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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