2011, The Year in Review

calendar2011 was a pretty good year for me.  When I began writing this post I felt as if I hadn’t done all that much in the past twelve months.  But after listing everything I’ve done I see now that I have accomplished quite a bit.  Before time carves these events permanently out of my brain, I thought I’d document them here.

Early in the year, my story “The History Within Us” was reprinted in The People of the Book.  An excellent anthology of Jewish-themed science fiction & fantasy, I was pretty darn happy to share a table of contents with Neil Gaiman, Peter Beagle, and many other talents.

Another Jewish-themed story (do you sense a pattern?), “The Hands that Feed” appeared in Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories.  About an aging Jewish woman in a steam-punked Lower East Side of 1895, this story was a lot of fun to write.  People seemed to like this one quite a bit too, which made me very happy.

My big publication of the year was “The Bricks of Gelecek,” which appeared in Ellen Datlow’s urban fantasy anthology Naked City. Ellen said this story “blew me away” when she first read it.  And Shelf Awareness called it the “true gem in the collection.”  I’m quite proud of this story, especially since it takes place in the same universe as my novel in progress.  Over on the SFWA.org boards, Ellen has posted a copy of the story for SFWA members.  If you care to check it out, please let me know what you think!

GUD Magazine purchased my small-town tale “One Spring in Cherryville,” a story about a close band of twenty-somethings who discover something buried in an abandoned factory basement that changes their lives forever.  I don’t have a publication date for this one yet.

Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling purchased “The Great Game at the End of the World” for their YA dystopian anthology, After.  This was the first time that I’d written a story that put children in real harm, and I found some scenes painful to write.  But I think this is one of my best stories, and I’m excited to hear what people think of it when it comes out this fall.

Sean Wallace purchased a reprint of “The Hands that Feed” for The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, which will be out in June of this year.

Sadly, there was no issue of Sybil’s Garage in 2011.  Though I really wanted to do a new issue, a number of other projects have prevented me from finding the time.  This is not the end of the magazine, however.  It will return!

For my work on Sybil’s Garage and Senses Five Press I was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in the category of Special Award, Non-Professional.  Though I did not win, it was a great honor to be nominated.  Even better was sharing the ballot with my Altered Fluid mates Mercurio David Rivera and N.K. Jemisin.  Go team!

This year I did several readings of my work.  In February I read along side Rick Bowes at the Wold Newton reading series.  In a crowded bookstore in Cambridge, MA I read with other contributors of Naked City, and I participated in three more readings at Readercon.  At the San Diego World Fantasy Convention, Jeff Ford and I both read our stories from After.  Jeff was awesome by offering to merge our separate readings into one large one.  Overall I believe I did about eight different readings this year, which seems like a lot now that I think about it.

At Readercon I hosted a popular panel called “Dybbuks, Golems, Demons, Oy Vey!: Jewish Mythology and Folklore in Speculative Fiction.”  I had a lot of fun talking about the many great stories of Jewish fantasy and science fiction with the panelists, and the overcrowded room was testament to the panel’s success.

So, you may be wondering, what’s with all this Jewish-themed stuff?  Well, I’ve been working on a novel based on the Jewish myth of the Lamed Vav, the Thirty Six just men who sustain the world.  I finished a draft in August, the same day (no actually the same minute) that the northeastern U.S. was struck with a minor earthquake.  I had been writing about minor earthquakes in the final scene, so when the world actually shook, I was like, whoops!  Next time I’ll write about rainbows and universal harmony.  Anyway, I have recently begun revisions on the novel and I am about 25% of the way through.  I hope to have a final draft by the end of February.

The Fantastic Fiction reading series at KGB has been going strong all throughout 2011, with many excellent guests and regular large crowds.  The fundraiser from 2010 has allowed Ellen and I to continue to run the series throughout most of 2012.  I noticed a lot of new faces in the audience, which suggests that the series is expanding in popularity as well.  2012 is already shaping up to be amazing with January’s guests, James Patrick Kelly and Kelly Link.  In March, we will also have Terry Bisson, the series’ founder.  It’s going to be a good year.

