Weird World War III: To-Date Promotional Summary: November 6th Update

In the next week, I have one more appearance:

  • November 8th: Coast to Coast AM, which has a weekly audience of 2.75 million. I’ll be appearing from midnight to 2 a.m. Pacific Time. Fun times!

Otherwise, here’s a cumulative summary of all the promotional activity I’ve compiled as of November 5, 2020. The only additions this week are my interview on Chatting with Sherri and a Weird World War III review by Papa Pat Rambles.

So far, Weird World War III has garnered media appearances in the following formats:

  • 13 Radio / Podcast / Video Interviews
  • 2 Written Interviews
  • 6 Features or Blog Posts
  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Think Pieces
  • 59 Blog Posts on Through a Glass Darkly

More specifically, Weird World War III has been mentioned or appeared in the below formats and venues:

Podcasts / Interviews (Video or Radio)

Interviews / Profiles (Online)

Features / Mentions

Reviews

Think Pieces


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Weird World War III: To-Date Promotional Summary: October 30th Update

In the next week, I have two more appearances:

  • November 5th: The Chatting with Sherri podcast.
  • November 8th: Coast to Coast AM, which apparently has a weekly audience of 2.75 million. I’ll be appearing from midnight to 2 a.m. Pacific Time. Fun times!

Otherwise, here’s a cumulative summary of all the promotional activity I’ve compiled as of October 30, 2020. The major additions are my interviews on the Baen Free Radio Hour (I’ve since shorn the Grizzly Adams beard) and The Veteran’s Show on WLMR Radio-DB as well as a Weird World War III review by Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine. So far, Weird World War III has garnered media appearances in the following formats:

  • 12 Radio / Podcast / Video Interviews
  • 2 Written Interviews
  • 6 Features or Blog Posts
  • 1 Review
  • 2 Think Pieces
  • 53 Blog Posts on Through a Glass Darkly

More specifically, Weird World War III has been mentioned or appeared in the below formats and venues:

Podcasts / Interviews (Video or Radio)

Interviews / Profiles (Online)

Features / Mentions

Reviews

Think Pieces


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Weird World War III Reviewed in Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine

The November / December issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine contains a nice little review of Weird World War III. You can check it out here.

“The stories go off in all directions. Torgersen’s ‘All Quiet on the Phantom Front’ involves NATO forces who cast a magic spell that goes wrong; John Langan’s ‘Second Front’ brings World War III to the Moon; Shoemaker’s ‘The Ouroboros Arrangement’ provides a quantum physics explanation for why the Cold War didn’t turn Hot. The other stories are all equally interesting, ranging from hard SF to magical fantasy to dark horror-adjacent tales.”

Don Sakers in Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine

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Gratitude

In the picture above, I’m standing in front of my childhood home in Wilmington, Delaware on the Weird World War III launch date, October 6, 2020. It feels nostalgic to be at the place it all started. Weird World War III is my first traditionally published book as an editor or author. I’ve had short stories that have appeared in others, but this book is the first traditionally published project for which I was directly responsible and accountable. Without me, it would never have existed, but without others, it would have have gotten off the ground.

Author Tim Waggoner writes a blog post every time he has a new book coming out. I’d like to do the same, and what better time to start than now.


Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

“Never forget where you came from.”

— Fred Collier

In my early twenties, a junior officer named Fred Collier gave me some of the best guidance in life. Right before he left the Army, he told a group of officers to “never forget where [they] came from.” For me, it was not only a call to be humble, but also it reminded me that nothing I ever accomplished was truly done on my own.

The experience of producing this anthology was no different. I am thankful that Toni Weisskopf at Baen took a risk on me as a first-time editor. Without Mike Resnick‘s guidance and support, this anthology would never have been possible.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Alex Shvartsman, and David Boop were instrumental in helping me deal with the business side of the anthology, sharing their knowledge of pitches, contracts, and editorial etiquette. Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Peter J. Wacks also produced one hell of a story, as did Alex Shvartsman.

Without Nick Mamatas, I would never have been introduced to writers and friends like T.C. McCarthy and Erica Satifka. Nick was also instrumental in graciously answering all my random editorial questions. And to top it all off, he wrote an amazing story for the anthology.

