News! Publications! and Manuela Draeger’s Kree

As I noted in my last post, things tend to happen all at once. The week before last, for example, I had one story published on March 30th and another one came out on the 31st. Wild times. Here are the details:

Better Get Hit in Your Soul” appeared on the Nature magazine website, as part of its Futures science fiction series. This is a short piece about a saxophonist forced to get back to basics. I’ve also included a short “behind the story” bit, in which I duly credit Charles Mingus, whose song title I brazenly stole.

Escape Pod was kind enough to produce a podcast version of “Rena in the Desert”, a story which appeared in Asimov’s in March/April 2020. Forever ago, right? It’s strange revisiting a story from before things really went sideways. Anyway, I enjoyed the reading by S. Kay Nash and the audio production by Summer Brooks (I didn’t really notice it so I think that means it’s good), and I’m grateful to Mur Lafferty for her thoughts.

Regarding that third publication—it looks like “Island History” is set to come out in the September/October 2022 issue of Asimov’s. Updates forthcoming.

Now, the big news: I have signed a contract with the University of Minnesota Press to translate the novel Kree by Manuela Draeger.

I just received the hard copy from Éditions de l’Olivier today and I plan to carry it around with me constantly for a year or so

For those not acquainted, Manuela Draeger is a member of the Antoine Volodine/Lutz Bassmann/et al. post-exoticism, er, collective, so to speak. Works previously translated into English include In the Time of the Blue Ball (tr. Brian Evenson) and Eleven Sooty Dreams (tr. J. T. Mahany), both of which I really enjoyed. Kree is a dark, violent, fascinating, and fun novel, and I am so excited I get to sink into it and eventually share it with everyone.

Forthcoming fictions (it never rains but it pours)

After a couple years’ dry spell on the fiction front, I am happy and relieved to share some news. Over the last few weeks I’ve had three pieces of my own writing accepted for publication. I’m not sure yet when these things will appear, but appear they shall, and I shall write proud excited blog posts about them when they do. For now, I’ll keep things brief.

First, Asimov’s has accepted my short story “Island History”.

Second, Nature magazine runs an online short fiction series called “Futures,” which will include my flash piece titled “Better Get Hit in Your Soul” (a title for which I am obviously endebted to Charles Mingus).

Third, Escape Pod has agreed to produce a podcast version of “Rena in the Desert,” which originally appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of Asimov’s.

What else is going on? Isn’t that enough? Well, there’s some translation news coming in the near future, but I’m keeping it under wraps until everything’s official.

In the meantime, be placated with this picture of my new dog. This is Jolie. The story is, Jolie escaped a (hypothetical) mean person who hauled her around by the collar a lot, and ended up pregnant and wandering the streets of Jasper, Alabama. Somebody brought her into a shelter, where she produced a single puppy. She ended up at a rescue organization here in Minnesota, where she did some mothering before sending the pup off to college and coming to live with us. As with my old dog Romeo (who was a stray from Brooklyn, NY), I like a dog with an interesting past, even if, in this case, we’ve got some training to do.

More news soon, I hope.

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! Here’s the Author Q&A I wrote up for the Asimov’s blog, 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.