The deadline to nominate for the Hugos draws nigh, so vote for what you love

Dear All,

It’s Hugo nomination season. In fact, the deadline to submit your Hugo nominations is Thursday, March 31st.

If you love something, nominate it. It’s really that easy.

  • Your ballot is anonymous.
  • You don’t have to fill out all five slots.
  • You don’t have to fill in all of the categories.
  • You can nominate even if you only read or watched one thing last year.
  • You can start your ballot now and change it or add to it right up until the deadline.

Poseidon's Eyes, by Kary EnglishIf you’d like to consider something of mine, please read Poseidon’s Eyes, a short story published in Volume 31 of Writers of the Future. If you don’t want to buy the whole book, you can read the story for free on Wattpad (you might have to register).

As you read it, I’d like to make a special request. Please don’t nominate the story because you like me or something else I’ve written, because I’m female, to piss someone off or because of what happened last year.

To my mind, there is only one valid reason to nominate something for a Hugo – because you love it.

Get three freebies, including my newest story, from Phoenix Pick and Galaxy’s Edge

Galaxy's Edge, Issue 19, March of 2016
Galaxy’s Edge, Issue 19, March of 2016

My newest story is live in Issue 19 of Galaxy’s Edge.

Shattered Vessels, co-written with the talented Robert B Finegold, is a tale of love and loss, adventure and mysticism, and one too many knife fights.  It will take you from ancient Assyria to the Pyrenees to modern day San Francisco.

The issue is free to read until the next issue goes live (at which point the link I’ve included will take you to Issue 20 or beyond).

If you enjoy Galaxy’s Edge, please consider subscribing.

 

Best of Galaxy's Edge (2014-2014)
Best of Galaxy’s Edge (2014-2014)

Now for Freebies #2 and #3 – Please follow the instructions carefully!

Galaxy’s Edge is celebrating its fourth year in business, and in true Hobbit style, YOU get the presents.

1)  Go to the Phoenix Pick website.

2)  Scroll down a little until you find The Best of Galaxy’s Edge (2013-2014) in the anthologies section.

3)  Click “Publisher’s Direct EPUB” or “Publisher’s Direct MOBI” to put the ebook in your shopping cart.

4)  Enter GE3E (for the EPUB) or GE3M (for the mobi) in the Discount Code box.

5)  Viola!  Free ebook!

6) The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed a pink box at the top of the Phoenix Pick page. That’s a Pay What You Want (including nothing) deal on The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett, plus a cheap three-book bundle featuring more Brackett, Hal Clement, Fred Pohl and others. The bundle isn’t free, but it’s a great deal on some classic SF.

“Flight of the Kikayon” is live on StarShipSofa!

FotKatStarShipSofaI love all of my stories, but Flight of the Kikayon is one of my favorites. It just went live as a podcast at StarShipSofa!

Kikayon is a sequel to Totaled, set some 200 years after Totaled ends. If you’ve read Totaled, you’ll notice similarities in the character choices, structure and motifs.  (And if you haven’t read Totaled, they’re far enough apart that each one stands alone.)

Whip up your snack or beverage of choice and settle in for a good listen.

This one’s a novelette, so you’ll need about 40 minutes.

P.S. They’re also doing a Patreon thing, and I think they do great work. If you can spare a buck a month, please support them.

SALE: The Best of Galaxy’s Edge is $0.99 for a short time only!

The Best of Galaxy’s Edge, edited by Mike Resnick

My publisher is offering a sale today!

Get The Best of Galaxy’s Edge, packed with 25 great stories including my Hugo nominee, Totaled, for just 99 cents.

Well, what are you waiting for?  😀

ETA: As of Thursday, 4/30, the sale is still going on. Grab it if you want it because I’m not sure how long the promo price will last.

ETA 2: Writers of the Future, Volume 29 (not the current one) is also on sale for 99 cents.

