Story release: Traumahead and other sales

Well. I’ve been busy. You know how it goes.

But: a few days ago one of my stories, Traumahead, launched over at Nature magazine. You can check it out over here.

It’s one of the more scientifically denser stories I’ve written, about an alien who’s collecting the memories of his fellow fallen soldiers before their civilization is wiped out by xenocidial humans, and searching for his daughter amoung the wreckage. It’s probably got the highest number of made-up technical jargon I’ve had in a flash piece,  and every sentence had to work double-time to cram the narrative into such a short space. But I’m pretty happy with it, and I got to play with weird and gooey alien biology and fragments of space opera wonder among the darker side of the story. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to sell a first-person story about highly advanced aliens to Nature, but I was happy to be proven wrong. Hope you check it out and enjoy.

Otherwise, a reprint of my “The Bronze Gods” appeared in Grimdark Magazine Issue 16, alongside work from Ed McDonald, Rebecca Kuang and Michael R. Fletcher. Give it a lookesy…

Also, my story “The Galaxy’s Cube” is going to be translated into Estonian by the magazine Reaktor, making it the fourth language the story has appeared in, and almost my most reprinted work. This would be the 10th time it’s been reprinted, methinks. It’s not my favourite story, but all these years later I find it still holds water, and if people want to continue reprinting it, I won’t object.

As always, until later…

Advertisements

Freelancing Editing Services: Open for Business

I’m open for business as a freelance editor of genre fiction, specializing in science-fiction, fantasy and horror.

In today’s competitive market, your short story, novella, or novel will need to stand-out and be as thoroughly polished as it can possibly be to stand a good chance at getting published. Having an extra, professional eye cast over it can greatly increase those chances in your favour.

A bit about me and my qualifications: Ongoing since 2014, I am the fiction editor-in-chief and producer of Hugo-winning audio magazine, StarShipSofa. Authors who I’ve worked for as editor include George R. R. Martin, William Gibson, Robin Hobb, Harlan Ellison, Peter Watts, Robert Silverberg, Hannu Rajaniemi, Joe Haldeman, Nnedi Okorafor, Neal Asher, Joe Lansdale, Marc Laidlaw, and hundreds of others.

I acquire stories both through the slush pile and through solicitation, usually working with the authors directly. In some cases, I go through rewrites and line edits with the author to improve the story’s world-building, characterization, plot direction, prose and narrative arc. I select and purchase the stories before finding an appropriate narrator, selecting the narrator’s gender, accent, nationality, pitch and tone to suit the story.

I am also a writer of science-fiction, horror and nonfiction, both in novel length and short form. My work has been traditional published in venues such as Nature, Abyss & Apex, Lightspeed, Tor.com, Tales to Terrify, Strange Horizons, and multiple anthologies. My work has been translated into Mandarin, Polish, Arabic, Bulgarian, and Spanish. I have appeared on multiple panels on editing and writing at WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, Finland, and I have a BA in Film Studies and Creative Writing from the University of New South Wales.

Whatever editing project I’m working on, I approach it with the same work ethic. I respect the author’s vision for their story and want to help bring that vision to its full and upmost realisation. Whether it’s characterization, world-building, plot or tonne, I want to dig deep into the foundations of a story and find that indelible spark, and polish it until it shines. Whether it’s the weird or traditional, far-flung space opera or gothic horror, light and funny or dark and morbid, my philosophy is to commit myself fully to its tone and voice and style, and help build upon that.

Whatever you write, and whatever editing services you’re looking for, I’d love to hear from you.

These are the types of editing services I offer:

Line Editing: This is the small-scale stuff, the sentence-by-sentence, paragraph-by-paragraph nitty gritty that helps put forward a professional-looking product. The focus is on issues such as continuity, dialogue, clarity, awkward sentences, repetition, consistency, word choice, style, voice and tone. I’ll see to these issues by way of comments in the margin and, when appropriate, directed changes in the document.

Developmental Editing: This is big picture stuff, the issues that focus on a product’s overall, large scale quality such as inconsistent and poor world-building, pacing, characterization, motivations, plot holes, narrative frameworks and story. If you want to focus on a particular aspect, such as clarifying character motivations or fixing broken world-building, that can be done, too. I’ll work by reading the manuscript and making notes in Track Changes, noting the strengths and weaknesses of your work, and where I think things can be added, clarified, or cut out. I’ll tell you things along the lines of “adding this would make your character’s actions much clearer, and provide emotional context” or “I felt this aspect of world-building was introduced too late, and as a result the earlier chapters are still clear. Maybe introduce this world-building on page 5 instead of 20?” I’m happy to discuss the manuscript and provide possible solutions via email.

If you are interested, please contact me to discuss your project and rates. My email is: jeremyszaleditor@gmail.com

What people have been saying about my work:

“Working with Jeremy and StarShipSofa was an absolute pleasure. He’s a class act (in spite of being willing to use one of my stories) and a true champion of the science fiction community.” – Michael R. Fletcher, author of Beyond Redemption, The Mirror’s Truth and Swarm and Steel

RIP TotalBiscuit (Jonathan Peter Bain)

This is a hard, hard morning.

According to his official twitter account, the critic, streamer and gaming commentator known as TotalBiscuit has passed away following surgery.

I’ve been following him since I was 13. His candid approach to criticism and media gave me endlessly inspiration, and I wouldn’t be working as a writer and editor for a living if it wasn’t for his criticisms, thoughts, analysis, and critical thinking of media. He was a divisive critic, occasionally harsh commentator. But he was also kind, supportive, fiercely honest, and was always looking for ways how the industry and the people in it could do better. He always said that the fans were not his friends, and I respect that. But it doesn’t stop me feeling like someone close has passed away.

I didn’t always agree with him, but I respected the hell out of him. He, Jesse and Dodger were always there on Co-optional when I was having a hard week. He wasn’t just my go-to source for gaming news; he was someone I could listen to, someone I could engage with, even if we were never going to meet. The best thing that a piece of art, or artist, can do is challenge you. Get you to examine your thinking and re-assemble the ingredients that have you thinking a certain way. Even if you don’t change your mind, you’ve enforced your own point of view and you’re all the better for it. TotalBiscuit did that for me very often, and I’m forever thankful for it. The industry has taken a massive blow and the world is just a little bit darker today.

I can’t even imagine how hard this is going to be for the people around him.

Thank you, Jonathan/TB. Thanks for everything.