An Overdue Update

I just got back from the Little Falls Library (Literally, like half an hour ago) where I recorded five flash fiction pieces for a local podcast series. It appears to be a very cool project with a lot of talented people and I’ll post specifics for availability and whatnot once everything is sorted. It should be available next month.

Next, a very surprising but pleasing bit of news from David Stokes at Guardbridge Books. My story from Tales of the Sunrise Lands: Anthology of Fantasy Japan, “The Cat of Five Virtues,” is a finalist for the Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award. It is always an honor just to be nominated, and thus I am honored. The winner will be announce at Capclave next month.  Here’s the full list of finalists:

“A Vague Inclination to Please,” by Brandon Daubs in All Hail Our Robot Conquerers, ed. by Patricia Bray & Joshua Palmatier, published by Zombies Need Brains LLC, (September 2017);

“The Cat of Five Virtues,” by Richard Parks in Tales of the Sunrise Lands: Anthology of Fantasy Japan, ed. by David Stokes, published by Guardbridge Books (July 2017);

“Floaters Can’t Float,” by Pip Coen, published in Compelling Science Fiction, ed. by Joe Stech, (April 2017);

“Oba Oyinbo,” by Jonathan Edelstein, published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, ed. by Scott Roberts, (October 2017);

“The Oracle and the Warlord,” by Karina Sumner-Smith in The Sum of Us: Tales of the Bonded and Bound, ed. by Lucas K. Law & Susan Forest, published by Laksa Media, (September 2017);

“Probably Still the Chosen One,” by Kelly Barnhill, published in Lightspeed Magazine, ed. by John Joseph Adams, (February 2017);

“The Secret Life of Bots,” by Suzanne Palmer, published in Clarkesworld Magazine, ed. by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace, (September 2017);

“Through Milkweed and Gloom,” by Wendy Nikel in Submerged, ed. by S.C. Butler & Joshua Palmatier, published by Zombies Need Brains LLC, (September 2017).

You can read more about the award (and the organization) at  WSFA.

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Story Time: Knacker Man

Today’s Story Time is “Knacker Man,” first published in Robert Bloch’s Psychos back in 1998. As you can probably guess from the subject matter of that anthology, it wasn’t exactly sweetness and light. In fact, it was my one and only Jack the Ripper story. Why? Because one day I heard an interesting word that I’d never heard before. I looked it up, and the story came with it. That’s the way it works, sometimes.

“Knacker Man” will stay online until next Wednesday, August 1st, then something else will go up.

There Are Five Lines

As I’ve mentioned before, not terribly long after I moved north I joined a local writer’s group. I’ve belonged to a few before, and while the experience hasn’t always been a complete success, usually the presence of other writers and the sharing of works supplies a boost of motivation to get my own work done, and that’s something we all need now and again. The difference this time is that this group specializes in flash fiction, which is new(ish) for me and under the aegis of the local library, with links to the wider community.

In short, the library and a local theater group leader are collaborating to turn some of the work from the flash fiction group into podcasts. There are grants involved and other official stuff, but mostly it will involve the members reading their own work, either as part of audio anthologies or even single author audio collections. A lot of this hasn’t been worked out yet, but it appears promising. In preparation we were asked to list some of our favorite lines from the flash pieces we’d done within group.

I mean, sure, I’m doing it, but I have to admit these sort of listings make me a little uncomfortable. First, in any unified (I hope) work, a single sentence out of context loses…well, context. Some of my favorite sentences make absolutely no sense if separated from the sentences around them, so I had to take that into account. Then again, I’m reminded of Damon Knight’s opinion of “killer” first lines, in that the problem with those is that you spend the rest of the time trying to justify the line rather than just telling the F%%%#G STORY. So my openings tend not to be so killer, just, I hope, grabbing enough to get you to the next line, and the next, and so on until the end. So I couldn’t just pull out opening lines…except sometimes. Hey, no one’s perfect.

Regardless, and with all the caveats listed or implied above, here are the five lines I’ve chosen:

Sentence 1:

“There’s a crow’s nest in the crow’s nest, sir.”

Sentence 2:

“I wasn’t sure what a secret was, but apparently it was some sort of dangerous animal that needed confining.”

Sentence 3:

“I’m going to tell you three stories, only two of which are true.”

Sentence 4:

“Everyone dances…sooner or later.”

Sentence 5:

“Right, of course it was—all I had to do was tell the Queen of bloody Elfland to sod off and everything would have been jolly.”

 

 

Story Time: Keeping Lalande Station

Today’s Story Time is something a little different–an actual science fiction story, “Keeping Lalande Station,” originally published in Future Orbits #2, back in 2001. I wish I had something relative to say about the story. I remember the process of writing it, but the genesis? No clue. Then again, it’s a story about illusion and reality, so whatever I think about it might not be relevant. I wrote it, I know that much. After that, it all gets a little fuzzy, not unlike my protagonist’s mental state.

 

Standard Note: “Keeping Lalande Station” will stay online until next Wednesday, February 28th, when it will be replaced by…something.

Story Time: The Last Romantic

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week’s Story Time is a love story…sort of. “The Last Romantic” originally appeared in MIke Allen’s MYTHIC #1 back in 2006. It was written long before that, a reminder that sometimes a story stays in your files because the right venue for it does not exist…yet. I’m not sure if patience really is a virtue, but it sure is necessary.

 

Standard Disclaimer: “The Last Romantic” will remain online until next Wednesday, February 21st. Then it won’t be.