Wednesday, December 22, 2010


After a crummy Halloween, a thankful Thanksgiving, I'm now experiencing what could be described as an embarrassment of riches.

I suddenly find that I'm a finalist for multiple awards as part of the Hugo Award-Winning podcast StarShipSofa's yearly Sofanaut Awards.

I hope you've been listening to this incredible weekly show, if not, all episodes are archived on the site.

My hope is that you will click on the link above, go to the VOTE NOW link, then vote. For me, of course. That's why I'm here. It won't hurt, it won't take long and lots of awards might help get LORD DICKENS'S DECLARATION printed in the States this year! The categories I particularly care about are Best Fiction and Best Narrator. Best episode would be nice, too. Since Lord Dickens... was 'cast in 3 parts I suggest part 3. Best s.f. writer would be more than nice but even I didn't vote for myself in that category during the first round.

Here's the link:

At the end, don't forget to click to register the vote!

AND...for those of you who haven't had a chance to listen to LORD DICKENS... Here you go: Episode 1...

Thanks for your time, your hoped-for votes and have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Solstice, a wondrous-fair New Year...and anything else you might like to be joyful and/or happy about during the next 370-some-odd days.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hidden Sky


Hidden Sky by Jami Sieber

The music, if I've done this correctly is from Magnatune. To listen, just press the 'play' triangle. The album is Jami Sieber's HIDDEN SKY and, of all things, is a meditation on the elephants of Thailand.

I thought it particular to my mood today. I return to work this Monday after an extended time out to recover and to let my body adjust to some new parameters after experiencing a shot from a pair of pulmonary emboli that nearly did me in.

With a book, possibly two books, coming out in the new year and a sudden realization that this body is a temporary housing for something that could vanish like a dream, I've grown a bit more introspective, maybe gotten a bit quieter in my head and heart.

So there we have it. No photos, no videos. Not for now. Just the music. Stay and listen.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Off to World Fantasy and Bigfoot and the Bodhisattva

I wanted to drop a quick note here to let you know that I'm going to be at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, OH. I've got a reading on Thursday evening, 8 PM. NO idea where but somewhere in the Hotel...

In addition, my reading of James Morrow's wonderful tale, "Bigfoot and the Bodhisattva" has just gone up at the
The Hugo Award-winning StarShipSofa...

Stop Columbus and at the StarShip.

Now off to pack!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Promo? Really? Yes, a Promo....and more

Needless to say I'm happy about the Hugo win for the Tony C. Smith and all the crewfolk and listeners of the venerable - what is it? Four years old now? - StarShipSofa out of the North of England have become good friends over the past few years that I've been reading my own and other people's stories on their 'casts.

So, this is a pitch for you to go, listen to he current episode, just up this Wednesday, October 20, 2010, and then go buy the book. I've got a tale in it, yes, yes...but the real reason I'm urging purchase of StarShipSofa Stories, Volume 2 is that it's really good science fiction/fantasy stuff! Damn good stuff. So...go. Listen. Then go buy. And subscribe. It's free. And for your time you'll be entertained, amused, informed and thrilled! Then go to the forum, sign up and become a Sofanaut.

Well? What are you waiting for?

Oh! And while you're there, listen to Matthew Sanborn Smith's "FICTION CRAWLER" editorial. He cites a passel of great audio listening sites, not the least of which is the Old Towne Book and Tea Company's podcast of Chapter 2 from my book, JUST NORTH OF NOWHERE. The chapter is "The Strega Cristobel and the Old Rattler Ken."

Hope you like it. Hope you love it. Hope you'll buy it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

StarShipSofa Stories - Volume 2 Has Arrived

So here it is. No comments for now but StarShipSofa Stories, volume 2, with my story, THEN, JUST A DREAM, just arrived.It looks great, it feels great, it smells and tastes great...I'll bet it even has some great stories in it! Of course I should say that this is from the HUGO AWARD WINNING StarShipSofa. But hell, everyone knows that!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

StarShipSofa Stories - Volume 2

Okay. I've probably done this all wrong...probably all you'll see as I try to 'embed' this YouTube video onto the blog is a string of letters, slashes and otherwise indecipherable code.

