In memorium to generous Earl Cooley, Jr. who passed away in March 2018. Earl was a voracious reader and tech-head who hosted the SlugTribe mailing list for 25+ years. Before that, he gave us a thread on his SMOF bbs. We were one of the earliest writers' groups to leverage the Internet.
Modeling our t-shirts, Feb 2012. L to R: Clayton, Jennifer, Branden, Silver, Frank, Wendy, Alex, Rebecca. Kevin has his back to the camera.
Here's a list of websites for
current and erstwhile SlugTribe members, alphabetically by
If you're a member and I don't have your
website listed, set me
straight on your URL.
Successes, News and
High-Fives for SlugTribers
Starting in October, SlugTribe returned to FTF meetings at Hancock Rec Center. But, since, so many people wanted virtual as well, we are trying hybrid, where you can come and get a printed doc or download a doc from Discord. Tiffany Smith, writing as Avery Parks, published 4 stories this year: Intergalactic Trucker, My Own Two Feet (reprint), The Caretaker and Re: Onboarding. Jennifer Evans, Christy Lupher and Wendy Wheeler joined six other women writers for a two-week retreat in the Ozark Mountains at the Writers Colony in Dairy Hollow. A.E. Lanier, who grew up in SlugTribe, is now selling her stories. “The Fourth Spire” sold to an e-book anthology. “Bubbles” sold to the Arcanist. “Junior Year” sold to Daily SF. She makes us proud! Michael Ambrose, friend to many in SlugTribe, publisher of Argo Press, passed away in the fall. Marshall Ryan Maresca published two novels and one novella in 2021; I think he has a total of 17 books out now! And he recently announced a whole big plan for Phase Two of the Maradaine Saga! (This after leaving DAW and his agent, so, wow.) Shlomi (aka Sol Sharp) has a new e-book out in his theocratic America series about Detective Shmuley Myers called A Question of Allegiance. Neil Breault self-published another in his fantasy series, Bullet for a King. Martha Wells, a long-time friend of the SlugTribe, won best novella in the Locus Awards with “Fugitive Telemetry.” Elizabeth Rubio took over the No Con Bar Con monthly event from Rebecca Schwarz.
Marcus Tyler published his 1st short story, an eco-disaster one in Little Blue Marble called “Exiled Together: Faces Of Contemporary New York.” Paige Ewing got an agent this year: Michelle Hauck from Storm Literary Agency. Marshall Ryan Maresca, in addition to 3 new novels, was a Hugo Award finalist for best Fancast for “Worldbuilding for Masochists” along with authors Cass Morris and Rowena Miller. Tiffany Smith, writing as Avery Parks, published 2 stories this year: My Own Two Feet and All Appearances Aside. Margaret Cotrofeld’s daughter Elizabeth Ticknor took 1st place in the 2nd quarter 2021 Writers of the Future Contest. Wendy Wheeler’s SciFi/Action screenplay THE LILITH CODE was a quarter finalist in the Sceencraft SF/Fantasy competition. Neil Breault self-published book#4 in his fantasy, Mage Out of Time. J. Darris Mitchell (Joe) got a great review by Kirkus on his 2020 novel, “A Crown of Cobwebs,” which was largely reviewed in SlugTribe. Shlomi, writing as Sol Sharp, self-published A Day at the Zoo, in his Detective Shmuley Myers series. The Hyde Park Holiday Art Fair (a new event) had a table for artists and one for writers where Wendy Wheeler represented the SlugTribe since we meet at Hancock Rec Center in Hyde Park. Late in 2021, Willie Siros, the cofounder of ArmadilloCon and FACT and a local bookseller for decades, passed away unexpectedly. There was a memorial for him in 2022.
