First, an apology for the silence here of late. In my last post, I mentioned my father having a medical emergency. A few days later, he passed away. So, for most of this month, I've been dealing with the aftermath. But, my life is slowly settling into a new "normal." I hope to actually start writing some more columns about writing soon. As I slog forward with the Greatshadow rewrites, I'm once again learning new stuff about writing a book that I'd like to share. For instance, one thing I've learned is that every book is really your first book. Sure, I've written other novels before, but Greatshadow is presenting it's own challenges and puzzles and I feel like I'm figuring everything out for the first time. Instead of being frustrated by the idea that I have to forget everything I've learned in order to write this book on it's own terms, it's actually kind of exciting.
But, that's a subject for a future column. Right now, I have some news to share.
First, I learned recently that I've sold another short story. It's called "Return to Sender," and it will be appearing this January at Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. I've been working on a rewrite this weekend. Edmund Shubert, the editor, made some suggestions on taking the story to the next level of polish, and I've learned to appreciate his instincts, after the success of my prior IGMS stories, "To Know All Things That Are In The Earth," and "Silent as Dust." I also respect Ed for turning me down on the previous story I sent him. If you ever have an editor willing to buy everything you write, you should be nervous. The most valuable service any editor provides is to be a gatekeeper allowing only your most deserving works to be placed before the public, and ensuring that your less felicitous tales remain hidden so that they won't embarass you. "Return to Sender" was a story that actually originated due to this blog. A few months back, I was looking for a name of a magic weapon I could use in Greatshadow, and Cindy Hannikman suggested the "Crystal Lance." I made a joke that Crystal Lance sounded like the name of a protagonist for an urban fantasy, then, as often happens, I took the joke seriously and before I knew it I had a full blown tale involving pizza, a Chihuahua, a drunken roommate, an evil cult, a horny angel, a girl with hairy legs, and Elvis.
Back in the summer, I mentioned that "Silent as Dust" would appear in The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2009 Edition, edited by Rich Horton. I'm pleased to announce that, after several delays, the book is finally available! Run out to your local bookstore to order a copy, or purchase it on Amazon by following this link. The book has stories by Peter S. Beagle, Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Ian McDonald, Sarah Monette, Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, Robert Reed, Patrick Rothfuss, and many more. This seems like a perfect choice for the SF reader in your life, if only there were some culturally significant gift-giving holiday to provide the excuse for shelling out your hard-earned money.
And, if you'd like a book without spending money on it... stay tuned. I'll be involved in a book giveaway in December. Maybe even more than one giveaway. Details soon.
Welcome to my worlds!
I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!