• Promotional Work

    Short Fiction You Need to Read [PART 2]

    Reading QuotesI’ve been mainly focused on Angela Slatter’s “The Bitterwood Bible & Other Recountings”, which is a prime example of short fiction done right. The collection weaves tales without an effort and Slatter successfully manages to open up her world in a way I’ve not seen a novel do before. It’s a great accomplishment and utilizes the format of inter-connected short stories very well. I’ll be reviewing the book for SF Signal soon, so you can expect to read that soon.

    Anyway, let’s move on to the short stories circulating around the web. Links are in the title.

    “Headache” by Julio Cortázar: This is the first translation in English and I think it’s done with great skill. The story in itself is slow and at time tedious to read, but that’s intentional as the way it’s told is in harmony of the painful experience of raising mancuspias – strange creatures that can inflict strange and insufferable conditions upon their caretakers. The story’s a descent into madness with a very powerful ending. Not for everyone. Not for a single reading.

    “The Rocketeer” by Rebecca Hodgkins: A quiet story focusing more about the human lives of those who take on the great frontier as space explorers and explorers. The story successfully gives you a throwback to Golden Age science fiction fascinated about space exploration and disenchants the same notion with the reality of those who chose this lifestyle and the circumstances behind their decision to take to space.

    “Rib” by Yukimi Ogawa: I adore this because it tackles some dark Japanese folklore and tells a rather disturbing story of bloody family politics, but Ogawa’s delivery and approach to dialogue reminds you of American suburbia. The disconnection and contrast between subject matter and style create a bizarre, but still enjoyable experience.

    “Crowd Control” by Gareth D. Jones, Aliette De Bodard, Nancy Fulda, Deborah Walker, John Murphy, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley: It’s a short story experiment with six authors writing a segment following the minimal of guidelines and then stitching all fragments into a whole narratives. It’s clean, tight and explores science fiction through a relaxed plot lens. The plot threads come together seamlessly in the last segment. The whole story is a brilliant example of the virtues of collaborations and experimentation. I feel very satisfied having read this.

    Published by:
  • Promotional Work

    Expect “The Language of Knives” at TOR.com in January

    I’ve been sitting on this announcement for what feels like an eternity, but cat’s out of the bag and boy, is it pleased about it. Here’s the skinny: Ann VanderMeer has bought my short story “The Language of Knives” for TOR.com scheduled to see the light of day on January 28th.

    This is the state of my soul at this moment.

    This is the state of my soul at this moment.

    It’s a milestone sale for a multiple of reasons the most obvious being that TOR.com has been a dream market and I didn’t actually believe I’d be able to sell anything there. Have you read the stories published there? Have you?! I’m trying to turn on my eloquence, but I’m failing at it miserably.

    Anyway, “The Language of Knives” is a special story. I wrote it feeling incredibly down and afraid about life in general and how I fit in it, but also feeling overcome by happiness for the events in my life that made it worth living. These conflicting emotions synergized in this tale that represents me in such a fundamental way. To be able to share something so personal on a stage this big leaves me flabbergasted and touched and excited.

    A great deal of my excitement is due to the fact that Sam Weber will illustrate the story and if you don’t know who Sam is – [LINK LOVE]. If I actually had the skill, I’d try to carve a path in illustration rather than writing, because visual arts stimulate my creativity like crazy, so to have someone as skilled and distinguished is another dream come true.

    The best part is that pretty soon I’ll also see dear friends with stories in TOR.com, including Nino Cipri, Tamara Vardomskaya and Noah Keller – all super talented people.

    Published by:
  • Promotional Work

    I Interview Jonathan Wood at SF Signal

    Hello everybody. It’s a great day today, because my friend Jonathan Wood celebrates the release day of his book YESTERDAY’S HERO [BUY NOW] and it deserves much love, because it’s incredibly funny. Jonathan is a darling person. I mean he has written about a zombie T-Rex and people made of books turning into giant tree. It’s weird, it’s brilliant.

    I had the utmost pleasure of interviewing Jonathan at SF Signal [LINK LOVE] and it was a pleasure. Just look at some of the exchange we had:

    HM: Writers are always told to kill their darlings. Considering the levels of (good) insanity inYesterday’s Hero, was there a scene that was too over-the-top that needed to be chopped?

    JW: I can’t think of any scene in Yesterday’s Hero that needed to be cut in its entirety. Some lines and gags die along the way, but you learn to live with it. That said, in the third book, Anti-Hero, I did actually cut a bit from the opening action scene just so that the action had places to escalate to later in the book. Apparently dropping a satellite out of orbit on the characters in the second chapter on was a little over the top…

    Why are you not reading already?

    Published by:
  • Promotional Work

    Short Fiction You Need to Read [PART 1]

    Reading Good FictionI adore short fiction. There’s something incredible in its brevity that focuses on a flash of an emotion. When done right, you’re subjected to a flash fire of intensity, captured by powerful language. I’ve been a great fan of anthologies and collections, but am only stretching to the wonderful short fiction available online.

