November 2, 2021
I have two new story and a translation out this week!
“Lajos and his Bees” by K.A. Teryna is out in the November/December issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It’s an excellent secondary-world fantasy and it found a great home in this storied publication.
My own story, “Winner Takes All” is part of the new anthology of space westerns, out today from Baen books. Gunfight on Europa Station (edited by David Boop) ebook is available now while the paperbacks have been temporarily delayed and should be releasing soon.
Last but not least, “The Going Rate” is a funny and snarky short story in the current issue of Galaxy’s Edge which is temporarily FREE to read online. It’ll only remain free for a couple of months, so don’t wait to read it.
Here’s a brief sample:
The reckoning was overdue, and if it took dark magic to serve Alfred his just desserts, so be it. Besides, the book on witchcraft Karen had been reading was due back at the library on the following Tuesday. Before her rational side could take over, she grabbed the paperback, flipped to the earmarked page, and marched into her empty garage.
Karen quickly discovered that spell books were similar to cookbooks in that the recipe always required ingredients an average person would never keep in their pantry. Armed with her years of experience cooking with dried bouillon cubes instead of homemade chicken stock, Karen was certain she could cast a perfectly serviceable spell by working with reasonable substitutions.
Since she was neither an old-timey schoolteacher nor a hopscotch-playing preteen, Karen owned zero pieces of chalk. She also didn’t relish ruining a perfectly serviceable garage floor, and so Karen found a disused dry-erase board, placed it onto the ground, and drew the pentagram with an erasable pink marker.
Karen paused to admire her handiwork, then winced as she read the next paragraph from her book. Who could possibly be expected to possess a flask of virgin blood collected during the vernal equinox, even if the recipe called for only a small flask? After some deliberation, she poured two fingers of room-temperature Bloody Mary mix into five souvenir NASCAR shot glasses and placed one at each point of the pentagram.
January 14, 2019
Although I haven’t been focusing on short fiction in recent months, 2019 is already off to a great start with two pro sales this week.
My translation of “The Slave” by Andrej Kokoulin will be published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. “The Slave” won the FantLab contest in Russia, where I was one of the judges. Some readers and participants took issue with the relatively minor amount of fantastical elements in this story (it’s a really good and disturbing mix of magical realism and psychological horror), but I insisted the story fell firmly within the bounds of genre, and the other judges agreed. I suppose nothing vindicates our decision like the English translation of it selling to the magazine whose title is literally F&SF.
My second sale is a science fiction flash story “Gifts of Prometheus” — a throwback to Golden Age sci-fi which also manages to critique golden age SF tropes in a roundabout way — which will appear in Nature Futures. This will be my 12th story published in this excellent magazine.
My short fiction sales are bound to slow down in coming months. I’m not writing a lot of short stories, and I don’t currently owe stories to any invitation anthologies — a position I find myself in for the first time in a few years. So if you’re editing a pro paying anthology, this may be a good time to reach out. 🙂 I continue to focus on editing Future SF and on my novels in the meantime.
February 15, 2012
One of the cool things about joining SFWA is that I get to nominate my favorite fiction for the coveted Nebula Awards. Nebulas are voted on by the active SFWA members and are awarded in several different categories. I am not well-read enough to nominate longer fiction this year but made certain
There are tons of great stories published every year. I’m sure I haven’t read even 1% of works published in 2011 that are good enough to be considered for an award. So instead, I cheated. Other SFWA members are able to recommend their favorites on a private forum. Over the last week, I read as many of the stories recommended by at least three different people as I could access (some of them weren’t available online) and selected mostly among those. Of course, I also considered the stories that I read and enjoyed over the course of the year. My nominations were as follows:
The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu (Fantasy & Science Fiction, 3 / 2011)
The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld, 4 / 2011)
Staying Behind by Ken Liu (Clarkesworld, 10 / 2011)
Like Origami in Water by Damien Walters Grintalis (Daily Science Fiction, 10 / 2011)
I Kill Monsters by Nathaniel Lee (Daily Science Fiction, 10 / 2011)
My overall best short story of 2011 pick Is “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu. It’s beautifully written and emotionally powerful. Ken has had an amazing year and there are easily half a dozen stories of his that were strong contenders for my top 5 list, but I thought it only fair to leave a little room for other authors.
Daily Science Fiction has been providing my SF/F short story fix all year long, and I love a lot of the stuff they publish. I selected my favorites among both flash length stories (Like Origami in Water) and longer fare (I Kill Monsters) that they published in 2011. DSF is getting a cold shoulder from some reviewers due to the sheer volume of material they publish, but I’m confident we’ll be seeing more and more of their stories receive award nods.