Archive for the 'Short Stories' Category

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Introducing ReMade!

I am really excited about my newest project: ReMade, a young adult science fiction serial premiering today at www.serialbox.com.

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I say “premiering” because Serial Box stories are modeled after television development practices, and the company considers itself to be the “HBO for readers.” Before I started writing short stories and novels, I wanted to write for TV and films, so this is kind of the best of both worlds. The writing team meets in person to discuss the entire series, plan the arc for the current season, and break and assign stories. We use TV terms like “pilot” — which you can download now for free! — and every 13,000-word story is called an episode, written to be consumed in about 40 minutes. (You can also listen to the audio version if you prefer.)

This has been an incredible collaborative experience where I feel like I’ve leveled up as a writer, because I’m learning from people at the top of their craft and pushing myself to write better so I don’t embarrass myself.

New episodes are available every Wednesday, beginning today, and you can purchase them individually for $1.99 or subscribe or buy a season pass (just like on iTunes!) to get them even cheaper. If you have an iPhone, you can read them in the Serial Box app, or transfer them to the eReader or platform of your choice because they’re DRM-free.

I’ve written three of the 15 episodes in the first season, and you can refer to the schedule below if you’d like to see when those will be available. But I hope you’ll check out the whole series, because in my humble opinion it’s excellent and we’ve all contributed to this story and these characters.

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Would you like to know more? Here’s the jaw-dropping trailer:

Here’s what one of my favorite authors said about the series:

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And here’s the episode listing at Goodreads!

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New SØS Story!

DoubleThink

For fans of my novel The Silence of Six (and those who haven’t heard of it — yes, even you!), I’ve written a new novella starring one of the main characters, Penny Polonsky: “DoubleThink”.

The first part of the story is available for free exclusively on Wattpad now, and new chapters will appear there every Tuesday through Aug. 23, when my new book, Against All Silence (SØS #2) will be in Barnes & Noble stores everywhere. (A Wattpad account is required, but you should have one anyway because there are lots of great free stories on the site!)

I know Penny’s a favorite of many readers, and I don’t mind admitting that she’s mine too. (Sorry, Max!) Penny is not only a kick-ass female character™, who often outshines the novels’ protagonist, but she really has her act together. Or does she? That’s some of what “DoubleThink” is about.

Maybe Penny is so interesting because we don’t know much about her. It can be hard to predict what she’ll do next (even for me), but it’s probably going to be impressive. Even though she likes her secrets, she clearly wanted a little more attention for once. And she deserves it; Penny is an even bigger part of the plot and Max’s life in Against All Silence, so much so that I considered writing the book with alternating POVs. Alas, it’s too late for that, but at least this story lets you into her head a little.

Penny’s also important to me personally because I think media should highlight more women who are interested in and excellent at technology, engineering, and science. Unfortunately society still marginalizes their existence, ignores their accomplishments, shuts them out, shuts them up, or actively threatens their lives and livelihood and loved ones. Not cool, right? How does Penny deal with all that? That’s also some of what “DoubleThink” and Against All Silence explore.

Penny’s story was a lot of fun to write, and I sort of felt like I had to write it. Special shout-out to my friend, technical adviser, and fantastic writer Fran Wilde for helping me whip this story into shape. (All tech errors are my own, of course.) And thanks to fab editor Jordan Hamessley for helping with early drafts as well.

If you enjoy “DoubleThink,” you also might want to read the free prequel to the series, “SOS,” also on Wattpad and available as a free Nook eBook, and check out The Silence of Six and Against All Silence at Barnes & Noble this month! As always, comments, sharing on social media, and reviews are greatly appreciated.

 

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Story Sale! (I hope!)

HYI usually don’t post about story sales until I have a signed contract in hand, but in the case of my story “In His Own Image”, which I sold to the anthology Hidden Youth: Speculative Stories of Marginalized Children (ed. Mikki Kendall and Chesya Burke), I held off a little longer.

