This infographic makes me think we really need some final boys.
This infographic makes me think we really need some final boys.
After a 20-year hiatus, the legendary horror magazine Weirdbook has returned — and the first issue features one of my short stories, “The Grimlorn Under the Mountain”!
The revived magazine is being edited by Douglas Draa and published by Wildside Press.
The nearly 200-page first issue boasts a bunch of great authors. Here’s the full table of contents:
Here’s the book’s description:
Let your imagination run away with you for a change.
Since the Age of Enlightenment, it’s become the norm to reject belief in miracles, revelation, magic, or the supernatural. But it’s only human to feel that delicious frisson of fear when things get a little strange. Third Flatiron Anthologies proudly presents “Ain’t Superstitious,” a double issue packed with 26 stories of the weird, wild, and magical.
Here’s the table of contents:
“Salt and Bone” by Amy Aderman
“Coffee Lake” by Spencer Carvalho
“Confrontation on the Big One Three” by Maureen Bowden
“The Plague Well” by Dennis Mombauer
“Across the Styx of Norway” by Jacob M. Lambert
“The Necromancer” by John Hegenberger
“Pandora’s Pinata” by E. E. King
“A Day to End All Days” by James Aquilone
“Upon a Pale Horse” by Bruce Golden
“Wind Chimes” by Sean O’Dea
“James and the Prince of Darkness” by Kevin Lauderdale
“Spellcasting” by Gerri Leen
“What Is Sacred to Dogs” by A. P. Sessler
“The Apple Falls Upward” by Andrew Kozma
“Sam, Sam, and the Demoness” by K. T. Katzmann
“Ambrose’s Eight-plus-Oneth” by Judith Field
“The Annual Scarecrow Festival” by John Paul Davies
“Nine Ways to Communicate with the Living” by Sarina Dorie
“Schrodinger’s Schrodinger” by Benjamin Jacobson
“A Little Mischief” by Ken Altabef
“Gualicho Days” by Gustavo Bondoni
“Wolf Call” by Adele Gardner
“The Candlestick” by Will Morton
“Dead Men’s Drinks” by Christina Bates
“Pantomimus” by Lyn Godfrey
“O Shades, My Woe” by Eric J. Guignard
I entered the self-publishing game with my first ebook in late August, but I’ve already learned a good deal. One thing I learned is that there’s much more to learn!
Here are five other things I learned my first week of self-publishing on Amazon:
1. Don’t be jealous of your author friends when their book is No. 17 in some sub-category of a sub-category of a sub-category. My ebook sold a whopping four copies in one day and I zoomed up the sales rankings, peaking at 21,000 overall in the Kindle store and in the Top 20 of the science fiction short reads category. For a little while I was the No. 2 Hot New Release. I’m selling the book for 99 cents, so all it took was $3.96 in sales to get me into that position. Amazon doesn’t care about price when it comes to sales ranking, only units sold. (Four sales in a day isn’t bad, though. But you’d have to be consistent and sell four copies a day for a few weeks to make decent money.)
2. If you’re going to publish short books, it’s probably best to put the copyright info in the back. That’s because the “Look Inside” preview feature grabs only the first 10 percent of the book. So with a book that’s only, say, 15 or 20 pages long, it might not show anything but the copyright page. I learned that the hard way and had to re-upload my book, and when you do that, it can takes hours or even days to update.
3. Not everyone has the Kindle app or knows how to buy an ebook on Amazon. It’s a given for regular readers, but for friends and family who are not bibliophiles , buying your ebook may confuse the hell out of them.
4. Don’t expect people to buy your book just because it’s on Amazon. You need to do work. Promote. Develop a readership. Get your name out there. It’s hard enough to get someone to read your stuff when it’s available for free online; getting strangers to plunk down even 99 cents for your words is a huge challenge.
5. Don’t expect to get much writing done. Even publishing a short ebook (mine contains two short stories and runs the equivalent of 17 pages) takes a lot of time. You have to design a cover, format your book, create a copyright page, possibly a table of contents, proofread it all, test it, upload it, write the meta data, reupload it (if you find mistakes), wait for approval, possibly prove you own the copyrights to the text — and when it’s published you have to market it. Like this… Hey, I published an ebook. Please buy it here.
Our silver-screen Vietnam vets were kicking ass in the 1980s. Sylvester Stallone was taking on entire towns armed with a sneer, Arnold Schwarzenegger was cracking necks with his bare hands, and Chuck Norris was doing, uh…(actually I’ve never seen any of those Missing in Action movies, but I’m sure Chuck was doing the exact same thing as Stallone). As John Rambo, John Matrix, Alan “Dutch” Schaefer, and James Braddock, our celluloid heroes were one-man armies; no one could stop them, not even invisible Rasta aliens.
So, how in the heck, dear readers, did we lose the Vietnam war with such badasses on our side?
