Just a quick note: I’ll be at Penguicon 2018 all this weekend (May 4–6 in Southfield, MI). Here’s a schedule of all the stuff I will do (mostly lit oriented; in gray) and might do (mostly games and movies; in non-gray colors).
I tweeted about this a bit earlier this week, when Google alerted me to the existence of this cryptic (to me) web page, which appears to be a ballot for a “Japanese Nebula Award” with one of my stories in the running for “Best Translated Short Story.”
As it turns out, this is an actual thing, and sort of a big deal. (It’s called the “Seiun Award” in English—and evidently has nothing to do with the SFWA Nebula Award; the Seiun Award is named for Japan’s first SF magazine.)
A quick glance at that Wikipedia entry shows that, if my story should win, I will be the least famous cat to ever get one of these awards—and by a very significant margin. Which is to say, I’m not going to win. Still, it’s fun to be nominated. (Also, how the hell is it that I don’t have a Wikipedia page? This is at least the third page that mentions me and deadlinks my name. The ISFDB, on the other hand, is hitting this out of the park. Well done!)
Anyway, if you’re wondering what all the shouting is about, you can read the story—my first Time Portal tale, “The New Guys Always Work Overtime,” winner of a 2013 Asimov’s Award(!!!)—for just 99 cents.
In just a few hours the Makerspace Humble Book Bundle closes.
- SHORT VERSION: pay what you want, support excellent charities, get up to 21 awesome DIY/maker books from No Starch Press (including both my musical instruments book and hella-rad geeky craft projects book).
- LONG VERSION: Here’s my spiel from before.
Get good books, support good work; it’s an easy win-win.
… while supporting Art, Free Speech, and other Good Things™
(Need details? Here’s my spiel from a week ago.)
The Humble “Makerspace” Book Bundle from No Starch Press is live an insanely good deal! Pay a buck, and get six rad DIY-ish books (including my first book—Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred—as well as a few of my No Starch favorites). Pay $8, and get another six books (including my second DIY book, Junkyard Jam Band). Pay a bit more…well, you get the picture. All in, you can drop $20 and get more than $400 worth of DIY while supporting excellent charities.
There are so many books I love in this one! Yoshihito Isogawa’s LEGO Technic books are both amazing and agelessly inspiring, Carlos Bueno’s Lauren Ipsum has been huge for my son (he read it twice in a row when it first came out, and still hits it again a few times a year now—it’s like the Information Age’s Phantom Tollbooth), No Starch’s Scratch and Arduino books are rock solid, and Jason R. Briggs’s Python for Kids is an excellent intro to Python for everyone (i.e., it’s how I learned enough Python to work on a documentation project with a U-M roboticist last year).
Also, I’ll level with you: These bundles (and book/game bundles in general) are a huge boost to authors/creators, both in getting our names and ideas out there, and in getting money into our pockets. When you buy a bundle like this, you’re doing a Good Thing™ for the dissemination of new art and human knowledge, in addition to getting a good deal.
Three offerings today—and you can get ’em all for less than a Subway sub:
- My most recent novella, There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House is now available as a standalone ebook. Read the horror tinged “Non-Euclidian architectural petty-crime adventure” that’s racking up kudos and five-star reviews at a humbling clip. (If you want backstory on the story, here’s an interview I did with F&SF about it.)
- Price drop on my novelette “The Traveling Salesman Solution.” A time portal story, and also a grim moral koan. If I’ve ever written a story I think everyone in America should read, it’s this one. For a limited time this lil fella—my first sale to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and only true hard-SF tale—is just 99-cents!
- FREEBIE ALERT!!! From now until Monday my time-travel novelette “There Was No Sound of Thunder” is free on Amazon! This is the story that introduced the Parable of Too Many Hitlers. Read the story Locus magazine’s Lois Tilton called “Stoopid” (although, in all fairness, it was also a finalist for that year’s Asimov’s Award so maybe check it out and make the call for yourself?)
I know a goodly portion of you have already read one or more of these stories; all are woeful shy on Amazon/Goodread reviews. If you wanted to swing by and leave your thoughts, it’d be much appreciated. Thanks in advance for helping nudge the wheel!
- There Was a Crooked Man, He Flipped a Crooked House (coming soon?!)
- “The Traveling Salesman Solution“
- “There Was No Sound of Thunder“
(Probably more accurate to say “I’m [the author of one of several works counted among] the YEAR’S BEST [stories within the horror genre], [my esteemed] mofos!“, but, whatevs, right?)
I keep forgetting to crow about this: The last story I sold to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction–“Whatever Comes After Calcutta” (link to my interview about it)–has been selected for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year (Vol. 10).
