Here’s my schedule for the World Science Fiction Convention, Sasquan, in Spokane, Washington, August 18-23, 2015. I look forward to seeing some of you there. I will be at the WordFire Party, Wednesday night, the Baen Books Party, Thursday Night, the Fairwood Press Party, Friday and the Hugo Loser’s Party, Saturday. Beyond that, I will be wandering and at the WordFire Press table in the Dealer’s Room.
Thursday, August 20th
PANEL: The Work of Being a Writer, Thursday 9:00 – 9:45, Bays 111A (CC)
Writers write, but there’s more to being a writer than writing. Come learn how to work with editors, agents, other writers, marketers, and fans. Can writers’ groups and social media make you or break you? Learn about all the work involved in being a writer and some strategies for success.
Randy Henderson (M) , Brenda Cooper, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Susan Palwick
Join a panelist and up to 9 other fans for a small discussion. Coffee and snacks available for sale on the 2nd floor. Requires advance sign-up.
PANEL: The Changing Role of the Editor, Friday 3:00 – 3:45, Bays 111B (CC)
With the various ways that fiction is published (print/online/audio/self-published), how is the role of editor changing? Does the editor need to be more technician than tweaker? Is self-publishing making the editor’s job obsolete?
Gordon Van Gelder (M), Scott H. Andrews – Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Hugo Nominee, Yanni Kuznia – Subterranean Press , Wendy S. Delmater – Abyss and Apex – Hugo Nominee, Bryan Thomas Schmidt – Hugo Nominee
Saturday, August 22nd
Autographing – Jeffrey A. Carver, David Hartwell, Esther Jones, David Peterson, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Saturday 10:00 – 10:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)
Jeffrey A. Carver, Esther Jones, David Peterson, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, David Hartwell
Hugo Awards Ceremony, Saturday 8:00 – 10:30, INB Performing Arts Center (CC)
The 2015 Hugo Awards promises to be one of the most memorable ceremonies in years. Come be a part of history. Your Masters of Ceremony will be Sasquan Guest of Honor David Gerrold and Tananarive Due, and they’ve both promised an entertaining ceremony.
UPDATE: Sad to say I quit this project due to the unprofessionalism and lack of integrity shown by the publisher. I’ve never looked back. BTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bram Stoker and Black Quill award nominated editor Maurice Broaddus and editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt are teaming with Steven Saus and Alliteration Ink for Streets Of Shadows, an urban fantasy crime noir anthology headliner by New York Times Bestselling authors Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Kevin J. Anderson, Glen Cook, Tim Lebbon and Seanan McGuire. Other contributors committed include Alex Bledsoe, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Diana Pharoah, Adrian Phoenix, and Chuck Wendig.
One of the most popular genres of speculative fiction today, urban fantasy involves stories in urban settings, usually with a dark feel much like crime noir settings, which include fantastical elements. It’s similarities make it a natural fit to combine with the long popular crime noir detective story. Streets of Shadow’s stories will include stories set in popular universes like Glen Cook’s Garrett PI, Alex Bledsoe’s Eddie LaCrosse, and Kevin J. Anderson’s Dan Shamble, P.I. along with new settings by other authors.
The project will be crowdfunded on Kickstarter in January and release in late Summer 2014 in trade paperback and ebook editions. Open submissions will be accepted for one month after the Kickstarter in March 2014, with stories also due in March from an invited list of top names and up and coming writers.
Maurice Broaddus has written hundreds of short stories, essays, novellas and articles and had fiction published in numerous magazines and anthologies including Asimov’s, Cemetery Dance, Apex Magazine, Black Static and Weird Tales. He coedited the Bram Stoker and Black Quill award nominated Dark Faith anthologies for Apex Books, several stories from which were honored with mentions in annual Year’s Best anthologies. He also authored the urban fantasy series Knights of Breton Court from Angry Robot Books.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s first novel, The Worker Prince, received Honorable Mention on Barnes and Noble’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases of 2011. His short fiction has appeared in Tales of The Talisman magazine and anthologies like Triumph Over Tragedy, Wandering Weeds and Of Fur and Fire. His anthologies as editor include Beyond The Sun (Fairwood Press), Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age (Every Day Publishing), and the forthcoming Shattered Shields, coedited with Jennifer Brozek (Baen, 2014) and Gaslamp Terrors coedited by Tim Marquitz (Evil Jester Press, 2014). Three of these have been funded using Kickstarter and picked up by small presses.
