Showing posts from 2016

The award-eligibility post or publication round-up for 2016

Well, here it is, I guess. My round-up of publications I’ve had out in 2016. I don’t know how many are “award-eligible” in any category (none of these are pro-sales), but it’s nice to have a place to sum them all up. In Dew and Frost and Flame (3301 words) at Metaphorosis Magazine , June 2016. A story about love and magical inks. Story notes here . The Wave (6306 words) at The Future Fire , June 2016. Cyberpunk on a surf board. Set in the same timeline as my other hard sci-fi story, Disconnected .  Story notes here     Also selected as a “Recommended Read” by The Semiotic Standard. Review here .  All the Souls Like Candle Flames (6816 words) at Luna Station Quarterly , December 2016. A mythic tale about a Sea Witch, a white gull, and a little brown fish. This is one particularly close to my heart: like Moon Story , it started off as a fairy tale to entertain my daughers, and was born from the tedium of airline travel. The plot accreted slowly

New story out! A tale of a Sea Witch, a seagull, and a little brown fish

So. . . for anyone still checking out this blog: I had a new story come out yesterday!  All the Souls Like Candle Flames  is free to read online at the lovely magazine, Luna Station Quarterly. I am looking forward to settling down with the whole issue and a cup of tea this weekend! "All the Souls Like Candle Flames" is a fairy tale of loss, sacrifice, and hope. It's a story about a Sea Witch, a seagull, and a little brown fish. It is one of my favorite pieces ever. I hope you take a look at it. (and I'll post more notes on this story soon!)

November Fiction Recs and More

Like many writers I know, I have been struggling with fiction writing this past week. I fear that my stories are self-indulgent drivel. Worse, I fear that stories in general are useless—or rather, that the only stories that have an effect in this world are broad propaganda which foment rage, divide us, and blind us. I say this even as I acknowledge that I’ve turned to literature for comfort. I’ve been reading poetry. I see beauty in art. But. . . but I wonder how much it matters. My reading picks this month were all chosen before the U.S. presidential election. They are beautiful stories and essays. Some of them are very dark. Some are hopeful. Some ring not only with defiance, but with ferocious burn-the-world-down rage that resonates uncomfortably with me at this moment, when I think that the politics of nihilism have brought my country to this point. I’m sharing these stories, though. Even if I can’t write myself, I can boost other voices. I don’t know what good a

Discount promo for The Lilies of Dawn and other writing news

Okay, popping in here briefly for some writing news/self-promo time. (It's been a hard few days. I know. I've been struggling to write. . . I know many people now struggling to write. But here goes). --My publisher is running a discount promo on my fantasy novelette, The Lilies of Dawn. Today and tomorrow only (11/13 thru 11/14), the ebook version is available for $0.99. If you click directly on the sales links (Amazon, Kobo, etc), you'll see the discounted price. --I have a sea fairy-tale, "All the Souls Like Candle Flames," coming out in Luna Station Quarterly on December 1. It's a story about  a Sea-Witch, a white gull, and a little brown fish.  --I have a dark fantasy story, "Of Milk and Blood," coming out in Unsung Stories on December 9.  It's a story about demons and fear. I am still trying to write. Sometimes it feels useless. Often it feels useless. But let's

Book quote of the day: Lev Grossman

This was my writing routine today: sit for a few minutes before the screen, pull books down from the shelves to re-read favorite passages; check Twitter, drink tea, pace around. Repeat. This was one of the books I pulled down from the shelf: The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman. The last in a trilogy of books that I love—a series that moved me deeply and changed how I write. I opened the book to a quote I’d underlined: “She was too tired to feel anything more, she wanted a book to do to her what books did: take away the world, slide it aside for a little bit, and let her please, please just be somewhere and somebody else.” Yes. That’s what books have always been for me: a magic that takes me elsewhere and allows me to be, even if just for a few moments, somebody else.   

Review: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

As an ex-scientist who has at times dipped into the scientist-writer blogosphere (yes, there is such a thing), I had heard of the name Hope Jahren. I think I read one or two of her entertaining, funnier blog posts. I read a powerful op-ed piece she wrote in the New York Times about the sexism many women face in science. But none of this prepared me for her memoir, Lab Girl. I did not expect the lyricism with which Jahren writes of her childhood in Minnesota: the winter nights that she accompanied her father to his physics lab at a community college, which seemed a wonderland to the little girl. The tangible coldness she evokes when she writes of walking back home with her father afterward, through the Minnesota snow. I did not expect the lyrical evocation of a different type of coldness: the emotional distances within her reserved Scandinavian family. But just as I was settling in for a literary memoir of the quietly lyrical mode, the story changed. Dr. Jahren is a profes

September 2016 Short Fiction Recs (and more)

The sun is shining, the world has not yet ended, and I have a free morning to write this. I’m late with my bimonthly list of short fiction recs, but let’s go, shall we? Stories About Family Our relationships with our birth families are often the most fraught of all—these ties we did not choose and cannot sever. The stories that have hit hardest for me of late are the ones that look at these bonds. My Grandmother’s Bones  by S.L. Huang at Daily Science Fiction So much conveyed in such a short flash piece. The gaps between generations, the disappointments and distance and love that endures despite it all. This story is spare, understated, and devastating. I did not know the Chinese term, haau , before I read this, but I think I understand it just a little, now. Of all the “family” stories I’ve picked this month, it’s the one that I most personally connect with. Some Breakable Things by Cassandra Khaw in the The Dark Like Huang’s story above, Khaw’s is also ab

Review: The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

The Grace of Kings , the debut novel by famed short story writer Ken Liu, is unlike anything else I’ve read in contemporary fantasy. It is “epic” in every sense of the word, portraying the collapse and rise of empires; huge battle scenes, complicated plot twists and betrayals; intimate small moments and a dizzyingly large cast of characters. It takes place in an intriguing, beautifully realized secondary world setting: the world of Dara, an archipelago of what was once seven separate kingdoms. The geography of this world ranges from tropical beaches to misty forests, deserts, plains, and snowy mountains. There are airships, battle kites, and rainbow-scaled whales with horns. There is a variety of cultures and ethnicities, with people described in a rainbow of skin tones and eye/hair color, yet the overall cultural bedrock is plainly that of ancient China. It’s a work that is soaring, enthralling, heart-wrenching, intricate, and almost astonishingly ambitious. All this said, I wil

Interview with the small press, Annorlunda Books

Annorlunda Books is a small press specializing in short books (novella length or shorter), including both fiction and non-fiction. The company’s tagline is “Books to inform, entertain, and make you think.” It is a division of Annorlunda Enterprises , which also creates designs for T-shirts, bags, and other print-on-demand projects, and also runs a short ebook review site called Tungsten Hippo. This year I was very lucky to work with Annorlunda Books on the publication of my fantasy novelette, The Lilies of Dawn . All around, it’s been a wonderful experience. I realized that I had a number of questions on what it’s like to start and run a small press, and I figured a number of other writers and readers might be interested, too. Melanie Nelson, founder of Annorlunda Books and Annorlunda Enterprises, was gracious enough to appear on this blog to answer my questions in detail. Okay, first question that popped into my head for this interview: What does the name, “Annorlund