I spent most of 2021 working on novels, editing, slushing, getting stoked about my book release next year, and miscellaneous projects. But I was also lucky enough to have four (4) short stories published (and a few reprints!). So below is my eligibility post (here’s a Twitter thread version as well). I would be honored if others in the SFF community read any of these stories and considered nominating them for the Hugos, the Nebulas, or any other annual award.
“A Smell of Jet Fuel” — Lightspeed Magazine #134. Author spotlight. Nebula Reading List link.
We met on the 107th floor of the South Tower. She was standing in quiet contemplation, watching fire spread through the building across the plaza, smoke and paper billowing out into that baby blue sky. I was nursing a thunderous hangover, neglecting my tour group, which had all gone to the southern side of the observation deck to watch the second plane’s approach. She wasn’t supposed to be here.
A modern homage to Ray Bradbury’s classic “A Sound of Thunder,” featuring a time travel tour to the WTC on 9/11/2001 that doesn’t go quite as planned…
“Solarshades” — Cities of Light. Nebula Reading List link.
On cloud-out days, when that listless Pacific smother hung low over Portland, and the house batteries chirped their plaintive ten-percent forebodings—the grid no help at all—Kismet clambered onto the roof to see the lit-up glitter of the Clackamas County line: a trash-strewn no-man’s land cutting through brownfields, fallow-forests, and cemeteries. A little crack in the law that neither Happy Valley nor Pleasant Valley wanted to deal with.
Kismet didn’t envy the refugees, undocs, and homeless who pitched their tents and parked their RVs in the interstices. But seeing their pyramids of warm glow, hearing their music, whiffing their smelly foreign food—all while his games were forced off and his showers ran cold and his cousins ate dry cereal and squabbled over flashlights—on those days he couldn’t help but feel a little drip of resentment runneling into his soul.
It’s a story of a Green New Deal and its discontents. Can an encounter with state-seeing AR glasses change Kismet’s perspective and help him organize for energy amnesty in his community before he’s drawn into his brother’s world of hate and small violence?
“Stowaways” — Lightspeed Magazine #138
Making Aliens of Us: The Collected Works of FLOAT
Title: Stowaways, 2081
Inkjet print, forming memetic code, arranged behind curtain
Artist: FLOAT, Netherlands, 2040 – 2133
On lend from the Foundation for the Preservation of Troubling Artwork
**Please read this card in its entirety before proceeding**
Have you ever had an imaginary friend? Would you like to?
A flash piece about art, memes, and infohazards.
“The Painter and the Flatiron” — Cities in a Wild Garden: Stories of the Nature of Cities, Volume 2
The elephant who visited most often was a painter who lived on the Upper East Side. She’d walk down Park Avenue, swerving into museums for inspiration, canvases slung across her back. Then she’d post up in Central Park, where she’d sketch scenes everyone knew but which seemed, through her distinguished eye, freshly poignant.
She painted big and little cats sleeping in sunbeams; joggers racing Savannatown zebras; children climbing trellises to treehouses; permaculture wonks plotting in the gardens; lovers sharing picnic blankets; revolutionary working groups debating policy in the squares; critters perched on park benches, watching skateboarders try tricks by the statues; orangutans working public orchards, swinging from fruit trees, laughing on their lunch breaks.
Another flash piece, this one about tolerance and connection in a multispecies vision of New York City.
Thanks for reading this year! You can follow my work via Substack at solarshades.club.