I am also thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with writers I am in awe of like David Drake, John Langan, and Mike Resnick. None of them needed to participate in this anthology, but I’m damned pleased they did.

I’m also grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to not only give Baen’s audiences stories from authors they know and love like David Drake, Mike Resnick, Sarah A. Hoyt, Brad Torgersen, and Martin Shoemaker, but also amazing authors with whom they might not yet be familiar like John Langan and Erica Satifka. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to work with many of the folks who appeared with me in Writers of the Future Volume 33 like C.L. Kagmi, Stephen Lawson, and Ville Meriläinen.

It was an honor to receive stories from other up-and-coming authors like Xander and Marina Lostetter, Brian Trent, T.C. McCarthy, Eric James Stone, and Deborah A. Wolf as well as extremely talented veteran writers like Kevin Andrew Murphy.

Throughout the journey of producing this anthology, I also got to collaborate with folks I’ve known for over thirty years like Greg Schauer, who runs Between Books in Wilmington, Delaware. Greg worked with Baen to set up one of only two of my signing events in this post-COVID world. It seems like only yesterday when I discovered his store as a twelve-year-old kid playing Dungeons and Dragons.

I would be remiss to not thank Corinda Carfora at Baen for helping me with all the marketing and coordination for birthing my book into the world. I’d also like to thank John Goodwin and the folks at Author Services for helping me set up interviews to promote the anthology. I want to thank Michael Wilson and Bob Pastorella at This Is Horror and John Scalzi for using their platforms to help me promote my work (Weird World War III is tentatively scheduled to appear on The Big Idea tomorrow). I am also grateful to have worked with Tony Daniel through a seamless and organized editing process. I also couldn’t be happier with the cover Kurt Miller delivered for the anthology. It truly captured the essence of Weird World War III.


The Road to Success Runs Through Failure’s Gauntlet

“Life ain’t fair.”

— Theodore J. Hazlett, Jr.

It couldn’t have been a crazier year to launch this anthology, but it’s certainly been a weird one. Each month could’ve been a standalone geopolitical thriller: a once-in-a-century pandemic that swept through the United States, killing over two hundred thousand souls to date; one of the most contentious election cycles in US history muddied by conspiracy theories and Russian intrigue; the adverse economic impact of COVID-related business shutdowns driving the highest US unemployment rate in decades; civil unrest in major US cities resulting in the most costly riot damage in US history; Western wildfires causing billions of dollars and destroying millions of acres that turned the sky blood-red; increasing tensions between the world’s two most populous nations over the contentious Line of Actual Control in the Himalayan foothills; and now a proxy war between Armenia and Azerbaijan with Russia and Turkey lurking in the shadows.

My father gave me the best advice you could give a child to prepare for a world filled with such adversity and capriciousness: “life ain’t fair.” It was great advice because it’s not only true, but also it helps one steel oneself against the vagaries of life; to never count on good fortune. It taught me to make my own luck; to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

It was a long road to get to this point in my writing career. I’ve been writing and submitting stories since 2011, and it oftentimes feels like an endless stream of disappointment and rejection. In fact, unless you are one of the incredibly talented and lucky few, as a writer and/or editor, you should expect an astonishingly daunting number of rejections before you succeed. In my opinion, the only thing that separates a published author from an unpublished one is a published author never quits. Writers speak of this rejection so often it might be easily discounted as hyperbole. It’s not. My personal experience is empirical proof of it.

Since 2011, I’ve:

  • Written 65 original short stories
  • Written 2 novels
  • Entered the Writers of the Future Contest 17 times
  • Submitted those 65 short stories 2,381 times
  • Received 2,151 short story rejections
  • Haven’t sold a single novel yet

And yet I persisted. I didn’t quit. If I had thrown in the towel, I would have missed out on the joy of selling stories I created from nothing.

