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Interview with the Horror Writers Association! (Asian Heritage in Horror series)

I had an interview with the Horror Writers Association (HWA) this month, as part of their Asian Heritage in Horror interview series. I hadn’t really thought of myself as a horror writer before, even though I have indeed written some dark stories, including a ghost story . HWA thought otherwise, and I’m so pleased to be part of their interview series. There’s a great lineup of authors participating, with wonderful insight and wisdom, and I’d suggest anyone interested in this genre to check out the entire series here . Note that HWA is also running a great interview series on Jewish Heritage in Horror this month, so check that out here on the HWA website, too!

Short fiction recs! March-April 2022

 A list of some beautiful stories that I read in March and April. Stories of ghosts, revenge, and other haunted things   “Douen” by Suzan Palumbo in The Dark Meh whole body was wrong. From meh ankles, meh feet was twisted with meh toes pointing behind me. I sit on de grass and try to turn meh right foot around to face de correct way but it wouldn’t go straight. When I walk around de gravestones, meh heels went in front of me but meh feet look backwards. Douen.   A little girl wakes to find herself transformed. A little girl wakes to find herself at her own funeral, watching her mother cry as the little girl’s body is buried. A wonderfully creepy ghost story, steeped in Caribbean folklore and voice. It’s tense and darkly atmospheric,   but what comes through the most is the rage and grief of a child, the abandonment she feels as she witnesses her family—and most of all, her mother—moving on with life without her.   “Xiao Emo—Little Demon” by Ai Jiang in The Dark Ér—the

Short fiction recs! January-February 2022

  Late as usual, but here are some stories I loved in January and February of this year.   Things of the sea and water “False Gills” by M.A. Blanchard in Uncharted Magazine “ I want to be real,” I say, though she didn’t ask. “I want to be like you, an unreal thing more true than real things know how to be. I want to be myself and nothing else. I want to breathe underwater and gnaw on the bones of people who think that they can own me.” Oh, this dark story of desire and rage. A story that starts off in sunlight and domestic bliss. Two women in love live happily in a fairytale forest cottage, filling their days with mushroom hunting, baking, pickling, cleaning, homemaking. . .until one of the women is seduced by an undine who lives in a well. I love the shifts in this story, how we come to realize that what we thought was domestic bliss wasn’t at all; how our view changes of Lorna, the woman whom the narrator loves. It’s a wonderful, weird, atmospheric and shifting piece of cottag

New stories in Lightspeed, The Future Fire and GigaNotoSaurus! And more news!

Light in the sky when the kids get up for school now. The song of birds outside the window. It’s still cold, but the signs of spring are here. The earth is thawing. There are horrors on my news feed, and amid that there are small beauties in the world. Some things I’ve published and other news, if you care to hear:   New stories In case you missed it. . .  “An Address to the Newest Disciples of the Lost Words”  was published in Lightspeed Magazine at the start of the new year, and became free to read on Jan 20. It's a story about a magical language that can say all things. It's about the power and limits of words. And it's almost all I want to say about writing. Stefan Rudnicki gives a marvelous narration (his voice is an exact match for my character’s!) on the accompanying podcast. “Before We Drown”  was published January 30 in The Future Fire . It’s a little flash story about memory and the light between storms. “Once on a Midsummer’s Night”  was published Febr

Short fiction recs! Nov-Dec 2021

This is very late, but at least I did get this in before the end of the month. Some beautiful stories I read at the end of last year, from last November and December.  Short Stories “The Language Birds Speak” by Rebecca Campbell in Clarkesworld The deep sea of meaning that underlies those flimsy little words. The richest parts of our selves beyond the reach of language, and words only float on it, moved by currents far deeper than anything they communicate, a rich, dark inlet of the great sea of meaning we cannot ever hope to speak. “But what if,” Tom asked, conspiratorial, “there was a language that bypassed conscious representation the way snakes and faces do? It’s more like pheromones. Like music or empathy. If you hug someone for thirty seconds, you’ll both release oxytocin. It’s not about the mind—it’s about body speaking to body. It’s a kind of truth that language can never capture.” A fascinating story about a primal language that says what ordinary human speech cannot. A l

New story! At Lightspeed Magazine!

  I have a new story out today! Actually, it came out earlier this month behind a paywall, but it’s now available to read for free. “An Address to the Newest Disciples of the Lost Words” is published at Lightspeed Magazine ! This story is about a magical language that can say all things. It’s about the power and limits of words. And it’s almost everything that I want to say about writing. I hope you give it a read. For more of my thoughts on this story, you can check out my Author Spotlight/Interview on the Lightspeed site. There’s also a podcast of the story available at the site. I haven’t finished listening to the whole thing yet, but narrator Stefan Rudnicki’s voice is a perfect match for my character, and I’m delighted by his narration.

2021 Roundup: Books That I Loved

  Time has been strange for some time now. There’s a joke I’ve seen online, the gist of which is:  “How can it be 2022? I still haven’t finished processing 2020!” Which, well, yes. Very much yes. Nevertheless, we’re already almost in the middle of the first month of the new year. 2021 was strange and hard, but there were spots of light, too, and among those spots of light were books and stories. Here are some books that I loved.     Novels and Collections The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu This was the first book I finished in 2021. If you don’t know Ken Liu’s work yet, you should fix that immediately; I think he is one of the most important writers working today, both in and out of speculative fiction. The Hidden Girls is his second collection of short stories, and a worthy follow-up to his first. Here are mind-bending far-future science fiction stories, equally mind-bending fantasy (with elements of sci-fi), and tender stories of family. The opening story, “Gh