An excerpt from POSEIDON’S EYES

An excerpt from Poseidon’s Eyes, my short story forthcoming in Writers of the Future, Volume 31 on May 4th.

The illustration is by artist Megen Nelson. Stop by her website and check out her other work!

—————–

Poseidon’s Eyes

Sometimes you can get to know a whole town by understanding just one man. In the seaside village of Summerland, that man was Peyton Jain. Peyton was in his 60s, as best I could tell. His face was craggy and weathered, with a beard like sea foam on rocks and eyes of Poseidon’s blue.

Illustration for “Poseidon’s Eyes,” by Megen Nelson

Some folks thought of Peyton as a nuisance to be reported or a vagrant to be run off, but I knew different because it was Peyton who put me right with Summerland’s spirits. The locals have joked about spirits as long as anyone can remember, but it took the murder of the Kelly children to remind us just how real—and how powerful—the spirits could be.

Summerland sits like the Pythia over a cleft in the rock, soaking up the vapors of prophecy along with the California sunshine. Spiritualists started a commune here over a century ago. Egalitarians at heart, they outlawed money and divvied the land into tent-sized plots.

Oil—oil money, really—edged the Spiritualists out. Derricks took over the beach, and the Spiritualists’ canvas utopia turned into a shantytown for oil workers. My house was made from two of those oil shanties sandwiched together. The shanties had been built before electricity, so the wiring came up through holes in the floor, and the doorbell was an old ship’s bell, corroded green with salt and time.

The house had no foundation, just posts and piers and seven jacks. When the floor sagged, Peyton crawled beneath to twist the jacks until everything was more or less level. That was a blessing to me because I couldn’t abide the narrow crawlspace with earth pressing in around me and voiceless whispers winding snakelike over my skin.

The county said the whispers were nothing to worry about. Radon gas. Natural seepage. Buy a detector and install a fan. But radon doesn’t creep up through the floorboards in silver ribbons until it pools in the corners, like living smoke. Radon doesn’t whisper in the darkness like waves on sand.

But spirits? That’s exactly what they do.

—————–

Free mini eARC for #WOTF31! Who wants one?

Hi, all!

In the next day or so, I will have a mini eARC for volume 31 of Writers of the Future to distribute to anyone who is willing to leave an honest review on launch day (or thereabouts).

Here are the deets:

Writers of the Future, Vol. 31
  • The mini eARC (PDF) will only have three or four of the stories in it. If you want to read them all, look for the mini eARCs being offered by some of my co-authors. Gotta catch ’em all!
  • The launch is scheduled for May the 4th. May the Fourth be with you!  How awesome is that?
  • In your review, it’s fine to mention that you haven’t read all of the stories, and please do mention that you received a free sample copy.
  • If you want one, please say so in the comments. Once I’ve got the file, I’ll send it to the email address used for your comment. (In other words, don’t post your email in the comment itself. I can see it in the admin interface.)
  • If I get a lot of requests, please give me a day or two to get back to you.
  • If you buy the paper copy and we ever meet at a con or workshop (*ahem* Sasquan), I will be happy to sign it for you!
Oh, and here’s a plug for my story, POSEIDON’S EYES.
In a sleepy California beach town, spirits magnify both the good and the evil in human hearts.

Many thanks!

Kary

ETA: I’ve also got two 99 cent sales for you!  Mike Resnick’s Best of Galaxy’s Edge has 25 short stories in it, including my Hugo nominee, and Writers of the Future, Volume 29 (not the current volume) is also on sale. Grab them fast because I don’t know how long the sales will last.

Reminder: Comments are moderated, and may not appear in a timely fashion if I’m busy writing or away from my computer.

Totaled: the story behind the story

ETA: Galaxy’s Edge has re-released TOTALED on their website.

A few years ago, my sister was in a serious car accident with her two boys in the car. It was raining, and she hydroplaned on standing water that had pooled in the low spot of a cloverleaf on-ramp.  Her Ford Explorer got tangled up in the gap between a truck and a trailer, then she skidded off the road into a tree. Nobody was injured, but the accident totaled her Explorer.

