2013: The Short Stories

I had 20 short stories published this year (21 if I count “Buried Eyes”, which appeared in 2012 in audio only). They include 5 “Central Station” stories, 3 “Continuity” stories (all of which are pure science fiction) and a mixture of fantasy, horror and non-fantastical stories. Of the 20, 1 story is an original Hebrew story, which I was delighted to see published.

I published 3 stories in Interzone. I had my first ever publications in Analog and Asimov’s, as well as Tor.com.

3 stories have been picked up for Year’s Bests anthologies so far. “The Bookseller” from Interzone, and “Only Human” from The Lowest Heaven will be in Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction, and “The Oracle”, from Analog, will be in Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy.

I think Dragonkin was my major weird-fantasy story this year. In science fiction, any of the ones above or perhaps The Long Road to the Deep North, which I am very fond of. But really, I like all of them… I’m vain that way.

I have 8 more stories scheduled for next year, but I’ve not been able to write any more for a long time. I have a couple of new stories I’d like to try and write, though, once the new book is out of the way at long last…

Anyhow, here are the 2013 stories!

Online Magazines

  1. Dragonkin, in Tor.com
  2. The Long Road to the Deep North, Strange Horizons
  3. Crabapple, Daily Science Fiction
  4. Titanic, Apex Magazine

Print Magazines

  1. “Needlework”, Asimov’s
  2. “The Oracle”, Analog
  3. “Fishing”, Shimmer Magazine
  4. “What do we talk about when we talk about z——”, Black Static
  5. “The Book Seller”, Interzone
  6. “The Core”, Interzone
  7. “Filaments”, Interzone

Anthologies

  1. “The Myriad Dangers”, in Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction, ed. Erin Underwood and Hannah Storm-Martin [Amazon]
  2. “Between the Notes”, in Adventure Rocketship #1, ed. Jonathan Wright [Buy here]
  3. “Moon Landing”, in Unidentified Funny Objects, ed. Alex Shvartsman [Amazon]
  4. “Dark Continents”, in We See A Different Frontier, ed. Fabio Fernandes & Djibril al-Ayad [Buy here]
  5. “Watchers”, in World War Cthulhu, ed. Jonathan Oliver [Cubicle 7]
  6. “Waves”, in Ash, ed. Jared Shurin [SpaceWitch - free]
  7. “Only Human”, in The Lowest Heaven, ed. Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin [Forbidden Planet]
  8. “Locusts”, in End of the Road, ed. Jonathan Oliver [Buy here]

Hebrew

“שומר עליכם, האקדוחן המהיר ביותר במערב”. בגעגועים למחר, ע. אלקס אפשטיין [בוקסילה]

“Murder in the Cathedral” coming to Asimov’s

I forgot to mention this the other day, but my Bookman Histories novelette, “Murder in the Cathedral” will be published in a future issue of Asimov’s magazine.

It tells the never-before-told story of what really happened when Orphan went to France half-way through The Bookman. And begins with Orphan, coming across the Channel by ship, making a new friend…

‘Your name?’ the officer said. Herb was next.

‘Herbert George Wells,’ Herb said.

‘And your profession, monsieur?’

‘I am a writer.’

‘Oh,’ the French officer said, and raised his eyebrows. ‘What do you write, monsieur?’

Herb Blushed. ‘Scientific romance, that sort of thing,’ he mumbled, and Orphan, watching him, almost laughed despite his nervousness. But the French officer’s face lit up at the words. ‘ Roman scientifique?’ he said. ‘But that is marvellous! C’est bon! You are going to la convention du monde?’

‘Yes,’ Herb said, pleased and surprised. ‘You know of it?’

‘Of course!’ The officer reached under his desk and returned with a rather used-looking book. ‘See?’

Orphan craned his neck. It was a copy of Victor Hugo’s classic (for even Orphan had read it as a child), La Créature de la Lagune Noire. ‘Here in France, we honour such writings,’ the officer said, and he rose, and shook Herb’s hand. ‘Welcome, Mr. Wells. Welcome to France!’

We See A Different Frontier

We See A Different Frontier is a new anthology of “colonialism-themed speculative fiction” edited by Fabio Fernandes and Djibril al-Ayad.

You can get it from Amazon, Amazon UK or from Wizard’s Tower Books.

Table of Contents:

  • Preface by Aliette de Bodard
  • Introduction by Fabio Fernandes
  • The Arrangement of Their Parts, Shweta Narayan
  • Pancho Villa’s Flying Circus, Ernest Hogan
  • Them Ships, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Old Domes, J.Y. Yang
  • A Bridge of Words, Dinesh Rao
  • The Gambiarra Effect, Fabio Fernandes
  • Droplet, Rahul Kanakia
  • Lotus, Joyce Chng
  • Dark Continents, Lavie Tidhar
  • A Heap of Broken Images, Sunny Moraine
  • Fleet, Sandra McDonald
  • Remembering Turinam, N.A. Ratnayake
  • Vector, Benjanun Sriduangkaew
  • I Stole the D.C.’s Eyeglass, Sofia Samatar
  • Forests of the Night, Gabriel Murray
  • What Really Happened in Ficandula, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
  • Critical afterword by Ekaterina Sedia

Polish F&SF

I was in Poland last weekend for Polcon (which I hope to write about at more length later on) – but a part of it was the appearance of the first new issue of the Polish edition of F&SF Magazine, in electronic form.

