matociquala: (bad girls firefighters)
My goal from now until it's finished is a thousand words a day on "Dark Leader," and then a thousand words a day on "Green and Dying," and then the same on the story I don't have a title for yet but is due July 1. No excuses.

"Dark Leader" is the Shadow Unit story that should have been going up on Sunday. Um. Chances are it won't be. Sorry. There was this book that wanted a hundred extra pages. 0.0

I'm on it. It's all good.
matociquala: (writing steles burning)

It's Book day, busting out all over!

Of course, today is US launch day* for my own Shattered Pillars, second in the Eternal Sky trilogy. Shattered Pillars is a novel of crumblimg empire, necromancy, Rukhs, Djinni, ghulim, Wizards, tiger-warriors, martial monks, and magic ponies set in a fantasy realm inspired by the cultures, sweep, and breadth of our own world's Silk Road and the Asian steppe. Thrills, chills, buildering, war crimes, and did I mention magic ponies?

(Goodreads page)

You can read an excerpt here, at You can read Brit Mandelo's review here, also at And you can read Marissa Lingen's review here at her livejournal.

Shattered Pillars received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist and rave reviews from Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times. (details here)

Range of Ghosts, first in the series, is a Tiptree Honor Book, a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award nominee for Best Epic Fantasy, and the first printing sold out in under a week.

To order Shattered Pillars online:

(Amazon) (Barnes & Noble) (Powell's) (Mysterious Galaxy)

It is, of course, available where ever fine pixels are pushed--or, for that matter, pages.

But wait! That's not all!

It's also launch day for the Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling edited Queen Victoria's Book of Spells, a Gaslamp Fantasy anthology with an amazing Table of Contents:

(Goodreads Page)

Speaking of that ToC, here it is:

Preface                                                           Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Introduction: Fantasy, Magic, and
Fairyland in Nineteenth-Century England       Terri Windling
“Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells”                  Delia Sherman
“The Fairy Enterprise”                                    Jeffrey Ford
“From the Catalogue of the Pavilion
of the Uncanny and Marvelous,
Scheduled for Premiere at the
Great Exhibition (Before the Fire)”                  Genevieve Valentine
“The Memory Book”                                       Maureen McHugh
“La Reine d’Enfer”                                           Kathe Koja
“For the Briar Rose”                                       Elizabeth Wein
“The Governess”                                            Elizabeth Bear
“Smithfield”                                                    James P. Blaylock
“The Unwanted Women of Surrey”                 Kaaron Warren
“Charged”                                                       Leanna Renee Hieber
“Mr. Splitfoot”                                                Dale Bailey
“Phosphorus”                                                 Veronica Schanoes
“We Without Us Were Shadows”                     Catherynne M. Valente
“The Vital Importance of the Superficial”       Ellen Kushner and Caroline Stevermer
“The Jewel in the Toad Queen’s Crown”         Jane Yolen
“A Few Twigs He Left Behind”                        Gregory Maguire
“Their Monstrous Minds”                               Tanith Lee
“Estella Saves the Village”                              Theodora Goss

...So I'm in an anthology with Jane Yolen, Tanith Lee, and Ellen Kushner. How did this get to be my life again?

Here is Terri Windling's post on the book. and here are starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. (Somebody must have given Kirkus a lollipop. They're never this nice!)

Queen Victoria's Book of Spells is available through the usual suspects (Barnes and Noble) (Amazon) and wherever fine pixels are pushed... or fine pages, for that matter.

*UK launch day is April 15. We Apologize For The Inconvenience.

matociquala: (sf farscape leather)

I'm beyond thrilled to be involved in Jonathan Strahan's all-original hard-SF adventure story anthology, Edge of Infinity. This anthology collects stories set in a settled, explored, but pre-starflight solar system.

My novelette, "The Deeps of the Sky." is a fable of the perils and pitfalls of sky-mining gas giants... but not only that.

The table of contents is kind of amazing--well, you know? I'll show you.

