StarShipSofa: Submissions and Slush Update

Hey guys,

Just an update for you in regards to StarShipSofa’s submissions. I’m so sorry that it’s taking so long – I got far many more submissions than I could possibly have expected, many of which were in the 8k+ and upwards length. Additionally, I became very ill at one point and couldn’t muster the strength to sit up in bed, let alone read slush. And now that I’m back at university, things are more hectic than ever. I’m starting to read submissions during my lunch breaks between classes, it’s the only way I can keep up.

But enough excuses. At this point, I’ve read and responded to everything up to June 23. If you haven’t heard back from me at this point, I’ve put your story in the 2nd round and I’ll be holding onto it before making a final decision. And good lord, you guys have made those decisions hard as hell. Seriously, there have been some pieces I’ve found so hard to let go, but ultimately had to. This is both a good and bad thing, as it means I can take the crème de la crème, but also makes it very difficult to send that rejection. But if I took everything that I wanted to, StarShipSofa would be backlogged for years. Several years. Yes, I got that many submissions. You guys are awesome.

Also, just so you know I always personalize my rejections, and I try to give some feedback as to why I had to say no. And if I asked you to submit next time we’re open, I definitely mean it.

I’ll keep reading as fast as I can. If I haven’t gotten back to you that means you’re still under serious consideration. Please be patient, and thanks again for sending me your work.

– Jeremy

New Publication: Grimdark Magazine Issue #2

Issue 2 of Grimdark Magazine was released earlier this month, and I’m super excited. Why? Because I have a publication in it.

This isn’t just any other venue. This a professional venue, one that’s on the standards of the SFWAs. They’ve published incredible authors such as Mark Lawrence, Adrian Tchaikovsky, but in Issue #2 of the magazine they’ve published R. Scott Bakker, Kameron Hurley, Richard K. Morgan, and more. And guess what?

I’m published there too!

Goodreads*sniffles*

I honestly can’t say how stoked I am to have my name alongside theirs. I’ve been a fan of R. Scott Bakker for a while now (reading about the controversy is books have stirred is amusing), Kameron Hurley is a Hugo award winner of incredible work that’s also been “slammed” by a someone we shall call Requires Attention. (That’s all I’ll say. Google is your friend – or in this case, your enemy), and I’m a huge follower of Richard K. Morgan and his work. He’s actually worked on the videogames Crysis 2 and Syndicate. He’s written work that’s considered to be a classic in science-fiction and fantasy. In fact, his novel, Altered Carbon, is getting turned into a film by James McTeigue, the director of V for Vendetta.

And I’m published alongside them. In a professional SF/F magazine dedicated to grimdark.

Even now I’m still busy wrapping my brain around it. Sitting in a boiling hot room, pounding away a cheap keyboard in the summer holidays, I never dreamed I’d be up to this point. And I am.

But I’m just getting started.

You can pick up the issue of the magazine here, on the home website. It’s also on Amazon, smashwords, etc, so pick where you’d like, but remember that this is a new publication that’s going pro straight out of the bat. Do what you can to support them, so grabbing it from the home website would be much better for ’em.

Also, if you could nab along to Goodreads, give it the appropriate rating, and add it to your list, that would be swell, too.

Thanks for reading, folks!

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New Anthologies and artwork

So, it’s been a busy few weeks for me. With university trying to drive me mad (only a few weeks left thankfully) and meeting writing deadlines, I haven’t had much chance to enjoy my completed work. I did go to the EB Expo herein Sydney on Saturday (and that was great) but otherwise I haven’t had many chances to sit back and see the fruits of my labour. Until now.

I was browsing the iTunes page of The New Accelerator. I have a reprint in their second issue. Anyway, I saw this:

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Marvelous.

Honestly, I was just stunned by how good it was. I’ve seen some pretty horrendous artwork. The sort that makes you realize that we as humans have already lost. And people pay a lot of money for it. Your book will be judged by your cover, and so I was thrilled to be getting something this awesome. And they were paying me to be in the anthology! Honestly, I’d have paid for artwork like this.

There’s the proper file (without my name) here:

Amd a-dome-of-chromeAnd I adore the planets and moon in the background, as well as the climbable trees and cluster of domes. I won’t lie when I say that I had a very different image in my mind when I wrote the story, but this is damned good and I’m loving it. When people read your work carefully enough so that they adsorb the details (like the trees and opaque domes) you know you’re onto a great thing.

The actual issue isn’t available yet, but you can subscribe to them through the iStore and read it on any iOs device here.

And the cover art for the Issues themselves are incredible (note this is just a trial issue, hence the lack of many names).issue0cover

But that’s not all.

I sent a story to Bards and Sages Quarterly back in January. I didn’t expect to get accepted. They’re a print magazine after all. But I did, and this is the cover art:

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I’ll admit, it’s not groundbreaking, but again, I didn’t pay for it and I was surprised to get in, considering how big it is (they even have a Wikipedia page). It’ll be in print soon, but an e-copy is available right here in any format you like.

