Tuesday 25 January 2011

Interview with Author and Editor Rick Novy

Rick Novy lives in the Sonoran Desert city of Scottsdale, Arizona. His education is technical, holding degrees in physics, mathematics, and engineering.  Through his career, he has flown satellites, helped develop surgical implants, and worked with various integrated circuits and senors.  He has also taught in the mathematics department at the local community college.

His very first acceptance was to Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. Since then his fiction has appeared nearly three dozen times in both online and print venues. Rick is the editor of 2020 Visions where sixteen writers look forward a mere decade and present stunning scenerios, reveal exciting possibilities, and warn against harrowing pitfalls that may lie just a few steps ahead of us.  What will life be like ten years from now? 

Rick's website contains a host of information about writing, fish and e-publishing -- do give it a read if you get a chance.

Rick, what do you love about writing and editing?
Writing is the act of creating.  I love the freedom it allows.  It's the only area in life where I get to play entirely by my own rules and can create the kind of stories I would like to read but aren't out there.

Editing is a different animal.  I enjoy editing, but not in large doses, and I certainly wouldn't want to do it all the time the way somebody like John Joseph Adams does.  But the act of reading and selecting other people's stories is enjoyable, even if sending rejections isn't so fun.  Finding that one really great story in the pile is worthwhile.

What's the best peice of writing advice you ever heard? Did you follow it?
Trying to pick out a single piece of writing advice that is the best is something like going to the beach and asking which wave is my favorite.  It's a fluid question and the best advice is always relative to what I happen to be doing at the moment, and what I'm struggling with at that time.  

I have had a lot of sage advice from some very good writers (Orson Scott Card, David Gerrold, Michael A. Stackpole to name three). All had excellent advice that I use, and all had some things that work for them but not for me. 

If I absolutely have to pick something, I'll say Heinlein's first rule--A writer must write.  And I don't always follow it, no, because I am also very influenced by Newton's first law (an object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest).  So I am a streaky writer and I'm struggling to be more consistent.

How important is it for a writer to have a blog/website? 
For an established pro who was established before Al Gore invented the internet, not so much.  For anyone still ascending in their career, it's very important and becoming more important all the time. 

Connecting with a generation that lives and breathes with electronic devices is essential to building a lasting career in today's world.  If the information is out there, people will find it.  If you can drive traffic to your site, that's even better because it's about exposure.  With electronic publishing finally gaining significant marketshare, you have to be online, and at least some of your work must be available in electronic form.

I wrote a series of 8 essays on my blog discussing electronic publishing.  Here is a link to the 8th, it has embedded links to the other 7 essays.

Writing or editing, what's going to be in your future (maybe a bit of both)? 
Editing is something that I will occasionally do when I get an idea that's too good not to use for an anthology, but writing is where I plan to focus my literary efforts.  I have a lot of novels swimming around inside my head and they need to get into a form people can read.  I also have some non-fiction aspirations.

Thank you, Rick.
Thank you. 
Find Rick's work through the links below:
2020 Visions - M-Brane Press - 16 stories of the near future.
eBooks for the 21st-Century Author - Entropy-Central.net - free PDF book available from Rick's website.
Ergosphere - M-Brane Press - trade paperback version of M-Brane SF issue #12 which Rick guest-edited.
Winter - Sam's Dot Publishing - Novelette "Winter" paired with short story "The Adjoa Gambit."
(No direct link, you will have to search for Rick's name)

Monday 24 January 2011

Last Contact

First story acceptance of the year. My story, 'City of Bones', a story of avatars and reality, has been accepted by the good folks at the Triangulation Anthology Series. This year's prompt is 'Last Contact."  This story started life as a poem and just grew and grew. Some of my best sales have come from poems/story conversions. I wonder what it all means.

Special thanks to editor and writer Stephen Ramey who made some great suggestions for this story.

Sunday 16 January 2011


Four reprint tweets accepted by 7x20 today. With the one that Joanne already had, that adds up to a week of deboree goodness in April.

Saturday 15 January 2011

Fantasy on the Web

Enchanted Conversation is a magazine devoted to the re-imagining of the fairy tale. Each issue takes a fairy tale as its theme and invites submissions from writers and poets.

My works can be found in the Sleeping Beauty and the Little Mermaid issues:

Enchanted Conversation has a new website for 2011 with new pay rates (10c per word and $50 for poems) and is open to submissions for the Rumpelstiltskin issue 21st to 24th Feb.

This is a great site for readers and writers.

Sunday 9 January 2011

January News

'Space Ninjas' poem accepted by Star*Line
The Bottom Feeders and Other Stories by Aaron Polson -- reviewed at Skull Salad Reviews
Re-write request from an established anthology -- can't say which, don't want to jinx it.

Sunday 2 January 2011

Bam! reviewed on Skull Salad Reviews

Skull Salad Reviews is a word of mouth sight for the digital age, reviewing the small press. I have just posted my review of the fabulous collection by Luc Reid:
by Luc Reid

Bam,  indeed. This is a collection of 172 fantasy and science fiction, flash stories. That's right -- 172. Each of them short enough to read in a few minutes, each of them rich, well crafted, meaningful. Dark chocolate stories that deserved to be savoured.

Luc Reid is a winner of the Writers of the Future award, and it shows. Most of these stories have been previously published in venues such as Abyss and Apex, Brain Harvest and The Daily Cabal.  Reid has compiled this collection, added some interesting commentary and published them at the bargain price of $2.99.

I have a taste for flash, and with the explosion of e-publishing, it could be that flash is going to take off in a big way. You could read these stories to slip a little strangeness into your life, standing in line at the check-out, on the bus, waiting in the doctor's surgery.
There are two things I like in my flash. I love spec fiction, I love ideas. Bam has idea after idea, expressed succinctly. Glimpses into worlds, very much like own, but skewed in some interesting and wonderful way. I also like my flash to have an emotional resonance. I particularly like the three linked 'Outcasts on Earth' stories, written through the eyes of alien perception.  Many of Reid's stories are moving, many of them are funny. There are too many stories to mention all my favorites. I enjoyed the Parthenia Rook series, a tongue-in-cheek pulp style science-fiction adventure series. Ever wondered what happened, after the 'happily ever after' -- read the Cinderella series.
Reid has published the collection in a number of formats. If you have a kindle you can sample or buy on Amazon. If you're like me, a person who is always trailing behind the latest trends, you can read the collection on your computer in pdf or html format. On Smashwords you can read a generous 20% sample of the book for free. I highly recommend this collection. Dark chocolate flash stories which deserve to be savoured, or, if you're greedy like me, you can gobble them all down at once.