Friday, January 11, 2013

Free Me!

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Well, technically speaking, a free story by me.  In a free e-book anthology from Tor.com.  With a refreshingly honest title.  Every year, in his introduction to his Big Fat Best of the Year anthology, Gardner Dozois comments that, given the lack of any possible means of objectively defining "best" stories, the anthology really ought to be Stories That Gardner Dozois Thought Were Cool This Year.  Editors Gorinsky, Nielsen Hayden, and Hartwell, got around this ethical dilemma by calling their volume, Some of the Best From Tor.Com: 2012 Edition.  Implying, I believe, that they consider all the stories they publish to be top-notch.  Which is true.  They pay top rates and they get first look at a lot of cool short fiction.

Anyway, it's a cool anthology, it has my own"The Mongolian Wizard" in it, and it's absolutely free.  If you read books in e-form, there's no reason not to get it.

The announcement and links for downloads are here.  There's also a 2011 version, which has my own "The Dala Horse," in it (along with other good stuff), also available free.  When you download this year's collection, you should poke around and download last year's as well.


And I have advice for those who have just published their first story . . .

Updating my records for the above publication put me in mind of some advice I've been meaning to pass along.  Here's something that every writer should do upon publication of your first story, even though it's going to make you feel foolish:  Start a bibliography. 

This should be the very third thing you do (after breaking open the champagne and the hot sex which you may or may not regret the next day) after your story comes out.  Look up the proper formatting, write down all the info, and then save the sheet of paper and the e-file in places where you can easily find them.

As is only natural, that first story is going to going to look mighty small and lonely on that great big sheet of paper or screen.  You're going to be tempted to delete the file, trashcan the paper, and put the chore off until you've got enough publications to fill an entire page.

Don't do it!

By the time you've had enough stories published for your bibliography to look good, that information is going to be difficult to assemble, and you'll never be entirely sure you haven't missed an item or ten.  There'll be a reprint in Portugar, a posting on the Web, a pirated copy in a former Soviet Republic, something which doesn't get included.  Which I guarantee will bother you.

Also, it'll be a great incentive to keep you writing when you feel like goofing off.  One more story and the bibliography will look less silly . . .  Another two and my career will begin to look promising . . . Four more and it goes to a second page!

These are little things, admittedly.  But that's what a writer's life is made up of:  small gestures.

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3 comments:

Richard Mason said...

the hot sex which you may or may not regret

The girls show up that fast? The first day?

wayne zimmerman said...

I don't know about that, but during my first five years or so in SF fandom, I had a good time being dragged to some great Pro parties by several lovely ladies attached to Baen Books.

Wayne Z

Unknown said...

Already downloaded. ;D