I am delighted to announce that I’ve sold my novelette “The Tale of the Scout and the Pachydormu” to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. This is my fourth sale to that excellent venue, and I’m every bit as thrilled as I was for the first sale.  Here are my previous stories there:

The Telling — my first published fantasy story and winner of the 2013 World Fantasy Award

The Leaves Upon Her Falling Light

The Wind Shall Blow

And here’s the opening of the story:

Like you, I grew up with the telling of the Tale of the Scout and the Pachydormu. That telling, on the night of first new moon of winter, marked my years between toddler and twelve like tree rings.

The warm spice smell of the Butter Punch, the weight of that punch on your tongue and in your throat, the sugar crunch of the cookies–the slumped star of their legs and heads, the soft meringue of their shell hiding a spoonful of jam or a candied nut or the startling crackof the one uncooked bean that appointed the finder the night’s Governor–the giggles and gasps as the night’s Governor was hefted overhead and passed hand to hand around the room, the soft-hard of flannel blankets quilting the floor, pillowcases still filled with last year’s smells and last year’s crumbs, the knock and groan of the radiators whose warmth grew more welcome as the night stretched out.  And of course the soft solemn tones of ‘Uncle Willow’ reciting the Tale.

I’m delighted to have sold my short story “The Empyrean Light” to Conjunctions, for their Fall 2018 issue “A Cabinet of Curiosity”.

Here’s a taste:

Something was lying in the street. Ms. Wronski thought she saw it move, but by the time she had juggled her way up the stairs with her keys and the bag with the milk and the crumple of supermarket flyers and her satchel of ungraded homework, she was no longer certain. Curious, she peered down at it through the brittle curtains. Between the steep angle and dim light of the streetlamp, all Ms. Wronski could make out was a featureless black lump of undecided shape or size. As she watched, it moved, slowly up like a hand raised in hesitant recognition, then uncertainly down again. She stepped back from the window with a vague sense of embarrassment, and went to put the kettle on.

My story Left Hand Jane out now in Conjunctions: 69 Being Bodies, available from bookstores or online.

My story God-ray is out today on the Saturday Evening Post website:

God-Ray

I’m absolutely delighted to have sold my weird Weird short story “Left Hand Jane” to Conjunctions, for their Fall 2017 issue on the theme “Being Bodies”.

Was a Left Hand Jane. You know.
She said (doing her voice here) she said, “If I knew where I left it would I be in this dump?” The way the veins sucked the blood back in as fast as it flowed out the arteries with the sound of a straw reaching bottom? The wrist bones stacked like old ivory dice? The drifting silver lace of nerve? You know.

The left hand jane, she kicks the door open with high-laced boots, blinks daylight from her eyes until she sees the length of the bar, leads off with that left arm, a few drops of blood flung too fast for the veins to reclaim splatting on the wood.

Her right sleeve tucked into her jacket pocket, the bulge of gloves tissues a comb a stick of gum a switchblade knife but no hand on that side either. A trained eye can tell.

 

I am delighted to announce that my story “Between Dry Ribs” will be The Best Horror of the Year volume 9, coming in June from Night Shade Books.  The story originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of The Dark.

My short story “Goner” is out now in the March/April 40th Anniversary issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine.

Here’s a taste:

There had been no sounds from his mom’s room for twenty minutes, so Char fished his sneakers out from under the bed and carefully slipped the splinter from under the strap.  It was as long as the last joint of his forefinger, dry and strangely soft, and of a black so deep all detail was lost even to the macro vision of his phone.  Under that magnification, one end was flatten and fractally fuzzed, like a feather.  The other end tapered to a point so fine it had no visible end; it faded from view like Mr. Clark had done this morning, flung to the sky.

Char had found the splinter on the skylight dome where it lay cracked on the Clark’s deck.  He had almost said something but had instead slipped it into his shoe, proffered up the plastic dome instead.  It’s not like Mr. Clark could glue the splinter back on, Char thought later.

Char touched his fingertip to the splinter’s point.  There was no resistance, no sense of puncture; the point simply slide through the skin into his flesh.  So smooth was that penetration that the splinter slipped almost all the way in, and something in its structure resisted Char’s attempts to pry it back out, even with tweezers.  He finally wrapped his fingertip in band-aids and went to sleep and dreamed of looking up at a night sky through a rectangle of glass that mirrored him all in black.

 

I’m delighted to announce that my story “Twelve and Tag” will be reprinted in an upcoming issue of Neil Clarke’s Forever Magazine. The story originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of Asimov’s SF magazine, was included in Rich Horton’s Year’s Best collection from Prime Books, in an audio version at StarShipSofa, and in Czech in XB-1, translated by the wonderful Jitka Cardová.

Forever Magazine is a great way to catch up on stories you might have missed and are no longer in print!

 

I am pleased and proud that my story “HigherWorks” is in amazing company in Neil Clarke’s THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION OF THE YEAR – VOLUME 2 from Night Shade Books. The story originally appeared in the December issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. This story was difficult to pull together—it’s got an angry core under a goofy candy-coated exterior, and while it features some of my favorite characters, they stubbornly refused to cooperate with the plan. So I am delighted that the story will have a second life in this anthology.

New Stories:

I published three new stories this year: one horror short story, one fantasy short story, and one science fiction novelette.  If you are the sort of person that nominates stories for awards, well, here ya go.  If you are the sort of person that reads (or listens to) stories for pleasure, well, here ya go some more.

Between Dry Ribs

The Dark, February 2016 – 6000 word Short Story – A study of the healthy benefits of a good sauna.

Read it for free, or listen to the audio version, here.

Quick Sips Reviews says: “The action is gripping, intense, and bloody, and the story as a whole manages to be scary, shocking, and yet nicely balanced. For fans of horror, this is definitely one to check out.”  Full review here.

SFRevu says: “Imaginative and chilling.”

Maria Haskins lists it in 9 weird & wonderful science fiction & fantasy short stories: “So creepy, so ghoulishly, fiendishly suspenseful, and so darn strange: it’s a fantastic read.”

The Wind Shall Blow

Beneath Ceaseless Skies, October 2016 – 6500 word Short Story – Inspired by an old Scottish Border ballad my father sings, and also a sort of sequel to Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower.

Read it for free, or listen to the audio version, here.

Quick Sips Reviews says: “The story is a fast one, filled with action and strange conversation […] It’s an eerie story with a sinking darkness but a rising fire and power.”  Full review here.

Rocket Stack Rank says: “The attention to historical detail is exquisite.”

HigherWorks

Asimov’s Science Fiction, December 2016 – 11900 word Novelette – A group of refugees in London twenty-five years from now have a very strange day.  The future is displacement.

This issue is just hitting mailboxes and bookstores; reviews to come!

You can buy the issue here, or look for it at bookstores and newsstands.

Audio Adaptations:

I also had some excellent audio adaptations come out this year.  I think the readings by Kate Baker at The Dark, Alasdair Stuart at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Katherine Inskip at StarShipSofa are all very much worth considering for any and all audio story and podcasting awards.

Reprints and translations:

Finally, I had two reprints in English and one in Czech this year:

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