Well, I’ve managed to put writing an eligibility post off almost as long as it possibly can be. 2020 was a weird year: one where disappointments landed extra hard, and then rebounded into guilt over how much better I still had it than others; one where joys felt awkward and misplaced.
I managed to write some stuff this year! I managed to have some things published! I’ll chalk that up as a win. Here are a couple of my standout favorites from 2020:
“More Than Simple Steel” – Escape Pod. I think a lot about legacy, and what kind of future my children can … let’s say expect, rather than look forward to. This story was my way of circumnavigating the issue of that sort of inheritance by imagining a world with only children left in it.
“Never a Butterfly, Nor a Moth With Moon-Painted Wings” – Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Another story about being a parent! Everyone is very surprised. This is also about legacy, in a different way, about doing the best you can to parent the child you have in the circumstances you’re left with, about love and loss and isolation.
“Buttercream and Broken Wings” – Beneath Ceaseless Skies. This one is a fairy tale, but written from the fairy’s point of view; all bargains have their price, on both sides of the deal, and not all of them are worth the trouble. There’s a little Cinderella, a little Donkeyskin, queerness, feral fairies, and some body horror thrown into the mix.
“Seven Letters” – StarShipSofa. A fallen Poet from a controlling Empire escapes to a backwater planet outside the Imperator’s interest. Their culture challenges and changes her; in the end, what to keep and what to lose and what may yet be found are her choice. (A truly heroic effort from the narrator here on the grossly complicated conlang I used for the setting.)