Category Archives: News

here are my stories what are award-eligible

If you care; I always feel weird about making these, but here we go.

I had a pretty good year, short-story wise. Had a pretty good year novel-wise, in swordandstar_1200x1800hrthat I had one come out – the (VERY LONG AWAITED, AT LEAST BY ME) follow-up to my debut Line and Orbit, Fall and Rising. Publisher’s Weekly called it “a satisfying and provocative hybrid”, and said the relationships were “honest and engaging”, which is very nice.

There’s also the final book in the trilogy, Sword and Star, coming December 21 (and available now for presale) – juuuuuuust in time for Christmas.

In short storydom:

  • “Love Letters to Things Lost and Gained” in Uncanny Magazine kicked things off for me this year. Story about a woman who finds herself fitted with a prosthetic limb after an accident, and the limb doesn’t fit well – psychologically and emotionally, not physically. I wanted to write a story about human relationship with intimate forms of technology, and where the line between “real” and “artifical” lies, as well as the value judgments we make when we draw those distinctions.
  • “A Shadow on the Sky” in Mythic Delirium. This is in many ways yet another installment in what’s becoming a series of what I’ll call “drone fiction” on my part – explorations of the relationship between humans and unmanned aeriel vehicles. A woman suffers tragedy when her home is destroyed and becomes a kind of goddess of vengeance, capturing enemy combat drones and making them into an army of which she’s the queen. Some people make a pilgrimage into the desert to find her and hijinks ensue. Bad, dark hijinks.
  • “Come My Love and I’ll Tell You a Tale” in Shimmer. Probably one of the most relentlessly dark things I’ve ever written (a huge amount of what I write at present is very dark, in fact). A slow-burn and somewhat chaotic second-person narrative set in an unspecified post-disaster world, desperately yearning for the world that was while being forced to confront the world that is and the unimaginably terrible thing the character is contemplating doing in order to survive.
  • “It is Healing, it is Never Whole” in Apex Magazine. Written after a family member committed suicide, and I think part of an attempt to process. In a strange and vaguely industrial afterlife, spirits collect the souls of suicides and transfer them to a train that takes them on to points unknown. But one worker finds a soul that connects with them on an entirely new level, and wonders what it all means.
  • And finally: “Dispatches from a Hole in the World” in the Queers Destory Horror! edition of Nightmare. This is the other story I’m most in love with, and it rivals “eyes I dare not” in terms of my Nightmare_37_October_2015estimation of quality. I think it might be one of the best things I ever wrote, in fact. It’s certainly incredibly personal. It’s about graduate school, mental illness, connection and disconnection, technology, and hope battling hopelessness. It’s incredibly dark, and very triggery for anyone who has issues with graphic depictions of suicide. Really it’s kind of a snapshot of a particular mental state. A graduate student finds themselves being consumed by their dissertation in ways that go far beyond the norm, as they immerse themselves in the history of a year of an epidemic of documented suicides – a year they lived through.

So yeah. Them’s my stuff. If you read, if you consider for any awards, if you just like the damn things, thanking you kindly. Again, I think this was a pretty good year in this respect. A hugely difficult one, but good. Hope the next one is also good sans at least some of the difficulty.

I get to destroy horror, AND I get a short story collection

So yeah, two pieces of delightful news.nightmare-cover_OCT2015

  • My story “Dispatches From a Hole in the World” will appear in Queers Destroy Horror!, the special issue of Nightmare coming this October. You can check out a partial ToC here, and it is just fantastic, LOOKIT
  • After years of getting stuff written and published, I’m going to release a short story collection with Undertow Publications. Singing With All My Skin and Bone will rip its bloody way into the world next August with some of my own favorite stuff to date, as well as some new things. I am just so super excited about this, you don’t even know; Undertow’s Shadows and Tall Trees bought one of my earliest stories and they are fantastic.
  • Re: Fall & Rising, a reminder that it’s hitting figurative shelves at the end of August, and I’ll be doing a blog tour and a giveaway and all kinds of tasty stuff. So stay tuned.

I didn’t mean to become a horror/dark fiction writer but it does seem like that’s happened a bit. Ain’t complainin’.

