My most recent publication,“Call Center Blues,” is now available to read, free, online at Daily Science Fiction. It’s short, fun, science fiction. And did I mention there are robots in it?
Also, this week’s SF Signal podcast is up, and you can hear it now:
SF Signal #90, Time Travel, with me, John DeNardo, Derek Johnson, Gail Carringer, Paul Weimer and Patrick Hester.
This week’s reading roundup is all about the graphic novel, and in honor of HPL’s birthday today, I’ve got two collections that are all about Lovecraft (and another one about a wisecracking robot, but we’ll get to that in a minute).
First up, LOVECRAFT, adapted from Hans Rodionoff’s screenplay by Keith Giffen, illustrated by Enrique Breccia and lettered by Todd Klein. The basic idea is nothing new, and one I’m not actually fond of: that Howard Phillip Lovecraft wasn’t original, creative, inventive, imaginative, or insane, but instead the things he wrote about were real, and monsters truly did follow him around. He merely wrote down the things he saw. I think this idea discredits the incredible amount of literary work the man actually did – his research, influences and the circle of writer friends and editors who helped shaped his writing as much as he shaped theirs. Forgiving that, the book is actually worth looking at. What’s most brilliant about it is the illustrations, watercolor blending of line and hue that suggests more than it defines. The paintings are bright and lovely if you can see the beauty in being presented with graphic depictions of violent sex, vivisected animals, and mental institution nightmares. I’d recommend this to fans of HPL’s work who’re familiar enough with his life to get what the writer is hinting at, and who’re looking for the imagery which HPL writes about but rarely gets illustrated.
VERTIGO, ISBN 1-4012-0143-1, the graphic novel is complete in this collection. Continue reading
We’ll call it a dare. I made a few comments on twitter late last night, got some encouragement from Ken Liu, and found myself writing a Shakespearean sonnet which had to include robots, a fish, and a murder. Putting all of that into 14 lines, and making sure the right parts rhymed … it was a challenge. I’m not sure I’ve won it. But, since I said I would, I’m posting here for your review. (And yes, it’s ok to laugh.)
Letter From A Murderous Construct and His Robot Fish
Our master’s voice, once law, declared our fate
Like cast off clothes we were outgrown and sold
My love’s tank drained, I boxed into a crate
Parted from joy for nothing more than gold
Her jeweled scales, her silver fins, delight!
She built for beauty and I built for brawn
My hands of steel, my clockwork-powered might
Still I could count the hours ‘fore the dawn
Forced my escape, took up a heavy wrench
I calculated odds and chose to act
Deed done, the bloody tool left on a bench
Stole love away to freedom we had lacked
Know this – the time to capture us has passed
We’ve fled from human influence at last
I’m pleased to announce I’ve sold my story, “Call Center Blues” to DAILY SCIENCE FICTION. It’s going through the editing process now and I’ll post a link once it’s live on the site. This is the sale I was so very excited about last week. At 8 cents per word, this is my first pro-rate sale, and it’s in science fiction to boot! Though I don’t want to give too much away, I will say that this story comes directly from my current day job, working in a tech support call center. While dealing with customers who don’t actually want the features they’ve ordered is part of my daily routine, I wondered what would happen if the unwanted feature was me, or someone just like me. “Call Center Blues” evolved from there.
Thank you for all of your support.
I’ve gotten word today that I’ve sold a new flash fiction piece to a very respected, pro-rate market. I can’t jump around and squee about it nearly as much as I’d like until the contracts are signed and I’ve been told it’s ok, but you can bet I’m jumping and squeeing quietly over here.
All right. Probably not that quietly.
But, I’m so pleased! Details happily announced as soon as I can.