Category Archives: Short Story News

All That Glitters is Fabulous

LipsThis is a scary post to write. Because it’s about something amazing and terrifying that doesn’ta feel quite real yet. Part of me is afraid that saying it aloud will make it vanish – like the opposite of Beetle Juice or Bloody Mary. Talk about it too much and it will just go away.

… But, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Collection is going to be a real thing. A. Real. Thing!

The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron started with a short story in Ideomancer: Operation Annihilate Mars! Or, Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron. It was so much fun to write, but I thought that was the end of it. Then Bunny had different ideas. She stepped up and insisted her story be told. And so, there was How Bunny Came to Be, which appeared in Shimmer #17.

And after that, I fell in love. These incredible, fierce, amazing characters kept stepping up and insisting their stories be told. Their armor is glitter and sparkles and they are all the things that so many narratives tell us is the opposite of what ‘strong’ is supposed to be. They wear dresses and nail polish and high heels, and they fight and save the world over and over again. They think gender check boxes are stupid.  And they kick ass harder than you’ve ever seen ass kicked before. Did I mention I love them? I may be biased.

I was afraid no one would ever care except for me. But other people did, and as it turns out, Steve Berman of Lethe Press happened to be one of them, and is willing to take a chance on my gorgeous, glittering girls. I will be forever grateful. (Lethe Press is wonderful, by the way, and you should run out and buy books from them.)

If all goes according to plan, you’ll be able to read all about The Glitter Squadron in Summer 2015. I’ll post more details as they’re available. But for now, I wish glitter to you all.

 

Image from flickr user Snowkei, cropped and used under Creative Commons License.

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Drag Queens in Spaaaace!

Sometimes the perfect confluence of things comes along. Like someone comes up with the Pulp-O-Mizer cover generator right as you sell a pulp-inspired story about kick-ass drag queens saving the world from an evil genius holed up in an impossible fortress on Mars. How could I resist making my own pulp-o-mizer cover under circumstances like that? And now that Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron has made its official debut in the June issue of Ideomancer, I can share that cover with the world. So, without further delay, I present to you in all its pulpy glory…

DoctorBlood

But wait! There’s more! When a character like Bunny comes along, they can’t be contained by just one tale. So stay tuned for Shimmer #17 due out later this summer, wherein you will discover just How Bunny Came to Be…

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Sexbots: Not What You Expected

Clarkesworld

Some time ago, I set out to write a story about sexbots. Or rather, a sexbot. It did not go as I expected. The voice insisted (repeatedly) on being different that what I envisioned, and I have multiple drafts to attest to my attempts to get it to behave otherwise. The narrative also fought me, hemming and hawing, and wandering off in false directions just to mess with me.

Once I finally wrangled the story into some semblance of, um, story, the reaction from my critique group ranged from “Did someone dare you to use this title?” to “I thought I was going to hate this, but I didn’t.” Ultimately, what the group mostly seemed to agree on was the story wasn’t what they expected it to be.

I can live with that.

Conventional wisdom says the story should never have found a home. Editors don’t like stories in the second person. Editors don’t like stories that don’t really end. As it turns out, at least one editor was willing to take a chance on my story (thank you, Neil!), and it found a good home in the March Issue of Clarkesworld.

I can live with that, too.

Even if it wasn’t my original intention, which was clearly muddy to begin with, what I may have been going for was a story to defy expectations. (Or that’s my claim, and I’m sticking to it!) So, love it or hate it, I hope my story about sexbots wasn’t the story you were expecting to read.

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Hear Venice Burn

My short story, Venice Burning, which originally appeared in the wonderful Future Lovecraft anthology from Innsmouth Free Press, has been recorded by the good folks at Pseudopod, and is now available for your listening pleasure.

I’m rather fond of this story, and it has the added benefit of having been written in Venice, where, as the title implies, the story is set. When Silvia Moreno-Garcia first posted the cover for Future Lovecraft along with the call for submissions, I was hooked. I desperately wanted to write a story good enough to appear wrapped in this gorgeous and unsettling piece of artwork. Of course, my mind stubbornly drew a blank. Until I got to Venice. Crossing in the water taxi from the train station to the city proper, the first tendrils of the story grabbed hold. Throughout the rest of the day while walking the streets and bridges of Venice, the story dug deeper, it got under my skin and coiled around my brain and would not let go. When we were done touring for the day, I proceeded to drink a lot of very good Italian wine, and feverishly bang out the story.

And now you can listen to the results. Enjoy!

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My Body, Her Canvas

The February issue of Apex is live, and it contains my short story, My Body, Her Canvas.

It’s about art, and artists, and the relationship between artist and muse. It’s also about the way people see themselves, versus the way other people see them, and body image, and a flipping of typical gender roles. And tattoos. I tried to cram a lot into one story, and I may or may not have been successful. I’ll leave that to you to judge.