Overall 2011 was a very good year for me, and I’m working hard to make sure 2012 continues that trend.  On that note, here’s hoping your New Year’s was a happy one and that 2012 brings you all the success you deserve.  Bye, for now.

 

 

Naked City Reading July 14th in Cambridge

I’ll be reading/signing as part of the first Naked City reading on July 14th.  Here’s the details, cribbed from Ellen Datlow’s blog:

“The very first Naked City event will be the evening Readercon begins and will take place in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I hope some of you can make it. I’m hoping to set something up in New York during the summer or fall.

Naked City: Urban Fantasy stories edited by Ellen Datlow

Readings/signing hosted by Ellen Datlow at

Porter Square Books
Porter Square Cambridge
25 White St, Cambridge, MA
617-491-2220

Thursday 7pm, July 14th

Matthew Kressel
Matthew Kressel’s fiction has or will soon appear in Clarkesworld Magazine, Interzone, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Electric Velocipede, Apex Magazine, GUD Magazine, and the anthologies The People of the Book, After, and Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories, as well as other markets. He runs Senses Five Press, which publishes the magazine Sybil’s Garage and published the World Fantasy Award-winning Paper Cities, An Anthology of Urban Fantasy.

Kit Reed
Kit Reed is the author of The Baby Merchant, Dogs of Truth, and Thinner Than Thou. Her short novel Little Sisters of the Apocalypse, and the collection, Weird Women, Wired Women were both finalists for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Her most recent novel, Enclave, appeared in 2009. Her short fiction has been published in various anthologies, and magazines. Her short story collection, What Wolves Know, was recently published.

Caitlín R. Kiernan
Caitlín R. Kiernan is the author of several novels, including Low Red Moon, Daughter of Hounds, and The Red Tree, which was nominated for both the Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy awards. Her latest novel, The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, will be released by Penguin in 2012. Since 2000, her shorter tales of the weird, fantastic, and macabre have been collected in Tales of Pain and Wonder; From Weird and Distant Shores; To Charles Fort, With Love; Alabaster; A is for Alien; and The Ammonite Violin & Others.

Jeffrey Ford
Jeffrey Ford is the author of the novels The Physiognomy, Memoranda, The Beyond, The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, The Girl in the Glass, and The Shadow Year. His short fiction has been published in three collections. His fiction has won The World Fantasy Award, The Nebula Award, The Edgar Allan Poe Award, and Gran Prix de l’Imaginaire.

Ellen Kushner
Ellen Kushner‘s first novel, Swordspoint, was hailed as the progenitor of the “Mannerpunk” or “fantasy of manners” style. Its eventual sequel, The Privilege of the Sword, won the Locus Award, and was a Nebula nominee and a Tiptree Honor book. A third novel set in the same unnamed city, The Fall of the Kings, was co-written with Delia Sherman. She is also the author of Thomas the Rhymer, winner of the Mythopoeic Award and the World Fantasy Award, and many short stories

John Crowley
John Crowley is the recipient of three World Fantasy Awards (including a Lifetime Achievement Award), the Premio Flaianno “Superprize,” and an Award in Literature of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Prominent in his ouevre are the novel Little, Big and the four-volume Aegypt series (1987 – 2007). Other works include The Translator and Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land. His most recent novel, Four Freedoms was published in 2009.”

2010 KGB Raffle Winners

The following are the winners for the 2010 KGB Raffle. Thank you to all who participated and congratulations to all winners! We appreciate your support very much and with the funds generated we can keep the series going for at least another two years.

A huge thank you to Kris Dikeman for all her behind-the-scenes support.

The donors will contact the winners via the email address you provided.

