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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 05, 2014, 12:06:19 AM

Title: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 05, 2014, 12:06:19 AM
Why, hello.

I know there's a science-fiction thread here: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,67482.0.html (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,67482.0.html)

But it seems to be mostly self-promotion, with little discussion.

This forum is flooded with erotica and romance, so I thought it would be cool to start a thread where speculative fiction authors can just talk about things - I know there's a lot of interesting spec fic authors on kboards.

All types of speculative fiction are welcome here! Speculative fiction is a very diverse field. Feel free to talk about the genre and sub-genres, but please be respectful to your fellow authors.  :D

My main aim here is to meet and talk with other spec fic authors. Talk about what you're working on, what interests you, etc. Please don't promote your releases - this is better done elsewhere. The goal here is to have a supportive community of similar authors.

---

Heidi has set up a new blog, the Speculative Fiction Showcase: http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com.au/ (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com.au/). The purpose of this site is to support indie speculative fiction, and give readers a place to uncover it. I'll be updating this post with links to each of the features, as they run. For more information, post in this thread.

Features (updated 22-May-14):
Welcome Post (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/welcome-to-speculative-fiction-showcase.html)
Irradiated by S. Elliot Brandis (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/irradiated-by-s-elliot-brandis.html)
Jason Gurley Talks About How He Writes (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/jason-gurley-talks-about-how-he-writes.html)
Threats of Sea and Glass by Jennifer Ellision (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/threats-of-sea-and-glass-by-jennifer.html)
Dreaming of the Sea by Heidi Garrett (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/dreaming-of-sea-by-heidi-garrett.html)
Warden (Book 3: Attack of the Aswang) by Kevin Hardman (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/warden-book-3-attack-of-aswang-by-kevin.html)
Michael Patrick Hicks Talks About How He Writes (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/michael-patrick-hicks-talks-about-how.html)
Sworn to Defiance by Terah Edun (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/sworn-to-defiance-by-terah-edun.html)
The Lost Tales of Power, Volumes 1-3 by Vincent Trigili (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-lost-tales-of-power-volumes-1-3-by.html)
The Edge of the Woods by Ceinwen Langley (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-edge-of-woods-by-ceinwen-langley.html)
Outage (Powerless Nation): Book One by Ellisa Barr (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/outage-powerless-nation-book-one-by.html)
Benton: A Zombie Novel by Jolie Du Pré (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/benton-zombie-novel-by-jolie-du-pre.html)
Cat Amesbury Talks About How She Writes (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/cat-amesbury-talks-about-how-she-writes.html)
Deep Breath Hold Tight by Jason Gurley (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/deep-breath-hold-tight-by-jason-gurley.html)
William D. Richards Talks About How He Writes (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/william-d-richards-talks-about-how-he.html)
Bound in Blue: Book One of the Sword Elements by Heather Hamilton-Senter (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/bound-in-blue-book-one-of-sword.html)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 05, 2014, 12:48:51 AM
You have my sword.

And also some more genres in the spec-fic umbrella: I'm mostly known for Superhero (which is NOT Fantasy, thank you very much Amazon), and Weird West.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 05, 2014, 12:52:59 AM
I do have to say, as a lover of comics, there's not enough superhero novels. Some superhero stuff I would class as fantasy, others as science fiction - but it definitely fits under the spec fic umbrella.

I've also noticed amazon has a very underpopulated Westerns - Science Fiction category. My own stuff has some spaghetti western elements, I might try to use this. All in all, the amazon categories are batsh** crazy.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: David Adams on January 05, 2014, 12:54:37 AM
You have my sword.

And my axe.

I have to say that spec-fiction is a fun genre to write in. It's my favourite. I just wish it was... I don't know. More profitable?

Sure, romance floods everything, but it's also a very popular genre to read. I wish more people read spec-fic.

I don't know. It's good though. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: jjfoxe on January 05, 2014, 12:57:06 AM
High five!  And good call.

One of the things I'm most interested in seeing in 2014 is the new Serenity comic book series - as you seem to like SF westerns you might be interested ;)

I write supernatural thrillers and dark fantasy/horror btw.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Patty Jansen on January 05, 2014, 12:57:43 AM
Am I the only one to see something lewd in the declaration of a sword? LOL
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 05, 2014, 01:01:14 AM
I have to say that spec-fiction is a fun genre to write in. It's my favourite. I just wish it was... I don't know. More profitable?

Sure, romance floods everything, but it's also a very popular genre to read. I wish more people read spec-fic.

That's true, but surely the romance genre is more saturated - my impression from this board is that there's a million billion romance writers, maybe ten to one. Maybe it's a smaller audience, but it's a smaller pool of writers, too.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 05, 2014, 01:02:52 AM
And my bow. (I always wanted to be an elf.)

Fantasy (the otherworld low tech sort) and urban fantasy here.

*grabs a corner and gets comfy*
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MT Berlyn on January 05, 2014, 01:12:28 AM
I am interested in the development of an entirely unique type of creature/character in the realm of Horror and/or Dark Fantasy, even if said creature/character is (somewhat) an extension of a more familiar concept (ie: the witch, the elemental, the immortal, etc.) I write Soft Horror and Dark Fantasy, and so am always attempting to bring a different element or layer to a central character or theme that an adventurous reader might not find elsewhere. Clive Barker is a great one for bringing unique characters into the foray, although he is often a bit too dark for my taste.

It is very difficult to promote such stories, sometimes.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 05, 2014, 01:13:23 AM
High five!  And good call.

One of the things I'm most interested in seeing in 2014 is the new Serenity comic book series - as you seem to like SF westerns you might be interested ;)

I write supernatural thrillers and dark fantasy/horror btw.

There's space western, and science fiction western (apparently!).

Serenity (along with Firefly) is awesome, and a space western - a science fiction setting using western conventions. While science fiction westerns (and weird west, ect) are in a western setting, with science fiction elements included. I don't know where my stuff fits. It's post-apocalyptic sci-fi stuff, but it has a mad max-ish semi-western bent (but without cars!).

Who knows. I remember reading once that all westerns are spec fic.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 05, 2014, 01:33:04 AM
I have to say that spec-fiction is a fun genre to write in. It's my favourite. I just wish it was... I don't know. More profitable?

Sure, romance floods everything, but it's also a very popular genre to read. I wish more people read spec-fic.

Here's the thing: Spec-fic (or as I like to say, Nerd Genres) is more popular right now than it has ever been. The problem is that our infrastructure needs are not being met by a self-pub industry that makes it gravy on romance and mysteries.

For example, no one I talk to online on a regular basis knows what in the seven interlocking hells Bookbub, or ENT or any of the other big agrigators are. No one. That's because when me or one of my fellow nerdlings wants a book recommendation, we'll start a thread, or jack into a favorite blogger's (usually not a dedicated book blogger) RSS feed and go from there.

At this moment, there's really no good, reliable way to reach our readers through the normally recommended channels. We need... well this thread, actually. We need to work together to find ways of tapping into those people who got LotR a mess of Oscars, helped the Avengers make all the money, and keep the bloated, stinking corpse ratings sensation that is Game of Thrones on television.

They're there, we just don't have line of site. If only we could get the self-pubbing game to switch to a hex grid...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: NicWilson on January 05, 2014, 01:40:15 AM
I do have to say, as a lover of comics, there's not enough superhero novels. Some superhero stuff I would class as fantasy, others as science fiction - but it definitely fits under the spec fic umbrella.

I've also noticed amazon has a very underpopulated Westerns - Science Fiction category. My own stuff has some spaghetti western elements, I might try to use this. All in all, the amazon categories are batsh** crazy.

They have that? Well crapspackle. I haven't delved into what the categories for my next release are going to be, but I'd been thinking it's somewhere between post apocalyptic scifi and horror, with some spaghetti western or gunslinger elements to the overall mise en scene and narration. That could be a perfect categorization for it. This post made my night! Now I have to figure out the keywords to get into it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Greg Strandberg on January 05, 2014, 01:56:59 AM
I'm not really sure what spec fiction is, but I have a feeling I might be writing it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: psychotick on January 05, 2014, 02:16:16 AM
Hi,

And my battleship complete with rail cannon!

I write sci fi (mostly space opera) and fantasy. And is it romance that's so hot right now or erotica? Honestly coming to KB a couple of years ago was an eye opener. I'd never heard of tentacle sex before (he says shuddering) or bigfoot sex etc. I read these threads and constantly think to myself - people really write this stuff? But it seems to be doing well right now so obviously there's a market.

Cheers, Greg.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Colin Taber on January 05, 2014, 02:29:57 AM
And my longship.

What, you mean I can't park it here!?!

I do dark fantasy and alternate history. My alternate history, which is about the Norse colonisation of North Norse America is the thing that's going great for me.

I do like a good green field to play in, and few fields are as green as those under a spec fic binary sun!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ShaneJeffery on January 05, 2014, 02:37:43 AM
Hello S Elliot and Friends  8)

I write horror, just because it's easier if I just write one thing and not many. Helps to have focus.

My goal for most part is to write books that will assault the minds of readers, without being gratuitous. The books I've read that have lasted with me, were always the ones that opened my eyes. The ones that broke a bit of my innocent core. So that's what I'll be generally striving for. Sales are pretty non-existent but I'm not blaming the genre nor my writing. At the moment I've just written a few random things. That will change.

I would definitely like to see a greater presence for speculative fiction authors here on KB. It would give me something to post about at least ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Annie B on January 05, 2014, 02:50:33 AM
I could go into a huge long rant about why SF is the most profitable movie genre but has such a tiny book market share, but I won't. I am thrilled, however, that we can now publish ourselves and write whatever for the market, because of how the traditional market has developed and how insular and incestuous certain parts of SF writerdom has become. (It would be a hecka-long rant, seriously).

Fantasy, thank god, avoided a lot of that. :)

Anyway. I write all kinds of spec fic. So, uh, hi.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sam Kates on January 05, 2014, 02:53:14 AM
Hey, you're not going anywhere without me...

Great idea for a thread. I write science fiction, dystopia and horror (and general fiction, but don't hold that against me). I don't follow market trends and have never even considered confining myself to one genre. Like many, I suspect, I write what I got to write.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sean Sweeney on January 05, 2014, 02:54:39 AM
Haven't written proper sci-fi or fantasy in a while, but I do love reading it.

It is indeed hard to separate you even when he is invited to a secret counsel and you are not.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: HezBa on January 05, 2014, 02:56:29 AM
Yippee!!

I suppose I write quiet horror? Someone else mentioned soft horror. I don't know if it's the same thing or what. Usually I write ghosts and madness and all that, but it's never gory or real tangible type of scare. More atmospheric, I think.

I would love to write nothing but horror, but I also want to make some money. I go back and forth between different genres, just to test the waters, but horror is always what I come back to. Sort of like my writing home. I enjoy the other stuff, but my horror stories are always the ones keeping me up at night (either thinking about plot/characters, or just because I'm terrified).
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 05, 2014, 03:03:39 AM
I love this thread already. Glad to see so many spec fic writers appear.

I'm not really sure what spec fiction is, but I have a feeling I might be writing it.

This is a fair enough comment. I entrust my overlord, wikipedia, to clear things up:

Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, weird fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature.

I say spec fic instead of science fiction as it's more all encompassing. It also seems to break down the walls between "genre" writers and "literature" writers. Authors like Kurt Vonnegut and Margaret Attwood seem/seemed to fight against being classified as science fiction, for whatever reasons.

I write sci fi (mostly space opera) and fantasy. And is it romance that's so hot right now or erotica? Honestly coming to KB a couple of years ago was an eye opener. I'd never heard of tentacle sex before (he says shuddering) or bigfoot sex etc. I read these threads and constantly think to myself - people really write this stuff? But it seems to be doing well right now so obviously there's a market.

One of the reasons I wanted to start this thread! Every second signature has abs, tits, or arse! I don't want to sledge people who write that sort of stuff, but it's a whole different beast from spec fic - it's awesome if we can raise the profile of it. I think speculative fiction readers are very open minded, and open to new voices and new ideas. For us, this represents all sorts of opportunities for indie fiction.

My favourite spec fiction novels:

Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Wool - Hugh Howey
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: O_o on January 05, 2014, 03:10:13 AM
*High fives*

I write horror, and it's difficult to see me ever writing anything else. Love the thread idea  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: HezBa on January 05, 2014, 03:12:15 AM
I could go into a huge long rant about why SF is the most profitable movie genre but has such a tiny book market share, but I won't.

Maybe a little rant? I've always been aware of the huge difference between a movie with ghosts and a book with ghosts, but I never really gave much thought as to why. I figured it was just that it's harder to have something jump out and yell "boo" in a novel.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 05, 2014, 03:17:17 AM
Maybe a little rant? I've always been aware of the huge difference between a movie with ghosts and a book with ghosts, but I never really gave much thought as to why. I figured it was just that it's harder to have something jump out and yell "boo" in a novel.

It is interesting. I reckon at least half of the movie market is spec fiction stuff (including superheroes, horror, science fiction, etc). Or more. You see the top grossing movies here: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?view2=worldwide&yr=2013&p=.htm (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?view2=worldwide&yr=2013&p=.htm) and I reckon all of the top ten, beside fast and the furious 6, are spec fic.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: jjfoxe on January 05, 2014, 04:14:45 AM
It is interesting. I reckon at least half of the movie market is spec fiction stuff (including superheroes, horror, science fiction, etc). Or more. You see the top grossing movies here: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?view2=worldwide&yr=2013&p=.htm (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?view2=worldwide&yr=2013&p=.htm) and I reckon all of the top ten, beside fast and the furious 6, are spec fic.

If you read David Farland's book - I think it's his OUtlines book - he looks at the top 20 or 30 best selling movies of all time (with dollar figures adjusted for inflation). And he found that a big percentage of them -  i think 90 per cent plus - were 'speculative' in some way.  Either other time.  Or imaginary world.  And so on.

Food for thought.

Kudos for starting the thread btw....be very cool if we can work out some way of banding together and supporting each other!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ShaneJeffery on January 05, 2014, 04:16:39 AM
It is interesting. I reckon at least half of the movie market is spec fiction stuff (including superheroes, horror, science fiction, etc). Or more. You see the top grossing movies here: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?view2=worldwide&yr=2013&p=.htm (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?view2=worldwide&yr=2013&p=.htm) and I reckon all of the top ten, beside fast and the furious 6, are spec fic.

Exactly. I don't understand why Romance should be all the RAGE with reading, where it doesn't dominate film or TV. It's all storytelling. Come on Spec lovers, pic up a book.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: FrankZubek on January 05, 2014, 04:36:49 AM
Not sure if paranormal counts but I support you guys in spirit.

You could start a face book page and post yourself on there once a day or something and build up some followers.....

Or begin a blog ( and advertise it on face book and twitter)

Maybe start your own anthology? We have two burning up the kboards at the moment- always room for another one.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on January 05, 2014, 05:26:28 AM
I've parked my asteroid-turned-spaceship in the back. Try not to run in to it, 'kay?  8)

As a reader, SF has always been my first love. I especially love post-apocalyptic fiction (Alas, Babylon rules). Horror (the not gory variety) follows close behind, with fantasy taking a respectable bronze. As a writer, it seems horror is number one, with SF neck-and-neck, at least right now. I'm dipping my toes into urban fantasy, too.

This thread is great. Glad to meet you all. Also glad to see others of the female persuasion stopping by.  ;D

I think the idea of starting a Facebook page is great. No idea how to organize that, but it's something we can bat around for a bit.

Oh, and Doomed Muse, how about stepping up on the soap box, and get that rant going? This is the perfect thread to let it all hang out. Purely for edumacational purposes, as they say.  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Chris P. O'Grady on January 05, 2014, 05:29:05 AM
*Rubs hands together*
"You guys want to see my comic book collection?"

I like this idea A LOT. I've visited the SF thread under the Book Bazaar a couple times, but not what I was looking for. Posting now and bookmarking so I dont lose track of this thread. In my ideal storyland I dont have to care about formating, size, promoting or sales. None of that stuff. I just want to get my crazy fun story ideas that make me and my friends laugh out of my head and onto *paper*.

Chrispy
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: brendajcarlton on January 05, 2014, 05:44:48 AM
I offer my tail torch.  (You have to read Earthaways in my siggie to find out what that means.)  And you guys thought I was kidding about leprechauns from outer space.  :D

I only have one spec fic book, but it was an idea that demanded to be written, despite being outside of my usual realm.  Actually, I don't think I have a usual realm.  I have some associated follow up ideas that I might add if Earthaways starts to sell consistently, but so far, no dice.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: O_o on January 05, 2014, 05:55:51 AM
*Rubs hands together*
"You guys want to see my comic book collection?"

I kinda do  :-[ :P
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Writerly Writer on January 05, 2014, 06:01:06 AM
Definitely a spec fiction writer here. Fantasy with a twist, usually.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Usedtopostheretoo! on January 05, 2014, 06:01:14 AM
Fantastic idea...you can have my HK416 with ACOG and canted iron sights.

My first novel was SpecFic, which has always been my favorite genre as a reader. I jumped ship to write a black ops series for a few years and recently returned with a Post-apoc, prepper-themed series.

The Romance market is awesomely insane thanks to the ebook revolution, not that it didn't fare well before...it's true potential lay dormant, in the masses of readers unwilling to bring the those purchases through the grocery line or onto an airplane. I remember seeing paperbacks with the covers torn off as a young adult while traveling. Ridiculous, but the stigma of Romance (especially erotica) was pervasive. It's never been like this for SpecFic readers. What you're seeing now is the true demand for the Romance/Erotic genre, and it's pretty amazing.

Still, very happy to see this circle of high fives.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Chris P. O'Grady on January 05, 2014, 06:03:44 AM
I kinda do  :-[ :P

LOL, prior to reading books...I collected a bunch of comics. No super hero stuff per se, but lots of Weird War stories mixed with Mad, that kind of thing. Somehow had the forethought to perserve them in plastic for the last 35 years. You know I have to go find them and break them out today.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Samuel Peralta on January 05, 2014, 06:29:07 AM
Count me in.

I started out in the ebook world with poetry, and although successful enough for poetry, over the Christmas season I had an epiphany in the bookstore.

(Yes, I still go to bookstores, despite buying hundreds of Kindle ebooks and most of my own poetry books only being available in digital form.)

Going through the shelves, I stopped to admire the poetry of Margaret Atwood, of which, at this writing, she has twenty volumes.

I pulled out “The Journals of Susanna Moodie” and leafed through page after page of indescribable beauty, pain, insight.

Every poem was a poem I wish I’d written.

And yet, of Atwood’s array of volumes on the shelf, all iconic titles – “The Edible Woman”, “The Journals of Susanna Moodie”, “Surfacing”, “Life Before Man”, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “Cat’s Eye”, “The Robber Bride”, “Alias Grace”, “The Blind Assassin”, “Oryx and Crake”, “The Year of the Flood”, “MaddAddam” – only one was poetry.

Twenty books of poems, and only one on the shelf. All the rest - speculative fiction.

Hello world.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Quiss on January 05, 2014, 06:45:24 AM
Space Opera rulez!

My theory as to why sci-fi movies do so much better than sci-fi books?
VISUALS. Reading 4000-word epic space battle is often utterly boring. You can put the entire thing in a five minute movie action sequence that'll blow people's minds. Even if you end up with noisy, fiery explosions in a vacuum.

I've learned so much during my research for my books, which is a huge bonus for me.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KevinH on January 05, 2014, 07:04:58 AM
You have my sword.

And my Wave Motion Gun.

I consider myself a sci-fi/fantasy author, and the more popular of my two series are my superhero novels. I like the vibe of this thread and  look forward to participating here. Hopefully the thread will have a great deal of longevity.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ken.Hagdal on January 05, 2014, 07:15:43 AM
No offense to anybody, but I would prefer to keep this thread clear of romance, erotica, and young adult fiction (I'm aware these can cross lines with spec fiction, but they really occupy a different space). If you write science fiction, fantasy, or horror, then come on-board.

My main aim here is to meet and talk with other spec fic authors. Talk about what you're working on, what interests you, etc. Please don't promote your releases - this is better done elsewhere. The goal here is to have a supportive community of similar authors.

Nice premise... Speculative fiction is one of my favorites genre as a reader and writer. The Non-YA type. My upcoming novel is a dystopia/satire on inter-gender issues. Sort of a male version of the Handmaid's Tale. My next fiction project will take place farther off in the future, at a time when mankind has reached the end of its rope in terms of technology and exploitation of natural resources.

I'm glad to see favorite book titles in the thread... Some of mine: 1984, We, Brave New World, A Canticle for Leibowitz, War with the Newts.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: olefish on January 05, 2014, 07:39:07 AM
what do you all think about publishing at the spec-fic mags to build an audience?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: LindsayBuroker on January 05, 2014, 07:40:24 AM
Hey guys,

There may be a lot more indies making a living writing fantasy and science fiction than people realize. If you poke around the Top 100 in epic fantasy, for example, it takes a pretty high sales ranking to break in, and the last time I looked at the Top 100 overall on Amazon there were a lot of dystopians in the mix. There is definitely an audience for spec fic. As big as mystery, romance, and thrillers? Perhaps not, but we have an awesome fan base. A very dedicated fan base. They're the folks who took Star Trek into three seasons through massive letter writing campaigns, who travel long and far to attend SF/F conventions in droves every year, and who caused Serenity to be made based on a TV show that was canceled after twelve episodes. If you can find them and win them to your side, they're amazing. I have the fan art hanging on the wall to prove it. :D

What works for promotion and being found? I've used Wattpad, podiobooks, advertising (Goodreads, Facebook, Bookbub, ENT), blogging, and a perma-free Book 1 in a series. Though I think a lot of it is just being out there over time and continuing to publish stuff people like to read on a regular basis. I've never had a huge bestseller, but the readers trickle in over time, and I'm finding the 1,000 True Fans article to be accurate. That's about what you have to gather to make a reliable living at this.

Anyway, I know that wasn't the original question, but I sensed a lot of chagrined attitudes in the thread. ;) Stick with what you love to write!


Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wolfrom on January 05, 2014, 07:44:41 AM
Hello from the bowels of spec fic (post-apocalyptic). I did *okay* in 2013, but I'm certainly not replicating any successes so far this year.

I think spec fic is really great for the long game, if you believe in what you're writing. A good spec fic book can find its audience years down the line, and maybe now with self publishing and the long tail, we might see books take off after a decade or more of obscurity.

At least, that's what I tell myself when I have a day with no sales.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: burke_KB on January 05, 2014, 08:23:47 AM
Here's the thing: Spec-fic (or as I like to say, Nerd Genres) is more popular right now than it has ever been. The problem is that our infrastructure needs are not being met by a self-pub industry that makes it gravy on romance and mysteries.

For example, no one I talk to online on a regular basis knows what in the seven interlocking hells Bookbub, or ENT or any of the other big agrigators are. No one. That's because when me or one of my fellow nerdlings wants a book recommendation, we'll start a thread, or jack into a favorite blogger's (usually not a dedicated book blogger) RSS feed and go from there.

At this moment, there's really no good, reliable way to reach our readers through the normally recommended channels. We need... well this thread, actually. We need to work together to find ways of tapping into those people who got LotR a mess of Oscars, helped the Avengers make all the money, and keep the bloated, stinking corpse ratings sensation that is Game of Thrones on television.

They're there, we just don't have line of site. If only we could get the self-pubbing game to switch to a hex grid...

This is what I'm finding in my research. I write dark fantasy, and I'd love to book ads, but I don't see any sites worth advertising on. If I wrote thrillers I'd have dozens of options, and it looks like blog tours actually work for that genre.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wrenroberts on January 05, 2014, 08:35:36 AM
Oh hey guys, sorry I'm late. Finding parking for my space colony was surprisingly difficult.

I write the gamut of speculative fiction: fantasy, scifi and horror. Sometimes I combine them all and then get asked how many times I've watched Stargate. To which, I plead the 5th.

My first book, which is so painfully close to being ready to get out there, occupies the murky waters of science fantasy. And yes, I'm totally aware I'm probably setting myself up for a lot of failure before I see any success.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Duane Gundrum on January 05, 2014, 08:39:39 AM
I have been writing speculative fiction since my very early days of writing, and it's always been difficult to connect with a market. In the olden days, I used to publish nonstop through magazines that were publishing this kind of stuff. When the ebook revolution came along, we kind of got pushed aside, and next thing you knew every romance writer in the woodworks was popping out of nowhere. And they started including speculative features into their stories (the whole vampire thing and then werewolves, etc.) so that I think readers started to think THAT was speculative fiction. Those of us who do world-building and create fiction using harder sciences with less (or no) emphasis on sex have been sort of marginalized if we're not already big names beforehand.

I'd be very interested to hear from a lot of other speculative fiction writers to see how they're handling this continuous transition, aside from just giving in and becoming hybrid romance writers. Nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't really feel like a solution to me.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Saul Tanpepper on January 05, 2014, 08:44:52 AM
There are a number of reasons why writers of speculative fiction (specfic) have a difficult time defining who their audience is (and, thus, reaching them). The term itself isn't that well known; more folks identify with horror or fantasy or super hero. (To assist my readers, I have a page dedicated to what it is on my website.) Nor it the definition even that well-defined. Heinlein is generally attributed credit for coining the phrase, intending it as more broadly encompassing of multiple genres, but he then went on to restrict by claiming it's NOT Fantasy (I think most of us generally agree that some fantasy deserves a seat at the table). Also, readers in one genre under the specfic umbrella aren't necessarily happy crossing into another specfic genre (space opera versus horror, for example). As "specfic writers," especially those writing in multiple genres, our challenge includes targeting multiple target audiences rather than trying to find a single panacea for all of them. Marketing to a specfic audience is like trying to herd cats and gophers at the same time.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wrenroberts on January 05, 2014, 08:46:25 AM
I'd love to book ads, but I don't see any sites worth advertising on. If I wrote thrillers I'd have dozens of options, and it looks like blog tours actually work for that genre.

Hey guys, you guys, hey. Why don't we build one?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CEMartin2 on January 05, 2014, 08:53:00 AM
Specfic definitely sums me up. I like to call my series pulp-horror, but has milscifi, action, horror, fantasy, superhero etc elements all woven together

Inagree with LindsayB there's goit to be more of us than we think. I have one perma free, five novels, three shorts and two omnibuses out now and am consistently selling four or more copies a day (for two months now), yet my author rank is still around six thousand for kindle, and none of my paid works make it into any top 100, suggenres. That tells me lots of specfic is selling way better.

Regarding bookbub, etc for spec fic, how about we come up w a list of where to find out about spec fic and me or oine of the other AmazingStories bloggers here at kboads could write a short article listing them all? I totally agrre that specfic is really catching on--movies and tv series show that the genpop definitely likes specfic these days. Maybe romance's reign at the top is running out?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ty Johnston on January 05, 2014, 09:01:15 AM
Hello all,

I write/publish mostly epic fantasy, but I tend to think of myself more as a horror writer, and I've penned the off science fiction piece from time to time, as well as some more literary works.

Glad to see this group here, especially concerning the promotions front.

Most of the "mainstream" promotion options don't seem all that inclined to help out spec-fic writers, through no fault of their own. For a generic example, most sites will advertise they send out thousands of e-mail notices to fantasy readers, but the term "fantasy" encompasses a lot of different sub-genres, and in my experience readers tend to heavily prefer one of those sub-genres over the others. Such as, I publish epic fantasy, but sending out thousands of e-mail shots to fantasy fans means I'm only likely to draw a portion of that crowd, perhaps even a relatively small portion of that crowd.

To combat this, I've been doing the permafreebie thing for a while now, but I've also been working to make some inroads into the fantasy tabletop gaming community. I've contacts with some folks who used to work directly or freelance for the larger gaming companies and who are now doing their own indie thing as far as fiction and tabletop games go. Anthologies have proven to be fun, pay a little, and offer a way to get my name out to more people. I've even managed to get my print books in a few gaming stores, though have had no success with indie book stores.

Target advertising for fantasy seems almost nonexistant, or overly expensive for little exposure.

Just tossing out ideas. Love to hear others.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: HezBa on January 05, 2014, 09:05:48 AM
I know Find, Read, Love has separate facebook pages for Horror, Spec Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, etc. It's free and she posts pretty regularly. I sent her a request more than a couple of months ago, and I still see my books go up every now and then, without any further requests, so that's nice.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: dkgould on January 05, 2014, 09:14:50 AM
pretty solidly post-apoc here.  First one was post-apocalyptic fantasy, second one was post-apocalyptic sci-fi, next one is post-apocalyptic horror (I could call the last two zombie books but the purists get mad)  And I love, love, love reading pretty much everything under the speculative fiction umbrella!  I think the key to specfic breaking out is going to be using other media.  I think we're going to be the ones that have to push the envelope and find ways to mix our story presentation (you know, somehow adding animated comics to graphic novels- or other novels or soundtracks to epic space novels or hooks that include video games, etc)  I think the fans are spread out across lots and lots of platforms and the key to finding them is going to be working together with other artists to reach them.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: P.J. Post on January 05, 2014, 09:18:57 AM
Spec fiction here as well, but fairly dark - not really 'feel good' summer reads - everything from sci-fi to horror to classic mystery style twist ending stories similar to the Outer Limits or Twilight Zone.

I write stories about damaged people in very bad situations, or how very bad situations damage people.

Sounds like fun already, huh?   :D

________

I think someone should start a cross promo thread like Holly did for NA.  This way everyone can at least reach each other's fans.  I received a book recommendation from a KB writer I respect (I like his stories) this morning and the first thing I thought was to check the book out.

As fan bases grow, the newsletters, tweets and FB posts expand their reach - and that reach is VERY targeted.  Something to consider. 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KateDanley on January 05, 2014, 09:26:13 AM
*swinging in on a rope* You have my stake!  ...erm.. axe... wait *dumping belt full of weapons on the table*  Take your pick.  I'm in.

I've loved speculative fiction since I was a wee little one.  My dad was a big sci-fi fan and we used to talk about why these books are important.  They have the power to look at deep philosophical issues from enough distance that an audience can examine it from all angles and be invited to grow, without being smashed over the head with "A Message".  There was a fantastic exhibit in Seattle about fantasy, and several of the big writers (George RR Martin, Jane Espenson) talked about what makes fantasy important.  They said that at its heart, fantasy is about an individual standing up against the forces which seek to destroy our individuality.  And the person who wins is not the prettiest or strongest.  It is the cleverest person with the strongest will.  The mind and heart will always trump evil.  I liked that.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KevinH on January 05, 2014, 09:32:11 AM
Hey guys, you guys, hey. Why don't we build one?

This. (Referencing a site for advertising speculative fiction.)


Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ゴジラ on January 05, 2014, 09:39:13 AM
I consider myself a specfic writer, but I've always felt excluded from specfic circles because I write my books with sex and love and feelings, some of it YA. Not romances, exactly, just very "girly" fantasy. And posts like the OP, of course, telling me that my specfic dwells in a different place than your Real Specfic does not feel very inclusive for obvious reasons.

Not trying to pick a fight. But maybe some folks should think about why you don't consider books with romantic elements to be like "your" speculative fiction. (Also, not just OP in particular, who is a swell guy. Everyone in the community is responsible for these attitudes.)

(Ann Aguirre has a great post about this but I don't feel like digging it up.)

Lindsay Buroker, it's awesome seeing on you here. We should cross pollinate our UF audiences sometime. Don't be a stranger.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: dgaughran on January 05, 2014, 09:41:18 AM
Writing a short SF atm. Fun break from HF.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: HezBa on January 05, 2014, 09:46:53 AM
I consider myself a specfic writer, but I've always felt excluded from specfic circles because I write my books with sex and love and feelings, some of it YA. Not romances, exactly, just very "girly" fantasy. And posts like the OP, of course, telling me that my specfic dwells in a different place than your Real Specfic does not feel very inclusive for obvious reasons.

Not trying to pick a fight. But maybe some folks should think about why you don't consider books with romantic elements to be like "your" speculative fiction. (Also, not just OP in particular, who is a swell guy. Everyone in the community is responsible for these attitudes.)


I don't think he was talking about Spec fic with romantic elements, I think it was just the romance genre that he was trying to exclude from the thread. And he wasn't even trashing romance or erotica, he was just saying that those genres already get enough attention, while Spec fic doesn't
It's a shame that you feel you've been excluded from spec fic, but I don't think that's what this thread is about.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MT Berlyn on January 05, 2014, 09:51:02 AM
Yippee!!

I suppose I write quiet horror? Someone else mentioned soft horror. I don't know if it's the same thing or what. Usually I write ghosts and madness and all that, but it's never gory or real tangible type of scare. More atmospheric, I think.

I would love to write nothing but horror, but I also want to make some money. I go back and forth between different genres, just to test the waters, but horror is always what I come back to. Sort of like my writing home. I enjoy the other stuff, but my horror stories are always the ones keeping me up at night (either thinking about plot/characters, or just because I'm terrified).

A kindred spirit! I would say that quiet or soft horror are synonymous.  Gothic horror would also be placed in this category, I think.  I see atmosphere as an extremely important component in quiet/soft (and Gothic) horror storytelling.  Ghosts, madness, all of it, contain a fabulous canvas for experimentation.  Peter Penzoldt writes in "The Supernatural in Fiction", that the ghost story holds the greatest room for varying approaches because there are no set rules to interaction with the supernatural.

I was confused as to why the ghost story in literature did not enjoy the same reception as the theme of ghosts in say, television, but I think the difference is that ghosts in popular media are portrayed within a reality based theme...ie: ghost hunters, ghost adventurers, even The Blair Witch Project.  Maybe it feels safer that way, I'm not sure of the dynamic, but it is there.  Dark Shadows was exceedingly popular back in the 1960's, but a series revival in the 1990's with some great actors and atmosphere failed.  
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MT Berlyn on January 05, 2014, 09:57:44 AM
Spec fiction here as well, but fairly dark - not really 'feel good' summer reads - everything from sci-fi to horror to classic mystery style twist ending stories similar to the Outer Limits or Twilight Zone.

I write stories about damaged people in very bad situations, or how very bad situations damage people.

The flawed character is a staple in Southern Gothic literature.  The creation of this type of character has a wide range of possibility in speculative fiction, for sure.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Duane Gundrum on January 05, 2014, 10:00:17 AM


I was confused as to why the ghost story in literature did not enjoy the same reception as the theme of ghosts in say, television, but I think the difference is that ghosts in popular media are portrayed within a reality based theme...ie: ghost hunters, ghost adventurers, even The Blair Witch Project.  Maybe it feels safer that way, I'm not sure of the dynamic, but it is there.  Dark Shadows was exceedingly popular back in the 1960's, but a series revival in the 1990's with some great actors and atmosphere failed.  


There are some places where the ghost story is doing well on television, like on shows like Supernatural, which has a huge fan base built into it. I think what we're finding is that the fans seem to be locked into a specific world (like that of Supernatural) so it is hard to pry them away from it into other words. I know when I was teaching at a community college last semester, one of my students was a dire hard fan of Supernatural, and I got the immediate impression that she wasn't interested in anything else. I'm wondering if that's somewhat of the same thing for a lot of people who get tied into one horror thing. I know it's very anecdotal (one case), but it's kind of made me wonder.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CEMartin2 on January 05, 2014, 10:02:07 AM
I consider myself a specfic writer, but I've always felt excluded from specfic circles because I write my books with sex and love and feelings, some of it YA. Not romances, exactly, just very "girly" fantasy. And posts like the OP, of course, telling me that my specfic dwells in a different place than your Real Specfic does not feel very inclusive for obvious reasons.

Are your works specfic with romancical scenes, or romance novels taking place in a specfic setting? There's a big difference. 

Take James Bond for example. Definitely not  romance, despite all his manwhoring. The Destroyer series is even worse, with Remo Williams getting quite lurid in his activities in some books.

Perfectly okay for you to write what you want to write, but if the main element of your stuff is the romance aspect, then many Specfic readers and writers will be put off by it and consider it romance/erotica.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MT Berlyn on January 05, 2014, 10:02:31 AM
Not sure if paranormal counts

I think it very much counts.  There is a wide range of possibility within the paranormal/supernatural genre.  Lots of potential for a speculative approach.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 05, 2014, 10:04:34 AM
I would absolutely love (love!) to help set up a new site or a cross-promotion group or a blog or something to help get us more exposure. When do we start? :)

I consider myself a specfic writer, but I've always felt excluded from specfic circles because I write my books with sex and love and feelings, some of it YA. Not romances, exactly, just very "girly" fantasy. And posts like the OP, of course, telling me that my specfic dwells in a different place than your Real Specfic does not feel very inclusive for obvious reasons.

I didn't get that vibe from the OP either, and I defend romance and romance writing a lot. I started out writing romance and went back to my spec fic reading roots when I realized that I'm not -good- at telling an industry-standard romance. I often throw romantic elements into my stories, but I just never really mastered romance-centered writing. I am in awe of those who do it well, and especially those who manage a good even blend of spec fic and romance.

Romance writers are also one of -the- most supportive group of writers I know. There are fabulous blogs and forums and facebook groups and advertising teams and and and...

So please don't feel we're trying to exclude you. We're just looking to try to build a little community here and support each other the way romance writers do.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Victoria J on January 05, 2014, 10:10:53 AM
Nice to see a thread for SpecFic writers. I can attest to the fact that things that work for writers of other genres don't always work for us. Been a science fiction and fantasy reader and writer since I was little, epic fantasy being my favorite. I've written a few traditional fairy tales and a bit of weird fiction as well and plan to write more in the future (even though they don't seem to have much of an audience.  :D) Anyway, it's great to see SpecFic writers on Kboards coming out in force.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wrenroberts on January 05, 2014, 10:12:21 AM
but if the main element of your stuff is the romance aspect, then many Specfic readers and writers will be put off by it and consider it romance/erotica.

I don't think that's true at all.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: HezBa on January 05, 2014, 10:15:29 AM
There are some places where the ghost story is doing well on television, like on shows like Supernatural, which has a huge fan base built into it. I think what we're finding is that the fans seem to be locked into a specific world (like that of Supernatural) so it is hard to pry them away from it into other words. I know when I was teaching at a community college last semester, one of my students was a dire hard fan of Supernatural, and I got the immediate impression that she wasn't interested in anything else. I'm wondering if that's somewhat of the same thing for a lot of people who get tied into one horror thing. I know it's very anecdotal (one case), but it's kind of made me wonder.

I think with shows like Supernatural, it's more about the characters and their relationships than the actual supernatural aspect. I've only seen a few episodes, but I used to watch Buffy alllll the time (actually still do), and I wasn't there for the monster of the week, that's for sure. So maybe it wasn't the paranormal that your student was attracted to in the first place.

It is possible that people have specific tastes when it comes to Spec fic. I know I'm really picky when it comes to what I read, so it's more than possible that other people are the same.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: HezBa on January 05, 2014, 10:18:41 AM
 Peter Penzoldt writes in "The Supernatural in Fiction", that the ghost story holds the greatest room for varying approaches because there are no set rules to interaction with the supernatural. 

I think the "no-set-rules" thing is also what makes writing endings more difficult. And maybe why a lot horror endings are a bit...disappointing.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MT Berlyn on January 05, 2014, 10:20:10 AM
There are some places where the ghost story is doing well on television, like on shows like Supernatural, which has a huge fan base built into it. I think what we're finding is that the fans seem to be locked into a specific world (like that of Supernatural) so it is hard to pry them away from it into other words. I know when I was teaching at a community college last semester, one of my students was a dire hard fan of Supernatural, and I got the immediate impression that she wasn't interested in anything else. I'm wondering if that's somewhat of the same thing for a lot of people who get tied into one horror thing. I know it's very anecdotal (one case), but it's kind of made me wonder.

You have a good point.  The dilemma for the speculative writer within the supernatural genre is how to entice the reader from remaining inside the box, especially if one is an independent author.  I say this because I wonder if fans, say of fantasy author Charles de Lint, might feel distrustful of a similar approach by an unknown writer.  Even with so many possibilities, people get stuck in what they believe to be the rule of the norm...even when it is, in theory, outside the norm.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MT Berlyn on January 05, 2014, 10:28:53 AM
I think the "no-set-rules" thing is also what makes writing endings more difficult. And maybe why a lot horror endings are a bit...disappointing.

This is interesting. When you say disappointing, do you mean unexpected?  Or, predictable?  Or, the pieces of the puzzle do not come together? A dismal ending?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 05, 2014, 10:35:23 AM
And my teeth.

In my fiction, all dogs are from other planets.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: HezBa on January 05, 2014, 10:46:49 AM
This is interesting. When you say disappointing, do you mean unexpected?  Or, predictable?  Or, the pieces of the puzzle do not come together? A dismal ending?

Predictable I can handle. I think with horror and ghost stories, there aren't that many possible endings. It's when it totally comes out of left feild and makes you say huh? that bothers me. A well known example could be Stephen King's IT. I loved it up until the ending...which was just awful.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ty Johnston on January 05, 2014, 10:47:02 AM
This is interesting. When you say disappointing, do you mean unexpected?  Or, predictable?  Or, the pieces of the puzzle do not come together? A dismal ending?

I won't speak for HezBa, but one of the downfalls I've experienced with some horror literature's endings is the very lack of rules concerning the supernatural and how to deal with it or face it. We all know the rules for vampires and zombies and werewolves, but what do you do when dealing with a ghost, for example? Call the Ghostbusters? The "rules" of Ghostbusters work for that particular franchise in no small part because they are comedic, but they don't carry over (or at least not well) to other stories and franchises.

This is one of the reasons I've felt some Japanese horror was so successful about a decade back and continues to be so in certain circles, because there are no rules, no way of coping with the supernatural. Ghost shows up, you're screwed, end of story. You can't fight it, can't run from it, can't banish it, etc. However, that does limit a writer's storytelling possibilities.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Casper Bogart on January 05, 2014, 10:47:06 AM
And my teeth.

In my fiction, all dogs are from other planets.

My poodle is certainly from another planet.

My short, GIFT FROM A MAGI is a sci fi retake on O.Henry's famous tale.

I grew up on spec fic, and love it dearly.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: bmcox on January 05, 2014, 10:50:05 AM
I consider myself SpecFic, but my stories are more Magical Realism/Social/Soft SciFi (maybe). My also-boughts are all over the place. In the indie market I kinda feel out of place because many works are so clearly one specific genre/subgenre and my stories don't seem to link. For example, I am (re)writing a novelette about a boy, who occasionally turns into an elephant, on a quest to find his mom who turned into a housefly and was carried away by a strong gust of wind. It's clearly Fabulism and not a faerie tale or a fable, though it has elements. However, it'll be difficult to categorize in AZ when I publish it. I feel adrift in the great sea of categorization. Often I just mark "Literary."
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: HezBa on January 05, 2014, 10:55:18 AM
I won't speak for HezBa, but one of the downfalls I've experienced with some horror literature's endings is the very lack of rules concerning the supernatural and how to deal with it or face it. We all know the rules for vampires and zombies and werewolves, but what do you do when dealing with a ghost, for example? Call the Ghostbusters? The "rules" of Ghostbusters work for that particular franchise in no small part because they are comedic, but they don't carry over (or at least not well) to other stories and franchises.

This is one of the reasons I've felt some Japanese horror was so successful about a decade back and continues to be so in certain circles, because there are no rules, no way of coping with the supernatural. Ghost shows up, you're screwed, end of story. You can't fight it, can't run from it, can't banish it, etc. However, that does limit a writer's storytelling possibilities.

Good point, but I think there are a few rules when dealing with ghosts. Burying remains, solving the murder, bringing justice, tying up unfinished business. Maybe rules is the wrong term, because they certainly aren't  absolutes, like with vampires. Maybe guidelines, or suggestions?

I also prefer that sort of you're-screwed ending. It just feels wrong for a horror book/movie to end well for the characters. It's like if a romance ends with the couple hating eachother.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Edward W. Robertson on January 05, 2014, 10:55:49 AM
Anyways, you need people of intelligence on this sort of... Mission. Quest. ... Thing.

To date, I've done epic fantasy, post-apocalyptic, space opera, and time travel. One of the neat things about spec fic is its readers seem a little more open about switching between the bajillion different subgenres.

Re: ads--romance and thrillers will almost always produce better results than SF/F/H, but plenty of the big sites have a good readership for our books, too. Don't rule them out.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Duane Gundrum on January 05, 2014, 10:56:01 AM
I won't speak for HezBa, but one of the downfalls I've experienced with some horror literature's endings is the very lack of rules concerning the supernatural and how to deal with it or face it. We all know the rules for vampires and zombies and werewolves, but what do you do when dealing with a ghost, for example? Call the Ghostbusters? The "rules" of Ghostbusters work for that particular franchise in no small part because they are comedic, but they don't carry over (or at least not well) to other stories and franchises.

This is one of the reasons I've felt some Japanese horror was so successful about a decade back and continues to be so in certain circles, because there are no rules, no way of coping with the supernatural. Ghost shows up, you're screwed, end of story. You can't fight it, can't run from it, can't banish it, etc. However, that does limit a writer's storytelling possibilities.

But I don't see why rules can't be constructed and then a world existing within those rules. I give an example of a really corny tv show, Ghost Whisperer. They established very defined rules for what ghosts were, how they worked, why they were there, and how to deal with them. Then they added onto it by creating season arcs around the extremes of those rules. If the show wasn't as corny with its main actress, it probably could have had its own Supernatural kind of following. But it definitely set rules to where we didn't have the Japanese equivalent of "nothing can be done here" like you mention.

I think what we're experiencing is a lack of world-building with some of the horror fiction out there, so that instead of creating interesting worlds where certain rules apply, we have a lot of one-shot stories where there isn't enough time to build a line of rules.

It might be interesting to come up with a world where horror exists AND THEN somehow attract the Kindle Worlds people around it so that more and more people could write within that world and help to solidify the rules.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Annie B on January 05, 2014, 10:56:11 AM
I don't think it is visuals, actually.  Here's the mini version of my rant.  Fantasy does well in both film AND novels and has plenty of both written and seen visuals.

What has killed the SF book market, in my opinion, is that we don't have enough things like space battles, larger than life heroes, sense of sheer wonder stuff, etc. That's changing now, with the self-publishing stuff opening up the genre again, but for a long time through the late 70's, 80's, 90's, and early 00's that wasn't true. There was the "new wave" of sf writers who turned away from the perceived "pulp" of the earlier genre books and went deeply self-referential, experimental, and cerebral in ways that don't really appeal to the general reading populace.  Science fiction for a long time has been a genre that if you read in it, you really have to read a lot and be educated in the genre.  If you look at where the popular, best-selling science fiction has been located on shelves for the last 20-30 years, it isn't in Science Fiction.  It's the Michael Crichtons and the James Rollins of the authorial world who are writing the popular SF which their publishers just call "adventure fiction" or "action/adventure" most of the time. They sell extremely well, use all kinds of tropes and cliches from science fiction, and just dodge the label because that label shoves you into a self-referential, incestuous ghetto these days (and if you really want to know what I'm talking about, join SFWA!).

So it isn't that space battles or alien invasions or time travel or apocalypses are boring to read about and way more fun to watch on the screen. It's that the people writing those things have snuck into other genre labels and ditched the tiny, murky pond of SF because they weren't welcome there by the people shouting "cliche!" "DONE!" "Boring!" "Derivative!"

When WOOL first broke big, there was a lot of grumbling in the SF trad trenches. Comparing it to Fallout, saying things like "but this has been done" "this is so derivative" "why can't people read something original", etc.  

In short, I think science fiction has shot itself in the guts over the last 30 or so years desperately trying to break new ground, be "original" and "experimental" and not actually hark to the things that make it awesome in the first place like sense of wonder, sense of discovery, crazy settings, exciting and exotic situations, and big-@ss, bad-@ass heroes/heroines.

One of the best parts of the indie revolution thing is that now we are getting more of that back, and seeing hits breaking out. I think it'll keep on going, and now we have the freedom to write that stuff and call it what it is, and change the face of the genre for the better.

/off soapbox
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: psychotick on January 05, 2014, 10:56:40 AM
Hi Guys,

CE Martin: but if the main element of your stuff is the romance aspect, then many Specfic readers and writers will be put off by it and consider it romance/erotica.


WrenRoberts: I don't think that's true at all.


Actually I think he's right. Not to dump on certain highly succesful books and films, but I love horror as well and truly hate Twilight. I truly enjoy a good vampire flick, and unfortunately got the impression that Twilight was one. Nearly an hour into the movie and trying not to hurl every time I saw that insipid teenager making eyes at shirtless and asking the age old question - "does he like me?", I finally understood that there was to be no neck biting. The blood and gore was missing, there was to be no fear or screaming. In short it wasn't a horror at all.

It may have vampires in it but that doesn't make it a vampire flick.

Now I may be a cold, loveless, teenager hating, red blooded male, but I've read sci fi, fantasy and horror since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and I really enjoy it. Sparkly vampires I loathe.

Cheers, Greg.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on January 05, 2014, 11:02:19 AM
Can I come play as well? Cause I write SF and fantasy of the more character driven sort, though I write other genres - including the dreaded romance - as well. Speculative fiction was my first love, however.

As for what Sara/Old Ben/Gojira said, I did get a certain dismissive anti-romance vibe from some posts in this thread. And those of us who write speculative fiction with romantic elements are pretty sensitive to that sort of thing, because there still are way too many people who feel that writers speculative romance don't belong to the speculative fiction genre. Now paranormal romance, SF romance or romantic urban fantasy may not be everybody's cup of tea and that's okay, but IMO they absolutely are part of speculative fiction.

BTW, Sara, did you mean this post by Ann Aguirre (http://www.annaguirre.com/archives/2013/06/02/this-week-in-sf/)? Cause that's not exactly an isolated attitude.

Good point that many of the popular indie promo methods don't work for speculative fiction. As a reader, I have never subscribed to newsletters like BookBub, since I get my book recommendations from genre blogs and sites.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: bmcox on January 05, 2014, 11:12:49 AM
Can I come play as well? Cause I write SF and fantasy of the more character driven sort, though I write other genres - including the dreaded romance - as well. Speculative fiction was my first love, however.

As for what Sara/Old Ben/Gojira said, I did get a certain dismissive anti-romance vibe from some posts in this thread. And those of us who write speculative fiction with romantic elements are pretty sensitive to that sort of thing, because there still are way too many people who feel that writers speculative romance don't belong to the speculative fiction genre. Now paranormal romance, SF romance or romantic urban fantasy may not be everybody's cup of tea and that's okay, but IMO they absolutely are part of speculative fiction.

BTW, Sara, did you mean this post by Ann Aguirre (http://www.annaguirre.com/archives/2013/06/02/this-week-in-sf/)? Cause that's not exactly an isolated attitude.

Good point that many of the popular indie promo methods don't work for speculative fiction. As a reader, I have never subscribed to newsletters like BookBub, since I get my book recommendations from genre blogs and sites.


While not an indie book, The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Novel (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009CE5Z2I/?tag=kbpst-20) by Karen Lord was selected by Goodreads readers as one of the top Sci-Fi books of the year and it's a Sci-Fi Romance or at least has a romantic plot that's at the center of the story.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: psychotick on January 05, 2014, 11:26:29 AM
Hi Cora,

I hope I'm not included in the dismissive element towards romance. I didn't intend to come across that way. It's just something that I would never intentionally watch or read and the problem with Twilight was that someone misnamed it as vampire causing me to. It's not.

Now if someone had marketed it more accurately as teenage paranormal romance or what have you, I would never have watched it and would never have known that I hated it.

Cheers, Greg.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wrenroberts on January 05, 2014, 11:27:43 AM
Actually I think he's right. Not to dump on certain highly succesful books and films, but I love horror as well and truly hate Twilight. I truly enjoy a good vampire flick, and unfortunately got the impression that Twilight was one. Nearly an hour into the movie and trying not to hurl every time I saw that insipid teenager making eyes at shirtless and asking the age old question - "does he like me?", I finally understood that there was to be no neck biting. The blood and gore was missing, there was to be no fear or screaming. In short it wasn't a horror at all.

It may have vampires in it but that doesn't make it a vampire flick.

Now I may be a cold, loveless, teenager hating, red blooded male, but I've read sci fi, fantasy and horror since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and I really enjoy it. Sparkly vampires I loathe.

Wait, so let me get this straight. Any spec fiction with romantic elements is disqualified from being spec fiction because Twilight isn't horror? Nevermind that Twilight isn't horror, doesn't try to be horror, and doesn't want to be horror?

Heck of a strawman there.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ken.Hagdal on January 05, 2014, 11:29:04 AM
Actually I think he's right. Not to dump on certain highly succesful books and films, but I love horror as well and truly hate Twilight. I truly enjoy a good vampire flick, and unfortunately got the impression that Twilight was one.

I'm with you. There's a reason the label YA exists. And even when there's be some bonafide specfic in the books bearing the stamp, there still is a market segmentation that makes it a lot harder for those of us who write mainly for post-YA audiences to build a readership. Any writer with a good dose of romance or targeting teenagers just has to go on Wattpad, ring their bells and they'll have their first readers lining up within minutes.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ken.Hagdal on January 05, 2014, 11:35:56 AM
Wait, so let me get this straight. Any spec fiction with romantic elements is disqualified from being spec fiction because Twilight isn't horror? Nevermind that Twilight isn't horror, doesn't try to be horror, and doesn't want to be horror?

Heck of a strawman there.

Like the OP, Greg didn't pass any judgment on romance or meant to define what's specfic or not. The point of the thread is to offer support to those of us who walk a more difficult path.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 05, 2014, 11:37:00 AM
Twilight is a "vampire flick". It has vampires. A large part of the movie (and the series) is -about- vampires and vampire society. It's not everyone's favorite type of vampire, but it's still a "vampire flick".

And now I -am- getting the dismissive, exclusionary vibe from some posts. We're trying to help each other out, right? Not cut other people down. Let's focus on that.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: psychotick on January 05, 2014, 11:40:09 AM
Hi Wren,

No strawman at all. You can have romance elements in sci fi or horror and they can still be sci fi or horror. What you can't have is sci fi or horror elements in a romance and then call it sci fi or horror. That's the line that was crossed for me. And the film was marketed here in New Zealand as vampire. Grief there were damned posters of shirtless with his fangs out everywhere.

Cheers, Greg.



Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wrenroberts on January 05, 2014, 11:42:43 AM
And now I -am- getting the dismissive, exclusionary vibe from some posts. We're trying to help each other out, right? Not cut other people down. Let's focus on that.

Seriously. Maybe we have such a problem getting our books out there because everyone's too busy squabbling about what belongs in their own precious genre and how dare someone define all these gross girlie books as being in that genre too?

Seriously, people. We need to get our [crap] together. It shouldn't turn into this conversation over what is or isn't spec fiction every. single. time.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Annie B on January 05, 2014, 11:44:55 AM
Why did this turn into a Twilight hater thread suddenly? Um...

I'm with SL Gray. Twilight is spec fic. It's fantasy, YA paranormal romance straight up. It's a vampire series. It has vampires. Who cares if they aren't Bram Stoker vampires? Writers can make up whatever they want. Just because you hate something doesn't mean it should be exiled from the genre it clearly falls under. Move on, peeps, seriously. This kind of "THAT thing don't belong in MY spec fic" is the thing that has helped to kill the popularity of science fiction right dead in so many ways. Why would we continue that exclusionism? It makes no sense to do so.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: burke_KB on January 05, 2014, 11:48:04 AM
Is anyone here experienced with the google groups? I've never set one up, but the million words in 2014 thread lead to a google community, and it is pretty cool.

I'm not sure how to do it, but it would be nice to put genre information in an easier to search format.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: psychotick on January 05, 2014, 11:51:40 AM
Hi,

And by the same token Catch 22 is a war story. Die Hard is a comedy. Thomas Covenant is a personal epic about a man with Hanson's disease.

Cheers, Greg.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Bruce Blake on January 05, 2014, 11:52:38 AM
Hey everyone,

I write epic and urban fantasy in my novels, plus a little other stuff in my short stories (horror, sci-fi, etc).
The way I've always understood the 'definition' of the spec fiction genre is this: if the story cannot stand on its own without the spec fiction element in it, then it is indeed spec fiction. On the other hand, if that element is simply window dressing, then it probably falls into another genre.
Just my two cents...interpret how you like.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: David J Normoyle on January 05, 2014, 12:03:59 PM
I don't think it is visuals, actually.  Here's the mini version of my rant.  Fantasy does well in both film AND novels and has plenty of both written and seen visuals.

What has killed the SF book market, in my opinion, is that we don't have enough things like space battles, larger than life heroes, sense of sheer wonder stuff, etc. That's changing now, with the self-publishing stuff opening up the genre again, but for a long time through the late 70's, 80's, 90's, and early 00's that wasn't true. There was the "new wave" of sf writers who turned away from the perceived "pulp" of the earlier genre books and went deeply self-referential, experimental, and cerebral in ways that don't really appeal to the general reading populace.  Science fiction for a long time has been a genre that if you read in it, you really have to read a lot and be educated in the genre.  If you look at where the popular, best-selling science fiction has been located on shelves for the last 20-30 years, it isn't in Science Fiction.  It's the Michael Crichtons and the James Rollins of the authorial world who are writing the popular SF which their publishers just call "adventure fiction" or "action/adventure" most of the time. They sell extremely well, use all kinds of tropes and cliches from science fiction, and just dodge the label because that label shoves you into a self-referential, incestuous ghetto these days (and if you really want to know what I'm talking about, join SFWA!).

So it isn't that space battles or alien invasions or time travel or apocalypses are boring to read about and way more fun to watch on the screen. It's that the people writing those things have snuck into other genre labels and ditched the tiny, murky pond of SF because they weren't welcome there by the people shouting "cliche!" "DONE!" "Boring!" "Derivative!"

When WOOL first broke big, there was a lot of grumbling in the SF trad trenches. Comparing it to Fallout, saying things like "but this has been done" "this is so derivative" "why can't people read something original", etc.  

In short, I think science fiction has shot itself in the guts over the last 30 or so years desperately trying to break new ground, be "original" and "experimental" and not actually hark to the things that make it awesome in the first place like sense of wonder, sense of discovery, crazy settings, exciting and exotic situations, and big-@ss, bad-@*ss heroes/heroines.

One of the best parts of the indie revolution thing is that now we are getting more of that back, and seeing hits breaking out. I think it'll keep on going, and now we have the freedom to write that stuff and call it what it is, and change the face of the genre for the better.

/off soapbox

Good post. I think science fiction takes it itself too seriously. Personally I have no interest in hard science fiction, and that seems to be all that the core science fiction writers want to consider proper science fiction. I consider myself to be mainly a fantasy/sci-fi reader, but up until recently fantasy was dominating my reading. I read lots of Asimov and the good Orson Scott Card books, but finding their successors seemed difficult. The bookshelves seemed mainly StarWars or StarTrek tie-ins or else hard sci-fi. I think that is changing. The YA dystopian genre has introduced some great new storylines/characters with Divergent/HungerGames/Legend and obviously Wool was a great accessible sci-fi read.

I want science fiction with more concentration on great fiction, and less on being pseudo science textbooks. (Not saying get rid of hard science fiction or anything, just that's one niche rather than the whole genre).

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wrenroberts on January 05, 2014, 12:14:48 PM
I want science fiction with more concentration on great fiction, and less on being pseudo science textbooks.

This, this, a thousand times this! Who cares if the science isn't 100% believable or explained? If it works for the story, then it just works.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jay Allan on January 05, 2014, 12:28:36 PM
I think science fiction got to a point where there was a huge divide between what publishers wanted to publish and what a lot of core SF readers wanted to read.  Consequently, I think the SF market is one of the strongest self-pub markets.  It's never going to be anywhere near the size of romance, but the market is very strong, and very receptive to self-pubbed works.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: P.J. Post on January 05, 2014, 12:29:12 PM
I think part of the problem is how the sf/f genre has splintered.  It's like heavy metal.  There are numerous sub-genres, from doom metal, NWOBHM, thrash, speed, black, death, blackened death, symphonic, melodic, folk metal, melodic blackened death metal, new metal, progressive metal, metal-core, death-core, funk metal, industrial, neo-classical, punk metal, groove metal and traditional metal to name just a few.

Sheesh.  :)  And fans are VERY specific about which flavor they enjoy and often HATE the other genres that fall outside of their preferred listening zone.

SF/F has gone through a similar splintering.  Twilight IS spec fiction, sorry, but for better or worse it is.

So now we have Slaughterhouse 5, The Illustrated Man, Mysterious Island, War of the Worlds, A Princess of Mars and all of the derivations as well as sparkling vampires.  The paranormal element is something readers REALLY like - a lot, so writers write books for that market.

And the important thing to remember is that there are tons of fans for every sub-genre.  But fans of hard sci-fi are probably not going to like (or admit to liking) certain paranormal elements within spec-fic.

It's sad, but it's the truth.

As for romance, I always prefer a romantic element to stories, it makes them a little more real and layers the conflict beyond "are we going to be eaten by the giant <insert evil alien/monster/creature here>?

Even in Aliens, the movie, the 'romantic element' was Ripley's love for Newt - she was seeking redemption, love - a connection with her daughter.  This made the never ending chase scene at the 'end' WAY more compelling.

The point I'm making is that this splintering isn't a good or bad thing - it just is, and we need to recognize that so that we can let 'our' audience find 'our' books easier.

But a great book can transcend genre, just something to remember.

Um,..so there it is.   :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Chris P. O'Grady on January 05, 2014, 12:49:43 PM
I say we make up our own Genres and just write  :P  I cant get enough Zombie! So where does that fit in here?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 05, 2014, 12:54:05 PM
Is anyone here experienced with the google groups? I've never set one up, but the million words in 2014 thread lead to a google community, and it is pretty cool.

I'm not sure how to do it, but it would be nice to put genre information in an easier to search format.

Do you mean a google group or a google doc?

A google doc might be a good thing to have with all the members of our rag-tag band and websites and whatnot, for our sakes. Something more visible to the public would be best for building a readership, though. Like a group blog or something. Everyone pick a day, we can pick a theme for the month and everyone writes something about that, and have books on the sidebar or ... I don't know exactly what all. But it could be fun. Or handy. Or both.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RachelAukes on January 05, 2014, 12:57:48 PM
I say we make up our own Genres and just write  :P  I cant get enough Zombie! So where does that fit in here?

I think most zombie is categorized under Horror or Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction, so it still fits solidly as spec fic.

I love zombie fic, too. Before I wrote straight spec fic, I wrote spec fic romance (mostly sci-fi rom) because it was easier to sell. I've learned a lot since then, after discovering the amazing Indie galaxy. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Chris P. O'Grady on January 05, 2014, 01:11:20 PM
I think most zombie is categorized under Horror or Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction, so it still fits solidly as spec fic.

I love zombie fic, too. Before I wrote straight spec fic, I wrote spec fic romance (mostly sci-fi rom) because it was easier to sell. I've learned a lot since then, after discovering the amazing Indie galaxy. :)

Zombie fiction does serve a deep need! How about Post-Apocalyptic-Zombie-Thriller Science Fiction?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: horse_girl on January 05, 2014, 01:19:24 PM
Just skimming through this thread. It's great to see a focus on the spec fic genres in one place.

My first completed (forever unpublished) novels were science fiction. It's what I've always loved. Fantasy came to me more through my husband (his primary reading choice).

As far as romance goes, there is a difference between true romance (with spec fic elements/settings) versus romantic spec fic. If you notice, romance focuses more on the drama of the love story (regardless of setting) while spec fic focuses less on any romantic interludes and more on other plot elements. I'll never forget sitting in on one of Michael Stackpole's talks at Gen Con years ago, when he mentioned that the strongest factor for capturing readers is tied to romantic/sexual tension. And that was from his and other writers' experiences. Readers asked more about certain characters in romantic situations than anything else, he said.

