Anthology Submission Calls

Just wanted to send out a shoutout to any sci-fi/fantasy writers out there looking to submit to an anthology. I have three possibilities for your consideration. Check them out:
Tuscany Bay Books’ Planetary Anthology Series is still looking for submissions to the final two books in the 11-book series.
PAY: 20% split of royalty, evenly between the authors.

SATURN

Saturn_Cover copyThe most beautiful of the wandering stars, surrounded by a mysterious and remarkable series of rings, crowning the planet in glory.

Jupiter may be the king of the planets, but Saturn is the progenitor, named for the powerful and terrible Titan that fathered the gods themselves. Saturn is the lord of Time, Age, and Endings. And when everything else disperses into a heat death and the cosmos is an empty void, it is Time that will rule over all.

Bullet point form:

  • Word count is 500-10,000
  • Poems will be accepted
  • Reprints will be accepted
  • Simultaneous submissions will be accepted
  • Stories can be about the actual planet Saturn, time, age, and endings. The Titan Saturn may also feature.

 

  • Submissions should be in standard manuscript format, though please italicize instead of underline when appropriate. If the story is not in standard manuscript format, it may be rejected without being read. Seriously. I’m not kidding here. For that matter, ditto if the stories are under 500 words or over 10,000.
  • The subject line should look like this: SATURN SUBMISSION/Story Title/Author Last Name
  • The deadline is July 15, 2020. 
  • The submission e-mail is the editor’s Bokerah Brumley at:   bokerahbrumley@gmail.com

NEPTUNE

NEPTUNE_COVER copyLord of the Sea. Ruler of Pisces. Exalted in Cancer.

Mythologically, Neptune is associated with the sea, navigation, springs, horses, and racing. Astrologically, Neptune associated with idealism, dreams, dissolution, artistry, fluidity, illusion, and glamor. Astronomically, it is the beautiful sea-blue eighth planet.

All these together tie into what we think of when we hear “Neptune.”

Stories working with the genre conventions of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Weird/Pulp, or anywhere between will be considered. [Jake adds: That’s pretty broad, but if you’re not sure, feel free to pitch an idea.]

• Word count is 1,000 – 10,000
• Poems will be accepted
• Reprints will be accepted
• Stories may be connected to Neptune astronomically, mythologically, or astrologically, as you prefer

Please submit to the editor, Jake Freivald, directly at

jdfreivald@gmail.com

Subject line should appear as follows: Neptune Submission/Story Title/Author SurnameTentative submissions close date: You can submit until it’s no longer July 6, 2020 or earlier anywhere in the world.

And if Military Sci-Fi is more your thing, the folks at Midlands Scribes Publishing presents:

SPACE FORCE

EBOOK_COVER copyAnthology: Space Force: Building a Legacy

Time Frame: Present to 2120

Length: 1500 – 5000 (no poetry this issue)

Pay: Split 30% net royalties

Deadline: March 15, 2020

Submit to: dougirvin53@gmail.com

Stories are in the spirit of Heinlein’s The Long Watch, however, the story does not have to be a tragedy.

Hiatus

Hey everyone,

A quick note today and an apology to those looking for the next chapter of The Calling yesterday.

IMG_1867

Friday morning I woke up looking like this:

Its shingles. Its also the second time for me (which is rare) and it hit right on top of my right eye (which is ever rarer because shingles normally strikes the torso – as it did me the first time over 30 years ago) Lucky me, right?

At any rate, as you can imagine, writing is damn near impossible. Even this blogpost is nothing short of murder.

So, the 1K Weekly serial is on hiatus for a couple of weeks while I recover.

In the meantime, if you haven’t had the shingles vaccine may I suggest you take another look at my not-so-pretty face above and make an appointment to correct this oversight? I’m off to see if I can find a good deal on eBay for a guillotine…

New Season, New Episode of My Podcast

A new year, a new decade, a new name for the podcast and, finally, a new episode!

