Posts Tagged ‘short story’

SHORT FICTION: “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” at Apex Magazine

I have a story in this month’s issue of Apex magazine. I should probably mention that “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” is SF horror and nothing like Shades of Milk and Honey.   Here’s the teaser.

The moment Tuyet walked into the Dagenais’s compartment, she knew something was different. The usual pack of dogs swarmed around her, distracting her, before she figured out that the compartment smelled different. Not bad–not like the times they had left everything piled in the sink for her as if they were having a contest to see who could goad the other into doing the dishes. Nor the time they’d fired the dog walker and didn’t bother to walk the hoard of dogs that Hélène kept. But they paid her to come once a week to wipe their counters, load the dishwasher and tidy the compartment. So she’d kept her head down, asked herself what Kant would have done, then said screw the philosophy and wiped up the dog shit and urine.

If you are a subscriber of Apex, you can read “Tomorrow and Tomorrow” now, otherwise it will be available online next month.

And, um… Mom? Dad? Don’t read this story.

Body Language at IGMS

Eek! How did I not post this earlier?

My story “Body Language” is now up at OSC’s Intergalactic Medicine Show with an awesome cover illustration which you must now appreciate in all its glory.


And here’s a teaser of the story.

Saskia leaned into the darkness above the stage, only vaguely aware of the wood rail against her hips as she retied the left headstring on her marionette. On the stage below, the Snow Queen’s head eased into balance. The marionette telegraphed its stance back up the strings to the control in Saskia’s hands. She ran the Snow Queen across the set to check the repair, barely conscious of her own body on the bridge above the stage. It was almost like being immersed in a VR suit.

One of the techies called up. “Hey, Saskia? There’s a detective here for you.”

IGMS does charge $2.50 for access to the full issue, but that gets you a lot of fiction.

Readers Wanted: Beyond the Garden Close

I have a 1800 word science-fiction story that I’d love to have some readers for.  If you have time to give a read and offer feedback, please drop me a line and ask for the password.

The teaser:

Beyond the Garden Close

Lena rocked back and forth, feet aching from standing so long, as if the metal floors were harder in the auditorium than anywhere else in the ship. The paper bib she wore rustled as she shifted. The waiting that the high-holy put the prospectives through made Lena nervous. Which was part of the point, of course and Lena tried not to let her nerves show. There were nine prospectives this quarter, standing in a cluster. Lena knew the other women, of course, but maintained the ship-standard illusion of privacy by ignoring them.

She wouldn’t be among the prospective child-bearer if Phoebe hadn’t wanted a babe so much.

All long-limbs and soft curves, Phoebe had the grace of a goddess, but she’d never be granted child-rights. She had the taint of celiac disease as a hand-me-down from some grand or other and that throwback meant her stock had to be culled from the tree. Even if she made it through the trials today, the high holies would never let her bear a child.

But Lena, now. Lena would pass for sure and certain, only problem was she didn’t want a child.

Cobbler, icecream and waiting for Rob

I’m up waiting for Rob to come home although there’s a chance that he won’t be home until tomorrow.

Confused? He was driving back tonight from California, after driving there yesterday to drop off grapes.  He thought he’d make it back by 12:30ish tonight but also thought he might stop and sleep instead. So, I’m waiting up to see if he calls to tell me he’s pulled over for the night.

Meanwhile, to pass the time, I’ve completed a short story, made a peach and apple cobbler, and made vanilla ice cream.  I believe the first two are successful. The third is a little… crunchy.  If I think of it as snow cream then it’s fine.  Note: lowfat milk doesn’t cut it for icecream.

On the other hand, the cobbler really wanted it and… this will tell you a lot about me. I was too lazy to walk back to the store to buy ice cream.  It’s okay. I see the crazy there.

Did I mention I finished a short story?

Edited to add: 12:45. He is home safely. Night all!

“First Flight,” free at + recipes!

My short story, First Flight, is up at It has absolutely goooooorgeous art by Pascal Milelli, which looks enough like my actual grandmother that my mom was disappointed that she didn’t have earrings on.

