Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another SPACE BATTLES Review - Readers' Realm

Pauline Creeden over on Readers' Realm just posted a very positive review about the just-published SPACE BATTLES anthology I'm in.

Money quote:

"In Space Battles: Full-Throttle Space Tales #6, the reader is privy to tales of characters who are attacked because of race or religion, hunted by an avenger, hunted for food, attacked by an unknown enemy, and given no quarter.  Each of the stories in this anthology brings the reader into the life or death struggle of war in the Sci-Fi medium of space travel.  This is a book both to be enjoyed as well as savored."


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Space Battles Anthology ON SALE NOW at Amazon!


The new anthology collection, which includes my short story "The Book of Enoch" (a tale of the Seventeen Systems featuring Amish space truckers...) was just released in non-electronic, genuine "dead-tree" format. Get it at Amazon TODAY!!!

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Flying Pen Press LLC (April 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098459275X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984592753

First SPACE BATTLES Review...


The very first review for the Space Battles anthology was just posted - CHECK IT OUT HERE. If you're a lover of sci-fi you should check out the collection, which includes 17 stories of intergalactic warfare and strife. Mmmmmm.... strife.

Individual reviews for each of the stories is behind the link.

Assorted author profiles, info on the collection, and purchase links can be found HERE.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Follow up: Who Needs Publishers?


Penny Arcade just posted an interesting (and timely) article on how Steam's use of discount pricing for downloadable video game sales has, paradoxically, seems to have increased buyer's valuation of certain products. It's an interesting discussion particularly in light of my last post regarding the rising trend of e-publications at lower price points that I hope my writer friends will take the time to mull over.

Money quote:

Dejobaan founder Ichiro Lambe told the Penny Arcade Report that this subject came up in a discussion at Business in Gaming recently. “Someone lamented that gamers weren’t willing to pay enough to support us game developers, and my response was, ‘So what? That’s not their job,’” he said. “Steam’s not unique in offering games at these price points—you see Apple selling these wonderful little experiences for under the price of a latte.”


“The market doesn’t care what I think any more than it cared what buggy whip salesmen thought when the automobile came around,” Lambe explained. “Bottom line: I can rail against lower prices, or I can adapt to how people are willing to pay for what I create. I’d rather do the latter.”


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Publishers... Who Needs 'Em? (Hint: We Do... Sometimes)


A recent post on Sullivan's blog titled "Our Publishers, Ourselves" makes an EXCELLENT point on publishing, particularly:

"...if traditional publishers — of all kinds, not just the book industry — want to maintain some of the value they have had in the past, they will have to stop thinking about controlling the process of distribution or the delivery platform, and think more about the services they can add for authors and readers."


From what I've seen from the self-published world, the majority of work is riddled with errors (which a good copy editor could have caught), and, worse, with poorly-realized concepts, plots, character arcs and ideas. Historically, editors and publishers have performed the crucial service of vetting the mountains of crap in search of the nuggets of good stories (at least, the good ones have - the bad ones were just "public distributors" of varying skill and effectiveness as described in the article). I have to ask: in a world where any moron can crap out a 120k word "magnum d'oh-pus" and then sell it on Amazon for $.99 (thereby lowering expectations in vast swaths of the reading public for both what a book's QUALITY as well as the COST should be, as fellow writer Melissa Long recently pointed out), who - IF ANYONE - is going to fulfill this role? I worry, more and more, that the answer is "nobody".


"SPACE BATTLES" - 40% off 'till Tuesday!!


Get 40% off Space Battles if you preorder by next Tues http://bit.ly/IBkcjM Plus free short story from Bryan Thomas Schmidt (@BryanThomasS) http://bit.ly/IBkdE4

Space Battles features a new tale of the Seventeen Systems: "The Book of Enoch". What's it about, you ask? Three words:




That is all...


Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Welcome to Bordertown" in mass market paperback!


The excellent new Bordertown collection (Welcome to Bordertown, which, you may recall, I reviewed last April) just came out in mass market paperback!

Ellen Kushner, co-editor extraordinaire, is running a contest over on her blog in honor of the edition - all you gotta do is tell a friend about the collection, blog about it (real difficult for you guys, I know...), and then copy the URL of the post on the contest's Official Comments Thread to be entered.

Here's the prize list as per Ellen's announcement post:

  • New Welcome to Bordertown paperback, signed by Holly & Ellen
  • A flyer we found in the gutter on Carnival Street announding Eldritch Steel playing at The Dancing Ferret last year (“1 free drink for noobs”)
  • A ticket for the Unicorn Trolley (expired, alas!)
  • A Bordertown necklace by Chimera Fancies Bordertown necklace by ChimeraFancies
  • A Bordertown T-shirt

I don't know about you, but I think those official B'town shirts look pretty sweet...

Good luck, and Welcome to the Border!


Interzone Reader's Poll - "Insha'Allah" takes fourth!


I just heard that last year's "Insha'Allah" took a whopping FORTH PLACE in the annual Interzone Reader's Poll... Wow!

Given the quality of the stories the 'Zone published last year as well as the plethora of well-established authors who appeared in the magazine in 2011 (Jason Sanford, Mercurio D. Riveria, Suzanne Palmer, and others) this is, I think, a huge, huge event. Thanks go to everyone who voted for my story, and I'm so very happy that you liked it.

I plan to continue submitting to Interzone (as well as to Interzone's sister publication, Black Static), and hope that any future stories they may choose to publish are as well-received. Without an audience, every story I write is only half-finished. Again, thank you.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another "Railriders" review: Fantasy Literature


Terry Weyna just posted a great review of Interzone #239 over on Fantasy Literature (including a very positive review of my story "Railriders". Here's the review:

"Another powerful story in this issue is “Rail Riders” by Matthew Cook. In the far future, hobos ride the rails – which, in this time and place, means that they sneak onto interstellar ships and move from planet to planet, the eternally homeless, looking just for a meal and a warm place to sleep. It’s a dangerous way to live, as it has ever been; the dangers aren’t just the “bulls,” the enforcers who come looking for stowaways, but the possibility that the holds in which the hobos ride will suddenly be deprived of oxygen if the cargo doesn’t require it. Drugs and sex hold their sway, as always, and death is omnipresent. It’s a grim way to live, and a grimmer way to die. The more things change, the more things stay the same."


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

SPACE BATTLES Anthology - Final Cover!


Bryan Thomas Schmidt, the editor of the forthcoming SPACE BATTLES anthology (where my new Seventeen Systems short story "The Book of Enoch" will soon appear), just posted the final cover design for the book - soooooooooooo pulpy!!

(Click for bigger..)

Read more about the forthcoming anthology project on BTS's blog:


Another "Railriders" review (John's Reading)

Well, they say you're doing something right when you start getting bad reviews.