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It’s Award Season! (aka “Here’s What I Published This Year!”)

Greetings friends, bots, and errant Twitter exiles!

As is tradition in the SF/F writing world, when the nominations for the Nebula awards open, we list off the stuff we wrote this year on the odd chance somebody with some kind of clout or pull notices us, remembers that story we wrote, and BANG, we make the ballot. This is very similar to buying raffle tickets at your local rotary club function, albeit with much lower chances of success and vastly fewer opportunities to score basketball tickets.

That said, I had a pretty good year for short fiction, and I’d like to advertise my work a bit, so listen up:

First up (and most recent) is my short story “Tithe the Bones, Sell the Blood” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #368

This one has the distinction of being able to be read online for free, so go and check it out right now if you haven’t. I am a big fan of BCS and have been trying to score a sale there for years – very pleased with this dark fantasy tale.

Then, back in August, my short story “Like Manna from Heaven Dark” in Zombies Need Brains’ Brave New Worlds anthology.

This is my second story to appear in ZNB anthologies and it has been a great experience both times. This particular one is a very dark tale of the future of space colonization, involving space pirates and a debate about a very particular kind of cannibalism.

In July was my most recent Faceless short story in the July/August issue of Analog: “Punctuated Equilibrium”

It seems I’m writing a series of linked short stories over on Analog, all involving a shape-shifting assassin “named” Faceless and its various adventures. I am loving these tales and I hope you are too!

In May, another Faceless story in the May/June Analog: “Proof of Concept”

This one has Faceless with a ravaged memory on a space ship full of violent aliens and no answers! Wheeee! These were my 4th and 5th appearances in this magazine, and I’m super excited every time I make its pages!

Finally, in January I published my story “Prison Colony Optimization Protocols” in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

I’m particularly proud of this one – about a rogue AI who is sentenced to administer and prison colony – and it was my 3rd appearance in F&SF. January is a long time back, though, so I hope people haven’t forgotten it! I even made the cover!

Anyway, that’s about it for this year! 5 stories, all in pro markets–go me! I’m very proud of all of them and hope you will give them some consideration!Thanks and good luck to all my fellow writers out there!

Book on Sale! (+ Miscellaneous Horn-tooting)

THE OLDEST TRICK_Haven’t read my debut fantasy novel yet? Well, you’re in luck: both halves of the novel (The Iron Ring and Iron and Blood) are now available in a single omnibus edition (i.e. “the complete novel I intended”) called by its original title, THE OLDEST TRICK. And there is even better news! The e-book version is currently on sale for a mere $1.99! That’s right – for about the cost of a Gatorade from a gym vending machine, you can get the novel reviewers have been calling “a romp in the style of Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss” and “an amalgamation of anime, grimdark, and the top tier of contemporary epic fantasy. ”

So, go and do it now! The sale won’t last forever, and the sooner you get it, the sooner you will be ready for the next installment, NO GOOD DEED, which is scheduled for release on June 21st!

Speaking of which…

No Good Deed‘s final draft was accepted by my editor on Friday, which means all that’s left is the copy edit and then the thing is off to the presses (errr…or digital formaters. Or whoever handles e-books – it’s an e-book initial release). You can pre-order it now on Amazon, and you’ll be hearing an awful lot about it here over the coming two or three months. Stay tuned for promotions of various stripes, once I figure out what the hell those might be.

Oh and by the way…

This is my final year of eligibility for the John W Campbell Award, which is given to new writers in the field of science fiction and fantasy. After two years you are no longer eligible, so if you think I’m great, now is your last chance to act (nominations for the Campbell end at the end of March, BTW). I have a couple things eligible. My novel (see above) and a couple short stories. One you can read for free right here on Escape Pod. I’m fairly proud of it and it has even received a pretty glowing review from SF Bluestocking which I shall excerpt for you here:

“Adaptation and Predation” is an excellent piece of world building, something that is often lacking in short fiction but which Auston Habershaw accomplishes here with panache. His cast of alien species is wonderfully imagined and described, and this short exploration of life in their highly stratified society is simply riveting.

High praise, yes? I think so – I’m very pleased at the review and, should you find it in your heart, feel free to nominate it (and me) for whatever you feel it deserves.

Okay, so there you have it – horn tooting over. I’ll be back later in the week with something more substantive for you folks to read.

Thanks, and talk to you soon!

Of Awards and the Advocacy Thereof

We’re getting into SF/F awards season. Nebula and Hugo nominations loom on the horizon, and a bunch of writer friends I know are eligible. Also of note: I am eligible. That’s kind of mindblowing, but it is nevertheless true: I am eligible for nomination for a Hugo or Nebula award for several things I had published last year.

In lieu of change, phallic silver rocket ships are also appreciated.

In lieu of change, phallic silver rocket ships are also appreciated.

But how to proceed? My writerly friends are putting each other up on lists, trumpeting each other to one another, and so on. I feel as though I ought to do the same (even though, to my shame, I really haven’t read very much of my friends’ work – my perennial resolution is to read more each year and it doesn’t quite happen. I digress, though.). I also feel as though I should be plugging my own work somehow. Not because I feel, deep in my bones, that I deserve an award at the moment (I think my work is very good, mind you, but how does anyone honestly look at their work and say “hot damn! That shit should get a Hugo!”), but because, as a writer who garners relatively little attention from the world at large, I would just like to wave the flag and say “me too! I’m here too!”

So, okay, here’s what I have eligible for the Hugos and Nebulas this year:

Short Story: “Adaptation and Predation” on Escape Pod (December 11th, 2015)

Novelette: “A Revolutionary’s Guide to Practical Conjuration” in Writers of the Future Volume 31 (May, 2015)

Novel: Well, I’ve really got one novel, but it was split into two halves and then put back together. So let’s just call it one book and give you the title of that compilation: The Oldest Trick, Book 1 of The Saga of the Redeemed from Harper Voyager Impulse (August 2015)

Now, given that my novel was released in halves and is, therefore, damnably confusing to explain to people, there’s barely a snowball’s chance in hell it will get nominated for anything. Likewise for my Novelette, which already won an award and should count itself lucky on that score. And then there’s the short story – I’m very proud of it. I think it’s some of my best work. You can read/listen to it for free. Will anybody notice it? Eh, who knows?

The competitive side of me wants an award, I’ll admit it. I keep reminding myself, though, of the collected wisdom of the greats bestowed onto me during my trip to LA for the Writers of the Future Workshop. Eric Flint perhaps said it best (and here I paraphrase):

Winning awards doesn’t mean sales. Sales doesn’t mean winning awards. If I had to pick one, I’d take selling books over winning awards every time.

He’s right. I’ve had an enormously successful year and gotten more attention heaped on my writing than at any prior point, so I should be content. I hope that some of my very deserving friends receive recognition for their work, and hope that I can help them in some small way. As for the rest, I leave it in the hands of capricious fate.

Good luck everyone!

Hey, Somebody Just Gave Me a Prize!

liebster-awardSo, I just was nominated for the Liebster Award for small blogs by Smash of Smashing Through Life. This is such a nice gesture, as I feel my dusty little corner of the internet doesn’t really get a whole lot of attention, and it’s always nice when someone stops by to pay me a compliment. This thing doesn’t come with any prizes or fame or fortune, but that’s okay – it’s a nice way to connect to the rest of the blogging community, anyway, which is something I rarely do. Anyway, here we go with the festivities:


The Liebster award is a recognition given to small bloggers by other small bloggers (max 200 followers), and the rule for the awards are:

1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog. That’s easy enough. Thank you again to my friend at Smashing Through Life

2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answering the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

4. Display the Liebster Award logo.

5.  No tag back thingy’s. (Which I assume means that the people I nominate can’t just re-nominate me?)


Now, my answers to Smash’s Questions:

  • How do you take your eggs?

Depends on my mood, really. Usually over-easy, just a tad runny, with a bagel or English muffin. I also eat Hard Boiled with a bit of salt and a bagel.

  • What is the best concert you ever went to?

I really haven’t been to a lot of non-classical concerts, actually (hold on and let me adjust my pocket protector). I would say the best concert I went to was a thing at Boston’s Symphony Hall last year that featured a bunch of young up-and-coming artists (of whom my daughter’s babysitter was one) and was followed up by Steve Martin’s bluegrass band. Good times.

  • What’s hiding under your bed right now?

The nightmares of a thousand wayward children, condensed and made solid by weighty tread of centuries in the dark. Or my dog. Yeah, probably just my dog.

  • Worst book you ever read, maybe you couldn’t even finish it. What was it?

Tough one – I’ve read a LOT of bad books. I’m going to go with a controversial choice, since this book consistently gets me into a rant: Push by Sapphire (which I read years and years ago, long before the movie, which I’ve never seen) was a *fantastic* book for the first three quarters or so of the narrative and then Precious just stops being in it and her voice is gone and we’re reading stuff from the point of view of the other kids in her class. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT CRAP? Drives me absolutely bonkers that the protagonist just vanishes from the novel like that, left more-or-less mid-conflict (or at least I don’t recall any kind of denouement, not even an incomplete one).

I’ll give an honorable mention to Portrait of a Man Unknown by Nathalie Sarraute, as it is a novel without any proper nouns. That’s right, you heard me.

  • How do you like your pizza topped?

Sausage, garlic, extra cheese.

  • What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever eaten?

A chicken heart. It’s kinda like meat-flavored chewing gum.

  • What is the most played song on your iPod?

Don’t own an iPod. Weird, right? The music I probably listen to most often is various movie soundtracks – O Brother Where Art Thou, Conan the Barbarian, etc..

  • Would you or do you go to the movies alone?

I do not, thus I hardly ever go to the movies anymore. Le sigh. I see things at home usually 1-3 years after they come out.


  • When was the last time you got so drunk you couldn’t remember anything the next morning?

I don’t drink, so this has never happened to me. I did get drunk once as an experiment, just to see what it was like. According to my girlfriend (and now wife) who was present, I’m a lusty drunk.

  • Something that makes you smile, every single time you think of it. What is it?

“I hope the Pacific is as blue as it is in my dreams.”

  • What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

I really don’t know. Nothing I’ve ever done sticks out to me as being particularly brave, or at least not that I consider so. I once recovered a runaway sailboat by being dragged behind it for a couple miles. I want to become a professional novelist. Those things, I guess, are brave after a fashion.

Here are my questions:

1) Why do you write a blog?

2) If you could visit any period or place in history, where would it be and why?

3) Domestic Pets: Dogs, Cats, or ‘Other’?

4) If you were President of the United States, what would you do with your power first?

5) What is the coldest day you remember?

6) What’s the scariest movie you ever saw?

7) Who do you think is the best actor/actress currently alive?

8) Your ideal Thanksgiving/holiday meal would contain which foods?

9) If they sold flying cars, would you want one?

10) Who do you think will conquer whom: Do we conquer the aliens, or do the aliens conquer us?

11) If you actually had the One Ring in your possession, which of your friends would you give it to because you know they wouldn’t be corrupted by it?


Now for my nominations. The thing is, I really don’t read a lot of other small blogs (shame, shame), so I don’t know that I’ll get quite 11 of them. Here it goes, though:

Ash Silverlock

Gina Damico


Writing Dark

Hari Ragat Games

Heather McCorkle

Kasey Shoemaker

Periscope Depth

That’s all I got! Thanks again, Smash (insert bow here).