Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Naming Conventions

For the record I think this is completely awesome and whole-heartedly endorse the nerdification of stellar objects. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hermit Crab Everything is Awesome

I think if I had seen this video my story "Belongings" may have ended being a little different. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Game Fiction Volume 1

While all the pieces came together, I’ve been maintaining radio silence on some happy news. Now I can finally tell you that my story “Distractions” was accepted for the first volume of the “Game Fiction" from Gold Shader press and will be available September 1st. I am very pleased “Distractions" found a home there and I look forward to reading all of the other contributions. Here’s the information I have as well as the cover design.



The resistance builds an MMORPG to remind future generations of what life
was like before first contact with the spacefaring Corpuchi civilization-

A space between levels torn open by hundreds of gamers ‘looping the glitch’
causes time itself to contort into an infinite recursion-

Elite Mine Sweeper Ray Esposito discovers that the undead workers he’s been hired to clear carry his employer’s dirty secret in their veins!

These are just three of the thirteen stories found in our inaugural collection. GAME FICTION VOLUME ONE!

I will keep you updated on information about pre-ordering and purchasing the anthology as September approaches.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What I Read in June

Another tough month to whittle my favorite stories to five or so I prefer for this column. In particular Nightmare and Clarkesworld offered several fine stories.

  1. The Wanderer, in the Dark of the Year by Kris Millering (Clarkesworld) Now this is why I read Clarkesworld. Fantastically invasive story that reminds me of Michael Swanwick’s Passage through Earth last year. A kidnapped correspondent bonds with an alien taken in by anti-Roma terrorists. The alien described as a kind of mitochondrial mat and the unusual structure of the narrative: multiple beginnings and endings communicates effectively how much was lost and gained during the encounter. 
  2. Five Spikes by Nicholas Diehl (DSF) Excellent macabre story about a boy, a witch, and zombie spikes. The closest thing I’ve read to a Shirley Jackson story in a while.
  3. The Cellar Dweller by Maria Dahvana Headley (Nightmare) Another great story from Headley. This dark fantasy is a little bit Gaiman, a little bit Barker, and a whole lot of something very distinct and appalling. In an unspecified village, a girl grows up as a kind of exterminator for the hungry spirits in old homes.
  4. The One Mission by Patricia Russo (DSF) An example of what Daily Science Fiction does so well - giving a venue for tiny perfect stories. Russo’s central idea is that the various departments of a generation ship have devolved into a series of tribes keeping the functions of the ship going on the basis of interlocking oral traditions. There is so much here that cries out for more stories. Very, very good.
  5. The Hole in the Hole by Terry Bisson (Clarkesworld) An interesting character study about two friends who stumble on to a wormhole to the moon, hidden in a difficult-to-find junkyard. A very Rudy Rucker set-up becomes a Neal Stephenson-style tale of entrepreneurial mayhem. Of particular note is how Bisson uses urban fantasy motifs in telling a science fiction story.
My favorite reprint last month appeared in the Weird Fiction review, Mutation Planet by Barrington Bayley. A longer story detailing the weirdness pervading the universe and the uniqueness of the human preoccupation with exploration. I marked this as an older story even before I had it confirmed in the post-script. The language is somewhat clumsy, the dialogue rang false, and the politics of the piece are not encouraging. Even so, the sheer volume of ideas in the is piece and the refreshing Barlowe-style aliens are very interesting. One of the better pieces I’ve read this year on the basis of sheer weird ideas alone.