Demon Hunting and Tenth Dimensional Physics: December 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 Awards Season: Here's What's Eligible

Ah, yet again we see the end of the year. It means snowfall and leaves goldening on the branch and hot chocolate in hideously tacky, kitschy penguin-shaped mugs.

And for authors, it means that it's time to start thinking about the awards season. Now, this year I was...light, shall we say, on publications. Life got in the way, other projects got in the way. But I did still manage to pump out a handful of things that would be eligible, and I think they're things that are worth talking about.

I mean...okay, I may be a little biased, but that's beside the point.

The History Book: It should come as zero shock to anyone that I was...displeased with the political outcomes...okay, no, that paints it as me not liking it. I was scared shitless, my best friend was calling me in tears, and I drained a quarter bottle of vodka while watching the map. But it turns out I was hardly the only author feeling that way. Enough of us banded together that something grew out of the effort. Something special. Alternative Truths wasn't anything any of us did for the money. This was an anthology that one person funded out of pocket. This was something we did because we had to do something...and we're writers. So we wrote.

And I wrote The History Book. It's not a far-flung fictional idea that out of date or misleading curriculum is used. This sprung from there. What happens when we are institutionally doomed to repeat our past mistakes, because we aren't allowed to remember them? That was the question I wanted to explore.

(And guys, even if none of you fall head over heels for my story in here, buy the anthology. For every cent one of us authors gets for the royalties, the ACLU gets a cent, too. They're treated as an equal contributor, because they're the ones that protect our right to even put out this book.)

Laya: This piece was tossing around in the wind for a couple years before it finally landed in the loving embrace of Flame Tree Publishing. A nod to Robert E. Howard, it combines the classic troubled, questing hero of sword and sorcery with more than a heavy dose of Eldritch horror. It's a story of paternal love, of bittersweet musings, and of the weight of sins from the past - yours or your ancestors.

High Risk: I run a group for professional short story authors. A small-time affair. Well, as sometimes happens, author turned to editor and she needed a story: stat. Specifically, a unicorn in the desert story. Well, I love desert settings. I love unicorns. I love getting money. So I put something together for it and, luckily, I was the one who filled that last spot in her project. High Risk touches on one of my favorite underexplored themes in fantasy: what happens when magic meets capitalism? Because if we're honest with ourselves, we all know that somebody would make a killing selling over-the-counter glamours and jackets woven through with strands of unicorn mane. And if they're selling it, then someone has to be collecting it.

Protector of the Village Near Death: One of my only forays into the realm of audio, this is something of a departure for me. I don't write funny. I don't write cheerful. I write...well, you know what I write. It's dark. It's depressing. It's bittersweet. It's bleak. Bleak seems a good, solid word. But this one...okay, it came from a mixture of many different things. It starts with "Why are there no grandmas in fantasy novels? Old women know better and have much more time on their hands than plucky young adventurers." That meets up with an episode of Morning Drawfee where they create a "kindly old auntie" who slays demons. And that all meets up with "Why are these villages still standing if they all have to wait around for said plucky young adventurer to save them? They should have been burned to the ground by now. Someone must be watching out for them."

I read it and listened to it and...I'm not going to tell you it's funny. But I will say that it made me laugh. For whatever that's worth.

And that's what I've got today. I'm happy to provide text copies of anything I'm able to (Contracts and all, they can sometimes get tricky.).

Happy demon hunting!