Friday Writing Fodder

This week’s inspiration is longer than past editions because there were more stories I found of interest this week including ancient nuclear fusion, a Concorde successor, a scientific mystery may be solved, a very cool look at the point of view of different pets, and some historical flashbacks involving atomic bombs falling on North Carolina and others falling into Mexico. Hopefully this gets the creative juices flowing for some of you as it did for me.

Jeff Bezos backs an ancient kind of nuclear fusion

Concorde successor AS2 takes a giant leap forward

Remembering the night two atomic bombs fell on North Carolina

Saturn’s moon Rhea has a mysterious material on its surface

Study shows how different pets view their environment

Chestburster looks like hair but turns insects to zombies

Space missions to watch in 2021

Book of The Dead scroll found in Egyptian tomb

Missiles over Mexico

Are we living in a universe that looks like a black hole to outsiders?

Has science solved one of history’s mysteries?

The soccer ball that survived the Challenger disaster and went back into space

How detectives outsmarted a killer to find a body hidden for 15 years


The Returning Blog Tour Schedule, Part 2

Well, after a brief break for the July 4th, holiday, the blog tour for my second novel, The Returning, has resumed and I’m late posting links to it but here they are: 

Friday July 6 Heidi Ruby Miller Heidi’s Pick Six Interview
Saturday July 7 FMW Podcast Interview
Monday July 9 Jeremy C. Shipp The Value Of Writers In Community
Tuesday July 10 The New Author Dialogue: Making A Booktrailer On A Budget Part 1
Wednesday July 11 Jeff Rutherford Opening The Door To Imagination: My Discovery of SFF
Thursday July 12 The New Author Dialogue: Making A Booktrailer On A Budget Part 2
Friday July 13 Claire Ashgrove World-Building : Vehicles Of The Davi Rhii Universe with Short Excerpt/Also: I rejoin Adventures In SciFi Publishing Podcast for an interview live from ConQuest 43 in Kansas City with my pal Brent Bowen.
Monday July 16 Keenan Brand Author Profile & Excerpt
Tuesday July 17 Madison Woods Guest Post: My Core Assumptions & My Writing
Wednesday July 18 Rachel Hunter Guest Post: On The Careful Use Of Ordinary Moments To Build Character In Science Fiction
Thursday July 19 Grace Bridges Character Profile: Davi Rhii with Excerpt
Friday July 20 Anne-Mhairi Simpson Guest Post: How My World Travels Have Informed My Worldview & My Writing
Monday July 23 Livia  Blackburne’s A Brain Scientist On Writing Guest Post: How To Market Your Book (& Yourself) At Cons
Tuesday July 24 L.S. King Character Profile: Miri Rhii with Excerpt
Wednesday July 25 Dana Bell Guest Post: The Saga Of Davi Rhii-Keeping The Next Book Fresh
Thursday July 26 Louis B. Shalako Interview
Friday July 27 Frank Creed Guest Post: One Advantage Of Series- It Gets Easier With Each Book
Monday July 31 Wrap Up & Giveaway Blast at

The tour will run through July 31st and also have another interview at Adventures In SciFi Publishing podcast amongst others. Links will be added to this post as things develop. My heartfelt gratitude  to all who have hosted and helped make this tour a success. 

And in case you missed it, here’s the posts we did in Part 1 of THE RETURNING Blog Tour:

Tuesday, May 29 Blog Tour Schedule & E-Book Release
Wednesday, May 30 Functional Nerds Guest Post: Tools For Worldbuilding (Guest Post) 
Thursday, May 31 Anthony Cardno  Guest Post: How To Run a Blog Tour For A Sequel Without Spoiling Book 1
Friday, June 1 Gary W. Olson  Character Profile & Excerpt: Xalivar
Monday, June 4 SFSignal Guest Post: 15 Science Fiction and Fantasy Thrillers Worth Your Time
Tuesday, June 5  Andrew Reeves/Jaded Muse Video Blog: Boxes (What’s yours?)
Wednesday, June 6 Reader’s Realm Excerpt from Chapter 2/ Brad R. Torgersen Catching Up With Interview
Thursday, June 7  Linda Rodriguez Guest Post: 5 Tips On Social Media For Today’s Author
Friday, June 8 Linda Poitevin Guest Post: Approaching Book 2
Monday, June 11 Elizabeth S. Craig: Mystery Writing Is Murder, Special Write Tip Guest Post: Surprise v. Suspense / Review at Functional Nerds
Tuesday, June 12 Matthew Sanborn Smith/The One Thousand: Character Profile & Excerpt: Farien Noa
Wednesday, June 13 Leah Petersen 5 Minute Interview
Thursday, June 14 Mae Empson Character Profile Interview & Excerpt: Tela Tabansi
Friday, June 15 Joshua P. Simon Interview
Monday, June 18 Bibliophile Stalker Guest Post: Culture In World-building
Tuesday, June 19 Mary Pax Dialogue: Why I Love Space Opera / Book Day Post
Wednesday, June 20 Moses Siregar Guest Post: What Makes A Story Epic
Thursday, June 21 Jaleta Clegg Guest Post: Food in Borali System
Friday, June 22 To Be Read Interview & EBook Giveaway
Sunday, June 24 THE PLATFORM Internet Radio with John Rakestraw “Finding Your Imagination
Monday, June 25 Grasping For The Wind Turning The Tables: SFFWRTCHT Interviews Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Tuesday, June 26 Ray Gun Revival Short Interview & Character Profile & Excerpt: Yao Brahma
Wednesday, June 27 AISFP Blog Essay: The Importance of The Responsible Use Of History In Fiction: Steampunk/Jamie Todd Rubin Dialogue: Space Battles In The Golden Age & Beyond
Thursday, June 28 Oops! Glitch! Post postponed to tomorrow due to unexpected travel of host blogger.
Friday, June 29 K.D. Weiland Guest Post: The Most Important Rule Of Writing: Be True To Yourself
Saturday, June  30 Patty Jansen Guest Post: Can There Be Space Opera Without Science?
Tuesday July 3 Book Day 2: Print Release!!!

