Tuesday, December 29, 2020

My Favorite New Writer



It's been a pleasant Christmas season here in Philadelphia, with homemade candies and cookies, some wonderful meals, and a lot of thoughtful presents. But the big winner on the present front was Sean William Swanwick, who received in the mail a copy of the January-February 2021 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction, containing his first published story, "Humans and Other People."

A writer's first publication is always a big deal for them. But this was particularly so for Sean because he knew Gardner Dozois, the editor of Asimov's for nineteen years, all his life. More than that, Sean worked as Gardner's office manager for the last several years of the Big Guy's life. So the magazine is a kind of second home for him.

Congratulations, Sean! Now, get back to the keyboard.


And I'm sure you want to know . . .

The obvious next question is... Is "Humans and Other People" any good?


Yes, it is a first-rate story. I know that as his father my word is suspect here, but if you're a doubter, buy a copy of the magazine and read it for yourself. More important (to my mind anyway), is the fact that it's not a story I could have written myself. The kid has a good eye and an original mind.

You're going to be hearing a lot more from Sean in coming years. He's  got the stuff.


Monday, December 28, 2020

Jack Faust E-Book Sale! Tuesday Only!!!


 I've just received the news that for this Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 only, the e-book my novel Jack Faust will be on sale for $1.99 in Canada and the US.

 So if you read e-books and if you've always been curious about this novel... well, here's your chance!

Um... and that's all. End of pitch.



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A Christmas Eve Story



Manger Animals


There is a legend that on Christmas Eve the animals can talk.  Yet of all the many animals you’ve known or owned, be they pets or next-door dogs or half-tame squirrels that you almost got to accept a peanut out of your hand once, none have ever done remotely anything like that.


Yet the legend is true.  It just doesn’t apply to all animals.  It applies only to those who were in one specific manger on the outskirts of Bethlehem two thousand something years ago.  These were all made immortal by the Infant Jesus who, like any other child, had an inordinate fondness for dumb beasts.  And for 364 days of the year (365 on leap years) they’re dumb in both senses of the word.


Ahhh, but on Christmas Eve . . .


On Christmas Eve, the cow and the donkey and the little goat that gnawed on Baby Jesus’s blanket are given the gift of speech.  As are the two lambs who wandered in looking for fodder, the camels who carried the magi to the event and then stuck their noses in the window to see what was going on, and the pigeons who fluttered in the rafters while Joseph muttered angrily about their droppings.


“It was a night much like this one . . .” the cow begins.


“No, quieter,” says a camel.  “There weren’t so many cars back then.”


“It was cold outside,” says a lamb.  “But I found a warm spot to sleep right over there.”


“I gnawed on a blanket,” says the goat proudly.  “But somebody yanked it away.”


“I wonder who?” murmurs a dove.  For animals have very little sense of what is and is not important, once you move away from the compelling subjects of food and sleep.  The fact that there were people present two thousand years ago is almost forgotten.  Who those people might have been is entirely beyond their ken.


Still, like any other old-timers, they do enjoy reminiscing.


“They don’t make oats the way they used to,” says the donkey.  “And that’s a fact.”



"Manger Animals" is copyright 2011 by Michael Swanwick. It first appeared in It Came Upon A Midnight, a Dragonstairs Press chapbook.



Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Parable of the Creche


This is a story I post here once a year, because the message is timeless. Grab your chocolate or eggnog and find a cozy place by the fire. It's time for Unca Mike to tell you...

The Parable of the Creche

When first I came to Roxborough, some forty years ago, the creche as  already a tradition of long standing. Every year it appeared in Gorgas Park during the Christmas season. It wasn't all that big--maybe seven feet high at the tip of the roof--nor was it very fancy. The figures of Joseph and Mary, the Christ Child, and the animals were a couple of feet tall at most, and there were sheets of Plexiglas over the front of the wooden structure to keep people from walking off with them. But there was a painted backdrop of the hills of Bethlehem at night, the floor was strewn by real straw, and the neighborhood people genuinely loved it.