It contains my story “The Last Osama”, as well as a long interview with me, conducted by editor Konrad Walewski. It’s pretty cool, and available on the Kindle, so if you read Polish, I highly recommend it!

F&SF, Poland

 

Best SF 30

Gardner Dozois’s massive The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection is now out in the US. It’s been described as the most diverse yet. As Dozois writes:

It shows the continuing evolution of the field in the Twenty-First Century, as new types of people with new perspective and new approaches continue to come into it, people who might not have fit comfortably into John W. Campbell’s largely white, male, middle-class, American stable of writers at ANALOG in the ’30s and ’40s.

I am very fortunate to have not one but two stories in the current volume – Central Station story “Under the Eaves” and “The Memcordist” (set in the same future-history milieu of the Continuity).

Here is the cover:

Year's Best SF 30

And here is the table of contents:

  1. “Weep For Day” by Indrapramit Das
  2. “The Man” by Paul Mcauley
  3. “The Memcordist” by Lavie Tidhar
  4. “The Girl-thing Who Went Out For Sushi” by Pat Cadigan
  5. “Holmes Sherlock” by Eleanor Arnason
  6. “Nightfall On The Peak Of Eternal Light” by Richard A. Lovett And William Gleson
  7. “Close Encounters” by Andy Duncan
  8. “The Finite Canvas” by Brit Mandelo
  9. “Steamgothic” by Sean Mcmullen
  10. “In The House Of Aryaman” by A Lonely Signal Burns” by Elizabeth Bear
  11. “Macy Minot’s Last Christmas On Dione, Ring Racing, Fiddler’s Green, The Potter’s Garden” by Paul Mcauley
  12. “Twenty Lights To “the Land Of Snow,” Michael Bishop
  13. “Astrophilia” by Carrie Vaughn
  14. “What Did Tessimond Tell You?” by Adam Roberts
  15. “Old Paint” by Megan Lindholm
  16. “Chitai Heiki Koronbin” by David Moles
  17. “Gods Of Risk” by James S. A. Corey
  18. “The Water Thief” by Alastair Reynolds
  19. “Nightside On Callisto” by Linda Nagata
  20. “Under The Eaves” by Lavie Tidhar
  21. “Sudden” by Broken And Unexpected” by Steven Popkes
  22. “Fireborn” by Robert Charles Wilson
  23. “Ruminations In An Alien Tongue” by Vandana Singh
  24. “Tyche And The Ants” by Hannu Rajaniemi
  25. “The Wreck Of The Charles Dexter Ward” by Sarah Monette And Elizabeth Bear
  26. “Invisible Men” by Christopher Barzak
  27. “Ship’s Brother” by Aliette De Bodared
  28. “Eater-of-bone” by Robert Reed

 

“Western Chow Mein Red Dawn” at Podcastle

My story “Western Chow Mein Red Dawn” is now available in audio at Podcastle.

You can also read it online in its original publication at Fantasy Magazine.

The strangers came under a red half-moon to Three Blind Sisters. They wore strange clothes—stiff-looking black and tan suits of foreign design, with black hats and carefully-manicured beards. On their belts they carried guns. All but their leader, who dressed casually and carried no weapons, and who had an easy smile.

The boy and his sister watched the approaching men.

“He is so handsome,” the boy’s sister said. They were watching the men ride past the three Blind Sisters who gave the village its name. The stone statues, ancient guardians of this small, distant place, stared at the men without seeing. Their power had weakened over generations: Now they were little more than mute stone, and no one in the village could remember ever hearing them speak.

The boy felt a tingling at the tip of his fingers. He saw with his inner eye: The leader rode unarmed because his power was great. The aura of Qi around him was unmistakable. Unease made him close his fingers into a fist. The man, passing close to them, glanced casually their way: His eyes locked on the boy’s for one long, uncomfortable moment. Then his gaze shifted to the boy’s sister, and his smile flared up like a small sun.

Best British Fantasy 2013

My story “The Last Osama”, from Interzone, will be reprinted in Best British Fantasy 2013 from Salt Publishing.

