It has been over two months since I’ve posted anything here, so I suppose I ought to collect all the detritus that has been jostling about the shores of procrastination. Call it a year end post, if you like, but mostly it is just an overdue post, filled with the things I should have told you during the preceding two months.
I will start with the recent news that my story “Spooky Action” made the Tangent Online 2017 Recommended Reading List. It not only made the list, but received the list’s highest distinction as a three star recommendation. I am the sort of writer who alternates between seeing my literary babies as adorable one day, and abominations that should be locked away in a closet the next. So this sort of recognition helps.
Third Flatiron, publishers of the Cat’s Breakfast anthology, has produced a podcast of “Spooky Action” that you can listen to here. You will also find a Q&A in which I discuss the genesis of the story, among other things.
“Toasterpocalypse” was published in November in Edward Bryant’s Sphere of Influence. There appears to be two different print versions of this anthology available, 0974161977 & 0974161985. I honestly don’t know the difference between the two other than that they are sometimes priced differently. If you are looking to buy a copy, I suggest checking both to see which offers the better price at the time. There is also a digital edition.
As for 2018, expect more frequent story announcements. I have decided to dedicate myself to writing fiction this year. This means that some other endeavors (like Scide Splitters & Retro Hugo reviews) will have to sit this one out. It is high time I got serious about my writing and I hope the added focus will yield a very fruitful year.
I have been digesting the other twenty-nine stories in Cat’s Breakfast, one each day for the past month or so. There was no point in rushing through them since I can’t review the anthology at Amazing Stories due to the obvious conflict of interest (I wrote the lead story in the collection). Suffice to say that it is the sort of book that I would have featured as a Scide Splitter.
Had I reviewed Cat’s Breakfast, I would have pointed out how wonderful the first story is, thus causing the editor at Amazing to spit out his coffee and ban the article entirely. My summation would have stated that the anthology is filled with dark satires befitting a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut, many of which elicit a good laugh. I would have also mentioned that my favorite stories included Christopher Mark Rose’s “Emerging Grammars,” Gregg Chamberlain’s “The Pigeon Drop” and James Beamon’s “Command Decision.” But I am not going to tell you any of those things because it would be inappropriate.
No, I am not writing horror. This is quantum mechanics. A physics professor accidentally contacts God while conducting experiments in quantum entanglement. “Spooky Action” is the lead story in Cat’s Breakfast, the Kurt Vonnegut tribute anthology released yesterday by Third Flatiron Publishing. It is available in digital format through Amazon, with the trade paper edition due out in the next few days.
I have not received my copy yet, so I can’t honestly vouch for the rest of the stories. Never-the-less, I have high hopes for this anthology. How often do you get a chance to read a professional-level selection of dark humor? (Not often enough is the answer, in case you were unsure.) And if there is one thing we need in our current social/political climate, it is a dose of satire. So, bring on the gallows humor.