Thursday, December 8, 2016

2016 Awards Eligibility

2016 has been a quieter year story quantity wise, but I feel my writing quality has taken a big step forward.

If you feel compelled to nominate any of my stories (thank you) for local (the SJVs) or international consideration (Tiptrees, Nebulas, Hugos, hey, a girl can dream), then here are what I believe are my best works of the 2016 calendar year:

"An Atlas in Sgraffito Style", Shimmer Magazine, May 2016. A lovely-strange piece about cities colliding, merging, and eating themselves, and the women who try to hold them together through paint and riot. Still immensely proud of this story.

"Splintr" At The Edge, edited by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts, Paper Road Press, June 2016. Another weird piece, all sharp edges and strange prose. Aliens evacuate a doomed Earth, leaving one person behind. Are the multiple narratives part of a fracturing personality under pressure, or is the strange apocalypse doing something to time on the quantum level?

"Shadow Cat's Apprentice, and the Wanderer's Almanac to Biliousness in All Its Forms" Andromeda Spaceways, Issue 64 September 2016. A fun story, the prequel to "Long's Confandabulous Circus" in ASM last year. Cats, magic, sewers, sinister shadow assassins, oh my.

Thanks for coming along on the ride this year.

Bow Tie Kitteh Got Game

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I Will Stand With You

To my trans, non-binary, and genderqueer friends
To my LGBQ friends
To my African-American friends
To my Muslim friends
To my Latinx friends
To my disabled friends
To my poor friends
To women of colour
To women

To my friends.

I will stand with you. I will fight with you. I will fight for you. Even if my comfort and my words are the only revolution I have to offer, I will keep writing the stories that need to be told.

I will stand with you.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Andromeda Spaceways presents: "Shadow Cat's Apprentice, and the Wanderer's Almanac to Biliousness In All Its Forms"

Cover of Andromeda Spaceways Issue 64:
A white lady with long red hair and a fox tail
is framed by octopus tentacles
It's a return to my steampunky, airshippy, alt-universe River City this month in Andromeda Spaceways Magazine issue 64, with "Shadow Cat's Apprentice, and the Wanderer's Almanac to Biliousness In All Its Forms".

Yeah, that story title is just as long and ridiculous as "Long's Confandabulous Clockwork Carnival and Circus, and Cats of Many Persuasions", but part of the fun of River City is poking a stick at overwrought steampunk titles.

"Shadow Cat's Apprentice" steps back a decade or so to before Chifwe met Ba Luen and was deciding where best her talents lay. The Aito-wel house is famous in River City for their precise and mindful approach to waste reclamation, and after a few false starts Chifwe has decided she wants in on the family business. But it's not an easy apprenticeship - aside from the physicality of the job, she didn't reckon with the nausea that came with the everyday stench. Then there's the strange figure following her through the Shadow Highway of the city rooftops...

"Shadow Cat's Apprentice" is the third story in the River City universe. I have plans to do more, and possibly put together a collection of the linked stories.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Word Christchurch: Reading, Pecha Kucha, Inspiration, and Being Me in Public

"Feeeeemales" - From my Pecha Kucha speech
(Credit: Official Word Photographer)
This past weekend, the Word Christchurch Readers and Writer's Festival gripped the central city in a somewhat laid back fever.

Three and a bit days of events had people wandering between the beautiful new event centre The Piano on Armagh Street, The Isaac Theatre Royal on Gloucester, the Christchurch Art Gallery on Montreal, and various bars, restaurants, and cafes spread from New Regent Street down to High Street. The splintered effect of Christchurch's post-earthquake arts scene has meant an eclectic and creative approach to venues. For me, I felt like I was reconnecting with some parts of the city I hadn't touched base with in a very long time, and discovering the delights of newly made areas.

And that was just the outside of the event, the skin. The flesh and bones of Word was a meaty delight of diversity. Academia stood shoulder to shoulder with entertainment, slam poetry next to discussions of immigration, comedy side by side with the death industry, unscripted hilarity next to carefully considered documentations of the human condition. Programme co-ordinator Rachael King did a fabulous job of bringing together so many threads, so many different people and ideas, the central city was fair buzzing with electric ideas.

