Review

Sara L. Uckelman of the newly launched SFF Reviews recently did a write-up of my story, “In Strange, Far Places,” which appeared in issue 30 of Luna Station Quarterly. Thanks, Sara!

You can read her review here and the story here. And if you want to know more about how “In Strange, Far Places” came to be, my story notes are here.

Story Notes: My Dear, Like the Sky and Stars and Sun

Clarkesworld 129 cover

Cover Art for Clarkesworld 129 by Matt Dixon

Like “Whatever Tower, However High,” I wrote the first draft of “My Dear, Like the Sky and Stars and Sun” in The Brainery‘s Sci-Fi and Fairy Tales workshop taught by Carina Bissett last summer.

This one finds its roots in the unsettling fairy tale, Donkeyskin, in which the king tries to marry the princess (his daughter) after the queen dies. She delays by asking for three impossibly beautiful gowns, the color of the sky, the sun, and the moon. Eventually, she runs away and more typical  fairy tale hijinks ensue. It’s a strange dichotomy and leaves the original conflict between the father and the daughter largely unresolved.

Of course, remixing is not about fixing elements we find problematic, but instead means exploring the ways in which they’re still relevant to us today. (Abuse certainly hasn’t vanished, for one.) In fact, when I bring a fairy tale into contemporary or futuristic worlds, my hope is that, while you might recognize the trappings from time to time, the original narrative itself will fade into the background, and the story of these characters will hold your attention.

So when I point out a story comes from such and such fairy tale or literary work, it’s never to nudge you to make sure you got the reference or offer up the key to “understanding my artistic intentions.” (It wouldn’t be a very good story in that case.) I only mention it to acknowledge the soil in which a particular work grew.

If that enriches your experience of the story, great. If you prefer not to know…feel free to skip story notes.

“My Dear, Like the Sky and Stars and Sun” appeared in issue 129 of Clarkesworld. Support them and speculative short fiction on Patreon or by subscribing.

3-Day Novel Postmortem

The 3-Day Novel Contest has officially concluded, friends, and I am relieved to say that I survived. (Fingers are still a bit tender, but they’re recovering.)

Over three days, I wrote 97 pages, or about 29,000 words, of a novel(la). It was…a singular experience, grueling at times, but there’s something to be said for pushing yourself that hard, and I now know I can write over 13,000 words in a day if I really, really must. (Hopefully not in the near future. Ow.)

Other relevant metrics:

–About 125 Oxford commas, by my count.

–12 caffeinated beverages consumed.

–20 hours of sleep.

–Six ideas discarded before the one I ended up writing.

–One celebratory playing of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.” (What? I was halfway there.)

If you pledged, let me know when you fulfill your pledge, and I’ll update the main page. Also, if you contact me with your address, I’ll send you a thank-you note!

If you didn’t pledge, but still want to donate, here are the charities one last time:

Many thanks to everyone who supported this project and patiently followed along via Twitter. (Or politely ignored me.) And lots of love and appreciation to everyone who pledged.