Friday, 22 June 2018

Short Story News June 2018

Here's a post I've been holding off on for a while now, I guess because bad news only becomes actual bad news at the point when you share it.  Or at least because I've kept hoping that the horrendous dry spell I've been going through these last couple of years on the short fiction sales front might finally come to an end, and then I could spread a little good news instead.

To put that in perspective: since January 2017, I've literally sold more original novels than I have original short stories!  And honestly, this bites.  I mean, not the novel-selling part, that's great news.  But I know with utter conviction that I'm sending out some of the best short fiction I've written - indeed, maybe the best work I've written full stop - and the creeping certainty that some of it might never see the light of day is pretty gutting.  But what can you do?  Only give up or try that bit harder, and I'm not giving up yet.  So I've been submitting with all the energy I can muster, and more importantly, making a concerted effort to edit the remainder of the work I've got sitting about at first draft stage.  Because maybe something in that lot might fare better, right?

With that grumble out of the way, I have to admit that things could be worse.  At least I'm still selling the odd reprint, and at least I've landed them in a couple of really exciting markets.  The nicest surprise was when I was approached by the editor of Nowa Fantastyka to see if they could buy my story Jenny's Sick for translation into Polish.  Now that it's out, I'm probably safe to admit that I'd have likely let them have it for free; my family immigrated from Poland a generation or three back and it was extremely cool to have that link to what my dad jokingly refers to as "the old country."  Plus, Nowa Fantastyka is an utterly wonderful magazine.  I mean, I can barely read a word of it, but the presentation is fantastic, and the illustration for Jenny's Sick - rather, Jenny Choruje - is one of the very nicest I've had.

But family heritage issues aside, the bigger news is surely making it into a third of Flame Tree Publishing's utterly gorgeous gothic fiction anthologies (after Science Fiction and Lost Worlds).  This one's titled Lost Souls, and the story, Casualty of Peace, is one of my personal favourites, which I'm really pleased to be getting to yet more readers after its appearance in Eric Guignard's excellent Horror Library Volume 6 collection.  It's one of those rare tales that turned out just the way I intended, after a gestation period of months or maybe even years, and I'll be thrilled to see it between lavishly engraved hardback covers.  I'm not sure of a release date on that yet, but I'd guess it'll be towards the back end of the year; in the meantime, there's a full table of contents here.

And, thank goodness, there's always Digital Fiction Publishing!  I've already had one story out with them this year - Twitcher, in the Heinous Concoction horror anthology released back in February - and I've a couple more pending.  Again on the horror front, Great Black Wave will be coming up at some point, as will another personal favourite, my science-fiction tale of well-intentioned alien oppressors Free Radical.

Last up, I guess I should admit that there are one or two other things on the horizon, and those are original pieces.  But I don't know that I'm meant to be talking about them yet, so I won't.  Still, I do sincerely hope that things turn around before this year is out, because the way it's going, it's getting increasingly untenable to keep pouring time into writing and trying to sell short fiction - and it would break my heart to give it up.  So on that front as on every other, here's to the second half of 2018 sucking less than the first has!

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