4th Street Fantasy 2022

I totally forgot to write this post and the conference is starting tomorrow. And, if all the flying goes smoothly, I will be in Minneapolis tonight. Also, I’m going to be on some panels. Additionally, I’m very excited to see people again in person and might not have finished my cup of coffee this morning yet, hence stream of consciousness-like wording of this post.

Anyway, here’s my schedule for 4th Street Fantasy:

Designing Worlds for Everyone – 4:00 PM Friday

Stella Evans (M), Avani Gadani, A.T. Greenblatt, Benjamin C. Kinney, Michael Merriam.

From airport scanners with only two body type defaults to facial recognition systems that can’t recognize BIPOC, unconscious—or conscious—design decisions from our world that treat people unequally seep into our fantasy worlds. Authors create fantastic worlds full of stairs wheelchair users can’t access or magic systems designed to erase disabilities. But there also exist magic writing systems that dyslexic users excel at and blind earthbenders who don’t have to overcome their disabilities in order to thrive. What are broad principles or specific ways of approaching world-building to include as many people in the fantasy as possible? 

Ambiguous Narrative Stances11:30 AM Sunday

A.T. Greenblatt, Marissa Lingen, Jenn Lyons, Aja McCullough (M), Abra Staffin-Wiebe. 

What kind of ambiguity serves a story, in endings and in narrative support? Raising complicated questions with no easy answers is all well and good; avoiding dealing with what they mean entirely is an abnegation of responsibility. We can’t control reader interpretations, and there can be power in letting readers fill in for themselves what goes, but when is failing to take an explicit stance a disservice to the reader, and how explicit is it important to be? Where is the line between an ambiguous ending that fails the reader by failing to take a stance, or that serves the reader in forcing them to think through implications to their logical conclusion and intentionally decide on their own reading? 

As I said, very excited for this and if you’re there, please feel free to come say hello.

Comings and Goings – Late May & Early June 2022

I can’t remember when I posted here last and honestly, I’m a little too lazy right now to check, but I think it’s been a while. I’m slowly getting used to living in a new city. Or at least getting a little less lost, which is nice. I’m really enjoying the springtime greenery and looking forward to summer.

Speaking of upcoming things, I will be at the virtual Nebula Convention next weekend (May 19th-May 22nd). I also have a virtual reading at NYRSF on June 7th. Here’s the information for both:

At the Nebulas, I’ll be on two panels:

The Future of Disability Representation – May 20th at 3pm PST – with Effie Seiberg, Andi C. Buchanan, Nicola Griffith, A. T. Greenblatt, and Nalini Haynes

Description: Writers with disabilities prop up excellent examples of representation, discuss how to overcome harmful tropes and stereotypes, and explore, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the future of portraying disability in SFF.

The Second Person and You – May 22nd at 10:30am – P H Lee, Suzan Palumbo, Lauren Ring, Eden Royce, and A. T. Greenblatt

Description: The second person is often regarded as difficult, complex, or experimental. But it doesn’t need to be! Explore how your work could benefit from this technique with authors who have intentionally and successfully written from this perspective.

My second event is an author reading at the NYRSF series. It will be streamed on the internet free for all on June 7th at 7pm!

Hope to see you virtually!

New Story “A Record of Our Meeting with the Grand Faerie Lord of Vast Space and Its Great Mysteries, Revised” at Beneath Ceaseless Skies!

I’m a little late to posting about this new story because my life has been a bit insane. A little over a month ago I accepted a new engineering position and now, a handful of weeks later, I’m sitting in an apartment in Brooklyn with my laptop and other essentials, but with most of my belongings in storage.

I’m still reeling from all the changes, but I’m also excited.

But right before I decided to upend my life, I wrote this story. I created it very quickly – when I was extremely tired and my exercise schedule was messed up (hence my writing productivity was also messed up.) I wanted to tell a time-looping story, but I all my initial ideas feel too much like Groundhog Day. The idea of revisions and how a story can change over time has always fascinated me. How you can redirect a story by adding little details here or reframing a moment there. So I decided to try that on an extreme scale with this story.

