I turned in my story, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” for Apex Digest’s new anthology Gratia Placenti.
Jason Sizemore, the editor says:
Aegri Somnia, the first featured writer anthology was Stoker nominated. Still blows my mind. No way do I expect a repeat nomination performance (but we guy can hope, right?). What I can promise is that Gratia Placenti will contain the same high-level of editorial quality, fantastic short fiction, and a professional presentation.
Yesterday I went down to join a group of writers at the Malibu–I had no idea what I was getting into. The group has apparently been meeting for some seventeen years, every Wednesday at the same restaurant. It was a lively bunch of writers, none of whom I had met before. I went because Keith R.A. DeCandido invited me down so I could sign the Dr. Who: Destination Prague bookplates–we’re both in the anthology. I had a blast and am planning to return next week.
That evening, I went down to the Fantastic Fiction reading at the KGB, which featured Paul Park and Esther Friesner. I’ve been trying to attend one of these readings for years. It seems like everytime I come to NYC for a gig, a KGB reading falls somewhere in the trip, but I’ve always had a conflict. One time–one–I managed to join them for dinner afterwards. It was great to be able to do the whole thing this time.
Beth Wodzinski is the Editor-in-Chief of Shimmer Magazine. You’ve probably heard of it…attractive perfect-bound magazine that could probably call itself the young cousin of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. Beth Wodzinski is respected and well-liked by the Apex staff, and we were pleased that she took the time to tell us more about her labor of love.
Once again, I am exhausted after a day of fun. I wound up joining the panel on Near-Future Politics unexpectedly after Gavin Grant complained that it was made up of men. I commented that I had volunteered for that and he insisted that I replace him. I’m glad I did, but it was pretty funny because I wound up talking about fashion and how it relates to cycles in politics. We swing from conservative to excess and back–this shows up in fashion and architecture, so when looking at the future, I think that one should look at the patterns of past cycles. The other panelists had fascinating points and the audience was quite animated. I just found it amusing that I wound up using something so “girl” oriented to illustrate my points.
The Codex Writer’s group gathered for lunch, which was fun. I got to meet some of the folks that I hadn’t met before. We also all traded our copies of Prime Codex for signing. It was fun all round.
The rest of the day I spent talking with people in the bar. George and Christian from Solaris in particular, kept me amused with their clockwork monkey stories. David Louis Edelman was as charming as ever. I’m not going to try to list the names of everyone I chatted with because I am extremely tired and, as noted in other posts, am awful with names. Later…
Oh! And the highlight–Lon Prater gave me a gorgeous Remington Quiet Riter 11 as a housewarming gift. I’ll post photos when I get back to the apartment tomorrow.
Enjoy eight of the best stories published by Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest during 2006. Picked by the Apex editors, these stories exemplify the quality and content that makes Apex Digest such a unique presence in the genre.
As a bonus, each story is preceded by an appreciation from an Apex editor or from an editor of other popular genre magazines.
Approximately 112 pages, this title is only available through the Apex Shopping Mall.
Table of Contents (editor appreciation in parentheses)
â€Starfishâ€ by Steve Parker (Gill Ainsworth)
â€Queen of Starsâ€ by Bryn Sparks (Jodi Lee)
â€Blood Babyâ€ by Jennifer Pelland (Deb Taber) â€Cerbo en Vitra ujoâ€ by Mary Robinette Kowal (Alethea Kontis)
â€Indigestionâ€ by Robby Sparks (Bailey Hunter â€“ Dark Recesses)
â€That Old Sandlands Feverâ€ by Douglas Warrick (Mari Adkins)
â€How to Raise a Humanâ€ by Deb Taber (Beth Wodzinski â€“ Shimmer Magazine)
â€Genesis Sixâ€ by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (James Beach â€“ Dark Discoveries)
Friday 4:00 PM. Talk / Discussion ( 60 min.) Remember to Breathe: The Secrets Behind Great Public Readings.
You may be a good writer, but reading aloud is a separate skill. Learn to make your words sound as great out loud as they do on the page. Using both demonstration and audience participation, we will explore voicing, narration and pacing.
Friday 6:00 PM. Panel Hunted Jaguars: Fiction In Another Land.
* Leader (Participant / Moderator) *
Paul Di Filippo, Mary Robinette Kowal (L), Shariann Lewitt, Paul Park, Lucius Shepard
Much memorable speculative fiction has been set either in the developing world or in an obviously fantasticated version of it. These stories are attractive to writers and readers for a number of different reasons. Our panelists talk about the genesis of these stories and their motivations for using such a setting.
Joe Sherry at Adventures in Reading posted a review of Prime Codex.