However...there IS a video on YouTube. It's at the link above. And the video tells you, among other things, that the Hugo Winning StarShipSofa's second Best-Of volume will be out on trip-tens: 10/10/10 and that stories in the book are by some very famous, very good writers...and there's also one by me, THEN, JUST A DREAM, which won this past year's short fiction award at the StarShip. The cover is by Skeet Scienski -- who did the painting that inspired, then did the illustrations for LORD DICKENS'S DECLARATION. Interior art for SSS Vol. 2 is by a gathering of fantastically talented people. Dani Serra illustrated ...DREAM. And the animation on the video is incredible! Thanks for being there Tony, Dee, Skeet, Dani...all of you out there in StarShipLand.

We are StarShipSofa.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

StarShipSofa Wins a Hugo AND Publishes Another Book!

Egad. Two posts in as many weeks. This one's here because I wanted to call everyone's attention to the publication of the HUGO AWARD-WINNING StarShipSofa's second "Best-Of" volume of stories.
Number 2 comes out in the wake of last week's win of the Hugo.

I'm pimping the book not only to give plaudits to Tony, Dee, and the rest of the crew of the StarShip but also because I'm pleased as hell to have a story in there. My contribution, "Then, Just a Dream," is an odd little number. It's one of those things you jot down almost as fast as it takes to type it, then put it aside and forget about it until something prompts you to dig it up and take another look.

Since that dig, it's won first prize in the flash fiction contest at World Horror Convention in Toronto and last year it picked up the StarShip's best short fiction award after being podcast on the site.

It's a genuine honor to be in the same collection as Neil and China and Stephen R. Donaldson but maybe I should change my pen-name to Many More.

Monday, September 06, 2010

StarShipSofa Wins a Hugo

A short note: the, the British podcast site that recently published my "Lord Dickens's Declaration," was just awarded a Hugo Award at this year's science fiction WorldCon in Australia. As Tony C. Smith, the captain of the Ship says, "I'm chuffed."

So many people have helped to make this thing happen but most of the credit goes to Tony. Herding cats, I'm sure, is a lot easier than getting dozens of people from all across the world to feed the engines of the thing.

Best to all of you and thanks for the opportunities you've given me!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Finished...for now

For the record, DRINK FOR THE THIRST TO COME is first-draft finished.I've got work to do but all thirteen stories have been stuck together, all the postscript notes are done. I'm taking most of a day off and then, back to work tomorrow.

I've got a novel to finish, a home to find for LORD DICKENS'S DECLARATION and some recording to do.

That should keep me busy for a few weeks.

Have a good Memorial Day.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Still Editing Parts of the Collection

A long time ago I took a roadtrip with a writer-chum. Not a long trip as such things go but it was a solid two days of non-stop roadriding America, from the heartland to the old home-country, the East, the old East, New England. Rhode Island. I drove through most of the night on two pre-trip days of no sleep, much work and gallons of coffee. By morning and Providence I had terminal chatters, my eye-balls were flickering in and out of some kind of worldless place full of sand and I couldn't sleep for trying.

I'm a whimp.

At any rate, the ride spawned a couple of stories. One of them is one of my "vile tales," RAT TIME IN THE HALL OF PAIN. It's a creepy thing. One of those stories I wrote in a heat, read a few times, realized that it was creepy even for me and put away.

Going through that trunk that's been holding these tales, I brought it out to take another look and suddenly began to realize what the damned thing is about. I'm now shaping and trimming it for DRINK... It still creeps me out.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So you've now found from whence the title comes. Here's a little about the thing itself.

Twelve stories. Little intros and/or outros to each will give the reader some idea of where the stories came from and a bit about why they were written. I'm about to post the first couple hundred words of the title tale on my website, It's a post-apocalyptic tale, originally written for...