My answer: We didn’t lose Vietnam. It was a tie. (Extra points if you know what movie that quote comes from.)
Gosh, it’s fun creating ebooks.
After much fussing, “No Place for a Hero” went live on Amazon this week. The story was originally published last year in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine and later reprinted in The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2013-2014 and podcasted at StarShipSofa.
Also included is my short short story “6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart.”
Yes, all this can be yours for the low, low price of 99 cents.
All you have to do is click over to Amazon.
How about that cover too?
I haven’t posted in a while and there hasn’t been much by the way of publications in the past few months, but that’s about to change. A bunch of stories are coming out in the next few weeks.
“A Day to End All Days” will be published in Third Flatiron’s fall anthology “Ain’t Superstitious” on September 1. There’s already a pre-order page up on Amazon.
I’m very excited about this: “So You’ve Metamorphosed Into a Giant Insect. Now What?” will be in the Unidentified Funny Objects 4 anthology, edited by Alex Shvartsman. What’s so exciting — beyond being in the kick-ass UFO series — is that I’ll be sharing a table of contents with George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman! In fact, there are only four stories between me and GRRM! The book should be out in either September or October. Check back for more details.
“The Grimlorn Under the Mountain,” which is one of my few (so far) non-funny stories, will be in the first issue of the revived Weirdbook Magazine, edited by Douglas Draa. That should be out in October.
“The Great Work” — I hope — will be published in the eight volume of Spark: A Creative Anthology. No confirmation on a publication date yet. This, too, is a straight-up horror story.
In other publishing news, I’m putting the finishing touches on my first self-published reprint. That should be out this week. I’ll have an update on that soon.
My space opera tale about a hero and his robot sidekick who specialize in saving princesses has been published in Nature’s Futures.
Here’s the opening to “Simon Clash: The Galaxy’s Greatest Hero”:
A brzzt-brzzt-brzzt came stuttering through the air as we sped over the black sands of Desolation. Something hit the repulsor-cycle’s rear fin, sending it into a vicious spin. Ja-bot was immediately thrown. I fought to regain control, and had nearly stopped the ever-widening gyre, but the cycle caught the edge of a dune and pitched me into the burning sand.
You can read the entire story at the Futures website.
You can read about what inspired the story here.
The fine folks at StarShipSofa featured my superhero story “No Place for a Hero” on their podcast last month.
You can listen to it here.
The story was originally published in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine and reprinted in “The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2013-2014” anthology.
My story about a stand-up comedian robot has been published in Perihelion Science Fiction.
Here’s the opening to “Do Stand-Up Bots Dream of Electric Hecklers?”:
Harold was sitting toilet, reading the holo-paper, when the stand-up bot began an impromptu set. Harold had come to hate the metallic hack with the ferocity he usually reserved for people who dog-eared old print books or got those ridiculous data-streaming bionic eyes.
You can read the entire story at Perihelion SF.
Getting paid once for a story is nice, but getting paid twice? Now that’s sweet!
I had two big reprints in the past few months.
The first was “No Place for a Hero,” which was originally published in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine in November 2014. In December it made its way into “The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2013-2014 ” anthology, along with stories by Larry Niven, Mercedes Lackey, and Ken Liu.
You can pick it up at Amazon as a paperback or ebook.
If reading isn’t your thing, “No Place for a Hero” will be podcast on StarShipSofa on February 18th. So look for that too. This little story sure has been making the rounds since it was published only a few months ago!
In January “6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart” was reprinted in the “Flash Fiction Online 2014 Anthology,” the publication’s first annual anthology. It was originally published in Flash Fiction Online in August 2014. The anthology also includes stories by Caroline M. Yoachim, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, and Stewart C. Baker.
It’s available at Amazon as an ebook.
My story about a redneck telepath has been published by Triptych Tales.
Here’s the opening to “Head to Head”:
The voice of God spoke inside Walter’s head. He had his doubts, of course, but eight years of Catholic school are hard to shake off. So he played along — you know, just in case.
He had confessed to five of the seven deadly sins before finally calling the voice’s bluff. “I don’t think God would say ‘Dang’!”
You can read the entire story at Triptych Tales
I am an editor and writer, mostly of the speculative ilk.
My fiction has appeared in Nature's Futures, Galaxy's Edge, Flash Fiction Online, and Weird Tales Magazine, among many other publications.
My short story "The Zombie Who Had a Name" was among the winners of Bards and Sages Quarterly’s 2013 Readers Choice Awards.
I am a regular contributor at the Hugo-winning fanzine SF Signal.
I also write for the Science Fiction Book Club and have done articles and reviews for several other websites, including Den of Geek, Shock Totem and Hellnotes.
Two of my short stories made Tangent Online's 2014 Recommended Reading List.
I am a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, and the Codex Writers Group.
Contact me at jamesaquilone [at] gmail.com