2017 Highlights

It has become something of a tradition in SFF to post a recap at the end of the year so that friends and readers know what work is eligible for awards, etc.

More so, I like the opportunity to reflect.

Late in 2016, I got back into writing and submitting short fiction after a long hiatus. I had been in school (twice), but I also struggled with what to do next and how I wanted to approach my stories in the years after my MFA.

I took a workshop, spent time on revisions and reading around the markets, and decided to jump in re: submissions.

And I am thrilled to say that this year (2017), I made my first professional sales:

My cyberpunk short story, “Whatever Tower, However High,” appeared in Escape Pod in April.

Then, Clarkesworld published my biopunk novelette, “My Dear, Like the Sky and Stars and Sun,” in June.

(Yes, I really like punk.)

In addition, my deep-space Lovecraftian gothic, “In Strange, Far Places,” found a home in Luna Station Quarterly.

And Jersey Devil Press featured my slightly cracked Frankenstein reimagining, “In Which Liz Frankenstein Lives,” in their Victorian Mash-Up issue.

Lastly, I was delighted to place my Poe-inspired flash, “A Girl’s Guide to Being Buried Alive,” with NonBinary Review; they were, as noted, kind enough to nominate it for Best of the Net.

Interested readers can check out my other publications and get a jump on 2018 here. Thanks, as always, for reading and for your support.

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.

2017 publications: midyear recap

The last six months have been productive and gratifying writing-wise, and I’ve been thrilled to see stories placed in publications I deeply admire.

–Early this year, T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Fiction Blog published my flash fiction, “Moon Road,” which is my take on lycanthropy.

–More in flash: “Weird” and “The Girl in the Deer” found homes in Spirit’s Tincture and The Airgonaut, respectively.

–NonBinary Review published my short, “A Girl’s Guide to Being Buried Alive,” in their Edgar Allan Poe issue and included it in their Alphanumeric series for the web. There’s a fabulous audio version available, too.

–Speaking of audio, in April, Escape Pod featured my story, “Whatever Tower, However High,” as one of their weekly episodes. Special thanks to Logan Waterman for providing the narration.

–More recently, in June, Clarkesworld published my novelette, “My Dear, Like the Sky and Stars and Sun,” in their issue 129. It is also available as a podcast, read by the incomparable Kate Baker.

–And last but not least, Luna Station Quarterly just released their 30th issue, in which my Lovecraftian gothic short, “In Strange, Far Places,” appears.

Everything is available to read or listen to online. If you enjoy any of the above, definitely consider subscribing to one of these lovely venues and/or supporting them on Patreon.