A.M. Freeman joins the podcast to talk about her latest project and how you can help back it. Find out more about it, and her, by listening to the podcast below and by checking out her website here. The podcast should also be up on iHeartRadio and iTunes by the end of today. You may have to look for it under the old name for now: A Scribe’s Journey.

Season 2 / Episode 1 : A.M. Freeman

1K Weekly Serial Series: The Calling

THE CALLING 

A Work Of Star Trek Fan Fiction By Richard Paolinelli

© 2020 RICHARD PAOLINELLI . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING OR ANY OTHER REPRODUCTION OF THIS STORY IS PERMITTED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. This is a work of fan fiction based in the universe of Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry. It is not intended to be sold, to be used to aid in any sale and is not to be copied or used in any other way by any other party.

 

PROLOGUE

The Mediterranean, Earth, 2048 A.D. – A time before stardates…

 

The whole planet has gone mad.

Genoa Forelni, less than a year removed from his wedding day, stood atop the highest hill on Salina Island and pronounced his homeworld’s epitaph. The gentle waves of the Mediterranean Sea lapped the beach below in stark contrast to the glow of several raging fires across the sea in Sicily that reflected upon the water. He stood rock still, listening to the soft rumble of explosions that marked the position of the battlefronts. They were drawing nearer with each passing hour. By midnight, he was certain, Sicily would fall and Salina Island would follow suit by sunrise.

“Damn them,” he muttered, finally breaking his silence. “Colonel Green, Khan Noonien Singh and all of the enemies of humanity. So-called ‘supermen’. Nothing more than rabid, power-hungry dogs. Damn them all to hell!”

The world he had been born into a quarter-century before had been one finally at peace. It had seemed peace would become a permanent fixture, that all the old troubles and hatreds had finally been laid to rest forever. Then Green and those like him had marched the planet inexorably toward World War III. And now the world burned and he was only hours away from leaving and never seeing his birth world again.

“Genoa, they are waiting for you on the pad.”

He turned away from the carnage across the waters and held out his hand to his bride. He’d known Prima Silvestri nearly his entire life. They’d grown up in the same village, attended the same university. When he worked up the courage to propose marriage her response had been far from traditional.

“Well, it’s about time,” her eyes shone above her impish smile as she replied before adding “Yes, of course, I will marry you.”

Her eyes still shone, and there was always a trace of that impish smile, whenever he looked at her now. Even though there was little reason for either to be there given the events of the past few months.

“The loading is complete?” he inquired as he took her hand.

“As are all of the pre-checks. All that remains is for the ship’s commander and his wife to board so we can launch.”

“Then let us not delay the moment any longer,” he replied, starting back down the hill. But Prima held her ground, looking back toward Sicily.

“If we had tried to build the ship on your family’s lands…” she began.

“Then we would all be dead, or being held prisoner,” Genoa finished bitterly. “The ship would be in the hands of lunatics. And we would be dead as soon as they had extracted every bit of useful information from us regarding it. We were fortunate no one knew of your father’s estate here and more so that we haven’t yet been discovered. Come.”

“I wish there was another way,” she remarked as she followed him down the path. “We will never see Earth again. Our children never will at all.”

“I wish it could be otherwise. But only death waits for us if we stay. Even if they don’t burn the world to a cinder, I will not have my children grow up in what will follow. No. We will find a new world and make it a better place to live, for their sake if for no other.”

They reached a circular black pad at the end of the path and stepped onto it. Genoa tapped a control on his belt and the pad receded into the ground. As they dropped below the surface another disc slipped into place above, leaving them in complete darkness for a few seconds until the lift lowered into a great, well-lit, cavern below.

Filling the vast opening was a ship, constructed in secret these last six months. The Cominciare would carry over two hundred young men and women, like Genoa and Prima. Couples who wanted to start new lives, new families, on a world not destined for Armageddon. Genoa’s father, Giancarlo, had been a brilliant engineer with a revolutionary idea for a new way to propel humanity to the stars.