Signed Books and ARCs from Cemetery Dance Publications (CDP-BOOKS)
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Matt Schwartz of Jersey City, New Jersey, United States
Order ID: 136

Rare Signed Copy of Glen Hirshberg’s THE SNOWMAN’S CHILDREN (HIRSHBERG-SNOWMAN)
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Collectors Ed. of THE AUTOPSY AND OTHER TALES by Michael Shea (SHEA-AUTOPSY)
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Tuckerization by Lucius Shepard – and a signed copy of the book (SHEPARD-TUCKER)
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China Mieville Original Drawing from UN LUN DUN (MIEVILLE-DRAWING)
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Massage from Peter Straub’s masseur, Bret Bailey (MASSAGE BY BRET BAILEY)
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John Crowley Annotated Art by Peter Milton (DRUMMOND-PRINTS)
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THE SKELETON IN THE CLOSET, edited by Stefan Dziemianowicz (SIGNED-BLOCH)
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THE KOSHER GUIDE TO IMAGINARY ANIMALS by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (VANDERMEER-KOSHER)
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Neil Gaiman’s Used Keyboard (GAIMAN-KEYBOARD)
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A six-pack from Nightshade Books (NIGHTSHADE-6PACK)
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Three Unpublished Short Stories by Michael Swanwick (SWANWICK-STORIES)
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Signed ARC: FOR THE WIN by Cory Doctorow (DOCTOROW-FTW)
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SHIMMER #12, plus electronic editions of all 12 issues. (SHIMMER-BUNDLE)
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Order ID: 117

3 Signed Titles from George R.R. Martin (MARTIN-BOOKS)
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3 Books from Small Beer Press (SMALL-BEER-BOOKS)
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Signed ARC: THE WAY OF THE WIZARD (ADAMS-WIZARD)
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Latest Four Issues of ELECRIC VELOCIPEDE (KLIMA-EV)
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F. Paul Wilson Signed, Limited Edition SIMS Novellas (WILSON-SIMS)
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12 Titles by Chizine Press (CHIZINE-CATALOG)
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Order ID: 148

BRIGHTON SHOCK by PS Publishing (BRIGHTONPS)
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Complete First Second (:01) Graphic Novels by Gina Gagliano (GAGLIANO-FIRSTSECOND)
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The Tour of Tor by Liz Gorinsky (GORINSKY-TOR)
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Custom Terrarium from Paul Riddell and The Texas Triffid Ranch (RIDDELL-TERRARIUM)
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Two Drawings by Thomas Canty (CANTY-DRAWINGS)
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Zoe Van Gelder Art on back of Ray Vukcevich Manuscript (GVG-ZOE)
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Ray Vukcevich of Eugene, Oregon, United States
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Group of seven ARCs, donated by John Crowley (CROWLEY-7ARCS)
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James Starkey of Horn Lake, Mississippi, United States
Order ID: 94

Signed, Limited Chapbook THE MAN WITH KNIVES by Ellen Kushner (KUSHNER-KNIVES)
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Xavier Van Aubel of Uccle, Brussels, Belgium
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Signed copy of Jeffrey Ford’s first novel VANITAS (FORD-VANITAS)
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WILLIAM LINDBLAD of Plano, Texas, United States
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Tuckerization by Kit Reed (REED-TUCKER)
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Marc Jacobs of Redwood City, California, United States
Order ID: 80

Two books by John Crowley (CROWLEY-BOOKS)
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WILLIAM LINDBLAD of Plano, Texas, United States
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Rare Signed Gregory Frost CRIMSON SPEAR THE BLOOD OF CU CHULAINN (FROST-CRIMSON)
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Alison Campbell-Wise of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, United States
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Tuckerization by Brett Alexander Savory (SAVORY-TUCKER)
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Signed ARC: THE GERMAN by Lee Thomas (THOMAS-GERMAN)
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WILLIAM LINDBLAD of Plano, Texas, United States
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J.K. POTTER’S EMBRACE THE MUTATION, signed by John Crowley (CROWLEY-EMBRACE)
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Signed THE MAGICIANS and Brakebills T-shirt by Lev Grossman (GROSSMAN-MAGICIANS)
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Signed copy of KALIFORNIA by Marc Laidlaw (KALIFORNIA – LAIDLAW)
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Matthew London of New York, New York, United States
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Caitlín R. Kiernan signed copy of THE RED TREE (KIERNAN-REDTREE)
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Tuckerization by Caitlín R. Kiernan (KIERNAN-TUCKER)
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WILLIAM LINDBLAD of Plano, Texas, United States
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Signed, Limited edition of Glen Hirshberg’s AMERICAN MORONS (HIRSHBERG-MORONS)
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David Roberts of Los Altos, California, United States
Order ID: 199