Channelling the Harold Finch look as I read "Gravity Well"
at the Pop Up Reading Festival
(Credit: Official Word Photographer)
My involvement with Word was slightly tangential, but wove into the fabric of the weekend beautifully. I did two short readings at the New Regent Street Pop Up Reading Festival early Thursday evening to small but appreciative audiences, so thanks to those who turned up to listen. And after much blood, sweat, and fears, I delivered my Pecha Kucha "Mary Sue vs The Strong Female Character" (audio set to the slides at link) to an appreciative and kind audience. My speech was made so worthwhile by the kind feedback I got all weekend, including comments on my rainbow bow tie, and one audience member who said he brought his 15 year old film-making aspiring kid to get an introduction to feminism in pop culture. Yeah, that's what it's about *fist pump*.

The whole Pecha Kucha evening was a strong line up of interests and talent following the thread of the literary weekend. I especially enjoyed Sophie Rea's PK on "The Links Between Poetry and Youth Work", and I was pleased to make Sophie's acquaintance. The weekend was super busy so we didn't get to talk as much as I would have liked, but a hilarious problem kept springing up - Sophie kept getting mistaken for me and Ivan Coyote, and I got mistaken for Sophie. The three of us eventually got a picture together to prove that three butches can exist in the same place and moment in time without the universe exploding. Well, the room did explode, but in a good way. Because Sophie and Ivan are awesome.

The Butch Trifecta: Ivan E. Coyote, me, local poet Ray Shipley
Ivan E. Coyote. What a performer. A storyteller, poet, author, incredible observer of the human condition, and someone I admire deeply. I attended three events where Ivan performed, and had the chance to talk to them briefly (next time you're in town I'm buying you a drink, Ivan). What was said remains between us, but nevertheless it's renewed my inspiration and filled a large place in my soul. I feel empowered to explore my skills of observation and leave everything I can upon the page. It's never too late, you're never too old, to explore identity and push back against your space in the world.

The rest of my Word experience included events on immigration, living across cultures, sexuality in YA fiction, feminism in pop culture, literary and slam poetry (a new experience for me), the state of new journalism and satire in New Zealand, New Zealand women's history, sex work, and a pop culture comedy panel. Phew! What a weekend. My brain is absolutely stuffed full.

All in all, an incredible weekend for the local and national literary scene. A big thanks to Rachael King for taking an interest in this local literary minnow when she was dealing with dozens of incredible people, recommending me to Netta Egoz of Pecha Kucha Christchurch, and Sionainn Byrnes who organized the Pop Up Reading Festival. Thanks again Netta and Sionainn, I had the best time at both events and would love to do something more with you.

Here's to a fab Word 2018!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Pecha Kucha and Pop Up Readings at Word Christchurch

Sooooo, word about my Au Contraire speech got around. That makes me feel pleased and weird.

While I was too late to be put into any panel/programming for Word Christchurch, August 24-28, I was asked if I'd like to be involved in the Pecha Kucha event and Pop Up Reading Festival. Sure thing! Sounds like fun!

Pecha Kucha is a modern format of short speeches, like teeny tiny TED talks. Each speaker has 6 minutes 40 seconds and 20 slides to deliver their topic, and gives the audience exposure to a wide variety of topics in one event.

The Word Christchurch Pecha Kucha night is on Thursday 25 August, from 8.20pm at the (newly built!) Piano. Tickets are $16 each. My topic is entitled "Mary Sue vs The Strong Female Character" and will be a version of my feminist SFF speech from this year's natcon.

Earlier in the evening, I'll be taking part in the New Regent Street Pop-Up Reading Festival. A variety of authors will be reading their work, and I'll be part of the SFF contingent doing two readings apiece. This is free to attend, just grab a drink and sit down at one of the cool New Regent streets bars or restaurants to enjoy. It'll be a very intimate atmosphere.

