2011 was a tumultuous year to be sure. For starters, I lost my job of eleven years, my wife lost her job of ten, within months of each other. I was lucky enough to find new employment so we’ll be fine, but it’s still a scary thing to happen, especially in the current economic climate.
In terms of my writing though, 2011 has been a stellar year. I sold as many short stories in one year as I have done all the previous years of my life combined! By my count, ten of my stories have been commissioned and/or published this year, doubling my total output to twenty. Plus I started work on my second short story collection, the apocalyptic anthology World’s Collider. The stories from contributors are rolling in steadily and my excitement around this unique collection is building. It’s going to be very cool.
So here then is an overview of the anthologies I’ve sold stories to this year.
Kizuna: Fiction for Japan
Not strictly a sale, since Kizuna is for charity, but I reckon it counts. It’s the brainchild of Brent Millis, who lives in Japan and wanted to do something to help the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. I’m really honoured to be part of this lineup of over seventy international writers, one of them Michael Moorcock!
Buy Kizuna from Amazon US, Amazon Canada or Amazon UK, or buy a print copy on CreateSpace. Also visit the Kizuna site.
Gotrek and Felix – The Anthology
Breaking into Warhammer was definitely one of the highlights of my year. Obviously the target is to have a Warhammer novel under my belt, but getting into an anthology featuring the fantasy line’s most popular duo feels like a pretty major first step. The title came to me first — The Funeral of Gotrek Gurnisson — and I think it works well to pique the fans’ curiousity.
This anthology will be released in April 2012. Have a read of an extract from my story while you’re waiting.
Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction
This is by far the most reviewed story of my writing career. Getting into Solaris Rising was a major achievement for me. Just look at that lineup of writers! I consider Yestermorrow to be the best thing I’ve ever written, and most of the reviews have been at least positive and in some cases have called it a highlight of the collection. That’s pretty humbling, given the calibre of writers I’m sharing cover space with. It took me four years to get it published but it was well worth it. Cool…
You can order Solaris Rising from Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon Canada.
Just got my copies yesterday and this is truly a gorgeous volume with a terrific cover. Not only is this a great idea for a collection but it was also a lot of fun to be involved in. I’m very grateful to Dean Drinkel for taking a chance on me, and for Steven Savile for the referral. This is my first involvement with Dark Continents Publishing and I’m impressed by how they operate. I hope to work more with them in the future.
Get your copy of Phobophobia from Amazon Canada, Amazon US or Amazon UK.
Clean Living, my first attempt at a zombie story, wasn’t originally written for this second anthology from Open Casket Press. I had submitted it to another collection about a month earlier and it was rejected on a Thursday evening. Twenty minutes later I saw a Facebook post calling for a zombie story to complete a collection. I sent off Clean Living and an hour later it was accepted. To have the same story rejected and accepted in one evening is enough to make your head spin!
Buy now from Amazon US or Amazon UK, or Amazon Canada
Wildthyme in Purple
This was just a blast to write. I grew up watching Flash Gordon film serials on BB2 on a Saturday morning, if memory serves. To combine them with Iris Wildthyme was just a joy. I always enjoy writing for Iris — it feels much like writing for Doctor Who Short Trips again. I hope folks enjoy Flash Rogers Conquers the Universe! and I can’t wait to receive my comp copy!
Wildthyme in Purple is available from Obverse Books.
When editor Mark Christopher invited me to write a story for his Bigfoot anthology, I drew a blank. Then I saw something on a popular internet site that gave me an awesome idea, and the storyline for Loggers just grew from a single image in my head. Yeah you have to buy the collection to find out what I saw on that webpage. And no, it wasn’t a popular porn site.
Order Bigfoot Tales from Amazon UK, Amazon US or Amazon Canada.
A-Z Cities of Death
Phobophobia‘s Dean M Drinkel is back, this time with disturbingly dark cities from A to Z. I was assigned “N” and we were allowed to invent the locations, so I went for a city on another world that has been unofficially renamed by its inhabitants to Necropolis. This story features the same main character I used in my short tale for Kizuna. Yes I plan to do more with him.
The release date for A-Z Cities of Death has yet to be announced.
Machine of Death 2
Of all the highlights this year, this was the biggest surprise. I knew there would be a lot of competition, but 2,000 story submissions? That blows my mind. I deliberately came up with a premise that would stand out amongst the crowd and it looks like that paid off. I’ve no idea when this will be released but I’m psyched to be a part of it.
Visit the Machine of Death site for updates on the second collection.
Top Secret Story
OK so it’s not that top secret, I just can’t talk about it yet. I signed a contract for another short story this year, which all being well will appear next year. So technically this is a 2011 sale.
2011 has been one hell of a year in so many ways. So what’s coming in 2012? Well, the so-far unpublished stories above will see print, and hopefully there will be more commissions along the way. World’s Collider will be completed next year and will (hopefully!) be released. That will be a big deal for me and I hope it will be huge. My major objective for 2012: write that all-important novel. It’s going to be tough to find time between the family and the job, but it will happen. Hell, I should have written it already!