New story! "The Message" out at The Future FIre



It’s a new story day for me! “The Message” is now out in the latest issue of The Future Fire. It’s a quiet story of First Contact, of communication (and missed communication) both between the stars and here on Earth. It’s also about anime and fan-fiction, and the accompanying illustrations by Pear Nuallak are perfect; I am in utter love.


This also happens to be my fourth appearance in The Future Fire! This lovely magazine has helped to launch the careers of now well-known writers and continues to be an encouraging place for new and emerging writers in the science fiction/fantasy scene. This looks to be a particularly strong issue; I’m acquainted with the work of a number of my fellow writers in this issue, and I look forward to getting to know the work of the others. And the illustrations are all wonderfully evocative. 

Update #1: I've read the entire issue of The Future Fire, and it is indeed a strong one. The editors have done an absolutely lovely job of curating stories and poems that resonate thematically with one another. There's a particularly strong thread of environmental themes in this issue, but there are other connections between pieces as well. 

Update #2: Story notes!

--The unnamed research institute which the narrator's mother works at is modeled on/inspired by the SETI Institute, headquartered in Mountain View, California. Much of my research on the current state of SETI research also started on the pages of this institute's website.

--In my story, the narrator mentions a scientist who researched the structure of humpback whale song in the hopes that understanding it might lead to techniques and insight that would be applicable to the study of extraterrestrial languages. A scientist at the real SETI Institute, Dr. Laurance Doyle, has indeed headed such a project. My character's discussion of this research is based on Doyle's 2011 paper, "Information theory, animal communication, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence."*

*L.R. Doyle, B. McCowan, S. Johnston, and S.F. Hanser. "Information theory, animal communication, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence." Acta Astronautica 68 (2011) 406-417.

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