Professor Lily Shelley is frantic to find her wife Penny, who vanished two weeks ago. No one else seems to be looking very hard, not the police or even Penny’s family. As Lily refuses to give up hope, she continues searching for clues, even as she teaches English at Moraine University. In her search, she stumbles into a magical world; a college for wizards hidden in forgotten places at the University. Her favorite students come to her aid, helping her retrace Penny’s steps to learn the secrets of the School of Applied Metaphysics – as well as her newfound powers – in hopes of rescuing her wife.
I’ve submitted my latest novel, Trans Witch: College of Secrets, to be published initially in paperback by IngramSpark and as a Kindle ebook. I’ll post as soon as the book is available for purchase!
I’m going with Amazon/KDP for ebook at first, but will expand to a bunch of other platforms later!
Last time on the Multiverse Blues. Jules escaped capture, leaping through a portal that landed them in their home universe of Beta Earth. Seeking safety for baby Lucy, they find themselves in a heated confrontation.
Before I begin, I’d like to give you a bit of trivia. “The Dionnes” that Jules and friends talk about in The Multiverse Blues are none other than the characters of the same name from my science fiction novel, Reality Check. Also in Reality Check, a medic named “Bask” tends to Lee in a lunar transport vehicle; that’s a sneaky cameo of the Transit King from my Tipsy Fairy Tales books. I have so far resisted the strong temptation to include Bask, the Transit King, in The Multiverse Blues. I make no promises about chapters after this one; I may yet give in.
Jules got cleaned up and Jimmy gave them new clothes to wear, and Jules got to see a bit more of the mysterious disconnected Earth where her new friend lives. A surprise interdimensional visitor overnight causes Jules to flee through yet another portal, to yet another unknown destination, which will be revealed in today’s episode.
Raise your glasses, fans of this podcast! I’d like to propose a toast in honor of the Alien Beer Podcast’s first anniversary. That’s right, my first episode aired on February 6th, 2020, so Saturday will mark a full year of me reading my science fiction and fantasy stories to you.
I hope you’ve been enjoying the show. If download statistics are any indication, you’re out there, I can hear you breathing. We passed three THOUSAND downloads of episodes of Alien Beer last week. The first thousand took nearly six months, so it seems we’re picking up speed.
I’m glad to hear it. I’d love to hear from all of you listening. What Alien Beer stories did you especially like? What could you have done without? Who’s your favorite character in The Multiverse Blues? Are you sad that it’s coming to an end?
Yes, I said it. The Multiverse Blues has maybe five or six more episodes to go after this one.
What happens after that?
I have some ideas. I’d like to do another serial like The Multiverse Blues. I have some short stories that have never been published that I could put out there. In fact, for those, I’m thinking of linking them together with some common thread, though I’m still hashing out what that will look like.
Alien Beer will go on, in one form or another. I’m having too much fun reading my stories to you to quit after only a year. But please do write to me at email@example.com. I want to hear your thoughts to help encourage me to keep doing this, okay?
Last time on The Multiverse Blues. Jules finds themself in a boat with a new friend, in yet another Earth. Only this Earth seems to not be linked into the Arch Network, so there’s no obvious way for them to return.
Before I begin this episode, I’d like to let you know that the world of Erde, as mentioned in The Multiverse Blues, was first featured in my stand-alone science fiction novel, Reality Check. It’s the steampunky “silly hat” world that Lee visits. Reality Check is possibly my single most popular book. I want you to also know that the world of Erde is the world of my Trans-Continental series, where Ida and Duffy have their steampunk adventures.
As a side note, if you’ve ever wondered why I name the chapters of the Multiverse Blues the way I do, it’s because I’m using only the titles of Robert Johnson songs. It just seemed to go with the concept somehow.
Previously on the Multiverse Blues. Jules and company fled the Harmony theatre in Delta Earth’s Chicago, through a disused Arch Gate, with Arch Authority guards hot on their heels – in an armored vehicle. Jules discovered Delta Jules stowed away and causing mayhem, and both of them fell off La Esperanza, under fire. Jules made a hasty escape through a random rip in reality, to an unknown world…
Well, we made it. Yup, the terrible year that was 2020 is over now. I started this podcast before Covid-19 was even a worry, back in February. The rest of the year, reading my stories to you was a lifeline that made me feel just a little more connected to the world outside my house.
And then, in October, I needed a break from The Multiverse Blues. I had a few personal disasters, some of which continue to cause me daily difficulty even now. But in November, I wrote a whole novel, one that tells the story of a transgender woman discovering a magical college, as well as her own magic, as she searches for her missing partner.
And yes, I wrote that because a certain author of a certain franchise broke my heart, making me feel like I’d never be welcome in a certain magical school I used to love. I wrote a story where everyone who was disenfranchised by that other author can feel welcome.
