Alan Lastufka

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2023 Annual Wrap-Up

DECEMBER 30, 2023

It’s Been a BIG Year!

Welcome to my 2023 wrap-up! A year ago today, I’d only published two books: my debut novel, Face the Night, and Nicole Dieker’s first in a new cozy mystery series, Ode to Murder.

Twelve short months later, I’ve published over twelve books, six chapbooks, about two dozen short stories in Shortwave Magazine, and worked with almost a hundred different authors this year between anthologies and other projects.

My small press, Shortwave Publishing, had a fantastic year. More on that later…

Obsolescence and Book of the Future

OBSOLESCENCE / “Book of the Future” / Writing News

In some personal writing news, I edited my first anthology, OBSOLESCENCE, this year with co-editor Kristina Horner. Kristina and I also co-wrote a new short story, “Book of the Future”, published as a companion chapbook alongside OBSOLESCENCE. You can pick up both in the Shortwave shop.

OBSOLESCENCE features a special foreword from Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story), and 27 brand-new dark sci-fi and horror stories from some incredible writers.

“Book of the Future” was my first foray into dark sci-fi writing, but feedback has been encouraging. In fact, “Book of the Future” is currently my highest-rated title on Goodreads. OBSOLESCENCE and “Book of the Future” sold extremely well, and in November I was accepted as a Full Member in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association!

I was then invited to speak on a panel at TBR CON about Small & Midsized Publishers. This panel will be streamed live on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024. This will be my second appearance on a panel, after the StokerCon panel, Keeping the Artificial Out of Art: AI, Bots, and ChatGPT, I was on earlier this past summer.

And in future writing news, I am currently working on my next novel, DEAD FM. I expect to make some big announcements about that book later next year.

I also finished a new novelette this past fall titled Out of Time, which is a pure sci-fi story. I shared it with one of my oldest writing friends and she said, “This is a brilliant story. Really some of your best work.” I’m excited for readers to get their hands on it some time in 2024.

“The Fort” Official Trailer Premiere / Film News

My short story, “The Fort“, was optioned last year by Umbrella Pictures. The short film moved into production this past August, and the first trailer premiered just a few weeks ago! Watch it above.

“The Fort” stars Callie Haverda (Netflix’s That ’90s Show) and Armani Jackson (Paramount+’s Wolf Pack). It was filmed over a single week of very long days in the woods of Kentucky.

We will be hosting a few advanced screenings in major cities across the US, with the first taking place January 28, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA.

Tickets to that screening, alongside the film on Blu-ray, signed merch, and other goodies will be offered during “The Fort” Kickstarter campaign launching in just one week on January 5th. You can preview and sign up to be alerted at launch of the “The Fort” Kickstarter here.

Shortwave Year 2 Releases

Shortwave Publishing News

Finally, let’s jump back into Shortwave news.

Shortwave is a one-person operation, but I don’t work in a vacuum. In our second year (first full calendar year) of business, I had the privilege of collaborating with some extremely talented authors on some really cool titles.

We published our first dark sci-fi title, Lyndsey Croal’s Have You Decided on Your Question, in April. You will be seeing more work from Lyndsey in Shortwave’s catalog soon!

Ai Jiang’s I AM AI was published in June, and was immediately picked up and taught at the University of Washington.

Dread Central revealed the cover of Alex Ebenstein’s Melon Head Mayhem, while Bloody Disgusting named Brian McAuley’s Candy Cain Kills one of their Top 5 Coolest Horror Collectibles. Both of these titles are part of Shortwave’s new Killer VHS Series of standalone novellas, which come with Shortwave Video membership cards and a Video Rental shipping box.

Candy Cain Kills became our all-time bestselling title the month of its release, receiving praise from Library Journal, Kirkus, and Booklist, among many others.

Adam Godfrey’s Narcissus was published in May, alongside an audiobook edition read by the award-winning narrator, Elisabeth Rodgers.

In September, we opened Shortwave Magazine submissions publicly and received 1,200 submissions in just one week, which was double the amount of all previous open submission periods!

25 years after its last issue, I worked with founding editor, Stephen Mark Rainey, to publish a brand-new DEATHREALM collection in October. DEATHREALM was named one of the most important horror magazines of the ’80s by award-winning editor, Ellen Datlow. This collection includes genre legends Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Keene, Elizabeth Massie (just a few months after she won the Horror Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award!), among others.

We published two more novels in Nicole Dieker’s cozy mystery series just as the first title in the series, Ode to Murder, was named an Indie Worth Discovering by Kirkus Magazine.

This was our second honor from Kirkus as, last December, they named my novel, Face the Night, one of the 100 Best Indie Books of the Year after giving it a starred review.

And 2024 looks to be keeping pace, if not lapping our 2023 accomplishments. There are too many to list here, but visit our catalog to view our upcoming 2024 titles, including “Stay on the Line” by Clay McLeod Chapman (Ghost Eaters, What Kind of Mother) and Trevor Henderson (Scarewaves), along with Nat Cassidy‘s (Mary, Nestlings) new novella, Rest Stop, among many others.

A huge thank you to all of you who’ve been along for this journey. This past year was probably the busiest year of my life so far, and while stressful at times, I don’t think I’d trade it for the world.

I hope your year was productive / relaxing / loving / exciting / whatever you wanted it to be.

Happy Holidays everyone! And I hope your New Year rocks!