So, please don't argue about romance not being part of spec fic. Human relationships are part of the human condition, and isn't exploring that from outside of our lowly, everyday limited-by-the-real-world existence the biggest appeal of spec fic?

Hi, btw, I also write romantic YA spec fic to dark fantasy and hard science fiction. My attempt at romance has had review comments about how developed the other world is, something that's not common in the romance sub-genres.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: dgaughran on January 05, 2014, 01:36:10 PM
You know it's a spec-fic group when the first argument is about genre labels :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: horse_girl on January 05, 2014, 01:48:51 PM
You know it's a spec-fic group when the first argument is about genre labels :)

So true. Unfortunately, I think as someone else mentioned, there are two opinions in spec fic--those who think it should be purely hardcore tech/futuristic/otherworld/space/etc. issues and those who accept emotions and the explorations of various relationships in their spec-fic.

It's not an either/or world. It's whatever is right for the author's vision of a story.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 05, 2014, 01:51:26 PM
I don't think he was talking about Spec fic with romantic elements, I think it was just the romance genre that he was trying to exclude from the thread. And he wasn't even trashing romance or erotica, he was just saying that those genres already get enough attention, while Spec fic doesn't
It's a shame that you feel you've been excluded from spec fic, but I don't think that's what this thread is about.

Yes, I don't want to exclude anyone. I just thought spec fic writers really needed their own space on this board. If you think what you write is spec fic, then you write spec fic.  :D

Glad to see this thread booming already. So many authors, so many weapons.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MT Berlyn on January 05, 2014, 01:59:53 PM
This is one of the reasons I've felt some Japanese horror was so successful about a decade back and continues to be so in certain circles, because there are no rules, no way of coping with the supernatural. Ghost shows up, you're screwed, end of story. You can't fight it, can't run from it, can't banish it, etc. However, that does limit a writer's storytelling possibilities.

You put that very well.  Japanese horror is very much like French fatalism reflected in literature...a zen of it is what it is and that the best that can be achieved is only another in a string of it is what it is...or is what it becomes.

But, I'm not convinced that this limits the storytelling possibilities, at least not entirely. The skillful use of irony is essential. Rod Serling was great at inevitable endings...in a grim sort of way.  
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 05, 2014, 02:00:04 PM
Hello... edges shyly onto thread. Is it OK for another spec fic author to join? I write what I call humorous science fiction fantasy, because it takes place in a parallel universe, and some of it takes place in this one, but the 'science' is sort of 'explained' by quantum and there are funny bits in it. So... guaranteed to  p*ss  off the purists in every single one of my target genres...

I agree with one of the early posters who said that we spec fic people don't seem to be as well organised vis a vis getting our stuff noticed. I have two books coming out in April which will bring the series I'm working on to a close. I suppose that sums it up, the 'trilogy' I've written which comprises 4 books. Maybe we're just all a bit scatty. Who knows. Anyway, hello.

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: horse_girl on January 05, 2014, 02:00:10 PM
Yes, I don't want to exclude anyone. I just thought spec fic writers really needed their own space on this board. If you think what you write is spec fic, then you write spec fic.  :D

It's a can of worms. Like everything in life, some people have strong feelings. Me, I could care less, as long as I get to visit other worlds  :D

So many authors, so many weapons.

*devilish smile* (No smiley for that)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Victoria Champion on January 05, 2014, 02:00:15 PM
I'm a spec fic author. My stories have romantic elements, and are character-driven.

There's a lot going on subtextually and genre-wise in each story, and I struggled for a while with categorization and branding and now struggle finding appropriate venues to like-minded readers (visibility). I list my genre subcategories in my author bios and in bold in the blurbs, and hopefully the right readers will find their way to my books.

I read all kinds of spec fic, and don't see the need to exclude one subgenre or another as less valid. We're dealing with fiction. Anything goes. There are no rules. The most hilarious meme is 'real vampires don't sparkle' because hello, there are no real vampires. Stifling creativity is tantamount to censorship.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Craig Andrews on January 05, 2014, 02:10:12 PM
Still trying to catch up on all the posts, but I wanted to say "hi" and that I look forward to getting to know all of the other geeks out there. :-) My current series is contemporary fantasy about the evolution of magic within an ever growing urban setting. Or better explained... It has fireballs, ice blasts, electricity whips, and lots of explosions.  ;D

-Craig
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CEMartin2 on January 05, 2014, 02:13:02 PM
You know,  it  seems to me that anytime someone expresses an opinion evenly remotely related to  Romance novels, if it  isn't all gushing with love foor romance, the poster is accused fo excluding or trash talking romantica. I think  that's an oversensitivity on the part of romance writers.

All genres have merit, as  long as people buy them. But you shouldn't try and argue any one genre has more merit than another, just more sales.

For those of you who write "character-driven" specfic with romance subplots, etc, do  this: Sum up the point of your novel in one sentence. Exclude the setting. Now see if its romance or specfic.

I'll give some examples, using movies:

Titanic: Two lovers from different worlds try to stay together.
Alien: Marines battle monsters in space
Warm Bodies: (see Romeo and Juliet)

If someone wants to read spec fic and they end up reading about a romance set in the future, they are probably going to be dissapointed. Just having some scifi elements does not scifi make (the late Christopher Reeves' tiem travel movie springs to mind, as does Hugh Jackman's similar flick).  

The core  of your story,  the one thing you can't  remove without killing your story should determine your genre. After all, genre classifications are for the benefit of the reader, not to  trick  them.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MT Berlyn on January 05, 2014, 02:21:08 PM
So true. Unfortunately, I think as someone else mentioned, there are two opinions in spec fic--those who think it should be purely hardcore tech/futuristic/otherworld/space/etc. issues and those who accept emotions and the explorations of various relationships in their spec-fic.

It's not an either/or world. It's whatever is right for the author's vision of a story.

I very much agree.  It's easy to box in genres.  Emotion is a facet of human nature, and it is going to reflect itself in any literature to one degree or another.  Poe wrote Dark Romance that does not follow the trend of the happy ending. I see speculative fiction as often taking a common theme and bringing an uncommon component to it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Victoria Champion on January 05, 2014, 02:21:54 PM
You know,  it  seems to me that anytime someone expresses an opinion evenly remotely related to  Romance novels, if it  isn't all gushing with love foor romance, the poster is accused fo excluding or trash talking romantica. I think  that's an oversensitivity on the part of romance writers.

All genres have merit, as  long as people buy them. But you shouldn't try and argue any one genre has more merit than another, just more sales.

For those of you who write "character-driven" specfic with romance subplots, etc, do  this: Sum up the point of your novel in one sentence. Exclude the setting. Now see if its romance or specfic.

I'll give some examples, using movies:

Titanic: Two lovers from different worlds try to stay together.
Alien: Marines battle monsters in space
Warm Bodies: (see Romeo and Juliet)

If someone wants to read spec fic and they end up reading about a romance set in the future, they are probably going to be dissapointed. Just having some scifi elements does not scifi make (the late Christopher Reeves' tiem travel movie springs to mind, as does Hugh Jackman's similar flick).  

The core  of your story,  the one thing you can't  remove without killing your story should determine your genre. After all, genre classifications are for the benefit of the reader, not to  trick  them.

I've done this (and I just did it again based on your post). And my stories are definitely spec fic with romantic subplot. They are not romance with spec fic window dressing. I will however write romance without any paranormal elements if I have to. I've done it before in the erotica genre. And like I was saying in my earlier post, I agree that all genres have merit.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Victoria Champion on January 05, 2014, 02:22:31 PM
I very much agree.  It's easy to box in genres.  Emotion is a facet of human nature, and it is going to reflect itself in any literature to one degree or another.  Poe wrote Dark Romance that does not follow the trend of the happy ending.

I love that term Dark Romance.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 05, 2014, 02:24:23 PM
Yes, I don't want to exclude anyone. I just thought spec fic writers really needed their own space on this board. If you think what you write is spec fic, then you write spec fic.  :D


This.

Now. How do we go about promoting us? :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: P.J. Post on January 05, 2014, 02:31:24 PM
It seems to me that the best current definition of spec fic would be pretty much anything you might see at Comicon.

The problem is the category is much too large for general marketing purposes and definitely too large for promotional strategies.

We need to figure out what sub-genres the OP (or the group here in general) has in mind as far as discussing craft and marketing opportunities.

Sci-fi (with or without a romantic sub or main plot) has a very different audience than urban paranormal romance.

Genre definitions are important, in fact, they are crucial to understanding and leveraging target marketing opportunities.  The more narrowly one can define their audience, the more focused their strategies can be, especially when one considers the time investment required.

The reader defines the genre for themselves.  All we can do is to try and educate them (based on the reader's perceptions of spec fic) about which genre we write and why it might appeal to them.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Annie B on January 05, 2014, 02:40:27 PM
Who cares about the set dressing? I like set dressing. If I want to read a romance set in space, I'm gonna go read one. I don't feel tricked because I get romance AND spaceships.

I guess though this kind of arguing sort of QEDs my point about how insular and infighting things get. Meanwhile, readers read what they like and don't care about if something is this AND that if they get what they want.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 05, 2014, 02:41:31 PM
....fans are VERY specific about which flavor they enjoy and often HATE the other genres that fall outside of their preferred listening zone.

SF/F has gone through a similar splintering.  Twilight IS spec fiction, sorry, but for better or worse it is.

....And the important thing to remember is that there are tons of fans for every sub-genre.  But fans of hard sci-fi are probably not going to like (or admit to liking) certain paranormal elements within spec-fic.

It's sad, but it's the truth.

True.

So.

If we do create a site for advertising spec fic, then it needs to be segmented into the different sub sub sub genres.

I really hope this gets done!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on January 05, 2014, 02:41:40 PM
Yay, a thread just for us.

I've loved science fiction for my whole life. I remember picking up some book in our junior high library that was sci-fi aimed at younger readers like me, and for the life of me, the only thing I can remember about the book other than a vague memory of the plot, is that the author had my last name (Hill).

From there I found the "Deathlands" series by James Axler (who unfortunately passed away at some point, but the publisher brought on other writers to keep the 'men's adventure' series going). As a child of the 80's, I grew up under the threat of global annihilation. Some of you younger folk probably hear about this, but don't really have an understanding like we and our parents do (it was probably worse for our parents, they were taught things like 'duck and cover' if a nuke ever detonated, which really just meant your DNA would become one with the desk before it too disintegrated into ash).

While our parents worried about Russian bombers and short-range missiles from Cuba, we worried about the "30 Minute War" and "Mutually Assured Desrtuction" that could come within minutes. Movies like "Threads" (http://youtu.be/_MCbTvoNrAg) and "The Day After" (http://youtu.be/r2B7sdLPMfc) filled me a strange kind of dread, yet awe. Even knowing that just a few warheads detonating would cause mass death on a global scale, I would read things like Deathlands, Roadside Picnic (classic Soviet post-apoc aliens, the video game series S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is based on it), Swan Song, The Wild Shore, continuing all the way up to The Road and Wool.

I began making up 'post-nuclear' stories when I was in junior high as a way to escape a terrible home life. I gave up writing for more than twenty years, but I never gave up my love of science fiction (nor horror, I read every single Stephen King book multiple times). Now, as an adult who spent twenty years at the top edge of computer technology, one that has consumed thousands of hours of movies, television, books, comics, and of course video games, it is easily my favorite genre to write in.

I like all kinds of different science fiction, yet with today's flood of self-publishing and indie movie making, I can't find enough to keep me interested. I'd like to think I've read/watched just about everything worth reading/watching, but then I'll find something new (like "Terms of Enlistment" by Marko Kloos) and for a little while I'll feel happy, satiated. I love time travel, space opera, cyberpunk, alternate history, even some romantic  sci-fi. I love the 'hard' stuff like "Hyperion" and my all-time favorite "The Forever War." I love the soft stuff that has barely any science fiction in it (as long as it has a good story). I love crazy, mind-bending stuff (yes, I liked Inception). I love gritty, sad, hopeless sci-fi like "Never Let Me Go" (book or movie, take your pick). I especially love Philip K. Dick and his drug-induced literary insanity.

Anyway, that's my $.02. Actually it ended up being about $19.28, but that's because I never shut the hell up, especially when it comes to science fiction. Now that I've babbled on and annoyed everyone, I'm hopeful that this is a long-lived thread.

PS I absolutely do NOT see my fellow sci-fi/horror writers as competition. You guys (and gals) are like my teammates, and these genres are a team game. If you keep writing great science fiction or spec fiction or whatever labels people want to put on what we do, then you are helping me out tremendously. I hope I'm returning the favor (slowly but surely!).
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MT Berlyn on January 05, 2014, 02:41:53 PM
I love that term Dark Romance.

Lovely book covers you have, Victoria!

I think Dark Romance holds a lot of room for experimentation.  Romance, like enchantment, tends to conjure a picture of lighter themes, but the definitions can be very dark, indeed.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Victoria Champion on January 05, 2014, 02:47:10 PM
Lovely book covers you have, Victoria!

I think Dark Romance holds a lot of room for experimentation.  Romance, like enchantment, tends to conjure a picture of lighter themes, but the definitions can be very dark, indeed.

Thank you! And yes, darker romantic plots interest me because of the chance to twist things awry, especially in supernatural ways.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ty Johnston on January 05, 2014, 02:57:16 PM
The problem is the category is much too large for general marketing purposes and definitely too large for promotional strategies.

Quite true. One possibility might be to focus upon the various BISAC codes which, though not irrefutable, at least simplify the process for coming up with promotional possibilities. Using such for general marketing is a bit more difficult as the net tends to have a wider reach into broader audiences, but the BISAC codes usually don't get into sub-sub genres and the like, so this might not be as big a problem as I'm thinking it might. If that made sense.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on January 05, 2014, 03:03:29 PM
I don't think it is visuals, actually.  Here's the mini version of my rant.  Fantasy does well in both film AND novels and has plenty of both written and seen visuals.

What has killed the SF book market, in my opinion, is that we don't have enough things like space battles, larger than life heroes, sense of sheer wonder stuff, etc. That's changing now, with the self-publishing stuff opening up the genre again, but for a long time through the late 70's, 80's, 90's, and early 00's that wasn't true. There was the "new wave" of sf writers who turned away from the perceived "pulp" of the earlier genre books and went deeply self-referential, experimental, and cerebral in ways that don't really appeal to the general reading populace.  Science fiction for a long time has been a genre that if you read in it, you really have to read a lot and be educated in the genre.  If you look at where the popular, best-selling science fiction has been located on shelves for the last 20-30 years, it isn't in Science Fiction.  It's the Michael Crichtons and the James Rollins of the authorial world who are writing the popular SF which their publishers just call "adventure fiction" or "action/adventure" most of the time. They sell extremely well, use all kinds of tropes and cliches from science fiction, and just dodge the label because that label shoves you into a self-referential, incestuous ghetto these days (and if you really want to know what I'm talking about, join SFWA!).

So it isn't that space battles or alien invasions or time travel or apocalypses are boring to read about and way more fun to watch on the screen. It's that the people writing those things have snuck into other genre labels and ditched the tiny, murky pond of SF because they weren't welcome there by the people shouting "cliche!" "DONE!" "Boring!" "Derivative!"

When WOOL first broke big, there was a lot of grumbling in the SF trad trenches. Comparing it to Fallout, saying things like "but this has been done" "this is so derivative" "why can't people read something original", etc.  

In short, I think science fiction has shot itself in the guts over the last 30 or so years desperately trying to break new ground, be "original" and "experimental" and not actually hark to the things that make it awesome in the first place like sense of wonder, sense of discovery, crazy settings, exciting and exotic situations, and big-@ss, bad-@*ss heroes/heroines.

One of the best parts of the indie revolution thing is that now we are getting more of that back, and seeing hits breaking out. I think it'll keep on going, and now we have the freedom to write that stuff and call it what it is, and change the face of the genre for the better.

/off soapbox

Great rant. I agree with much of it. Indeed, from the mid 1990s I found it increasingly difficult to find SF I actually wanted to read. I tried a lot of SF and fantasy recommended by the "new, revolutionary, different" crowd and wound up hating most of it, which pretty much killed my desire to both read and write speculative fiction. After all, I could hardly write the stuff, if I couldn't even read it. And the speculative fiction I actually enjoyed was mostly decried by that crowd as cliched and old-fashioned.

Eventually, I ditched my "new, revolutionary, let's burn down the gates of the genre" pals and their recommendations and went back to reading whatever I enjoyed. By that point that urban fantasy and paranormal romance boom was just taking off (and there even was some SF romance as well) and the first works of speculative fiction I actually enjoyed reading again were urban fantasy with strong romantic elements, which is why I am so allergic to any attempts to shove those books out of the genre.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: P.J. Post on January 05, 2014, 03:26:48 PM
Quite true. One possibility might be to focus upon the various BISAC codes which, though not irrefutable, at least simplify the process for coming up with promotional possibilities. Using such for general marketing is a bit more difficult as the net tends to have a wider reach into broader audiences, but the BISAC codes usually don't get into sub-sub genres and the like, so this might not be as big a problem as I'm thinking it might. If that made sense.

Perhaps we could break the market down. (Using broad strokes here for illustration purposes.)

The first tier is spec fic - a global label

The second teir, or primary 'parent categories' are splint into fantasy, sci-fi and horror

Fantasy splits into epic fantasy, traditional fantasy, sword and sorcery and the paranormal

Horror crosses over and also includes the paranormal, as does sci-fi.

The idea here is to identify the primary sub-genres, and then the sub-sub-genres so that we can isolate the commonalities within the various groups - who reads paranormal fantasy and paranormal horror and paranormal sci-fi?  Although they are all 'paranormal', they actually fall into different parent categories and therefore are not as directly related as it may appear at first glance.

Once an analysis like this is done, you'll be able to draw lines through the various genres with similar audiences and then redefine each of those groups as a market segment.  So where do paranormal urban fantasy romance readers cross paths with sci-hi horror fans?

Tracing the evolution of these categories from the original books that created them will help define reader expectations.  Vampires have a long history in literature and film (you must think in terms of film as well - readers watch movies too), but the vampire mythos changes as new sub-genres are born.

Nosferatu, Dracula, Lon Chaney, the Adams Family, the Last Man on Earth (I am Legend story) eventually Interview with a Vampire, Laura Hamilton, the Blade and Underworld series, and Buffy and Twilight.  The vampire went through a transformation, from horror to pop culture glittering icon.  But we still have "Let the Right One In", which is true to the vampire roots.  Do Vampire fans enjoy all of these stories equally, or do some like the romance ones and maybe not the adventure ones so much.  Some like the modern pop sensibilities, but not the historic horror elements.

That's target marketing analysis.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Casper Bogart on January 05, 2014, 03:38:10 PM
I don't think it is visuals, actually.  Here's the mini version of my rant.  Fantasy does well in both film AND novels and has plenty of both written and seen visuals.

What has killed the SF book market, in my opinion, is that we don't have enough things like space battles, larger than life heroes, sense of sheer wonder stuff, etc. That's changing now, with the self-publishing stuff opening up the genre again, but for a long time through the late 70's, 80's, 90's, and early 00's that wasn't true. There was the "new wave" of sf writers who turned away from the perceived "pulp" of the earlier genre books and went deeply self-referential, experimental, and cerebral in ways that don't really appeal to the general reading populace.  Science fiction for a long time has been a genre that if you read in it, you really have to read a lot and be educated in the genre.  If you look at where the popular, best-selling science fiction has been located on shelves for the last 20-30 years, it isn't in Science Fiction.  It's the Michael Crichtons and the James Rollins of the authorial world who are writing the popular SF which their publishers just call "adventure fiction" or "action/adventure" most of the time. They sell extremely well, use all kinds of tropes and cliches from science fiction, and just dodge the label because that label shoves you into a self-referential, incestuous ghetto these days (and if you really want to know what I'm talking about, join SFWA!).

So it isn't that space battles or alien invasions or time travel or apocalypses are boring to read about and way more fun to watch on the screen. It's that the people writing those things have snuck into other genre labels and ditched the tiny, murky pond of SF because they weren't welcome there by the people shouting "cliche!" "DONE!" "Boring!" "Derivative!"

When WOOL first broke big, there was a lot of grumbling in the SF trad trenches. Comparing it to Fallout, saying things like "but this has been done" "this is so derivative" "why can't people read something original", etc.  

In short, I think science fiction has shot itself in the guts over the last 30 or so years desperately trying to break new ground, be "original" and "experimental" and not actually hark to the things that make it awesome in the first place like sense of wonder, sense of discovery, crazy settings, exciting and exotic situations, and big-@ss, bad-@*ss heroes/heroines.

One of the best parts of the indie revolution thing is that now we are getting more of that back, and seeing hits breaking out. I think it'll keep on going, and now we have the freedom to write that stuff and call it what it is, and change the face of the genre for the better.

/off soapbox

Yes yes yes.

Not everything has to be "new."

(In fact, I'm not sure "new" exists, does it?  Hasn't new all been done before, genres smashed together to form some new kind of hybrid?)

I agree with you, Doomed Muse. If there's anything TV has taught us, it's that people like to see similar things again and again. I know I do. And it's the same with my taste n books. I'd read another take on the whole FOUNDATION idea, or THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES or [fill in name of my other favorite sci fi books.] I mean, why do I re-read Foundation Trilogy every few years? I know what's gonna happen. Why do I read WRINKLE IN TIME, every October, and why I have I never missed an annual reading of it since 1964?  ;D

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 05, 2014, 03:58:23 PM
True.

So.

If we do create a site for advertising spec fic, then it needs to be segmented into the different sub sub sub genres.

I really hope this gets done!

I'd be happy to have a crack at this. We could create a website via WordPress and buy our own domain (it's cheap).

We would need to think about structure and content - it seems we definitely need to organise by subgenre.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Neil Clarke on January 05, 2014, 04:06:45 PM
I think the tricky part here is getting people to agree on the assortment of sub-genres. I'm interested in seeing what people come up with.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Rinelle Grey on January 05, 2014, 04:38:13 PM
As an author who writes romance in a speculative fiction setting, I've been avoiding posting in this thread, so definitely getting a 'not welcome' vibe.

But I definitely consider my stories speculative fiction. The setting IS essential to the story. Sure, I could boil the romance angle down to one sentence that doesn't include the spec fix elements, but that wouldn't be true to the story. What I couldn't do is re-write my stories without the sci-fi/fantasy elements. Not without re-writing every single sentence, and turning them in to a completely different story.

And as a spec fic romance writer, I'm excluded by both communities! There's no way I want to promote my novels to sci-fi readers for just this sort of reaction, yet the romance promo sites won't list my books in romance because of the other elements!

.I've loved speculative fiction since I was a wee little one.  My dad was a big sci-fi fan and we used to talk about why these books are important.  They have the power to look at deep philosophical issues from enough distance that an audience can examine it from all angles and be invited to grow, without being smashed over the head with "A Message".  There was a fantastic exhibit in Seattle about fantasy, and several of the big writers (George RR Martin, Jane Espenson) talked about what makes fantasy important.  They said that at its heart, fantasy is about an individual standing up against the forces which seek to destroy our individuality.  And the person who wins is not the prettiest or strongest.  It is the cleverest person with the strongest will.  The mind and heart will always trump evil.  I liked that.

This is why I write speculative fiction. I love the chance to explore issues that are there in today's world, but in a 'safer' environment for readers. They can enjoy the stories, thinking 'but it's sci-fi, it wouldn't really happen in our world'.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: horse_girl on January 05, 2014, 04:57:24 PM
Sorry to hear it, Rinelle.

When you find the right audience, the work can have a wider appeal. I've learned that with my Starfire Angels (ya, romantic, sf) that a variety of people enjoy it. Some read it because it's YA and romantic, others love the SF more. Everyone is different. I tend to direct my marketing efforts more to the romance readers than SF readers. I've learned that Romance readers have as wide of a variety of tastes as spec fic readers. Coffee Time Romance will review works of any cross-genre that includes any amount of romance. They aren't hardcore romance.

Mixing genres is a great way to introduce people who never thought they would touch spec fic to give it a try with a flavor that appeals to them already.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RachelAukes on January 05, 2014, 05:14:26 PM
As an author who writes romance in a speculative fiction setting, I've been avoiding posting in this thread, so definitely getting a 'not welcome' vibe.

I think the thread is still finding its legs, Rinelle. But, there's a very supportive SFR group online... are you a member of the SFR Brigade? If not, definitely consider hooking up with them. PM me if you'd like to chat more...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: P.J. Post on January 05, 2014, 05:32:50 PM
This is why I write speculative fiction. I love the chance to explore issues that are there in today's world...

Um, are we allowed to say we write social commentary out loud?  :o

I thought only the great sci-fi writers could admit that and we had to keep it a secret, lest we be tossed into the pit of pretentiousness and branded as literary fiction posers.

Or am I over-thinking this?   :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on January 05, 2014, 05:43:27 PM
I stick with fantasy and stories with fantastical elements  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 05, 2014, 05:55:43 PM
I think the tricky part here is getting people to agree on the assortment of sub-genres. I'm interested in seeing what people come up with.

Amazon's categories make as much sense as any other way to label. And they are likely to be the most well-known labels.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Edward W. Robertson on January 05, 2014, 05:58:39 PM
Of course Twilight is spec fic. It's got vampires in it, for heaven's sakes. They're even used in the same way they've been used since Dracula--strong, frightening creatures whose supernatural powers make our attraction to them even more dangerous.

It might not be the sort of thing "core" SF/F readers are into, but if that means it isn't spec fic, then you're not defining the genre by tropes or whether it asks a speculative "What if?" question. You're defining it by audience. And if spec fic by necessity excludes Twilight fans, then of course our readership is going to be smaller than the readership for romance and thrillers. We keep kicking potential fans out the door!

If somebody liked Twilight, chances are there's plenty of other spec fic they'd like, too--if we quit telling them, "Nope, what you like isn't real SF/F/H. Away with ye to the shelves of romance/YA/etc.!"

Spec fic is the biggest umbrella there is. There's space for everyone under here.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ゴジラ on January 05, 2014, 06:01:20 PM
Sorry, I really didn't mean to turn this into a genre thing. I was commenting while all grumpy and caffeineless in bed this morning and I should know better. I take everything too seriously before I have my daily joe.

That said, I think the discussion that followed has been super interesting, especially Patty Jansen's remarks.

Spec fic is the biggest umbrella there is. There's space for everyone under here.

You can stand under my umbrella ella ella, Ed.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: psychotick on January 05, 2014, 06:08:43 PM
Hi,

OK at the risk of ruffling more feathers (and apologies in advance to any who feel that I have) I don't think we need sub sub genres. And I am at no point arguing that one genre is superior to another.

What I am saying is that if I want to read a sci fi book, I want to read a sci fi book. I don't want to read say a western with spaceships. So as a reader what I value most here is the equivalent of truth in advertising.

If your books a western that's fine. I don't want to read it and I don't want to be tricked into reading it by covers with aliens and spaceships and BISAC categories that list it as sci fi.

To me the simplest answer is to categorize the book first by what it actually predominantly is. Then sub genre it.

So if it's a western with spaceships list it as Western: Sci fi.
If on the other hand its a sci fi with cowboys etc list it as Sci fi: Western.

Now I won't read the first book, but I might or might not read the second. But at least I know as a reader what I'm getting into, so I can't really complain if I do. But if I read a book that's actually a western but promoted as sci fi, I can and I will.

Now to bring it back to the paranormal romance issue. My view is that you need to promote your book by what it primarily is about. If its primarily a romance list it as Romance: paranormal. If it's primarily paranormal list it as Paranormal: romance.

I know this may not always be easy to do, some books really do sit on the razor's edge, and I know that the BISAC categories may not adequately reflect this. But I think as an author it's something you have to do. And if you get it wrong you'll upset readers (and not just me.)

Cheers, Greg.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 05, 2014, 06:51:50 PM
Look guys, if I have to suck it up and accept A Sword of Fire and Ice in my genre, you can suck it up and tolerate Twilight. Just because they're the same genre doens't mean we have to like them. And also just because that one is just awful doesn't mean there aren't books out there that do a good job of blending romance and spec-fic elements. Frankly, I'm pretty much a bonafide sucker for a good love story and discouraging the mix is against my own personal interests.

That said, that whole discussion is actually part and parcel with the marketing problem we have. Spec-fic is all about labels. Let's admit it: we as nerds love to catalog things and put them in little boxes to be weighted and measured.

...And the industry does a poor job of doing it for us. Amazon's categories are a cruel joke and theirs is one of the best if you manage to work the keywords treasure hunt. BISAC wasn't made to help readers, it was made to keep the books straight.

If we're going to do a site that promotes Spec-Fic, we need a robust search engine with lots of check boxes. Not only do we need to properly display sub-genres (and their alternate names, said the guy whose primary work is dungeonpunk and gaslamp fantasy), but also tone, element and possibly Asimov Kind (Gadget, Social, Adventure).

Our readers (and here I mean 'me') are the kind of person who might well be frustrated by everyone else's tendency to just drop a pile of general  'horror' or 'fantasy' in front of us and expect us to root around in it for the kind they like.

Every time I have to cycle through stories I don't want to find those I do, I feel like someone just filled my trough and said 'root for it, pig'.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 05, 2014, 07:23:33 PM
 I agree that we probably need to break spec fic down into subgenres, but I think we have to be careful not to break them down -too- much. Some people will want the ticky boxes, sure, but I sort of feel like too many ticky boxes will scare new readers away. They may not know all the sub-sub-sub genres. Offering too many choices can be just as confusing or off-putting as not offering enough, so we should probably go for a happy medium.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Annie B on January 05, 2014, 07:28:22 PM
Blergh. I'm out.  This talk of subgenre and what is or isn't proper spec fic makes me ill. It's the kind of annoying delineations and bickering that has been ruining SF for years for fans and makes a lot of SF writers look like anti-social jerks.  I realize I'm bitter because I was told for years I couldn't be writing real SF since I was a girl and girls can't write about science, but seriously, who cares if your western has spaceships and aliens? Guess what? That makes it science fiction in my book. There are only so many plots under the sun. If your book centers on a mystery but the perp (or investigator) is a vampire, you are writing fantasy.  It's the trappings that MAKE the genre in my opinion.

I can't stand the slicing, dicing, and arguing. It's ridiculous.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Rinelle Grey on January 05, 2014, 07:30:43 PM
Now to bring it back to the paranormal romance issue. My view is that you need to promote your book by what it primarily is about. If its primarily a romance list it as Romance: paranormal. If it's primarily paranormal list it as Paranormal: romance.

I both agree with this and disagree with it. Yep, I primarily promote my book as a romance, since that's what it primarily is. BUT (and it's a big but), it's also sci-fi, and to deny that, or hide it, would be just as dishonest to readers as calling it straight sci-fi.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wrenroberts on January 05, 2014, 07:38:50 PM
Why does everyone want to create some hierarchical genre/sub-genre list? What's wrong with a tag cloud? Find a decent search plugin to allow easy searching by multiple tags and boom. Done. Anyone can be as specific or non-specific as they want.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 05, 2014, 07:41:07 PM
What's wrong with a tag cloud?

Find a decent search plugin to allow easy searching by multiple tags and boom. Done. Anyone can be as specific or non-specific as they want.


AWESOME SOLUTION!

And Doomed Muse, please don't leave. It's only one person who is being that way.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 05, 2014, 07:44:46 PM
Why does everyone want to create some hierarchical genre/sub-genre list? What's wrong with a tag cloud? Find a decent search plugin to allow easy searching by multiple tags and boom. Done. Anyone can be as specific or non-specific as they want.

Personally? ...because I hadn't even thought of a tag cloud.  :-[ :) I just had visions of column after column of boxes to check or uncheck which would overwhelm me pretty quickly.

A tag cloud -would- allow authors to tag their books as they saw fit (assuming a site where authors could upload their own books) and allow readers to drill down as much as they wanted, it's true. Great suggestion.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: antonnaseton on January 05, 2014, 08:19:48 PM
  I realize I'm bitter because I was told for years I couldn't be writing real SF since I was a girl and girls can't write about science, but seriously, who cares if your western has spaceships and aliens? Guess what? That makes it science fiction in my book. There are only so many plots under the sun. If your book centers on a mystery but the perp (or investigator) is a vampire, you are writing fantasy.  It's the trappings that MAKE the genre in my opinion.

I can't stand the slicing, dicing, and arguing. It's ridiculous.

Wait, girls can't write real sci-fi? Oh dear, I never realised that was so. ;) I write sci-fi; mostly space opera. But I write short stories in the paranormal, post-apocalyptic genres too.

Sorry the slicing and dicing has upset you. But if you want to see even more slicing and dicing and bickering about genre, you should see what the Space Opera community is like.

Some argue that Star Trek Deep Space Nine is not space opera because the adventures take place in a space station as opposed to a space ship. Some people say Battlestar Galactica ain't space opera either because they don't really discover new alien cultures or planets. Some even question the inclusion of Star Wars, which to me, is the definition of space opera.

You know what, WHATEVAH. Like you, I stay out of the silliness. I like a good story and I don't care WHAT marketing slot it's given. To me, space opera are stories that take place in space. And that's all I need to know.

But anyway, I'm glad there's a thread for spec fic writers to hang out - many thanks to the OP! However, I hope it doesn't make those who write cross genre stuff feel left out. As a person who writes in multiple genres (because I'd get bored otherwise) and am even toying with a romance sci-fi, I understand how some may feel about that!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 05, 2014, 08:36:00 PM
I agree that we probably need to break spec fic down into subgenres, but I think we have to be careful not to break them down -too- much. Some people will want the ticky boxes, sure, but I sort of feel like too many ticky boxes will scare new readers away. They may not know all the sub-sub-sub genres. Offering too many choices can be just as confusing or off-putting as not offering enough, so we should probably go for a happy medium.

I don't see too many choices as a problem given the target audience and just how damn big Spec-fic is. Like I said, there's nothing that I hate more about current agrigators is the fact that they offer zero help in narrowing my searches down.

The question that has to be asked if we're going to do a site like this is 'What are we offering Spec-fic readers they can't get from other sites?'. I feel the answer should not be 'an even more overt refusal to appeal to our needs'.

Go check out the system over at Archive Of Our Own something a touch better than that is what I as a reader would be looking for.

The problem I have with a tag cloud is 1) an annoying tendency for site that use them to load tag searches as previews instead of excerpted lists, meaning you're punished with a slower loading, more clumsy page if you use tags and 2) a tag cloud doesn't allow my to exclude elements if I don't want them.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: psychotick on January 05, 2014, 10:13:13 PM
Hi,

Sorry DoomedMuse, I'm not meaning to offend anyone. And for the record I have no issue with girls writing sci fi. Whoever told you that was a jerk.

Cheers, Greg.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Annie B on January 05, 2014, 10:53:44 PM
Hi,

Sorry DoomedMuse, I'm not meaning to offend anyone. And for the record I have no issue with girls writing sci fi. Whoever told you that was a jerk.

Cheers, Greg.

As long as that sci fi doesn't have a mystery in it as the central plot point. Or a strong romantic subplot. Then, you know, apparently it ain't sf anymore. Or something. Sigh.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 06, 2014, 01:03:28 AM
Why does everyone want to create some hierarchical genre/sub-genre list? What's wrong with a tag cloud? Find a decent search plugin to allow easy searching by multiple tags and boom. Done. Anyone can be as specific or non-specific as they want.

Ta da! This might be the answer, even if we decided on some standard tags, they are somehow more fluid than genres.

So, caveat here, I'm writing from a different country and our perception may be different to yours, indeed fantasy and sci-fi are still considered pariah genres here but...

As a reader, I would be leery about reading pure sci-fi because I would be worried that it would be all dry science written for emotionally retarded blokes (sorry, I do actually love sci-fi but there is a it of that thing attached to it).

As a reader, I would want it sorted, a blanket title might be a bit intimidating, so if I was looking for something like Star Wars, I'd expect it to be listed under Sci-fi and, possibly, Romance. One of the great things about Star Wars, for me, is that it has all these cross over elements from other genres I love - woah yeh swords, and duels, like the Three Musketeers and yet also space ships and... robots.

So just taking a single writer as an example, Amazon allows me two categories but my books have elements of YA, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sci-fi, Action Adventure and Romance - or at least whatever it is that people falling in love with one another minus graphic sex scenes is called nowadays. It might even have elements of cops and robbers seeing as the first book is about a bank heist. Some readers class my work as Fantasy - because it doesn't happen in space - some think it's sci-fi - because the science is explained (vaguely). How would I categorise that? Because if a sci-fi purist read my work, he'd be seriously disappointed, if a fantasy purist read it, he'd be annoyed by the modernity of my imaginary world and the lack of dragons. (By the way, how is it fantasy if we're just writing about stuff other people have already made up?)

As a complete numb knut, doubtless I'm completely clueless but I thought the whole point of using the label 'spec fic' was that I get to side step that whole is it fantasy is it sci-fi issue and the reader would immediately know that it will have elements of both... and probably other things too.

So yeh, a tag cloud is the way to go I think.

Oh and DoomedMuse - I write er... my stuff and I'm a girl.

Cheers

MTM

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 06, 2014, 01:42:26 AM
As an author who writes romance in a speculative fiction setting, I've been avoiding posting in this thread, so definitely getting a 'not welcome' vibe.

Hi Rinelle! Sorry if I/we made you feel this way, this was never the intention. I've edit the original post to welcome all types of speculative fiction authors. This thread is only a day or two old, and already I'm blown away with the number of spec fic authors here and the diversity of their work. So welcome, and I hope we haven't scared you off!

Blergh. I'm out.  This talk of subgenre and what is or isn't proper spec fic makes me ill. It's the kind of annoying delineations and bickering that has been ruining SF for years for fans and makes a lot of SF writers look like anti-social jerks.  I realize I'm bitter because I was told for years I couldn't be writing real SF since I was a girl and girls can't write about science, but seriously, who cares if your western has spaceships and aliens? Guess what? That makes it science fiction in my book. There are only so many plots under the sun. If your book centers on a mystery but the perp (or investigator) is a vampire, you are writing fantasy.  It's the trappings that MAKE the genre in my opinion.

I can't stand the slicing, dicing, and arguing. It's ridiculous.

Hi Doomed Muse. I know there's some pretty bad opinions floating about the internet, but I really don't want these negative arguments being dragged into this thread. I certainly don't think anyone here has implied, or would imply, that females don't make good spec-fic authors (we all know this is not the case).

I really hope we can keep this thread open and friendly, and keep discussions respectful and supportive.  :)

  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 06, 2014, 03:11:35 AM
Hi Rinelle! Sorry if I/we made you feel this way, this was never the intention. I've edit the original post to welcome all types of speculative fiction authors. This thread is only a day or two old, and already I'm blown away with the number of spec fic authors here and the diversity of their work. So welcome, and I hope we haven't scared you off!

Hi Doomed Muse. I know there's some pretty bad opinions floating about the internet, but I really don't want these negative arguments being dragged into this thread. I certainly don't think anyone here has implied, or would imply, that females don't make good spec-fic authors (we all know this is not the case).

I really hope we can keep this thread open and friendly, and keep discussions respectful and supportive.  :)

  :)

I wonder if the slightly geeky nature of many spec fic authors puts us 'on the spectrum' so to speak. I suspect I am. Put a whole load of us slightly Sheldon Cooperish dudes on one thread and I suppose it's going to be a little lumpy until we all get used to one another.

Pipple toot.

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 06, 2014, 03:37:58 AM
I wonder if the slightly geeky nature of many spec fic authors puts us 'on the spectrum' so to speak. I suspect I am. Put a whole load of us slightly Sheldon Cooperish dudes on one thread and I suppose it's going to be a little lumpy until we all get used to one another.

Pipple toot.

MTM

Yep! I go to a spec-fic writing/critique group in my city, and its often hilarious, sometimes opinionated, and always good fun. We are a special class of people.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: antonnaseton on January 06, 2014, 03:45:03 AM
Yep! I go to a spec-fic writing/critique group in my city, and its often hilarious, sometimes opinionated, and always good fun. We are a special class of people.

Aren't we? We speak a language nobody does. I attended a writing course once and we were all asked about what we wrote. Almost everyone wrote literary, and when it came to my turn I just kinda squeaked, "Space opera" and there were blank faces all around ... except for one guy who beamed because he had found a kindred spirit.

 I don't attend a spec fic writing group (I wish there was one in Adelaide! Or is there ... must go searching) but I am with a sci-fi group that watches movies and plays RPG games etc. We speak a language that nobody would get - though they must think I'm 1/2 geek because I ... have not watched a single episode of Dr Who. Yes, I confess now, I'm utterly clueless about the Time Lord.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 06, 2014, 03:52:12 AM
Fellow Aussie! I'm in Brissie. We have a writer group here and I know there's one on the gold coast, too. Adelaide might have one, you just gotta track it down.

I'm the same re: Dr who. That and anime - don't watch either but I feel like the only one!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: antonnaseton on January 06, 2014, 04:04:55 AM
Fellow Aussie! I'm in Brissie. We have a writer group here and I know there's one on the gold coast, too. Adelaide might have one, you just gotta track it down.

I'm the same re: Dr who. That and anime - don't watch either but I feel like the only one!

Have watched anime! Woohoo ... I think there's a sci-fi writing group called Ad Astra. I'm not really sure about the benefits of joining a writer's group. I'm a bit wary of groups that do nothing but critique ... 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: P.J. Post on January 06, 2014, 06:01:16 AM
A web site that helped readers find spec fic books they liked would be really cool -

Which is why I was taking about a target market analysis.  The majority of fans of City of Bones, Beautiful Creatures or Twilight (all spec fic.) are not the fans of Moorcock, Asimov or Gibson, which probably don't have the same fans either.

But within the vast array of sub-genres, there are similarities and cross-over fans and reading experiences.

If one could figure out a way to 'link' these reading experiences together, you'd have a pretty reader friendly algo.

What is it about The Matrix, a pretty [expletive]ing out there hardcore SF story, that appeals to such a wide audience, (besides Keanu)?

As long as that sci fi doesn't have a mystery in it as the central plot point. Or a strong romantic subplot. Then, you know, apparently it ain't sf anymore. Or something. Sigh.

<sarcasm>

No way !!!!!!!!!!  Really dude?!?!?!   :o

</sarcasm>

As we both know, many of the pulp sf writers lived and breathed with the mystery format, Fredric Brown and Asimov's Caves of Steel come to mind.  Perhaps the newer fans of sf/f haven't read the classics and the genre defining books that we did. I'm assuming here.  :)

As for this anti-romance attitude I've seen in sf conversations - I don't get it, well, I have a theory....but, yeah, let's just leave it at "I don't get it".   ;D

A Princess of Mars (1911) had a paranormal element (the witch that sent him to Mars) and the entire book was a straight up romance - it was about John Carter overcoming obstacles, including a different culture, to be with the woman he loved.  There's also a lot of social commentary, including a lot of time devoted to religion - the Therns.  And this was a genre defining (inventing) book.

Spec Fic is anything you see at Comicon - really.

The defining of sub-genres is essential for effective promotions, and also for craft.

For example, if one is writing a romantic space opera, the book can't open with an info dump about the Jupiter Wars and an explanation about the invention of Super-Ion drive and how it works.  You'll lose the romance readers  right off.  It has to start with the characters and at least hint at the relationships.  Conversely, too much romance too soon might throw off the sf fans.  The opening pages need to be crafted in such a way as to be inviting to both audiences - if you want them both to read your book.  This is just a example.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: dgaughran on January 06, 2014, 06:10:05 AM
Spec fic is the biggest umbrella there is. There's space for everyone under here.

THIS.

And I hope my pithy remark (the first fight of a spec-fic group is always genre labels) didn't come across as minimizing the issues of those that feel excluded. There are issues with this in SF/F/WTF* and ancillary issues with sexism, that are very real and that we all need to be aware of (and fight).



*Stolen from Angry Robot, not meant in a pejorative sense!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: dgaughran on January 06, 2014, 06:15:09 AM
And you know what? The beauty of digital publishing is that you don't have to be restricted by labels anymore. Booksellers might have had trouble with, say, Technothrillers, unsure whether to shelve them with Thrillers or SF. But, on Amazon, we can put books on multiple shelves. And you can position the book in the market however you please.

All of which seems perfectly natural. A book doesn't have to be Romance or SF. It can be both. It can appeal to readers of both. It can be marketed as either.

(And the world keeps turning)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Laura Rae Amos on January 06, 2014, 07:04:48 AM
I write spec fic in secret. (Like Rinelle, as a writer with a strong relationship bias in my fiction (though drama usually rather than romance), I'm sort of tip-toeing into the room...)

I don't have any of it published yet, but hope to in the next year or two. I like alternate dimensions, metafiction, aliens, apocalyptic, and anything near future, preferably with a strong character-driven angle, though I'm not afraid of science or tech either. My favorite stories have both.

And haters gonna hate, but I'm secretly plotting to make sci-fi/chick-lit happen. *dodges flying tomatoes*
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 06, 2014, 07:43:02 AM
The majority of fans of...  Twilight (all spec fic.) are not the fans of Moorcock, Asimov or Gibson, which probably don't have the same fans either.

I'm a big fan of all four! Neuromancer is one of my all-time favorites, as are I Robot and Elric of Melnibone. And making a note to check out Beautiful Creatures, since you lumped it in, LOL!


And haters gonna hate, but I'm secretly plotting to make sci-fi/chick-lit happen. *dodges flying tomatoes*

It already happened long ago! Robert Heinlein's Friday comes to mind.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on January 06, 2014, 07:54:18 AM
Fantasy writer here.

One of the things I like about going to the public library or the bookstore is that all the SFF books are together in one section. I'm more interested in the tone or theme or quality of writing than plot and character specifics. It's fun to read different kinds of stories and come across unexpected jewels.

Regarding tag clouds or lists, I don't see them as an either/or. Why not both?

It would be nice if there were a way to filter out certain types of stories. There are some books you'd have to pay me a substantial sum to read. Other books I cannot read for different reasons.

We are a special class of people.

Everybody thinks they're special. None of us are. All of us are.

Any kind of elitism, even the elitism of the misfits, sets my back up. There's a whiff of "If I can't be in that special group, I'll make my own special group." I don't want to be in any special groups. I don't want to be part of any Us vs. Them.

Which takes us back to NO ROMANCE. I've read enough wish-fulfillment SF where the hero is rewarded with the beautiful babe at story's end to wonder why romance is a problem. Just don't read it, right?

@M T McGuire: Your The Wrong Stuff cover cracks me up.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on January 06, 2014, 08:40:00 AM
Doomed Muse, firstly, please don't leave! Not everybody is going to agree with every point, but please don't let that keep you or anyone else from feeling comfortable here. Specfic is indeed a big umbrella. (Or we can beat it over the head and make it one!)

Secondly, I loved your comments about SF and what happened in the genre. It was hard for a long time to find stuff to read, which is why I began reading mysteries and thrillers.

Anyway, my thinking is that if you think your work is specfic, then it is. I'm going to trust people to have looked at genre classifications, and know what they write. We can narrow things down in regards to promotions, or helping readers find work they like, but I don't think we need to be coming down on one side or the other of the "that's not SF!" or "that's not horror!" or whatever.


Something I wanted to talk about -- and I don't mean to start anything -- is the possibility of needing to contribute funds to start a site. I may be the only one, but I have zero funds to spare. If I had any money, it would go to getting an editor, or a good cover. So if that's going to be necessary (donating money), I'm going to have to drop out.

And yes, I know things cost money, but the well is dry over here. I wouldn't feel right being involved in something if I couldn't pay my way.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 06, 2014, 09:57:44 AM
Which takes us back to NO ROMANCE. I've read enough wish-fulfillment SF where the hero is rewarded with the beautiful babe at story's end to wonder why romance is a problem. Just don't read it, right?

Amen to that, although I think you have to have lots of shagging for real romance nowadays don't you? Isn't the wish fulfillment type called cozy romance or something...? I get so confused with all the names things are called. I suppose it's a bit like the law. I'm told that with law, the more you start putting specifics into legislation, the easier it becomes to break. It's the really general laws that are the easiest ones to enforce.

@M T McGuire: Your The Wrong Stuff cover cracks me up.

In a good way, I hope ;-)

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jim Johnson on January 06, 2014, 10:05:29 AM
what do you all think about publishing at the spec-fic mags to build an audience?

Dunno if this got lost in the shuffle, but submitting short stories to the various magazines and ezines is a great way to promote yourself and your work if you can get in. Check out the costs of advertisements in Analog, Asimov's, and F&SF, for example. Can't hurt anyway.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jim Johnson on January 06, 2014, 10:08:40 AM
I write space opera, sci-fi, weird west, historical fantasy, and high and low fantasy. Plus other speculative stuff I don't really know how to label.

The distinctions between paranormal, supernatural and the like are confusing to me. Like, X-Files and The Sixth Sense. Are they paranormal or supernatural? Does one have to have a romance subplot?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Annie B on January 06, 2014, 10:10:51 AM
Doomed Muse, firstly, please don't leave! Not everybody is going to agree with every point, but please don't let that keep you or anyone else from feeling comfortable here. Specfic is indeed a big umbrella. (Or we can beat it over the head and make it one!)

Secondly, I loved your comments about SF and what happened in the genre. It was hard for a long time to find stuff to read, which is why I began reading mysteries and thrillers.

Anyway, my thinking is that if you think your work is specfic, then it is. I'm going to trust people to have looked at genre classifications, and know what they write. We can narrow things down in regards to promotions, or helping readers find work they like, but I don't think we need to be coming down on one side or the other of the "that's not SF!" or "that's not horror!" or whatever.

Oh, I know. But I'm super prickly about this whole "get X out of MY genre" or "X isn't spec fic because (insert stupid reason that probably relates solely to the fact that the person giving it doesn't like X)" and get tired quickly of people bashing things that a) they likely haven't read and b) clearly aren't to their taste.  Not to my taste does not equal awful thing that doesn't belong.

And I know I'm writing spec fic. Pretty sure all these sf and fantasy magazines and anthologies that publish my work would have told me by now if I were completely clueless  :D

The genre is huge and full of subgenres for just about any work. I don't know how useful we could be in helping readers to find what they want in a way that the sales sites don't already.  However, I do think using a group like this to put together like books into promo bundles or something to that effect could be useful. I'm sure there are people writing space opera whose audiences might like this other person but haven't heard about them, or the same with urban fantasy or slipstream or whatever. That seems like a pretty easy and useful way to use a group like this.

For the person who asked about selling stories to magazines, it's a great way to pick up some extra money. I have never noticed a single extra sale resulting from it on my other work, however, so don't use it as just a way to build audience. Go for the monies, hope there is some extra effect, in my opinion.  (Though, I'm about to have some stories in an anthology series with a lot of pretty big name peoples that I think will get some extra love from the Zon, so perhaps my opinion will change here shortly)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on January 06, 2014, 10:29:57 AM
In a good way, I hope ;-)

Definitely in a good way! It makes me smile.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sam Kates on January 06, 2014, 10:55:46 AM
I don't fully understand all the nuances of genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres. I'm not particularly interested in trying to understand them all. But I thought (until catching up with this thread) that I understood what speculative fiction meant, or at least I have my own definition: it's any story that includes an element that could not possibly happen today based on currently accepted knowledge. Any story that could happen today, no matter how unlikely, is non-speculative.

So any tale involving vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens, faster-than-light travel, mythological creatures, sentient machines, made-up worlds, etc, etc is specfic, regardless of how secondary they may be to the main storyline. I don't want to tread on anyone's toes and it's not my thread, but I don't think anybody who writes stories with a fantastical element should be made to feel unwelcome here.

[Edited to fix unwanted italics.]
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Carol (was Dara) on January 06, 2014, 11:49:04 AM
And my axe.

Dang it, David! You beat me to the punch!  ;D

OP, cool thread idea. Thanks for starting this.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: bmcox on January 06, 2014, 12:12:11 PM
I don't fully understand all the nuances of genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres. I'm not particularly interested in trying to understand them all. But I thought (until catching up with this thread) that I understood what speculative fiction meant, or at least I have my own definition: it's any story that includes an element that could not possibly happen today based on currently accepted knowledge. Any story that could happen today, no matter how unlikely, is non-speculative.

So any tale involving vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens, faster-than-light travel, mythological creatures, sentient machines, made-up worlds, etc, etc is specfic, regardless of how secondary they may be to the main storyline. I don't want to tread on anyone's toes and it's not my thread, but I don't think anybody who writes stories with a fantastical element should be made to feel unwelcome here.

Here, here.

I think that one of the issues here and elsewhere when discussing our little corners of the universe is an issue of representation. Representations of what we like, representations of our developed and received perceptions of what is supposed to be good and correct, and representations of self. Sometimes these representations cause conflict with other writers (and readers) and sometimes they cause conflicts within ourselves.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: P.J. Post on January 06, 2014, 12:23:21 PM
I think we all agree - or certainly should, imho, agree what spec fic is.

The point of discussing sub-genres comes in to play with promotions and marketing.  I think that's a significant problem with all of the narrowly defined categories on amazon that don't necessarily line up with what either the author intended or what the reader is looking for.

My point about the various sub-genres wasn't to list out amazon categories, but to attempt to identify common reading experiences between the various genres, so that promotions can be targeted toward those newly defined individual groups.  This would include relevant cross-promotions for example.

The thing to remember is that they want to read your book, they really do - they are already fans, they just don't know it yet and they won't unless you can make them aware that your book exists.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 06, 2014, 12:48:10 PM
How about we not even have a cat list and just implement the hell out of tags?

Here's my wishlist:

You'd have the tag cloud and regular search by keyword and umbrella genre lists up front. Then you'd have Advanced Search where you can either checkbox or CTRL click multiple elements to search either 'must contain all' or 'must contain any'. There would also be a panel for 'must NOT contain any' and a 'filter by...'

The tags would include genres, sub-genres, elements, creatures, authors, themes--anything--because we want this site to actually be useful to spec-fic fans looking to find books to their tastes.

And there'd be a report feature in case someone mis-tagged stuff. Never again the lying blurb times.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wrenroberts on January 06, 2014, 12:53:56 PM
You'd have the tag cloud and regular search by keyword and umbrella genre lists up front. Then you'd have Advanced Search where you can either checkbox or CTRL click multiple elements to search either 'must contain all' or 'must contain any'. There would also be a panel for 'must NOT contain any' and a 'filter by...'

The tags would include genres, sub-genres, elements, creatures, authors, themes--anything--because we want this site to actually be useful to spec-fic fans looking to find books to their tastes.

Yes! Yes!! This is exactly what I was thinking when I suggested tags in the first place. I think it would give people the most freedom to categorize their books how they see fit. Because in my world, science fantasy is a thing, dammit. ::shakes angry fist at amazon::
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: P.J. Post on January 06, 2014, 12:55:52 PM
For a simple search feature that works.  The books would need pretty long questionnaires to make sure the book gets into the right searches.

You might add an "if you liked <this book> then you might like <these books> based on some significant average of similar data points of each book.

But this doesn't help with promotions.

And it would require significant server space and maintenance, but it's a great idea.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Becca Mills on January 06, 2014, 01:17:31 PM
Greetings! Looks like all the best threads happen when I'm offline for the holidays.

I write science-fantasy. Or, if actually trying to fit into a marking category, I'd call it contemporary/urban fantasy.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 06, 2014, 01:22:09 PM
I feel like just finally allowing spec-fic readers to actually search for things they like will go a long way, then we could promote the site because it would be offering something no one else really is at the moment.

In my experience, automated 'if you like this...' things are next to useless. Amazon continues to insist I'll like Sword of Truth even after I one-starred Wizard's First Rule.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Flopstick on January 06, 2014, 01:38:45 PM
Translovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism 4 lyfe!

The best thing about 'indie' publishing - or online publishing, at least - for me, is that it gives even very niche spec fic genres a potential global reach. If I had to rely on getting my stuff into a shop, and one of my readers happening to go into that shop, and then seeing and buying it, I'd be stuffed. The people reading my stories aren't generally casual horror fans. They're the ones who've already read everything by HPL, and CAS, and Bloch, and Lin Carter, and Ramsey Campbell, and who still want more. Thankfully, I just need to tag my books with 'Lovecraft' and they can find them.

In the old days, the only way to reach them was by publishing in magazines - but that's never going to earn money, and it limits you to a few thousands words. Thanks to ebooks I can write stories to the length they need to be and know that people don't have to scour fanzine listings or publisher's lists to buy them. All hail t'internet!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: David J Normoyle on January 06, 2014, 01:46:55 PM
A site with a search such as Vaalingrade outlined does seem cool. But at the end of the day, it's it just another book display site where authors put up their books but readers never come to. Getting readers to such a site would the hard part. Getting them to continually come back would be even harder.

Can't someone do more or less the same on Amazon? Put into the search term what they want. Plus on Amazon, they'll have a lot more choice, including all the bestsellers/big names. Plus on Amazon, search results will be ranked based on sales (which works as a pseudo quality control). And then this site will direct them back to Amazon or wherever, and where's the value in it for the reader to keep coming back?

But this doesn't help with promotions.

One way it could help is that you could get to see indie books similar to yours easily, so it might facilitate the grouping of books/authors. Then those authors could, if they wished, organize box sets or group promos with the similar authors.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 06, 2014, 02:16:00 PM
A site with a search such as Vaalingrade outlined does seem cool. But at the end of the day, it's just another book display site where authors put up their books but readers never come to.

You're right.

One way [some kind of database for the books of the authors in this thread] could help is that you could get to see indie books similar to yours easily, so it might facilitate the grouping of books/authors. Then those authors could, if they wished, organize box sets or group promos with the similar authors.

LOVE this idea!

I want to find books similar to mine to cross promo with.
Maybe even do a boxed set.

In the meantime, until we have such a database, PM me if
1) you write optimistic G-rated urban fantasy and
2) you are interested.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Carol (was Dara) on January 06, 2014, 02:19:41 PM
Ok, just skimmed the whole thread. On the subject of what is or isn't spec-fic, I'm content to let the author of the work decide. If someone categorizes a love story about teens in space as sci-fi, it's no skin off my nose. I'd just file it under three cats: sci-fi, romance, and YA. I'm not hard-core about genre definitions. I've read lots of fantasy that was 50 % romance and, while it wasn't always what I was in the mood for, that doesn't mean it wasn't real fantasy. Sarah Douglas comes to mind as a fantasy author who was hugely respected in her genre but whose books focused a lot on romantic/sexual relationships and situations. Juliette Marillier is another example. But their books are still very much fantasy. When I'm browsing the bookstore, I always mentally file fantasy books according to style and audience. Something like this:

Hardcore epic fantasy
Gamer-style "nerd" fantasy (often called derivative and juvenile but probably my personal fave)
Romantic fantasy
Historical Fantasy
Urban Fantasy

And so on. If I can tell the type of fantasy by looking at covers, blurbs, samples, and shelving (or in the case of ebooks, categories) I figure other readers can too.

* None of the above relates to the discussion of promotional efforts or a spec-fic website. Just my 2 cents on fantasy cats in general.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 06, 2014, 03:16:30 PM
Can't someone do more or less the same on Amazon?

No, not at all. Amazon is terrible at filtering. You get a big pile of a very, very general category and then you have to dig. You can't exclude anything, there is NO way to search for things like tone or theme beyond manually reading every blurb and even then they lie.

Plus, Amazon's keyword system is a cruel joke. It isn't there to help readers, but to just gate people through to (again) very general categories.

It's okay to use the search there if you know the book or author you're after already, or have four spare hours to dig, but otherwise... well there a reason ENT and Bookbub exist and are useful for mainstream romance, thriller, etc and a reason it's not good enough for a lot of spec-fic fans.

You guys know where I got to look for stuff to read? Tvtropes. I just pop over to the Steampunk, Dungeon Punk, Weird West, or Functional Magic page, click the literature tab, then jump to the page for the work. If I don't see something like 'Crapsack world', Diablis ex Machina' or 'downer ending' in the trope list, I then go to Amazon or DTF for the book.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ty Johnston on January 06, 2014, 03:21:37 PM
Translovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism 4 lyfe!

Aw, h--- no! You ain't puttin' no trans- in my lovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism. Everybody knows it ain't real lovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism unless its cislovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism.

The nerve of some people. Tryin' to dis my sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub genre like that.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 06, 2014, 03:25:45 PM
For the person who asked about selling stories to magazines, it's a great way to pick up some extra money. I have never noticed a single extra sale resulting from it on my other work, however, so don't use it as just a way to build audience. Go for the monies, hope there is some extra effect, in my opinion.  (Though, I'm about to have some stories in an anthology series with a lot of pretty big name peoples that I think will get some extra love from the Zon, so perhaps my opinion will change here shortly)

I've had short stories in two quite low profile anthologies, Indie Bites and A Splendid Salamagundi. I'm absolutely convinced that both of those made a difference to my sales. Like a Numb Nuts I missed all the anthologies this Christmas and my sales have suffered accordingly.

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: bmcox on January 06, 2014, 04:37:37 PM
Karen Lord just published this quote from Alan Moore on her Tumblr (http://merumsal.tumblr.com/post/72465792119): "Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel."
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Victoria Champion on January 06, 2014, 04:39:09 PM
Karen Lord just published this quote on her Tumblr (http://merumsal.tumblr.com/post/72465792119): "Life isn't divided into genres. It's a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel."

Full Alan Moore quote:

“My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky.”
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Christy on January 06, 2014, 04:46:41 PM
HEeeeeey! *highfive* Why haven't I seen this thread before!!

Fantasy and sci-fi author reporting.  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jim Johnson on January 06, 2014, 07:48:57 PM
No, not at all. Amazon is terrible at filtering. You get a big pile of a very, very general category and then you have to dig. You can't exclude anything, there is NO way to search for things like tone or theme beyond manually reading every blurb and even then they lie.

Plus, Amazon's keyword system is a cruel joke. It isn't there to help readers, but to just gate people through to (again) very general categories

Tangentially, I was reminded this past weekend how superior browsing Amazon is to shopping in a physical bookstore. I went into my closest Barnes and Noble, thinking I'd look for some new weird westerns or gritty low fantasy and was presented with several long shelves of books, arranged alphabetically, all lumped into the sf/f section. Just a big mess of books.

So I had to pull out my smartphone and pull up Amazon and searched on "weird western" and immediately got a long list of 400+ books. Sure it's not perfect and not granular enough, but it's a hell of a lot more useful for drilling down within a genre.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 06, 2014, 08:13:17 PM
Plus, Amazon's keyword system is a cruel joke. It isn't there to help readers, but to just gate people through to (again) very general categories.


Keywords work in other ways, too. I am still trying to make them work for my fiction, but I have found books using keywords.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLFleming on January 06, 2014, 10:19:45 PM
Hi there,
I like this thread!
I'm post-apocalyptic zombie chick-lit. Spec-fic? Seems so. Romance? Yep, it's also a love story.
But I'm gonna hang out, if that's cool.  :)

-Sarah
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 07, 2014, 01:48:25 PM
I think if a website is going to be attractive, then you need some good front page content, too. An interesting blog with original pieces - maybe each from a different author.

I'd also be careful not to scare off people that aren't hardcore sci-fi/fantasy readers. Sub-genres can be a turnoff as much as they can be an aid.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 07, 2014, 02:42:48 PM
Box sets are a great cross-promotion to help people out who are ready or want to do them, I think. Or anthologies. I'm hoping to do both of those.

We could also possibly do mini blog-tours if people are willing to host?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Maia Sepp on January 07, 2014, 03:24:32 PM
Can I dip my toe in too? I'm writing a spec-fic for the first time right now - a near-future dystopia novella with humorous/women's fiction elements...I'd like to turn it into a series if it sells.