Anyway, the Alien Beer Podcast is back for 2021, and I’m kicking off the year with a brand-new chapter of The Multiverse Blues. Going forward, I hope to have a new chapter for you every other week until the story is done. After that? Who knows. If you have any questions or comments about this podcast, or The Multiverse Blues, please leave me comments on social media, or send me email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The wait is nearly over, fans of The Multiverse Blues! After almost two months’ hiatus, my dimension-hopping science fiction serial returns to the Alien Beer Podcast this Thursday at the usual broadcast time, 8:01am EDT!
I took time off to write my upcoming novel, Trans Witch, and to recharge my creative batteries, but today I’ve written a new chapter for our non-binary hero, Jules, who’s off to yet another new parallel universe, for more adventure.
It was tough to get back into the groove, but I’m excited to resume the story! Look for new episodes every other week until the story is done.
Do you have a favorite character in The Multiverse Blues? Do you have any questions about the story? Please feel free to post comments or send me a message directly!
This is the last story in my Alien Beer and Other Stories collection.
I’m going to be totally transparent with you: I’m not sure where I’ll go from here.
One thing is certain: I will continue The Multiverse Blues, reading each chapter to you here on the Alien Beer Podcast.
Once that’s done? I’m not sure. I have some other stories I could read. I could start a new serial. I could write a new series of short stories just for the podcast.
As I said last time, I do plan to continue the every-other-week format for new episodes.
I might have special interstitial episodes as well, but those will be bonuses.
This episode is also the last installment of the Alien Beer Podcast for 2020. It’s been a wild year. It’s been rough. Very rough. Working on this podcast, which I started BEFORE the pandemic began in the US, has helped me hang on during dark times of isolation and fear. I didn’t know if anyone would listen. I’ve been pleasantly surprised: as of this recording, episodes of this podcast have been downloaded two thousand, two hundred, and forty-eight times.
Thank you for listening. We’ll see what happens in 2021.
Please: take care of yourself and be kind to others.
I’m a founding member of an author co-op called the Speculative Fiction Guild. In 2014, we put together an anthology of speculative short stories related to any of the winter holidays. The profits for that anthology went to benefit Indy Reads, an Indianapolis literacy charity. For this tie-in to my Road Ghosts and Tipsy Fairy Tales books, I channeled my childhood years watching Rankin & Bass holiday specials. I tried having various main characters, but eventually brought back Enid from “Spectral Delivery” as its star. It takes place after Mean Spirit, for those who want to know.
Check out this wonderful artwork gifted to me from Nell Williams! Duffy and Ida of my Trans-Continental books have settled in for a cozy holiday together, but you just know they’re itching to get back out there for more adventures together!
I added the words to make this a holiday card from me to you. Whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year, I hope it is filled with love and light!
First of all, you may have noticed the absence of The Multiverse Blues after Chapter Sixteen. I decided to take a hiatus on that, as life had gotten to be extremely stressful. Since this is being recorded towards the end of 2020, I think you know what I mean. On top of the pandemic and the terrifying uncertainty of the election, I had some personal issues going on, over and above the anxiety and depression I struggle with every day. Of note, the toilet in my half bathroom vomited enough sewage to cover the bathroom, the entry room, and half of my kitchen. My wife and I were overwhelmed and have been forced to effectively camp out for the past month and a half while demolition occurred, and while we wait for reconstruction. Oh, and my wife broke her wrist.
So, naturally, since I was already pushed past my limits, I thought to myself, “Hey, why don’t I do National Novel Writing Month this year!” Let me tell you, NaNoWriMo is stressful in the best of years, and I’d already been worrying about burning out on The Multiverse Blues.
Why did I do it? I found myself called by a new project. It’s a book called Trans Witch. As I write this to you on November 30th, I have just now finished, not just the required fifty-thousand words in thirty days, but I’ve also completed all the chapters I wanted to write in it. I have a rough draft of my magical mystery tour of a middle-aged transgender witch who finds herself searching for her lost partner within the college for wizards she’s found. If that sounds to you like it’s a big F-U to a certain transphobic YA author, you’re probably right.
Anyway, I plan to resume writing and recording the Multiverse Blues in the next few weeks. Trans Witch should be published by this coming Spring.
I hope you’re enjoying The Alien Beer podcast. I’m going to continue the every-other-week format as default for the foreseeable future. In two weeks, you can look forward to a holiday special.
As a palate cleanser for the previous two stories, I give you a final Iron Writer story I wrote in early 2017. The elements were: One hot summer day; A deserted island; Buried treasure; Chicken with its head cut off. I felt the elements went a little too well together, so rather than rehash Treasure Island, I thought I’d do another story with a twist. This story came in first with the popular vote, and close second with an internal Iron Writer vote, allowing me to advance to the tournament. But more importantly, it was fun to write.