Hey, y’all

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I just wrote a terse email to the NPR Politics Podcast, and I figured I’d share.

Yeah, this is ostensibly an author blog. It’s also a blog, and I have a feeling that I’m going to be writing a lot of terse communiques over the next four years.

The thing about the NPR Politics Podcast is that it’s been a big staple of my week for the last couple of months. I’ve come to enjoy it a lot. I like the people. I like what they talk about. Yeah, it’s standard NPR, but look, I was raised with NPR, so kindly allow me my comfort food.

But this latest episode, they talked about “normalizing” Donald Trump. Specifically, they talked about why the accusations of doing so that have been leveled at them are wrong, and they should be exempt from them because they’re journalists and they need to cover the news, and basically I ended up having to turn it off because I could not even, you guys, I could not even

One thing I could do was write an email. So I did. It’s below the cut.

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Happy OcTOBLERfest-Halloween – with fungi!

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I’m really happy that I was able to take part in this month-long extravaganza celebrating one of my very favorite writers – and also someone who’s become a friend and a major emotional support during some difficult times. I frankly don’t think she gets nearly as much recognition as she deserves, so this is quite simply great.

When I decided I wanted to spotlight a particular story, initially I had no idea at all which to pick; there are a lot (lookit). But one popped into my head a few minutes later, a particular one that’s stayed with me because it’s quite simply one of the most evocatively strange things I’ve ever read.

I’m talking about “New Feet Within My Garden Go”, which was originally published in Innsmouth Press’s anthology Fungi and was reprinted in the August 2015 issue of Apex Magazine. I shared that particular ToC, which is how I stumbled on it. And I read it and I was like.

What.

(in a good way)

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Podcasts what I love

So once again it’s been a while. THINGS. Things happening. Including a new job – and being a sociologist TAing for a law class is interesting, let me tell you.

Anyway, something else I’ve been doing a lot lately is listening to podcasts. They’re honestly a lot of what’s helping me hold my shit together. I threw a list of recommendations together for my Tumblr blog, and I think it makes sense to post it here as well.

Without further ado (broken into the three primary genres I’m currently into):

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and now my tale is told

So Sword and Star – the final book in the Root Code trilogy (by the way, it honestly continues to be somewhat frustrating to have a trilogy split between two different publishers) – has been out for a month now, and it’s kind of interesting to look back at its trajectory and its placswordandstar_1200x1800hre in my head now.

Some of you might recall that this book wasn’t even supposed to happen. Neither it nor book two – Fall and Rising – was supposed to happen. Or at least for a long time the odds did not look good. F&R was already written when I had to start shopping it around to other publishers, but that’s a far cry from a book “happening” as far as I’m concerned, because an MS sitting on your hard drive is not on the same level as something that people can actually exchange for-real money for. I had one book in limbo, one book only existent in rough form in my head, and for a while I was pretty certain nothing would ever come of both unless I caved and self-published. Which, for a variety of reasons, I didn’t want to do.

Then they both happened, and that was frankly a little difficult to deal with, even with the relief and the excitement. Because I had become so sure I was never going back to that part of that universe. Then very FallAndRising_500x750suddenly I was tossed back in and immersed in it for months.

Now it’s all done. It’s over. I might return to that universe in another book, but it won’t be the same, and it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever deal with these protagonists again (and my villain(s) won’t be dealt with either, because… Well, if you read the dang thing you’ll see).

Something that did happen after the immersion and the editing was over – which has happened to me more than once but which remains profoundly strange and will probably always remain so – is that my brain completely decoupled. Abruptly it was like the book wasn’t mine anymore. It felt like it had been written by someone else. I look back over it – which I frankly have not done for a bit (IT’S NOT THAT IT ISN’T GOOD, I THINK IT’S VERY GOOD) – and I can barely remember writing any of it. Talking about it feels like talking about something largely unconnected from me.

8870200266_3104ed4d7f_o-220x330This also happened with my Casting the Bones trilogy. To be honest, I don’t even recall a lot of the second two books right now, like a language you haven’t spoken in years.

(THOSE BOOKS ARE ALSO VERY GOOD I THINK JUST SAYING)

Interestingly, I’ve noticed that this happens way less with my fanfiction. I still experience that odd disconnection, where it feels like someone else wrote it and I don’t remember a fair amount of the production process – though some parts of it I remember very vividly – but the story itself remains much fresher and more immediate in my mind (this remains especially true with my ginormous ridiculous Walking Dead AU magnum opus, I’ll Be Yours For a Song, which I am still not over). The decoupling process is not as complete. Since returning to writing fanfiction, it’s been fascinating to contrast my very different writerly relationship with it versus my “original” stuff (I dislike the fanfiction/original dichotomy just about as much as I dislike the virtual/real one, and for similar reasons). Again, I think it has nothing to do with quality. It’s about how the work is produced and what parts of Writer Brain are engaged.

