Writer of Short Stories & Novels
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare
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“The Last Novelist (or A Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Bifrost
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“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
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“The Last Novelist (or A Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
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“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
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“One Spring in Cherryville”
Available in most ebook formats
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“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
XB-1
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“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
科幻世界 (Science Fiction World)
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“The Problem of Meat”
Grendelsong
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
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“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
World Chinese SF Association
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“The Thing in the Refrigerator That Could Stop Time”
Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest
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“Marie and the Mathematicians”
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #26
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“The Writing’s on the Wall”
Farrago's Wainscot #5
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“The Sembla”
A Field Guide to Surreal Botany
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“The Girl in the Basement”
Hatter Bones
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“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
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“The Spaces Between Things”
Electric Velocipede 17/18
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“The Girl in the Basement”
Apex Magazine, Vol 3, Issue 3
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“The Suffering Gallery”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue 57
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“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
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“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
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“The Hands That Feed”
Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories
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“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
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“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
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“The Suffering Gallery”
The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year Three
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“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
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“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
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“The Last Probe”
Launch Pad
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“Pheth’s Aviary”
Beneath Ceaseless Skies - Issue 133
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“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
XB-1 Issue 8/2014
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Космопорт (Kosmoport)
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“The History Within Us”
XB-1 Issue 11/2014
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“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
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“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
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“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
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“Where Writers Write” Guest Post for the Next Best Book Blog
My writing desk in Maine

My writing desk in Maine

My guest post for “Where Writers Write” is up today at The Next Best Book Blog.

As most writers know, finding the perfect place to write is almost as challenging as writing itself. Of course, some will say that there is no perfect place to write. That you must write everywhere and anywhere you can. Perhaps that’s true. But for anyone who has ever tried to write in a crowded coffee shop, with babies screaming, people on cell phones, and the guy in the table beside you who keeps sniffling and smells like he put on too much cologne this morning — well, I’d say that some spots are better than others.

You can read the full post here.


A Weekend in Providence

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of speaking to Kenneth Schneyer’s Science Fiction Lit class at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. His students had read my Nebula-nominated story “The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye” for class and had discussed it prior to my visit. I spoke a bit about my path into writing and some of the adventures I’d had along the way, like my early class with Alice K. Turner, the formation of Sybil’s Garage, how I ended up publishing Paper Cities, which went on to win the World Fantasy Award. I spoke about how I became the co-host of Fantastic Fiction at KGB and how I became a member of Altered Fluid.

The students were great and very engaged, and they asked a lot of interesting questions. Here are a couple of shots of me speaking to the class.

Guest speaker action shot.

Guest speaker action shot.

Action shot #2. Notice the expression!

Action shot #2. Notice the expression! (And the sweater has come off; he must be serious!)

Ken & Me outside the classrooms.

Ken & Me outside the classrooms

Christine and I stayed at the Christopher Dodge House, and old Bed and Breakfast just northwest of downtown. I chose our room because it had this little writing nook (and readers of this blog know how much I love finding great writing spots), where I worked on a new story in the mornings while the windows beaded with rain and I looked out at Providence’s many-gabled roofs across the street.

My little writing nook at the B&B

My little writing nook at the B&B

Here’s a photo of me outside the B&B right before we headed over to the university.

Yours squinty

Yours squinty

We spent the rest of the long weekend exploring Providence, which we’d never visited before. The first day we wandered down Benefit street with no particular plan. The sky was bleak and gray, and the air held a sharp chill. A thick fog hung over the streets, dropping beads of moisture on everything. It was the perfect weather to explore Providence’s old buildings and graveyards, places where both Poe and Lovecraft once haunted. 

A building on Benefit Street

A building on Benefit Street

The Court B&B, rumored to be haunted

The Old Court B&B, rumored to be haunted. Would you sleep here?

Ye olde armory

Ye olde armory

A student center and cafe for RISD students

A student center and cafe for RISD students

On Benefit Street

On Benefit Street

Some old colonials off of Benefit Street

Some old colonials off of Benefit Street

Outside an Art Gallery that Lovecraft used to visit

Outside an Art Gallery that Lovecraft used to visit

So Chris and I began walking up this hill, and the crows were circling overhead, hundreds of them (seriously) cackling madly, and it was getting late in the day and there was no one around, and both of us started to get a little creeped out. And of course my reaction was, “Let’s get closer and check it out.” These pics are the result of that. I should have taken a video, just so you could hear the crows, but if you look carefully, you can see them in the photos. Perhaps you can imagine them cackling as we walked under this cold spring sky.

