Challenge,  On Writing

Fun Having My Own Monthly Magazine


So tonight I just finished laying out Smith’s Monthly #62 and decided I wanted to do something fun in #63. I wanted to focus on jukebox stories.

About forty years ago, I wrote my first jukebox story about a jukebox in a bar that actually takes a person back to their memory of a song while the song plays.

Over the years I wrote a lot of jukebox stories, the first being published in Night Cry Magazine in 1987. The most famous of them all was the story “Jukebox Gifts,” published first in F&SF. That story has been reprinted all over the place, optioned for movies, and is still one of my favorite stories.

In 40-plus years, I never knew the origin story of the Jukebox. Just used the jukebox as a time travel device. I just felt I would find the origin when the time was right and that I should just trust the process.

Then about a decade ago I started writing Thunder Mountain stories and novels. Time travel back into the old west.

And one day four years ago, I started to write a Thunder Mountain novel titled Melody Ridge about being able to hear the pianos from the destroyed city of Roosevelt even into the future. And suddenly I knew I was writing the origin story of the jukebox, almost forty years after I had started writing the stories.

So in the process of writing the novel, I used a number of the jukebox stories, breaking them into chapters and jumping all over the place in time. Great fun.

And when that book was done, I knew the jukebox in the Garden Lounge was done. Forty years and I had told enough Jukebox stories. I have no desire to tell more. And I have not in over four years now. But if the idea gets made into a television series or movie, I might be tempted to bring it out of storage once again. (grin)

So with Smith’s Monthly Issue #63, I am putting in a collection of five jukebox stories, a few of which are part of the novel, and also the novel Melody Ridge. So it will be possible to see a story as a short story, or as part of a novel. Of course, three of the jukebox stories in the collection are not in the novel and there are four other brand new original stories as well in the issue, including a brand new character.

Here is a link to get to all my jukebox stories that are in print.

So I am having fun. Issue #63 will be out in July some time.

Cover is below.