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A Few Words About Stillborne…and Twitter

F&SF has put up one of their blog-post interviews, where I discuss a few of the things that went into “Stillborne.”

In other news, I just deactivated my Twitter account. It was cutting into my time for reading and writing; it was increasingly hard to justify putting energy into that particular forum. If you see any accounts popping up, purporting to be me, well…they’re not me. If I go back to Twitter at some point (for instance, at some publisher’s request, to promote a new book), I will let people know on my blog that it’s me again.

I continue to maintain the usual Facebook page.

UPDATE (11/13/17): I have re-activated my Twitter account, just to hold the spot so it can’t be poached. I won’t be active there, but it will automatically update when I post on this blog. I won’t have access to the account, won’t be able to read notifications or direct messages; I’ve handed it over to a third party for safekeeping.

 

Stillborne

The current issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is now available, featuring the latest, longest, and possibly lastest Gorlen Vizenfirthe story. This final novella (close to 50 pages in the magazine) also contains the beginning of the series, curled up larvally inside it.

It’s available at newstands, by subscription, or in various electronic formats.

All the details here!

Looking Through the Window in a Mirror

To write “realistic” fiction, you look out the window and send your imagination there. To write fantastic fiction, you look at that window in a mirror…and send your imagination there. The light coming through the window is the same light. But the feeling you get when you look through the mirror window is very different, and that’s what fuels my imagination. It goes back to childhood. I looked through windows like anybody else. But early on I noticed that looking out the window in a mirror created a shivery feeling…and I’ve been pursuing it ever since.

[resurrected from an old Facebook post]

 

Clarion Write-a-Thon Update

I have been proceeding ploddingly at my self-appointed task for the Clarion West Write-a-Thon. Updates appear sporadically here.

Here is the start of chapter 9 of what is today being called, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Now With Many More Monsters.

“Nothing is more painful to the human mind than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty which follows and deprives the soul both of hope and fear. Space Vampires (also known as Mind Parasites) are admittedly near the top of the list, but still, the dead calmness thing is officially pinned at the top. Justine died, she rested, and I was alive. The blood flowed freely in my veins, free of miniaturized nuclear submarines in search of tumorous targets, but a weight of despair and remorse pressed on my heart which nothing could remove. Sleep fled from my eyes; I wandered like an evil spirit, and not a generic one from a James Wan movie, for I had committed deeds of mischief beyond description horrible, and more, much more (I persuaded myself) was yet behind. Yet my heart overflowed with kindness and the love of virtue. I had begun life with benevolent intentions and thirsted for the moment when I should put them in practice and make myself useful to my fellow beings. Now all was blasted; instead of that serenity of conscience which allowed me to look back upon the past with self-satisfaction, and from thence to gather promise of new hopes, I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt, which hurried me away to a hell of intense tortures such as no language can describe, except perhaps in the voice of Pinhead.

“This state of mind preyed upon my health, which had perhaps never entirely recovered from the first shock it had sustained. I shunned the face of man (must I mention Pinhead again?); all sound of joy or complacency was torture to me; solitude was my only consolation–deep, dark, deadly, spooky-as-a-spooky-skeleton deathlike solitude.”

Still no sponsors, according to the report I received several days ago. Who dares to be the first? Please don’t make me ask my mother. Or my children.

Return of the Monster (That Never Really Went Away)

In keeping with the promise of the Clarion West Write-a-Thon, I tonight reworked Chapter 7 of Frankenstein, Now With Lots of Monsters. Herewith, the first and final paragraphs of the chapter:

“My dear Victor,

“You have probably waited impatiently for a letter to fix the date of your return to us; and I was at first tempted to write only a few lines, merely mentioning the day on which I should expect you. But that would be a cruel kindness, and I dare not do it, any more than I dare descend into a moaning crypt blindfolded and bare of foot. What would be your surprise, my son, when you expected a happy and glad welcome, to behold, on the contrary, tears and wretchedness? And how, Victor, can I relate our misfortune? Absence cannot have rendered you callous to our joys and griefs; and how shall I inflict pain on my long absent son? I wish to prepare you for the woeful news, but I know it is impossible; even now your eye skims over the page to seek the words which are to convey to you the horrible tidings, and also those which satisfy the guaranteed density of monstrosities, which, let’s face it, are the main reason this particular phrase exists.”

###

“Dearest niece,” said my father, “dry your tears. If she is, as you believe, innocent, rely on the justice of our laws, and the activity with which I shall prevent the slightest shadow of partiality. And recall that even Kamoebas the Space Amoeba could be defeated by Godzilla when he stuck his neck out.”

Please consider sponsoring me, or any of the other fine writers, to support the work of Clarion West.

Onward…

A So-Called Story

I just sold a new story to Asimov’s: “A Mammoth, So-Called.” Note my attempt to include as much punctuation as possible in the title! I wouldn’t expect it in print before 2018, but it’s short enough (2,400 words) that perhaps it will squeeze unexpectedly before the end of the year.

Here’s the first paragraph:

“The time has come,” said Vargas, apparently prompted by contemplation of the ice bucket he had just filled from a freezer in his cellar, in order to chill his famous Expeditionary Tonic of dark rum, espresso, and flavors less identifiable, “to speak at last of the so-called mammoth we discovered on our Arctic expedition. Hard to believe that was 1947. Seems like only last year.”

Here’s where I discover that the magazine is now called simply Asimov’s Science Fiction, and is no longer the chunkier Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine (IASFM), which is how I first knew it. And I bought the very first issue off the newsstand racks, 40 years ago.

Keep an eye on this space for further details.

No, not that space. This one:

 

 

Kindle Cover Inversions

The Amazon store page for my ebooks has just been updated to reflect changes in the covers. We flipped the white background for a black one. Amazon’s policy is to not automatically push revisions to customers unless they are judged to be very serious or significant, and new cover art doesn’t rate. So these covers will appear for new buyers only, sad to say. You can ask them specifically to push the new versions to you if you care about that sort of thing.

Here are a couple of the new ones: