The kickstarter was sucessful. Excited to have signed the contract for Everyone: Worlds Without Walls, a new anthology from District of Wonders and edited by Tony C Smith. A reprint of one of my stories will appear here in October 2017. The anthology includes Lavie Tidhar, Ken Lui, Fabio Fernandes and Samuel R Delany.
Excited to be in Everyone: Worlds Without Walls, a new anthology from District of Wonders and edited by Tony C Smith. A great, diverse collection of stories and international writers. Go to the kickstarter. Give a little, get a lot in return.
Richard Wagner is a fine artist and his work has graced the pages and covers of many publications, including Interzone magazine. His fantastic work can also be seen on the covers of books I have edited for Immersion Press. You can go see his work and purchase what you like at the following sites.
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I love Starship Sofa. A great podcasting group. Now I have the honour of being amongst the luminaries. My story “Song for the Asking”, first published in Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R Delany, is now up as a podcast. Sit back and listen.
I have finished a novella and I am submitting it about. I also have a flash piece out there, hoping to find a home.
I am currently working on a short fantasy piece. But it really feels like pulling teeth. Don’t know why. I also have the bones of a new novella, just waiting for flesh.
A busy start to the new year.
Tade Thompson’s latest story, “The Apologists“, headlines issue 266 of Britian’s longest running genre magazine, INTERZONE. And it’s a strong opener.
What Tade Thompson does first that is both risky and interesting in that when I am introduced to the main character I am not sure I am going to like this guy. He spends his time in a bar in a ruined future London, being grumpy and dissatisfied with those around him. They don’t react they way he wants them to, nor do they seem to fill in whatever wide gap he has within him. His clear dismissal of the people around him, at first, made me feel unnerved. Who is this guy? I wondered. A killer? Some punk who needs his nose busted back into joint? Hints are dropped that this is not his real world. At first I thought it was a simulation, one in which he or anyone could fulfil their nasty little desires. A VR world for sadists.
That made me want to hate him all the more.
Yep, I am sure. I don’t like the guy.
So far, a very risky start…
But then I realised how wrong I was, and how brilliant the opening is. It’s a great trick to play on the reader, and Tade Thompson is a master of timing; he leads you in a direction just so far, and when you reach a point where you might be tempted to break and run, he turns the table.
You see, the main character can bump into someone, and get a smile instead of a threatening look; he can solicit sex and have the woman in question agree rather than offer him a solid put-down. Everyone is amiable, happy, smiley, so much so that it becomes even more unnerving than the guy’s attitude. Although it is a simulation, it is not the type I initially thought, nor was it for the purpose I imagined.
Without giving too much of the story away, it seems that one of the central ideas–if not the central idea–of the story is the glory of our human imperfections, how they make us who we are, how they make life interesting, exciting, worth living. Perfection, as demonstrated by the reactions of the “humans” around him, is tantamount to boredom, a slow death. What the main character wants is not a world where he can live out some dark fantasy, but a world where people actuallylive, faults and all. A world that is real, not constructed and made to seem perfect. What he is offered by the apologists of the story–although offered with good intentions–is unbearable, and nothing short of a nightmare. If we do not have our faults, we become static, uninteresting, and consequently have nothing to strive for.
“The Apologists” is a story that asks us to look at ourselves, to embrace our imperfections. And that is very different from accepting our imperfections. If we accept our imperfections we risk never changing. If we embrace them, then we have a starting point from which to move forward, because change is the one constant we need in our lives, and one worth living for.
Happy to say that my story “Song for the Asking” has received an Honorable Mention in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois. You can purchase a copy of the book by clicking on the title above. Lots of great stories in these collections.
Works in Progress: I am at the halfway point on a novella, and I have two short stories in the works. I also have the notes and framework for two more novellas. I hope this becomes a very prolific year.
Love comes again for Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R Delany, this time from the good people at Blacknerdproblems.com .
A truly great collection of stories and essays in honour of an SF legend.
I’m truly honoured that my story got a recommendation:
“I recommend “Song for the Asking” by Carmelo Rafala, a story about a man who’s converted to his oppressor’s religion, only to spend his life trying to prove he’s a true believer. There’s the very real sense that, fail or succeed, he’ll never be fully embraced by the faith he tries to embody and serve.”
Now that sets the new year off on a pretty awesome tone.
Read the full review HERE.