Aside from the events I'm taking part in, I'm really excited for the entire Word festival. There are some authors and events I'm really looking forward to, like storyteller Ivan E. Coyote, and "Herstory" with Barbara Brookes the author of the fabulous "A History of New Zealand Women" that came out this year.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Around and About

A few things going on around the Pickledverse which have come about on the heels of my well received GoH speech at Au Contraire.

First, I was invited to blog at the New Zealand Book Council website Booknotes Unbound. I chose "Ten Fab Modern Feminist Speculative Fiction Books", featuring Tina Makareti, Jim C. Hines, N.K. Jemisin, Catherynne M. Valente, Lethe Press' "Beyond Binary, Nnedi Okorafor, Karen Healey, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ann Leckie, and AK Press' "Octavia's Brood".

Second, while I was too late to be integrated into any panels at Word Christchurch, I've been invited to do a version of my speech at the fringe Pecha Kucha night on Thursday August 26. Tickets are $16. I'm also looking forward to attending events at Word. It's a superb programme the team have put together for this year.

Third, a segment of the Gender Diversity and Sexuality panel I was part of at Au Contraire has been podcast through Access Radio Wellington. It is available on the second half of the June 19 Writer's Island 'cast.

Thanks to Steph Soper at NZ Book Council, Rachel King at Word Christchurch, and Netta Egoz at Pecha Kucha Christchurch for your support.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Links: Guest of Honour Speech, Read "Atlas" for Free, Podcastle Narration

Some linkages for your brainmeats edification!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Au Contraire 3 Wrap Up: What a Weekend!

Au Contraire 3 Guests of Honour, l-r:
AJ Fitzwater, Juliet Marillier, Marten Wallace
(Photo: Lee Murray)
We may be small, but we are mighty!

The New Zealand natcon this year was Au Contraire 3, held at the Quality Hotel on Cuba Street, Wellington, over Queen's Birthday weekend. New Zealand's fen community is small, but when all things come together well, our natcon can be a really neat time.

And a neat time this year it was indeed. It was a privilege to be invited as a Guest of Honour, and I tried to discharge my duties with diligence and energy. Originally, actor Stephanie Paul was to join us, but was unfortunately unable to make it. Fantasy author Juliet Marillier stepped up in her fine fashion. The other GoH was board game designer Marten Wallace.

The concom looked after me well, and I commend this year's committee for their efforts despite personnel shuffles and GoH changes close to the weekend. Along with allowing me to contribute to the security and harassment policy, I felt this year's concom had very open communication channels.

Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts did an incredible job of putting together the panel programming. There was something interesting going on at every moment of the day for a wide range of interests, from discussions and workshops for young writers, through to Star Wars origami. I didn't get to be an audience member as much as I would have liked, but the panels I did attend were very interesting and I heard good feedback about others. I especially enjoyed an hour of sitting down with young writers Rem Wigmore, Celine Murray, Amelia Sirvid, and Emma Shi. While their panel was planned opposite a really popular world building talk, we made the most of the time and a quiet room to sit around the table and have a damn fine chat about their expectations of future speculative fiction and new writers. Look out for those people - I have much love, pride, and hope for the newest generation of young writers!

Presenting my Guest of Honour Speech
"Mary Sue vs Strong Female Character:
Cage Match!"
(photo: Lee Murray)
I had a busy weekend, participating in three panels, the "At The Edge" book launch, and my GoH speech. It was a good introduction to the GoH gig, not quite being thrown in the deep end, but I was definitely very tired by the end of it all. Lots of mingling and game face!

My favourite panel I participated in was on Gender Diversity and Sexuality in Speculative Fiction, along with Andi Buchanan, Catherine Lundoff, Cass Wanden, and Celine Murray. We had a fantastic bounce of ideas, talking about the forgotten history of women's SFF, the "Deadsbian Death Count", queer tragedy, invisible queer narratives, what's being done right in SFF and where, and our hopes for the future of gender and sexuality in genre. Here is a list of authors and resources I mentioned in the panel.

