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From the Outer Dark…to Your Ears

On March 24, 2018, I joined a small gathering of like-minded weirdos at the Winchester Mystery House to discuss and celebrate The Weird in art–film, fiction, poetry, paintings, wherever weirdness accretes.

The outward excuse for all this was the Outer Dark Symposium of the Great Weird 2018. I met a bunch of great people I only knew previously from the internet, and made many new friends as well. It was a blast. I took part in one panel discussion (and the great thing about the ODS is that there is only a single track of programming, so you never miss anything) and also read my story “A Mammoth, So-Called” ahead of its publication.

The Outer Dark Podcast has just posted its recording of that portion of the day’s events in which I took part, and you can listen to it here. The linked article supplies timestamps for various parts of the event, which includes the panel relating to weird themes in film and games, and readings by myself, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and Gregory Norman Bossert.

Listen to it here!

First Draft

I discovered yesterday that my blog was no longer cross-posting to Facebook, which I assumed to be the way most people would ordinarily find out about a new post. Anyway, although I posted a couple months ago about working on a new novel (currently called Under the Oversea), I never did get around to posting the news that I had finished the first draft. Here was a picture of how it all began:

 

And here’s a shot of how it all ended:

Currently I’m in the midst of revisions, so it looks a bit like this:

 

I suppose I should have mentioned possible spoilers.

First draft is a slender 70,000 words. It’s a pure fantasy novel but decidedly not an epic. I’ve written a number of stories about Gorlen Vizenfirthe, the bard with a gargoyle hand, but this is the first Gorlen novel. It will be quite a while before there is any sort of publication information. I just want to get through this first pass of revisions. I’ve already used up one pen and broken out a second.

I haven’t written a book in a couple decades, so…wish me luck.

Pre-Premeditation: The Kapu Version

Last year my story “Premeditation” appeared in Darker Companions, a book of stories collected in tribute to Ramsey Campbell. “Premeditation” is a very short horror story. You might think to look at it that it couldn’t have been much work. But it went through many versions, one of which turned into comedy. I went so very far astray, working on this one. I had no idea what was working. Eventually, I pulled back from the brink and continued to refine my original vision of the story, and it settled back into horror again.

But there was always something about the comic version that I liked, if only because it turned into its own completely different thing.

Tonight, after watching some eagle rays frolic in the bay, I remembered this version and the fact that I had always intended to put it up on the Fiction section of my blog under its original title: “Kapu.”

Talking About Writing on the Script Lock Podcast

I was invited to join Chris Gardiner of Failbetter Games (creators of Fallen London and Sunless Sea) on the Script Lock Podcast to talk about writing, mostly for games.

Chris is actively working on games right now, so I think his insights are a lot more entertaining and interesting than my warmed-over ones. Hopefully I mentioned a few things that I haven’t already said a million times in other interviews.

I bought a Blue Yeti microphone for this podcast, since the last one I recorded with my laptop mic was almost unintelligible. If nothing else, the sound is pretty good this time.

Right after doing the show, I picked up a copy of Sunless Sea for the iPad. Perhaps you too will be so moved.

 

2018 Clarion West Write-a-thon

I haven’t been posting much lately because there hasn’t been much news that is new on the writing front.

Right now I am participating in this year’s Clarion West Write-a-thon, hoping to help raise some donations for that worthy organization while keeping on a good daily writing schedule. Last year I used the event to get myself back on track finishing up my Frankenstein project. This year, since I’m working on a novel anyway, I decided to tie it into that. Please consider sponsoring me or any other writer. Clarion is a fine group.

Here is my sponsorship page where I describe my current project and provide occasional updates.

The book in progress is called Under the Oversea, and it is the first novel-length adventure of Gorlen Vizenfirthe, the bard with a gargoyle hand. I’m planning to finish a draft this summer and it’s humming along.

If you are unfamiliar with Gorlen Vizenfirthe, the previous stories are mostly (all but the last) available right here on this website in the online fiction section.

A Swim and A Crawl and A Interview

I answered a few questions about my latest short story, “A Swim and a Crawl,” over at The F&SF Blog.

“This is a story for anyone who has committed completely to something, and then changed their mind when it was too late.”

This is also possibly the first time I’ve admitted in a public forum that I’m writing a Gorlen Vizenfirthe novel, which takes place not long after the events in “Stillborne.”

A Swim and a Crawl

My short story, “A Swim and a Crawl,” appears in the March/April 2018 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, which should start showing up on newsstands any day now, and is also available by subscription and via various electronic means.

I changed the title from “Longshore,” fearing readers might expect another entry in the Gorlen Vizenfirthe series, all of which have one-word titles.

It’s a short, dark tale about a man who goes for a swim in the ocean at night.