 It was a common thing to see people standing before the creche, especially families and especially at night, admiring it. Sometimes parents brought their small children to see it for the first time nd the wonder they displayed then was moving. It provided a welcome touch of seasonality and community to the park.

Alas, Gorgas Park is public property, and it was only a matter of time before somebody complained that the creche violated the principle of separation of church and state. When the complaint finally came, the creche was taken out of the park and put in storage.

People were upset, of course. Nobody likes seeing a beloved tradition die. There was a certain amount of grumbling and disgruntlement. One might even say disgrumblement.

So the kindly folks of Leverington Presbyterian Church, located just across the street from the park, stepped in. They adopted the creche and put it up in the yard in front of their church, where it could be seen and enjoyed by all.

But did this make up happy? It did not. The creche was just not the same located in front of a church. It seemed lessened, in some strange way, made into a prop for the Presbyterians. You don't see people standing in front of it anymore.

I was in a local tappie shortly after the adoption and heard one of the barflies holding forth on this very subject:

"The god-damned Christians," he said, "have hijacked Christmas."


Monday, December 21, 2020

Sale! Sale! Cigar Box-Faust! Sale!



From Tachyon Publications comes news that as of yesterday, the shortest day of the year,  my collection of short-short fictions, Cigar-Box Faust, is on sale at 20% off. This is for the paperback or the limited edition hardcover or the limited edition boxed hardcover.

(The book includes the title performance piece which may be one of the most condensed condensations of a great work of literature ever written. And I say that as the man who played the part of Frodo in the 15-minute radio adaptation of Lord of the Rings. Funny story, that. I'll share it with you soon.)

If that number looks familiar, Tachyon's second (and simultaneous) sale makes all clear: They're offering 20% off all their 2020 publications. Tachyon makes really lovely books and finds genuinely interesting authors to publish. So you should wander through their list and see if there's anything there you want. I'm pretty sure there is.

Also, they're offering free shipping in the United States.

You can read their post about my book here.  Or view Jim DiMaioalo's almost but not quite demented sales pitch here.



The Aelita Award


Something astonishing happened to me over the weekend.

I was given the Aelita Award.

The Aelita was named after the 1923 science fiction novel Aelita by Alexei Tolstoy and is presented at Aelita, (also named after the novel), Russia's oldest science fiction convention. The award was created in 1981 to honor a lifetime contribution to Soviet science fiction. Later, this became Russian science fiction and last year it was decided to expand the remit to cover SF globally.

I am gobsmacked, as our British cousins say, to be the first American  ever to receive this award. For reasons that are all too familiar to everyone, the Aelita conference was virtual this year so I didn't get to return to Ekaterinburg, a city I am very fond of, But that didn't make the honor any less sweet.

I'll be posting the recipients of the other awards given at the convention as soon as I can get a translation from the Russian.

Above: That's what a typical Aelita trophy looks like. Ekaterinburg is in the Ural Mountains, ten miles into Asia, an area famed for its mining.


Friday, December 18, 2020

Aelita 2020


What a strange year this is! You've probably noticed. All around the world, science fiction convention after science fiction convention has gone virtual. Including Aelita, Russia's oldest SF con. Pictured above is Your Humble (and distinctly hirsute) Correspondent, delivering his opening remarks as one of the guests. 

Because of the time difference between Russia and the US, I was speaking from home at 2 a.m. This was a new experience for me and, while it was not as much fun as being physically in Ekaterinburg would have been, it was still a privilege. I spoke briefly about my original experience with Aelita and how much physically and socially has changed since then, but how the core experience of the convention--the passion of the fans and writers for fantastika--remains unchanged.

The above photo was posted by Alexander Gritsenko in Russia and downloaded by me a third of a world away. Have I mentioned what strange times these are?


Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Last Days of Old Night


I'm in e-print again! "The Last Days of Old Night" is up in the December issue of Clarkesworld. This is a story I started looking for a little over two years ago, when I stood on the black sands of Reynisfjara on the southern coast of Iceland and stared out at the basalt sea stacks and wished I knew more about the legend behind them.

Here's how the story begins:

Through chaos and old night, the three brothers journeyed. Sometimes they rode and sometimes they strode. When they rode, their steeds snorted cold steam from their nostrils and obsidian hooves struck sparks from the rock. When they strode, their feet sank in the earth to their ankles. The sky was lit only by witch fires. Sometimes there were moons or flotillas of comets. Not tonight. Like all things, the sky and road changed at whim. In all the world, only the brothers could dictate what those changes would be.

That was simply how things were.

I would be lying if I pretended I was not pleased by how the story came out.

You can find my story here. Or just go to clarkesworldmagazine.com and just wander around.

And I should mention that . . .

I want to thank the Icelandic science fiction community for their warmth and hospitality. I had a great time at Icecon and I hope there will be many more in the coming years.

And a quick reminder . . .

The e-book of Jack Faust goes on sale tomorrow and that of Vacuum Flowers  on Saturday. Both $1.99 and both One Day Only.

Above: Image swiped from Extreme Iceland (extremeiceland.is), which offers guided tours and travel packages.


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

E-Book! E-Book! E-Book! Sale! Sale! Sale!



 This must be the e-book sales season because I've gotten notification after notification from Open Road Media of upcoming (and current) sales. 

First up--and TODAY ONLY--is my short story collection Tales of Old Earth. This includes nineteen of my best stories, including two Hugo Award winners: Scherzo with Tyrannosaur and The Very Pulse of the Machine. 

Available today only in Canada and the U.S. for $1.99.

I have no idea if the following is of any use to you or not. 

 We are pleased to let you know that the following ebook(s) will be featured in price promotions soon.

ISBN13 Title Author Promo Type Country Start Date End Date Promo Price
9781504036511 Tales of Old Earth Swanwick, Michael ORM - Portalist NL US 2020-12-16 2020-12-16 $1.99
9781504036511 Tales of Old Earth Swanwick, Michael ORM - Portalist NL CA 2020-12-16 2020-12-16 $1.99



Next  up is Jack Faust, possibly my best and certainly my most depressing novel.  This Friday, December 18 only! $1.99 in Canada and the US.

Finally, on  Saturday, December 19 only! Vacuum Flowers, the novel most frequently held up as evidence that I was a Cyberpunk. I didn't think so at the time, and neither did Bruce Sterling. Feel free to make up your own mind. 

All three are perfect holiday presents for that e-friend who has virtually everything.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A Conversation About Avram Davidson



The other day, I had a conversation about Avram Davidson with Seth Davis, for the Avram Davidson Universe podcast. Seth is the son of Grania Davis, who was once married to Davidson and he was Avram's godson as well. So he's well qualified to talk about the great writer.

Here's the podcast website's description of the episode:

In this episode, we sit down with author Michael Swanwick and listen to a reading of  "My Boy Friend's Name Is Jello” from the Avram Davidson Treasury.   Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1954 .  We discuss the meaning of the story and why Michael is such a huge Davidson fan!

I also... and this is a teaser... for the first time revealed how I once did Avram a solid. A fact which I only learned years after his death and he never.

You can find the conversation here.

If you wander about the site, you can also find conversations with Henry Wessells, Eileen Gun, and Avram's son Ethan Davidson. Which I heartily suggest you do. It would be time well wasted.


Above: The picture of Avram Davidson, lifted from Wikipedia (which would like me to remind you that they accept donations), fails to capture the intrinsic whimsicality of the man. But what photograph could possibly do him justice?


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

In the Drift E-Book Sale! One Day Only! Saturday!



 Open Road Media has informed me that the e-book of  In the Drift will be on sale this Saturday, December 5 for $1.99. It will be available in the US and Canada only. And only for the one day.