Alliteration Ink is a small press specializing in speculative fiction which has published anthologies like The Crimson Pact 1-3, Sidekicks, Dangers Untold, from editors like Paul Genesee, Jennifer Brozek and more.
Well, I made the announcement several weeks ago that White Cat Publications has hired me to Edit a new semi-pro bi-annual science fiction magazine called Blue Shift. Well, I am now officially taking submissions and also I need slushreaders to help me sort through them. Full guidelines will be posted soon here. But, in the meantime, here’s how to send them:
Who we are:
Blue Shift is the science fiction specific periodical of White Cat Publications, LLC. Our goal is to present the very best examples of the genre we represent. We are a bi-annual publication publishing short stories, flash fiction, interviews, reviews, and columns for print and digital download.
What we seek:
We are interested primarily in good quality writing in the sci/fi genre. We will consider stories of any variant of this genre. We desire First English Language serial print, audio and digital rights so that we might present your work in all formats within the magazine.
How we want it formatted:
All manuscripts should be .rtf or doc/docx format and follow the industry standard for formatting (here is a great example: http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html ), however, please make the following changes:
Words in italics should be underlined even in New Times Roman; it’s easier for our design people to see.
Em dashes must touch the words on both sides of them
Ellipses are three dots and do not touch the words on either sides of them. Please use them sparingly.
Please do not use hard returns to indent.
Please use single space, do not double return between paragraphs.
Please do not double return after periods.
All submissions that don’t meet our guidelines will be rejected. We’re trying to improve our response times to submissions, but please bear with us as we gear up to handle a larger than expected volume of stories. Simultaneous submissions are fine with us, just let us know. We’re all writers here and we’re happy when fellow writers sell their work anywhere they can. Since we’re a bi-annual magazine, we strive to respond to all our submissions within three months. Due to the volume of submissions, however, please be patient.
What we pay:
Short Stories and flash fiction: We accept stories up to around 5,000 words in length, three cents per word up to 5,000 words. Reprints are paid out at one cent per word. Send these to[email protected]
Interviews: Query first. The rate is $15.00 per interview. Please submit these to blueshiftmag[email protected]
Reviews: Query first. We are always interested in reviews of genre related books, music, games, products, etc. The rate is .03 per word up to 500 words. Please submit these to blueshiftmag[email protected]
Articles and columns: Query first. We are always interested in engaging and entertaining articles about fiction and non-fiction subjects. We pay .03 cents per word up to 1,000 words. Please submit these to blueshiftmag[email protected]
Art: While we have a couple in-house artists, we’re always looking for more variety. Please send a link for your site to blueshiftmag[email protected]
All the above items require a short bio, preferably with a 300 dpi or better picture of yourself. We also require a picture (again, 300 dpi or greater) of the subject, where applicable. Please let us know if you prefer Paypal or money order and your email/address you would like used. All payments are sent within 45 days of publication.
I need people who can read stories and give me brief analysis. I’ll have a worksheet with specific questions. My aim is to process stuff quickly so I’d like 3-4 readers. At this time, I can not offer monetary compensation but I can offer mentoring, a chance to grow in knowledge of story, genre and editing, and an inside look at the submissions and publishing process in regards to a zine. You won’t be allowed to submit while working for us, at least right now. We don’t want accusations of favoritism. But we’ll try and make it pay off in other ways, including free story critiques from time to time and the opportunity to do reviews and nonfiction articles for the zine (pay rates to be determined). I can tell you from past experience that editing and slush reading are both highly educational and good experiences to have as writers and editors up and coming in the business.
To apply, please email me at [email protected]. (NO STORIES should be sent here. In fact, unless I specifically asked you to send it to me directly, I’ll reject it and ask you to submit properly. The submissions email is for organizing the queue.)
Thanks much. I look forward to working with you.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Worker Prince(2011) received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases for 2011. A sequel The Returning followed in 2012 and The Exodus will appear in 2013, completing the space opera Saga Of Davi Rhii. His first children’s books, 102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Jokes For Kids (ebook only) and Abraham Lincoln: Dinosaur Hunter- Land Of Legends (forthcoming) appeared from Delabarre Publishing in 2012. His short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies and online. He edited the anthology Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 (2012) and is working on Beyond The Sun for Fairwood Press, headlined by Robert Silverberg, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress, a Ray Gun Revival Best Of Collection for Every Day Publishing and World Encounters and Space & Shadows: SpecNoir with coeditor John Helfers, all forthcoming. He hosts #sffwrtcht (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer’s Chat) Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on Twitter and is an affiliate member of the SFWA.
