Contracts are signed, so I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, “Toward Lands Uncharted,” will appear in Mind Candy Volume 1, the inaugural anthology from Myriad Paradigm publishing!
This is a brand-new publisher, but they’re professional-rate, and they’ve got a great lineup for Volume 1. The anthology concept is right up my alley: intricacies and alterations of the mind, strange psychologies and mental oddities. The anthology is mostly science fiction, but my contribution is a fantasy story. I wrote the first draft during one of Mary Robinette Kowal’s Short Story Intensive workshops, around the concept of someone with the job or title Censor of Maps.
In the real world, the drawing of borders like the Sykes-Picot line are often an exercise of blithe and terrible power. But what if that power went beyond the political, into reality itself?
So here we are, approaching the end of 2017. That means the Eye of Awards have fallen upon us all, with its bleak and terrifying gaze.
I sold five stories to professional markets this year, but three of them will be published in 2018, leaving me with only two pieces of flash for 2017:
- The Setting of the Sun, in Compelling Science Fiction: a 1300-word piece encompassing nine hundred million years in the life of a Dyson swarm. Of my publications this year, this is the one I’d like to imagine as potentially award-worthy.
- Cyborg Shark Battle (Season 4, O’ahu Frenzy), in the Cat’s Breakfast anthology: an 800-word satire about backstage politics in a remote-controlled-shark-combat reality TV show. Also it is the most neuroscientific thing I have yet published.
- Not available for free online, but if you don’t have the anthology, you can contact me directly or check the SFWA forums if you’re a member.
Also, this has been my second and final year of eligibility for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In the last two years I have:
- Published seven original short stories, six of them in professional magazines: Strange Horizons twice, PodCastle, Flash Fiction Online, Cat’s Breakfast anthology (Third Flatiron Press), and Compelling Science Fiction. Also one semi-pro story at Metaphorosis.
- Sold another three professional short stories (to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Mind Candy, and Diabolical Plots), but those won’t be out until next year.
- Served as the Assistant Editor of Escape Pod since May 2017. In this role, I decide which stories to pass up to our illustrious Co-Editors, write ~80% of the personal rejection letters, and recruit & manage our amazing team of Associate Editors (first readers).
- Published nonfiction pieces about neuroscience in Clarkesworld, the File 770 blog, and Baen.com. I later expanded the Clarkesworld one into a solo presentation at the 2017 Nebula conference.
- Written thirty (and counting) Twitter essays about neuroscience via my NeuroThursday feature.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been a so-called “pro” for only two years. In that time I’ve accomplished a lot more that doesn’t fit on that list (written novel, edited novel, started querying novel, sold another couple short stories), but most important of all is the amazing community I’ve found: at workshops (well before I was doing anything “pro!”), conventions, online, and in person. So many new friends, mentors, and fellow-travelers out there, and I’m honored to know every one of you.
I’d love to conclude with some recommendations, since there are so many amazing writers out there, new and veteran, young and old. Unfortunately, he majority of my reading happens in the Escape Pod slush pile these days, so I don’t read nearly broadly enough. I look forward to reading your recommendations in the weeks and months (and years) to come!
NeuroThursday has come around for a late-night drink this week, and an explanation of the nerve injury known as Saturday Night Palsy!
NeuroThursday took a brief break, but it’s back to finish the Methods Trifecta with a discussion of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), the .0000001 megapixel camera!