My novelette, "Walking to Boston," is in the current Oct/Nov issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. The story is in conversation with a story I published nearly 15 years ago, "Where Garagiola Waits" where a woman suffering from Alzheimer's is able to manipulate time and, apparently, space to give her husband a second chance at their relationship. In this new story, the woman is less forgiving, the details are more forthcoming about what went wrong in their long relationship, and the ending rather less cheerful. See what you think.
I also recently sold the short story, 'Rambunctious" to Asimov's, and that will be out in a few months. The story is about a spunky young girl who's been raised by some very strange grandparents. And then the aliens arrive. Watch for that one.
And I've recently turned in the novel, "Arrival," to Tor Books. It will be out sometime in 2016. Watch for that! It's the first of a trilogy and emerges from my S'hudonni Mercantile Empire stories, most of them published in Asimov's. You'll hear a lot more about the novel in the months to come.
If you've been waiting for the Big Sale on the Kindle edition of the Field of Fantasies anthology, this is your moment. Starting today the Kindle edition is on sale for $1.99. Reprints of great stories by Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan, Karen Joy Fowler, Jack Kerouac (!), Rod Serling, W.P. Kinsella, myownself, Kim Stanley Robinson, T. C. Boyle, Ron Carlson, Robert Coover, John Kessel, Max Apple, Valerie Sayers, Louise Marley, Cecilia Tan, Gardner Dozois, Bruce McAllister, Wilbur Schramm, Harry Turtledove, Ray Gonzalez, Edo van Belkom, David Sandner and Jacob Weisman, and a poem by Ray Bradbury.
Technorati Tags: Baseball fiction, Bruce McDevitt, Cecilia Tan, Edo van Belkom, fantasy, Field of Fantasies, Gardner Dozois, Harry Turtledove, Jack Kerouac, Jacob Weisman, John Kessel, Karen Joy Fowler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kindle, Louise Marley, Ray Bradbury, Ray Gonzalez, Rick Wilber, Rod Serling, Ron Carlson Robert Coover, science fiction, Stephen King, Stewart O'Nan, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Valerie Sayers, W. P. Kinsella, Wilber, Wilbur Schramm
My anthology, Field of Fantasies (Night Shade/Skyhorse), has garnered some great reviews. Chicago Tribune reviewer Gary Wolfe included it in his science fiction roundup, along with new work by Paolo Bacigalupi and Jonathan Carroll. It was great to be in that kind of company since I'm a major admirer of both those writers. Wolfe said of the anthology that " It's all provocative fun for both baseball and fiction fans." You can read the review here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-prj-bathing-lion-science-fiction-books-20141010-story.html
And baseball and science-fiction/fantasy critic Steven Silver said that the off-season "..is the perfect time to read the stories collected in Field of Fantasies, with the long winter months stretching out ahead before the pitchers report to Spring Training and the magic begins again for
the next season. Of course, once the season is underway, it is also the perfect time to read these stories to help prolong the magic that takes place on the fields of stadiums across the country." You can read this excellent review here: https://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/field.html
And great (and knowledgeable) baseball fan and science-fiction Joe Karpierz wrote a great review recently where he said of the stories in the anthology, "Every last one of them is terrific. Even if t a baseball fan I think you'll find these stories engaging and delightful." The review appeared in several venues and is reprinted in the Amazon page for the anthology which you can find here: http://www.amazon.com/Field-Fantasies-Baseball-Stories-Supernatural/dp/1597805483/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414067340&sr=1-1&keywords=field+of+fantasies
The anthology reprints classic and newer stories that feature baseball and fantasy. Writers include Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan, Karen Joy Fowler, Jack Kerouac, Rod Serling, Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert Coover, Ron Carlson, Louis Marley, Valerie Sayers, John Kessel, W.P. Kinsella, Wilbur Schramm, Gardner Dozois, Max Apple, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Bruce McAllister, Ray Bradbury, Harry Turtledove, Edo van Belkom, Cecilia Tan, Ray Gonzalez, Jacob Weisman and David Sandner, and Rod Serling.
