The Welcome

The Welcome: and other Sci-Fi stories is the full working title of my next anthology.

Unless you hail from another planet, you’ll be aware that apart from reading widely, I also try writing various genre. I believe all creative writers should attempt both the reading and writing of different genre. I feel it gives a greater appreciation of the craft if we step out of our comfort zone.

Just as the collection will be, I decided to produce an experimental cover. I wanted something that would at least fit as a working model prior to publication. Please note, there are no space ships, men in big white suits, or alien beings on the cover.

As I’ve done with my other anthologies, I’m aiming to produce at least 12 stories.

There is a major difference with this collection, because I am inviting stories from guest authors. As things stand, I have eight stories written by me. Three of those appear in other collections, but the other five are new and at various stages of completion.

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My aim is to have at least four stories from guest authors whose names will appear on the front cover.

Guidelines for anyone interested:

1.  Guest authors should be members of the Indie Author Support and Discussion group on Facebook.**

2.  Stories must be a maximum of 3,500 words.

3.  Stories should be completed to final edit and submitted to me by 31st December 2015. (If there is interest and the timing is too tight, I’ll be happy to extend the deadline).

4.  Copyright will remain with individual authors for their stories.

5.  Any author who contributes will have the opportunity to include a short bio (50 words), and tw0 hyperlinks of their choice added after their story.

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Who has already expressed interest?

At the present time I have offers of stories from:  CI Lopez**,   WK Tucker, and Senan Gil Senan. One more guest will fill my minimum 12 story quota, but if there were other interested authors I would be happy to increase the number of tales.

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When is the target publication date?

I had originally intended to complete formatting and publish before end December 2015, but I am now of the opinion that it would be a good boost for all concerned to publish early in January 2016.

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Where did the title come from?

I’m a great believer in a title performing more than one task, and the role of a title for an anthology is vitally important.

As I normally do, I checked my titles against Amazon’s lists and found that all eight were heavily represented. I changed one of my stories to The Welcome. It is both original in terms of Amazon listings, and a perfect fit for the particular story. I like to think that it also makes a neat invitation to prospective readers.

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If you would like to be involved in this collection and can meet the guidelines, please get in touch.

As always, I thank you for reading, and would appreciate any feedback.

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**I reserve the right to make one exception to the rule regarding IASD membership. CI Lopez is working on a debut anthology, and I believe a guest appearance alongside previously published authors will be helpful.

Tom

Stellar Cloud – a review

Cover_1[1]Before I mention the book, ‘Stellar Cloud’, I think it would be pertinent to put something in perspective. My reason for reading Science Fiction was no accident. I believe in broadening my horizons as a writer, by reading widely.

During the A to Z challenge, I enjoyed following Charity Bradford’s blog. The posts she used throughout the challenge were based on Dr Who, the classic British time-travel series.

In itself the topic could be given a light-hearted or devil-may-care treatment, but irrespective of anyone else’s opinion, the alphabet was followed and good posts appeared each day.

The relevance of those challenge posts is simply that Charity’s passion for the genre shines through in them. That same passion allows her to write not only entertaining, but convincing stories in a genre that I do not normally read.

Okay, the average person might think, Science Fiction is not for me, but consider something for a moment. If a story is well told, does it really matter if it’s set in Arkansas, Frankfurt, Rome, or on the planet Zorg?

In ‘Stellar Cloud’ I found a variety of stories that produced the same empathy I would expect for characters in a traditional tale. The imagery was well drawn, the dialogue was natural, and the stories were well told. I found myself believing in each story, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

I was delighted to find that each story was different. Irrespective of genre, many writers tend to write repetitive tales and they only differ in location and character names. The situations and conflicts in the ‘Stellar Cloud’ collection are sufficiently different.

Charity brings her book to a close with a Prologue and Chapter 1, for her novel, ‘The Magic Wakes’.

I would suggest if you haven’t tried Science Fiction, then Charity’s offerings are a good place to start.

It’s a mystery to me…

When I commence a story I can write happily for a while without any literary references or quick checks with Wikipedia.  In my latest competition entry I am not afforded the luxury of either of these things.  The Global Writers competition for December is themed on ‘surreal’ so my tale so far is fantasy/science fiction/adventure with some dialogue thrown in for good measure. 

Word count will be a secondary consideration for me on this one because my concentration at the moment is satisfactory telling of the story.  I’m not a big fan of fantasy or science fiction when it comes to reading and I don’t want to know what other entries are about because I want to attempt this without outside influence.  We’ll see how it goes soon enough because I only have so many more days to edit before I end up with the final draft. 

Merry Christmas to anyone who happens by.