Would anyone here be willing to beta read it for me? I'll be done before the end of the month and I'd love some feedback from someone who's been doing this longer than me (which is about everyone :)). I can repay with a beta read of your stuff, or...something else? Not sure what, but I'm open to suggestions...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Victoria J on January 07, 2014, 06:06:33 PM
A lot of fantasy and science fiction readers enjoy podcasts. Perhaps if we could build a site that also featured a fantasy/sci-fi podcast monthly episode (especially one featuring indie books they've read) that might draw readers. I do realize that this is very time consuming though. I used to podcast but no longer have the time. At least not right now.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: burke_KB on January 07, 2014, 07:02:37 PM
I read about netflix having 75,000 sub genre classifications for movies and tv shows. So if you are into horror movies, you can drill down to 1980s-style-slasher-films-with-brief-nudity or something like that. It's like pandora for movies.

I think a curated site that took the effort to sort the dragons and elves from the particle accelerators would be nice, but it would take a ton of work. The traditional 30 categories doesn't get it done. To really pull it off would require a dozen people reviewing lots of books a week, and tagging them in spreadsheets. We'd need hundreds of genre identifiers, so you can find that action-packed-conan-style-arthurian-legend or the mars-terra-forming-with-a-space-elevator book.

If you had that kind of data, you could ask people for their favorite book and kick out a bunch of similar books like amazon's also boughts.

A simpler approach would be the "best speculative fiction of kboards" or something. Needs better branding. But a "best of" site would be easier to for everyone to promote on their social platforms. Build a centric mailing list on that site, and let everyone blast it with their latest releases.

 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 07, 2014, 08:31:33 PM
Box sets are a great cross-promotion to help people out who are ready or want to do them, I think. Or anthologies. I'm hoping to do both of those.

We could also possibly do mini blog-tours if people are willing to host?

Smaller anthologies could be cool. Say, find 8 or 10 like minded authors to put together an antho, and use it primarily as a promotional vehicle.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 07, 2014, 08:53:29 PM
Smaller anthologies could be cool. Say, find 8 or 10 like minded authors to put together an antho, and use it primarily as a promotional vehicle.

Exactly. Use whatever royalties come out of it to pay for hosting a site, if we make one, if it was being sold for a price. Or just make it a permafree promotional tool.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Greg Banks on January 07, 2014, 09:27:26 PM
I tend to write dark Sci-Fi and Fantasy, currently focusing more on the post-apocalyptic and zombie genres.

I don't think that Romance is more popular. I think spec fic has become not only fractured into,a thousand different sub-genres, but also is more mainstream. Many many stories, even a lot of romance, has some sort of Spec Fic angle to it. It's hard to pinpoint a specific audience because Spec Fic is a long thread running through every other genre, including Romance (Paranormal Romance is a form of Spec Fic too, and it's very popular right now.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: HezBa on January 07, 2014, 09:43:22 PM
Anyone else interested in doing a box-set for a little promotion? Show of hands?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 07, 2014, 11:33:49 PM
Anyone else interested in doing a box-set for a little promotion? Show of hands?

When you say boxed sets do you mean a package of novels by different authors on a similar theme like say, humorous spec fic (sorry I'm a bit thick)? If so yes, I'm on. I'd also be on for an anthology, too. I've been involved in two books of short stories and I am certain that both have brought new readers to my work and book sales.

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Becca Mills on January 07, 2014, 11:39:39 PM
Anyone else interested in doing a box-set for a little promotion? Show of hands?

I'd love to do one, but it'd have to be all permafrees.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Flopstick on January 08, 2014, 02:09:28 PM

I think a curated site that took the effort to sort the dragons and elves from the particle accelerators would be nice, but it would take a ton of work. The traditional 30 categories doesn't get it done. To really pull it off would require a dozen people reviewing lots of books a week, and tagging them in spreadsheets. We'd need hundreds of genre identifiers, so you can find that action-packed-conan-style-arthurian-legend or the mars-terra-forming-with-a-space-elevator book.

If you had that kind of data, you could ask people for their favorite book and kick out a bunch of similar books like amazon's also boughts.

What you're describing sounds like a tag system, and of course the solution to the workload involved with that is to have authors and readers apply the tags.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: legion on January 08, 2014, 04:42:45 PM
*pokes head in*
My weapons come in the form of curses and other such intangibles, so axes and light sabers down please!  :D *enters fully*

I've been focusing on other genres lately, but it seems I am a spec fic writer at heart since most of my short stories end up swinging that way, including a speculative element somehow.

My spec fic includes slipstream, dark fantasy and sci-fi, and quiet/soft horror.
Transmogrification, ghosts and other incorporeal beings, black magic, and superpowers (usually the power to transmogrify) tend to feature in my spec tales.
I've even dabbled in a zombie apocalypse story...which also ended up sort of a dark, slightly erotic romance?

Anyway, for all of the above, I blame The X-Files.
Until soon,
us
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: jnfr on January 09, 2014, 12:45:31 PM
I have three project 'sets' at the moment. One is a set of sword-and-sorcery shorts set in a specific world. One is a set of ghost stories which are unrelated except they all have ghosts. The other is a series of urban fantasy novels with a Wiccan circle/elemental magic contemporary setting. I tend to adventure stories more than romance though, with family life and groups of friends at the center.

So I'll bring my crossbows and chalices and random spirits intruding into everyday life and hang out with you all.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 16, 2014, 08:35:04 AM
It's quiet. Too quiet.

Anyone come up with any other outstanding promotional ideas? Or had great success with a particular method lately?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Quiss on January 16, 2014, 08:58:59 AM
I had the best single-day sales numbers EVAH yesterday.

And my ranks slipped across the board  :o

Quit selling so many damn books, you people! You're harshing my buzz.  >:(
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 16, 2014, 03:22:56 PM
When the bundles ended Jan 1, I switched A Girl and Her Monster and We Could be Heroes to 'Pay What You Want' on DTF. There have been way fewer downloads, but sales are starting to happen over there, including purchases of later books where I had none before.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Quiss on January 17, 2014, 06:17:59 PM
I think I figured it out.
Just found a link to my freebie on SF Signal. It was posted on the 15th which is when I saw that nice little spike of my other titles.
Don't know how it got there, but I like it :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 17, 2014, 06:24:18 PM
Nice! Congratulations!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on January 21, 2014, 02:47:49 PM
Just found this thread! I am one of those dopey Science-Fantasy writers (Magic in space!). Now to go back and see what I missed in this thread...  8)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: The 13th Doctor on January 21, 2014, 02:59:30 PM
Just found this thread!

Me, too!

Well, I'm *finally* getting round to writing Book 1 in my Time Travelling Assassins series. The two prequels have been out since 2011... but a reader emailed me and gave me a well-deserved kick up the arse. With a few tweaks to the main character (everyday forty-something man to no-nonsense, fiftysomething Northern woman) and changing the narrative from third to first, the enthusiasm for this story has returned!

:D

(Now to copy VydorScope, and read this entire thread!)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on January 21, 2014, 06:35:39 PM
I just found this thread, read the whole thing, and was a bit worried about posting because I don't read/write/watch sci fi or fantasy. So a lot of the references in this thread flew over my head, lol. You all are a spirited bunch, though, and I'm fascinated by the many subgenres that fall under the Spec Fic umbrella. Had no idea most of them existed. I write dark fiction (mostly horror, but also suspense - and I'm getting into dark urban fantasy and erotic horror soon) and it is hard to find an audience for my work, especially since I write short. Oh well - I love what I do and even if I never make a dime from dark fiction, I'll keep writing it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on January 21, 2014, 06:43:26 PM
As a horror writer, you definitely fall under the speculative fiction umbrella, Elle.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on January 21, 2014, 06:52:09 PM
As a horror writer, you definitely fall under the speculative fiction umbrella, Elle.

I kind of figured as much, but I felt odd seeing as though my tastes tend to be pretty narrow. At least compared to others here.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RichardWolanski on January 21, 2014, 06:53:16 PM
*high fives through nine pages*


Definitely a speculative fiction card carying member.  Mine tends to be satirical, allegorical, and irreverent. I've actually noticed a lot of the regulars have high fantasy series.


*double high fives for that*
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Reverend Schlachbals on January 21, 2014, 07:22:24 PM
I could go into a huge long rant about why SF is the most profitable movie genre but has such a tiny book market share, but I won't. I am thrilled, however, that we can now publish ourselves and write whatever for the market, because of how the traditional market has developed and how insular and incestuous certain parts of SF writerdom has become. (It would be a hecka-long rant, seriously).

Fantasy, thank god, avoided a lot of that. :)

Anyway. I write all kinds of spec fic. So, uh, hi.

You mean how in most films they have a fairly basic premise that's almost painfully explained in simple terms for the audience whereas SF books often have a more complex premise and are more in the vein of figure it out for yourselves, numb nuts? There's also that most Hollywood SF movies are also heavy on the action, which translates quite well to the foreign market, more 'splosions less yakking makes for an easy subtitle or dub process.

But I definitely agree that SF could/should be bigger. It's just one of the least popular broad genres in the market in general, it's the same with traditional publishing as with self-. There are something like 3-4x more mystery and romance readers than SF readers. Something like 1.5x more fantasy readers than SF readers. More people simply like other genres. I wish that would change, of course. I'm not saying it can't or won't, just that it's not simply a matter of needing to get the word out about self-pubbed SF--that too certainly--but it's across the genre, not just self-pubbed ebooks.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: zandermarks on January 21, 2014, 09:55:22 PM
When I think of genres, I tend to think in terms of "What's the reader's emotional/intellectual payoff?" i.e., what is it about the story that the reader expects or is looking for?

If we look at the non-spec genres, it's fairly easy to locate the emotional "payoffs." The emotional payoffs for romance, thrillers, cozy mysteries, police procedurals, etc., tend to fall within certain broad ranges.

But if we look to speculative fiction as a genre, we see that any, all, or none of these emotional "payoffs" may be at play. It depends on the specific stories and character arcs. So we could have a vampire tale that's pure horror, another one that is teenage romance, another that is social critique, and still another which is pure comedy. We could even have a vampire story set in a modern city which functions essentially as a western in terms of its underlying plot and character arc, even if there isn't an explicit "western" element in the world being depicted or a single horse to be found.

And although all of these are vampire stories, and all of them are speculative fiction, readers who respond strongly to the romance notes might not derive much from the city-vampire-western, and readers who like the pure horror might hate the pure comedy. Not because any one of these is less truly speculative (or any less truly "vampire"), but rather because each one of these is pushing different reader buttons.

So it seems to me that that's one challenge in cross promotion--finding ways to bundle or cross-promote titles which hit congruent notes with readers in addition to finding compatible forms. Because although certain readers might be quick to say "I don't do romance--it's just not my thing," they might also be as quick to say "I don't do horror--it's just not my thing" or "I don't do western, even city-vampire-western--it's just not my thing." Because they are looking for specific payoffs, and they get less out of the stories that do not provide the payoffs they are looking for.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 21, 2014, 10:39:38 PM
You mean how in most films they have a fairly basic premise that's almost painfully explained in simple terms for the audience whereas SF books often have a more complex premise and are more in the vein of figure it out for yourselves, numb nuts?

It's a dark combination of Hollywood producers thinking audiences are too stupid to understand concepts and writers refusing the explain things to readers either out of some level of pretension or because that would be 'evil' telling or infodumping.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on January 22, 2014, 12:37:58 AM
So... are we done fighting about what is and isn't spec fic?

I hope so, I'd like to actually talk about spec fic without having to avoid another five pages of arguing.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Samuel Peralta on January 22, 2014, 03:33:27 AM
So... are we done fighting about what is and isn't spec fic?

I hope so, I'd like to actually talk about spec fic without having to avoid another five pages of arguing.



What he said :-)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on January 22, 2014, 03:34:02 AM
So... are we done fighting about what is and isn't spec fic?


It looks like it  :) I too would like to get back to the regularly scheduled programming and, hopefully, learn from other spec fic writers (especially the ones who deal in horror) how to find and retain a nice-sized audience.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 22, 2014, 08:18:29 AM
I hadn't seen any "fighting" about genre definitions for several pages, actually. I think that answers the question, yes?

So who's got more cross-promotional ideas or suggestions to make? Anyone found a particularly good place to do promo yet?

I've tried a few small things so far but with only the one book out yet, I have not really seen much of a result.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Quiss on January 22, 2014, 08:47:03 AM
Does anyone know how paper sales of indie spec fiction compares to other genres?
I hardly ever sell the paperback for my space opera. I figure sci-fi geeks are pretty comfy with their e-readers. Am I right?

I did sell one yesterday, which means Matchbook sale. Not sure why someone would buy the paperback when it's my permafree title, but a sale is a sale :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 22, 2014, 10:32:56 PM
Does anyone know how paper sales of indie spec fiction compares to other genres?
I hardly ever sell the paperback for my space opera. I figure sci-fi geeks are pretty comfy with their e-readers. Am I right?

I did sell one yesterday, which means Matchbook sale. Not sure why someone would buy the paperback when it's my permafree title, but a sale is a sale :)

My best guess is they bought it as a gift.

Back in my younger days when I visited relatives regularly, I used to give gifts for birthdays and Christmas. My favorite gifts to give them were paperback copies of books I loved -- all of which were either fantasy or science fiction of some sort.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 22, 2014, 10:35:21 PM
When I think of genres, I tend to think in terms of "What's the reader's emotional/intellectual payoff?" i.e., what is it about the story that the reader expects or is looking for?

If we look at the non-spec genres, it's fairly easy to locate the emotional "payoffs." The emotional payoffs for romance, thrillers, cozy mysteries, police procedurals, etc., tend to fall within certain broad ranges.

But if we look to speculative fiction as a genre, we see that any, all, or none of these emotional "payoffs" may be at play. It depends on the specific stories and character arcs. So we could have a vampire tale that's pure horror, another one that is teenage romance, another that is social critique, and still another which is pure comedy. We could even have a vampire story set in a modern city which functions essentially as a western in terms of its underlying plot and character arc, even if there isn't an explicit "western" element in the world being depicted or a single horse to be found.

And although all of these are vampire stories, and all of them are speculative fiction, readers who respond strongly to the romance notes might not derive much from the city-vampire-western, and readers who like the pure horror might hate the pure comedy. Not because any one of these is less truly speculative (or any less truly "vampire"), but rather because each one of these is pushing different reader buttons.

So it seems to me that that's one challenge in cross promotion--finding ways to bundle or cross-promote titles which hit congruent notes with readers in addition to finding compatible forms. Because although certain readers might be quick to say "I don't do romance--it's just not my thing," they might also be as quick to say "I don't do horror--it's just not my thing" or "I don't do western, even city-vampire-western--it's just not my thing." Because they are looking for specific payoffs, and they get less out of the stories that do not provide the payoffs they are looking for.

I agree. Wholeheartedly.

I only want to cross promote other family friendly fiction, for example. I've got one taker, so far!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on January 22, 2014, 11:08:19 PM
Yay, now that we are done arguing, let's talk MASH-UPS!

I love mash-ups. I love reading stories like Vydor's that are weird 'magic in space' things (going to have to go download something of yours now, dammit). I loved Warhammer 40k with the Space Marines and mechs and the religious/cleric aspects. Riddick is another mash-up, though it's (to me) more sci-fi than anything.

Not that it's a bad thing. I like mash-ups within the same genre (time traveling space opera, anyone?), but we already see a ton of that. What I really am starting to get into, both writing and reading, is the mash-up between two completely different genres. I'm working on one that is kind of 'science fiction + horror' though it is mostly scifi. I'm also working on one that is 'religion + science fiction' which probably doesn't sound that odd except I'm about as atheist as one can get (yet I love writing about religion from the faithful's point of view, especially in sci-fi settings).

I always liked the stories of 'magic versus science.' Well, not all of them, but good ones. Crime + horror is pretty good stuff too. Trying to think of some others but my brain is blank. Probably should get back to work.

PS mash-ups is good stuffs because it blossoms a whole new field of stories. Oh oh, "Who Censored Roger Rabbit" which is of course the story the movie was made about. If you haven't actually read this story, give it a shot. Cartoons and pulp detective!

Okay, for reals. Work times.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 23, 2014, 12:08:36 AM
Love the Mashup. I personally have an obsession with magitech and magic-as-technology. I really wish I could find more non-dark magic-as-technology stories to read.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ty Johnston on January 23, 2014, 12:14:16 AM
PS mash-ups is good stuffs because it blossoms a whole new field of stories.

One of the greatest mash-ups I've ever seen was totally unexpected, which is a big reason I think it worked so well.

Ed McBain (aka. Evan Hunter) wrote 55 police procedurals of his famed 87th Precinct. All of them are serious thriller or msytery works with no magical or supernatural elements whatsoever.

Except for one book.

Right in the middle of the series is a little book titled "Ghosts." 95% of the novel is McBain's traditional great police procedural work, but there's an element of the supernatural that raises its head in a few parts, and there's one particular scene that is so mind-numbingly frightening and realistic it reminded me of Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House." The scene took this haunting supernatural element and made it real, not just something one experiences from the safe distance of being a reader.

Maybe that's not exactly a mash-up, but it still worked, and I still get chills thinking about that particular scene. That scene worked so much, it's made me wish McBain/Hunter had been a horror novelist, but then the scene might not have worked so well if he had been, as it would have been expected to some extent.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 23, 2014, 01:36:21 AM
I love science/magic mash ups. So, imagine what would happen if someone from, say, the time of the crusades, could be here, now and watch you switch on an electric light. What would they say (apart from, 'burn the witch'). So my own personal, barking theory is that a lot of the unexplained now will be perfectly explainable by tomorrow's science. Ergo, I love books where the 'magic' is sort of explainable. As a writer I also love that, taking a grain of truth and embroidering it into the most enormous fabrication, which still sort of works, because of the grain of truth at the bottom.

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on January 23, 2014, 03:24:58 AM
My most favorite stores are mashup of Magic and Science so that is what I write - It is a bit hard to market though! I am tyring to figure out due I push the SciFi angle and then BAM! look a wizard! Or do I push the magic and then BAM! Look a space ship!  ???

So would LOVE help in promotional ideas.  8) Mostly though - I need to get volume 6 written and released so I don't get lynched :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 23, 2014, 04:00:44 AM
My most favorite stores are mashup of Magic and Science so that is what I write - It is a bit hard to market though! I am tyring to figure out due I push the SciFi angle and then BAM! look a wizard! Or do I push the magic and then BAM! Look a space ship!  ???

So would LOVE help in promotional ideas.  8) Mostly though - I need to get volume 6 written and released so I don't get lynched :)

Mwah ha ha haargh!

I love the way you put that!

You and me both. Mine are set in a parallel universe - fantasy - but the 'magic' is explained by very loosely applied quantum theory - science fiction. And there are no wizards but there are other species, blue furry ones, orange people with antennae etc - science fiction. And the cars fly - science fiction - but it's not in space - fantasy. You get the picture.

Currently I'm thinking of calling it an action adventure with fantasy elements.

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on January 23, 2014, 05:25:09 AM
This is pretty much what "Ability" is. Some drugs to open the mind up, high technology mind 'flashing' or 'induction,' and people can suddenly do crazy, frightening things. I think a lot of it came from my love of the first season of "Heroes" because it was new, and fairly dark.

I made it three episodes into season two before nearly kicking my television set so hard it entered another dimension and reached critical mass, destroying the space-time continuum. This is how I usually feel about TV shows that get me completely interested then totally disappoint (Dexter got to be so awful that I couldn't watch the last half of the last season, and let's not even talk about the last season of The X-Files).

I love darker things, as unfortunately I'm one of those jaded types that believes if a person gets some kind of ability or power, 99.9999% of the time they'll end up being corrupted by it and turning evil... assuming they weren't already evil. I do believe there are some good people who would be responsible (as responsible as they could be, I suppose, with the power to flatten someone with a bus or burn them from the inside out). However, there are always consequences, which is kind of theme I like to stick to. Righteous or decent people sometimes have to do terrible things to achieve a goal for the greater good.

I've sort of held back Part III of Ability because it is even darker than the first two parts. In the end, my wife forced me to repeat my rule of not really caring what readers think since I write stories for myself, so I'm waiting for Yoly @ Cormar to kick me a cover for the omnibus and I'll drop Part III and the full volume together. Then wait for the complaints to roll in.



Which brings me to another issue for you spec fic peeps, since I'm so talkative tonight.

How dark will you go? I rarely shy away from controversial issues (racism or other forms of bigotry, drugs, abuse for examples). I don't write things to purposely antagonize others, but I don't sugar-coat things either. My mantra is "I write adult stories for adult readers."

Unless of course I'm writing a children's book/story (it's weird to write a whole story without using any curse words, sexual innuendo, or any other mature themes/situations/language) or a religious/spiritual story that I want everyone to enjoy (the faithful tend to avoid graphic sex/language/violence).

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on January 23, 2014, 01:38:25 PM
I go as dark as the story warrants. The book I'm releasing soon is post-apocalyptic - so there's a healthy smattering of despair, self-interest, and violence.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on January 23, 2014, 01:40:26 PM
OK - I have to ask - what is the meaning of "DARK" in this context?

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on January 23, 2014, 04:21:25 PM
OK - I have to ask - what is the meaning of "DARK" in this context?



Anything not fuzzy, warm, Hollywood happy ending, etc.

I'm not saying dark needs to be evil pedophiles kidnapping children before drinking their blood in a Satanic ritual. Dark is subjective, but I think we all have a good idea of the difference between a dark story and one that isn't.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: antonnaseton on January 23, 2014, 04:41:06 PM
Anything not fuzzy, warm, Hollywood happy ending, etc.

I'm not saying dark needs to be evil pedophiles kidnapping children before drinking their blood in a Satanic ritual. Dark is subjective, but I think we all have a good idea of the difference between a dark story and one that isn't.
It's funny - about the Dark question. One of my friends considered the cover of my short story, Blood of Nanking, too gory and bloody and horrible and she had to cover her hand over the screen to type a facebook reply to my post. I thought it was rather tame! XD

For me, Dark means children and cute, fluffy animals being tortured and killed. I shy away from things like that and refuse to look at them or even THINK of them. The other day I read an article about dolphins being slaughtered and I was so haunted by that I wanted to cry and go to [the place where they kill dolphins] and thump some heads.

But I watch the Walking Dead right before bed time and dream good dreams.

I suppose people are different, heh. ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on January 24, 2014, 03:45:18 AM
I go as dark as the story warrants.

This. I do not shy away from uncomfortable topics (murder, rape, child abuse, etc.) and many of my stories have bleak endings. Horror is not pretty and no one is safe in my world.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 24, 2014, 06:33:25 AM
My most favorite stores are mashup of Magic and Science so that is what I write - It is a bit hard to market though! I am tyring to figure out due I push the SciFi angle and then BAM! look a wizard! Or do I push the magic and then BAM! Look a space ship!  ???

So would LOVE help in promotional ideas.  8) Mostly though - I need to get volume 6 written and released so I don't get lynched :)

This is why I push the DungeonPunk/Gaslamp Fantasy angle. When someone asks what my setting is like, I go 'Have you played Eberron or the Pathfinder CS? Or have you read Girl Genius?' as a starter. Then I advertise on webcomics like GG or Widdershins.

How dark will you go?
I don't.

Not to knock you guys, but I feel that there isn't enough Fantasy especially that isn't about some horrible world where everyone is scum, every surface is inexplicably covered with slime and vomit and raperaperaperaperape. There aren't enough heroes who aren't brooding and damaged, nor enough villains who aren't kiddy diddlers and Joker level sadists.

So I write to do something about it. I write to give people like me who don't want dystopia, death, hate and despair to always get top billing something they can enjoy.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on January 24, 2014, 06:49:39 AM
Huh. Glad I asked cause I was thinking dark meant the story takes place at nighttime....or in space.  8) 8)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Quiss on January 24, 2014, 07:07:09 AM
PSSST. I just dragged a UK blogger into our niche.  She's now happy to read and review sci-fi.  Yep, my job is done.
http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-lives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/book-sky-hunter-by-chris-reher.html

She seems to read a LOT so it might be worth checking to see if she'll take a look. She likes strong female leads rather than "masculine" hard sci-fi. She made some pretty astute observation about my book, so I'm happy.

I'm starting to pick up nicely in the UK so I'm doing what I can to get more reviews onto zon's .uk site.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on January 24, 2014, 07:39:14 AM

Not to knock you guys, but I feel that there isn't enough Fantasy especially that isn't about some horrible world where everyone is scum, every surface is inexplicably covered with slime and vomit and raperaperaperaperape. There aren't enough heroes who aren't brooding and damaged, nor enough villains who aren't kiddy diddlers and Joker level sadists.

So I write to do something about it. I write to give people like me who don't want dystopia, death, hate and despair to always get top billing something they can enjoy.

I agree, as I've seen it trend from sappy, love-fantasy stuff into some really dark themes, and back again.

However, sometimes darkness is just a small aspect of a story instead of an entire theme. Maybe just one character, or even smaller, maybe just one action that one character did.

But I'm an old man, a cynic, and I'm jaded by my time on this Earth and watching humans mindlessly kill each other over pieces of dirt, pieces of cloth, pieces of paper. I used to read a lot of post-apoc where the world was kind of bad and evil, but there was always this shining hope, the good army, whatever, that came and spread joy and cupcakes across the land. It's too unrealistic (the same as watching movies/TV shows do 'computer' things is the easiest way to get my anger up) for me.

I don't need child-mangling pit dwellers feeding on the marrow of unbelievers' bones. But in the event of an apocalypse, my view is that the world would be a very, very, very dark place. I like stories with dark themes and the 'hero' isn't the shining knight in mithril armor come to save the day. My favorite hero chars in books I read are usually just as flawed as the bad guys, if not more so, to where it is sometimes tough to tell who is 'good' and who is 'evil.'

Right. Shut up, Travis. Go to bed. I'm a bit delirious after spending most of the night publishing my first 'real' novel (and of course, it isn't anywhere near my normal genres of scifi/horror/humor). 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SLGray on January 24, 2014, 08:20:22 AM
Just like a villain is the hero of his own story, I feel that there has to be some light in even the darkest book.

If we lived in a horrible, mangled dystopian society where we had to fend off roving bands of cannibalistic bikers who mounted the heads of kittens and babies on their handle bars, you'd still find -something- to laugh about or smile about somehow, wouldn't you? IMO, the answer to that would be a desperate yes. Find a way to not be horrified and terrified ALL the time, or go insane.

I haven't gone to the grimdark yet. I'm not sure I ever will. I can read it (as long as there are some moments of hope along the way), but my stories have just never gotten that, well, grim.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: John Hamilton on January 24, 2014, 08:51:26 AM
I just rode in off the prairie, and I'm late to the party! <slams six-shooter down on table> You have my Colt!

I'm hard at work on a Weird West series, with book 1 finished and due for publication in a couple of months. I also write horror/fantasy.

Re. grimdark: There's grim, and then there's just plain sadism for its own sake. If it moves the story along or establishes character, I'm fine with that to a point. But there has to be a ray of hope to keep me turning the pages.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Becca Mills on January 24, 2014, 09:05:33 AM
I love darker things, as unfortunately I'm one of those jaded types that believes if a person gets some kind of ability or power, 99.9999% of the time they'll end up being corrupted by it and turning evil... assuming they weren't already evil. I do believe there are some good people who would be responsible (as responsible as they could be, I suppose, with the power to flatten someone with a bus or burn them from the inside out). However, there are always consequences, which is kind of theme I like to stick to. Righteous or decent people sometimes have to do terrible things to achieve a goal for the greater good.

I think you're right about this. If you have a fantasy, I think you need to build reasons into the structure of the world for the empowered people not to be running amok. If you just imagine that they won't because they want to be good ... well, I just don't find that realistic.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Becca Mills on January 24, 2014, 09:09:15 AM
Which brings me to another issue for you spec fic peeps, since I'm so talkative tonight.

How dark will you go? I rarely shy away from controversial issues (racism or other forms of bigotry, drugs, abuse for examples). I don't write things to purposely antagonize others, but I don't sugar-coat things either. My mantra is "I write adult stories for adult readers."

Unless of course I'm writing a children's book/story (it's weird to write a whole story without using any curse words, sexual innuendo, or any other mature themes/situations/language) or a religious/spiritual story that I want everyone to enjoy (the faithful tend to avoid graphic sex/language/violence).

I don't think I'd shy away from dark material, though the level of detail I'd go into about certain kinds of events would be limited.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 24, 2014, 01:16:27 PM
I'm hard at work on a Weird West series, with book 1 finished and due for publication in a couple of months. I also write horror/fantasy.

Hell yeah, Weird West! A genre that's too rare right now.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: John Hamilton on January 24, 2014, 01:38:15 PM
Hell yeah, Weird West! A genre that's too rare right now.

I didn't even know it WAS a genre until recently. I just thought I'd latched onto a story that fired my imagination. In fact, I was a little worried about mixing Western tropes with the supernatural. Sure, I was aware of the "Wild Wild West" and "Jonah Hex" movies (bleh), but my favorite "weird" Western was always "High Plains Drifter." I definitely love that spooky undercurrent. With six-shooters!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 24, 2014, 02:42:42 PM
I think you're right about this. If you have a fantasy, I think you need to build reasons into the structure of the world for the empowered people not to be running amok. If you just imagine that they won't because they want to be good ... well, I just don't find that realistic.

I don't buy that.

In this world, in the US, pretty much anyone can gain the power to point at anyone else and make them die (via firearms) within ~24 hours, depending on how concerned you are about following the law. And yet even among criminals, it's pretty rare (though sadly less rare) for someone to swiftly acquire and use that power to rack up a body count.

There's no reason to imagine that would change if we replaced firearms with laser vision and sure as heck wouldn't if we changed it to super strength because there's a pretty clear version in most people to literally get their hands dirty.

You don't even have to frame it as a question of good. Like anything else with a metabolism, humans are lazy. Society works because those of us who aren't actually good are still too lazy to get ambitious. Again, giving a random shmuck Zeus's Thunderbolts isn't going to give him the motivation or gumption to use them.

And even at the most cynical who you can't accept that someone somewhere might be altruistic: doing big, showy good things gets you showered with attention. And unlike big, showy bad things, those don't end with a bullet in your brainpan.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 25, 2014, 02:34:41 AM
On the dark and light thing. To be honest, I think it depends on why a person reads. I read to forget about all the miserable stuff happening in the world so I don't really want to be confronted with page after page of misery and bloodlust. Other people want to confront those things head on in their reading material. For McOther, the more hopeless and miserable a story - think Raise The Red Lantern - the better. Me I'm a sucker for a happy ever after ending.... If the characters have worked for it enough. I don't want to put a mirror to the world, although I suppose I do, to some extent, in my writing but I try to do it subtly and use humour. So I'm definitely more in the spirit of an Adams or Pratchett than King.

In fact, I read very little horror although I probably ought to.

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 25, 2014, 10:32:38 AM
In another thread, someone perfectly described the difference between dark stories and light stories:

Dark = pessimistic

Light = optimistic

Light stories can have violence, etc, but they always have hope, if not a happy ending. I think the distinction between light and dark in spec fic is more important than the distinction between sub-genres.

I dislike most horror because it is usually pessimistic. Count me among those who read to escape life's horrors and who write to help others escape them.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 25, 2014, 10:47:50 AM
In another thread, someone perfectly described the difference between dark stories and light stories:

Dark = pessimistic

Light = optimistic

Light stories can have violence, etc, but they always have hope, if not a happy ending. I think the distinction between light and dark in spec fic is more important than the distinction between sub-genres.

I dislike most horror because it is usually pessimistic. Count me among those who read to escape life's horrors and who write to help others escape them.

That's a brilliant way of putting it. I'm a light fantasy writer then. In my books there is murder, rape (off screen) torture and abuse but a happy ending. With all the loose ends tied up because I'm anal like that.

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on January 25, 2014, 11:16:30 AM
In another thread, someone perfectly described the difference between dark stories and light stories:

Dark = pessimistic

Light = optimistic

Light stories can have violence, etc, but they always have hope, if not a happy ending. I think the distinction between light and dark in spec fic is more important than the distinction between sub-genres.

I dislike most horror because it is usually pessimistic. Count me among those who read to escape life's horrors and who write to help others escape them.

This is about right, which is why I've found horror to be a tough sell for some people. Reality, and the economy in particular, is already very grim - a lot of people want escapism in their entertainment.

I wonder if anyone's ever done research on what the economy was like when horror fiction was uber-popular and could see a correlation between the two (good economy, high interest).
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on January 25, 2014, 11:23:43 AM
In another thread, someone perfectly described the difference between dark stories and light stories:

Dark = pessimistic

Light = optimistic

Light stories can have violence, etc, but they always have hope, if not a happy ending. I think the distinction between light and dark in spec fic is more important than the distinction between sub-genres.

I dislike most horror because it is usually pessimistic. Count me among those who read to escape life's horrors and who write to help others escape them.

Well then I definitely right light stuff by that definition. Practically super nova sunny even. :D My two short stories I wrote for the the current charity offering (book 3) I was worried would be seen as dark, but both are stories about people fighting on with a hope for victory. 
 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Becca Mills on January 25, 2014, 11:30:24 AM
I don't buy that.

In this world, in the US, pretty much anyone can gain the power to point at anyone else and make them die (via firearms) within ~24 hours, depending on how concerned you are about following the law. And yet even among criminals, it's pretty rare (though sadly less rare) for someone to swiftly acquire and use that power to rack up a body count.

There's no reason to imagine that would change if we replaced firearms with laser vision and sure as heck wouldn't if we changed it to super strength because there's a pretty clear version in most people to literally get their hands dirty.

You don't even have to frame it as a question of good. Like anything else with a metabolism, humans are lazy. Society works because those of us who aren't actually good are still too lazy to get ambitious. Again, giving a random shmuck Zeus's Thunderbolts isn't going to give him the motivation or gumption to use them.

And even at the most cynical who you can't accept that someone somewhere might be altruistic: doing big, showy good things gets you showered with attention. And unlike big, showy bad things, those don't end with a bullet in your brainpan.

Sure, if the supernatural powers only make you as strong as a normal person with a gun.* Maybe rational armed people who have something to lose don't up and shoot someone who's annoying them because they know that would be A Bad Thing, but another ingredient in the decision-making process might be that they're unlikely to get away with it -- the suffering of the punishment exceeds the satisfaction of the murder. (That's the reasoning behind seeing laws as deterrents, anyway.) If your power transcends whatever law-enforcement can marshal by orders of magnitude, then the chance of reprisal goes way down. In that kind of environment, I think you'd have a lot more bad acting.

The way a lot of fantasy works (and this really annoys me, natch), is that the MC keeps discovering new powers as the series continues. After four or five books, he/she is pretty much invincible. And yet there's no temptation to misbehave. Or else you have tons of people with enough power to basically do whatever they want, but only a small subset become villains. It just doesn't seem realistic to me. I'd love to think that 95% of people who found there were no real limits on what they did would continue to behave like good citizens just because they want to be good, but it doesn't seem likely to me, based on human history.

*I like fantasies where that's the case!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 25, 2014, 01:11:09 PM
The way a lot of fantasy works (and this really annoys me, natch), is that the MC keeps discovering new powers as the series continues. After four or five books, he/she is pretty much invincible. And yet there's no temptation to misbehave. Or else you have tons of people with enough power to basically do whatever they want, but only a small subset become villains. It just doesn't seem realistic to me.

You're right, of course.   ;D

(I think that's what makes it fantasy.)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Annie B on January 25, 2014, 03:12:24 PM
I don't want my fiction to sheer too close to reality. Reality is either boring or horrifying depending on how you look at it.  :)

Also, I don't go around killing people not because I fear the law, but because I don't want to kill people. I imagine a lot of people are like that. If I had super powers, I wouldn't use them to kill people either. Depending on what the powers were, I probably would use them to make money, but I'd try not to break the law or hurt anyone, because I don't *want* to break the law or hurt anyone.

And yes, I also drive the speed limit. Drives my husband nuts.  :)

Fiction is fiction. I like mine with a healthy dose of larger than life, cool, wizzy, wondrous, exciting stuff that isn't necessarily realistic.  Especially in my spec fic. Sense of wonder trumps reality for me. And "wow, cool" trumps reality, too. I read fiction to enjoy myself.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on January 25, 2014, 03:31:39 PM
Sure, if the supernatural powers only make you as strong as a normal person with a gun.* Maybe rational armed people who have something to lose don't up and shoot someone who's annoying them because they know that would be A Bad Thing, but another ingredient in the decision-making process might be that they're unlikely to get away with it -- the suffering of the punishment exceeds the satisfaction of the murder. (That's the reasoning behind seeing laws as deterrents, anyway.) If your power transcends whatever law-enforcement can marshal by orders of magnitude, then the chance of reprisal goes way down. In that kind of environment, I think you'd have a lot more bad acting.

The way a lot of fantasy works (and this really annoys me, natch), is that the MC keeps discovering new powers as the series continues. After four or five books, he/she is pretty much invincible. And yet there's no temptation to misbehave. Or else you have tons of people with enough power to basically do whatever they want, but only a small subset become villains. It just doesn't seem realistic to me. I'd love to think that 95% of people who found there were no real limits on what they did would continue to behave like good citizens just because they want to be good, but it doesn't seem likely to me, based on human history.

*I like fantasies where that's the case!

Definitely in agreement. Having a little power during times of law and order, or even slight disorder, usually won't see the decline of humanity into 'evil'.

However... say a dude can suddenly drop a bus on you with his mind, or worse, penetrate your mind and take over and force you to do things against your will... suddenly a lot more 'bad' people start popping up. Add in the chaos of some major event like nuclear war or alien invasion or whatever kind of massive upheaval happens in various fantasy settings, and the 'threat' of law and order goes out the window.

Suddenly you've got a LOT more people with a lot of power (whether supernatural or conventional) deciding they are going to be the new sheriff in town. This is pretty much human nature, and if you study history, you can see this happening repeatedly. In fact, it's a major theme throughout history. Other than the 'dropping a bus on someone with your mind' type of stuff.


And totally agree on the hero having a ton of power and never doing bad, or spending 900 out of 903 pages waffling and hedging and tamping down the guilt of 'oh my god I accidentally killed a spider with a fireball when I toasted that evil wizard.' BS is what I say. Again, take a jaunt through real history and see how many 'heroes' or persons we consider 'good' did some truly awful things.

Case in point, look at the allies in WW2. We were the 'heroes' to most of the world. We did 'good' by defeating the Nazis and the Japanese Empire. However, we did probably as much damage to human lives as the Axis powers did, but ours was in the name of freedom and goodness. Tell that to the citizens of Tokyo who had their mostly wooden (at the time) city decimated with incendiary bombs. Look at Dresden in Germany where we pretty much did the same thing.

Our 'side' killed a ton of civilians, but at that time, some of it was truly necessary. We didn't have laser-guided GPS missiles. We flew a hundred bombers over a city/area that had maybe one oil refinery and two factories, dropped fifty tons of munitions from the sky, and hoped to God we hit the factories and the refinery.

Then of course there's Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For most of the world, it was a necessary evil to drop the A-bombs on Japan to get them to end the war (versus the possible 2-3 million more casualties the Allies would have faced invading the Home Islands). Sure, it's debatable now as to whether or not we really needed to blast them into ashes like that, but we have almost seventy years of hindsight and documents and such to sift through to make that judgment. Back then, we didn't, and not only that, we had the Soviets to worry about almost the instant Germany was defeated. Knowing how the Cold War went, again with hindsight, it was a necessary show of force as well.

There are so many  moral grey areas during WW2 alone. Think of the rest of history. I think the 'good' part about it is that in the end, it was a light story because we 'won.' It was just an overall light story with a hell of a lot of dark moments that if it were fiction, would have been very fitting (even as horrible as some of the events were, like the concentration camps, the mass executions, the genocide, etc.) and appropriate as the dark spots gave the heroes a reason to keep going, a 'light' goal at the end that had to be achieved or else the world really would have plunged into darkness.

There's a Philip K. Dick story that is alternate WW2 about a Jew in San Fran who is trying to avoid being found out as the Japanese occupiers who control the western half of the USA would give him up to the Nazis, who controlled the eastern half of the USA. It's a good story that has really stuck with me for a very long time.

All right, I'll shut up once again ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: bonbon foofoo on January 25, 2014, 03:41:31 PM
Hi all, I'm taking a break from WOW to out myself. I write soft science fiction that merges with fantasy. The serial is kind of what I'd consider a dystopian present with conspiracies and alien cover ups and psychic spies. I also write... duh duh duh... paranormal romance, which if you think about it is speculative fiction.

I love feels in spec fic, but I also believe science fiction should have, well, science in it (even soft science like economics or psychology).  I spend A LOT of time researching valid reasons why certain things happen in my scifi world. Still, I'd say my work is very character driven.

It's nice to come out of the closet and proclaim my nerd glory even though I'm an erotic romance writer. Now I'm going to go back to imagining myself as a combo of Daenerys and Starbuck and rolling my twenty sided dice.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 25, 2014, 03:55:54 PM
All I'm saying is, it seems to me that a lot of people say that everyone else is about ten hairs and a police force from a baboon, but they never seem to be ready to declare that they're riding that knife's edge themselves.

I think this idea that level of power is the only thing between humanity and a howling orgy of blood is pretty much just a sociological construct created by the artificial climate of fear we're living in these days.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: WDR on January 25, 2014, 05:09:37 PM
My take on humanity is to point out how many regular people dive into burning buildings or cars to pull victims to safety, jump into ice covered ponds to pull out skaters who've fallen through the ice, or jumped into rivers to pull children from the water before going over a waterfall, without even a second thought as to their own safety.

When the bombs went off in Boston, while some people ran, many others ran right into the blast areas to start helping the victims—and I'm not talking about public safety workers, just regular citizens. If it hadn't been for those people just running in, there would have been many more deaths.

There are some people, happily a minority, who are just a few hairs away from a baboon's bloodfest. Sadly, it only takes one to cause a lot of damage. But the majority of people, left to just their instincts, will rush in to help.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 25, 2014, 06:25:57 PM
People tend to forget that whenever some dude shoots up a place, dozens if not hundreds of other people instantly come into play to repair the damage. The ratio of good to evil is easily 50 to one.

The exception in war and business, but then you get into the science and discover that this is due the fact that the same traits that help rise to power in politics and business is the same list used to diagnose sociopathy, a mental illness that is most certainly out of the norm for the human condition. At that point, the same system of rewards and punishments that presumably keeps me from killing everyone forces normally good to neutral people to do nothing because the sociopath is In Charge.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 26, 2014, 01:38:08 AM
I don't want my fiction to sheer too close to reality. Reality is either boring or horrifying depending on how you look at it.  :)

Also, I don't go around killing people not because I fear the law, but because I don't want to kill people. I imagine a lot of people are like that. If I had super powers, I wouldn't use them to kill people either. Depending on what the powers were, I probably would use them to make money, but I'd try not to break the law or hurt anyone, because I don't *want* to break the law or hurt anyone.

And yes, I also drive the speed limit. Drives my husband nuts.  :)

Fiction is fiction. I like mine with a healthy dose of larger than life, cool, wizzy, wondrous, exciting stuff that isn't necessarily realistic.  Especially in my spec fic. Sense of wonder trumps reality for me. And "wow, cool" trumps reality, too. I read fiction to enjoy myself.

I love this answer.

My desperate need to pimp Real Life is why I write spec fic in the first place. In my books the cars fly and have torpedoes and machine guns behind the headlights. If I had them in real life, although I like to think I'd blow those pesky tractors, lorries and caravans out of my path with an all purpose torpedo I know I wouldn't. Instead I'd shoot the back tyre of the caravan so it had to stop, except that, then, I'd realise it was being driven by a couple of little old dears and I'd feel terribly guilty, and stop to help them, and end up being even later than I'd just sat behind them and crept to my destination at 20mph.

When it comes to humanity, generally. Yes, we have a dark side but I think that whether we submit to it or not is down to belief. If you believe the best of people (but accept you may get the worst) often the best is what you get.

So for example, I'm one of these people who thinks that the whole financial framework upon which we rely is a work of fiction in itself because it relies on us believing. If we believe things are prosperous they are, if we start to wobble and think that we've had it so good for do long that there's going to be a crash then, usually, there is. Sub prime? People stoppers believing. Currency speculation? People lost their faith in certain currencies. Interest rates? We stopped believing we could pay them. Dot com boom? It got too virtual to be real. Every recession is preceded by a whole raft of newspaper articles that say basically 'aaaaaaargh were gonna crash.' It's all about faith, I think and you could argue that everything is about perception and that, for each one of us, the world will be whatever we perceive it to be.

Sorry, rambling a bit. Does that make any sense?

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on January 26, 2014, 03:28:36 PM
I'm one of these people who thinks that the whole financial framework upon which we rely is a work of fiction in itself because it relies on us believing. If we believe things are prosperous they are, if we start to wobble and think that we've had it so good for do long that there's going to be a crash then, usually, there is. Sub prime? People stoppers believing. Currency speculation? People lost their faith in certain currencies. Interest rates? We stopped believing we could pay them. Dot com boom? It got too virtual to be real. Every recession is preceded by a whole raft of newspaper articles that say basically 'aaaaaaargh were gonna crash.' It's all about faith, I think and you could argue that everything is about perception and that, for each one of us, the world will be whatever we perceive it to be.

Sorry, rambling a bit. Does that make any sense?

Cheers

MTM


Not only does it make sense, but also I think it is the premise of 1984.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: olefish on January 26, 2014, 05:19:02 PM
I do believe we underestimate how humans can be resilient in the face of crisis.  We are so coddled in the west, that we can't imagine people rising over bad circumstances in war torn areas. Take Syria or other some hell hole.  You'd still see children playing about, you'd still see parents trying to get to work.  People do make the best they can. Visit slums, it isn't all woe is me, sadness and despair. 

I firmly believe that it's impossible for the human mind to maintain sadness and despair for too long.  After a certain point, your brain conjures a mechanism that forces you to be more tolerant of your circumstances.  that's why you can see in the old literature across many advanced cultures with a high degree of social stratification, fatalism is a very dominant theme.  There would be a belief system that says your desolate lot in life is the order of divine principle. To fight against it is to fight against the gods or the cosmos. Or that your toil and suffering will be rewarded in an afterlife

While humans are capable of incredibly goodness in the face of crisis,  I won't underestimate ordinary, mundane propensity for evil either. Mob mentality is truly a finicky thing.  On one level, it builds community, and the other hand, it's truly frightening. People literally will bend over backwards to be accepted. Many people literally need to demonize the other, just so that they can maintain a sense of community. 

These same people trying to make the best they can, will turn swiftly against someone they deem the other. There's a case raging on in India right now. of a local village court that condemned a 20 year old woman for liking a boy from another village.  They ordered her to pay a fine, she couldn't. They had a 13 men posse rape her instead. And you know the women in village are claiming it didn't happen, the girl was just a slut trying to draw attention to herself.  On any other day of the year, these men and the women who abet them would be hardworking, honest folk just trying to support their families. But because you have transgressed the code, they'll turn against you.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 26, 2014, 07:30:00 PM
In light of this thread (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,176618.0.html), and specifically this post by me (http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,176618.msg2492221.html#msg2492221), I'm looking for other authors my readers might like and whose readers might like me to network with.

First phase is simple, a basic link exchange between author sites to direct our readers to one another. Also, if you don't have any discussion platform other than Facebook, I can hook you up with your own subforum over on my forums just for that.

My readers (based on my own work and interaction with them) are fans of a large cross-section of Spec-Fic and have been getting weekly and monthly doses of Bronze Age Superhero (lighter concepts and situations but mature character development) and Gaslamp Fantasy from me respectively. They've mostly been positive about my dabbling in other genes like Weird West, Urban Fantasy (one comment on the start of that miniseries as 'Finally!'), Supernatural Teen Drama, or Crime.

It might be a plus or a minus for you, but they're diverse with their platforms and were Not Happy when I announced the original run of books were in Select (meaning they couldn't get them on their Nooks, etc). They're also International and not afraid to call me on any perceived Amerocentrism.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on January 27, 2014, 07:22:39 AM
I've had a story idea since I was in my teens, about a girl who can pretty much do anything she wants. She's picked on and ridiculed, but uses her magic to hide from the real world. Her favorite place is an old whiskey bottle that she's made up inside to be exactly like the bottle on "I Dream of Jeannie".

I haven't gotten very far with the idea after all these years, because I didn't know if I had the ability to write the story that made sense -- does she end up misusing her power? What happens to her then? And so on.

Another idea that's percolating in my brain is about a ghost, what happened to her and what she ends up doing to the main characters. When I originally thought of the idea, it was fairly light, but as the idea works its way around it gets more dark. Not sure how far I'll go, but I believe in doing what is right for the story, so it's probably going to be pretty grim, with a hopeful ending. At least, so far.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on January 27, 2014, 01:58:38 PM

Not only does it make sense, but also I think it is the premise of 1984.

I'd forgotten that but it did seem a bit smart for me. I thought I must have got it from somewhere.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Edward M. Grant on January 27, 2014, 02:29:37 PM
I think this idea that level of power is the only thing between humanity and a howling orgy of blood is pretty much just a sociological construct created by the artificial climate of fear we're living in these days.

From what I remember, studies after WWII showed that few Allied soldiers in combat fired their guns, and even fewer actually fired at the men on the other side. And that's in a situation where society had created clear 'bad guys' and given authorization to kill them.

Humans generally don't like killing each other without a good reason; or didn't, back then.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Quiss on March 09, 2014, 03:42:05 PM
Okay, who's as stoked as I am about the return of Cosmos tonight?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: dkgould on March 09, 2014, 04:00:21 PM
Okay, who's as stoked as I am about the return of Cosmos tonight?
I'm really glad they got Neil deGrasse Tyson to do it.  I think he's going to be perfect. I just hope they put as much into it as they did the first time around :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 13, 2014, 12:40:51 AM
Hey everyone. Can anyone recommend me some good indie post - apocalyptic fiction? I'm thinking more character driven stuff, rather than big event based stories. E.g. tales that show how people survive after the fall. Must be well written, and I enjoy literary prose.

Non-zombie, preferably.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on April 13, 2014, 04:07:41 AM
Hey everyone. Can anyone recommend me some good indie post - apocalyptic fiction? I'm thinking more character driven stuff, rather than big event based stories. E.g. tales that show how people survive after the fall. Must be well written, and I enjoy literary prose.

Non-zombie, preferably.

Drat. Every time I read a post like this, I kick myself for not having my PA novel done. No zombies, just folks trying to survive after an asteroid hits. By the time I get it done, no one will want to read it. :(
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 13, 2014, 04:16:15 AM
It's never too late to write it, Sheila!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: M T McGuire on April 13, 2014, 09:50:24 AM
It's never too late to write it, Sheila!

Amen to that. I spent eight years not writing my books because I believed Terry Ptatchett had written them all for me. Now I've written four I know they're not remotely like Pratchett. So seconded. Write what you want to write.

Cheers

MTM
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on April 13, 2014, 11:15:34 AM
Thanks for bumping this thread... helped me find a new home within KBoards.

I recently attended the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, so that gives me a membership card, right? Right?

And of course the first book in my fantasy series I recently published. But is it Historical Fantasy? Or Epic Fantasy? Or both? And what do those terms mean to readers? So many questions.

To Vaalingrade's point, going through the Amazon lists in those sub-genres doesn't do much to clarify what "should" be there. Unfortunately, when it gets more granular than that, it's often in a direction that has nothing to do with your particular book. (Ancient-Mediterranean Flavored Fantasy World with Art as Magic, exploring some darkness but with light at the end of the tunnel?)


And while you're mentioning TV shows... Orphan Black is back in one week. Good spec-fic TV set and shot in my hometown of Toronto.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 13, 2014, 02:29:42 PM

And while you're mentioning TV shows... Orphan Black is back in one week. Good spec-fic TV set and shot in my hometown of Toronto.

I'll have to check it out. Always on the lookout for good scifi shows.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Marilyn Peake on April 13, 2014, 03:06:06 PM
High-five! I love spec fic books, movies and computer games, and I write mostly science fiction and fantasy. Thanks for starting this thread!  ;D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Marilyn Peake on April 13, 2014, 03:10:32 PM
Hey everyone. Can anyone recommend me some good indie post - apocalyptic fiction? I'm thinking more character driven stuff, rather than big event based stories. E.g. tales that show how people survive after the fall. Must be well written, and I enjoy literary prose.

If you haven't read Hugh Howey's Wool series yet, I'd highly recommend that. Amazing post-apocalyptic series!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Marilyn Peake on April 13, 2014, 03:13:37 PM
Drat. Every time I read a post like this, I kick myself for not having my PA novel done. No zombies, just folks trying to survive after an asteroid hits. By the time I get it done, no one will want to read it. :(

Not true - especially every time the news mentions the possibility of an asteroid or meteor hitting Earth!  :o
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Marilyn Peake on April 13, 2014, 03:20:46 PM
Okay, who's as stoked as I am about the return of Cosmos tonight?

Oh my word, I love that show! I loved Carl Sagan's original version, but the modern special effects make the show something extra-special! And I love that Neil deGrasse Tyson has the same enthusiasm for sharing science that Carl Sagan did.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 13, 2014, 04:59:16 PM
If you haven't read Hugh Howey's Wool series yet, I'd highly recommend that. Amazing post-apocalyptic series!

Yep, I'm already a fan of Hugh. I've read Wool, Shift, Dust, and Sand, already.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on April 13, 2014, 05:24:07 PM
It's never too late to write it, Sheila!

Amen to that. I spent eight years not writing my books because I believed Terry Ptatchett had written them all for me. Now I've written four I know they're not remotely like Pratchett. So seconded. Write what you want to write.

Cheers

MTM

Well, it's on the To Do list.  ;D I hope to get to it later this year. I've just been so out of the writing habit due to family issues the last couple of years that I'm way behind on getting anything done.

Not true - especially every time the news mentions the possibility of an asteroid or meteor hitting Earth!  :o

My luck, I'll finally get it done just as the world ends, so there won't be anybody left to read it.  :'(
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: tknite on April 13, 2014, 06:00:57 PM
Oh, I didn't know this thread was here. Thanks to whoever bumped it. :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on April 13, 2014, 09:25:37 PM
I'll have to check it out. Always on the lookout for good scifi shows.

Crazy clones. And some seriously diverse and awesome acting from Tatiana Maslany.

And this is season 2 starting. You have to watch from the beginning, and if you're not hooked by the end of episode 1 (it got me at the end), then by about episode 3 you'll be wanting more... and by the end of the season, wow.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on April 13, 2014, 09:28:12 PM
Hey everyone. Can anyone recommend me some good indie post - apocalyptic fiction? I'm thinking more character driven stuff, rather than big event based stories. E.g. tales that show how people survive after the fall. Must be well written, and I enjoy literary prose.

Non-zombie, preferably.

Have you read Yesterday's Gone by Platt and Wright? I really liked season 1, and just got busy with other purchased items before I got to season 2. I haven't read their Z2134(?) that they did as an Amazon-pubbed serial. But that has zombies.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 14, 2014, 12:53:44 AM
Crazy clones. And some seriously diverse and awesome acting from Tatiana Maslany.

And this is season 2 starting. You have to watch from the beginning, and if you're not hooked by the end of episode 1 (it got me at the end), then by about episode 3 you'll be wanting more... and by the end of the season, wow.



Sounds good. I'll check it out from the start (only way to do it!).

Have you read Yesterday's Gone by Platt and Wright? I really liked season 1, and just got busy with other purchased items before I got to season 2. I haven't read their Z2134(?) that they did as an Amazon-pubbed serial. But that has zombies.

I'm not against zombies, I just figure that the more people that do something, the harder it is to find the gems. Season One of Yesterday's Gone is only 99c, so I might give that a try. I'm not sure how I feel about ongoing serials, so we'll see. Thanks for the recommendation.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Marilyn Peake on April 14, 2014, 02:15:43 AM
My luck, I'll finally get it done just as the world ends, so there won't be anybody left to read it.  :'(

Perhaps a small group of people will survive and your book will be the only book that survives. Think how special a book it will be then.  8)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on April 14, 2014, 04:48:59 PM
Orphan Black is on my to-watch list; very glad to see season 1 available on Amazon Prime video!

Cosmos is my go-to Sunday night viewing. Great series, and Neil deGrasse Tyson is always awesome. For more NDT goodness, check out his podcast StarTalk. He's always got some interesting topics and each show is about 40 minutes, so not a huge time commitment. Well worth sampling.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: NicWilson on April 14, 2014, 05:00:50 PM
Orphan Black is on my to-watch list; very glad to see season 1 available on Amazon Prime video!

Cosmos is my go-to Sunday night viewing. Great series, and Neil deGrasse Tyson is always awesome. For more NDT goodness, check out his podcast StarTalk. He's always got some interesting topics and each show is about 40 minutes, so not a huge time commitment. Well worth sampling.

I've been having a blast with StarTalk. I watch Cosmos when it makes it to Hulu, but StarTalk keeps me company at work, until I can go home and write.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on April 14, 2014, 05:05:15 PM
We have all the Cosmos episodes so far on the PVR, and just watched Ep 2 this afternoon. My 5 year old son loves it. And the 5 year old me would have too. (Anybody remember Connections and Connections 2 on PBS? Can't get enough of that kind of stuff.)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Marilyn Peake on April 14, 2014, 05:37:06 PM
My theory as to why sci-fi movies do so much better than sci-fi books?
VISUALS.

That makes tremendous sense. The movie Gravity had a pretty simple, although profoundly moving, story...but, wow, the visuals and sound! 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 14, 2014, 05:42:31 PM
Would anyone like to participate in the Writer's Process Blog Tour? Whenever I get tagged for these things, I prefer to tag other spec fic authors.  The "tour" involves answering these 4 questions about your writing process:

1   What am I working on?
2   How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3   Why do I write what I do?
4   How does my writing process work?

Then you tag 3 other authors to do the same.

My post date is April 21, and if you'd like to participate, your date would be April 28th. I'd need a 75-ish word bio and website link to include on my post on the April 21st.

You can message me if you're interested! Thanks!!!!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: WDR on April 14, 2014, 05:56:39 PM
Hey everyone. Can anyone recommend me some good indie post - apocalyptic fiction? I'm thinking more character driven stuff, rather than big event based stories. E.g. tales that show how people survive after the fall. Must be well written, and I enjoy literary prose.

Non-zombie, preferably.

Hugh Howey's Wool series. He didn't rocket to the top for nothing!

I don't like post-apocalyptic, distopian stories. But Wool had me absolutely riveted. That statement alone should be a clear recommendation of how good a read the story is. You will not be disappointed. (Note: Wool is actually the first story of the Silo series, but most people refer to the complete collection as "Wool." )
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: NicWilson on April 14, 2014, 06:28:16 PM
Wool didn't do as much for me, personally, as it did for a lot of people, but I look for different things in writing. I prefer a minimalist tone, and Wool just didn't catch me.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on April 14, 2014, 09:02:32 PM
Would anyone like to participate in the Writer's Process Blog Tour? Whenever I get tagged for these things, I prefer to tag other spec fic authors.  The "tour" involves answering these 4 questions about your writing process:

1   What am I working on?
2   How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3   Why do I write what I do?
4   How does my writing process work?

Then you tag 3 other authors to do the same.

My post date is April 21, and if you'd like to participate, your date would be April 28th. I'd need a 75-ish word bio and website link to include on my post on the April 21st.

You can message me if you're interested! Thanks!!!!
How do I tag others? Is there a list, or is it like a chain letter and I have to find three others?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on April 14, 2014, 09:06:46 PM
Hey everyone. Can anyone recommend me some good indie post - apocalyptic fiction? I'm thinking more character driven stuff, rather than big event based stories. E.g. tales that show how people survive after the fall. Must be well written, and I enjoy literary prose.

Non-zombie, preferably.



Joseph Turkot's The Rain and The Snow

Elle Casey's Apocalypsis series

Travis Hill's It's Better This Way
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AlexesR on April 14, 2014, 09:30:55 PM
Nice to read through this thread and see how many different sorts of books are being written. Thanks for starting this. I write what I guess is speculative fiction--stories where weird stuff goes on, that mostly get classified as science fiction or fantasy or a bit of both with some other stuff thrown in too.


Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Marilyn Peake on April 14, 2014, 11:16:19 PM
I finally read through this entire thread today, clicked on several links and checked out a number of books in the signature lines - took me several hours, but I found it all fascinating. What a lively thread! A number of topics totally piqued my interest.

I'm delighted to find a group interested in including writers of hard-core speculative fiction.  Regarding the romance vs. science issue, writers of hard science fiction often have trouble finding groups to include them.  I happen to love long, difficult literary novels and the older hard science fiction novels like Encounter with Tiber by Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes.  I enjoyed all the whaling details in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and I felt like Encounter with Tiber was written in the same vein…but in space!  For years, that book was out of print.  I follow Astronaut Buzz Aldrin on Twitter, and one day he announced that Encounter with Tiber was going to be republished.  I was so excited, I tweeted about it and Buzz Aldrin replied.  That was a real thrill for me – Buzz Aldrin happens to be one of my heroes.  After being out of print for years, Encounter with Tiber is now available both in paperback and on Kindle! – http://www.amazon.com/Encounter-Tiber-John-Barnes-ebook/dp/B00COWLXUS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397540040&sr=1-1&keywords=encounter+with+tiber  (http://www.amazon.com/Encounter-Tiber-John-Barnes-ebook/dp/B00COWLXUS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397540040&sr=1-1&keywords=encounter+with+tiber)

When I set about writing my first science fiction novel, Gods in the Machine, I researched astrophysics books for technical information on possible ways in which time travel could be accomplished and science articles on space elevators.  Interesting stuff happened with that novel.  A New York editor felt it could be a best-seller, but only if rewritten to emphasize the thriller aspects.  A New York literary agent requested it, asked for certain parts to be rewritten, then passed on it because she didn’t like the main character.  So I self-published it on Amazon and the results have been interesting.  It tends to be liked by UK readers.  UK reviewer Rachel Dove went so far as to say: "This sci-fi novel won't be for everybody, it is a complex sci-fi story, but boy, does it work. I would watch the film version of this book and wear the t-shirt....and buy the mug and the keyring too."  The book isn’t selling, though, so I’m planning to remove it from Amazon and rewrite it in installments – each installment a complete short story or novella, concentrating more on character and plot and expanding the thriller aspect.

In regard to current events and dark stories, I’m a news junkie who sees our current world and much of history filled with both horrible events and heroes.  I agree with those who pointed out that there always seem to be heroes, no matter how dire the situation.  All my novels and short stories are dark with patches of hope.  Even my YA novel ended up dealing with some of the most difficult current events, along with a hero and a side story of her graphic novel superhero.  I guess I feel there’s always hope and heroes delivering hope to those most in need of it.

Looking forward to participating more in this group and would love to participate in group promotional events!  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 15, 2014, 02:14:13 AM
Hugh Howey's Wool series. He didn't rocket to the top for nothing!

I don't like post-apocalyptic, distopian stories. But Wool had me absolutely riveted. That statement alone should be a clear recommendation of how good a read the story is. You will not be disappointed. (Note: Wool is actually the first story of the Silo series, but most people refer to the complete collection as "Wool." )

Thanks, WDR. I'm already a fan of Mr Howey's work. He's one of my inspirations as a writer.