Prime Codex is the debut collection from the new small press publisher: Paper Golem. Subtitled “The Hungry Edge of Speculative Fiction”, Prime Codex features newer and upcoming authors from the Codex Writer’s Group. Some of the authors collected in Prime Codex include: Tobias Buckell, Cat Rambo, Elaine Isaak, Mary Robinette Kowal, and others. I focus on these four authors simply because these are names that make my head turn and take notice (i.e. I have at least heard of these authors).
When did that happen? I mean, my name in with the other three on that list just doesn’t make sense to me. Not complaining, just boggled. And pleased. Oh yes, very pleased.
Rampion by Mary Robinette Kowal was a very short, but mournful story and is an exquisite short work (very short work.)
A short piece that is positively sure to get you to mutter “a-ha!” at its cruelly twisted reveal, “Rampion” by Mary Robinette Kowal is the sort of story that is most enjoyable on its first read. Read it without distractions, and enjoy.
He says equally nice things about the rest of the anthology and closes by saying:
Prime Codex has a bit of everything as well: from crisp offerings of science fiction to haunting tales of pure, magical fantasy, everything within is worthwhile. An excellent debut from Paper Golem, with smart choices from Lawrence M. Schoen and Michael Livingston. Come on, order your copy.
â€œLocked Inâ€ by Mary Robinette Kowal is a dark and serious piece of flash fiction thatâ€™ll disturb readers on any side of the â€œPro-Life/Pro-Deathâ€ issue. The story is emotionally engaging, provocative, and leaves you thinking. A fine read that I highly recommend, but only to those who havenâ€™t had to go through such ordeals in recent months.
Matt Wallace reviewed Apex #9 and had this to say about my story.
Next up, flash fiction from Mary Robinette Kowal. It pains me to say this, but “Locked In” really didn’t get it done for me. It certainly didn’t have the impact that it seemed to have on others. I love Ms. Kowal to death, she’s a woman of many talents. She illustrated one of my stories and did a beautiful job. But this just struck me as a throwaway tale. The reason is the ending, I think. Because the story is well-written, and the narrative style was engaging (“the ball” is a great device). But where everyone else seemed to find the twist ending sick and shocking, I was let down. It was predictable and felt kinda cheap to me, like she hadn’t earned it. That sounds harsh, but that was my reaction, man. What’re you gonna do?
The interesting thing for me is that the “ouch” of this doesn’t come from the fact that he didn’t like it, but that the flaw that people seem to complain about in my writing is that it is predictable. Now, what I’m trying to figure out is if that’s a problem. See, in every case it’s been in a story where I wanted to the reader to understand what was happening before the character did. For me, when I’m watching a movie, or a play, or reading a book, it’s most tense when I know something bad is about to happen but the stupid main character is just blithely charging ahead.
I keep trying to do that because I like the sensation of mentally yelling “No, no, no!” at the main character. So, what I’m trying to figure out for myself is if the “predictable” tag means that there are people who don’t like that, or if I should tip my hand less about where we are going in a story.
A piece of flash follows next with Locked In by Mary Robinette Kowal. It wouldn’t be included here if it wasn’t engaging. It concerns euthanasia in a domestic setting involving a mute participant. Of course, with any cool piece of flash, the ball doesn’t get rolling until the final sentence … and this one literally.
Before I unveil my contribution to International Pixel-stained Technopeasant Day, I’d like to make an important and relevant announcement. I’ve been posting my novel, Shades of Milk and Honey as I’ve been writing it. Among the people reading it, was an agent. I’m pleased to report that as a direct result of posting my fiction online, I have now signed with Jenny Rae Rappaport of the L. Perkins Agency.
And now, some more free fiction. In addition to the novel, I have a short fiction offering for you in two forms. You may read “Beauty Will Come” or you may watch and listen to it. By combining the old puppetry form of toy theater with my nifty new digital webcam, I’ve made a Pixel-Stained Technopeasant short film.
In honour of Dr Hendrix, I am declaring Monday 23rd April International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day. On this day, everyone who wants to should give away professional quality work online. It doesn’t matter if it’s a novel, a story or a poem, it doesn’t matter if it’s already been published or if it hasn’t, the point is it should be disseminated online to celebrate our technopeasanthood.
Whatever you’re posting should go on your own site. I’ll make a post here on the day and people can post links in comments to whatever they’re putting up on. If you are a member of SFWA, or SFWA qualified but not a member (like me) you get extra pixel-spattered points for doing this. If other people want to collect the links too, that would be really cool. Please disseminate this information widely.
I will be posting a link to the free fiction I already have up, plus a new story. I will also have the delight of making a very cool and entirely appropriate announcement. Yes. Yes, you have to wait a week to hear it.
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]