Also, you can still get The Returning at 33% off for a limited time from me in either print or ebook (both signed) here.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the author of the space opera novels The Worker Prince, a Barnes & Noble Book Clubs Year’s Best SF Releases of 2011 Honorable Mention, and The Returning, the collection The North Star Serial, Part 1, and several short stories featured  in anthologies and magazines.  He edited the anthology Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 for Flying Pen Press, headlined by Mike Resnick. As a freelance editor, he’s edited a novels and nonfiction.  He’s also the host of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat every Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter under the hashtag #sffwrtcht. A frequent contributor to Adventures In SF PublishingGrasping For The Wind and SFSignal, he can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website. Bryan is an affiliate member of the SFWA.

Links: Best Of The Web

Rather than Links Of The Week, which was becoming hard to keep up with, I am going to try monthly links posts with the best web links I discover each month. It’s easier for me and you, because all the links will be in the same place. So here are some reads I found particularly useful this past month.


This is awesome: a guy telling the truth about the debt situation and how we’re being screwed by politicans.


For Writers:

The Dark Side Of Publishing, an important warning for writers:

Up and coming author Ken McConnell tracks his ebook sales–with interesting implications for average, unknown SF writers:

The links in this Writer’s Digest article are invaluable tools for developing short story craft:

Authors RA Salvatore and Paul S. Kemp weigh in on writing action scenes: (Salvatore) (Kemp)

10 Ways Blogs Lose Audience and Alienate Readers, a warning:

That controversial NPR popularity contest for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels:

Saladin Ahmed at Fantasy Magazine talking about Islamic Myths, Monsters and Morals:

12 Essential For A Successful Author Website:

10 Tips For Finding Time To Write:

 15 Web Resources Invaluable To Writers:

10 Top Tools For Improving Your Blog:

My first author interview with Anthony Cardno:

Library Journal talks about epic fantasy making a comeback. Seems to me fantasy’s outdistanced SF for years but still interesting:

Cat Valente, Author and Editor of Apex Magazine, reflects on reading with some profound thoughts:

I09 weights in with 10 Science Fiction Books That Changed History:

A free spreadsheet of Ebook Service Professionals, including file converters, cover designers and more:


Shimmerzine with Confession Of A Slush Reader:



Intriguing but a bit silly perhaps. Are scientists really expecting a deep impact/Armageddon-type scenario as this article suggests:

A fascination look at “The Uncanny Valley” a robotics concept which has implications for Science Fiction writing from author Jonathan Dalar:

Does the downsizing of NASA represent a loss of our sense of wonder and exploratory drive?

The Hubble Telescope reveals a Cosmic Necklace larger than a solar system:

This articles posits NASA Scientists talk of aliens destroying Earth when greenhouse gas emissions threaten universe (turns out one of the researches works for NASA but its not NASA official):

Here’s MSNBC straightening out the hoopla on the NASA-ET thing above:



This one sticks with you but speaks for itself. A prime example of what NEVER to do with your website design:

A humorous video where a girl who never saw Star Wars tries to explain what she knows about it:

Good satire about fictional Kittwood Studios, the source of all cat videos on the web:

How desperate is the housing situation in Vancouver, BC? Enough that this guy offers to play pet dinosaur for any landlord who gets him housing:|main5|dl6|sec3_lnk3|86098

Two WGN news anchors develop a routine to use during commercial breaks:

The Glorious Life Of An About To Published Author:

Thinking Up Ideas…It’s a Process:

Jimmy Kimmel’s Chewbacca Sketch with Harrison Ford:

Links Of The Week, Vol. 2 Issue 10 — an ebook on creating amazing videos — Author David Farland on the future of publishing — Preview the exciting new Philip K. Dick based “Radio Free Albemuth” movie — Kristine Kathryn Rusch on publishing, agents, and agents as publishers

Cool science: Lost Pyramids discovered underground in Egypt from space: — Principles of Book Contracts from JD Sawyer — Juliette Wade offers advice on how to find time to write

Links to all the #sffwrtcht columns on can now be found here: which also happens to be Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer’s Chat’s new website.

