Sunday, 12 November 2017

Certified for the Third Time

Here’s my third Honourable Mention in the Writers of the Future Contest, it came in last week. Since then I’ve actually won a fourth HM, but that’s the last time I’ll be able to enter as I have now scored my third and fourth pro placements and am thus disqualified as a beginner – I’m now rated a pro!

I’ve held off my usual in-print post this month, as the item due out in November has not yet appeared. I also have some extra sales to report. For now, enjoy the certificate, and I’ll bring you up to date as soon as I have links.


Mike Adamson

Sunday, 15 October 2017

In Print, October 2017 (and Progress)

In the five weeks since I last posted (I can hardly believe that, but having graded essays for two university courses which both came due the day I last posted, maybe it’s not so surprising!) I’ve made progress on several levels. As the cover above suggests, The Martian Wave 2017 was released by Nomadic Delirium Press on October 13th. This is the fifth annual volume since the collection came to this publisher. In it, you’ll find my story The Hard Way Home, a classic tale of a lone astronaut trapped on the wrong side of the sky.

Also, I’ve had a number of placements. Sing to Me, the Alien Said   was picked up by the anthology Wavelengths, from Jay Henge on September 27th, while Myriad Paradigm followed through on their shortlisting to secure my “Middle Stars” piece Existential Bliss for the first volume of their pro anthology Mind Candy on October 2nd. Meanwhile, my tongue-in-cheek conspiracy theory short Unremembered Dreams was bought by 4Star Stories on the same day (the second time I’ve sold two pieces in one day!) to be held against a future volume of short-short fiction, while my “Middle Stars” tale Wake was bought by Mythic on the 8th for their fifth edition. This is my tenth “Middle Stars” piece to find a berth.

The online magazine UprisingReview approached me to pen an op-ed on the subject of dystopian fiction, focusing on how it seems to have lost its way – how the cautionary nature of the genre has diverged into dystopia for its own sake. I’ll post a link when my piece, The Romance of Decay, goes live.

I currently have thirty-four placements, three at pro rates, and my record for number of submissions in play has reached 81. I have plenty more stories to write, and recently completed a historical adventure set in the British India of 1837

More as things transpire,

Cheers, Mike Adamson

Monday, 4 September 2017

In Print, September 2017 (and Progress)

August was the first month in 2017 when I didn’t have anything appearing in print or on the web, but it looks like September will make up for that with two. First out of the gate is Andromeda Spaceways #68, featuring my “Middle Stars” piece The Marachel Job. Click here to go direct to the purchase page -- $4.95 for a download, how can you go past that?

Coming soon should be Aurealis #104, featuring my deep-sea chiller Fear of the Dark – I’ll post the cover and purchase link as soon as they are available.

Progress on other fronts – Uprising Review have taken  second story from me, a dystopian short titled Street Pirates. Lovecraftiana have picked up my story Monarch of the Shadows for the Candlemas 2018 edition, while my “Ocean” story Gorgon’s Deep has been acquired for the new anthology Myths, Monsters, Mutations.

At this time I have thirty placements, and high hopes for many of the submissions currently in play. Some markets are not quick to reopen, I had hoped to have at least three more submissions over this past weekend, but am simply monitoring for markets to be reading.



Aurealis #104 went out to subscribers on 23/9/17, featuring my story Fear of the Dark. Here's the cover -- purchase link as soon as it shows up in the Aurealis store!

And, a few days ago, the first issue of Storyhack went on release -- I have another cover credit! Purchase link as soon as possible.

Next month, the 2017 volume of The Martian Wave will be coming out -- watch for cover and links!

Cheers, Mike Adamson

Thursday, 10 August 2017

In Print, August 2017 (and Progress)

For the first time since the beginning of the year, I don’t seem to have a release scheduled for the current month, but my last piece to hit the market was just one day short, so who am I to quibble?

Check out my Cthulhu Mythos piece With Strange Aeons in the Lammas edition of Lovecraftiana, which you can order right here. Very proud I got cover-billing, title and byline, just like in the old days!

I have picked up a sixth simultaneous short-listing, my SF piece With Scientific Detachment is currently short-listed with Aurealis. I should know something by the end of the month – it would be very cool to place a second story with Australia’s longest-running title!

Edits have been completed on Circus to Boulonge for Storyhack #1, and edits are currently underway on The Marachel Job for Andromeda Spaceways #67.

I was approached just today to do an interview with Uprising Review who recently published my “Middle Stars” short North of 25 – I’ll be making a start on that today.

I recently exceeded 550 submissions, have finished two older stories that have been hanging around a while, and wrote seven new pieces last month; I’m currently working up notes for a story that’s been at the back of my mind for twenty-three years, since the business with Jerry Pournelle’s Future Wars II anthology – but that’s a theme for a whole other post.

