Island History in Asimov’s, out now

The skinny: My new short story, “Island History” just came out in the September/October 2022 issue of Asimov’s. If you want to read it, you can get a subscription, or you can buy the digital version of the current issue only, or you can try walking into a likely bookstore and seeing if they have a print copy (Barnes and Noble is a good bet).

In other news: The new Terraform anthology has come out and includes short works by many really fabulous writers, as well as my short piece “Plantation | Springtime,” which first appeared on the Terraform website in 2016, then on Big Echo in 2018. You can order it here, or buy it from your local bookstore, or get it in whatever way you usually obtain books.

This summer I’ve been working on translations of Antoine Volodine and Marie Cosnay for an upcoming issue of Palais, the magazine of the Palais de Tokyo. More info on that when it becomes available.

In case anyone’s wondering: I began writing this story in summer of 2020, a few months into the first Covid lockdowns, a few weeks after the Minneapolis police murdered a man and set off an enormous wave of protests, right here in my quiet southside neighborhood, and all over the world.

That summer I was also running a lot, both for exercise and just to get out of the house. My longer runs sometimes take me to Pike Island, in Fort Snelling State Park, where the Minnesota River joins the Mississippi. There isn’t a sign right there, or a marker, or anything really to let you know it, but this confluence is, for the Dakota people, a sacred place called Bdote:

For the Dakota, there are multiple stories of creation, with one account widely held in this region. According to oral tradition, the spirits of the people came down from Caŋku Wanaġi, “the spirit road,” made up of the stars of the Milky Way, and when they arrived on Earth, the Creator shaped the first people from the clay of Maka Ina, “Mother Earth” at Bdote.

For me, descendant of immigrants from Finland and Germany and sundry other European locales, the confluence is a reminder to think about the place where I live, where other people once lived and were forced to leave.

So in the summer of 2020, I was thinking about all these things, and also, a little, about a New Yorker article on the Falkland Islands that I’d read on some insomniac night. This story isn’t about any of them, not directly, but indirectly I think it touches on all of them. I finished the first full draft in April of 2021, and after numerous revisions, finally, here it is out in the world. I hope you like it.

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