So if you read e-books and you're curious about my first novel... well, here's your chance.

And here's what Open Road had to say about it all:

ISBN13 Title Author Promo Type Country Start Date End Date Promo Price
9781504036474 In the Drift Swanwick, Michael ORM - Early Bird Books NL US 2020-12-05 2020-12-05 $1.99
9781504036474 In the Drift Swanwick, Michael ORM - Early Bird Books NL CA 2020-12-05 2020-12-05 $1.99

Open Road will promote the feature via social media. We hope you can share the deal with your network as well. You can subscribe to the newsletters at the links below so that you will get the direct link to the deal on the day that it appears.

Newsletter Link
  Early Bird Books     Subscribe Now  
The Lineup Subscribe Now
The Portalist Subscribe Now
Murder & Mayhem Subscribe Now
A Love So True Subscribe Now
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The Reader Subscribe Now



Sunday, November 29, 2020

London Award Finalists Announced!



The International Union of Writers has announced the finalists the the London Literary Awards, a new and ambitious five-yearly award given in six categories to writers in the Russian and English literary communities. And I believe I've scooped the major news outlets!


 Here's their press release:


Major New Literary Award Announced by International Union of Writers


The International Union of Writers (IUW) is pleased to announce the creation of the international London Literary Award, to be presented once every five years. The award will bring together some of the finest authors from around the globe, as well as promoting new writers on the world stage.


The goal of the London Literary Award is to encourage communication between English-language and Russian-language writers and two to create a common cultural space for sharing and understanding between these two great literary communities.


The London Literary Award will be given out in six categories:


The Charles Dickens Award for novels, short fiction, or journalism.


The Lord George Noël Gordon Byron Award for poetry or essays


The Samuel Johnson Award for criticism.


The William Shakespeare Award for dramatic works.


The Lewis Carroll Award for science fiction and fantasy.


The Mikhail L. Lozinsky Award for literary translation from Russian to English and English to Russian.


Each award will be given in three categories: New Authors, Established Authors, and Grand Masters. Our jury has compiled a preliminary list of finalists, each of whom, in our opinion is deserving of the title, Best Author of the Year. From this, a short list of finalists (listed below) was chosen.


Recognizing the difficulty of comparing works written in different languages, each award will be given out to one Russian-language author and one English-language author.


Our jurors have been working since 2018 to compile long lists of worthy writers and then to pare those down to the short lists below. Making the preliminary lists is an accomplishment in itself. So all finalists will receive medals and certificates from the International Union of Writers.


The English language long list for the Charles Dickens Award (Grand Master) is as follows:


            Woody Allen (USA)

            Dan Brown (USA)

            William Gibson (Canada)

            Joe Hill (USA)

            Peter Ackroyd (Great Britain)

            Kazuo Ishiguro Great Britain)

            J. K. Rowling (Great Britain)

            Stephen Fry (Great Britain)

            Tibor Fischer (Great Britain)

            Alexandra Adornetto (Australia)

            Birimbir Wongar (Australia)

            Richard Glover (Australia)

            Bradley Trevor Greive (Australia)

            Greg Egan (Australia)

            Eleanor Catton (Great Britain)

            Nick Cave (Australia)

            Peter Carey (Australia)

            Desmond O'Grady (Australia)

            Lex Marinos (Australia)

             Kiril Kadiiski (Bulgaria)

            Wilbur Smith (Republic of Zambia)

            Dina Rubina (Israel)

            Colm Tóibín (Ireland)

            Yu Jie (China)

            Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Lebanon)

            Laimonas Tapinas (Lithuania)

            Laila Lalami (Morocco)

            Robert MacNeil (Canada)

            Dorota Maslowska (Poland)

            Pier Bayar, Alain Fleischer (France)

            Antjie Krog (South Africa)

            John Maxwell Coetzee (Australian)

            Mongane Wally Serote (South Africa)

            Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa)

            Jonny Steinberg (South Africa)


The finalists of the Award in all categories have already been announced at our website:  https://inwriter.org/

 T he winners will be announced on December 11th, 2020. Initially, it was planned to hold the award ceremony in London, so that the winners could get to know each other and their fans. Plans were made to include a tour of the city’s historical and literary sites, starting with Westminster Abbey and ending with 221B Baker Street, the address of Sherlock Holmes. However, due to the pandemic, such a large gathering is not currently possible. So the awards will be held online, with the time and location to be announced shortly.