Well, why spoil it? Stop by the site. When you get there, click on "Writing" on the right margin, then select: Drink for the Thirst to Come. Or of course you could just click on the title of this post. That'll take you right to it.

UPDATE: The clip from the title story is now up at SantoroReads. The section is about 2,500 words long. Enjoy. Be teased.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Drink for the Thirst to Come

Love the title. Go search for it. Google should have it. Go on. I'll wait...

It's a line I read in an old, old book a long, long time ago. It got stuck in there and I never jogged it free.

When an editor asked nine other writers and me to write ten linked tales set in a near-future post-apocalyptic world, the line jumped at me; seemed perfect for where my head was going.

That book never happened.

So now I'm putting together a collection of my own stores. Drink for the Thirst to Come will be one within it.

At present the collection is a heaving biomass, 135,000 words thick; seventeen stories in foment, waiting for the butcher's release.

They're good tales. Some have been published, others have nearly gone to press as was the case with Drink... Some I just wrote and put aside waiting for this book.

I hope it will be out by Halloween, by World Fantasy, 2010. I'd love to release it there. If not... Then not.

Again, watch for the book. Drink for the Thirst to Come. Grand, dark fun.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Let's Get Podcast StarShipSofa a Hugo Nomination

JUST A QUICK UPDSTE: I've done the guest editorial on this week's edition of "The StarShipSofa". The "editorial" is centered on this post but expands a bit...Stop by and have a listen: nn/

An interesting point is being made with respect to bringing the science fiction community up to date by making s.f. podcast sites, specifically The, eligible for the reader-centric Hugo Awards. The distinguished science fiction scholar and writer Dr. Amy H. Sturgis makes a compelling case at

Pause here for a moment: If you don't know what the Hugos are, I point to you Wikipedia at

Of course, if you don't know about the Hugos, you probably aren't reading this anyway.

The world of podcasting -- and if you don't know what that's about you really aren't here, now are you? -- is not exactly new but it's not that old, either. By now, a dedicated fan can hear, on demand, pretty much anything he or she wants to find. Many sites provide original material, written, produced and narrated and 'cast specifically for the site.

With regard to science fiction/fantasy/horror, the number of these audio sites is growing. So far as the number of 'customers' alone, the larger podcast communities probably rival, if they not yet outstrip, the ink on paper magazines such as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Analog, and others.

I want to emphasize the use of the word "community" in the 'graph above. While readers of specific magazines fall roughly into a loyal readership, podcasts generally spawn community. This is a rough echo of the way that the early fanzines and pro-zines created core groups of readers and followers in the 30s and 40s of the last century (God, isn't it fun to say that!).

The podcast communities echo the groups that gathered in the 20s and 30s around such figures as H.P. Lovecraft and pals. They are a shadow of the "Futurians," a group of science fiction fans-cum-writers-cum-agents and editors-cum-publishers who formed the soul of the Golden Age of Science Fiction of the 40s. People such as Isaac Asimov, Damon Knight, Virginia Kidd, Judith Merrill, Frederik Pohl, Donald A. Wollheim, James Blish, Jack Gillespie, Cyril Kornbluth and others were the Futurians.

I emphasize again: these core groups, communities certainly, families if you will, gathered in single cities or in regions. Some outlanders, such as Ray Bradbury who, though born in the Midwest, grew up on the West Coast, speaks of making the epic road trip from LA to New York, to meet with the members of the Eastern fraternity, the Futurians. They gathered, hung together, drank and sang songs together over kitchen tables and, together and apart, made some great literature in the wake of their communalizing (you might also want to have a read at:

The pace is quicker now. With StarShipSofa, Escape Pod and the like, the community happens globally. While the community of the StarShip isn't necessarily as personal as the Futurians', it is moving things at a faster pace. While Ray may have motored LA to NYC to gather once every now and again with his pals, I've met face to face only once with a fellow Sofanaut, the wonderful Diane Severson Mori, who, raised in Wisconsin, now lives in Germany and is married to an Italian nuclear engineer. I met DIane and her husband while they were visiting Chicago. But I knew Diane quite well by the time we met. I'd heard her read, we'd talked -- and seen each other -- via Skype. She knew me from my writing, my narration of my own and other people's work and from the forums on the StarShip. I know at another leg of that trip, Diane visited the founder of the StarShip, Tony C. Smith at his home in the north of England.