OKAY HI I’m still alive and there’s stuff

Okay SO. I’ve been radio-silent for a while. There are a number of reasons for this, among them that I’ve been eyes-deep in editing the Line and Orbit sequel. That’s finally starting to edge across the finish line, though edits on the other two books I have forthcoming will be starting imminently, so expect more silence. I’ll try to be more active in general, but. Editing. Those of you who have done it – you know that of which I speak. You grok. The editing.

But there is Stuff.

  • My intensely depressing postapocalyptic thing “Come My Love and 800_Shimmer-24-Cover-1I’ll Tell You a Tale” came out in last month’s issue of Shimmer and is available to read for free here. Tangent’s review of it said: “It is a testament to the story that it managed to leave me just sort of staring blankly ahead, a dull ache inside me and the feeling of just having crawled up from somewhere dark and hot and hostile. ” So you should read it immediately is what I’m saying here.
  • I have a story in the very recently released anthology of writing-flesh_made_word_final_cover_510focused erotica The Flesh Made Word, now available in ebook and trade paperback from Circlet Press. The anthology itself is really really really good and I recommend it highly. My story is also decent, I think. I’ll be doing a giveaway tomorrow, so if you want RED HOT WRITER SMUT for free you’ll have a chance to acquire some.
  • I’ll be at Balticon at the end of this month. Programming details still to be announced; will post when they’re up. If you’ll be in the area, come by. Should be real fun.
  • The Humanity of Monsters, the anthology in which my story “The Horse Latitudes” will be reprinted along with STUFF BY PEOPLE THAT’S SO GREAT I CAN’T EVEN DEAL, has revealed its fabulous cover, and I do mean fabulous: the-humanity-of-monsters_final-2

Other stuff… Not much new to report. Editing is the business of the day and all the other days too. Hopefully will have news on books soon; I have cover art that I’m very excited to share, there will be more exciting things happening… Stay tuned.

Writerly Roundup – July 2014

HELLO and welcome to the first of what I intend to be a monthly series of posts that outline things I, as a Person Who Is Also A Writer, have accomplished in the last 30 days or so. In part this is because everyone likes a good brag, but also because I tend to fall into this hole of not-feeling-like-I-accomplish-anything, especially in the middle of long projects or after a string of rejections (or both, wheeeeee). So I feel like this is both a way to do a little self-promo and a kind of self-care.

I’m doing something else, though, and I thought about it for a while beforehand, and I’m honestly still not sure what I think about it. Essentially, I’m including anything fandom-related I’ve done, including stuff from the pan-fandom roleplaying game I’m involved with (aka Darrow, aka #tcrpg, aka RP). I’m doing this in significant part because it would be difficult to overstate how much fandom writing has influenced and continues to influence every other kind of creative writing I do. Fanfiction showed me I could write and gave me the confidence to pursue it for money (just not, y’know, a lot of it). And if you look at the acknowledgements for my recent and upcoming books, you’ll notice I mention Darrow; there’s a good reason for that.

And finally, though I feel like the stigma of fanfiction and fandom among writers – at least genre writers – is increasingly oversold, I do think it’s still regarded by some as a set of streams that shouldn’t be crossed. And while I don’t think fanfiction and “original” fiction are exactly the same kinds of writing that do the exact same thing, I do think they deserve to get equal places at the table.

So at the end of this, I’m going to talk about fanfic and RP; feel free to ignore. A final caveat, though, in line with the above: I don’t look at my fanfic/RP the same way I do my other stuff. Among other things, it’s an arena wherein I try out ideas and techniques and issues with which I don’t feel comfortable working in my short stories and books. For me, it’s a different kind of writing. It’s done for public consumption, but a particular kind of public. If you peruse it, please bear that in mind.

SO. If you read all that, you get a cookie.


On to the stuff.