Russian winners will receive a grant to translate their book so it can be published in the UK. For the winner of the William Shakespeare Award for Drama, the winner’s play will be produced on the stage of the Royal Court Theater.


For further information or for a complete set of the long lists, please contact the IUW at info@inwriter.ru.




Friday, November 27, 2020

Our New Thanksgiving Tradition



Marianne and I came into the Thanksgiving season feeling a little down. Normally, we have guests for Thanksgiving dinner, sometimes family, sometimes friends. Last year, we had family and friends.

The great fantasist T. H. White used to say that the best cure for depression was to learn something new. Me being more of a folkloric turn of mind, I decided that we should create a new tradition. So we stole one from a friend in New England.

One thing I like to do around this time of year is to ask people what foods you absolutely have to have on Thanksgiving for it to be a proper holiday feast. The spread of answers on this one is very wide. Some people say there has to be turkey and the rest doesn't matter. Others say the same thing of ham or lasagna. Some claim to have absolutely no preferences; one of these admitted to ordering Chinese take-out the year before.

Others are more interesting. Some have to have cranberry sauce, others green bean casserole. For me, there must be clear cranberry sauce--the kind with the ridges from the can on it. Also mashed potatoes, stuffing (the proper kind--no chestnuts or oysters), celery, radishes, creamed onions... well, the list goes on.

But the absolute winner was our New England friend, whose list begins with three kinds of cranberry sauce and concludes, much later, with three different pies for desert--apple (or is it pumpkin?), pecan, and squash.

And the squash pie had to be made in a square pan.

Children soak up the family lore. They only rarely question it. It was only when our friend's mother announced that she passing on responsibility for all the cooking that our friend discovered why it was the squash pie was made in a square pan.

By the time she'd cooked everything else, square pans were all that were left. All the round ones had been used.

So we decided to adopt this custom as our own. Marianne made squash pie in a square pan, and even made a small crust acorn squash to go on top.

It tasted fantastic.

She'll be making it again next year, of course. Because it's a tradition in our house.


Friday, November 20, 2020

Virtual Philcon 2020



Philcon begins today and normally I'd be in an out of the Cherry Hill hotel, shmoozoing, nursing a drink at the bar while chatting with old friends, checking out the books in the huckster room, and sitting on the occasional panel.

 All of that has been coronavirused into the past. Save for the panels. I'll be virtually participating in the virtual events this weekend with great enthusiasm.

 Here's my schedule:

 Friday, November 20

6:30 Reading: I'll be reading "Nirvana or Bust," which is, despite the title, not a wacky comedy satire of New Age enlightenment-seekers but a thoughtful science fiction tale of infrastructure and the future of humanity. With robots!

Saturday, November 21

10:00 a.m. Heinlein's Third Rule of Writing

7:00 p.m. Pandemic Fiction Versus Pandemic Reality

Sunday, November 21

11:30 a.m. Ray Bradbury Centennial


See you there!



Wednesday, November 18, 2020

"We Are All Heroes..."


Add caption

Recently, Vasily Vladimirsky interviewed me for Gorky Media in Russia. The article is online and English speakers can get a rough idea of what was asked and what was said by using a translation engine. 

