I Almost Said No

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…to writing this particular novella. I’m not even sure it was supposed to be a novella. (I kinda doubt it.)

A book editor of mine, Lou Anders, asked me to take part in an anthology of his. Sideways in Crime is a really good anthology of alternate history crime stories. I was writing something else at the time, under deadline, that was eating my brain. I suspect it was a Smokey Dalton novel, because those take a lot of concentration. I figured I had maybe three days to write a story for Lou, but it had to be historical and well thought out and logical and about a crime.

So I told Dean at lunch (at our favorite Thai restaurant in Lincoln City, which I still miss) that I couldn’t write this. I didn’t have time to do it justice. He said, “Pick a time period you’re familiar with.” I shrugged, and still said no. So he tossed out a bunch of ideas.

The American Civil War? No. World War II? No. The 1960s? Yeah, doing that already, but not in sf. Okay, but what if RFK didn’t die? Blerg. Not interested. What if J. Edgar Hoover—Wait! Give it a minute.

Crap, the brain started going. What if someone murdered that evil little man? He was blackmailing everyone in government. What if someone had enough?

So I had my opening scene, and I even had all of the research books. I researched for an entire day, set the thing in NYC, because I had just finished a book set in 1960s NYC and not only had the research materials, but the lived memory of writing that.

The story poured out and I mailed it and Lou took it…and “G-Men” ended up in two year’s best volumes, one for sf and one for mystery. It was also nominated for the Sidewise Award For Best Alternate History.

Not only that, but I had a great time writing it.

Y’know that old saying about writing fast equals writing bad. Yeah, that’s sooooo wrong.

The reason I’m tell you all about this is because “G-Men” is one of the novellas in the 6 SF Novella Kickstarter that we’re running until late Thursday. You can get it, along with five other award-winning and/or critically acclaimed novellas, if you back the Kickstarter for $25.

And because we’ve been hitting stretch goals, you’ll also get five award-winning and/or acclaimed sf novelettes of mine as well. (And a few writing workshops to use yourself or share with friends.) There are lots of other rewards to choose from, so take a look. Click here for the link.

If you want to find out about the other novellas, I’ve written up three of them. You can find those posts here, here, and here. I hope to get to the last two in the remaining hours of the Kickstarter. Enjoy!

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