Two new stories and one reprint out this month

I’ve somehow neglected to post about this, but I have two original science fiction stories and one reprint out this month (plus a translation of the reprint, interestingly enough).

The first story is “Just Another Night at the Abandoned Draft Bar and Grill” in the May issue of Galaxy’s Edge. This story is a meta-fictional dig at some of the harmful, clichéd stereotypes which tend to permeate less-than-stellar writing—it features a woman named Mary-Sue, a black man named Alphonse, and a Chinese man who’s so much of a stereotype he barely exists beyond his peasant hat.

You can read “Just Another Night at the Abandoned Draft Bar and Grill” at Galaxy’s Edge for free through the end of June, along with stories by Tina Gower, George RR Martin(!!), Kij Johnson(!!!), and many other super-talented writers.

The second original piece is my story “Images Across a Shattered Sea,” which was my first-place story from Writers of the Future volume 32! I like to tell people it’s an anti-war story about post-apocalyptic Morocco, time travel, and the Open Access movement. (Wait, what?!)

Here’s a teaser:

The air on the cliffs above the Shattered Sea was hot as a furnace and twice as dry. Still, Driss couldn’t suppress a shiver at the way the shimmering message-globe moved through the sky, dozens of meters above the churning, black waves of the sea.

He had seen the globes before, of course, but only after they’d been captured and put on display in the village’s little museum. It didn’t quite seem real, the way the little ball bobbed and danced on the breeze, drifting ever so slowly towards Fatima where she stood atop a heap of boulders at the edge of the cliff.

“Here it comes,” she said, waving her net back and forth as she hopped from foot to foot.

Her eagerness just made the dangers of the place worse, Driss thought. It was as if she didn’t care that one misstep would send her tumbling to her death. He himself would have been happy never to have seen the coast in person. It had always been a deadly, desolate place, even in the days when the message-globes blew across the sea in huge clouds which blotted out the sun. And those days were long since past: They had seen only three globes during their two week hike, and this was the first that had come anywhere near them.

“Gotcha!” Fatima leapt into the air, hooking the bubble-like ball in her net and pulling it down from the sky. “What do you think is in it?”

The story (like all others in the anthology) is gorgeously illustrated, in my case by the talented Seattleite Paul Otteni.

You can buy a copy of Writers of the Future through various retailers, all listed at along with information about the anthology’s writers and illustrators. If you want to try it out before you buy, I have electronic samplers to give away. E-mail me and I’ll send you one! :)

On the reprint front, my Nature story “Love and Relativity” is now up at Flash Fiction Online, along with three wonderful original stories by Gary Emmette Chandler, Lynette Mejía, and Evan Dicken.

“Love and Relativity” is also due to be translated into Croatian by fanzine Eridu later this month, which is pretty cool.

Last Words of the Immortal (“Last Words” Series) + some shameless plugs

Immortality’s a funny thing.

There’s a long fictional tradition, as TV Tropes and Wikipedia make abundantly clear, of playing with the idea, inverting and subverting it. For instance, we have “complete immortality” (where you can’t be killed OR die) versus just the regular kind (where natural causes won’t off you, but injuries still can).

Tolkien’s elves, for instance, are regular immortal. So are most kinds of fictional vampire. Beasties like the Lernean Hydra dispatched by Hercules and his nephew Iolaus, on the other hand, are essentially unkillable and can only be inconvenienced to a greater or lesser degree by (e.g.) lighting them on fire, killing most of their mortal heads, and burying their immortal head under a huge boulder at the roadside because your name is Hercules and you’re an asshole like that.

Uh. Anyway.

I, too, like to play with the idea of immortality!

Last Words of the Immortal

by Stewart C Baker


Which I guess I kind of spoiled with that introduction but OH WELL, ONWARDS.

To some shameless plugs!

Shameless plug number one is that a story co-written by fellow Writers of the Future winner Matt Dovey and myself is in the currently-Kickstarting anthology “No Shit, There I Was.” Our tale is a glorious one of peril, fantastical hilarity, a magical sword welded by a kick-ass heroine who doesn’t take crap from anybody (except when she has to), true love, a soul-sucking evil wizard, necromantic basement weasels, and baby oil. Uh, but not necessarily in that order.

No Shit, There I Was: An Anthology of Improbable Tales edited by AlexAcks
IS IT NOT GLORIOUS? You know you want that on your bookshelf.

Head on over to the Kickstarter! If you order a copy, lemme know in the comments and I’ll legit write you a 5-word story on a topic of your choice, following the same rules I follow for these “Last Words” stories, and post it on my blog (if you want) for all to be jealous over.

Shameless plug number two is that you can pre-order the Writers of the Future anthology on Amazon or at your fine book retailer of choice. More details about the anthology and where to order it are available (We’re still hoping to get electronic sampler copies of the anthology, so stay tuned for that…)

Win a signed copy of Writers of the Future, volume 32 (plus, info about the wotf32 website)

The incorrigibly English Matt Dovey and I (although mostly Matt) have put together a website for volume 32 of the Writers of the Future anthology, which will feature a story I’ve written (the title of which cannot yet be shared).

The site features author information, illustrator information, blurbs and snippets for each story, and general information about the anthology, as well as where you can pre-order it.


So go check it out: Writers of the Future, volume 32.

Some time in the next few weeks, the site will be updated to feature thumbnail illustrations for each story, as well as information on which 1st place winners wrote which story.

I’d be interested to see if anybody can guess which is mine from the 4 titles featured on the “Stories” page.

In fact! Let’s do a little giveaway.

