We have passed the end of 2017, into the beginning of 2018, and that means the Eye of Awards have fallen upon us all, with its bleak and terrifying gaze.
I sold five stories to professional markets in 2017, but three of them will be published in 2018, leaving me with only two pieces of new fiction 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.
- 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.1
- Reprint now available for online at Curious Fictions, or email me for a copy!
Also, 2017 was my second and final year of eligibility for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In my two years of eligibility 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.
- Of these, the one I think best is The First Confirmed Case of Non-Corporeal Recursion: Patient Anita R., published in Strange Horizons (June 2016). It’s a tale of a classic haunting, told from the ghost’s perspective. Also the ghost is a scientist.
- Sold another three professional short stories (to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Mind Candy, and Diabolical Plots), but those won’t be out until 2018.
- Update February 2018: the Beneath Ceasless Skies and Mind Candy stories have been published!
- 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 letters2, and recruit & manage our amazing team of Associate Editors (first readers). I’ve also increased our editorial transparency to our process, with a writeup of our pipeline and rejection letters here.
- 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-one Twitter essays (and more in 2018) about neuroscience via my NeuroThursday feature.
- Been recommended by Rich Horton for this here Campbell Award!
The nonfiction in #4-5 also makes me eligible for the Best Fan Writer Hugo Award. More thoughts and details on that here!
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” myself!), 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, the 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!
But speaking of Escape Pod, if you’re pondering Hugo nominations, may I suggest our fine podcast for Best Semiprozine? Remember that our editorial turnover happened in early 2017, so this year make sure to list Norm Sherman as well as Divya Breed & Mur Lafferty as editors.
- CSB(S4OF) received a starred recommendation on the Tangent Online 2017 Recommended Reading List!
- We don’t keep internal stats on personal notes, but according to the Submission Grinder, about 50% of Escape Pod’s rejections are personal. If the numbers hold, that means I write about 80 personals per month