Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Short Story Published

Was pleased to learn that my short story, "Split Decision" has been accepted for publication in Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales, edited by Julie Czerneda and Susan MacGregor, (from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, ISBN 978-1-894063-58-6; $15.95 -- available for pre-order from for $11.48.) Official release is set for September.

I am trying to find time for more fiction writing, but most of that energy has gone into my novel, and it is pretty slow going, so when the call for submissions for Tesseracts 15 opened, I decided to write something for it. The last short story I wrote was "The Luck of Charles Harcourt", which was printed in the first issue of On Spec magazine, summer of 1989, so it had been a while!

The theme for this issue was Young Adult SF. I had an idea for a short story kicking around for some time that might suit, but before I could put pen to paper, my daughter rushed in and started telling me about some incident at school. Making sense of an excited 13 year-old's stream-of-consciousness narrative is often quite challenging, because without knowing the context of her many self-referential allusions, it is often difficult to follow how the various bits of the story connect to each other. Like a detective, one has to use interview probes to slow and direct the initial rush of verbiage, and then deconstruct what is being said to tease out the unstated assumptions and the missing pieces that provide the logical connections between the various bits bulletting past. Standing there listening to this fascinating web of seemingly irrelevant detail, I asked myself, what would it sound like if my daughter were trying to tell me something completely outside my experience, where I had no chance to figure out the missing context? So I took Tigana and her friends and dumped them into an SF scenario, and the first draft was finished in about six hours. After some helpful input from my wife ("kids don't call it that any more -- my god, you're old") and Lorina Stevens (Shadow Song and From Mountains of Ice), I was done. Couple months later, I'm in. That's a little faster turn around than one gets with a novel!