Machine translation is not yet an exact art, alas. It's miraculous that it can be done at all. So if you read it in English, I should warn you that what I meant to say got distorted from time to time. Here, however, are two questions and answers from the original English:

Five Hugo awards went to you for short stories and a Nebula award for novels. What is the difference between working with a small form and a medium form from working on a novel?

Short stories are verbal machines constructed to deliver a single result: to make the reader laugh, cry, think, wonder, whatever. So they should be clear and clean, with an absolute minimum of moving parts and no wasted words. A novel is a great shaggy wandering beast. There’s room in it for small jokes, scenes of random beauty, dialogue whose sole purpose is to be entertaining to the reader. So long as the plot keeps on moving forward, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the most efficient way of getting where you’re going. A short story is an experience and a novel is a world.

Howard Waldrop put it best when he said that a short story is about the single most important event in the protagonist’s life and a novel is about the most important period in the protagonist’s life.

As for the difference in writing them, a novel allows the writer the pleasant experience of living in somebody else’s life for a long period of time. But a short story has the potential to achieve perfection. I’ve written several perfect short stories. Nobody’s ever written a perfect novel.

Your novel "The Iron dragon's Mother", the final part of the "Iron Dragons" trilogy, is published by Azbooka publishing house this month. More than a quarter of a century has passed since the first novel of the trilogy was published. How has your view of the world described in Dragon novels changed during this time?

I don’t think it has. I saw the world as a beautiful, alluring, dangerous place back then and I see it as beautiful, alluring, and dangerous now. Life is full of pain and loss and ecstasy. It’s no place for wusses. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again here: There should be a sign by the womb door reading: HEROES ONLY.

We are all heroes, descended from thousands of generations of heroes.

You can read the original interview, in Russian, here. 



Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Story or Two from the Scribbledehobbledehoydenii



Last night, I was idly writing microfictions on collages I'd made in my notebook (as one does), finished the one above, and read it aloud. My son Sean, who had dropped by, suggested I post it here. So that's what I'm doing.

You can't possibly read the text since it's blue ink on a dark blue background, so the fiction in its entirety is below:

When I was a boy, I shot holes in traffic signs with my .22. When I graduated from high school, I took my sweetheart out in the pickup truck I'd been workiing on for years. She got pregnant, we got married, and I got a job. Fifty years later, I look back on my life and think: Not bad, Boy. Not bad at all.

This is not autobiographical but it is the life story as it was played out by a lot of boys in Winooski High School, back when I lived in Vermont. Except for the pickup truck. They all had sedans with big back seats. 

At the time, I was appalled at the thought of having your entire life signed, sealed, and delivered at age 18. But age has a way of mellowing harsh judgments. So I was glad to be able to give a happy ending to some of those guys. I hope it's true.

And in case you'd like to see another story . . .

Here it is:

If you look carefully, you can see the story written on the woman's face.

Above, top and bottom: Scribbledehobbledehoydenii is my collective title for my notebooks. The singular is Scribbledehobbledehoyden. Some have individual titles, others don't. This one doesn't. Yet.



Tuesday, November 3, 2020

A Fine Clear Cold Day for an Election


With my lungs and, it has to be said, age, I'm a prime candidate to die from Covid-19, so with immense reluctance, I'm not working the polls in this election. As anybody who has put in the exhausting fourteen-or-more hour days doing so knows, it's exhilarating. You get to watch democracy in action. You get to help keep it honest. 

Alas, this year I'm on the sidelines.

But if Marianne and I can't work the polls, we can still do our bit as support staff. So we dropped off our son, the judge of elections, at Ward 21, Division 19 early this morning and are keeping our cell phones close so we can supply sudden needs that arise. So far, Sean has put in a request for cola, an iced coffee, and gloves for the outside worker who forgot to bring a pair. The weather is raw and when Marianne arrived with the gloves, she could tell by the red hands who she'd brought them for. 

He received them gratefully and said, "How much do I owe you?"

"Not a thing," Marianne said. And it was true.


Monday, November 2, 2020

All of Jack Frost's Wake On One Page.


