I was going to pass on doing an award eligibility post this year, though I’ve had several publications I am very proud of. I felt like all the information on my publications was already available elsewhere on this site, so I just wrote a facebook post pointing readers toward my favorite of my stories this year. But then it was
beaten into pointed out to me that people who were unlikely to see my facebook post and who were unlikely to go digging through my bibliography were much more willing to follow a link to a post such as this one, so here we are.
These are the stories of mine that are eligible for awards for 2016. I would not want to receive an award on the basis of anything other than people’s genuine love of a story I wrote, so please don’t think of this as me asking for nominations or votes. If you are nominating for short fiction awards or are voting for short fiction awards, please nominate and vote for the best stories you have read. But if you haven’t read any of my stories, I would like to at least be in your consideration.
“Life in Stone Glass and Plastic,” published in Strange Horizons in June. This is my favorite of my stories. It’s gotten nice reviews from the various websites that report on the short fiction scene, and was even the subject of a lengthy discussion on the Literary Roadhouse podcast. It’s a story about the power and purpose of art, and about love and loss and aging. If you like stories with a hint of magic and a lot of emotion, then you might like this one.
“The Curse of Giants,” published in Daily Science Fiction in March. This is my most popular stories; it’s the first story for which I ever received “fan mail.” It’s a very short piece with a lot of punch, so if you prefer to read something flash length, this might be the story for you. This is a story where the spec element is left ambiguous in meaning, which doesn’t appeal to some readers but does appeal to me. It’s also the story of mine which I think is most poetic in craft. Content warning: child abuse.
“Spirit of Home,” published in Terraform in June. This is a very personal little story using the popular trope of colonizing Mars as a metaphor for my own complicated relationship with Cuba. If you are particularly seeking out #ownvoices stories dealing with issues of ethnicity—like, say, if you’re reading for the Carl Brandon Society Awards—then this one might be up your alley.
“The Vampire’s Stepdaughter,” published in September in Fantastic Stories. This is my most approachable story if you like more traditional spec-fic. Vampires! That said, this story pleased me for other reasons. This is the first story I’ve succeeded in selling with QUILTBAG characters. It also deals—obliquely—with childhood sexual abuse, which is a topic that has touched my life, and which I have struggled to write about with any subtlety.
“Of Unions, Intersections, and Empty Sets,” published in Fantastic Stories in July. This is a short little story wrestling with questions of intentionality and free will. It’s a very quiet story. I’m proud of the fact that it has a story arc which is entirely one person’s internal emotional journey—virtually nothing “happens,” but there’s still an emotional arc. This story also marks the first time I’ve played with mathematics—the field in which I spend my days—in a story.
If you do choose to read any of my stories, I thank you. If none of them are your cup of tea, then I hope maybe next year or the one after that I will write something that appeals to you more.
Be well. 🙂