Tag Archives: short fiction

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

tumblr_o7qsj5Nu1F1ronbrao1_1280

“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.

filling holes in the world

by Elizabeth Leggett

by Elizabeth Leggett

Today “Dispatches from a Hole in the World” – my story for Nightmare’s Queers Destroy Horror! issue – went live, so you can read it here. If you want. If you do, fair warning: it’s about suicide, so if that’s a trigger for you, proceed with caution. Mental illness is also in there.

I’ve been writing less in the way of short fiction recently – disappointing, a little, because I love the form – and I think there are a variety of reasons for that, but I think one of them is that the kind of short fiction I write has taken a darker turn, and it’s more difficult to stay in that place for any length of time. It’s more difficult to go there at all. A lot of my fiction has always been dark, but at some point, a little over a year ago and maybe more, I made the decision to finally turn inward and write things with material pulled from some of the rawest and most painful parts of my psyche. The first true result of that was “Singing With All My Skin and Bone”, also published in Nightmare. It was terrifying to write. It was incredibly cathartic. It came very quickly; I finished it in about an hour and it needed very little work afterward.

It was terrifying in part because it’s about dermatillomania, which is a disorder that isn’t much talked about and isn’t well understood – by people who don’t have it; the people who do understand it all too well. It’s an incredibly difficult kind of mental illness to talk about, because it involves compulsive behavior – which we also don’t understand very well – and because it involves self harm in a context we don’t usually see it. I hate and am not playing the Mental Illness Olympics game, but as a culture I think we have an easier time talking about self harm as a result of depression than self harm as a result of literally not being able to stop.

Enjoying it, even. As a kid I found it soothing. Painful but soothing. Still do.

Continue reading

Here be my 2014 awards post, yarr

LH-cover-onlytitleandeditors-1024x720

2014 was a decently productive year for me, publication-wise. It was also a year full of awkward, jerky stops and starts and a bunch of things ended up being way bigger and way more exhausting than I thought they would (and the year isn’t over yet), but overall I’m pleased with things. I’ll be doing a year round-up post around New Year’s, but for now here are the things by me that are award-eligible this year. Most of them are free to read online. If you’re reading for awards and you want copies of any of the stuff that isn’t, feel free to get in touch with me and I’ll shoot it your way.

Short stories

  • “So Sharp That Blood Must Flow” – Lightspeed – February 2014. I’ve been referring to this as my Misandrist Little Mermaid story, and so it is. It’s a violent, vengeful take on the fairy tale, and it was somewhat cathartic to write. I would actually consider it horror more than fantasy. I’m very proud of how uninterested it is in taking any prisoners.
  • “To Increase His Wondrous Greatnesse More” – Apex Magazine – March 2014. In some ways this can be read as a companion piece to the above. It’s not necessarily a take on any one fairy tale as it is an attack on tropes common to many of them. A maiden, a dragon, and a queer meditation on storytelling and the monstrous feminine.
  • “Across the Seam” – Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. An extremely personal story about Baba Yaga, a Slavic immigrant coal miner who’s also trans, and a massacre that ended a miner’s strike in Lattimer, Pennsylvania. You can read more about it here.
  • “Cold as the Moon” – Strange Horizons – August 2014. Got a “recommended” from Lois Tilton at Locus. This one came from the image of the very first line and became a story about neglectful/abusive parents and children who have to grow up far too early. It’s an angry story. A lot of the stuff I published this year was angry, actually.
  • “Singing With All My Skin and Bone” – Nightmare – September 2014. If there’s a single story I’m most proud of in 2014, this is it. It’s by far the most personal thing I’ve ever written. It’s basically autobiography with a speculative veil. Writing it was an incredibly raw, visceral experience – appropriately so, given the subject matter. Which, speaking of, you should be aware of if you have any self-injury triggers.
  • “What Glistens Back” – Lightspeed – November 2014. This is the other one I’m most proud of. I’ve taken to saying that it’s a first contact story and a last contact story; it’s about discovery but it’s also about saying goodbye to a loved one in the moments before death. Apparently it made a bunch of people cry. Good.

Novels

So that’s it. If you’re reading for awards, I hugely appreciate you giving them a look. If you’re not, hey, give ’em a look anyway. I mean, I think they’re all right.

Part of a Thing I Love: Twofer edition

Here are two short stories that I’ve majorly dug recently. Both are, in their own way, quite horrifying, and both deal in horror that’s fundamentally about loss and powerlessness in loss – which is really the kind of horror that I find most powerful at this point in my life. The first one especially deals with the loss of loved ones, and not only their loss but the horror of watching them fall apart in front of you and not being able to do anything but be there with them.

Both stories also deal with injury and sickness, the destruction of the body – which is something else that resonates very strongly with me, given how much I’ve been writing about it lately.

Anyway, here we go:

Glen Hirshberg – “I Am Coming to Live in Your Mouth” (Nightmare Magazine, Feb 2014)

She was moving his hand against the inside of one of her wrists, now. Feeling the paper-thin membrane against her smoothness, right where the sleeve of her robe ended. Dazed, she moved his hand to her cheek. Held it there. Stroked once, so gently, down. Back up. Down again. Then she slid Joe’s hand to her neck. Down farther, into the V of her robe to brush one nipple. The other. How long had it been now? Two years? Three? They’d had such sweet touching in the eighteen months before what they’d always known was coming—or, coming back—arrived for good. Such patient touching, as though they’d had all the time in the world. Now his skin—what there was of it—just felt scratchy and hard, like a dried-out loofa.

I am coming to live in your mouth.

Damien Angelica Walters – “Green is for Silence, Blue is for Voice, Red is for Whole, Black is for Choice” (Daily Science Fiction)

Leda sleeps within a nightskin.

From the outside, it appears featureless, a chrysalis connected to the machinery below with tubes and wires. When the stitches dissolve, she knows it’s time to emerge. A week? A month? She doesn’t know. Time slips while inside the nightskin. Slips and falls away.

She wakes in stages. First, there is a subtle awareness, a shift in the light perhaps, as the stitches begin to give way and the skin loosens around her. The synthetic framework holding her muscles and tendons in place acknowledges the new space. Her limbs stretch out, pushing the gap open. The nightskin falls open; Leda within, like a peeled grape.

Here are all my Nebula-eligible things

I guess it’s that time again: Here are all the stories I published in 2013, for consideration for award noms. Not all of them are available for free, but I’m happy to provide copies for people who are nominating and would like to give them a look.

Short Fiction

Novels

If you put any of these forward, thanks a whole bunch!