Since I finished and submitted my first short story on December 17, 2011, I’ve:

  • Sold 44 original short stories (68% of short stories written)
  • Sold 9 reprints, including 4 stories to various “Best of” anthologies
  • Been a winner in the Writers of the Future Contest
  • Edited the Weird World War III anthology

There’s still a long road ahead, but when I look back on the last 9 years, I’ve definitely made a ton of progress. And for that, I am thankful.


Support the Authors

Working with authors I admire was one of the most rewarding experiences of putting together this anthology. Reading the stories they created really brought my vision for Weird World War III to life. If, after reading their stories, you’d like to see more from them, I’ve included a list of some of their current or upcoming publications you should definitely check out.

As for me, all I ask is that you: 1) buy a copy of Weird World War III using any of the links below and 2) post a review on Amazon (the more reviews Weird World War III receives, the higher Amazon’s algorithm ranks it). Thank you. And I hope you enjoy the anthology.


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T. C. McCarthy

T. C. McCarthy is an award-winning and critically acclaimed southern author whose short fiction has appeared in Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and IdeasStory Quarterly and Nature. Baen Books released his latest novel, Tyger Burning, in July 2019. His earlier debut military science fiction trilogy (GermlineExogene and Chimera) was released in 2012 and is available worldwide. In addition to being an author, T. C. is a PhD scientist, a Fulbright Fellow, and a Howard Hughes Biomedical Research Scholar.

His story, “Zip Ghost”, appears in the Weird World War III anthology.


Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?


Originally I’m from Leesburg, Virginia, and I’m a scientist who would rather work full time as a writer. All I want is an unlimited amount of money, absolute power over my own destination, and complete and total creative freedom; that should be easy to obtain, shouldn’t it? In all seriousness, I think that the most fortunate people in the world are those that have the luck or the means to do exactly what they love for a career.


What kinds of stories do you write? Why?


I write stories that have literary merit – that at least try to push the boundary of language just a tiny bit. I do it to show that I can. I see a lot of Tor and Orbit authors claiming the mantle of writing “literary SF” but they don’t; they think that by having the most gay characters in a book, or by having alien races that have no gender is edgy or weird – and therefore literary. But it isn’t. Literary is about bending language almost to the point where it breaks but doesn’t; it works.


What author has had the greatest influence on your writing? Why?


Two authors: Michael Herr and Guy Sajer/Guy Mouminoux. Michael Herr’s dispatches was the first book to electrify me because of the way it used language to describe war. Herr was an embed in multiple units during the Vietnam War and he brought almost a sense of beatnik descriptive powers that made the war leap from pages of his book, Dispatches. I like Guy Sajer for kind of the same reason, but less so for language. Sajer recounts his experience of trying to survive in one of the most horrific situations one could find himself in: fighting for the Germans on the Eastern Front of WWII. Sajer takes a matter of fact approach that’s like a constant string of gut punches.


Tell me about a time you almost died.


I almost died of thirst in Death Valley; there’s a reason they call it that, in case you didn’t know. I was an undergraduate geologist doing field work and we decided to take a look at the “Race Track” – a dried lake bed where the boulders move on their own and leave tracks. It’s 30 miles off road, in the middle of nowhere. We were in rental sedans and decided to take an off road trail that went over the nearest mountain range, which was fine until we got stuck and realized that the road had washed out and that we couldn’t get back the way we came; on one side was a cliff, on the other was a mountain and one of the professors started crying because they both were convinced we were dead. It was a hundred and fifteen degrees and there was no shade anywhere. As the youngest one in the party, I grabbed the shovel and rebuilt the washed out sections of the road so we eventually got to civilization, which only took us fifteen hours. I was majorly dehydrated.


If you could live in any time period, when would it be? Why?


The 1990s. If I had my way it would be the 1990s all the time. The music was amazing, cell phones weren’t a big thing so you had to interact with people face to face instead of texting, and I was in my 20s. Now that I’m over 50 everything hurts and the world is on fire. 


Story’s Soundtrack

Each of the stories in this volume evoked certain themes and emotions that can sometimes be approximated with music. The below video is the editor’s best interpretation of the feelings and themes that this author’s story evoked. Please note that this is only the editor’s interpretation. The author did not know this portion of the blog post existed until the editor published it.


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