Joseph Turkot's The Rain and The Snow

Elle Casey's Apocalypsis series

Travis Hill's It's Better This Way

Thanks, Cherise. I might load my kindle up with some samples, tonight.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on April 15, 2014, 09:44:36 AM

Looking forward to participating more in this group and would love to participate in group promotional events!  :)



Here's the Fantasy cross promotional thread
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,176642.0.html

And here is the Science Fiction cross promotional thread
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,176600.0.html
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Daniel Dennis on April 15, 2014, 09:52:40 AM
Hey everyone. Can anyone recommend me some good indie post - apocalyptic fiction? I'm thinking more character driven stuff, rather than big event based stories. E.g. tales that show how people survive after the fall. Must be well written, and I enjoy literary prose.

Non-zombie, preferably.
My series falls along those lines.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 15, 2014, 11:08:35 AM
How do I tag others? Is there a list, or is it like a chain letter and I have to find three others?

well maybe you could tag others from here???? and we could get everyone in the SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle  on the "tour"?????? I 've tagged two people so far, so if you wanted to do it, we could see if anyone else from here wanted to sign up to get your three? It's a pretty popular blog meme, and a lot of writers I know have already done it. I was kind of offline and out of the loop for a couple months, so, anyway, I though it would be nice to get a chain of Spec Fic writers from the Kindle boards going :) But we'd need more interest... Hint Hint! Anyone else interested?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 16, 2014, 05:00:13 AM
well maybe you could tag others from here???? and we could get everyone in the SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle  on the "tour"?????? I 've tagged two people so far, so if you wanted to do it, we could see if anyone else from here wanted to sign up to get your three? It's a pretty popular blog meme, and a lot of writers I know have already done it. I was kind of offline and out of the loop for a couple months, so, anyway, I though it would be nice to get a chain of Spec Fic writers from the Kindle boards going :) But we'd need more interest... Hint Hint! Anyone else interested?

I'd be happy to take part, I'm just not sure If I'd know who to pass it on to!

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: von19 on April 16, 2014, 05:22:19 AM
I know when I was teaching at a community college last semester, one of my students was a dire hard fan of Supernatural, and I got the immediate impression that she wasn't interested in anything else. I'm wondering if that's somewhat of the same thing for a lot of people who get tied into one horror thing. I know it's very anecdotal (one case), but it's kind of made me wonder.

Completely understand. I LOVE SF/F but the thing is, it requires a crap ton of world building. Once you get entrenched in one fantasy story your in it for life. Mostly because, I think, the world building. A good fantasy story has enough sub plots and hidden gems to last a person for a life time! Its hard to juggle multiple shows and/or books with complicated plots like this.

Amazon's categories are a cruel joke and theirs is one of the best if you manage to work the keywords treasure hunt. If we're going to do a site that promotes Spec-Fic, we need a robust search engine with lots of check boxes.

This! This! So much of this! I just emailed Amazon a few days ago about this, requesting better search functionality.

Aw, h--- no! You ain't puttin' no trans- in my lovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism. Everybody knows it ain't real lovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism unless its cislovecraftian cosmic futilitarianism.

The nerve of some people. Tryin' to dis my sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub genre like that.

Lol.

But I'm an old man, a cynic, and I'm jaded by my time on this Earth and watching humans mindlessly kill each other over pieces of dirt, pieces of cloth, pieces of paper. I used to read a lot of post-apoc where the world was kind of bad and evil, but there was always this shining hope, the good army, whatever, that came and spread joy and cupcakes across the land. It's too unrealistic (the same as watching movies/TV shows do 'computer' things is the easiest way to get my anger up) for me.

I cant agree with this enough. I'm so tired Knights in Shining Armor, The Heroes Journey, and Happy Endings. Bah! The world isnt a nice place, its dark and cruel and unforgiving. And the people that reside in it are even darker. So why is literature so different?

The way a lot of fantasy works (and this really annoys me, natch), is that the MC keeps discovering new powers as the series continues. After four or five books, he/she is pretty much invincible. And yet there's no temptation to misbehave. Or else you have tons of people with enough power to basically do whatever they want, but only a small subset become villains. It just doesn't seem realistic to me. I'd love to think that 95% of people who found there were no real limits on what they did would continue to behave like good citizens just because they want to be good, but it doesn't seem likely to me, based on human history.

*I like fantasies where that's the case!

This is perfect! I never understood this logic either. If I woke up tomorrow with all the powers of Superman I wouldnt go around saving kittens I assure you lol. I firmly believe a good 80% humans are corrupted to the core.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 16, 2014, 07:52:22 AM
I'd be happy to take part, I'm just not sure If I'd know who to pass it on to!

If Vaalingrade participated, and I tagged her as one of my three, she could tag you, and if two more SPEC FIC authors signed up for her, and then three more for you... we could get the chain going... and folks could tag anyone they know that's not on this list... it's a pretty popular meme... but the hard part is: tagging the three authors, so if we got the members of this thread involved and maybe the ones from the Fantasy and Science Fiction promotional threads involved it would help everyone who participates! I'd be happy to kind of help connect everyone up, as they sign up, if that would be helpful.

The date of my post is the 21st, the next post, i.e. people I tag, would be April 28th. The next three would post on May 5th... and on... and on... until no one can find anyone else to tag :P
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on April 16, 2014, 08:49:33 AM
I'd be happy to take part, I'm just not sure If I'd know who to pass it on to!



I'm in the same boat. Heidi - would it be possible to work up a list on who to pass to? If we could work up an organized schedule, I'd be happy to participate. I'm not sure who's willing and ready to go...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on April 16, 2014, 08:50:13 AM
I'm in the same boat. Heidi - would it be possible to work up a list on who to pass to? If we could work up an organized schedule, I'd be happy to participate. I'm not sure who's willing and ready to go...

I second this request, please and thank you.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cat Amesbury on April 16, 2014, 09:55:41 AM
I second this request, please and thank you.

Thirding the request- this sounds interesting!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 16, 2014, 10:24:26 AM
I'll be glad to keep a list/make a spreadsheet and email the participants with the dates of their posts.

So...

Cat Amesbury
ElleChambers
mPhicks
S. Elliot Brandis
Vaalingrade

Please, just confirm with a PM with your email address. I'll set up a spreadsheet and let everyone know their posting dates. You'll also need to send a 75-ish word bio and website link to the author who is tagging you (I'll let you know who that is) for their post the week before your post date. I'll also send some links to sample posts. We'll just keep it going as long as we can! After we fill up some dates with this thread, I'll post to the Fantasy and Science Fiction threads, to see if we can get more participants.

Thanks everyone, looks like it's gonna be fun!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on April 16, 2014, 10:38:49 AM
Sure, I could join in on this blog-tag thing.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on April 16, 2014, 11:44:20 AM
I'll be glad to keep a list/make a spreadsheet and email the participants with the dates of their posts.

So...

Cat Amesbury
ElleChambers
mPhicks
S. Elliot Brandis
Vaalingrade

Please, just confirm with a PM with your email address. I'll set up a spreadsheet and let everyone know their posting dates. You'll also need to send a 75-ish word bio and website link to the author who is tagging you (I'll let you know who that is) for their post the week before your post date. I'll also send some links to sample posts. We'll just keep it going as long as we can! After we fill up some dates with this thread, I'll post to the Fantasy and Science Fiction threads, to see if we can get more participants.

Thanks everyone, looks like it's gonna be fun!

Awesome! Thanks Heidi. Just sent you a PM with my details.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 16, 2014, 03:52:24 PM
Cat, Bill, Elle, mphicks, got your info. Thanks!

I've sent emails to Cat and Bill. I'll send the rest out before the day is over.

I've set up a spreadsheet, with the hopes that many will sign up! So if you're interested and haven't confirmed by sending me a pm with your email address, please do. The more people that sign up, the more authors we can help with their tags, and the more speculative writers we can get into the tour!

I'll be signing up people in the order that I hear from them!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 17, 2014, 12:23:03 PM
I've got the spread sheet started, and have been sending out emails. Thanks everyone for your replies. We're up to May 12th. We're going to need a lot more authors to keep this thing going, so I'm going to go post on the Fantasy and Sci-Fi promotional threads.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KaryE on April 17, 2014, 01:39:09 PM
And my neurolink!

SFF writer here. I'm not caught up on the thread, but I thought I'd poke my head in. I dabble in a couple of different spec-fic sub-genres.  I like my sci-fi hard and my fantasy high, but every now and then I get an idea for a contemporary fantasy supernatural sort of thing.

I'm happy with myself this week because I finally got the last sale I needed for Active SFWA membership. The grinding was awful, and the mobs dropped way too many rat tails. 'Scuse me while I go turn in this quest. I think there's a decay timer on it.  :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RN_Wright on April 17, 2014, 03:04:36 PM
I might belong in this group. Thanks!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on April 19, 2014, 03:26:37 PM
I'm still not sure how the tour think is working. I just don't want to be the guy having to go hunt down other writers for this. I'd much rather be assigned people to tag.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Rex Jameson on April 19, 2014, 07:07:37 PM
Glad to see so many speculative fiction authors on the boards these days!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 21, 2014, 09:37:50 AM
I'm still not sure how the tour think is working. I just don't want to be the guy having to go hunt down other writers for this. I'd much rather be assigned people to tag.

Vaalingrade, Thanks for checking in. The tour thing is wobbling a bit:) The whole point of getting signups here was to keep any author from being left in the lurch, although when we get to the end, of the signups that will be it. I'm willing to keep this thing going as long as we can, and think the best way to move forward is simply to do one-to-one tagging for Kindle Board authors. When I was following the chain, I noticed not all authors tagged three, and several tagged only one or two.

If we tag one-to-one from the board, each KB author can have the option of tagging another one or two authors if they want, but it wouldn't be necessary. If we do it that way, I think we've got authors to post up through May 19th.

For me, the cool thing would be to get a bunch of SPEC FIC authors involved in the tour. The main reason I'm doing this is cause the Kindle Boards has helped me so much, and it's just something I can do to give back.

So.... please, everyone sign up!!!!  Just pm me with an email address and your website link and I'll send you the details and the date you post:D

The four questions for the post are:

1.   What am I working on?
2.   How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3.   Why do I write what I do?
4.   How does my writing process work?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: NicWilson on April 21, 2014, 10:43:50 AM
I'm not quite sure how the tour thing works, but I'd be happy to participate. If we're writing up answers to stuff, though, I need a bit more time. I'm neck deep in a few first drafts, and don't want to lose momentum.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 21, 2014, 01:34:38 PM
I'm not quite sure how the tour thing works, but I'd be happy to participate. If we're writing up answers to stuff, though, I need a bit more time. I'm neck deep in a few first drafts, and don't want to lose momentum.

Nic, totally understand about the momentum thing. Would May 26th work for you? If so, please shoot me your email and website link in a pm, and I'll add you to the schedule. If that May 26th doesn't work, let me know a later date (on a Monday) that would work for you.

To make things clear for everyone. All posts are on Monday. I'm setting up a schedule for one-to-one tags of Kindleboards SPEC FIC authors. However, since authors on the tour tag anywhere from one to three authors, IF YOU WANT, you can tag two additional authors/friends. They don't have to be Kindleboards members or SPEC FIC authors. YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAG ANY OTHER AUTHORS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO:)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: NicWilson on April 21, 2014, 03:44:29 PM
Thanks, Heidi. I'll PM you to talk about when I can participate.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RJ Crayton on April 21, 2014, 10:22:29 PM
Heidi,

I'd like to sign up. I'll try to figure out how to PM you. I've lurked on the Kboards and posted once or twice, but not sure I've ever seen the PM button. However, would love to join the tour.

Thanks
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 22, 2014, 03:28:47 AM
The Guardian have started posting a series of articles called 'The genre debate'.

There was one titled "Science fiction travels farther than literary fiction" -- http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/18/genre-debate-science-fiction-speculative-literary

And the next was "Literary fiction' is just clever marketing" -- http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/apr/21/literary-fiction-clever-marketing-genre-debate

I think I agree with the sentiments of both. :p
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: MLKatz on April 22, 2014, 05:29:08 AM
I'm not really sure what spec fiction is, but I have a feeling I might be writing it.

Me too!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on April 22, 2014, 10:56:53 AM
And my neurolink!

SFF writer here. I'm not caught up on the thread, but I thought I'd poke my head in. I dabble in a couple of different spec-fic sub-genres.  I like my sci-fi hard and my fantasy high, but every now and then I get an idea for a contemporary fantasy supernatural sort of thing.

I'm happy with myself this week because I finally got the last sale I needed for Active SFWA membership. The grinding was awful, and the mobs dropped way too many rat tails. 'Scuse me while I go turn in this quest. I think there's a decay timer on it.  :D


Wow! Congrats, Karen! Will you mentor me on who to submit to, now that you've "made it"?  ;D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Alex Kane on April 22, 2014, 12:31:15 PM
Hey, Kary! Fancy seeing you here. And congrats on the SFWA qualification. 8)

I write a mix of dark fantasy, science fiction (everything from space opera to postcyberpunk), and weird transgressive fiction.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KaryE on April 23, 2014, 08:55:57 AM
@Cherise - my sales were with the Grantville Gazette, Galaxy's Edge and Daily Science Fiction.  Galaxy's Edge is invite-only, but the other two are very open to new writers. For Grantville Gazette, you submit the story to an online forum (Baen's Bar, Universe Slush) where you get feedback from fellow Barflies and at least one editor. DSF buys a lot of flash, and that's what I sold them.

Are you involved with Sasquan?  I might be attending that one.

@Alex - Hey! Good to see you here! Alex is one of my Writers of the Future peeps. He's good, folks. Watch out.  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on April 24, 2014, 07:38:48 AM
Hey all - I'm doing a small giveaway for my novel, CONVERGENCE, in the hopes of generating a bit of a signal boost: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/04/24/convergence-signal-boost-and-contest/ (http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/04/24/convergence-signal-boost-and-contest/)

Kboarders are welcome to tweet an entry, so check it out!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 24, 2014, 07:44:21 AM
@Cherise - my sales were with the Grantville Gazette, Galaxy's Edge and Daily Science Fiction.  Galaxy's Edge is invite-only, but the other two are very open to new writers. For Grantville Gazette, you submit the story to an online forum (Baen's Bar, Universe Slush) where you get feedback from fellow Barflies and at least one editor. DSF buys a lot of flash, and that's what I sold them.

Are you involved with Sasquan?  I might be attending that one.

@Alex - Hey! Good to see you here! Alex is one of my Writers of the Future peeps. He's good, folks. Watch out.  :)

Congrats, Kary.

Do you still think the SFWA is relevant? I don't ask to be rude -- I'm genuinely interested, given some of their recent controversies and their attitude towards self-publishing.

I'm not American so my perspective may not be the best on this.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KaryE on April 24, 2014, 09:39:53 AM
Re: SFWA - The answer is complicated, but I'm giving it a qualified "yes" under certain circumstances. If you're 100% a self-pubber, I don't think SFWA has anything of value for you - yet. Unless I've missed it, they haven't come out with a way for self-pubbers to qualify, so someone who's 100% indie couldn't get in which renders the question moot.  Me, though, I run my short fiction through some pro markets before I self-publish, and I've appreciated things like SFWA setting guidelines for what constitutes a pro rate in terms of payment, etc. I also think SFWA is good for networking purposes, especially if one can achieve Active status.

SFWA's had a few black eyes recently over things like sexism kerfuffles, the expulsion of a certain member and the sometimes dismissive treatment of Associate members. On the sexism count, I think the recent furor(s) are indicative of an organization trying to change. Even as a non-member, I found myself speaking up in favor of corrective actions SFWA was taking, and that finally reached a point where I realized I needed to put my money where my mouth was and join. I did, however, wait until I could join as an Active member to avoid some of the attitudes allegedly directed at Associate members.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Marilyn Peake on April 24, 2014, 12:42:29 PM
I'm happy with myself this week because I finally got the last sale I needed for Active SFWA membership.

That's pretty darn cool. Congratulations!  8)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KaryE on April 24, 2014, 09:22:06 PM
Thanks, Marilyn.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 25, 2014, 03:39:18 PM
The Guardian have started posting a series of articles called 'The genre debate'.

There was one titled "Science fiction travels farther than literary fiction" -- http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/18/genre-debate-science-fiction-speculative-literary

And the next was "Literary fiction' is just clever marketing" -- http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/apr/21/literary-fiction-clever-marketing-genre-debate

I think I agree with the sentiments of both. :p

These were great articles. Thanks for sharing. I liked this quote from "Literary Fiction"

"...in good fiction of whatever kind, the imagination of the writer speaks directly to the imagination of the reader. I want and expect to be entertained, enchanted, transported into the world of the writer, lost in a good book. I don't want to be lectured, have issues thrust down my throat or, dare I say it, be called upon to admire the beauty of the language."
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 25, 2014, 03:43:42 PM
Hey all - I'm doing a small giveaway for my novel, CONVERGENCE, in the hopes of generating a bit of a signal boost: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/04/24/convergence-signal-boost-and-contest/ (http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/04/24/convergence-signal-boost-and-contest/)

Kboarders are welcome to tweet an entry, so check it out!
I did retweet, but sorry i missed the date :o
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on April 25, 2014, 03:45:39 PM
Re: SFWA -  If you're 100% a self-pubber, I don't think SFWA has anything of value for you - yet. Unless I've missed it, they haven't come out with a way for self-pubbers to qualify, so someone who's 100% indie couldn't get in which renders the question moot.

Thanks for this.

Congratulations for getting in!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 26, 2014, 07:57:13 AM
These were great articles. Thanks for sharing. I liked this quote from "Literary Fiction"

"...in good fiction of whatever kind, the imagination of the writer speaks directly to the imagination of the reader. I want and expect to be entertained, enchanted, transported into the world of the writer, lost in a good book. I don't want to be lectured, have issues thrust down my throat or, dare I say it, be called upon to admire the beauty of the language."

Yeah, I found them quite entertaining.

The terms 'literature' and 'genre' have always confused me. Especially now 'literature' is a genre.

I walk into a book store now and I don't know where to look for a book. Is Kurt Vonnegut's "Sirens of Titan" filed under 'literature', 'fiction', or science fiction'. And why is Trainspotting now literature. It seems the value of a book changes based on how seriously people start to take it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on April 26, 2014, 02:31:48 PM
I did retweet, but sorry i missed the date :o

No problem, Heidi; thanks anyway! :-)

If you're a LibraryThing member, I'm giving away 10 copies of CONVERGENCE at http://www.librarything.com/er_list.php?sort=startdate&program=giveaway&country=0&offeredby=all&batch=open&publisherid=&media=ebooks (http://www.librarything.com/er_list.php?sort=startdate&program=giveaway&country=0&offeredby=all&batch=open&publisherid=&media=ebooks). Maybe you'll get lucky there, and it runs until May 23.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on April 26, 2014, 07:48:12 PM
@Cherise - my sales were with the Grantville Gazette, Galaxy's Edge and Daily Science Fiction.  Galaxy's Edge is invite-only, but the other two are very open to new writers. For Grantville Gazette, you submit the story to an online forum (Baen's Bar, Universe Slush) where you get feedback from fellow Barflies and at least one editor. DSF buys a lot of flash, and that's what I sold them.

Are you involved with Sasquan?  I might be attending that one.

Thanks!

I might be involved with Sasquan, but qualifying for SWFA might unfortunately be a prerequisite. I will definitely be attending, as I live here in Spokane now. Would be very cool to meet up in person!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on April 26, 2014, 07:49:27 PM
Congrats, Kary.

Do you still think the SFWA is relevant? I don't ask to be rude -- I'm genuinely interested, given some of their recent controversies and their attitude towards self-publishing.

I'm not American so my perspective may not be the best on this.


Conventions use SFWA membership as a qualification to put authors on panels.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KaryE on April 26, 2014, 08:17:13 PM
Re: qualifying for SFWA - you can become an Associate member with just one pro sale, and flash counts as long as it's to a qualifying market and you get paid more than $50.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on April 26, 2014, 08:20:21 PM
Re: qualifying for SFWA - you can become an Associate member with just one pro sale, and flash counts as long as it's to a qualifying market and you get paid more than $50.



Thanks. I'm not sure associate membership is good enough for the cons to put me on panels, though.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 27, 2014, 02:11:36 AM

Conventions use SFWA membership as a qualification to put authors on panels.

Ah, that could make sense, then. Though surely it's not a good thing to exclude self-pubbed authors, given how much of the sci-fi market they make up, now.

Completely unrelated -- I've started interviewing indie authors lately. Just posted an interview with Michael Bunker (author of Pennsylvania). Next up is (kboards own) Jason Gurley. It's really enjoyable. I think I'll continue.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: C. Gockel on April 27, 2014, 07:12:39 AM
Quote
I don't want to be lectured, have issues thrust down my throat or, dare I say it, be called upon to admire the beauty of the language.

I actually really like a book to have BIG ISSUES in it. But I don't like them thrust down my throat. I like them cleverly bundled in something that is entertaining. I think sci-fi/fantasy are the perfect places for big themes to be played with... It's what I try to do with my fantasy.

Of course, if you dare to be funny and entertaining, you immediately get shoved into the "light reading" camp by some people. Some people don't believe that "funny" can be deep. Personally, I believe that anyone who is half-way intelligent can see a lot of what's messed up in the universe. To laugh at the universe, that takes grace.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jim Johnson on April 30, 2014, 10:18:35 AM
Re: SFWA - The answer is complicated, but I'm giving it a qualified "yes" under certain circumstances. If you're 100% a self-pubber, I don't think SFWA has anything of value for you - yet. Unless I've missed it, they haven't come out with a way for self-pubbers to qualify, so someone who's 100% indie couldn't get in which renders the question moot.

SFWA is actively working on this, however. SFWA formed a self-pub committee late last year (including me and a few other kboard members)-- I had started a thread about it on here somewheres. I'll dig around for the link. Anyway, we pulled together some recommendations on making self-publishers eligible for membership along with a list of things SFWA would need to consider providing writers in order to even make it worthwhile for a self-pubber to become a member. That report is in the hands of the SFWA board and I'm confident it'll get hashed out this year one way or another.

Right now, SFWA doesn't have a lot to offer a writer going 100% selfpub. Making self-pubbers eligible for membership is easy compared to the harder work it'll take to make SFWA membership meaningful and useful. That'll take time and volunteers, both of which are always in short supply for any volunteer organization, including SFWA.

EDIT: Here's the thread in question that I started last year.  http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,162583.0.html

I'd say most of the good ideas in that thread found their way into our report to the board in one form or another.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on April 30, 2014, 10:53:12 AM
Ah, I'd been looking for this thread and now it appears on the front page.

Anyway, I run a monthly round-up of newly published indie speculative fiction on my blog. Yesterday's roundup just went live and may be found here (http://corabuhlert.com/2014/04/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-april-2014/), crossposted to my publisher blog here (http://pegasus-pulp.com/2014/04/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-april-2014/).

Check it out. Tweets, likes, shares, +1, etc... are also appreciated. And if you have a speculative fiction book coming out in May, let me know.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 30, 2014, 12:39:44 PM
Cora, my novel should come out in May. Haven't decided the date, yet.

On SFWA, I take it there's controversy about Vox Day (Theodore Beale). I've just read some of the things this guy has said. It seems like an odd m nomination for an organisation trying to improve there image.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: LeeBee on April 30, 2014, 12:43:36 PM
I actually really like a book to have BIG ISSUES in it. But I don't like them thrust down my throat. I like them cleverly bundled in something that is entertaining. I think sci-fi/fantasy are the perfect places for big themes to be played with... It's what I try to do with my fantasy.

Of course, if you dare to be funny and entertaining, you immediately get shoved into the "light reading" camp by some people. Some people don't believe that "funny" can be deep. Personally, I believe that anyone who is half-way intelligent can see a lot of what's messed up in the universe. To laugh at the universe, that takes grace.
Yeah, I expect sci-fi and fantasy to deal with big issues, probably because it traditionally has. And I adore stories that make me laugh as well as think. (BTW, when's your next book coming out? ;) )
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cat Amesbury on April 30, 2014, 01:26:16 PM
I actually really like a book to have BIG ISSUES in it. But I don't like them thrust down my throat. I like them cleverly bundled in something that is entertaining. I think sci-fi/fantasy are the perfect places for big themes to be played with... It's what I try to do with my fantasy.

Of course, if you dare to be funny and entertaining, you immediately get shoved into the "light reading" camp by some people. Some people don't believe that "funny" can be deep. Personally, I believe that anyone who is half-way intelligent can see a lot of what's messed up in the universe. To laugh at the universe, that takes grace.

This has certainly been something that I've run up against with my book. I think that humour can really throw the deeper issues into sharp relief, but having both in one book can sometimes... bewilder people. I've been very lucky that I've largely managed to hit a niche of people who enjoy that kind of contrast, but it definitely is a fine line to walk because we seem to unconsciously expect things to be one or the other.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KaryE on April 30, 2014, 01:29:39 PM
Cora, my novel should come out in May. Haven't decided the date, yet.

On SFWA, I take it there's controversy about Vox Day (Theodore Beale). I've just read some of the things this guy has said. It seems like an odd m nomination for an organisation trying to improve there image.

SFWA didn't nominate him, and the Hugo is not a SFWA-based award. The Hugos are fan-based (WorldCon) awards, and if you continue Googling (that name, Hugos) you'll find out what happened.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: C. Gockel on April 30, 2014, 01:37:34 PM
Hey LeeBee... I didn't realize you read my work.  :o I thought you'd be more discriminating!

I plan on having Warriors out by end of September. I'll probably publish "The Slip" and some other short stories before then though. They'll just be fun stuff to warm people up and get them back into the story...I wrote them while I was waiting for my betas to get back to me about Fates...I'll finish editing them while I wait for my betas to get back to me on Warriors. I think I'll be done with the rough draft by the end of June and want to give them a whole month to respond.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jim Johnson on April 30, 2014, 01:51:37 PM
SFWA didn't nominate him, and the Hugo is not a SFWA-based award. The Hugos are fan-based (WorldCon) awards, and if you continue Googling (that name, Hugos) you'll find out what happened.

Yeah, for once there's a kerfluffle in the sf/f worlds and SFWA isn't actually involved. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 30, 2014, 01:57:54 PM
Ah, okay -- my mistake (I don't follow these things too closely, but the outcry was unavoidable).

Still, it seems odd that we live in an age where a billionaire can be (rightly) banned from the NBA for being a bigot, but the Hugo people are powerless to kick this guy off the ballot.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KaryE on April 30, 2014, 04:00:52 PM
Ah, okay -- my mistake (I don't follow these things too closely, but the outcry was unavoidable).

Still, it seems odd that we live in an age where a billionaire can be (rightly) banned from the NBA for being a bigot, but the Hugo people are powerless to kick this guy off the ballot.


Dear God in heaven, I'm about to defend Vox Day.  /facepalm  Sort of.

So, is what he says reprehensible?  Yes.  Did he get enough votes to get on the ballot? Yes.  Do the Worldcon peeps have any leg to stand on to throw him off the ballot? No.

And, in fact, I think they shouldn't. See, if they can throw him off the ballot for being a jerkface, then they can throw anyone off the ballot for pretty much anything.  I've read samples of his work, and I haven't been impressed, so if enough voters agree with me, he won't win.  But I don't think he should be thrown off the ballot.  I don't endorse any of his views, but I can't back the idea that a writer can be removed from an awards ballot for odious personal opinions.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: LeeBee on April 30, 2014, 04:07:01 PM
Hey LeeBee... I didn't realize you read my work.  :o I thought you'd be more discriminating!

I plan on having Warriors out by end of September. I'll probably publish "The Slip" and some other short stories before then though. They'll just be fun stuff to warm people up and get them back into the story...I wrote them while I was waiting for my betas to get back to me about Fates...I'll finish editing them while I wait for my betas to get back to me on Warriors. I think I'll be done with the rough draft by the end of June and want to give them a whole month to respond.
I'm a sucker for trickster gods. :) And I've really enjoyed your series!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on April 30, 2014, 04:35:46 PM
I can see both sides of the argument.

I get the desire for impartiality. Though, the awards have a reputation to uphold. If the WSFA's goal is to promote science fiction, than associating with individuals who are detrimental to that goal is fair enough.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on April 30, 2014, 05:20:12 PM
Nominating him stains the whole Spec-Fic genre even moreso than any other group because groups like the SFWA already have a bad rep for this. If we want to be relevant in today's word, we need to make it clear we're not constantly stepping in the cowpies of the past.

Not to mention how enraged I am at how my genre is one step closer to recognizing as one of the top of our field someone who wants to evict me from my own freaking country.

That's not even getting into the 'Sample Ballot' scam they ran to get in there.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KaryE on April 30, 2014, 05:31:02 PM
Nominating him stains the whole Spec-Fic genre even moreso than any other group because groups like the SFWA already have a bad rep for this. If we want to be relevant in today's word, we need to make it clear we're not constantly stepping in the cowpies of the past.

Not to mention how enraged I am at how my genre is one step closer to recognizing as one of the top of our field someone who wants to evict me from my own freaking country.

I agree with this, too. For me, it's a *fan* award. It's not just about artistic merit, and never has been because being a fan of something, IMHO, includes being a fan (or not) of the *author.* I'd at least take a cursory look at the work, but I'm not going to argue with anyone who won't vote for him - or any other author - for personal reasons vs. artistic ones.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Vaalingrade on April 30, 2014, 05:36:03 PM
Being a fan award makes it worse because it makes it embarrassing and shameful to be even a fan in the same vicinity of people who are raising him up. Which is incredibly depressing for a fandom that includes mainstream stuff like Star Trek and X-men, which explain exactly why this guy should be shunned and ignored, or alternatively taunted and booed until my throat is sore.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 05, 2014, 08:18:49 AM
Hey all,

Heidi posted a little while ago about organizing a writing process blog tour, and it's been going well for the last few weeks. Cat Amesbury posted hers last Monday, and mine is up today at http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/ (http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/). Enjoy!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 11, 2014, 12:44:08 AM
My writers' group were hoping to get our anthology to #1 in Science Fiction (Free) for the Australian Amazon store. We're all Australian, and the .com.au store is still relatively small, so we thought it could be an outside chance.

In the end, we got to #2. What kept us from the top?

H.G. Wells - The War of the Worlds!

Held off by a hundred-and-something year old book. The old master has still got it.

I could pretend I feel bad, but I freaking love Wells. I think the heaviest/fattest book I own is his complete short story omnibus.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 11, 2014, 12:54:15 AM
Hey all,

Heidi posted a little while ago about organizing a writing process blog tour, and it's been going well for the last few weeks. Cat Amesbury posted hers last Monday, and mine is up today at http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/ (http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/). Enjoy!

Michael, your book sounds fantastic. The sample gives off a very strong 'film noir' vibe. I found myself reading it in the voice of the narrator in a PI movie, or something. Can't wait to read it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Patty Jansen on May 11, 2014, 12:57:39 AM
Haven't been reading this thread much recently. Have I missed anything?   ;D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 11, 2014, 09:06:00 AM
Michael, your book sounds fantastic. The sample gives off a very strong 'film noir' vibe. I found myself reading it in the voice of the narrator in a PI movie, or something. Can't wait to read it.

Thanks for the kind words! I definitely drew on some noir influences for the book, and am a big fan of that genre and style.

Congrats on getting 18 up to #2 in the AU Amazon store - HG Wells is some stiff competition, but looks like you held your own pretty nicely. :-)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: WDR on May 12, 2014, 12:35:33 PM
Hey all,

Heidi posted a little while ago about organizing a writing process blog tour, and it's been going well for the last few weeks. Cat Amesbury posted hers last Monday, and mine is up today at http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/ (http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/). Enjoy!

I just posted my entry (http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html) into the blog tour.

Read and enjoy the ride and follow all the links to the other writers. There are some enjoyable and interesting entries in the tour. And you might find some pretty good reading that you may have otherwise missed.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 12, 2014, 12:48:06 PM
I just posted my entry (http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html) into the blog tour.

Read and enjoy the ride and follow all the links to the other writers. There are some enjoyable and interesting entries in the tour. And you might find some pretty good reading that you may have otherwise missed.

Great blog, Bill! Privateer sounds pretty exciting, and I'm adding T.J. Alexian to the TBR pile now.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 12, 2014, 12:51:36 PM
Oh, yes! I'm excited about THE KINDLE BOARDS SPEC FIC CHAIN of the popular WRITING PROCESS BLOG TOUR!!!!! I can see some others have added their comments, and I just wanted to start a list AND.... Get some more folks to sign up, because it's going REALLY WELL. And I am LOVING reading all these posts. We have amazing authors here on the Kindle Boards :D

So far, we've got these posts in the past four weeks:

Heidi Garrett: www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Cat Amesbury: www.catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Michael Patrick Hicks: www.michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Elle Chambers: www.indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Bill Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html


And here is the rest of the line up:

May 19th      S. Elliot Brandis
May 26th      
June 2nd      RJ Crayton
June 9th      
June 16th      
June 23rd      David Pagan
June 30th      Nicolas Wilson
July  7th      

The Writing Process Blog Tour/Hop is a popular blog meme. However, not so many SPEC FIC writers have participated. I'd love to keep this going for as long as we can, so if you'd like to participate, please send me a pm with your preferred two dates.

We had some scheduling glitches in the beginning, but now that we're doing a one-to-one tag with KB authors it's going well. This allows for everyone to tag up to two other authors, IF THEY WANT TO. IF you don't want to, no worries!

Thanks so much to all who have participated and signed up!

So.... I've got a blogspot address that I claimed a while back, slaves to the muse, and I've always wanted to use it to promote SPEC FIC. I'm wondering if we could re-blog these posts there and also offer New Releases, especially the ones that we've written about in our writing process posts. I'm still thinking about that, because you know, I don't won't to get overwhelmed, lol. But I'd love to hear if anyone thinks that's a good idea or not!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 12, 2014, 12:52:47 PM
Hope nobody minds the intrusion with little bit of promo work, but I'm running a Thunderclap promotion, which just started today. If you're willing to support (no financial cost, just a bit of social media promotion), check it out at https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/11681-convergence-signal-boost (https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/11681-convergence-signal-boost). Thanks!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 12, 2014, 01:00:45 PM
So.... I've got a blogspot address that I claimed a while back, slaves to the muse, and I've always wanted to use it to promote SPEC FIC. I'm wondering if we could re-blog these posts there and also offer New Releases, especially the ones that we've written about in our writing process posts. I'm still thinking about that, because you know, I don't won't to get overwhelmed, lol. But I'd love to hear if anyone thinks that's a good idea or not!

I'm all for it, Heidi! If you want to reblog my process post and promote my book, I will not stop you. lol  :-)

Seriously, I think it's a great idea, and it'd be fun to have a sort of central repository for these blog tour posts. Thanks for compiling the full run-down thus far and for letting us know who's coming up. I'm looking forward to checking out the next batch of content. I think everyone's been really knocking it out of the park with their contributions, and I'm finding all sorts of useful information, insight, and, of course, more books to read.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on May 12, 2014, 01:06:01 PM
I'm all for it, Heidi! If you want to reblog my process post and promote my book, I will not stop you. lol  :-)

Seriously, I think it's a great idea, and it'd be fun to have a sort of central repository for these blog tour posts. Thanks for compiling the full run-down thus far and for letting us know who's coming up. I'm looking forward to checking out the next batch of content. I think everyone's been really knocking it out of the park with their contributions, and I'm finding all sorts of useful information, insight, and, of course, more books to read.

I second this.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 12, 2014, 01:07:28 PM
I second this.

Thanks, Elle. And great avatar, by the way.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on May 12, 2014, 01:10:10 PM
Thanks, Elle. And great avatar, by the way.

That's me without my makeup.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on May 13, 2014, 04:32:21 PM
I'm all for it, Heidi! If you want to reblog my process post and promote my book, I will not stop you. lol  :-)

Seriously, I think it's a great idea, and it'd be fun to have a sort of central repository for these blog tour posts. Thanks for compiling the full run-down thus far and for letting us know who's coming up. I'm looking forward to checking out the next batch of content. I think everyone's been really knocking it out of the park with their contributions, and I'm finding all sorts of useful information, insight, and, of course, more books to read.

We should be tweeting all the posts, too. I'm sorry I missed tweeting the first ones as they occurred.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on May 13, 2014, 05:31:58 PM
The Writing Process blog posts are fascinating. I think Elle's cracked me up the most. She didn't think she could write about zombies and then went ahead and did it.

I've scheduled tweets for the previous blog tour posts, one per day till I catch up. I'm not very inventive, and I personally like to see what I'm clicking so all the links are full-length. Below is the format I'm using. Are there better ways to do it?

Kboards Writing Process Blog Tour wk1 Heidi Garrett http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 13, 2014, 05:59:21 PM
The Writing Process blog posts are fascinating. I think Elle's cracked me up the most. She didn't think she could write about zombies and then went ahead and did it.

I've scheduled tweets for the previous blog tour posts, one per day till I catch up. I'm not very inventive, and I personally like to see what I'm clicking so all the links are full-length. Below is the format I'm using. Are there better ways to do it?

Kboards Writing Process Blog Tour wk1 Heidi Garrett http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog

Sandra, thanks for all your support! I just sent you your detailed email. This has turned out to be a lot of fun, and the posts are just amazing! Yes, Elle's totally cracked me up too:D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on May 13, 2014, 06:15:16 PM
The Writing Process blog posts are fascinating. I think Elle's cracked me up the most. She didn't think she could write about zombies and then went ahead and did it.

I've scheduled tweets for the previous blog tour posts, one per day till I catch up. I'm not very inventive, and I personally like to see what I'm clicking so all the links are full-length. Below is the format I'm using. Are there better ways to do it?

Kboards Writing Process Blog Tour wk1 Heidi Garrett http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog

Sandra, I just totally cribbed this post and tweeted it, putting #specficwritersunite behind it. (I too forgot to tweet the posts...whoops.)

And thanks for the comments about my blog entry, Sandra and Heidi! That's what happens when I write at night - I get silly.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 14, 2014, 06:40:24 AM
Sandra, Elle - great points! I've been woefully behind in tweeting out these links. I cribbed Sandra's and did a bulk posting with the links using Elle's hashtag #specficwritersunite. I'll be posting a summary on my blog in a few days and will include all of the posts thus far, as well.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ShaneJeffery on May 14, 2014, 07:04:40 AM
I don't know what's happening in this thread, but if anyone wants to catch me up, I'd be grateful.

I just thought I'd repeat an observation I'd made in another thread - for all you horror writers out there, have you had a look at the top 100 horror free books lately. It's ugly. Tonnes of generic uninspired covers - plus an onslaught of man-chesty girly rom is right there in the list. Didn't used to be that way. Not at all. I feel like I'm looking at a zone that's been disbanded, and anyone who appears there who is making an effort is supporting a book from 2012 and they have a ycky ZOMBIE on the front of it.

Okay, so i'm exaggerating in some respect, and maybe even being unkind. Stuff that. I'm looking at this horror shop for the first time in so long, and I'm seeing serious need of putting in authors who are writing horror fiction today. On my part, I have spent the last few months rubbishing myself with writing a romance serial which I have yet to conclude ... I want to come back to horror so bad. Horror needs me. It needs you too. The thing is PAID kills with King and Koontz etc. but the free store is a wasteland of stuff that is either not horror, really old, or just sub categorying in horror without being the real deal. I want the real deal. I want to bring it back. I think I'm going to try.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JenEllision on May 14, 2014, 07:37:47 AM
Oh! A friend tagged me in the My Writing Process blog tour a month or two ago. I had no idea that it originated here!

*waves from YA spec fic land* I have a YA high fantasy coming out next week and an accompanying short story was just published in a literary magazine-- actually that's what lead me to click on this link as I thought there might be interest in the lit mag other spec fic writers. The magazine is called Inaccurate Realities and they're a literary magazine focusing on Young Adult speculative fiction.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RArcher on May 14, 2014, 07:58:19 AM
Oh hey! I'm writing speculative fiction!

I've always found the idea of "what if this had happened" a great basis of sci fi. It probably dates back to watching Gundam Wing in school (I know, I know) and the idea that the whole show was taking place not in some distant future but in the era that it was airing with some obvious (giant robot) changes.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 14, 2014, 01:24:36 PM
I want to come back to horror so bad. Horror needs me. It needs you too. The thing is PAID kills with King and Koontz etc. but the free store is a wasteland of stuff that is either not horror, really old, or just sub categorying in horror without being the real deal. I want the real deal. I want to bring it back. I think I'm going to try.

I totally support you in writing what you feel passionate about. Well done horror is great to read!

What else is going on? We've started a KB Spec Fic chain of the popular Writing Process Blog Tour/Hop Meme, if you'd like to sign up we have openings starting in July (pending a couple of June confirms):

July 7, July 14th, July 21, July 28th... pm me if you're interested:)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 14, 2014, 01:30:11 PM
Oh! A friend tagged me in the My Writing Process blog tour a month or two ago. I had no idea that it originated here!


Jen, Hi! The Writing Process Blog Tour didn't originate here... I have tried to figure out where it REALLY originated:) but have had no luck! Anyway, we started a chain of KB Spec Fic authors in April and it's going really well!

Congratulations on your YA Fantasy coming out! Hmmm.... would you be interested in sending me about it? I'm thinking about setting up a blog that highlights KB Spec Fic authors: For right now, keeping posts to Re-blogging the writing process spots, and new releases...  to see what the workload is. I'm hoping to get it started this weekend.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RArcher on May 14, 2014, 01:41:20 PM
I think maybe literary horror is in the tank because cinematic horror is in the tank. The success of just genuinely stupid horror movies sends a powerful and regrettable message about horror fiction in general. The co-opting of horror by hack young adult authors and the subsequent ruination of staple horror elements isn't great either.

Know what I want? A book about vampires. Vampires who only come out at night. Vampires who are revolting yet irresistible. Vampires that represent our own base nature given awful, heartless, hedonistic form. Vampires that don't sparkle under any circumstances whatsoever.

Mummies are also good.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: LeonardDHilleyII on May 14, 2014, 02:53:46 PM
I totally support you in writing what you feel passionate about. Well done horror is great to read!

What else is going on? We've started a KB Spec Fic chain of the popular Writing Process Blog Tour/Hop Meme, if you'd like to sign up we have openings starting in July (pending a couple of June confirms):

July 7, July 14th, July 21, July 28th... pm me if you're interested:)


Fantastic!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cat Amesbury on May 14, 2014, 04:21:31 PM
I've unfortunately been off KBoards for a week or so and missed out on the cross-promotion of the blog hop, but I will try to see if I can collate the current posts and do a summary post sometime this week on my own blog.

A huge thank you to Heidi, who is both incredibly generous and incredibly organized. The blog hop posts are wonderful and thoughtful and my wallet is lighter for having followed it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JenEllision on May 15, 2014, 06:37:06 AM
Congratulations on your YA Fantasy coming out! Hmmm.... would you be interested in sending me about it? I'm thinking about setting up a blog that highlights KB Spec Fic authors: For right now, keeping posts to Re-blogging the writing process spots, and new releases...  to see what the workload is. I'm hoping to get it started this weekend.

Hi Heidi! Absolutely! You've got a PM :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on May 15, 2014, 08:27:05 AM
I think I can count myself a (young adult) spec fic writer. My first novel (which went live an hour ago!) is a fantasy, and other than the comedy I'm working on now I have a zombie trilogy and a few more fantasy works in the pipeline.

Excited to join in on some spec fic chat :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: David J. Rollins on May 15, 2014, 10:30:45 AM


Hello, Everyone,

I am so glad I found this board. It's been something I have been looking for for a long time, only I don't think I realized it. I'm pretty sure I am Spec Fic writer. When I was younger, I called it Dark Fantasy, but Fantasy in the broadest sense, not the sense of dragons, elfs and orcs, oh my! Since then I have learned to laugh a little, so now I write Science Fiction Humor, and I am having an extremely hard time finding an audience. The few reviews I have managed to get are all good (well, except for one, but there is always one.) Any thoughts or advice on the finding audience would met with lifelong blessings.

Anyway, I just wanted to offer two cents or more on the Romance selling better than Spec Fiction debate. I have to wonder if Romance sells better because it sells only one thing, Romance. The settings may be different, some many more graphic than others, but at the end of the day, everyone knows what they are getting when they read a Romance. Add that to the thought that it seems to me, and I have not proof of this, that more women read than men these days, it's no surprise that Romance is selling very well and probably always will.

Spec Fiction is another beast altogether, with many appendages and subappendages. With Spec Fic, you don't really know what you are getting until you have it. There are so many niches in Spec Fiction that it makes it hard for a reader to find new Spec Fiction that is like the Spec Fiction they have read, so they just look for the authors they know. Is it bad that there are so many niches, personally, I like it. It provides a potential that no othe genre really has. But it does seem like it makes it hard for unknowns to find their audience. That said, I also think some journeys are worth taking and this is one of them.


 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 15, 2014, 11:45:02 AM

A huge thank you to Heidi, who is both incredibly generous and incredibly organized. The blog hop posts are wonderful and thoughtful and my wallet is lighter for having followed it.

Thanks, Cat. Mine too... lighter wallet, lol.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 15, 2014, 11:51:43 AM
Jen, thanks! Got it!

Ceinwen, Congratulations on your new release!

So.... I THINK I'm going to try to set up that blog this weekend to showcase KB spec fic authors. After giving it some thought, I think I want to keep it to re-blogs of the writing process tour posts and new releases. Then I'll see how the workload is... I'll link back to this thread and KBoards ect. I've just wanted to create a place to showcase SPEC FIC writers for a long time and this might be one of the easiest and most effective ways to do that... It will be an experiment...

so, that being said.... Ceinwen, if I get things up, would you like to present your new release?  I know it's already out, but I might put two weeks before or after a release date... to give people a chance to get scheduled.

S. Brandis Elliot I'd like to feature your new release too, Irradiated.
If you want to be included send me a pm, or email at heidi_g@comcast.net. Thanks!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 15, 2014, 11:55:12 AM

Spec Fiction is another beast altogether, with many appendages and subappendages. With Spec Fic, you don't really know what you are getting until you have it. There are so many niches in Spec Fiction that it makes it hard for a reader to find new Spec Fiction that is like the Spec Fiction they have read, so they just look for the authors they know. Is it bad that there are so many niches, personally, I like it. It provides a potential that no othe genre really has. But it does seem like it makes it hard for unknowns to find their audience. That said, I also think some journeys are worth taking and this is one of them.

David, You make some excellent points! The variety is positive in many ways, but it can make finding that next perfect read more challenging:) I think readers who love spec fic are.... well, we're complex. Not that readers who read romance aren't;) But SPEC FIC is... well, as you said, it's the beast with many appendages and subappendages!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 15, 2014, 12:57:40 PM
Spec Fiction is another beast altogether, with many appendages and subappendages. With Spec Fic, you don't really know what you are getting until you have it. There are so many niches in Spec Fiction that it makes it hard for a reader to find new Spec Fiction that is like the Spec Fiction they have read, so they just look for the authors they know. Is it bad that there are so many niches, personally, I like it. It provides a potential that no other genre really has. But it does seem like it makes it hard for unknowns to find their audience. That said, I also think some journeys are worth taking and this is one of them.

Hi David! I agree that it's really, really varied. I think Amazon's multiple sub-genres helps to make it a bit easier for people to find what they want, but even then books vary wildly. I was thinking about this the other day--my novel is dark, gritty, low-technology post-apocalyptic fare, yet it sits in the same overarching genre as space battles and alien colonisation. Sometimes it feels like there's more difference within the genre then between it and other genres.

S. Brandis Elliot I'd like to feature your new release too, Irradiated.
If you want to be included send me a pm, or email at heidi_g@comcast.net. Thanks!

That sounds like a brilliant idea! I've just sent you an email.

Ceinwen... your new book looks so pretty. Who did your cover design?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on May 16, 2014, 03:23:00 AM
Ceinwen, Congratulations on your new release!

Ceinwen, if I get things up, would you like to present your new release?  I know it's already out, but I might put two weeks before or after a release date... to give people a chance to get scheduled.

If you want to be included send me a pm, or email at heidi_g@comcast.net. Thanks!

Thanks! I would love to, I'll send an email ASAP.

Ceinwen... your new book looks so pretty. Who did your cover design?

Thanks, I'm so happy with it. It was done by Destiny Marie. She's just starting out and doesn't have a website up and running yet but I'd be happy to pass her email on to anyone who wants it. She's really lovely and easy to work with.

And I think David's right about the popularity of spec fic vs. romance. Romance readers seem more willing to take a chance on new/unknown authors than spec fic readers, though I'm such a stranger to the romance genre I couldn't comment any more than that. I also think there's a definite need for light and optimistic reading, which is where romance has a definite edge over a lot of spec fiction.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 16, 2014, 05:06:31 AM
Thanks, I'm so happy with it. It was done by Destiny Marie. She's just starting out and doesn't have a website up and running yet but I'd be happy to pass her email on to anyone who wants it. She's really lovely and easy to work with.

It's fantastic. I'm surprised it's from an up and comer, it has a very professional feel. Not just the art, but the typography. How did you find her?

Heidi, I just had a thought... If you want more content for your blog, I'd be happy to do interviews with authors, sometimes. I've done a couple recently (Jason Gurley, Michael Bunker) and I quite enjoy it. I reckon I could only do one or so a month, as I like to get to know an author before asking questions, else there's not much point. Just an idea. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on May 16, 2014, 08:43:25 AM
I found her on 99 designs. I honestly wouldn't use the service again, but I'm so glad I found her as a result of it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: David J. Rollins on May 16, 2014, 08:59:38 AM


On a different note,

Can anyone recommend a Blog Tour Company that works with a lot of Science Fiction or Spec Fiction Blogs? I have been exploring running a Blog Tour for my Science Fiction book The Sales Crime Policeman, and most of the blog tour companies I am finding seem to deal mainly with Romance blogs. I'm not sure that is really the best audience for my tour.

thanks in advance,

David J. Rollins
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 16, 2014, 12:07:52 PM
If you want more content for your blog, I'd be happy to do interviews with authors, sometimes. I've done a couple recently (Jason Gurley, Michael Bunker) and I quite enjoy it. I reckon I could only do one or so a month, as I like to get to know an author before asking questions, else there's not much point. Just an idea. :)

Elliot, I wrote you back before I saw this:) I'm thinking lets wait on interviews, and see how things are going. I want to keep things simple as possible at first to see how much time everything is taking.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 17, 2014, 05:27:51 PM
I just put up my blog hop post!

http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/ (http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/)

Enjoy.  ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 17, 2014, 06:59:34 PM
Elliot, I wrote you back before I saw this:) I'm thinking lets wait on interviews, and see how things are going. I want to keep things simple as possible at first to see how much time everything is taking.

Yep, you're right. I think I was getting ahead of myself :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: C.G. on May 17, 2014, 11:18:54 PM
I write Urban and Epic Fantasy, and it's been an uphill battle as far as sales and visibility. These days it seems it's all about the romance. I've gotten slammed for one of my books not having enough romance several times. It's great to see everyone's passion on this thread for spec fic. It's very encouraging. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cat Amesbury on May 18, 2014, 07:04:21 AM
I write Urban and Epic Fantasy, and it's been an uphill battle as far as sales and visibility. These days it seems it's all about the romance. I've gotten slammed for one of my books not having enough romance several times. It's great to see everyone's passion on this thread for spec fic. It's very encouraging. :)

It's certainly a dilemma if you're writing contemporary fantasy! I deliberately didn't put my book in any of the romance categories and there has still been some confusion. I'm still grumbling over Amazon not having a "Fantasy-Adventure" subcategory, but, other than not putting the story in the Romance subgenres, I'm not sure what else to do to avoid confusing people.

Any good suggestions on this front would be very much appreciated!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 19, 2014, 09:12:35 AM
C. G., I can relate. I have romance in my fantasy series but it's not the only plot point. Although some readers like that the romance doesn't override the story.

Cat, Fantasy-Adventure would be a GREAT category:D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 19, 2014, 09:29:29 AM
The Writing Process Tour, which S. Elliot Brandis has aptly renamed the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop in his feature today:
http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/

Has Sprouted:D
http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/welcome-to-speculative-fiction-showcase.html

If you have a new release coming up, or have had one recently, and would like to be part of the showcase, please email me at heidi_g@comcast.net
Also, if you'd like to donate an ebook to one of the monthly giveaways starting in July, please email me. The current giveaway is a $50 Amazon gift card.
Finally, if you want to signup for the Writing Process Blog Tour, Speculative Fiction Blog Hop, please... email me:D We're scheduling in July now!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: jdrew on May 19, 2014, 11:04:43 AM
I just found this thread and have not had time to read much of it.  Since I'll be gone for an extended period without internet access I'll have to bookmark this and read through it later.  Looks very interesting to me since just about everything I write is speculative in one form or another.  Keep it going and I'll catch up.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cat Amesbury on May 20, 2014, 08:43:29 AM

Cat, Fantasy-Adventure would be a GREAT category:D

Wouldn't it? It seems so obvious, but I think I might be a little bit biased. :P It's just that it is very hard to put action or adventure-heavy fantasy somewhere if it isn't sword and sorcery.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 20, 2014, 01:40:50 PM
I updated the original post to include info about the new Speculative Fiction Showcase that Heidi has been kind enough to establish. My plan is to update the list of features each week, to make them easy to find and browse by our members. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 20, 2014, 03:43:31 PM
I updated the original post to include info about the new Speculative Fiction Showcase that Heidi has been kind enough to establish. My plan is to update the list of features each week, to make them easy to find and browse by our members. :)

Sounds cool. I been in and out dealing with real life stuff so lost track of this thread... I see it mentions giveaways on the web pages. I could be convinced to toss in my Volume 1-3 collection if I knew what the giveaway was/etc? :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: C.G. on May 20, 2014, 05:38:09 PM
I'm still grumbling over Amazon not having a "Fantasy-Adventure" subcategory, but, other than not putting the story in the Romance subgenres, I'm not sure what else to do to avoid confusing people.

Any good suggestions on this front would be very much appreciated!

One of the categories my epic fantasy book is in is: Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Fantasy
I just added "Action & Adventure" in my key words. Hope this helps!  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 21, 2014, 08:07:39 AM
Sounds cool. I been in and out dealing with real life stuff so lost track of this thread... I see it mentions giveaways on the web pages. I could be convinced to toss in my Volume 1-3 collection if I knew what the giveaway was/etc? :)

Hopefully I'm not speaking out of turn and Heidi can correct whatever I might get wrong here, but the giveaways are our spec-fic books. Right now, the giveaway is a $50 Amazon gift card, but soon the site will be offering up five titles to five winners for each title each month. I'll be offering up Convergence in July, and am keeping my fingers crossed that there's lots of entries! :-) The website itself is meant to act as a central repository outside of our individual blogs for our ongoing spec-fic writing process blog tour that Heidi started in this thread a short while back.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 21, 2014, 08:13:09 AM
Hopefully I'm not speaking out of turn and Heidi can correct whatever I might get wrong here, but the giveaways are our spec-fic books. Right now, the giveaway is a $50 Amazon gift card, but soon the site will be offering up five titles to five winners for each title each month. I'll be offering up Convergence in July, and am keeping my fingers crossed that there's lots of entries! :-) The website itself is meant to act as a central repository outside of our individual blogs for our ongoing spec-fic writing process blog tour that Heidi started in this thread a short while back.

I will have to dig back and find that. Might take part in the tour. but not this week - got my 6th book that I am hoping to release in June... shooting for Friday the 13th, but wont know till I get through the pre-reader comments, my final edits and get the file off to my editor.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 21, 2014, 05:12:43 PM
I will have to dig back and find that. Might take part in the tour. but not this week - got my 6th book that I am hoping to release in June... shooting for Friday the 13th, but wont know till I get through the pre-reader comments, my final edits and get the file off to my editor.

Cool, good luck! Heidi's been an awesome schedule-keeper for the tour, and if I recall right is booked through until July-ish. Still, wouldn't be a bad bit of attention to draw toward your next release. Keep us posted!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 21, 2014, 07:04:05 PM
Hopefully I'm not speaking out of turn and Heidi can correct whatever I might get wrong here, but the giveaways are our spec-fic books. Right now, the giveaway is a $50 Amazon gift card, but soon the site will be offering up five titles to five winners for each title each month. I'll be offering up Convergence in July, and am keeping my fingers crossed that there's lots of entries! :-) The website itself is meant to act as a central repository outside of our individual blogs for our ongoing spec-fic writing process blog tour that Heidi started in this thread a short while back.

Michael, thanks for explaining things. No speaking out of turn:) You have a great grasp on the situation lol.

Vydorscope, please sign up. We want everyone to sign up. What I really want is to create an easy, simple to navigate site where readers can go and "meet" new spec fic authors and find new spec fic reads. The writing tour has been amazing and it will be nice to preserve the core posts in a single spot.

The giveaways: yes five titles to five winners each month starting in July. I waited, cause I wanted to make sure we drummed up enough interest to keep the giveaways going every month. We do have our five titles for July. But we'll need books for August... September...

And we're scheduling the writing process tour the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop, as S. Elliot Brandis renamed it:) out to July 21st and July 28th, with some folks already signed up in August. So feel free to contact me whenever you want to sign up.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 21, 2014, 07:05:41 PM
Cool, good luck! Heidi's been an awesome schedule-keeper for the tour, and if I recall right is booked through until July-ish. Still, wouldn't be a bad bit of attention to draw toward your next release. Keep us posted!

thanks :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 22, 2014, 04:48:14 AM
And we're scheduling the writing process tour the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop, as S. Elliot Brandis renamed it:) out to July 21st and July 28th, with some folks already signed up in August. So feel free to contact me whenever you want to sign up.

I didn't even realise I was renaming it! In my mind, that's just what it was called...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 22, 2014, 05:27:54 AM
I didn't even realise I was renaming it! In my mind, that's just what it was called...

Aw jeez, now we all need to go back and rename our posts... Thanks a lot Elliot.....   

:D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 22, 2014, 05:29:25 AM
Can some one link me to the blog post information? Like what is meant, how long, etc? :) Thanks!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on May 22, 2014, 06:12:01 AM
Great start to the blog, Heidi! I tried to post a comment there, but I think something on my computer is blocking me (probably some security thing).

Is there an updated list for the blog hop? I'd like to post something about it, and have some sort of list of all the participants so far, with their blog links. I've seen craft blogs that have a grid with icons that link to other blogs on the hop, don't know if I can figure out something like that, but I'd have something.

I'm excited to do my post in August. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 22, 2014, 07:37:31 AM
The Writing Process Tour, which S. Elliot Brandis has aptly renamed the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop in his feature today:
http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/

Has Sprouted:D
http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/welcome-to-speculative-fiction-showcase.html

If you have a new release coming up, or have had one recently, and would like to be part of the showcase, please email me at heidi_g@comcast.net
Also, if you'd like to donate an ebook to one of the monthly giveaways starting in July, please email me. The current giveaway is a $50 Amazon gift card.
Finally, if you want to signup for the Writing Process Blog Tour, Speculative Fiction Blog Hop, please... email me:D We're scheduling in July now!

Ah! There that must be the secret information. Will check it out.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: scifiwritir on May 22, 2014, 10:56:03 AM
Hi all: Jumping in to introduce myself. My name is Carole McDonnell. I write specfic. My latest novel is The Constant Tower. My first novel is Wind Follower. Those are published on wildside. My collection of short stories, Spirit Fruit is self-published on kindle and createspace ​
http://www.amazon.com/Carole-McDonnell/e/B0034Q3BWG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1  Glad to be here.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: scifiwritir on May 22, 2014, 11:03:10 AM
I'd like to join in...if you don't mind. ​
http://www.amazon.com/Carole-McDonnell/e/B0034Q3BWG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 22, 2014, 11:07:08 AM
Hi all: Jumping in to introduce myself. My name is Carole McDonnell. I write specfic. My latest novel is The Constant Tower. My first novel is Wind Follower. Those are published on wildside. My collection of short stories, Spirit Fruit is self-published on kindle and createspace ​
http://www.amazon.com/Carole-McDonnell/e/B0034Q3BWG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1  Glad to be here.

Hi Carole! :) Great to see you on here.

I was just going to ask Heidi and all - I'm still a bit confused as to how the Blog hop works. I've never done one before. Do I blog first on my own blog?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 22, 2014, 11:41:09 AM
Hi Carole, Jessie!

Regarding the blog hop, you can schedule with Heidi. The spec fic blogs go up every Monday, and when you have your date she'll let you know who is preceding and following your post. Then, you exchange your bio and website info with those two bloggers. For instance, when Cat Amesbury did hers, she linked to my site. When I posted the following week, I linked back to her site, did my post, and linked to Bill Richards blog since he was following me a week later.

The blog post consists of answering 4 questions:
What am I working on?
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Why do I write what I do?
How does my writing process work?

It was pretty fun, and reading about the process of our fellow writers has been interesting, entertaining, and educational. Hopefully you'll join us!

The posts are also being compiled at http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/ (http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/) so you should go check those out. As the posts start to pile up, you should get a better idea of what the tour has been like.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 22, 2014, 12:07:10 PM
Thank you very much, mphicks! I have read the thread through but was still a bit confused.

That's much clearer!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 22, 2014, 12:50:26 PM
Thank you very much, mphicks! I have read the thread through but was still a bit confused.

That's much clearer!

Glad to help!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 22, 2014, 01:05:32 PM
Mphicks, thanks for all your help in clearing up the confusion!

Has everyone got their questions answered? Just checking:)

Sheila I'm going to be begin posting a list of all the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop participants every Monday in this thread... I'll do that until someone tells me it's too long and annoying!

Also, we are going to be collecting them and reposting them on:

www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com

So... if you've already participated and want to have yours reposted, please send the core of your post (answers to the four questions) to heidi_g@comcast.net in a word or HTML format. I ask this because I'm trying to do posts every day and I don't have time to hunt everyone's stuff down all over the internet:)

Also, we'll have posts every day this week, but we need more new releases!!! if you've released a spec fic book in the past thirty days, please email me:
A cover jpg, blurb, excerpt of your choice to entice readers, author pic, author bio, and links. I suggest you include buy links if the book is currently available. Sandra K. Williams did recommend I pm Harvey about the whole site, and I did. He's given his blessing:) So we are good to go. Check out Nadinax's comment on the blog today:

"I love speculative fiction! But I had no idea that was the name for it. I love reading about different worlds and settings that could be a metaphor for our own. I read a LOT of YA Fantasy, it's not only fun but also thought provoking, and it's always a plus when the author injects their creativity in the world they decided to create."

That's why I wanted to create this showcase. I have an inkling MANY readers love spec-fic they just don't know it yet, lol. We're going to educate them:D Awesome!

Again, I have to give William D. Richards kudos for his great definition of spec-fic that is in the blog description.
 
And, yes, thank you S. Elliot Brandis for renaming the writing process tour the  Speculative Fiction Blog Hop... for what we're doing, works much better! So... I'm having fun, I hope everyone else is.

One last thing. I did put the blog up last weekend and couldn't settle on a banner. I'll be looking for a black and white abstract something on Shutterstock this weekend... I want to keep the website design very simple to keep the eyes focused on covers and content!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 22, 2014, 01:48:49 PM
I'm updating the first post in this thread to include the features on the spec-fic blog.

One thing I really want to do is a "What is Speculative Fiction" post. I'll put this on my website, and on the new blog, if Heidi is interested.

For this, I want authors to answer the question "What is Speculative Fiction?" in 50 words or less.

This way, instead of giving a dry, dictionary definition I can develop a mosaic of short answers from spec-fic writers.

So, answer away!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 22, 2014, 01:56:23 PM
I Will have a new release in June... hopefully Friday the 13th but might slip to the following week. Just have to see!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 22, 2014, 02:02:36 PM
For this, I want authors to answer the question "What is Speculative Fiction?" in 50 words or less.

