Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Links, with Occasional Exclamation Points

1. I have a new short story out! "The Speaking Ground," published in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, is a flash fiction tale of madness on an alien world. Enjoy!

2. You can now order a copy of the Bundoran Press anthology Strange Bedfellows, including my story "The Afternoon Revolution," from Powell's Books and the Bundoran web site. Black Gate calls my story "a grim and relentless look at humanity and inhumanitand how the US is really f&*king it all up with the economic misdistribution of resources driving the decay of America, wrapped in an exciting kidnapping tale." Seems legit!

3. Hate Star Wars? I know I do! Over on SF Signal Mind Meld I bloviate about my least favorite epic science fiction movie. Okay, I don't like any epic anything, but Star Wars holds a special spot of hatred in my pitch-black heart.

4. I will only be on the East Coast for seven more days. Unreal.

5. Saturday's night State of Short Fiction roundtable at BSFS was a success. We discussed the differences between print pubs and online pubs, crowdfunding, podcasting, rising short fiction stars, diversity in the slush pile, and the current popularity (or possible lack thereof) of the short form. Couldn't make it out? Watch the link!

The BSFS State of Short Fiction crew.

6. Are you using Habit RPG? You should be!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Publications, Moving, and a One-Eyed Cat

The political SF anthology Strange Bedfellows, which includes my fullcommunism short story "The Afternoon Revolution," is available now from Amazon, with availability on the Bundoran Press website and Powell's Books soon to follow I'm sure. I've read a few of the stories already, and the Eugie Foster and Ian Creasey stories in particular are outstanding.

In moving news, we've decided to ditch the movers and drive a U-Haul ourselves* across the country, a decision that will save us around $2500 between not having to rent a car and not having to replace much of our stuff. There's no chance that our stuff will get lost in transit. We won't have to live without our stuff for potentially weeks in both Baltimore and Portland. It's just a better plan all around, even if it does mean slightly more discomfort on what is already going to be an uncomfortable five-day journey.

I've also got some upcoming stories coming down the pike, but I'll hold off announcing them. I'm still not writing much new, but I've got a reason, and for once that reason isn't "because I'm being stupid." But I sure will be happy when this is all over and I can write again!

* More like "Robself." I don't have a driver's license.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

BSFS State of Short Fiction Roundtable, Saturday March 22, 2014

Taking a quick break from moving agony to post about the Short Fiction Roundtable at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society! Join me, editors Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld), Norm Sherman (Escape Pod), Bill Campbell (Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond), Jonathan Laden (Daily Science Fiction), Scott H. Andrews (Beneath Ceaseless Skies), and moderator/fellow writer Sarah Pinsker for a night of discussion about short fiction markets, magazine funding, podcasting issues, and the future of the speculative short form. An exciting night for writers and fans alike, on Saturday March 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM at the BSFS clubhouse at 3310 E. Baltimore St. in Highlandtown.

RSVP at the Facebook link here. This will likely be my last genre-related event on the East Coast for quite awhile, so please come on out!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Going to Portland

After a long and harrowing search, we have secured an apartment in Portland, Oregon. NE Killingsworth to be exact, a short walk from Alberta.


The journey begins.

We haven't seen the apartment yet, which is of course a bit of a gamble. But in a city with a 2% vacancy rate, if you find something you like, you have to be quick. We also have three cats, which makes the search a lot more difficult. The location couldn't be better, and it has two bedrooms, and there's nowhere in Portland that is really "bad." I feel very confident about this place. The fact that we've cut down our worldly possessions significantly also helps, and I don't think this will be nearly as bad as the move from Pittsburgh to Baltimore, despite the massively expanded distance. (We are also hiring movers. It will be the best $3,000 we ever spend.)

My mom said "you must be scared," and that's kind of true. We won't have jobs there waiting for us like we did when we moved to Baltimore. Of course that's scary. But life is about taking risks, about throwing caution to the wind to carve out the kind of life you want for yourself. When I moved from my small hometown to Pittsburgh in 2005 I took those same kinds of risks. I had savings, but no job. I didn't have any pre-existing friends in the city. (Something that is not true now, we know dozens of people in Portland.) Even though Pittsburgh was the closest big city to where I grew up, I knew virtually nothing about it, except that I somehow knew in my heart that my life would be better there than it was in Fayette County, and I was willing to risk my carefully hoarded savings and all of my security to make a big change for myself. And even though it wasn't sunshine and roses all the time (because what is, really?) I can definitely say that moving to Pittsburgh was the best decision I'd made up to that point.

Rob said he'd never have made this move without me. I asked if that meant I'm his manic pixie dream girl (although I've always thought of myself as more of a depressive sluagh nightmare woman, credit to Nick Mamatas). Although the truth is just the opposite. I'm tired of moving. I want to stay in one place for years and years, ideally the rest of our lives. We didn't want to do that in Baltimore, and Pittsburgh is kind of "been there, done that." We felt more at home in Portland in a week than we did in three years of living in Baltimore, despite all our friends here. It's just such a relaxed, calm place, so far from the rat race of the East Coast. We have savings, and freelance streams of income to shore them up. It's a risk, but a calculated one, and just like in 2005, I know in my heart we'll be okay.

And so, like the pioneers of yore, we set out in early April with our rented covered motorized wagon. My only regret in this is that we won't be able to see very much of the country, since we'll be taking the fastest route and traveling nonstop. (Cats. It's always cats.) If we were traveling alone we'd probably take a couple weeks to get out there and see a bunch of stuff along the way. But the destination is the important thing, and I am thrilled to be finally settling in the city I've wanted to live in for over a decade with my favorite person in the whole wide world.