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2013 Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest

Sep. 30th, 2012 | 06:57 pm

The 2013 Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest opens tonight at midnight. Send us a story about humanity's near future in space! Professional publication and a cool engraved crystal award.
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DeepSouthCon

Jun. 12th, 2012 | 09:17 am

I'm going to be a panelist at DeepSouthCon this coming weekend. Here is my schedule.

Friday
6-7pm
Main Programming: Fly Me to the Moon--How Do We Get There, What Do We Do When We're There--
Les Johnson, Wm. Ledbetter (m), G. Patrick Molloy, Stephanie Osborn

Sunday
11am-12pm
Main Programming: Moon v. Mars--Wm. Ledbetter, Travis Taylor, Tony Daniel (m)

2-3pm
Madison: Access to Energy = Access to the Stars—Jim Beall,Les Johnson, William Ledbetter, Travis
Taylor, Tony Daniel (m)

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The Gruff Variations

Apr. 3rd, 2012 | 01:48 pm

My story "Bridges Dark and Distant" is now available in a new charity anthology called The Gruff Variations. As implied by the title, the stories are all derived from the old Three Billy Goats Gruff tale. It's edited by Eric James Stone and is packed with charming, amazing and imaginative tales by an all star list of writers, including New York Times best-selling author Shannon Hale, award-winning children's book author Rick Walton, Hugo Award winner Mary Robinette Kowal, Edgar Award finalist Dene Low, and Nebula Award nominees Nancy Fulda and Brad R. Torgersen.

100% of the proceeds from The Gruff Variations will help buy books and school supplies for underprivileged children.

Buy at Amazon | Buy at Smashwords | Buy at Barnes & Noble

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Heroic Fantasy Quarterly issue 12

Apr. 3rd, 2012 | 01:22 pm

Issue 12 of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly is now live, with great fiction by Seamus Bayne, Russell Miller and Spencer Ellsworth. Also some excellent poetry by Bethany Powell, Colleen Anderson and Phil Emery.

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ConDFW schedule

Feb. 8th, 2012 | 08:25 am

I'll be at ConDFW in two weeks (Feb. 17-19th) and here is my schedule. I'm gonna be one bizzy con rat!

FRIDAY

Panel Room 3 – Canterbury
4pm – Life As We Know It: The Astronomy of Class M Planets

Panel Room 1 - Warwick
6pm - The Aspiring Writers Panel

Panel Room 3 – Canterbury
9pm – Yard Dog Press Road Show

SATURDAY

Panel Room 3 – Canterbury
10 am – Constant Push: The Race for Constant Propulsion

Readings:
11 am – Carole Nelson Douglas, William Ledbetter, Michelle Muenzler

Panel Room 2 - Manchester
12pm – Destroying the Universe One Butterfly at a Time: Time Travel and You!

Panel Room 1 – Warwick
2pm – Arming Tribbles - How to Arm Primitives Realistically

Panel Room 3 – Canterbury
4pm – Soaring Ships and Swashbuckling Sentients: Trends in Space Opera

SUNDAY

Panel Room 1 – Warwick
10am – Dodging Asteroids: Living in the Solar Belt

Panel Room 1 – Warwick
11am – Fire in Space: Describing Zero G Disasters

Panel Room 1 – Warwick
12pm - The Magic of Science: Trends in Science Fiction

Panel Room 3 – Canterbury
2pm - Self-editing Err0rs

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A Sale!

Jan. 27th, 2012 | 01:17 pm

I just sold my story "Square One" to Something Wicked. This is the second story of mine they've printed. They're a great publication from South Africa, very slick, awesome artwork, great stories and the editorial staff are real pros.

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What We Want - Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest

Jan. 3rd, 2012 | 01:06 pm

Several writers have recently asked if there are things we see too often or not enough in the entries for the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest, so here are a few observations that might be helpful. But please keep in mind, these are just generalities, if you send an awesome story that floors us and is in the ballpark, we can ignore a lot of the smaller things.

-Plucking a typical love story or revenge story from a Kansas City suburb, and dropping it into a moonbase doesn't make it science fiction. Stories like that start out with a strike against them and usually don't go very far. Your best bet is to make the space/science fiction aspect an integral part of the story. The plotline should collapse without it. (ex. "Dune" w/o the spice, or "Cat's Cradle" w/o Ice9)

-One of the contest sponsors is the National Space Society, who advocate space colonization. NSS members want to see and are working to promote, a large, expanding and permanent human presence in space.  So if you've read the past winning stories, you might notice that most of them tend to have positive or upbeat endings. That doesn't mean we can't have an "unhappy" ending, but you probably wouldn't get very far with a cautionary tale where everyone dies, because human space exploration and technology are shown as evil or unwise.

-Several of the past judges (myself included) have expressed a desire to see more stories that actually take place in space. Not just talking about it on the ground.

-Think outside the box, but not outside the Solar system. A lot of writers hobble their imaginations based on what they see in mass media. Too many think that they need hyperspace drives or aliens to make an exciting space story, but just think of the amazing worlds, strange environments and endless possibilities that abound in our own solar system. There is a thousand years worth of adventure in our own back yard, and many writers just ignore that.

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Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest

Jan. 3rd, 2012 | 08:55 am

Just a reminder for anyone interested in entering the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest, the submission window is still open, but
closes on Feb. 1.  See the website for details and feel free to ask me any questions you might have.

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An Interview

Dec. 14th, 2011 | 09:46 am

The delightful and talented author, Amber Sistla, has posted an interview with me on her Writer Wednesday weekly blog feature. Thanks, Amber!


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My Novel

Nov. 2nd, 2011 | 12:09 pm
mood: excitedexcited

I finally finished my novel. Which of course is a relative phrase. Its finished up to the "beta reader" stage, so will probably make one more big editing pass after I get their feedback.  It's been an odd feeling to not work on it these past few days, but I'm not going to touch it until the next big edit. I need a break and have a bunch of short stories I want to write.
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