FIFTY WORDS. ON THE DOT. BAM!:


Speculative fiction is a game of what if, or how about. It contains elements that are not possible, either because we lack the technology, they are magical, or any other reason. It is about creating new worlds, universes, realms and telling the stories that happen in them and through them.

 :P
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 22, 2014, 03:59:17 PM
Mphicks, thanks for all your help in clearing up the confusion!

Has everyone got their questions answered? Just checking:)


I'm good! Thank you very much for your hard work in setting this up, Heidi. I've been enjoying reading the previous blog posts.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 22, 2014, 04:02:22 PM
I'm updating the first post in this thread to include the features on the spec-fic blog.

One thing I really want to do is a "What is Speculative Fiction" post. I'll put this on my website, and on the new blog, if Heidi is interested.

For this, I want authors to answer the question "What is Speculative Fiction?" in 50 words or less.

This way, instead of giving a dry, dictionary definition I can develop a mosaic of short answers from spec-fic writers.

So, answer away!

Thank you vvv much for updating the first post as this is a long thread to read through!

I'd love to try my hand at the 50-word definition but may need to have a think. ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on May 22, 2014, 09:40:56 PM
Thanks, Heidi. I'll check Monday and get the updated list.

I'll have to work on a definition. Fifty words or less. Even tighter than flash fiction!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on May 22, 2014, 10:13:32 PM
Hard to think of a definition when Vincent's was so on the mark!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 23, 2014, 02:17:45 AM
Thank you vvv much for updating the first post as this is a long thread to read through!

No problem! I'll try and keep it up to date with the latest features.

Hard to think of a definition when Vincent's was so on the mark!

Haha, yeah it was pretty bang on. Perhaps focus on what it means to you. Why do you consider yourself a speculative fiction writer, rather than, say, a fantasy author? Why does the label even exist?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 23, 2014, 03:30:24 AM
Hard to think of a definition when Vincent's was so on the mark!
Haha, yeah it was pretty bang on.
:o
Wow, thanks. It was pretty seat of the pants.  8) I appreciated the question because I never considered it before... heck I never even heard the term till I came to kboards - and I was already on my 4th spec fic book! :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 23, 2014, 05:03:46 AM
Yes, that was pretty on the money, Vydorscope. It's going to be hard to come up with another one! (scratches head) ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 23, 2014, 08:57:36 AM
I'm updating the first post in this thread to include the features on the spec-fic blog.

One thing I really want to do is a "What is Speculative Fiction" post. I'll put this on my website, and on the new blog, if Heidi is interested.

For this, I want authors to answer the question "What is Speculative Fiction?" in 50 words or less.

This way, instead of giving a dry, dictionary definition I can develop a mosaic of short answers from spec-fic writers.

So, answer away!

Following in VydorScope's footsteps is indeed a tough act to follow!  Here's my definition anyway....

Speculative fiction is anything outside the norm. Sci-fi, horror, apocalyptic; it’s sort of a catch-all genre. It can be one of these, or maybe all of these, or any combination in between depending on the author’s whimsy. Speculative fiction takes storytelling up a notch with it's what-if next-level conceit.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JenEllision on May 23, 2014, 12:01:56 PM
Quote
I want authors to answer the question "What is Speculative Fiction?" in 50 words or less.

Take reality. Add a dash of other. Mix well. If it's an impossibility in the world that we know-- whether that means through magic, special abilities, or technology-- it's Speculative Fiction. Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Fantasy... we've got it all!

P.S. Heidi, loving the blog! Such a great way to stay up to date on indie spec fic.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 23, 2014, 12:57:50 PM
First of all, I want to THANK EVERYONE who's participated in the blog hop and has submitted to the blog. Because of everyone's participation, it's all off to a successful start!


Elliot:  I think your idea for the "What is Speculative Fiction" post would be a great fit for the website. Kind of a smattering of from different authors? Cool. I'll be thinking about this weekend!

JessieCar: I've got you in the July 28th slot for the writing process blog tour Speculative Blog Hop post. I'll confirm with pm so we can exchange emails.

This week on the Speculative Fiction showcase:
 
Welcome! http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/welcome-to-speculative-fiction-showcase.html
New Release: Irradiated by S. Elliot Brandis http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/irradiated-by-s-elliot-brandis.html
Jason Gurley Talks About How He Writes: http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/jason-gurley-talks-about-how-he-writes.html
New Release: Threats of Sea and Sky by Jennifer Ellision http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/threats-of-sea-and-glass-by-jennifer.html
New Release: Dreaming of the Sea by Heidi Garrett http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/dreaming-of-sea-by-heidi-garrett.html

And we've gotten over 2K page views on the blog, and we're starting to get comments on the posts, and we're getting more entries in the $50 Amazon Gift Card giveaway. Yay.

So we have three more new releases to be featured next week with two more writing process Speculative Fiction Blog Hop posts. I love the variety we're getting in the new releases, and would love to have three new releases every week, if we can do that. So if you've released anything speculative fiction in the past thirty days, please shoot me an email.

Also, once we start the book giveaways in July, all the books in the giveaway will get a feature post in that month. So donating an ebook to a giveaway will be a great way to get any book featured that's not a new release. We have the July slots filled. But if you'd like to donate an ebook in August... let me know:)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 23, 2014, 01:41:40 PM
Also, once we start the book giveaways in July, all the books in the giveaway will get a feature post in that month. So donating an ebook to a giveaway will be a great way to get any book featured that's not a new release. We have the July slots filled. But if you'd like to donate an ebook in August... let me know:)

I will donate a copy of the new release I sent you yesterday for july or august giveaway. Running a sale on it in June so July or August would be better. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 23, 2014, 05:05:31 PM
First of all, I want to THANK EVERYONE who's participated in the blog hop and has submitted to the blog. Because of everyone's participation, it's all off to a successful start!

JessieCar: I've got you in the July 28th slot for the writing process blog tour Speculative Blog Hop post. I'll confirm with pm so we can exchange emails.


Thank you very much, Heidi, that's excellent. It's great to know that the blog has been getting hit and comments already! I've mentioned it to two friends who are Spec Fic writers - I think scifiwritir has already said hello, and another friend has expressed an interest.

About the giveaway - I'm hoping that the second book in my series, The Glass Mountain, will be coming out fairly soon. So I'd love to donate that for the August giveaway, if that's ok.

Ok, I tried to write a definition of Speculative Fiction in 50 words (headdesk):
Stories that invoke the imagination to explore the future of this world and the possibility of other worlds, whether by building a plausible universe based on reality, or by using myth and folklore to reflect on contemporary issues outside the arena of the mundane. 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on May 23, 2014, 11:15:53 PM
I'm definitely up for donating a copy of my 1st book for right around when I release my second. Deep in editing right now and actually targeting July so that sounds perfect. And right around my blog hop slot. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 24, 2014, 05:08:27 PM
In honor of this thread's title, I have to give our very own S. Elliot Brandis a big high-five for his debut, IRRADIATED. Terrific read, and a great example of speculative fiction as we've been discussing here of late.

Heidi - congrats on hitting the 2K mark already with the new site. That's amazing! So glad to hear the stats are high and generating some feedback. I'm looking forward to that trend continuing and increasing as things progress.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 24, 2014, 05:58:06 PM
In honor of this thread's title, I have to give our very own S. Elliot Brandis a big high-five for his debut, IRRADIATED. Terrific read, and a great example of speculative fiction as we've been discussing here of late.

*returns high-five*

Thanks, Mike.

I just read your review on goodreads and damn you write a good review. You could write reviews for a living.

I have to ask--with the spaghetti western thing, did you draw that parallel yourself? I've been asked about it in two separate interviews, so was wondering if this is an independent observation.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 24, 2014, 06:48:58 PM
*returns high-five*

Thanks, Mike.

I just read your review on goodreads and d*mn you write a good review. You could write reviews for a living.

I have to ask--with the spaghetti western thing, did you draw that parallel yourself? I've been asked about it in two separate interviews, so was wondering if this is an independent observation.

That's funny, but yeah, I was getting a sort of Man With No Name trilogy or Hang 'Em High vibe at times; maybe it was just the cactus... Some styles of post-apocalyptic literature lend themselves very well to the comparison, though, with that gritty struggle for survival in desert settings.

Glad the review was up to snuff. Been a while since I wrote one, but I used to do reviews for the website Graphic Novel Reporter (http://www.graphicnovelreporter.com). I've only done a few sporadically since, as the mood strikes.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 24, 2014, 07:03:00 PM
That's funny, but yeah, I was getting a sort of Man With No Name trilogy or Hang 'Em High vibe at times; maybe it was just the cactus... Some styles of post-apocalyptic literature lend themselves very well to the comparison, though, with that gritty struggle for survival in desert settings.

Glad the review was up to snuff. Been a while since I wrote one, but I used to do reviews for the website Graphic Novel Reporter (http://www.graphicnovelreporter.com). I've only done a few sporadically since, as the mood strikes.

Yeah, I didn't pick up on this until I was reading my first draft and it dawned on me that there was a western flavour to some of it, especially when outside of the city. I quite like it, and it got me thinking about writing a space western.

From an interview I did:

Quote
Allan Walsh: In your new novel, Irradiated, there appears to be a connotation towards the wild west. Was this intentional and if so, are you a big fan of westerns?

S.Elliot Brandis: I think this is a very natural, organic connection. I didn’t sit down and try and infuse western elements into my novel. I do, however, think there is a huge overlap between a low –technology post-apocalyptic landscape and that of the old American frontier western. You take away petrol and electricity, made the landscape harsh and sparsely populated, and suddenly it begins to invoke the feeling of the ol’ west. Every confrontation comes with the potential for danger, and people can get away with being a little more, well, wild.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 24, 2014, 07:18:29 PM
Yeah, I didn't pick up on this until I was reading my first draft and it dawned on me that there was a western flavour to some of it, especially when outside of the city. I quite like it, and it got me thinking about writing a space western.

From an interview I did:



You nail it in that interview. That sort of old wild west mythos makes for some good flavoring, I think. Given what little I know about Australia, the terrain seems an appropriate analog to that western frontier expansion; lots of open space, sparse population, a sense of creeping danger from the elements and the random faces. You played it up well!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 25, 2014, 07:51:25 AM
I've just written about the blog hop on my Blog, Living in the Maniototo (named after the book by writer Janet Frame!).

I hope that I've mentioned all the blog posts so far, both on the Speculative Fiction Showcase and elsewhere. If I've left anybody out, please let me know!

I'm also happy to re-blog things, though I haven't quite worked out to do this on Blogger yet.

http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/a-new-story-camillas-chance-on-amazon.html (http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/a-new-story-camillas-chance-on-amazon.html)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on May 25, 2014, 07:17:25 PM
Oh, yes! I'm excited about THE KINDLE BOARDS SPEC FIC CHAIN of the popular WRITING PROCESS BLOG TOUR!!!!! I can see some others have added their comments, and I just wanted to start a list AND.... Get some more folks to sign up, because it's going REALLY WELL. And I am LOVING reading all these posts. We have amazing authors here on the Kindle Boards :D

So far, we've got these posts in the past four weeks:

Heidi Garrett: www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Cat Amesbury: www.catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Michael Patrick Hicks: www.michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Elle Chambers: www.indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Bill Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html


And here is the rest of the line up:

May 19th      S. Elliot Brandis
May 26th      
June 2nd      RJ Crayton
June 9th      Cherise Kelley
June 16th      
June 23rd      David Pagan
June 30th      Nicolas Wilson
July  7th      

The Writing Process Blog Tour/Hop is a popular blog meme. However, not so many SPEC FIC writers have participated. I'd love to keep this going for as long as we can, so if you'd like to participate, please send me a pm with your preferred two dates.

We had some scheduling glitches in the beginning, but now that we're doing a one-to-one tag with KB authors it's going well. This allows for everyone to tag up to two other authors, IF THEY WANT TO. IF you don't want to, no worries!

Thanks so much to all who have participated and signed up!

So.... I've got a blogspot address that I claimed a while back, slaves to the muse, and I've always wanted to use it to promote SPEC FIC. I'm wondering if we could re-blog these posts there and also offer New Releases, especially the ones that we've written about in our writing process posts. I'm still thinking about that, because you know, I don't won't to get overwhelmed, lol. But I'd love to hear if anyone thinks that's a good idea or not!


Re-blogging is never a good idea, in my opinion.

Google doesn't like it when the same content is posted in more than one location:
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359?hl=en

Google is a blog's best friend. Must please Google.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: wilsonharp on May 25, 2014, 08:37:20 PM
I was out of touch for about six months and just now saw this thread. I'll be spec-fic for at least the next five novels and next four of five short stories (with a 1920's Noir Detective short thrown in the mix). Glad to see that there is some effort to work together.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on May 25, 2014, 09:42:18 PM
I'm not in the list above, but Heidi should have me down for July 14th based on our correspondence.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 26, 2014, 02:37:02 AM
Cherise - I am sure you are right. And I would not like to fall out with the Google!

Jamie - thank you! I think I'm blogging on 21st July, so right after you. I wonder who is booked for today - May 26th? I believe it is Memorial Day in the States, so I don't know whether anyone is scheduled.

I will update my blog post with the upcoming bloggers as I find out who they are. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on May 26, 2014, 02:43:49 AM
I'm in for August 11th so spaces must be filling up!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 26, 2014, 02:58:17 AM
Ceinwen, I've added you to my list. (Though that sounds like something out of Dad's Army!)

I imagine that Heidi will update the Speculative Fiction Showcase Blog as the posts appear.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on May 26, 2014, 03:02:27 AM
I'm scheduled for August 25 (because I wanted enough time to finish a couple of books, and maybe some short stories). Heidi has said she will update every Monday, so I'm waiting for her post to blog about the hop.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on May 26, 2014, 03:37:48 AM
I'm very late to this thread, but I'm pretty sure my zombie series would fall under speculative fiction!  :D  (Kick me out if I'm wrong, but speculative fiction, from what I understand, is quite diverse.  Although my book falls under new adult/romance, it's also post-apocalyptic/zombie apocalypse.)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 26, 2014, 03:42:12 AM
I'm very late to this thread, but I'm pretty sure my zombie series would fall under speculative fiction!  :D

Welcome, Jolie!

You're definitely at home here.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on May 26, 2014, 03:44:25 AM
Welcome, Jolie!

You're definitely at home here.

Thanks Elliot!! :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on May 26, 2014, 03:46:14 AM
I'd definitely count zombies as spec fic. Looking forward to reading your take on them, Jolie!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on May 26, 2014, 03:57:33 AM
I consider myself a specfic writer, but I've always felt excluded from specfic circles because I write my books with sex and love and feelings, some of it YA. Not romances, exactly, just very "girly" fantasy. And posts like the OP, of course, telling me that my specfic dwells in a different place than your Real Specfic does not feel very inclusive for obvious reasons.

Not trying to pick a fight. But maybe some folks should think about why you don't consider books with romantic elements to be like "your" speculative fiction. (Also, not just OP in particular, who is a swell guy. Everyone in the community is responsible for these attitudes.)

(Ann Aguirre has a great post about this but I don't feel like digging it up.)

Lindsay Buroker, it's awesome seeing on you here. We should cross pollinate our UF audiences sometime. Don't be a stranger.

I'm late to this thread, but I'm reading all the posts.  Just came to yours.  Because my series also falls under the categories of new adult and romance, I was hesitant to join this thread.  However, I had to remind myself that speculative fiction is diverse and that diversity *includes* books that contain romantic elements.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on May 26, 2014, 03:58:08 AM
I'd definitely count zombies as spec fic. Looking forward to reading your take on them, Jolie!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank you!  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on May 26, 2014, 04:08:37 AM
Why did this turn into a Twilight hater thread suddenly? Um...

I'm with SL Gray. Twilight is spec fic. It's fantasy, YA paranormal romance straight up. It's a vampire series. It has vampires. Who cares if they aren't Bram Stoker vampires? Writers can make up whatever they want. Just because you hate something doesn't mean it should be exiled from the genre it clearly falls under. Move on, peeps, seriously. This kind of "THAT thing don't belong in MY spec fic" is the thing that has helped to kill the popularity of science fiction right dead in so many ways. Why would we continue that exclusionism? It makes no sense to do so.

I'm up to this post now.  Hoping the tone gets better as I continue to read.  :D Yes, Twilight is speculative fiction even though she made the vampires sparkle like Christmas sugar cookies.  (She said she had never read a vampire book or seen a vampire movie before she wrote Twilight.  Not even Stoker's.  So, there you go.)   
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on May 26, 2014, 04:10:52 AM
In another thread, someone perfectly described the difference between dark stories and light stories:

Dark = pessimistic

Light = optimistic

Light stories can have violence, etc, but they always have hope, if not a happy ending. I think the distinction between light and dark in spec fic is more important than the distinction between sub-genres.

I dislike most horror because it is usually pessimistic. Count me among those who read to escape life's horrors and who write to help others escape them.

This is an excellent definition.  As for me, I like to read both.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on May 26, 2014, 04:14:42 AM
Also, I don't go around killing people not because I fear the law, but because I don't want to kill people. I imagine a lot of people are like that. If I had super powers, I wouldn't use them to kill people either. Depending on what the powers were, I probably would use them to make money, but I'd try not to break the law or hurt anyone, because I don't *want* to break the law or hurt anyone.

My books are set in the zombie apocalypse.  Therefore, some folks will get killed.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on May 26, 2014, 04:19:14 AM
Orphan Black is on my to-watch list; very glad to see season 1 available on Amazon Prime video!

My husband and I are addicted to Orphan Black.  It's one of the best shows on television.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on May 26, 2014, 06:57:46 AM
I wonder who is booked for today - May 26th? I believe it is Memorial Day in the States, so I don't know whether anyone is scheduled.

That's me!

http://sandrakwilliams.net/writing/2014/writing-process-blog-tour/ (http://sandrakwilliams.net/writing/2014/writing-process-blog-tour/)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 26, 2014, 07:14:38 AM
That's me!

http://sandrakwilliams.net/writing/2014/writing-process-blog-tour/ (http://sandrakwilliams.net/writing/2014/writing-process-blog-tour/)

Excellent! (saves link for later).

JolieduPre - I reckon Spec Fic is a broad church. Lots of room for zombies! (And romance?) There's much more crossover going on.

>.> Post by Max Booth on Lit Reactor: 'Stop stressing over genre and just write.' http://litreactor.com/columns/stop-stressing-over-genre-and-just-write (http://litreactor.com/columns/stop-stressing-over-genre-and-just-write)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on May 26, 2014, 08:46:13 AM
My husband and I are addicted to Orphan Black.  It's one of the best shows on television.

They made the genius move of originally premiering it (here in Canada on Space Channel) on Saturday night after Doctor Who. I watched the first episode, and was hooked for good in the final 5 minutes. It's fantastic, and even more fun that it's shot and set right here in Toronto.

I got to meet the director of special projects for Space Channel at the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium a few months ago, who was busy then with pre-S2 launch activities for the series. He was the one that pushed hard for Space to pick up Doctor Who (from CBC) here in Canada. Really cool guy.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on May 26, 2014, 09:01:31 AM
JolieduPre - I reckon Spec Fic is a broad church. Lots of room for zombies! (And romance?) There's much more crossover going on.

Yep!

They made the genius move of originally premiering it (here in Canada on Space Channel) on Saturday night after Doctor Who. I watched the first episode, and was hooked for good in the final 5 minutes. It's fantastic, and even more fun that it's shot and set right here in Toronto.

I got to meet the director of special projects for Space Channel at the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium a few months ago, who was busy then with pre-S2 launch activities for the series. He was the one that pushed hard for Space to pick up Doctor Who (from CBC) here in Canada. Really cool guy.

The writing and the acting is excellent, and Tatiana Maslany is incredible.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 26, 2014, 12:26:34 PM
Vydorscope: I can put you in July or August for the giveaway, which do you prefer? Also, you're new release will be this Wednesday on the www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com

JessieCar: Thanks for spreading the word about the Speculaitve Fiction showcase and writing process tour Speculative Fiction Blog Hop. If we all do a little, that helps. I have The Glass Mountain down for the August Giveaway. But are you sure you don't want to do one of your other books? Just asking cause you can get a post for a new release and for a donated book. So if your donated book is different than your new release you can get two posts. Let me know:)

As far as putting links to the posts up, I was going to put all the links to the showcase up every Friday in one comment. For the writing process tour, do ya'll want me to post the whole list every Monday or not?

Jamie: I have Brush with Darkness as part of the July giveaway. And correct on the July 14th on the Blog Hop date for you!

mphicks: Great feedback on Irradiated, I'm planning on reading it too! The sister storyline has me totally intrigued. I'm almost finished with the deluxe edition of Elle Chamber's Good Eats. My  my! I'm not a Zombie/Zombi fan, but her story is a GOOD READ, lol. Plus I got the deluxe edition with a few other really creepy shorts!

Oh, and mphicks your writing process tour Speculative Fiction Blog Hop post will be on www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com tomorrow!

Joliedupre: So yes, I definitely count Zombies as spec fic too!

Cherise: Thanks for posting about the reposting. I'm a little bit aware of this so we're not posting the posts in their entirety. I did think it would make a great addition to the showcase to have Spec Fic writers talk about their writing process, since writing spec fic is very different than other genres.

Anybody else have any thoughts?

Ceinwen: Yes, you are August 11th on the blog tour, and this coming Friday June 6th with your new release.


And the tour is filling up. We have August 18th open, and then we're looking at September dates!


HOWEVER we do need more new releases for June!!!! Please email at heidi_g@comcast.net if you have a Speculative Fiction brew release in June or in the past thirty days! Thanks!!!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Davout73 on May 26, 2014, 12:30:16 PM
A friendly FYI, your hyperlinks are missing the '.com' part.

Looking forward to some of these books!

Dav
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 26, 2014, 12:30:42 PM
S. Brandis Elliott are you still looking at 50 word descriptions of spec fic?

By using imagined elements and/or imagined worlds, Speculative Fiction gives tangible expression to the multiple layers of reality. Whether it be a created future, an altered past, the infinity of the inner realms, or the mysterious connection between people, Speculative Fiction delivers an expansive view of our reality. ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 26, 2014, 12:46:23 PM
Vydorscope: I can put you in July or August for the giveaway, which do you prefer? Also, you're new release will be this Wednesday on the www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com

Ummmm *flips a coin*  JULY wins!



HOWEVER we do need more new releases for June!!!! Please email at heidi_g@comcast.net if you have a Speculative Fiction brew release in June or in the past thirty days! Thanks!!!

I will have a new release on June 20th if all goes to plan. Manuscript is with my editor now.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 26, 2014, 01:30:07 PM
A friendly FYI, your hyperlinks are missing the '.com' part.

Looking forward to some of these books!

Dav

Thanks!!!! :-[

Vincent, Have you down in July oops! Sorry, I had to go with August, I was looking at the wrong month! for the giveaway of The Lost Tales of Power. As soon as you have your next new release, please send it :D Thanks!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on May 26, 2014, 01:41:48 PM

mphicks: Great feedback on Irradiated, I'm planning on reading it too! The sister storyline has me totally intrigued. I'm almost finished with the deluxe edition of Elle Chamber's Good Eats. My  my! I'm not a Zombie/Zombi fan, but her story is a GOOD READ, lol. Plus I got the deluxe edition with a few other really creepy shorts!


Aw, thanks so much for that, Heidi! It's always nice to hear from people who don't typically read in that genre that they liked what I did there. I hope you enjoy the shorts, too. The second one, "Child's Play," seems to be everyone's favorite.

Oh, and I love your book covers.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on May 26, 2014, 01:53:20 PM

mphicks: Great feedback on Irradiated, I'm planning on reading it too! The sister storyline has me totally intrigued. I'm almost finished with the deluxe edition of Elle Chamber's Good Eats. My  my! I'm not a Zombie/Zombi fan, but her story is a GOOD READ, lol. Plus I got the deluxe edition with a few other really creepy shorts!

Oh, and mphicks your writing process tour Speculative Fiction Blog Hop post will be on www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com tomorrow!


Cool, thanks Heidi!

I definitely need to read Elle's book, and have added it to my list. I dig zombie stuff, and will be sure to get the deluxe addition for the added short stories. Cajun hoodoo has a very definite appeal to me!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on May 26, 2014, 02:25:26 PM
Thanks!!!! :-[

Vincent, Have you down in July oops! Sorry, I had to go with August, I was looking at the wrong month! for the giveaway of The Lost Tales of Power. As soon as you have your next new release, please send it :D Thanks!

August 13th is my son's birthday, so August works too! Just drop me a PM or email and remind me of anything you need as you need it. :) Cause there is NO WAY I will remember this convo come August :D  8)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on May 26, 2014, 02:28:05 PM
Cool, thanks Heidi!

I definitely need to read Elle's book, and have added it to my list. I dig zombie stuff, and will be sure to get the deluxe addition for the added short stories. Cajun hoodoo has a very definite appeal to me!

If you read it, I hope you enjoy it! :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Kristopia on May 26, 2014, 07:40:07 PM
My first novel was SpecFic, which has always been my favorite genre as a reader. I jumped ship to write a black ops series for a few years and recently returned with a Post-apoc, prepper-themed series.

Still, very happy to see this circle of high fives.


Hey, I'm reading the "Jakarta Pandemic" right now. I'm early in the book, but fyi, really enjoying the build-up.  I read a lot of apocalyptic books - and am preparing to debut my first Apocalyptic novel. 

Glad to find this thread. :)

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 26, 2014, 08:14:08 PM
Hey, I'm reading the "Jakarta Pandemic" right now. I'm early in the book, but fyi, really enjoying the build-up.  I read a lot of apocalyptic books - and am preparing to debut my first Apocalyptic novel. 

Glad to find this thread. :)

I believe I have the same editor as Steven. He gave me a reference a few months ago. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 27, 2014, 03:54:27 AM
S. Brandis Elliott are you still looking at 50 word descriptions of spec fic?

By using imagined elements and/or imagined worlds, Speculative Fiction gives tangible expression to the multiple layers of reality. Whether it be a created future, an altered past, the infinity of the inner realms, or the mysterious connection between people, Speculative Fiction delivers an expansive view of our reality. ;)

That's great, Heidi!

Keep them coming, everyone. I think I could use a couple more, at least.

I had a bit of a brain-rush on the bus this morning (it must have been the lack of sleep), but now I'm totally convinced that I want to write a Space Western with a gruff android as the protagonist. I basically wrote the first chapter in my head, and started plotting out the major story arc. Whatever will become of me...

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 27, 2014, 07:00:28 AM

JessieCar: Thanks for spreading the word about the Speculaitve Fiction showcase and writing process tour Speculative Fiction Blog Hop. If we all do a little, that helps. I have The Glass Mountain down for the August Giveaway. But are you sure you don't want to do one of your other books? Just asking cause you can get a post for a new release and for a donated book. So if your donated book is different than your new release you can get two posts. Let me know:)

Hi Heidi - thank you very much! I think you are right and I will prolly donate one of the other books - will email you. I'm going on holiday for a few days so will be offline.

Quote
As far as putting links to the posts up, I was going to put all the links to the showcase up every Friday in one comment. For the writing process tour, do ya'll want me to post the whole list every Monday or not?

I'm easy on this, Heidi - whatever you think best. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JenEllision on May 27, 2014, 12:03:45 PM

HOWEVER we do need more new releases for June!!!! Please email at heidi_g@comcast.net if you have a Speculative Fiction brew release in June or in the past thirty days! Thanks!!!

Heidi-- Will be e-mailing you soon! I have a short prequel that accompanies my series releasing in June. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Kristopia on May 27, 2014, 09:06:32 PM
My husband and I are addicted to Orphan Black.  It's one of the best shows on television.
Yep - I hated Sarah at first - but her character has grown leaps and bounds, and I'm not even finished watching Season 1 :)  LOVE it!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Kristopia on May 27, 2014, 09:12:32 PM
I believe I have the same editor as Steven. He gave me a reference a few months ago. :)
So far, so good. My novel is (**gasp**) Spec fic but YA - though I've written it for the YA, NA and adult audiences (no romance at this point - 15 year old girl just trying to survive).

I'm implementing my editor (and beta reader's) suggestions at this time, then it's out to my second wave of Betas while I work on cover design.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 30, 2014, 08:51:45 AM
Elle, I'm almost finish with the shorts. Yes, "Child's Play" is a very good one... one of my faves too. But "When Daddy Comes Home," I had to laugh out loud at the  hot-butt trollop, and Libby has to be one of the creepies zombi's ever! Oh, and thanks on the covers! We're getting ready to release an "anthology" of my three short stories and I'm very excited about THAT cover:)

Vydorscope and everyone, I'll be sending email reminders for whenever you signed up for stuff!

Kristopia, Glad you found us too! Apocalyptic is very popular. Shoot me an email at heidi_g@comcast.net when you're new release is ready so we can feature it in the Speculative Fiction showcase. The final novel in my  fantasy trilogy, Daughter of Light, is going to be Apocalyptic too! The first book is getting ready to be rereleased in July. So excited:)

S. Elliot Brandis, a space western with a gruff android protagonist sounds fun. Have you read Unicorn Western? It's on my TBR pile.

Jessie, great! Just get in touch whenever.

Jennifer, awesome, just send the new release stuff to me and I'll get it in the showcase!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on May 30, 2014, 08:55:08 AM
Check out the awesome line up we had this week on the speculative fiction showcase!

http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/warden-book-3-attack-of-aswang-by-kevin.html
http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/michael-patrick-hicks-talks-about-how.html
http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/sworn-to-defiance-by-terah-edun.html
http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-lost-tales-of-power-volumes-1-3-by.html
http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-edge-of-woods-by-ceinwen-langley.html

More to come!!!!!

Plus, please remember to submit all your speculative fiction new releases to heidi_g@comcast.net :D

Okay, back to the writing cave for me!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Kristopia on May 30, 2014, 09:09:46 AM
Thanks Heidi - I'll definitely let you know via e-mail when the book is ready - should be mid to late June. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SandraMiller on May 30, 2014, 09:51:05 AM
How did I miss this thread for so long?  :o  I've been head-down for too long...haven't been on kboards like I ought to be. 

But...hello, everybody!  Love, love, love spec-fic (sold an article many years ago about why it's so important even though lots of people didn't take it seriously at the time) and I'm thrilled to find so many people here who agree.  I'm prone to lurk a lot but figured I'd poke my nose in and introduce myself.

So...hey!  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Micah Ackerman on May 30, 2014, 09:58:03 AM
So I released my first novel "Wormwood" which I consider "speculative fiction"

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KN7WEW2 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KN7WEW2)

I'm super nervous and I'm getting frustrated with finding decent promo's for new releases. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks
Micah
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on May 30, 2014, 10:11:11 AM
Elle, I'm almost finish with the shorts. Yes, "Child's Play" is a very good one... one of my faves too. But "When Daddy Comes Home," I had to laugh out loud at the  hot-butt trollop, and Libby has to be one of the creepies zombi's ever! Oh, and thanks on the covers! We're getting ready to release an "anthology" of my three short stories and I'm very excited about THAT cover:)


Ha! One of my betas said she cracked up at the hot-butt trollop line, too. Glad you thought Lib was creepy and that you're enjoying the stories. Can't wait to see your new cover. Your husband is doing a really good job - he's stepped his game up in a big way.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: pauldude000 on May 30, 2014, 10:58:29 AM
Speculative fiction can be a huge player in the book market, just ask Hugh Howey (Wool), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games), Pat Frank (Alas Babylon), and Robert Heinlen (Farnham's Freehold) just to name a very few.

Over the last decade, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian are getting huge coverage in the TV and movie scene, with such shows as Revolution, The Walking Dead, The Hunger Games, Jericho, the remake of Red Dawn, etc.. This is also driving up the interest in other avenues, such as books. Speculative fiction is going mainstream in a big way, and is gaining millions of fans.

For instance, just the show Revolution has way over a million likes on Facebook. Datum like this show me that there is a true base for the genre, though the statement may not have been true just five or ten years ago.

I know that I was introduced by a mere handful of books when I was younger, this desire for more was satiated by amateur writers on various forums where dystopian and post apocalyptic writing predominated. While a couple of these writers have gone pro, many have not... though they should.

Everyone is worried about competition in this market, which drives me bat**** nuts. This illogical fear is stupid. Competition is only a problem in a saturated market. Speculative fiction is far from a saturated market and in fact could be arguably be called a starving market. The larger the base of written works and authors with differing styles, the larger the base of fans it can attract and hold.

We speculative writers should be openly encouraging each other, helping other writers in need, and improving the quality of the entire base for our potential fans if nothing else. It will translate to a larger fan base for the whole genre. A larger fan base equals more sales for everyone writing in the genre.

It is a win-win for everyone, and it will take decades before the market is saturated enough for competition to be an actual issue.

I think too many people have bought into the 'dog eat dog' philosophy. Dogs don't eat dogs, and cooperation along with intelligence are the two survival traits that place man at the top of the food chain above lions, tigers, etc.

With the extra impetus coming from the video scene, we have the chance to make speculative fiction a huge player on the field. The question is... will we do it?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on May 30, 2014, 06:25:03 PM
I just crossposted the Indie Speculative Fiction of the Month round-up for May to my personal and publisher blogs:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/05/31/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-may-2014/
http://pegasus-pulp.com/2014/05/31/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-may-2014/

Again, there are many books by KBoarders included. I also gave a shout-out to Heidi's Speculative Fiction Showcase.

As always, tweets, likes, shares, etc... are appreciated. And if you have a new speculative fiction book coming out in June, feel free to let me know.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on May 30, 2014, 07:09:03 PM

S. Elliot Brandis, a space western with a gruff android protagonist sounds fun. Have you read Unicorn Western? It's on my TBR pile.

No, I haven't... I'll check it out.

The idea has been firming in my mind this past week. It's not going to be a Space Western, but a Post Apocalyptic Western, and I'm going to release it in 20k parts. My android cowboy is still the antihero.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on May 31, 2014, 06:05:54 AM
How did I miss this thread for so long?  :o  I've been head-down for too long...haven't been on kboards like I ought to be. 

But...hello, everybody!  Love, love, love spec-fic (sold an article many years ago about why it's so important even though lots of people didn't take it seriously at the time) and I'm thrilled to find so many people here who agree.  I'm prone to lurk a lot but figured I'd poke my nose in and introduce myself.

So...hey!  :)

Hello! It's a loong thread but check out the stuff about the Speculative Fiction Blop Hop and suchlike.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: GardenGnome on May 31, 2014, 06:26:42 PM
I am interested in the development of an entirely unique type of creature/character in the realm of Horror and/or Dark Fantasy, even if said creature/character is (somewhat) an extension of a more familiar concept (ie: the witch, the elemental, the immortal, etc.) I write Soft Horror and Dark Fantasy, and so am always attempting to bring a different element or layer to a central character or theme that an adventurous reader might not find elsewhere. Clive Barker is a great one for bringing unique characters into the foray, although he is often a bit too dark for my taste.

It is very difficult to promote such stories, sometimes.

You might try submitting stories to Garden Gnome Publications. They love experimentation.

http://gardengnomepubs.com/submissions/biblical-legends-anthology-series/deluge/
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on June 02, 2014, 10:03:04 AM
Today's stop on the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop is RJ Crayton!

http://rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/

I took Monday off on the the Speculative Fiction showcase:P Did anyone else have gorgeous weather with this weekend? I couldn't resist spending most of it in our backyard, dreaming... it was awesome!

Sandra, glad you found this thread too!

Micah, email me at heidi_g@comcast.net if you’d like Wormwood featured as a new release on the Speculative Fiction showcase: www. indiespecfic.blogspot.com

Elle, just finished "The Storyteller." Another good one:D Thanks on the covers… the next one will be done soon… impatient author, lol.

Paul, I think there’s an untapped market and reader-love for spec fic too!

Cora, thanks for the shout out to the Spec Fic showcase! That was awesome!!!!

Elliot,  A post apocalyptic western will probably be even better!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 02, 2014, 10:13:54 AM
A repost of past and new links for anyone who missed them.

Heidi Garrett: www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Cat Amesbury: www.catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Michael Patrick Hicks: www.michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Elle Chambers: www.indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Bill Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html

And here is the rest of the line up:

May 19th      S. Elliot Brandis http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
May 26th      Sandra K. Williams  http://sandrakwilliams.net/writing/2014/writing-process-blog-tour/
June 2nd      RJ Crayton http://rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/
June 9th      Cherise Kelley http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/
June 16th      
June 23rd      David Pagan
June 30th      Nicolas Wilson
July  7th      

Also the collection of posts and new releases is here:
http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on June 02, 2014, 11:28:03 AM
Elle, just finished "The Storyteller." Another good one:D Thanks on the covers... the next one will be done soon... impatient author, lol.


Glad you liked it :) And I know what you mean about impatience, lol.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 02, 2014, 12:20:48 PM
Today's stop on the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop is RJ Crayton!

http://rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/

I took Monday off on the the Speculative Fiction showcase:P Did anyone else have gorgeous weather with this weekend? I couldn't resist spending most of it in our backyard, dreaming... it was awesome!


Cheers, Heidi - will do some Tweety/Faceboky stuff. :)

Sandra K Williams - thanks muchly for the updated summary. It's very helpful to have that in one place. I wonder if the OP could update the first post with it?

Was that S Eliot Brandis? (Sorry if I'm being cheeky).
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 02, 2014, 04:37:31 PM
The idea has been firming in my mind this past week. It's not going to be a Space Western, but a Post Apocalyptic Western, and I'm going to release it in 20k parts. My android cowboy is still the antihero.

YES! Do it! I need this book, man.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 02, 2014, 04:42:22 PM
Well, I wrapped up a short horror story today and need some suggestions for cover designers. I need somebody who could design art in the vein of a butcher's diagram, but can't afford to shell out a whole ton of cash (so $150 or less, preferably). If anybody could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on June 03, 2014, 08:13:31 AM
Well, I wrapped up a short horror story today and need some suggestions for cover designers. I need somebody who could design art in the vein of a butcher's diagram, but can't afford to shell out a whole ton of cash (so $150 or less, preferably). If anybody could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

The Cover Collection is a very good place to go. I get a lot of my horror covers there (none in my sig - yet) and the price is pretty reasonable: http://www.thecovercollection.com/premade-ebook-kindle-covers/prices/
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jim Johnson on June 03, 2014, 08:20:40 AM
No, I haven't... I'll check it out.

The idea has been firming in my mind this past week. It's not going to be a Space Western, but a Post Apocalyptic Western, and I'm going to release it in 20k parts. My android cowboy is still the antihero.

Sounds awesome; bring it on! My wip is a weird western / ancient Egypt fusion novella series. I'm shooting (heh) for 30k words per installment.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 03, 2014, 09:48:14 AM
The Cover Collection is a very good place to go. I get a lot of my horror covers there (none in my sig - yet) and the price is pretty reasonable: http://www.thecovercollection.com/premade-ebook-kindle-covers/prices/

Thanks, Elle! I like their style, and just sent them a message. We'll see what happens.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on June 03, 2014, 10:49:08 AM
Thanks, Elle! I like their style, and just sent them a message. We'll see what happens.

My covers from them are premade, but they're awesome (I wish I had time to write faster so everyone could see them! lol) so I have no doubt they'll do a great job for you if you go for something custom. Plus, they have excellent customer service - I can't say enough good things about them.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 03, 2014, 01:40:04 PM
Cheers, Heidi - will do some Tweety/Faceboky stuff. :)

Sandra K Williams - thanks muchly for the updated summary. It's very helpful to have that in one place. I wonder if the OP could update the first post with it?

Was that S Eliot Brandis? (Sorry if I'm being cheeky).

Haha... cheeky is fine.

Do people want me to add it? There will be quite a lot of cross-over with the Spec-Fic Showcase posts, and might be tricky to keep track of.

Elliot,  A post apocalyptic western will probably be even better!

YES! Do it! I need this book, man.

Sounds awesome; bring it on! My wip is a weird western / ancient Egypt fusion novella series. I'm shooting (heh) for 30k words per installment.

Yep, this is definitely happening. I send the sequel to Irradiated to my editor this weekend, so I'll work on Part I of the Post-Apoc-Western while that's away. I have the story and characters worked out, but I have to decide on some of the (not so) finer points. Old guns or new tech, horses or no horses. You know, the usual decisions.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on June 03, 2014, 08:02:27 PM
I'm a fan of horses in post apoc settings. So if you're taking votes I say go horse!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 04, 2014, 02:36:02 AM
Haha... cheeky is fine.

Do people want me to add it? There will be quite a lot of cross-over with the Spec-Fic Showcase posts, and might be tricky to keep track of.

I imagine it could get rather long! :)

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 04, 2014, 09:34:31 AM
I'm giving myself a high-five for finally hearing back from Angry Robot Books after submitting Convergence to them during their 2013 Open Door period. They wanted to see the full manuscript!

Unfortunately, that evaporated pretty quickly. I was honest and upfront with them and let the contact know I had gone the self-pub route. Ah well. On the bright side, they said they'd be interested in future works unrelated to the Convergence/DRMR series, which is pretty cool, I think. So, not a bad way to start a Wednesday.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ryan Sullivan on June 04, 2014, 10:13:12 AM
Hey, I'm a fantasy author. Just joining this thread now. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 04, 2014, 11:40:10 AM
I'm giving myself a high-five for finally hearing back from Angry Robot Books after submitting Convergence to them during their 2013 Open Door period. They wanted to see the full manuscript!

Unfortunately, that evaporated pretty quickly. I was honest and upfront with them and let the contact know I had gone the self-pub route. Ah well. On the bright side, they said they'd be interested in future works unrelated to the Convergence/DRMR series, which is pretty cool, I think. So, not a bad way to start a Wednesday.

That's pretty good mphicks, particularly as they said they'd be interested in future works. Definitely worth a high-five!

And Ryan Sullivan - hello! Fantasy and SF authors are here. And anyone else under the Spec Fic umbrella.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: WDR on June 04, 2014, 01:14:00 PM
I'm giving myself a high-five for finally hearing back from Angry Robot Books after submitting Convergence to them during their 2013 Open Door period. They wanted to see the full manuscript!

Unfortunately, that evaporated pretty quickly. I was honest and upfront with them and let the contact know I had gone the self-pub route. Ah well. On the bright side, they said they'd be interested in future works unrelated to the Convergence/DRMR series, which is pretty cool, I think. So, not a bad way to start a Wednesday.

A high-five for you, Mike! That's really encouraging.

I am certainly not against going the traditional publishing route, so long as the offer made is compelling.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 04, 2014, 03:16:23 PM
I'm a fan of horses in post apoc settings. So if you're taking votes I say go horse!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Haha. Sure, let's vote.

I do think horses would work best. I just need to make sure I do them right--good ol' research is required.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 05, 2014, 07:36:03 AM
Thanks, Bill and Jessie! Agreed, if the offer is compelling, I'd be interested in a traditional path, but it'd really have to be worth it.

Elliot - I'm voting pro-horse.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on June 05, 2014, 11:35:29 AM
Hooray!  Today I'm featured at the Speculative Fiction Showcase - http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/benton-zombie-novel-by-jolie-du-pre.html   :) :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 05, 2014, 11:47:12 AM
Hooray!  Today I'm featured at the Speculative Fiction Showcase - http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/benton-zombie-novel-by-jolie-du-pre.html   :) :)

Great stuff, Jolie. Will tweet this! :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on June 05, 2014, 12:26:46 PM
Great stuff, Jolie. Will tweet this! :)

Thank you!!  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on June 06, 2014, 09:07:40 AM
This week at the Speculative Fiction Showcase:

http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/outage-powerless-nation-book-one-by.html
http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/benton-zombie-novel-by-jolie-du-pre.html
http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/cat-amesbury-talks-about-how-she-writes.html

It was a shorter week of posts, I hit massive overwhelm:) Last week I finished the revisions on the first book in my fantasy series that I'm going to re-release—FINALLY! YAY! But it left me pretty wiped out. Then it was back to work on the paranormal romance series I'm collaborating on. It's a lot of fun, but I had to totally switch gears. Today it's going to be all about Dryads... working on my next fairy tale retelling...

Anyway, I've committed to 3-5 posts a week on the showcase, so it looks like that will work.

AND of course, PLEASE SEND SPECULATIVE FICTION NEW RELEASES to me at heidi_g@comcast.net.

Also, the Spec Fic showcase is now open for guest posts. Anything spec fic related will work, and you can use the guest posts as a platform to showcase previously published works!!!!

Elliott, I definitely vote horses. Maybe something like a C3PO/R2D2 proto-type/equine droid... with personality:D

Mike, Congratulations on the traditional publishing lead. Probably great inspiration to start on a new project!

Ryan, glad to see on the thread!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 06, 2014, 11:07:52 AM

Elliott, I definitely vote horses. Maybe something like a C3PO/R2D2 proto-type/equine droid... with personality:D

Read the Warlock Unlocked (The Warlock Series) by Christopher Stasheff  - he has such a horse. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on June 08, 2014, 03:04:38 PM
So I was working on my next fairy tale retelling... it's going to be a retelling of Han's Christian Andersen's The Dryad... and it went all dystopian on me... very exciting...  :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on June 08, 2014, 04:56:21 PM

So I was working on my next fairy tale retelling... it's going to be a retelling of Han's Christian Andersen's The Dryad... and it went all dystopian on me... very exciting...  :D

Would definitely read!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 08, 2014, 06:13:18 PM
So I was working on my next fairy tale retelling... it's going to be a retelling of Han's Christian Andersen's The Dryad... and it went all dystopian on me... very exciting...  :D

Everything I write ends up as a dystopian. Gotta love it.

Anybody have any good recommendation for cover designers? Preferably someone that won't break the bank--I'm planning to release a novel in four parts, so that means four covers. I'd go pre-made but it's basically impossible to find a pre-made cover that suits a post-apocalyptic western...

For a title I'm currently thinking "Once upon a time at the end of the world".
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on June 08, 2014, 08:38:18 PM
Art By Karri (sorry, on my phone, but it should come up on google) is one of my favourite designers to keep an eye on. Her ebook covers are pretty affordable I think.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 08, 2014, 11:37:10 PM
Art By Karri (sorry, on my phone, but it should come up on google) is one of my favourite designers to keep an eye on. Her ebook covers are pretty affordable I think.

She's talented, but I don't reckon she's a good fit for what I have in mind. Her work has quite a bright, surreal quality, whereas I'm after something quite raw and gritty, even pulpy.

It's really hard to find the right designer, though. I've been looking quite a bit today.

As an aside, I found this old novel (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91hydD7POLL.jpg) and I think I'm in love with the cover.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 09, 2014, 03:18:37 AM
Everything I write ends up as a dystopian. Gotta love it.

Anybody have any good recommendation for cover designers? Preferably someone that won't break the bank--I'm planning to release a novel in four parts, so that means four covers. I'd go pre-made but it's basically impossible to find a pre-made cover that suits a post-apocalyptic western...

For a title I'm currently thinking "Once upon a time at the end of the world".

Drop Yoly at Cormar Covers (http://cormarcovers.wix.com/cormarcovers) a line. She is a member here, and as per her posted price charges $80 for custom cover. I think your chances are better that way. Or if you really want a pre-made, check out Go On Write's collection of Apocalypse covers: http://www.goonwrite.com/book-covers-apocalype_pre-made.htm and maybe there willl be something there for you.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 09, 2014, 04:51:33 AM
Friday June 13th - Spectra's Gambit will be released! Yay!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on June 09, 2014, 08:01:58 AM
Congratulations, Vincent!


It's really hard to find the right designer, though. I've been looking quite a bit today.

Seriously, it feels a bit like internet dating sometimes!

As an aside, I found this old novel (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91hydD7POLL.jpg) and I think I'm in love with the cover.

Very cool, I love pulp. I can actually really see something like that suiting your books. Have you thought about having an artist do some original artwork for you and then getting someone else to do the typography over it? Probably isn't ideal on a budget, but like I said in my review, I'd love to see artwork of your worlds! I'm sure plenty others would too.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JenEllision on June 09, 2014, 09:46:23 AM
Eep, haven't check in in a bit, but Heidi, your dystopian retelling sounds COOL. S. Eliot, I love the ideas you're shooting out about this post apocalyptic western!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 09, 2014, 09:53:56 AM
She's talented, but I don't reckon she's a good fit for what I have in mind. Her work has quite a bright, surreal quality, whereas I'm after something quite raw and gritty, even pulpy.

It's really hard to find the right designer, though. I've been looking quite a bit today.

The artist a couple of KB people (KJColt and ElHawk) used recently paints similarly to that cover, if that's what you're looking for. I can't remember the artist's name.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on June 09, 2014, 10:11:45 AM
Lane Brown! I thought their covers were fantastic so I bookmarked him. His gallery is really cool. http://www.lanebrownart.com
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 09, 2014, 12:32:09 PM
Lane Brown is amazing. Any idea how many pretty pennies he costs?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on June 09, 2014, 12:36:47 PM
That is some beautiful work. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 09, 2014, 12:57:43 PM
Lane Brown is amazing. Any idea how many pretty pennies he costs?

I am gonna venture to guess more than 2 or 3...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 09, 2014, 01:33:20 PM
Seriously, it feels a bit like internet dating sometimes!

Very cool, I love pulp. I can actually really see something like that suiting your books. Have you thought about having an artist do some original artwork for you and then getting someone else to do the typography over it? Probably isn't ideal on a budget, but like I said in my review, I'd love to see artwork of your worlds! I'm sure plenty others would too.

I liked your goodreads review. :)

I agree with you on the art. I had a thought, while writing Degenerated, that black and white comic-style art of my characters would be freaking cool. It would be fun to include some art panels in a novel, kind of like how Hugh Howey did with Sand.

Eep, haven't check in in a bit, but Heidi, your dystopian retelling sounds COOL. S. Eliot, I love the ideas you're shooting out about this post apocalyptic western!

I sometimes think that my mind is its own person. It tells me things on a 'need to know' basis.

I sent my WIP to my editor this weekend, so decided I'd start work on the Post-Apoc-Western while it was away. I wanted to work on something different to flush out my system, take a break from my series, etc. I told myself it would be a less dark, perhaps even a bit cheesy. Then, in the very first chapter, my d*mn android cowboy shoots someone in the throat.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RaeC on June 09, 2014, 05:05:21 PM
And you have my cape...oh, what's that you say? I'm six months too late for all that? Hmm.  Well this is embarrassing.

But on a serious note, I've loved speculative fiction in one way or another for close to 25 years now, and I've been writing it (on and off) for close to 15.  It's great there's a place to come if I need to pick someone's brain.   There's this one idea I have for a series that I just know is going to give me trouble when it's time to market (YA vs children's vs general superhero).
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on June 09, 2014, 06:46:54 PM
Friday June 13th - Spectra's Gambit will be released! Yay!

Congrats! That's the same day my first novel, Stars and Other Monsters, will be released! Um, HIGH FIVE! Am I doing this right?

I just couldn't resist having the release date fall on the only Friday the 13th of the year.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 09, 2014, 08:13:22 PM
Congrats! That's the same day my first novel, Stars and Other Monsters, will be released! Um, HIGH FIVE! Am I doing this right?

I just couldn't resist having the release date fall on the only Friday the 13th of the year.
Congratulations! First release is huge!


My prior release was on Friday, December 13th, 2013.  :P shame that next release can't be another Friday the 13th.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on June 09, 2014, 08:22:42 PM
Congrats! That's the same day my first novel, Stars and Other Monsters, will be released! Um, HIGH FIVE! Am I doing this right?

I just couldn't resist having the release date fall on the only Friday the 13th of the year.

Congratulations! I really like your title.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 10, 2014, 12:45:04 AM
Spectra's Gambit is a great name, too.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SA_Archer on June 10, 2014, 03:14:25 AM
Jumping in to say 'hi'! Thanks for this thread! I write urban fantasy and, like some others, not getting much in the way of sales at the moment. It was actually a relief to find this thread and hear some others mentioning the same thing. I've been reading the uber-awesome money posts by the romance and erotica authors and agonizing over the apparent ease with which others find success, while every pebble I toss into the Amazon ocean barely makes a ripple and vanishes into the dark void. Now I don't feel quite so bad, knowing the genre is just a tough one to work with.

One of the things I find frustrating is picking a category on Amazon. I am sure I am not the only one to notice that the subcategories offered in the KDP dash board are NOT the searchable subcategories on Amazon. What is up with that? And what are the ways around it, if any? Like, you can pick 'Action Adventure' in KDP, but that is as far down as your choices go. But if you search Amazon, Action Adventure does have a 'fantasy' subcategory. So how does one get into it? Keywords, maybe?

I second the need for something like BookBub for speculative fiction. I wonder if that is a chicken and the egg question, though. Does BookBub work great for mystery and romance titles because they pushed those books and targeted those readers? Or is it because there are so many more readers for those genres that they've proved to Book Bub that mystery and romance books will get them more hits and more money, and therefore focus more on those genres? Just wondering.

I am also curious, have any of you experimented with YA vs adult fiction? My current series is adult urban fantasy, but I was wondering if the YA readers might be more voracious. I've been shopping around a fantasy YA to agents and getting the 'paranormal YA is a tread that is over' reply from most of them. But just because the publishing houses are tired of them doesn't mean readers are. I'm wondering if having a YA series was one of the reasons S.M. Reine was able to get such great traction with urban fantasy. Or maybe it was the paranormal romance elements that added the juice?

These are the thoughts that have me scratching my head. So glad to have some other spec fic writers to bounce them off of. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 10, 2014, 03:43:19 AM
Spectra's Gambit is a great name, too.

 8) Hey thanks!  8)

I have been moving to shorter titles because I like the way they look on covers better.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 10, 2014, 03:49:04 AM

I second the need for something like BookBub for speculative fiction. I wonder if that is a chicken and the egg question, though. Does BookBub work great for mystery and romance titles because they pushed those books and targeted those readers? Or is it because there are so many more readers for those genres that they've proved to Book Bub that mystery and romance books will get them more hits and more money, and therefore focus more on those genres? Just wondering.


As I understand it, Romance and Mystery have been king with readers since long before there was an Amazon. SpecFic is usually 3rd to 5th in the list, but there is not very much left in the pie when you get down there.

There may be a rise of SciFi romance right now, and with the Star Wars hype coming - space opera might get a boost. Just something to think about if you are trying to guess the future.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on June 10, 2014, 05:15:58 AM
One of the things I find frustrating is picking a category on Amazon. I am sure I am not the only one to notice that the subcategories offered in the KDP dash board are NOT the searchable subcategories on Amazon. What is up with that? And what are the ways around it, if any? Like, you can pick 'Action Adventure' in KDP, but that is as far down as your choices go. But if you search Amazon, Action Adventure does have a 'fantasy' subcategory. So how does one get into it? Keywords, maybe?

I've heard of authors suddenly gaining a lot of sales just by perfecting keywords. I think the "key" is to include keywords or pairs of keywords that people actually search for. The best way to find out what those are is to search yourself, starting with an obvious word then adding a less obvious one along with it and seeing what Amazon suggests. For example, if your book is about dragons, and when you start typing "dragon w" into Amazon's search it suggests "dragon westerns," then that's probably a popular search. If that search doesn't come up with TOO many books, but the books that are there are popular, your book has a chance of coming up in that search and being suggested alongside the other books there if you include "dragon westerns" as a keyword.

Of course, that only works if your book is actually a dragon western, and I'm wondering how dragons would even hold revolvers.

(Credit where it's due: I first heard about this tip from Nick Stephenson at Noorosha.com)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 10, 2014, 08:46:39 AM
There's a thread about how to use keywords to get into more categories. I don't remember what the thread's called, but here's the Amazon page that gives directions:
https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2G3ZMYDPB9VRM (https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2G3ZMYDPB9VRM)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 10, 2014, 08:57:24 AM
Cherise Kelley's post in the Kboards Super Duper Fantastic Writing Process Blog Hop is up:
http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html (http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html)

She's included a terrific list of dog superheros, too, but I think hers are the only aliens.

Previous blog hop posts:
RJ Crayton: http://www.rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/
Sandra K. Williams: http://www.sandrakwilliams.net/writing/2014/writing-process-blog-tour/
S. Elliot Brandis: http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
Elle Chambers: http://indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
William D. Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html
Michael Patrick Hicks: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Cat Amesbury: http://catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Heidi Garrett: http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 11, 2014, 06:10:04 AM
This week at the Speculative Fiction Showcase:

http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/outage-powerless-nation-book-one-by.html
http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/benton-zombie-novel-by-jolie-du-pre.html
http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/cat-amesbury-talks-about-how-she-writes.html

It was a shorter week of posts, I hit massive overwhelm:) Last week I finished the revisions on the first book in my fantasy series that I'm going to re-release--FINALLY! YAY! But it left me pretty wiped out. Then it was back to work on the paranormal romance series I'm collaborating on. It's a lot of fun, but I had to totally switch gears. Today it's going to be all about Dryads... working on my next fairy tale retelling...


Heidi -  and everyone - about fairy-tale retellings - The Book Smugglers (UK Bloggers) have just launched their 2014 compo. They are looking for 'subversive fairy tale retellings'!

http://thebooksmugglers.com/book-smugglers-publishing (http://thebooksmugglers.com/book-smugglers-publishing)

Sandra K. - thanks for posting the link to the next post in the Super Duper Fantastic Writing Process from Cherise Kelley ;)

Quote
Cherise Kelley's post in the Kboards Super Duper Fantastic Writing Process Blog Hop is up:
http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html

She's included a terrific list of dog superheros, too, but I think hers are the only aliens.

I have updated my Blog, Living in the Maniototo, with a list of all the hoppers (and hopped). Please let me know if I've missed anybody.
http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/new-posts-in-speculative-fiction-blog.html

(Sorry to have disappeared down a hole - my mother-in-law is in hospital after a stroke.)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 11, 2014, 11:33:31 AM
Thanks for posting the recent blogger; I've lost track of it, too, and will aim to get caught up soon.

Jessie - sorry to hear about your mother-in-law; good luck!

Phronk and VydorScope - hope your book launches are a terrific success. And yeah, Vydor, great title with Spectra's Gambit.

Elliot - good luck with the lighthearted tone. Shooting people in the throat is always the best way to start. In comedy, you always want to go for the jugular.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Heather Hamilton-Senter on June 11, 2014, 01:11:42 PM
Congrats! That's the same day my first novel, Stars and Other Monsters, will be released! Um, HIGH FIVE! Am I doing this right?

I just couldn't resist having the release date fall on the only Friday the 13th of the year.

Friday the 13th for me too! We're all a little twisted, aren't we..........  :P

Actually, I'm up already in kindle format because I'd committed to an email campaign on Tuesday:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KVU299O (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KVU299O)

(http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz233/heathersenter/blue6x9forupload.jpg)


Edited to add - I'm so glad I found this thread, but I think I'm confusing it with the other fantasy thread on the front page right now LOL! I originally replied to Cora, but I think she's on the other thread......I've got book launch brain I guess  ???
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on June 11, 2014, 05:06:25 PM
Friday the 13th for me too! We're all a little twisted, aren't we..........  :P

Congrats! And thanks everyone else for the kind words. Apparently June 13th isn't only a Friday the 13th, but the night of a full moon as well. Twisted indeed. :)

I got mine up early too, after seeing someone else here point out that Amazon can take a while to approve books. Wouldn't want to miss my release date.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 11, 2014, 05:58:23 PM
Congrats! And thanks everyone else for the kind words. Apparently June 13th isn't only a Friday the 13th, but the night of a full moon as well. Twisted indeed. :)

I got mine up early too, after seeing someone else here point out that Amazon can take a while to approve books. Wouldn't want to miss my release date.

That is why I have mine in Kobo, Apple, B&N, and Smash as PRE-ORDER. I will put the book on Amazon on the night of the 12th and based on my experience, by the time I get up for work it will be live on Amazon. I wish Amazon would let us do pre-orders for this reason alone. At least I only have 1 store to worry about on release day.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Heather Hamilton-Senter on June 11, 2014, 07:21:22 PM
Apparently June 13th isn't only a Friday the 13th, but the night of a full moon as well. Twisted indeed. :)


A full moon! How perfect! The 13th is a good luck thing in our family - family birthdays, our wedding day - hopefully the luck will continue!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 12, 2014, 02:52:50 AM
Elliot - good luck with the lighthearted tone. Shooting people in the throat is always the best way to start. In comedy, you always want to go for the jugular.

Haha, thanks Mike.

Its not particularly lighthearted, but I've settled into a groove with this one. The tone and feel just seemed to find me. It's got a sardonic sense of humour, and some great banter. It's basically writing itself, so far.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 12, 2014, 08:16:07 AM
Haha, thanks Mike.

Its not particularly lighthearted, but I've settled into a groove with this one. The tone and feel just seemed to find me. It's got a sardonic sense of humour, and some great banter. It's basically writing itself, so far.

That's the best place to be at. It's always a great feeling when a fresh idea takes hold and does most of the hard work for you. Enjoy it!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 12, 2014, 11:47:32 AM
Congratulations to those with new releases, or about to be new releases. So exciting!

Only Friday the 13th, huh? Wonder if I can my zombie horror collection ready by tomorrow? :D I only need to finish two stories, finish the cover, and format (thankfully, Scrivener can do that). Think I can make it? lol

I put a list for the hop on my blog. I used the list gadget on blogger, just cut and pasted the names and links. I can add to it as we get more posted.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Myrrh on June 12, 2014, 01:18:23 PM
Hi everyone! Newbie here (to the boards, not to writing)! I write everything from horror to suspense/thrillers with a little Sci-Fi thrown in for good measure.

Sure, I'm a relative unknown but in my mind, I'm a rockstar :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 12, 2014, 01:42:10 PM
Welcome to the boards, Mary!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 13, 2014, 04:41:00 AM
yay!! Live everywhere expect dopey B&N. Grr will have to contact support.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511ggjV4%2BvL._SL160_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KYETKAS/?tag=kbpst-20)

So now I become rich and famous right?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on June 13, 2014, 05:46:15 AM
yay!! Live everywhere expect dopey B&N. Grr will have to contact support.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511ggjV4%2BvL._SL160_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KYETKAS/?tag=kbpst-20)

So now I become rich and famous right?

Woohoo, congrats! Nice cover there. I got myself the first in the series (for free, sorry) and will hopefully work my way up to Spectra's Gambit.

Stars and Other Monsters is up too:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51UcBbnqRdL.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KXB1744/?tag=kbpst-20)

It can never go perfectly though, eh? I can't find a good way to get a print version up on Amazon Canada. It's either royalties in the pennies or holding stock in my basement. Oh well, I'm sure we'll soon be rich and famous despite a few snags here and there.

Enjoy your Friday the 13th / full moon / release days. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 13, 2014, 05:57:40 AM
Woohoo, congrats! Nice cover there. I got myself the first in the series (for free, sorry) and will hopefully work my way up to Spectra's Gambit.

Hey thanks! Hope you love it. I am puting the 1-3 bundle on sale on Monday for $1.99


...and I completely spaced making a paperback edition. :o Ops.. guess that will be delayed a bit  :o
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on June 15, 2014, 12:33:40 PM
This past week on the Speculative Fiction showcase we featured:

Jason Gurley: http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/deep-breath-hold-tight-by-jason-gurley.html
William D. Richards: http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/william-d-richards-talks-about-how-he.html
Heather Hamilton-Senter http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/bound-in-blue-book-one-of-sword.html

I'm still deep in my writing cave, probably will be til the end of June, so I apologize for getting this post up late, but I'm so happy to see all the activity on the thread. AWESOME! Also, running a little behind on my emails, but should catch up in a day or two!

Ceinwen, Art by Karri is a great recommendation for quality and price, and thanks for the thumbs up on the dystopian fairy tale.

