If there’s one thing I hope and strive for in my writing, it’s clarity.  Writing clear, concise, precise prose is always challenging, and all the more so in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

That’s because the goal (well, one goal) of fantastic fiction is to describe the new, surprising, extraordinary, the wondrous.  And it’s easy, even tempting, to be oblique, obscure, vague in these descriptions, to use the literary equivalents of murky, billowing smoke and ominous shadows.  It’s a superlative, a compliment, to say “Wow, that’s too fantastic for words.”

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This is my sixth story.  At 4200 words, it’s my shortest yet, and my third official “short story”.   (The SFWA definition is under 7500 words…)  I’d been batting the idea for this one around for a week or two, but I needed a second short story for my Clarion application, so I headed to the café and wrote it down in two long sessions.

The story starts:

Freia is beautiful, and she knows it.  Richard Wooten says so, at 0:47.

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My novella The Union of Soil and Sky is in the April/May 2010 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction,, with a cover illustration by Duncan Long.  You can read an excerpt on the Asimov’s site.

Asimov’s says:

…and talented newcomer Gregory Norman Bossert, in his first fiction sale Continue reading »

My fifth story, second short-enough-to-be-official short story, and first attempt at horror has passed the Shoe Review, and I’ve gotten through what I can remember of her notes, which I somehow lost, but anyway, it’s looking ready to go its own way.

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I was trying to summarize what I like about the television series Lost, and in particular why I enjoy the writing.  Here are some terms that didn’t work: wacky, smart, uncommercial, ambitious, challenging, literate.  What I meant was: unapologetic.

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My novelette Slow Boat has sold to Asimov’s Science Fiction!  Thanks as always to Sheila Williams at Asimov’s, and to my Writing Buddy, Shoe Gennessee; without their advice and support, the story would still be just a heap of mental and digital bits…

Slow Boat starts with our heroine waking up, and finding herself not on the couch where she fell asleep:

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I’ve finished my fourth story, and first proper short story, The Wind Sall Blaw.  It’s an historical fantasy set in the Debatable Lands between Scotland and England around 1644.  The inspiration—and the odd title—came from a traditional ballad called the either The Three Ravens or the Twa Corbies (which means the Two Ravens).  The version with three ravens ends well (which is to say, badly for the ravens), whereas the version with two ravens ends well for the ravens and poorly for everyone else.  The story proceeds from that odd duality, and touches on a few other Border songs as well.  In fact, it’s also a sequel of sorts to a much more recent ballad: “All Along the Watchtower”…

Here’s how it starts:

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My novella The Union of Soil and Sky has sold to Asimov’s Science Fiction!  This the second story I’ve written, and my first sale.

Many thanks to Sheila Williams, the editor at Asimov’s, for her support; the story is much improved thanks to her questions and advice.  Likewise to my Writing Buddy, Shoe, without whom I’d never have finished this (or any) story.  More thanks to Dermot Power, Mark Wachsler, and Sarah Bossert for proofreading, comments, heck, for reading the stories at all!

The Union of Soil and Sky follows a group of archaeologists digging on an alien planet, who find themselves caught between suspicious human settlers and a surprising discovery.

I’ve finished a novelette titled On the Salt Sea.  It’s a science fiction story, inspired by an old Scottish Border ballad my father sings.  It’s about a spaceship pilot contracted to two powerful brothers in the Rings and Moons of Saturn, a region made treacherous by rampant piracy, corrupt frontier politics, and the chaotic Rings themselves.  Our hero is piloting the brothers on an unregistered and possibly illegal mission when their ship is attacked:

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Hi.  My name is Greg Bossert.  I write Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror under my full name, Gregory Norman Bossert, and I have been fortunate enough to have sold a few stories, one of which won the World Fantasy Award.   Here’s more about me.  Then again, maybe you are looking for more information on the fantastic artwork.

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