I also participated in the Live from Au Contraire: Podcasting and Narration panel, and All The Punks, which both went smoothly. I had great panellists to catch me when my tongue tripped due to nervousness or tiredness. Thanks everyone! The "At The Edge" book release was fun too, where I got to read a section from my story "Splintr". It was also weird signing books - I don't think I'll ever get used to it.

My biggest event of the weekend was my Guest of Honour speech. I'd spent a long time contemplating and writing my speech because it was my first evah, and I wanted to make an impact. And that I did. I was a little stunned at the turn out to my speech, with nearly every chair in the room taken, a few quiet cheers at certain points of the speech, and the question time afterwards was enthusiastic. I also read my essay from Twelfth Planet Press'  "Letters to Tiptree", and a selection from "An Atlas in Sgraffito Style" out in Shimmer Magazine May 2016, both of which were very well received. My reading of "Atlas" sparked a conversation about the Christchurch Earthquakes, my experiences therein, and trauma in speculative fiction, so thank you to everyone in the audience for being sensitive and kind about that. Buzz about my speech got round afterwards, and the text of the speech will be available on the SpecFicNZ website very soon.

The "At The Edge" anthology book launch
(photo: Author's own)
Outside of my official capacity, I spent many wonderful hours talking to con guests in the bars and cafes on Cuba Street (damn, I love that area of the city!). I especially want to thank Catherine Lundoff for taking me in hand and pep talking me through a lot of the weekend - we had many wonderful cups of tea and talks about the business. This is the thing I miss the most when I'm stuck behind my keyboard on my lonesome down in Christchurch, so right now my head is overflowing with all the good (and "interesting") things about the biz. Also thanks to Andi Buchanan, Darusha Wehm, Elizabeth Heritage, Marie Hodgkinson, I.K. Paterson-Harkness, Rem Wigmore, Cassie Hart, Celine Murray, Cat Langford, and Mark English for the great conversations and support over the con weekend. And a big shout out to Octavia Cade who won the SJV for their novelette "The Ghost of Matter" and is off to Clarion West this year.

As with any community, there were a few niggles and personality clashes. It's unavoidable. I'm a bit of an idealist - I'd like the speculative fiction fan and creating community to be able to work together, and I always aim to include everyone despite our differences. However, since we had a good security policy in place and communication with the concom, I understand these small niggles were handled carefully and quickly. As within the theme of my speech, I will speak out against injustice and bad behaviour when I see it. Silence only enables the bad behaviour at conventions. I appreciate the people who did take the time to come to me after my speech to say "I never knew about those problems, where can I find out more?" Change can be difficult, but it's worth it.

The future of New Zealand speculative fiction, from the writers, to gaming, to film, television, online media, to the fans, is bright. We have a tight group of people dedicated to moving us forward. I would like to see more inclusivity at our future cons, including more Maori and Polynesian creators and fans, and to keep that enthusiasm up with our young participants.

Thanks Au Contraire. You were fun.

UPDATE 15/6/2016: Added a link to my speech on the SpecFicNZ website

Writers and Resources, Gender Diversity and Sexuality in Speculative Fiction Panel, Au Contraire 3

This is by no means a comprehensive list of authors and resources on this subject, but it is some places to springboard from.

Gender Diverse and Transgender Authors:
Nino Cipri
Bogi Takacs
A. Merc Rustad
Rose Lemberg
Michael Matheson
An Owomoyela
Sunny Moraine
Caitlin R. Kiernan
Charlie Jane Anders
Poppy Z. Brite
Yoon Ha Lee

Authors/Books/Feminist Utopias:
Nicola Griffith - Ammonite
Joanna Russ
James Tiptree Jr
Suzee McKee Charnas
Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Herland
Kate Wilhelm - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
Sherri S. Tepper - The Gate To Women's Country
Ann Leckie - Ancillary Justice

Orange is the New Black
The Autostraddle "Deadsbians" Count

Magazines/Venues noted for featuring inclusivity:
Lightspeed's "Queers/Women/PoC Destroy..." Series
Strange Horizons
Uncanny Magazine
Shimmer Magazine
Escape Artists "Artemis Rising" month
Expanded Horizons

Monday, May 30, 2016

How to Spot a GoH in the Wild

[David Attenborough Voice] Here we see the usually solitary Writerus Specficitus preparing to enter the social environment of the year, a ritual called the Au Contraire natcon over Queen's Birthday Weekend in Wellington, interacting with their peers in an intricate dance which involves much hooting, wallering, and imbibing of libations.

