new things! Uncanny! academia! trying to hit three end-of-September submission deadlines!

Exciting news! I have become a Slush Unicorn! i.e. I am a Submissions Editor for Uncanny Magazine (send us your stories!). I am very excited about getting to work on this project, and am eagerly awaiting my first batch of slush. I think I’m going to learn a lot (about editing! and about writing!), and I can’t wait basically.

In terms of my own work, currently I’m kit-bashing a new story together; this one is not behaving itself, and I have reworked the opening four times now, switching POVs each time. I think I may have settled now. Maybe. I might hate it again tomorrow. (You’d think a weird semi-plotless vignette about interstellar poetry and distributed intelligences would be something I’d knock out in a day, but no, apparently not.)

Writing is Not Being Easy right now. That might be because of the New Job, which has commenced in earnest now that the semester is actually a thing that is happening. My, having a real job takes up a lot of time. I am both really enjoying myself — I am working damn hard at learning how to teach about history to university students in better, cleverer, more engaging ways, and I like what I’m teaching a great deal (medieval history! the early Islamic world! the first half of Intro World History!) — and am completely exhausted all the time. I have not settled into this kind of sustained effort yet. I have been getting home and quite literally falling down on the couch and sleeping for two hours before I can get up and do basic tasks, like ‘feed myself’ and ‘write the next day’s lectures’. I have somehow managed to keep up a little bit with my own work during this — the EU grant is finished and sent off (fingers crossed for next year in Denmark), the book proposal for the Book Of The Dissertation is also finished and sent off, to wait in an editorial mailbox until the editor comes back from vacation. Next I really ought to punch out a couple of articles.

But I want to be doing more fiction, and in light of that, I’m going to try a truly pathetically small version of the Writing Streak Task: write every day; a day in which you hit 50 words counts; fanfic counts if you show it to someone else. If I can do this for two weeks that’d be really, really nice. I might actually manage to hit these call-for-stories deadlines if I do.

“Nothing Must Be Wasted” at Ideomancer

Apologies for that bit of radio silence. I moved to Canada and have four days left before a horde of university students descend on me and I must instruct them in THE HISTORY OF THE ENTIRE WORLD. (This is not an exaggeration. I am teaching Introduction to World History. Along with The Medieval History of Eurasia and The Islamic World Until The Ottoman Empire. I have never taught any of these before. It is very exciting and utterly terrifying.)

What have I written in the past month? Fanfiction. And a little bit of the novel. That’s about all I’ve got right now, with the new job.


Today my vultures&generation ships story, “Nothing Must Be Wasted”, is up at Ideomancer. I am very excited about this story. It is a product of some of the most extensive editorial conversations I’ve ever had — Leah Bobet, the editor at Ideomancer, is immensely clever and insightful and challenged me to make the story hang together in ways I hadn’t imagined it could when I wrote it.

(It’s also the story which is ‘the one that happened in my head when I read Elizabeth Bear’s Chill and Shattered Pillars in close succession’, so I think I ought to thank Bear for making me think of far-future Central Asian mythology in SPACE.)

Enjoy! “Nothing Must Be Wasted” at Ideomancer: The vultures had colonized the shell of her ship.