William Shakespeare’s Dune, Act III, Scene iv

Dear Readers Of This Epic Shakespearean Science-Fiction Adventure:

I am in the process of doing more writing than ever before, and this is causing me to face some painful decisions: one of them is what to do about the William Shakespeare’s Dune Project, which is an unpaid labor of love. 

I will admit that I was tempted to move this project to my Patreon site, making it accessible for my patrons only. But honestly, I hate when creators I follow do things like that, so I have decided to keep this project here, and free.

This does, however, come at some cost to me. The writing I am doing for pay is going to have to come first. If you want to encourage this project to continue to update weekly, I ask that you support me by joining me on Patreon. You can get access to my patron feed for as little as $1.00 per month. Honestly, at this point, I would far rather have 10 patrons at the $1.00 level than one patron at the $10.00 level.

So if you have valued this project, as I know some of you have, I ask you to do the following:

1) Support me on Patreon, and let me know you’re supporting me because of this. Trust me, I will take the hint and keep up on this project.

2) Spread the word about this project to other Dune and Shakespeare sites or groups you might be part of. One fan talking about it once is more effective than all the talking about it I can do.

3) Finally, take the time to let me know you’re enjoying it, because that matters, too. Often, this whole blog feels like shouting into the void, so encouragement matters, too, although promotion and donation is even better. As the Reduced Shakespeare Company famously noted: “Give us your cash, if we be friends/And deduct it when the tax year ends.”

Thank you all.

And now, Without Further Ado About Nothing As Much As You Like It, we present Act III, Scene iv, in which Paul Atreides sets forth his plan to dominate the galaxy to both of his loyal followers.

The Once And Future Blog Post

So, the blog has been on unannounced, extended hiatus for about a month. I am sorry about that: it wasn’t planned, just a lot of things… happened.

This year has been a major period of adjustment for me: I gave up my job, we moved across the country, my wife started working full-time, and I stopped, but am working part-time and what with all that plus the holidays, the little hobdemons of depression jumped on my skull and thwacked. So for the past month, I have not been too busy and wiped out to write… but I have been too busy and wiped out to write HERE. However, I have not given up on the blog, and hope you won’t give up reading it. It is my hope, in fact, to blog more often throughout the coming year.

And this means that William Shakespeare’s Dune is NOT dead, and the next installment appears tomorrow!

So, how did the writing go in 2017? Not that great. But, because while I actually believe that people learn a lot (and are sometimes encouraged by hearing about) the failures and difficulties of others, I submit the following:

This is the first year since 2014 that my writing sales have not surpassed the previous year. In fact, it marked my lowest publication output since 2014

Partly, this is because I submitted fewer manuscripts, in the aforementioned craziness, as we uprooted our lives from Kansas and settled back in Wisconsin. Also, for much of the year I was working on finishing up two novel manuscripts instead of short stories. I submitted 57 original manuscripts this year, as opposed to 80 in 2016 and 65 in 2015. On top of this, I was trying tougher markets, with higher rejection rates.

There were some bright spots in 2017: My first (very short) standalone book came out (and is still available on Amazon for just $0.99 on Kindle!) and I made some very valuable contacts and set plans in motion that will hopefully see fruition on 2018. There are still some things I can’t talk about yet.

Nevertheless, the count this year is as follows:

A DOCTOR TO DRAGONS (novelette) from Superversive Press. You can buy it by linking to the sidebar!

“Phoenix For The Amateur Chef” (reprint) became a podcast on FarFetchedFables.

“The Blind Queen’s Daughter” (reprint) became a podcast on FarFetchedFables.

“Abandoned Responsibility” (reprint) was sold to HIC SUNT DRACONES, an anthology from Digital Fiction Publishing League. This makes the first time I’ve sold a reprint twice.

“A Song For The Barren” (reprint) was sold to SCI PHI JOURNAL, and appeared yesterday. I once imagined writing a lot of military SF, but age and experience have taught me that, not having been in the military myself, that such stories would be harder to write well than I imagined. This, therefore, is one of my few pieces of such fiction, and I hope it has succeeded.

This is a bittersweet announcement, because this is also SCI PHI’s last issue. I have been writing the theology column A MOTE IN GOD’S “I” for them for over a year now, and am sorry to see it go. It was my first regular writing gig, and while it paid little, it was fun, and I am very sorry it’s over. However, I will be posting those columns here. Additionally, this story marks the first time that a publication sought one of my stories out, rather than me simply submitting it.

Finally, I have also sold the original short story “Day Of Atonement” to D Avraham’s Holy C.O.W. Anthology – SF Stories from the Center Of the World, a collection of stories set in the Middle East. I really love this story, because it comes from a faith that is central to my life.

Thanks to all who have beta-read and encouraged me this year, and to all of you who have taken the chance and spent your time and/or money on my stories. I deeply appreciate you all.