This particular example of Writerus, a member of the Feministus Honourabalius, is preparing an even more advanced performance of hollering, and their official schedule will be enacted thus:

  • Saturday 10am, panel: Gender Diversity and Sexuality in Science Fiction and Fantasy:
    Gwendoline Nelson (convenor), Andi Buchanan, Catherine Lundoff, AJ Fitzwater, Celine Murray, Cas Wanden
  • Sunday 9am, panel: Live from Au Contraire 3, Podcasting and Narration
    Peter King, Dan Rabarts, Michael Parry, AJ Fitzwater
  • Sunday 10am, panel: All the Punks
    Dan Rabarts (convenor), Darusha Wehm, Gerry Huntman, AJ Fitzwater
  • Sunday 1pm: Guest of Honour Speech
  • Sunday 2pm: At the Edge Book Launch
    Dan Rabarts, Lee Murray, Marie Hodgkinson. With Paul Mannering and AJ Fitzwater
  • Sunday 8pm: Sir Julius Vogel Awards ceremony
From previous observations of  Writerus in the wild, strangers are advised to approach said species Honourabalius with an open mind and the convention policy at heart. If said Honourabalius cannot be found in any of the mentioned environments, check the hotel bar as this is often a favourite place to retire to for casual hooting.

As always, please do not poke Honourabalius with a sharp stick, they have been known to bite, especially upon waking or if they haven't eaten in quite some time.

Sharpen up your hooting skills, and wade into what is sure to be a grand time amongst Writerus Specficitus this weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Story Release: "Atlas" is out there in the world

Cover art for Shimmer Magazine
Issue 31 May 2016, of two muscular
women engaged in combat
There are moments. A terrible event. The right inspiration. The right encouragement. The perfect story.

"An Atlas in Sgraffito Style" was born from earthquakes and Clarion. After many drafts (6? 8? I've lost count now), and no small amount of blood, sweat, and tears, it found a home at Shimmer Magazine. I wanted to use beautiful language to describe tragedy, the colour and life, and the forgotten people who rose up from the dust to take back what remained of their world, even when it was being eaten bit by bit by the darkness. Yeah, there are a lot of metaphors for the politics, street art, and class war that came out of the earthquakes.

I am such a sucker for great titles (a little bit of Tiptree in me I suppose), and when I came across the concept of sgraffito while researching street art, I knew I HAD to work that word and concept into the story. Sgraffito is a technique mostly used in plaster or ceramic work, building up layers then scratching through the top layer to reveal colour and/or texture beneath. This is the perfect metaphor for the story and Christchurch: a city scratching through the rubble to bring something beautiful up out of the destruction.

This is the best story I've written so far, and I'd really love to see it go a long way. It had the privilege of being beta'd by Catherynne M. Valente, one of my literary heroes, and it definitely flourished under her careful eye. My Clarion class also gave it the tough fisk it required. Thank you so much to Shimmer badgers Elise Tobler and Beth Wodinski for believing in my story and finding a place for it in their magazine.