Signed copy of TOWER OF MIDNIGHT, from the WHEEL OF TIME series (GOLENBOCK-TOWERS)
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Signed copy of THE SNOW QUEEN, by Joan Vinge (VINGE — SNOW QUEEN)
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Signed 6 CD Audio Book THE LITTLE SLEEP by Paul Tremblay (TREMBLAY-SLEEP)
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Galleys of THE WORLD AND ALICE by L. Timmel Duchamp (DUCHAMP-GALLEYS)
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WILLIAM LINDBLAD of Plano, Texas, United States
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Review of John Banville’s THE SEA by John Crowley (CROWLEY-SEA)
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Adam Palermo of Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Order ID: 155

Signed copy of NOISE by Darin Bradley (BRADLEY-NOISE)
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Troy Knutson of Collierville, Tennessee, United States
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Signed MAFIA by Thomas F. Monteleone (MONTELEONE-MAFIA)
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WILLIAM LINDBLAD of Plano, Texas, United States
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Dave Roman B&W Illustration from ASTRONAUT ACADEMY plus ARC (GAGLIANO-ASTRONAUT)
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Eugene Myers of New York, New York, United States
Order ID: 212

Last Day for KGB Raffle

Today is the last day to purchase tickets for the raffle to support the KGB Fantastic Fiction reading series.  Only 24 hours left to win prizes such as a William Gibson manuscript, Catherynne M. Valente custom jewelry, Neil Gaiman’s keyboard, a critique by Nancy Kress, and 75 other items, including Your Very Own Wormhole.  Better get your tickets now!

Forthcoming Stories

Naked CityIt’s been a while since I posted, so I thought I’d mention a few stories and such I have forthcoming.

“The Hands That Feed” will appear in JoSelle Vanderhooft’s awesome Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories.  You can find the table of contents here, which includes the fabulous N.K. Jemisin, Amal El-Mohtar, Mike Allen, and many others.  The story is about a Lower East Side Yiddish woman who takes in an immigrant girl from Gujarat.  Plus clockwork giraffes!  This was a lot of fun to write.  The anthology comes out in January.

“The Bricks of Gelecek” will appear in Ellen Datlow’s Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy.  Ellen posted the table of contents here, and it includes an all-star cast, such as Lucius Shepard, Jeffrey Ford, Delia Sherman, Ellen Kushner, Richard Bowes, Kit Reed, Holly Black… The list goes on.  The story is about a mason girl who is stalked by a demon of nothingness, who has become enthralled by her songs.  I’m totally psyched to be included in this one, which comes out in July.

“The Suffering Gallery” will appear in Beneath Ceaseless Skies sometime this fall.  It’s about an insectoid demon and her maggot sidekick who torture a boy for their pleasure.  Can the boy’s wizard father save his son from these fiends?  Both “Bricks” above and this story share the same universe.  And this is also the same world in which my novel-in-progress takes place.

“Mitigation Strategies” is a non-fiction piece forthcoming in Weird Tales.  It documents a time in my life when I worked for a physicist who may or may not have been involved in top-secret research related to UFOs.  I debated whether or not to publish this under a pseudonym, as I’m sure the conspiracy nuts will have a field day with this one.  I expect lots of kooky emails.  And maybe visits by the men in black!

And last, but not least, the KGB Fantastic Fiction Raffle, which started today.  For only $1 a ticket you can win fabulous prizes (seriously, that’s not hyperbole) from William Gibson, George R.R. Martin, Cory Doctorow, Nancy Kress, Catherynne M. Valente, Ellen Kushner, Jeffrey Ford.  Plus carnivorous plants in an iMac!  Details here.