To the extent that I’m “known” at all as a writer, I’m known primarily for my Star Trek work, because let’s face it: That’s a big hunk of my resume. There certainly are worse ways to be remembered, I suppose. Serial killer. American Idol fan. Whatever.
On the other hand, I like to remind folks once in a while that I do write other things. Some of that stuff doesn’t get noticed a lot, because it’s written for smaller press publications, which often get overlooked or even dismissed in this crazy publishing world and its emphasis on “best sellers,” “blockbusters” and…well, Snooki.
“BAH!” I say.
With e-Books booming and readers taking ever more peeks at what’s available for their e-Gadget of choice, perhaps I need to do a better job of bringing attention not so much to my own material, but rather the folks who create and manage these small press houses for which it can be oh-so much fun to write.
For example, Selina Rosen oversees a wonderful little operation called Yard Dog Press. She, her partner Lynn Stranahan, and pretty much everyone who writes for her are funny, irreverent, and have this nasty habit of telling some damned fine stories. Some of those get published, either as novels or novellas, or collections of short stories. One of my favorite things to come out of there is a novella titled The Four Redheads of the Apocalypse. YDP also published a lot of work by the late Ken Rand, including a whole bunch of stories set in one of my very favorite of his creations, the Lucky Nickel Saloon. My connection to the Yard comes because of Selina’s own creations, Bubbas of the Apocalypse, for which I’ve written stories featured in a couple of her anthologies. And not for nothing? Selina is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.
Then, there’s Flying Pen Press, based out of Denver. I came to know them thanks to a little editing job I did for them called Space Grunts, one of a series of anthologies with an aim toward recreating that old-school pulp SF feel of yesteryear. It was an opportunity for me to stretch a little bit, and get a taste of the editing side of things. I contributed a story to the next anthology in the series, Space Horrors, which gave me a chance to try something different yet again.
Speaking of something different, there’s also Cliffhanger Books. I actually stumbled across them by accident, at a time when they were accepting submissions for a superhero-themed anthology they were putting together called Gods of Justice. It was only after I’d finished prepping a story for submission that I realized one of the editors on the book was Kevin Hosey, who I know thanks to the various Star Trek: Strange New Worlds writing contests. If you like superheroes–and don’t need all of them to wear capes and tights–you might consider giving Gods of Justice a gander.
Another awesome effort underway within the independent publishing realm is Sky Warrior Books, headed up by Maggie Bonham. Maggie is one of the savviest people I’ve encountered when it comes to promotion and leveraging the advantages of small press and e-Publishing platforms. She and her editors also are very selective, which of course begs the question of how I got anything published there. I was thrilled to have my story “Stop-Loss” appear in their anthology Zombiefied, edited by Carol Hightshoe.
Several of my friends and professional colleagues have started or aligned themselves with various independent publishing ventures, and are producing a boatload of interesting and exciting material. Check out Tales of the Scattered Earth, a creation of Aaron Rosenberg and David Niall Wilson over at Crossroad Press, with stories by them as well as Keith R.A. DeCandido. Keith also has his own series there, Super City Police Department. Aaron, along with a few other folks I know, also is involved with another author-driven publishing enterprise, Crazy 8 Press.
Elsewhere, word slinger and zombie lover Elizabeth Donald is the mastermind behind The Literary Underworld, which caters to all of your undead, supernatural, and otherwise paranormal needs. And just to pimp a local effort, Eric Reynolds over at Hadley Rille Books has really put together something special, publishing books, as Eric says, “with an emphasis on space, archaeology, climate and other science-related topics, with a goal to bring a new sense of adventure of the Universe to the reader.” He’s managed to create a very impressive catalogue of titles. Go. Look.
And those are just a few off the top of my head.
In fact, what this blog post needs is more links. More links to indie press folks, please. If you’re reading this and you’ve published through a small press (yours or someone else’s), then share your work through such venues, and point readers to where they can find your work. If I can get enough responses, I’ll start a directory page and try to keep it updated.