This was your plan, not mine

Today I have a new story out! Nature Futures has published Planned Obsolescence.

This story is for my friend Merc, who likes the stuff in it. It is also for my friend Mike. Most of my Nature shorts are for Mike. But Merc is still around to read it, and the Mike in question is John M. Ford. Sometimes half a conversation is better than none. This is me looping Merc into my conversation with Mike.

Anyway I hope you like it, even those of you who know neither of them. (But you can read both of their stuff when you’re done with this!)

This one has AIs and…what they do when they find out they’ve been made deliberately mortal.

2020 round-up post

I actually…did a lot this year. I really did. I didn’t do as much as I wanted to, but that’s a chorus I think you can all sing along with even if you know slightly different verses–and not just this year, every year. I don’t honestly put a lot of stock in the turning of the year, personally. I am more likely to make random day resolutions than New Year’s resolutions, and I did that this year, I did that a lot. I did “let’s try this” and “I want to be better about that.” Some of it even worked.

We pause to write a poem that might get posted here later if I get a chance. One of the things I’ve learned about myself and my writing process this year is that it’s not a good sign if there are several solid weeks when I’m not writing poems. That’s a marker of a bad time. I’ve had a few of those this year, as I know everyone else has too–but since I’m this new to writing poetry, it’s a little surprising to find it moving to that place in my writing practice. Huh. Well, okay. I have no idea whether it’ll still be like this after the pandemic, but that’s okay; I’ve cycled through enough variations in writing practice to know that it’s natural for things to vary, it’s natural for something to be crucial for a time and then completely unnecessary, or vice versa. We are not who we were, and that’s all right, that’s how life goes.

And speaking of things not as they were: I did a lot of revisions this year, and I avoided a lot of revisions by writing new things this year, so I expect I will do a lot of revisions next year. A lot. No, really, more than that. I like to have things at various stages of done so that I can work on something at any time, whether it’s research or planning/outlining or drafting or so many revisions.

I appeared on podcasts this year, and I participated in panels online, and I read two of my stories myself as podcasts, one of which will appear next year I guess. I’ve already got an author copy for something that will appear next year, and it’s not even the first something. I list twenty-two acceptances on my spreadsheet, which is pretty darn good actually. I’ll mark the reprints, poems, and essays below, otherwise it’s short stories all the way down. For now.

I’m really proud of the substance of these. I think it’s easy for this kind of year-end post to get caught up in quantity, but I am really proud of the things I managed to do and say with this work, and that’s the ballgame, that’s why I’m here. Thanks for still being here with me. I hope you enjoy this year’s work.

Every Tiny Tooth and Claw (Or: Letters from the First Month of the New Directorate),” Beneath Ceaseless Skies, January 2020.

Save Me a Seat on the Couch: Spoiler Culture, Inclusion, and Disability,” Uncanny, January 2020. (essay)

“Finding Their Footing (Chinese translation),” SF World, March 2020 (reprint)

Quality Control,” Toasted Cake, March 2020. (podcast reprint)

The Solace of Connection,” Reckoning Creativity and Coronavirus project, March 2020. (essay)

Loosestrife,” New Decameron Project, April 2020.

The Curse,” Daily Science Fiction, May 2020.

“Upside the Head,” Consolation Songs: Speculative Fiction for a Time of Coronavirus, edited by Iona Datt Sharma, June 2020. (reprint)

The Watercolors of Elfland,” New Decameron Project, June 2020.

Addison and Julia Tell the Truth to Pemmaquid Beach,” Daily Science Fiction, July 2020.

The Foolish Man Built His House Upon the Sand,” Nature Futures, July 2020.

This Will Not Happen To You (Spanish translation podcast),” Las Escritoras de Urras, July 2020. (reprint)

COVID Summer: After, Now,” Reckoning Creativity and Coronavirus project, July 2020. (poem)

COVID Summer: Against Dystopia,” Reckoning Creativity and Coronavirus project, July 2020. (poem)

Pre-Apocalyptic Meeting Minutes,” Mobius, Summer 2020. (poem)

“Fenrir and Sigyn, After Ragnarok,” Star*Line, Summer 2020. (poem)

After the Monster,” Daily Science Fiction, August 2020.

The Past, Like a River In Flood,” Beneath Ceaseless Skies, August 2020.

The Swarm of Giant Gnats I Sent After Kent, My Assistant Manager,” Translunar Travelers Lounge, August 2020.

Press Play,” Nature Futures, September 2020.

The Roots of Hope: Toward an Optimistic Near-Future SF in a Pandemic,” Uncanny, September 2020. (essay)

“The Thing, With Feathers,” The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror Vol. 1, October 2020. (reprint)

“We Care,” If There’s Anyone Left Vol. 1, November 2020.

“Peaceweaver,” Analog, Nov/Dec 2020.

“Grief, As Faithful As My Hound,” Asimov’s, Nov/Dec 2020. Podcast version read by me!

Old Age Wrestles Thor Again,” Daily SF, December 2020.

“My Favorite Sentience,” We, Robots, December 2020. (reprint)

Thor and more

New story this morning! Old Age Wrestles Thor Again on Daily SF. In the Prose Edda we see Thor wrestling an old woman called Elli who turns out to be Old Age personified, and…they can’t quite quit each other. Hope you enjoy!

And an old story this morning! My story “My Favorite Sentience” is among the stories reprinted in the anthology We, Robots, available in the UK and Canada.