Monthly Archives: February 2011

Revealed: Agony/Ecstasy cover

Just got the cover for the Agony/Ecstasy anthology, which is now slated to release in the beginning of this coming December from Berkley Heat.

Jane is apparently working on a website for it, and she’s going to be previewing two stories a month at Dear Author up until the release date. Will post more news when I have some.

Hellebore & Rue: On sale now!

So Hellebore & Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic is finally out, and I am super excited. Not only is it out, but at the moment you can pick it up in a variety of formats for 15% off the list price–or $8.49, down from $9.99. It features a fantastic variety of takes on a theme by some really wonderful authors; big kudos to our lovely and talented editors for assembling such a diverse lineup of great fiction.

My own piece, “Thin Spun”, is a prequel of sorts to Rosetta, the sf novel that I’ve co-written. As I’ve said before, one of the wonderful things about building Rosetta’s world was the number of other stories and characters that came out of it, largely independent of the central storyline. One of these stories has been published in the MSF benefit anthology Help: Twelve Tales of Healing, and this is another.

When I decided to sit down and try to write something for this anthology, I knew it would probably be something from the world of Rosetta, and I realized fairly quickly that I wanted to explore the backstory of one of our major secondary characters (and say a brief hello to yet another, as well as to one of our heroes). I honestly don’t want to say straight out who it is, because it ends up being a slight spoiler for Rosetta itself. But regardless, it was a lot of fun to watch that story unfold, and along the way I got to meet some new characters I didn’t expect, as well as get an even fuller picture of the world in which I’ve been spending a lot of the past year.

The title itself is from John Milton’s poem “Lycidas”, one small passage of which deals with the myth of the Moirae:

But the fair Guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with th’ abhorred shears,
And slits the thin spun life.

The Moirae are only referenced once in the story, but I think they maintain a kind of constant background presence in the persons of the Aalim–the scholar-sorceresses of the Bideshi, the nomadic interstellar tribe to which the main character Lakshmi belongs. Or used to belong. “Thin Spun” is the story of the choices that led to her leaving the Bideshi and of how she finally makes peace with those choices, in the course of helping a scared girl with a stolen spaceship.

Hope you enjoy. Excerpt under the cut.

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On persistence.

So today I sold a story.

The story in question is “Memento Mori”, a strange, slightly surreal little piece that was hugely inspired by the closing passage of Bob Doto of Quiet Earth’s review of Werner Herzog’s My Son My Son What Have Ye Done, which remains one of the best movie reviews I have ever read. It’s finally been sold to Shadows & Tall Trees, which is a new annual publication; being that they seem to feature strange, slightly surreal fiction, it’s a good fit. I’m very happy to have placed it there.

However, I’m mentioning this not so much to toot my own horn–though I’m always happy to spend time on that–but instead to highlight the journey of this particular piece, which I think is illustrative of some things.

Some numbers: I originally wrote “Memento Mori” in the spring of 2010, so it’s almost a year old. Since then, it has gone through eleven rounds of submission, counting this one. It has been rejected nine times. It got one rewrite request, which eventually resulted in one of the nine rejections. As a result of that rewrite request, about a third of its original length was cut. It’s been cut further–though not as much–with this acceptance, because the editor at S&TT was nice enough to say “I really liked this but I think I could only accept it if the last couple of paragraphs were gone; would you be okay with that?” To which I naturally said yes, because the story was honestly better without those paragraphs. I count myself extremely, extremely lucky that I happened to send it to an editor who would take the time to look carefully at the piece and then point out what would improve it. Twice.1

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Hellebore & Rue – Out tomorrow!

Got my contributor’s copy of Hellebore & Rue last night, along with the news that it’ll be out tomorrow. I’ll be posting an excerpt of my story, at the very least, and watch for other promo goodness soon. I hear that our fabulous editors have some tasty things planned in that area.

We have a Faceboat page that you may wish to sail upon.

Finally, I will soon be making an announcement regarding my Super Secret Awesome Project of Win. Watch this space.