Cheers, Mike Adamson

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Launching Now -- Ecotastrophe II

This was the first anthology to pick up a story of mine, last September I believe, and it went live today. Nomadic Delirium is the same publisher as produces the long-running Martian Wave anthology series, and I'm in the 2017 volume of that one also.

Here's the publisher's page, where you can order electronic or print editions:

I seem to have the bit in my teeth again, last night I completed my sixth story for the month of July, and there are still a few days to go!

Cheers, Mike Adamson

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Progress Update

Quick update as July draws to a close -- Andromeda Spaceways has picked up my short The Marachel Job, and I have another shortlisting too, "How Like a God" is in the hold-group at The Overcast, a magazine out of the Cascadia region of the US Pacific Northwest.

Things continue to roll, with new stories putting in an appearance and new markets being plumbed.

Cheers, Mike Adamson

Fragile Humans in a Changing Technoscape

As I’ve commented before, characters have begun to predominate over science fiction concepts in many a magazine’s writing brief – not all, to be sure, there are still those who specify that the concept, the science or the situation must be endemic to the storyline (Analog, for instance, and Compelling), but a majority want characters the reader can identify with – or loathe – readily and comfortably, first and foremost, and then depicted against a speculative background.

I have often wondered if this is symptomatic of the social development of the world – the “reality TV” era, which is devoutly and profoundly the opposite in a repellently glitzed-up package pretending to not be scripted. This preoccupation with “people” in an age which has, in real terms, devalued the individual human being in the most outrageous way, seems patently false and cynical. But there may be far a more functional explanation.

Take the tablet, for instance. When they first appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987, they were 24th century hardware, but came true in less than 25 years and are now ubiquitous. The underwater camera was fictional when it appeared in the Bond flick Thunderball in 1968, but in the 1970s became a reality. Skype and similar systems have made visual communication a normality, when the dedicated “videophone” was an experiment following its introduction at the 1964 World’s Fair, but which attracted too few subscribers to prove viable. The point is that the gadgetry science fiction can conceive of, technology can – now – reproduce fairly quickly. Mobile phones are the academic example. Computer interfaces change so rapidly one can never be certain what is fictional and what isn’t, and it essentially no longer matters. Holographic displays such as we see in Iron Man and Avatar are tipped to be out there in the future for us, while projection systems, graphics the size of walls or table tops are with us already. One used to be aware that the systems depicted in the Bond films were often fictional, but the kind of graphics and system architectures depicted in later years no longer provoke that reaction, one simply accepts them. Compare the MI6 briefing room display in Quantum of Solace to the Memorex-drum memory, command environment and first-generation graphics seen in 1982’s For Your Eyes Only and the decades of development really do become apparent.

Technology, especially in the form of gadgetry, has become the axiom of the age. We almost all have a smartphone, even the most resistant of us, and who can operate in modern society without a computer? I’m writing on one and will use it to upload to the internet to be read on one, or a phone, or tablet… The line has blurred between lived reality and the fictional worlds science fiction used to depict, and in this is perhaps found the human need to connect with people in stories. Why? Because something of the fascination with the new and strange that SF used to embody has been lost, literally blown away, by the pace of change in the real world. Future shock? What’s that? A concept from half a century ago, when the pace of life was changing. Now the future holds out the promise of both wonders and terrors and we know there’s no avoiding them, no matter how uncomfortable any particular person might be with any particular promise.

As writers, this leaves us with the ironic proposition that, though we strive to be “prophets of the unknown,” we must place people first as surely as literary fiction ever did; there is no longer more than a curiosity role for people reduced to minor figures, hurrying to serve the mega-machines and implacable intelligences set in dehumanised landscape that the disturbed and wary conjectures of the Seventies warned about. The landscape more or less arrived, but it’s often softened with an enhanced knowledge of human needs, and, after all, we place people first now. At least we do if we’re hoping to entertain, if not inform or challenge.

So the only world in which machines dominate is an industrial one, an autocratic one, and the rest of the human race finds itself living into a gadget-rich tomorrow in which, ironically, those ever-fresh gadgets serve purposes that were invented merely because the technology existed to make gadgets to serve – a profitability cycle; while the problems which dogged humankind when science fiction sought so keenly for answers, are still dragging along with us as the 21st century unfolds, and are generally worse than ever. Now there’s a scenario few could have predicted before the Eighties (I’m thinking Judge Dredd comics), and an interesting frame of reference in which to write of the tomorrows baring down on us.

Cheers, Mike Adamson

Royalty-free header image.