  1. Introduction, Jonathan Strahan
  2. The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi, Pat Cadigan
  3. The Deeps of the Sky, Elizabeth Bear
  4. Drive, James S.A. Corey
  5. The Road to NPS, Sandra McDonald & Stephen D. Covey
  6. Swift as a Dream and Fleeting as a Sigh, John Barnes
  7. Macy Minnot’s Last Christmas on Dione, Ring Racing, Fiddler’s Green, the Potter’s Garden, Paul McAuley
  8. Safety Tests, Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  9. Bricks, Sticks, Straw, Gwyneth Jones
  10. Tyche and the Ants, Hannu Rajaniemi
  11. Obelisk, Stephen Baxter
  12. Vainglory, Alastair Reynolds
  13. Water Rights, An Owomayela
  14. The Peak of Eternal Light, Bruce Sterling

The book will be released November 27th, 2012.

Edge of Infinity

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Solaris Books
matociquala: (criminal minds garcia mallory merlin)

Tooling along on the next commitment--a Boojumverse short with [ profile] truepenny, the title of which is "The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward." I got a little over four thousand words today and like them a lot, for first draft values of like. Now the ball's in Sarah's court.

Tomorrow, we'll see what happens. It might be time to start trying to find the opening sentence to The Steles of the Sky.

Now it's time to go start dinner. Food is necessary to all writers, great and small.

matociquala: (david bowie black tie - sosostris2012)
I have something totally awesome to share with you.

As you've probably seen elseweb, today is METAtropolis II: Cascadia launch day. And I have been vouchsafed a short sample of my story, "Confessor," as read by Gates McFadden (eeee!). My gosh, she has a fabulous voice.

Please spare my bandwidth and right-click to download. And enjoy!
matociquala: (david bowie black tie - sosostris2012)
I have something totally awesome to share with you.

As you've probably seen elseweb, today is METAtropolis II: Cascadia launch day. And I have been vouchsafed a short sample of my story, "Confessor," as read by Gates McFadden (eeee!). My gosh, she has a fabulous voice.

Please spare my bandwidth and right-click to download. And enjoy!
matociquala: (mythbusters kari eye)
There's new Shadow Unit content here, and has been since Saturday, but I was busy. Also, I hear that people are starting to get their subscription copies of the January 2011 Asimov's, in which I have a short story, "Dolly."

Well, today was supposed to be a day off, but I failed it, and wrote 1600 words of outline for "Uniform," which needs to get done post-haste. Also needing to get done, a final draft of "The Hand is Quicker."

World Fantasy was fun and exhausting and hopefully productive. I did talk with my illustrious editor about Range of Ghosts, and she thinks it's not broken, and she will have notes for me soon. Which is good. I have a bunch of notes of my own, but it seems like nothing is too horribly wrong with it. Just a lot of things that need to get fiddled to make it perfect.

I think my roomie left her watch home. I keep hearing something beeping.

Now I'm going to do some more laundry and watch last week's Mythbusters.
matociquala: (sf star trek horta/spock)
We are now allowed--nay, encouraged!--to reveal the METAtropolis II voice talent!

Narrated By: Rene Auberjonois (“Odo”)
WATER TO WINE by Mary Robinette Kowal
Narrated By: Kate Mulgrew (“Capt. Kathryn Janeway”)
BYWAYS by Tobias S. Buckell
Narrated By: Wil Wheaton  (“Wesley Crusher”)
CONFESSOR by Elizabeth Bear
Narrated By: Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”)
DEODAND by Karl Schroeder
Narrated By: Jonathan Frakes (“Cmdr. William Riker”)
Narrated By: LeVar Burton (“Geordi La Forge”)

An all Star Trek cast, even!

(I do think it's kind of curious that the female writers were assigned female narrators, and vice versa. Bemusement aside, I'm thrilled to have my story voiced by Gates McFadden. I highly approve of redheads from space. Eee! )
matociquala: (writing sf starwars wookiee stet)
I bring you so many good things today (and one sad one)! As if the universe is joining me in celebrating sending back the last few corrections on Grail (found an embarrassing continuity error at the last minute; hope I didn't break anything else fixing it, since I broke the continuity fixing something else) I have cover art for two other books in my hand

Oh, and of course, I've started to think of all the cool things I should have found a way to get into Range of Ghosts. Well, it's got at least one full revision coming--

First off, cover art for The Sea Thy Mistress--in my hot little hands.