The full table of contents is good company, and the cover art kicks ass! Keep an eye peeled in your local bookstore this summer.
Table of Contents
- Better You Believe Carole Johnstone
- Liquid Air Inna Effress
- Holiday Romance Mark Morris
- Furtherest Kaaron Warren
- Where’s the Harm? Rebecca Lloyd
- Whatever Comes After Calcutta David Erik Nelson
- A Human Stain Kelly Robson
- The Stories We Tell about Ghosts A. C. Wise
- Endosketal Sarah Read
- West of Matamoros, North of Hell Brian Hodge
- Alligator Point S. P. Miskowski
- Dark Warm Heart Rich Larson
- There and Back Again Carmen Machado
- Shepherd’s Business Stephen Gallagher
- You Can Stay All Day Mira Grant
- Harvest Song, Gathering Song A. C. Wise
- The Granfalloon Orrin Grey
- Fail-Safe Philip Fracassi
- The Starry Crown Marc E. Fitch
- Eqalussuaq Tim Major
- Lost in the Dark John Langan
Incidentally, I immediately spent the money I got for this reprint on a bunch of “folk metal” and “hauntology” music. The former is probably self-explanatory (metal music heavily influenced by folk music of various regions—this article is a good place to start, if you’re curious). The latter is apparently a British thing, where folks make fake soundtracks to non-existent low-budget 1980s horror films and British paranormal TV series. My current heavy rotation faves are:
- Blood of the Black Owl (Pacific Northwest folk metal—big Americana and Native American influences, neat soundscapes)
- Zuriaake (Chinese folk metal)
- Klaus Morlock/The Unseen (pretty straight hauntology—i.e., fake soundtracks for non-existent 1980s horror films/paranormal UK TV shows)
- Thorsten Schmidt (more hauntology)
- Nubiferous (I’m not sure what this is–it’s like folk metal without the metal, or hauntology without the pretense. It’s from Russia)
…when I go to sum up the story in a Big Picture way, I end up saying the same thing that I said about that election:
I totally hear where folks—angry, aggrieved, not-gonna-take-it-anymore folks—are coming from, because I totally agree with them: They are getting screwed. We just totally disagree on who is screwing them, or what is a sensible way to address that.
This story is about that, in a fundamental way.
I also tell an anecdote about seeing a homeless guy get ejected from a Coney in the mid-1990s, and make mention of Michigan trespassing laws, the sovereign citizen movement, my neighbors from Chennai, and Dave-o’s patented “magpie and junk drawer” speculative-fiction drafting strategy.
The Nov/Dec issue of F&SF is still on newsstands—but only for a few more days. Nab your copy soon!
Almost every Saturday in December I’ll be down at the Toledo, Ohio Imagination Station Hands-On Museum as their “guest tinkering artist,” showing folks how to find the Good Noise.
We LOVE making noise and science! So why not join us and make your own noisemaker? Every Saturday in December with our guest artist David Erik Nelson! https://t.co/ZKofZ6S2pkpic.twitter.com/qOlkUdxezn
— Imagination Station (@ISTscience) December 4, 2017
Lots of other cool stuff going on there (Dinosaurs! Star Wars! You can ride a crazy tight-rope bike!!!)—plus, I’ve built a little “Slinky Sound Forest” for you to explore, any day of the week, all December long
My schedule in Toledo is something like this:
- Saturday, December 9: Diddley bows, acoustic and electric
- Saturday, December 16: Simple synthesizers
- Saturday, December 30: New Year’s noisemakers (free make-n-take!)
I’ll also happily show folks how to make quick-n-easy didgeridoos, elephant trumpets, and “two-handed” double-reed quacker bagpipes, and give them a tour of the Slinky Sound Forest, on any of those days.
My latest horror story, the novelete “Whatever Comes After Calcutta,” is in the current issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction—and it’s a helluvan issue: New stories by Kate Wilhelm, Larry Niven, and Marc Laidlaw, and more. If you’re interested in the intersection of witches, lawyers, sovereign citizens, highway travel, and rural Ohio, then this is the novelete for you!
F&SF is stocked at Barnes & Noble and lots of indie stores—or you can get the thing as an ebook. Plenty of options; links below.
Wanna Buy a Copy?
- The Nov/Dec F&SF is now in bookstores throughout the US, including most Barnes & Noble locations.
- To buy it online:
Wanna Help Spread the Hype?
- Tweet (retweet it!):
- Facebook post (share it!):
- Goodreads link (review it!)
- Nebula Awards: F&SF makes every story they publish available to SFWA members on the password-protected Nebula Forums. If you’re an SFWA member (or know some), feel free to hit them with that link and they can download and read “Whatever Comes After Calcutta” (and tons of other great stories) for free.