Ladies and gentlemen and everyone! Buckle up, and close your eyes, because my short story Sweeter than Lead has gone live in audio form on PodCastle, the original fantasy fiction podcast! (Text version now available also.)
Sweeter than Lead is a dark fantasy about succession, addiction, and malevolent prophecies. With worldbuilding so thick it will go back in time and drown you as a child.
Plenty of story notes on this one; worldbuilding this dense comes with extra layers, sources of inspiration, and so forth. Spoilers abound, of course, so stop right here until you’ve read or heard the story…
I am thrilled to announce another short story sale to one of my favorite markets! “Sweeter than Lead” will be appearing late this summer in PodCastle, the original fantasy fiction podcast!
It’ll be free online in audio (and text) when it goes live, so once again you’ll all be able to enjoy the story the moment it comes out! This one is a bit different from anything I’ve published so far: it’s a neo-Lovecraftian dark fantasy about seers, prophecies, and what it means to foresee possible futures. If some kind of worldbuilding-per-page competition existed, this tale would reach across timelines to strangle its competitors’ authors in their beds.
Because that’s just the kind of story it is.
Heyyyy, it’s monthly update time! Everyone’s favorite time.
Maybe someone’s favorite time?
Either way, it’s been a good month! Chock-full of exclamation points:
- My story “The First Confirmed Case of Non-Corporeal Recursion: Patient Anita R.” came out in Strange Horizons! I’m super proud of this one!
- I sold two stories! “The Time Cookie Wars” to Flash Fiction Online, and “Shiplight” to Metaphorosis.
- I returned to the Fourth Street Fantasy convention. I got to speak on a panel! I learned tons of things (including 45 specific action items for my novel)! I got to talk to lots of amazing people!
- I revised 2 short stories, and drafted one new piece of flash!
- The novel is on track! Currently at 76,000 words, and I’m hoping to finish the first draft at the end of July, if it doesn’t end up running long.
Have you ever had one of those “Past Self, why did you mess this up for me?” moments? Of course you have. Past Self is a jerk.
Well, the time has come to get your vengeance on Past Self, because my story “The Time Cookie Wars” has sold to Flash Fiction Online!
Publication date not yet set, but I’ll certainly let you all know as soon as I have an estimate.
This week has been stuffed with writing success, between this acceptance, last week’s one, and a Revise & Resubmit offer from one of my favorite markets. I am here to rock your short fiction universe!
I’m thrilled to announce the sale of my story “Shiplight” to Metaphorosis, a magazine focused on beautifully written speculative fiction!
This is a story about humanity’s first extrasolar colony, and about generational divides. When a lucky few escape the bounds of Earth to settle on an uninhabited planet, what becomes of their children, who never knew the world that defines their parents?
Publication is planned for August or September, and I’ll let you all know when I have an exact date!
My story “The First Confirmed Case of Non-Corporeal Recursion: Patient Anita R.” is up today on Strange Horizons!
(These author notes contain no spoilers for anything beyond the story’s first page.)
This piece doesn’t have a lot of secrets, no extensive authors’ notes. I might clarify that none of Anita’s science references are things I personally do; other than the choice of institution, her science life is not a window into mine. Well, except for the windowless basement lab. TRUE SUFFERINGS of a scientist’s life.
This story means a lot to me, but I don’t want to feed you an interpretation. Hopefully it touches you in some way that resonates with your own life. So rather than telling you what the story means to me, I can give a bit of its history:
I wrote this piece in fall of 2015, for the Codex 12th Annual Halloween Contest, where it took second place. The contest had a time limit and two rules: include something halloween-related (however vaguely or thematically), and use seeds given by fellow writers. I received the seed “the Halloween candy that you liked the least,” thus the role of candy corn. I was more inspired by the chance to write something halloween-ish. When I began, I didn’t yet have a conflict or a plot, but I did have a character concept, one that had percolated in the back of my mind for a while:
In so many classic ghost stories, the spirit repeats and reenacts the moment of their death, again and again. I wondered: what – if anything – would that be like from the ghost’s point of view? And is there any way the ghost could move beyond that haunting state?
Pssst! The Scientist Ghost Story is tentatively scheduled to appear in Strange Horizons on June 6!
I just sent in pronunciation notes for the podcast version, which required a funny bit of juggling. One non-English name gets spoken by a character who wouldn’t know how to pronounce it correctly, so I had to send their fine Podcast Editor a mispronunciation guide.
Less than six weeks until I can share this story with everyone!
My first pro short story, Meltwater, is up today on Strange Horizons!
This is possibly the weirdest story I’ve ever written, despite its short length, but I love it all the more for that. Below the fold you’ll find some author’s notes. Contains some spoilers, so go read (or listen to) the story first .
Not too much to report this month! I had a ton of non-writing things to overfill my time. Two long-weekend vacations (including a 16-hour drive transformed into 25 by a rockslide, oy), and running a giant historical fantasy live-action roleplaying game. Which went awesomely! All the contingencies happened, both political and esoteric!
I did sell a story to Strange Horizons at the beginning of the month, but if you’re reading this blog, you already know that! What else? I launched two pieces out for critique, and I began outlining my novel. I have one short story that everyone says “this should be a novel,” and it’s time to put the money where my words are. Of course, I still need to figure out Acts 4-5 before I dig into the prose, but it’s coming along!
Normally I don’t participate in pay-to-enter writing contests, but I decided last month to go in on the Friends of the Merrill short story contest, where those entry fees support the Friends of the Merrill, “a volunteer organization to support and promote the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy, a public access collection consisting of science fiction, fantasy, gaming materials, graphic novels, and other related items. The Collection is named after acclaimed SF author Judith Merril, who’s original donation of material formed its nucleus.”
I’m thrilled to see that my story is one of the twelve finalists! We’re off to an exciting panel of judges, who should announce the winner and two runners-up at the end of January.