Elliot, the Black Jack cover looks like a good type for a post-apocalyptic western.

Vydorscope, Cormac Covers looks like a great cover designer too, for quality and price. And you’ll be up on the Spec Fic showcase tomorrow!

Jennifer, thanks!

Sandra, Lane Brown Art’s work is beautiful! Thanks for posting the Spec Fic Blog Hop posts!!!!

Hi Adrian and Phronk and SA_Archer and Myrhh! Glad to see so many new people checking in!

Phronk you’ll be on Spec Fic Showcase Wednesday!

SA_Archer, I’ve played around with my categories and keywords on Amazon, with varying success. I wish I could remember exactly what I did when I was selling more books! I’ve tried:

Requesting specific categories
Using keywords on that KDP list
Typing in Keywords and using those
Using categories as key words…

Jessie and Sheila, thanks for the shout outs on the Spec Fic showcase. They're much appreciated! And, Jessie, yes, sorry to hear about your MIL:( I hope she’s doing better.

Congratulations Heather, Vydorscope and Phronk on your new releases!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 17, 2014, 07:37:48 AM
This week's Writing Process Blog Hop post is by Travis Hill: http://www.angrygames.com/?p=699

He says it was late because he was editing his latest book, but I think he was actually on time because his Monday morning starts when everyone else in the U.S. is going to bed.

And previous posts...

Cherise Kelley: http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html
RJ Crayton: http://www.rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/
Sandra K. Williams: http://sandrakwilliams.net/?p=360
S. Elliot Brandis: http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
Elle Chambers: http://indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
William D. Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html
Michael Patrick Hicks: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Cat Amesbury: http://catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Heidi Garrett: http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 17, 2014, 07:47:05 AM
This week's Writing Process Blog Hop post is by Travis Hill: http://www.angrygames.com/?p=699

He says it was late because he was editing his latest book, but I think he was actually on time because his Monday morning starts when everyone else in the U.S. is going to bed.

Cheers, Sandra - will add this to the Hop-list on my blog and generally tweet and things.

Mphicks and Heidi - thank you! My mother-in-law seems to be slowly recovering. I'm on a writing/editing kick too, plus submitting things to various compos.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 17, 2014, 08:31:13 AM
My mother-in-law seems to be slowly recovering. I'm on a writing/editing kick too, plus submitting things to various compos.

So sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. My father-in-law was in the hospital last year for brain surgery, and his rehab was in the section with stroke patients. Stroke recovery looks like it's far from simple or easy.

I'm waiting patiently for The Glass Mountain.  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 17, 2014, 04:55:21 PM
So sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. My father-in-law was in the hospital last year for brain surgery, and his rehab was in the section with stroke patients. Stroke recovery looks like it's far from simple or easy.

I'm waiting patiently for The Glass Mountain.  :)

Thanks, Sandra - I hope your father-in-law made a good recovery? It seems they may be going to move my mother-in-law to a community hospital to give her time to recover. The problem is that she's very elderly (85) and has one or two other health problems.

I'm currently proof-reading The Glass Mountain as my husband has formatted it. But I keep being distracted by things (like writing) ... ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 17, 2014, 07:59:31 PM
Thanks, Sandra - I hope your father-in-law made a good recovery? It seems they may be going to move my mother-in-law to a community hospital to give her time to recover. The problem is that she's very elderly (85) and has one or two other health problems.

I'm currently proof-reading The Glass Mountain as my husband has formatted it. But I keep being distracted by things (like writing) ... ;)

It was amazing how well my father-in-law recovered. He's in his late 80s too. I think the biggest problem of living longer is having all the health issues pile up in the last few years.

That's a job for speculative fiction: think of ways to avoid having the last five years be one constant round of doctor visits.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 18, 2014, 06:38:14 AM
Sandra, thanks for listing all the blog hops, starting with the newest. It makes updating my blog so easy!

Congratulations to all with new books out or with books almost ready. Wishing you big sales and good reviews.

I've got a little bit to do to have my short story collection (zombies, yum!) out, hope to be done by the end of the month -- though sooner would be better. :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 19, 2014, 04:19:20 PM
It was amazing how well my father-in-law recovered. He's in his late 80s too. I think the biggest problem of living longer is having all the health issues pile up in the last few years.

That's a job for speculative fiction: think of ways to avoid having the last five years be one constant round of doctor visits.

Yes! It seems so unfair for the person concerned.

As I get older, I keep thinking of Logan's Run. When I saw it originally, the age of 30 seemed reasonably old. Now is seems pretty young.

Sheila - I second what you say about Sandra's blog hop list. Maybe I can tweet yours too?

Zombie shorts sound fun...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 20, 2014, 05:23:55 AM

Sheila - I second what you say about Sandra's blog hop list. Maybe I can tweet yours too?

Zombie shorts sound fun...

You can tweet my list, if that's what you mean, but it's just a gadget where I go in and list the links. My entry in the blog hop won't be until August.

I love writing zombie stories. My brain seems to be tuned into them all the time, to the point I have recurring dreams about the zombie apocalypse. I really need to see if they would work into a logical story (they seem to be all in the same "world", but different scenarios).

Tell me I'm not the only one who looks at places while I'm out and about -- or that I see on TV -- and judge based on their suitability as a survival location?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 20, 2014, 07:58:43 AM
Tell me I'm not the only one who looks at places while I'm out and about -- or that I see on TV -- and judge based on their suitability as a survival location?

Well, I hadn't before now. But there's so much talk of the coming zombie apocolypse I should probably get my head out of the sand. (Note: cliche used with intent :) )
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on June 20, 2014, 11:31:55 AM
Another great week on the Speculative Fiction showcase!

Vincent Trigili has released the next book in his Tales of Lost Power, Spectra's Gambit and his collection of the first three stories is on sale for $1.99
http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/spectras-gambit-lost-tales-of-power-by.html
Phronk has released Stars and Other Monsters which is an Urban Fantasy/Horror, with I'm guessing loads of dry humor? Correct me if I'm wrong on that Phronk!
http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/stars-and-other-monsters-by-phronk.html
And Elle Chamber's fantastically funny blog post on how she writes is up!!!
http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/elle-chambers-talks-about-how-she-writes.html

So... here is the cover I was so excited about! My husband created it with signifiant contributions from Jason Gurley. I really love it:)

(http://i1320.photobucket.com/albums/u521/heidigwrites/the-Girl-who-Believed-in-Fairy-Tales2_zps6e308a00.jpg) (http://s1320.photobucket.com/user/heidigwrites/media/the-Girl-who-Believed-in-Fairy-Tales2_zps6e308a00.jpg.html)

Ouch! That came out rather enormous! Sorry!

My grandma had a stroke when she was 92, and recovered nicely. Much better than the doctors thought she would. However it was a rough 6 months following, since she'd lost a lot of speech, etc. She's passed now, but her recovery at the time was amazing. If I knew then what I know now, I would have plied her with coconut oil and mct oil:(
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 20, 2014, 12:23:53 PM
Neat cover Heidi!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on June 20, 2014, 01:13:04 PM
Phronk has released Stars and Other Monsters which is an Urban Fantasy/Horror, with I'm guessing loads of dry humor? Correct me if I'm wrong on that Phronk!
http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/stars-and-other-monsters-by-phronk.html

I'd say that's accurate!  :)

I kinda had trouble categorizing it. Urban fantasy with humour and horror? Horror with humour and urban fantasy? Satirical urban horror? Who knows. Amazon seems to think it's Horror > Humorous, which I'm fine with.

Thanks for the post, Heidi. And that cover is awesome! Congrats...I hope you have lots of success with it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 20, 2014, 01:50:10 PM
Is the blog hop still going and looking for suckers...err great authors to post?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 20, 2014, 02:04:56 PM
You can tweet my list, if that's what you mean, but it's just a gadget where I go in and list the links. My entry in the blog hop won't be until August.

That was pretty much what I had in mind. It sounds like Wordpress has a useful widget that Blogger lacks. :)

I'm very fond of Shaun of the Dead...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 20, 2014, 02:06:33 PM
Is the blog hop still going and looking for suckers...err great authors to post?

Absolutely! I think Heidi has got a running order somewhere. There are definitely gaps.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 20, 2014, 02:39:35 PM
I will try to get something written and then ask for Heidi for a date.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on June 20, 2014, 03:07:49 PM
Not that anyone cares (I certainly don't), but Friday & Saturday = all 15 of my titles are free, including my new book. I can't remember the names of anything I've written, but that's simply an indication of how forgetful/terrible they are. Since they aren't free in print format, you can't burn a bunch of them and send me a picture (I'd pay $20 for a pic of it, to be honest). But I'm sure you can find something terrible to do with the digital editions.

Like never download them.

That's what I'd do.

Thanks, also, for the blog hop stop at my shack. I totally tried to ruin everything you built, but I'm a failure at that as well.

;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on June 20, 2014, 03:49:18 PM
Your cover is awesome, Heidi. And thanks for the shout!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 20, 2014, 05:18:15 PM
Not that anyone cares (I certainly don't), but Friday & Saturday = all 15 of my titles are free, including my new book.

Thanks, also, for the blog hop stop at my shack. I totally tried to ruin everything you built, but I'm a failure at that as well.

;)

Thank you for the heads up.  ;)

Heidi - just seen the cover, it's wonderful. And congratulations to Vincent, Phronk and Elle! I'm such a dur brain, I missed Heidi's post after the zombie discussion (headdesk).  :-[

It's very reassuring to hear about your Gran, Heidi. My mother-in-law is 85. She had improved massively but then got worse again. I think they forgot one of her other problems, but hopefully they've picked that up now.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 20, 2014, 05:32:26 PM
I'm very fond of Shaun of the Dead...

I *love* Shaun of the Dead. So good.

On the topic of spec-fic movies--I saw 'The Rover' last weekend, and holy hell... best post-apoc movie I've seen. It's not for everyone (very minimalistic and bleak), but I found it captivating. Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson (yes, that Robert Pattinson) are both fantastic. I really wish there was a bigger audience for this sort of work.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 20, 2014, 05:39:17 PM
I *love* Shaun of the Dead. So good.

On the topic of spec-fic movies--I saw 'The Rover' last weekend, and holy hell... best post-apoc movie I've seen. It's not for everyone (very minimalistic and bleak), but I found it captivating. Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson (yes, that Robert Pattinson) are both fantastic. I really wish there was a bigger audience for this sort of work.

That sounds interesting - must check it out! I loved 'Stalker' which was also very minimalistic and bleak. I just checked and it was made in 1979!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 20, 2014, 07:04:15 PM
I will try to get something written and then ask for Heidi for a date.

Got a rough draft done... and sent Heidi and email asking for a date. So y'all get to read some drivel soon if you so choose. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on June 20, 2014, 08:00:48 PM
That's a really lovely cover, Heidi!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on June 20, 2014, 10:22:07 PM
Not that anyone cares (I certainly don't), but Friday & Saturday = all 15 of my titles are free, including my new book. I can't remember the names of anything I've written, but that's simply an indication of how forgetful/terrible they are. Since they aren't free in print format, you can't burn a bunch of them and send me a picture (I'd pay $20 for a pic of it, to be honest). But I'm sure you can find something terrible to do with the digital editions.

Like never download them.

That's what I'd do.

Thanks, also, for the blog hop stop at my shack. I totally tried to ruin everything you built, but I'm a failure at that as well.

;)



You're insane!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 21, 2014, 03:05:39 AM
Well, I hadn't before now. But there's so much talk of the coming zombie apocolypse I should probably get my head out of the sand. (Note: cliche used with intent :) )

I've been doing it for a long time, though getting more of a "thing" now. I've always loved apocalyptic fiction since I read Alas, Babylon when I was 12 or so, and I wonder if it's warped my brain somehow. :D

That was pretty much what I had in mind. It sounds like Wordpress has a useful widget that Blogger lacks. :)

I'm using Blogger's link list gadget. Whenever Sandra posts an update, I just go in and enter it on the list, moving it down to keep the list in order (I hope). I'm keeping up with this stuff on my new multi-blog template for Scrivener. So cool.

Wordpress seems to have nifty stuff, but I haven't gotten around to checking them out again, so I'm still at the blogspot. ;)

Sorry to hear about those of you with ill family members. It's tough to see them hurting. We worry about my father having a stroke or heart attack due to the issues with his bone marrow disease, but so far he's doing well with just a little high blood pressure. He's 84, and his family seems to just live for a long time and die in their sleep. It's not unheard of for them to get to their mid-to-late 90s in otherwise fine health. I hope I inherited that.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on June 21, 2014, 07:50:51 AM
Not that anyone cares (I certainly don't), but Friday & Saturday = all 15 of my titles are free, including my new book. I can't remember the names of anything I've written, but that's simply an indication of how forgetful/terrible they are. Since they aren't free in print format, you can't burn a bunch of them and send me a picture (I'd pay $20 for a pic of it, to be honest). But I'm sure you can find something terrible to do with the digital editions.

Like never download them.

That's what I'd do.

Thanks, also, for the blog hop stop at my shack. I totally tried to ruin everything you built, but I'm a failure at that as well.

;)

Bahaha, this is the best promotion I've seen here. Apparently one of your titles is called Ability (Omnibus), so I got that one. Sounds exciting and mysterious. Who is Omnibus?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on June 21, 2014, 11:44:04 AM
Bahaha, this is the best promotion I've seen here. Apparently one of your titles is called Ability (Omnibus), so I got that one. Sounds exciting and mysterious. Who is Omnibus?

Omnibus is French for "garbage pile". It's also a Germanic word, one that used to mean "burning tire fire" back in the days when the Romans were conquering what is now Western Europe, but in the modern age, it now means "fecal matter."

This is what my other personality (he's a language expert, or so he claims) told me when I was released from the mental health facility. I've learned to trust the other people hidden in my brain. They only come out when no one else is around. Or when someone is drinking a Shasta Cola.

Yeah. Blast from the past there, right? Shasta. I wanna pop pop pop pop pop, I wanna SHASTA!

*ahem*

What were we talking about?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: KaryE on June 21, 2014, 02:11:53 PM
I just made finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. Again. I'm excited, but this is my third time now, so I'd really like to win it so I can get off the merry-go-round.  :)

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11963951.htm

Minder's Bond and Kikayon were my other two finalists, in case anyone's interested. 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 21, 2014, 03:19:58 PM
I just made finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. Again. I'm excited, but this is my third time now, so I'd really like to win it so I can get off the merry-go-round.  :)

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11963951.htm

Minder's Bond and Kikayon were my other two finalists, in case anyone's interested. 

Very cool news! Congrats, and good luck!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on June 22, 2014, 06:17:57 AM
Thought I'd come and say Hi. As a consequence, you may have full use of my M41A Pulse Rifle.

I'm Lucas. My debut novel comes out in a few weeks and I was invited by a couple of authors here to come and take a look at the Speculative Fiction High Five Circle.

I'm about to quit my job and move to another country and write full-time. Exciting, challenging times. As my debut is not even out yet, I can hardly say what I "write", but I intend to write science-fiction with a dystopian slant, either in the near or far future, as well as general suspense with a speculative/sci-fi edge to it. The Twilight Zone might cover this latter category as an analogy. If I'm to be categorised, I guess spec-fic (which I see as a very broad category) is a good one for me. I don't intend to put myself in any sub-genre as I want to write different stuff. I agree with Edward W. Robertson - spec-fic is a category with many heads: a bit of a hydra, if you like. Essentially, there are degrees to the spectrum and a romance spec-fic reader might not like hard sci-fi stuff, but they may, so having single umbrella for a reader to wander around under is a good thing. It's all about making your blurb clear so the reader can chose. Many of the challenges of the setting will be similar beneath this huge umbrella even if the stories are not. Other than that, I am certainly not going to say something is, or is not, within a particular category. Readers will work that out. Get it wrong as far as they're concerned and they'll head off somewhere else. Fair enough.

So I'm officially introducing myself and jumping into the great idea I think this is. I did have one thought, though...

Advertising and Promoting Spec-Fic
There's a great site which S.Elliot Brandis is updating at the top of this thread – haven't had a chance to read through it all yet, but wouldn't a Guide to Promoting and Advertising Spec-Fic be a good idea for this site? And this thread? For my debut book, I have read around the area of discoverability (blog post on three very good books here: http://www.lucasbale.com/blog/2014/2/15/discoverability-and-marketing-are-essentially-the-same-thing-1) and set out a Pre-Launch strategy, Three-Days-Before-Launch strategy, Launch-Day strategy, and Post-Launch Strategy. Essentially, there are checklists of things I am doing right now, and intend to do, to get my launch to work, and to keep it going. It's all theory as this is my first book, but it might be an interesting read for anyone who fancies it.

I think we could all go into some detail and perhaps a stick post on the site I mentioned would help newcomers look professional and get noticed? Help us support each other and build a sense of community – continuing the work this thread has done?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on June 22, 2014, 06:23:50 AM
I have not read through the entire thread, but "Shaun of the Dead" was mentioned.   The zom/rom/com is one of my favorites!  It's hilarious!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on June 22, 2014, 06:30:07 AM
I have not read through the entire thread, but "Shaun of the Dead" was mentioned.   The zom/rom/com is one of my favorites!  It's hilarious!

It's hilarious. Classic British humour. It was on the other night and I just sat and let it wash over me with a beer and a smile.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 22, 2014, 06:41:10 AM
Quote
Got a rough draft done... and sent Heidi and email asking for a date. So y'all get to read some drivel soon if you so choose. :)

Vincent - give us a heads up when the drivel is online ;)

Sheila - do understand the worry about your Dad. It sounds as though he comes of long-lived family!

Quote
This is what my other personality (he's a language expert, or so he claims) told me when I was released from the mental health facility. I've learned to trust the other people hidden in my brain. They only come out when no one else is around. Or when someone is drinking a Shasta Cola.

AngryGames - that's almost just a little too spacy!

I just made finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. Again. I'm excited, but this is my third time now, so I'd really like to win it so I can get off the merry-go-round.  :)

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11963951.htm

Minder's Bond and Kikayon were my other two finalists, in case anyone's interested. 

Congratulations! That's lovely news.

I'm Lucas. My debut novel comes out in a few weeks and I was invited by a couple of authors here to come and take a look at the Speculative Fiction High Five Circle. ...

I'm about to quit my job and move to another country and write full-time. Exciting, challenging times. As my debut is not even out yet, I can hardly say what I "write", but I intend to write science-fiction with a dystopian slant, either in the near or far future, as well as general suspense with a speculative/sci-fi edge to it.

Lucas - forgive me, but you say you 'intend' to write spec fic, but your debut novel is being published in a few weeks? I don't understand.

JolieduPre - me too...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 22, 2014, 10:11:02 AM
Vincent - give us a heads up when the drivel is online ;)


Heidi agree to a date but it is a ways off. August 18th. So the drivel might be a bitten rotten and stinky by then.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on June 22, 2014, 11:48:38 AM
"Lucas - forgive me, but you say you 'intend' to write spec fic, but your debut novel is being published in a few weeks? I don't understand."

Jessicar - I think once I've published my first novel, and maybe written a few more, I'll consider myself "writing" in a genre. And that's my intention.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on June 22, 2014, 12:59:05 PM
Speculative fiction thread? I'm here!

My partner and I write Dark fantasy, epic fantasy, sociological scifi,  and... Whatever Raventide is.

There also tends to be non-traditional characters, gay characters, interracial relationships and a heavy dose of psychology and emotion.

Shaun of the dead is a favorite movie, along with several japanese horror films from the early 2000s, and fantasy movies from the 70s and 80s.

Bookmarking this thread for further consumption...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on June 22, 2014, 01:36:46 PM
My partner and I write Dark fantasy, epic fantasy, sociological scifi,  and... Whatever Raventide is.

That alone made me buy Raventide. Ambiguous genres for the win.  :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on June 22, 2014, 02:03:46 PM
That alone made me buy Raventide. Ambiguous genres for the win.  :D

Well, thank you! We're much obliged :D

Too bad ambiguous genre isn't an option on Amazon <_<
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 22, 2014, 02:13:57 PM

Heidi agree to a date but it is a ways off. August 18th. So the drivel might be a bitten rotten and stinky by then.

Oh noes! I think my drivel might be too. Euw...


Jessicar - I think once I've published my first novel, and maybe written a few more, I'll consider myself "writing" in a genre. And that's my intention.

That's very impressive. A lot of hard work, but fun hopefully!

non-traditional characters, gay characters, interracial relationships and a heavy dose of psychology and emotion.

This sounds very excellent.  ;D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on June 22, 2014, 02:21:29 PM
JessieCar- thank you very much! Its craziness :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 22, 2014, 02:39:59 PM
Thought I'd come and say Hi. As a consequence, you may have full use of my M41A Pulse Rifle.

I'm Lucas. My debut novel comes out in a few weeks and I was invited by a couple of authors here to come and take a look at the Speculative Fiction High Five Circle.

I'm about to quit my job and move to another country and write full-time. Exciting, challenging times. As my debut is not even out yet, I can hardly say what I "write", but I intend to write science-fiction with a dystopian slant, either in the near or far future, as well as general suspense with a speculative/sci-fi edge to it. The Twilight Zone might cover this latter category as an analogy. If I'm to be categorised, I guess spec-fic (which I see as a very broad category) is a good one for me. I don't intend to put myself in any sub-genre as I want to write different stuff. I agree with Edward W. Robertson - spec-fic is a category with many heads: a bit of a hydra, if you like. Essentially, there are degrees to the spectrum and a romance spec-fic reader might not like hard sci-fi stuff, but they may, so having single umbrella for a reader to wander around under is a good thing. It's all about making your blurb clear so the reader can chose. Many of the challenges of the setting will be similar beneath this huge umbrella even if the stories are not. Other than that, I am certainly not going to say something is, or is not, within a particular category. Readers will work that out. Get it wrong as far as they're concerned and they'll head off somewhere else. Fair enough.

So I'm officially introducing myself and jumping into the great idea I think this is. I did have one thought, though...

Advertising and Promoting Spec-Fic
There's a great site which S.Elliot Brandis is updating at the top of this thread -- haven't had a chance to read through it all yet, but wouldn't a Guide to Promoting and Advertising Spec-Fic be a good idea for this site? And this thread? For my debut book, I have read around the area of discoverability (blog post on three very good books here: http://www.lucasbale.com/blog/2014/2/15/discoverability-and-marketing-are-essentially-the-same-thing-1) and set out a Pre-Launch strategy, Three-Days-Before-Launch strategy, Launch-Day strategy, and Post-Launch Strategy. Essentially, there are checklists of things I am doing right now, and intend to do, to get my launch to work, and to keep it going. It's all theory as this is my first book, but it might be an interesting read for anyone who fancies it.

I think we could all go into some detail and perhaps a stick post on the site I mentioned would help newcomers look professional and get noticed? Help us support each other and build a sense of community -- continuing the work this thread has done?

Welcome, Lucas!

I saw your book on Goodreads. Very pretty cover. Sounds interesting, too.

Quitting your job before you've published is a huge jump. I'd be interested in hearing the background behind it... Good luck.

All credit for the website goes to Heidi G. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 22, 2014, 03:02:28 PM
Sheila - do understand the worry about your Dad. It sounds as though he comes of long-lived family!

Yeah, I'm continually amazed at how long they live, and how good their health is, with mental facilities intact. I truly hope I can do the same, as I have lots of books to write, and I've gotten a late start.  ;D

I remember my brother and I going with Daddy to visit his grandma when I was about six or seven. She was in her nineties, and lived with her brother, also in his nineties.

Lucas, come on now. No "intend" about it, dude! You're writing. Welcome to the thread, it's fun here, what with AngryGames getting all philosophical and such.  :P

Welcome Raventide, glad to see you here. Katy, welcome and congrats being a finalist in the WotF -- I remember when that started, I always intended to send in stories but never did. :(
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on June 23, 2014, 12:24:51 AM
Welcome, Lucas!

I saw your book on Goodreads. Very pretty cover. Sounds interesting, too.

Quitting your job before you've published is a huge jump. I'd be interested in hearing the background behind it... Good luck.

All credit for the website goes to Heidi G. :)

My fiancée and I are uprooting and moving to another country where I cannot continue my current career (which is no great loss). So I had to find something else to do for a living. I am already a freelance writer, and have been for around 18 months now, and have a long-term retainer with a magazine (it's not a huge amount, but it gives me a little breathing space). Thus, the risk, while always there, is not quite as significant as it would be were I alone and fending for myself. We have savings and I am well-used to hard work and long hours. We'll see what happens – I'll never know unless I take the chance.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on June 23, 2014, 06:17:48 AM
I suppose Steampunk DOES fall into the Speculative Fiction category, doesn't it?
Therefore, I suppose I ought to throw myself into this group as well. Not sure why I didn't before...
I published my first book back in May, the second one (which is really a prologue) just a week ago.
I'm not a big reader of dystopian zombie books, though I may just have zombies in my next book, because, ZOMBIES!
Are there any other Steampunk authors here? I'm sorry I didn't go through all 24 pages to get to this one.  :-[
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 23, 2014, 09:04:41 AM
Hey all,

Hopefully you don't mind me trying to solicit some feedback and critiquing on a blurb here, but I'd really appreciate some comments on this to let me know if I'm on the right track or not.

I've been working on a short horror story, which is a bit Lovecraftian/Cthulhu by way of Hannibal + Food Network. I'm planning on releasing Consumption in October, so check out the blurb below and let me know your thoughts.


You Are

Six guests have been invited to a blind twelve-course tasting menu by renowned, yet reclusive, Chef Marcus Schauer. With snow blanketing the valley surrounding the Swiss manor, the guests feast eagerly, attempting to guess at the secret tastes plated before them.

What You Eat

As they eat, each guest is overtaken by carnal appetites, unaware of the savage plans of their host for the evening…or of the creature lurking below. One thing is clear: There is more on the menu than any of them have bargained for.

Meat Is Murder

Consumption is a 12,000 word (approx.) short story. It contains graphic depictions of sex and violence, and is intended for mature audiences.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 23, 2014, 09:34:30 AM
David Pagan: http://davidpagan.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/the-writing-process-blog-hop/

David's a proud pantser. (Yay discovery writers!) The way he collects his ideas sounds like a great idea.

And previous posts...

Travis Hill: http://www.angrygames.com/?p=699
Cherise Kelley: http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html
RJ Crayton: http://www.rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/
Sandra K. Williams: http://sandrakwilliams.net/?p=360
S. Elliot Brandis: http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
Elle Chambers: http://indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
William D. Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html
Michael Patrick Hicks: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Cat Amesbury: http://catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Heidi Garrett: http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 23, 2014, 12:57:14 PM
The blurb seems to be on the right track, Michael.

Welcome to the thread, S B James. I'm sure there are some other steampunk folks around, and they'll be along directly. I've got an idea for a steampunk romance novel, but no idea when I'll be able to get to it.

My writing news is that I think I've got all the stories finished for my zombie horror collection. I ended up with eight, which includes some new stuff (one I got the idea for while reading this thread a little while back) and some previously published.

Now I need to work on the cover (can't find the original image I wanted anymore, so I'm looking around at stuff), finish the story intros, a general book intro, write the blurb, and other fun stuff.

I'm hoping for a release date before the end of the month, or if not then on July 1, it's my parents' wedding anniversary. I'm sure there's no better gift than a book about zombies, am I right?  :-*

edited because:  stupid typo   >:(
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 23, 2014, 04:55:44 PM
Thanks, Shelia! Congrats on getting the compilation sorted. Let us know when it's available. :)

And welcome to the board SB James!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 24, 2014, 05:59:28 AM
Thanks, Shelia! Congrats on getting the compilation sorted. Let us know when it's available. :)

You're welcome! :D

I've been fiddling with story arrangement a little this morning. I don't want all the shorter stories in one place and the longer ones in another, if that makes sense. I've decided to put the one I mentioned above first, and alternate length. That way the Look Inside will have a good amount of words.

Now I've just got to get the cover sorted out, write the blurb, finish the intros, and see how it compiles (have I mentioned how much I'm loving Scrivener?).

I'm debating on doing a print version, though I guess I might as well. I need to see how many pages it will be. The book might be too short.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 24, 2014, 06:39:05 AM
You're welcome! :D

I've been fiddling with story arrangement a little this morning. I don't want all the shorter stories in one place and the longer ones in another, if that makes sense. I've decided to put the one I mentioned above first, and alternate length. That way the Look Inside will have a good amount of words.


Makes sense to me! I think by alternating length, you get a better rhythm with the content and, as a reader, it can make things a bit more digestible. I'm a big fan of the variable approach, rather than lumping the book into halves based on word length parameters. And smart thinking on the Look Inside feature; you definitely want to give potential buyers a good sampling and put your best story up front.

I haven't used Scrivener yet. It's a piece of software that's on my wish-list, but I never quite get around to... Maybe the next time they have a good sale, I might spring for it. It definitely sounds handy for short story compilations.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 25, 2014, 10:36:40 AM
Makes sense to me! I think by alternating length, you get a better rhythm with the content and, as a reader, it can make things a bit more digestible. I'm a big fan of the variable approach, rather than lumping the book into halves based on word length parameters. And smart thinking on the Look Inside feature; you definitely want to give potential buyers a good sampling and put your best story up front.

I haven't used Scrivener yet. It's a piece of software that's on my wish-list, but I never quite get around to... Maybe the next time they have a good sale, I might spring for it. It definitely sounds handy for short story compilations.

Yep, break where the story feels right, not where the word count may lead you. Most work has a natural rhythm, anyway, so why fight it?

I hope the stories intrigue people enough to try the book. I'm up to nine stories now, after getting one of those flashes of brilliance(TM) for a story idea I had floating around. I'm thinking I should try for an even ten stories -- and with luck the next one will be a bit longer so I can get the word count up to about 25K. ;)

Many people will donate their coupons from NaNo (50% off!) if they don't need them or want them. Or you could participate yourself. That's what I was going to do, but other stuff got in the way; a kind forum member gave me his coupon and my son bought the program for my birthday earlier this year. I'm loving the program more and more, learning curve and all.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on June 25, 2014, 11:39:46 AM
Michael, get Scrivener, you will love it!!!!

SB James, Steampunk is definitely Speculative Fiction!

Raventide, welcome!

Vincent, yes, got you in the schedule. And The Writing Process Blog Tour Speculative Blog Hop is scheduled through the end of August, I'll probably be putting shout outs for September and later at the end of July-ish.

Sandra, thank you so much for keeping up with the Monday posts here on this thread!

Elliott, thanks for the nod on the Spec Fic showcase. I would like to plead for any new releases in July! We don't have any yet! Contact me at heidi_g@comcast.net if you have one!

Lucas, thanks for checking out the showcase. Right now, I don't want to put any marketing tips on the site as the intended audience is readers. Sorry, but I think there's tons of great info available on marketing. If that's not what you were talking about in the comments, then I completely misunderstood! But glad you're here, you're move sounds exciting, and congratulations on the release of your upcoming debut.

Angry Games, Gosh! Sorry I missed that promo! I hope it went well.

Jessie, yes, keep the faith for your MIL, sometimes they can still amaze us. BTW, I don't think I ever got your email for the blog tour. I'll need it at some point to send you the detailed instructions. You can pm me with it, if you like.

Michael, Phronk, Elle, Ceinwen, thanks on the positive feedback on that cover. It is absolutely my favorite one to date.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on June 25, 2014, 11:59:21 AM
Not that this would be some final blurb:) but just played with the wording to generate some fresh ideas!



You Are

Reclusive Chef Marcus Shauer welcomes six gourmands to his manor. The event: A blind twelve-course tasting menu.

What You Eat

While snow blankets the isolated Swiss valley surrounding his estate, the six guests feast eagerly. Their challenge: Guess the secret tastes plated before them.

Meat Is Murder

Rather than satisfying hunger or palate, each course spurs insatiable carnal appetite. One thing is clear: There is more on the menu than any of the diners have bargained for.

Consumption is a 12,000 word (approx.) short story. It contains graphic depictions of sex and violence, and is intended for mature audiences.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 25, 2014, 12:15:18 PM
Not that this would be some final blurb:) but just played with the wording to generate some fresh ideas!


Thank you, Heidi! That's awesome, and pretty damn punchy. I also like your formatting of it quite a bit better, so don't be surprised if I steal some of this. :-) Time to put my thinking cap back on for a bit.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on June 25, 2014, 04:13:26 PM
Angry Christians (or other faiths) haven't demanded my excommunication or execution (or torture) yet, so I'm gonna say the promo went well.

If you see me on CNN (scratch that, CNN is still trying to find the missing Malaysian airplane) or other major news networks, you'll know that my promo went from well to extremely unpleasant quickly.

(actually, I'm hoping that Bill Donahue dude from The Catholic League starts ranting and raving and calling for my book to be banned... I mean, is there anyone here who WOULDN'T want their book to show up on a 'banned reading' list???)

also: Scrivener

(that's all that needs to be said about Scrivener. I'm Travis Hill and I approve this message)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on June 25, 2014, 04:26:27 PM
Thank you to everyone who said, 'welcome!' There are 25 pages of this thread and I'm still trying to wade my way through it. <_<
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 26, 2014, 02:44:22 AM
I'm featured on the showcase today! Thanks, Heidi.

AngryGames--I think its harder to offend people than we think. When I published I was worried about profanity, as I have a character drop the c-bomb, and violence. Neither have been mentioned in any of my reviews so far, or anywhere, really.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 26, 2014, 04:18:17 AM
Sorry - rather behind here, to say the least!

Sandra - will also update my blog with a link to David Pagan to boost the signal.

Heidi - I've sent you a PM.

Sheila - that's sounding good. You must be very excited.

SBJames - hello - I'm steampunk too - sort of...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 26, 2014, 04:25:00 AM
I'm featured on the showcase today! Thanks, Heidi.

AngryGames--I think its harder to offend people than we think. When I published I was worried about profanity, as I have a character drop the c-bomb, and violence. Neither have been mentioned in any of my reviews so far, or anywhere, really.

If you properly target your book, you are less likely to offend someone regardless of the materail.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 26, 2014, 04:54:23 AM
Sheila - that's sounding good. You must be very excited.

Excited to finally be putting something out after so long (I'm not counting the two anthologies I'm in), also nervous and already angsting about sales.

Heidi, I'm looking at a release date of July 1, so I'll send the details along to you.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 26, 2014, 05:23:20 AM
If you properly target your book, you are less likely to offend someone regardless of the materail.

I have to confess that my books have quite a lot of swearing as my characters swear. I don't use the c-word but not because of striking attitudes. ;)

S. Eliot Brandis - I'm very behind but will go over and tweet you on the showcase.

Sheila - totally understand about the nerves. 1st July sounds like a good date though!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on June 27, 2014, 10:46:02 AM
Hey all, this weekend on the showcase it was:

The release of my collection of three short fairy tales: http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-girl-who-believed-in-fairy-tales-by.html
S. Elliott Brandis talks about how he writes: http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/s-elliott-brandis-talks-about-how-he.html
Jason has his very exciting release day today of Eleanor, it's already got more than a 100 reviews on Amazon! http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/eleanor-by-jason-gurley.html

Sheila, Yes! Please send me the info about your new release! So far, I don't have much for July!!!! Also, if anyone wants to do a guest post to showcase something that's already been released, please do. Just keep it on the topic of Speculative Fiction:) That shouldn't be too hard!

Michael, glad if the blurb ideas helped!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on June 27, 2014, 03:57:08 PM
So, I came across this today - scifi author Kameron Hurley has compiled a bunch of her essays and blog posts, including her Hugo nominated blog post "We Have Always Fought," for which the title of this collection comes from, into an eBook and is giving it away for free until Aug. 17. While this promotion does not currently apply to Nook and Kindle, both .epub and .mobi file are available on Smashwords, or you can get the PDF direct from her.

Hurley writes:
Quote
Why put this collection together now? This project started out as shameless promotion, a tie-in to go with the Hugo nomination. But the more I looked at the essays I’ve been writing the last 2-3 years in particular, the more I realized how many of the posts I was writing fit into larger conversations happening in the science fiction and fantasy genre. We are a small community, all told, but the stories we write, the worlds we create, upstream often to major media channels – to movies, to comics, to TV – and various Comic-Cons have grown so large as to become forces of nature.

What we create here now – and what we talk about, what we deem to be important – is a good bellweather for both wider cultural shifts and the types of stories  that will flood the internet and airwaves in five, ten, twenty years.

What we talk about is important. What we write about… is important.

I haven't had the chance to read it yet (and given my TBR piles at the moment, probably won't get to it for some time), but thought it could be of value or interest to some of the spec fic writers here. I'm certainly looking forward to reading it, and may have to shuffle some of my plans around to accommodate it.

Anyway, go check it out: We Have Always Fought (http://www.kameronhurley.com/we-have-always-fought-essays-on-craft-fiction-fandom-available-now/).
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on June 27, 2014, 07:19:18 PM
Thanks for the pointer, Michael. "We have always fought" is a great essay. And while I don't always agree with her, I always find it interesting what Kameron Hurley has to say.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on June 27, 2014, 07:29:49 PM
Thank you all for the welcomes. I've been a bum and haven't been to this thread lately  :-[.
I'm not feeling up to writing tonight (too much wine  :P) so I'm catching up here.
I'm really starting to feel at home here.  ;D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on June 28, 2014, 02:40:25 AM
So, I came across this today - scifi author Kameron Hurley has compiled a bunch of her essays and blog posts, including her Hugo nominated blog post "We Have Always Fought," for which the title of this collection comes from, into an eBook and is giving it away for free until Aug. 17. While this promotion does not currently apply to Nook and Kindle, both .epub and .mobi file are available on Smashwords, or you can get the PDF direct from her.

Hurley writes:
I haven't had the chance to read it yet (and given my TBR piles at the moment, probably won't get to it for some time), but thought it could be of value or interest to some of the spec fic writers here. I'm certainly looking forward to reading it, and may have to shuffle some of my plans around to accommodate it.

Anyway, go check it out: We Have Always Fought (http://www.kameronhurley.com/we-have-always-fought-essays-on-craft-fiction-fandom-available-now/).

I had a quick glance at this and certainly it seems interesting. Thanks for the heads up Michael.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on June 28, 2014, 02:42:03 AM
I have to ask, Lucas--I just grabbed a free-copy of 'The Heretic' from your website, and the book is copyright 2012. Have you been holding on to this for a while?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on June 28, 2014, 03:45:42 AM
I have to ask, Lucas--I just grabbed a free-copy of 'The Heretic' from your website, and the book is copyright 2012. Have you been holding on to this for a while?

No, that's a typo. Thanks. I'll amend that. I doubt it will disturb your enjoyment of the book ;-)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 28, 2014, 09:00:23 AM
So, I've been working on a cover for the story collection. I've gone back and forth on what look I want (mainly wanted a zombie on it), but decided on something more generic.

Taking into account that I have zero funds to buy stock art or even go the Fiverr route, this is what I've come up with:

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/thystlemoon/my%20covers/ZOMBIETOWN_ebookfinalhalfsize_zps97216d21.jpg) (http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/thystlemoon/my%20covers/ZOMBIETOWN_ebookfinalsmall_zps31257985.jpg)

Version 1, with tag and author name getting a glow/drop shadow effect.

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/thystlemoon/my%20covers/ZOMBIETOWN_ebookfinal2halfsize_zps2282cd0c.jpg)(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/thystlemoon/my%20covers/ZOMBIETOWN_ebookfinal2small_zps8dfcaa87.jpg)

Version 2, changed the font colors and got rid of glow/shadow.

I'm not done I don't think, as there are more adjustments or layers I can do, change fonts, color, etc., but this is the basic idea I'm going for. Suggestions? Thoughts?

