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Showing posts from August, 2015

On memoir and things I have no experience of—A review of "Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life" by William Finnegan

I know nothing about surfing. I've never stood on a board. I've never even seen surfing done in real life (I've spent most of my life in the American Midwest. And even when I lived in Los Angeles for college, I somehow never met any surfers).
Yet it came into my head to write a story that involved surfing. So I read a lot. I was interested in big-wave surfing, so I read Susan Casey's book, "The Wave." I read a lot of journalistic accounts. I watched videos online.
And eventually, probably inevitably, I stumbled upon a two-part article in The New Yorker. The article is titled "Playing Doc's Games" by William Finnegan, and it was published in 1992. It is famous among surfers. The surf magazine The Inertia called it "possibly the greatest surf story ever" and a writer at The Surfer described it as "the best written piece (all 39,000 words of it) ever penned about surf culture." 
I am not a surfer. Yet William Finnegan's article…

Future Fire Fundraiser! Link to new interview!

The Indiegogo fundraiser for The Future Fire is down to the wire, with only 38 hours to go! Go visit and donate to support daring, progressive, beautiful short science fiction and fantasy!

As part of The Future Fire's 10th anniversary celebration, there is also a new interview with me about my writing.

F**ck Winning

I stumbled across this piece, "Fuck Winning," by Albert Burneko while skipping about the Internet (as you do) and read it, just read it.
Because yes, fuck winning, fuck the tournament system, fuck the ruthless competition/winner-takes-all/Hunger Games that is coming for us all. We don't need to beat down our kids; the world is going to do that soon enough. We don't need to teach them that only "winners" are worthwhile; that life is to be measured in trophies and salaries and prestigious job titles and tangibly shiny medals; isn't the world going to teach them all that without our help?
Here is the passage in Burneko's piece that closed my throat:  
As I write this, my two young sons are running around a grassy field where I can watch them. They have balloons stuffed under their shirts; they are crashing into each other with their big balloon-bellies and making weird monster noises and giggling so hard they can’t speak; the sun is in their hair and thei…

Celebrating 10 years of The Future Fire magazine--fundraiser for their anthology

Wow. I really haven't been here in a while.

I hope to post something more substantive soon, but for now I will direct readers (all 2 of them?) to a most excellent magazine and to the fundraiser celebrating that magazine's 10th anniversary.

The Future Fire is a speculative fiction online magazine which has been publishing strange and beautiful science fiction and fantasy for 10 years now. As stated in the submission guidelines, the editors are interested in fiction with social-political and progressive themes. Such themes can actually stretch to cover quite a bit, and the stories there often express those themes in subtle and unexpected ways.  I was very very proud when one of my own stories, Disconnected, was chosen for publication in The Future Fire this past spring.

And to celebrate their 10 years in business, the staff at The Future Fire are now running an Indiegogo campaign to fund an anthology publishing a mix of new stories and material with some of the best from a decade o…