Award eligibility post for 2021

 

Well, it’s that time when writers make posts about their award eligibility for the year. I had two short stories published in 2021. I’d be honored if you took a look at either (or both!) of them.


“Fanfiction for a Grimdark Universe” (fantasy, 4094 words). Translunar Travelers Lounge, Issue 4, February 2021.

This story is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s fanfiction for a grimdark universe. It’s about a group of world-hopping secret agent/superheroes who find out that in our universe, on Earth, they happen to be the characters in a cult-hit graphic novel series. And there’s fanfiction about them.

It’s a comic sounding premise, and indeed, there’s some humor here. But there’s darkness, too. I was reading a lot of fanfic on AO3 when I started this story, and I was thinking about how the grimmest, darkest of media often have the cutest, softest of fanfics. Of how we consume and process dark stories. Of how some fans rewrite endings and scenarios, placing their beloved characters into more lighthearted worlds, while others lean into the darkness. And as I wrote this story, it became a story about stories in general: of how we look to stories to tell the meaning of our lives, of how we find inspiration—and perhaps even courage—in stories.

 “Fanfiction for a Grimdark Universe” is close to my heart, and it seems to have struck a chord with others, too. It’s listed on the 2021 Nebula Reading List and of all the stories I’ve written, I think it’s the one I’ve seen the most online reaction toward. Thank you to everyone who’s read and boosted it.

I did a recent reading of this story for The Story Hour and you can hear me (and also hear Cat Rambo read their flash stories!) here(Note that The Story Hour features a range of terrific writers each week, and is itself eligible for best fancast awards!)

One last note: I don’t want to give away the spoilers for all the fanfic tropes in this story, but I’d like to point out here that the story’s very structure is based on a popular fanfiction format: the “Five Times. . . and One Time. . .” format. 

 


“A Vial of Electric Blue”
(surreal, 1673 words). Fusion Fragment, Issue 5, March 2021. 

A story of rage—of who’s allowed to have it, and who isn’t. A story about isolation and imprisonment, the rage of women and girls, and strange lakes of electric-blue fire. Vanessa Jae kindly featured it (along with other great stories) as part of her Vanessa Jae’s March 2021 Speculative Fiction and Poetry Recommendations . And check out the absolutely gorgeous cover art by Kitt St. Joans; it’s stunning, and captures my story so well.


Thank you for reading!

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