Technorati Tags: anthology, baseball, Bruce McAllister, Cecilia Tan, Chicago Tribune. , Edo van Belkom, fantasy, Gardner Dozois, Harry Turtledove, Jack Kerouac, Jacob Weisman and David Sandner, John Kessel, Karen Joy Fowler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Louis Marley, Max Apple, Night Shade, Ray Bradbury, Ray Gonzalez, Rick Wilber, Robert Coover, Rod Serling, Rod Serling, Ron Carlson, Skyhorse, Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Valerie Sayers, W.P. Kinsella, Wilbur Schramm
I'm happy to report that Asimov's Science Fiction magazine editor Sheila Williams has bought my novelette "Walking to Boston" for her October, 2015 issue. The story is about a woman sliding into Alzheimer's and struggling to remember her past as her husband takes her on a long drive from St. Louis to Boston so they can have, at last, the honeymoon he promised her long ago. He's been unfaithful often over the years and is trying to make amends. But perhaps, he discovers, it might be too late.
This is a story of love, disappointment, deceit and revenge. I like it so much I've worked up a novel proposal for it and we'll be shopping that around soon.
I've received my contributor copies and my regular subscriber copy of the September issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, which has my short story, "Scouting Report" in it. I'll paste in the magazine cover. The story offers a fresh take on the classic deal-with-the-devil story, and
references both the famous blues artist Robert Johnson and his famous "Crossroad Blues" song. It has both aliens and baseball in it, and it's set mostly in gorgeous Puerto Rico, a place we visited last year and really liked.
The story was helped along a great deal by my pal James Stevens-Arce, an award-winning science fiction writer who also works in advertising and also writes some great science fiction (you should take a look at his terrific Soulsaver novel). Jim lived in Puerto Rico for many years, is perfectly fluent, and vetted the story's Spanish and Spanglish for me. Any mistakes I still managed to make are all mine, of course.
I'm happy to report that my short story, "Scouting Report," will be out in the September 2014 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. The story follows a young phenom baseball player in Puerto Rico, the ambitious scout who finds him, and an alien who loves the game of baseball.
I've spent the last few months gathering some great fiction for the anthology, FIELD OF FANTASIES: Baseball Stories of the Strange and Supernatural (Night Shade/Skyhorse). The anthology collects classic short fiction (and one poem) that features baseball and the fantastic. It turns out there are many great mainstream and genre writers who have turned to baseball as a useful tool for storytelling. It's the game's cultural history in North America, no doubt, that at least partly explains the game's appeal for writers. That's certainly a major part of the game's appeal for me. Of course there are all sorts of other reasons for the literary world's longstanding love affair with baseball, some of them endemic to the game's structure, from the sense of timelessness with innings instead of a game-clock, to the design of the field, to the long history of famous personal and team accomplishments or failures, and on and on. I'll let you toss in a few of the reasons if you like.
Whatever reason or reasons resonates for any individual writer, there's no question that baseball continues to serve writers well, and this anthology, I hope, shows that. Focusing on the frequent use of elements of the fantastic from ghostly apparitions to (literally) hanging curveballs, and from odd counterfactual appearances by Fidel Castro and Stephen Crane and others to vampire double-play combinations and slick-fielding horses, Field of Fantasies will appeal, I hope, to both fans of the national pastime and the fantastic in fiction. The book will be out in hardcover in October 2014 and you can pre-order it now on Amazon. Here's the batting order of the stories:
Table of Contents
“A Face in the Crowd” Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan
“The Further Adventures of the Invisible Man” Karen Joy Fowler
“The Hector Quesadilla Story” T. Coraghessan Boyle
“Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars” Kim Stanley Robinson
“Ronnie on the Mound” Jack Kerouac
“My Kingdom for Jones” Wilbur Schramm
“Diamond Girls” Louise Marley
“How to Read a Man” Valerie Sayers
“The Hanging Curve” Gardner Dozois
“The Franchise” John Kessel
“Understanding Alvarado” Max Apple
“The Southpaw” Bruce McAllister
“Ahab at the Helm” Ray Bradbury
“McDuff on the Mound” Robert Coover
“The Mighty Casey” Rod Serling
“The House that George Built” Harry Turtledove
“Baseball” Ray Gonzalez
“My Last Season with the Owls” Ron Carlson
“Pitchers and Catchers” Cecilia Tan
“Baseball Memories” Edo van Belkom
“Lost October” Jacob Weisman with David Sandner
“Stephen to Cora to Joe” Rick Wilber
“How I Got My Nickname” W. P. Kinsella
Technorati Tags: baseball, Bruce McAllister, Cecilia Tan, David Sandner, Edo van Belkom, fantasy, Field of Fantasies, Harry Turtledove, Jack Kerouac, Jacob Weisman, John Kessel, Karen Joy Fowler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Louise Marley, Max Apple, Ray Bradbury, Ray Gonzalez, Rick Wilber, Robert Coover, Rod Serling, Ron Carlson, Stephen King, Stewart O'Nan, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Valerie Sayers, W. P. Kinsella, Wilbur Schramm
I'm delighted to report that my novelette "Something Real" is available in Amazon's Kindle store. It's the first of a series of alternate-history stories featuring baseball player/spy Moe Berg (or at least my alternate history version of Moe). This novelette won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History-Short Form at the 2013 World Science Fiction convention in San Antonio. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/SOMETHING-REAL-Moe-Berg-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00HEXWHMU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387461316&sr=8-1&keywords=rick+wilber+something+real.
