“Ray of Light” now appearing in the December 2011 issue of Analog magazine

Way back in 1992, when I first conceived of becoming a professional science fiction writer, it seemed obvious that there would be important benchmarks. The first rejection from a professional editor. The first personalized rejection from a professional editor. The first sale. The first publication — book or short work. The first magazine cover….

That the very first cover would be an Analog Science Fiction & Fact cover, and that the artist doing the work would be award-winner Bob Eggleton, and that I’d get to share the cover with one of my mentors and friends, Kris Rusch, are all stupendously exciting for me. Because this is an ‘arrival’ moment. If breaking in with Writers of the Future established my capability to be a pro, getting the cover for the December 2011 issue of Analog establishes my bona fides as a pro. Dilettante no more.

Stan Schmidt, editor, is saying to the world: this is my new guy, he’s worth my time, and he’s worth your time too. That cover with my name on it is now going into the great repository of covers stretching back across Analog’s vast history.

I’d known this was going to happen since Bob Eggleton facebooked me in April to let me know he was doing the cover art for my novelette, “Ray of Light,” which was a workshop story I’d done for one of Kris Rusch’s and Dean Smith’s workshops up in Lincoln City, Oregon. I’d sold the story in March, but hadn’t dared dream of a cover until Bob let the cat out of the bag. Since then I’ve been quietly anticipating the moment I can walk into my local Barnes & Noble store, and see copies of Analog on store shelves — with my name and story displayed prominently for the world to see.

A lot of very successful and prominent authors have been in the pages of Analog, and/or seen their names grace the covers, including Kevin J. Anderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Orson Scott Card, Michael F. Flynn, Frank Herbert, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Robert J. Sawyer, and Vernor Vinge. Being able to count myself among these names — as an Analog Man — ranks as one of the highlights of my writing life. Perhaps one of the highlights of my life, period? These are serious names, and this is a serious magazine, and if early reviews are any indication, I’ve acquitted myself well with, “Ray of Light.”

I won’t spoil the story. Those of you with subscriptions will have a chance to read it — have had a chance to read it? — for yourselves. Everyone else is cordially invited to pay a visit to their local Barnes & Noble sometime this month and pick up a copy. The cover is a beautiful cover. And not just because it’s “my” cover. Bob’s done marvelous work — the same caliber as displayed in Juliette Wade’s magnificent cover for her story, “At Cross Purposes,” from January of this year.


17 thoughts on ““Ray of Light” now appearing in the December 2011 issue of Analog magazine

  1. An Analog cover? If that’s not making it as a science fiction writer, there is no such making. Congrats!

  2. Thank you very much. Yup, I’m feeling rather ‘professional’ after this. Of course, with this peak having been surmounted, the next range presents itself. Onward, upward…

  3. M, missing you bunches here at LP. Though, I bet you’re not missing LP much, eh? (grin) Thank you! Yes, at the risk of sounding immodest, I think it’s awesome too. Hope the onset of Fall finds you doing well. Best wishes!

  4. Congratulations, Brad!

    Now as for that next range, I think you’re scaling it already, aren’t you? Something, I dunno, kinda novel…

  5. Congrats! Big trophy indeed! Your cover’s gorgeous, and from the review, it sounds like your story’s gorgeous as well! I love the premise. Gonna have to pick it up for sure. 😀

    I just discovered your blog– you offer some great advice, and I really enjoy your blogging style. I’ll have to stick around.

  6. “Ray of Light” was a good read. Thanks! I look forward to seeing your name every time I get my “Analog.”

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  8. Hi Brad,
    Just finished Ray of Light today.
    Nice fresh take on an alien attack. Loved how humanity keeps coming from the sea.
    Nicely done!

    Eric Hebert
    Edmonton, Alberta

  9. Wow, thank you so much Laura. I appreciate the kudos. I haven’t been updating the blog much lately, but I am glad you have found some of what’s written here to be useful.

  10. Thank you, everybody. Like I told Eric in e-mail, it’s one of the best pleasures of writing: to know that a reader has found a story to be a truly positive experience. Looks like I hit it well with this particular story. I shall endeavour to continue with new work!

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