The Chambermaid

Some fairy tales leave me cheering for the wrong side. Particularly “The Goose Girl.” I mean, think about it. We’re supposed to be totally on the side of the princess, and totally against the maid. But who in this fairy tale, exactly, is walking around talking to drops of blood? The princess. Who in this fairy tale, exactly, is constantly calling up a wind to blow away the hat of her mostly innocent coworker? The princess. Who in this fairy tale, exactly, is talking to the head of a dead horse? Again, the princess.

And who, exactly, ends up dead in the end?

Not the princess.

My little poem about it, The Chambermaid, just went up on Kaleidotrope today.

Enjoy!

 

2019 Publication Round-up

It’s mid-December, which seems a decent time for participating in this annual ritual:

Short fiction:

The Girl and the House, in Nightmare, April 2019, a story of, well, a girl, a house, and Gothic tropes. It received a number of very kind reviews and appeared on some recommended reading lists.

Gorilla in the Streets, in Diabolical Plots, Year Five. This also made its first appearance in April, but so far, hasn’t received as much attention – quite possibly because it’s only been in the anthology so far, not online. It will be available online starting in JanuaryUpdate: Now available to read online!

Flash fiction:

Feather Ties, in Daily Science Fiction, March 2019. A little look at what happened after the events of the fairy tale of the golden goose.

Breaking the EnchantmentDaily Science Fiction, July 2019. Probably my most popular flash fiction story of the year, a little gender bent story about – what else – breaking an enchantment.

The WolfDaily Science Fiction, August 2019. A tale of Little Red Riding Hood. The overtones – disturbing, sexual and otherwise – are deliberate.

Sunflowers and Blood, in Automata Review, August 2019. This had the misfortune to be published while I was in Ireland this summer, in the middle of all of the excitement with my broken wheelchair, Aer Lingus and Worldcon, and thus, ended up getting overlooked by pretty much everyone, including me, alas.

Transformation, Afterwards, in Daily Science Fiction, November 2019. A little look at what happened after the princess kissed the frog.

Poetry:

Just one poem this year, the late entry Gretel’s Bones, out in Strange Horizons, December 2019.

Nonfiction:

On Fairy Tales, the other most popular thing I did this year: finishing up a two year essay series Tor.com, which covered everything from the surprisingly incestuous history of well-known fairy tales like Jack and the Beanstalk to the less well known, elaborate, intricate tales penned by the French salon fairy tale writers to occasional detours into the history of animation and the Technicolor process. And some poetry.

Dragonriders of Pern reread for Tor.com. A look back at the first three Pern books by Anne McCaffrey.

So, less than in previous years – which happens after a year spent largely sick. But next year sees some new stuff in Uncanny, Lightspeed, Syntax and Salt, Kaleidotrope, Mithila Review, Wizards in SpaceThe Baum Bugle and possibly more, as well as poetry and (hopefully) snippets of works in progress on my Patreon.  Stay tuned!

Gretel’s Bones and Transformation, Afterwards

I love the happy endings of fairy tales. But they always leave me wondering: what happened after this? Oh, sure, the story says they lived happily ever after, but is that true? Were they really able to forget everything – and laugh? Or did that laughter – that joy – that happiness – have a bitter edge?

Coincidentally, two of my small works inspired by those endings just went up over the last couple of days:  Gretel’s Bones, about – wait for it – Gretel and bones, and Transformation, Afterwards, about what happens after the princess kisses the frog.

Enjoy!

 

 

2017 Roundup

Time for the obligatory end of year round up of Various Things I Published/Was Involved in During 2017, a year where we learned that if you don’t write all that much in 2016, you won’t publish all that much in 2017.

I know. Who would have thunk?

But it wasn’t a completely empty year either, including, as it did:

One novella:

Probably the publication I was proudest of this year, an epic, novella length poem (yes, about 28,000 words), Through Immortal Shadows Singing, published by Papaveria Press.

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and multiple other outlets. The SFPA reviewed it here, and a few Goodreads readers chimed in here.