See, although I have a contract, the anthology will not be published unless its ongoing Kickstarter is funded successfully. The publisher, Crossed Genres, ran into some financial difficulties and the previous preorder campaign didn’t generate enough interest to produce the book, but they’re committed to publishing it anyway — because telling these stories, by and about people with diverse backgrounds, who have traditionally been suppressed and sidelined by history and media, is vital. Fortunately, as of this writing, 715 backers agree. The Kickstarter has a little more than $2500 left to reach its goal in the next 36 hours.

Please help us get there! If you can’t spare the money right now, then please do what you can to spread the word as much as you can.

I’m really excited by the authors and stories in this collection, which includes many first publications by new writers — which is exactly what we hope to encourage. Check out the table of contents at the Kickstarter, but look at some of these titles: “How I Saved Athens from the Stone Monsters” (by Erik Jensen), “The Bread-Thing in the Basket” (by K.T. Katzmann), “The Ostrich Egg Girl” (by JM Templet). I want to read those! Don’t you? It also features a gorgeous cover by Hugo and Locus Award–winning artist Julie Dillon, and each story will have its own illustration as well!

What of my story? “In His Own Image” is a story set in early 20th century Korea, in the midst of a war with Japan fought with giant steampunk robots. Jun-min is a young, blind mechanic who is reluctantly recruited to the war effort. His only companions are his Seeing Eye—essentially a steampunk BB-8—and his screwy clockwork dad.

I really hope you have the chance to read it! Preorder Hidden Youth in eBook for $10, or contribute at any level from $1 to $80 for all sorts of fabulous prizes and packages. If you like short stories, stories in multicultural settings with interesting characters, or young adult fiction, I think you’ll like this anthology.

Thank you!

 

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Previously Recorded at the Writers House

The YA Writers episode of LIVE at the Writers House is now online! I don’t like listening to recordings of myself, but if you want to hear me read from my story “Kiss and Kiss and Kiss and Tell” in Kaleidoscope: Diverse Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, check out episode 111 here.

You can listen to the whole program (1 hour) — hosted by Michaela Majoun and featuring YA authors Katherine Locke, Eric Smith, Lauren Saft, Tiffany Schmidt, I.W. Gregorio, and me, as well as the musical stylings of Birdie Busch — or just my bit (7 minutes). This is one of the best events I’ve participated in, and I’m grateful to Eric and LIVE producer Alli Katz for making that possible.

From left to right: Me, I.W. Gregorio, Tiffany Schmidt, Katherine Locke, Eric Smith, Lauren Saft (swiped from http://ericsmithrocks.com)

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Kaleidoscope Sale!

KaleidoscopeCover-679x1024In celebration of Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories being nominated for Australia’s prestigious Ditmar Award for Best Collected Work, the eBook of the anthology will be on sale for $1.99 from Thursday, April 2 through Monday, April 6! Whatever flavor you like your eBooks in — Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, etc. — it’s only $1.99!

This is a very fine collection of stories, and I’m so proud to be a part of it. I read the beginning of my story “Kiss and Kiss and Kiss and Tell” at the recording of LIVE AT THE WRITER’S HOUSE, which will air on Monday, April 6 at 8pm EST on WXPN. If you were there (thank you for coming!) find out what happens next by grabbing the $1.99 eBook. If you missed it, you can still listen on Monday and then get the book before the sale ends. You can also read some free stories from the collection online.

At only $1.99, with twenty fantastic stories from amazing authors*, there is zero probability that you will regret picking up Kaleidoscope!

Me reading from KALEIDOSCOPE at Live at the Writers House. Photo by Eric Smith.

Me reading from KALEIDOSCOPE at Live at the Writers House. Photo by Eric Smith.

* Yeah, in this instance I’m including me in that glowing praise, because I think this is one of my best stories and I felt pretty amazing when I wrote it.

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