So, that’s it for now. I’m over the moon at the fantastic art for A Dome of Chrome, and I’m also looking forward to holding the print anthology of Bards and Sages in my hands.

 

Special Announcement…

It would seem that something quite major has just happened. Actually, major is an understatement. It’s pretty big.

I’m now an Assistant Editor at StarShipSofa.

I’ve been an avid listener of them in the past, so it’s an honour and a privilege to be working with them. They’ve won the Hugo Award, (which is essentially Best Picture at the Oscars but for literature. Except the Hugo is for the cool kids.)

Suffice to say that it’s going to be a fantastic experience, working with authors, writers, editors and fellow nerds alike. You know you’re onto a good thing when the people running the joint rival your enthusiasm for fantastic science fiction. And believe me, that’s not something that’s easy to do. Not at all. And I’m not sorry in the slightest.

I’ll be getting an interview sometime in the near future, which will likely consist of me stuttering awkwardly and droning on endlessly.

But either way, check the website out. It’s a fantastic place for writers, authors, readers and fans alike, and not just because I’m going to be lurking in the shadows. Just look at this gorgeous artwork:

 

Come on, just how awesome is that?

If you have a favourite story that you’d like to hear podcasted, give me a buzz. I’m looking for fresh new talent, brilliant classics, and the big players out there. If it’s good, I’m interested. Send me the loudest, pulpiest, most daring, and viciously excellent stuff you know of. You know, the stuff that your mother, Harold Bloom and your teachers told you not to read. Send me Space Opera, cyberpunk, steampunk, dieselpunk, hard SF, post-apocalyptic, military SF, time-travel, alternate history, science-fantasy, silpstream, dystopian SF, biopunk, golden age SF, adventure SF…the possibilities are endless. I couldn’t list all the possible combinations and genre styles if I typed for the rest of my life.

But no fantasy and no horror. And definitely nothing “realistic”, literary or serious. The sort of stuff that literary critics would find “profound” and call existential . We don’t want that stuff. At all. Keep far away, shredded into a million pieces, locked in a box of onyx and launched into a black hole on the far outer edges of space.

But it’s a little harder to distinguish between speculative fiction genres, especially as most short stories tend to be hybrids. If you’re uncertain, tell me about it anyway. But if it’s along the lines of medieval Europe, urban fantasy, etc, then I’m sorry to say we don’t want it. Again, genres do cross over (Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter novels, and even to a degree Mark Lawrence’s The Broken Empire are examples), but strictly fantasy or horror ain’t what we’re looking for. They’re fantastic writers, but we’re after science fiction. Tell us about the dystopian futures, alien invasions, galaxy-spanning space operas, hiveminds, cyborgs and everything in between.

You can tweet me at @JeremySzal or just use the Contact Me form.

It’s going to be wild ride. Welcome aboard, good citizens, and enjoy the flight.

Fantasy author of the day on Reddit!

It seems that I’m fantasy author of the week on reddit. It would be greatly appreciated if you could pop along to visit, have a mug of ale, and even leave a question/comment for good measure.
Seriously, I would really, really appreciate it. I’ve been waiting for this for months now. I’m in Thailand as I type this, but I’ll do my best to answer questions by people who I’m sure will turn up…eventually.

Anyway, do come and visit!

The link is here…

Award winning story now available

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You know that award that I won (an Honourable Mention, to be specific) from the Writers of the Future contest? Well, the story that won it is finally available. It was purchased by the good people over at On The Premises Magazine, in Issue #23. Do you want to read it? Oh, why am I asking; of course do you. And you can read it here.

Enjoy, and do inform me of your thoughts, good or bad. I’m hoping that the majority, if not all of them, will be positive. I’d love to be proven correct.

Also, the brilliant artwork you see at the top was provided by Ken Kirkpatrick and the fantastic folks over at Bloody Cake News.

Short film: The Crush Space

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I’m currently assisting on a short film by Permanent Ink Pictures, The Crush Space. I got this position through the use of my good looks, charm, and persuasive arguments, and definitely not because I happen to know the director from my university class.

Anyway, feeble attempts at blowing my horn aside, I’ll be Production Assistant on the film, which will commence shooting in late June. I’ve worked on films before, but it seems that none of them have gone anywhere (one of them is still in the editing stage), so this is my debut in film, so to speak. Erin Latimer, my good friend from Film Studies classes here at UNSW, is going to be the director. We already have dozens of people, and actors, involved in the project.

You can check out the film, the director, and more information here. If you do decide to help fund the project, not only shall you possibly receive tickets to the film, you’ll sleep better at night, knowing that you did a good thing. You didn’t need those groceries, anyway.

Thanks!

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