  • I published my essay collection (trade paperback here; ebook in all colors of the rainbow here). It was a lot of work, I did 99% of it myself, and I’ve very proud of it.
  • I went to my first Readercon. Spoiler alert: It was awesome.
  • I had two stories in two best-ofs. “A Heap of Broken Images” in The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirty-First Annual Edition (originally published in We See a Different Frontier), and “Event Horizon” in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, 2014 Edition (originally published in Strange Horizons).
  • On the submission front, I only sent out two short stories, one of them a rewrite request/suggestion. I completed none. That was in part because of what’s been happening on the writing front:
  • Did the highly questionable working-on-two-novels at-once thing again. The current stats are 75.7k words in Rookwar (Casting the Bones book 3) and 31.1k words in Untitled Book About How Kae d’Bideshi Met His Wife and They Had Adventures and Saved Everyone and Dealt With Relationship Stuff in an Awkward Fashion. Gonna need a snappier title at some point. Rookwar should be done very soon. I have no idea about UBAHKBMHWaTHAaSEaDWRSiaAF.
  • Looking toward the distant future, I completed almost all the final edits on Labyrinthian and I have cover art, which I can show off once it gets the thumbs-up from the marketing gnomes. Expect that soon.
  • Coming up in August, my story “Cold as the Moon” will be out in Strange Horizons toward the latter  part of the month, and next week Ravenfall will get its release. I’ll be running a giveaway for that starting in the next two days. I made jewelry. Stay tuned.
  • Fandom-wise, I sort of lost it regarding the Uncharted franchise – after feeling decidedly meh about the first game – and I wrote a crossover with The Last of Us that’s been percolating for a while. I’m proud of it, but holy God is it depressing:

    He was supposed to _win._ That’s how this works, how it always works. There’s danger and the threat of death and then there’s a goddamn deus ex machina, a god literally from the fucking machine to pluck them all out of the fire and set them down on level ground. He always takes the impossible shot. He always makes the impossible leap. He always jumps from the exploding vehicle at the last possible moment. She would have been dead for sure, and then he would have saved her, or something, and everything would have ended up okay even if the rest of the world was gone to shit.

    He was supposed to win. Not lose absolutely everything.

    Lips on his brow. He wanted to beg her to bite him, and that was so fucked up and so stupid.

    _If you love me you’ll do this for me. We promised each other. You remember. Don’t you dare back out now. Come on, you’ve done harder things._

    I love you. I love you, I love you. Fingers around the grip. Just like ten thousand times before. Your heart is a bullet, Nathan. This is what it does.

And now here comes the RP (Darrow). Here’s where most of you will get off the train. The rest of you, follow me under the cut.

Continue reading

July news, because there’s a lot of it

Okay, so somehow July ended up being the month where everything is happening. Here’s what’s on deck:

So wow, yeah. August should be more sedate, except for all the writing I’ll be doing. Rookwar will be finished by the end of this month, but then I have the as-yet untitled book I’m writing about Kae from Line and Orbit, and I have an idea for another tropey-as-fuck Big Gay SF novel (not Line and Orbit-related) that I hope to begin work on in the fall.

And I’m teaching an intensive three-week course and looking for a job. And I’ve decided to retool my entire doctoral dissertation.

Wheeee summer.

Book news (spoiler alert: there will be one)

I’ve been wanting to share this news officially for a few days, and now I can: my queer science fiction romance novel Labyrinthian, which some of you may recall me talking about before, is going to be released (probably) in December actually now it looks like later in January by Samhain Publishing.


A little bit about it, for those just joining us: A few years ago I got it into my head that it might be fun to write about the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, only in the distant future in space. It seemed like a cool idea, but I wasn’t equipped to do anything with it at the time, so it went on the back-burner. Years later, I found myself with some downtime between writing the sequel to Crowflight and rewriting the sequel to Line and Orbit, and I wanted to do something lighter and more fun than I had up to that point.

So I reached back into my dusty idea filing cabinets and pulled that one out. Less than two months later, it was a complete book draft.

(One of the morals of this story, by the way, is try to never completely abandon an idea. If you can’t make it work at one point in time, that doesn’t mean it won’t work at some other point. A good idea now will probably still be a good idea five years from now. )

So what’s Labyrinthian? Per above, it’s an SFnal retelling of Theseus and the Minotaur, where the Minotaur is a genetically engineered supersoldier on the run from his creators and Theseus is the bounty hunter hired to capture him. Predictably, everything goes sideways, and running and shooting and makeouts ensue. Along the way they pick up Theseus’s ex-girlfriend Phae, who doesn’t think all that much of Theseus but has a weakness for hard luck stories and is good with a gun.

