Skip to main content

Posts

Arisia Panel Announcements for 2018

Arisia 2018 Panels have been announced and it looks like I'm going to be on a bunch in 2018. Go me!

Arisia, if you don't know, is a small fan-run, fan-centered annual SFF convention in Boston. I've had incredible experiences in the past taking part in panels on literature, media, gaming, and science. 

Two of the panels, "Writing Horror, the Occult, and the Macabre" and "Emotional Impact — How to Make Readers Care," are the first writing panels I've been invited to. I'm not claiming mastery in either but with a few stories under my belt I hope I have a few useful things to share.

I'm also on the "2017: The Year in Stephen King" panel which was my reach goal for the year. I count myself as an enormous fan of King's oeuvre and this has certainly been a banner year for the author from Bangor. From television series based on his work (Delores Claiborne and The Mist) to a pair of movies (one reportedly terrible and one I quite enjoyed…
Recent posts

"The Ferry Back" available through Collateral Journal

Issue 2.1 went live today over at Collateral Journal and my flash story, "The Ferry Back," is available for reading!



I wrote this story years ago as a part of a writing challenge. The professor of my last graduate class plopped a bag of odds and ends on the table in front of us, gave a moment to choose an item before giving us twenty minutes to write something about it.

The object described in this story, a small white patch of the Niagara Ferry, somehow seemed from the same era as the Vietnam war. The resulting story, while having very little connection to any actual event in my life, nevertheless feels like a summation of a certain portion of my childhood. Growing up I always had this sense what my father and my grandfather experienced in the wars they fought were still very much happening. Like these conflicts never really ended but went on and on and on.

This story deserved a great home and I'm pleased to see it offered along side the other tremendous stories on this…

What is the Cosmic Weird?

"So, what is Cosmic Weird?" said Lance Newblood of the Rocket Legionnaires, twisting the control yoke of his YD-3000 combat vehicle to the left. "Is it something new or simply nostalgia?"




Twin neon spirals of anti-ship rockets blazed past, close enough he could have spit on them. If he dared, that is, open his cockpit to the cold embrace of vacuum.

"Cosmic Weird is science fiction, a sub-genre within Space Opera," replied Commander Athena Madison over the staticy commline. Encased in her famous crimson survival mesh, she weaved without effort between the combat droids of the Tethyan Hierarchy, the control fields of her suit interacting with separate Eisentein frames to propell her forward, backward, and sideways with shocking ease. Very little of this suit made sense to Lance or any other reputable scientist, but it worked. In a universe filled with implacable and deadly foes like the Hierarchy, the government could be forgiven for overlooking a few arcane …

Cover and Table of Contents for "Transhuman SF"

Gehenna and Hinnom has released the cover and table of contents for their "Transhuman SF" anthology which just so happens to include my story "Machinery of Ghosts." Could you check out this cover for a second? Total sci fi awesomeness! The presale for the digital version goes out Nov. 15th and both book and e-book will be available for purchase Nov. 30th. 
In any case, my story is about a long is a SF thriller set in a decaying space station in the grip of a nano-technological cold war. Thank you again to C.P. Dunphey for giving this story the perfect home!
Expect a few more words about the story once pre-orders are available as this story has a bit of a back story attached to it.

November promises to be a busy month as I also have a flash piece appearing in Collateral Journal, an online magazine devoted to exploring the consequences of war outside of battlegrounds. My story, "The Ferry Back" will be appearing in their next issue, set to be released on Nove…

Sequels, Reboots, and Other Facsimiles

At some point in between catching up with The Orville, I paused to watch the new Star Trek television series. It occurred to me that while I enjoyed both series, it's fair to say they are simply two branches of the same tree. Namely the great and spreading arbor that is the Star Trek universe. It interested me that although The Orville is clearly meant as a shameless homage (rip-off?) of Star Trek, its use of certain classically Trekian tropes like the legal struggle over personhood and what it means to be human struck a more immediate and familiar tone than anything I've seen in Discovery so far. And yet, I wouldn't say I enjoy The Orville more than Discovery, in fact far from it. Orville is a decent amount of fun, but Discovery feels like the genuine and sincere look at what made Star Trek Star Trek that Enterprise always wanted to be. 


We live in an age of facsimiles. Facsimile food. Facsimile presidents. Facsimile art.

In part, this isn't new. No matter how unique t…

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is not as indispensable as its predecessor Blade Runner. It is better than that almost anything else I've seen this year and a sincere redrafting of the original. What was great about Deckard's hunt for rogue androids in 1982 is updated here, explored in more detail or juxtaposed with other ideas. This is not simply a reboot or a redo. It is a child of the original movie. It shares creative DNA with its ancestor mixed with enough inevitable mutations to be a distinct and separate expression.



The plot here is wrapped in several layers of spoiler-bait. An replicant cop, K (short for KD9-3.7)  goes to retire a rogue android and discovers a secret literally buried for decades. A secret that pushes him to reconsider his own existence.

Let's talk first about why I think a lover of movies might want to see this film. Ryan Gosling's work here is top-notch and his role in the film, as a questioner and thinking being in the grip of an existential crisis, is fully…

Review of "Pretty Marys All in a Row" by Gwendolyn Kiste

Part of the reason American Gods works is that it offers a kind of reward to folk lore mavens and religious study majors. Do you have a working familiarity with obscure Northern European mythologies? Are you able to describe what Neil Gaiman got right and what he fudged a bit in terms of the Egyptian religion? Then the guessing games of that novel - just which Middle Eastern Goddess is this? - magnify its other charms. 
"Pretty Marys All in a Row" by Gwendolyn Kiste (released by Broken Eye Books), is a novella for people, like me, who are waiting impatiently for the next season of Bryan Fuller's show. It's not set in that universe, certainly, but approaches the question of folklore from a similar perspective. Namely, that myths have a definite, physical explanation and your knowledge of such things will expand your enjoyment of the work. In the case of Pretty Marys, the stories are urban legends and nursery rhymes about young women. The main character, Rhee, is named…