Robert Lowell Russell* is a writer and trophy husband (obviously). He is a SFWA member and a member of the Writeshop and Codex writers' groups. He is a former librarian, a former history grad student, a former semi-professional poker player, and is now pursuing nursing degree (say "ah!").

Rob has also just noticed how outdated and lame his website has become and will be modifying it in the near future.

Update: Check out my NEW website (still in progress) at robertlowellrussell.com (it redirects to a wordpress account, but it's nice.

His stories have appeared (or will appear) in Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show, Penumbra, Digital Science Fiction, Daily Science Fiction (thrice!), Stupefying Stories (fice? what's the word for five?), and a whole bunch of other places (see complete list on the right side).

*RLR finds it a bit silly to write about himself in the 3rd person.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Won't someone help the children? Back the Kickstarter for Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things. You know you want to.

There are precious few paying middle grade short fiction markets out there so I really think it's worthwhile to chip a few bucks towards this Kickstarter. I did. You should too, because of peer pressure. All the cool kids are doing it.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brian-james-lewis/ember-a-journal-of-luminous-things

-RLR

Monday, November 24, 2014

Two sales: "Operation Round Orange" to the Saturday Evening Post's NFF series and "Floaters" to Fantastic Stories of the Imagination

I'm happy to report that my story, "Operation Round Orange," will be appearing soon (this Friday, 11/28 I think) in the Saturday Evening Post's new New Friday Fiction online series. I'm particularly pleased by this sale since it's the first time I've sold a humorous story outside the speculative fiction markets, plus SEP's circulation, even its online content, probably dwarfs the circulation of all my other story sales combined.

I'll post a link when it goes live.

I'm also happy report a reprint sale to Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. My story, "Floaters," which originally appeared in Digital Science Fiction's Heir Apparent anthology will see new life with Fantastic Stories. "Floaters" was my first full length pro sale and Fantastic Stories will provide the story with a much wider audience. 

I'll post a link to it, too, once it goes live.

-RLR

Fireside #18 with my story, "Twenty Parsecs East of the Earth Bypass, Closed on Sundays," is now live!

My story, "Twenty Parsecs East of the Earth Bypass, Closed on Sundays,"and several others are now lives at http://www.firesidefiction.com/issue18/.

Check out the issue!

-RLR

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Got a hankerin' for a western, pardner? Read "Leave the Stone" and other stories in The Big Adios Western Digest

Got a hankerin' for a western, pardner? Read "Leave the Stone" and other stories in The Big Adios Western Digest. If you don't, you may be a yella-bellied Yankee or a no-good varmit.

-RLR

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Cat Tail" by Bert Lowe (hey, that's ME!) has been accepted by Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things

I'm very pleased to announce that my middle grade story, "Cat Tail," has been accepted by Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things. This marks my first official children's story sale and the first time I will be published under my pen name, Bert Lowe.

Looks like I'll need to add some content to my Bert Lowe website. :-D

And for no particular reason, I'll also mention that Ember is currently running a Kickstarter campaign

Big yay!

RLR (aka Bert Lowe)
 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Please consider "Scents of Life" for your Nebula nominations

Please consider "Scents of Life" for your Nebula nominations.
http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/biotech/robert-lowell-russell/scents-of-life
I received a number of emails and comments telling me how much people liked my story, some even saying it was the best Daily Science Fiction story they'd ever read. My story has yet to be reviewed by any of the major review sites, so you'll have to take my word that it's pretty darn good.

-RLR

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I'm in Penumbra's "spotlight"

Penumbra is doing follow up interviews with some of its past authors and I just noticed that my own "spotlight" popped up recently. It offers a bit of insight about my writing process and what I've been up to lately.

-RLR

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Twenty Parsecs East of the Earth Bypass, Closed on Sundays" will appear in Fireside Magazine.