Everyone who wants to can leave a comment on this post with the title of the story you think is mine, based on the little blurb and synopsis included on the wotf32 website. You can comment with your Facebook, Google, or Twitter accounts, or with a Disqus account if you have one. Or you can comment as a guest if you don’t have any of those.

I’ll give everyone who guesses correctly 3 entries, and everyone who guesses incorrectly 1 entry, and will then randomly select one entry and mail that person a copy of the anthology signed by me and maybe a few other authors/illustrators (depending on if I can get my hands on a suitable copy during the workshop in the first week of April).

So giveaway! Much excite! Wow!

Direct links to the 1st-place stories:
Star Tree

Images Across a Shattered Sea

Squalor and Sympathy

The Sun Falls Apart

I’ll announce the winner on Thursday, April 14th here on the blog. If you want to be sure you don’t miss it, you can sign up for updates using the little “follow” button on the bottom-right-hand corner of the browser window.

(A few details:
1. I will never share subscriber e-mails with anyone, and you’ll get roughly 1 update e-mailed to you per week in the mean-time.
2. Shipping on the signed copy will be free but may be really really slow if you live outside the continental US of A.
3. You will have to give me your address at some point to receive the signed copy, should you win.
4. I will happily purchase a Kindle e-book version of the anthology for the winner instead, if they prefer.

Out today: an Interview and an Anthology

Actually, both of these things were out yesterday. But today is the new yesterday! Or it will be tomorrow. So: close enough.

The first thing is an interview with me in the Polk County Itemizer-Observer (my local newspaper) about my win in Writers of the Future. I was happy that the journalist agreed to interview me by e-mail, as I do not do well speaking extemporaneously, and probably as a result gave him way too much text to fit into an article. Still, it’s neat to see myself in print this way. Or electronic print, at least:

The second thing is a shiny, hardcover print anthology my story “Behind the First Years” is in. The release date for that was some time between September 28th and yesterday (I got conflicting information), and if you’d like a copy you can order it here: (If you’d like a taste of the anthology, you can listen to an audio version of my story on StarShipSofa.)

Out soon: “Science Fiction Short Stories” anthology from Flame Tree Publishing

My story “Behind the First Years” will be included in this anthology, which is due out at the end of the month (after a few printing-related delays).

If you’d like to pre-order it ($18.75—a pretty good deal for a fancy hardcover!), here’s the Amazon link:

If you’re in the UK, you can also order it direct from the publisher at

(And one neat thing about that last link is that it has previews of the contents—including the first page or two of my story!)

The idea behind this anthology is to mix together contemporary and classic SF writers, so I’m sharing the pages with luminaries like Mark Twain(!) and Edgar Allen Poe(!) and Edith Wharton(!) and Nikolai Gogol(!) as well as a few of the many excellent writers I call friends: Keyan Bowes, Beth Cato, Philip Brian Hall, Alexis A. Hunter, Rachael K. Jones, and M. Darusha Wehm.

Update: incidentally, I just learned that the story I have in this anthology is being podcast by StarShipSofa tomorrow. I’ll post a link when it’s available!

New Resonance 9 haiku anthology now available for order

As I mentioned in a post last year, I was fortunate enough to be selected for inclusion in the latest volume of A New Resonance, the award-winning haiku anthology of new poets put out every year by Red Moon Press.

Fast-forward a few months, and I’ve now received my copies of the anthology. The poems are, as expected, wonderful and varied, making it easy to see why the New Resonance series is so well-received by poets.


Copies of New Resonance 9 ready to go.

In addition to myself, the anthology features: Brad Bennett, Claire Everett, Kate S. Godsey, Cara Holman, P M F Johnson, Gregory Longenecker, Jonathan McKeown, Ben Moeller-Gaa, Beverly Acuff Momoi, Polona Oblak, Thomas Powell, Brendan Slater, William Sorlien, Michelle Tennison, Scott Terrill, and Julie Warther.


My place in the anthology—alphabetical order strikes again!

I received about 25 copies of the anthology as part of publication, and still have several available to order.

Price is $16 ($1 less than list price), and I’ll throw in free shipping to anywhere in the US, as well as a copy of the chapbook I created just for this occasion, titled Stray Cats. Shipping seems to take between a few days and a week, depending on where you are in the country. (It’s cost-prohibitive to ship books overseas, but if you live somewhere other than the US, e-mail me with your address and I can give you a quote for shipping costs.)


Hot off the presses—er, printer.

I will also happily sign the chapbook to you, and include an original poem on a topic of your choice.

Here’s the order form if you’d like to get a copy:

Order New Resonance 9

Inscribe To:
Custom Poem Topic

Thanks for your support!

Now Available for Pre-order: New Resonance 9 (and a chapbook!)

If you’re an avid reader of haiku, you may already be familiar with the “New Resonance” series of anthologies from Red Moon Press. If not, they’re well worth exploring: They’ve won at least seven Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards, and the poets featured in their pages often go on to do great things in the haiku community.

New Resonance 8
(a previous year’s edition of the anthology)

I’m very proud to have been selected for inclusion in the ninth edition of the anthology along with sixteen other poets.

As part of the publication process, I receive 25 copies of the anthology in return for paying part of the publication costs (yes, fiction friends, Yog’s Law(!!!)—but haiku works a bit differently in this particular case).

I’ve taken the pre-order form down for now (thanks to my early buyers for your support!), but will place an order form up again when I receive my copies in June.

In other news, I’ve created a chapbook of my haiku and tanka, called Stray Cats, which isn’t available anywhere else. You can still order a copy of that (if you so desire) using the form below).


“Stray Cats” Chapbook