“One Time, A Reluctant Traveler” Out Now at Clarkesworld!

Hello all! I’m excited to announce that I have a new story out. It’s called “One Time, A Reluctant Traveler” published in Clarkesworld Magazine!

This is a story I wrote during the pandemic and consequently, it was a difficult story to write. Partly because global catastrophes tend to atrophy your creativity. Partly because it’s a story about depression and the cyclical and generational nature of it.

But it also includes things which I had so much fun writing, like a sarcastic park ranger robot and stories within stories. It’s been years since I’ve ridden a bike outside, but I had a great time reimagining what that would feel like in a strange landscape.

In terms of music, a weird thing has been happening to me lately. When I write, I usually find one or two songs that act as a soundtrack to the story, then I listen to them on repeat. That hasn’t been the case lately. Instead I’ve been listening to playlists or entire albums. But I think of all the songs I listened to while writing this, Jordan Klassen’s Virtuous Circle and Surprised/Not Surprised are the two songs I associate most with this piece.

As always, I hope you enjoy the story. And more importantly, I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

“Give the Family My Love” Wins a Nebula Award!

So, this happened. “Give The Family My Love” published in Clarkesworld Magazine won the Nebula award for Best Short Story last night. Honestly, I’m still completely stunned and I would love to say something profound here, but I’m really, really tired tonight.

So I figured I’ll transcribed my acceptance speech here instead

But before I do that, if you like to see the awards ceremony you can watch it in its entirety here. If you only want to see the short story category and my speech, skip to the 34:30 minute mark.

Here’s the speech:

Um, so, wow. This is a shock and surprise. Thank you all so, so much for this amazing honor. It is truly a dream come true. Writing is a lonely process, but nothing is created alone.

So, I’d like to thank Neil Clarke for taking a chance on this story and to Kate Baker for her amazing narration. Thank you to my fabulous critique group who saw a half finished draft of this story several years ago and understood what I was trying to do.

Thank you to all my friends, online and in-person, who have been my consistent support network. And thank you to my family who have always been supportive and encouraging through the ups and downs in my career. Who don’t mind that I disappear for hours on the weekends to write. I love you very much.

Finally, thank you to all the readers who believed in this story. These are truly terrifying times where tomorrow is not necessarily guaranteed. But being human means we’re complicated creatures with complicated emotions and opposable thumbs. Which means we can hold our fear and our dread in one hand and our hope in the other.

And I hope you hold tight to that hope, that desire to make good art and make the world a bit better, even when things look bleak.

Especially when things look bleak.

Thank you so much.

Here’s a list of all the winners.

Weird Dream Society Anthology!

Things have been quiet on this blog for a while, but then again, life has been fairly quiet since I started quarantining mid-March. I’ve been writing. Slowly. But I’ve also been taking time to take care of myself. (Lots of walks, yoga, good cooking, and books.)

Which is all to say, that I do have some news to share today. I’m excited to say I have a story in the Weird Dream Society anthology! What’s particularly exciting about this project is that it’s a charity anthology benefiting RAICES. And it’s available for pre-order right now. It contains many, many amazing writers and benefits a fantastic organization. It also has a reprint of my story “They Said the Desert” with was originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies!

That’s it for now. I hope you are all safe and healthy and finding some time to do the things you love.

“Give the Family My Love” Finalist for Nebula Award

I’m beyond excited to announce that my short story “Give the Family My Love“, which was originally published in Clarkesworld Magazine, is a finalist for the 2019 Nebula Award!

If you’re wondering what the Nebula Awards are, they’re like the Oscars for science fiction and fantasy writers. Members of Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) nominate works in several categories and vote on the final ballot. There’s an awards ceremony and everything. Here’s the full list of nominees.

The winners will be announced on May 30th, 2020.

I’m so honored to have this story listed among such good writers and their amazing work.

New Essay “How To Send Your Disabled Protagonist on an Adventure in 7 Easy Steps”

This is a first for me. I usually prefer to spend my writing time working on fiction, but for Uncanny Magazine’s Disabled People Destroy Fantasy Issue, I made an exception. Today, I’m pleased to say I have an essay in this issue called “How to Send Your Disabled Protagonist on an Adventure in 7 Easy Steps.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for the last few years and have been trying to incorporate into my own fiction more often. The essay was surprisingly fun to write, because unlike the essays I wrote for school, now I could be sarcastic.

