Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Childrun

The August 2008 issue of F&SF is out, featuring my latest Gorlen Vizenfirthe story, and the magazine is hosting online feedback in its forums. Instant reader response to magazine fiction is a new wrinkle. I’m used to stories appearing in magazines with nary the plop you’d hear from dropping a stone in a scum-coated puddle. Anyway, “Childrun” is taking a bit of a drubbing, but my hide is thicker for it. I must get better at playtesting these things! And I’m content knowing that the next two Gorlen stories, whenever they may appear, are much better. “Childrun” was a warm-up exercise, a way of reacquainting myself with a favorite old character, just to see what he’s been up to. It doesn’t advance his life story much. The next one, “Quickstone,” will.

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Today’s Peril

David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer’s Year’s Best SF 13 is available today, featuring a reprint of “An Evening’s Honest Peril,” which first appeared (and remains available) online at Flurb. Finding a copy of the anthology is quite straightforward, but I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to find the free version on Flurb. Should you seek it, you will encounter other worthy tales too strange and slippery to be caught in the Hartwell-Cramer gill-net.

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MJH for PKD

M. John Harrison’s wonderful weird-noir novel, Nova Swing, is a finalist for the Philip K. Dick award. Should it win, I’ll be accepting on his behalf–Mike being in England, and me more conveniently located near SeaTac and all. Here’s hoping.

UPDATE:  It won.

GDC: Stories Best Played

At last week’s Game Developers Conference, I was invited to join a panel with Richard Rouse, Ken Rolston and Steve Meretzky, to discuss the state of storytelling in games. Now, from my background in science fiction conventions, a typical panel simply requires you to show up with your ego. This one required homework, preparation, Powerpoint, teleconferences, and several rehearsals. In spite of that, it was fun. Richard has posted the slides at his website.

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.”

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Plus, the nightmarish pursuit of young Cruncher by coffin.