My slipstreamy short “The Scarred Utopian Takes a Wife” is now available to read for free in issue #14 of Jabberwocky.
On the day of her wedding, the bride of the Scarred Utopian pulls her veil down over her face. She does this unassisted by her attendants, assembled around her in silence of the most solemn kind—this is a thing that she must do herself, her fingertips slipping over the intricate needle lace. She sees patterns of flowers and winding vines spiraling endlessly around birds in flight, leaping stags, wild hares, other creatures impossibly strange. Shapes that change forever, altering themselves the very instant she identifies their nature. She sees this, and then the veil is over her head, a vague white blur, and that is all she sees.
The story itself actually comes out of a paper I wrote in my second semester of grad school, after I’d been devouring a lot of Zygmunt Bauman and Omer Bartov’s writing on utopian ideals and how destructive they can be. Stuck that onto my desire to write something about fairy tale tropes and the removal of women’s agency and here we are.
Yeah, it’s been a while. And while I really enjoyed the audio posts I was doing, I think I need to call a hiatus on them for the time being; some of it is hosting issues and a lot of it is just that lately I haven’t felt much motivation to sit down in front of my dinky little mic and ramble at you. So if you were enjoying those, thanks so much for listening, and this is me telling you that I really hope that they’ll return at some point soon. Possibly when I’m in a better place, mental health-wise.
There’s something about spring semesters, I swear.
There is news, though.
- First and foremost, I’m very late announcing this here given that I’ve been talking about it a lot of other places on the internets, but I’ve sold what I’ve affectionately taken to calling The Big Gay Space Opera – what I co-wrote with a BFF of mine – to Samhain Publishing, under the title Line & Orbit (previously Rosetta). Right now the release date is slated for sometime in early 2013. It will be out in both ebook formats and trade paperback. I’m really, really excited about it, you guys, I can’t even tell you. It’s been a long, strange road with this book and I’m really happy it’s finally found a good home. Right now we’re just in the early editing phase but watch this space for much more about it once I have more to give. I’m hoping to throw together some contests and freebies and whatnot.
- I’ve sold a slipstreamy piece of something called “The Scarred Utopian Takes a Wife” to Jabberwocky, for release this fall. I love Jabberwocky, so that’s awesome.
- My story “The Thick Night”, which originally appeared in Strange Horizons, will be reprinted in the 2012 edition of Lethe Press’s Heiresses of Russ: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction, due out this winter. Also very awesome, especially given the company it looks like I’ll be in.
That’s pretty much it for the moment. Given that the audio thing is on hiatus I’ll be trying to post here more regularly, though. Who knows: I might even try my hand at actually writing things about things again. Shock and awe.
Okay, so, a number of things have happened since I last posted.
First: THE NOVEL IS DONE. Well, the first draft is. But I generally write relatively complete first drafts, so I don’t anticipate very much needing to be done to the structure of the thing in the editing stage–which I plan to start in a couple of weeks. I may have to vanish again right about then but for the present I plan to return to at least a semi-regular posting schedule.
Second, my numbers station-inspired story “The Cold Death of Papa November” is now up to read for free at Three-Lobed Burning Eye. You can also hear me reading it at that link (and you can download the mp3 for ipodery). I really do love that weird piece of… something. The story, I mean. I’m glad it’s been loosed on the world. And the rest of that issue of 3LBE is very worth your time.
And finally, another plug for Shadows & Tall Trees #2: Issue #1 sold out, and it’s very likely that this one will too, given the limited print run and the fact that people seem to like the magazine. So if you want it, I’d get it sooner rather than later. It is also very worth your time, and not just because of me (seriously, Steve Rasnic Tem’s piece in there is way unsettling).
And that’s it for me for now. But watch this space.
So I’m taking a short break from regular blogging. This is looking like a busy month for me and I want to get on top of some things before I pick it up again. I am looking to be back on schedule next week, hopefully. In the meantime, however, issue #2 of Shadows & Tall Trees is now available.
At the Top of the Stairs by Richard Harland
Back Among the Shy Trees by Steve Rasnic Tem
Memento Mori by Sunny Moraine
The Candle by Ian Rogers
Voices Carry by Eric Schaller
The Pool by Alison J. Littlewood
Devil’s Music by Louis Marvick
This is really a terrific collection of fiction and I’m very pleased to be in such great company. Shadows & Tall Trees has been getting some very positive buzz in general, and I’m privileged to be a part of it.
My own piece, “Memento Mori,” was 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 is one of the best movie reviews I’ve ever read (though I confess that I still haven’t seen the film in question). It concerns the question of what that would actually be like, what it might mean and how someone might process the experience. I decided that taking the analogy and running into extremely literal territory with it might produce something pleasingly surreal, and I hope I mostly succeeded in doing that.
Here’s the first little bit of it.
This week’s WIP is still The Scarred Utopian Takes a Wife, which I posted a bit of last week. It’s close to being done, so here’s a little more of it. It feels like a fable; something particular is being talked about in a very particular way. I’m not yet sure if that’s good or bad. Hopefully I’ll have a better idea by the time it’s done.
This wasn’t actually a WIP until yesterday afternoon, when the idea for it popped into my head very suddenly while I was writing something else with a friend – which at least partially inspired it. The rest of it came very quickly after, and now it’s the rare short story of mine where the actual plot is very fully formed before most of it’s been written. Now I just need to get that last part done.
The “Scarred Utopian” comes from the title of a paper that I wrote in my first year of graduate school. It wasn’t a very good paper, but the idea has stuck with me; the contradictory coexistence of the perfect and imperfect. Of course, such a thing seems illogical – does that also mean it can’t be real?
This one is also not properly a WIP–it’s been sold to Three-Lobed Burning Eye, for release at some unknown point in the future. But their round of edits hasn’t yet come through, so I suppose it sort of counts.
This story was inspired by numbers stations. What can I say: they’re cool. Numbers and screams and secret voices in the night, coming from unknown places and meant for unknown ears. Great material right there. I ended up, as I often do, with a story about memory and lost love and how both have a way of haunting people–and, indeed, the world.
So here’s a small piece.