🎸 New Story! 🎸 (and a note on persistence)

Hello friends!

In this edition of Samtastic News, I’ve got a new short story release, an obligatory awards eligibility reminder, and a note on the fierce joy of persistence. Let’s do it!


Issue 2 of Translunar Travelers Lounge is live! This is a new, biannual magazine run by Aimee Ogden and Bennett North. Their focus: the fun side of spec fic!

This issue includes my newest short: “Kiki Hernández Beats the Devil,” in which Kiki Hernández (rock legend of the Southwest) takes a new gig that might be her last. Do you like acoustic guitar solos and extremely chonky hellhounds? Check it out!


The 2019 Locus Recommended Reading List is up, and I am super thrilled to have made the short story list with “Adrianna in Pomegranate”! It’s a quiet story about grief and the magic of writing, and I’m happy to see it get some love. Voting is open through April 15!

Meanwhile! There’s less than one month left to nominate for the Hugo Awards! I am in my second and final year of Astounding eligibility, and I will not lie, it would be exceedingly cool to even make the long list. If you’ve enjoyed any of my weird, emotionally raw worlds (time-traveling fisherwomen! mining colony company towns! angry vat babies!), then I would appreciate the consideration.


Let’s talk about persistence.

I’m stubborn at heart. When I sink my teeth into a new goal, I do not let up until a) I achieve it, or b) an exasperated but loving figure in my life places their hands on either side of my face and says, “Sam. It’s not happening. Sam. STOPPP.” At which point I sheepishly drop the tattered, slobbery goal to the floor and start casting about for a new one to chew on.

This metaphor has gotten away from me, but you get the idea.

“You can do anything you set your mind to!” was the go-to sentiment of my youth. Barney said it! So did Barbie! So did every classroom motivational poster and afternoon children’s television show!

And I don’t actually believe that.

But I do believe you can try, and I think there’s a lot more accomplishment in trying than doing. It’s tricky. You have to want the goal, but you have to love the journey enough to stick with it regardless of whether you get there.

This is writing, for me. It might be something else for you. I don’t know where my career is headed, but one of the most exhilarating aspects of this nonsense industry is that there’s always another way forward. Every project is a possibility. Rejection means try again. A flop means try something different.

The persistence is the point.

For me, looking too far ahead invites disaster. When I pin my hopes on a specific outcome, I freeze up from my ever-present fear of failure. But when I commit to trying? Well, that’s something I can sink my teeth into.

Persistence is practical optimism. It acknowledges that the road will probably get rough—but hey, it adds slyly: there will be a road.

You only have to be willing to walk it.

Next time on Samtastic News:

I am about to turn a round of novel edits in to my agent! March is therefore a mystery until I get notes back. I leave you with this truly regrettable treasure map I drew in elementary school: