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!

“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!

Story Live at Podcastle and New Story Sale

Brr, it’s cold out there. Actually, I shouldn’t be complaining because from where I sit, it’s only freezing and not the extreme subzero temperatures that other parts of the country are dealing with today. But it’s an excuse to stay inside and write a blog post.

Well, actually my reason for writing this is that I have more writing news.

First, in my previous post, I mentioned that Podcastle – the fantasy fiction podcast – was going to be narrating my story “A Place to Grow”. That podcast is now live and you can listen to it here! They did a fantastic job with the story!

My second piece of news is that I had another story accepted by Clarkesworld Magazine! (Yes, two acceptances in a month. Yes, I’m still stunned.) It’s called “Give the Family My Love” and I believe it’s coming out very soon. I’ll do my customary companion post here when the story is published and available to read online.

Honestly, I feel incredibly lucky that I’ve had so much good news in the last few weeks.

That’s all for now. For those of you in winter climates, stay warm. For those of you who aren’t, enjoy the sun for us.

New Story Sale + 2x Reprints

Hey Readers! 2019 has started off with a bang for me. The first bit of news is that I sold a story to Clarkesworld Magazine! It’s called “Move Forward, Disappear, Transcend”. This is particularly exciting for me because I’ve been reading Clarkesworld for as long as I’ve been writing and submitting stories to them for almost that long too. I’m not sure when the story will be published yet, but I’ll update the “Publications” page when I find out.

My second bit of news is that “A Place to Grow” which was originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies is getting reprinted. Twice!

The first reprint is at Podcastle, which will narrate the story on their podcast. This the second time I’ve had a story reprinted here.

The second reprint is a translation in the Chinese magazine Science Fiction World. This is also the second time I’ll have a story translated in this magazine!

If you’re the type of person who likes some background on the artist’s processes for each piece, (I know I am), you can read about the origins of “A Place to Grow” here.

That’s all I got! Happy 2019 everyone!

The 2017 Clarion West Class Has Published a Few Things in 2018

And by a few things, I mean quite a few things. Mostly short stories, but also reviews, essays, and novels. So, in no particular order….

Stephanie Malia Morris

Iori Kusano

Adam R. Shannon

Emma Törzs

Vina Jie-Min Prasad

  • Pistol GripUncanny Magazine 21 (March/April 2018). 

Gordon B. White

Mark Galarrita

Elly Bangs

  • At the Crossroads – (Bikes in Space Volume 5, October 2018
  • Dandelion – (Clarkesworld, September 2018)
  • Apotheosis – (The Working Zealot’s Guide to Gaining Capital in Pre-Apocalyptic America, August 2018)
  • The Cool Kids– (Daily Science Fiction, April 2018)

Patrick Lofgren

Izzy Wasserstein

David Bruns

Andrea Chapela

Robert Minto

And if you’d like to see a list of my stories published this year, you can find that here.

We’re planning on putting together a list of works we enjoyed this year too. So stay tuned!

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!

“Heavy Lifting” Now Live in Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction!

As soon as I heard that there was going to be a Disabled People Destroy anthology series last summer, I started plotting.

If you’re not familiar with the Destroy project, it’s a series that started with Women Destroy Science Fiction when critics said that woman writers were ruining the genre. Since then, there’s been Queers Destroy Science Fiction and People of Color Destroy Science Fiction (As well as Destroy Fantasy and Destroy Horror editions). Everyone working on these anthologies, from the writers to the interviewers to the editors, are part of the marginalized group of that particular anthology. Most of the characters in Destroy stories are too, because the idea behind this series is not so much to destroy, but to normalize narratives that have often been left out (or worse, badly handled) in the genre.

Disabled People Destroy was a project I’d hoped to be part of for a very long time.

So, I’m pleased to announce my story “Heavy Lifting” is now free to read online. It took me many drafts and much pacing and wringing of hands to get this story right. But it’s important to me to create disabled characters who are well balanced, otherwise healthy, and are perfectly willing to go on an adventure.

Sort of like me.

I always write to music. Strangely enough, I never found the perfect song to be the soundtrack of the story while I was writing it, but settled on “Shadow Preachers” by Zella Day because of deadlines. Also, I liked the song.

Hope you enjoy!

P.S. My personal essay for the Disabled Destroy series is also free to read here.