Nominate the Baen Free Radio Hour!

As the “Best Related Work” for the Hugo Awards, that is.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a Contributing Editor for Baen Books and have been on the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast. But so what? It’s related to science fiction and fantasy, so go ahead and nominate it!)

You have other choices, too, of course, if you’re nominating for the Hugos — but the good thing is that you can nominate more than one thing!

For instance, you could nominate the Monster Hunter International Employee’s Handbook and Role-Playing Game. That was a very successful Kickstarter project run by Steven Long. And if you hew to a rather expansive definition of “related work,” you could always nominate a certain science-fiction-and-fantasy-related album.

But whatever you do, do it soon! The nomination deadline is coming up fast.


P.S. This post was all about the “Best Related Work” category, but I’ll just add that I also have a novelette you could nominate if you have an empty slot in that category. “What is a Warrior Without His Wounds?” was in the July 2013 issue of Asimov’s. I can even e-mail you a copy if you like. GWR

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Let Me Know if You Nominate One of My Stories

Strictly out of ego-boosting curiosity, if you happen to put one of my stories into an otherwise-unused spot on your Nebula or Hugo Award nomination form, I’d be interested to know about it.

(My best story of 2013 was in the July issue of Asimov’s.)

For readers who don’t follow the science fiction and fantasy field, the Nebula Awards are roughly equivalent to the Oscars or the Grammies, while the Hugo Awards correspond more to the People’s Choice Awards. Nebula nominations are due this Friday, and Hugo nominations are due the end of next month.

Of my eligible fiction published last year, I think my best story was definitely the novelette, “What is a Warrior Without His Wounds?”, which appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction in July. It’s the story of a┬ádouble amputee given the chance to have a whole, healthy body again — but at a terrible cost. (I also published two short stories last year: “A Star That Moves,” in LORE in April, and “The Entropy Box,” published in October in the Writers for Relief III anthology edited by Davey Beauchamp and Stuart Jaffe. Of the two, I think “A Star That Moves” is better.)

Of course, my other creative pursuit of 2013 was Truths and Lies and Make-Believe, but there’s no music category for the Nebulas or the Hugos. However, if you suggest any of my songs for a Pegasus Award I’d be interested to know that, too.

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Welcome 2014! Looking back and looking forward …

Last year was … strange … but in a good way!

(This New Year, too, will eventually be washed away. Image from’s Facebook feed.)

I had three stories published in 2013:

And, of course, I released my album, Truths and Lies and Make-Believe, in August. (If you haven’t bought a copy yet, the download is $7 and the physical CD is $10.)

So far I have one story slated for publication in 2014: “Lightweaver in Shadow,” which will be part of the Shattered Shields anthology edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt. It will come out from Baen Books in November.

I need to finish editing another story that’s been provisionally accepted, and I’ve got other songs in work that may eventually be part of another album. Here’s looking forward to another creative year!

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New ASIMOV’S, with My Story, ‘What is a Warrior Without His Wounds?’

Here’s a look at the cover of the July issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction, which should be available on newsstands and/or in bookstores later this week:

(Asimov’s, July 2013.)

As noted in the title, I have a novelette (i.e., a story of a certain length) in this issue. The story opens as follows:

Miroslav did not expect to find a Colonel waiting for him when he returned from physical therapy. The officer was looking out the window; Miroslav came to sluggish attention, unused to his ill-fitted prosthetic leg.

The stranger turned away from the window and regarded Miroslav’s awkward pose. “Please, Captain,” he said, his voice heavy though he smiled and nodded, “stand at ease, or sit if you prefer.”

Miroslav shifted his single crutch a little, careful not to throw his balance off. He would not sit unless the Colonel did so, even though his muscles quivered as if he had just completed a twenty-kilometer forced march.

Would they send a high-ranking officer to discharge him? Any nurse could have delivered the paperwork; it would be less humiliating.

“How is your recovery?” the Colonel asked. “Are you receiving adequate treatment? Are you progressing well?”

Miroslav acquiesced to the small talk. “I am stronger,” he said. He stood on his own for a second and tapped his false leg with the crutch. As he put the crutch back down, he lifted his prosthetic left arm. “I am not … as capable as I once was.”

