Yearly Round up and arbitrary award eligibility

Say one thing about 2016: it’s been one interesting year. I graduated from university (still haven’t found a job in my field, though) officially moved into my own apartment, and started really living on my own accord. It was also the year where I trudged through the last 1/3 of a novel hating every word of it, splashed out on a 125k epic space opera (currently on draft 8 of it) and wrote 45k of a new month within one month. Not bad, I think. I managed this partially because I’m only working three days a week (my current job is a laborer, so work begins and ends at the jobsite). Between cooking, cleaning, housework and General Life Nonsense, writing is what I do. I don’t get up and watch films or play games on my days off, although I very well could. But I sifted through more than 200,000 words in novels alone this year because I made myself have a schedule and I stuck to it, vicariously. ADHD doesn’t make that easy, but sometimes you have to shove a 12-guage in its mouth, pull the trigger and get back to work. And work I did.

From this point on it’s safe to say that novels will be my focus. The sort of material I want to write and my style of writing just doesn’t jive with the shorter form. Short fiction is economic, tight and demanding, and the top markets even more so (along with finicky and very specific in what they want. Quality is top notch, some of the best SF/F material you’ll find. It’s just not what I’m writing), and novels give you that 100,000 words of leg-stretching smoothness and room to write a character arc worthy of a HBO show (looking at you, Boardwalk Empire). I’ll still be writing short stories, but they’ll be quick desserts between the main meal that is a 130k word chiwawa killer.

It’s also the year that I didn’t sell many original short stories. I had quite a few published from 2015 sales, most noticeably one story that was reprinted six times, including in audio, in Flame Tree Press’s Dystopia Utopia hardback anthology, and in China’s SF World magazine. But I got my first anthology invitation, which netted me my longest sale at 7,000 words, which is also my first non-flash, original pro sale.

In 2014 and 2015, I’d churn out a swathe of so-so stories and scattershot them until I got a sale. This year I’ve been deadshotting each one: didn’t have many sales, but almost all were neither to major venues and projects or at pro rates. Pretty happy there.


Anyway: this is what I had out:



The Galaxy’s Cube – published in print at Abyss & Apex and in audio at The Overcast.

Walls of Nigeria – published in Nature

Skies of Sand and Steel published in Fantasy Scroll Magazine

The Bronze Gods – published in Dimension 6 (website appears to not be working?)

Last Age of Kings – published in audio at Fantasy Scroll Magazine

(All are short stories)


We’re Going Places – published in Lightspeed’s People of Colour Destroy Science Fiction

Five Slavic SFF Novels You Should Have On Your Shelves published at


I’m also eligible for the John W. Campbell Award and for the Hugo and Nebula Awards. And of course, as an editor the podcast I edit, StarShipSofa, is up for Best Fancast at the Hugos. If any of these strike your fancy, you’re more than welcome to throw my dottings on your ballot pile.

Onto next year!


For your consideration: StarShipSofa for a Hugo

So, ‘tis that time o’ year again. The team at District of Wonders wanted to let you fine fine people know that StarShipSofa is eligible for the Hugo Award in the BEST FANCAST category this year. Not BEST FANZINE, the award we won it for back in 2010, but BEST FANCAST.

So what did StarShipSofa do in 2015?

We did many, many things. We resurrected and played a story by the legendary creator of Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin. The story was first published in 70s and had been out of print since then – we were the first ones to ever put it online in any format. Our production of the story got the seal of approval from the man himself.

We also played a story by the god of cyberpunk, William Gibson. We played fiction by Norman Spinrad, Robin Hobb, Kim Stanley Robinson, Peter Watts, R. Scott Bakker, Carrie Vaughn, Paul Levinson, Allen Steele, Karen Lord, Neal Asher, Peter F. Hamilton and dozens and dozens of others. Each week we released another story out into the world. Every single one of these stories was narrated by some of the biggest voice actors in the short fiction business, including film actors, threatre performers and voice over artists.

We interviewed Andy Weir, author of The Martian. We interviewed Ellen Datlow, Joe Abercrombie, Becky Chambers, Seth Shostak (director of SETI), Ana Matronic, and Christoph Riley, a professor at NASA, to name a few.

We opened up to unsolicited submissions for the first time, our sister site Far Fetched Fables following suit.  We added two new staff members to our rosters and hired over twenty five extra narrators to our databases, and counting. Hundreds of people worked on StarShipSofa in 2015, which is super awesome in of itself.

All of our episodes published in 2015 can be found here. To be more specific, everything between episode #369 to episode #416.

If you believe that StarShipSofa is worthy of a Hugo award in the BEST FANCAST category, your consideration would be very much appreciated. Voting closes on March 31, so whatever your choice get them votes in quick. You can vote over here.

On the same note, we’re also up on the Locus poll for best magazine/fanzine. Again, do toss in your vote to the venue you feel the most deserving. You can do that here.

That’s all folks!



PS: Actually I lied. That’s not all. Below are the following reprints that StarShipSofa published in audio that were first released in 2015. At this point the list is not complete, but these will be added later. Again, if you feel these stories deserve a nod, you know what to do.

Karma Among the Cloud Kings by Brian Trent
The Merger by Sunil Patel
An Immense Darkness by Eric James Stone
The End of the War by Django Wexler
Between Screens by Zach Chapman
Price of Allegiance by Alex Shvartsman
Redemption Awaits by Mike Brooks
Behind the First Years by Stewart C. Baker
Usher by Jay Werkheiser
12 and Tag by Gregory Bossert
A Forgone Conclusion by Connor and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley


StarShipSofa: Final Slush Update

Hello everyone,

The slush is done. It’s done. It’s over. And now I know how Frodo felt after throwing the ring into Mt. Doom.

I’ve been so ridiculously busy. Over the course of the submissions I’ve suffered two illnesses, traveled around the globe and back, and a bunch of other personal issues that I’d rather not discuss publicly. On top of that I’m in my final semester of university, and I’ve barely had a second to myself. But you guys all understood and gave me your unending patience, and for that I am grateful. I’ll definitely be looking at getting both an intern for StarShipSofa permanently and a few slush readers to help me out. But right now, I’m so busy that I don’t have the time to hunt down an assistant to help me out because I’m so busy. If that’s not a paradox, I don’t know what is.

It’s been an incredible experience for me, not as just as an editor, but a writer as well. I’ve never really been on the other side on the coin, as they say, in terms of submissions and shifting through slush. But the experience was worth it.

There have been stories I absolutely hated letting go off. There were some that I wrestled with for days and days, completely unsure of what to do. Damn, do you people write fantastic stories. I hated myself for saying no, and writing that letter came with a heavy heart. But the decisions have been made and the acceptances and rejections have been sent off.

For those of you who got acceptances, I’d have given you my personal email address. If you haven’t already, please send your story file and your bio (pasted in the email) over to it. Do not try to reach me via the submissions email – that’s purely for reading slush.

StarShipSofa will absolutely be reopening to submissions. When? I don’t know. I definitely need to graduate from university first, and we’ve got a lot of stuff to sort out over at StarShipSofa. When I get a second I’ll be writing more detailed blog posts about my experience doing slush and the common pitfalls, what to avoid, etc, etc. And if I rejected you, don’t give up. Drag yourself back up and shoot me a story that kicks me in the gut (not literally) and one that I cannot say no to. But more on that later.

It’s been an absolute blast to read your excellent stories, and it’s going to be even more fun working with you all and seeing what the final production looks like. I’ve heard some of them already and they’re excellent. I’m hoping you guys will be as proud of them as I am.

Until then, thank you all so much. And never, ever, ever give up.