I mention this to point out the fact that the relationships between Diane, Tony, myself and dozens of other Sofanauts were already of long-standing duration.

Let me point to one exemplar: Spider and Jeanne Robinson are icons of contemporary s.f. Jeanne has cancer, a nasty form of biliary cancer which has drained the Robinson's finances. World-wide, the community has come to their aid. This past Christmas, the StarShip produced an original piece of long-form fiction which it auctioned off in an ink-on-paper one-off book and sold hundreds of .pdf downloads of the story with original illustrations by Sofanaut regular sketcher, Skeet Scienski, and raised quite a few thousand dollars for the Robinsons. Not huge amounts of money as cancer care goes, but certainly something that a family, a community would do for one of its own.

My point is, the podcast sites are the matrix around which families, community, continues to grow. This echoes the past.

The Futurians, by the way, continue through to the present. That batch of happy fans and pros are linked to most of the writers/editors/publishers working in the business today. Writer, Donald A. Wollheim became publisher Donald A. Wollheim whose name continues today as DAW Books. Author Gene Wolfe's agent is at the Virginia Kidd Agency, who continue to represent many of the premiere names in sf. While Virginia Kidd passed away some time ago, her home is still the office for the agency that bears her name. That house was a physical home away from home for the Futurians for whom Ms. Kidd's living room and kitchen was the hearth around which those writers literally gathered. Her husband, James Blish and his pals, Isaac Asimov, Fred Pohl and a couple dozen more of the iconic writers of that Golden Age all peopled that still in-use home office in woodsy Pennsylvania.

What is happening here, on-line, may not spark as many marriages, divorces, pregnancies, as did the communities of the past, but the voices that are coming out of these little internet tubes are beginning to change the form of fiction-making. One might even say, what is happening here gets back to the root of writing: the telling of stories around a fire.

I think the Hugos need to take a good look at the podcasts and begin to honor those in the medium.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Audio Site Is Now Up

There it is. The site is at It's a simple site. The purpose of it is to let people -- authors, publishers and agents -- know that I can be had, I'm available, price to be discussed.

As said earlier, nothing revolutionary on SantoroReads, nothing flares, flames or screams... I don't push the darkness, it's just there. I wanted a site that's easy to navigate. I think it is. SantoroReads has obvious controls, it features audio clips from some of my stories and a few I've done for other writers. It's there to give people an easy way to contact me.

So if you happen upon it and haven't a clue who I am, have a wander, bungle about and listen. If you're there because you've heard me read in person, online or on one of my CDs and have something you've written that cries out for a voice, give me a call, send me a note, let me know.

Oh... The tree and the mist. I have no idea. It looked nice.

Eventually, I want to include some information about my upcoming writing efforts. But that's eventually. Right now I have to figure out how to fix the problem of going from the "Bio" page to the "Demo" page without bouncing back to THIS page.

FLASH UPDATE: I've fixed that little navigation glitch, yes I have. I found that after you hit "Publish to Site" or whatever, you have actually to WAIT until it publishes the material you've just added to the site before dumping out of the thing! Who'd have thought it?

Not I, obviously. And, oh yes, here's another nice picture for you to look at and to wonder why I posted here...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Soon... Soon...

In the next week or so, I'll be launching a new website. Not a replacement for this little blogish thing -- to which I've become emotionally attached over the last few years -- but this one will be an advertisement for myself (thank you Norman Mailer). Specifically, it will be to pimp my talents as a reader of my own and other people's books.

Not much to say about it. It's not going to be revolutionary. I hope it will be a good-looking site and one which is easy to navigate. I hate cute sites that explode and have burning skeletons on them and... Well, you know!

