More Big News: “The Only Harmless Great Thing”

Life just keeps on getting weirder, doesn’t it? Here is how conversations with me generally go these days:

YOU: “So, how are you?”

ME: “Well, the world is a dumpster fire filled with hungry, angry ghosts and we may all be dead before this time next year, but on a personal and professional level? Pretty damned well, my friend. Pretty damned well.”

YOU: “I understand entirely, as this is the way of the world. Allow us to nod knowingly at one another over the State of Things.”

And it is entirely true! Our country continues to eat itself in a way that would make a gore manga artist blanch, but blessedly the one thing I can worry slightly less about is myself as a developing writer and a working human being. Which is all a long-winded way of saying that 2017, while resembling a clown car plowing head-on into a truck filled with gangrenous dicks, is also the year I finally sold a book.

Because of course it is.

The book’s title is The Only Harmless Great Thing, and it will be released by Tor Dot Com Publishing in 2018. It will be a Real Book Made Of Dead Pulped Trees, which also rather terrifyingly means that for the very first time, you will be required to pay money before you read something I wrote. I am not at all entirely confident that a lot of people are inclined to hand over the sweat of their brow for my disjointed word flail, but that may be why I’m a writer and not a book publisher–I don’t judge the quality of the sausage or the demand, I just grind the bejeezus outta that mess of pig parts. My editor on this project will be the fabulous Marco Palmieri, a fine and talented gentleman I’ve been wanting to work with for actual, factual years.

I’ll keep anybody who cares to know updated on release dates, pre-order links, cover art, and all that other stuff that is relevant when you are publishing an actual goddamned book holy jesus fuck how did I suddenly get here? Shockingly for me, it’s an angry little thing, filled with righteously pissed women, an elephantine Greek chorus, and an ingrained disgust for capitalism’s machinations.

I dearly, dearly hope you’ll take the journey with Tor Dot Com & I in 2018, provided we’re all still alive by that point. Fingers and trunks crossed!

Nebula Finalist Frenzy, or: IT HAPPENED AGAIN WTF BBQ

So. Uh (isn’t this how these always start? Am I honestly so creatively bereft that I can start out a blog entry no other way than sputtering?):

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” my thousand-word rage bark published in Uncanny Magazine, is a finalist for the Best Short Story Nebula. Again, to everyone who put it on their ballot: holy shit, thank you so goddamned much. I was helping clean up after a family funeral when I got the call, so to say that I needed that good news is a grave and frankly insulting understatement to the gift you all handed me. I didn’t expect to get on the ballot last year. I figured it was probably the last time I’d be within six city blocks of a ballot for a long, long time, if ever. Is being a finalist again so soon intimidating? You’d better fuckin’ believe it, buster. Is trying to figure out how I am going to follow this up absolutely bowel-twistingly terrifying, the fear that I’ll never write anything else worthwhile once again lurking at the edges of my internal narrative like a shadow beneath a 1 AM streetlamp? DING DING DING.

It isn’t going to win. I give so little fucks about the fact that it isn’t going to win. I am going to lose to the best–my dear friends and my peers–I am going to go home with a nifty pin and niftier certificate, and I am going to love every minute of it, just like last time. This is further than I ever saw myself getting. This is, like, Voyager probe levels beyond where I ever saw myself getting. I’m honestly just enjoying the hurtling through space bit. The view from out here is great! Flying away from the Earth at extreme velocity is something I highly recommend trying these days.

Meanwhile awards season continues, as the world burns down around us and the mad emperor capers and plays his kazoo, and thus I am obligated to mention that “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” remains eligible for the Hugo ballot (closes March 18th! Supporting members don’t even have to attend to submit, although Helsinki is rad as hell) and the Locus (April 15th! You don’t have to do, uh, pretty much anything to vote on that one). The Hugos have been what polite circles would call “a spluttering sphinctal shit-blizzard” the past few years; at the very least I’d love to be on a final ballot for that fine old rocket that didn’t make me want to bury in face in my hands and throw up through the gaps in my fingers like a baroque bile fountain.

That eldritch power, however, rests solely in your hands–and believe me, friends, your hands have already done me more than enough of a good turn this year. Again, from the bottom of my salted and burned little heart: thank you.