It’s set in the same universe as Line and Orbit, concurrent to the few weeks between that book and its sequel. The characters are not the same, and it takes place on the galactic frontier, so the actual setting is also quite different in some ways. The content itself is also different: it’s much more of a straight-up (haha) romance-adventure than Line and Orbit was, and it’s much less epic. Like I said, I wanted to have fun and do some lighter fare, so for the most part that’s what it is. That said, there are some deeper themes – guilt, self-acceptance, and the power of family being a few.

I think it’s a fun book. If you pick it up, I hope you enjoy.

Watch for more news as more news occurs.

Here is the long-promised good news post

Let’s have some happy things.

  • Line and Orbit is finally out in print. I have waited a very long time for this day, that was actually last week but I had a lot going on. It can still be purchased at a very nice discount here and at a slightly less nice discount but a discount nevertheless here.
  • RT Magazine has a very cool interview with me and my co-author up on their site, wherein we talk about writing the book and space travel and other cool stuff.
  • Winners of both giveaways have been notified and copies either have been mailed or will be mailed very soon. I threw in some temporary tattoos. RAINBOW temporary tattoos. Because who wouldn’t want those. People who hate JOY, that’s who.
  • The current issue of Lightspeed, which includes a thing by me, is available for purchase here. My story, which is a MISANDRIST retelling of The Little Mermaid, will go live tomorrow.

Aren’t those happy things? Yes, they are. Now I have to go prep for class. Yay.

2013: a Writerly Review

Two things happened recently that are very good.

First, Line and Orbit got a Top Pick in RT Book Reviews. The review is here, but is behind a paywall for the next couple of months. However, it includes words like:

[A] delightful romance with a brilliantly clever science fiction twist…A truly innovative story that will even reward after multiple reads.

Also, Lois Tilton has picked me as her “2013 new author of promise”, as well as selecting my story “Event Horizon” as one of her four standout pieces of the year from Strange Horizons.

Given those yay-worthy tidbits, it seems like a good time to review 2013, which was a pretty great year, all told.

  • Novels. I wrote four of these and most of a fifth. They are: Wordsinger, which is unpublished and is making the agent rounds; the first version of Fall and Rising (the sequel to Line and Orbit), which will probably never see the outside of my hard drive; Labyrinthian, which will hopefully get picked up for a 2014 release; Ravenfall (the sequel to Crowflight); and the fifth almost-complete one is the second version of Fall and Rising. I had two novels see publication, Line and Orbit and Crowflight. Line and Orbit earned me my first starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. Hopefully it won’t be the last. It also took silver in the Best Gay SF and bronze in the Best Gay Debut categories of the Rainbow Awards.
  • Short fiction. Seven stories published in all. Full list here.  Two of them – “Event Horizon” and “A Heap of Broken Images” – were given the status of “recommended” by Lois Tilton at Locus. “A Heap of Broken Images” was selected by Gardner Dozois for the 31st volume of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, my first and again hopefully not last appearance there. Other high points: I made my second appearances in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, and Strange Horizons. I’m probably most proud of “A Heap of Broken Images”, not only for the recognition it’s gotten but for the company it has in We See a Different Frontier, which is an amazing  anthology that I’m incredibly happy to have been featured in.
  • Coming up. The print edition of Line and Orbit will be out on February 4th, and I’ll be giving a signed copy away. Ravenfall will probably be out from Masque Books sometime this coming year, though nothing is finalized yet.  I have stories coming out in both Apex and Lightspeed, as well as a story in the anthology Long Hidden. Hopefully there will be much more on the way.
  • Goals. I hope to have Rookwar, the final book in the Casting the Bones trilogy, done in the next few months. I mean to write the final chapter of the story I and my co-author began in Line and Orbit. I don’t think Labyrinthian will get a sequel – I feel like I did all I want to with those characters – but there is another novel in the Line and Orbit universe that I want to write, probably concerning Ixchel’s past and her relationship with Adisa (ah, doomed love). I would really like to have an agent by this time next year. I have several short stories that I’m working on and of course I always want to be producing those. I love novels and I’m spending a lot of time on them these days but I will always need to write short stuff, I think.

