Tuesday, August 10, 2021

New Fiction: “The Tyrant Lizard (and Her Plus One)” at is live at Drabblecast

 I've got a new story for you today! It's about dinosaurs and disability. 

Ms. Plover (as she likes to be known) is a deaf security guard on an abandoned island colony. She's got no way off, and it just trying to stay safe and mentally well. She spends her days painting, distributing food to her fellow stranded expatriates, and fending off the dinosaurs.

Yeah, there's a bit of a dinosaur problem at her compound. Even giant herbivores are dangerous, especially when you can't hear them coming. And there's one critter in particular that is about to change her life - by stealing her painting supplies.

"The Tyrant Lizard (and Her Plus One)" is one of my weird relationship stories, when two figures you'd never expect to meet have to get along.

I'm also tickled that it's available in both text and audio. The Drabblecast is a zine I tried to get into for years back in the day. This is actually my debut there. Let me know what you think.

You can read (or listen to) "The Tyrant Lizard (and Her Plus One)" for free right here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

"Open House on Haunted Hill" is a World Fantasy Award Finalist!

I was quite a surprise the other day to scroll through the list of World Fantasy Award nominees and see my name. Yes, I've been blessed this year by kind receptions to my work. Yet I hadn't heard a peep from anyone about this. 

"Open House on Haunted Hill" is now a nominee for the World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story, alongside four other excellent shorts. It is a ballot full of writers who I admire.

I am quite emotional right now. I'd like to unpack some of that emotion for you kind folks.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

New Story in Fireside Magazine!

I'm kicking off June with a brand new story at Fireside Magazine.

"Gender Reveal Box, $16.95" is a Horror story told through an ad. Ad copy is a rich space to tell weird stories, since most don't read them in the first place. It'd been too long since I'd written a story in an unusual format. I missed what flash fiction can let you explore.

Here we're exploring a revolutionary new product: a box for gender reveals. It seems benign at first, but hints about what the product actually contains, and what it does to anyone who witnesses the revelation, start to clue you in that something's wrong here.

It's great to have this drop during Pride Month. It's definitely the most chaotic story about gender I've written.

You can read it for free right here.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Streaming Panel Schedule for Balticon

This coming weekend is Balticon. For the past couple years the pandemic has pushed this Baltimore, Maryland convention to shrug off the shackles of physical space and move to the internet. Anyone can come watch any readings and panels they watch over Zoom. It's totally free.

You can check out all the guests and programming at Balticon's website.

This will be my second year doing some programming with Balticon. I have a rich slate of panels, plus a reading. Anything look fun to you?

Thursday, May 20, 2021

I'm a Hugo Finalist!

It's been a year of wonderful firsts. I got my first sale to a Year's Best anthology, and my first Locus and Nebula nominations. Now I'm thrilled to announce one more.

"Open House on Haunted Hill" is a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Short Story.

It's my first time being nominated for a Hugo Award. In fact, it's also the first time anything published in Diabolical Plots has been nominated.

What a wonderful first. And I have you all to thank for you. The outpouring for "Open House on Haunted Hill" is unlike anything I've experienced before in my career.

So thank you everyone who's read my story. Thank you from myself, and from 133 Poisonwood.

Friday, March 19, 2021

"Open House on Haunted Hill" is a Nebula and Locus Awards Finalist!

"Open House on Haunted Hill" is one of my favorite short stories that I've ever written. It follows a haunted house that has been lonely for years and just wants someone to live in it. It won't harm you. It won't trap you. It wants to keep you warm and safe as your family grows. But can anyone get over its creepy vibe and stay?

It turns out that the world likes this story, too. This week it was announced that it will appear in Paula Guran's Years Best Dark Fantasy & Horror. This handsome collection will be out from Pyr books later this year, and includes works the likes of Caitlin Kiernan, Kelley Armstrong, and Victor LaValle.

The story is also now a finalist for two major industry awards.

On Monday night, the Science Fiction Writers Association announced "Open House on Haunted Hill" is a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. It is in the top six candidates, and will be voted on by members of the association. The winner will be announced later this year.

Earlier, Locus Magazine placed "Open House on Haunted Hill" on their 2020 Recommended Reading List, making it a finalist for the Locus Award for Best Short Story. This award has open voting for anyone who signs up at Locus's site. If you've enjoyed the story, I'd be grateful if you'd give it a vote.

All these accolades are humbling. It's wonderful to see my stories touching so many people - every week I get tweets from new people who've just read it and want to thank me. My best way of showing my gratitude is to write you all many more stories. I'm working at it every day.

Thanks for sending me over the moon, everybody. It's a thrilling time!

Thursday, March 11, 2021

"We Are Not Phoenixes" - New Story live at Fireside Fiction!

Hello beloved readers! I have a new story for you today, and one that is quite personal. It's called "We Are Not Phoenixes," and it's in the new issue of Fireside Magazine.

It's a very short story about what pyromancers can do to show kindness and entertain patients in hospice. Magic is often used to damage or to heal. But magic has boundaries. When we're delicate and it's limited, how can we make meaning out of our actions? Even if they're magical?

The story was directly inspired by a blog post from Elephant's Child a few years ago. She posted about a visit to a hospice where alpacas were roaming around the compound. It turned out a local farm lent them to the patients for some gentle entertainment.

As someone who is chronically ill, and someone who has lost many friends to prolonged illness, this was powerful to me. I wondered: why doesn't Fantasy ever do that?

This story is my answer to that query. It's dedicated to many wonderful people who I won't see again, and who I am very glad to have known.

You can read the story for free at this link.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Live Reading this Wednesday, and Lots of Good News!

Being cooped up inside is tough, especially with March coming up again. For many of us it's an anniversary or quarantine. We readers miss our book stores and conventions.

That's why I'm happy to take part in the Ephemera reading series. On Wednesday, February 17th, Ephemera is summoning World Fantasy Award-winning short story writer G.V. Anderson, World Fantasy Award-winning novelist C.L. Polk, and... me! We're all bringing our favorite stories on the theme of Friendship.

The group reading begins at 7:00 PM US EST, and is free to everyone. It will stream live on their Youtube channel and will be archived for you after. The live chat is warm and welcoming to all comers, and there may be time for a Q&A with the audience.

So if you're frozen at home right now, drop by and say hello. I might have a story about a friendly tank for you.

In advance, I have two lovely pieces of news!

Firstly, my story "The Bottomless Martyr" got a groundswell of support from the readers of Uncanny Magazine. Today Uncanny announced the results of their reader's choice poll and "The Bottomless Martyr" ranked #3 out of everything they published in 2020. It's pretty wild for the first fiction piece I've ever published in Uncanny. It shares a list with incredible writers like Martha Wells, T. Kingfisher, and Eugenia Triantafyllou. I can't thank y'all enough.

Secondly, the Locus Recommended Reading List was announced and I've made it onto there for the first time in my career! "Open House on Haunted Hill" was listed in their Best Short Fiction category. That means it automatically qualifies for the Locus Award, as well, and if you're voting, I'd be honored if you'd consider 133 Poisonwood for your ballot.

Again, thanks to all my readers for their support. You're why I'm digging deep in the middle of a new novel right now. Come out Wednesday night and we'll celebrate together.

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