A Record of Our Meeting with the Grand Faerie Lord of Vast Space and Its Great Possibilities, Revised” is one of the most difficult stories I have ever written.

At some point, I wasn’t even sure it made sense to anyone but myself – that’s how zoomed in I was to each sentence and every worldbuilding detail. I couldn’t see the larger picture anymore. So I’m eternally grateful to Beneath Ceaseless Skies editor Scott Andrews and my beta readers for their help on this one.

I figured a time-looping story needed a looping song as its soundtrack, so I was listening to Zoë Keating “Possible” on repeat as I wrote and rewrote this story.

Hope you enjoy this science-fantasy story!

New Story: “If We Make It Through This Alive” Up at Future Tense Fiction

New story days are the best days. And I’m thrilled to say that my story “If We Make It Through This Alive” is now free to read over at Slate.com’s Future Tense!

I’m so excited to share this story with the world! It’s about a road race across America in a climate-wrecked future where the highway system has been abandoned and trains are the main mode of transportation. I’ve been working on this piece for several months now and it was definitely a challenge to keep it in the short-story word range. There’s a wonderful companion essay to the story “How Heeding Disabled People Can Help Everyone Survive a Crisis” by Damien P. Williams.

This story has several point-of-view characters, each with her own history and goals. One of the biggest challenges was to make sure each character had a chance to tell her piece of the story and to make sure she came alive against the backdrop of where she came from. So, it made sense for Sabrina, Jody, and Fern to have their own theme songs while I was writing this story.

For Sabrina, the song was “Artificial Nocturne” by Metric. For Jody, it was “I Need My Girl” by The National. And for Fern, it was “No Lights, No Lights” by Florence + The Machine.

As always, I hope you enjoy the story and the essay!

Year End Eligibility Post 2021

I’m not sure what happened to 2021. Where 2020 seemed to drag on and on, 2021 flew by. I suspect the pandemic has truly warped my sense of time. It’s a little frightening.

In terms of writing though, 2021 was another amazing year. I had one novelette, four short stories, and one essay published. One of my stories from last year was a finalist for the Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Awards. My work has been translated into a half dozen different languages, including Klingon. I got an agent and I taught my first writing related class.

I’m still stunned to be honest.

Anyway, if you’re catching up on reading from 2021, here’s my work that came out this year:

1. Questions Asked in the Belly of the World

  • Published in Tor.com – September 29, 2021
  • 9,000 words
Cover Art by Rebekka Dunlap

2. The Stop After the Last Station

  • Published in Uncanny Magazine – Issue 43, November/December 2021
  • 3,000 words
  • Audio version at the link
Cover Art by Grace P. Fong

3. The Family in the Adit

  • Published in Nightmare Magazine – Issue 103, April 2021
  • 3,000 words
  • Audio version at the link
Cover Art by Alexandra Petruk

4. RE: Bubble 476

  • Published in Asimov’s – March/April 2021
  • 5,100 words
Cover Art by NASA

5. The Memory of a Memory is a Spirit

  • Published in Lightspeed Magazine – Issue 129, February 2021
  • 4,000 words
Cover Art by Grandfailure

6. Essay: A Million And One Different Ways to Find Your Artistic Voice

  • Published by AAPD
  • 1,000 words

That’s what I have for 2021. What have you read and loved this year? I’m always looks for recommendations.

Happy reading!

Bridge to Elsewhere Anthology Kickstarter

As I write this, it’s almost the weekend and I’m settling in for a few days of story revisions and writing related work. I have a handful of stories coming out in 2022 if all goes well – two that are finished and accepted, one that I’m revising this weekend, and one that is only a few opening sentences in my notebook. (That last one is a problem child.)

