Skip to main content

Alive in 2016


Part of me wants to sum up this year in one or two words - it sucked! - and be done with it. I've spilled a lot of virtual ink in service of pessimism lately so maybe it's time to put paid to 2016 and be done with it.

Instead, I'd like to take a moment to remember some of the good things about this year.

This was a year of friends. I met a bunch of amazing people this year, had time to hang out with old friends, and had some of the best conversations about politics, speculative fiction, movies, and life. If you spent time with me, helped me understand this world a little bit better, filled it with life and laughter and hope, well, the least I can do is thank you. Thank you for reading my stories, putting up with my mistakes, and giving me your support. Thank you Lauren for being the best friend a person could ever hope for and congratulations for finishing your masters.

This was a year of video games. Maybe not the most consequential aspect of life but, you know what, if I'm being honest, playing games occupies a significant chunk of my time. In particular I'll stand up in defense of one of the most maligned games in recent memory. I'm still playing "No Man's Sky," and foresee continuing to do so well into the future. The basic premise of the game still fills me with a sense of peace and wonder. Finding a perfect world in the wide, wide galaxy and being able to stroll over it is somehow all I've ever wanted in a game. I feel at peace, perfectly in the moment, and if that makes it seem more like a meditation device than a traditional game, so be it.

This was a year of reading. I've already listed my favorite new works from the past year but looking over what I actually read during the course of 12 months, I'm not really sure I captured what gave this year its meaning. Around September, when things looked particularly pointless on the election front I stopped listening to the radio, cut my cable news habit way back and simply started reading as much as I could. In retrospect, I can't help but think that was a far better use for my time.

In particular, I started tracking down books in cosmic horror genre for a series of posts. That was a lot of fun and lead me to authors such as Michael Shea, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Kathe Koja, and Robert Aikman. The other big project was listening to the "best books of the 21st Century" which was incredibly rewarding. As you might guess from my posts, I read a lot of speculative literature and not so much of what might be termed "contemporary fiction." After having read "Gilead," and the "Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," I'm glad I finally took steps to rectify that over-sight. My life is better for the books I've read.

This was a year of writing. Having "The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY," published in Electric Spec was a high point in my short career as a writer. As mentioned before, I think Electric Spec is a terrific magazine and I feel honored to have that story appear there. It's also enormously encouraging. I did not sell many stories this year but the one I did is recent and, in my estimation, one of my better ones. I have a crop of other stories coming down the pipe that I like as much and more.




Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY" is now available!

My new story, "The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY," is now available in the current issue of the Electric Spec magazine. I'm very proud that this story is getting published at Electic Spec for the simple reason I've been reading the magazine for years, dreaming of the day I might get a story published there. Well, it's finally happened.

The story of "Yuru-chara" is pretty simple: a young girl wakes up to discover that her old virtual friend, a seven-foot-tall yellow monster named Tama Bell, has come to life. While navigating through waves of other virtual creatures released through a world-wide hack, the young heroine tries to come to grips with her responsibility to her forgotten friend and the losses inherent to growing up.

I hope that you enjoy my story and that you give the other stories a try. They're awesome!

Thank you for your continued support.

New Story Acceptance!

As mentioned last week, I do have a bit of happy news to share. I am excited to announce that my story, "The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY," will appear in the next issue of the Electric Spec Magazine at the end of the month. I am tremendously excited about this for a few reasons:
Electric Spec is simply awesome. I've been reading this magazine for awhile and never been disappointed by a single story. To have one of my stories selected is beyond humbling. I can only give an earnest thank you to Lesley L. Smith for choosing the story.I love this story dearly. It has one of my favorite protagonists and shows in the clearest way I've managed where I'd like to go with my fiction. Electric Spec also gave me the chance to reflect on this story and its meaning in a guest blog which I am sharing below. Without being spoilery, this blog expresses some of what resonates about "The Yuru-chara of Hector, NY," with me. Guest Blog at Electric SpecAt the moment, I think the…

Solemn Treasures

In Gilead, the transcendent novel by Marilynn Robinson, a 76 year old man confronts his impending mortality and the sense he cannot provide for his young son after he is gone. He had not expected to meet his son's mother in the twilight of his life, not expected to have a son. If he had, he tells his son in a lengthy letter forming the substance of Robinson's novel, he might have set something by for him. Some sort of savings or investment. It pains him to think that when he is gone, all that he can leave are a few words.

What words.

As mentioned in a previous post, I set myself on the task (is that really the right word here? maybe endeavor would be better) to read as many of the 'great novels' of this young century as I could. After reading Hillary Mantel's "Wolf Hall-" which was also fantastic by the way - I made my way to Gilead. One of the many quietly strange things about this novel is that it's actually the second novel from Robinson. Her first…