New Publication: The Ganthu Eggs at SF Comet

October 20, 2014

I was recently invited to participate in one of the coolest writing contest I’ve had the privilege of competing in to date.

SF Comet invites popular Chinese and international authors to write stories (up to 2500 words) based on the prompt they’re provided. The stories are posted (and, in case of international authors, first translated into Chinese) on social media sites such as Weibao and WeChat. Readers are invited to judge the stories and vote — anonymously.  Who wrote which story isn’t revealed until the contest is over. All authors are paid professional rates and the winner earns an additional $500.

I participated in the third such contest. I had big shoes to fill–the previous English-speaking authors invited to participate were Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress. The prompt for my contest was “breaking an egg” and my story is linked below:

Read THE GANTHU EGGS at SF Comet.

Although I did not win (the story placed third overall) it was a really fun experience, and I’m quite happy with the resulting story.  I’m also excited to have my work translated into Chinese for the first time.

This month’s contest includes Australia’s Aidan Doyle and Great Britain’s Deborah Walker, and the theme is listed as “Part time beggar.” I can’t wait to see what they came up with!

 

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Win a copy of the COFFEE anthology!

July 7, 2013

coffee

Enter this raffle to win a signed copy of the COFFEE anthology (the book will be shipped anywhere in the world, when it releases in October).

You can accumulate multiple entries by sharing this giveaway on social media and backing the COFFEE Kickstarter campaign.  You can earn an extra entry via the Twitter link each day.

#SFWApro

a Rafflecopter giveaway


One Sentence Stories

May 28, 2012

You never know what’s going to happen when you hang out with a bunch of crazy writers.

I’m chilling on Twitter last Friday evening while I’m beta-reading a SF story by Anatoly Belilovsky. The story is excellent, but at one point has a run-on sentence that is, literally, 90 words long (I checked in MS Word). So I send the following Tweet to Anatoly:

@loldoc Dude there is a 90-word sentence in your story. I had to go find a snack in the middle so that I could get through it! 🙂

And then I write in the comment field of his document: “This is an enormous run on were-sentence that makes me want to go out and find stakes, and garlic, and whatever else kills were-run-on sentences. ” Followed by a few suggestions about breaking this sentence into three. Anatoly likes my were-sentence comment and Tweets it, and then a discussion begins about long sentences with more and more of our writerly friends chiming in.

I point out that a famous Russian author Victor Pelevin wrote a one-sentence short story that went on for several pages. Anatoly replies that Gogol is known for some page-long sentences, and Jake Kerr chimes in that so is Henry James.

And then this happens:

Ken Liu@kyliu99

@AShvartsman @jakedfw @loldoc This would seem to be a good challenge to take up. Shall we all try to write a one-sentence story?

Challenge accepted, Mr. Liu, challenge accepted.

Before we know it, half a dozen authors want in on this. I hesitate about posting our perfectly good (if short) stories publicly on our blogs, and Matthew Bennardo offers to pay $5 to see each story. He is forced to hastily withdraw this offer as the number of participants snowballs. By the end of the evening we have a Twitter hashtag #1ss (One Sentence Story) and an impressive array of authors (all the way from people who write award-nominated stories like Ken and Jake and to people who read award-nominated stories like me) who all agree to write the longest, most interesting one sentence story they can, no later than Wednesday night.

The following is my one sentence story:

ONE THOUSAND AND FIRST

…this will be the last story I ever tell you, my sultan, and so I humbly beseech you to listen and to delight in it, and to keep your promise of allowing me to finish this very last sentence, uninterrupted, even as the sun is already rising from beyond the Eastern dunes and the executioner sharpens his scimitar; I have told you a thousand stories — tales of flying carpets and bottled jinn, bold sailors and treacherous viziers, magic and wonder and all manner of things beyond the mundane – but this last story is about an ordinary young woman, a woman who caught the eye of her sultan and who managed to survive their wedding night, and a thousand nights afterward, using no weapon and no magic but her imagination alone; the sultan was mesmerized by her wondrous fables at first, always eager for  another, but as the years went by she found it more and more difficult to keep his attention until, finally, he had had enough and wanted to hear no more stories – but being a kind and generous ruler he graciously consented to allow the girl to finish speaking before the guards would take her away (everyone knows that the sultan’s word is his bond) and the poor girl swallowed her tears, drew in a big breath and began her tale thus:

this will be the last story I ever tell you, my sultan, and so I humbly beseech you…

The above story is 243 words, which is a tiny sliver compared to some of the epic sentences composed by others. However, *my* story is an a loop. Which means it is, in fact, infinite words long. That totally means I win, right? Right?

You can read some of the other entries and decide for yourself. Damien Walters Grintalis and Ken Liu both opted to keep their entries off the Internets because they’re awesome writers who can sell their grocery lists to magazines. And if they can sell their grocery lists then surely they can also sell their one sentence stories. Some of the other authors opted to post theirs publicly and I’m going to link all the ones I know about below (and will update the links as more stories are posted, so watch this space!):

“The Bloodline Is Only as Strong as Its Last Generation” by Jake Kerr

“A Vos Souhaits” by M. Bennardo

“Good Thing I Did Not Tell Them About the Dirty Knife” by Anatoly Belilovsky (Anatoly wrote several entries, check his blog!)

“Inevitable” by Carrie Cuinn

Untitled by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

“Mr. Fix-It” by Don Pizarro

“The Ghost and the Machine” by Suzanne Palmer

“Tommy Hopper and The Future” by Spencer Ellsworth

“And Yes” by S. R. Mastrantone

“Glork” By Amanda C. Davis

“Object of My Affection” by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

“Dear Kyle” by Brenda Stokes Barron

“Great-Uncle’s Visit” by Michael Haynes

If you wish to play along, post a link to your one-sentence story in the comments or follow us on Twitter under the hashtag #1ss.