Category Archives: My Short Stories

Posts about my published short fiction and any works underway.

Toronto, Day 335

imageI am still working on answering Blaise’s question: are editors still needed? And I’m pondering your other questions, excited about answering them, and grateful to know what interests you. If you haven’t weighed in yet and there’s something you want to know, tell me! I’m happily building up the list of requests.

In the meantime, a few current snippets of news from the land of Dua Moving Insanity:

–We got the keys to the new place this week, and floors are going in. The shower may be leaky, so we’re going to look into fixing it ASAP. Since it’s the one truly gnarly-looking thing in the place, this is going to turn out to be a blessing. I am packing boxes and have just about reached the point where I’m going to be hiding away things we will actually want but not need between now and next week.

–Okay, there’s one other gnarly looking thing, but it’s so outrageous and improbable that I’ll tell you about it another time.

–The new place is also grubby. I keep reminding myself that when we moved into Woodland Drive in 2001, the apartment was omg, seriously, so filthy! This isn’t bad. Another improvement on our 2001 experience is that  the previous owners at Dua Central didn’t fail to move out a whole bunch of wall art, furniture and a seventy billion pound exercise bike. We’re really ahead this time! Nevertheless, Kelly and I plan to spend Good Friday scrubbing. If you’re in Toronto and want to drop by to see us cleanifying an empty apartment, shoot me a text. And just so you know, I do mean see us cleanifying. You will not be allowed to help.

–”The Color of Paradox” and “Snow Angels” have hit the next stage of pre-publication, which means editors Ellen Datlow and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, respectively, have sent me notes on them, small questions about things that may need fixing. I’ve been so delighted to have a chance to write a few stories this year, and it’s nice to see these moving through the process.

–Although we will not do anything about acquiring new offspring before we are in Dua Central, Kelly and I have jumped a few pre-adoption hoops at a no-kill cat shelter here in the city. It turns out that being able to perform basic tasks like brushing my hair, cooking, walking across the room, lying in bed unconscious and drinking water from a glass–not to mention packing all my worldly goods!–without constant feline supervision is simply depressing. I cannot handle the autonomy.

–We went to the monthly ChiSeries reading featuring Sam Bieko, Keith Hollihan, and Jerome Stueart, with comical SF-themed songs by Kari Maaren and Peter Chiykowski. It was a terrific night. The readings were great, the musicians hilarious and we saw many friends. I’ll be one of the readers in July–I’ll let you know more as the date approaches.

New Story – “The Ugly Woman of Castello Di Putti”

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Here’s what Tor.com says about “The Ugly Woman of Castello Di Putti,” which is live on the site today. (The lovely cover illustration is by Richard Anderson)

Returning to the world of Stormwrack where she set the Tor.com story “Among the Silvering Herd,” A.M. Dellamonica offers a new story that takes us deeper into this fascinating world, the setting of her new fantasy novel Child of a Hidden Sea.

The Fleet, integral to the governing of a world that is mostly water sprinkled with a number of islands, must deal with a unique form of magic, inscription, which is so subtle that its effects can sometimes only be known in retrospect. When a ship of the Fleet visits an island where scripping is common, the crew members of the sailing vessel Nightjar are at a disadvantage when faced with local matters of which they know little. Strangers on the shore, indeed, they may enjoy the local customs… but also may attract unwanted attention that could cost them more than embarrassment or money.

The Castello di Putti has a suggestive sound to it, but don’t be deceived. This is a story of civil strife, of culture shock, and ultimately of the risks and rewards of naval duty. Filled with Dellamonica’s fresh, inventive worldbuilding and the joie de vivre of a society in flux, it shows a side of Stormwrack very different from that presented in the previous tale.

Here’s the opening paragraph:

They had barely come ashore before the riot started.
Sindria, capital of Erinth, was a city of black marble and volcanic glass, a dark architectural foundation layered in color and light. Carved urns and stone window boxes built into the structures all burst with bougainvillea and daisies. Fruit trees nodded along the avenues, laden with oranges, lemons, and sun-burnished golden plums.
As they strode up from the landing, they passed a young couple, a fine-featured woman and handsome man, decked out in vivid fabrics, leaning on each other and sharing the support of a sturdy hardwood walker.

Things are getting dirty on the @Tordotcom #Buffyrewatch

slayerThis week’s Buffy essay covers “Dirty Girls.” I hope you all enjoy it! One of my favorite things about S7 is the return of Faith, in her new, less evil and slightly more grown-up persona. It’s still a delight this time around.

It has been an action-packed few days: Kelly and I attended the SpecFic Colloquium hosted by Chizine Publications. One of the guests, writer and editor Silvia Moreno-Garcia, stayed with us, and it was a pleasure to get to know her better. (Silvia has recently bought a story, “Snow Angels” from me for her FRACTURED: TALES OF THE CANADIAN APOCALYPSE anthology.)