But the Colonel Greens of the world only wanted him to build more powerful weapons, with faster ways to deliver them to their targets. When Giancarlo Forelni refused, his wife and daughter were killed. Finally, when he still refused, Green himself murdered Genoa’s father.

Genoa had only barely escaped that fate. His father’s warning coming only minutes before Green’s men had come for him. He’d been in hiding for over a year, working on his father’s revolutionary Worm Drive in secret while recruiting other like-minded people to build the ship and to colonize another world.

On the outside, the ship looked like a massive version of the old Saturn V’s that had propelled humanity to the Moon eighty years before. The three massive engines were needed to lift the ship into orbit. Only free of the Earth’s atmosphere and gravitational pull would the ship reveal its true configuration.

The outer tube and engines would fall away, revealing a long white fuselage, ten decks high and three hundred yards in length. Two nacelles would extend from the fuselage, the Worm Drive engines, and send the ship onward to her destination at incredible speeds. Their destination was Gamma Canaris. At normal speed, the journey would take hundreds of years.

But the Worm Drive did not travel at normal speed. There was nothing “normal” about it. It simply targeted its destination coordinates, opened up a wormhole, and took off. Anyone traveling within its sphere of influence would only think a few days had passed and then when the ship emerged at the other end would find themselves at the destination.

By Genoa’s calculations, they would be traveling for a week and then be so far from Earth it would literally be centuries before they saw another human being from Earth again. And that suited him just fine.

“Commander Forelni!”

“Hello, Zephram, are we ready to find out which one of us is right?”

“We are ready,” sixteen-year-old Zephram Cochrane replied with a blush. “But I think we’re both right, sir. I’m just more right.”

“Perhaps you are at that,” Genoa allowed with a laugh. “Perhaps one day your warp theory will drive great ships out into the void. But it is still a theory and my father’s Worm Drive is real and ready to go. Are you sure you won’t change your mind and come with us? You could work on your warp drive out there as well as you can down here.”

The young man considered it for a moment then shook his head.

“No thanks, I think I’ll stay. Besides, once I get my warp drive up and running, I bet I’ll get to Gamma Canaris before you.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me,” Genoa allowed. “Well, you’d better get over there and get aboard the flitter before they leave without you. Once we take off the authorities are going to swarm this place and I’d hate to think of you rotting in a prison cell instead of working on your warp drive.”

“That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me,” Cochrane admitted, cracking a quick smile. “Good luck, Commander, Mrs. Forelni.”

Cochrane sprinted across the gangway and joined the line of technicians waiting to board the last large flitter to evacuate the cavern before launch. With a final wave, the young scientist disappeared into the hatch which slid closed behind him. Genoa watched as the flitter lifted and slipped into the underground tube that led under the sea outside.

“We’ll give them ten minutes to get clear and get lost in the civilian traffic in France before we launch,” he turned toward his own ship’s open hatch. “We’d better get up to the bridge. It wouldn’t do for the ship to leave without her commander and communications officer.”

Prima stepped through first and Genoa closed and secured the hatch after following her inside. In her current orientation, it required some climbing to get to the Cominciare’s bridge. Once in space, it would be easier to move about but gravity demanded its due on the surface.

“Well, howdy folks,” the ship’s pilot greeted them as they entered the bridge. “I was figurin’ I was about to take off without y’all.”

“Wouldn’t dream of missing this flight, Cooper,” Genoa slid into the command chair beside his pilot. Cooper Filidei’s family had emigrated from Italy to Texas toward the end of the 19th Century. He’d been visiting family when Genoa had first encountered him. Cooper’s skill as a pilot was equaled by his skill as both a smuggler and a procurer of much-needed material. Without him, Genoa readily admitted to any who asked, this ship would never have been built. Still, it was strange hearing his Texas twang among a ship full of native Italian accents.

“The last flitter has cleared the launch safety zone,” Prima reported from her station. “The ship’s cargo master reports cargo loaded and secured, passengers are strapped into their launch couches and are ready to go.”

“Thank you,” Genoa said, scanning his flight board. “What was the final count down there?”

