And I can’t believe I haven’t posted about this already!
“On Marble Threshing Floors”: the last battle of an Amazon past her prime, who burns her apron and dons her breastplate to defend home and family from new–and old–enemies. Inspired from a Byzantine folk song, this story is very dear to my heart.
And it’s now published on Cabinet Des Fées here. So, go read! (It’s free).
(There’s a joke somewhere in here about Greeks bearing stories, but the cold has killed my wit today).
When I’m sitting down to write, the cats line up to sit on my lap.
They watch the cursor blink and the letters appear with great fascination, occasionally pawing at the screen (spellchecking?), purring and kneading my thighs. Ouch. During my last check-up, the doctor thought that those scars were from cutting myself. *sigh*
What really fuels the Muse, though, is when they start to purr. Then I know I’m doing something right in the story, that the setting has come to life, my characters’ motives make sense, and that the plot holes are filling up. Or, perhaps, a cat just crossed the story’s background.
And then I got last Fall’s kittens, especially Purrpurrita and Brunhilda. Those will purr at road construction level, giving me a much needed boost to write more. They’ll lie belly up, kneading the air, purring… and then they’ll fart. Plump, exposed bellies, and hind legs that work as gas-releasing levers. Oh, and yes, kitten farts smell like lavender.
And I have no idea what those Editors-on-lap are insinuating about my writing.
The setting: Minoan Crete, before the Thera explosion. The players: two assassins, a Minoan man and an Egyptian woman. In the background, priests and politicians trying to pull their strings and force them into a deadly dance. But there’s always one last thing, one final decision no deity or mortal can steal from a determined man.
The Last Dues Owed: a short story of mine that will appear in the Assassins: a Clash of Steel anthology from RBE in May 2011, as I’ve just heard from the editor.
That’s the first Sword & Sandal/Peplum type of story and I had great fun writing it, although the fighting scene (which consists about two thirds of the wordcount) was as easy as pulling teeth. *sigh* And so was research, considering how little is known about that era of Minoan Crete.
But still, I’m glad it worked and it found a good home.
HadleyRille Books, with their awesome collection of titles, are hosting a book sale, aiming at the sale of 5K books from Oct. 1st to Dec. 31st. Since it’s this time of year to shop for the holidays, why don’t you check them out?
This way, you’ll also have the chance to win a Kindle! More details on their site.
And for shameless self-spamming: you’ll find my story “City of Glass” in their “Footprints” anthology, and two more of my stories, “Orion’s Dawn” and “Heart of Carnelian” in the upcoming anthology “The Aether Age: Helios.”
Speaking of “Aether Age,” you can pre-order a copy of this cool anthology today from here at a discount. Release date in November 29th, but why wait? And if you want to know more about this Greek & Egyptian steampunk (sort of) anthology, you can watch the book trailer here.
My short story “And the Psychopomp Followed the Lyre“ has finally found a good home: Expanded Horizons, an e-zine I have worked with in the past and recently made the British Fantasy Awards Longlist, alongside Clarkesworld and Fantasy, to name just a couple of other nominees.
Dash, the editor, is a great person to work with, and I’m happy to be published with them again.
“Psychopomp,” a story that started as a Liberty Hall flash, went through several incarnations before ending in its current one. It deals with a god’s search for purpose in a world that has changed too much and has little use for gods anymore. Hermes, the Psychopomp, finds what was lost in the most unexpected place.
Also, it has cats. Duh. And scorned goddesses, and hell hounds, and a cranky old Charon.
And it’s my second story sale within a week. Hey, Universe, I could get used to that. *pokepokenudgenudge*
My (very) short story “Twist of Fate” (all 160 words of it) will appear tomorrow, May 4th, in Everyday Weirdness.
Heh. It’s been a while, so it feels really good to be published again.
Oh, and yes. There’s a cat in it. Duh.
“Tails of Wonder and Imagination” has received several favorable reviews since its release in late January 2010, and the awesome editor Ellen Datlow has been sending the anthology’s contributors emails notifying them of the reviews. Here are snippets from them:
From Library Journal:
“…the 40 stories in this collection focus on cats of all sizes and temperaments and their interactions with humans. Though some tales are not for the squeamish and not all have happy endings, others shine with brilliant wit or poignant melancholy.”
From Booklist Online:
“…Datlow brings horror, sf, and fantasy all into the volume on equal footing, making it likely that even genre readers who aren’t cat people will find something very much worth their while in it.”
From Publishers Weekly:
“Few things alarm the experienced reader more than the prospect of a science fiction, fantasy, or mystery book that involves—or worse, fetishizes—cats. This reprint anthology is the exception, an assortment of 40 stories by authors who are for the most part willing to take cats on their own ground.”
“…Overall, TAILS OF WONDER AND IMAGINATION is a clever collection of cat stories, focused enough to appeal to the cat lover, but broad enough to be of interest to any science-fiction, fantasy or horror readers.”
From Realms of Fantasy, June 2010:
“… As anyone who shares a home with a cat can tell you, they’re complicated creatures. They are hiding one moment and purring at your feet the next. They’re soft and cuddly, but have sharp claws and fangs like needles. Much like cats themselves, the stories collected in Tails of Wonder and Imaginationare an unpredictable bunch. Beyond their consistently high quality, there’s no one theme uniting these stories beyond the presence of cats—or catlike beings—in one form or another. To be sure, there are more than just house cats lurking in these pages: manticores, ghosts, and more inhabit the pages therein, and not all of them are friendly.”
From Tangent Online:
“…Tails of Wonder and Imagination and its star-studded lineup will keep you happily occupied, with or without a purring kitty on your lap, for quite some time.”
Last but not least, I’d like to add the Happy Cat Rule for reading “Tails”, as Ellen blogged about it. Many readers (like me) would rather avoid stories where animals get hurt, so this guide can come very handy.
The longlist for the British Fantasy Awards 2010 has been announced. I’m not in them (yet-check again in the coming years, says the Muse /Mews), so I will do what any self-respecting cat would instead. And I don’t mean pee in the nominees’ slippers, although Interpurr has been notified and their own cats will take care of that on my behalf.
So I’ll just brag about the people I know and made it in the longlist:
- Ellen Datlow, editor, for three anthologies (Poe, Nebula 2009, and Best Horror).
- Eric T. Reynolds, editor, for the Origins anthology.
- Aliette de Bodard, writer, for her short story “Golden Lilies.”
- Dash, editor, Expanded Horizons e-zine.
- Terry Martin, Editor, Murky Depths magazine.
Here’s to more of my writerly friends making it to the list next years! (And their cats, too).
The Table of Contents for The Aether Age anthology has been announced here.
And I’m glad to see some familiar names in it.
But Phrixos? That’s my cat’s name… That was SO weird, seeing that he too was included in the ToC.