Monthly Archive: January 2011

brains and beauty

There are a couple of exciting things happening over at The Viewscreen today! First up is our weekly Star Trek Re-Watch with my review of “That Which Survives,” with commentary by Torie Atkinson. The moral of the episode is the only thing better than one Lee Meriwether is three of her–which makes more sense than anything else in the episode and at least makes it worth seeing.

But Torie and I are even more thrilled to present a sneak preview of a secret project we’ve been working on for a while. If you like making fun of Star Trek, particularly the bad episodes, we hope you’ll enjoy this. We’ll talk more about it next week, but in the meantime please check out the trailer below and spread the link through the social media of your choice!

13 large white envelopes*


Back when I was querying literary agents, a writing blog suggested using USPS Priority Mail envelopes for snail mail submissions because the packaging is free and they charge a flat rate no matter what you cram into them. So I picked up a bunch of envelopes and labels, and was fortunate enough to have a couple left over at the end of the process. Those remained tucked away at the bottom of a drawer, until today, when I used one of them to send a signed book contract to my agent! :)

I have one more envelope left… What should I do with it?


*With apologies to Maureen Johnson. I don’t remember how many envelopes I actually started with, but it was probably a lot.

free fiction for friday!

If you haven’t yet snagged a copy of the critically-acclaimed Sybil’s Garage No. 7, for a limited time you can download a free PDF of the issue courtesy of Senses Five Press. It will be available online until February 15th, 2011, when the nomination period for the Nebula Awards closes. This is a beautiful magazine packed with excellent fiction, articles, and poetry–but don’t settle for my (moderately biased) opinion, when you can read it for yourself.

Selfishly, I hope you’ll take this opportunity to look at my science fiction short “My Father’s Eyes.” I’m very proud of this story–one of my best pieces to date. It has received some notice in reviews, and I would of course be thrilled if anyone enjoyed it well enough to nominate it for a Nebula or a Hugo Award. One can dream, right? But if my story doesn’t do it for you, I believe that you’ll find at least one in the issue that you will love, and none of them would be out of place on an award ballot.

Thanks to Matt Kressel for making this electronic edition freely available to everyone. This is the best issue of Sybil’s Garage yet, and I’m pleased that many more people will be able to sample it now.

And here’s a brief excerpt from “My Father’s Eyes”:

My hands tremble as I swirl developer solution over the photographic paper. I’ve never been more anxious to see one of my pictures before. My classmates would say this is another drawback to traditional photography over digital: delayed gratification. I’ll never make that technological leap; I still shoot in black and white. My father never dabbled with digital photography either, and it’s because of him that I decided to become a photojournalist in the first place.

A cloudy scene emerges on the paper floating in the tray. Shapes and shadows magically replace the blank white surface, gradually forming trees and rocks. I’ve had this image burned into my mind ever since I glimpsed it through my lens and my finger instinctively clicked the shutter. It’s a bad photo, the subject slightly unfocused and too far away, though I’ve blown it up as much as I can. It won’t help my thesis project or launch a career, but it’s the single most important picture of my life.

As I squint at it in the dim red glow of the safelight, a crouching figure fades into the scene like a ghost. His face is blurred, captured in motion just as he’d turned and darted away. Despite the blurring, and the fact that I haven’t seen him in fifteen years except in other pictures, I know he’s my father. I knew it even before I unloaded the film from my camera.

Read the rest in Sybil’s Garage No. 7!

another review of “My Father’s Eyes”

Sybil's Garage #7Seamus Sweeney reviewed Sybil’s Garage No. 7 for SF Site, with some complimentary remarks on my story, “My Father’s Eyes”:

This was one of the most moving, and in an unforced way original, stories in the collection–my joint favourite with M.K. Hobson’s “Kid Despair in Love.”

Overall he seems to like the rest of the issue quite a bit:

Sybil’s Garage achieves a satisfyingly universal appeal, and an extremely high degree of literary quality… it is pretty wonderful stuff—beautifully produced, and never dull. The stories are a mix of slipstream, near-future, horror, comedy horror, mythic and pseudo-mythic—eschewing anything as vulgar or misleading as a neat straightjacket of genre.

You can check out the full review here and pick up a copy of Sybil’s Garage No. 7 at Senses Five Press.