My apologies for not posting this yesterday, All Saints Day, as promised. "Old Dusty," my trusty CRT monitor, abruptly died and by the time I had acquired a new flat screen monitor (the smallest and cheapest one they had, which is to say, huge) and installed it and undone all the new buts attendant thereunto, it was late and I forgot my promise. Mea culpa.

But to make up for that, here it is now, the full text of . . .


Jack Frost's Wake

Jack Frost dances merrily through the trees, turning green leaves brown, red, yellow, orange. All the world is his canvas.


Not only is Jack an artist, but he’s an avatar of Death as well. In his wake, plants die, insects die, birds die, mammals die. Occasionally, people too. This is why we close the shutters tight when the nights grow cold and the windows are rimed with frost.


But Jack has his playful side. Sometimes he writes words on leaves: AUTUMN, perhaps, or DEATH. He’ll take twin leaves and label one ORIGINAL and the other COPY. People find his handiwork scattered behind him by playful winds. No harm done.


Other times, he’ll write an entire story, leaf upon leaf. Passing through a graveyard, you snatch up the first word and then the second. It might be a ghost story or it might, like this one, tell of a gathering of werewolves, witches, ghouls, and other ghastlies to toast the memory of some departed soul. Oh, it gets rowdy then! Cemetery wine is poured and drunk, and whiskey from Hell’s own cellars. They dance and leap and howl. They perform dreadful deeds. A good time is had by all.


Scurrying after Jack Frost’s coattails, you grab each leaf as it falls, reading avidly. It is only as you reach the final paragraph and, indeed, the ultimate sentence that you realize that the dead soul whose wake they’re celebrating is you.


Michael Swanwick, September 25, 2020








Saturday, October 31, 2020

Jack Frost's Wake (Part XXXI)


Jack Frost's Wake (part XXXI)

The End


Plain text: is you.


 And in the spirit of the season . . .

Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you enjoyed this year's story as much as Marianne and I enjoyed creating it. I'll be posting the entire story in plain text on All Saints Day.


 Immediately above: Yes, that's me, standing where someday I will be buried in a shallow grave.



Friday, October 30, 2020

Jack Frost's Wake (Part XXX)


Jack Frost's Wake (part XXX)


Plain text: that the dead soul whose wake they're celebrating


And just a reminder . . .

The second-ever blue moon chapbook put out by Dragonstairs Press goes on sale tonight at 5:54 p.m. Philadelphia time. That's moonrise. After moonset tomorrow morning, 7:17 a.m. tomorrow, no more copies will be sold. At midnight Saturday, any unsold copies will be burned.

Because the blue moon and Halloween overlap, Blue as the Moon contains several seasonal horror flash fictions. It will cost $12 within the US and $14 elsewhere, postage included.

You'll be able to order it via Paypal tonight at the Dragonstairs website here. But not before 5:54 p.m.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Jack Frost's Wake (Part XXIX)


I had another glowing review the other day for The Iron Dragon's Mother. Which was richly deserved, of course, but I was still grateful to see it. It was given by Rich Horton over at his blog, Strange at Ecbatan. Here's the (potential) pull quote, from the end of the review:

I don't think I've come close to doing this book justice. But I can say that I loved reading it, and that it deserves as wide a readership as it can get.

I could quote gobs of the interview here. But I'd rather you read it in context. You can find the review in its entirety here.


And because we're almost at the end of the serial . . .

Jack Frost's Wake (part XXIX)




Plain text: and, indeed, the ultimate sentence that you realize


And just so you remember . . .

Blue as the Moon, Dragonstairs Press's latest chapbook goes on sale tomorrow at 5:54 p.m.--that's moonrise for that rarity of rarities, a Halloween Blue Moon. In honor of this event, Blue as the Moon will only be available until 7:17 a.m. At the subsequent midnight, the manuscript, foul matter, and any unsold copies will be burned. The video of the immolation will be posted online.