Up at Daily Science Fiction this morning, a little thing about a unicorn and a homeowner's association. Enjoy!

Also, if for some reason you missed my story, Deathlight, in last year's Lightspeed, it's been turned into an audio play by the folks at Fancy Pants Gangsters. They have a number of other short plays up at their site as well - check them out!

The Lion

Mar. 6th, 2017 09:08 am
The Huntsmen was one of those stories that I wrote because the general concept wouldn't stop nagging at me: how did the princess of the original tale, collected by the Grimm brothers back in the early 19th century, manage to find eleven women who looked just like her? (It was only after I finished the story that I remembered that the majority of people at the time had no access to corrective lenses, so many people would have been too nearsighted to tell the difference.) And why go to so much effort just to get an unfaithful lover back?

I was so focused on those questions that I more or less ignored the other oddity of the tale - the sudden, never explained entrance of a talking lion. But as I shuffled the lion to the side, he started nagging at me too.

This is the result.

It's an example of how very often, when writing one story, another one appears. At least in my case.


Dec. 19th, 2016 10:43 am
The latest in my series of flash fairy tales, "Hundreds," just went up at Daily Science Fiction. Enjoy!


Oct. 24th, 2016 09:14 am
Another tiny story from me up at Daily Science Fiction today. It won't take too long to read, promise.

Now up at Daily Science Fiction, Nine Songs, my little slipstream story about, well, Nine Songs. My titles tend to be fairly literal.

And also now available, one of the rare poems where I plunged into marine biology, sorta, "Madrepore," in Spelling the Hours: Poetry Celebrating the Forgotten Others of Science and Technology. The poem is about Anna Thynne, a 19th century marine biologist who, among other things, studied reproduction in stony corals, and also was one of the first to develop salt water aquaria capable of keeping stony corals alive.

The overall collection, as the title says, celebrates other mostly forgotten scientists.



Jul. 29th, 2016 12:07 pm
My latest little short story, Dragonbone, is up at Daily Science Fiction.

Accidental double publication day!

First up, a day early, The Petals, over at Daily Science Fiction, the latest in the ongoing series of flash fairy tales that I genuinely do hope to finish, with the framing story, at some point. (Glances at the Excel sheet tracking that series.) Whoops! Well, in the meantime, at least this one is out.

Second, issue 7 of Lackington's is out, with my story, Sometimes Heron.

Let's chat about this one for a bit. "Sometimes Heron" was written in 2008, when I was at the Mayo Clinic. Not a typo. I wrote it in bits and pieces. After a few rejections, it sold to a publication which closed down a few months later. A few more rejections, and it sold to a second publication - which also closed down a few months later.

By that time, to put it mildly, I felt a bit discouraged. On the one hand, I figured that the story couldn't be that awful, if editors were buying it (twice!). On the other hand, it seemed to be killing various publications, which seemed a bit unfair to said publications. I trunked it for a couple of years, and then started shooting it out here and there again.

I mention this mostly as an illustration of what the writing/publishing industry can be like. It's one reason why this can be a very depressing career - so much of writing/publishing is outside your control. I'm not just talking rejections/acceptances - though that's also outside your control - but things like this as well.

In any case, I'm very grateful that it's at last found a home at Lackington's, and I hope you enjoy both.
My latest little story, "The Dollmaker's Rage," up on Daily Science Fiction this morning.
While I was off at ICFA, The Fox Bride, popped up at Daily Science Fiction.

If Twitter is any guide (though it probably isn't) this is hands down the most popular thing I've published in years.
Beans and Lies just went up at Daily Science Fiction. It's very short, I promise. And it's - almost - a fairy tale. Kinda.


May. 15th, 2014 10:48 am
Sometimes, when I start to write a story, I know exactly where it's going.

And sometimes the story does not go at all where I thought it was going. I knew vaguely that I was writing about a coffin - even the coffin, but this story took an unexpected turn into the present day with the phrase "satellite photos" and then just kept changing from there, and by the end it had nothing to do with what I was originally thinking (a caper story) and everything to do with other things.



Feb. 27th, 2014 09:29 am
For those who aren't getting Daily Science Fiction in their inboxes (and why not? It's free?), my little short story, Toads just popped up on their site today.

"Toads" is part of a series of flash fiction fairy tales that I really hope to have completed one day. I'm currently about 1/3 of the way through the planned outline, so...let's just say I have a ways to go. But at least this one is out there, hopping through the world.

No, I couldn't resist that pun. Why do you ask?
In unrelated to cats news, my short story The Dragon and the Bond popped up on the web today. This is one of those stories that started with a single sentence and then just went on from there: certainly not planned out in the slightest. It's one of my favorite stories from last year, because, dragon.

And since it was originally published last Friday in December, it also marks my ninth short story published in 2013, and the fifth "pro" story -- a record for me for speculative fiction, and the only "independent" one -- that is, a story that is not a Stoneverse story or firmly based in folklore/fairy tale. I'll have more to say about that when I finally get around to posting my 2013 writing/publishing roundup when I have more energy.

The Gifts

Oct. 3rd, 2013 10:00 am
If for some reason you aren't subscribing to Daily Science Fiction (it's free!) and thus missed my little three part story, The Gifts, that went out to subscribers last week, all three parts are now up on the web:

The Gifts, part one

The Gifts, part two

The Gifts, part three

This was not originally intended as a three part story, or even as a story at all. I was working on a poem when something started to nag at me -- a something that turned into part one, which needed a bit more exploration, which turned into part three, and then needed something else, part two: three separate tiny stories that form a larger one.

Having said that, I'm not sure how well the story worked spread out over three days, so I decided to wait until all three parts were up on the web before adding the links here, to give everyone the option of reading the story in one large clump instead of three bits.

In any case, "The Gifts" is loosely based on the fairy tale "The Girl Without Hands," one of the more brutal tales collected by the Grimm brothers, even after they softened it a trifle. I've always wondered about a few things in the story, which helped lead to this.

If you enjoyed it, or even if you didn't enjoy this one, but liked previous DSF stories of mine, I'll just note that another one is coming up in a few months - and that one has a dragon in it. (Because, dragons.) Keep an eye out.


Sep. 24th, 2013 05:09 pm
While you are eagerly awaiting Marvel's Agents of Shield, a few news tidbits from me:

1. And the Hollow Space Inside was chosen as a storySouth Million Writers Award notable story of 2012. This is pretty exciting, especially since this particular award honors both genre and literary fiction.

2. Part one of my three part story, "The Gifts," was just emailed out to Daily Science Fiction subscribers today; the next two parts will be popping up over the next two days.

In my original concept part one was supposed to be it, but I had to move a paragraph out of it, and that turned into parts two and three. All can be read as individual flash pieces, or as a single story. I'll put up links once the story goes live at DSF's website.

3. The Georgette Heyer reread continues over at Tor.com with The Unknown Ajax.

4. Tor.com is also doing a series of posts focusing on banned books, or at least, books that various people have tried to get out of libraries. My post on Bridge to Terebithia should be popping up as part of this at some point this week. Alas, Lois Lowry's The Giver series did not arrive on time (The Giver only arrived from the library today, as it happened, showing just how popular that book is, or at least just how assigned/recommended in school that book is) so the reread of that series is getting pushed back to "sometime after I go through the Lloyd Alexander books."

5. It's raining again. Ordinarily this probably wouldn't warrant that much of a mention, but as a result of the rain, a little stray tabby cat has decided that the very thin front porch is not a bad place to watch the rain from, a decision that the Little One and the Grey One are not really in agreement with. The Little One would like the tabby cat to come inside (no; from appearance alone this is a Cat That Fights A Lot) and the Grey One would like the tabby cat to depart the country immediately. The cat isn't here all the time, but just enough to keep us at Defcon Lever 4 -- GUARD THE TUNA -- all day.
1. I missed this yesterday what with various Other Things, but my little flash story Seaweed is up on the web.

2. Over at Tor.com, the Lloyd Alexander reread finally gets going with Time Cat Warning: a certain black and white cat had Issues With the Book, which I faithfully added to the post.

3. I love rain. Love it. I do not love it when a heavy, dark cloud bursting with rain continues to hover just north, shutting off light and making it all dark and gloomy, raining up there, but not here. Which it's been doing for the past couple of hours or so, leaving it dark and humid without a drop. I'm waiting, heavy rains. I'm waiting.
1. My flash fiction piece, "Seaweed," the next in the series of fairy tale vignettes, was sent out to Daily Science Fiction subscribers today. I'll have more on this next week when it goes up on the web.

2. Meanwhile, over at Tor.com, the Heyer reread continues with April Lady. Not a favorite...but Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle, is coming up next.

3. And over at McSweeney's: What to Expect When You're Expecting Cthulhu. This could not be more unlike the "Seaweed" piece: you've been warned.
1. I chat about Sprig Muslin over at Tor.com. Spoiler=highwayman, yay, end of the book, not so ya.

2. Daily Science Fiction has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the zine for another couple of years. The Kickstarter rewards include anthologies, the chance to have your story critiqued by a Daily Science Fiction author, and excellent karma.

Obviously, I'm a bit biased here -- DSF published my story The Princess and Her Tale back in May, and will be publishing a little flash piece of mine, "Seaweed," next month. But it's not just me, really! They also publish several other amazing authors. If you can help out, it's an excellent zine.
As I've previously noted, Donkey-Skin is not exactly high on the list of anyone's favorite fairy-tales. Part of the problem is that it repeats elements of other fairy tales -- notably East o'the Sun, West o'the Moon -- but also Goose Girl and Cinderella. The larger problem is its initial subject matter: incest, an element that got the story kicked out of fairy tale books for young and old alike.

I'm not fond of it myself. So, naturally, I did what I do with so many other fairy tales: I did a little something with it. "The Princess and Her Tale" was sent out to Daily Science Fiction subscribers last week and is now up on the web. Enjoy!

(And consider subscribing -- they'll be offering another little tale from me in the indefinite future.)
Rather a busy day for publications around here. Let's see.

1. First up, Apex Magazine published its December issue today. In it appears my short story, Labyrinth. You can read it for free at that link, or buy a copy for your Kindle, Nook or Ipad using any of the links on the sideline.

2. And last week's Daily Science Fiction flash piece, Shattered Amber is also now up on the web.

Assuming all continues to go well, you will be seeing short stories from me in future issues of both publications sometime next year.

3. And the Georgette Heyer reread continues with Death in the Stocks, the first of the three Heyer mysteries I'll be reviewing.

Blog posts with – gasp – actual content, not just links, coming soon, I promise, but for now, I'm pretty wiped.

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