Okay, Cahey's hair looks a little funny, and I'm not sure where the cloak comes from, but that's probably a universal signature of This Is Fantasy. I'm dead pleased that he's on the cover, though, and that he's sufficiently brown. No idea where the Celtic spirals are coming from, but hey, Norse, Celtic, it's all the same, and it looks pretty... *g*

February 11th is our chance to prove that fantasy novels with brown people on them sell just fine, right? (This was a very hard book for me to write, for personal reasons, and I'm very neurotic about people reading it. But it's not written until its read, as they say. And it's full of things I felt like I needed to say, and possibly work through for myself. Hopefully it will help others who have been through similar adventures in their lives.)

Anyway, it's an eye-catcher, and I'm very happy.

Additionally, we have cover art for METAtropolis II: Electric Boogaloo Cascadia, which is pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

That one drops Nov 16th. Available in audio format only for now, from Audible and other sources. (Like iTunes, I think).

Now for the not-so-great news. Realms of Fantasy is shutting down its presses. I will continue reviewing books at and Ideomancer, which does absolutely nothing to lessen my sorrow at seeing another bastion of the genre fail.
matociquala: (spies mfu hustle napoleon & albert our a)
First off, let me be the last to announce METAtropolis: Cascadia, a sequel to 2008's METAtropolis, which was
nominated for the Hugo and the Audie awards and went on to see life in print as well both by Subterranean and Tor.

METAtropolis: Cascadia will be published in audio only, from Audible and available various places on November 16.

WATER TO WINE by Mary Robinette Kowal
BYWAYS by Tobias S. Buckell
CONFESSOR by Elizabeth Bear
DEODAND by Karl Schroeder

As the mid-21st Century approaches, the Pacific Northwest has been transformed -- politically, economically, and ecologically -- into the new reality of Cascadia. Conspiracies and secrets threaten the tenuous threads of society. The End of Days seems nearer than ever. And the legend of the mysterious Tygre Tygre looms large.  

My story, "Confessor," is about a good cop and a bad cop, trying to trace an endangered-animal smuggling ring on the slopes of Mount Rainier. It deals with distributed policing, illegal cloning, and international smuggling.

Meanwhile, the cover and TOC for an Ellen Datlow anthology, Naked City, have been announced:

Curses                                                              Jim Butcher
How the Pooka Came To New York City        Delia Sherman
On the Slide                                                     Richard Bowes
The Duke of Riverside                                      Ellen Kushner
Oblivion by Calvin Klein                                   Christopher Fowler
Fairy Gifts                                                        Patricia Briggs
Picking up the Pieces                                        Pat Cadigan
Underbridge                                                     Peter S. Beagle
Priced To Sell                                                   Naomi Novik
The Bricks of Gelecek                                      Matthew Kressel
Weston Walks                                                  Kit Reed
The Projected Girl                                            Lavie Tidhar
The Way Station                                               Nathan Ballingrud
Guns for the Dead                                            Melissa Marr
And Go Like This                                             John Crowley
Noble Rot                                                        Holly Black
Daddy Long Legs of the Evening                       Jeffrey Ford
The Skinny Girl                                                 Lucius Shepard
The Colliers’ Venus                                          Caitlín R. Kiernan
King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree                Elizabeth Bear

matociquala: (spies mfu sleeps on planes)

La Datlow has confirmed the TOCs of two forthcoming anthologies, both of which will contain stories from me:

Blood & Other Cravings edited by Ellen Datlow; Tor 2011

All You Can Do is Breathe by Kaaron Warren
Needles by Elizabeth Bear
Baskerville’s Midgets by Reggie Oliver
Blood Yesterday, Blood Tomorrow by Richard Bowes
X For Demetrious by Steve Duffy
Keeping Corky by Melanie Tem
Shelf-Life by Lisa Tuttle
Caius by Barry N. Malzberg & Bill Pronzini
Sweet Sorrow by Barbara Roden
First Breath by Nicole J. LeBoeuf
Toujours by Kathe Koja
Miri by Steve Rasnic Tem
Mrs. Jones by Carol Emshwiller
Bread and Water by Michael Cisco
Mulberry Boys by Margo Lanagan
The Third Always Beside You by John Langan
The Siphon by Laird Barron