If you get a chance to read it, I hope you find the story worth your while.


Related Posts:

New Issue of LORE, with My Story, ‘A Star That Moves’

My Story, The Second Engineer, in Asimov’s Science Fiction

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Some Perspective on Fan Mail

Or on fan e-mail, as it were.

Having only published a few stories, I don’t get much in the way of reader feedback, whether by e-mail, or here on the blog, or in person. When it does come — as when a young fellow asked for my autograph at a recent convention, or yesterday when a young lady wrote in about one of the stories I had in Asimov’s last year — it can be both refreshing and humbling.

I must be getting old...
(“I must be getting old…” by idogcow, from Flickr under Creative Commons.)

It just so happens that last night, barely an hour after reading yesterday’s very complimentary e-mail, I read something else that helps put such things in perspective. My leisure reading of late has been The Best of Gene Wolfe, a collection of his short fiction, and in the afterword to “The Detective of Dreams” Mr. Wolfe writes,

I will not lecture you on Jesus of Nazareth, but I advise you to find [G.K.] Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man. In [“The Detective of Dreams”] I asked you to consider that everlasting man’s short fiction. Fans have written me to say that this or that story stayed with them for days. Each letter makes me proud and happy. In my happiness and pride, I am prone to forget that there was once a storyteller from Galilee whose stories have stayed with us for millennia.

I like that very much.

So as much as I appreciate knowing that someone has read and appreciated something I wrote, I must recognize that, as Audio Adrenaline sang, I’m “never gonna be as big as Jesus.”

And that’s okay.


P.S. I also recommend The Everlasting Man, which is interesting and at times fascinating. I listened to the audiobook, but I admit that to me the text came across as almost too complex for audio. I would like to find a good print copy, in order to consider Chesterton’s arguments in their proper depth. GWR

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Galleys for Asimov’s, Nebula Nominations, and MystiCon Schedule

Nothing like news of a meteor strike to put the day in perspective, eh? No matter how busy you are today, or what you happen to be going through, I hope you can take some time to enjoy yourself … but keep watching the skies!

As for me, today I need to review the galleys for my novelette, “What is a Warrior Without His Wounds?” and send any changes back to the good folks at Asimov’s Science Fiction. The story is scheduled to appear in their July issue. (As an aside, I’m thinking of donating my payment for the story to the Wounded Warrior Project. Do you think that would be appropriate?)

Asimov's Science Fiction


Today is also the LAST DAY to nominate for the Nebula Awards, so I need to do that, too. Over the past few weeks I’ve read a LOT of terrific short fiction, which makes it hard to decide what to nominate. Guess I’d better get to it.

Nebula Award Logo


Finally, in the “upcoming events” category, next week I’ll be at MystiCon in Roanoke, Virginia, where I will play a concert (yes, really), moderate some panels, and generally make a nuisance of myself. My schedule looks like this:

Friday, 22 February

  • 5 p.m., A Musical Hour with Gray Rinehart
  • 6 p.m., Writing Space Battles (I’m moderating this panel)
  • 10 p.m., Koffee Klatch … Reading with Peter Prellwitz

Saturday, 23 February

  • 1 p.m., Grasping for the Stars (moderator)
  • 2 p.m., How Military Technology is Catching Up with Military SF Tech (again, moderator)
  • 4 p.m., The Baen Traveling Road Show
  • 8 p.m., Remembering Uncle Orson’s Literary Boot Camp

Sunday, 24 February

  • 9 a.m., Worship Service
  • 12 p.m., No Shirt, No Shoes, No Entry — Business Etiquette

So, as long as we don’t get smashed by rocks falling from space, it should be a good time!

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New Story Announcement, and Awards Season Post

The contract is in the mail, so I can announce that my novelette “What is a Warrior Without His Wounds?” is slated to appear in the July 2013 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.

This will be my third story to appear in Asimov’s. I should receive the galleys in a few weeks.