Shimmer Magazine Issue 31 for May 2016 is now available, including stories from Arkady Martine, Bentley A. Reese, Rich Larson, and Rachel Acks. Each of the stories will be released online during May and June, with Martine's "All the Colours You Thought Were Kings" available now. "Atlas" will be available online from June 14. If you can't wait until then to read it and all the other fabulous stories, the magazine is available in e-formats for just $US2.99.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Story: "Embedded", The Future Fire, 24/4/2016

Artwork by Miranda Jean
A cascade of black and green 1s and 0s
in waves and fractals
Presenting: "Embedded", a cyberpunk noir story, now dropped at The Future Fire, with artwork by Miranda Jean.
"Embedded" was written in my 4th week of Clarion under the watchful eye of N.K. Jemisin. I was challenged that week to write a type of story I wouldn't usually write, so I chose cyberpunk, mainly to take a chunk out of the alleged "masculine" history of the genre. I chose to write a social justice twist to the story because of many of the current issues pertaining to internet privacy, harassment and stalking, and how they affect queer people.

Thanks to all my Clarion classmates for their feedback, to Nora for her help on making this story (and all my writing) better, and Djibril at The Future Fire for believing in the trajectory of this tale.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Insert Snappy Newsline Update Here: Sale, Competition Results, Narration, "At The Edge", Story Releases

The first quarter of 2016 has been moving along at a quiet, steady pace, and I thought it about time I collected together some of the news that's happened recently.

  • I made a sale to Kaleidotrope! Fist pump to ticking a neat indie venue off my "To Be Published In" list. The story is "And We Spake of Them Words Which Make You Goddess", one of my more experimental sci-fi/fantasy mash up pieces, playing with language drift, hallucinations, loneliness, anger, and everyday gods. I don't have a release date yet, but it's something to look forward to in 2017.
  • I did a narration! For Escape Pod's Artemis Rising Month, featuring women and non-binary authors, I read Alanna McFall's "Singing to the Stars". Even got my own fancy bio and photo on the page.
  • I won third place in the Au Contraire 3 Short Story Competition! Convened by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts, who are the editors of "At The Edge" coming out in July, the final stories were judged by Philip Mann. Congratulations to Robinne Weiss who took first place and Andi Buchanan who took second place, and thank you to everyone in involved. The placing doesn't mean the story gets published, but I'm sure there'll be a home for it somewhere if it got such a good reception from such an esteemed author.
  • The "At The Edge" Kickstarter is fully funded and reached both of its stretch goals! This means the anthology will get its print run (and will look gorgeous on many a bookshelf around the world). I look forward to being able to attend the book release party at Au Contraire 3 in June.
  • Coming up very soon I have story releases! Quiet for the first half of the year, then everything happens at once! My cyperpunk piece "Embedded" will be in the next issue of The Future Fire, "Splintr" will be in "At The Edge" (read an excerpt HERE), and - FANFARE PLEASE - "An Atlas in Sgraffito Style" will be in the next issue of Shimmer Magazine. I believe "Atlas" is my best story yet, and the Shimmer badgers have given it a good frisking to make it even betterer. This is the most nervous and excited I've been about any of my story releases - it's a Clarion story, a story that went through blood, sweat, and tears, a story I want to go a long way, and if one was to quantify my style at this point in my life this story would be it.
I'll be back soon to start throwing jazz hands about the "Atlas" release.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Kickstarter for "At The Edge"

"At The Edge" cover:
an astronaut in a battered spacesuit stands
atop a mountain range, helmet in hand, looking
down a long valley with a river winding
through it.
New Zealand and Australia has an interesting heritage of dark, dystopian speculative fiction aided by our history of living at the edge of the world, oceans our borders, next stop the Antarctic.

"At The Edge" is an anthology that aims to explore this liminal theme of our being physically cut off from the world. Published by Paper Road Press, and edited by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts, the table of contents is a great representation of Australasian authors hard at work in the genre:

Jodi Cleghorn: The Leaves no Longer Fall
Carlington Black: The Urge
Martin Livings: Boxing Day
Phillip Mann: The Architect
Debbie Cowens: Hood of Bone
Anthony Phillips: Crossing
EG Wilson: 12-36
David Stevens: Crop Rotation
Michelle Child: Narco
Richard Barnes: The Great and True Journey
AJ Ponder: BlindSight
Keira McKenzie: In Sacrifice We Hope
Jan Goldie: Little Thunder
Joanne Anderton: Street Furniture
Eileen Mueller: Call of the Sea
Octavia Cade: Responsibility
JC Hart: Hope Lies North
David Versace: Seven Excerpts from Season One
Paul Mannering: The Island at the End of the World
Summer Wigmore: Back When the River Had No Name
AJ Fitzwater: Splintr
Tom Dullemond: One Life, No Respawns
Andi Buchanan: And Still the Forests Grow though we are Gone

