World Con Countdown Plus Queer Spec Fic!

I’m writing in Brisbane, Australia, for my “Australia tour” in the lead-up to World Con next week.  Been visiting the fabulous Peter Ball and the inimitable Chris Lynch, hatching ideas for gonzo stories about puppet occupations and were-raves and the like. Can’t wait to be reunited with more Clarion South-mates in just a few short days!

Just before I left the States, I got my copy of Wilde Stories 2010, a lovely anthology of great gay speculative fiction from the past year.  My story, “Tio Gilberto and the 27 Ghosts” is included, as are some great stories by Rick Bowes, Laird Barron, Tanith Lee, and others.  Brit Mandelo gave it a lovely review over at tor.com.  And while you’re there, check out Brit’s series of posts on Queering SFF, which is chock-full of great reviews, interviews, and recommendations.

More posts to come … now back to writing…

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Ghost stories, Ursula Le Guin, and Gay Trading Cards…

… are among the topics that came up in David Grossman’s interview of me over at io9, along with some discussion of my short story, “Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts.”  Check the interview out here in case you didn’t catch it yet.  David had some great questions and it’s cool to see io9 initiating some discussion of LGBT themes in spec fic. The interview is part of io9’s new “short story club” discussion group, a very cool feature showcasing a different SF short story each week – and the stories are always available online for free, somewhere across the vast lands of the internets.

In other Tio Gilberto-related news, Realms of Fantasy just announced its first annual Reader Awards, and John Kaiine’s illustration of the story was the runner-up in the art category.  It’s a gorgeous illustration, so it’s not surprising that many Realms readers loved it.  Congrats, John!

Tio Gilberto All Over the Internets!

My short story, “Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts,” is now available for free online at Realms of Fantasy’s website.  It’s also being featured next week in io9’s short-story reading club.  The short story club is a new feature at io9, and the first few stories featured included stories by Isaac Asimov and Elizabeth Bear, so it’s a thrill and an honor to be in such amazing company. 

BTW, io9 is one of the coolest places on the internets for sci-fi goodness, as exemplified by recent posts such as 38 reasons why Iron Man is cooler than Darth Vader, Patrick Stewart Explains How Shakespeare Prepares You for Science Fiction Acting, or 20 Great Infodumps from Science Fiction Novels.  Definitely worth adding to your RSS and/or regular routine of obsessive blog-checking. 

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the discussion of “Tio Gilberto” at io9 next Saturday. Many thanks to David Grossman at io9 and Doug Cohen and the gang at Realms for making Gilberto’s internet tour possible!

Listen to Tio Gilberto at Podcastle

I’m excited to announce that the podcast of my story, “Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts,” is up at Podcastle.  It’s interesting – and a bit odd – hearing someone else read a story I wrote, especially this one, which I’ve read aloud a couple of times.  I like the casual tone Brian Lieberman reads the story with, which is a great match for the narrator’s voice.

I wrote this story at Clarion South, and was partly inspired by a story by Lee Battersby, one of our Clarion instructors.  His story, “Through Soft Air,” was a ghost story about a man haunted by the ghosts of his fellow soldiers who died at war – a haunting that his children and grandchildren can’t understand, coming from a generation for whom the war is only history, not memory. 

It got me thinking about the way that an entire generation can be haunted by ghosts – of a war, a holocaust, an epidemic. There’s a wide gap between the generation haunted by those ghosts and the generations that follow, who just haven’t lived through that same overwhelming loss.  As a gay dude who came of age in the 1990s, I’d felt that type of gap with my older gay friends and mentors, whose lives  had been so deeply shaped by the early years of the AIDS epidemic.  Thinking about that generation gap was the seed for this story.

Have a listen!

Tio Gilberto is Getting Around

I’ve recently gotten a couple of bits of good news about my short story, “Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts,” which is still out on bookstores in the current issue of Realms of Fantasy

The first bit of news is that the story will be reprinted in PodCastle, the online fantasy podcast magazine.  This will be the first time that one of my stories will be published in audio form, so I’m pretty psyched to hear it performed. 

The other bit of news is that “Tio Gilberto” seems to have made its way on to SFWA’s Nebula Suggested Reading List.  It’s a long list, of course, with 30+ stories just in the short story category, but, hey, it’s nice to be “suggested!”

Had a very hectic couple weeks at work, hence the recent radio silence. But things are starting to calm down a bit now, so hopefully I should be getting back to the usual semi-regular posting rhythm….

Story Out in Realms of Fantasy

I got my contributor copy of the latest issue of Realms of Fantasy, which includes my story, “Tío Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts.”  First thing I have to say is, it’s so cool to see this story in print!  Especially in such a great magazine, and especially after that long couple months where Realms had closed and it seemed like the story would need to find a new home. I’m really glad that Realms seems be having such a successful re-launch.

Second thing I have to say is, I *love* John Kaiine’s illustration for the story. I look at that gorgeous painting and think to myself, that is a gorgeous work of art.  And then I think, whoa, something I wrote was the original inspiration for that work of art.  Sort of mind-boggling.  And, I have to admit, I thought it would be a hard story to illustrate, what with 27 out of 30 significant characters being invisible.  But Kaiine did it masterfully, showing a scene where the protagonist is performing in front of his uncle Gilberto and a room full of ghosts.  The empty mismatched chairs (a feather boa flung over one of them), the piano and the black and white television in the background, the wisps of smoke from Gilberto’s cigarette giving the entire painting an ethereal feel…. He’s managed to cram in so many little details from the story, but, more importantly, I think he captured the feel of it – a sense of lighthearted fun, but with something haunting just beneath the surface. 

Last thing I have to say is, I’m honored to be in some pretty amazing company on this table of contents: Kristine Kathryn Rusch, William R Eakin, S.E. Ward, and Jay Lake.   I have a feeling I’ll be up late tonight reading their stories….

Coming to a Bookstore Near You

ROF Oct 2009It looks like my short story, “Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts,” will be appearing in the next issue of Realms of Fantasy.  You can go ahead and subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss it.

This is a story that’s close to my heart, so I’m especially excited to see it in print.  And I can’t wait to see John Kaiine’s illustration for it!  I think it should be out by early September.