J.D. Stone and The Juniper Tales Project – “I Ain’t New Morality”

No, really, I did really did write “I ain’t New Morality” in response to J.D. Stone asking if he could submit a story for The Juniper Tales Project. I was only looking for published authors, and this was invite only. However, I like it when people ask, looking for nos. I love it. So I said yes.

Mr. Stone said yes when I asked him if he would write a blog post about his experience. So yeses all around! Hope you enjoy this blog and his story. I love it!


magpiesfinalI’m a hobbyist writer. I’ve pecked out my share of fan fiction, read books about writing, taken classes, attended conferences. However, a combination of life circumstance, awkward vision, inability to self compromise, lackadaisical attitude and old-fashioned fear of getting it wrong has prevented my novel from getting past eight chapters or so.

One of the things I picked up while pursuing my expensive hobby is an association with resident author superstar Aaron Michael Ritchey. I consequently wound up with an ARC of “Dandelion Iron.” When I read that note at the end, that described how other authors had been invited to expand the already rich universe of the Juniper, I decided to ask in.

Ritchey goes to a lot of cons, signings, workshops and the like. I was just another aspiring writer looking to latch onto his duster. For all either of us knew, I was a terrible writer. Odds were strong I’d be wasting his time, so he had every reason to gently say “no.” Instead he said, “I ain’t New Morality,” and allowed me to submit.

Of course all the normal fears crossed my mind. What if I’m terrible, what if I’m boring, if my voice doesn’t fit the universe? I was never concerned about that comical, over-the-top villain behavior where the editor cackles as he burns the manuscript in a fire and tells me to go back to the Warcraft message boards like a good little fanboy which is, now that I type it, an oddly specific thing to not be concerned about. But I was very much afraid of something worse. What if he’s indifferent?

The worst that could happen, though, would be a polite refusal. He’d let me down gently and besides, perverse as it sounds, it’s always been my ambition to be rejected. A rejection means a submission, and for all the time, effort and money I’ve poured into craft, I’d never finished and submitted. A milestone was in reach regardless of the result, so that is why I was brazen and presumed on Ritchey’s effusive good nature. That’s why I rushed to produce a draft. The only way I could lose this writer’s game was to not play.

I think it’s worth noting that I always wanted to be a published author, but it took more than writing to get me there. I had to be sociable, otherwise I never would have met Ritchey. I had to be an active member of the community, otherwise I never would have received and read that ARC. I had to be a little (or maybe a lot) audacious to talk my way into a closed circle. Only then did the writing matter.

Don’t misread me, the writing does matter. It matters a lot. But it wouldn’t matter at all without those other elements, which can all be summed up in the quality of risk. I had to suspend my fear to ask for a chance. Ritchey had to be generous with his time to give it. We’re both pretty happy we did, and I hope you will be, too.

J.D. Stone

To see the summary of his story and links to the download click here!

Kevin J. Anderson and a Bundle of Science Fiction Adventure!

All Covers Large

Kevin J. Anderson blogged about this amazing bundle of books and I’m re-posting it here about all the books! Click here for the bundle.

Science Fiction is the literature that always set my imagination on fire, sparking my sense of wonder, taking me on adventures into the future, off to the most distant parts of the universe, to alien cultures, and the frontiers of the human mind.

I’m curating a new Adventure SF bundle for storybundle.com that contains fourteen great books guaranteed to set your imagination on fire, and it launches today, June 22—for only a little more than a dollar a book.

If you like grand space opera, we’ve got DARKSHIP THIEVES by Sarah A. Hoyt, TIMEWEB by Brian Herbert, FIRE WITH FIRE by Charles A. Gannon, THE WORKER PRINCE by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, and even TALES OF DUNE, the previously uncollected Dune short stories written by Brian Herbert and me.

For hard SF, there’s LAUNCH PAD, an anthology of science fiction stories edited by Jody Lynn Nye and Mike Brotherton. In traditional fast-paced science fiction, the bundle has HER BROTHER’S KEEPER by Mike Kupari, MORNING SONG by Dean Wesley Smith, and BURIED DEEP by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

In post-apocalyptic adventure, Aaron Michael Ritchey’s DANDELION IRON fits the bill. For gritty cyberpunk, Todd J. McCaffrey has CITY OF ANGELS. Alan Dean Foster has the undersea epic OSHENERTH. And THE CAULDRON by Jean Rabe and Gene deWeese offers mind-bending, thought-provoking future speculation.

I’m also very pleased to include 2113, a new anthology edited by me and John McFetridge—a collection of stories inspired by legendary rock band Rush (and it includes my sequel to the classic epic “2112”).

With storybundle.com, you name your own price for this grab bag of Adventure SF books. For as little as $8 you get the basic bundle of seven titles, and for as little as $16 you get them all. A portion of the money goes to charity—the Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education—and, other than a small admin percentage, the rest of the earnings is directly divided among the titles.

For this Adventure SF bundle, I’m adding an exclusive sneak preview for all customers—a first-hand look at the first few chapters of NAVIGATORS OF DUNE (due out September 13), the grand finale of the Great Schools of Dune trilogy, as well as the first few chapters of ETERNITY’S MIND, the climax of my Saga of Shadows trilogy.

This is available for a limited time only, running for three weeks.  The bundle ends on July 12.  Shoot for the stars!

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 5.45.36 PM