To help the print run of "At The Edge", Paper Road Press are running a Kickstarter. The goal is a modest $NZ1000, and rewards include the e-book of the anthology, e-bundles, short story critiques, a tuckerization, and a dinner critique session with the editors.

I'd love it if the word could be spread about this Kickstarter. I'm very proud of the story I wrote for the anthology, and the book will have a unique NZ/Aus flavour to it.

Friday, February 5, 2016

VA: "Her Last Breath Before Waking" by A.C. Wise, at Glittership

I've been keen on the Glittership Podcast since it started up last year, as it features stories about a range of QUILTBAG people, so I was delighted to be asked to read for them.

Available to listen to now online or by download is "Her Last Breath Before Waking" by A.C. Wise, they of "The Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves The World Again" (I. Love. This. Book).

Over my radio and narration career, I've got to know how good a script or story is for the ear, rather than the eye. Reading this Wise story flowed beautifully for me, and I really enjoyed the aural aesthetic.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 ---> 2016

A quiet end to 2015 writing wise led to a quiet start to 2016, which means I'm a bit late with my usual Round Up-Look Forward post. But here we are, so lets check out what's happening in Pickled Land.

In 2016, I had seven pieces published: five short stories, one novelette, and one non-fiction essay. Four of the stories were written pre-Clarion, one of them was a Clarion story, and one of them was post-Clarion. The essay was also post-Clarion, and written in quite the frenzy, I might add, to be as awesome as I wanted it to be and submit by deadline!

I've very proud of everything that came out last year, all for different reasons. I'm happy one of my Clarion stories ("Gravity Well") was picked up because it was a weird little number. I'm happy my River City novelette finally saw the light of day, and that it was published in Andromeda Spaceways, a venue I've wanted to be in for some years. I was pleased to be repeat published by two venues, Betwixt and The Future Fire. I'm stoked that "She Must" was published at a New Zealand venue, not only because it's another weird number, but also I wrote it quickly for deadline, proving I can still create something good under pressure.

I'm also very proud my Tiptree essay was published in "Letters To Tiptree", putting me alongside many big name writers, Tiptree academics, and proponents of feminist science fiction. I'd been longing for some time to find a way to express my admiration and thanks to one of my formative writing influences, and the stars certainly aligned with "Letters to Tiptree".

2016 is not empty of success by any means. I already have three stories lined up for publication. The Future Fire has picked up one of my Clarion stories (my fourth publication with them), which will come out in March. A New Zealand SFF anthology called "At The Edge" will come out in June and includes my story "Splintr". And the publication I am most excited about this year is my Clarion story "An Atlas in Sgraffito Style" (gawd, I love that title) has found a home at one of my favourite venues, Shimmer.

2016 is also the year of Au Contraire 3 in Wellington this coming June. I'm stoked to be invited as the writing Guest of Honour. I've been thinking about my GoH speech for months, but still can't come up with anything stellar. I'm nervous, but see it as a great opportunity to get out there in front of people. Sitting in my office day after day tapping away at my lappy has made me complacent on the networking front.

I don't have any firm plans for the year yet, other than the mentioned publications and convention, so as for 2015 its a bit of take it as it comes. I set myself a goal last year of three pro publications - well, 1 out of 3 ain't bad! I'm going to shoot for the same this year and I'm already one up. Technically, Shimmer doesn't count as pro, but in my head they do! They're one of the best.

Here's to bigger and better things in 2016. Still gotta be published in Asimov's, and I ain't dead yet!

Rebel Alliance Cat Sez: STAY ON TARGET
(Picture: a gray cat sits in a long gutter staring at pigeons)