I need to do a practice compile today or tomorrow, in .mobi and epub. I'm not doing a print version because this comes out to about 75 pages. At least I got a cover I can live with in progress. It's been a long time since I published anything, and my nerves are about shot.  ???

~~~ Wow, those are huge, even at half-size. Sorry about that! ~~~
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 28, 2014, 09:08:53 AM
A bit better now:

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/thystlemoon/my%20covers/ZOMBIETOWN_ebookfinalhalfagain_zps9105b589.jpg)(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/thystlemoon/my%20covers/ZOMBIETOWN_ebookfinalsmall_zps31257985.jpg)

(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/thystlemoon/my%20covers/ZOMBIETOWN_ebookfinal2halfagain_zps663976c0.jpg)(http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/thystlemoon/my%20covers/ZOMBIETOWN_ebookfinal2small_zps8dfcaa87.jpg)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on June 28, 2014, 09:50:54 AM
The author name might work better in white.

ETA: Responding to Sheila's cover.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 28, 2014, 06:16:51 PM
The author name might work better in white.

ETA: Responding to Sheila's cover.

After I'd taken a long look at the covers after I posted them here, I wondered the same thing! What about the tag line, white also? White would work, since it's already there on the cover. Oh well, I'll work on that tomorrow. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on June 29, 2014, 06:25:37 PM
The Indie Speculative Fiction Round-up for June is up, featuring a stunning 29 books, many of them by KBers, so check it out:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/
http://pegasus-pulp.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/

As always, likes, shares, tweets, +1 etc... are appreciated. And if you've got a new work of speculative fiction coming out in July, let me know.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: tknite on June 29, 2014, 06:29:53 PM
The Indie Speculative Fiction Round-up for June is up, featuring a stunning 29 books, many of them by KBers, so check it out:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/
http://pegasus-pulp.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/

As always, likes, shares, tweets, +1 etc... are appreciated. And if you've got a new work of speculative fiction coming out in July, let me know.

Thanks, Cora! Shared! :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Geoff Jones on June 29, 2014, 07:39:52 PM
Quote
The Indie Speculative Fiction Round-up for June is up, featuring a stunning 29 books, many of them by KBers, so check it out:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/
http://pegasus-pulp.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/

As always, likes, shares, tweets, +1 etc... are appreciated. And if you've got a new work of speculative fiction coming out in July, let me know.

Rats, I wish I'd known! Is it too late to get added in for June? Thirty books would make a nice round number! (I published in very late May.) :)

Geoff
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on June 29, 2014, 08:25:31 PM
The Indie Speculative Fiction Round-up for June is up, featuring a stunning 29 books, many of them by KBers, so check it out:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/
http://pegasus-pulp.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/

As always, likes, shares, tweets, +1 etc... are appreciated. And if you've got a new work of speculative fiction coming out in July, let me know.

Hey there's my book! Thanks Cora. I'll share the round-up all over the place tomorrow.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on June 29, 2014, 09:12:34 PM
Thanks for the shares, Phronk and Therin. Hope you get a bit of attention and maybe sales out of this.

Geoff, I'll include your book in the July round-up, even if it's a late May book. Because it's got dinosaurs and dinosaurs are cool.  ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Kristopia on June 29, 2014, 09:31:36 PM
So I was working on my next fairy tale retelling... it's going to be a retelling of Han's Christian Andersen's The Dryad... and it went all dystopian on me... very exciting...  :D

Sounds like great fun :)  I'd totally read that.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on June 30, 2014, 04:43:22 AM
Cora, I'll let you know when my zombie short story collection is up (hopefully live tomorrow). As usual, a nice listing of Spec Fic titles!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on June 30, 2014, 04:54:58 AM
The glowing text is  :(, so the second cover is better. Make the author name white instead of green and I think you're pretty good. The green tagline is fine because it's the same color as the signs and against the blue sky, so it's visible. For some reason that green doesn't show up as well on the bottom.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on June 30, 2014, 06:13:52 AM
Hey all, this weekend on the showcase it was:

The release of my collection of three short fairy tales: http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-girl-who-believed-in-fairy-tales-by.html
S. Elliott Brandis talks about how he writes: http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/s-elliott-brandis-talks-about-how-he.html
Jason has his very exciting release day today of Eleanor, it's already got more than a 100 reviews on Amazon! http://www.indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2014/06/eleanor-by-jason-gurley.html

Heidi - congratulations on the short stories! I have tweeted and, er, facebooked (is that a verb?) some of these and will continue.

Michael - thanks for the link, will check out the Kameron Hurley.

Sheila - I tend to agree about the fonts and lettering. I would make the signposts smaller relative to the background, and also put the author's name in a different colour. What do you think? (Sorry to hear about the nerves. Sympathies!)

The Indie Speculative Fiction Round-up for June is up, featuring a stunning 29 books, many of them by KBers, so check it out:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/
http://pegasus-pulp.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/

As always, likes, shares, tweets, +1 etc... are appreciated. And if you've got a new work of speculative fiction coming out in July, let me know.

Cora - done. I am probably going to have a new(ish) work of speculative fiction coming out in July. I hope! It's not far off done but we keep getting interruptions. Should I send you a PM? (looks worried)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on June 30, 2014, 07:20:31 AM
The Indie Speculative Fiction Round-up for June is up, featuring a stunning 29 books, many of them by KBers, so check it out:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/
http://pegasus-pulp.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/

As always, likes, shares, tweets, +1 etc... are appreciated. And if you've got a new work of speculative fiction coming out in July, let me know.
Will do, and my book 2 is prolly coming out in August.  :-*
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Kristopia on June 30, 2014, 08:09:40 AM
The Indie Speculative Fiction Round-up for June is up, featuring a stunning 29 books, many of them by KBers, so check it out:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/
http://pegasus-pulp.com/2014/06/30/indie-speculative-fiction-of-the-month-june-2014/

As always, likes, shares, tweets, +1 etc... are appreciated. And if you've got a new work of speculative fiction coming out in July, let me know.

Hey, my story, "Fallen Down World" is on there! :) :)  Thanks much. Sharing everywhere...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Geoff Jones on June 30, 2014, 08:18:35 AM
Quote
Geoff, I'll include your book in the July round-up, even if it's a late May book. Because it's got dinosaurs and dinosaurs are cool. 

Thanks! Let me know if you need anything from me.

Geoff
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Cherise on June 30, 2014, 08:25:52 AM
If you properly target your book, you are less likely to offend someone regardless of the materail.



Yay for Vincent's new book covers!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on June 30, 2014, 10:50:58 AM


Yay for Vincent's new book covers!

 :) Thanks! I have had them for a bit now, but just today to updating my sig here.  8)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on June 30, 2014, 11:19:03 AM
Hey all since it's June 30, and I've been having trouble keeping up with the posts on the Speculative Fiction Showcase :( I'm going to put it *officially* on hold as of July 1. I'll announce the winner of the gift card tomorrow. I want to thank everyone who's participated! And I'm sorry to pull the plug so shortly.

It was an optimistic and worthwhile experiment!!!!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on June 30, 2014, 05:39:50 PM
Thanks for the likes, shares, tweets, etc..., everyone.

Jessie and Sheila, send me a PM with the Amazon link, when your books are available.

Geoff, I've got everything I need, thanks.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on June 30, 2014, 07:02:39 PM
Hey all since it's June 30, and I've been having trouble keeping up with the posts on the Speculative Fiction Showcase :( I'm going to put it *officially* on hold as of July 1. I'll announce the winner of the gift card tomorrow. I want to thank everyone who's participated! And I'm sorry to pull the plug so shortly.

It was an optimistic and worthwhile experiment!!!!

It was fun while it lasted! Thanks Heidi. Hopefully our high five circle can continue. We can always use more high fives.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 01, 2014, 05:35:31 AM
Hey all since it's June 30, and I've been having trouble keeping up with the posts on the Speculative Fiction Showcase :( I'm going to put it *officially* on hold as of July 1. I'll announce the winner of the gift card tomorrow. I want to thank everyone who's participated! And I'm sorry to pull the plug so shortly.

It was an optimistic and worthwhile experiment!!!!

Totally understand, Heidi - it's an awful lot to do on top of writing, day job and everything else. Thank you very much for all the hard work you have put into it.  :)

Will the Writing Process blog tour continue?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 01, 2014, 05:41:21 AM
Hey all since it's June 30, and I've been having trouble keeping up with the posts on the Speculative Fiction Showcase :( I'm going to put it *officially* on hold as of July 1. I'll announce the winner of the gift card tomorrow. I want to thank everyone who's participated! And I'm sorry to pull the plug so shortly.

It was an optimistic and worthwhile experiment!!!!

Sorry to hear, Heidi, but totally understandable! It's a lot of work to keep up with. Let us know when/if it resumes. At least it had a terrific run while it was alive!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 01, 2014, 05:42:45 AM
Not sure how relevant it may be to all of you, but the Smashwords Summer Sale kicked off today and runs through July 31. I've enrolled my book, but Smashwords has really been my lowest producing outlet so we'll see what happens...

Anyone else taking part?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 01, 2014, 05:51:56 AM
Not sure how relevant it may be to all of you, but the Smashwords Summer Sale kicked off today and runs through July 31. I've enrolled my book, but Smashwords has really been my lowest producing outlet so we'll see what happens...

Anyone else taking part?

Yea, I tossed my bundle in at 75% off. In the first few years that sale was a huge boost at Smash, but last year it really was not very exciting so I am less optimistic this year.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ElleChambers on July 01, 2014, 06:55:51 AM
Hey all since it's June 30, and I've been having trouble keeping up with the posts on the Speculative Fiction Showcase :( I'm going to put it *officially* on hold as of July 1. I'll announce the winner of the gift card tomorrow. I want to thank everyone who's participated! And I'm sorry to pull the plug so shortly.

It was an optimistic and worthwhile experiment!!!!

Thanks for all of the work you put into it! I had a good time and discovered a bunch of writers I'd never heard of before. I'd count that as a win.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 01, 2014, 07:52:00 AM
Hey all since it's June 30, and I've been having trouble keeping up with the posts on the Speculative Fiction Showcase :( I'm going to put it *officially* on hold as of July 1. I'll announce the winner of the gift card tomorrow. I want to thank everyone who's participated! And I'm sorry to pull the plug so shortly.

It was an optimistic and worthwhile experiment!!!!


Sorry it proved to be too much for you - thanks for all you did! It is greatly appreciated!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 01, 2014, 09:39:02 AM
Vydorscope,Elle, Jessie, Michael, & Phronk, THANKS SO MUCH!!! It totally was fun!!!!

Jessie, yes! The Writing Process Blog Tour is full through the last Monday in August. I'll kind of figure out then whether or not I can keep it going after that.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 01, 2014, 01:25:28 PM
Vydorscope,Elle, Jessie, Michael, & Phronk, THANKS SO MUCH!!! It totally was fun!!!!

Jessie, yes! The Writing Process Blog Tour is full through the last Monday in August. I'll kind of figure out then whether or not I can keep it going after that.

Yay! (Does happy dance) ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 01, 2014, 02:12:30 PM
Just popping in to catch up! Doing a final proofread of the stories, ready to do a compile. I had some trouble compiling at first, but I found a blog with some straight-forward instructions for Scrivener for Word and things went smoothly after that.

I've redone the cover (started over and did a better job cloning out the original street names) and I think it's looking a lot better. I'll post a pic later, don't have time to resize it right now.

Heidi, sorry to hear the web site was too much, maybe somebody can help with that down the road?

Still plan to upload today, maybe a couple more hours. Back to work! :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 02, 2014, 09:55:56 AM
Well, it's live! What a long haul this one was. Between doing stuff around the house, my mother having some sort of health issue, and helping my brother with building something for the chickens, I kept getting pulled away from working on the book. I did the cover over (never got around to making a small version to put up here, though), made some glyphs to use as separators between the stories, and fiddled with everything inside the book until it looked good.

Then I had to deal with getting the formatting set up, which was ridiculously easy once I found the right instructions. Of course, I forgot all about needing the copyright thing for Smashwords (never did put the Kindle stuff in -- don't tell anybody!). Smashwords also said my cover was wrong, and I knew better, so I just uploaded the same file and it went through. Then I found out that uploading the epub won't convert to other formats, so I had to make a .doc file and upload that. I got to tell you, Scrivener can compile in literally seconds. Amazing.

Amazon took a long time to upload the cover and the file, too, and then it said I had six spelling errors (fixed five and let the other one go). I've compiled this book so many times I had a hard time remembering which one I was supposed to upload. My Recycle Bin is packed full!

Geeze, all this took forever! But it's my own fault for not taking care of things earlier, and forgetting how to do stuff. I'd gotten pretty good at uploading, and now I feel like I'm starting over.  ;D

But it's done, and now I can start on my goal of getting 1400 + words a day until the end of the year. I want to finish at least three books (one a rewrite and the others partially finished) before the end of the year. I feel like I'll be catching up after the last two years, which I really need because I started this journey in 2011, and folks that started around the same time are way ahead of me in number of books out and sales.

Whew!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 02, 2014, 11:49:49 AM
Congrats Sheila! And good work on the final cover art, too; the white fonts and vignetting give it a much more balanced feel. Nice job; hope the sales go well.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 02, 2014, 11:51:19 AM
Sheila,

Congratulations!!!!! I do like what you did with the cover and have tweeted it:

Love Zombies? Maybe Zombie Town should be your summer destination! A collection of Zombie Shorts by Griffin Carmichael http://ow.ly/yI8WH

And 1-Clicked!!!!

BTW I think you've got a great pseudonym!

Actually, if anyone would ever want to help down the road, that would be AWESOME!!!!! I was getting ready to sit down to create the July giveaway and I just got completely overwhelmed :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 02, 2014, 11:59:42 AM
Congratulations, Sheila. The cover looks tons better. Will prob do a tweety thing too ;)

I hope the health thing with your Mum is sorted. It sounds rather like me flailing around in chaos over here.

Heidi - I may be able to help...can't promise but let's see.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on July 02, 2014, 12:44:46 PM
Sheila- I like that version much better than what you'd posted. The filtering/lighting and change in sign helped a lot with depth and atmosphere... not to mention making the text easier to read. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on July 02, 2014, 05:10:24 PM
And here's this week's Writing Process entry. You'll have to read it to learn how many novels Nic has going at one time. Hint: A lot.

Nic Wilson: http://nicolaswilson.com/index.php/announcements-1/spec-fic-blog-hop

And previous posts...

David Pagan: http://davidpagan.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Travis Hill: http://www.angrygames.com/?p=699
Cherise Kelley: http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html
RJ Crayton: http://www.rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/
Sandra K. Williams: http://sandrakwilliams.net/?p=360
S. Elliot Brandis: http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
Elle Chambers: http://indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
William D. Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html
Michael Patrick Hicks: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Cat Amesbury: http://catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Heidi Garrett: http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 02, 2014, 07:54:20 PM
Congrats, Sheila! The final cover looks great!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 03, 2014, 01:28:21 PM

Heidi - I may be able to help...can't promise but let's see.

Very cool! But, yes, let's see! I have two first drafts I need to finish by August 1, so let's see sometime after that!!!! Maybe restarting in the fall, September or some time around there might make sense. However, I think if it doesn't work out, it's pretty much all good:) But thank you for considering!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 03, 2014, 02:38:56 PM
Hilarious quirk of fate.

I have been building up to launch day on Monday 7th July. My mailing list (remember this is my debut novel), numbers 70-odd. My blog is reasonably well-thumbed (around 1,000 hits each month for only a handful of posts). I have a few guest posts coming up for next week, a Goodreads Giveaway running, 6 reviews on GR already and I am poised to stagger my launch across a few days.

So I uploaded my book today to download a copy for myself to check and make sure the listings looked right, get the categories sorted, join the paperback and ebook versions and so on. Remember, no one knows it's on there.

Yet I've had a handful of sales already today and...

#26,412 in the UK Kindle Store and #57 in Kindle Store > Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Colonisation.

It did make me laugh - didn't think anyone would even see it there before I started making some noise about it. I guess the UK store just isn't as hard to get onto the lists.

Only thing annoying me now is I cannot get it to stay at 99p...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on July 03, 2014, 03:39:27 PM
Congrats! That's an awesome start.

My only question is: HOW?

I've been making quite a bit of noise (or at least as much as I can without feeling like an a-hole), and I'm pretty sure the only people who've bought my book and signed up to my mailing list are my close friends and family.

Which is just fine; I didn't expect much from a debut novel. But seeing that it's possible to inadvertently get strangers to see a book, I'm curious as to how that can happen.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 03, 2014, 03:53:04 PM
Hilarious quirk of fate.

I have been building up to launch day on Monday 7th July. My mailing list (remember this is my debut novel), numbers 70-odd. My blog is reasonably well-thumbed (around 1,000 hits each month for only a handful of posts). I have a few guest posts coming up for next week, a Goodreads Giveaway running, 6 reviews on GR already and I am poised to stagger my launch across a few days.

So I uploaded my book today to download a copy for myself to check and make sure the listings looked right, get the categories sorted, join the paperback and ebook versions and so on. Remember, no one knows it's on there.

Yet I've had a handful of sales already today and...

#26,412 in the UK Kindle Store and #57 in Kindle Store > Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Colonisation.

It did make me laugh - didn't think anyone would even see it there before I started making some noise about it. I guess the UK store just isn't as hard to get onto the lists.

Only thing annoying me now is I cannot get it to stay at 99p...

Way to go! Sounds like things are off to a good start. :-)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 03, 2014, 04:14:28 PM
Sandra - thanks for the writing process blog hop update. I'll try to put that on my blog and tweet links etc.

Heidi - that sounds like a really great idea. I'm hoping to do some work on my wip once we've published the second book in the series.

Lucas - that's pretty impressive!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 03, 2014, 10:37:32 PM
Congrats! That's an awesome start.

My only question is: HOW?

I've been making quite a bit of noise (or at least as much as I can without feeling like an a-hole), and I'm pretty sure the only people who've bought my book and signed up to my mailing list are my close friends and family.

Which is just fine; I didn't expect much from a debut novel. But seeing that it's possible to inadvertently get strangers to see a book, I'm curious as to how that can happen.

Not a clue! Remember this is the UK store which I imagine is smaller.

Apart from the promotional work I did leading up to the book's launch - building anticipation within my mailing list (which I have been building for about three or four months), getting ARC copies out and reviews on GR, blogging about it, tweeting about it (and like you Phronk, I hate being 'in-your'face' when tweeting), I've not done much else. I've got launch-day and post-launch plans but nothing that should have come online yet! The only thing which might explain it is my other half told some friends at work about it in passing. It might be some of them? The power of word of mouth! It's not exactly my plan as the launch will be monday 7th and I wanted to get some traction going, but hey - it's a start!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 04, 2014, 05:21:15 PM
Congrats Sheila! And good work on the final cover art, too; the white fonts and vignetting give it a much more balanced feel. Nice job; hope the sales go well.

Thanks, Michael. I got some good advice here about the cover, and it seems I did it right. Yay!  ;D

Sheila,

Congratulations!!!!! I do like what you did with the cover and have tweeted it:

Love Zombies? Maybe Zombie Town should be your summer destination! A collection of Zombie Shorts by Griffin Carmichael http://ow.ly/yI8WH

And 1-Clicked!!!!

BTW I think you've got a great pseudonym!


Oh, Heidi, that's so nice of you. Thank You!

I've had that name picked out since I was a teenager (actually have a first name to go with it, Margaret), had always planned to change my name when I was 18 but never got around to it. Glad I can finally use it.

Congratulations, Sheila. The cover looks tons better. Will prob do a tweety thing too ;)

I hope the health thing with your Mum is sorted. It sounds rather like me flailing around in chaos over here.

Thanks, Jessie! My mother had some tests done the other day, and has been given an appointment for an MRI. Her blood pressure was fine, and the cardiologist has no idea what could be going on, so he wants a better look (EKG was fine as well).

Yep, life can be rather chaotic, eh?  ???

Congrats, Sheila! The final cover looks great!

Thanks also, Ceinwen!


#26,412 in the UK Kindle Store and #57 in Kindle Store > Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Colonisation.

That's an awesome way to start, Lucas! That pre-launch work paid off already.  :D

I'm so grateful for this thread. You guys are wonderful and so supportive, I just can't say enough. Thanks again!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 04, 2014, 06:41:55 PM
Lucas and Sheila, good luck for your new releases. I'll add your books to the July indie spec fic of the month round-up.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on July 05, 2014, 05:22:27 AM
Not a clue! Remember this is the UK store which I imagine is smaller.

Apart from the promotional work I did leading up to the book's launch - building anticipation within my mailing list (which I have been building for about three or four months), getting ARC copies out and reviews on GR, blogging about it, tweeting about it (and like you Phronk, I hate being 'in-your'face' when tweeting), I've not done much else.

Excuse me, but that's a lot! LOL!  I'm not sure why you're downplaying the excellent promotion you've done so far.  Great job, and congrats on the success of your book so far! :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: WDR on July 05, 2014, 07:07:05 AM
Congrats! That's an awesome start.

My only question is: HOW?

I've been making quite a bit of noise (or at least as much as I can without feeling like an a-hole), and I'm pretty sure the only people who've bought my book and signed up to my mailing list are my close friends and family.

Which is just fine; I didn't expect much from a debut novel. But seeing that it's possible to inadvertently get strangers to see a book, I'm curious as to how that can happen.


Lucas: Congrats! Nothing like a good strong start to buoy your spirits!

Phronk: I had the same question of my own stuff. I actually had a reader contact me and explain how he found my story: by following the "Just Released" list. There are people who check daily for the newest of the new and jump on it as quickly as possible. I already had over dozen sold before I even knew that my book was available.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 05, 2014, 07:09:31 AM
Lucas: Congrats! Nothing like a good strong start to buoy your spirits!

Phronk: I had the same question of my own stuff. I actually had a reader contact me and explain how he found my story: by following the "Just Released" list. There are people who check daily for the newest of the new and jump on it as quickly as possible. I already had over dozen sold before I even knew that my book was available.

Crazy - now up to #14 on the Kindle Store Hard Science Fiction list. #7,212 overall. THIS IS THE UK THOUGH!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 05, 2014, 07:11:11 AM
Excuse me, but that's a lot! LOL!  I'm not sure why you're downplaying the excellent promotion you've done so far.  Great job, and congrats on the success of your book so far! :)

I wasn't intending to downplay it - I just thought that's what needed to be done! So I went and did it.

Thanks so much for all your support! I'm obviously really enjoying the fact that readers are seeing my book!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on July 05, 2014, 07:49:31 AM
Lucas: Congrats! Nothing like a good strong start to buoy your spirits!

Phronk: I had the same question of my own stuff. I actually had a reader contact me and explain how he found my story: by following the "Just Released" list. There are people who check daily for the newest of the new and jump on it as quickly as possible. I already had over dozen sold before I even knew that my book was available.

Good to know! For me, this further emphasizes the need for a great blurb and cover. With people finding brand new books immediately, with no reviews or other information to go on, that's gotta sell it. The preview too I suppose. And I wonder if the promise of a series helps. Oh, and being firmly in a genre that readers know they like (which I've struggled with when releasing my first novel ... though it's quite possible my cover and blurb suck too).

And Lucas, I hear you about emphasizing that it's in the UK. It felt pretty great being in the top 20 horror novels for a few brief hours ... in Canada. :) Still, looks like we're all off to a great start, so high fives for that.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 05, 2014, 08:04:32 AM
Good to know! For me, this further emphasizes the need for a great blurb and cover. With people finding brand new books immediately, with no reviews or other information to go on, that's gotta sell it. The preview too I suppose. And I wonder if the promise of a series helps. Oh, and being firmly in a genre that readers know they like (which I've struggled with when releasing my first novel ... though it's quite possible my cover and blurb suck too).

And Lucas, I hear you about emphasizing that it's in the UK. It felt pretty great being in the top 20 horror novels for a few brief hours ... in Canada. :) Still, looks like we're all off to a great start, so high fives for that.

I don't deny a secret smile...

Well done to you too! I like the fact that we can work out what works well, what doesn't and share on here; and everyone else does the same. It's great!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 05, 2014, 03:02:33 PM
A big congrats to Lucas and Sheila on the new releases.

I have my own not too far away... should be around the end of the month. I'm trying to set up some promos on Irradiated around that time (the new release is the sequel, Degenerated). Should be fun.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 05, 2014, 05:46:06 PM
Thanks, Elliot! Hope your new book sells a lot. :)

Cora, I keep meaning to send you the link, but I'm behind on other stuff and end up distracted. I really need to focus on getting it up on some promo sites. Thanks for including my collection on your blog for this month.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 05, 2014, 06:36:07 PM
It's all right, Sheila, I simply clicked on the Amazon link in your signature and took the info from there.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on July 05, 2014, 07:59:25 PM
For all of you science fiction dorks (like me!) out there, just came across this article today that caused me to lose an hour or so of my life (but I'm glad I lost it, this is right up my alley, giggity!):

The Fermi Paradox (aka "why haven't we encountered life beyond Earth?") (http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html)

(if you hate reading, don't click this link, there are MANY words to brain-fight with)

Quote
When confronted with the topic of stars and galaxies, a question that tantalizes most humans is, “Is there other intelligent life out there?” Let’s put some numbers to it (if you don’t like numbers, just read the bold)—

As many stars as there are in our galaxy (100 – 400 billion), there are roughly an equal number of galaxies in the observable universe—so for every star in the colossal Milky Way, there’s a whole galaxy out there. All together, that comes out to the typically quoted range of between 1022 and 1024 total stars, which means that for every grain of sand on Earth, there are 10,000 stars out there.

The science world isn’t in total agreement about what percentage of those stars are “sun-like” (similar in size, temperature, and luminosity)—opinions typically range from 5% to 20%. Going with the most conservative side of that (5%), and the lower end for the number of total stars (1022), gives us 500 quintillion, or 500 billion billion sun-like stars.

***

Quote
There’s something called The Kardashev Scale, which helps us group intelligent civilizations into three broad categories by the amount of energy they use:

A Type I Civilization has the ability to use all of the energy on their planet. We’re not quite a Type I Civilization, but we’re close (Carl Sagan created a formula for this scale which puts us at a Type 0.7 Civilization).

A Type II Civilization can harness all of the energy of their host star. Our feeble Type I brains can hardly imagine how someone would do this, but we’ve tried our best, imagining things like a Dyson Sphere.

***

Quote
We have no answer to the Fermi Paradox—the best we can do is “possible explanations.” And if you ask ten different scientists what their hunch is about the correct one, you’ll get ten different answers. You know when you hear about humans of the past debating whether the Earth was round or if the sun revolved around the Earth or thinking that lightning happened because of Zeus, and they seem so primitive and in the dark? That’s about where we are with this topic.

In taking a look at some of the most-discussed possible explanations for the Fermi Paradox, let’s divide them into two broad categories—those explanations which assume that there’s no sign of Type II and Type III Civilizations because there are none of them out there, and those which assume they’re out there and we’re not seeing or hearing anything for other reasons:
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on July 05, 2014, 08:01:15 PM


Phronk: I had the same question of my own stuff. I actually had a reader contact me and explain how he found my story: by following the "Just Released" list. There are people who check daily for the newest of the new and jump on it as quickly as possible. I already had over dozen sold before I even knew that my book was available.
I believe this exactly what spurred some of my earliest sales too. I know it wasn't my Facebook page. ::)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on July 05, 2014, 08:24:31 PM
 @AngryGames that post was great. But they didn't cover one possibility: Earth is actually a prison planet for the humans, and the other intelligent beings in the universe are not allowed any contact with us  ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on July 05, 2014, 10:31:01 PM
@AngryGames that post was great. But they didn't cover one possibility: Earth is actually a prison planet for the humans, and the other intelligent beings in the universe are not allowed any contact with us  ;)

That's kind of along my long-held belief (heh). Humans, always going to war and acting like [expletive]s, are quarantined. I mean, humans, while weak, fleshy, and ignorant, have an extreme adaptability, and if we were to capture some alien technology, we'd create weapons. And maybe a bunch of ships to go to war with and act like [expletive]s to other races. The only way we'll get out of quarantine is if we learn how to work together as a cohesive, mature species.

So... it looks like we'll be waiting for a drunken alien to crash into the planet just enough to kill it, but not harm too much of the ship, because if there's one thing humans are the best at in the galaxy (even if we aren't, we'll start a fistfight with any stupid alien dumb enough to challenge me and my redneck plasma shotgun), it's going to war and acting like [expletive]s.

(okay, that seems a little pessimistic... which makes me happy enough to close the browser and go celebrate!)

(also, a story idea I've been kicking around kind of revolves around first contact with aliens... except they are humans. Kind of like BSG in that sense, but totally different in every other sense. Except for the attractive cyborg-alien woman. And maybe Barky or whatever that annoying robot dog from the original series was called. But anyway, how freaky would that be if we found out that we weren't a lost colony or prison planet, but somehow life evolved here almost exactly like it did with the hundred billion humans tooling around the Milky Way for the last 50k years?)

(probably not very freaky if I wrote it. "Annoying" is the word I would <will> use)

(now I'm gonna break out my original BSG dvd's that I bought years ago and never actually watched)

(and I'll stop typing in parentheses)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 05, 2014, 10:44:21 PM
A big congrats to Lucas and Sheila on the new releases.

I have my own not too far away... should be around the end of the month. I'm trying to set up some promos on Irradiated around that time (the new release is the sequel, Degenerated). Should be fun.

Thanks Elliot and good luck with Degenerated. Let me know if there is any way I can help - interview on my blog, tweeting and so on.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 06, 2014, 01:47:10 AM
Thanks Elliot and good luck with Degenerated. Let me know if there is any way I can help - interview on my blog, tweeting and so on.

Thanks, Lucas. An interview would be good. I can return the favour. I interviewed Michael Bunker and Jason Gurley earlier in the year and found it really interesting.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 06, 2014, 01:58:15 AM
Thanks, Lucas. An interview would be good. I can return the favour. I interviewed Michael Bunker and Jason Gurley earlier in the year and found it really interesting.

I interviewed Michael and Jason for Pennsylvania and Eleanor respectively - nice guys. I have sent you a PM.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 06, 2014, 02:07:35 AM
They're both really good at marketing, too. Though I reckon only one of them will admit it. :)

I'm guessing that was you I just got an email from?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 06, 2014, 02:18:02 AM
They're both really good at marketing, too. Though I reckon only one of them will admit it. :)

I'm guessing that was you I just got an email from?

Yes, Jason is very self-effacing and quiet about that sort of thing. And yes, it was me ;-)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 06, 2014, 05:19:54 AM
I've just updated my blog with a link to the latest Blog Hop post by Nicolas Wilson http://nicolaswilson.com/index.php/announcements-1/spec-fic-blog-hop (http://nicolaswilson.com/index.php/announcements-1/spec-fic-blog-hop) and a round-up of the posts to date (thanks Sheila and Sandra for keeping the tally!). Sheila, I put in a link to your blog too, as I know you are keeping an updated list of the various entries.

Does anyone know who is due to post on 7th July, or is there a gap? Does anyone want to rush forward to fill the gap?

Elliot - good luck with Degenerated. Do you have a date set?

Lucas - best of luck with your launch tomorrow. Your web-site is amazing.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 06, 2014, 05:56:34 AM
Lucas - best of luck with your launch tomorrow. Your web-site is amazing.

Many thanks on both counts!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on July 06, 2014, 06:43:24 AM
The Writing Process Blog Tour is full through the last Monday in August. I'll kind of figure out then whether or not I can keep it going after that.

Thanks for coordinating the blog hop. I enjoy reading the posts even thoughI rarely comment on them. It's fun seeing other writer's home turf, too.

Thanks too for all the hours you put into the showcase.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 06, 2014, 02:00:33 PM
Elliot - good luck with Degenerated. Do you have a date set?

Thanks, Jessie. No set date yet. It will probably be the last week of July.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 06, 2014, 02:50:12 PM
Thanks for putting a link to my blog, Jessie! As for who's next, Heidi knows. I think there was a post a while back with some of the upcoming schedule as of that point, but I have no idea how far back it is.

Cora, thanks for taking that extra step. Next time I promise to be on top of things!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 06, 2014, 02:53:40 PM
Sheila- I like that version much better than what you'd posted. The filtering/lighting and change in sign helped a lot with depth and atmosphere... not to mention making the text easier to read. :)

It looks like I didn't thank you for your comment earlier, so please accept my belated appreciation!  :-[  Yes, the feedback I got from here was tremendously helpful. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 06, 2014, 03:21:19 PM
Thanks, Jessie. No set date yet. It will probably be the last week of July.

Looking forward to it! If I can help at all, I'd be happy to (maybe a guest post by you or a feature release info page later in the month?).
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 06, 2014, 04:04:05 PM
Looking forward to it! If I can help at all, I'd be happy to (maybe a guest post by you or a feature release info page later in the month?).

A guest post would be cool. I haven't actually done one of those before... will need to think of a good topic.

I finished Convergence last week. Really interesting book. I wouldn't mind interviewing you (unless you have something else in mind?).

Oh -- my good news from last week: Irradiated is being translated into Spanish. I'm going to write a blog about it, but I've been waiting until the kinks in my updated website are ironed out.

Irradiada.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Christine Reyes on July 06, 2014, 04:52:47 PM
Oh -- my good news from last week: Irradiated is being translated into Spanish. I'm going to write a blog about it, but I've been waiting until the kinks in my updated website are ironed out.

Irradiada.

How cool! Where did you find a translator? One of my goals (after I actually get up my courage to hit publish...) is to get all of my books translated into Spanish because more than half of my family speaks it as their first/only language.

(Also... hello everyone! I've been lurking on and off. Great to see so many spec fic writers here!)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 06, 2014, 05:24:02 PM
How cool! Where did you find a translator? One of my goals (after I actually get up my courage to hit publish...) is to get all of my books translated into Spanish because more than half of my family speaks it as their first/only language.

(Also... hello everyone! I've been lurking on and off. Great to see so many spec fic writers here!)

I used a website called babelcube. They help authors find translators, and distribute the book (a bit like Draft to Digital) to the second language markets once its ready. Royalties are shared between the author and the translator, with the split depending on the level of earnings.

It's a really good website, but I reckon you need to pay close attention to the translators making offers. I've been really fortunate with Irradiated -- my translator is genuinely interested in the project, enjoyed the novel, and is well qualified (e.g. PhD in Spanish).
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 06, 2014, 06:15:23 PM
How cool! Where did you find a translator? One of my goals (after I actually get up my courage to hit publish...) is to get all of my books translated into Spanish because more than half of my family speaks it as their first/only language.

(Also... hello everyone! I've been lurking on and off. Great to see so many spec fic writers here!)

Friend of mine does it, details here: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,189080.msg2666740.html#msg2666740
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Christine Reyes on July 06, 2014, 08:28:36 PM
I used a website called babelcube. They help authors find translators, and distribute the book (a bit like Draft to Digital) to the second language markets once its ready. Royalties are shared between the author and the translator, with the split depending on the level of earnings.

It's a really good website, but I reckon you need to pay close attention to the translators making offers. I've been really fortunate with Irradiated -- my translator is genuinely interested in the project, enjoyed the novel, and is well qualified (e.g. PhD in Spanish).

Thanks! I figured it was babelcube. That seems to be the most popular option.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Christine Reyes on July 06, 2014, 08:28:57 PM
Friend of mine does it, details here: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,189080.msg2666740.html#msg2666740

Thanks for this!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 06, 2014, 08:40:38 PM
I used a website called babelcube. They help authors find translators, and distribute the book (a bit like Draft to Digital) to the second language markets once its ready. Royalties are shared between the author and the translator, with the split depending on the level of earnings.

This is cool, (way) down the road I'd love to get into translated and audio versions. Need the money to roll in first! Irradiada sounds super bad*ss, by the way.

Sorry I've been less of a contributor to the thread lately. I've been hammering away at a new novella (YA/MG fantasy - it would be really nice to get it out before the end of the year) and trying to get some regular paid freelancing gigs happening.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 07, 2014, 05:25:14 AM
A guest post would be cool. I haven't actually done one of those before... will need to think of a good topic.

I finished Convergence last week. Really interesting book. I wouldn't mind interviewing you (unless you have something else in mind?).

Oh -- my good news from last week: Irradiated is being translated into Spanish. I'm going to write a blog about it, but I've been waiting until the kinks in my updated website are ironed out.

Irradiada.

Yeah, I'm game for an interview, Elliot, thanks.

And kudos on the translation - that is very good news!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on July 07, 2014, 02:31:26 PM
Today's author in the Kboards Spec Fiction Blog Hop is Marilyn Peake:
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6593691-speculative-fiction-blog-hop

Parents, don't give your kids crazy names. As the description for Marilyn's book Shade says, that's "catnip for bullies."

And previous posts...

Nic Wilson: http://nicolaswilson.com/index.php/announcements-1/spec-fic-blog-hop
David Pagan: http://davidpagan.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Travis Hill: http://www.angrygames.com/?p=699
Cherise Kelley: http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html
RJ Crayton: http://www.rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/
Sandra K. Williams: http://sandrakwilliams.net/?p=360
S. Elliot Brandis: http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
Elle Chambers: http://indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
William D. Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html
Michael Patrick Hicks: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Cat Amesbury: http://catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Heidi Garrett: http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 07, 2014, 02:36:00 PM
Lucas, congratulations on the success of your new release!

Sandra, thank you for your all your support with the blog hop and the site!!! It's been awesome of you to post those blog hop links here every week.

I finished the draft of my dystopian fairy tale, The Tree Hugger, last night after doing pretty much nothing else but writing this weekend. Yay!!!!!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 07, 2014, 03:51:22 PM
Today's author in the Kboards Spec Fiction Blog Hop is Marilyn Peake:
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6593691-speculative-fiction-blog-hop

Parents, don't give your kids crazy names. As the description for Marilyn's book Shade says, that's "catnip for bullies."

Cheers, Sandra - I'll do the usual signal boost. And update the list on my blog. And Sheila - I'll check the thread for the info.

Heidi - congrats on finishing your first draft. You must be really chuffed.

Elliot - thank you for sharing the info about babelcube. It will be really interesting to hear how you get on. Like mphicks - let us know if we can do signal-boost things.

Hi Christina! This is a lively thread...I have a job keeping up.

Ceinwen - that sounds really good. I've been neglecting my WIP and I need to bash on with it. Too many distractions, especially the internetz.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 07, 2014, 04:42:51 PM
Jessie, Hah! Yes! Chuffed is a very good description ;)

And I am hitting another milestone... http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,189259.0.html after what proved to be a very slow start to 2014!

Okay, SPEC FIC WRITERS! I made a huge clerical error and we have a slot open on the Writing Process Blog Tour Speculative Fiction Blog Hop on July 28th! Any takers?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 07, 2014, 05:14:07 PM
Elliot - thank you for sharing the info about babelcube. It will be really interesting to hear how you get on. Like mphicks - let us know if we can do signal-boost things.

I'll keep y'all up to date on how it goes.

Before accepting the offer, I reviewed a translation of the first page (with help). There's another hold point after 20-pages for me to review, and then again at the end. I'm happy with my translator, so hopefully its smooth sailing, but its nice to know there's a process.

I agree that Irradiada sounds bad-ass. ;)

I'm excited that it opens up new markets. The translation will be in neutral Spanish, to make it accessible to both Europeans and South/Central Americans. She's going to translate some of the dialogue into regional dialects, to mirror the way they speak in English.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on July 07, 2014, 06:11:36 PM
I'll keep y'all up to date on how it goes.

Before accepting the offer, I reviewed a translation of the first page (with help). There's another hold point after 20-pages for me to review, and then again at the end. I'm happy with my translator, so hopefully its smooth sailing, but its nice to know there's a process.

I agree that Irradiada sounds bad-ass. ;)

I'm excited that it opens up new markets. The translation will be in neutral Spanish, to make it accessible to both Europeans and South/Central Americans. She's going to translate some of the dialogue into regional dialects, to mirror the way they speak in English.


That's cool. We have thought of translating ours but we're worried about how it will come out- I mean, we don't speak these languages, so there's no way to verify that they translated and got the same tone.

That said, we'd love... love to translate our dark fantasy into German and French. The markets aren't huge, but we do get some downloads from those countries. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 07, 2014, 06:29:51 PM
Jessie, Hah! Yes! Chuffed is a very good description ;)

And I am hitting another milestone... http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,189259.0.html after what proved to be a very slow start to 2014!

Okay, SPEC FIC WRITERS! I made a huge clerical error and we have a slot open on the Writing Process Blog Tour Speculative Fiction Blog Hop on July 28th! Any takers?

You already have me scheduled for sometime far enough in the future that I do not recall even when it is... but if it would help I can go earlier and that leaves the farther off date open which may be easier to get someone for.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 07, 2014, 07:11:10 PM
I'd be willing to take the July 28th slot, if nobody else wants it. I just pressed "Publish" on a new novelette for my SF series, so it would be ideal.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 07, 2014, 08:42:32 PM
I'd be willing to take the July 28th slot, if nobody else wants it. I just pressed "Publish" on a new novelette for my SF series, so it would be ideal.

Cora, Great! Can you pm your email? Thanks!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 07, 2014, 08:44:13 PM
You already have me scheduled for sometime far enough in the future that I do not recall even when it is... but if it would help I can go earlier and that leaves the farther off date open which may be easier to get someone for.

Vincent, hey thank you for being so flexible, but Cora picked up the date. What happened? I accidentally schedule Jessie for two dates, silly me:D It's all good now, we're on track and everyone's date is good!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 07, 2014, 09:07:18 PM
PM sent, Heidi.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 08, 2014, 12:51:44 AM
I'm looking for advice on my blurb. I'm thinking about taking a different route with it.

The original:
Quote
A man thrust a baby into Jade’s hands. It trembled in her arms. The man had a message: escape from the tunnels and never return, her parents were already dead. Jade had a sister; she was irradiated.

Thirteen years later, her sister, Pearl, is coming of age. Rows of sucker-caps line her arms and hands. Her skin is coral pink. Each night, her dreams fill with visions of violence, depression, and fear.

On the surface, people have grown wild and dangerous. They scavenge, fight, and steal. Below, in the tunnels, they're controlled by a ruthless leader and an army of beings known only as Shadows. When both groups come searching for Pearl, sensing the power her dreams may hold, only Jade can stand in the way.

My revised attempt:
Quote
Life as we know it is over.
Years have passed since the fall of civilisation. The city is a husk, picked bare by scavengers. Flood and drought has ravaged the land.

The sun warps the genes of our offspring.
The remains of humanity are underground, living in a road tunnel, spurning the sun. They're ruled by the Queen, a brutal dictator who controls their lives with an army of beings known only as Shadows. The only law is her law, and the punishment for impurity is death.

Two sisters are cast out. They struggle to survive.
A girl escapes the tunnel, clutching her new-born sister in her arms--mutated, reviled... irradiated. In a world with no rules, and an underground society that wants them dead, they must fight for their right to survive.

IRRADIATED is the first novel in a post-apocalyptic trilogy. The sequel, DEGENERATED, will be released July 30.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 08, 2014, 05:30:07 AM
I'm looking for advice on my blurb. I'm thinking about taking a different route with it.

The original:
My revised attempt:
Life as we know it is over.
Years have passed since the fall of civilisation. The city is a husk, picked bare by scavengers. Flood and drought has ravaged the land.

The sun warps the genes of our offspring.
The remains of humanity are underground, living in a road tunnel, spurning the sun. They're ruled by the Queen, a brutal dictator who controls their lives with an army of beings known only as Shadows. The only law is her law, and the punishment for impurity is death.

Two sisters are cast out. They struggle to survive.
A girl escapes the tunnel, clutching her new-born sister in her arms--mutated, reviled... irradiated. In a world with no rules, and an underground society that wants them dead, they must fight for their right to survive.

IRRADIATED is the first novel in a post-apocalyptic trilogy. The sequel, DEGENERATED, will be released July 30.


Hopefully Heidi chimes in - she was a ton of help with my blurb for an upcoming story.

I like the track you're on the with the revised blurb, but IMHO I'd like you to, somehow, keep the info about Jade and Pearl, particularly the power of Pearl's dreams and how that makes her a target for the brutal Queen.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 08, 2014, 06:26:57 AM
I second keeping Jade and Pearl in the blurb, because a teen girl with a newborn baby thrust into her arms and no other means of support immediately generates sympathy and makes a great hook.

Maybe keep the first paragraph of the new blurb as it is and then switch out the worldbuilding paragraph with a paragraph about Jade and Pearl.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 08, 2014, 10:01:38 AM
Elliot,
I like the second blurb, and I did try to fiddle with it quite a bit. But I had some problems because I wasn't clear enough about what was going on:

Is the city a husk above ground? If so, I'm not sure the logic is right, i.e. does the story start underground with the Queen, then the irradiated child is born, then they go up to survive in the city that's a husk? If it does, would the challenges the two sisters face come at the end of the blurb... i.e. the husk of the city?

When you say the sun warps genes, what does that mean? mutates? Also, what do impurities mean in the story?

The point is, the second blurb is better, but there's lots of non-action verbs and not necessarily cliches, but things being said about the story that aren't specific. I think if you kind of use the rhythm in the second, use more active verbs, get really specific with the elements of your story, and make sure none of the info is repetitive that will make it more punchy. i.e. things like "underground" and "spurning the sun" are saying the same things. Since a blurb is so short, you want to make every sentence provide unique information.

Anyway, I'd pretty much rather stick a fork in my eye than write a blurb any day:)
Good luck with it!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 08, 2014, 12:27:01 PM

Anyway, I'd pretty much rather stick a fork in my eye than write a blurb any day:)


Ugh. A thousand times yes. While I haven't been in the business long, it's been just long enough to know I hate writing blurbs! 

OK - on an entirely different note and in keeping with the title of this thread, huge high-five to our friend Lucas Bale! I finished The Heretic this afternoon and dug the hell out of it. But man, now I need book 2 ASAP.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 08, 2014, 12:40:50 PM
Thanks for the feedback.

I hate writing blurbs. I use very little exposition in my writing, and blurbs are basically all exposition, so my brain screams in agony.

The first blurb is more character based, which I personally like, while the second one I tried to focus more on the setting. I thought that might be more immediately appealing to readers in my genre... but, it's a character based story so I found it hard to marry the two.

Time for take three.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 08, 2014, 05:55:45 PM
Elliot, your point about character vs. setting is well taken. I'd go with the character. I fiddled with that one. Rough, but maybe it will give you some fresh ideas.

Her parent’s are dead.
A man thrust Jade's baby sister, Pearl, into her hands: Escape from the tunnels (road tunnel?) and never return.

Thirteen years later.
Rows of sucker-caps line Pearl’s arms and hands. Her skin is coral pink. Every night, violence, depression, and fear fill her dreams.

Two worlds.
On the surface, wild and dangerous people scavenge, fight, and steal (any killing?)(point, make the world as graphic as possible with as few images!). Below, in the tunnels, a ruthless Queen and her army of Shadows control the population.

Irradiated.
[The mutant (?) ]Pearl’s dreams are a source of power. When other’s come to take her, Jade must save her sister again.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 08, 2014, 06:18:04 PM
I'd lose the 'a man' at the start. When I read the book I expected mystery man to be significant in some way. I'd open straight with the girls. 'Jade's newborn sister Pearl is thrust into her hands with one instruction. Run. But the only freedom is in the sun scorched wasteland above ground.' Or something. But that man distracts me every time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Christine Reyes on July 08, 2014, 06:38:07 PM
OK - on an entirely different note and in keeping with the title of this thread, huge high-five to our friend Lucas Bale! I finished The Heretic this afternoon and dug the hell out of it. But man, now I need book 2 ASAP.

I know, right? I started it yesterday and have not been getting anything else done because I just want to read it. Lucas, it's a great book!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 08, 2014, 06:54:40 PM
Elliot, your point about character vs. setting is well taken. I'd go with the character. I fiddled with that one. Rough, but maybe it will give you some fresh ideas.

Her parent's are dead.
A man thrust Jade's baby sister, Pearl, into her hands: Escape from the tunnels (road tunnel?) and never return.

Thirteen years later.
Rows of sucker-caps line Pearl's arms and hands. Her skin is coral pink. Every night, violence, depression, and fear fill her dreams.

Two worlds.
On the surface, wild and dangerous people scavenge, fight, and steal (any killing?)(point, make the world as graphic as possible with as few images!). Below, in the tunnels, a ruthless Queen and her army of Shadows control the population.

Irradiated.
[The mutant (?) ]Pearl's dreams are a source of power. When other's come to take her, Jade must save her sister again.

Thanks, Heidi. I think this approach is right -- it stays focused on the characters, but make the format punchy.
I'd lose the 'a man' at the start. When I read the book I expected mystery man to be significant in some way. I'd open straight with the girls. 'Jade's newborn sister Pearl is thrust into her hands with one instruction. Run. But the only freedom is in the sun scorched wasteland above ground.' Or something. But that man distracts me every time.

I agree about the man, and really love your alternative opening.

I'll revise my blurb tonight, with all this feedback in mind.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 09, 2014, 11:13:21 AM
I know, right? I started it yesterday and have not been getting anything else done because I just want to read it. Lucas, it's a great book!

Wow! Thanks guys! Not sure what to say to that - I'm speechless, possibly for the first time in my life! I promise Defiance is in progress and I am getting there with it. In fact, I wrote 1,000 words this morning in the bright sunshine outside a cafe in Pimlico, London and I'm really pleased with the way it's shaping up. My final day at work is August 15th and, from then on, I am full-time! I hope to have Defiance ready in October and published shortly after that - once David Gatewood has finished with it and I have done my own revisions, taking his editing into account. Cover is done (reveal to come soon).

I am absolutely thrilled that so many people have enjoyed The Heretic. It's always nerve-shredding to put your book out there and hope people love it, but to have so much positive feedback is fantastic.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 09, 2014, 11:15:34 AM
Lucas, congratulations on the success of your new release!

Thanks, Heidi! How did you know?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 09, 2014, 12:07:35 PM
Lucas, your updates on this thread!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 09, 2014, 12:08:00 PM
Just catching up - Elliot, I hate writing blurbs too. I've edited mine many times. I did post on the Writer's Cafe asking for a critique, and ElHawk came up with the following suggestion:
Quote
All good fiction blurbs have four things in common. They answer the following questions as clearly and as briefly as possible.

1) Who is your main character? (The most important out of all your characters.)
2) What does he/she want?
3) What stands in his way of getting what he wants?
4) What is at stake if he fails?

I found that really helpful as a structure to hang the whole thing on.

Lucas - congratulations! Looks like it's going great guns.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 09, 2014, 12:24:49 PM
Lucas, your updates on this thread!

Ah, I see. For a second there I thought there was yet another site I should be watching! That's one of the complexities of this whole business - working out how to get yourself SEEN!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 09, 2014, 05:26:48 PM
On the topic of blurbs - Libbie Hawker, aka ElHawk here on Kboards, recently posted a two-part video series on writing blurbs/query/description that could be helpful to all of us. Original thread is over at http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,189261.25.html. Videos are linked to on page 2, unless the original post gets updated with the final info.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 10, 2014, 08:38:26 PM
On the topic of blurbs - Libbie Hawker, aka ElHawk here on Kboards, recently posted a two-part video series on writing blurbs/query/description that could be helpful to all of us. Original thread is over at http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,189261.25.html. Videos are linked to on page 2, unless the original post gets updated with the final info.
Thanks, Mike. I'll take a look this weekend.

I've been going through the edits on Degenerated, which is getting really close to publication. I might hold it back until the 30th, as I've been planning some stuff.

I'm running a $0.99 sale on Irradiated from 31-July to 6-Aug -- been trying to line up some promo spots. So far I have booksends, bookgorilla, peoplereads, and ebooksoda. Hopefully Pixel of Ink, too. Bookbub knocked me back, but that was to be expected.

Would it be a good or bad idea to publish Degenerated with an introductory price of 99c, too?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 10, 2014, 10:30:39 PM
I'd say keep Degenerated full price if you're dropping Irradiated down, unless you want to drop Degenerated for a few days prior to the main launch to give your mailing list/facebook fans who already have Irradiated time to get it for the lower price and score some happy goodwill points. All the new fans will still have to buy the first book anyway so there's not much point putting them both on special, I think.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 10, 2014, 10:42:12 PM
Elliot, you can also try Bknights on fiverr: http://www.fiverr.com/bknights There's been a lot of buzz about them around the boards.

I might try them when I release my Dystopian Fairy Tale. BTW, I just got back that beta read from Frostbite Publishing: http://www.frostbitepublishing.com/beta/ And I'll definitely be using them again! Another Kboard find ;)

As far as dropping the price on Degenerated, I think you can really go either way. I've seen people who've done 99cent runs across the board and they've really gotten some traction.

Michael, gonna try to watch that blurb video before the weekend is over! Have you watched it? Did it help?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 10, 2014, 11:18:53 PM
I'll definitely add bknights to the list.

My thought with the dual-99c promo is that people who find Irradiated from a promotion might grab both books, simultaneously. I could add a note about the deal on the Amazon page. Not sure how well this would work.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 11, 2014, 05:30:23 AM
Good luck, Elliot! I'll keep an eye out for the sale and new release and see what I can do on my blog; hopefully it'll help a bit. I'm kind of torn...I get where Ceinwen is coming from, but I also think a limited simultaneous promotion could help alot. If you're doing KDP Select with Degenerated (or even Irradiated), you could offer different price points over the span of the first five days. Maybe do a $0.99 for the first two days, then slowly build it up toward full price?

I've heard good things about Bknights as well! In fact, I'll be running my first promo with them this weekend, on the 13th. I've put my book on sale, so hopefully I'll see some positive results over the next few days.

Heidi - I did watch the videos and they were very helpful. Lots of good pointers in there! Definitely some stuff to chew over for future releases. I also came across this link on Facebook, maybe by way of CreateSpace? Anyway, also worth a look! http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/06/karl-bunker/
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 11, 2014, 11:29:16 AM
Elliot, you can also try Bknights on fiverr: http://www.fiverr.com/bknights There's been a lot of buzz about them around the boards.

I might try them when I release my Dystopian Fairy Tale. BTW, I just got back that beta read from Frostbite Publishing: http://www.frostbitepublishing.com/beta/ And I'll definitely be using them again! Another Kboard find ;)

I used BKnights and two things to note - for five bucks, the support they give you is pretty fantastic (answering messages through fiverr etc). Secondly, I ran one of the promos and got at least 10 US sales I really doubt I would have otherwise got - had so little movement in the US to start with (as my mailing list is mostly UK). I really think they are worth it. I ran on their website, now I am doing their FB promo on Monday. Worth a shot, in my view.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 12, 2014, 02:12:40 PM
Good luck, Elliot! I'll keep an eye out for the sale and new release and see what I can do on my blog; hopefully it'll help a bit. I'm kind of torn...I get where Ceinwen is coming from, but I also think a limited simultaneous promotion could help alot. If you're doing KDP Select with Degenerated (or even Irradiated), you could offer different price points over the span of the first five days. Maybe do a $0.99 for the first two days, then slowly build it up toward full price?

Irradiated is currently in Select (the 99c sale is using my promo days), but I'll be pulling it out when this term expires (10-August). I'm not planning to put Degenerated into Select. I want to start distributing both books more widely.

Just penciled in bknights for the 1st of August. :)

Oh, and Lucas -- congrats on The Heretic. Looks like it's doing really well. I've only read the first quarter of the book so far, but it's good stuff. Well written and an intriguing world.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Keith Soares on July 12, 2014, 02:50:49 PM
I'm quite late to the game, but I want to chime in as a spec-fic author. My first novel, The Oasis of Filth, is a realistic post-apocalyptic zombie (but they're not really zombies because they're not undead) story, and my second novel, launching very soon, is a combo alien invasion, superhero story.

Oasis parts 1 and 2 are currently #4 and #5 on Amazon's post-apocalyptic scifi list (free). Yeah, they're both free. Call me crazy (it fits). Part 1 is permafree. Part 2 is free only this weekend. What can I say? Sales in May and June were amazing. July was like a brick wall. I had to do something...

K.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 12, 2014, 04:16:25 PM
Welcome, Keith!

You have some nice covers. Who's your designer?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Keith Soares on July 13, 2014, 08:19:42 AM
Funny you should ask... Except for the Fogland cover, which was part of that collaborative project, I've done all of my own covers. It helps that I've been working in graphic design (among other things) for the past 20 years or so...
K.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 13, 2014, 10:19:36 AM
Nice to meet you, Keith. The covers are striking!

Elliot - it would be great to know how you get on with bknights. I'm bringing out no. 2 sometime soon, but we've had a technical setback. My husband is converting the Word document into PagePlus, and the inverted commas have basically all come out as feet and inches, thus: ' "

Find and replace doesn't recognise them so he is having to change them to smart quotes by hand.  :D

(This is probably because I had to scan a copy of the original paperback and then convert it into a Word file. I thought that PagePlus would automatically correct the inverted commas/quotation marks, but it seems that the formatting was crocked in the first place.)

If anyone knows of a solution, it would be brilliant, but otherwise we are stuck in the doldrums again.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 13, 2014, 03:17:27 PM
inverted commas have basically all come out as feet and inches, thus: ' "

Find and replace doesn't recognise them so he is having to change them to smart quotes by hand.  :D

(This is probably because I had to scan a copy of the original paperback and then convert it into a Word file. I thought that PagePlus would automatically correct the inverted commas/quotation marks, but it seems that the formatting was crocked in the first place.)

If anyone knows of a solution, it would be brilliant, but otherwise we are stuck in the doldrums again.

Jessie, I got stuck doing that once too. After doing a lot of the corrections manually, I think we figured out how to use the search and replace function using a combo of cut and pastes of spaces and quotes to replace spaces and the feet and inch marks. Not sure if that makes any sense. Good luck! Definitely a nightmare.

Hi Keith!

Elliot, yes, keep us posted. If I try them, it will be end of August.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 13, 2014, 03:38:56 PM
It might be hard to determine how well it works, as I have a few different ones lined up across the promo week. I think I have bknights and booksends on the same day.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 13, 2014, 03:39:49 PM
Elliot, good point  :)

Michael, I watched both of Libbie's blurb vids yesterday. Definitely worth the  time!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on July 13, 2014, 10:14:30 PM
And I'm live for the Writing Process Blog Tour.

http://www.jamiemaltman.com/2014/07/14/writing-process-blog-tour/

Thanks again, Heidi for connecting so many of us! :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 14, 2014, 03:55:28 AM
Jessie, I got stuck doing that once too. After doing a lot of the corrections manually, I think we figured out how to use the search and replace function using a combo of cut and pastes of spaces and quotes to replace spaces and the feet and inch marks. Not sure if that makes any sense. Good luck! Definitely a nightmare.

Heidi - I followed up your suggestion and found a solution on the Serif forums. It seems to work better than replacing all the things manually. Thanks!

And I'm live for the Writing Process Blog Tour.

http://www.jamiemaltman.com/2014/07/14/writing-process-blog-tour/

Thanks again, Heidi for connecting so many of us! :)

Congratulations, Jamie! :)

I have updated my own blog, adding your name and the link, together with the full list of previous hoppers. Please let me know if I missed anyone out. I'm not sure whether my blog gets many page-views, but I guess it could boost the signal. I have been drawing on Cora Buhlert's updated list on here for the full list of bloggers.

Does anyone know who's up after Cora on 4th August?

Vincent, I know you are blogging down the line but I'm not sure what date that is.

Elliot - let us know if there is anything we can do to boost the signal.

In the mean time, here is my updated list of the Blog Tour extraordinaire. http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/new-week-next-writing-process-blog-hop.html (http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/new-week-next-writing-process-blog-hop.html)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 14, 2014, 04:29:18 AM
I think that's me. I'm scheduled to do mine on the 11th.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 14, 2014, 05:04:47 AM
I think that's me. I'm scheduled to do mine on the 11th.

I just checked, Ceinwen - and I've got you down for the 11th August. :)

I'm not sure who is up between Cora on 27th July and you on 11th August.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 14, 2014, 06:25:17 AM
Heidi - glad to hear the videos were worthwhile!

My bknights promo launched yesterday, and I've seen an immediate uptick that I'm hoping will continue. I only had one sale earlier this month, but since bknights went live, I've had 10 sales with a 0.99 price promo. Fingers crossed for more!

For those that are interested, I've got a guest post running today from a new author whose debut is launching next month: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/07/14/guest-post-author-j-s-collyer-for-the-love/

If anyone else wants to do a guest post, hit me up and we'll see what we can arrange! I haven't had time to think about good questions for an interview piece, so that's on hold for a bit until things calm down a bit on my end...

Lucas Bale was kind enough to interview me for his site, though, and it's up at http://www.lucasbale.com/blog/2014/7/14/convergence-by-michael-patrick-hicks
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 14, 2014, 07:37:25 AM
Vincent, I know you are blogging down the line but I'm not sure what date that is.

I dunno. I warned her if it was too far off I would lose track. And... I have. She said she would send an email to remind me... I think its like Aug 27th, 2024 or something.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on July 14, 2014, 07:44:41 AM
I think its like Aug 27th, 2024 or something.
Does the calendar app even go that far into the future?  ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 14, 2014, 07:51:33 AM
Does the calendar app even go that far into the future?  ;)

Not sure, have not looked to see if it goes past lunch yet....
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on July 14, 2014, 03:02:01 PM
And I'm live for the Writing Process Blog Tour.

http://www.jamiemaltman.com/2014/07/14/writing-process-blog-tour/

I went to look at your writing process post and got sidetracked by your "first ever vlog post." Beautiful cover!

And previous posts...
Marilyn Peake: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6593691-speculative-fiction-blog-hop
Nic Wilson: http://nicolaswilson.com/index.php/announcements-1/spec-fic-blog-hop
David Pagan: http://davidpagan.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Travis Hill: http://www.angrygames.com/?p=699
Cherise Kelley: http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html
RJ Crayton: http://www.rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/
Sandra K. Williams: http://sandrakwilliams.net/?p=360
S. Elliot Brandis: http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
Elle Chambers: http://indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
William D. Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html
Michael Patrick Hicks: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Cat Amesbury: http://catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Heidi Garrett: http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 14, 2014, 04:45:16 PM
My bknights promo launched yesterday, and I've seen an immediate uptick that I'm hoping will continue. I only had one sale earlier this month, but since bknights went live, I've had 10 sales with a 0.99 price promo. Fingers crossed for more!

For those that are interested, I've got a guest post running today from a new author whose debut is launching next month: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/07/14/guest-post-author-j-s-collyer-for-the-love/

If anyone else wants to do a guest post, hit me up and we'll see what we can arrange! I haven't had time to think about good questions for an interview piece, so that's on hold for a bit until things calm down a bit on my end...

Lucas Bale was kind enough to interview me for his site, though, and it's up at http://www.lucasbale.com/blog/2014/7/14/convergence-by-michael-patrick-hicks

Michael - It would be great to hear how you get on with bknights. So far I've been reading that he's pretty good value. Will check out the interview and the guest post anon.  I would love to volunteer for a guest post (if that is ok).

Vincent - glad to see that the Blog Hop will still be running in 2024. I hope we haven't all been carried off by a dystopian future, possibly featuring zombies.  ;)

Sandra - thank you for iterating the list. This is such a long thread and it's really useful to have it repeated. May I copy and paste it to my blog?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 14, 2014, 04:56:39 PM


Elliot - let us know if there is anything we can do to boost the signal.

Thanks, Jessie.

Anything that can help spread the word about my promo would be great. I'm doing an interview with Lucas, and have an idea for a guest post for Michael. I'm open to anything. [emoji4]
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 14, 2014, 05:13:03 PM

Thanks, Jessie.

Anything that can help spread the word about my promo would be great. I'm doing an interview with Lucas, and have an idea for a guest post for Michael. I'm open to anything. [emoji4]

What I've been doing (so far) is sharing stuff on my page on FB and tweeting it. Would you do a guest post for me? (I have to say that I'm on a steep learning curve here.) When I launched Malarat in May 2013, I did a couple of interviews on friends' blogs. It was fun to do and also did flag up the fact that the thing was for sale.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 14, 2014, 05:26:53 PM
I'd be up for another guest post. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 14, 2014, 05:37:20 PM
I'd be up for another guest post. :)
Excellent! Send me a PM and we can chat about it tomorrow. It's getting a bit late here (eyes on stalks) :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on July 14, 2014, 06:42:27 PM
Sandra - thank you for iterating the list. This is such a long thread and it's really useful to have it repeated. May I copy and paste it to my blog?

Certainly! :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 15, 2014, 04:33:37 AM
Certainly! :)

Thanks! I will do an edit-y thing. :)

ETA: I have updated my most recent post and added links to author web-sites for those who haven't blogged yet.

http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/new-week-next-writing-process-blog-hop.html
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 15, 2014, 05:01:03 AM
Thanks! I will do an edit-y thing. :)

ETA: I have updated my most recent post and added links to author web-sites for those who haven't blogged yet.

http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/new-week-next-writing-process-blog-hop.html

Umm... if you do not mind... I tend to prefer the TRIGILI spelling of my last name, rather than what you have. ;) Thanks!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 15, 2014, 06:01:26 AM
Michael - It would be great to hear how you get on with bknights. So far I've been reading that he's pretty good value. Will check out the interview and the guest post anon.  I would love to volunteer for a guest post (if that is ok).

Jessie - I'd be very happy to have you guest post! Hit me up with a PM or contact me through my site and we'll get it figured out.

The bknights promo worked out pretty well! He launched the promo mid-afternoon Sunday and I've had 17 sales (18 total for the month so far...). I was hoping to get 20 this month, so we'll see what happens in the wake of this promo, but, honestly, I'm expecting a pretty huge drop-off again. Still, it was a nice bump and it helped get my book into more hands, so I cannot complain.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 15, 2014, 03:43:14 PM
Umm... if you do not mind... I tend to prefer the TRIGILI spelling of my last name, rather than what you have. ;) Thanks!

Vincent, I am so sorry. I am such a prune. I'll go and change it.

Michael - will drop you a line. The bknights promo sounds pretty good. And 17 sales is encouraging - I've had one sale so far this month! LOL
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 15, 2014, 05:09:46 PM
Michael - will drop you a line. The bknights promo sounds pretty good. And 17 sales is encouraging - I've had one sale so far this month! LOL

Got your message and am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

17 sales was definitely a nice way to break the slump! And, I was able to get Indie Author Land (http://www.indieauthorland.com/freebooks/) to pick up the sale. They surprised me by making it their book of the day and featuring it at the top of the linked page. Pretty cool! Fingers are crossed again for some more positive gains. :-)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: WDR on July 15, 2014, 08:14:39 PM
Good to see that things are really popping! Sorry I've been such a lurker, but I'm in the final stages of finishing Dragon before sending it off for editing. You all know how that goes. Keep up the good work! I've been enjoying all the points of view in the tour. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 16, 2014, 12:00:44 PM
17 sales was definitely a nice way to break the slump! And, I was able to get Indie Author Land (http://www.indieauthorland.com/freebooks/) to pick up the sale. They surprised me by making it their book of the day and featuring it at the top of the linked page. Pretty cool! Fingers are crossed again for some more positive gains. :-)

That's a really good sign. (Fingers crossed too).

WDR - that's the important stuff. I have been neglecting mine woefully.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on July 16, 2014, 12:14:21 PM
I went to look at your writing process post and got sidetracked by your "first ever vlog post." Beautiful cover!



Thanks, I love it. :) My book 2 cover should be coming soon. Heavy into polishing, so I haven't been bugging my designer.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: A.E. Williams on July 16, 2014, 12:57:40 PM
Congratulations on the print book, Jamie! That is a stunning cover!  8)

Nice vlog as well! 

A.E. Williams
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 16, 2014, 06:34:23 PM
Hey, all! I've been MIA for a bit, working on getting covers for a series sorted out. I'm trying to get a template that will brand the series, and it's been a process. I learned how to make a photo look like a sketch, though. Fun times. :D

I think I've finally got Google Plus to keep all the information on my book and my account in place. Why do these sites make stuff so hard? I got D2D done in like five minutes, including uploading the blasted book. Argh!

Hope you all have easy writing and good sales ahead. Time for me to crash for the evening. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 19, 2014, 02:04:20 PM
Got your message and am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

17 sales was definitely a nice way to break the slump! And, I was able to get Indie Author Land (http://www.indieauthorland.com/freebooks/) to pick up the sale. They surprised me by making it their book of the day and featuring it at the top of the linked page. Pretty cool! Fingers are crossed again for some more positive gains. :-)

I have now run two BKnights promos - one on the website, one on FB. The first was 99p/99c, the second was $2.99/£1.98. The first was at least 15 US sales (maybe more). The second was 2-3. Lesson to be learned (if you can learn anything): BKnights can help with visibility, even at higher prices, but 99p/99c is what their readers are expecting. Also noteworthy - this is my only book and it's been out less than two weeks.

Huge three day slump since then ;-) My first experience of it, having sold 100 copies in two weeks and now nothing. It's a sobering experience after the euphoria of the first fortnight. Thanks to some of the more experienced authors, I know not to be too miserable about it and get back on the horse writing Book II in the series.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 19, 2014, 03:58:41 PM
Lucas, things will be better when you get more work out. You've got a good start, though, so keep plugging away at the next book, and then the next...

I've been busy today, though not writing on my novel. I set up a template in Scrivener to keep up with future short stories, and then got 2200+ words in a new short. I'm judging I'm about halfway done, so it's one of my longer ones. Makes a nice change from the flash fiction. :)

I was inspired by a story I read by a board member here. Just something in the story gave me a "what if?", and I was off. Totally different from his story (which was very, very good, by the way) but it goes to show how any little thing can spark our imaginations. A tiny piece of a sentence, and I saw the story.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 19, 2014, 04:27:52 PM
Lucas, my experience was much the same--Irradiated got off to a good start, and now is just ticking along. My second book comes out soon, so we'll see what happens. There are a lot of successful indies in our genre, but I don't see many overnight successes. I think you've just gotta keep chipping away.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ameliasmith on July 19, 2014, 04:46:48 PM
Hi Lucas,
I did a BKnights promo/ 99 cent sale at the end of June and got a nice spike, with 40 sales on Amazon that one day. Since then, I've been trickling along at about one sale a week (just had one today, yay!).

This week I broke new ground by setting myself up on librarything and putting up a giveaway for 50 copies of my historical fantasy novella. I've hardly promoted it at all, so it will be interesting to see if this has any effect.

Sheila --I have also been working on covers for my fantasy series. Since I have 5 books planned, I'm just doing them all at once. I found a series of similar glyph images which are going in the center. If I had the budget I might try for full illustrated covers, but for now I'm happy with what I have. I'll probably revise what I have a bit before book 1 hits the stores
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 20, 2014, 07:09:20 AM
Amelia, I was going to use glyphs, but then I saw some covers to GRRM's books, which had a single object on the cover. I had the brilliant idea to make my images look like drawings, and have the covers be spell book pages. I'm liking it so far, and I got to learn something else in Photoshop. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ameliasmith on July 20, 2014, 07:12:54 AM
Spell book pages as covers sounds cool -- should convey genre nicely without being more of the same. I'm going for a slightly art deco/early 20th century feel with my covers and wasted many happy hours staring at old book cover designs... not that what I have comes close to any of the great ones, but I'd like to think that I learned something from them.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 20, 2014, 04:21:00 PM
Lucas, that sounds like a promising start. I think Elliot is right about chipping away. The rules seem to vary from genre to genre.

Sheila - sounds like a really productive day! I've been putting my book onto Ywriter, a program that I've found helpful in the past. It makes it easier to see the whole thing at a glance, which you can't do with word.

Amelia - would be interested to hear how you get on with your librarything giveaway. I got a good response, but no reviews or feedback.

I've just added my own post to the writing process blog hop, as I'm next in line after Jamie Maltman. And Cora Buhlert is next in line for 27th July.

Here's the link: http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/speculative-fiction-writing-process.html (http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/speculative-fiction-writing-process.html)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 20, 2014, 05:39:14 PM
Just tweeted your post, Jessica.

Plus, I just finished an SF novella today, which I've been working on for a year now and for twenty, if you count the original draft. Plus, I found the perfect stock photo for the cover.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 20, 2014, 06:13:27 PM
Thank you, Cora! Congrats on finishing your novella. That sounds a bit like the kind of time scale I work on.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 20, 2014, 06:39:48 PM
Just tweeted your post, Jessica.

Plus, I just finished an SF novella today, which I've been working on for a year now and for twenty, if you count the original draft. Plus, I found the perfect stock photo for the cover.
Congrats on finishing it! Sounds like quite a journey.

I have the first part of my post-apocalyptic western ready. It's novella length (20k words), edited and ready to go.

I think I've finally found a cover designer, too.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 21, 2014, 04:28:01 AM
Amelia, thanks. I'm hoping the covers will brand the series nicely. :) I love Art Deco! Such an interesting design style.

Jessie, I used yWriter before I got Scrivener. Great program (I think we're referring to the same thing?), and it was free.

Cora, isn't it great when we find the perfect thing for our covers?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 21, 2014, 05:06:27 AM
Elliot - would be interested to see your new cover art for the apocalyptic Western.

Sheila - I think it must be the same one - I typed it slightly wrong! It is free, and I really like it. I haven't tried Scrivener - is it also a formatting program, or is that something different?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: markhealy on July 21, 2014, 05:37:10 AM
Hi all, I'm another lurker who's checking in for the first time in this thread.  I just finished the second draft of my first full length novel, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, and it's currently with a few friends who offered to be my beta readers.  I'm also working away on cover art.  This is all new to me so it's great to read about your experiences, and hopefully I'll have some of my own to offer in the near future.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 21, 2014, 05:59:00 AM
Yikes, Elliot. I wish I wrote that fast! Congrats, though, look forward to reading it.

Hi Mark :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 21, 2014, 10:03:18 AM
Yikes, Elliot. I wish I wrote that fast! Congrats, though, look forward to reading it.

Hi Mark :)

Ditto to both! Welcome to the board Mark.

And Elliot - kudos. You're quick, man. Looking forward to reading this one, too.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 21, 2014, 11:06:35 AM
Hi Everyone!

Michael and Lucas, thanks for the updates on Bknights. I have a countdown running this week and they're supposed to run an ad or whatever on Thursday, I'll let ya'll know:)

Welcome Mark!

Jessica's up on the writing process blog tour speculative fiction blog hop, gonna get over there in a bit and say hi! Cora's next, then Kevin Hardman. We're scheduled out to September 8th, with no one on Sept. 1st cause it's Labor Day in the US. Should we just skip Labor Day? Or does anyone want to pick it up? Thoughts?

Sandra, thanks for making the weekly posts. I know I and everyone else appreciates it!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 21, 2014, 12:17:57 PM
Hi Everyone!

Michael and Lucas, thanks for the updates on Bknights. I have a countdown running this week and they're supposed to run an ad or whatever on Thursday, I'll let ya'll know:)

Yeah, please do! I was pretty happy with the results, and ended up selling a smidge over 30 copies as a result of the promo. I wrote a bit about it today, and if you're so inclined give it a read. I'll definitely be using them again for my title launch.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 21, 2014, 12:47:00 PM
Hi there Mark! :)