“We’re carrying two hundred and thirty-two passengers and crew,” Cooper answered. “Plenty of food, water and seeds for two years and dozens of various critters. We’re a certified Ge-Noah’s Ark.”

The flight engineer groaned. Prima merely shook her head. Genoa favored his pilot with a withering look.

“You’ve been saving that one just for this moment, haven’t you?”

“Yes, sir,” Cooper grinned broadly.

“Remind me why I don’t leave you behind.”

“ ‘Cause you’d never get this whale past the Moon without me?”

“Hmm, I suppose we’ll have to go with that. Bring the main engines online.”

“Mains coming up, standing by for ignition,” the engineer called out.

“Forward shield in place,” Genoa called out as he toggled switches on his board. “Cracking the overhead dome.”

The top of the hill above the rocket split apart as the two heavy doors lifted up and away. Dirt, rocks, foliage and other debris slid down the hill. A small amount fell into the opening, striking the conical shield that deflected it well away from the ship underneath.

“Doors open,” Cooper called out. “We’re clear.”

“Retracting the forward shield,” Genoa watched his board intently until a specific light switched from red to green. “The shield is clear. Get us out of here, Cooper, before someone notices a hill just disappeared.”

“Roger that,” Cooper stabbed his finger down on the launch button. “Here we go!”

The three large engines rumbled to life and quickly tooled upward toward full thrust. The rocket did not start moving, held into place by massive steel locks.

“Engines at one hundred percent thrust,” the engineer shouted over the roar.

“Releasing the locks,” Cooper called out.

As the locks let go their hold on the rocket several high tension coils, suddenly free as well, helped hurl the rocket skyward. The combined power of the engines and the boost from the coils was needed to get the rocket out of the atmosphere before any Earth forces could respond and shoot it down.

Genoa felt gravity fighting to keep his ship from escaping its grasp. His body sank into his chair and a ring of black started to appear around his field of vision. Two minutes seemed to last two weeks and then the engines cut off.

“Wow, that was quick,” Cooper said.

“Not quick enough,” Genoa replied. “Status?”

“We’re in orbit, right where we should be. Engines and outer shell detaching right about…now!”

They felt the lurch that indicated a successful separation. Genoa toggled a series of switches that extended the nacelles. A pair of bumps accompanied a set of lights switching from red to green.

“Nacelles locked in place and at full power. Any sign of trouble out there?”

“I doubt anyone on the ground had time to realize what we were up to,” Cooper scanned his board. “No activity from Orbital Command and we’re too far from the platforms for them to be a threat. We’ve got a clean shot.”

“Then let’s not waste it,” Genoa quickly tapped a set of commands. “Coordinates set. Is the ship ready?”

“All green here,” the engineer reported.

“Same here, Cap’n,” Cooper added. “Let’s get going.”

“Agreed,” Genoa replied, gripping the Worm Drive’s thrust control. “It’s time to go to our new home.”

He pushed the throttle to full. The Cominciare gained speed as a vortex of energy appeared just in front of her bow. The swirling bolts of blue-green seemed to crack open space itself, forming a tunnel. A wormhole! Just as Giancarlo had predicted.

And then, carrying the hopes and dreams of over two hundred refugees looking to colonize a new world and make a better one than the one they were leaving behind, the Cominciare leapt into the beckoning wormhole and disappeared.

 

NEXT WEEK: Chapter One

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Like what you’ve read so far? Be sure and sign up for Richard’s newsletter, “Postcards From Infinity“. Thank you for reading.

POSTCARD_INFINITY copy

1K Weekly Serial Series: INTERMISSION

INTERMISSION

 

So it seems only fitting, following last week’s concluding chapter of the Monster in the Second Reel serial. to take an intermission break before starting the next serial.

Partly because I’ve been rather tied up this month with Tuscany Bay Books’ getting out the first two books of the Planetary Anthology Series – Pluto and Luna – as well as Miranda Oh’s latest book. I’ve been trying to decide what should be next up in the series here.