Winter - Fall 2020
Well, this year created challenges for everybody! Our long-time meeting location at Hancock Rec Center was closed because of the coronavirus, so Shlomi Harif and Philip Brazeale helped us get the SlugTribe online in March with a Discord meeting server, and we’ve met virtually most of 2020. Nicky Drayden (and Chris Brown) had an article in the July issue of Texas Monthly, “Will Dystopian Times Inspire Utopian Art,” about the future of writing about the future. Christie Lupher got the SlugTribe to help with writing up the teasers for the Audible book series she narrated on Violet Strange, a turn-of-the-century female detective created by Anna Katharine Green. Andrew Perlot’s first short story, "Planting Water," which SlugTribe critiqued, got an honorable mention from the Writers of the Future contest. Marshall Ryan Maresca is up to 11 books in his Maradaine world with The Fenmere Job, and soon The People of the City will make 12. But he also created and sold The Velocity of Revolution, a steampunk fantasy novel not in the series, due out early 2021. J. Darris Mitchell (Joe) published The Crane and the Wolf through Indies United, a publishing house co-op of authors.
Luke Kundl Pinette moved to Houston to for a new IT developer job; he’s found the Discord meetings useful and has a new parrot! Ron Wiltse retired to Paris, Texas, to be closer to his son the doctor. Elizabeth Rubio sold a short story "What Treasures We Store on Earth" to the anthology called A Dying Planet coming soon from Flame Tree. The Champion of the Earth, the second novel in Gabriel Matthieu’s new Berona’s Quest series, will be out in November 2020. J.J. Litke published two stories so far in 2020; one will be in Unidentified Funny Objects #8, and the other was "The Bar at the End of Whenever" in Nature Futures. Doug Schwartz started a new web series called Reality Fiction, which he describes as reality TV in prose form. ArmadilloCon42 was virtual this year. Aaron DaMommio co-coordinated the writers’ workshop this year, which had an SF cookbook project vs story entries. Shlomi created a Discord server for SlugTribers to discuss the con. More Hancock Rec Center news: the City of Austin PARD is frustrated the golf course doesn’t make a profit, somehow forgetting that it’s a city service and not for profit, so they’ve decided to sell/lease the facility to a developer. Let’s see how long we continue to have a meeting spot…
Spring - Winter 2019
Patrice Sarath published Book No.2 in her magical series in January; Fog Season is the follow-on to The Sisters Mederos, and she had a booksigning at Bookwoman in February. Marcus Tyler got to the Writers League of Texas Manuscript contest finals with The Ballad Panacea, his SF novel he critiqued in SlugTribe. Jennifer Evans and Wendy Wheeler got to take a writers’ workshop/retreat in Vermont in April, where it’s weirdly rural everywhere. As a sometimes writer for hitRECord.tv, Wendy also got a free ticket from actor/producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt for his SxSW event “Band Together with Logic.” Marshall Ryan Maresca continues his snowball effect! Add two more novels to come: DAW Books will also publish The Velocity of Revolution and A Constabulary of One. The first is a standalone steampunk novel, and the second is in his Maradaine universe. Marshall is also getting foodie attention for his recipe posts with each book on MaradaineMeals. Christi Lupher has read dozens and dozens of audio books for LibriVox, and now she’s also writing audio book intros.
Spring - Winter 2018
Well, yes! Trevor Quarchi with Analog did indeed buy Elizabeth Rubio’s story “Nevertheless”! It published in September, and they also posted her bio/essay online in the Analog Companion. Rebecca Schwarz won the SF/F category of The Writers League of Texas manuscript contest with Izzy Crow. Aaron DaMommio sold his SlugTribe-critiqued story “Things I Realized on Finding an Alien in the Passenger Seat of my Car” to April’s Flash Fiction Online. August he published “Machines of Death” and October “Collision with Car” in DailySF. February, the eBook Fair Beasts and Foul had Aaron’s story “Road Trip.” Carie Juettner sold her SlugTribe-critiqued scary clown story “Makeup” (find it at 51:58) to the audio magazine Tales to Terrify. Nicky Drayden released her 2nd novel in August, and Temper already won a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018 and a Vulture Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book of 2018! Our SlugTribe buddy in Bryan, Martha Wells won her 1st Nebula (and a Hugo); it was for best novella for All Systems Red, story#1 of her Murderbot Diaries. Marshall Ryan Maresca launched his latest novel, The Way of the Shield, in October with an event at Barnes & Noble Sunset Valley. Jack Conner (Allen) self-published a new novel Engine of Ruin in his series Atomic Ocean Underworld.
Spring - Winter 2017
For Black History Month, the Austin Public Library featured Nicky Drayden (Nicole) and her novel The Prey of Gods in a panel about world building with people of color. Doug Schwartz wrote an illustrated adventure children’s book called Spilt Milk, and had a milk and cookies event locally to launch it. March 2018, famous SF/F/M author Chuck Wendig is coming to town for a workshop on “Characters as Architects, Not Architecture,” sponsored by the Romance Writers of Austin. Several from the SlugTribe will attend.
Robert Ashcroft saw the arrival of his first novel, the Megarothke, with a booksigning at Bookpeople, plus his first Kirkus and Amazon reviews were stellar. Marshall Ryan Maresca just keeps hitting home runs! He sold four more books to Daw for a new series, starting with The Way of the Shield, which comes out in October 2018, and then The Shield of the People and The People of the City. Also, they've bought the third Streets of Maradaine novel, The Fenmere Job. Kevin Foltinek had his first sale! Sold “The Delayed Emergence of Glub-Glub's Primary Tentacle” to Primordial Magazine, which just started in 2017. Elizabeth Rubio got invited by the editor of Analog, Trevor Quarchi, to submit her DilloCon workshop story formally after a rewrite. That’s like the dream result of a writers workshop piece! Andrew Hearn sold a private detective story, also from an ArmadilloCon contact he made. New Member Brandon Seifert, who’s got a comic book series Witch Doctor, plus has written several comics in the Hellraiser series, including one with Clive Barker, and other titles, tells us he hopes to announce his involvement in a TV series soon.
Wendy Wheeler’s fantasy script, a Colonial-era sea adventure with magic based on her fantasy story, won the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre of the 10th annual StoryPros with the The Cunning Man. Jeff Shaevel is in a documentary about the game of Go, and shows up in the promotion trailer. The full movie was released last year and is making it into some awesome film festivals!Nicky Drayden got a lot of great press on The Prey of Gods, including a wonderful New York Times book review, and a book signing in July at Bookpeople! Go to the Amazon page to see the many "top picks" this novel got! She made sure to drop off some swag for SlugTribers, plus some copies of the book itself. The SlugTribe also appears in her dedication. Go Nicole! The folks at ArmadilloCon 2017 got a great article with a photo in the Austin Chronicle on local SF/F. About a third of the writers in the article were/are SlugTribe members, and the SlugTribe itself got a shout-out! (But it noted long-gone Lebkowsky as a founding member, while I/Wendy was not. grrrr)
Rebecca Schwarz sold “Short Straw” to the Lost Worlds anthology from FlameTree Press. Earlier in the year, she sold “An Accounting of the Sky” to The Colored Lens. J.J. Litke’s story “The Invisible Box” was in the January issue of Apex Magazine. Turned out well (it was SlugTribe critiqued).
Trent Kollodge sold “Incense” to Strangely Funny 4, a humor genre anthology. Autumn Cthulhu, an anthology with Trent’s story, was a finalist for a 2016 Shirley Jackson award. Michael Louis Dixon sold his odd-fiction story “Arthur” to Borderlands 7. Carrie Juttner had her clima-SF (new term that started recently; climate-related science fiction) story “Reap” in Daily Science Fiction in January.
Summer - Winter 2016
Several current and ex-SlugTribers were at ArmadilloCon at the end of July, attending the writers workshop, teaching and speaking on panels. That same weekend, Jennifer Evans and Wendy Wheeler flew up to Tacoma, WA, for the Cascade Writers Workshop, where they got their manuscripts in front of a positive Claire Eddy, Tor editor, and also had good reactions to their competition stories. Plus Jennifer got one-on-one advice on self publishing from best-selling fantasy author Anthea Sharp. Wendy got up before the Writers League of Texas members at the July meeting and promoted the SlugTribe (and the Austin Screenwriters Group). Carie Juettner’s story “Makeup” that she critiqued through SlugTribe made it to the top 100 in a horror story content TNT sponsored; she could win a big prize! Story voting was handled on Wattpad. Michael Louis Dixon sold “Anton” to the latest Borderlands anthology, edited by the Monteleones, which included an upscale collectors’ edition. Neil Breault showed us multiple cool cover designs of his self-published novel on the Beast Keepers. Ron Wiltse missed meetings through the fall because his dad was finally failing and had come to stay with him, with hospice care. Condolences!
Arabian-American SF/F author and co-founder of Yatakhayaloon: The League of Arabic SciFiers, Yasser Bahjatt, was hosted December in Austin by the citizen diplomacy group, GlobalAustin. He, along with people from the Middle East Institute, came to dinner with several SlugTribers (and gave us books!), then he was in a panel at Malvern Books with Marshall Ryan Maresca. The next day, Marshall and Stina Leicht did a book signing at Dragon’s Lair, which has long had mutual friends in gaming and writing with the SlugTribe. Marshall also released multiple books in 2016, including An Import of Intrigue, and The Holver Alley Crew (coming March 2017).
Jack Conner, aka Allen Wise, released another in his Atomic Sea series, Atomic Underworld. And he continues to gain great praise from his community of readers/followers. Nicole aka Nicky Drayden is expecting her first novel to be out soon from Harper Voyager Books, and they just announced & promoted the awesome cover to Prey of the Gods. Stina Leicht’s 4th novel (has origins in the first novel she ever wrote) Black Thorne was ready for pre-order in November. Rebecca Schwarz sold “Hands of Burnished Bronze” to Podcastle. Kevin Jewell (who we haven’t seen as he’s been raising his toddler), sold “Soul Weaver” to Daily Science Fiction.
Spring 2015 - Spring 2016
Trent Kollodge sold his first story to Autumn Cthulhu: Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, which was doing a kickstarter for funding. He also self-published a novel he workshopped in SlugTribe, Two-Bit Angel. Mara Hincher’s art series “2013 Xenobiology” was featured in the Mad Art Lab. Neil Breault self-published his first novel, The Arcon’s Apprentice. Carie Juettner sold her flash fiction “Time Flies” to Futures, the sci-fi column of Nature. She also had “Linger” published in the Hello, Horror Summer 2015 anthology. Nicky Drayden sold the African modern fantasy she workshopped in SlugTribe to Harper Voyager! The Prey of Godsand another book to be named. Kevin Jewell’s story “A Dragon’s Apology” was in the December issue of Daily Science Fiction. Michael Lewis Dixon’s story “Anton” is in the new Borderlands 6 anthology; they did a signed limited edition hardback, and a paperback is coming soon. Aaron da Mommio published “The Van Helsing Women’s Shelter” in Stupefying Stories. Earl Cooley, our long-time list host, had to move to Universal City (near San Antonio) to be closer to his medical providers. Allen Wise aka Jack Conner released a new self-published novel: Atomic Underworld: Part One. Jennifer Evans took his new author’s photos. Allen also got to be on a writers’ panel at the 2015 Austin Comic Con. Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novel, The Thorn of Dentonhill: A Novel of Maradaine, was short-listed by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society for the Compton Crook Award, for best first novel. The Alchemy of Chaos came out in February, and he just signed a contract for four more novels. Rebecca Schwarz’s story “The Short Straw” won a Silver/Honorable Mention in the quarterly Writers of the Future contest, and she sold “Black Friday” to Devilfish Review. Also, “Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast” went to Saturday Night Reader.