The needle buzzes, setting up a whine in my back teeth. Under her careful hand, a spatter of stars—midnight blue—arc from the curve of my hip-bone to the soft flesh of my inner thigh. Sarah moves my penis aside, dispassionate, getting exactly the right angle to complete the sweep of her constellation.

I catch the sterile scent of the thin rubber stretched over her hands. Clinical. The gloves put thoughts into my head of medical exams, and tables better suited to holding corpses than living, breathing things.

My flesh puckers, pulling tight around the tiny bumps left where Sarah’s razor has scraped me clean again. I know better than to scratch, doing nothing that could mark or scar her canvas. Any imperfection will be by her design; it isn’t for me to decide…

Read the rest here.

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No Time to Say Hello, Goodbye!

It’s time for another post drenched in ketchup. Or catsup, if you prefer.

First, we’re getting close to making our final decision for Issue 2 of the Journal of Unlikely Entomology. If you want your story considered, send it to us before September 1st. On the other hand, don’t feel the need to rush, because we’ll immediately start reading for Issue 3, and we don’t plan to close for submissions any time soon. We’ll also be accepting submissions for our first mini-issue, which is an ExcitingThing! Issue 2.5 will be an all flash issue, due out in February, and appropriate to the month, we’re looking for Valentine-themed stories. So, anything that combines bugs with beheading, martyrdom, arrow-wielding baby-like creatures with inexplicable wings, or, I suppose, love and pink hearts and chocolate covered flowers, if you’re into that kind of thing. More details can be found here. Our regular guidelines, as always, are here.

Second, because (oh-holy-hell-how-did-that-happen?) it’s almost September, now is probably a good time to mention that on Saturday, September 10th there will be a launch party for In an Iron Cage: the Magic of Steampunk at Dorian’s Parlor at the Doubletree in Center City Philadelphia. There will be author readings, you can win cool stuff, I’ll be wearing a corset. You know you wanna be there!

The following weekend, Saturday, September 17th, Lucas Mangum will be holding his third Awesome Reading Fest at the Doylestown Bookstore. Barring disaster, I plan to be there, reading an excerpt from The Many Ghosts of Annie Orens, which is currently available in Shock Totem #4. There will be less corsets involved, but the last event was a blast, and it’s a great opportunity to hear work by a lot of wonderful local authors. Plus, it’s being held in a bookstore. Come on! What more could you possibly want?

Man, I’m exhausted just thinking about all this stuff, and I’m sure there are many more things I meant to talk about. But I’m sure you have better things to do, so I’ll leave you with one last bit of good (for me) news. Final Girl Theory, which appeared in ChiZine’s Alumni Mega Issue has been picked up by PseudoPod for their podcast series! So if you missed reading it, you’ll have a chance to listen to it soon. Links and whatnot will be forthcoming once it’s available.

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The Many Ghosts of Annie Orens

Shock Totem #4 has arrived, and it contains my story, The Many Ghosts of Annie Orens. Isn’t the cover just gorgeous?

ShockTotem

Annie is five years old and the ghost in her closet is crying again. “I’m sorry, mommy. I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry. Please let me out.”

You can obtain your very own copy here, so what are you waiting for?

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Ketchup/Catsup

July is a month that contains many things. I’ll attempt to address them more or less in order.

Happy belated Canada Day to all those back in the motherland, and to my fellow ex-pats. May your days been filled with many moose, and much poutine. Happy on-time Independence Day to those in my adopted country, and to all ex-pats scattered far and wide. I wish you many eagles and apple pies. Happy upcoming Bastille Day to those of French inclination, wherever in the world you may be. My hope for you is many beheaded members of the nobility, and much good wine.

National holidays aside, July is a busy month for me publication-wise. In an Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk is now available in good-old-fashioned dead tree format, to go along with the shiny electronic version available for the Kindle. Later this month, The Many Ghosts of Annie Orens will be appearing in Shock Totem #4. Check out the wonderful cover art and the TOC here. On July 15th, just in time to celebrate not being beheaded on Bastille Day, Still Life will be sent to out to Daily Science Fiction subscribers, and posted on the website a week later. If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up here, and while you’re at it, I highly recommend checking out the archives and catching up on the incredible fiction they’ve published in the past.

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Shock Totem

It appears to be officially official, my short story, The Many Ghosts of Annie Orens, will be included in the July issue of Shock Totem. Woohoo! I feel like this is getting to be a habit, but I owe thanks once again to Anticipation Workshop’s group 3 for their help with this one. (It was called Black Rum when you saw it.) You guys are awesome, and you’re clearly good luck for my stories. So…thank you!

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Daily Science Fiction

I just learned that Daily Science Fiction will be publishing my short story Still Life. Les woots! as they say. Okay, maybe only I say that, but the sentiment remains. Many thanks to Anticipation Workshop’s Group 3 for all your wonderful feedback on this story (which was called Doll’s Life when you saw it). You guys rock!

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