So far, my clever marketing scheme of giving away my book so people will buy the sequel has garnered literally dozens of new sales. Apparently there’s a strong crossover between people who love provocative thought experiments and people who are cheap.
I submitted a short story to Clarkesworld. It hasn't been rejected yet - if it is I may inflict it on all and sundry anyway by self publishing it here. I rather enjoyed the submission guidelines about things they dislike - maybe I can find a way to write a story involing all of them:
Though no particular setting, theme, or plot is anathema to us, the following are likely hard sells:
stories in which a milquetoast civilian government is depicted as the sole obstacle to either catching some depraved criminal or to an uncomplicated military victory
stories in which the words "thou" or "thine" appear
stories where the climax is dependent on the spilling of intestines
stories where FTL travel is as easy as is it on television shows or movies
time travel too
stories that depend on some vestigial belief in Judeo-Christian mythology in order to be frightening (i.e., Cain and Abel are vampires, the End Times are a' comin', Communion wine turns to Christ's literal blood and it's HIV positive, Satan's gonna getcha, etc.)
stories about rapist-murderer-cannibals
stories about young kids playing in some field and discovering ANYTHING. (a body, an alien craft, Excalibur, ANYTHING).
stories about the stuff we all read in Scientific American three months ago
stories where the Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians, or the Spartacist League, etc. take over the world and either save or ruin it
your AD&D game
"funny" stories that depend on, or even include, puns
sexy vampires, wanton werewolves, or lusty pirates
stories where the protagonist is either widely despised or widely admired simply because he or she is just so smart and/or strange
stories that take place within an artsy-fartsy bohemia as written by an author who has clearly never experienced one
your trunk stories
The bit I wrote last week about Petite Anglaise and her apparently wonderful book deal seems to be remarkably popular - mostly because I put a link to it on the blog of soon to be made redundant Torygraph reporter Colin Randall. He's now got a brand spanking new blog where he will no doubt be only too keen to receive offers telephone number sized advances for his memoirs.
Finally Baen author and fellow inhabitant of France (albeit about as far away from me as it is possible to be), Chris Dolley, has discovered 5 terribly cute kittens and can't advertise to give them away as French law requires that the ad include either their tattoo or that of their mother - since they'd been dumped this is not as simple as it might seem. Oh and PS they are incredibly cute.