Gosh, I've gone and done that thing again. That thing where I accidentally persuade someone to publish one of my stories! This one is at Perihelion SF, edited by the redoubtable Sam Bellotto Jr. It's called An Undiplomatic Incident and recounts the story of humanity's first test in interstellar diplomacy: figuring out what the aliens with the fronds of eyes are trying to say before someone makes a mistake and gets eaten. It's... a bit silly. So if you're interested in some humourous SF about humans and aliens trying to come to a peaceful understanding and negotiate a trade deal that doesn't involve a full and frank exchange of limbs, go and give it a read. It's free! (although if you like it or any of the other stories this month, please do feel free to donate!) Meanwhile, I'm still slowly recovering from heart surgery and feeling rubbish. But I'm almost used to the ticking noise from my new valve. Except possibly during those moments when my heart skips a beat, when I have a half-second panic while I wait for the ticking to start up again. Fun times! :)
It's on sale now, or at least the Kindle version is. The print version is out next week, and I have my author copy clutched in my hot little hands as I type (yes, I'm a contortionist). It does look rather nice.
Many more people than me are in it, of course. There's David Gerrold (The Trouble with Tribbles) and Shaenon Garrity (Skin Horse and Narbonic), just to begin with. Huge, huge thanks go to the editor, Alex Shvartsman, who saw fit to pluck my story from the slush pile and add it to the collection.
My contribution is Customer Service Hobgoblin, in which Robin Goodfellow - hobgoblin, trickster, Shakespeare-botherer and general pain-in-the-backside - has as much fun as his manager will allow while working in a rather unusual call centre.
So if you're moved to spend a fancy-coffee's-worth of cash on something that will make you much happier for far longer, here are the links: