Tag Archives: timetravel

Love, death and time travel: “Three Times over the Falls,” at @CuriousFictions

Posted on January 3, 2018 by

Happy New Year, everyone!

In the earlier part of this century (I love saying that!) rock star SF editor Ellen Datlow bought a time travel novelette from me. for the now-toasted SciFiction site. It’s called “Three Times over the Falls” and has recently acquired a new lease on life, courtesy  the fine people at Curious Fictions.

“Three Times Over the Falls” is about Jayne Sho, the lead singer and chief songwriter for a girl band, Imaginary Cherry, whose latest tour stop in Niagara Falls is about to plunge into disaster. The band is on the verge of breaking up, and they’ve only just achieved their first real commercial success. Jayne’s petulant ex-boyfriend is stalking her, and there’s a handsome, badly-wounded time traveler in the mix, doing… what exactly?  Nobody’s sure, but it’s making everyone in town sick, angry, and dangerous as hell.

Here’s a snippet:

Across the alley is the bar where her band is playing. The place–The Wedding Knight, it’s called–is okay, Jayne thinks. It has hardwood fixtures and a high ceiling, which make for great acoustics, and a massive window pointed straight at the Falls, just in case you forget where you are. The decor is pubby: dark furniture and dim lighting, banners and stained glass with scenes of knights rescuing damsels. No swords on the walls, though, and only one suit of armor: by Niagara standards, the Knight is pretty restrained. Kim bitches about the size of the stage, but it’s fine, really. They’ve played bandstands the size of sanitary napkins.

The door creaks as Jayne pitches inside. Smoky air mauls her, but then she sees the beer she needs, sparkling on the bar like an engagement ring.

I discovered Curious Fictions as a side effect of the recent uproar over Patreon’s attempt to change its funding model. I never had a Patreon myself, for various reasons, but I was dismayed to see so many of my friends losing financial support they had worked so hard to build. The threatened Patreon change–and their sudden reversal, too–make it obvious that donor-funded artists will benefit from a healthy ecosystem of funding opportunities. Basically, monopolies are bad. Options are good. If Curious Fictions and other competitors make a go of it, artists will have more choices.

What I like about Curious Fictions is that they’re a reprint specialist. More importantly, you don’t have to pay to play–you can read “Three Times,” and all the other stories I’ll be posting, for free. However, if you want to support my work you can subscribe and thereby be first to find out when I post additional stories–I’ll be doing that monthly–or throw a tip at any piece you particularly enjoy.

Many of you have already supported my work, naturally, by buying my stories and novels, online and in bookstores, and for this I thank you!

Cover reveal: “The Color of Paradox”

Posted on June 3, 2014 by

imageTor.com has released the cover for a story I sold Ellen Datlow not long ago,  “The Color of Paradox.” The image is by Jeffrey Alan Love and it’s very creepy and appropriate. I feel as though I could fall into it, staring for endless hours… or possibly just until the kittens do something irresistible. (Attention spans are lamentably short at Dua Central right now.)

The elongation of the figure and its placement in the upper left corner draw the eye first, delaying the moment when you track down to the city and see that Bad Things are happening. The brushwork is delightfully scratchy, and naturally I headed right off to Love’s blog to see what the rest of his work looked like. He’s got an image for Tolkien’s Beowulf that is sheerly amazing, and I liked his take on Excalibur, “The Sword in the City” very much.

“The Color of Paradox” is a first attempt to write  something I have been trying to wrap my head around for years: a series or novel or some damned thing set in a universe where there’s time travel, but it only moves backward.  All of the missions are one-way missions. You can receive instructions and resources from the future, but your only option for responding is to essentially leave time capsules where nobody else will find them.

It is also one of those stories that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I dropped everything and wrote it in a bit of a mad haze. It’s very different from Stormwrack and the impulse was probably driven by a desire to write in a different key.

Another thing about the story that delights me is having gotten to work with Ellen Datlow again, because she is a brilliant and generous editor and it had been too long since I had anything to send her.

It will be live on the Tor site and readable, for free, on June 25th, the same day Child of a Hidden Sea hits bookstores.