Tag Archives: Escape Pod

Awards Eligible Stories for 2014

With a just week left in the year, my last original stories for 2014 have hit the presses. That means it’s time to make my first-ever awards eligibility list!

As a new author, writing this list was full of good memories: of the writing buddies who critted these stories, the editors and publishers who took a chance on me and improved the stories further during copyediting, and most of all the readers who took the time to enjoy the end product. To all of you, I want to thank you for sharing this journey with me.

I’m currently reading for the short story category of the Nebulas and Hugos. If you’re an author, which short story of yours from 2014 should I be sure to catch? If you’re a reader, what caught your eye? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll add it to my reading list.

If you’d like to consider some of my work for an award, I’ve listed my awards-eligible stories below. This is also my first year of Campbell Award eligibility. If you are voting this year, please feel free to contact me for a review copy of anything not freely available online. And if your time is limited, I might suggest you check out “Makeisha In Time” and “The Mercy of Theseus” as a starting point.

Original Short Stories Published in 2014:

Coffee is Hospitality: The Art of Friendship on the Internet

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to mention it on my blog, but last Friday, the Drabblecast featured one of my stories on Episode# 299 – “The Revelations of Morgan Stern”. For those of you who are regular readers, it was my story Dear John, a little tale framed around themes of loss and hospitality. The production of my story absolutely blew me away, and I was especially moved to have this one picked because of the story behind it, which you can read about in the original post.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been blown away by a series of loosely connected events that have left me moved and humbled by the kindness, thoughtfulness, and love of people I’ve only ever met online. It took me by surprise; to a degree I’ve always carried the unspoken assumption that there’s a clear and obvious distinction between the people you deal with face-to-face and those you deal with on the internet. As if the one is more “real” or counts for more than the other.

And while nothing will ever replace my friends and family, I think I’m wrong to undervalue the extended network of friendships made possible through the power of technology. We’re something like pen pals, many of us separated by half the world, and yet brought together by common interests. We celebrate each other’s triumphs. We feel one another’s pain. And sometimes we push each other to levels of courage that would be impossible normally.

After all, hospitality is coffee. Sometimes you invite people into your home and share a cup together. But other times, you invite them in from afar. You – yes, you – have joined me in my living room on many an evening to swap stories and jokes over a beer. Other times, we’ve sat at the kitchen table while I poured out my frustrations, fears, and sadness. Right now, we’re sitting in the student lounge together at my college as I finally recognize what a good friend you’ve been to me all along.

I’ve been lucky enough to go for a run with those of you involved in the production of the podcasts I listen to. Together we braved the heat, rain, and cold, set records, jumped over snakes, waved to neighbors, high-fived children, and snarked at catcallers and other rude folks.

All of this was in my head when I listened to a recent metacast from the folks at Escape Artists (behind the podcast magazines Escape Pod, Podcastle, and Pseudopod). The gist is that these podcasts are endangered species because of high readership but low support. You can read a partial transcript here and a summary here.

Coffee is hospitality. We mark our friendships through such rituals, through a mutual give-and-take where we loan support when the other needs it most. Sometimes this support is emotional. You’re both broke, and the best you can do is commiserate. Other times, you have the luxury of being able to extend a hand when needed.

I think the biggest difference between internet friends my face-to-face friends is that I’ve always found it easy and natural to practice hospitality towards people who are physically there. Online, there’s just enough distance that you forget to offer the coffee. You forget that you can. I mean, I can’t pour caffeine into my keyboard and expect it to come out on your end, but there are other ways of extending hospitality all the same.

Anyway, I’m changing that. Since I’m not completely broke, I’ve decided to repay both Escape Artists and the Drabblecast for their gift of friendship by becoming one of their paid subscribers. It’s the financial equivalent of getting together and buying them coffee once a month. I can most certainly do that.

If you’re also a fan of these shows, I’d encourage you to do the same if you’re able. If you’re not one of their fans, why not give them a listen? You might find something worthwhile, as I did.

How about you guys? How do you view your internet friends versus the ones you meet face-to-face? Who do you like to support around the blogosphere and interwebs?

Link Roundup 7-9-13

English: Henry, the world's oldest Tuatara in ...
English: Henry, the world’s oldest Tuatara in captivity at Invercargill, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Science news and writing-related links from around the blogosphere, and a brief review of my favorite podcasts of the week:

In a huge breakthrough, scientists were able to derive tiny livers from human skin cells. Very awesome.

Whose heart skips a beat for epigenetics? Learn all about this innovative new branch of genetics from the fine folks at Discover Magazine.

The Artificial Selection Project is calling for submissions for the first edition of their new literary magazine. I like these guys and their project, and am polishing a few pieces to submit. If you write and are looking for interesting new markets, check ’em out!

Rochelle Wisthoff-Fields ponders the problem of sequels. It was good brain-fodder for me, as I’m prepping to write a sequel when NaNoWriMo starts up again in November.

Meanwhile, on MissKZebra’s blog, they’re talking about the tricky business of incorporating sexual elements into a story.

A coat made out of human chest hair: the ultimate upcycling project, or just plain gross? I vote gross, but I’d certainly buy one as a gag gift for my more hirsute friends.

And just for fun, Jason tells the traumatizing story of the first time he saw “A Clockwork Orange”. Yes, I’m responsible for the fact he had to watch it twice. Personally, I thought the movie was brilliant. Just as twisted as they say it is, though.

Favorite podcasts I heard this week (I’m almost always behind, so these are “new to me”):

  • Escape Pod #400: “Rescue Party” by Arthur C. Clarke. Full-cast production of this amazing golden-age sci-fi classic. The episode blew me away, and epitomizes everything a fiction podcast can be, what with amazing performances and production values. It went nicely with my Kubrick marathon as well; I promptly rented 2001: A Space Odyssey after listening to this episode.
  • Drabblecast #286: “Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse” by Andy Duncan. A bizarre and appropriate send-up of one of my all-time favorite short story authors. I won’t give away the twist ending, but I’ll give you a hint: think “Southern Gothic”. Don’t miss my Twabble at the end, too!
  • Drabblecast #42: “40 Quarters” by Tom Williams. The life you save may be your own, so compensate those public servants properly, folks.

What’s happening on your blog? What interesting articles have you seen around the blogosphere this week?