Not-So-Cyberpunk 2020

The end of the year. Normally a time for reflection on the year. Honestly, though, my accomplishments can be boiled down to the following:

  • Published in two anthologies this year.
  • Completed draft of a full-length novel
  • Attended two (smaller scale) workshops
  • Kept my job for a full year
  • Kept my personal life relatively intact
  • Continued to appreciate how damn lucky I am to have found my wife

Things I did not get to do and wanted to included:

  • Drop a test podcast/video
  • Take more photographs
  • Promote myself more on social media

What is in store for 2020? Normally, I’d talk about our down-market, low-budget Cyberpunk future here but I’ve done a lot of that this year. Let’s just say any timeline which forces William Gibson to go back and rewrite a novel-in-progress because the current ‘fucked up’ factor in the real world outstrips his fictional one fairly gritty one.

I can only plan for myself. In addition to the three missed items above, I have the following on my list:

  • Read and revise novel
  • Find and attend more writing workshops, hopefully local.
  • Contacts, submissions, and other outreach attempts.

And the big one:

  • Revise that short story.

I wrote a draft last year for an on-line class. It drew from personal experience. Bad personal experience. After sending it about, and getting an editor to take a look at it (Birthday present thoughts for writers: hire an editor to read their short story), I knew I had to revise it.

The protagonist needed to take the lead, go to the forefront. They needed to be front and center. And the story had to be told from first person. Not the comfortable, distant third of the current draft. Which means walking down ugly roads in my head all over again.

I wasn’t ready, until PAX Unplugged. I was at the convention center, 8:15am to sign up for a miniature painting class. Turns out – they’d already gone to waitlist. Which was odd, as registration wasn’t supposed to begin for another 45 minutes. But that left me alone in the con, waiting for my wife to wake up and the expo hall to open.

I had my backpack. My notebook. My pen. And I had a short story to revise from word one.

The word count was unimportant; I wrote. I wrote and stepped back into an ugly, ugly memory. The rest of the story will probably be just as rough. But that’s how you know it’ll impact someone, yes? If it bleeds, it leads.

Or, to put it in true 2020 terms –

Got a bunch of small jobs, mostly routine, but there’s a big op staring me down right now. Wetwork, with legions of CyberPsychos and Black ICE between me and the prize. But there’s no room for winging, sabe? Got my rippers sharpened, smart-link tuned, and enough combat medication in my system for a tour in the last corp war. I’m chipping in…

Where’s Andrija? Or How to Get My Stuff

My third appearance in a ZNB anthology has been out in the world for quite a bit.  PORTALS features my story, “Hard Times in the Vancouver Continuum,” alongside an amazing array of authors.  The ZNB team specializes in making great theme anthologies and the next set of themes has been announced. I’ve got two stories I think will fit with their upcoming anthologies. You can learn more here.

With August gone, and September pretty much out, I’m working on a few more blog posts and also getting ready to start some structural edits to the novel I just finished.  So I figure this is a perfect time to answer my two most commonly asked questions:

“How can I get your stories?” or “What’s the best way to support you?”

The answer comes down to three things: Buy, Review, and Recommend. Buy the book – preferably a physical copy so if you bump into me, or another author, we can sign it. Review the book on, especially on Amazon. Do you know it takes 50 reviews for a book to get noticed by the great Amazon algorithm? If it’s not noticed, it won’t be spotted and recommended to others.  And that last R – Recommend – is key. Tell at least two others about the book. Encourage them to buy.

“How can I get your stories?”

Well, you can go to the link behind the amazing cover for PORTALS to the Amazon order page. But I recommend you go straight to the source: ZNB LLC.  You can get the Ebook edition, the limited Kickstarter mass-market paperback, or the trade paperback edition.   When you do get a copy, read it, review it on Amazon (even if you hate it – a review is a review and gets us noticed), and recommend it to a friend. Again, if you like it. And given the folks in the table of content, you’re bound to find something you like.

Then, do the same for the other anthologies.

 

You can still get copies of THE DEATH OF ALL THINGS from these sources: Trade PaperbackKindleNookKickstarter Edition (limited)

and you can also get my first appearance in the anthology ALIEN ARTIFACTS from here as well: Trade PaperbackKindleNookKickstarter Edition (limited).  And while you’re at it, if you are admiring some of the absolutely amazing artwork here, you can get the covers as prints!  All three covers are by the amazing Justin Adams.  You can get art prints. You can find the cover for PORTALS, THE DEATH OF ALL THINGS, and ALIEN ARTIFACTS right on the ZNB page, along with the other amazing work for anthologies which, alas, do not feature my writing.

Oh, and for those  who are interested, my story under the name A.J. Harris in the STRANDED anthology is still available. Watching all the authors come together to help write the back copy and log-lines for their stories is a cherished memory.