Why is it cool that she looks like my grandmother?  Because she’s based on Grandma, even if the name isn’t the same. My grandmother, is still alive, well, and sharp as anything. She was born in 1905.

Grandma in 1920

I got the story idea because we were sitting around talking about things she had seen and it is staggering.  She remembers World War I, for crying out loud, and the Titanic.  Anyway, when she turned 100, she said, “I figure the Good Lord put everyone on this earth for a reason. I just haven’t done my yet, so I better get busy.”

To celebrate, I’d like to share these recipe cards with you.  I made them for Grandma’s 101st birthday and they are some of my favorite things she makes.

Here’s a teaser of First Flight.

Eleanor Louise Jackson stood inside the plain steel box of the time machine. It was about the size of an outhouse, but without a bench or windows. She clutched her cane with one hand and her handbag with the other. It felt like the scan was taking far too long, but she was fairly certain that was her nerves talking.

Her corset made her ribs creak with every breath. She’d expected to hate wearing the thing, but there was a certain comfort from having something to support her back and give her a shape more like a woman than a sack of potatoes.

A gust of air puffed around her and the steel box was gone. She stood in a patch of tall grass under an October morning sky. The caravan of scientists, technicians and reporters had vanished from the field where they’d set up camp. Louise inhaled with wonder that the time machine had worked. Assuming that this was 1905, of course—the year of her birth and the bottom limit to her time-traveling range. Even with all the preparations for this trip, it baffled her sense of the order of things to be standing there.

So, go on, read about my Grandma.

Time? Who needs that.

Somehow the two weeks that I had off turned into rehearsing for two shows, doing props for a third and finishing an essay, a short story and the SFWA website.  Oh yeah, and I have a novel to write.

Clearly, my time management involves the need for a TARDIS. And yet I don’t have one.

Blogging will be, shall we say, extremely light this week.

Subterranean Press » Announcing SCENTING THE DARK AND OTHER STORIES by Mary Robinette Kowal

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to my first collection, Scenting the Dark and Other Stories.  I’ve loved Subterranean Press for a long time now and can’t describe how ecstatic I am about this little book. The cover art is an original by Sandro Castelli and the book design is by Gail Cross. You can’t see the interior yet, but in pdf form it makes me long to have the pages in my hands. So beautiful.

We here at SubPress are fans of elegant small collections such as Antiquities by John Crowley or The Devil in the Details by James P. Blaylock and Tim Powers. Our latest offering fits solidly in that mode. Scenting the Dark and Other Stories, the debut hardcover by Campbell Award-winner Mary Robinette Kowal packs a powerful 25,000 words into its roughly 100 pages. Do yourself a favor and check out one of our finest new short story writers — and novelist, as Mary just sold a pair to Tor (Congrats!)

I’m just delighted.

Diamonds in the Sky Released – Free fiction

Mike Brotherton, who taught the Launchpad Workshop, had a brilliant idea. A lot of people get their ideas about science from fiction, but the problem is that much of the science in fiction is really bad — like that whole exploding in vacuum thing. So he decided to put together an online anthology of science fiction specifically to use in conjunction with teaching astronomy.   Diamonds in the Sky went live today.

Here’s his announcement.

The anthology is free and you can go there now and read the stories, most of which are original but a few of which are reprints from Analog or Asimov’s. Contributors include Hugo and Nebula award winning authors. Each story focuses on one or two key ideas from astronomy and should have some educational value, but are hopefully first and foremost simply entertaining and good quality stories. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation as a public education and outreach effort, and I’d like to reach as many readers as possible so please spread the word!

My story, Jaiden’s Weaver, takes a look at life on a world with planetary rings.

Nails in My Feet

This is a reading of my short story “Nails in My Feet” from the Borderlands reading. Many thanks to Pip R. Lagenta for recording it. And for posting it yesterday as a birthday present.