This will just be me, a short bio, some sound clips and descriptors and the contact information.

So if you happen on this page and are already interested because you've heard me on the StarShipSofa or Escape Pod and have something you've written that cries out for a voice, give me a call, send me a note, let me know.

Monday, January 18, 2010

As Seen on TV

I’m not a fisherman. My father, was. In that way that people with passion have of viewing their personal joys, he would take me, holidays and birthdays, to some river or lake and sit me down, bank or boat, and get me to be quiet, observant of water and the signs of fish. I accepted his efforts in the spirit which he offered them. They were generosity. He was giving something of himself.

I never learned to like the sport.

Later - much later - I was watching something on late night television. As a constant, interrupting every 12 minutes, was Ron Popeil. Among other things, he was hawking his dad’s invention, the Popeil Pocket Fisherman, an item at the time I thought was about the niftiest thing I’d ever seen. I was still young, and this was a long-ago part of the old century and there were few marvels abroad in the world.

Okay? I hated commercials that interrupted “Citizen Kane," “Rocketship X-M” and whatever else kept me close to that dream-state young American males of the 60s seemed to pull over them like a blanket in the after-midnight of the heart. Still…that thing, the little thing you could stick in the glove compartment and which took the place of the whole trunkload and backseatful of stuff my dad and I trundled and packed before setting forth on what I knew would be a long day of bobbing and sweating and silence…even if we were just heading up to Antietam Reservoir. Well, that was worth a few minutes.
Later, when I reached the age of being a fully realized self-seeking smug American male, I thought, “why not just tell him? Say, ‘I don’t like fishing.’ There it is.” I didn’t. And, by then, he was no longer insisting I go with him.

Later still, I was glad that I hadn’t. I would have missed having to sit in a boat or on a bank, the silence and the seeking for fish signs with my dad, whom I wouldn’t have for too many more years. The Pocket Fisherman? I bought one. Not from a late night pitch by Ron on behalf of his dad’s invention. I found one at a yard sale. Bought it. Loved it. Used it to cast lead sinkers in the yard. I got good. I had it for years. I never fished with it. Finally, it was beautiful. And it represented the bright edge of a long-remembered gift from my father.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


I wanted to let all 6 of you who frequent this place know that the benefit sale of my novella, LORD DICKENS'S DECLARATION, went very well at the British podcast site StarShipSofa ( Thanks to a push by a large number of people in the genre community including Neil Gaiman, Corey Doctorow, John Scalzi, Poppy Z. Brite, Matthew Sanborn Smith and others, sales more than tripled the expectations of the StarShipSofa's editors.

I'm not arrogant enough to think it was because of me or the story -- of which I am proud -- but rather, the affection in which the Robinson's are held and the good-will of the Season. So, if you helped, thanks. I hope you enjoy the story and will stop back over to listen to it. The three-part audio epidsode is still available for free at the Starship. It begins on Aural Delight number 111 and goes through number 113.

On a separate note:I found out yesterday that my short story, THEN JUST A DREAM, was voted Best Short/Flash Fiction of the Year by the StarShipSofa in Great Britain.This is the piece that won the Flash Fiction Contest at the World Horror Convention in Toronto in 2007 -- the one Marty Mundt didn't enter -- so this is the DREAM's second award. Maybe I actually ought to try to sell it. That above? That's me, 50 pounds ago and reading, as they say, like a motherfucker to get THEN JUST A DREAM read under the time limit.

In added awards news, I tied with Spider Robinson for the StarShip's Best Narrator of the Year. Which amazes me. If you've never heard him, Spider is fantastic.

If you're interested by the way, you can still contribute to the Jeanne and Spider Robinson fund by going to the StarShip, scrolling down to the first episode of LORD DICKENS... and pretend you're going to buy it. You'll be directed!

Or you can just click on this:

Happy New Year, Happy End of the Decade. The picture below? Just a reminder of the Season that's slipping past and of the tree the cats knocked down last night.