Story Time: Legends of the Singing River

A day late, but here is this week’s Story Time, “Legends of the Singing River.”  Since this is going to be a short week, I chose a short work, an original piece of flash fiction, and here is its first publication.

Assuming I get back on schedule, “Legends of the Singing River” will stay online until next Wednesday, June 20th. After that, not.



When I consider that the most interesting thing happening this week and for several others is the struggle to co-ordinate and light a fire under the electrician, the plumber, and the contractor we need to get a (final?) home project done, it’s time to take a hard look at where I am and what I’m doing.

I have a novel project hanging fire, I’m way behind in my reading, and the only thing I’ve managed to produce consistently is this blog and a weekly piece of flash fiction, and I’ve gotten to the point where the only thing I feel like talking about is political. I just can’t go there.

As much as I hate to admit it, something has to give, at least temporarily, and it has to be the Monday blog post. I hope I can get back to it in a few weeks. Meanwhile, Story Time will continue on schedule, and if I have anything to say worth hearing I’ll post it there.

Stay Safe.

Story Time: The Swan Troika

Today’s Story Time is “The Swan Troika,” first published in the February 2011 issue of Realms of Fantasy, and the last story I ever published there as the magazine folded not too long after (October 2011). Almost every writer I know is convinced that there is at least one magazine they are personally responsible for killing, as they published a story in that magazine’s final issue. Yes, we all have big egos, why do you ask? Regardless, that wasn’t its last issue, and RoF published so many of my stories that, if I was the problem, it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. Magazines, especially print ones, come and go no matter what we do. Most die unmourned, but not all. And some, like Weird Tales and Amazing SF never stay dead forever. Part of me still expects Realms of Fantasy to be resurrected some day, but I won’t hold my breath even as I hope for it to happen. All that aside, I’m pretty sure I’m not responsible. “The Swan Troika” remains one of my favorite stories (accompanied in the original by Ruth Sanderson’s superb illustration), and I’d love to do more like it, if there’s ever a home for them again.

I’d like to give a belated shout out to Ekaterina Sedia for helping me with the Russian naming conventions in this story, which I would have made a complete mess of without her.

Standard Note: “The Swan Troika will remain online until next Wednesday, June 13th. Until then, enjoy.

Nellis Tavern

In our continuing efforts to learn more about the history of our new home, yesterday Carol and I attended the Rhubarb Festival at the Nellis Tavern. The Nellis Tavern sits between St. Johnsville and Nelliston on HWY 5. It was originally built by the Nellis family, Palatine Germans who had fled to this country after repeated invasions from France. The house was built as a block (fortified) farmstead something like Fort Klock, with a stone house and mill on the site, around 1747. The original buildings were replaced by the current structure in the early 1780’s and it served as a tavern and inn along the Mohawk River. It remained a tavern and private home through most of the 19th century before the building was abandoned around 1950. It has since been taken over by the Palatine Settlement Society, which is overseeing its restoration.

This picture shows the restoration of the original wall stenciling that decorated the tavern. The right side of the picture shows the original stenciling over plaster, sort of like wall paper without the paper. As you can see, the restoration follows the original very closely.

Here’s a closeup of the exterior, front. I don’t have any good pictures of the interior, but it was crowded and difficult to get any good shots. We plan to go back and have a regular tour of the place now that the Rhubarb Festival fundraiser is over. As for that, we had Raspberry-Rhubarb upside down cake. It was delicious.



Story Time: Laying the Stones

In acknowledgment of the recent passing of Gardner Dozois, today’s Story Time is “Laying the Stones,” the very first story Gardner ever bought from me (and my second ever pro sale), breaking a long and very burdensome drought on my part. It appeared in the November, 1994 issue of Asimov’s SF and, as you can see, in very good company.