Out now: “Rena in the Desert” in Asimov’s (and a Mall of America adventure story)

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I’ve had work published before, and in print before, but never before have I had a story printed in a magazine that I could just go to a store and buy. So I’ve been pretty excited to see the March/April 2020 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, which is not only printed (on paper!) and bound, but also available in book stores. Which book stores? Well, the Barnes and Noble at the Mall of America, for one, which I know because I often pick up a copy of Asimov’s to occupy me when I ride the train home from the bizarre and overwhelming behemoth of Bloomington. Oh, and why the March/April 2020 issue? Because it includes my story “Rena in the Desert.” Which happens to have arrived in newsstands today.

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my name is not on the cover but it’s inside, I promise

So I grabbed my husband and, well, first we went cross country skiing out at Whitetail Woods park. I am not very good at skiing but I’m getting better. Today I snowplowed victoriously down several small hills without falling or crying or even having more than a very mild heart attack. Birkebeiner here I come.

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your daily dose of Minnesota winter

Anyway, where was I—I grabbed my husband, went skiing, and then off we went to the Mall of America Barnes and Noble to see if the new Asimov’s was there. And it was! Here, Jeff very helpfully moved it to the front of the shelf so it would be easier for my legions of fans to find.

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only two left! going fast, obviously!

Look, a totally random man who happened to be reading my story, how coincidental!

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both handsome and literate!

And then this totally random man decided to buy two copies of the magazine!

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also: tall!

Okay, so yes, that’s Jeff. Anyway, we found the magazine, which does indeed have my story in it; we bought it, and then decided to celebrate with some bubbly at an adjacent hotel bar. Here is me drinking my nice glass of crémant de Limoux and gloating over my story in Asimov’s, at the Mall of America Marriott, of all places.

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at Cedar + Stone Urban Table, which, if you’re looking for a celebratory beverage at the Mall of America, is probably one of the better choices

If you, too, would like to read this story, you can also trek out to a bookstore, or I believe it’s possible to buy a single issue for iPad, Kindle, etc. from the usual places. The story is, I think, pretty good. As the title says, it’s about Rena, and she’s in the desert, and having some trouble getting across it. She stops at an AutoMotel and meets a little girl. Is it a trap? Maybe! I’ll post the Author Q&A I wrote up for the Asimov’s blog when it’s up, if you want to know more. Meantime, if you read the story, however you read it, I hope you enjoy it, as well as your celebratory beverages of choice.

Give us a hero, the people said: “Origin Story” on Terraform (and other news)

It’s been a while since I could tell you all that I’ve had a new fiction piece published, but voilà! My kinda-meta flash piece “Origin Story” is now up at Terraform. Have a look!

What else is happening? Well, a bunch of stuff, actually. The big one is that I’ve finished my dissertation (to the extent such a thing can ever be finished) and my defense is set for May 21st. Yes, the long, grueling saga of graduate school is almost over and I think I’m getting out alive. And with a doctorate. You can call me doctor! I promise not to attempt any tracheotomies.

After the defense, I’m heading back to the Bread Loaf Translators Workshop, where I’m looking forward to hanging out with a bunch of awesome translators and getting their feedback on my translation of Antoine Volodine’s Alto Solo.

And in other news, I’ve recently had a short story accepted to Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine!

And the sun is out! In Minneapolis! In May!

And the May Day Parade is this Sunday! Happy May Day, everybody! Happy Spring, and happy reading.

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Image swiped from Terraform. Not sure of the illustrator’s name but I like it.

Time to get organized: “Mag, the Habitat and We,” in Apex 92

Ever get the sense that your work is multiplying? Like every time you wash a dish, you turn around and there’s another one you didn’t see and oh, there’s the dog with something disgusting in his mouth? Or every time you try to find a reference for some basic statement about the history of cinema, a whole stack of scholarship you’ve never even seen just explodes in your face and your footnotes and everywhere? And you’re like, “Drop it, Romeo, no, outside, ick, why,” or “Goddamnit André Gaudreault, you and your culture broth,” or maybe “Help, chocolate,” or something like that? I think this is a pretty universal experience, no?

What if I told you it’s not your fault? What if there really were little gremlins or brownies or otherwise mischievous creatures, or André Gaudreault, for that matter, hiding out and just waiting for their chance to screw everything up yet again?

Well, then, that is the basic idea behind this story, up today in Apex Magazine: “Mag, the Habitat and We.”

ETA: There is also a podcast of this story! Check out Mahvesh Murad’s Apex podcast here.

Please enjoy, or at least find a moment’s respite.

Speaking of respites, here is a picture of me on a snowshoe hike near a lovely lonesome northern lake. I hope all of you had an equally pleasant beginning to 2017.

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On Tord Lake, though it looks like any number of the zillion lakes up in northern Minnesota. Feeling weirdly light and free. Photo by Mr. Jeffrey Mitchell.


(apologies to André Gaudreault, whom I have never met, and who is a fine scholar and writer of important things.)