Now that the cone of silence has been lifted, I can announce that my humorous, flash length story, "Twenty Parsecs East of the Earth Bypass, Closed on Sundays," will appear in Fireside Magazine. This is my ninth pro sale and twenty-eighth sale overall. Approaching big round numbers is cool.

-RLR

Friday, July 18, 2014

A decent Diabolical Plots review of my Daily Science Fiction story, "If She Pushes the Button, Turn to Page 116"

Diabolical Plots is really the only site that regularly reviews Daily Science Fiction, and even though they didn't care for my first DSF story, "Blessed Are the Sowers," their review of my second DSF story (and all the other Feb '14 DSF stories), "If She Pushes the Button, Turn to Page 116" is considerably better.

If She Pushes the Button, Turn to Page 116 by Robert Lowell Russell (debut 2/11 and reviewed by James Hanzelka)

Susan and Phil are exploring their basement, now cluttered with images generated by the paperback manual in Phil’s hands. Susan is amazed at how personal and detailed the text is. Following the text they explore the clutter of Phil’s grandfather that now populated their basement, right down to the dust the images carried in with them. The two follow the path the manual leads them on, flipping from page to page, watching their movements captured on the page. They follow the manual down to the hidden cavern the manual has created under their basement where they find the box housing Phil’s evil twin from the same dimension as the manual.
This story takes a little effort to get into, but if you let it carry you along it can be fun. The plot twists and turns like the ladder the couple follow to the cavern beneath their house (or their make believe house, I was never really sure). The author does a good job using the reflection of the characters off their opposites in the story to build the storyline. Overall a pretty well done effort, give it a read.

------------

I'll take it, and I'm looking forward to what they think of my longer story, "Scents of Life," upcoming from DSF, and sadly maybe one of the last longer stories Daily Science Fiction publishes, since DSF has announced they're focusing solely on work 1500 words or less.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

"The Flittiest Catch" has been reprinted by Voluted Tales.

"The Flittiest Catch" has been reprinted by Voluted Tales. This the second story of mine to appear in Voluted Tales, and it appears with some other excellent stories. A subscription doesn't cost much, so why not take a look?

RLR

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"The Question" makes Diabolical Plots' The Best of Dunesteef 2012-2013+ list

My updated version of "The Question" made Diabolical Plots' The Best of Dunesteef 2012-2013+ list. "The Question" was my first published story, and I couldn't help tweaking it a bit when I was shopping it to audio markets. I think my updated version (with an ostrich) is the best version, but more importantly, the Dunesteef people who voiced my story were FANTASTIC! The only knock I had on their work is that they used seagull sounds in place of a ostrich noises, but who the heck has ostrich audio clips? Thanks again Dunesteef and I'm glad that David Steffen of Diabolical Plots liked the story.

-RLR

Monday, April 28, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

"Mikey Frick Finds a Flower" reprinted by Story Shack and it includes FANTASTIC art by Alankrita Jain

Yikes! I've been so bogged down in my studies that I neglected to mention that my story, "Mikey Frick Finds a Flower" (originally appearing at Kazka Press) has been reprinted by Story Shack. One of the very cool things that Martin Hooijmans, editor of Story Shack, does is link writers to artists.The work done by Alankrita Jain is FANTASTIC and really captures my story perfectly. Even if you don't feel like reading my story again, it's worth following the link just to see Alankrita's artwork.

-RLR

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Water Finds Its Path" sells to Perihelion SF, and "The Flittiest Catch" to appear in Voluted Tales.

The Easter Bunny brought me an acceptance from Perihelion Science Fiction for my story, "Water Finds Its Path."  I've always liked this story, and I'm excited to appear for the first time at Perihelion. I've always admired their e-zine.

In other news, Voluted Tales will be reprinting my IGMS story, "The Flittest Catch." This will be my second reprint to appear with VT, and the first time "The Flittiest Catch" will appear outside of a firewall.

RLR

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Scents of Life" to appear in Daily Science Fiction.