In "Something Real," Moe finds himself leaving the dugout at Comiskey Park to take part in World War II's struggle to stop the Nazis from successfully building the first atom bomb. Moe winds up in neutral Zurich, working with Swiss physicist Paul Scherrer, Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, and a mysterious femme fatale, as the outcome of World War II hangs in the balance. Heck, even the Hindenburg airship (still in one piece in my alternate history) gets involved. The real Moe (or at least the version of Moe that's in the reality that you and I share) did much the same thing in World War II, and my alternate Moe and the real Moe share much of the quirky behavior and intellectual brilliance that made Berg such an interesting character.
The novelette is the first in a planned series of stories featuring Moe Berg. The second story, "At Palomar," will be for sale soon, and a third story, as yet unnamed, is in the works. The first two stories appeared originally in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine.
Technorati Tags: "Something Real", alternate history, Asimov's Science Fiction, baseball fiction, Enrico Fermi, femme fatale, Hindenburg, Kindle, Moe Berg, novelette, Rick Wilber, Sidewise Award, spy, Switzerland, Werner Heisenberg, World War II, Zurich
I'm delighted to report that my novelette in the April/May 2012 issue of Asimov's SF magazine, "Something Real," won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History-Short Form. I found out on Saturday, Aug. 31st, at a ceremony at LoneStarCon 3, the World Science Fiction convention, held in San Antonio. When I heard the news I stumbled forward to accept the plaque (it's a beauty, and I'll post a picture later) and made sure to thank, in order, Moe Berg, Sheila Williams, my wife Robin and daughter Samantha, and my parents.
The story features my alternate-history take on a famous encounter that the real Moe Berg had with German physicist Werner Heisenberg during World War II. Moe was a baseball player who became a spy for the OSS in World War II. He was a quirky character, brilliant and with multiple Ivy-League degrees, who turned to baseball for a living then, ultimately, became a spy because the OSS thought that his facility with several European languages would serve him, and the OSS, well. In my story, Moe gets involved in alternate universe-struggles to stop Heisenberg and the German A-bomb program from creating their superbomb and winning the war.
Award-winning editor Sheila Williams at Asimov's SF magazine liked the story, gave me some very important editing advice (which I gratefully took) and got it into the magazine for the start of the 2012 baseball season. Sheila has since published a second Moe Berg story of mine, "At Palomar," which appeared in the July 2013 issue of the magazine. Both stories got excellent reviews and they've been so well received -- and I'm enjoying writing them so much -- that I'm work on a third Berg story (working title is "Alternating Currents"). Eventually I hope to have a Moe Berg quartet of novelettes/novellas that will be available online and in print through one fine publisher or another. We're marketing the idea now.
I was especially happy to have my wife, Robin, and my daughter, Samantha, in the audience when it was announced that I'd won the award. Both of them are avid readers, and Robin is an excellent first-reader for me while Samantha (Sam) is not only a graduate student in biology but a great science-fiction fan, reader, and writer, and always has good advice for me as she keeps me tuned in to what readers her age are getting excited about.
And I thanked my mother and father for giving me the opportunity to have a great childhood in the game. Dad was a major-leaguer as a player and coach and a longtime minor-league manager, so I grew up with my brothers and sisters in the dugouts and clubhouses of major-league and minor-league ballparks all around the country. It was a wonderful way to grow up and no doubt it's that marvelous childhood that so informs my writing as an adult. I've published a -lot- of baseball fantasy and science fiction, along with a lot of more traditional sf/f stories and novels, and I plan to stay at it.