I try not to put real people in the stories I write, especially not the fantasy bits. That doesn’t go for real places though. “The Crow’s Word” is my latest published novelette, which appears in the current issue of Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show. The setting is the town where I went to college and currently reside. If you’re from around here, you’ll recognize several of the places. Those that are not actual places I’ve been to are places that almost certainly exist here nonetheless.
“The Crow’s Word” is a surrealistic piece about a young man, a crow, and Queen Mab. It’s about fantasy bleeding into real life, I think. This story was purchased by the first market I sent it to, which is a personal first for me, though it was mislaid for a while along the way. It’s also my first sale to the InterGalactic Medicine Show, but if the fantastic illustration it garnered is their standard treatment for fiction, I’ll definitely be sending them more pieces. (The artwork is by M. Wayne Miller.)
Check out that guy, his bird, and a fairy queen. Very cool. You can read the story (which is behind a paywall, but supporting the magazine means supporting the writers!) here.
A couple summers ago my bicycle was stolen. It was my own fault. I left it unlocked outside my office. I had owned that bike since before I had a car, and I mourned its passing with this story, which involves time-travel and (a first for me) zombies. It appeared (with the lovely illustration above) in the Spring 2012 of AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review.
You can read about my bicycle here.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies is an elegant online magazine with gorgeous covers, award-winning stories, and a growing following. It publishes “literary adventure fantasy,” with an emphasis on “literary” in the best sense, and pays contributors professional rates. (In the speculative fiction world that means at least five cents per word.)
“The Silver Khan” was my first professional sale, and it appeared in Issue 29, back in November 2009. Like “The Glorious Revolution,” the story treats a revolution of sorts, though a much more abrupt and haphazard revolution. In a caliphate by the sea, a foreign visitor tries to uncover the secret of the Silver Khan’s floating palace (hint: it’s not magic) and decipher the meaning of the frozen statues scattered about its gardens.
Like much of my writing, this story was driven primarily by setting. I had an image of the palace and the gardens, and I wrote this story to explore them. The physical mechanics of the Khan’s palace was almost as much of a surprise to me as it was to the narrator when he suddenly pieced it together. Once I realized how it flew, I knew how it would fall. The epistolatory style I probably borrowed from Gene Wolfe, though to nothing like his effect.
You can read “The Silver Khan” here.