A Hopeful New Year

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I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a new year with quite this much uncertainty before. It’s hard to imagine what the world is going to look like a few months from now. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been focusing inward lately, on the things I can control: on home and family; growing, making, and preserving food; trading social media for video chat and hand-written letters; canceling professional travel engagements and planning family trips instead.

And getting back to writing. In 2016 I finished and sold a short story for the first time in three years: “Things That Creep and Bind” will appear in The Sum of Us, edited by Susan Forest and Lucas Law, in mid-2017. I was thinking of my grandparents when I wrote it, about their struggles caring for my mother in her illness. Those memories also brought up things that I learned from them about home-making, frugality, and self-sufficiency under adverse conditions, things that I’m finally learning to apply.

2017 will also see the publication of my first two comics issues: Pet Noir #3, co-written by Pati Nagel and myself, and Pet Noir #4, my first solo script. Both were capably edited by Kymera Press founder Debbie Lynn Smith.

As 2016 grinds to a close, there are still so many things waiting to be created, whether they’re books or stories or comics or gardens or events or any other form of art, craft, or expression. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that I can’t find it in me to greet the new year joyfully this time, to ring it in with champagne and cheers. So I’ll see it in quietly instead, with hope, creativity, and effort.

Here’s wishing you and yours a safe, healthy, creative and hopeful New Year.

 

Now on Kickstarter: Strange California

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Editors Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Batt are Kickstarting a new anthology of speculative fiction that I am super excited about, Strange California.

Strange California is 26 tales of strangeness, lavishly illustrated, that will pull you into another world, a world where migrant girls stand up to witches who live in orange groves, where trickster magpies try to steal souls from Russian sisters in the early days of Fort Bragg, where water is both currency and predator, and Gold Rush-era ghosts wander the streets of San Francisco alongside panther ladies.” (From the Kickstarter page.)

If it funds, it will include a story of mine set in Temperance, the fictionalized version of my hometown that originally appeared in Fireside #1, fifty years after the events that established the Temperance Society for Historical Preservation.

We’re about a third of the way to our goal of $14,000, which will pay for the content and production of this lavishly illustrated anthology of West Coast Weird.

And check out this line-up you’ll be making happen:

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Back the Kickstarter if you can, and help us spread the word!

Dusting off the old blog

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And wow, was this thing ever dusty.

A bit has happened since my last post: that’s a British Fantasy Award (Best Anthology: Women Destroy Science Fiction!) and a Hugo Award (Semiprozine: Lightspeed) in that picture, respectively. The BFA actually only arrived a few weeks ago, having been mislaid somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic for a while. It is a very strange feeling, even months later (in the case of the Hugo), to look up and see those there with my name on them. I’m so grateful to all of the people who supported WDSF!, and those who chose to honor it this way.

In other news, I’ve started working for all-women independent comics press  Kymera Press as both a writer and editor–I’m editing two titles and writing one. Without hyperbole, this is a dream come true: my original career goal when I started writing was to write comics. I took a detour into short fiction to hone my storytelling skills, and somehow never made it back until now. Comics by nature have a lot of moving parts, and my roles fall right at the start of the pipeline, so it’ll be a little while before the issues I’ve worked on make their way to the masses. I’ll post updates here when I have them!

WDSF is a British Fantasy Award nominee!

At 9:00 a.m. GMT (1:00 a.m. PDT) it was announced that Women Destroy Science Fiction! has been nominated for the British Fantasy Award in the Best Anthology category.
Nice way to start a Tuesday!
Nice way to start a Tuesday!

The full list of nominees can be found here:

The BFA is a juried award. The results will be announced at FantasyCon 2015 in Nottingham, U.K., on October 25.

Every time I think WDSF! has done all it can do, it goes and does more.

Congratulations to each and every one of our amazing contributors. You earned this.

Update re: WDSF and the Hugos

While the Hugos Administrator will not rule on eligibility before nominations close, two SMOFs* generally considered experts on the subject have told us that they believe WDSF is not eligible in any Hugo category, including Best Related Work.

Individual non-fiction pieces are eligible in Best Related Work, and of course the stories remain eligible in their categories according to length.

And while I do not qualify in any category, Wendy N. Wagner qualifies in Best Editor Short Form for her work as Managing Editor of Lightspeed and the Women Destroy projects.