I guess what I’m saying here – among other half-coherent things – is that there is a particular feeling of Overness that I seem to experience with the final endings of books that I don’t experience with anything else. In a way it’s uncomfortable, because I feel like I should feel more of a deep connection to something I wrote. But on the other hand I think it makes sense. Working on a book is draining; working on a series is even more so. I think that on a very deep level, my Writer Brain needed to be well and truly done with that story. It couldn’t leave the universe in half-measures. It had to let go completely.

Which I guess is healthy? I hope so, anyway.

Regardless, now I need to figure out what’s next.

Singing With All My Skin and Bone: it’s heeeeeeeere

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“Sex, oddity, horror, transfiguration: Sunny Moraine’s stories cut straight through to the heart of even the most complicated concepts, turning words inside out with truly offensive skill, wringing them for every last scrap of beautiful terror. They will make readers want to write and writers want to stop writing, on the grounds that any idea they might have has demonstrably been done before, and far better.”

Gemma Files (author of Experimental Film and the Hexslinger series)

Though I’ve been yelling about this already, here’s the Official Announcement: Singing With All My Skin and Bone, my debut short fiction collection, has been properly loosed upon an unsuspecting world!

I mean, a lot of you were suspecting. Because like I said, I was talking about it. Still.

You can purchase it in both ebook and trade paperback formats from Amazon, from Barnes & Noble, and from the publisher itself. Here’s what’s in it:

  1. Come My Love and I’ll Tell You a Tale
  2. Singing With All My Skin and Bone
  3. A Perdition of Salt (new)
  4. Cold as the Moon
  5. I Tell Thee All, I Can No More
  6. Across the Seam
  7. Dispatches From a Hole in the World
  8. Event Horizon
  9. The Horse Latitudes
  10. All the Literati Keep An Imaginary Friend
  11. Love Letters to Things Lost and Gained
  12. Memento Mori
  13. The Cold Death of Papa November
  14. So Sharp That Blood Must Flow
  15. Tell Me How All This (And Love Too) Will Ruin Us
  16. Love in the Time of Vivisection
  17. A Shadow on the Sky
  18. It is Healing, It is Never Whole
  19. The Throat is Deep and the Mouth is Wide (new)

If you like it, the best thing you can possibly do is review it and/or recommend it. When you’re a smaller name like myself, word of mouth is obviously FUCKING EVERYTHING.

I’ve been hoping that I would be able to do this for a long time now, and it means so much to me that I’ve finally amassed a body of work that a publisher this great thought was worthy of collection and publication. Undertow has done such an amazing job and I’m so grateful to them. They put out incredible books in general, so if you have a thing for the beautifully strange and the strangely beautiful and the gorgeously horrifying and the horrifyingly gorgeous, check out their full catalog.

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of it soon, plus possibly additional goodies, so watch for that.

SWORD AND STAR – preorder and excerpt!

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Been spreading the word just about everywhere else and neglecting my actual website as usual, but here: SWORD AND STAR, the final book in the Root Code trilogy, is available for preorder.

And will be out on the 23rd, so that is soon.

If you preorder, you get 20% off the retail print price, and 30% off if you order print and ebook together. So that’s a pretty sweet deal. You can also read an excerpt at the link above, and I’ll be posting more goodies here coming up. Watch for stuff, including a blog tour, which will feature me throwing free things at you. Throwing them really damn hard.

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This has been a very long time coming, guys. Amazing to finally be done.

Old story makes new cool appearance!

Ohhhhhhh my God it’s been A Month.

cw_116_700News is piling up and I’ll try to convey some of it soon. For now, want to note that my short story “A Heap of Broken Images” is reprinted in this month’s issue of Clarkesworld, which is neat because a) Clarkesworld, and b) it’s one of my faves of my own stuff.

I do not know if this is dishonor or a fulfilling of my raising. I am pulled between what I have been taught and what I have been taught; again I think I could fall to pieces, and then I think that maybe I have always been in pieces, broken apart from myself, and so there is no more damage to be done.

I look into the flowing black water and I think of empty eyes and outstretched hands reaching up from those depths and beckoning me. There were many bodies that were swept away by the river in the growing-season flood that year and many were never found. They are all still there in the life of the river. There are other people strolling, idling along the bank in the cool of the evening; I could call, Don’t you see them? Don’t you hear? How can we deny our own spilled blood, whatever price has been paid?

My mouth is full of ghosts. I place my hand against it and hold them in until they are silent again, and the ones in the water fall silent as well.

I am in pieces but I am alive. Tell me how this is a reasonable thing.

I wrote it after thinking a lot about genocide and guilt and memory. I don’t recall exactly why I was thinking so much about those things, but I know that’s where the story came from.

By the way, fun fact that’s also possibly useful: This story got a bunch of rejections (including Clarkesworld, actually) until a slightly tweaked version of it ended up in We See a Different Frontier. After which it ended up in The Year’s Best Science Fiction 31.

So don’t give up on stories, basically. At least some of the time.