My work will be included in this year’s Art & Words show

art show

Todd FordRavenous

I’ve been accepted to the annual art and fiction show, curated by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam and Jennifer Aglio, which is held in Fort Worth, TX, each year. I won’t be able to be there in person, but I’m thrilled to be in the lineup, which includes:

2016 Writers

Katharyn Howd Machan
Shane Halbach
Courtney Marie
Leah Tieger
Joe Milazzo
Shawna Borman
Karen Bovenmyer
Lisa Shininger
Laura Madeline Wiseman
Layla Al-Bedawi
Carrie Cuinn
Matthew Pitt

As well as a dozen visual artists (you can read more about them here).

There are two parts to the show. First, they selected a reprint work of mine – my poem, “Myth of the Mother Snake”, previously published at Liminality Magazine– which an artist will be using as the inspiration to create a new piece of art. Then, I chose from a list of submitted artworks, and I’ll be writing a new flash fiction story to go alone with it. All of the art and words will be on display during the show.

* Note to locals: The Art & Words Show will be on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at Art on the Boulevard if you’d like to attend.

Where to find me at Boskone

Attending Boskone this weekend? Here’s where to find me:

Saturday

Gender Roles in Doctor Who (1 PM to 1:50 PM), Harbor III

From the description: “The characters (Companions, foes, etc.) in TV’s Dr. Who have included men, women, and “other.” How have they all conformed to “expected” gender conventions? Discuss notable breaks in tradition, giving examples (this will not be graded.)” With LJ Cohen, Max Gladstone, Julia Rios, and Laurie Mann (M).

Capes, Canes, and Superhero Comics (3 PM to 3:50 PM), Burroughs

From the description: “How we treat our superheroes and villains provides a unique view of our own culture’s beliefs and values regarding ability and disability. Panelists explore the complementary and conflicting nature of superpowers and disabilities. What do the cane bearers and cape wearers from comics reveal about ourselves, our health concerns, and our treatment of those with permanent disabilities and chronic conditions?” With Dana Cameron, Christopher Golden, Brianna Spacekat Wu, Daniel P. Dern (M).

Warning: I have to run after the end of this panel if I’m going to make it to the next one, so I won’t be available to talk immediately after.

From Pixels to Print: The Challenges of Running a Magazine (4 pm to 4:50), Harbor I

Note: I’m moderating this.

From the description: “Got a great idea for a online magazine or podcast that will feature exciting new content, authors, and artists? How do print versus online models compare? Figuring out what you want to do may be the easy part. Now let’s talk about funding, staffing, and managing your organization, and then printing (or enpixeling), distributing, and publicizing your precious products. Successful magazine and podcast veterans tell you how they do it all!” With Scott H. Andrews (Beneath Ceaseless Skies), Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld Magazine), and Shahid Mahmud (Galaxy’s Edge).

Sunday

Flash Fiction Slam (9:30 AM to 10:50 AM), Burroughs

Performing a never-before seen flash fiction story, in under 3 minutes! I may write it the night before! Who knows? Come and cheer me on as I compete against several other authors, some of whom may even be prepared and/or awake!

Writers on Writing: Sex Versus Romance (1 PM to 1:50), Harbor II

From the description: “Authors share ideas and experiences about writing scenes that are erotic as compared to scenes that are romantic. Which is harder? Which is more fun to write? Does your protagonist’s gender or preference make a difference? How do you accommodate audiences of different ages or sexual orientations? Is romance just sex in soft focus?” With Anna Davis, Nancy Holder, and Darlene Marshall (M).

And then I run away home.

The rest of the schedule is online here.

#sfwapro

Review: In Search of and Others, by Will Ludwigsen

4* (our of 5) for “In Search Of”. It’s a weird format–a list of facts about your life that you didn’t know. But in telling you these things, Ludwigsen tells you who you are–a man who became a cop, who wasn’t everything he wanted to be but wasn’t nothing, who lost more than he thought and didn’t hold on to the woman who loved him the most. The kicker at the end makes it all worthwhile.

4* for “Endless Encore”. What looks like a simple ghost story becomes more with the addition of tangible details; you stop thinking of it as a story written on a page. The color of a dress, the time of day, the wood and stone and the dialogue of a jealous preteen, all blend together into a real moment.

5* for “The Speed of Dreams”. Once again, Ludwigsen presents you with one story and then kicks you in the teeth at the end with the other story he’s been telling all along. You’re watching it move along and take this twist and then you’re thinking, “No, no, don’t go that way…” but it does. I was left at the end wanting to tell her not to do it, but by the time we’re reading it, it’s too late. Continue reading

Review: Nature “Futures” April, May, June 2013

Nature magazine publishes flash science fiction under the collective title “Futures“. They accept unagented submissions, pay a pro rate, and have an interesting target word count: 850-950 firm. Overall, I was less impressed than I expected. There were stories that seemed to be badly told copies of common tales we’ve heard a hundred times before.  I thought there’d be a lot more working science, too. But there were also brilliant pieces that are absolutely worth reading. (My favorites were by Lin, Liu, Spruck Wrigley, Stanger, Shvartsman, Starks, and Powers-Smith.)

