A new tiny fairy tale from me, Messenger, out from Daily Science Fiction today.
A new tiny fairy tale from me, Messenger, out from Daily Science Fiction today.
Just learned that my poem, Dracula Among the Ruins, was nominated for a Rhysling Award.
Much thanks to the anonymous nominator(s), and to Fred Coppersmith for choosing/editing/publishing the poem!
Tradition says I’m supposed to tell you about the various things I published in 2021. So, here we go, organized by category:
“Rockshell,” in Dim Shores, Volume 2, Spring 2021, a portal fantasy. “Grows on me the more that I think about it,” commented one reader. Available for sale here.
Short stories, full length (that is, between 1000 to 7000 words):
“A Preliminary Study of Humans Under Beastly Enchantments and Covid-19,” in Departure Mirror’s January issue, called “a great imaginary romp” by Locus. It….appears to have vanished from the internet. I will probably be reposting it on Medium in the next few days, but in the meantime, if you’d like to read it, contact me for a free PDF. SFWA members can also download a pdf from the SFWA forums. UPDATE: You can now read this story at Medium for free!
Tweeting, in the February issue of Translunar Travelers Lounge, a story about a transformation told in a series of – you guessed it, tweets! Translunar Travelers Lounge was kind enough to format the story so that it really did look like tweets. My hands down most self-indulgent story of the year. It’s on the Nebula Recommended Reading list, and can be read backwards – or forwards – for free here.
This Is the Moment, Or One of Them, in the May issue of Apex, called “visceral,” “heartbreaking,” and “beautiful,” by reviewers. It’s also on the Nebula Recommended Reading List, has popped up on a couple of “best of” lists, and can be read for free here.
“A Very Little Something,” a horror story that appeared in the June issue of Lamplight. Largely inspired by a couple of trips to the Florida Keys, it contains arguably one of the worst marine biology jokes I have yet managed to slip past an editor. You can find the issue here.
Flash fiction: (anything under 1000 words)
For Want of a Dryad, in Café Irreal, February. This marked my return to Café Irreal after a long, long absence, which was pretty cool.
The Cracks in the Sphere, in Daily Science Fiction, also in February.
Coffee and the Fox, in Zooscape, in March, containing a couple of my favorite things – coffee and, well, a fox – plus my usual complaint about the heavy doors that block entrances to coffee places.
The Heron-Girl, in Baffling, in April. Another story about transformation and birds (that seemed to be a minor theme for me in 2021), set on Lake Apopka. On the Nebula Recommended Reading List.
Stepsister, in Daily Science Fiction, also in April. I almost feel impelled to write something about Cinderella every few years. This time, I focused on a stepsister. On the Nebula Recommended Reading list.
So You Want to Reach the Witch at the End of the Void, Daily Science Fiction, July. What can I say? I love list stories.
On the Ice of Nix, Nature Futures, September. Represented a personal milestone for me since, hey, I’ve been published in Nature! Not in marine biology, sure, but still!
Somewhens, Kaleidotrope, Autumn. Another exploration of possibilities.
Practice Limitations, in 666, a collection of 666 horror drabbles, from Black Hare Press, in October. Fun simply for the challenge of keeping the story under 100 words.
“Gaming with Death,” in 99 Tiny Terrors, Pulse Publishing.
And the Tale Unchanging, in Daily Science Fiction, November. So. This was a story I completely forgot about for years, found while looking for something else, and hurriedly shot over to DSF before I could forget it again. Sometimes it’s worth while to do searches like this
The North Pole Workshops, in Uncanny, December. “Certainly didn’t go where I was expecting it to,” said one reader. Inspired by a phone call that I had with a certain very large United States bank that shall go unnamed, this was easily one of my more popular stories this year. On the Nebula Recommended Reading list.
What To Do After Receiving a Starlit Pearl, which appeared in Mermaids Monthly in the very last few hours of 2021. Contains just a COUPLE of marine biology jokes.
“Dancing in Silver Lands” and “If the Shoe Fits,” in Dancing with Silver Lands, Neon Hemlock, December.