    I’ve also decided to signal boost when possible of all the great stories I encounter, which won’t be that many, since I’m a slow reader, but here are the stories that have excited me recently. Links are in the titles:

    “A Cup of Salt Tears” by Isabel Yap: This one is gorgeous story that tackles one of my favorite mythological creatures from Japanese folklore – the kappa. It’s incredibly quiet and therein lies its power.

    “Anna Saves Them All” by Seth Dickinson: Aliens coming to annihilate Earth, but done right with the slow revelation of a horrendous backstory that takes your breath at the end. This is how writing should be – with a punch.

    “No Sweeter Art” by Tony Pi: Ancient China, assassination attempt, the Zodiac spirits and a magic based on animating caramel sculptures. It’s incredibly imaginative and magical. Tony Pi has an effortless style that takes you to the end in a heartbeat.

    I suggest you check all of these wonderful people.

    Published by:
  • What Clarion Means to a Minority Writer

    This year I experienced the most transformative event in my life – I attended Clarion UCSD, the writer’s workshop that changed me in ways I didn’t imagine. For those who are not in the know about Clarion, it’s an writers’ workshop in San Diego that lasts for six weeks. I liken it to a Battle Royale for writers where everyone walks away as a winner, if a bit unhinged after all the writing, reading and critiquing. Gregory Frost, who helmed the first week, described it as an ‘MFA in six weeks’ and it’s an apt comparison. Continue reading

    Published by:
  • In Which I Have Sold Some Stories

    Clarion is behind me, although I find it hard to believe that I am back in the real world even after a week in Bulgaria. I promise to write about the workshop, but I need more time to sit down and internalize what happened, because I have never been a part of a workshop and as some of you may know Clarion distorts time in peculiar ways. I’ll try to write up my surreal experience working and living with another seventeen writers later in the week. Continue reading

    Published by:
  • Progress & Milestones

    [Clarion Campaign Update] Visa and Rewards

    A short update.

    I have successfully passed the visa interview, which means that I will be going to Clarion with a 100% certainty. On Facebook, I’ve been giving steady updates on my progress, but I wanted to write something a bit more permanent. With the plane tickets bought and the visa secured, I can now say for sure that the whole endeavor has been a huge success.

    I haven’t sent off the rewards until I was certain I would go, because if I didn’t get a visa then I would have to return all the donations. Thankfully, it didn’t come to this and today I sent off a ‘thank you’ email along with rewards to most of the backers. If you haven’t received this email, then please be a bit more patient, because I’m waiting on the publishers to provide me with access to the digital copies.

    I imagine I should have all rewards sent by the middle of next week. I will write an update as soon as I have completed the task.

    Thank you for your patience.

    And this has been me for since I got my visa:

    Tangled

    Published by:
  • Progress & Milestones

    The Campaign Has Been Funded: Where to Now

    This post has been due for some time, but I do hope you excuse my tardiness as my family is currently grieving the sudden loss of a close relative. The funeral took the momentum out of me, but I do wish to thank you for the support and generosity. I wouldn’t be going to Clarion without you and I can’t find the vocabulary to express my gratitude to all 95 individuals who donated!

    The campaign didn’t reach its original goal, but it has been sufficient. The workshop fee has been paid. Tickets (I found a killer deal in the last moment) have been reserved and I’m on the road to sorting through the paperwork. What remains to be seen is whether or not I’ll get the coveted Visa. It’s all very frightening when one thing you’re not in control of can potentially snuff out your dream… Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

    As for the rewards, I’ll begin emailing people with their rewards starting this week (Wednesday as I have to compile every email in a sheet based on donation groups). Most will be sorted through immediately, but as the files are coming from different places, I don’t have complete control as to when they will be sent to me to redirect your way.

    I’ll update this space often on my progress.

    Published by:
  • Progress & Milestones

    Help Me Attend Clarion UCSD 2014

    Clarion

    Disclaimer: This campaign is incredibly time sensitive, which I why I can’t go for the standard crowdsourcing websites as they take up to 15 days to process funds – way too late for the deadline on the fee. 

    UPDATE: THE CAMPAIGN HAS OFFICIALLY CLOSED! I HAVE RECEIVED ENOUGH FUNDS TO GET ME THROUGH THE TRAVEL FEE, SO THANK YOU FOR ALL WHO HAVE DONATED. 

    The Short Version:

    I’ve been invited to attend this year’s Clarion UCSD workshop. As a speculative fiction writer who wants to build a career in genre writing, this is a dream come true as this is not just a workshop, but a life changing experience. BUT it will cost me a total of $3682 to go!

    I want to take this next step in my development, but I can’t do it on my own. I’m from a still developing country with a weaker currency compared to the US dollar.

    The Full Story and What I Need:

    In early March, I learned I’d been accepted to attend Clarion USCD 2014 and even received a scholarship. Clarion has been a life dream of mine and these $3682 will change not only my writing, but my whole life. Attending is proof that a non-native speaker can master writing in English. In the past, I’ve been told to not bother writing in a different language. I want to prove that I don’t need to be a native speaker to tell a good story.

