Long Weekends Should Be Standardized

Seriously, having a four day weekend has been so nice. I managed to spend part of the long weekend with my family, eating tons of home cooked food and playing with my dog. Hope those of you in the States have enjoyed it as well.

Not much to report on the home front this week. I continue to make headway on short story edits, essays, and new story drafts. Although progress is slower than I would like it to be. (It always is.)

This week, I finished reading the short story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell. I found her storytelling craft exceptional, even though not all of the stories resonated with me. One of the things I liked most about it was how varied and unique each story was in terms of topics, settings, and breath. Each piece had a mix of darkness and humor, though the ratios varied from story to story.

I also saw the animated movie Porco Rosso by Hayao Miyazaki. It came out in 1992, but I never seen it before and there was a matinee over the weekend at one of the dine-in theaters in Brooklyn. So with coffee and truffle popcorn, I watched this strange, beautiful film and was once again fascinated by Miyazaki’s dreamlike way of storytelling. I learned recently that he doesn’t use a script when creating movies. Instead he creates a storyboard and he doesn’t know how the movie is going to end until he draws it.

Which, as someone who has to literally write things down to give them shape and meaning, I find that mind blowing.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this: If you’re looking for a SFF short story to check out this week, try Slow Communication by Dominique Dickey

Year End Eligibility Post 2022 and Where Else to Find Me

It’s that time of year again and I’m not talking about the holidays, though I’m excited for American Thanksgiving next week. (Four day weekend and homemade cranberry sauce!) Award season for the science fiction, fantasy, and horror community has begun, and it’s good practice to post a year end round up of your work and where to find it.

Also, since Twitter seems on the verge of collapse, I thought I’d mention that you can find me on Mastodon at @atgreenblatt@wandering.shop.

Also, I’m hoping to post on this blog weekly.

Okay, onto the stories. It’s been a bit of a rocky year for me in terms of writing, but three stories of mine were published and in some excellent venues.

A Record of Our Meeting with the Grand Faerie Lord of Vast Space and Its Great Mysteries, Revised

Published March 2022 in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. 7,600 words (novelette)

“It should be noted here, at the beginning of the record, that the decision to invite such an esteemed and unknowable entity was not made lightly nor without a great deal of heated debate among the crew. [Addition: Upon reflection, Pilot Uma and Navigator Wilson conducted most of the debate and, ultimately, made the decision. The events that followed could have perhaps been avoided had they sought wider counsel.] However, it was agreed by all that the potential results were worth the risk. The crew was eager to

Cover art. Astronaut like explorers in foreground, giants in the distance
Ancient Ones by Jose Borges

If We Make It Through This Alive

Published January 2022 in Slate Magazine. 7,000 words (short story)

“The open road is just potholes and misery, but Sabrina loves it anyway. Not that she has anything against the national train system, trains are great. But it’s the challenge, the potential to rebuild everything, that has her doing final checks on Gran’s old Jeep at the starting line of the Great American Road Race.

Not that Gran would’ve recognized her beloved car.”

Cover art. Tricked out Jeep with solar panels
Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo/Slate. Photos by Ruben Hanssen/Unsplash, Ravi Sharma/Unsplash, Brandon Green/Unsplash

The Music of a New Path

Published June 2022 in the Bridge to Elsewhere Anthology. 4,000 words (short story)

“Tessa rubbed her face. Click, click went her teeth, but now, her only accompaniment was the ship’s deep hum. The junkyard man had warned her she was on borrowed time with The Castaway when she’d bought it, but there was something, something that Tessa couldn’t quite name, that whispered, Don’t give up on the ship. Not yet

Cover of Bridge to Elseware

That’s it! What have you read this year that you’ve loved? Have you published something that you’re proud of? Please feel free to leave a comment!

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!

Story Hour Reading February, 10th!

Is this my first post of 2021? I think it is. Happy New Year, everyone! We made it through 2020, so that’s something.

In all honesty, I’m not sure what this next year looks like for writing and appearances. I have three stories coming out in the next three months and I’m planning on attending both ICFA and the Nebula Conference virtually. But I’ll have seperate posts for all of those stories and events in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, I’m excited to say that I’ll be doing another online reading for Story Hour on Wednesday, February 10th, at 10pm EST/7pm PST. I’ll be reading with Barbara Krasnoff! Barbara is a fantastic writer and I’m thrilled to be sharing a reading with her. So, if you’d like to hear some stories, the reading is free and open to anyone who’d like to attend.

Anyway, stay safe, healthy, and find joy where you can.

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!