Saturday, August 19, 2017

Hunting Nazis

Earlier this summer I caught up on a Spanish drama that a number of my fellow Spanish teachers use for their classes, El Internado (The Boarding School, in English). An excellent story in general (though not appropriate for my school situation), but one scene in particular jumped into my memory last weekend, and I went back to rewatch the scene.

[Some spoilers below]

Fermín is a a jokester who's been in the school since before the first season, working as a cook. By now it's the final season, so we know his full story: that he's been undercover at the school, and his real purpose is to track down Nazis who came to Spain after World War II and still exert their influence in mysterious and deadly ways. He's easily one of my favorite characters in what's a pretty sprawling cast.

In this scene, he's exploring the secret passages with a soldier who has a complicated history with the secret organization founded by the former Nazis. We as viewers know more than Fermín, that Lt. Garrido was on their side until he got trapped behind a quarantine, but we aren't totally sure yet whether he's helping the students who are trapped or still hoping to betray them to get back in the good graces of the organization.

Anyway, Fermín is giving Garrido a hard time about never joking. Garrido doesn't answer directly, just asks if Fermín does his work out of some sense of vocation.

Fermín answers, "Well, man, the cooking—that relaxes me. But this hunting for Nazis, that's more for fun."

You can see the episode (with English subtitles if you need it) at (the whole series may also be on Netflix--it's been on and off since I started hearing about it from other teachers, and I don't have Netflix myself to check). The key scene is about 28 minutes in.

May we have many more Fermíns these days...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Story, poetry acceptances

Thrilled to have sold a story, "The Desert Cure," to Mythic Delirium.  It's a very personal story, in a very weird way...

Also pleased to have sold two poems to Polu Texni, "Ostracizing the Blacksmith," and "The Language of Denshi." I will post links to all when they are available.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Two poems published

I have a poem in each of the most recent SFPA publications:

"Naming the Trash Moons" is in issue 25 of Eye to the Telescope (free to read online). This is an SF poem I wrote specifically on the theme for the issue.

And "Some Things Overlooked" is in Starline 40.3, which can be purchased at that link (or if you're a member of SFPA, you get the issue for free). This is also an SF poem, of landing on a new planet...with a touch of horror underneath that arrival.

Give them a read, and check out the other poems in each as well.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Spire City sale!

I'm participating in Smashwords' July sale. A ton of books are on sale or free at Smashwords for the month, including all three of the full season bundles.

So Season One: Infected is completely free.

Season Two: Pursued is down to half price.

And Season Three: Unwoven is also at half price. That means you can get the entire series for less than $5. If you haven't gotten around to reading the books, then this is a great time to do so. Or a great time to buy copies of the series to give to friends.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Some publications

The blog has been quiet for a while. I won't get into reasons or make any promises about its activity going forward. But I do want to get out here the things that have been published since my last update.

"Tending a Trace of Chaos" is a sonnet that appeared in Star*Line 40.1. I'm much more likely to write free verse than to follow any strict forms...but this is the second Mars-based, strict sonnet I've had published (and second I've written as well). Perhaps it's my niche...

"The Front" is a short story that appeared in Bourbon Penn 12, my third short story in that excellent magazine. It's an older story, written at a time of deep pessimism about war. The tagline in Latin reads, "art is brief, war is eternal." It's a play on a line of wisdom from Latin (and Greek before that) that I must have first come across in high school, and for some reason it always stuck with me. It translates as "life is brief, but art is long."

"The Poetics of Defiance" is one of the longer stories I've had published. It's a fun one that I'm very proud of. It started with an idea to come up with the two most unlikely jobs for a traditional sword & sorcery story, and I came up with an alchemist (I've liked the idea of a traveling alchemist ever since I was into D&D back in high school) and a poet. It ended up straying from the S&S idea somewhat... I had a lot of fun with creating the snippets of poetry for the attack poet.

I had two poems, "Uncanny Instrument (a fib)" and "Usurper Autumn," in last autumn's issue of Illumen (issue 23). Brought to you by the letter U, I guess. "Uncanny Instrument" is the second fib I've had published--another form poem. "Usurper Autumn" is free verse.

"The Essences of Good and Evil" appeared last week in Every Day Fiction. Like many of my stories, it started as a one-hour exercise with some writer friends. It takes a cliche I never would normally touch--a dark lord brought down by a plucky band of heroes--and gives it a playful, what-comes-next storyline that turns it somewhat on its head. Based on the reviews below, I think many of the readers don't exactly share my sense of play... Ah well.

There will be some more publications coming up fairly soon (I think...). But this is enough of a post for one day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"The Flight of a Village in the Midst of War" in DSF

This story went up yesterday at Daily Science Fiction. Give it a read, give it a rating, share it with your friends!

The story began as a flash fiction entry at SFFWorld's forum. The author notes on the story page go a bit more into some of my thoughts on the story and how it came about, so I won't repeat them here. But it's a surreal story about refugees, war...and feral trains, a story I was very pleased with from the moment I had it down and polished. Thrilled to have it as my second appearance in DSF!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Steampunk Cavaliers post on story structure

My post on "The Shape of a Steampunk Story" went up yesterday at Steampunk Cavaliers. I like to take a sideways look at stories sometimes, and these are the kinds of things I think about when I do that. About steampunk but also about fantasy and science fiction and even Harry Potter...briefly, anyway. Give it a read, comment there if you have anything add.