Today I posted a new short story over on my Patreon.

It’s called NeuroWave. This is a near-future cyberpunk story about the potential future of the gig economy. What happens when you can allow people to jump into your body while your brain goes into autopilot and you “sleep” through it? Nothing good, right?

This story was originally written last year, in fact, almost exactly a year ago. I make it no secret that the stories that get posted on my Patreon are ones that I’ve shopped around and couldn’t find a decent home for. There are plenty of places that would publish these stories without payment, which is cool and all, but my Patreon subscribers *are* paying me.

It’ll be free to view for now, and in a few weeks go behind the paywall.

This story was submitted at thirteen different publications and received some very kind rejections before I made the decision to publish it myself. I don’t make a lot of “asks” with this blog, but if you enjoy my work and want to support me, my Patreon is a great place for that.

As I continue to trudge through the publishing industry in hopes of finding something that fits and works for me, both this blog and that Patreon remain important to me. Supporting either helps me while I continue to work on my longer pieces and try to jam them through for publication. One thing always remains true, which is that I love creating art and sharing it with the world, and it’s not something I ever see myself giving up on. My Patreon will always be a place for me to continue doing that.

Here’s an excerpt.

This was no way to live, and I’m not the only one, not by a long shot. Everything that could go wrong did the last time I’d surfed. Well, mostly. I didn’t wake up with blood on my hands, nor did I wake up seconds before splattering against the pavement like that poor sucker a few months ago. His surfer was looking to experience the ultimate thrill of those moments right before death, pulling himself out seconds before impact, and giving that poor surfboard the worst final moments imaginable.

I’ve had a long, strange career as a writer, which has included writing about sports, entertainment, wrestling, and games. Somewhere along the way, I decided to try writing science fiction, as my first novel, Godslayer, was sort of a failure in a lot of ways. I was trying to cash in on my experience in combat sports, and hit a wall in that sports fans aren’t always fiction fans. What I was told was that men don’t buy fiction and women don’t like to buy fiction written by men. I’m not sure I buy that, but I did tailor a part of my career around some of this advice.

I always enjoyed science fiction, so I figured that was a space I could exist in and do well. I did do well. Sort of. But I got bored. My taste in things is… strange, and that both plays into my favor and my detriment. I’d love to keep going with my books, but frankly, I can’t. They aren’t always for me. For me as a reader, I read a broad range of things, and I veer towards the strange or weird more often than not. That’s with everything.

The music I used to make? I can’t pretend that it’s for everyone, or even that many people. It was for me, though. That’s just sorta who I am.

The writing I’m doing is perhaps gonna fall into that same category and I can’t expect the world to be on that same wavelength. It is what it is. I’ve got two completed novels sitting around and might just sit around for a while longer. Why? Because indie publishing weird books feels iffy, especially when my experience has been almost entirely with mostly on-market books, which were a struggle because they weren’t a perfect fit.

I feel like indie publishing a book with a non-standard narrative will elicit nothing but reviews reading like “DNF @ 10%, author should work on pacing,” which… is what it is. It’s the sort of work that requires the trust of the readers, and when it comes to indie publishing, I’m not sure we’re there yet. I’m open to being wrong about that. But the idea of investing money in editing and a cover, then marketing for it just isn’t wholly appealing to me at this moment. Until then, I’m continuing to write and push forward, because publishing may feel like a homogeneous mess right now, but I refuse to believe there’s no room in it for more meditative work.

For now, there’s a short story for you to read and get a taste of where I’ve been heading. These are mildly uncharted waters we’re heading into.

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