Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2016

Panel announcement for Arisia 2017

Arisia 2017 is approaching and I'm happy to report that I've gotten my preliminary panels!

I'm going to describe them briefly and share a final schedule with you as we get closer to the convention.

The first panel is "The Alien in the Alien," which I'm interpreting as a look at the use of 'very alien' aliens in SF literature - entities with thought processes very different from human beings. I'm also on the "Preacher" Gone to Texas (and TV)" panel which is going to look at some of the issues surrounding the recent television adaption of the beloved comic book series. As mentioned, this comic book was a big influence on me, and I'm curious what sorts of reactions people have had to the show versus the comic book.

I have two literature themed panels on the last day of the convention: one looking at the power of SFFnal literature to shock and discomfort readers. As readers of this blog know, this has been topic of interest to me this …

New Chapter

I have another chapter of "Agent Shield and Spaceman," my serialized web fiction about weird espionage during the Cold War. My goal was to finish this project in November which is not going to happen but I am on track to finish this either shortly before or after the New Year. Thank you as always for your readership and support. It is greatly appreciated.
I don't know where to start. An article today in Politico stated that Obama gave his staff a week and a half to feel down and dispirited after Nov. 8th but then he needed them to fight by Thanksgiving. I myself feel that it is time to pull myself out of the useless rage and churlish depression I sunk into after Trump became president.
I was wrong. Lots of people were wrong. In moments of honesty (whenever those happen) I'm sure Trump was surprised he won. Whatever. He's here and already doing exactly what people figured he'd do - break any promise that doesn't directly help him, his family, and fat cats …

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…

Arrival

Every moment is an arrival; its passing a departure.

I wonder how this movie will be viewed in years to come. Prescient or the last gasp of a dying order? The movie, Arrival, released this weekend to overwhelming positive reviews paints a simple but nuanced perspective of the universe. Do we still live in a universe capable of nuance?

Based on a beautiful short story by Ted Chiang, (The Story of Your Life), Arrival is essentially a first-contact story. And parts of it reminded me of "Contact," although I like this movie considerably more. This is a cerebral movie, unafraid to let powerful images and solid acting deliver its message rather than spectacle (although there is certainly a little of that, too). It's also an excellent movie, probably my favorite depiction of First Contact in movies, owing the simple fact that the movie is unafraid to depict truly alien aliens and their profound impact on truly human humans.

Adams plays Louise Banks, a linguist brought into the …

You Want It Darker

That Leonard Cohen passed away yesterday is a terrible shame. He was a singular talent and a true artist. I also can't think of a single voice more appropriate for the times we've entered. Still, it would be worth your time to give his last album (released only a couple of weeks ago) a listen. Bleak, soulful stuff.

At the moment I'm still of the mind there is no hope beyond hope itself. In my last post I suggested resisting everything. That's, more or less, where I still am. I think we need time to think of an appropriate and humane and elegant approach to the challenge of Trump's America. I think we need to grapple with this loss and investigate its causes and repercussions. The last thing I think we should be doing is simply fold up and let Trump, Ryan, Gingrich, and the rest of the deplorables have their way with this country.

So, do what you can.

If your way of refusing is signing a petition, do it. It can't hurt.

If your way of helping is joining on the co…

How About Some Honesty

I've seen a lot of different reactions to the election so far, everything from the mass protests in major cities, suggestions for ensuring privacy for activists hoping to fight against Trump, apathy, anger at the DNC, anger at people who voted for third parties, and words offered of sincere encouragement and empathy.

To be honest all of this leave me feeling more angry than not.

I don't know anything about what's going on. I don't understand my country anymore or really the people who live in it. I thought I did, which is why I voted for Hillary. I thought she was just the sort of president we needed. We all lost something when Trump won; I've lost my faith in people who claim to know what's going to happen. Including myself.

Yeah, I probably should have come to this realization a lot sooner. After all, I am the most armchair of all armchair campaign managers. I don't go to rallies. I barely donate to causes. I don't really believe in causes to begin wi…

Afterwards

Yesterday afternoon, coming back home from walking Finn, I paused in front of my house. Maybe you remember the sky yesterday, how clear it was, like a big blue pane of glass leaning against the edge of the world. The sun was low, shining on some parts of the world, casting others into deep pools of shadow. My house was dark, but its corona of oaks and box elders glowed in trembling coppers, bronzes, and golds.

I remember thinking to myself I should treasure that moment. No one knew how things would turn out. I might think back on that instant as precious. A moment when I didn't know Trump was going to be president.

I've gone through a lot of emotions today. No matter who you voted for, I think the same is probably true for you. Most people in this country don't particularly like Trump or think he should be president or in fact voted for him.

I'll let that sink in for a moment.

And yet, here we are. Told to respect a man who spent nearly two years tearing down this coun…

New Chapter of "Agent Shield and Spaceman"

The 40th chapter of "Agent Shield and Spaceman" is now available. This is a bit of back story chapter although it does advance Spaceman's narrative a teensy bit. In any case, thank you for your continued readership and support.

***
In my last post I mentioned some happy news I might be able to announce soon. And that happy news...has been joined by still more happy news!!! Unfortunately I can't really announce either right now. I'm still waiting for confirmation on the first and a reply on the second. But rest assured, I am super-excited about both and will post updates here as soon as I have them available. November is shaping up to be a very encouraging month on a personal level. I hope the good news continues tomorrow.

What I Read in October

It's tough to believe that it's already November! I will be grateful to see the other side of Tuesday as my mood right now is cautiously optimistic. The polls have stabilized and the early voting patterns encourage. If you haven't already - remember to vote!

Besides a few anthologies worth of short stories, I got to review about the expected number of current short fiction. I'm selecting a few that really stuck with me this month.
A Diet of Worms by Valerie Valdes. The best Twilight Zone episodes, the scariest ones, revolved around worlds just slightly out of step with our own. They were like traps or snares. Take the wrong door or stop at the wrong town and there you'd be, stuck forever. That's what this story is like. The narrator keeps going to see a movie called "The Queen in Red" which somehow sucks the life out of the narrator. The terror here is of that dread that once time has gone it can't come back. The Key to St Medusa's by Kat Howard…

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…