A mystery/thriller? Another western? Sci-Fi? Horror? Stashed away in my story ideas folder are dozens of story ideas across these genres and a few others.

But one thing I’ve always wanted to do was write a Star Trek novel. I’ve got it all laid out already. The problem is, the only way I could get it published is to get an agent and submit it to the Big 5 publisher. Given my previous interaction with agents and Big 5 publishing, I’d rather have my wisdom teeth pulled out – without any painkillers.

I went Indie for a reason after all.

But, there is a way for me to write my Star Trek story and share it with everyone. Star Trek, for now, allows fan fiction to be published as long as the writer does not charge for readers to read it in any way. It means I won’t be able to mention my PayPalMe account, as I do below, but that is a price I am more than happy to pay.

So, starting on Feb. 8th, the Weekly 1K Serial series will boldly go… hmm, better not push that copyright envelope too far, eh?

The series will be called: The Calling. It will be set in the real Star Trek universe (no JJ Abrams’ Kelvin Timeline abomination here) and will adhere to Star Trek Canon. It follows one Bari Forelni, Crown Prince of Etalya, who encounters Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise (NX-01) just as the Klingon Empire makes a run at conquering the Etalyians. As the series progresses, thanks to the extended lifespan of the Etalyian people, Forelni will serve with Captain James T. Kirk and before all is said and done will actually interact with Jean-Luc Picard of the ST:TNG Enterprise-D era.

This will be a lengthy series, encompassing over one century of the Star Trek universe. I am eager to get started on it and I hope you all enjoy reading it as the series plays out.

Oh, one more thing. Unlike the previous serials, which were all written and completed before the first chapter ran, I’ll be writing each chapter in the days leading up to each Saturday’s release. So while I have the basic outline set, I have no idea exactly how Forelni’s journey is going to play out yet.

It may sound a little crazy, but to me it sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Live Long, and Prosper!

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Like what you’ve read so far? Be sure and sign up for Richard’s newsletter, “Postcards From Infinity“, and if you’d like to become a patron you can do so right here. Any amount you choose will be appreciated and will help keep this blog, these weekly serials and Richard’s podcast, “A Scribe’s Journey” up and running. Thank you for reading and for your support.

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Show Some Modicum Of Decency, If Not Respect

Earlier today the news broke that one of the NBA’s greatest players, Kobe Bryant, had died in a helicopter crash along with four others. As is won’t in this 24/7 instant news cycle, we later learned the total number of dead was higher and that one was his eldest daughter.

Tragic news, as is any news of any crash or accident or event where any number of lives are lost. We mourn the loss of life on any scale, be it just one or thousands and in rarer cases, millions. These times should be one of reflection and prayer for the families who have suffered a terrible loss.

Unfortunately, some people never seemed to have gotten the memo.

Barely two hours after the news broke, Washington Post political reporter Felecia Sonmez took to her Twitter account to remind everyone that over 16 years ago the recently departed Bryant had been accused of sexual assault and attempted to justify posting a link to the case to put Bryant’s life in “proper context”.

Never mind that the charges were dropped, a civil case was settled out of court and at no time were the allegations proven. Once charged, falsely or not, always guilty and never forgiven. Look, only two people know what really happened that night. We’ve heard both of their sides of it. As is usually the case, I suspect the actual truth lies somewhere in between.

But, on the very day of his death, when his own daughter and seven others died alongside him in a tragic accident, do we really need to make that kind of public tweet while the bodies of the dead are still being recovered from the scene? Can we not allow the families, friends and fans of the departed grieve their sudden loss in peace?

To paraphrase Joseph Welch: “Let us not assassinate this man further, Ms. Sonmez. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

I would post a screenshot of her tweet, and her follow-up tweet where she decried the well-earned ratio her first tweet received (when I last checked it was 19,000 replies against 1,300 likes. It the Twitterverse, that means you have been ratioed and you NEVER want to get ratioed on Twitter) but it seems she has deleted all of her tweets regarding Bryant’s death. I suspect her bosses at the Washington Post ordered her to do so but I will hope she had the decency to be ashamed of what she’d done and deleted them on her own.

