Lightspeed Jan 2013 My story “The Sounds of Old Earth” went live on Lightspeed this month (and co-published on  Within a few hours of its publication, Joyce Carol Oates said of it on Twitter, “This is a powerful story that is both tragic & hopeful–unexpectedly. And beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it.”

Well, that pretty much made my week.

And Ellen Datlow said, “It’s powerful. I cried through most of it (a good thing).”

And in the Last Short Story podcast, Jonathan Strahan says, “Terrific…I would expect this to be making end of the year recommended reading lists, possibly bests of the year.”

I’m kind of floored by the positive responses to the story so far. It’s pretty amazing and surreal to have this imagery in your head being shared and discussed by others, and even moving some people the way I was moved to write this story. (More than one person has said the story made them cry.) In the Author Spotlight by Robyn Lupo, you can read a little bit about what inspired me to create “The Sounds of Old Earth.”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this kick-ass podcast by Stefan Rudnicki. He’s so good at capturing the narrator’s voice that I now can’t imagine Abner speaking with any other. Go give a listen here.

There’s also a cool story by Daniel Abraham in the current issue of Lightspeed, and I quite liked “With Tales in Their Teeth, From the Mountain They Came” by A.C. Wise (available next week, or now as an e-book).  I haven’t read the entire issue yet, but there’s a reprint from the inimitable Jeff Ford, who is always among my favorite short story writers.

Fearful SymmetriesAlso this week (and for the past several), I’ve been helping Brett Savory and Sandra Katsuri over at ChiZine Publications, and Ellen Datlow with a Kickstarter campaign. If you haven’t heard, Ellen is hoping to edit a non-themed horror anthology called Fearful Symmetries. At the time of this writing she still needs about $2,500 and she has only three days left. Ellen Datlow has edited some of the best anthologies to have ever existed in speculative fiction. And that’s not hyperbole. Just take a look at her resume. If you want to help her to continue to produce such great works, please donate to her Kickstarter campaign.

With that I will leave you with this picture I took at the annual Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens. Artist Paul Busse and his team have recreated Past and present New York City landmarks from natural elements — bark, wood, acorns, leaves — and placed them inside the Haupt Conservatory greenhouse among working model trains. This was our first year going at night and the effect was magical.

Holiday Train Show