Year End Eligibility 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, writers and readers in the science fiction/fantasy world start looking back on what was published over the year. In terms of writing, 2018 has been a good year for me. I was extremely fortunate to have two stories come out in Uncanny and a story in the final issue of Mythic Delirium.

And Yet– Uncanny Magazine, March 2018 (4,600 words)

Heavy Lifting – Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction! (Uncanny), September 2018 (5,000 words)

Graffiti Guardians – Mythic Delirium, April 2018 (1,800 words) 

“Right now, there’s a silent monster roaming the city, and though Adwin has never seen it and doesn’t know exactly what it is, he can’t pretend not to see the damage. The blocks full of empty houses and empty people. Like a parasite has gorged on their insides but kept the façade intact. And lately, that emptiness has been spreading.”

That’s what I got. What have you read this year that you’ve enjoyed? 

Story Link Love 11/17/18

It’s been a while since I did one of these. I’ve been reading a bunch of short fiction lately and a friend asked for some recommendations and links. For now, I’m just recommending three stories because I read somewhere that no one really checks out recommendations past the third one. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but I find long lists overwhelming sometimes.

So, in no special order:

Thirty-Three Percent Joe” by Suzanne Palmer

‘[CC] Welcome online, Cybernetic Elbow Model CI953-L. This is your introductory Initial Boot orientation. You are currently in a locked and muted configuration while external medical systems run diagnostics to see that your replacement procedure has been fully successful. If so, you will fully join the collective cybernetic units that currently comprise—with your addition—approximately thirty-three percent of the biological unit known as “Joe.” ‘

The Oracle and the Sea” by Megan Arkenberg

‘When she plays, it’s the old songs—not her heavy concertos but brisk two-fingered melodies, folk tunes and old hymns, the first songs her youngest students would master. Every month when the soldiers bring her supply of flour and milk, they also bring waterproofed parcels of manuscript paper and cool bricks of ink. She always refuses them.’

How to Swallow the Moon” by Isabel Yap

‘Tonight, as in every night, she smiles when the door opens. Her arms loop over your neck; she leans in and rests her head against your cheek. She looks down at the basket between you. “Is this for me?”’

Hope you enjoy!

World Fantasy Convention 2018

I’m planning on attending WFC in Baltimore this year.  I’m super excited for it! This is my second time going to World Fantasy, but the first time I’m on programing. I’ll be on a panel on Sunday and have a reading Friday night.

Here’s my schedule:

Author Reading – Friday, 10/2 at 10:30 pm

Not sure what’ll I’ll be reading yet, but I’m planning on bring homemade cookies for the audience.

Best Meals Ever Written – Sunday, 11/4 at 11:00am

“A discussion of feasts and meals and what makes them
great is it a tragic ending like the Red Wedding or a highly
detailed description of the food so fans can replicate the
cuisine, or something in between.”

The panelists are Scott Edelman, Aliette de Bodard, S. M. Stirling, S. A Chakraborty, A. T.
Greenblatt

As always, if you’re attending the convention and you spot me, please feel free to come say hello.

New Story: “Graffiti Guardians” in Mythic Delirium

I’m very pleased say that “Graffiti Guardians” is now available to read in Mythic Delirium’s 20th anniversary edition!

I wrote this story a few years ago when I was feeling hopeless about writing and wondering if it was worth all the time and energy I was pouring into it. This story was a reminder to myself that art is important, unexpected, and unpredictable. And I hope that if you’re facing similar struggles now, it will encourage you of that too.

Soundtrack: I wrote this story to Sharon Van Etten’s “Serpents” on loop.

Thanks for reading!

A Book Lover’s Tale

I am a book creeper. I love looking over strangers’ shoulders to see what they’re reading; whether they borrowed it from the library or it’s worth buying in hardcover, whether the author is a household name or someone that is still mostly unknown. E-readers are the bane of my existence.

Public transportation is the best place for this, particularly trains and subways. I’m usually reading too, so the way I see it, it’s fair game.

But a few weeks ago I was on the train to Baltimore and the unimaginable happened – I had no book to read. I tried to keep myself entertained during the ride: I fidgeted with my phone, scanned the emergency procedure pamphlet tucked in the seat in front of me, studied the scenery. It worked for about twenty minutes.

I was also trying to figure out which book the guy next to me was reading. I knew it was one of the Millennium Series novels, but I couldn’t figure out which one without being completely obvious. So, I broke the rules of book creeping (desperate times called for desperate measures) and I asked him.

Turns out, he was one of those bookworms who didn’t mind being interrupted from his book.

Honestly, I can’t remember what his name was, but let’s call him Matt. Matt was on a mission to read the book before he saw the movie. He’d realized that Hollywood rarely did justice to the original story. Which was why he was reading The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.

As we talked I realized that Matt was a late bloomer, in the bookworm sense at least. He admitted that he never really liked books until recently and he talked about the novels he read with a new found excitement. He was probably one of those guys in high school who scanned Sparknotes and asked kids like me was the major themes of the book were.

“It’s kinda a shame that I didn’t read more sooner,” he said, “books are really great.”

It was actually a really nice conversation. I think I recommended I, Robot and I am Legend as well as The Girl Who Played with Fire. But it made me wonder what makes reading a passion for people. Why do some people gravitate instantly to it as soon as they have a basic understanding of letters while others discover it later? And why do some people never find it at all?

I think it’s partially attributed to attention span. But mostly I think it’s based on the reader’s ability to believe in someone that doesn’t exist and to be able to empathize with that imaginary person. Books become a passion when you’re not just reading words on a page, but taking them in and believing them without reservation.

Right before the train got to the station and we gathering up our things, Matt leaned over and said: “You know the Harry Potter movies? They suck compared to the novels.”

And so J. K. Rowling welcomes another fan to her legions.