UPDATE: Sonmez has been suspended by the Washington post over her tweets. While I am happy to see someone at the Post still practices journalism, this retired sports editor would have fired her within 10 seconds of reading her tweets. Sadly, Addy Baird at BuzzFeed, another political reporter, has taken up the mantle. Happily she is getting ratioed as well.

There was another episode of someone on Twitter “dancing on someone’s grave” that I originally decided not to write about. Mainly, not to give the soulless creature any more publicity. But in light of today’s events it seems appropriate to address it.

A legend of science fiction, Mike Resnick, passed away earlier this year. In his case, his attacker waited all of 48 hours to dredge up a personal issue she had with Resnick and another writer back in 2013. I’m not going to go into details, just remember there are three sides to every story. His, Hers and somewhere in between lay the actual truth of what happened.

Again, I wasn’t there. With one or two obvious exceptions, neither were you in all likelihood. But it happened over six years ago and the matter was resolved. No, not to everyone’s satisfaction, but it was resolved and everyone moved on. Well, maybe everyone but her apparently.

Resnick continued writing. She appears to have continued writing, editing and whatever else it is she does. Yet, for some reason she still felt compelled to rejoice in his death and blame him for her being a hateful person.

I’d post some her finest hits but she blocked me on Twitter and Facebook before I even knew who she was. I’m going by what has been reported by many others who have screenshots of her vile hate.

Judging by Sonmez’s tweet history and this other person’s known history what we are seeing here are die-hard warriors of the #MeToo movement. They will no doubt be outraged for life, blissfully ignoring the fact that they literally have gotten what they want, especially in SF/F.

Look at the finalists for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. They run 80-90% women. Over the past four years no man has won the Hugo’s Best Science Fiction Novel award and only three of the 23 total nominees were men. The same can be said of the Nebulas run by the SFWA.

What is also being said by many fans of SF/F is that there was once a time when the finalists for these two awards were must-reads. Today, the books on those lists are must-avoids.

The Dragon Awards are now truly representative of what you should be reading. The Helicon Awards will be announcing their second annual winners in April. I strongly urge you to read the works you find there.

In the meantime, if you haven’t read the works of “Evil Old White Guys” like Resnick, Asimov and many others, I suggest you do so. And I suggest you look to the Indie Publishers who are putting out great works of SF/F today.

I happen to be one of those Indie Publishers with Tuscany Bay Books. We’ve been putting out the Planetary Anthology Series, loaded with incredible SF/F short stories. Pluto and Luna are now out with nine more books to follow.

Take a look at this photo:

The_Personal_Shelf

Every book you see above was either written solely by me, co-written by me or has a short-story within it written by me. There are 25 books sitting up there, all written and published over the last six years. There are many more to come. You won’t get preached at. You won’t get scolded. You WILL  be entertained. Because all I try to do when I start a story is write a story the reader will enjoy reading.

That will be the legacy I will leave behind when my time on the Earth comes to an end. I take great pride in that. Both Mike Resnick and Kobe Bryant have left behind legacies that cannot be tarnished no matter how loudly these indecent people tweet their vulgar hate out. They and their families can be proud of that.

I never got to meet either man but I enjoyed their work on the court and in the craft of writing SF/F. To both, I wish them nothing more than to rest in peace and that God bring strength and peace to the families they left behind as they deal with their recent losses.

As for those that took to Twitter to post hatred, I’ve learned there is little you can do about these vile folk save ignore them. Shame them when needed yes, but after that give them no further oxygen until, starved of attention, they will surely go the way of the DoDo Bird.

As for the rest of us, understand no one is perfect and no life can withstand intense scrutiny and remain unsullied. But at the very least, unless the departed is an evil monster that has murdered innocents, we can at least be respectful of the mourning of the deceased’s family and friends and allow them to grieve in peace.

Can’t we?