Supernatural Noir edited by Ellen Datlow; Dark Horse 2011

The Dingus by Gregory Frost
The Getaway by Paul G. Tremblay
Mortal Bait by Richard Bowes
Little Shit by Melanie Tem
Ditch Witch by Lucius Shepard
The Last Triangle by Jeffrey Ford
The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven by Laird Barron
The Romance by Elizabeth Bear
Dead Sister by Joe R. Lansdale
Comfortable in Her Skin by Lee Thomas
But For Scars by Tom Piccirilli
The Blisters on My Heart by Nate Southard
The Absent Eye by Brian Evenson
The Maltese Unicorn by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Dreamer of the Day by Nick Mamatas
In Paris, In the Mouth of Kronos by John Langan

From this we learn, if we did not already know, that Laird Barron is good at story titles.

And now, if I can pry myself out of bed into the deliciously cool morning, I have to go do my work shift at the farm share, where I will be pulling and braiding garlic.

It's 54 degrees out. It'll probably be hot and gross later, but for now--thank you, New England, for the gift of a beautiful day.

matociquala: (sf farscape d'argo's your daddy)
So I seem to have sold a story!

"The Horrid Glory of its Wings," my harpy story with bonus! title stolen from Peter S. Beagle, to

It forms a nice sort of thematic argument of diptych with my other story, "The Girl who Sang Rose Madder," but there are no zombies in this one.

And that, officially, is the very last short story I had both written and unsold. I wonder if one of the others will put out for me one of these lifetimes.
matociquala: (wicked fairy bowie)
And me without a vampire icon.

Charming gentlemen with the manners of a prior age. Savage killing machines who surge screaming from hidden vaults. Cute little girls frozen forever in slender bodies. Long-buried loved ones who scratch at the door, begging to be let in. Nowhere is safe, not mist-shrouded Transylvania or the Italian Riviera or even a sleepy town in Maine. This is a hidden world, an eternal world, where nothing is forbidden--as long as you're willing to pay the price.
Today is launch day for [ profile] johnjosephadams's anthology By Blood We Live, which includes fabulous stories by fabulous writers, and also something by me. ("House of the Rising Sun," in which a long-dead musician takes a stroll through San Diego.)
matociquala: (leighton pavonia)
Ellen Datlow announces the sale of the Lovecraft Unbound anthology, which includes stories by me-and-[ profile] truepenny, [ profile] greygirlbeast, [ profile] stillsostrange, [ profile] nihilistic_kid, and others.

(Here's where you can find the concert I'm listening to, by the way. Chaz needs to stop getting me hooked on music. OTOH, how can you resist a guy who uses the word radiolarian in his lyrics?)
matociquala: (rengeek kit icarus)
There. That was remarkably like productivity.

I have written eight pages of "Lucky Day" and two pages of "Snow Dragons," and I have in fact finished the draft of "Snow Dragons," which I think came out very well.

First short story of 2009! That makes me happy.

For those of you playing along at home, "Snow Dragons" takes place in the same world that "Your Collar" and "Orm the Beautiful" do, and probably also the unfinished harpy story, and the unfinished blind cave mermaid story.

It's also part of a sort of ongoing dragon story dialogue cycle with [ profile] truepenny's "Draco Campestris" and "After the Dragon" (that latter is so far unpublished) and "Orm the Beautiful."
matociquala: (phil ochs troubador)
My short story, which is not about rock star elves, "The Girl Who Sang Rose Madder," seems to be available at

Also, beware. I may be guest blogging over there one of these days. In my copious spare time...
matociquala: (criminal minds gideon murder before coff)
Yes, I have successfully wasted the last two hours.

Okay, not exactly wasted. I showered, and made breakfast, and made tea, and made orange juice. And caught up on whatever internets regenerated overnight.

And now I need to go work on the page proofs, because that tea ain't drinking itself. But I'm stalling.

Page proofs. Do not want.

So here, have a link to the pre-order page for Fast Ships, Black Sails, a pirate-themed SFF anthology edited by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, in which [ profile] truepenny and I have a story called "Boojum," and which also includes stories by folks like Kage Baker, Michael Moorcock, Howard Waldrop, Garth Nix, and Naomi Novik.
matociquala: (drive train _ netcurmudgeon)
If you are a Nature subscriber, or willing to pay the weregild, my short story "Annie Webber" is live there today. (It's also in the print version.)
matociquala: (literature always winter and never chris)
Promised nor'easter
Seems to peter out early.
Sleet rattles window.


