Thursday, August 25, 2022

New Fiction: "D.I.Y." at Tor.com

Today I am proud to present my first-ever Tordotcom short story: "D.I.Y."! 

Noah Byrne is a disabled boy who always wanted to go to wizarding school--but his medical debt meant he couldn't afford it and they turned him away. But Noah never gave up on the dream. Together with another disabled kid, Manny, Noah has pursued forbidden knowledge about water magic to address his city's drought. What they'll learn together is going to change the accessibility of magic forever.

You can read "D.I.Y." for free by clicking right here. 

As you'd guess, "D.I.Y." is a profoundly personal story. It's one of my deepest representations of disabilities, and about bonds between people with different disabilities. It tackles ableism, questioning and queerness, how the internet changes education, the foibles of capitalism, and the undying spirit of fandom.

This is my first story at Tordotcom. I've longed to share fiction there for a decade now. I'm grateful to the wise Jonathan Strahan for accepting and editing this story with me--it's a cleaner tale for his help. It actually took me years to figure out Noah's story, and along the way I got support and help from wonderful people including A.T. Greenblatt, Their Highness Williams, Effie Seiberg, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, C.L. Polk, and Marissa Lingen. Just like Noah's journey, my journey has never been a solitary one. I'm so grateful to my friends for keeping me alive.

 You can read the story today at Tor.com.

Monday, August 15, 2022

New Fiction: "Demonic Invasion or Placebo Effect?" at Sunday Morning Transport

Today I'm happy to share a brand new story with you all: "Demonic Invasion or Placebo Effect?" 

It follows a pair of demon scientists who are out to prove a controversial hypothesis: demons are not creations of the human imagination. They've isolated an entire town and intend to stimulate as much Satanic panic as it takes in order to prove demons don't sprout into being just because people believe in them. Demons love a little human experimentation. But as things start to go haywire around the old infernal lab, the demons themselves will have to question their faith--or at least question their control group.

You can read "Demonic Invasion or Placebo Effect?" for free by clicking right here. 

It's the kind of story that my high school teachers told me to quit. But some things stick with a boy!

Sunday Morning Transport is an upstart magazine that's venturing into publishing through Substack. They've published great SciFi and Fantasy writers such as Katherine Addison, Sarah Gailey,  Yoon Ha Lee, and Maurice Broaddus. I was honored to be asked to join their ranks.

I was also a little surprised they accepted my gonzo story. It is one of those things I cooked up on a painful late night, unable to sleep due to disabilities, and weaving narrative to keep my spirits kindled. It is equal parts Horror and Comedy - equal parts Theology and Science Procedural.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

New Fiction: "The Coward Who Stole God's Name" at Uncanny Magazine

Today I'm happy to present to you my newest short story: "The Coward Who Stole God's Name." 

It's a story about the most popular man in the world - even though nobody can actually remember why they like him. He's summoned one special journalist to his home to reveal his secret.

But a warning: that secret will get inside your head.

It's a story written out of the many cultural betrayals we've had over the years, and out of the cultural struggles with authority failing us, as well as the tides of toxic fandom. There's quite a stew in this little journalist's journey. I hope you'll enjoy it.

I want to give special thanks to Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, who test read this after I wrote it in a white heat of anger. Merc is such a good influence.

Content warnings: psychological manipulation, contemplation of self-harm, contemplation of animal cruelty, and violent crowds.

Patrons may remember they got a sneak peak at this story a while back.
Now the full text is free to read on Uncanny's website. You can read it by clicking right here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Balticon 2022 Schedule

Greetings! This coming weekend I'll be participating in Balticon, a regional convention hosted in Baltimore, Maryland. It runs from Friday, May 27th through Monday, May 30th.

Due to the pandemic many of their program items will be available to watch live on their website. So I'll be sitting in New York digging into some meaty topics with some fellow authors over the internet. Perhaps you'll come join us?

Here is my schedule:

Monday, April 4, 2022

"Too Little, Too Little, Too Much" published at Cossmass Infinities

Today I'm proud to share with you my newest short story: "Too Little, Too Little, Too Much."

Fires have been starting around this little family's house. Nobody knows exactly why, although the youngest son has an inkling. It has to do with what his older brother is doing to him when nobody's around - and perhaps with what their father is doing in secret. But nobody wants to confront what's actually happening, and what they're doing to each other. If they keep this up, something is going to burn.

Let me tell you upfront: this story is harsher than my usual fare. It's about the cycles of child abuse, and examines both the toll of such events and why they happen. It only gets more intense as one of the boys develops pyrokinesis.

Often my goal is to shine kindness or general light into harsh situations. In this one, I endeavored to shine empathy - compassion for children in the cycle, without softening or erasing. That's why it's identifiable one of my stories, but also why it's among the most intense.

I'd love to hear your responses to this one. You can read it for free right at this link.

Friday, April 1, 2022

"The Tentacle and You" at Pseudopod

Greetings friends and fellow conspirators! It's about to be a very busy series of months, with a series of story publications, convention appearances, and wild announcements. And it all starts today.

It starts with the return of one of my quirkiest stories: "The Tentacle and You." This little story is like if a TV pitchman was trying to sell you on alien parasites living in your body. It's going to be the next big thing!

"The Tentacle and You" walks the line between humor and Horror, and as such is one of my favorite stories to perform. That's why it's so great to hear this story as part of Pseudopod's podcast. Owen Duffy provides a chipper interpretation of my tentacled marketer.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

LeVar Burton Reads "Open House on Haunted Hill"!

A dream came true this week, for both and author and for his haunted house.

You probably know my little story, "Open House on Haunted Hill." But you've never heard it like this. It is a thrill to present the newest episode of the LeVar Burton Reads podcast, in which he narrates the full story of 133 Poisonwood Avenue.

LeVar Burton is an iconic of literacy to me. He's one of the first adults I remember ever even talking about reading, much less showing excitement for it. Reading Rainbow was a big thing to me. It was later I learned what an incredible actor he was. Most of my friends have been gushing that Geordi from Next Gen likes my stories.

The tenderness and depth of appreciation for storytelling are traits that make him a perfect narrator for this story. I've been looking forward to hearing it for weeks.

You can listen to it wherever you get your podcasts. Let me know what you think!

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