 

“What’s the best way to support you?”

 

Buy, Review, and Recommend.  Buy is the easy concept. I do get a cut of every copy sold. Review intimidates folks but don’t worry – even just adding in some stars on Amazon or Goodreads will help. If we get 50 reviews on an anthology, Amazon’s algorithms (all hail the algorithm) will start recommending the book to others. And, one star reviews count to that as well. Feel free to slag off on my stories, and tell your friends that the best way to ‘own the libs’ is to buy a copy, burn it, and then give it a one star rating on Amazon. It all helps me.

 

Last, but not least, recommend. If you actually like the work put in by all the authors in the anthology, recommend it to at least two new folks.  Keep the cycle going, and we thank you for your support.

 

Now You’re Thinking with PORTALS

Three days from now, my third appearance in a ZNB anthology will be published.  PORTALS features my story, “Hard Times in the Vancouver Continuum,” alongside an amazing array of authors.  The ZNB team specializes in making great theme anthologies, and I honestly wait to hear when the next round of anthologies will be announced.  Writing to a prompt, or taking an idea thrown out at random and crafting it into a story, is a fun challenge for me.

But the real challenge is to make sure small presses like this can keep going.

Every time a book comes out I’m asked, “How can I get it?” or “What’s the best way to support you?”

The answer comes down to three things: Buy, Review, and Recommend. Buy the book – preferably a physical copy so if you bump into me, or another author, we can sign it. Review the book on, especially on Amazon. Do you know it takes 50 reviews for a book to get noticed by the great Amazon algorithm? If it’s not noticed, it won’t be spotted and recommended to others.  And that last R – Recommend – is key. Tell at least two others about the book. Encourage them to buy.

“Where do I get a copy?”

Well, you can go to the link behind the amazing cover for PORTALS to the Amazon pre-order page for the Kindle Edition. But I recommend you go straight to the source: ZNB LLC.  You can get the Ebook edition, the limited Kickstarter mass-market paperback, or the trade paperback edition.   When you do get a copy, read it, review it on Amazon (even if you hate it – a review is a review and gets us noticed), and recommend it to a friend. Again, if you like it. And given the folks in the table of content, you’re bound to find something you like.

But what about the other anthologies?

 

You can still get copies of THE DEATH OF ALL THINGS from these sources: Trade PaperbackKindleNookKickstarter Edition (limited)

and you can also get my first appearance in the anthology ALIEN ARTIFACTS from here as well: Trade PaperbackKindleNookKickstarter Edition (limited).  And while you’re at it, if you are admiring some of the absolutely amazing artwork here, you can get the covers as prints!  All three covers are by the amazing Justin Adams.  You can get art prints. You can find the cover for PORTALS, THE DEATH OF ALL THINGS, and ALIEN ARTIFACTS right on the ZNB page, along with the other amazing work for anthologies which, alas, do not feature my writing.

Oh, and for those  who are interested, my story under the name A.J. Harris in the STRANDED anthology is still available. Watching all the authors come together to help write the back copy and log-lines for their stories is a cherished memory.

Now, go forth. And remember, for any author you want to support: Buy, Review, and Recommend!

News & More News

I can now make this official. My short story “Hard Times in the Vancouver Continuum” will be featured in the upcoming ZNB anthology PORTALS. This is the third ZNB anthology I’ve appeared in along with ALIEN ARTIFACTS and THE DEATH OF ALL THINGS.

You can click on the image above or the link here to pre-order, or pick up the other anthologies. You’ll be helping me out, and helping keep small press anthologies from a great company going. Oh, and that picture? Yeah, you can get an art print of it. You’re welcome.

This year, my short story “The Pumpkin Spice Revolt” is scheduled for inclusion in ChiZine’s The War on Christmas anthology. This means two Andrija Popovic publications coming up.

And there will be a first this year. I’ve submitted stories under another name – A.J. Harris – to a few anthologies of a steamier nature. Well, looks like I’m going to see print (virtually) in one. The A.J. Harris story of transhuman romance in a flooded world, “Shelter from the Storm,” will be in Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology.

Why a romance anthology? Honestly, my first publication was in a (now out of print) collection of erotic ghost stories. And I’ve always written steamier items. Ask me about the book line proposal I’ve always had in my pocket. “Imagine Pathfinder Tales but with sexy bits.”

Why A.J. Harris? My sister calls me AJ. Figured it would be a good name for an alter ego. And I chose Harris because H seems to be a good spot in the alphabet.

Wait, you mean, why the pseudonym? Well, half of it is marketing. I want to establish a separate brand for that name (should it ever come to it). The other half is about, um, making sure that my family and friends know they can stay away from those short stories if they don’t like that sort of thing.

Here’s hoping I can get more news to post like this.