My story “The Cold, Lonely Waters” is now free to read at Shimmer! Please check it out, along with Charlie Bookout’s sad, lovely story, “Birds on an Island”, from the same issue!
Happy March–here’s some new publication news! My story “The Cold, Lonely Waters” is available from Shimmer as of today. (It’ll be free online starting March 21.) I’m so excited to be in Shimmer, which is always so chock full of loveliness!
It’s up! “Good Night Moon, Good Night Air, Good Night Noises Everywhere“, a little slice of life in the wake of a very quiet sort of apocalypse. (Also a bit of an inside joke for myself revolving around the pun “moonsplaining”.) I hope you enjoy!
Holy wah, Hugo nominations are open already! My short fiction reading has fallen off in a pretty severe way the past few months, but I still read a lot of great things that came out last year. Take a look around, and then please point me at all the best things you read from 2016! This list will probably grow as I come across more great work that I didn’t get to in the past year …
- The Desert Glass-Maker and the Jeweler of Berevyar, Rose Lemberg (Uncanny).
- Smooth Stones & Empty Bones, Bennett North (F&SF Jan/Feb). FULL DISCLOSURE: this is my best writing ladybro. But this is a cool, haunting story that you should read.
- The Godbeard, Lavie Tidhar (Strange Horizons).
- How the God Auzh-Aravik Brought Order to the World Outside the World, Arkady Martine (Strange Horizons). Is this gorgeously-written story with real, grisly bones in its world and its characters my favorite all year? MAYBE.
- When He First Laid Eyes, Rachael K. Jones (Fireside).
- Haunted, Sarah Gailey (Fireside).
- Meltwater, Benjamin Kinney (Strange Horizons).
- You Are Not the Hero of This Story, Caroline Yoachim (Daily Science Fiction). Do you want to feel All the Things in one little flash story? Of course you do.
- Be Not Unequally Yoked, Alexis A. Hunter (Shimmer). This is the best Amish were-horse story you will ever, ever read.
- That Lucky Old Sun, Carrie Cuinn (Apex).
- The Family Ghost, Rati Mehrotra (The Sockdolager). This story is so good and it just makes me feel happy when I think of it, which is often.
- Breathe, Cassandra Khaw (Clarkesworld). Do try to breathe when you read this. It may get tricky.
- This Is a Letter to My Son, KJ Kabza (Strange Horizons).
- More Heat Than Light, Charlotte Ashley (F&SF May/June). Canadian alternate history!
- The Signal Birds, Octavia Cade (Liminal).
- Fish Dance, Eric Schwitzgebel (Clarkesworld). Another top favorite story from this year.
- The Gentleman of Chaos, A. Merc Rustad (Apex).
- Laws of Night and Silk, Seth J Dickinson (Beneath Ceaseless Skies). If you loved being emotionally devastated by Traitor Baru Cormorant as much as I did, you’ll love this one too.
- My Grandmother’s Bones, SL Huant (Daily Science Fiction).
- The Wombly, KL Morris (Shimmer).
- Talking to Dead People, Sarah Pinsker (F&SF Sept/Oct).
- Binaries, SB Divya (Lightspeed).
- After We Walked Away, Erica Satifka (Apex). You had me at “it’s an Omelas story”.
Novelettes (how did I not read more novelette-length fiction last year?! please let me know your recs):
- One Sister, Two Sisters, Three, James Patrick Kelly (Clarkesworld)
- The Long Fall Up, William Ledbetter (F&SF May/June). Another good writing friend and another great story.
- The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde
- You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay; Alyssa Wong; Uncanny
- Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
- Hammers on Bone, Cassandra Khaw (CTHULHU MYTHOS HARDBOILED NOIR!!)
- The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home, Catherynne Valente. (I’m not ready for this series to be over.) (ALSO I believe this should be eligible for the Best Series award!)
- The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin. (I’m more than ready to have Book #3 of this series in my grubby little hands, though.)
- Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer.
- Ghost Talkers, Mary Robinette Kowal.
- Everfair, Nisi Shawl.
- Cloudbound, Fran Wilde.
- Infomocracy, Malka Older.
- All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders.
Okay bye time to go weep tears of blood over my short story and novel selections.
Putting these down somewhere so that I have some sense of accountability. In 2016, I wrote 27 short stories, 1 novelette, and 2 poems, edited one novel, and wrote another. Now that the kids are in preschool two morning a week–something that really helped me churn out the words during this fall and winter–I’m hoping to do even more in the new year.
Word goal: 350k. An increase of about 16%. Tough, but do-able. Now that the kids are older a minimum of 500 words a day seems like a manageable minimum instead of my previous 250.
New story goal: 25 short stories/flash. For the first part of 2016, I wrote a short story a week, and I’d like to do that for the first few months of the new year too. The total goal this time around is a little less than last year, because I also want to close out 2017 with a …
Finished novella draft. Much ado about space opera! I have an outline, character descriptions, and scene synopses filled out in Scrivener. We’re doing this.
Edit Starstruck. New year = time to edit my 2016 NaNoWriMo draft with fresh eyes.
First draft of a new novel. Not sure yet what this will be; there are a few ideas on my radar but we’ll see which one sings the sweetest siren song.
And I think that’s it! Looks a little overwhelming to have it all written down in one place here, but I have high hopes. At least from this side of the New Year.
Coming soon – a post where I slobber over all the best SF&F that I read from this past year. But the much shorter list to write is my own award eligible work from 2016, when I made my first pro sale! Here are the big three that I had out this year.
- “Tomorrow’s World“, Daily Science Fiction – Les Miserables meets SFF.
- “Dear Ammi“, Baen.com – 2016’s Jim Baen Memorial Award Winner. Asteroid miners, raiders, and a future society that’s failed to deal with the same inequalities we deal with today.
- “To Touch the Sun Before It Fades“, Persistent Visions – A distant scientist waits for news of a family tragedy mid-mission.
And if you happen to be reading for the Rhysling Award, too, I had two poems out as well:
- “The Dragon”, F&SF (September/October 2016)
- “The Cut Worm Forgives the Plow”, Asimov’s (May/June 2016)
Haven’t posted here for a while–I’ll have to be better about that! In the meantime, here’s the latest and greatest work of mine to hit your Kindle, computer screen, and/or page.
“To Touch the Sun Before It Fades” at Persistent Visions: a story about relationships, loss, and ice mining on Pluto–and free to read!
“A Way With Words” in the inaugural issue of Helios Quarterly Magazine, about a failure to communicate with extraterrestrials (and coworkers).
And a poem, too: “The Dragon” in the September/October issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction, about the fairy tale princesses who have to write their own endings, and what it costs them.
Well, I’ve decided to give PitchWars a shot again this year. Thanks for stopping by, potential mentors and fellow mentee hopefuls! Here’s a picture of my dog in a sombrero, just to get thing off on the right note.
About me: Stinky cheese and funky beer enthusiast, former mad scientist, She-Hulk fangirl, and CrossFit weirdo.
I grew up in Michigan, but I’ve lived in Wisconsin for more than 10 years, and I think of myself as from here more than I do where I was born (beer, cheese, and the Packers? Easy choice). I’m a stay-at-home mom to two-year-old twins, and I’ve also been a grad student, a science teacher, and a software tester. Also, Team Marvel with the exception of old Justice League reruns on Netflix.
About my writing: SF&F with a feminist bent and a fair amount of crying–my aesthetic is “sad astronauts and angry princesses”. I’ve sold a few short stories, two to professional markets, and I’ve got some critting experience under my belt–three times at the WisCon writing workshop, and I’m a member of both the Online Writing Workshop and Codex.
About what I like to read: Favorite novelists include Tamora Pierce, Ursula K. Le Guin, N.K. Jemisin, Catherynne Valente, Terry Pratchett, and Zen Cho. As far as short stories go, Alyssa Wong, Rachael Jones, and of course Ted Chiang are names I get hearts in my eyes for.
What I’m looking for in a mentor: I have been face-deep in this book for so long that it’s gotten hard to see the forest for the trees. I’d love the kind of deep reading that a mentor could offer to really polish it, trim out wayward plot cul-de-sacs, and give character arcs the emotional boom they deserve. I work hard, I meet deadlines, and I love this book–I’ll do what it takes to make these pages shine.
If you have any questions or want to chat, I’m on Twitter (possibly more than I should be) @Aimee_Ogden; otherwise, good luck with either picking or getting picked!
My Baen Award-winning story, “Dear Ammi“, is now live on the site! Please check it out if you like space heroics, self-sacrifice, and sarcasm. (It does have some shooty-shooty stuff so if you may not be in the headspace to deal with that this week, keep that in mind before clicking over.) I’m so glad this story is finally out there in the world!,