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.
1) For authors who have submitted, or who may submit, to the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, there has been some minor shifting of our deadlines. There are also a few announcements of things that have been and things to come, which you can read about here.
2) The Children of Main Street made Locus’ 2010 Recommended Reading List, which means that’s it’s also on the Locus Award Ballot, not even as a write-in or anything. Given that I only had two stories printed or pixelated last year, I can legitimately say that half of everything I had published in 2010 made it onto the Locus Recommended Reading List. So there.
C) If anyone happens to have a spare $45,000 lying around, they should totally buy this, and give it to me. Just saying.
4 or D) I really shouldn’t compensate for stress by increasing my caffeine intake. Feeling rushed, fragmented, and distracted FASTER doesn’t particularly benefit anyone.
Fiv-E) Septa wins the fail war. Today, I was forced to disembark from a train because the engine managed to break in such a way that it could only go backwards.
The Children of Main Street is now available as a podcast for your listening pleasure over at Clarkesworld. Of course, you can still read it in the good, old fashioned way, too, the way the scribes of days gone by intended it…as pixels on a screen.
Speaking of things audio and/or visual, there’s a Sybil’s Garage promotional film in the works. How cool is that? You can read a bit about the film shoot here. And if you don’t want to wait for the trailer in order to enjoy the content, you’re in luck. Sybil’s Garage No.7, is currently 50% off for the holidays. Details, including the super-secret promotional code, are available here.
The December issue of Clarkesworld Magazine is here, bringing my story The Children of Main Street along with it. The cover art, as always, is gorgeous, and there’s lots of other good stuff in the issue, too. You should really go check it out, and not just because I said so. Here’s a little sample of my story to get you started:
The first thing the children of the colony learned after the ship landed was how to change genders. You can read the rest over at Clarkesworld.
We recently got back from a trip to the Caribbean, so this is a post for catching up and saying thank you. The trip was a family cruise with my dad, stepmom, stepsister, and stepsister’s boyfriend, so the first thank you goes to Dad and Valerie for bring us along – thank you guys very much! Though there were less pirates than advertised, and certainly none that looked like Johnny Depp, the Caribbean did contain goats, stingrays, sea urchins, towels shaped like bats, cigars, hats, waves, and vast quantities of food and alcohol, not necessarily in that order. As far as I can tell, the rum is never gone; no matter how much we drank, there always seemed to be more.
I also received two pieces of writing-related news while I was away, which I’m very happy about. Thing the first: my short story, The Trans-Siberian, will be appearing in the upcoming anthology In an Iron Cage: The Magic of Steampunk. Thank you, brni, for passing along the opportunity, and for giving me feedback through multiple revisions. Thing the second: my short story, The Children of Main Street, will appear in the next issue of Clarkesworld!(!!!) Thank you, Jeff, and everyone in Group 3 at the Anticipation Workshop for helping me make this story better. You guys rock! I believe the lesson here is I should leave town more often. Luckily, I plan to do just that at the end of this week.
And now, a random selection of Caribbean-related images below the cut. None of them contain pirates.