Look, the new issue of Coyote Wild is up (special giant-size issue!) and in addition to my story "The Ladies," it includes stories by Sherwood Smith, Beth Bernobich, Emily M.Z. Carlyle, J.M. McDermott, C.A. Casey, and Maria Deira.
matociquala: (writing dust bible 'house of dust")
Nobody ever thinks of me as a short story writer, and it kind of makes me sad--because at heart, that's what I am.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love a good novel. I even like writing them, though I have to do it in a single enormous push of effort, because otherwise I get bored, bored, bored and wander off. I can't stand the endless tinkering that some writers do, the working on the same project for years on end.

I can't bear it.

(I get bored anyway, but if I'm working on a book for six months, I can stand the boredom. By the time the 37th revision rolls around, though, I am stultified.)

And novels tend to move so slowly. Hundred of pages, and barely enough plot for a good novelette!

You can actually spot the short-story-writer DNA in my novels, even the long ones. That thing people talk (complain) about, where too much happens too fast and it's too dense, too hard to keep control of? I suspect it's directly related to the author (me) being a short story writer at heart. Because I really believe in my heart that if a paragaraph is not doing three (and preferably five) things, it is not doing enough work. (The five kinds of work a paragraph can do in a work of fiction are: increasing or resolving tension (plot), exposition, worldbuilding (setting), developing character, and illuminating theme).

So I try to have small reversals and revelations on every page. Which sort of makes my books bad for reading quickly, I am told.

And I love writing short stories. I love the feeling of accomplishment they bring. I love how they are tiny perfect jewels, when done right, and they are just there breathing and making you sad or glad or sorry or melancholy or joyous or a little hollow under the breastbone.

And so I have a problem. Because really, the reason I write is to be read. I write to an audience (you guys, ora fraction of you guys.) And there's a dramatic tension there, of course, because while writing to that audience I am trying to stay true to my artistic vision (such as it is) and tell stories I can be proud of.

And short stories make me sad. Because they just vanish. They hang around for a month or so, and then drop back into nonexistence, never to be seen again. And nobody ever reads them again. They go to the Island of Misfit Stories, and hang around unread with their pals.

And I think I would feel better about that if I knew I'd be able to print collections, eventually, but really--the odds of my selling another collection in the next ten years is pretty slim. And I have a little pile here, of unreprinted stories of which in some cases I am inordinately fond, and I would like to be able to let people read in book form. The stuff that's collected in The Chains That You Refuse--some of it, I am very proud of. The title story, "Botticelli," "When You Visit The Magoebaskloof Hotel, Be Certain Not To Miss The Samango Monkeys," and so on. But I'm also very aware that those stories are my early work, and a lot of them are rough at the edges, insufficiently developed, heavyhanded, flawed in various ways.

And there's another book, book-and-a-half's worth of stuff that will likely slowly work its way up to my website, because that's the place I can put it where people will be able to read it. It's mostly small-press-published, because I'm mostly a small-press-published short-story writer, and it's mostly impossible to find otherwise, and I wouldn't expect anybody to spend ages tracking down a back issue of On Spec to read "Los Empujadores Furiosos," even though I love it. It's gone, more or less, like a song sung in an empty room. (I've written over sixty published pieces of short fiction at this point. Some of them are in The Chains That You Refuse, and some of them are in New Amsterdam. And then there's all this other stuff that's just, poof, gone. Good stuff, some of it, I think. "Orm the Beautiful," and "Tideline," and "The Inevitable Heat-Death of the Universe," and "Sounding," and "Love Among the Talus," to name a few.

I love those stories. And yet--

--there they go.

And that makes me wonder why I write stort stories, when they're so ephemeral, and so few people read them, and really, they're more work per square yard than any novel will ever be, and at the end of the day I know they have a limited lifespan and then vanish. It seems like so much work for something that will more or less fall of the edge of the earth and never be seen again.

I guess I write them because I love them.

And what happens after that is between the story and the world.

March 2017



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