Publication news

Noted this on Facebook, but I just sold my first story to a literary magazine. I really like it too. “Sexual Cannibalism” is told in a series of seven vignettes as a boy grows up and discovers his sexuality while researching the mating habits of praying mantises in a world that is slowly going to (and, subsequently, recovering from) ruin due to global warming. It’s also probably my hardest sci-fi story, although no sci-fi magazine appeared to agree with me. In fact, the slush reader at one science fiction magazine even rejected it for not being a speculative story. I guess if you don’t have a spaceship blowing up another spaceship then you can just go to hell. But yes, I love this story. For at least three or four months, it was (in my mind) indisputably the best story I’d ever written. And usually when I think a story is the best I’ve ever written, that means it won’t sell. But in this case it did!

I am over the moon about this. I’ve been submitting to lit-mags for so long and with so little success. I just tallied up that I have around 250 rejections from 103 lit-mags and I’ve gotten maybe 10 higher-tier form rejections amongst that lot. I’ve seen friends of mine break in on cold submissions, so I knew it was possible. But it’s another thing to actually experience it.


In other news, Nature is creating a second anthology of their flash-fiction pieces (i.e. a volume just like this, but with different stories), and they selected one of my stories for inclusion. “Ted Agonistes” is one of the best stories I’ve written, and I’m really happy that it’s being reprinted (albeit for zero dollars. Curses! However, the element of exclusiveness–the idea that there were stories that they chose not to reprint–eases the sting somewhat). This is an anthology that you ought to be able to buy in stores (it’s coming out from Tor), so I expect you all to pick it up purely for my benefit, even though I derive zero financial benefit from you buying it.


And, finally, someone at SFSignal said that my story “Association of the Dead” is the 32nd best fiction podcast OF ALL TIME. 

Yes, that is a bold claim.

I’ve never actually listened to the story in question (I really dislike podcasts, for some reason, and I see no reason to sit through a half-hour recitation of my own work), but the story contains some weird typographical conventions to connote the differences between characters, and I do wonder how the narrator (Kate Baker) dealt with that. Anyway, my mom listened to the story and she said that it was good, so there, what more do you need?

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