June 2013

Probability-1: termination” by Euan Nisbet. (Alt history. Scientists plan to change a single molecule in the fertilized eggs that would become King George and Queen Victoria, in order to save America from worldwide sanctions.) The story seemed based too much on name dropping the alt-world’s leaders, and relied too little on plot. Plus, a scientist has a workable machine that can change molecules anywhere in time, paid for by government funding, and yet has free range to use the machine without any supervision? 2/5

Buzz off” by John Grant. (Aliens arrive to help humans become civilized, are surprised to find we won’t listen.) Straight-forward, common tropes. Relies on a joke reveal at the end. 2/5

Mortar flowers” by Jessica May Lin. (Artist in a war zone making beauty out of desolation.) Lovely. The backstory is subtle but clear, the mood sombre with the memory of lost hope, and using the scientific names for flowers–instead of a description of what they look like–works perfectly. It’s a moment with a history, a beginning, and a believable end. 5/5

Continue reading

“Inevitable”, a One Sentence Story

I love Twitter writing challenges. Late at night, someone has an idea, makes an off-hand comment, and us writers, we think, “That’s a great idea!” Sure, we’ll write a sonnet about murderous robot fish, or a story that doesn’t have the letter “e” in it, or, in the case of the latest challenge, the longest sentence which tells a coherent story. We threw some ideas out about rules and organization and ultimately decided to post them on our blogs, and mention it on twitter with the #1ss hashtag. There’s still time for you to join in if you want – deadline, we did decide, is Wednesday at midnight EST.

Here’s mine:

Inevitable

Though that morning as she made her preparations she had suspected that she might, one day, break into the world above again, or be dragged there on the end of a fisherman’s line or caught unexpectedly by a rower’s oar, she didn’t think it would be so soon that what she looked like would matter to anyone but those with a morbid and prurient interest in the way a body decomposes in water, so she didn’t dress for beauty (not, she thought, that she ever really did) but for storage, having selected an outfit made mostly of pockets – faded, olive-colored cargo pants with pockets all down the legs, a gray sweatshirt with big pockets in the front, even a little pocket on the chest of her royal blue tank top – at that particular moment, pulled slowly downward in an oddly unfocused way, as if “slow” were no longer a word that meant anything, and “down” could have meant the direction that is the opposite of “up” but might just have meant that she was still traveling in the direction she had started out in and hadn’t yet floated back up to the surface, she didn’t think about the stones in her pockets, or the way she had started off carefully feeling the weight of each one in her hand, as if each were a gift, a lover’s kiss, a goodbye present, until she’d panicked a little and started to gather as many as she could and stuff them into whatever spaces she could find and couldn’t, just then, remember what color the final stone had been … instead, in that instant after all of her breath had worked its way out of her lungs and before she could no longer think or care or wonder about anything at all, she thought about the insects that crawled and buzzed and flitted around her as she had sat on her deck every afternoon, basking in the warm sun, watching the cars go by, the world go by, even the fat bumblebees and dagger-shaped wasps and big black ants and the birds that flew by without stopping (red cardinals, and blue jays and robins and a little gray bird with a long white tail that she didn’t know the name for), who all had places to go, and the deer and the little bunnies and the red and black chipmunks with their fat fuzzy faces, who could be seen from her vantage point on her deck that she shared with no one, in the apartment that she shared with no one, in the little town in the woods that she shared with ten thousand other people who didn’t know her name, who all had somewhere else to be, until she finally knew, deep inside, with no uncertainty, that she had no where else to go but down.

~

(If you’re counting, that’s 476 words)

So far, the others are:

Jake Kerr: The Bloodline Is Only As Strong as Its Last Generation (133 words)

Anatoly Belilovsky: De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est (289 words) and “Good Thing I Did Not Tell Them about the Dirty Knife” (242 words)

Matthew Bennardo: À Vos Souhaits (168 words)

Don Pizarro: Mr. Fix-it (350 words)

Silvia Wringley: Untitled (no wordcount listed; it’s handwritten so may be a little hard to read)

“Epic Win” by Anatoly Belilovsky (a slim 55 words – and yes, it’s his 3rd entry)

“One Thousand and First” by Alex Shvartsman (243 words… or is it?)

“The Ghost and the Machine” by Suzanne Palmer (534 words)

“Untitled” by Spencer Ellsworth

I’ll update the links once there are more.