Updates on reading, reviews, and a sale

My story ‘Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade’ will be appearing in the December issue of Clarkesworld Magazine. Needless to say, I’m beyond delighted – I walked around just electrified and buzzing (and insufferably perky *\(^O^)/*) the whole day, and several days after. I still am doing that! I wrote this in April and it’s one of the proudest things I’ve ever completed, I’m overjoyed that it found the best home it could possibly have. It’s connected to ‘Annex': continuity at that level, too.

Reading! Seth J. Dickinson’s story ‘Never Dreaming (In Four Burns)’ is speechless-making – hard science, magic, heartwrench, beauty. It’s about a rocket scientist (!), unyielding love in several directions, sacrifice. The language is down to earth in places, solemn and poetic in others, working together to glittering effect. I think this might be one of the best stories I’ve read this year. Seth is a really assured writer.

“Whole new kinds of causality, I think. It’s a place about—stories, you know? About people. Instead of particles and laws.” She shivers and draws up her knees, tucking herself closer to her friend. Siv stiffens a little, but doesn’t draw away. “Which was why we fought. I got so tired of him going on about how cold and soulless and meaningless Earth seemed to him. ‘An empty machine,’ blah blah.” She points up, not so much indicating a particular star as an axis, a vector written in her soul. “I wanted to go—out there, you know? Send people to another world. See trinary stars, baryons shattering into light on domain walls, wonders undreamt . . . he just saw dead rock and empty math.”

No beauty in the color charge or the cataclysmic variable’s polar jet, not to Tariune of Aura, not to the prince who climbed the steel ruin of armored mountains and listened at the peak for prophecy wind.

Bogi Takács’s story in Apex, ‘Recordings of a More Personal Nature’, is fascinating: it’s about the creation of a written language, memory, pain. I don’t think I’ve seen those subjects together in quite the same way in a fantasy story!

Lavie Tidhar’s ‘Locusts’ in End of the Road is strictly historical without speculative elements, but it’s just one of those stories to be experienced like a painting – there’s a self-contained aesthetic to it, of incandescence. It’s inimitable.

Lavie Tidhar: To me, I think, novels don’t come naturally. I hate the length! The obsession. The immersion. You finish a novel and it’s like coming out of a daydream that lasted months and you look around and you’re not even sure where you are.

Short stories are fun. You can do one in a day! You get it out of your system and go on with life.

Shimon Adaf: I have a practical answer: when I write I am better. Yes, I’m consumed by the work, I spend half of my time in a detached state, but I sleep better, my digestion functions better, my body is more alert, sharper. So we are doomed to exist in this split state, when the spirit surrenders to its ticks and spasms, the body is at last at peace with its corporality.

I finally got around to gobbling up the conversation between Lavie Tidhar and Shimon Adaf and it’s delicious. They are both just so engaging and intelligent, hypnotically so.

I haven’t posted about new reviews for a while – and that looks rather ungrateful, and unappreciative, when I adore every single one!

C. Allegra Hawksmoor reviewed We See a Different Frontier at Vagrants Among Ruins, with high praises for my story ‘Vector': ‘both brutal and breathtaking in its concept and its use of language, and should serve as a guide for anyone trying to figure out how to write something that is layered, textured and utterly immersive’. This is extraordinarily kind!

Sean Wright said of the same story, ‘left me breathless due to the second person present tense. It is a story whose form reinforces the sense to produce a direct hard hitting effect’. A. J. Fitzwater quite liked it too, calling it ‘a provoking, layered story’. I am just so happy the style choices I made in ‘Vector’ has worked for so many readers!

Brit Mandelo (!) reviewed Clockwork Phoenix 4 for Tor.com and, I think, enjoyed my story! Eeee. (。´∀`)ノ Of the anthology as a whole, she finds it ‘high quality, well-organized, engaging’. ‘Bees’ continues to be my most-reviewed story this year, and I think one of the most well-received. That is so exciting.

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