The creepy building on the hill

The creepy building on the hill

The crows, waiting

The crows, waiting

More crows

More crows

We walked around a bit more and I took some photos of the interesting buildings along the street.

An enormous old church, quiet as we passed

An enormous old church, quiet as we passed

Another colonial

Another colonial

Looking through the shrubbery

Looking through the shrubbery

The next day was quite a bit sunnier and warmer, and we explored Providence a bit more. I’m glad we did, because I got to visit the Athenaeum, an old public library where Poe supposedly met his wife. It was mostly filled with RISD students, but the library still had this air of mystery and antiquity to it. I imagined I might find some ancient tome here that could unlock the gates to bizarre dimensions beyond human ken. Or something.

The Athenaeum exterior

The Athenaeum exterior

Inside the library

Inside the library

The bust of H.P. Lovecraft

The bust of H.P. Lovecraft

View from a studying nook on the second floor

View from a studying nook on the second floor

View from the second floor

View from the second floor

A chair in the back, facing a thicket

A chair in the back, facing a thicket

Overall, Providence was a lovely city and I’d visit again in a heartbeat. I’ve heard the winters are hellacious, but part of me wishes to find a cozy writing nook somewhere in one of those old colonials, or perhaps inside the Athenaeum, and spend one winter hibernating and writing, writing and hibernating, until I emerge in the spring, much thinner, long of beard, and with a completed manuscript.


Finding A Place to Write

As most writers know, finding the perfect place to write is almost as challenging as writing itself. Of course, some will say that there is no perfect place to write. That you must write everywhere and anywhere you can. Perhaps that’s true. But for anyone who has ever tried to write in a crowded coffee shop, with babies screaming, people on cell phones, and the guy in the table beside you who keeps sniffling and smells like he put on too much cologne this morning — well, I’d say that some spots are better than others.

I used to write in my living room / office nook, which for most of the day is about as dark as a cave. But since I use the same computer for my day job stuff as a web designer / programmer, I found it was best to separate the two locations. So I wrote in the kitchen, on the hard wooden chairs. That’s where I finished the final draft of “The Sounds of Old Earth,” which is now up for a Nebula Award. You would think that I’d stay put, since the location appears to have worked in my favor.

But ever on the search for a better place, one day I was hit with one of those lightning bolt realizations. My bedroom is sunny almost all day. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me before. So now, this is where I do most of my writing:

My writing desk

My writing desk in Queens, NY

Yeah, it may not be the most ergonomic setup imaginable. But it suits me. On those cold winter days, when it was 7 degrees outside, I found myself right beside the radiator. That and with the sun, I am usually quite toasty here. I even have a small succulent plant to keep me company. C and I call her Bertha.

I have a secret. This new writing location didn’t come entirely out of the blue. Though it took me several months to come up with the idea, I modeled my setup after this:

My writing desk in Maine

My writing desk in West Bath, Maine

This past summer, C and I spent a week at a cottage in West Bath, Maine that overlooked a tidal estuary. Every six hours the tide went in and out, and the waters receded so much you could (if you had the right shoes) walk across to the other side. I wrote at this desk every morning, a mug of hot tea beside me, while the local wildlife chirped, twittered and cheeped from the bordering forest. If ever there was a writing desk, this was it.

And so I modeled my home desk after this perfect spot. And while the M-train subway cars rattling outside my window aren’t quite as natural as the trickling tides, I do find soothing the regular rumble of the trains. And while my current view is a cement backyard, and a barb-wire fence, and a bus depot and train yard, none of this really matters when the sun is shining and the words are flowing, because I’m deep into a story, somewhere in outer space in the far future, or at a rock concert swarming with time travelers, or walking through old factories in a New England post-industrial town, or somewhere else.

So maybe those people who say you must be able to write anywhere are correct; once your imagination takes over, it doesn’t matter where you are. But I still believe that some spots are more conducive to creativity. And those spots don’t necessarily need to be at a cottage overlooking a tidal estuary. There might be one right beside you.