Winter 2014 - Spring 2015
Allen Wise aka Jack Conner did a successful gamification project to support his self-published novels, where readers could post photoshopped pictures of themselves turning green, or becoming Lovecraftian monsters. Also, Atomic Sea was up for a (UK) BookHippo Award. Wesley Bain, a long-time member of Austin’s No.1 improv group, led an improv workshop for writers that we all enjoyed; very creative! Wendy Wheeler took a new job with Dell that is half science fiction: she’s now messaging manager for the Internet of Things. Her flash fantasy story that was used in HitRECord.tv was compiled in the First Season DVD deck. Ernie Wood joined SlugTribe soon after his novel One Red Thread was published; since then he’s had a series of book signings and went as a pro writer to his first Armadillocon. Marshall Ryan Maresca published A Murder of Mages, read by a few SlugTribers when it was still in early drafts and called "Maradaine Constabulary." Nicole/Nikki Drayden published “Homecoming” on Daily Science Fiction. Leah Cutter, who lived in Austin years ago and was a member of the SlugTribe, has been having success selling her self-published novels via Storybundle.
Sad news first: Jay Lake, who started his writing career in the SlugTribe, lost his battle with cancer this June. He was given several memoria from the genre community and continues to have new work released. Tom Upshaw, another SlugTriber from the early days, died of liver disease in Oregon. Marshall Ryan Maresca sold two fantasy novels to Daw/Penguin, with the first novel The Thorn of Dentonhill out in early 2015 and blog posts on the publisher's site. John Moore Walker published his SF/thriller series Statis Rift on Amazon Prime (4 books and counting!). Nicky Drayden released another collection of her Delightfully Twisted Tales on Amazon in March. Wendy Wheeler sold "The Levogyre" to Daily Science Fiction, which came from a long ago SlugTribe group exercise called "Spam is dead." At about the same time, DSF published Rebecca Swartz's "A Note to Parents Regarding the Beginning and End of Time Diorama Presentations for Ms. Miller's Third Grade Class" and a comedy series from Nicky that started with "An Unparalleled Real Estate Investment Opportunity." Rebecca also resold her "Flotsam" story to the Cast of Wonders podcast series. Wendy's SF/thriller script The Lilith Code got to the quarter finals in the Final Draft screenplay contest. Matt Patterson had a book-signing at Bookpeople in April for his YA space adventure, Song and Signal.
Brad Ellison's story "The Devil's Right Hand" (critiqued by the SlugTribe) was published in Lore. Allen Wise, aka Jack Conner, had his story "The Rubies of Master Lo" featured on Wattpad. Branden Linley sold "Parking for the Apocalypse" to the anthology Alternate Hilarities 3. Wesley Bain taught us how to do "Improv for Writers" in August, and it was a blast! He's a founding member of the famous Parallelogramophonograph. Alex Jaworski got to take a special AI/robotics class in Germany. The guys at Space Squid announced they were now all-electronic and that they were selling handmade T-shirts. Michael Trice, now an MIT lecturer in Boston, sold an interview with D&D guys Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford to TheMarySue. Peter Enyeart's Nature Futures story is being anthologized in Futures2, and he published "The Opening" in The Colored Lens. Douglas Schwartz published Pickled Bananas on Amazon and continued with his author interviews and fiction serials on his LiveJournal. Sherrill Nilson, who now lives in Oklahoma, had her novel Karda: Adalta Vol. I selected as a finalist in the Cygnus Awards recognizing "emerging new talent and outstanding works in the genre of SciFi & Fantasy Fiction." New member Ernie Wood just had his time travel novel One Red Thread come out from Tyrus Books, and was part of the Texas Book Festival with it.