Yesterday I received an acceptance from Daily Science Fiction for a story, "Scents of Life," that is what I consider "the best thing I've ever written" (so far). Unlike my other two stories to appear in DSF, this is a full length story. It incorporates some of the research I've done as a nursing student as well as some of my experiences with my father, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. Believe it or not, it is actually a POSITIVE sci-fi story, something I've found all too rare in what tends to get published these days. I'm very excited about this sale, and it is likely to result in my upgrade to full Active status in SFWA. Yay!

RLR

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Ghost Dancing" to appear on Phantasmacore

I've received word that my story, "Ghost Dancing," will appear on Phantasmacore. It's been a good few days for reprints. :-)  I'll post a link when it's live.

[edit] and it's live. Click here for story.

RLR

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Gorlack the Destroyer's All You Can Eat Adventure" is now available in the Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse anthology.

My story, "Gorlack the Destroyer's All You Can Eat Adventure," is in the Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse anthology, now available for download on Amazon. There are some pretty big names included in this anthology, and the story I contributed is one of my all time favorites.

RLR

Another "Thirty More Seconds." This time 50% more British.

The Short Humour Site (UK, thus the "-our" in humor) has reprinted my story, "Thirty More Seconds," about a guy masturbating in traffic who accidentally destroys the world.

I wasn't sure if American idioms like "monkey spanking" would work for an non-American audience, so I tried to use British equivalents (drawing from knowledge gleaned from my British TV watching habits) . There's a high chance that I buggered something up, so feel free to point out my errors. There's nothing I hate more than facking up my use of profanity. :-)

-RLR 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Here There Be Monsters?" available as a podcast on Bizarrocast!

Yikes! I missed posted about this when it went live. My Stupefying Stories Showcase story, "Here There Be Monsters?" has been podcasted by Bizarrocast. Listen here.

RLR

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I reveived my Writers of the Future semi-finalist critique

I received my Writers of the Future semi-finalist critique, and the prognosis for my short novella, "Star Heart, Skin of Darkness," is better than I expected (I may cut the last part of that title).

Wolverton/Farland said he wanted more detail (I've heard he's a details guy and I'm more of a minimalist) but that my novella was actually a bit too long for the contest. I guess blank space is counted? I suppose that makes sense for a print publication. So for what I had at 16K words by word processor count came out closer 22K by his measure. However, this did not disqualify my entry, which he said was very close to being a finalist.

What I think could have made it better is not trying to force the piece into a smaller space. He even said he could see my novella expanded into a novel. It's probably just the few scattered hours of sleep I've had (my daughter was up sick last night), but I feel weirdly giddy.

-RLR

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The TOC for the Dark Expanse Anthology has been announced and it is f%$&ing awesome!

Continuing the roller coaster of awesomeness, Alex Shvartsman (writer, and editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects series) just posted the TOC for the Dark Expanse anthology he is editing. My story, "Gorlack the Destroyer's All You Can Eat Adventure," will appear alongside stories by other fantastic writers including some major award winners and nominees. 

RLR

"Teaching Hospital" has sold to Dagan Books' Lakeside Cricus.

My medical sci-fi flash length story, "Teaching Hospital," has sold to Dagan Books' Lakeside Circus. Yay!

-RLR

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"If She Pushes the Button, Turn to Page 116" is now live at Daily Science Fiction

I'm not sure what's up with all the glitches since my story came out a day late to subscribers and was not announced to non-subscribers a week later, as is the norm for DSF, but no worries, here's a link to  "If She Pushes the Button, Turn to Page 116."

RLR

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Writeshop rocks!