Shimmer story makes Aurealis Awards short list

I’m so pleased that Angela Slatter has made the Aurealis Awards short-list with her story from Shimmer‘s art issue. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with her.

Angela has been short-listed in the Best Fantasy: Short Story category for her story ‘Dresses, Three’, which was published in Shimmer magazine. She has had stories published in the US, UK, Canada and Australia but ‘Dresses, Three’ had a rather unusual genesis.

“Shimmer put together an art issue,” Angela says, “where they gathered five of their favourite artists and five of their favourite writers. They presented each writer with a piece of artwork and asked us to write a story about it. The piece I was given was by Chrissy Ellsworth and showed a woman looking over her shoulder, wearing a fabulous dress.

“The story I wrote is based on the old tale ‘Donkey Skin’ and in my version the three dresses are made of peacock feathers, butterfly wings and words.”

Table of Contents for Clockwork Phoenix

The table of contents of Clockwork Phoenix is up. I’m totally thrilled by the company I’ll be in.

Claude Lalumière, “Three Friends”
Leah Bobet, “Six”
Marie Brennan, “Once a Goddess”
Ian McHugh, “Angel Dust”
Ann Leckie, “The Endangered Camp”
Mary Robinette Kowal, “At the Edge of Dying”
Saladin Ahmed, “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela”
Tanith Lee, “The Pain of Glass” (a story of the Flat Earth)
Joanna Galbraith, “The Fish of Al-Kawthar’s Fountain”
Catherynne M. Valente, “The Secret History of Mirrors”
Forrest Aguirre, “Never nor Ever”
Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer, “each thing i show you is a piece of my death”
Kelly Barnhill, “Open the Door and the Light Pours Through”
Barbara Krasnoff, “Rosemary, That’s For Remembrance”
Steve Rasnic Tem, “When We Moved On”

Sale! At the Edge of Dying to Clockwork Phoenix

Clockwork Phoenix 2I’m delighted to announce that my short story “At the Edge of Dying” will appear in the anthology Clockwork Phoenix 2, edited by Mike Allen. The first anthology was full of amazing stories and I’m thrilled to be in the second incarnation.

Here’s a teaser:

Kahe peeked over the edge of the earthen trench as his tribe’s retreating warriors broke from the bamboo grove onto the lava field. The tribesmen showed every sign of panicked flight in front of the advancing Ouvallese. Spears and shields dropped to the ground as they tucked in their arms and ran.

And the Ouvallese, arrogant with their exotic horses and metal armor, believed what they saw and chased the warriors toward him. The timing on this would be close. Kahe gathered the spell in his mind and double-checked the garrote around his neck. His wife stood behind him, the ends resting lightly in her hands. “Do it.”

PodCastle: The Girl With the Sun In Her Head

PodCastle #33, The Girl With the Sun In Her Head by Jeremiah Tolbert is up with an introduction by me. I very much enjoyed this story and think that you’ll enjoy listening to it.

Emelia’s home is in a city where only children are allowed to draw graffiti on the crumbling walls. The old bricks and stones are covered in crude pictographs and stick figures, smoking chimney houses and bicycles with four wheels and two seats. Chalk is a penny a piece, any color to be had. A little old lady with gnarled fingers and crooked eyes sells the sticks out of cigar boxes on street corners, even in the rain.

Waiting for Rain, the original flash version

In the interview that I did with Alethea Kontis for Subterranean Press, she asks me about the funny story that goes with “Waiting for Rain.”

The short form of my answer is that I initially sent the wrong file. After we had a good laugh (thank God) he suggested that when he ran the story on his site, that I might run the original version of it on mine.

So here’s what I accidentally sent in. The original flash fiction version of “Waiting for Rain,” written in an hour and a half in one of the Liberty Hall flash fiction contests.

Waiting for Rain – 1400 words

by Mary Robinette Kowal

In the other room, Bharat could hear his wife clucking happily over their oldest daughter’s wedding holos. He stared at the screen on his ancient quarto-core processor and held his head in his hands. The weather forecast said the next week was supposed to be sunny again. Continue reading ›