TotaledCover375x600
Totaled, by Kary English

The totaled car got me thinking. What if a person could be totaled? What if medical expenses could be reckoned against earning potential the way repair costs are weighed against the value of car? It’s a dystopian question about trying to determine the value of a human life in dollars and cents.

Then my writing mentor, David Farland, nearly lost his son in a longboarding accident. Ben’s recovery has been little short of miraculous, but the medical expenses almost bankrupted Dave. That brought me back to the essential tension between health insurance and the value of a human life. The story doesn’t answer the question; it engages the question.

But what about the speculative element? It’s not a sci-fi story without a speculative element! My geeky love of all things SF goes back to the Golden Era when brains in jars tottered around on spidery, metal legs. Huzzah! Spec element acquired! TOTALED would be a brain in a jar story.

Sonicated microparticle oxygenation (say it three times fast!) is a real thing that’s already saving lives, though I advanced the technology far beyond what’s possible today. I also know a thing or two about cognitive science and fMRIs, so it wasn’t too difficult to weave those things together. No, the difficult thing was something else entirely.

I’d been invited to submit a story to Mike Resnick’s Galaxy’s Edge, and he’d given me a limit of 4,000 words. 4k? Ouch. My natural length for shorts is nearly double that, but I bit the bullet and wrote the story in exactly 4,000 words. Success? Nope. The story was flawed, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. Frustrated, I shipped it off to Writers of the Future for a cooling off period. It earned an Honorable Mention, a low showing for me after a semi and two finalists, so while I’m not knocking HMs, mine confirmed for me that the story was broken. Fortunately, now I knew why. The story had to be longer, and Maggie’s decline needed to be more visible and more poignant.

Cackling like a mad scientist, I cracked the story open and added a thousand words to the second half. Writing Maggie’s decline was difficult and intricate, like placing tiles in a mosaic. Each word had to be exactly right or the technique I was using would look like a jumble of typos and bad grammar instead of a deliberate device. I’d say more, but I’m avoiding spoilers. Suffice it to say that Maggie’s decline is the most difficult thing I’ve ever written.

Satisfied with my work, I stitched the patient back up and sent it off to Mike, fervently hoping that I hadn’t earned myself an auto-reject by exceeding his wordcount. I got my answer in just a few days. Mike loved TOTALED, and he said such nice things about it at the V30 Writers of the Future reception that I had to excuse myself to go cry in the ladies’ room.

So there you have it, the story behind the story.

 

Where to find TOTALED

ETA: Galaxy’s Edge has re-released TOTALED on their website.

Hi, folks,

My short story TOTALED first appeared in Mike Resnick’s Galaxy’s Edge #9 in July of 2014. That issue is no longer available online, but you can buy it as an ebook at many online booksellers.

TOTALED can be found in  The Best of Galaxy’s Edge 2013-2014.

TOTALED is also available as a single short story at Amazon, BN.com and Kobo.

You can also read it for free at Wattpad.

Happy reading!

.

 

FIRST CALL is live!

FIRST CALL is live!

The first Farthane story went live today. It’s one part ancient cataclysm, one part mystical order and one part little girl with kitten. For my friends at Writers of the Future, this was my Q1 entry.

First Call: A Farthane Story

“When the Call comes, it must be obeyed.”

Since the time of shadow and ash, the citizens of Eriyu have been guided by the Judicars, a mystical order devoted to Truth. Jerra, a young initiate, is ready to face the final trial that will allow her to become a full-fledged Judicar. But Truth isn’t easy to see, especially when her own mentor turns against her.

Length: approx. 6,200 words, including a short novel excerpt
Genre: fantasy, action & adventure, strong female characters
Market: written for adults but YA-friendly (no swearing, no sex)

P.S. If you’re looking for the Farthane website, it will be live soon. For now, feel free to hang out here.   🙂