Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Pirate's True Love

This short, fablelike story is one of my few ventures into the fantasy genre, and in some ways is probably my most successful story yet, if we're talking solely about external success and not how successfully I think it was written. It was actually written quite a long time ago, but was submitted in 2005. A little zine called Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, which I hadn't yet heard of, picked it up and connected me briefly to some pretty cool characters of the contemporary fantasy world, such as Gavin J. Grant and Kelly Link, who run the show there, and Karen Joy Fowler, who may be known best for The Jane Austen Book Club, but also writes great fantasy tales. Kelly Link is also a big name short story writer, with for an acclaimed short story collection called Magic for Beginners.

Anyway, they took the story, and it showed up in their very quirky, very charming and very good zine. I got a lot of mileage out of showing it to my friends, and even got a small amount of cash for it, which, let me tell you, is unusual.

But the fun didn't end there. Some months later, I got a letter saying it had been chosen for a year's best fantasy anthology, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Karen Haber. This was kind of a big deal. Unfortunately, the publisher of the series, Byron Preiss, was killed in a car accident and though his wife tried to keep the company going, it was too much to keep together. At the time, this felt like very bad luck, but of course it was a very small thing in comparison to Preiss's untimely death.

Eventually, Locus Magazine, out of respect for Preiss and feeling badly for the Strahan venture, published the book independently. It came out as Fantasy: the Very Best of 2005 and actually, I like the look of the book a little better than the original format.

And then LCRW brought out their own anthology and it was collected there as well.

Until quite recently, I thought that this story wasn't available online anywhere. But it turns out that the original LCRW #17 was scanned and appears right here. (Though you'll have to scroll up a page to get to the beginning...)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Country

Over on Do Some Damage,  they've offered up the floor to a peer review reading site that Penguin has launched for genre fiction. It's not really a short story site, but I thought I'd spread the word to any aspiring writers who might pop by. Sounds like a very cool concept.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shaken: Stories for Japan--Tim Hallinan, editor

I think I'd better start off with a disclaimer. I am not absolutely thrilled by the whole Kindle model in general. I'm a bit uneasy about a future in which all our books are 'in the cloud', and where one corporation might be able to make that book disappear overnight, whether for good reasons or ill. I don't like the exclusivity of the Kindle model either.

That said, though, this is an example of a good use of a new technology. This anthology, a 'Kindle Exclusive', was put together by Tim Hallinan and all proceeds go to help the people of Japan. It's a terrific list of writers who have contributed to this effort, and it's only going to put you out $3.99. You can download a Kindle reader for free to your computer, which I've done for precisely such an occasion. Believe me, reading books on my computer is not going to cut into my desire for real books any time soon, but this was a great idea, and I'm happy to support it. I haven't actually read my copy yet, but this is one of those times where I thought getting the word out was probably more important than any actual commentary I might make.

Here's a list of contributors, in case that might entice you further:

Basho, Brett Battles, Cara Black, Vicki Doudera, Dianne Emley, Dale Furutani, Timothy Hallinan, Stefan Hammond, Rosemary Harris, Naomi Hirahara, Wendy Hornsby, Ken Kuhlken, Debbi Mack, Adrian McKinty, I.J. Parker, Gary Phillips, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jeffrey Siger, Kelli Stanley, C.J. West, and Jeri Westerson.