I grew up a novel fan. I read tie-ins to my favorite TV shows and then tore into Silverberg, Asimov, Card and others. I read short fiction at school and on occasion in magazines but long form is where I spent most of my time and, as a result, where I tend to be most comfortable writing. But then two years ago, Flying Pen Press’ David Rozansky invited me to edit an anthology. I had been pitching a concept for an anthology of first encounter stories from non-Western cultural perspectives (one I still want to do), but being unknown as both writer and editor, no one showed much interest except writers. Mike Resnick and several others immediately got excited with the concept. But with Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales 6, Flying Pen Press offered me the chance to prove myself. I had so much fun working on that and with great writers like Mike Resnick that I began envisioning other ideas.
I pitched ideas to people, signed to do a couple with John Helfers, including World Encounters and Space & Shadows: Spec Noir. But then I saw my friend Matt Forbeck’s success on Kickstarter and realized an opportunity might exist. My dad was, by all definitions, a workaholic, and, as much as we mocked him as kids, I inherited that. I don’t sit still. And I also believe if you work hard, you can create opportunities for success. Recalling a favorite story I’d read by Autumn Rachel Dryden in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show anthology about space colonists and deadly alien animals, Beyond The Sun was born.
Since I don’t like to do anything halfway, I decided I was not going to pay shares, I was going to pay people decent wages. The headliners would get pro rates and I’d do my best to fund enough to pay the rest 3 cents a word bottom. I might be creating an opportunity for myself, but why not create opportunities for everyone else, too? The next thing I did was make a list of favorite SF writers on various levels: names, pros, semi-pros, new. Wrote up a brief description and the submissions requirements and started asking. I chose four of my writing heroes, expecting to be turned down by at least a couple. All four said yes–Mike Resnick, Robert Silverberg, Nancy Kress and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I mean, I own more books by Resnick, Silverberg and Rusch than almost any other writer except Card and Zahn and my Kress library is growing fast. Wow! After that, bringing aboard writers was easy. Only a few said “no” and that was due to other obligations. And so I wound up with an incredible list of names like Jennifer Brozek, Cat Rambo, Jamie Todd Rubin, Jean Johnson, Brad R. Torgersen, Jamie Todd Rubin and so on, many of them friends.
I assembled the list just before World Con then sought Kickstarter advice from Matt Forbeck and Alex Schvartsman, who have prior experience. I found a video editor on Fiverr, recorded the audio narration and sent it to her. $15 later, my two minute video came back looking fabulous. Only a couple of edits requested. Artist Mitch Bentley whom I have worked with since my first novel jumped at the chance to work with these headliners and did artwork demos for me. Another friend. And here we are.
I quickly discovered, while watching the project flounder, that having a PR plan with Kickstarter is vital. I came to the game unprepared. Quick emails to several bloggers I know brought me a string of guest posts at SF Signal, Grasping For The Wind, Jennifer Brozek’s blog and more. Even writers in the pool with no firm guarantee passionately pitched the project and backed the Kickstarter. Once again, my friends came to the rescue. Are you seeing a pattern?
Then Monday we were less than half funded, but I made a push and asked others to. We wound up with John Picacio, Lynne Thomas, Kris Rusch, Fireside Magazine, Joe Hill, Jason Sanford and more helping spread the word and in the final three hours yesterday we not only doubled funding, we added 70% to surpass our goal. Jamie Rubin, Johne Cook and I watched it and chatted on FB. “It’s hard to get any work done with this Kickstarter today,” Jamie commented. It was like watching a sporting event. The numbers went up every few seconds. I had my parents standing by to push us over if we fell short. They didn’t need to bother.
Writers will get 4 cents a word. The artist gets paid. Backers get a great anthology and so will you next Summer. And I get another step up the career ladder working with writing heroes and a lot of cool friends. Who could ask for a better miracle than that for a week? It all goes to show that if you work hard, believe and pursue your passions, and, I’d add, treat others the way you want to be treated, good things can happen for you. Nice guys don’t have to finish last, you might say.
We look forward to bringing you some great new space colonists stories and revisiting three great reprints as well. We have excerpts up at SFSignal, Grasping For The Wind and the Kickstarter page. And we look forward to enjoying the ride as we begin production. Thanks so much to good friends! I’m so honored and thrilled to have many of them along for the ride.