One short story:

You Will Never Know What Opens, in Lightspeed Magazine, December 2017. Portal fantasy. Hasn’t been out long enough to garner that many responses, but Charles Payseur was kind enough to give a thoughtful review here.

Six flash fiction pieces – not all of them in Daily Science Fiction!

The Lion, in Daily Science Fiction, March 2017.  A little fairy tale.

We Need to Talk About the Unicorn in Your Back Yard, Daily Science Fiction, April 2017.  Humor. Possibly my most popular short fiction piece from last year. An audio version is coming up from Toasted Cake, but in the meantime, if you missed it, it’s a short read. I promise.

The Witch in the Tower, Fireside, July 2017. One of my personal favorites from the year. Another little fairy tale.

Stealing Tales, Daily Science Fiction, November 2017. Another little fairy tale.

“Gingerbread Smoke,” in Typhon: A Monster Anthology Vol 2., by Pantheon Magazine. This was probably the hands down hardest piece of mine to find this year, bar none, but I promise: the anthology really truly is available through Amazon now, and is forthcoming from other outlets shortly, and the anthology overall is well worth the hunt.

Pipers Piping, Daily Science Fiction, December 2017. A little Christmas story.

Five poems:

The Study, in Mithila Review: The Journal of International Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Stained Oak Leaves, in Umbel & Panicle.

Euryale at the Shore, in Polu Texni

Hunter, in Mythic Delirium

Burning, in Wild Musette (this one is literary/non-speculative)

Related Work:

On Fairy Tales: A weekly essay series on Tor.com discussing fairy tales and various works inspired by fairy tales.

The Pixar Rewatch. A sequel to the 2015-2016 Disney Read-watch, this monthly essay series on Tor.com explored the Pixar movies – discussing development and financial details, animation, other tidbits and of course the films themselves.

The Secret of NIMH.  Another add-on to the Disney Read-watch, this essay appeared over at Uncanny, and focused on Don Bluth and his first animated picture.

And speaking of the Disney Read-watch, the very last post in that series – a wrap-up post – appeared in January 2017, making the entire series – technically – still eligible for Best Related Work awards.

And one more essay: Where Should You Start Reading the Chronicles of Narnia, which generated several comments.

Dramatic Presentation (short)

Deathlight, which originally appeared in Lightspeed back in 2016, was turned into an audio play this year by Fancy Pants Gangsters.

Onwards to 2018!

Hunter, Euryale at the Shore, Worldcon plans

Two new poems by me out today: Hunter, in Mythic Delirium, and Euryale at the Shore, in Polu Texni.  Both came to me when I was contemplating monsters.

Enjoy!

In slightly related news, my plans for Worldcon 75, held in Helsinki, Finland this year, are nearly finalized. I’m tentatively scheduled to be on a couple of panels there, including one about speculative poetry.  This will be my first trip to Finland – and, if I manage to sneak out to Estonia while I’m there, Estonia. Looking forward to it.

 

 

Through Immortal Shadows Singing

I’m very pleased to announce that Through Immortal Shadows Singing, my epic novella in poetry, is now available for preorder from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other retailers!

And by epic, I do mean epic – the 170 pages do include a table of contents and things like that, but this is about 167 pages of poetry.

Here’s the blurb:

Maligned for her beauty, cursed for her role in causing a war, she has rarely been given her chance to tell her tale. Now Helen of Troy’s voice breaks free, offering a new vision in this epic lyrical sequence that follows her journey from Sparta to Troy, from earth to hell, and back.  A stunning debut novella from Mari Ness, THROUGH IMMORTAL SHADOWS SINGING will transform your view of Helen and the Trojan War, in a soaring poem of love and war, healing and pain, hatred and triumph.

And here’s two small tastes of the poetry inside:

I walk, knowing that the queen of death

may name me sister, that the

cry of the hunt

shares my blood, that I share a father

with the Fates.

#

Bone on silver,

silver on bone,

the sound of a harp

the memory of dream.

Available April 25.