I've mentioned this in the past, but it never ceases to amaze me how things seem to happen in bunches with this writing stuff. I went months with no news on either the progress of FINAL VECTOR in the editing phase, or any of the various publications to which I had submitted short stories.
Then, in short order, I got the working copy of my novel back from my editor with extensive love notes regarding various suggested changes and edits, to be completed in two weeks and returned to the publisher, and I have heard from no less than three magazines, all of which have chosen to publish my work!
First comes Mysterical-E, a quarterly online mystery/suspense magazine which accepted my story, "Uncle Brick and the Little Devilz" for inclusion in their Summer 2010 issue. This is the longest of the three, considered a novelette by the standards of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.
This upcoming Uncle Brick story is a followup to "Uncle Brick and Jimmy Kills," which appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of Mysterical-E and placed third in this year's Derringer Award voting for Best Novelette, so it has big shoes to fill. The Uncle Brick stories are sort of a lighthearted look at the Private Eye genre that were inspired when my wife told me everything I wrote was just too damned dark.
Next I heard from the editors of Dark Valentine, a brand-new quarterly online dark fiction magazine, complete with outstanding artwork accompanying each story. They accepted "Dance Hall Drug" for inclusion in their #2 issue. "Dance Hall Drug" is one of my favorite stories, not to mention by far the darkest thing I've ever written.
In their acceptance, one of the editors said, and I quote, "Well, Allan, this is a nasty piece of work - and I mean that in the nicest way . . ." If you've ever been particularly annoyed at a member of the opposite sex and have enjoyed a few pleasurable moments of fantasy in which you did . . . let's say . . . bad things to that person, check this one out. But be warned, it's not for the squeamish.
I find it interesting, in a deliciously ironic sort of way, that one of my most lighthearted stories, "Uncle Brick and the Little Devilz," was accepted right before my darkest, "Dance Hall Drug." I'm not sure what that says, if anything, but there you go.
Finally, I was contacted this afternoon by the editor of Needle: A Magazine of Noir, informing me they were accepting my story, "The Waiting," for inclusion in their second issue, Summer 2010. This is particularly exciting to me because the first issue of this print magazine included such highly regarded noir authors as Dave Zeltserman, Hilary Davidson, Keith Rawson and others.
In "The Waiting," a criminal crew takes on a new member, a smoking hot, ice-cold chick who may not be quite what she seems, and who might just bring down the entire team.
Needle: A Magazine of Noir is a print magazine, and thus "The Waiting" is the only one of the three stories which will not be available for free online. If you'd like to check out my work risk-free, the issues containing both of my first two stories will be live soon. And don't worry about missing them, I'll be sure to let you know when they're out, and will include a link to each one, you know, just to make your reading experience as easy as it can be.
I'll be bragging about Needle: A Magazine of Noir when that one comes out, too, don't worry. I was planning on running a separate blog post on each of the stories when their issues were live, and still will, but I was just too excited not to spill the beans right now.
Thanks for your attention, and we now return you to your previously scheduled programming.