I've read some blog posts about why you should join a writers' group, and I've read a few on why you shouldn't, but rather than write about writers' groups in general, I'm going to blog about a specific group, my group: Writeshop. Unless you happen to live in reasonable driving distance of Columbus, Ohio, knowing about Writeshop probably isn't going to do you a lot of good, and we're a "by audition" group, so even if you're close not everyone who applies gets in (by the way, it's very tough for members to evaluate applicants, so if you happen to be reading this and we've turned you down, don't give up, don't take it personally, and if you've had a bajillion things published and you're saying to yourself, "Fuck those Writeshop assholes. What the heck do they know?" it just goes to show you we aren't perfect).

Anyhow, we have a ritual of sorts when new members are added. I'd like to say it's all spankings, ritualistic hazing, and Jello molds in the shapes of Lovecraftian horrors, but all we really do is introduce ourselves to the new members. Recently we accepted two new members, and I've yet to meet either of them in person, but I've been thinking about what to say when it's my turn to introduce myself. Most of the time we say who we are, where we've been published, and what sort of things we like to write. This time I thought I'd get specific and say exactly what Writeshop has done for me, so I spent some time tallying all the stories and novel chapters I've presented to the group, and holy shit, I've presented a LOT of stuff.

I submitted my first story to an online magazine in the summer of 2010, so I guess I've been writing for a bit more than three and half years now. I joined Writeshop in the late fall of 2010. I've written 32 short stories so far (about 44% under 1000 words, the longest clocks in at 16K words), and I've presented about 78% of those stories to Writeshop, either for evaluation in a full meeting, or for another less formal process we have. Most of those stories I only presented once, but a few I've presented to the group as many as three times (four?) as I've worked through different versions. I'd estimate that I've also presented about a dozen chapters from a couple of novels I've been working on (40-50K words total maybe?) but have temporarily shelved (mostly because I have some kinks to work out of my novel writing process). That's a HELL of a lot of my material Writeshop members have picked through.

Having written all that, I can say with confidence that I would not have done as well as I have without a LOT of help from my group members. As a new member I started off very rough, and I'm still clueless when it comes to certain rules of grammar (I'm sure I've made a number of mistakes in this blog post). Unlike some members who present masterful drafts to the group, save for a few typos, my stories can still be pretty rough. Sometimes I'm just seeing if something works, and often my answer is, "No, Rob. That sucked. Here's all the stuff you need to change." 

Despite this, I've had 23 stories published (or accepted to be published) in the last three and half years. A whopping 70% of those went through Writeshop first, and ALL of my published stories over 1000 words went through the group. I have 9 complete stories that remain unpublished. Two of those are hopeless. The other 7 are new and I'm confident they'll be published eventually, which means Writeshop will have helped me with nearly 80% of what I've had published. My conclusion? Writeshop kicks ass!

Need more convincing? If you look at our past and current members, we've got some pretty impressive people. What's even more amazing is that I've read what our current members have produced, and I know if the publishing world doesn't already know their names, they'll know them soon enough. Some of the unpublished stuff is so good that I'd be shocked if there aren't some future major award nominees in our circle listening to us nitpick their stories.

If you'd like to apply to join Writeshop, contact our leader, Jerry Robinette. If you're way the hell away from Columbus, I wish you luck finding your own group. Every group is going to have its ups and downs, and it may take you time to find the right group for you, but if you're willing to check your ego at the door and listen, you may get just as lucky as I did and find something that really works for you. 

-RLR

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"Path of Stones" available again at Jersey Devil Press

My story, "Path of Stones," (which appeared originally at Penumbra) is available again at Jersey Devil Press. This time you don't even have to cough up any dough to read it.

Why not check out the whole issue while you're at it?

RLR

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My story, "The Devil's in the Details," is now live at Infernal Ink.

My story, "The Devil's in the Details," is now live at Infernal Ink (FB page linked). This is a quirky little story with my brand of humor that I adapted from a ten minute play I wrote for a playwriting class. Though my story is pretty tame, Infernal Ink's stories often have adult content, so fair warning. Here are some links to the various formats of the issue:

Print
Kindle
PDF

Happy New Year!

-RLR