This past weekend was Worldcon 76, and Jeremy A. TeGrotenhuis was in attendance. Not sure how it happened, but he got tapped to do a brief AMA about Writers of the Future. By the magic of the internet and in a very last minute sort of way, Vida Cruz and I (both winners from Vol. 34 along with Jeremy) joined him on the AMA.
If you’re at all interested, check it out.
We each discuss our writing style, process, influences, short stories vs novels and novellas, the post-WotF experience, and even touch on some of the recent discussion surrounding the contest that has cropped up of late.
I have two 100 word long stories (drabbles), “Dark Goddess” and “The Thirst For War” in Drabbledark: An Anthology of Dark Drabbles. Drabbles are stories of exactly 100 words, and there are 101 in the anthology.
The first of my stories, “Dark Goddess” imagines the pull of… something… that might cause a person to turn their back on friends, family, and loved ones, regardless of the cost.
The second, “The Thirst For War” imagines the God of Death reacting to the Treaty of Versailles.
Drabbles are quick (obviously) and ideally thought provoking, relying on evoking the reader to fill in the implications raised.
There’s a new market for (very) short science fiction stories. Martian: The Magazine of Science Fiction Drabbles is a niche site that will be publishing short spec fic stories of exactly 100 words each. It’s running a fundraising campaign now, maybe check it out? Maybe support it? Maybe spread the word?
After the break I’m going to spend a few words being industry wonky, so feel free to skip it, but if you want a teeny peek behind the curtain…Read More »
I was lucky enough to beta read “An Empty Cup” by Jeremy TeGrotenhuis (basically, I read the final version save for a couple questions about capitlization). It’s out in the Summer 2018 issue of Deep Magic and available on Amazon.
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Full disclosure: On twitter, F&SF offered a free copy of the May/June 2018 issue in exchange for a review. I was lucky enough to get in on this action and have a bit about each story after the break.
As expected from one of the flagship markets for short and novelette-length speculative fiction, the volume is great. The pieces span from high fantasy to space opera, and skip through magical realism and surrealism along the way past a fairy tale. The tone varies from the serious contemplation of an aspect of race relations to the more fun-loving romp through a more traditional high fantasy setting.
Picking stories that stood out from the crowd has less to do with quality and more to do with my subjective taste, maybe even my subjective taste at the moment I read each. “The Barrens” was a tense spin on a classic horror archetype that kept me turning the page (maybe I was due for a tense tale). “Argent and Sable” was high fantasy at its most fun (maybe I was due for a taste of childhood nostalgia). “Unstoppable” was a brilliantly rendered fairy tale (maybe I’m envious of being able to perfectly land the “fairy tale voice”… okay I am envious of that, but it’s still a great story).
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I’m late on reading this, and I’m not sharing any revlatory information when I recommend “Carnival Nine” by Caroline M. Yoachim (it’s a finalist for the 2017 Nebula Awards for Best Short Story and the 2018 Hugo Awards for Best Short Story), but whatever you’re doing, stop and read it. I make no voting recommendation her, but if it wins those awards, it will be incredibly deserving.
Yoachim uses the ostensible story about wind-up toys with a finite amount of “turns” each day to do all the activities of life to reflect on aging, family, responsibilities, and how one measure’s the worth of their life. I’m finding it hard hard to go into too much detail without potentially relieving the impact of the story, which is incredibly poignant and impactful.
I find the short fiction I enjoy the most lingers on the mind long after I’m done reading it. I know that “Carnival Nine” will haunt me with its beauty and its message for a long time.
I’m copying a piece of one of of the most beautiful paragraphs of prose I’ve read in recent memory after the jump to hide potential spoilers. Absolutely masterful.
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Tales of Ruma goes on sale today. I’ve gotten a chance to read the stories. The anthology is a relentless, grimdark, experience. The authors excel in crafting brutal stories, tragic tales, and weaving prose into a violent, punchy, form. The standout story to my eye is “A God of Death” by D.J. Butler, but I’m going to give a quick rundown of each after the jump.
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