Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Surprisingly Popular "Huginn and Muninn--and What Came After"



Rather to my surprise, I find my story "Huginn and Muninn--and What Came After" included in the 2022 Locus Awards Top Ten Finalists list for short story. That's not me being modest. The story was published with a trigger warning that it deals frankly with suicide and despair, and that's not usually the kind of thing that ends up being popular. Respected maybe. But popular? No.


And yet, there it is. I think that says something rather rather admirable about the science fiction readership.


"Huginn and Muninn--and What Came After" is a story I meant to tackle for many years and finally did. It is in part, yes, about a suicide that people I know tried hard to prevent, but it's also a meditation on what can and cannot be known about the life that came before. Among, of course, other things.


Again, I think it speaks well of the readership that so many people liked such a difficult work. I thank them for that. Really, that's my reward right there.


 Below is the full list for the category. As you can see, it's a nice mix of established writers who have richly earned our respect and hot new writers who are tearing up the boards. I'm feeling rather full of myself to be listed among their number:





    “If the Martians Have Magic“, P. Djèlí Clark (Uncanny 9-10/21)


    “Mr. Death“, Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/21)


    “Proof by Induction“, José Pablo Iriarte (Uncanny 5-6/21)


    “Let All the Children Boogie“, Sam J. Miller ( 1/6/21)


    “Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather“, Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 3-4/21)


    “Crazy Beautiful”, Cat Rambo (F&SF 3-4/21)


    “Huginn and Muninn – and What Came After“, Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s 7-8/21)


    “An Arc of Electric Skin“, Wole Talabi (Asimov’s 9-10/21)


    “The Sin of America“, Catherynne M. Valente (Uncanny 3-4/21)


    “For Lack of a Bed“, John Wiswell (Diabolical Plots 4/21)








JJM said...

Bravo, Michael!

EricBourland said...

Looking forward to reading this now.

Mica B said...

Arrived at your blog thanks to your LDR tweet and have been admiring your posts today, but then wow, this story, just as "The Very Pulse of the Machine" reads to me as one who senses beyond their earthly being.

You bring an essence of heaven and hell, both difficult ideas to truly trailblaze, and I am thankful your art. I'll be continuing to read your writing, hopefully there will be an opportunity to propose to an adaption as worthy as Gillat's——but I cannot think this will be for a year a more.

Not to overgrow my gratitude, by genuinely again, thank you, my brie treaded f time with your work has evoked emotion and ideas that have been both thoroughly treaded & seldom walked.

My goal in story is pronouncing clearly our edges of nature, science, art, and tech; your work has made the task a little easier.

Se vida,
Micha B