Best British Fantasy 2013

It is edited by Steve Haynes. Here’s the table of contents:

  1. “Introduction” by Steve Haynes
  2. “Lips and Teeth” by Jon Wallace
  3. “The Last Osama” by Lavie Tidhar
  4. “Armageddon Fish Pie” by Joseph D’Lacey
  5. “The Complex” by E.J. Swift
  6. “God of the Gaps” by Carole Johnstone
  7. “Corset Wings” by Cheryl Moore
  8. “The Wheel of Fortune” by Steph Swainston
  9. “The Island of Peter Pandora” by Kim Lakin-Smith
  10. “Too Delicate for Human Form” by Cate Gardner
  11. “Imogen” by Sam Stone
  12. “In the Quiet and in the Dark” by Alison Littlewood
  13. “The Scariest Place in the World” by Mark Morris
  14. “Qiqirn” by Simon Kurt Unsworth
  15. “The Third Person” by Lisa Tuttle
  16. “Dermot” by Simon Bestwick
  17. “Fearful Symmetry” by Tyler Keevil
  18. “Pig Thing” by Adam L.G. Nevill

“The Oracle” in Analog

 

 

 

Even a few years ago, I would have been over the moon for managing to sell a story to Analog Magazine. Once Astounding, this is the oldest science fiction magazine in continuous existence, beginning in 1930 and edited during the 40s and later by John W. Campbell Jr., ushering in the so-called “Golden Age” of science fiction.

So to sell to to the same magazine as Asimov and Heinlein etc. would have been a big deal for more than one reason. It would also have been a statement of sort, or at least I couldn’t help but feel that way. It would be the first time for someone like me to be published in the magazine, for one.

But this didn’t happen.

I got used to mailed rejection slips and eventually gave up entirely on mailing manuscripts to magazines. I would only send stories to places that took electronic submissions, and my short story career to date has been dominated by the increasingly-popular online magazines. They were seen as inferior, somehow, less popular, less “serious” in a way. More open to challenging stories would be another way to look at it, of course, and now the online magazines can’t really be ignored, with the American “big three” print magazines increasingly transitioning to digital subscriptions to catch up.

At some point, Dell Magazines decided to make the move to accepting electronic submissions (which meant Asimov’s and Analog, to me) and so I started sending stories out again to them, now that it wasn’t costing me time and money to do so. I didn’t really get any further this time around than I did before. The old editor of Analog kept sending me e-mails with a checklist, most prominent amongst the list the admonition that “Analog readers are problem-solvers!”

Since I have little interest in “problem stories” but rather in actual stories, we clearly didn’t get along any better. We had, I felt, a clash of ideologies. I could live with that – it wasn’t as if, at that point, I was lacking places to be published in.

In the meantime, and to my surprise, I did manage to sell one story to Asimov’s – a good but essentially non-confrontational piece (“Needlework”). Then came the news that Analog’s editor Stanley Schmidt was retiring after 34 years. Thirty four years!

A new editor, Trevor Quachri, was taking his place. Now, I have to admit I was dubious anything would change. Analog was seen as the last bastion of old-fashioned, 1950s-style science fiction, filled with white men solving space problems with a trusty slide-rule. So it was with considerable surprise – and pleasure! – when I got an e-mail only a month or so later to say Analog were buying my story, “The Oracle” – a Central Station story, of all things! Was Israel even a setting for science fiction?

Then, Trevor went one step further, and bought my parody of science fiction, “Whaliens”, for a future issue.

It feels very strange to be in Analog. A few years ago, I would have been ecstatic. It would have been a validation, of sort. Now, in a way, it’s just one more publication, but I can’t help see that it is also historic, in some way, if only for me and not for a wider segment of writers. I don’t know. I have mixed feelings – Analog stood for so long for everything I was reacting against in science fiction, that I find myself momentarily lost for words, or sure of what my reaction should be.

I’m very grateful to Trevor for taking that leap of faith with “The Oracle”, and I’m looking forward to publication of “Whaliens” later on. It will be interesting…

Analog

The Projected Girl

The Projected Girl is an 11,000 word novelette, first published in Ellen Datlow’s Naked City anthology.

It is now available as an e-book on the Kindle (US; UK). The original cover art is by Adi Elkin.

The Projected Girl

This is by far one of my favourite stories, and it came about in somewhat strange circumstances. I wrote it during my last month in Vanuatu. The thing just came to me, like a bolt – and a day later I got an e-mail from Ellen mentioning her new anthology. It seemed like providence. I wrote it over a 2-3 week period, a little each day. It had the same feeling of rightness that I only got later on from Osama. In a way it’s a very personal piece – set all around the second-hand bookshops of Haifa, where I spent my childhood – and combining my interest in David Tidhar, “The First Hebrew Detective”, pulp in general, and the Holocaust. But it is also a comedy, I think, a sort of coming-of-age story, and a fantasy-of-perception more than an outright fantasy. Anyway.

The anthology was published in 2011. I kind of promised Ellen it would win the World Fantasy Award, but instead I got one for Osama. I suppose I can’t complain!

One of the best things about doing your own e-books, apart from the general arts & crafts nature of it (which I quite enjoy!) is that I got Adi to do this amazing cover. The bookshop in the image is the one in the story, and a shop I’d been going to since I was a kid (and is still there). Adi and I have been working on a picture book in the past year, and it was great to convince her to take some time off to do this – I love this cover.

I wish more stories felt as good to write – and as true – as The Projected Girl. If you’d like to check it out, it’s on Amazon and Amazon UK for a minimal price.