology before, check it out. The stories are the winners in the most prestigious short story competition in speculative fiction, and there’s always something for everyone.

Meet Writers of the Future winner: Randy Henderson

Meet fellow Writers of the Future winner, 2013’s second quarter 1st place: Randy Henderson.

Stuart: Hi Randy. Congratulations and thanks for dropping by. Why don’t you start by telling me what made you want to be a writer?

Randy: It’s what all the cool kids were doing.

Stuart: Ha ha. Must have been an interesting school! So, in what ways have you evolved creatively?

Randy: I used to have adverbial gills and a passive vestigial tail. Now, I can cast power sentences. If I gain three more publishing victories, I will evolve into an Authorion Prime, and then I’ll really kick writing butt.

Stuart: I think I have prepositional gills.

Randy: I actually have a presentation I give on the evolutionary stages of writers that reflects the stages I’ve gone through and continue to work through, which includes:

  • Not mistaking events, preaching, or a series of transgressive acts as being a story (i.e. writing dramatic stories with plots).
  • Learning the fundamentals of written gooder, he exploded explodingly.
  • Realizing that writing, editing, and submitting are work, and doing that work consistently and effectively.
  • Learning and using deeper plot and character techniques like integrating plot and character arcs, backwards plotting, etc.
  • Finding one’s voice and style.
  • And of course, getting published professionally, and everything that comes with and after that.

Stuart: Of course. Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Randy: Having been shunned as a child, I do not condone pantsing anyone else, only yourself, let’s make that clear up front. However, I do think honestly most writers are a blend of both, particularly on longer projects. It is not so much one or the other but, from writer to writer and project to project it is a graduated scale, like the spiciness of salsa, or one’s sexual identity, or the quality of Start Trek movies.

Stuart: Describe your writer’s lair.

Randy: Well, for the best view, why don’t you stand there above the shark tank and–

Stuart: Umm…Randy, that’s Stromberg’s Shark Tank. You remember what happened to Stromberg, right?

Randy: Oh, fine. Well, one thing of note is, I started using a standing desk and it is awesome.

Stuart: Hey me too! I liked it so much, I built myself a treadmill desk…

Randy: Reduces back and neck strain, allows you to dance as you write, is better for your circulation, helps burn calories, and even cuts through cans.

Stuart: “It can even cut a cow in half!”

Randy: And alas, no, I don’t get 10% commission if you mention I sent you.

Stuart: Star Trek or Star Wars, sir?

Randy: Each has a special place in my heart for different reasons. I feel, generationally, a more relevant question today might be Halo or Mass Effect? Video games have reached a point where they can offer the kind of rich storyline, characters, awesome experiences, and most importantly, action figures, that we once took from movies and television.

Stuart: Action figures, yes. My favorite is The Great and Powerful Yogurt, from Space Balls. Windows or Linux?

Randy: Commodore 64.

Stuart: Good answer. I actually used to know a guy who wrote and sold software for the those. He was, umm, a nice guy? You ever dream about writing?

Randy: Indeed. I hope to some day. But until then, I’ll probably just write about dreaming.

Stuart: Very wise. When you were a kid, what was your favorite toy?

Randy: Anyone who knows me knows this question makes the terrible assumption that A) I grew up and B ) I would have only one fave. But I do remember fondly from my childhood (to date myself) my Six Million Dollar Man toys, my Evel Knievel toys, models of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica ships, and of course video games.

Stuart: I remember Lee Majors. You know, for an astronaut and all, he spent an awful lot of his time solving crime. If, like Doctor Who, you adopted a unique wardrobe tag (scarves, fezzes, bow-ties), what would it be?

Randy: I don’t believe in popping tags. You will however frequently see me in a tie shirt (a shirt with a tie imprinted on it). But if I had my way, I suppose it would be Doc Ocs arms. I mean, come on, I could write 4 novels at a time! Suh-weet!

Stuart: Or maybe a T-shirt reading “You’d have to be crazy to become a writer.” Any last thoughts?

Randy: Why, did you poison me with iocane powder?

Stuart: You ate Stromberg’s fries??? You KNOW what happened to Stromberg, right? And it wasn’t iocane power, it was powdered nightlock berries. But it’s cool, since we are inventing this universe, we can just invent a logically consistent anti-toxin. Meanwhile, remain calm and rest here while I tell the nice folks how to find out more about you, you know, in case you make it.

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Randy Henderson’s fiction can be spotted frolicking in places like Penumbra, Escape Pod, Realms of Fantasy, Every Day Fiction, and anthologies. He is a 1st Place winner of Writers of the Future, a Clarion West graduate, a relapsed sarcasm addict, and a milkshake connoisseur who transmits suspiciously delicious words into the ether from his secret lair in Kingston, Washington.

The first novel of Randy’s humorous urban fantasy series, titled FINN FANCY NECROMANCY, is forthcoming from TOR in early 2015. Learn more at www.randy-henderson.com. Stay connected on Facebook (/randyhenderson) and Twitter (/quantumage).

“Callista’s Delight” to Appear in ASIM

ImageMy short story, “Callista’s Delight”, will be published in the January issue of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.

“Callista’s Delight” is about a woman who takes her little girl out under the stars to witness the greatest triumph in the history of human engineering–or the moment she looses her daddy. It earned an honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest and was long listed for Britain’s James White award. Despite that, ASIM had it reviewed by its science advisor, so you know it’s full of SciFi goodness.

You won’t want to miss it, so subscribe to ASIM now. Andromeda Spaceways, they’ll get you there–eventually.