Monthly Archives: December 2010

Post-semester itemology.

  • I’ve finished the semester with my sanity intact. This is a Good Thing.
  • I’ve finished the semester with what might actually be the final draft of the novel intact. This is a further Good Thing, because it means that I can start launching it into various slush piles after the holidays. Where it will probably languish for the better part of a year before being rejected, but I knew that was the game when I sat down at the table, so to speak. Such is life for those of us who are still sadly unagented.
  • Along those lines, I’ve decided to try to get an agent. At some point. I want a finished manuscript of a solo-authored novel first, so it might be quite a while before I’m ready to actively pursue this, but for a long time I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to do it at all, because, I don’t know, I’m sort of crazy about this kind of thing and it felt like making some sort of commitment. But I’m committing. Or committing to commit. To looking for something to commit to. You know what, let’s just move on.
  • I’ve started working on short fiction again, after a long hiatus for novely things (and then Yuletide happened). The current project is strange and shows signs of becoming frustrating, but it feels good to be back on the horse.
  • Secrecy makes my punching hand itch when other people do it, but I hope to have an announcement regarding something exciting and fun at some point soon. We’ll see. I’m hoping.
  • Everything’s chugging along. It’s been a pretty good year. I have high hopes for the next one. Warm and snuggly holiday wishes to all.

Icarus #7 – Now on sale

Winter, like all seasons, is a time of transformation. Glittering frost appears on windows overnight. Can you feel the chill in the air?

This issue has several stories that will contribute to your shivers, of delight and dread. Hauntology is a genre of music that combines voices from obsolete recording technology with modern electronics.

“Lonesome Road,” by Matt Cheney, is almost a literary version of hauntology, a different kind of ghost story—postmodern, but chilling all the same. Distant voices also play a role in Sunny Moraine’s “The Shapes of Shadows,” a mysterious tale of alien technology. Esoteric knowledge, lust and revenge spill through the pages of Alejandro Omidsalar’s “Abbadon’s First Rule,” a tale of horror and black comedy. And “Bargain Books” asks the question, is invisibility a blessing or a curse for gays? “Blue Moon,” this issue’s poem, shows that mothers don’t always know best. Plus an interview with Hal Duncan.

[click to buy]

You can preview the issue at the link above and it looks great. I’m really excited to read what else is in there. Plus, it just looks pretty, doesn’t it? It’s also a couple dollars off the regular list price, so pick up a copy while that lasts.

The story in question was a lot of fun to write. Most of what I write is fun in one way or another–I wouldn’t do it if that weren’t the case–but this one was a little different in that it contains some twists and turns that actually surprised me a bit as I was writing. The alien technology in particular took some thinking around corners; I wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to work or how it was going to tie all the themes together until the idea of shadows came to me, the transient quality of light coupled with the near-eternal nature of stars… though, as Gordon dreams, even stars have lives, and even those lives come to an end.

I was also taken with the idea of technology that was at once profoundly ancient and profoundly advanced, that blended technology and culture in ways that can’t be untangled, and that contained flavors of what we on Earth would recognize from dead civilizations, while still being deeply alien.

Finally, I was thinking about how we all want to leave things behind that will long-outlast us. Monoliths, words carved into stone, enormous shapes in the landscape that can only be seen from high in the air, and the dangerously ephemeral nature of our own increasingly digital record-keeping. What do we remember? How do we remember it? If we forget or vanish, who does our remembering for us?


Bid on me at The Purple Dove Project

Because I’m trying to get the word out as much as possible, I am up for auction at:

I am offering original fiction, prompt of your choice, at least 2000 words (also Harsh Realm and Half Life but I don’t actually think anyone will ask for those, so). Porn is fine, any pairing is fine. Starting bid is $5. Buy it now price is $50.

[click to bid on me]

Let’s do it for the kids.

MSF benefit anthology release

News: the Medecins Sans Frontieres benefit anthology I’m in is out.

Help: Twelve Tales of Healing

My story, Starcrossed, features Ying, who is a secondary character in the sf novel that I’ve co-written. Ying is a healer, and as the story begins she has just crawled out of her crashed ship. She didn’t just crash; she was shot down, and her attacker is in even worse shape than she is. What happens next tests whether they can trust each other at all, and brings some painful truths to light.

All profits go to MSF. Please consider picking up a copy.

Have an excerpt.

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Agony/Ecstasy update

Jane has the list of contributors for the Agony/Ecstasy anthology up over at Dear Author, plus short blurbs about each story. She has some very nice things to say about my story “Wetwire”. “‘I was free-drifting the night Kim neuroburned me.’ Different, unique, fresh is what I thought when I read this short.” Yay.

Check it out, along with tantalizing hints regarding what other goodies are in store. The whole thing is going to rock, basically.

Rumpledsilksheets (Rumpled Silk Sheets?) release

Rumpled Silk Sheets offers everything you expect in a fairy tale and in an erotic romance. These talented authors have taken some familiar tales-and a few not so familiar-in new and incredible directions.

Ride the desert sands with a girl who encounters a sexy incarnation of the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet and a Japanese maid who helps free her mistress from the human body trapping her heavenly spirit. We haven’t forgotten the witches and wolves, but you’ll also meet a Snow Bear whose gruff exterior hides a secret only a scared girl can unlock. Like a little pain with your pleasure? Then meet a delicate princess who longs for a lost lover’s firm touch instead of a traditional marriage that leaves her unmarked and unsatisfied.

Princess of Silk and Pain by Shanna Germain
Handsome and Gretel by Kilt Kilpatrick
The Art of Storm-Riding by Sunny Moraine
Red in the Hood by Vivica Lace
Hannah and the Witch by Michael Jones
Snow by Kenzie Mathews
The White Bride by G.G. Royale
Madame Blanche by Jean Roberta

They got my story slightly wrong–the woman Badra meets at the heart of the storm is cursed by Bastet, not an incarnation of her–but regardless, that is a stellar lineup right there. Pick up your copy here.

“The Art of Storm-Riding” started life as a very different story; it is actually my third attempt at a retelling of the German folktale “The White Cat”, which was a favorite of mine as a child. Both my previous attempts were decent but also much too conventional for me, and it wasn’t until I decided to radically shift the setting and the premise that it started to feel right. As it currently stands, it bears only the roughest resemblance to the original folktale, but I think what’s there is a neat twist on a classic form. I also like the idea of a fairy tale that ends in liberation for all the characters in a way that isn’t just another form of being boxed in, to marriage, to tradition, to family convention. Badra never would have stood for that and I wouldn’t have tried to force it on her.

The title comes from a poem by the Egyptian-Lebanese poet Yahia Lababidi, whose first couple of verses feel, to me, to be full of the same kind of unhinged power that sits at the heart of the story.

I could not decipher the living riddle of my body
put it to sleep when it hungered, and overfed it
when time came to dream

I nearly choked on the forked tongue of my spirit
between the real and the ideal, rejecting the one
and rejected by the other

I still have not mastered that art of storm-riding
without ears to apprehend howling winds
or eyes for rolling waves

Excerpt under the cut.

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