    I want to be a voice for my culture. I want to represent LGBTQ writers. I want to bring more diversity into speculative fiction and I believe Clarion can give my voice power.

    However, even with a scholarship, the fee to attend is $1382, and needs to be paid by the 22nd of April. At the same time, I face a travelling fare of at least $2300, which includes changing two planes from two different airports and some incredibly pricey paperwork.

    I don’t have the means to pay these sums on my own. Because I’m a Bulgarian native and not a native English speaker, I’ve experienced difficulty finding better paying freelance writing jobs and can currently only work towards covering my basic living expenses. All my savings have gone to help my family through a very unforgiving year, so I can’t rely on anyone else, except for the community that has made me feel accepted for so many years.

    $2300 is the pure minimum, covering the plane tickets and paperwork. I’m working hard on saving every commission I earn on additional fees and expenses, including living expenses once I arrive in the US. Every bit on top makes this become a lesser struggle.

    What This Campaign Offers You:

    Thanks to the generosity of all editors and publishers who have published me in the past, I can offer digital editions of the following works I’m published in or have helped edit.

    TALES OF THE FOX & FAE edited by Adele Wearing, published by Fox Spirit Books ELECTRIC VELOCIPEDE #27 edited by John Klima GEEK LOVE edited by Shanna Germaine & Janine Ashbless ARCANE VOLUME II edited by Nathan Shumate, published by Cold Fusion Media FIRE edited by Anne C. Perry & Jared Shurin

    TALES TO TERRIFY VOLUME 1 edited by Tony C. Smith, Lawrence Santoro and ME!

    Originally this campaign was meant to go on IndieGoGo, so the perks used to be more set in stone, but I’m more than happy to give out awards to amounts that vary within the price ranges below!

    Awards:

    $5 – thank you email and a thank you on a social media platform
    $15 – thank you email with a digital copy of FIRE
    $25 – thank you email with a digital copy of FIRE, ARCANE VOLUME II
    $40 – thank you email with a digital copy of FIRE, ARCANE VOLUME II, ELECTRIC VELOCIPEDE #27
    $55 – thank you email with a digital copy of FIRE, ARCANE VOLUME II, ELECTRIC VELOCIPEDE #27, GEEK LOVE
    $70 – thank you email with a digital copy of FIRE, ARCANE VOLUME II, ELECTRIC VELOCIPEDE #27, GEEK LOVE, TALES TO TERRIFY VOLUME 1
    $130 – thank you email with a digital copy of FIRE, ARCANE VOLUME II, ELECTRIC VELOCIPEDE #27, GEEK LOVE, TALES TO TERRIFY VOLUME 1, TALES OF THE FOX & FAE, I also offer 3000 words of any commercial writing you need after September until the end of the year (5 of these – limited)
    $200 – thank you email with a digital copy of FIRE, ARCANE VOLUME II, ELECTRIC VELOCIPEDE #27, GEEK LOVE, TALES TO TERRIFY VOLUME 1, TALES OF THE FOX & FAE, I also offer 3000 words of any commercial writing you need in the period of May 1st – June 10th. (5 of these – limited)

    How Else You Can Help:
    If you can’t make a donation, you can help spread the word! Share the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Email, G+
    Talk about the campaign and create some buzz IF YOU’VE REACHED THE END, I THANK YOU!! BELOW YOU CAN FIND THE PAYPAL BUTTON!

    Published by:
  • Progress & Milestones

    March Madness Update!

    1950s Blue TypewriterI seldom have the habit of writing updates because frankly nothing all that interesting happens to warrant a full-blown post, but last week has been incredibly generous with good news. The occasion begs for a short post and as swamped with work as I am, I need something short and sweet, rather than lengthy. I mean it took me a week on write my post on a writer’s age. One week!

    Anyway, in the span of seven days, March 8th and March 15th, the following happened:

    1. I got accepted into Clarion, but you already know that. That piece of news deserved its own announcement and how many more Clarion posts there will be… You have no idea.
    2. Maxim Jukabowski has approach me to reprint my erotica story “Pages & Play Things” in his MAMMOTH BOOK OF NEW EROTICA 13, which makes this my first Best Of sale and the first time I’m actually selling a reprint. I can be nothing but thrilled. This story is one of those works that I just experimented and went completely crazy for and the story has been doing well, since it first got into Geek Love.
    3. I won a review contest with a translation in Bulgarian of my Pornokitsch review for Kaaron Warren’s “Dead Sea Fruit”. The contest did not only got me a runner-up position, but a small monetary reward – not bad.
    4.  I have a new sudden client, which I didn’t expect. Given some very turbulent events in my offline life, I thought the job I did for the company was not up to my own personal standards, but somehow I have impressed the hell out of the owner and now I’m in charge of the entire content.

    I’m still in deadline hell, which I predict will end around March 20th, but then I’ve to run a ton of errands and plan a trip for my one week stay at the capitol. Madness I tell you. Madness!

    Published by: