A few updates for a Monday morning:
– I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this yet, but “Sunlight Society” has been reprinted in Rich Horton’s anthology Superheroes, out now! With stories by Peter S. Beagle, Kelly Link, Leah Bobet, Carol Emshwiller and more, the anthology is amazing, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
– “Serpent in the Gears” has been reprinted, this time as audio fiction in the Steampunk Specs compilation. Available both as audiobook and CD, the audio anthology includes some fantastic stories by steampunk masters, and my story as well.
– A new story will be out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies later this week: “A Family for Drakes,” which, though not explicitly set in the same industrial fantasy world, could certainly have some of the same hallmarks if you move back a few centuries. It’s a bit grim in places, though I think ultimately hopeful. It’s also a bit strange, in that I dreamed a scene in this story about ten or so years ago, and it’s only just now made it into a real story. Inspiration from dreams is a chancy thing — do it too often and you end up with the Tale of Missing Your Flight While Naked And Also Behind On Your Deadline — but now and then, something’s come through that way. I’ll say more about it when the story’s up, but that post may be a little delayed, because…
– I’m going to FogCon this coming weekend! Which, yes, means that I’ll be on the West Coast for about a week. It’s been far too long since I was in San Francisco. I’ll be with family for a lot of it, but if you’re at FogCon, come say hi! (Really. It’s my first time there, and I suspect I’m going to feel so very very lost.)
Writing-wise, I have one more round of revisions to do before I hand this draft over to BRAWL (biggest problem: make the ending understandable) and because of that “Detective in Urban Fantasy” panel at Boskone, I now find myself with a first-draft Hercule Poirot pastiche set in a semi-urban fantasyland. I don’t even know any more, man. Inspiration is nuts.
First things first: I am thrilled to announce that “The Governess and the Lobster,” originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, will be included in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2013, edited by Rich Horton. I am incredibly honored to be in such company, and especially with such a fun little story as this one. (It’s also more fodder for my theory that some of my best stories come from writing down whatever damnfool first sentence pops up and going from there.)
But that’s not the only lobster-related piece of news. Look what arrived in the mail recently, surrounded by the detritus of the day’s post!
Yes, it’s a mechanical lobster! My very own mechanical lobster, here to sit on my desk and glare balefully at unwanted mail. The wonderful and talented AuntieLou gave it to me in November, and it’s just taken me so dratted long to get the photos together.
This is absolutely delightful. I couldn’t ask for a better gift. Thank you, AuntieLou, and thanks to all of you who’ve read my stories. May you all have a joyous New Year and may the holiday season bring you joy and, if you like, eggnog.
Meanwhile, I’m going to try to feed the
lobtster lobster what it likes best.
Edited by Ann VanderMeer, Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution includes legends of the genre and new talents, pushing the boundaries of steampunk and driving it far beyond corsets and goggles. (Although there’s plenty of that, too, for those who like a bit of goggling with their fiction.) My short story “Salvage,” originally in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, appears in this volume, and I’m thrilled and honored to be in such company. It’s a beautiful book, full of work by outstanding authors. Take a look at these reviews if you want a second opinion (Shelf Awareness, Tor.com).
And oh hey, it’s just in time for the holidays! Hmmm…know anyone who’d appreciate a gorgeous book of amazing steam-powered stories?
Tomorrow: lobster! And after…maybe some word on what I’ve been up to.
Huh. I really have been hiding under a rock, haven’t I?
Well, it’s been a productive rock — a first draft of a short story, revisions on an older one, and 450 pages of other revisions, half of which are now covered in purple pen. Yes, it’s that last revising push, and then back to composition. I also have my Readercon schedule, which I’ll be posting later this week and about which I only have this to say: oh CRAP what have I gotten myself into?
In the meantime, though, there’s a new anthology out from Beneath Ceaseless Skies: Ceaseless Steam, a collection of steampunk stories that have appeared in BCS. “Salvage” appears in this anthology, for those of you who need more of the Professora in your life, as well as many other fantastic stories.
Hope you enjoy it!
The crits have come and gone, and now I’m at the beginning stages of a revision — exactly where I was eleven months ago, just on a different book. (I guess I am being productive after all.) Overall, they’re positive, and the usual mix of insightful, funny, and unflinching critique that I’ve come to expect from BRAWL. I even have a few ideas on how to fix this. (And maybe I’ll blog about it this time, too.) Most of them have to do with patches: the pieces of story that didn’t quite hold up, the rationale that does not stand under scrutiny, the pacing change from beginning to end. In terms of plot, there’s at least one major change I want to make and one major addition to ease the ending. The final result won’t be visible for a while, though.
In the meantime, there’s a much more immediate victory to celebrate: My short story “Salvage” will be included in Steampunk Revolution, the third anthology from Tachyon Publications, out later this year. I’m thrilled to be part of it and, again, humbled by the company in which I find myself. Many thanks to the editor, Ann VanderMeer, and to Beneath Ceaseless Skies for printing the story in the first place!
[edited to fix attribution — sorry!]
The reading at Flights of Fantasy was awesome. Léna is a delightful person, and our hosts Maria and Eleanor made everything perfect. I read a little from the lobster story, because why the heck not, and got to hear a little from Edges. And then I caught the bus back and found that the resident organist had made pumpkin bread.
Life is good.
Tomorrow I head out to Martha’s Vineyard to help with this year’s Viable Paradise workshop. I’m staff, so I’ll be sous-cheffing (wow, that is very much not a verb) and shepherding students through workshop. I loved my time at VP, so it’s great to see other students going through the same thing and finding the same joys I did. (And the same difficulties — mid-week is always tough, no matter what.)
Other news: the Kindle edition of The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year Two is now out, including “A Serpent in the Gears” as well as other excellent stories from BCS. I’ve been sending some more short stories out into the world, including one that disturbed me while I was writing it and disturbs me still. And I’ve been going over the Big New Manuscript with a red pen to see what needs to be fixed to bring it out of Crappy First Draft stage. What’s strange is that aside from a few chapters that would have to be changed simply because of the revisions I made to the earlier book, and a couple of chapters that I knew were iffy when I wrote them . . . it’s not bad. It almost hangs together. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this . . . naaaah.
Those of you who aren’t thoroughly sick of steampunk may remember that “A Serpent in the Gears” was picked up by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer’s Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded anthology, and the release date for that anthology is at hand! Again, I’m honored and flattered to be part of this, and my inner geek — which has never been very inner to begin with — has been frothing at the mouth every time I see who else is in the anthology. Catherynne Valente! William Gibson! Cherie Priest! Sydney Padua! (And apparently there’s a Mecha-Ostrich…oh my.)
If I were feeling magnanimous, I’d arrange to give away a copy here on the blog. As it is, though, I’m letting someone else be magnanimous for me. Beneath Ceaseless Skies is giving away a signed copy, in conjunction with Genevieve Valentine’s story “Bread and Circuses.” To make things even better, today’s issue also features Anne Cross’ “The Popinjay’s Daughter.” Anne is a member of BRAWL, and it’s great to see her work out there in the world. Especially in BCS, which is a magazine I love.
I don’t yet have my contributor’s copy (though I can sense it on its way…’scuse me, gotta mop up the drool), but damn, this is a beautiful book. You want a copy, right? So go read the rules for the contest, then do whatever you have to so that you can have Steampunk Reloaded delivered straight to your door. I can’t promise that it will be hand-delivered by a goggle-eyed brass automaton who has just descended by jetpack from an airship that hovers ponderously above your house while from its many phonograph speakers thunder the strains of a jaunty melody of the sort that would make Charles Babbage develop a nasty twitch…but I can certainly imply it.
…Or you could, you know, buy a copy, if you want to do it the boring way. But that way, when you win the free copy from BCS, you’ll have two! And then you can put them in a box together and make them fight…hang on, I just remembered why I’m not supposed to post before coffee.
That totally failed to rhyme.
I’ve been a total slacker when it comes to blogging lately, so all of these are a little out of date. Which in Internet terms probably means they’re approaching antediluvian, but what the hey.
Second (and with no excuse, since I’ve had my shiny contributor’s copies for a little while now), Realms 2: The Second Year of Clarkesworld Magazine is out, and while my story “When the Gentlemen Go By” is reprinted in it, that’s not why you should get it. You should get it for all the other fantastic stories — “Blue Ink” by Yoon Ha Lee, “The River Boy” by Tim Pratt, and “A Buyer’s Guide to Maps of Antarctica” by Catherynne M. Valente are just a few of the stories that have been haunting me since I read them. Clarkesworld has also been nominated for a Hugo in the Best Semiprozine category, as have two stories from last year (including one of Nora’s! Woooo!). If you’re not reading it, you should be.
Another online magazine that I’m far too fond of, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, has bought another of my steampunk short stories. “The Guilt Child” will be coming out sometime this year, and while it does not immediately follow the adventures of Charles, Dieterich, and the Professora, it’s part of the same world. (This is what happens when I start worldbuilding. I come up with a cool idea for backstory, then turn that into a story of its own, and so on…) I’ve been calling it the story of a girl and her stamping press, and really, there’s no better way to sum it up.
Meanwhile, the edits for the third book are in, and they look…startlingly good. Usually I read the edits, fuss for a day and feel all cranky that My Beautiful Deathless Prose is being questioned, and then go and make all the edits anyway (which inevitably makes it much, much better). This time, though, I can’t think of any of the edits I disagree with. That’s encouraging, I think, and it’s certainly making this round of edits a lot easier. I think this will be a better book than the two that preceded it, though as usual I’m too close to it to tell.
...can you use “antediluvian” when referring to the Internet? Maybe in a scaled-down sense, such as “before a flood of new traffic”…no, I’m reaching. Also, it’s late and I’m babbling, but that’s what a blog is for.
No teapot this week — and yes, I’ve been lax on that score for a while. But since I’ve been neglecting my blogging in general, why should the teapots escape?
(Yes, the correct answer there is “because they’re teapots.” We’ll just skim over that for now, shall we?)
Instead, I have an announcement: My story “When the Gentlemen Go By” has been selected to be in Best Horror of the Year 1. This is just awesome — I loved writing this story, and I’m honored it was chosen. And the book looks pretty cool, too — I mean, take a look at this:
So, no teapots today. Horror instead!
The February 2008 issue of Realms of Fantasy (with one of my stories plus a whole lot of other cool stories) is now out in stores. Buy a copy! Buy two! Buy three, loan one to a friend, and then convince them to buy one of their own!
…er. It’s a little early for megalomania to be setting in, right?
A few nights ago, I received my contributor’s copies of the February 2008 Realms of Fantasy, which has my short story “And Not Spare the Flock.” It looks pretty awesome. There’s a gorgeous image of Lyra and Iorek Byrnison from The Golden Compass on the cover. And my name’s on the cover, too, but it’s not nearly as cool — well, how do you compete with a panzerbjorn, anyway?
I’m guessing this won’t hit newsstands for a few more weeks, but it feels fantastic to have these copies in my hands. My story is illustrated by Kiriko Moth, and she got the scene just right. Maybe I can get a copy of the illustration.
So far, I’ve only read one of the stories: “Hobnoblin,” by Elizabeth Bear. It rocked, in more ways than one. I’ll probably curl up with the magazine some evening when I have time (which limits the possibilities somewhat) and go through each story slowly. Except for my own; I tend to cringe when rereading my work, even if it’s good.