Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

The Return of Gorlen Vizenfirthe

I was pleased to learn, here (at the website of John Joseph Adams, assistant to Gordon Van Gelder), that I’ve sold a couple more Gorlen Vizenfirthe stories to the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Last spring I wrote three of these in a row: “Childrun” (which Gordon bought a few months back), followed by “Quickstone” and “Songwood.”

Gorlen is that staple of generic fantasy, a bard. He’s distinguished only by his gargoyle hand, which he uses to evoke a slide-guitar sort of effect on his eduldamer. Two previous Gorlen stories appeared in F&SF many years back, namely “Dankden” and “Catamounts.” It’ll be nice to have them all appearing under the same roof.

The Second Descent

The March 2008 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is now available, containing Richard Paul Russo’s “The Second Descent.”

Richard and I did a joint reading at the Science Fiction Museum several years ago, where I read my poem “The Second Ascent.” Richard misheard the title as “Descent,” was inspired, and asked if I minded him writing a short story with that title. Since it wasn’t my title at all, and since I’d actually lifted my title from a radio ad for a local mountaineering shop, I couldn’t possibly object. Anyway, Richard’s story is finally available for all to read.

And my poem is still here.

Honest Peril is its Own Reward

Just got news that David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer have selected “An Evening’s Honest Peril” (from Flurb #3) for Year’s Best SF 13. It will appear with several very minor alterations. It’s gratifying to find this old story, originally written in 2001 after far too much playing of Asheron’s Call, finding a new place to roost. And it’s especially cool for Flurb, which continues to gather steam.

And Kathryn has just posted the full Table of Contents here.

Why Dickens Still Rules

From A Tale of Two Cities:

“His message perplexed his mind to that degree that he was fain, several times, to take off his hat to scratch his head. Except on the crown, which was raggedly bald, he had stiff, black hair, standing jaggedly all over it, and growing down hill almost to his broad, blunt nose. It was so like Smith’s work, so much more like the top of a strongly spiked wall than a head of hair, that the best of players at leap-frog might have declined him, as the most dangerous man in the world to go over.”


Plus, the nightmarish pursuit of young Cruncher by coffin.

The Perfect Wave

In the January 2008 issue of Isaac Asimov’s SF Magazine, a story from Rudy Rucker and myself, “The Perfect Wave.” I talked Jeremy Bennett, my esteemed co-worker and a favorite artist, into doing a cover illustration especially for the story. Jeremy is not only a surfer, he did a great deal art for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and King Kong. We’ve spent a lot of time together poring over classic pulp covers, including at the Science Fiction Museum. Rudy and I were stoked by Jeremy’s interpretation of our story. Since it got majorly cropped for the magazine cover, I’ve provided a link to a full shot of the image with none of the lettering or bar codes, so people can enjoy it in full.


Flurbs from R’lyeh

Issue #4 of Rudy Rucker’s Flurb is now live. With the kind permission of John Pelan, Rudy is running my story “The Vicar of R’lyeh,” which was written for John’s anthology The Cthulhuian Singularity. Every now and then, writing a Cth-Mythos story is a way of remembering my roots; it must be a little like playing covers or doing remixes of songs you love, if you’re a musician. I’ve got at least one more I’m mind-tinkering with, concerning Egyptian archaeology, Egyptian terrorism and the Beloved of Nyarlat.


There’s great stuff in this issue of Flurb, including work by John Kessel, Kim Stanley Robinson and Kathleen Ann Goonan. Also, Gustav Flurbert, which was the first attempt to do a multi-part collaboration using Googledocs. This splattery composition, “Irene Leaves the Werehouse,” was rather constrained, but I hope to orchestrate more ambitious works, with a lot more simultaneous collaborators, in the future. Maybe on this very site.