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Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows



Hi Nick, we've never met, but I'm looking forward to sharing the TOC with you!

Nick Sagan

Thanks, Tobias! I'll look forward to reading "Shoah Sry," and congratulations on the impending publication of Crystal Rain. Hope it sells like crazy!


I'm looking forward to reading it!
Is writing a short story easier than writing a longer novel for you? (It seems like it would be an obvious yes, but I have the hardest time getting the length on my stories to work. It's usually too long to be a short story but too short to be a "book" of sorts).

Nick Sagan

So far, from my very limited experience writing short stories, I find them easier than novels simply because it's a shorter race to the finish line. You have to be economic with your prose, squeezing a lot into a little, but that's something I try to do no matter what I write. The only real downside I see for short stories is the market itself. Very hard to make a living as a full-time short story writer.

Elizabeth, it sounds like you're in that novella page range. You could always cut down to short story size, but if you're looking to expand into a novel, it might help to look at what you've written and ask what happens after the last word. Or before the first word. If you can find another story you want to tell with the same characters, there should be a way of organically linking the two.

Joel Schlosberg

John W. Campbell Jr. said somewhere that if humans actually were biologically appropriate food for aliens, they would simply eat cows instead -- for efficiency in getting the most meat in the least growing time. He then noted that this didn't exactly have the horror value of human eating.

I happen to prefer the short story length in science fiction; it's particularly suited to the genre, especially appropriate to setting up and working out a "What if?" situation with economy. An anthology of unrelated short stories can explore different and even contradictory ideas in a way that a long novel can't, instead of working within (and being restricted to) one set of assumptions. So it's too bad that there isn't more of a market for short stories. Also, one thing that used to be pretty common in the early days of science fiction, but which doesn't seem to be around anymore, is the "fix-up novel" consisting of a series of short stories made into a novel -- usually made of magazine stories that were later put into a book (eg A. E. van Vogt's War Against the Rull, Voyage of the Space Beagle, Empire of the Atom; Clifford Simak's City; James H. Schmitz's Agent of Vega, etc.) There's something charming about the in-between nature of them and the way the individual stories would both stand on their own and as part of a greater whole.

John Scalzi

Joel Schlosberg:

"Also, one thing that used to be pretty common in the early days of science fiction, but which doesn't seem to be around anymore, is the 'fix-up novel' consisting of a series of short stories made into a novel."

I can think of one -- Charlie Stross' Accelerando, which is based on a series of short stories he wrote and which is likely to end up as a Hugo nominee this year for best novel.

Y'all are going to love Nick's story. I was checkling through it all the way through. This Nick Sagan fellow, he can actually, you know, write and stuff.


Thanks, I'll definitely keep that in mind!

Stuart MacBride


And now, I'll steal your links to all the other writers and laeve nothing behind, but a strange, eggy smell...

Oh, and I'm looking forward to reading your story!

Nick Sagan

Stuart: A strange, eggy smell? Sulfur and brimstone? Or just "Egg Beaters?" Either way, it's good to meet you, and I'm looking forward to reading your story as well.

John: You're too kind.

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Idlewild Trilogy

  • i d l e w i l d

    "Sagan has a ferocious imagination."
    -- Stephen Baxter

  • e d e n b o r n

    "One of the best post-apocalyptic novels you will ever read."
    -- SFX Magazine

  • e v e r f r e e

    "Sagan's mind-blowing post-apocalyptic trilogy comes to a satisfying, terrifying conclusion."
    -- Kirkus Reviews


  • Aristeia Rising

    "An intense and intelligent story partnered with art that makes your eyes drool."
    -- Ain't It Cool News

  • Hubris

    "Lord, this is epic. If you thought the first volume of the Shrapnel series was intense, brutal, and dark, just wait until you get your hands on its follow up."
    -- Comics Bulletin


  • Future Proof

    "A delightful 'expedition in search of the future,' providing clear explanations of today's cutting-edge technologies to find where science fiction has become reality."
    -- Publishers Weekly

Star Trek

  • Voyager: Season 5

    "Year five of Star Trek: Voyager is the greatest achievement in its seven year run. This is Voyager in its prime, and in its absolute top form."
    -- DVD Answers

  • TNG: Season 7

    "One of Next Generation's best seasons ever... The series was at the top of its game, consistently turning out episodic sci-fi hours that felt fresh and captured the imagination."
    -- SciFi.com

Computer Games

  • Zork Nemesis

    "The story is dark and gripping. Numerous subplots and twists are heightened by a surprise climactic revelation. Character developments are complex. The portrayals of the dark side of mankind in these characters are chilling."
    -- The Adventure Collective




Carl Sagan

  • Visit the Carl Sagan Portal

  • Visit the Celebrating Sagan site

  • Visit the Planetary Society