Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Please Vote for ISIG in Covery Trailer Awards

Infinite Space, Infinite God's book trailer is in the running for the Covey Trailer Awards.

If you'd heard this before and tried unsuccessfully to vote, it's because they were late in setting up the poll! They had technical difficulties. We're not so IT-challenged after all!

Please go to Check out the trailers, but if you like Infinite Space, Infinite God, please vote for it. It's #27. The poll is on the left.

Voting ends Jan 31

Monday, January 28, 2008

Doncha Love Really Awful Writing?

Sometimes, it takes a lot of talent to writer really bad prose.

Here are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest (run by
the English Dept. of San Jose State University), wherein one writes only the
first line of a bad novel:

10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the
echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it."

9) "Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens."

8) "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished
oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed
with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small
straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."

7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along
the East wall: 'Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep.'"

6) "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was
about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become the
woman he loved."

5) "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eeking
out a living at a local pet store."

4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often

3) "Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent
remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

2) "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the
word 'fear'; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of
death - in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."


1) "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the
greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window,
revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in
frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving
the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!"

Monday, January 21, 2008

Cats and Dogs and Snakes on a Spaceship

Earlier this month, I was researching how snakes react in microgravity for a Rescue Sisters story I'm writing, "Snakes on a Spaceship." Funny: NASA has apparently not done research in this important field of biology. Must still be getting contracts for the best snake tank.

Apparently, however, they did wonder about cats in space...

Dogs apparently handle zero g better, emotionally, anyway.

Here's a reason to work at USA Today:
"Hi, I'd like to get more information about the cat flipping going on in the vomit comet..."

And since, as USA Today put it, record-keeping was not as good in the 80s as it is now, and since NASA can't take the political heat for spinning more cats in space, we're going to use robots:

Other cat funnies:

A UFO is stranded on earth and impounded by the US government. Its pilot, a cat with a collar that has special powers, including the ability to allow the cat to communicate with humans, has eluded the authorities and needs the help of a man named Frank in order to reclaim and repair his ship to get back home.

"Snakes on a Spaceship" will be appearing in Infinite Space, Infinite God II by Twilight Times Books. (If you're an SF writer, there's still time to submit your story! go to for details.)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Please Vote for Infinite Space, Infinite God, and check out the ISIG II guidelines

Infinite Space, Infinite God is in an exciting neck-and-neck race with Dreams and Desires for Preditors and Editors Best Anthology of 2007. Please help us push into first by voting for Infinite Space, Infinite God today! (Polls close on Jan 15.)

Go to You may see it listed more than once, but just vote for either one. They'll get it straightened out in the end.

For you writers of science fiction: Infinite Space, Infinite God is getting a lot of rave reviews from readers to journals like St. Anthony Messenger to sites like SFRevu. Even better, however is when your publisher says, "Let's do another!"

Infinite Space, Infinite God II is open for submissions. We're looking for high-quality science fiction with a Catholic viewpoint. We want to see faith and science working together, challenging each other and making the world a better place. Explore those theological "What Ifs" (but stay within the Church's teaching). Give us characters that are real, situations that are exciting and stories that keep us turning the pages.

For full guidelines, check out It's very thorough, including tips on what we will reject, and the synopses of stories from the original Infinite Space, Infinite God.

Deadline is March 31.

Vote now, and write on!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Three Kings Day--Minot Style

In our home, we practice a tradition called "Three Kings Day." It's a Spanish Christmas tradition. The Three Kings are making their way back home after visiting the baby Jesus, and if children leave some food for the camels, the Kings will leave them a gift in thanks. This year, we added a bizarre, yet typically Fabian twist to the event.

One of the "Things To Do" here on Minot AFB is to stuff a scarecrow for Halloween during the Fall Festival. Steven and Amber weren't into it, but the little ones were, so after a couple of puffs of Astelin for my allergies, we bought our kit and spent a fun half hour shoving straw into pantyhose and old clothes to make Stan. At home, Stan graced our front porch, sitting drunkenly on one of the wicker Bahama chairs, with his overlong hands shoved in his pockets.

Come winter, we didn't have the heart to dump ol' Stan in the trash, so we stuck a ski jacket and winter hat on him, put a fake present in his hands and left him up for Christmas. As Three Kings Day approached, we thought about giving the straw to the camels, and a wicked idea emerged:

"Let's feed Stan to the camels!"

The evening of January fifth saw Mom and two little boys plotting scarecrow slaughter while Dad looked on. I went to write "Camel Food" in paint on the snow while the kids wrestled Stan's jacket off and set him in the front yard.

Rob however was suddenly struck with the vision of patrolling SPs finding the hay-filled corpse sprawled in the front yard, its chest torn open like some cheap remake of Aliens. Not eager to guest start on the next day's police blotter, he made us move our project to the back yard.

We opened his shirt, shoved in a couple of pieces of celery for a treat, left a note for the kings (on which Alex drew a camel) and headed to bed.

The next morning, Alex dashed outside. "The camels must have really liked Stan," he declared as he surveyed the scarecrow's sunken chest and the hay and celery bits scattered everywhere. A fitting end for Stan.

Will we do this again next year? I don't know, but it was worth the chuckle this year.