In other news, “award season” is upon us again. Members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America are in the process of nominating works for the Nebula Awards, while members of the World Science Fiction Convention (last year’s or this year’s, see below for more info) are in the process of nominating for the Hugo Awards. In comparison to more widely-known awards, the Nebulas are like unto the Academy Awards, while the Hugos are closer in character to the People’s Choice Awards.*

By virtue of 2012 being my most successful publishing year ever, I have four eligible stories: two short stories (“Sensitive, Compartmented,” Asimov’s, April/May 2012, which was listed [with 1 of a possible 3 stars] on Tangent Online’s Recommended Reading List for 2012, and “The Song of Uullioll,” Analog, July/August 2012) and two novelettes (“The Second Engineer,” Asimov’s, October/November 2012, and “SEAGULLs, Jack-o-Lanterns, and Interstitial Spaces,” Analog, November 2012). If you’re eligible to nominate and you didn’t catch one of these stories in the magazine, write me a note — by comment, or by e-mail or Facebook or Twitter — and I’ll send you the story to consider.

*Regarding the People’s Choice-type award, if you want to nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards, you can purchase a “supporting membership” to the convention for $60. The price gets you electronic copies of the nominated works, plus portfolios of artwork from the nominated artists, all of which adds up to more than the price of the membership. To nominate, though, you must join the convention before the end of January.

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My Story, The Second Engineer, in Asimov's Science Fiction

if you want to read my novelette, “The Second Engineer,” it’s in the October-November issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction which goes on sale next week. Ask for it at your local bookseller.

The history of this story demonstrates how s-l-o-w-l-y I write. It began as an entry in a contest to write a short story in a weekend. I didn’t finish the story that weekend; in fact, it took almost 18 months — and wise council at a con — to produce the version that was a “Writers of the Future” semi-finalist, and another few months of subsequent clean-up to get to this version.

For the contest, the story prompts were, “Think of a human body part and a physical object that should never, ever come into contact. Write a story about the day when they do,” and selections from three poems, one of which was Sylvia Plath’s “Tale of a Tub” which includes the lines “when the window, / blind with steam, will not admit the dark.” I can’t remember how my brain went from there to here … but there is a window in the story that won’t admit the dark.

The entire table of contents is laid out in this SFScope post.

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New Stories Accepted by Asimov's and Analog

May Day was very good to me! For the first time in my writing career, I received two short story contracts on the same day.

The contracts are signed and will shortly be in the mail, so I feel as if it’s safe to broadcast the details.

After a minor rewrite a couple of weeks ago, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine accepted my novelette “The Second Engineer.” I posted news of the story acceptance on Facebook, but didn’t identify the magazine because I didn’t want to get ahead of the paperwork. So yesterday the contract showed up in my e-mail …

… along with a contract from Analog Science Fiction & Fact for my novelette “SEAGULLs, Jack-o-Lanterns, and Interstitial Spaces.”

So on the same day I got contracts for my second story for Asimov’s and my third story for Analog. My head is still spinning.

On a Related Subject: My short story “The Song of Uullioll” is in the July/August issue of Analog Science Fiction & Fact, which has been mailed to subscribers and should be on newsstands soon. (I’ll post the cover when I get the image file for my web site.)

Color me overwhelmed!


P.S. I understand “The Second Engineer” is scheduled to appear in the October/November issue of Asimov’s. GWR

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My Story in Asimov’s and My StellarCon Schedule

My near future military science fiction short story “Sensitive, Compartmented” is in the April/May double issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. Subscribers have been sent their copies (at least, I got my subscription copy), so it should show up on newsstands and the web site soon.

(Look for this cover to get my latest short story.)

Also, this weekend I’ll be a guest at StellarCon in High Point, NC. StellarCon is sponsored by the Science Fiction Fantasy Federation of UNC-Greensboro, and this year’s Guest of Honor is bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss.

Here’s what I’ll be doing at the Con:


  • 5 p.m. – “Hard Science Fiction” panel
  • 8 p.m. – Panel on “Short Stories and Publication”
  • 9 p.m. – Filk


  • Noon – “Character Building” panel
  • 4 p.m. – Baen Books Traveling Road Show
  • 8:30 p.m. – Reading
  • 9 p.m. – More Filk (though I likely will have run out of songs)

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to read at my reading. Nor am I sure what I’m going to sing at my reading. I should probably figure that out.

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