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A view from on land

I have a poem out in the current (Nov/Dec) issue of F&SF, “Like Other Girls.” This one is a Little Mermaid poem, inspired by my thoughts about the original story’s sense of the main character as one of a group of sisters.

F&SF is not available online, but you can buy it from bookstores/newsstands or from their website, although that has not been updated with the current issue yet.

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Rosebuds, I’m pretty sure I told you to gather ’em

New essay today in Uncanny! Failing the Marshmallow Test: On Not Saving Books for Later. I know that some amount of book hoarding is inevitable because nobody, not even me, reads instantaneously. But this is about deliberately putting off something you know you want to read for “later”–and why I think it’s maybe better not to.

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Short stories of summer

Here are some short stories (and maybe a few poems, and some longer short works) I’ve enjoyed this quarter! Please feel free to recommend more in the comments, I make no pretense that I’ve gotten to everything good that’s come out this year.

Yours, Wickedly: A Story in Thirteen Letters, Stephanie Burgis (Sunday Morning Transport)

The Naming of Knots, M. A. Carrick (BCS)

The Sand Knows Its Way Home, L. Chan (Reckoning)

Merciful Even to Scorpions, Kay Chronister (BCS)

“Equal Forces Opposed in Exquisite Tension,” John Chu (New Suns 2)

“Between Truth and Death on the Murmansk-Saint Petersburg Line,” Zohar Jacobs (Sunday Morning Transport)

“Juan,” Darcie Little Badger (New Suns 2)

“Dragons of Yuta,” Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (New Suns 2)

“Bayanihan,” Maricar Macario (F&SF Sept/Oct 23)

The Kingdom of Darkness, Sarah Monette (Uncanny)

To Dust Returned, Rita Oakes (BCS)

“The Plant and the Purist,” Malka Older (New Suns 2)


Till the Greenteeth Draw Us Down, Josh Rountree (The Deadlands)

“Approved Methods of Love Divination in the First-Rate City of Dushagorod,” Kristina Ten (F&SF Jul/Aug 23)

What It Means to Love a City, Mo Usavage (Reckoning)

“Silk and Cotton and Linen and Blood,” Nghi Vo (New Suns 2)

The Three O’Clock Dragon, John Wiswell (

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Nerd grief

My poem Object Permanence is in Analog magazine’s Sept/Oct issue, and also featured on their website for the next two months.

A lot of writing about grief, including my writing about grief, is inspired by the loss of our nearest and dearest. This is not that, this is the next circle out–my dear little old great-aunt Bets, my ex-boyfriend’s delightful father Marc, all those whose pathways through the world were joys just one notch more distant from mine…until the day they weren’t, and I miss them still, in their own way.

Which is, of course, still a very nerdy way.

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You Are My Sunshine and Other Stories, by Octavia Cade

Review copy provided by the publisher.

I’ve heard a lot of discussion of climate horror in recent years. While the stories in this volume are plenty horrified, the dominant emotion is not mostly horror. It’s what I’d describe as anguish. There are so many animals, so many plants, so many habitats in decline or obliterated, and Cade is not looking away from it, she’s showing not just the devastated futures but the devastation from them. There are a few stories that are more upbeat, more whimsical, more of the places people are pulling up their socks and going on. But in order to get there we’re going to have to go through the hard years, and Cade is not flinching away from that part, not for a moment.

I think one of my favorite things about Cade’s writing has always been her grounding in both poetry and science. This is a work of prose, but the poetic language and the science grounding both inform it, both give it different kinds of precision, and I love that. I love that even when it’s ripping me to pieces. I love it perhaps especially then.