However, one of the two finished stories is going to be in the Bridge to Elsewhere anthology, edited by Julia Rios and Alana Joli Abbott, published by Outland Entertainment. The anthology is centered around space exploration and daring crews. My story “The Music of a New Path” is about an AI ship that changes course without warning, while the crew races to figure out why before it’s too late. It was fun to write!

The project is currently running a Kickstarter and the list of authors included for this project is amazing. Please consider supporting the anthology here.

That’s it for now. I’ll be posting my year end eligibility post at some point this weekend. Probably.

In any case, thanks for reading and I hope you are staying safe and happy wherever you are.

New Story: “The Stop After the Last Station” in Uncanny Magazine!

I’m excited to announce I have a new piece published in the November/December 2021 issue of Uncanny Magazine! It’s called “The Stop After the Last Station” and I still can’t believe I got away with writing this story. I always try to do something new with every story I write and in this case the experiment was “Can I tell a story that in reverse?” It took me a while to get this story right. If you’re curious, I chat about the process with Lynne Thomas over on Uncanny’s podcast.

Also, as a warning, 75% of my upcoming stories have a train or trolley in them. I don’t know why this is my current obsession, but it is.

My soundtrack for this story was “Georgia” by Phoebe Bridgers.

Hope you enjoy!

New Story: “Questions Asked In the Belly of The World” Published at Tor.com!

Dear S—-,

I need you to keep me honest. In the next story I write I’m not allowed to use my favorite props, i.e. body-less voices, ghosts, and characters whose lives revolve around making things. Bonus points if no one gets eaten.

In the meantime, I’ve created a monster.

This was an email I sent to my friends in November 2015 when I asked them to read a very early and very rough draft of this story. It was only a shadow of what this story would become, but I knew even then that there was something in it worth telling.

I’m very pleased to announce that that first draft became “Questions Asked in the Belly of the World” and it is now live and free to read over at Tor.com.

This is a story that took me five years to get right, partly because it was outside my skill level to tell until recently and partly because it took me a while to figure out what the story was actually about. It is one of the strangest stories I’ve ever written and one of my most ambitious ones to date.

My writing soundtrack to this story was “Arsonist’s Lullaby” by Hozier.

Hope you enjoy my monster!

Schedule for Capclave 2021

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. I haven’t had much news to report – I’ve mostly been working on stories that will be published later this year or early 2022. If everything goes to plan, I’ll have 3 more stories coming out in 2021, the first of which is “Questions Asked in the Belly of the World” which will be published at Tor.com on September 29th!

In the meantime, I will be at Capclave on Oct. 1st – Oct 3rd. I’m so excited and it’ll be wonderful to meet up with old friends and make new ones.

Here’s my schedule:

  • Non Traditional Protagonists – Saturday, Oct 2nd @ 11am EST
    • Description: The typical protagonist is an unmarried young white male (or more recently female). But what about protagonists who don’t fit this mold. What about older characters, non-white characters, and characters with disabilities or handicaps? How does changing the protagonist change the story? And are there stories that require such a character to be told?
    • Panelists: Peter S. BeagleMary FanA. T. GreenblattJ. S. KelleyJennifer Povey (M)
  • Why Write Short Stories – Saturday, Oct 2nd @ 12pm EST
  • Author Reading – Saturday, Oct 2nd @ 3:30pm EST
    • Don’t know what I’ll read yet. Open to suggestions.

If you’re going to be at the conference, please feel free to come and say hello!

“Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super” is a finalist for the Hugo Award.

I have really exciting new today. My novelette “Burn or the Episodic Life of Sam Wells as a Super“, first published in Uncanny Magazine, is a finalist for the Hugo Award!

The Hugo Award is an annual science fiction and fantasy award celebrating writers, artists, podcasters, game writers, editors, and TV/film writers. It is one of the most prestigious awards in the field and the ceremony is hosted every year by the World Science Fiction Convention or WorldCon. This year the convention will be on Dec 15th-19th, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Here’s the link to the full 2021 Hugo Award ballot. It is truly an honor to be listed among so many amazing creators.