Heidi - that would be cool. Thanks!

Mike - is the piece about your Bknights promo on your blog? Will go and have a look...
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ABBradley on July 21, 2014, 01:03:06 PM
Just finished the second manuscript for my 7 part YA coming of age fantasy. I've set a date to publish the first one (9-15) but it's kind of arbitrary. Should I publish part 1 in August instead? I keep hearing it's a slow time, and as my series is a Chronicles of Narnia meets Dia de Los Muertos, I thought publishing it closer to fall would be better...not so sure about that now.

Also, for those of us with novel length series, what's the best time to publish the sequels? Select/KU or multiple platforms? I'm starting to pull my hair out!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 21, 2014, 01:22:59 PM
Mike - is the piece about your Bknights promo on your blog? Will go and have a look...

It is, but here's a direct link before it gets buried in a glut of reblogging frenzy... http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/07/21/convergence-and-the-path-to-publication-part-v-on-promotion/
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 21, 2014, 01:37:45 PM
Thanks, guys.

I don't reckon I'm that quick, really. I wrote 'Part One' while Degenerated was away for editing. I think I wrote it across four weeks (so, 5k a week), spent a week or two self-editing, and then sent it off for outside editing.

Writing in parts is actually really good, I think -- makes the process more discrete. I plan to release four parts, one at a time, and then bundle them up in an omnibus.

I'll post the cover art once it's done. I found a series of post-apocalyptic covers on Amazon that I really liked, so I hunted down the designer. Turns out he's a friend of the author--he's a graphic designer in his day job, and did them as a side gig. I reckon he's an untapped talent. Pretty excited to see what he comes up with--we're trying to capture a gritty western feel, but channel the post-apocalypse at the same time.

Also, for those of us with novel length series, what's the best time to publish the sequels? Select/KU or multiple platforms? I'm starting to pull my hair out!

Yeah, it's a bit crazy. I have my second novel planned for July 30 (it's ready now, but I'm holding off on it to line up with promo stuff). Now this whole KU business has dropped, and I don't know how it will effect the launch. I was originally planning to withdraw by first novel from Select, and then start distributing both books more widely. Now, I'm considering putting them both into Select and seeing how this pans out.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 21, 2014, 02:31:52 PM
It is, but here's a direct link before it gets buried in a glut of reblogging frenzy... http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/07/21/convergence-and-the-path-to-publication-part-v-on-promotion/

Cheers, Mike. Will trot off to read!

Elliot - interesting to hear about your cover-artist. It sounds very promising. I agree that since the advent of KU it's a bit hard to know which way to jump. And there are so many different discussion threads on the board.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 21, 2014, 03:11:18 PM
Hi Everyone!

Michael and Lucas, thanks for the updates on Bknights. I have a countdown running this week and they're supposed to run an ad or whatever on Thursday, I'll let ya'll know:)

Welcome Mark!

Jessica's up on the writing process blog tour speculative fiction blog hop, gonna get over there in a bit and say hi! Cora's next, then Kevin Hardman. We're scheduled out to September 8th, with no one on Sept. 1st cause it's Labor Day in the US. Should we just skip Labor Day? Or does anyone want to pick it up? Thoughts?

Sandra, thanks for making the weekly posts. I know I and everyone else appreciates it!

If you can find someone for Labor day, I would not skip it. IMO
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 21, 2014, 03:28:41 PM
Sheila - I think it must be the same one - I typed it slightly wrong! It is free, and I really like it. I haven't tried Scrivener - is it also a formatting program, or is that something different?

Scrivener is a lot like yWriter in how it functions, and you can compile for different book formats in the program. Unless yWriter has changed, you can't do that (it exports in a couple of formats, like .doc and .rtf).

I'd love to see some cover reveals! I'm getting my series covers set up with a template, the title and author name font, and then finishing each "drawing" for individual books. Now I've got the backgrounds for each book to come up with. I'll need a decent handwriting font, and some "notes" to include.

Welcome to the thread, Mark! The more the merrier, I say.  ;D

Summer is usually very slow, but I'd think a new book could catch the reader's eye right now, since a lot of writers wait until the slump is over. With KU now, who knows though? I want to sit back and see what happens, but I did that with Select and missed out on the good sales and borrows early on.

I still don't like that there's no selection process to get into Select (kind of defeats the whole purpose of the name) -- there's nothing special about it to readers, except for being able to borrow books if they have Prime.

Ah, well. I guess I'll see what I want to do once the novels are done and ready to publish. If I can get the rewrites done on the one that I'd previously published, I might try Select and see how KU does for me.

Decisions, decisions.  ???
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on July 21, 2014, 03:54:35 PM
It is, but here's a direct link before it gets buried in a glut of reblogging frenzy... http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/07/21/convergence-and-the-path-to-publication-part-v-on-promotion/
Sorry, I've been sort of lurking around this particular thread recently. I enjoyed this post and liked it on WP.
Also, my bknights promo was nothing short of amazing for me anyway! I cannot say enough good about what it has done for my writing ego!  ;D
I especially enjoyed being in the top 10 in the Teen & YA Steampunk, even if it was for a little while! I suppose this mean I can claim I have a Bestselling book, right?  8)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: markhealy on July 21, 2014, 11:53:41 PM


I'll post the cover art once it's done. I found a series of post-apocalyptic covers on Amazon that I really liked, so I hunted down the designer. Turns out he's a friend of the author--he's a graphic designer in his day job, and did them as a side gig. I reckon he's an untapped talent. Pretty excited to see what he comes up with--we're trying to capture a gritty western feel, but channel the post-apocalypse at the same time.


My favourite post-apoc artist is Jonas de Ro, but I don't think he takes commissions unfortunately. He does some inspiring work though, check this one out for example:

http://jonasdero.deviantart.com/art/Forsaken-264869414
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 22, 2014, 03:14:56 AM
My favourite post-apoc artist is Jonas de Ro, but I don't think he takes commissions unfortunately. He does some inspiring work though, check this one out for example:

http://jonasdero.deviantart.com/art/Forsaken-264869414

That's some beautiful art, right there!

markhealy and S. Elliot Brandis, it's a pleasure to find some fellow post-apocalyptic writers. I look forward to seeing more details on both your projects! :)

---

Hi there, guys. I'm Harry, and I'm going to be releasing my debut post-apocalyptic novel 25th August 2014. I've been perusing KBoards a while now, and I have to admit this thread just kind of slipped through the net. I had no idea it was here at all. Strange, huh?

A little about me: I'm a student of Physics in the UK, I'm a huge fan of sci-fi and horror, along with a sprinkle of classic literary. Most of my work tends to operate in the dystopian/apocalyptic vein, and I've had short fiction published in magazines and e-zines. I enjoy blogging (more like keeping an online writer's journal, but occasionally I'll post articles), and tweet regularly under @harry_a_manners.

You can see a bit more about me here:

Website (made it myself, I'd love to know what you think): http://www.harrymanners.net
Blog: http://www.harrymanners.wordpress.com

A little about my upcoming novel:

Ruin (The Ruin Saga #1)

Norman Creek has a destiny: to save the world.

Earth has been almost lifeless for forty years, since a mysterious disaster caused most of the world's population to vanish. With the greatest famine in decades at its peak, thousands lay dying in the ruins of once-great cities.

A high-ranking member of England's last true society, Norman will soon have to take up the mantle of leadership, and keep the ways of the Old World from becoming lost forever. But being a leader was never a life he wanted.

As starvation grips the country, and Norman becomes ever more desperate to escape his fate, a hostile coalition emerges; one that heralds the coming of a second Apocalypse, hell-bent on ending the Old World forever.


Cover art: You can see the artwork here: http://harrymanners.net/images/covers/ruin_web.jpg

I loved working with the artist on the cover. I was a huge fan of his work online, and tracked him down to commission him. I'm hoping use him for all my covers and generate a 'branded' feel for my work.

Recently, I've had a lot going on. I'm expecting my final, last proofreader to send the manuscript back today, and then it's off for formatting. I'll be posting a free excerpt online this week. Lately, I've been running around like a headless chicken: ISBNs, EIN, proofread, dealing with beta-readers, setting up my Goodreads Author Account, implementing the book portal on my website, getting my author photo, registering with the HMRC, the big cover reveal on social media, linking my social networking accounts, building my mailing list. Oh lord, it goes on!
But always, always research. Research, research, research!

And the members of KBoards, I can never thank enough. Such angels, helping one another out and giving away their hard-earned advice. I often don't have much to add in threads, but I love trawling the boards just for the sense of community. I hope to get some of you guys better. There's a hell of a lot of great work going around here!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 22, 2014, 03:41:11 AM
Hi Harry.

Lovely cover.. who was the designer? Nice website, too.

My second post-apocalyptic novel, Degenerated, comes out next week. :)

Interesting that you're studying physics. I'm an engineer. A lot of the old sci-fi authors had technical degrees, too.

Good luck.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: markhealy on July 22, 2014, 03:59:34 AM
Hey Harry, sounds like an intriguing concept and the cover art is great!  Look forward to hearing more from you.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 22, 2014, 04:00:19 AM
Hi Elliot, I was just looking over your site, and saw that your sequel was out this month. I'll be sure to pick it up!

Thanks for the comment on the cover. It was designed by Levente Szabo, a graphic artist.


An engineer, huh? Strange how many technical people get drawn to writing. And yeah, Clarke and Asimov etc. seem to have set the trend with their background training.

Take care. :)

---

Hi Mark, thanks for the comments. I certainly look forward to seeing more of your work, as well.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RuthNestvold on July 22, 2014, 04:17:51 AM
Hi specficers! (hm, I think I'll have to rethink that one ...)

I haven't been on Kboards much in the past few months, and somehow I missed this thread. I write science fiction and fantasy, and I guess I'm what nowadays people call a "hybrid author" since a lot of my short stories and one of my novels have been published in the old fashioned way, submitting the manuscript and getting it accepted.

Nowadays I mostly concentrate on indie publishing, but I do still submit short stories to traditional markets.

What's the blog hop people are talking about upstream? I live in Germany, so I wouldn't have any conflicts on Labor Day -- but Sept. 1 is also my wedding anniversary. *g*
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 22, 2014, 04:50:59 AM
Harry, I remember your cover from your feedback thread! It's really great, and I like the sound of the blurb. Look forward to checking it out!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on July 22, 2014, 04:57:14 AM
Jessica's up on the writing process blog tour speculative fiction blog hop, gonna get over there in a bit and say hi! Cora's next, then Kevin Hardman. We're scheduled out to September 8th, with no one on Sept. 1st cause it's Labor Day in the US. Should we just skip Labor Day? Or does anyone want to pick it up? Thoughts?

I think it's better to not to skip any weeks. Consistency, etc.

This week's post:
Jessica Rydill: http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/speculative-fiction-writing-process.html

It's interesting how Jessica tried to fold fan fiction into her latest novel and how that worked out. She also mentions the differences in her fantasy. I read her first book a decade ago when it was trade published. I've remembered it all these years because reading it felt like drinking a glass of sparkling fresh water.

And previous posts...
Jamie Maltman: http://www.jamiemaltman.com/2014/07/14/writing-process-blog-tour/
Marilyn Peake: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6593691-speculative-fiction-blog-hop
Nic Wilson: http://nicolaswilson.com/index.php/announcements-1/spec-fic-blog-hop
David Pagan: http://davidpagan.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Travis Hill: http://www.angrygames.com/?p=699
Cherise Kelley: http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html
RJ Crayton: http://www.rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/
Sandra K. Williams: http://sandrakwilliams.net/?p=360
S. Elliot Brandis: http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
Elle Chambers: http://indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
William D. Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html
Michael Patrick Hicks: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Cat Amesbury: http://catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Heidi Garrett: http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog

What's the blog hop people are talking about upstream? I live in Germany, so I wouldn't have any conflicts on Labor Day -- but Sept. 1 is also my wedding anniversary. *g*

In WordPress you can schedule posts for later dates. BTW, I very much enjoyed your lace story in the Tiptree anthology.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 22, 2014, 05:04:29 AM
Harry, I remember your cover from your feedback thread! It's really great, and I like the sound of the blurb. Look forward to checking it out!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Hi Ceinwen, I remember you, too. Thanks again for the feedback you gave.

I'm on the home stretch towards my first publication now. Exciting times!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 22, 2014, 05:05:33 AM
Welcome Harry and Ruth! This thread tends to drop off the first few pages, until we have a flurry of postings. Boom!

The first apocalyptic book I read was Alas, Babylon when I was very, very young. It hooked me, and I've been like this ever since. :D I also write apocalyptic/post apocalyptic fiction, among other genres. I seem to be stuck in a zombie mode lately, though, which is taking focus from a couple of other things that really should be done and published.

Ruth, some of us (well, probably all of us by now) signed up to do a writing process blog hop, which has since been renamed the speculative fiction blog hop. There are some questions to cover, like what we write, why we write it, and how we write. If you want to join us, you could do like I did/will do and write your post early, and post it on the day you chose.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 22, 2014, 05:35:11 AM
Welcome to the board Harry! Both your sites look great, and I'm digging the cover art and description. I'll keep an eye out for this one come release - good luck with the book launch!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 22, 2014, 05:57:12 AM
Great cover, Harry.

Also Harry, Ruth, Elliott and everybody else, let me know if you have a new speculative fiction book coming out, so I can include you in the Indie Spec Fic of the Month round-up, which is usually posted on the last day of the month.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ameliasmith on July 22, 2014, 06:00:59 AM
How does one join this blog hop? I would be up for it sometime this fall.

And yes, there has definitely been a flurry of posts lately!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: jdrew on July 22, 2014, 08:55:43 AM
How does one join this blog hop? I would be up for it sometime this fall.

And yes, there has definitely been a flurry of posts lately!
Yes, how does one join the blog hop?  How far back do I need to go to find info on it?  I too would like to get in on it this fall.  I'd really like to do it now but I am going crazy trying to get everything to come together so my next book gets published.  Why is it there always seems to be one more thing that needs done, fixed, revised, etc.?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: WDR on July 22, 2014, 09:26:34 AM
I'm on the home stretch towards my first publication now. Exciting times!

Good luck, Harry!

I found it kind of funny how anti-climactic it was to click on the "PUBLISH" button. One moment you're not published, the next you are. Where it really kicks in is when people start buying your book.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 22, 2014, 11:38:08 AM
Ruth, I keep up with the blog hop. Would you like to sign you up for September 1? I agree with Sandra and Vince, best not to skip weeks so it would be awesome if that would work for you. You can pm me your email address if that works for you and I'll get you on the schedule.

Amelia and jdrew, would love to have you both sign up for the blog hop too! We've got September 15, 22, and 29th open. If you want to join in just pm me your email address and we'll get you on the schedule too.

Welcome Harry!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 22, 2014, 01:13:29 PM
Sheila: Alas, Babylon was one of the first in the post-apocalyptic genre I read as well. Loved it! But my personal favourites are definitely David Brin's 'The Postman', and George R. Stewart's 'Earth Abides'.

mphicks: Thanks for the comments, I'd be thrilled to know what you think of it when it comes out!

Cora: I'll be sure to let you know, I'd be keen to join in on the roundup.

WDR: I can imagine it is indeed anti-climactic, sitting there alone in front of the computer just like any other day. I'm already trying steel myself for publishing it up and getting only a trickle of sales. This being my debut, that's what'll happen, so I'm trying to mentally prepare for the lack of fanfare. But, as you say, it'll really feel great when I get a few readers, once my list starts growing.

Heidi: I'm also love to join the blog hop at some point if there are any open spaces. My debut will be out 25th August.

Thanks for the welcomes and comments, everyone. You've all been very welcoming. :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Lucas Bale on July 22, 2014, 01:42:02 PM
Sheila: Alas, Babylon was one of the first in the post-apocalyptic genre I read as well. Loved it! But my personal favourites are definitely David Brin's 'The Postman', and George R. Stewart's 'Earth Abides'.

mphicks: Thanks for the comments, I'd be thrilled to know what you think of it when it comes out!

Cora: I'll be sure to let you know, I'd be keen to join in on the roundup.

WDR: I can imagine it is indeed anti-climactic, sitting there alone in front of the computer just like any other day. I'm already trying steel myself for publishing it up and getting only a trickle of sales. This being my debut, that's what'll happen, so I'm trying to mentally prepare for the lack of fanfare. But, as you say, it'll really feel great when I get a few readers, once my list starts growing.

Heidi: I'm also love to join the blog hop at some point if there are any open spaces. My debut will be out 25th August.

Thanks for the welcomes and comments, everyone. You've all been very welcoming. :)

Welcome Harry. We already know each other through twitter, but welcome to the SFHFC. There's a great bunch people here.

WDR is right – I think it's not so much that it's anti-climactic per se, more that, for a little while, nothing much happens. No fanfare, no ticker-tape just the silence of waiting and the perpetual "refresh-click". As for your debut - I'd happily help promote through an interview, if that sounds of interest to you. Check out the ones I've done for Michael Bunker, Jason Gurley and Mike Hicks. If you like the look of it, I'll work with you on it. I normally get around 800-1,000 visits a month.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: RuthNestvold on July 22, 2014, 02:06:32 PM
Quote
In WordPress you can schedule posts for later dates. BTW, I very much enjoyed your lace story in the Tiptree anthology.

Why thank you! Looking Through Lace is still one of my favorite things I've written, even though it was pretty early in my career. But it came together magically somehow. Wish it always happened like that. *g*

Quote
Ruth, I keep up with the blog hop. Would you like to sign you up for September 1? I agree with Sandra and Vince, best not to skip weeks so it would be awesome if that would work for you. You can pm me your email address if that works for you and I'll get you on the schedule.

Well, if we're supposed to answer the questions from the writing process blog hop, I was already tagged on that one and did those. If we can get a little creative and do something similar but not exactly the same, I'd be happy to fill the empty slot.

You guys could toss four random questions at me to answer, frex, similar but not exactly the same as the writing process questions. :)

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 22, 2014, 02:44:50 PM

Welcome Harry. We already know each other through twitter, but welcome to the SFHFC. There's a great bunch people here.

WDR is right -- I think it's not so much that it's anti-climactic per se, more that, for a little while, nothing much happens. No fanfare, no ticker-tape just the silence of waiting and the perpetual "refresh-click". As for your debut - I'd happily help promote through an interview, if that sounds of interest to you. Check out the ones I've done for Michael Bunker, Jason Gurley and Mike Hicks. If you like the look of it, I'll work with you on it. I normally get around 800-1,000 visits a month.

Hi Lucas! Great to see you here.
Indeed, I'm braced for a few tumbleweeds after publication day - and a few months after that, most likely.

An interview would be wonderful! It's very kind of you to make such an offer. If there's anything I can do in return, let me know.

---

I just got the final manuscript back from my last proofreader. It's locked in, now, the words are set. Five long years of effort, and I'm finally here.

Now it's just has to go off for formatting, and it'll be ready for the digital shelf.

I'll be posting up a free excerpt in the next day or two.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 22, 2014, 03:04:01 PM
Welcome to all the new posters - I have lost track of who is who already - so welcome one and all! :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on July 22, 2014, 03:07:32 PM
Great cover, Harry.

Also Harry, Ruth, Elliott and everybody else, let me know if you have a new speculative fiction book coming out, so I can include you in the Indie Spec Fic of the Month round-up, which is usually posted on the last day of the month.

That's lovely of you to offer. I wondered how to get on that list last month  8)

We released a short story just last week! :) Surreal Dark Fantasy http://amzn.com/B00LUYFC9E (http://amzn.com/B00LUYFC9E)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 22, 2014, 03:21:18 PM
David Brin's 'The Postman', and George R. Stewart's 'Earth Abides'.

Lovely books! (Is that weird to say about PA fiction?) Every so often I re-read Alas, Babylon, and then usually go on to The Postman. Good times. Good times.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 22, 2014, 05:13:40 PM
Oh wow! The thread exploded. xD

Sheila - I'm going to take a look at Scrivener for definite. Word drives me crazy.

Hello Harry - I'm another UK person - very taken with your web-site and cover art! I love the graphic design.

Ruth - nice to meet you, I'm a hybrid author too. I had two books published at the start of the noughties by the trad method and then...nothing. Until 2013 when I became an indie.

Sandra - thank you so much for the share and updating the list of blog posts. I'll return to posting the list on my blog next week, when Cora does her post. I'm really touched by what you said about my first book - that's one of the nicest things anyone has said.

And Raventide Books - congrats on your short story release!

(falls over)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Victoria J on July 22, 2014, 06:54:10 PM
Wow! I haven't posted in this thread since like. . .page 3! Anyway, hello again, everyone. I released my newest book at the beginning of this month, Mission: Flight To Mars. I ran a Bargain Booksy ad on it this month and I think I like Bargain Booksy almost as much as I like FreeBooksy ads. They will definitely stay in my contacts list of promotions that work.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 22, 2014, 07:07:56 PM
That's lovely of you to offer. I wondered how to get on that list last month  8)

We released a short story just last week! :) Surreal Dark Fantasy http://amzn.com/B00LUYFC9E (http://amzn.com/B00LUYFC9E)

No problem, I'll include yours and Victoria's latest as well. I'm up to 18 new indie spec fic books for July now.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on July 22, 2014, 07:54:52 PM
No problem, I'll include yours and Victoria's latest as well. I'm up to 18 new indie spec fic books for July now.
I will have a new one, but it's in August. If it is late August, will it make it in, I wonder?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on July 22, 2014, 08:01:34 PM
Jessie- Thank you! We're excited!

Cora- Awesome! I'll be waiting to tweet that post.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 22, 2014, 10:13:30 PM
I will have a new one, but it's in August. If it is late August, will it make it in, I wonder?

If you don't make it into the August round-up, there's always September.  ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 23, 2014, 01:18:18 AM
Lovely books! (Is that weird to say about PA fiction?) Every so often I re-read Alas, Babylon, and then usually go on to The Postman. Good times. Good times.

Not weird at all! They're my favourite sub-genre. The Postman just seems to sweep by, it's downright majestic.

JessieCar Thanks very much! Good to meet another Brit. I'm thrilled the cover and website have gone down so well. It's a real confidence boost leading up to the release.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on July 23, 2014, 02:21:23 PM
Congrats to everyone who has a recent or new release as well! This thread goes so fast sometimes it's hard to keep up with, so I'll just make a large, generalize, impersonal sweeping statement... for all of you! :p
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 23, 2014, 05:53:59 PM
Victoria J - congrats on the new release! I am wondering about putting my first book in KDP Select (groan) and I think I had good success with BargainBooksy last time.

Cora - I don't think we'll make it for July. We're still stuck with the inverted commas nightmare.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Jamie Maltman on July 23, 2014, 07:44:29 PM
My polish is going a little slower than I'd hoped, so my next book is going to fall in August too... since I'm out of town next week.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on July 23, 2014, 08:09:04 PM
If you don't make it into the August round-up, there's always September.  ;)
True that, and it may even make more sense. I really appreciate it too  :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 23, 2014, 09:21:40 PM

Congrats to everyone who has a recent or new release as well! This thread goes so fast sometimes it's hard to keep up with, so I'll just make a large, generalize, impersonal sweeping statement... for all of you! :p

I feel so special. :P

Thanks for the welcome!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on July 24, 2014, 09:12:41 AM
I feel so special. :P

Thanks for the welcome!

You, of course, are quite special. :p

You're welcome. Enjoy your time at Kboards! :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: judygoodwin on July 24, 2014, 03:52:25 PM
Uh, haven't really posted something to promote here in this thread, so I hope I'm doing it right.

Just published a fantasy / paranormal short story pack yesterday and highlighted it on my blog:  http://wp.me/p2mfEO-1V5

Now I'll continue reading back in this thread to figure out how this all works.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 24, 2014, 05:54:25 PM
Judy, I'll include The Wish into the indie spec fic of the month round-up for July.

Meanwhile, I was interviewed by KB's own K.J. Bryen yesterday (http://plungingintothenovel.blogspot.de/2014/07/interview-with-cora-buhlert-author-of.html).
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 25, 2014, 07:26:53 AM
Cora, that was a great interview!

Harry, I love that about the book. I'll admit to liking the movie adaptation as well.

Raventide, Judy, and anyone I've missed, congrats on the new releases. Isn't that fun? I'm already feeling the post-publishing let-down, and I'm looking at some other short stories to see if I can make up another collection or two to tide me over until I can get a novel out. :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 25, 2014, 07:32:10 AM
Great interview, Cora! I'm working on answering some questions for KJ myself :)

Today I sat down and plotted the first half of a dystopic/sci-fi trilogy set largely in space, which is not something I expected to do. I wrote a (very) short story a few weeks ago and had a good reaction by twitter followers when I posted it on my blog, and today the ideas just fell out. I'm actually really excited about it! So that's something to play with once I get this novella done. Though first I'm going to have to learn some stuff about… space.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on July 25, 2014, 08:52:51 AM
Welcome to all those who are new to this thread!

My interview with K. J. Bryen is up as well: http://plungingintothenovel.blogspot.ca/2014/07/interview-with-phronk-author-of-stars.html (http://plungingintothenovel.blogspot.ca/2014/07/interview-with-phronk-author-of-stars.html). It was fun talking about my love/hate relationship with urban fantasy cliches, and I appreciate what K. J. is doing over there.

I also have a new short story up called Strangers at a Funeral (http://amzn.com/B00M3PTNUS). Kboards has been great for helping refine the blurb and cover, and for lighting a fire under my butt to write faster. So, thanks to everyone around here.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 26, 2014, 05:21:30 AM
Judy, I'll include The Wish into the indie spec fic of the month round-up for July.

Meanwhile, I was interviewed by KB's own K.J. Bryen yesterday (http://plungingintothenovel.blogspot.de/2014/07/interview-with-cora-buhlert-author-of.html).

Great blog, Cora! Have shared it on my Facebook page and done the usual Twitter thing.

judygoodwin - nice to meet you!

Sheila - know what you mean about post-publishing letdown. I wish I could write faster!

Ceinwen -
Quote
Today I sat down and plotted the first half of a dystopic/sci-fi trilogy set largely in space, which is not something I expected to do.

Wow! I love things that fly in out of left field. That's wonderful.

Phronk - will check out your interview too. It sounds as though you have been very productive. And congrats on the short story!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 26, 2014, 05:33:29 AM
Welcome to all those who are new to this thread!

...

I also have a new short story up called Strangers at a Funeral (http://"http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M3PTNUS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00M3PTNUS&linkCode=as2&tag=phronkcom-20&linkId=ZPFXNJRX2AV5TDR5"). Kboards has been great for helping refine the blurb and cover, and for lighting a fire under my butt to write faster. So, thanks to everyone around here.

Hi there!

I'd love to read the short, but it seems the link you provided is broken. :(
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on July 26, 2014, 06:38:57 AM
Phronk - will check out your interview too. It sounds as though you have been very productive. And congrats on the short story!

Thanks very much!

I'd love to read the short, but it seems the link you provided is broken. :(

Dang, you're right. It's fixed now (and also here: http://amzn.com/B00M3PTNUS (http://amzn.com/B00M3PTNUS)). Thanks for letting me know. And let me return the favour: the link in your signature not only doesn't work, but is surrounded by traditional HTML rather than the weird code these boards require. It should be "url=(url)" in square brackets with "/url" after it. I'll sign up when it's working! :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 26, 2014, 09:13:52 AM
Dang, you're right. It's fixed now (and also here: http://amzn.com/B00M3PTNUS (http://amzn.com/B00M3PTNUS)). Thanks for letting me know. And let me return the favour: the link in your signature not only doesn't work, but is surrounded by traditional HTML rather than the weird code these boards require. It should be "url=(url)" in square brackets with "/url" after it. I'll sign up when it's working! :)

Ah, yes, thanks! :P
I'll fix that right away.

And I'll get to reading your story, after I sign up for your mailing list.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 26, 2014, 03:09:44 PM
Hey all! I owe a couple of emails on the blog hop, will get those out Monday!

My bknights promo of my countdown deal on Thursday was something of a bust. SOB. Anwyay, the KCD started Monday and across the board I've sold about 1 or 2 books a day, so the promo didn't give me a spike, but they are being awesome and refunding my money, so that is well: AWESOME. I'm going to try one more time with them in late August, after I release The Tree Hugger.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on July 26, 2014, 07:06:16 PM
Typical Angry wall of text ahead. Skip to the next post. I did.

Right. I usually don't talk much about what I'm up to, unless specifically asked (and who is going to ask a turd like me anything but "why won't you STFU and get out of the way???"), but this KU thing is still sitting at the front of my brain. I could probably post this in the KU megathread(s), but I like my spec fic peeps, and so I choose to annoy...er, engage with you instead.

I refuse to pull my books out of other channels and go exclusive again (many reasons, blah blah blah). But I've got a ton of shorts and serials just sitting around. I work on them here and there when I need a break from the novels. I've released a couple of shorts and novellas, but they don't sell all that well (though the longer the work, the better it will sell at $.99, at least in my experience, and keep in mind, I don't do erotica, or else I'd be writing 1500 word stories and buying a new Bentley by charging everyone $2.99 heh).

I was going to one day lump all of my shorts and such together, within the same genres anyway, and just roll out an anthology or collection or whatever. You know, nothing too serious. Then this KU thing came along. I've still got all kinds of questions and concerns (again, blah blah blah, beat to death already), but I'm also willing to give it a go. I missed the KDP Select frenzy, publishing well after that program was brought out. I don't want to miss the KU possible frenzy.

In that light, I've been picking and polishing some shorts and such over the last few days. If readers can pay $9.99 a month and read everything in KU that their brains will digest, then they'll be a lot more willing to chance some shorts and ongoing serials. At least, this is my prediction (hope). As usual, I'm not all that concerned with the money aspect, though we do need a few things around the house (like a new range hood so our house doesn't melt from the inside out in the summertime, and maybe a second MA for my wife now that she's addicted to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War).

Since I'm talking to myself and no one will read this, I'll just keep babbling. These are some nonsensical garbage fires that I'll be pushing out to readers in the next few days to week (or two).

Conviction: In a dystopian future ruled by The Society, criminals are no longer sentenced to prison, as prisons no longer exist. Convicted criminals are now injected with a nano solution that alters the color pigments in their skin and hair, the color determined by the severity / class of crime. When I say 'alters the pigments,' I mean absolutely, completely, and thoroughly. ALL skin and hair becomes a single unnaturally vivid shade of a solid color:
White - the lowest of misdemeanors (such as missing a required Society meeting, loitering, etc. And when I say "white" I don't mean "the color of caucasian skin" because that's peach-ish or creamy-tan, etc. This is an almost blinding, pure white, so vivid it makes albinos look like they've spent a week on a Cancun beach soaking up rays)
Blue - the lowest of felonies (such as drunk driving, light vandalism, etc)
Green - all drug crimes
Orange - violent assaults and/or weapons charges (all weapons are illegal in The Society)
Red - murder
Pink - rape
Yellow - terrorism / political extremism (ie: having a political stance different than the Society's)
Purple - pedophilia and other crimes against children
Gold - theft

Convicts remain 'colored' until their sentence is up. Crimes committed while serving a conviction = conviction status is changed to Gray. Gray is the worst, as grays are considered completely invisible. They can be killed by anyone, even another convict, without repercussion. Completed sentences gets you a single stripe of your conviction color under your right eye on the cheek, and a colored ring around your right index finger (should you lose fingers or such, it will be transferred to the next available digit). All businesses and persons are legally allowed to discriminate against any conviction status, so if a sign in the cafe window says "White, Blue, & Green Only" then those are the only convicts that can enter the premise. Yes, sort of like Jim Crow. Except it is illegal to discriminate against someone's natural skin tone (which is why there are no 'peach' 'black' or 'brown' conviction colors, and again, the nanos make a convict's skin impossible to mistake them with a law-abiding citizen). Not that this stops anyone from discrimination, of course.

That's the gist. Classic 'underdogs vs powerful ruling faction' sci-fi stuff. I thought it would be a neat take into both dystopian crime and discrimination. It's a broad story with 4-5 sets of "main characters" so I've easily begun to separate it into episodes of about 10k words (4 chapters or so) each. Probably be about 10-12 episodes.

Transfer: In the near future, we've discovered a way to make a full image of human consciousness. The government took this secret technology to Area 59 and trained a group of undercover agents. If the agent dies in the field, a cloned body is decanted and the last consciousness image is imprinted to it. The agent then has to piece together the events between his last memory (being imaged) and his death. There's a good amount of philosophical wrangling as the main character has to struggle with the knowledge that each time he 'wakes up' after being transferred, he's not really the him that died. He's just a copy of the last image made.

There's about 14 hand-written pages of concept behind this one, a new record for me, which means it's got a lot of depth (as much depth as a loser like me can imagine, anyway haha). Was going to drop it into a single novel, but now thinking I'm going to break it up into installments, and write each installment like the classic serial episode stuff my parents grew up on (Batman, lol). While it is science fiction, the majority of the story isn't. It's about working to capture the bad guy before the bad guy (guys in this case) unleashes blah blah blah and yadda yadda.

I love how I can make any story sound awful. Don't ever let me write blurbs for you!

Fangtastic: Okay. I HATE vampire [crap]. Seriously. Hate it. Absolutely hate it. Yes, I've read stellar vampire stories (Salem's Lot is probably my all-time fav). Twilight sort of ruined it for me, along with the bandwagon everyone climbed on. But I hate vampires. Refuse to write them. Until now. For some reason, my brother and I (who hates vampires more than me, if that's possible), came up with a couple of good ideas. Readers love vampires, so whatever, I'll try anything once (I think this makes me a 'trisexual'? trysexual?)

Return To Innocence - after nine centuries, Elian's long-time companion shows up and shows signs of becoming mortal again. It seems the Ellensburg Group (kind of my take on Van Helsing and his pals) began to gravitate toward technology in the 1950's, and instead of hunting down individual vampires, they've created a serum that is dormant in the human body, only activating when the enzyme from a vampire's bite is detected. They grew their network as the internet grew, and put their assets in tens of thousands of places, including (and especially) hospitals, specifically maternity wards. The Ellensburg agents 'infected' as many mortals as they could, and the active components of the serum are passed on, so any mortal infected passes the trait to his/her offspring.

Over a long enough timeline, enough of the world's population carries this infection, and any vampire that feeds on one of these persons begins to revert back to mortality. Elian realizes there is no way to reverse it, and the infection is now spreading at an almost geometric rate. He battles with himself over his fear of mortality and his desire to walk under the sun again, to taste wine and food, even enjoy sex as a mortal.

Capo - A vampire that has lived for two millennium has become so bored with 'life' that he's put himself to sleep for centuries at a time, hoping to wake up and enjoy a new, changed world each time. When he wakes up in the 21st century, he decides to become a hitman for a mid-level mafioso. He's the perfect hitman, but soon he desires to become the man at the top... (this is a relatively short story)

Moving On (working title) - With modern instant communications, constant surveillance, and revolutionary new forensic techniques, hunting prey has never been harder. But the one unfortunate group of humans that flies under the radar make the perfect feasts for a creature of the night. No one cares about the gangbangers, the crackheads, the poor minorities of the inner cities. When a body is found, it's attributed to just another crime in the ghetto that will forever be unsolved.

Jamal Everett is a detective for the San Jose PD. Before that he was a detective for the Seattle PD, Chicago PD, Houston PD, and Denver PD. His quirky isolationism makes him the butt of jokes in every department he serves, with rumors rampant that he's been chasing the bogeyman for most of his career. Jamal isn't concerned with how his coworkers view him. He's been chasing a... something... for sixteen years and five major metro areas. The pattern is always the same: poor, black or brown, bodies murdered in such a way as to mask the real cause of death: quad puncture holes near the carotid artery. Detective Everett feels like he's never been closer to the killer, and he's right. He's about to finally confront the shadow he's been stalking...

Again, I totally hate vampire stories, but I think we all have one or two within us.

Right. Last one...

Exchange Rate: Jefferson Taylor Charles has just made partner at his law firm in a small town in southern Idaho. His life has been an incredible string of successes, and the only path for him is to continue shooting straight up. On his way home from the office party thrown in celebration for him, he watches in horror as a body goes over the railing of the East Canyon Bridge, six hundred feet above the Snake River.

L'Tasha Allyson Mosely is fifteen, black, bisexual, and at the literal end of her rope. White, religious, conservative small-town Idaho is no place for her, and she can't go back to FL as she no longer fits in with her peers there either. After a disastrous breakup with a popular cheerleader she'd been in a secret relationship with (a fiery Baptist preacher's daughter, no less), she confides to her new boyfriend about it. Betrayed by him, and now the target of vicious, nonstop bullying, coupled with the fact her mother cares more about her new husband than her own daughter, Allyson decides to take a walk off the bridge to end the pain.

Jeff finds Allyson clinging to a bridge pylon and talks her into climbing back up. In a moment of happiness that the young girl didn't let go, he kisses her on the forehead. From that moment on, their lives begin to change. Allyson's will to live is ignited, and she goes on to be a spokesperson to bullied and suicidal teens (and adults) across the country, changing lives for the better. After Allyson gives an interview where she explained how Jeff 'rescued' her from certain death, Jeff's life becomes a jumbled mess of strangers camping in his yard, following him everywhere he goes, hoping he'll leave a small piece of himself in them like he did Allyson. As he 'rescues' more troubled persons, his life spirals into chaos until he finds himself standing on the same bridge years later, gun against his temple, unable to bear the pain of his miserable life anymore.

There's a few more stories I'm prepping, but these are the first ones I'll have ready.


I do cover some touchy subjects in a lot of my stories, racism or other forms of bigotry being one of them. I also like my stories like my coffee, very dark and sometimes bitter, with just a hint of creamy sweetness. Heh, that sounds straight out of an advertisement.

Right, anyway, sorry to annoy you with my walls of text. As you can maybe sense, I'm a bit excited about seeing if I can get any traction with this new KU program. I think marketing/exposure will be a bit different than the usual paths we go down. Not too different, there's still the need to drive readers to our books, but different in the sense we'll be targeting an entirely new group (even if it is made up of our normal readers). I'm thinking something along the lines of "try it, it's not like you spent money for it if you hated it!", though, of course, we'll never state it in such a way as that.

Well, I will. That's my gig. But the rest of you, I think that might be the underlying feeling (okay, me too)... convince readers to take a chance, and if they like it, give them a ton of appetizers and try to upsell them to the longer (better royalty) works like our $3.99+ books.

I'm also wondering... which services (BK, BB, ENT, etc) will we find the most effective for this new program? Does anyone think there might be a few brilliant minds out there right now trying to solve how to drive traffic to KU books and still get a piece? Especially now that affiliate links are probably nil for a program that has a flat cost.

Right. STFU, Travis. I apologize. As you were.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 26, 2014, 10:41:53 PM
Some interesting ideas there, Angry. Good luck and hopefully KU will work out for you.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 27, 2014, 01:32:04 AM
Cora, my novel Degenerated is being published right at the end of this month, so I'm not sure what side of the fence it will fall on. I'm putting it up on the 30th, to make sure it's live for the start of my Irradiated promos on the 31st.

:)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 27, 2014, 01:41:23 AM
Hey Elliot, out of curiosity how much of Degenerated did you have written when you launched Irradiated? And did you wait until Irradiated was completely finished to start it, or did you start during editing or between drafts? Super impressed by how efficiently you're getting this trilogy out, so would love insider info in case I go ahead with one of my own. 
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 27, 2014, 02:15:45 AM
Hey Elliot, out of curiosity how much of Degenerated did you have written when you launched Irradiated? And did you wait until Irradiated was completely finished to start it, or did you start during editing or between drafts? Super impressed by how efficiently you're getting this trilogy out, so would love insider info in case I go ahead with one of my own.
I finished the first draft of Irradiated back in November, and had it polished by early January. I had a false start with a horrible editor in Jan, and it took me a while to find someone right. I think I sent it to my current editor at the end of March, and published mid-May.

I started writing Degenerated in February, and sent it for editing in June. So when Irradiated was published I was a fair way away with the sequel.

The final book is planned for January 2015.

:)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 27, 2014, 02:19:38 AM
Today I was invited to talk about my trilogy at an all-female sci-fi book club in my city. The meeting's at the end of next month.

Completely out of the blue but super cool.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 27, 2014, 02:26:41 AM
Thanks for that! And an all woman sic-fi book club sounds seriously cool, congrats on the invite! Getting in with book clubs is a really great idea.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 27, 2014, 03:43:08 AM
Typical Angry wall of text ahead. Skip to the next post. I did.

Right. I usually don't talk much about what I'm up to, unless specifically asked (and who is going to ask a turd like me anything but "why won't you STFU and get out of the way???"), but this KU thing is still sitting at the front of my brain. I could probably post this in the KU megathread(s), but I like my spec fic peeps, and so I choose to annoy...er, engage with you instead.

I refuse to pull my books out of other channels and go exclusive again (many reasons, blah blah blah). But I've got a ton of shorts and serials just sitting around. I work on them here and there when I need a break from the novels. I've released a couple of shorts and novellas, but they don't sell all that well (though the longer the work, the better it will sell at $.99, at least in my experience, and keep in mind, I don't do erotica, or else I'd be writing 1500 word stories and buying a new Bentley by charging everyone $2.99 heh).

I was going to one day lump all of my shorts and such together, within the same genres anyway, and just roll out an anthology or collection or whatever. You know, nothing too serious. Then this KU thing came along. I've still got all kinds of questions and concerns (again, blah blah blah, beat to death already), but I'm also willing to give it a go. I missed the KDP Select frenzy, publishing well after that program was brought out. I don't want to miss the KU possible frenzy.

In that light, I've been picking and polishing some shorts and such over the last few days. If readers can pay $9.99 a month and read everything in KU that their brains will digest, then they'll be a lot more willing to chance some shorts and ongoing serials. At least, this is my prediction (hope). As usual, I'm not all that concerned with the money aspect, though we do need a few things around the house (like a new range hood so our house doesn't melt from the inside out in the summertime, and maybe a second MA for my wife now that she's addicted to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War).

Since I'm talking to myself and no one will read this, I'll just keep babbling. These are some nonsensical garbage fires that I'll be pushing out to readers in the next few days to week (or two).

Conviction: In a dystopian future ruled by The Society, criminals are no longer sentenced to prison, as prisons no longer exist. Convicted criminals are now injected with a nano solution that alters the color pigments in their skin and hair, the color determined by the severity / class of crime. When I say 'alters the pigments,' I mean absolutely, completely, and thoroughly. ALL skin and hair becomes a single unnaturally vivid shade of a solid color:
White - the lowest of misdemeanors (such as missing a required Society meeting, loitering, etc. And when I say "white" I don't mean "the color of caucasian skin" because that's peach-ish or creamy-tan, etc. This is an almost blinding, pure white, so vivid it makes albinos look like they've spent a week on a Cancun beach soaking up rays)
Blue - the lowest of felonies (such as drunk driving, light vandalism, etc)
Green - all drug crimes
Orange - violent assaults and/or weapons charges (all weapons are illegal in The Society)
Red - murder
Pink - rape
Yellow - terrorism / political extremism (ie: having a political stance different than the Society's)
Purple - pedophilia and other crimes against children
Gold - theft

Convicts remain 'colored' until their sentence is up. Crimes committed while serving a conviction = conviction status is changed to Gray. Gray is the worst, as grays are considered completely invisible. They can be killed by anyone, even another convict, without repercussion. Completed sentences gets you a single stripe of your conviction color under your right eye on the cheek, and a colored ring around your right index finger (should you lose fingers or such, it will be transferred to the next available digit). All businesses and persons are legally allowed to discriminate against any conviction status, so if a sign in the cafe window says "White, Blue, & Green Only" then those are the only convicts that can enter the premise. Yes, sort of like Jim Crow. Except it is illegal to discriminate against someone's natural skin tone (which is why there are no 'peach' 'black' or 'brown' conviction colors, and again, the nanos make a convict's skin impossible to mistake them with a law-abiding citizen). Not that this stops anyone from discrimination, of course.

That's the gist. Classic 'underdogs vs powerful ruling faction' sci-fi stuff. I thought it would be a neat take into both dystopian crime and discrimination. It's a broad story with 4-5 sets of "main characters" so I've easily begun to separate it into episodes of about 10k words (4 chapters or so) each. Probably be about 10-12 episodes.

Transfer: In the near future, we've discovered a way to make a full image of human consciousness. The government took this secret technology to Area 59 and trained a group of undercover agents. If the agent dies in the field, a cloned body is decanted and the last consciousness image is imprinted to it. The agent then has to piece together the events between his last memory (being imaged) and his death. There's a good amount of philosophical wrangling as the main character has to struggle with the knowledge that each time he 'wakes up' after being transferred, he's not really the him that died. He's just a copy of the last image made.

There's about 14 hand-written pages of concept behind this one, a new record for me, which means it's got a lot of depth (as much depth as a loser like me can imagine, anyway haha). Was going to drop it into a single novel, but now thinking I'm going to break it up into installments, and write each installment like the classic serial episode stuff my parents grew up on (Batman, lol). While it is science fiction, the majority of the story isn't. It's about working to capture the bad guy before the bad guy (guys in this case) unleashes blah blah blah and yadda yadda.

I love how I can make any story sound awful. Don't ever let me write blurbs for you!

Fangtastic: Okay. I HATE vampire [crap]. Seriously. Hate it. Absolutely hate it. Yes, I've read stellar vampire stories (Salem's Lot is probably my all-time fav). Twilight sort of ruined it for me, along with the bandwagon everyone climbed on. But I hate vampires. Refuse to write them. Until now. For some reason, my brother and I (who hates vampires more than me, if that's possible), came up with a couple of good ideas. Readers love vampires, so whatever, I'll try anything once (I think this makes me a 'trisexual'? trysexual?)

Return To Innocence - after nine centuries, Elian's long-time companion shows up and shows signs of becoming mortal again. It seems the Ellensburg Group (kind of my take on Van Helsing and his pals) began to gravitate toward technology in the 1950's, and instead of hunting down individual vampires, they've created a serum that is dormant in the human body, only activating when the enzyme from a vampire's bite is detected. They grew their network as the internet grew, and put their assets in tens of thousands of places, including (and especially) hospitals, specifically maternity wards. The Ellensburg agents 'infected' as many mortals as they could, and the active components of the serum are passed on, so any mortal infected passes the trait to his/her offspring.

Over a long enough timeline, enough of the world's population carries this infection, and any vampire that feeds on one of these persons begins to revert back to mortality. Elian realizes there is no way to reverse it, and the infection is now spreading at an almost geometric rate. He battles with himself over his fear of mortality and his desire to walk under the sun again, to taste wine and food, even enjoy sex as a mortal.

Capo - A vampire that has lived for two millennium has become so bored with 'life' that he's put himself to sleep for centuries at a time, hoping to wake up and enjoy a new, changed world each time. When he wakes up in the 21st century, he decides to become a hitman for a mid-level mafioso. He's the perfect hitman, but soon he desires to become the man at the top... (this is a relatively short story)

Moving On (working title) - With modern instant communications, constant surveillance, and revolutionary new forensic techniques, hunting prey has never been harder. But the one unfortunate group of humans that flies under the radar make the perfect feasts for a creature of the night. No one cares about the gangbangers, the crackheads, the poor minorities of the inner cities. When a body is found, it's attributed to just another crime in the ghetto that will forever be unsolved.

Jamal Everett is a detective for the San Jose PD. Before that he was a detective for the Seattle PD, Chicago PD, Houston PD, and Denver PD. His quirky isolationism makes him the butt of jokes in every department he serves, with rumors rampant that he's been chasing the bogeyman for most of his career. Jamal isn't concerned with how his coworkers view him. He's been chasing a... something... for sixteen years and five major metro areas. The pattern is always the same: poor, black or brown, bodies murdered in such a way as to mask the real cause of death: quad puncture holes near the carotid artery. Detective Everett feels like he's never been closer to the killer, and he's right. He's about to finally confront the shadow he's been stalking...

Again, I totally hate vampire stories, but I think we all have one or two within us.

Right. Last one...

Exchange Rate: Jefferson Taylor Charles has just made partner at his law firm in a small town in southern Idaho. His life has been an incredible string of successes, and the only path for him is to continue shooting straight up. On his way home from the office party thrown in celebration for him, he watches in horror as a body goes over the railing of the East Canyon Bridge, six hundred feet above the Snake River.

L'Tasha Allyson Mosely is fifteen, black, bisexual, and at the literal end of her rope. White, religious, conservative small-town Idaho is no place for her, and she can't go back to FL as she no longer fits in with her peers there either. After a disastrous breakup with a popular cheerleader she'd been in a secret relationship with (a fiery Baptist preacher's daughter, no less), she confides to her new boyfriend about it. Betrayed by him, and now the target of vicious, nonstop bullying, coupled with the fact her mother cares more about her new husband than her own daughter, Allyson decides to take a walk off the bridge to end the pain.

Jeff finds Allyson clinging to a bridge pylon and talks her into climbing back up. In a moment of happiness that the young girl didn't let go, he kisses her on the forehead. From that moment on, their lives begin to change. Allyson's will to live is ignited, and she goes on to be a spokesperson to bullied and suicidal teens (and adults) across the country, changing lives for the better. After Allyson gives an interview where she explained how Jeff 'rescued' her from certain death, Jeff's life becomes a jumbled mess of strangers camping in his yard, following him everywhere he goes, hoping he'll leave a small piece of himself in them like he did Allyson. As he 'rescues' more troubled persons, his life spirals into chaos until he finds himself standing on the same bridge years later, gun against his temple, unable to bear the pain of his miserable life anymore.

There's a few more stories I'm prepping, but these are the first ones I'll have ready.


I do cover some touchy subjects in a lot of my stories, racism or other forms of bigotry being one of them. I also like my stories like my coffee, very dark and sometimes bitter, with just a hint of creamy sweetness. Heh, that sounds straight out of an advertisement.

Right, anyway, sorry to annoy you with my walls of text. As you can maybe sense, I'm a bit excited about seeing if I can get any traction with this new KU program. I think marketing/exposure will be a bit different than the usual paths we go down. Not too different, there's still the need to drive readers to our books, but different in the sense we'll be targeting an entirely new group (even if it is made up of our normal readers). I'm thinking something along the lines of "try it, it's not like you spent money for it if you hated it!", though, of course, we'll never state it in such a way as that.

Well, I will. That's my gig. But the rest of you, I think that might be the underlying feeling (okay, me too)... convince readers to take a chance, and if they like it, give them a ton of appetizers and try to upsell them to the longer (better royalty) works like our $3.99+ books.

I'm also wondering... which services (BK, BB, ENT, etc) will we find the most effective for this new program? Does anyone think there might be a few brilliant minds out there right now trying to solve how to drive traffic to KU books and still get a piece? Especially now that affiliate links are probably nil for a program that has a flat cost.

Right. STFU, Travis. I apologize. As you were.

Hey Angry. I'm right with you with keeping things out of Select. I'm not closing off any channels,no matter what the perks. And I think the anthologies are always worth producing, even if it fleshes out your list.

I'm enthused by your description of 'Conviction'. It sounds similar to a novel I'm releasing this December, 'Our Fair Eden'. I'll be sure to keep an eye our for it!


Elliot: You schedule's comforted me with regard to the production schedule of my own trilogy. The gaps are pretty identical with my first and second instalments. Here's hoping great minds think alike. Edit: Hey, congratulations on the speaking appearance!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: markhealy on July 27, 2014, 05:05:03 AM
Today I was invited to talk about my trilogy at an all-female sci-fi book club in my city. The meeting's at the end of next month.

Completely out of the blue but super cool.

I was going to ask for details so I could come along, since I'm a local, but then I noticed the all-female thingy... oh well.  Hope it goes ok for you!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 27, 2014, 05:37:01 AM
Thanks for that! And an all woman sic-fi book club sounds seriously cool, congrats on the invite! Getting in with book clubs is a really great idea.

No problem!  I don't think I write fast, I just try to keep at it on a constant basis. I was overly cautious with my first book, and had a bad experience, so it sort of just worked out that my first two novels were quite close together. I think it's a blessing in disguise.

I was going to ask for details so I could come along, since I'm a local, but then I noticed the all-female thingy... oh well.  Hope it goes ok for you!

Good to see a fellow Brisvegan! This one is women-only (besides me, apparently), but there's a great spec-fic writers group in our city called 'Vision'. See the anthology in my signature (18). We're even an official part of the Brisbane Writer's festival this year.

Elliot: You schedule's comforted me with regard to the production schedule of my own trilogy. The gaps are pretty identical with my first and second instalments. Here's hoping great minds think alike. Edit: Hey, congratulations on the speaking appearance!

Thanks, Harry. I think a tight schedule is great, so long as you can keep up with it. These days, I find I'm trying to slip all sorts of extra projects into the gaps. I'm probably slightly mad.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 27, 2014, 10:37:43 AM
Just trying to catch up (pant pant). Heidi, I'm sorry you had a limited response to the Countdown promo. I'm not sure but I have seen other people having rather muted results with Countdown. And elsewhere on the Writer's Cafe I've seen people complaining of a diminution in sales. Nobody knows whether this is seasonal, something to do with the algorithms, or as a result of KU. If it's any consolation, I've sold one book so far in July.

Travis/Angry - wow, that was a long post! I think testing the waters with KU is a good idea. Good luck with the shorts - it would be interesting to hear how you get on. I haven't (yet) seen anyone on the boards discussing how to do promos for KU. I've been trying to follow all the various threads (and they are many) but so far there seems to be a lot of speculation and not much substance.

Elliot - it would be really interesting to hear how you get on with your gig at the all-female sci-fi book club. May I ask a question: if you are launching Degenerated on 30th July, why are you doing promos for Irradiated on 31st July? Are you planning to make Irradiated free at that point?

I'm curious because we are hopefully going to bring out the eBook version of The Glass Mountain sometime in August (I doubt we'll be ready in July). We are still debating how to do it, since it is the middle book in a series where books 1 and 3 are already out there.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on July 27, 2014, 11:34:53 AM
I do cover some touchy subjects in a lot of my stories, racism or other forms of bigotry being one of them. I also like my stories like my coffee, very dark and sometimes bitter, with just a hint of creamy sweetness. Heh, that sounds straight out of an advertisement.

One of our books was compared to dark chocolate once. I use it.

Quote
Right, anyway, sorry to annoy you with my walls of text. As you can maybe sense, I'm a bit excited about seeing if I can get any traction with this new KU program. I think marketing/exposure will be a bit different than the usual paths we go down. Not too different, there's still the need to drive readers to our books, but different in the sense we'll be targeting an entirely new group (even if it is made up of our normal readers). I'm thinking something along the lines of "try it, it's not like you spent money for it if you hated it!", though, of course, we'll never state it in such a way as that.

We decided to put all of our short stories in KU. No borrows so far, but we weren't getting sales, either. I plan to run a free promo on something soon just to get eyes on it and start (hopefully) moving copies. So, I get where you're coming from. I think it has good potential but I also haven't figured out how to market KU yet.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 27, 2014, 04:42:04 PM
Elliot - it would be really interesting to hear how you get on with your gig at the all-female sci-fi book club. May I ask a question: if you are launching Degenerated on 30th July, why are you doing promos for Irradiated on 31st July? Are you planning to make Irradiated free at that point?

I'm curious because we are hopefully going to bring out the eBook version of The Glass Mountain sometime in August (I doubt we'll be ready in July). We are still debating how to do it, since it is the middle book in a series where books 1 and 3 are already out there.

My plan is to help both books by promoting the first. Irradiated is still quite new, and is the entry point into the trilogy, so most of my push is focused on it.

I'm running a week-long 99c sale on both books, and have a bunch of promo spots lined up across it.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 27, 2014, 05:17:58 PM
My entry for the speculative fiction blog hop is up:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/07/28/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/

Elliot, just send me the info for Degenerated, when you have it. Indie Spec Fic of the Month for July should go up on July 31st, so that's time enough to slot it in. And if there's a delay for some reason, I'll simply include you the next time.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: SB James on July 27, 2014, 06:00:47 PM

I'm also wondering... which services (BK, BB, ENT, etc) will we find the most effective for this new program? Does anyone think there might be a few brilliant minds out there right now trying to solve how to drive traffic to KU books and still get a piece? Especially now that affiliate links are probably nil for a program that has a flat cost.


Sorry, I didn't read the entire wall of text, but this question jumped out at me. My quick answer would be...ebook soda, since I got a borrow from that one, but not from anyone else on your list! :P and I think you've got a good point about the affiliates program. Soon the email newsletter lists will have no more incentive to advertise Amazon books than any of the other booksellers...

My bknights promo of my countdown deal on Thursday was something of a bust. SOB. Anwyay, the KCD started Monday and across the board I've sold about 1 or 2 books a day, so the promo didn't give me a spike, but they are being awesome and refunding my money, so that is well: AWESOME. I'm going to try one more time with them in late August, after I release The Tree Hugger.
:( I'm sorry to hear that. Definitely give them another try!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 27, 2014, 10:05:00 PM
Lori at eBook Escapes posted a cool little mini interview/guest post on The Edge of the Woods :) http://ebookescapes.com/?p=3578

I'm running an ebooksoda promo next weekend and dropping the price a bit, and I'm now enrolled in KU so hopefully I get some sales or borrows out of it. I'm finding it really hard to get into a writing groove at the moment. It's not so much writers block, as I've got plenty of ideas for what I'm working on, I'm just having trouble focusing for long enough to get it all down. Oh well. Hopefully I can get back on track soon.

Congrats to everyone powering through and prepping for releases!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 28, 2014, 05:05:03 AM
My plan is to help both books by promoting the first. Irradiated is still quite new, and is the entry point into the trilogy, so most of my push is focused on it.

I'm running a week-long 99c sale on both books, and have a bunch of promo spots lined up across it.

Thank you for sharing that, Elliot. I'd be really interested to hear how you get on - so much of the info on other threads relates to different genres, and I think there is a marked difference in what 'works'.

My entry for the speculative fiction blog hop is up:

http://corabuhlert.com/2014/07/28/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/

Cora, I have updated my Speculative Fiction Blog Hop running list. It was interesting to read about the different types of genre you write in, from Science Fiction to crime and mystery.

Lori at eBook Escapes posted a cool little mini interview/guest post on The Edge of the Woods :) http://ebookescapes.com/?p=3578

I'm running an ebooksoda promo next weekend and dropping the price a bit, and I'm now enrolled in KU so hopefully I get some sales or borrows out of it.

Will check it out, Ceinwen. I've been having a few problems with the 'writing groove' myself. In the UK, the weather has been too hot (for me), and we seem to have been absurdly busy.

Here's the link to the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop running tally! http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/speculative-fiction-blog-hop-new-and.html (http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/speculative-fiction-blog-hop-new-and.html)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Sandra K. Williams on July 28, 2014, 06:03:33 AM
Cora Buhlert, another one of the 22,000!  :)

It's fun reading the blog hop posts and finding how and why other people write.

Here's the complete list of blog hoppers so far.

Cora Buhlert: http://corabuhlert.com/2014/07/28/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
Jessica Rydill: http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/speculative-fiction-writing-process.html
Jamie Maltman: http://www.jamiemaltman.com/2014/07/14/writing-process-blog-tour/
Marilyn Peake: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6593691-speculative-fiction-blog-hop
Nic Wilson: http://nicolaswilson.com/index.php/announcements-1/spec-fic-blog-hop
David Pagan: http://davidpagan.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Travis Hill: http://www.angrygames.com/?p=699
Cherise Kelley: http://size12bystpatricksday.blogspot.com/2014/06/speculative-fiction-blog-hop.html
RJ Crayton: http://www.rjcrayton.com/2014/06/02/speculative-fiction-writing-method-blog-hop/
Sandra K. Williams: http://sandrakwilliams.net/?p=360
S. Elliot Brandis: http://selliotbrandis.com/2014/05/18/the-speculative-fiction-blog-hop/
Elle Chambers: http://indiespiritpress.com/2014/05/12/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
William D. Richards: http://blog.williamdrichards.com/2014/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html
Michael Patrick Hicks: http://michaelpatrickhicks.com/2014/05/05/the-writing-process-blog-tour/
Cat Amesbury: http://catamesbury.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-writing-process-blog-hop/
Heidi Garrett: http://www.heidigwrites.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-writing-process-blog-tour.html#blog
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: she-la-ti-da on July 28, 2014, 07:54:05 AM
Heidi, sorry about the countdown experience. I wonder if KU is messing things up?

Travis, keep on with the ideas, man. I saw at least three things that I would really want to read. Even vampire stuff can be good, if you have a different take on it.

Ack! Forgot to say that I'm thinking about putting my UF novel in Select, so try out KU. I've just got to finish checking it over, making sure I've done all the rewrites I want/need to do, and finish the new cover.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 28, 2014, 07:59:54 AM
Released a free excerpt of my debut (you can see it here if you're interested: http://harrymanners.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/ruin-excerpt/), with the next chapter available for those who sign up to my mailing list as a freebie.

It didn't make the splash I'd hoped. In fact, I got zip. No reaction. Nada.
My cover reveal looped me over twenty people, but this fell flat on its arse, it seems. Not sure what was different.

Oh well, onwards!

Keep my in line for a spot on the blog hop, guys! My book's out 25th August, and I'd love to make an appearance.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on July 28, 2014, 09:39:28 AM
It didn't make the splash I'd hoped. In fact, I got zip. No reaction. Nada.
My cover reveal looped me over twenty people, but this fell flat on its arse, it seems. Not sure what was different.

If there's one thing I've learned in my month as a debut indie writer, it's that it's very very hard to get anybody to pay attention to a debut indie writer. Every eyeball looking at your work is hard-won when nobody knows who you are. Hopefully it gets easier with every eyeball, but I think low expectations for the first while are realistic.

Which I'm okay with! It's not like I buy books by people I've never heard of. But I'm starting to expect small reactions to everything I do, and aim to have them grow slightly every time.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 28, 2014, 09:42:32 AM
Oh, yeah, definitely! I sure wasn't expecting a big splash. In fact, if I get one fan with my debut, I'll be over the moon. It was just the discrepancy between the reaction to the cover reveal and the excerpt release. Perhaps that's normal.
Anyone have a similar experience?

In any case. thanks for the reassurance, Phronk. It can be a lonely life, this one. It's always good to hear a kind word or two.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 28, 2014, 10:26:45 AM
Phronk's absolutely right, it's hard to get anyone to care about your stuff when you're new and unknown. It's a bit demoralising, but the moments when you realise that a complete stranger has somehow stumbled on your book and loved it enough to leave really lovely feedback makes it totally worth it.

And don't worry too much about the chapters, I posted the first few chapters of my book on my blog in March (published in May) and while it doesn't get too many comments, it's one of the highest viewed pages on my blog. People will make their way to you eventually :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 28, 2014, 11:30:18 AM
Hi everyone, the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop is scheduled through September 8th (no one on September 1st) There are two other authors who have expressed interest beyond that, however, I haven't scheduled them (I apologize!) cause I knew my schedule was going to be changing in the fall. Given that, I'm ready to pass the torch for keeping up with it if anyone is interested. If no one is interested, we'll have to celebrate a good run and have Carolyn McDonnell's post on September 8th be the last leg of this hop:D It's been a lot of fun for me and I appreciate everyone's participation.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Victoria J on July 28, 2014, 12:08:26 PM
As for releasing sample chapters on my blog, I've found that people are slow to get around to reading them but after a few weeks, sometimes months, they become the most popular posts on my site. It's a good way to get exposure but it's a slow build.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: AngryGames on July 28, 2014, 12:49:23 PM
The one thing I've learned in the 18-ish months is that one must practice patience (and also practice not shooting up a busy workplace when the stress gets bad). Some guys get blown up with 10k sales in their first month. 99.99% of the rest of us, no.

As many writers have said before me, the trick is to just keep writing, learn to ignore reviews, and learn to ignore your KDP sales page. Down the road, when one particular book or story goes critical and hits just the right reader(s) that will post on a blog or page somewhere and suddenly drive a ton of eyes to it, you'll want that backlist sitting there, waiting, collecting dust even.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Joliedupre on July 28, 2014, 01:00:45 PM
Hi everyone, the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop is scheduled through September 8th (no one on September 1st) There are two other authors who have expressed interest beyond that, however, I haven't scheduled them (I apologize!) cause I knew my schedule was going to be changing in the fall. Given that, I'm ready to pass the torch for keeping up with it if anyone is interested. If no one is interested, we'll have to celebrate a good run and have Carolyn McDonnell's post on September 8th be the last leg of this hop:D It's been a lot of fun for me and I appreciate everyone's participation.

Heidi, thank you, again, for featuring me when you did.  I appreciate it.  :)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 28, 2014, 01:59:25 PM
Hi everyone, the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop is scheduled through September 8th (no one on September 1st) There are two other authors who have expressed interest beyond that, however, I haven't scheduled them (I apologize!) cause I knew my schedule was going to be changing in the fall. Given that, I'm ready to pass the torch for keeping up with it if anyone is interested. If no one is interested, we'll have to celebrate a good run and have Carolyn McDonnell's post on September 8th be the last leg of this hop:D It's been a lot of fun for me and I appreciate everyone's participation.

Heidi, what's involved? I'm interested but would like to think about it. You've done a fantastic job! I hope the schedule change in the autumn is for something good?

If there's one thing I've learned in my month as a debut indie writer, it's that it's very very hard to get anybody to pay attention to a debut indie writer. Every eyeball looking at your work is hard-won when nobody knows who you are. Hopefully it gets easier with every eyeball, but I think low expectations for the first while are realistic.

This. It's easy to get demoralised. But I seriously think sales in the summer may be flatter. Havong said that, I have been demoralised at regular intervals since I self-pubbed.

Sandra, thanks for updating the great list of doom. :)

Sheila, it will be really interesting to hear how you get on with KU. I'm very ambivalent about it myself. Still reading round the subject.

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: heidi_g on July 28, 2014, 04:49:10 PM
Jolie, You're welcome! It is always fun to see you around:)

Jessie, I have the form letter (email o'doom as I believe it was you that so aptly named it, lol) I could send you the letter. I change the dates, names, and email addresses and try to get it out on Monday. I also have a Numbers spreadsheet where I have all the dates, authors, email addresses, and add the links to the posts, which I can also pass on to you. When we're getting away from about a month of no one on the schedule, I put a shout out on this thread, and that has been enough to keep it going. Two people are interested in signing up, so I'd pass their emails on to you (or whoever.) I can finish scheduling through September 8th.

Whether the changes that are coming will net out positive or negative it is too soon to say. I did try to do too much in the spring after not doing enough in the winter ;D

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: WDR on July 28, 2014, 07:03:13 PM
If there's one thing I've learned in my month as a debut indie writer, it's that it's very very hard to get anybody to pay attention to a debut indie writer....

I think you would be interested to learn there are people who check the lists everyday for new books, especially by debut writers.

I learned this because even before I knew my book was live for sale, it had already garnered over six sales! A couple of them within minutes of it going live. I commented on my astonishment on my blog, and one of the earlier adopters sent me an email explaining the situation.

However, this is a small group—dare I even say 'niche'. What you really want is the general reading audience to find your book. That's when the sales really start to take off.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: markhealy on July 28, 2014, 07:52:58 PM
Released a free excerpt of my debut (you can see it here if you're interested: http://harrymanners.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/ruin-excerpt/), with the next chapter available for those who sign up to my mailing list as a freebie.

It didn't make the splash I'd hoped. In fact, I got zip. No reaction. Nada.
My cover reveal looped me over twenty people, but this fell flat on its arse, it seems. Not sure what was different.

Oh well, onwards!

Keep my in line for a spot on the blog hop, guys! My book's out 25th August, and I'd love to make an appearance.

Harry, I just read your excerpt and thought it was great.  Beautiful descriptions, terrific atmosphere and an intriguing world upon which to build.  I think you'll do well with this one.

Don't be disheartened.  As others have said, it's hard to get people to take notice these days.  I have a good following through my sci-fi music project Hibernal on Facebook, but when I posted about my first short story going live a couple of months ago I got very little response - and those are already fans of my work!  It's early days yet, and I'm sure it will get better for you.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 28, 2014, 08:30:31 PM
Could someone do me a favour and check the price of The Edge of the Woods (sig) on Amazon? I changed it to 2.99 last night, and though I have the email saying the changes have gone through it's showing $3.75 on the Amazon.com page for me. I'm not sure if it's because I'm looking at it from Australia.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: S. Elliot Brandis on July 28, 2014, 10:30:06 PM
Could someone do me a favour and check the price of The Edge of the Woods (sig) on Amazon? I changed it to 2.99 last night, and though I have the email saying the changes have gone through it's showing $3.75 on the Amazon.com page for me. I'm not sure if it's because I'm looking at it from Australia.
Yeah, it shows a different price over here (even on .com). Irradiated is set at 2.99 but I see 3.75.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Ceinwen on July 28, 2014, 11:54:40 PM
Awesome, thanks!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on July 29, 2014, 05:38:08 AM
I have a good following through my sci-fi music project Hibernal on Facebook, but when I posted about my first short story going live a couple of months ago I got very little response - and those are already fans of my work!

This brings up an interesting point: it seems like being well-known for one thing rarely translates to success in another thing. I have lots of followers in various channels for various reasons, and if even a fraction of them bought my book, I'd be ecstatic. That hasn't happened though. I guess it's partly because I don't want to bug people too much. It's not like a mailing list where they signed up to hear about my books; people followed me on Twitter to hear about my breakfast. It feels like a betrayal if I'm suddenly going all promotional there.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 29, 2014, 06:30:20 AM
Jessie, I have the form letter (email o'doom as I believe it was you that so aptly named it, lol) I could send you the letter. I change the dates, names, and email addresses and try to get it out on Monday. I also have a Numbers spreadsheet where I have all the dates, authors, email addresses, and add the links to the posts, which I can also pass on to you. When we're getting away from about a month of no one on the schedule, I put a shout out on this thread, and that has been enough to keep it going. Two people are interested in signing up, so I'd pass their emails on to you (or whoever.) I can finish scheduling through September 8th.

Whether the changes that are coming will net out positive or negative it is too soon to say. I did try to do too much in the spring after not doing enough in the winter ;D

I've had a serious think about this, Heidi, and I don't think I can take this on. I'm happy to continue blogging and linking to the posts as long as they continue. But I think there's a risk that if I volunteer then further down the line I won't be able to sustain it. I'm prone to depression, so periods of frenetic activity often alternate with suddenly disappearing off.

I hope someone else will do it; it may also be possible to continue informally after September 8th.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 29, 2014, 06:33:43 AM

Harry, I just read your excerpt and thought it was great.  Beautiful descriptions, terrific atmosphere and an intriguing world upon which to build.  I think you'll do well with this one.

Don't be disheartened.  As others have said, it's hard to get people to take notice these days.  I have a good following through my sci-fi music project Hibernal on Facebook, but when I posted about my first short story going live a couple of months ago I got very little response - and those are already fans of my work!  It's early days yet, and I'm sure it will get better for you.

Mark, thanks for your encouragement. It means a lot.

Fear not, I'm not discouraged. In fact, I'm even more stoked than before. I got the mobi file from the formatters today. Final changes have been sent back. I'll get the finals in a few days, then it's uploading time.

Onwards!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: markhealy on July 29, 2014, 03:34:37 PM
This brings up an interesting point: it seems like being well-known for one thing rarely translates to success in another thing. I have lots of followers in various channels for various reasons, and if even a fraction of them bought my book, I'd be ecstatic. That hasn't happened though. I guess it's partly because I don't want to bug people too much. It's not like a mailing list where they signed up to hear about my books; people followed me on Twitter to hear about my breakfast. It feels like a betrayal if I'm suddenly going all promotional there.
Yep, I agree with that Phronk, I wouldn't want to annoy fans by inundating them with marketing about something they didn't sign up for, so I keep the cross-promotion to a minimum.  Since my music project is set in the same universe as my stories, and since the albums contain their own complete narratives, I feel there should be some scope for fans to enjoy both.  It's something I have to balance carefully though.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mcahogarth on July 29, 2014, 04:08:02 PM
Yay, spec fic! Oh, my, 36 pages. I am late to this party! I spent too much time trying to convince old-guard SF/F people to see indie as a legitimate path and not enough time with people who won't make me want to bash my head on the table repeatedly.

*sets out coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and assortment of fruits and cheeses and crackers*

*starts reading*

Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Write.Dream.Repeat. on July 29, 2014, 05:25:46 PM
Yay, spec fic! Oh, my, 36 pages. I am late to this party! I spent too much time trying to convince old-guard SF/F people to see indie as a legitimate path and not enough time with people who won't make me want to bash my head on the table repeatedly.

*sets out coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and assortment of fruits and cheeses and crackers*

*starts reading*



Welcome to SPEC FIC Megathread. I *still* haven't read all of it. :o
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: VydorScope on July 29, 2014, 06:25:05 PM
Those of you heading back into the bowels... some of us had some debate back there, but its all better now! Just a warning. :D
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: JessieCar on July 29, 2014, 06:30:10 PM
Fear not, I'm not discouraged. In fact, I'm even more stoked than before. I got the mobi file from the formatters today. Final changes have been sent back. I'll get the finals in a few days, then it's uploading time.

Onwards!

When Ruin comes out on 25th August - or before - would you be interested in doing a guest post on my blog? I've just done one for Michael Patrick Hicks and they're quite fun. Let me know if you might be interested.

Hello mcahogarth! That sounds like a promising selection of snackies. I think this thread is a bit like the Forth Bridge...by the time you've finished reading it, you need to start at the beginning again. Or something.

After much struggling and problems with inverted commas and M-dashes, we have almost got The Glass Mountain ready for publication. Fingers crossed we will be bringing it out on 11th August. At that point all three books in the series will be available, which makes a lot more sense. (I should say that 'we' in this context is me and my husband, who has been doing all the formatting and type-setting).

PS Vydorscope - what debate happened in the bowels? Inquiring minds wish to know! ;)
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Phronk on July 29, 2014, 07:29:10 PM
Yep, I agree with that Phronk, I wouldn't want to annoy fans by inundating them with marketing about something they didn't sign up for, so I keep the cross-promotion to a minimum.  Since my music project is set in the same universe as my stories, and since the albums contain their own complete narratives, I feel there should be some scope for fans to enjoy both.  It's something I have to balance carefully though.

That is extremely cool! Checking out your music now. Maybe cross-promotion ain't so bad after all.

 
Yay, spec fic! Oh, my, 36 pages. I am late to this party! I spent too much time trying to convince old-guard SF/F people to see indie as a legitimate path and not enough time with people who won't make me want to bash my head on the table repeatedly.

*sets out coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and assortment of fruits and cheeses and crackers*

*starts reading*

Welcome to the thread! Oh, you brought hot chocolate? Don't mind if I do!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: Harry Manners on July 29, 2014, 09:13:42 PM

When Ruin comes out on 25th August - or before - would you be interested in doing a guest post on my blog? I've just done one for Michael Patrick Hicks and they're quite fun. Let me know if you might be interested.

Sure, I'd love to! Let me know what, when and where. :)

Good luck with your release on the 11th. Having a complete trilogy finished on the shelves will be a great feeling, I bet. I can't boast the same traffic, but you're more than welcome to have a guest post on my blog for your title.

Cheers!
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: CoraBuhlert on July 29, 2014, 10:05:48 PM
Cora, I have updated my Speculative Fiction Blog Hop running list. It was interesting to read about the different types of genre you write in, from Science Fiction to crime and mystery.

Here's the link to the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop running tally! http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/speculative-fiction-blog-hop-new-and.html (http://livinginthemaniototo.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/speculative-fiction-blog-hop-new-and.html)

I just updated my post with a link to your running tally, Jessica.

And yup, I write in different genres, cause I tend to get bored with just one. It's also cyclical. For example, at the moment I find myself ambushed with ideas for crime shorts.
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: ameliasmith on July 30, 2014, 04:50:20 AM
Hello MCA!

Your covers look great. I hopped over to your website and saw that you do the art yourself. For future reference, do you do cover art for other authors, too?
Title: Re: The SPECULATIVE FICTION high-five circle.
Post by: mphicks on July 30, 2014, 05:14:46 AM