Brandon Linley made his first sale, to FictionVale, of "Measure of Fate," a story he workshopped at SlugTribe! Several current and erstwhile SlugTribers were featured on panels and other events at LoneStar Con3 in San Antonio on Labor Day weekend; congrats to Matt Bey, Paige Ewing, Jay Lake, Stina Leicht, Patrice Sarath, and others. Rick Klaw edited a regional SF anthology released at the event called RayGuns over Texas, which included stories from Nicky Drayden, Derek Johnson, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Stina Leicht and Don Webb. Paige also sold "Flyboy" to Space & Time magazine. Bitcoin expert Daniel Krawisz spent a few months in South America to set up a Bitcoin venture and was a featured speaker at a crypto-currency conference. Rebecca Schwarz sold "The Horses" to Everyday Fiction. Kevin Jewell's SlugTribe-critiqued flash story "Hazelwitch vs. Hazelwitch" was simultaneously released in written format at The Mad Scientist Journal and in podcast format at Toasted Cake; his story "Know When to Hold Them" appeared in nautil.us and "Just Like Clockwork" appeared in Daily Science Fiction. Wendy Wheeler posted on the HitRECord site for their new cable TV series, and actor/founder Joseph Gordon-Levitt excerpted her "The Other Side" story for his monologue and it's part of the season one multi-media packet. She also had two genre screenplays advance to Second Round (Top 10%) in the Austin Film Festival contest. Abby Goldsmith sold "The Big Mermaid" to When Dreams Come True anthology, finished writing the 5th novel in her 6-book series, and got engaged to be married. Matt Patterson self published a YA space adventure, Song & Signal, his 3rd e-Book. Doug Schwartz self-published a light fantasy novel Checkered Scissors and started a "20 questions for authors" series on his LiveJournal blog. Jayme Blaschke self published The Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch, with photos by his wife, about the infamous Texas brothel.
Peter Enyeart made his first sale! "Transmission Received" appeared in the (unlikely but high paying) market of Nature Futures, the weekly journal of science. Aaron da Mommio also made his first pro-level sale! "Daughter of Mettle" appeared in a January issue of Daily Science Fiction. Rebecca Schwarz's SlugTribe-critiqued story "Naturally" was chosen for posting and public critique on SF Online Writing Workshop; the pro feedback was quite similar to SlugTribe's! Her story "The Gyre" appeared in Issue#6 of The Colored Lens; "The Count is the Kingdom" appeared in the February issue of Electric Spec, and "Zombie Envy" in Flashes of Dark. Her story "Futile the Winds" also got an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Writers of the Future contest. K.G. Jewell published "Sixty-One by Seventy" in a March Daily Science Fiction and "The Probability Flatline" appears in the late November issue of Intergalactic Medicine Show. Ricardo Bare sold Jack of Hearts, the YA fantasy novel he was workshopping in SlugTribe, to Belle Bridge Books for an April release. Dan Tannenbaum, now back east for health reasons, has an erotic fantasy story "Kiss the Witch" coming out in an issue of UK pub The Ironic Fantastic. Sherrill Nilson moved from Texas back to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for her retirement. Now living in Switzerland, Gabrielle Matthieu created a writing blog. This SlugTribe website now has a favicon ("FAVE-econ"), a tiny rocket ship in the URL line (it also shows up in your bookmarks list). Dave Chang organized a group SlugTribe discount for Austin Film Festival 2013 passes. Wendy Wheeler finally(!) sold her house in north Austin and bought one in Hyde Park 1.5 blocks from the Hancock Rec Center (a perfect street!), then was soon laid off from her dayjob as a marketing communicator. Bob Kite, who long ago moved to Seattle, is now self-publishing his genre fiction and audio books at his site AspieBob. Nicole Duson (Nicky Drayden) continues as submissions editor at the podcast magazine Drabblecast, which raised its rates. Erstwhile member Jay Lake got a Nebula, Hugo and Locus Award nomination for his story, "The Stars Do Not Lie." Sadly, Jay's cancer was declared inoperable in May 2013, after 5 years of chemotherapy and surgery.