I hope you like it and find it useful. And as always, if you enjoy the content that Uncanny Magazine puts out, please consider supporting them.

Stories Published in 2019 (So Far)

2019, so far, has been a good year for me in terms of writing. Like an extremely good year. Like, I haven’t been doing a proper job of talking about which stories have come out, which ones have audio links, what’s been reprinted, etc.

So, this is a post to recap what’s out and what’s coming out soon!

Online Publications:

Stories in Anthologies:

  • The Gods of Empty Places – Pantheon Magazine – February 15, 2019
  • Forthcoming: “Heavy Lifting” – Best Science Fiction of the Year Vol. 4 – July, 2019 (preorder here)
  • Forthcoming: “And Yet” – The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2019 – September 2019 (preorder here)

Podcasted Stories:

Seriously though, I’m still stunned by this list.

Happy reading!

“Move Forward, Disappear, Transcend” Now Live at Clarkesworld!

I’m a few days late in posting this, but I have a new story out! “Move Forward, Disappear, Transcend” is now available for your reading pleasure over at Clarkesworld Magazine!

With every story I write, I always try to do something that I haven’t tried before. With this piece, that meant writing a story from the point of view of a much older protagonist than myself. It took me a few drafts to get right.

My soundtrack for this story was Empiricist by Typhoon. (Their whole album “Offerings” is great though, I highly recommend.)

If you like this story or any other story Clarkesworld has published, please consider supporting them.

Happy reading!

Podcast of “And Yet” Now Up at Escape Pod!

A narrated version of my Nebula nominated story “And Yet” is now up and available for your listening pleasure over at Escape Pod.

It’s always fun to listen to other people’s takes on stories and the narrator Alethea Kontis does a fantastic job!

If you’re interested in the background post for this story when it was originally published in Uncanny Magazine, you can find that here.

Finally, if you like this story or any of the podcasts the Escape Artists team does, please consider supporting them.

Happy reading!

“Before the World Crumbles Away” Live at Uncanny Magazine

A new story is up and free to read online over at Uncanny Magazine! “Before the World Crumbles Away” is a bit different from most of my other stories. It’s near future focused and centered around a relationship of two people with different world views. There’s also an interview posted where I discuss the story in more detail and talk about its influences.

I listened to two different songs on repeat as I wrote this story. The first was “Gone” by My Bubba and the second was “Forgive Me” by Sky Gienger.

This is the third(!) story of mine that Uncanny Magazine has published. Uncanny and other magazines rely on readership support to continue publishing short fiction. If you like this story or any story they have published, please consider supporting them.

Lastly, a podcast of “And Yet” should be up later this week at Escape Pod. I’ll post an update here when it is!

Happy reading!

“Team Work” Now Live at Fireside Magazine!

I’m please to say that my short story “Team Work” is now up and free to read (or listen to) at Fireside Magazine!

My goal for this story was to get better at writing flash fiction – stories that are 1,000 words or less. You’d think that after spending so many years as an editor assistant for Every Day Fiction and Flash Fiction Online, I could put together a flash story, no problem. But unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Writing them still takes tons of practice.

Anyway, in this story I wanted to combine my love of weird, almost useless superhero powers with anxiety and acceptance. I listened to tunnels pt.2 by Joshua Burnside on repeat while I was writing and editing this story. For me, the song captured a sense of urgency and anxiety.

I also want to add that if you’ve enjoyed my stories or the magazines that published them, please consider getting a subscription or supporting them on Patreon. Most fiction magazines run on razor thin margins and need the support of readers to survive. Fireside Magazine makes both ebooks and print books for their subscribers. I get the print books quarterly and they’re beautiful!

That’s it for now. Next week my story “Before the World Crumbles Away” will be live at Uncanny Magazine and an audio version of “And Yet” will be podcasted in Escape Pod. I’ll post updates here when they’re available, so stay tuned!

As always, thanks for reading!