*Secret Masters of Fandom

Short Story: “Dead Man’s Hand”

Cover: Dead Man's Hand from Titan Books
Cover: Dead Man’s Hand from Titan Books

Dead Man’s Hand–an anthology of Weird Western stories by Seanan McGuire, Hugh Howie, Elizabeth Bear, Ken Liu, and many more, edited by John Joseph Adams–came out last summer from Titan Books. Now my story from the anthology, an alternate history short also titled “Dead Man’s Hand,” is available to read free online.

More about the book:

HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD! 

From a kill-or-be-killed gunfight with a vampire to an encounter in a steampunk bordello, the weird western is a dark, gritty tale where the protagonist might be playing poker with a sorcerous deck of cards, or facing an alien on the streets of a dusty frontier town.

Here are twenty-three original tales—stories of the Old West infused with elements of the fantastic—produced specifically for this volume by many of today’s finest writers. Included are Orson Scott Card’s first “Alvin Maker” story in a decade, and an original adventure by Fred Van Lente, writer of Cowboys & Aliens.

Other contributors include: Tobias S. Buckell * David Farland * Alan Dean Foster * Jeffrey Ford * Laura Anne Gilman * Rajan Khanna * Mike Resnick * Beth Revis * Fred Van Lente * Walter Jon Williams * Ben H. Winters * Christie Yant * Charles Yu *

Enjoy!

Where to Buy the Book

The Year in Yant, 2014 edition

HOW HAS IT BEEN A YEAR ALREADY.

It has, though, and what a year it’s been. Last year at this time I was bemoaning how few stories I had out, and guess what? I have just as few this year. And yet, I don’t mind. Because I spent half the year doing something else: making sure that other people had awesome stories out for you to enjoy.

I can hardly express what an amazing journey Women Destroy Science Fiction! has been, and continues to be. Between super-funding the Kickstarter–which allowed us to put out two extra issues, Women Destroy Horror! and Women Destroy Fantasy!–the issue has been made required reading for a college course, was named “Book of Honor” by the Potlatch convention committee, and was listed as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014. I am so grateful to all of our contributors, and I hope that every last one of you is as proud of your efforts as I am. And to our supporters, who backed the Kickstarter, bought the issue, blogged, Tweeted, and boosted the signal, thank you for making it what it is, for receiving it with the same passion with which it was created.

These weren’t the only all-women efforts produced this year–our sisters at Athena’s Daughters had a similar Kickstarter coup, and our colleagues at Podcastle, Escape Pod, and The Drabblecast have carried the idea forward into the new year with Artemis Rising.

It was a matter of some debate whether or not to include the personal essays in the final edition of WDSF! Ultimately we concluded that it was those essays, along with the articles and interviews, beautiful illustrations and the Artist Showcase, that gave the stories context. And I believe that it’s the context that people have rallied around and supported since we originally announced the issue more than a year ago.

If you agree, and you are a voting member of LonCon (Worldcon 2014) or Sasquan (Worldcon 2015), there may be one more opportunity to show your love: as far as we can tell, Women Destroy Science Fiction! is eligible for a Hugo in the Best Related Works category. (Lightspeed itself remains eligible in Semiprozine; this is very likely our last year of eligibility. We’re growing up fast!)

On that note, here are the original science fiction stories that Robyn and I were thrilled and proud to bring to you (linked where available free online):

Novelettes
Each to Each by Seanan McGuire
Cuts Both Ways by Heather Clitheroe

Short Stories
A Word Shaped Like Bones by Kris Millering
Walking Awake by N.K. Jemisin
The Case of the Passionless Bees by Rhonda Eikamp
In the Image of Man by Gabriella Stalker
The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick by Charlie Jane Anders
Dim Sun by Maria Dahvana Headley
The Lonely Sea in the Sky by Amal El-Mohtar
A Burglary, Addressed By a Young Lady by Elizabeth Porter Birdsall
Canth by K.C. Norton
Salvage by Carrie Vaughn
A Guide to Grief by Emily Fox
See DANGEROUS EARTH-POSSIBLES! by Tina Connolly
A Debt Repaid by Marina J. Lostetter
The Sewell Home for the Temporally Displaced by Sarah Pinsker
#TrainFightTuesday by Vanessa Torline
The Hymn of Ordeal, No. 23 by Rhiannon Rasmussen
Emoticon by Anaid Perez
The Mouths by Ellen Denham
M1A by Kim Winternheimer
Standard Deviant by Holly Schofield
Getting on in Years by Cathy Humble
Ro-Sham-Bot by Effie Seiberg
Everything That Has Already Been Said by Samantha Murray
The Lies We Tell Our Children by Katherine Crighton
They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain by Rachael Acks

Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you for making 2014 a magnificent one.