So yeah, 2013 was pretty much awesome. If 2014 continues the trend, I’ll consider myself both happy and fortunate indeed.

The Year’s Best Science Fiction 31 ToC


Today SF Signal released the table of contents for the 31st volume of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, and I don’t mind saying that I’m fairly omgomg about the company I’m in. Check this shit out:

  1. “The Discovered Country” by Ian R. MacLeod
  2. “The Book Seller” by Lavie Tidhar
  3. “Pathways” by Nancy Kress
  4. “A Heap of Broken Images” by Sunny Moraine
  5. “Rock of Ages” by Jay Lake
  6. “Rosary and Goldenstar” by Geoff Ryman
  7. “Gray Wings” by Karl Bunker
  8. The Best We Can” by Carrie Vaughn
  9. “Transitional Forms” by Paul McAuley
  10. “Precious Mental” by Robert Reed
  11. “Martian Blood” by Allen M. Steele
  12. “Zero For Conduct” by Greg Egan
  13. The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard
  14. A Map of Mercury” by Alastair Reynolds
  15. One” by Nancy Kress
  16. “Murder on the Aldrin Express” by Martin L. Shoemaker
  17. Biographical Fragments of the Life of Julian Prince” by Jake Kerr
  18. The Plague” by Ken Liu
  19. “Fleet” by Sandra McDonald
  20. “The She-Wolf’s Hidden Grin” by Michael Swanwick
  21. “Bad Day on Boscobel” by Alexander Jablokov
  22. The Irish Astronaut” by Val Nolan
  23. “The Other Gun” by Neal Asher
  24. “Only Human” by Lavie Tidhar
  25. “Entangled” by Ian R. MacLeod
  26. “Earth 1″ by Stephen Baxter
  27. “Technarion” by Sean McMullen
  28. “Finders” by Melissa Scott
  29. “The Queen of Night’s Aria” by Ian McDonald
  30. “Hard Stars” by Brendan DuBois
  31. The Promise of Space” by James Patrick Kelly
  32. “Quicken” by Damien Broderick

It’ll be out in hardcover and paperback in July. Can’t wait.

Sunday Linkdump: A smile I’ve learned to fear

He's watching.

He’s watching.

So it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Stuffing some news in with the links.

To my immense chuffedness, Line and Orbit took silver in the Best Gay SF and bronze in the Best Gay Debut categories in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. Many, many congrats to all the winners and finalists.

Linky links.

  • “Michigan passes ‘rape insurance’ bill”. The Republican governor actually opposed it. Michigan, I cannot even with you.
  • “The Return of the Welfare Queen”. Which does not actually exist, naturally.

    The facts defy the stereotypes. The largest group of food-stamp recipients is white; 45 percent of all beneficiaries are children; and most people eligible for Medicaid are families with children in which at least one person in the household has a job.

  • “David Cronenberg Wants to Be Inside You.” On the Cronenberg exhibition currently making the rounds and Cronenberg’s overall oeuvre.
  • “Friday the 13th: A Ghost Story”. This past Friday was the 13th. So someone had a surprising and unwelcome visitor.
  • “Five Stages of Reading the Novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture”.

    The book starts with a special preface by Admiral Kirk. He introduces himself by talking about his name. Kirk, because he’s a traditionalist, Tiberius because of his grandfather’s fascination with the classics, and James after his uncle and his mother’s first love instructor.

    Yeah. That’s what it said. That’s page one.

  • Over at Cyborgology, David Banks has the first part of a post series we’re doing, of our own personal history with devices and digital technology. As I said on Twitter, it’s funny, insightful, and rather sweet.
  • And I have the first part of a two-part essay on sex and drones and how they go together.

    Drones have become a symbol of contemporary surveillance, a thing that’s always there and always watching and always potentially capable of doing harm. Sometimes this harm is through direct violence, and sometimes it’s merely the delivery of data to people who can use it against you. But either way, there are two aspects to the erotic power of drones, and they’re interrelated: Being known, and being controlled.

This has become my theme/end titles music for Labyrinthian, the SF novel I just finished writing, so enjoy.