Also, my new website is up and running, complete with blogs, store and more at which is where you’re reading this post, by the way.


Links of The Week Vol. 2 Issue 9 — Juliette Wade on subtle bias in language and how it effects people’s reactions to the text in job listings, etc. Food for thought.

A very helpful post on marketing books for authors from @yukongraham via Twitter: 

Helpful post from my friend Sam Sykes (Tome Of the Undergates, Black Halo) on the pitfalls of the road to publication:

A 22-year old performance poet, Sarah Kay, delivers an amazing oration dedicated to her daughter & more:

Resource for Writers: Dictionary of Military terminology:

My buddy @eruditeogre reviews Sam Sykes’ Black Halo for Functional Nerds, a book I’ll be reviewing this week:

My buddy Jamie Todd Rubin writes for on time travel:

And lastly two posts from me have drawn some attention this week so I’ll list them here in case anyone missed them:

My post on tips for being good beta readers has really taken off like hot cakes. Find it here:

Excerpts from my debut novel “The Worker Prince” are out and generating buzz from the hits they receive. Here they are if you’re interested:

Links of The Week Vol. 2 Issue 8

After a long delay, more helpful links: — Former agent Nathan Bransford offers a glossary of publishing lingo. Very helpful reference.;_medium=feed&utm;_campaign=Feed%3A+GraspingForTheWind+%28Grasping+For+The+Win — my interview with author Kristine Kathryn Rusch has a lot of good info for writers. First in a column I’ll be doing weekly. — How To Give a Beneficial Critique — SF Signal’s John DeNardo offers a new series on how to start reading SF for novices. — Barcodes scanners for Zebras?  Scientists develop a tool to identify unique animals by their stripes. — Author Kimberly Kincade’s powerful essay about being in an abusive relationship;=1170886&autoplay;=true — Awesome 15 minute preview of George R. R. Martin’s “The Game Of Thrones” which comes to HBO next week.

Links Of The Week, Vol. 2, Issue 8 — non-traditional stores are selling more books than ever. Good news for authors, marketers, and publishers. And also for readers. — a workshop on worldbuilding for fantasy authors and a contest to boot. — Kat Richardson writes up her talk from Rainforest Writers Village Session 2 on “Setting” – a slushreader explains the slush experience and gives useful tips on how to get your story to succeed

Links of The Week Vol. 2 Issue 7 — Black Gate column discussing what is epic fantasy?;=689201067 — Why heroes are still important, related to the above. Another perspective: — Great post on Show V. Tell–often a bane of writer’s existences– by the talented Juliette Wade. — Great post by Felicity Shoulders on dealing with rejection as a writer. — a slush reader’s warning about getting your science right. Important for writers. From writer Patty Jansen.

Links of the Week, Vol. 2, Issue 6 — important information on rights and using photos online. Important for every blogger and website owner. — My extremely smart and talented friend Juliette Wade offers her perspective on controversy over approaches to good v. evil in fantasy — a successful self-published author rates the various self-pub options and his experiences with them. — agent Jennifer Laughran on how agents decide where to submit clients’ manuscripts. — The importance of Book Bloggers in selling your books. Important strategy for authors. — My friend Moses Siregar, a talented writer, explains how to network well and grow from it by hanging out with successful writers, and, coincidentally, articulates the purpose for which I started #sffwrtcht on Twitter.

Article on Indiana Governor who turned an inherited $600 million deficit into a $370 million surplus the next year

Links of the Week, Vol. 2, Issue 6 — Jon Sprunk writes on about the problems with basing your speculative fiction on Role Playing Games. — Science commentator asks if political bias is a problem in science. I think it is but either way, thought provoking. — Cory Doctorow’s Publisher’s Weekly column on the release of his short story collection via Lulu. Interesting stuff re: publishing. — Fascinating essay on “The Death of Science Fiction!5762349/stardust-probe-sifts-through-the-remains-of-a-collision-between-comet-and-machine
— Comet and Machine collide and provide valuable data on the makeup of a comet — Mr. Rogers learns to break dance. A funny reminder of a great show. — Passionate, moving article of a doctor’s reaction to attending the funeral of one of her cancer patients.