Beneath the Palace Dictionary the Last Evil Mars Moth Sleeps, Kaleidotrope, January. This was directly inspired by something said on Twitter by Fred Coppersmith, Kaleidotrope’s editor, so it seemed only fair that it appear there.
The Indifferent Song of C. Acer, Speculative City, April. This was written solely to amuse me; I was flattered, delighted and amazed to see someone agree to publish it.
Secrets, Frozen Wavelets, April. I love playing with words in tiny little poems.
Dracula Among the Ruins, Kaleidotrope, July. I also love vampires.
Hiding, Sycorax Journal, November.
Good People, Fireside, December. Not all fairy tales are true.
Books! Yes, in plural, books:
Resistance and Transformation: On Fairy Tales. Aqueduct Press. A collection of essays about the French salon fairy tale writers, which got a great review from Charles de Lint in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. (squee!) Available from Amazon here.
Dancing in Silver Lands. Neon Hemlock Press. I just love the way this tiny little chapbook of tiny little fairy tales came out, once past the Covid-related paper supply problems. The winner of the Outwrite Chapbook Fiction Competition, it can be obtained from the publisher now.
And now to see what 2022 brings.
What fascinates me about fairy tales is what’s left out. Often, this includes the thoughts of the servants and the courtiers, the ones who observed what was happening, but did not speak up, who appear in the corners of the tales, but silent.
My latest poem, Good People, loosely based on the fairy tale, “The Six Swans,” explores just a little of this. It can be read for free now at Fireside Fiction.
(And as always, if you enjoy this or any of my other stories/poems, consider purchasing an issue of the zine, or subscribing to a Patreon, or subscribing to the zine. Every bit helps these zines shine on for just a little while longer.)
Discon III turned out to be my worst Worldcon ever – one of my worst genre events, ever.
And I didn’t even go.
Let’s backtrack a bit.Continue reading
Now up at Uncanny Magazine, my little story, The North Pole Workshops, a story not all that loosely inspired by a call I needed to make to a certain very large United States bank.
Which undoubtedly explains the dinosaurs.
I’ve always been drawn to the Persephone myth since I first heard it as a young child. Perhaps because Persephone was dragged down into Hades while simply gathering flowers; perhaps because the myth recognized that sometimes things cannot return to the way they once were.
Here’s my latest little take on the myth, up at Daily Science Fiction: And the Tale Unchanging.
A new flash story from me, Somewhens, out from Kaleidotrope today, about all of the myriad possibilitles and different outcomes.
Similar in theme to my story This Is the Moment, Or One of Them, that came out in Apex this year. I like thinking of different possibilities – and different ways to write about them.
Years ago, I used to look at issues of Nature and daydream about contributing to one of its articles. That never happened, alas, but today I came as close to that as I possibly could without conducting actual research, publishing a flash story in Nature Futures, which is part of the zine.
(As proof, I have a contract signed with the people at Nature!)
So that’s pretty cool. This is also pretty cool because the story, On the Ice of Nix, which Valya Dudycz Lupescu calls “evocative,” is the rare sort that pulls something from my own life – vertigo – with something that I have never and probably never will have in my life, space travel.
(With that said, I’m kinda cringing over the bit about the inspiration for the story at the bottom. I hate writing those sorts of things, and although what I wrote there isn’t technically completely wrong – this story was written right after a bad episode with vertigo – I can think of other things during a bad attack other than the feeling that I’m about to fall off the planet – or that the planet is about to fall out of orbit – or that I can certainly feel the planet speeding through the universe and just going too fast and —
I’m thrilled to note that my tiny collection of tiny fairy tales, Dancing in Silver Lands, has just won the 2021 Outwrite Chapbook Competition in the Fiction category.
Dancing in Silver Lands contains ten flash fairy tales, including reader favorite “The Ceremony,” which landed on the Nebula Recommended List, and some pieces original to this collection.
I’ll definitely have more about this later once the chapbook has been published by Neon Hemlock Press. In the meantime, I’m very grateful to the three publications – Fireside, Daily Science Fiction and Goldfish Grimm – that gave some these pieces a home in the first place, encouraging me to put this tiny collection together.