Monday, July 17, 2017

Two poems published

I have a poem in each of the most recent SFPA publications:

"Naming the Trash Moons" is in issue 25 of Eye to the Telescope (free to read online). This is an SF poem I wrote specifically on the theme for the issue.

And "Some Things Overlooked" is in Starline 40.3, which can be purchased at that link (or if you're a member of SFPA, you get the issue for free). This is also an SF poem, of landing on a new planet...with a touch of horror underneath that arrival.

Give them a read, and check out the other poems in each as well.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Spire City sale!

I'm participating in Smashwords' July sale. A ton of books are on sale or free at Smashwords for the month, including all three of the full season bundles.

So Season One: Infected is completely free.

Season Two: Pursued is down to half price.

And Season Three: Unwoven is also at half price. That means you can get the entire series for less than $5. If you haven't gotten around to reading the books, then this is a great time to do so. Or a great time to buy copies of the series to give to friends.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Some publications

The blog has been quiet for a while. I won't get into reasons or make any promises about its activity going forward. But I do want to get out here the things that have been published since my last update.

"Tending a Trace of Chaos" is a sonnet that appeared in Star*Line 40.1. I'm much more likely to write free verse than to follow any strict forms...but this is the second Mars-based, strict sonnet I've had published (and second I've written as well). Perhaps it's my niche...

"The Front" is a short story that appeared in Bourbon Penn 12, my third short story in that excellent magazine. It's an older story, written at a time of deep pessimism about war. The tagline in Latin reads, "art is brief, war is eternal." It's a play on a line of wisdom from Latin (and Greek before that) that I must have first come across in high school, and for some reason it always stuck with me. It translates as "life is brief, but art is long."

"The Poetics of Defiance" is one of the longer stories I've had published. It's a fun one that I'm very proud of. It started with an idea to come up with the two most unlikely jobs for a traditional sword & sorcery story, and I came up with an alchemist (I've liked the idea of a traveling alchemist ever since I was into D&D back in high school) and a poet. It ended up straying from the S&S idea somewhat... I had a lot of fun with creating the snippets of poetry for the attack poet.

I had two poems, "Uncanny Instrument (a fib)" and "Usurper Autumn," in last autumn's issue of Illumen (issue 23). Brought to you by the letter U, I guess. "Uncanny Instrument" is the second fib I've had published--another form poem. "Usurper Autumn" is free verse.

"The Essences of Good and Evil" appeared last week in Every Day Fiction. Like many of my stories, it started as a one-hour exercise with some writer friends. It takes a cliche I never would normally touch--a dark lord brought down by a plucky band of heroes--and gives it a playful, what-comes-next storyline that turns it somewhat on its head. Based on the reviews below, I think many of the readers don't exactly share my sense of play... Ah well.

There will be some more publications coming up fairly soon (I think...). But this is enough of a post for one day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"The Flight of a Village in the Midst of War" in DSF

This story went up yesterday at Daily Science Fiction. Give it a read, give it a rating, share it with your friends!

The story began as a flash fiction entry at SFFWorld's forum. The author notes on the story page go a bit more into some of my thoughts on the story and how it came about, so I won't repeat them here. But it's a surreal story about refugees, war...and feral trains, a story I was very pleased with from the moment I had it down and polished. Thrilled to have it as my second appearance in DSF!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Steampunk Cavaliers post on story structure

My post on "The Shape of a Steampunk Story" went up yesterday at Steampunk Cavaliers. I like to take a sideways look at stories sometimes, and these are the kinds of things I think about when I do that. About steampunk but also about fantasy and science fiction and even Harry Potter...briefly, anyway. Give it a read, comment there if you have anything add.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Two story acceptances to mention

I'm excited to announce two new stories that will be published...soon, ish. Both are stories that I originally wrote quite a while ago but because of their style or approach or something could never find a good fit for them. So that makes it even better to have them accepted.

The first is "The Front" to Bourbon Penn, which will be the third time I have a story in that market. It's a dark, slipstream/magical realist story of a war that never ends.

The second is "Grey Eytel and His Band of Birds" to the anthology Beyond the Hedge, Volume 2. This is one of a number of stories I've written that take place in the New Weird-influenced city of Boskrea. (The same setting as the Locus-recommended story "Scolyard's 'The Constructs Foresee Their Doom'" in Three-Lobed Burning Eye, among others.) This story reaches far back into the history of the city, telling the tale of its well as the multiple ways that tale has been retold and reimagined through the city's history.

Monday, July 18, 2016

"Untouched by Fire" published

Just got my contributor copies of this 2-volume anthology. Very cool artwork, and looking forward to checking out the many stories in it. All of them are fantasies set in or inspired by non-Western historical locales and cultures.

So what's my story about? A while back I was contemplating tackling a new novel and had some vague ideas about the setting, which was largely inspired by the history and cultures of India. I dug deep into learning all I could, talking to people who knew it from inside, reading many works of fiction and nonfiction. And I also wrote this short story to get my mind into the setting.

The key to this story is that the culture venerates fire, and so when a high-born girl is burned by fire, it's seen as a judgment for her actions rather than an accident. So she must deal with being suddenly an outcast, untouchable. I really liked the character, Jaritta, and she (along with her still high-caste brother) became a central character in the novel as well, a story set some 10-15 years later.

While more a fantasy than a steampunk story, it is worth noting that this was my first big work deliberately set at the cusp of an industrial revolution and shares a lot of the themes that I like to explore in more steampunk-y settings.