Later this week we’ll be hooking up with more friends of ours from Vancouver–Rachel Ashe is in town and has an art opening at the Gladstone; the show is called “If These Walls Could Talk.”

Before then, though, there’s grading to be done and the penultimate Buffy essay to be written. I am a few weeks ahead of Tor, of course, so I’ll be writing about “End of Days” this week and “Chosen” after that. I can’t believe I’m so close to wrapping up the rewatch!

Things that are Wild: Peter Watts and I share a Polish cover…

My Tor.com story “Wild Things” has been translated into Polish! It’s in Nowa Fantastyka, and the issue also includes a column by Peter Watts on… I may have to get back to you on that.

This is my first foreign translation of any kind, so it’s a landmark of sorts for me. It’s also just plain nifty.
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Here’s the cover.

Other things in the life of me: my Creating Universes, Building Worlds students have turned in their final stories, so I am writing critiques not quite day and night. My next course offering will be the more advanced speculative fiction workshop, Writing the Fantastic and as of today there are still slots left for new students. I plan to spend this Saturday at the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, listening to the above-mentioned Peter Watts, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Madeline Ashby and other amazing writers talking passionately about writing, reading, and all the things we fans know and love.

Finally, to all of you who sent birthday greetings yesterday, on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere, thank you! I won’t have time to answer you all individually, but I appreciate so much that you are out there wishing me well.

Cover art @tordotcom : “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti.”

ugly woman smallAs you can see, I have a cover now for my upcoming Tor.com novelette, “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti.” It’s small here, but if you want a better look there’s a link here you can use.

This story is the second of the series I’m calling The Gales. The first was “Among the Silvering Herd”, and like that story, this one features Gale Feliachild, ship’s Captain Royl Parrish, and their ridiculously handsome first mate, Garland Parrish. Their first adventure took them to Redcap Island, where Gale realized that Royl was considering turning the ship over to Parrish, because he’d like to retire. The second takes them all to one of her favorite island nations, the volcanic island of Erinth, for something of a holiday. Unfortunately, there seems to be a conspiracy afoot against her good friend, the ruling Conto.

The story will be out in early March. I will keep you posted.

(But wait! There’s more! Buy now and we’ll give you… um… forks?)

These stories cover certain events on a world called Stormwrack many years before the opening of my upcoming novel, Child of a Hidden Sea. I hope to be unveiling that cover soon… it is not quite finalized, but what we do have is gorgeous.

Story Sale: “Snow Angels” to Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post Apocalypse

2006_1128snowday0056I am pleased to say that Silvia Moreno-Garcia has purchased my novelette “Snow Angels” for her antho FRACTURED: TALES OF THE CANADIAN POST-APOCALYPSE. The full ToC is at the link: it will have stories by Claude LaLumiere, Jean-Louis Trudel, and twenty-some other Canadian writers.

Silvia will be here in March, at the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, along with Christopher Golden and the ever-awesome Peter Watts.

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Story Sale: “Rate of Exchange”

I’m happy to announce that S.M. Stirling has purchased a story by me, “Rate of Exchange,” for his upcoming Emberverse anthology, THE CHANGE. The story is set in Northern Alberta, in the area where I grew up, and features Huon Liu, a young Scout, and some silly jokes about Alberta’s various subcultures.

write memeIn a peculiar coincidence, Kelly and I were on College Street yesterday and found a Toronto Public Library copy of Lord of Mountains: A Novel of the Change, one of the novels from that series. It had almost certainly fallen out of someone’s bag. It’s a little battered, but I’ll take it back to TPL next week.

Nither NanoWrimo, but I am writing steadily

write memeAs it says: I am not doing Nanowrimo this year; I have books to rewrite, and stories on the go. There’s no discrete 50K chunk of wordage I need to generate, and so many things to finish.

The finishing is pleasant, though I do love the mad plunge through a draft. And the November part of Nanowrimo usually appeals to me. I sometimes struggle to get writing done after Halloween, and having a huge deadline and braggable goal has sorted that challenge rather handily for me in the past.

What I am doing, now that the Child of a Hidden Sea* copy-edits are on their way back to New York, is skimming through book two, currently titled Daughter of No Nation, as preparation for buckling down to really polishing number three, Nature of a Pirate. I am also considering what I may set as my 2014 writing goals: what I want to do, and what I need to do. Glancing up from the project at hand, in other words, to look at the work and career as a whole. If there’s a short story you wish I’d tackle, or a universe you want me to return to, now might be the time to put in a request.

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*Yes, the book’s already available in ebookstores for pre-order, even though its release date is June. The above link is for Amazon – here’s Chapters Indigo. Cool, huh?