Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Behold: Skowt!" to appear in Apex anthology!

Holy crap, I can't believe it: My short story "Behold: Skowt!", which was my first-ever sale (and a pro-rate sale, at that), is being reprinted in the upcoming Apex Magazine anthology Descended from Darkness. The book is due in December. Pinch me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"A Voice Not Her Own" in Kaleidotrope #6

A poem I wrote a while back, "A Voice Not Her Own," has just been published (in print, no less!) in issue 6 of the cool speculative fiction zine Kaleidotrope. What's it about? Pink Floyd and a ghost in a jukebox, of course.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A weekend that didn't suck

Spurred, I'm sure, by the below-mentioned acceptance of one of my stories to Brain Harvest -- not to mention a writing challenge between myself and my fellow Codex member Jay Ridler -- I actually got some shit done this weekend. First I wrote a 3400-word draft of a short story titled "A Kiss for Krin." Ridler and I had challenged each other to write one hard SF story and one high fantasy story in two weeks' time, in an effort to launch ourselves (at least temporarily) out of the dusty, weird, slipstream ruts we'd dug for ourselves lately. Sometimes, when trying to write this edgy, interstitial, genre-smearing type of stuff, it's easy to forget where you came from: aliens, spaceships, wizards, and swords.

I had no idea what I was going to do for this weekend's fantasy story, but I did have a character in mind: a down-on-his luck assassin named Pinchbeck the Poisoner. The story I wrote around him came pouring out of my head in about five or six hours, and I think it might actually turn out decent upon revision. Total Robert E. Howard/Michael Moorcock/Fritz Leiber type of stuff, with a bit of M. John Harrison's Viriconium and KJ Bishop's The Etched City throw in (hey, there had to be SOME weirdness to it). I had a fucking blast writing it. I just put my head down, took aim at the screen, and went for broke.

Riding on that wave of momentum, I jumped back into a story I'd been tinkering with for a few weeks: "Octopus Factory Galaxy." It's one of those fuzzier slipstream type of things; set in 1913, it's the tale a blind man who's recently regained his site thanks to an experimental medical procedure. He slowly begins to realize, though, that his doctor has other motives for curing him after his new eyes start taking on a life of their own. I've been reading a lot of Thomas Ligotti lately, and there's definitely some of that in there -- not to mention a shout out to my boy, Giambattista Vico. And, of course, J.G. Ballard had an unwitting hand in the midwifery, as he does with most stories I write. Anyway, I finally nailed the two halves of the story together and sent it out to the slush pile! Fingers crossed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sale: "The Occupation of the Architect" to Brain Harvest

I just made my eleventh fiction sale since starting this crazy endeavor almost a year and a half ago. The great new speculative-fiction site Brain Harvest just accepted my story "The Occupation of the Architect" (and yes, that title is another one of my odd little double entendres). It's about a city whose buildings come to life one day and demand a moral and aesthetic accounting from their architect. Then they puke and kill people. It's supposed to be published toward the end of May. I'm stoked! Brain Harvest = warped and edgy and weird, just how I like it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Live on Atomjack: "Julie, Spirit of Laws"

My story "Julie, Spirit of Laws" is now live on the speculative fiction site Atomjack. This story tied for third place in Apex Magazine's Election Horror Contest last November, which was judged by the pretty damn awesome Jay Lake. It's kinda silly, perhaps disturbing, shamelessly pseudo-intellectual, and taps into the election elation/anxiety I was having throughout 2008. Also: It has a fistfight with a talking ostrich.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New story up at Farrago's Wainscot

My new, strange, fragmented, and maybe even a bit confusing story "Seven Men (in Various States of Fabrication)" is up at the excellent avant-spec-fic site Farrago's Wainscot. Watch out for that self-deprecating meta-punchline. Zing!