I encourage you to pursue the impossible and make it possible when you can. It’s quite rewarding. For what it’s worth…
“Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamed about exploring the stars. What’s out there? What strange planets and beings might we encounter?” Schmidt said. As he watched NASA’s budget downsized and space travel, at least in the United States, get turned over to private enterprise, he recalled sitting on his grandmother’s lap as a child and looking at scrapbooks she’d kept of all the NASA clippings. “We used to dream together, to imagine. It fascinated both of us, and it was so fun to just speculate about what it might all mean or bring about.”
Space colonization has been a popular topic for science fiction writers. From Orson Scott Card’s Enderand Shadow series to Frank Herbert’s Dune and more, authors have written millions of words imagining the possibilities. Kim Stanley Robinson (Mars series), Allan Steele (Coyote series), Robert Silverberg (Majipoorseries), Mike Resnick (Kirinyaga and Chronicles Of A Distant World series), and many more novels and stories have been inspired by the subject.
“I love the ideas people come up with, and I wanted a chance to fill the need left by NASA’s downsizing to inspire that sense of wonder in future and present generations,” Schmidt said.
Such was the inspiration for his anthology project Beyond The Sun. “Beyond The Sun is going to feature stories by some amazing legendary science fiction writers, some established writers and some new writers on the subject,” he says. His headliners are all Hugo and Nebula winners: Robert Silverberg, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress. All have written novels and stories on the topic before and look forward to exploring it further. Joining them are familiar names such as Cat Rambo, Jason Sanford, Jennifer Brozek, Brad R. Torgersen, Jean Johnson, Erin Hoffman, Jamie Todd Rubin and Guy Anthony DeMarco.
“The writers included are some of my writing heroes and good friends,” Schmidt says. “It’s a thrill to have the participation of such notables as well as giving new writers the opportunity get more exposure for their own work by appearing alongside others with such respected reputations. Plus, you can just tell from the list of names how amazing the anthology is going to be!”
Just between them, the four headliners have 12 Hugo Awards, 5 Nebulas and a slew of other awards. Several other invitees have nominations and awards as well. Schmidt has even lined upaward-winning artist Mitchell Davidson Bentley to do the cover as well as several experienced and up and coming artists to add images for the stories themselves. “It’s rare these days to have artwork inside books, but I think it inspires the imagination,” Schmidt says. “I know that, as a writer, it’s intriguing to see what artists get as inspiration from my own work.” With the project aimed at being family friendly and applicable for educational use, Schmidt also thinks this will add value and interest.
“What better way to get future generations not only reading but excited about science and science fiction than by creating something teachers can use as a resource to stimulate dialogue, discussion, and imagination?” Schmidt explains. “I would have loved to get to read something like this for class as a kid. And I hear from teachers and parents how much they wish they had more quality stories with age appropriate content they could share with their kids.”
Schmidt’s previous anthology as editor, Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales 6, which also featured stories by several authors involved with Beyond The Sun, including a headline story by Mike Resnick & Brad R. Torgersen, has garnered positive reviews and steady sales. Schmidt says, “That publisher has been very supportive, but most small presses struggle to find the money to pay writers pro-rates for stories. On top of that to pay artists and editors. With the Kickstarter, we can package those costs in advance and allow the publisher to put their resources into producing a really good quality, edited, copyedited and laid out final product. Several small presses have already expressed interest. But the project has to happen first.”
If all goes well, Beyond The Sun will be released in late Spring 2013 and available at all major online retailers as well as local bookstores. A number of great incentives from signed art to signed books and even personalized thanks yous and tuckerized names are available to backers via the Kickstarter.
“Mostly I’m doing this because I love the concept and I love helping and working with other writers,” Schmidt says. “What better way than to offer them a great concept and good pay to do what they love?”
Slated to include 20 stories, only 3 of which would be reprints, backing Beyond The Sun is possible through October 17th at the project’s Kickstarter Page, which includes a project video and regular updates. A native of Salina, current resident of Ottawa, and former resident of Kansas City and Olathe, Schmidt is an active convention speaker and instructor. He has had four books published in print and several in ebook as well as short stories featured in magazines and online, all in the last two years. A freelance editor, he regularly edits books and stories for small presses and authors. He also is a regular contributor to blogs at Hugo winning www.sfsignal.com, www.adventuresinsfpublishing.com, www.tobereadbooks.com and www.graspingforthewind.com as well as running his own blog and hosting the live Twitter interview series SFFWRTCHT (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat) Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET. More information can be found on Schmidt’s blog here. And you can also find him onFacebook or follow him on Twitter. He can be contacted at 314-781-9120.