Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Everything's Coming Up Stones

Which are much more dependable and durable than roses. I'm talking about friend-of-blog (sounds like something the Hulk would say. Blog Smash!) Grant Stone, who had one hell of a month and I'm here to pass along the fruits of his hard work, to your good fortune.

I already told you about his story at Strange Horizons, Young Love on the Run from the Federal Alien Administration New Mexico Division (1984) and I just told you again.

Plus, issue #2 of his awesome fanzine, b0t, came out. You can download it as well as #1 here: http://b0tzine.com/

And then after that, his steampunky story, A Ruby in Rain appeared in audio at The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. Listen here, you! http://www.ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com/2011/05/17/tales-from-the-archives-six/

What's more, Grant's story, When Her Wings, is part of the Tales for Canterbury anthology to help New Zealand earthquake relief efforts along with stories by heavy hitters like Neil Gaiman, Gwyneth Jones, Jay Lake, Jeff VanderMeer and Sean Williams. But of course, you'll want it for Grant. Buy that (cheap) here: http://randomstatic.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_10&products_id=51

By this point I feel like I'm writing hearts all over my notebook with Grant's name in them. But wait, there's more! Can you believe it?

On top of all that, Grant's story, Wood, has been chosen to appear in the first volume of The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror! No link yet, but when there is one, you'll see it on this blog.

Shit, man, you knocked it out of the park with this month. Here's wishing you scads more like this one!

And if you guys, hadn't figured it out yet, this is a writer you'll want to follow. Say, "Hi," here: http://d1sc0r0b0t.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 30, 2011


No, that's not the past tense of sing. I'm feeling a little worn out, but not burnt out, just singed. I've got one more episode of Beware the Hairy Mango to do for MuchoMangoMayo and though it's mostly written, it's going to get finished tomorrow as I'm running on about three and a half hours sleep. I'll do it better in the morning. It's been a rough month, but I enjoyed the work. I'm pretty sure I'm taking May 31st off, then I'll jump back into writing fiction June 1st. That's going to be a weird shifting of gears.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Tale of New Hope City

A Tale of New Hope City is the first story I ever got paid for. I sold it to Dave Felts for issue 4 of his magazine Maelstrom Speculative Fiction back in September of 1999. (Dave now runs SFReader.com, which you may enjoy) I'm re-publishing the story here because you currently can't find it anywhere else, and who knows? You might dig it. I just figured out how to do the jump thing on my posts so you don't have to scroll through the whole story to see what the post before this one was. I'll run the story behind the story in a few days. Remind me if I forget. Have fun!

by Matthew Sanborn Smith

Dev's song rains down on me in the cold twilight of New Hope City while the roofrunners untint their optical flaps. For the first time today the City of Brass can be viewed by the naked eye without nerve damage. Dev's a friend of mine, a scanner who spends his evenings deprived of four senses at the base of one of New Hope's catch towers, smelling the molecules that float through its thirty story filters. The Citymind determines what his data indicates, prioritizes responses and alerts the proper servants. Dev sings low priorities to me, what the Aesthetic Guard passes over. I only act on vandalism and disfigurement. I'm a free-lance street-sweeper without compensation. I don't need it; I'm Latimer Vul.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I can't believe I haven't talked this up over here, but I'm kind of dumb. I've got a big event happening over at my podcast, Beware the Hairy Mango called MuchoMangoMayo. Normally you're lucky to get one episode a month from me, but for MuchoMangoMayo I'm doing a new episode every single day in the month of May. If you like things that don't make sense, but not more than five minutes worth at a time, this is the show for you. Go listen!


Monday, May 09, 2011

Young Love on the Run from the Federal Alien Administration New Mexico Division (1984)

I'm in the middle of scheduling a new Mango post, but I have to drop that and everything else for the moment, because I just discovered that friend of mine and The One-Thousand, Grant Stone, has a new story up at Strange Horizons! Whoo! If you don't know science fiction, let me just say that Strange Horizons is, in my opinion, the best online text science fiction magazine there is. Of all my Fiction Crawler recommendations, I've chosen more stories from Strange Horizons than any other source. That's an awesome win for him.

Go read it and be entertained! http://www.strangehorizons.com/2011/20110509/younglove-f.shtml

Sunday, May 08, 2011

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

On May 8th, 1991 I sent out my first story submission to a magazine. Because I don't remember when I started the story, I mark the beginning of my writing career from that date. The story was called Lives and Times and is number 1 of The One-Thousand. It wasn't a very good story, though I don't think it was horrible. It felt, even as I wrote it, like something written in the 1950s, an eccentric scientist tests out his theories on memory on his best friend who's got Alzheimer's with some unpleasant results. I still like the science fiction idea behind it. Our scientist takes the idea of seeing your life flash before your eyes and decides all the brain's neurons must be firing at once during a moment of intense stress. He figures out a way to make it happen without the stressful event.

Besides being my first submission, the story was important to me because it was the longest thing I had ever written to that point and the first longer work I had ever finished. I sent it to Amazing Stories. It had been my dream for years to be published by Amazing Stories, the oldest science fiction mag at that time. I didn't get published by Amazing Stories, even after six more tries. In fact, an assistant editor there used to eviscerate my work. Most rejections are simple form letters. If someone takes the time to tell you how bad your story is, well, that's a fresh new circle of Hell. At least I got those rejections out of the way at the very beginning.

I just became eligible to join the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and joined a couple of weeks ago. That marks the twenty year trip rather nicely, though I would have been horrified when I started if I had known it would take so long. A lot of people could have done what I've done in eight years or even less. I had life to deal with, like everyone else, but also, I wasn't the hardest worker. The one good example I have to offer from this journey is persistence. Say whatever else you will about me, a whole hell of a lot of people would have quit before that twenty year mark, especially with the many hundreds of rejections I received.

I'd like to think I have an iron will, but anyone who knows me (and I'm one of those people) knows that the strength of my will is equal to that of an over-boiled noodle. The truth is I quit loads of times over those twenty years. And every time I jumped back in a day or a week later. I didn't really have a choice in the matter. This is what I do and I'd do it no matter what. It feels really good that some other people are now able to dig what I'm doing too.

Given what I've said, I guess I don't have any inspirational advice. I'm not going to bother saying follow your dreams or stick with it, because you're already struggling to do the thing you feel you must do. You have been for years. If it's not in you to do a thing, you only have to quit it once. If you really love it, you'll quit it a thousand times.