Double publication day for me, with two stories now available for purchase. They’ll both be up on the web eventually, but I thought people might want an early look.
First up, “Gorilla in the Streets,” in Diabolical Plots, Year Five, with stories from me, Beth Cato, Nin Harris and more, available from Amazon and Kobo. This story is one of my personal favorites – it deals with some accessibility issues, but also, and this is very important, it’s about a gorilla.
Second, “The Girl and the House, in Nightmare, my personal response to reading waaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many of those Gothic novels featuring, well, a Girl and a House. My ending is just a touch darker than some of those novels. The individual issue can be purchased here, but I strongly recommend subscribing to Nightmare if you’re into horror at all – it’s a much better deal than buying individual issues. If like me you’re toting along a Samsung Galaxy, the Weightless Books subscription seemed to be the easiest format.
The latest issue of Fireside Fiction just went live, and with it, my short story, The Middle Child’s Practical Guide to Surviving a Fairy Tale, the story I read at last year’s World Fantasy Con and this year’s ICFA. Originally written as a Twitter joke, it slowly grew into a blog post, as these things do, and then mutated into a short story.
Also just going live, the latest issue of Lightspeed, available for subscribers or as an individual issue, which includes my short story, “Deathlight,” along with new short stories by An Owomoyela, Seanan McGuire, and Wole Talabi, reprints from a number of well known names including Tim Pratt and Elizabeth Hand, and Hugh Howey’s “The Plagiarist.”
I may have a bit more to say about this one once my individual story goes live on the web on May 17, but for now, I’ll just note that the two stories are, I think, quite different – and not just because one is more or less fantasy (if a bit snarky about it) and the other marks my return to hard science fiction.
Just in time for some weekend reading, new magazine Metaphorosis has launched, with my short story, Cat Play.
It’s fantasy, but set in a very real place here in Winter Garden. (The coffee shop is also real – it’s the Starbucks down at the Winter Garden Village.) Partly, this was sheer laziness – using real places means I don’t have to think up imaginary ones. But I rather like the idea of a touch of magic hanging out in ordinary apartment complexes.
My little fairy tale, The Fox Bride, popped up on Daily Science Fiction last week.
Sometimes, stories go more or less the way you think they will.
And sometimes, you start a story, thinking that you are about to write a funny caper story very loosely based on a fairy tale, and for various reasons, you get this instead. To say that “Coffin” did not go where I expected it to go is putting things mildly.
My short story, Ink, just went live up at the Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, brought to you by the same people who have brought you Unlikely Entomology and Unlikely Architecture, and who are partly financially backed by a group organized out of the very unlikely Sealand. Given all of these factors, it’s rather unlikely that this story managed to appear at all; I hope you enjoy reading it.
My short story, “In the Greenwood,” just popped up at Tor.com.
Those who have read the story have said that saying anything about the story will ruin it, so rather than talking about the actual story, I’ll just mention a couple of other things. One: the origins of this story go all the way back to kindergarten, making this officially the longest ever period between original concept and publication for me, and two, I am beyond excited about the illustration.
For one thing, my stories rarely get illustrated (the realities of being a very minor short story writer.) For two, the illustration, by Allen Williams, caught exactly what I was thinking, which was not at all what I expected. For three, it’s just a gorgeous painting. So even if you don’t enjoy the story, you can, I hope, enjoy the illustration.
If for some reason you aren’t subscribing to Daily Science Fiction (it’s free!) and thus missed my little three part story, The Gifts, that went out to subscribers last week, all three parts are now up on the web:
The Gifts, part one
The Gifts, part two
The Gifts, part three
The Gifts is loosely based on “The Girl Without Hands,” one of the more disturbing fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm, even in their softened edition. This was not originally intended as a three part story, or even as a story at all. I was working on a poem when something started to nag at me — a something that turned into part one, which needed a bit more exploration, which turned into part three, and then needed something else, part two: three separate tiny stories that form a larger one.
Back in February I had one of those moments. Some writers will know what I mean: the moments when you can’t write, when the blank screen and page becomes overwhelming, when you begin to think that you will never write again.
Except this was the sort of moment that stretched into days.
At about the same time, I realized that Nin Harris was still searching for a second story for the third issue of Demeter’s Spicebox, a fairy tale zine that had earlier featured my short story Sister and Bones. The writing prompt called for a retelling of “The Mouse who was to marry the Sun,” set on an island, with a magical spicebox, using the items from the previous stories. I could use that as a writing exercise, I told myself. Even though — perhaps especially though — the folktale has never been one of my favorites.
I read the folktale through once. Twice. Three times. I read variants. I thought.
I’m never going to write again.
And then I thought of islands. More specifically, a trip to the Florida Keys that I’d taken years ago.
The final result is a bit of a switch for me: a fairy tale that combines reality and fairy tale. Parts of this story are very real indeed: the island itself, the fire coral, the boat, the storm. I’ll let you decide how much of the rest of the story is real.
This third issue of Demeter’s Spicebox also has other marvels: an illustration inspired by my previous story for the zine, Sister and Bones, and short stories by Alicia Cole and Bogi Takacs. Enjoy.
My contributor’s copies of Missing Links and Secret Histories, from Aquaduct Press, showed up a little over a week ago – wrapped in plastic, fortunately enough, given the tropical storm, so in between roofing irritations, I’ve been peeking at it. So far I highly recommend Jenni Moody’s “Peter Rabbit,” Jeremy Sim’s “Sanya TM-300 Home-Use Time Machine,” and Anne Toole’s “Secrets of Flatland,” although I should warn you that this last contains some Scandalous Stories about Isoceles Triangles.
I still have to peer at the stories in the beginning of the book, but that should be enough to tell you that this is a marvelously fun book telling various background stories of various fictional characters in Wikipedia style. I have three stories in it: “Godmother,” “Marmalette” and “Palatina.” The official release date is July, but it seems to be available now from Barnes and Noble and Amazon, at least for pre-order; keep an eye on Aquaduct’s blog for more announcements.