Reprints of comfort

I have a reprint out today in Consolation Songs: Speculative Fiction for a Time of Coronavirus . My story is “Upside the Head,” which is about hockey and growth.

My agentsib Iona Datt Sharma put this together–if you have not tried their work, you should. Lots of other amazing writers are involved, such as Aliette de Bodard, Stephanie Burgis, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and many many more! And the proceeds are for a charity fighting COVID. Enjoy checking it out!

In watercolor

There’s a lot of work left to do here in Minneapolis, and in the US at large. And there will be for awhile, massive institutional racist violence is not a quick fix situation. But I see a lot of reasons for hope this week. I hope you do too.

One of the hopeful projects I’ve been involved with continues: the Decameron Project is still making various pieces of fiction available every day. Today there’s another fresh story from me! The Watercolors of Elfland. Take a break and go read it.

Goats and Solace

Two new things of mine for you to read today!

First up is a brand-new short story from the Decameron Project, Loosestrife. It’s got genetically engineered goats in it, and nobody is worried that a virus will kill anyone they love. We have enough of that right now. We need some goats. I wanted it to stand alone, but I fear there will be more of these goats coming. Again, this is absolutely free to everybody. If you feel like supporting the Decameron Project and are able, please do so, but we wanted these stories to be publicly available regardless of ability to pay.

Next is the first entry in a project Reckoning Magazine is doing, The Solace of Connection. The publisher of Reckoning sent past contributors questions about our creative process in the face of this global event, inviting us to share our responses with Reckoning readers, so here’s mine.

Toasted Cake Podcast presents

Some years back I had a story called Quality Control in Nature Futures–an upbeat little piece about supervillainy, mad science, and redirection.

Now it’s back in a new form! I hope you enjoy the podcast version through Tina Connolly’s Toasted Cake Podcast. Tina was looking for fun and optimism, I thought this would fit the bill, and she agreed! We hope it brings you a smile too.

Decameron Project

I’m very excited about a new project I’m involved with: the Decameron Project! Maya Chhabra, Lauren Schiller, and Jo Walton put this together, and it’s an effort of many writers to have new fiction content daily while we’re going through this socially distanced time.

All the content will be free, but you can make a free-will donation to support the writers, like myself, who are offering this work–it’s the only way we get paid. I’m working on a brand-new short story that will be unique to this project (genetically engineered goats!), and I’m so heartened by the prospect of coming together, even at a distance, to make beauty and joy in hard times. I hope you enjoy the Decameron Project.

Letters from my absence

While I was out of town at ConFusion and surrounding fun, I had a story come out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies! Every Tiny Tooth and Claw (Or: Letters from the First Month of the New Directorate) is available for you to read. There’s also a podcast of it, and since it’s an epistolary story there’s not one but two readers.

I had so much fun writing this, and when I’ve read it at conventions it’s been very gratifying to hear people laugh and gasp and generally react, so I hope you enjoy it too.

This couch still open?

This morning you can read my latest essay in Uncanny, Save Me a Seat on the Couch: Spoiler Culture, Inclusion, and Disability. It’s about, among other things, not getting to see the new Star Wars movie yet.

I had to write it before other people could see The Rise of Skywalker, before I had any spoilers, and I knew it would look different once that was out in the world. It does. Welp.

Many of the earliest spoilers I heard were on the way to get my emergency appendectomy. I don’t remember those very well. I just asked Mark to talk to me about the movie he’d gone to see because it was better to have some kind of talk than no kind of talk, driving through the central Michigan night, and that was one where I could set him going and not be expected to have a lot of input, which is it turns out not my strong suit with appendicitis.

The world is full of all sorts of things we don’t expect, and less full of my appendix and Rose Tico than I would have wanted, is what I’m saying.

My year in writing review, 2019

Honestly this is a very weird one for me to write, because this year split down the middle for fairly obvious mental reasons. A major loss that changes your life will make it feel like you’ve had two very different years in one, so looking back and saying, “Really? that was this year?” Well, really, self: it was. I have really written two middle-grade novels and a novella this year, and an assortment of essays, poems (?! when did that happen?), and stories. I would give an exact count, but it’s only December 9, and the odds that I finish something else short before December 31 are fairly good, so let’s say…at least fifteen pieces of fiction shorter than a novella, as of right now.

If you said to yourself “throwing herself into work,” you would not be far wrong. But mostly it has been in a very good way, in a positive and inspired way. In a year when one of the things I wrote is my dad’s eulogy, I’m pretty proud of not just what I’ve written but the spirit I’ve written it in. I’m making myself a lot of revision work for the second half of the year and for 2020, but that’s all right too. (Even though I am also eager to write more new things. And have some clear ideas on that front.)

As for what’s been published, buckle in, it’s a list. On the fiction side, I got to continue to work with editors I have enjoyed working with very consistently before and also get familiar with a few new faces. Here’s what I was up to:

“The Thing, With Feathers,” Uncanny, Jan/Feb 2019.

“The Deepest Notes of the Harp and Drum,” Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2019.

“Painting the Massive Planet,” Analog, May/June 2019.

“Wrap Me In Oceans Wide,” Strange Horizons, 17 July 2019.

“How We Know They Have Faces,” Nature, 24 July 2019.

“Purposeful,” Daily Science Fiction, October 2019.

“In the Ancestor’s New House,” Spirits Unwrapped, edited by Daniel Braum (Lethe Press).

“Filaments of Hope,” Analog, Nov/Dec 2019.

“Family Album,” Nature, 13 November 2019.

I also had fiction reprints in print and podcast format and translations into Chinese and Spanish. I appeared on podcasts. I got interviewed. I sang, I danced, I juggled. (Okay, I did not actually juggle. I sing and dance a lot. It’s a thing.) Meanwhile in nonfiction, in addition to this blog I continued to write a little more for other places, and I like it:

That Never Happened, Uncanny Issue 27 (March/April 2019).

Beyond Cinderella: Exploring Agency Through Domestic Fantasy, Tor.com, 2 May 2019.

Beware the Lifeboat, Uncanny Issue 29 (July/August 2019).

I have a couple of things coming out in January, with more beyond that, and of course a lot of what I wrote in 2019 is either on submission or being prepared for submission. There’s a lot of momentum here, is what I’m saying. And that’s a good thing.

Happy reading.