Some kind of idiot savant shit: “Skills to Keep the Devil in His Place” in Shimmer 34


Devil Lia, Halloween 2005

Look, everyone, I wrote a nice story! It’s about some high school girls making friends. And the devil. And some other stuff that’s not so nice, or just kind of weird, but I enjoyed writing it. Took me like six months to draft and then so, so many revisions, I can’t even tell you. Many thanks to E. Catherine Tobler, Joy Marchand, and the rest of the editorial crew at Shimmer, who have displayed admirable tolerance as I turned into a wretched artiste too neurotic to stop editing and too distracted to count her sections correctly.

This is a longer one, so sit down in a comfy chair with a cozy beverage of your choice, or get a good seat on the bus, or sit on spikes and gargle scotch bonnet purée, if that’s your thing, though I hope it isn’t because that can’t be healthy, and anyway—I hope you like the story. Here’s the link.

Skills to Keep the Devil in His Place, in Shimmer 34

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Don’t be frightened if you see a crazy light: RAT KING


I’m happy to say I’ve got a new bit of fiction to share with you all! RAT KING is a short monologue that I wrote about a year ago, pretty much cackling over it like a mad hen with her crazy egg and feeling weird about myself the whole time—how I always feel when writing horror, basically—and when it was done I had that glowy FUCK YEAH feeling that I get when I think I’ve written something good. And I was extra cackly when the piece got accepted at Pseudopod, because a monologue should be performed, right?

Now, listening to Rish Outfield‘s excellent reading, even at 4 o’ clock in the morning when I have risen to let my elderly dog go outside, again I feel pretty FUCK YEAH about this one. I feel pretty all-caps about it. It’s about seven minutes long, from 2:15-9:30, and then David Murphy and Christopher Fowler totally outclass me afterwards in their stories. I recommend listening in the dark, with a strong beverage and some crickets. Except don’t eat the crickets. Or maybe milk and cookies? Or whatever, wherever. Anyway. I’m gonna let the dog in and go back to bed. Here’s Episode 501 of Pseudopod, including my RAT KING. Big thanks to Rish Outfield, host Dagny Paul, and all the Pseudopod editors. FUCK YEAH, you guys.

Sliced thin and deep-fried: “Plural” podcast on Escape Pod

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 6.11.54 PM

Illustration by Andrew Sullivan for Cosmos Magazine

The most faithful and long-suffering of my loyal readers (I think there are maybe three of you?) will remember the story “Plural,” first published last March in Cosmos Magazine. Well, the science fictionistas at Escape Pod have now produced this story as a podcast, so you can listen to it while you pull dandelions or drive to Graceland or suffer away on the elliptical machine. Whatever your thankless activity, Amanda Ching has done the  reading so you don’t have to! Give it a listen, if you please.