MY FIRST NOVELLA IS UP IN UNCANNY: THE GIANTS OF THE VIOLET SEA

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The Sun Temple by Julie Dillon

 

I am very excited to announce that my first ever novella The Giants of the Violet Sea is now free to read at Uncanny issue #42!

The story is a very fleshed out version of a flash piece I attempted to write back in 2017 during a flash fiction contest on the Codex Writers forum. It was about an old woman who was a tattoo artist for the dead and her estranged daughter. I did not know how to finish the story back then, probably because it already felt too big in my mind to have a flash-type ending. I then expanded it into a novelette and then into a novella, because it felt like the right length for the characters to be able to breathe.

Caroline M. Yoachim asked me some great questions that helped me realize things about the novella that I hadn’t before. If you want to know more you can give my first ever interview a read here.

And if you have read the novella and the interview, this is the island Alimnia was inspired by: Santorini. This Island is bound to appear in a lot more of my stories in the future, because of its beauty and strangeness.

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I hope you enjoy my first longer work!

FIYAHCON, BONFIYAH AND IGNYTE AWARDS!

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As for con news, FIYAHCON and BonFIYAH were a blast!

I did not win the IGNYTE Award but I am super happy and honored that I was a finalist. It is so important to me that I was even on that list. The amazing C.L. Clark was the winner with their story “You Perfect, Broken Thing,” published in Uncanny Magazine issue #32, the same issue “My Country Is a Ghost” was in! This issue seriously slaps. The other awesome finalists were Nicasio Andres Reed with “Body, Remember,” Innocent Chizaram Ilo with “Rat and Finch are Friends,” and Congyun ‘Mu Ming’ Gu, translated by Kiera Johnson with “EXPRESS TO BEIJING WEST RAILWAY STATION | 开往西站的特别列车.” Please check out these very talented authors. 

I was also a panelist and got to talk about futuristic food with many cool and knowledgable people. Namely: Katherine Denby, Jeannette Ng, Rafeeat Aliyu, and Lavanya Lakshminarayan. I added so many books on my book pile. I seriously need a second lifetime to read everything at this point. 

BonFIYAH had double the programming they had last year! There is so much knowledge in those panels and the FIYAHCON panels, and so many new authors to follow and read. I am saying this because there is a possibility that FIYAHCON and bonFIYAH won’t be returning next year.

It has been such an influential con for me and so many other people that it’s hard to not mourn already. But no matter what happens I will keep following and supporting both the organizers and all the people who participated in one way or another. 

Thank you to the team for all the hard work they have done for the community. Please follow and support them.  

NEW STORY OUT: Magic: the Gathering, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt!

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Wow, that’s a lot of colons for one title.

I am so, so excited to announce that I wrote web fiction for Magic: the Gathering! And what’s more cool is that I got to write it in the world of Innistrad, a plane that seems to be tailored to me (although I have read a lot of MtG fiction every since and all the planes sound amazing!)

Leinore, Autumn Sovereign by: Fariba Khamseh

My story “Sisters” is about Leinore, a human girl who accepts the role of the Autumn Sovereign, a title given for the duration of Harvesttide Festival, an ancient festival with some very strong pagan and Halloween vibes. She and her sister Sinnia find a strange mask at a camp, abandoned by the family who stayed there. Then wickedness ensues. 

The timing is perfect because Halloween is just around the corner (yes, I know it’s still September) and the setting and story make for a very good read as the days get smaller and the night starts gaining ground.

I am also very proud to have worked on this project alongside writers such as K Arsenault Rivera, Seanan McGuire, and Margaret Killjoy. It feels like a dream tbh. I hope there will be more projects like this in my future. 

I hope you give all the awesome stories a read and enjoy the Halloween season! 

 

Nebula con and New story out: How the Girls Came Home!

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With Her Familiars on Mars by Galen Dara

Nebula Con just finished and I am both tired and elated.

My story “My Country is a Ghost” was a finalist for the Nebula Awards in the short story category. It is also a finalist for the Ignyte Awards and I could not be more honored. I did not make a blog post at the time the nominations were announced mostly because I was so overwhelmed. But now things have quieted down I can finally scream about it!

Big shout-out to all the wonderful winners and finalists and especially the fellow short story finalists. John Wiswell (who won the Nebula Award!), Rae Carson, Aimee Picchi, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, and Jason Sandford. I am in awe at your talent and extremely privileged to occupy a space next to you.

As for the con itself, it was a blast! As someone for whom it is really hard to attend cons in North America, virtual cons are a great opportunity to keep up with friends and make new ones. I got to be in two panels with some very smart people and hang out with them in the rooms afterwards.

Now to more cool news…

I am super exited to share my new story “How the Girls Came Home” in Uncanny Magazine issue #40! There is even audio, narrated by the amazing Joy Piedmont. Lynne Thomas asked me some very insightful questions for the podcast–and was also very understanding of my nervousness. Give it a listen!

This is a story I wrote during Week 4 of Clarion West, and one that’s closest to a fairytale than anything else I have written. The idea came to me as I was reading about the earliest version of Cinderella, which is said to be of Greek origin. A story called Rhodopis. I started thinking of all the ways these magical shoes (and magic in general–can change a woman’s life in stories and what if someone were to push back on that change.

Every morning Amalia’s feet change. They transform into different animal feet that come with different abilities and challenges for her. In a fairytale the happy ending would be for her feet to become forever human, but this is not quite the case here.

Here is an excerpt:

Each pair of feet has its own beauty. So she takes time to examine every new version of her feet, love them for what they are. Learn what she can do with them each day and start over the next, and the one after that. Her mother taught her this.

I am so happy Uncanny bought this story and I hope you enjoy it as well!

My Country Is a Ghost is up on PodCastle! (Plus Uncanny Magazine’s reader poll!)

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“My Country Is a Ghost” is now up on Podcastle Episode 659 with audio narration by the amazing Alethea Kontis! I am so excited this story got an audio treatment, I got misty eyed in many parts of the narration. I hope you enjoy it!

The story was first published in Uncanny Magazine Issue 32 this January (which was also my first sale to them) and this makes it eligible for this year’s Hugo, Nebula and WFA. There is also the annual Reader Poll up in Uncanny and my story is part of a long list of amazing fiction written by authors I admire. If you read and enjoyed “My Country Is a Ghost”, consider voting for it!

AN INCOMPLETE LIST OF BEAUTIFUL STORIES THAT HAVE KEPT ME COMPANY THIS YEAR (BY PUBLICATION MONTH).

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Thank you all for your wonderful little lights that made me feel a little bit less alone ❤

 

Short stories:

Mother Love, by Clara Madrigano, in The Dark (January)

The AI That Looked at the Sun, by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko, in Clarkesworld (January)

The Imperishable Birds, by Vajra Chandrasekera, in Fireside (January)

Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse, by Rae Carson, in Uncanny Magazine (January)

You Perfect, Broken Thing, by C.L. Clark, in Uncanny Magazine (January)

Hustle, by Derrick Boden, in EscapePod (February)

White Noon, by Aidan Doyle, in Podcastle (February)

Rat and Finch Are Friends, by Innocent Chizaram Ilo, in Strange Horizons (March)

Never a Butterfly, nor a Moth With Moon-painted Wings, by Aimee Ogden in Beneath the Ceaseless Skies (March)

Georgie in the Sun, by Natalia Theodoridou, in Uncanny (March/April)

Girl Clothes, by M. L. Krishnan, in Sonora Review (April)

A Moonlit Savagery, by Millie Ho, in Nightmare (April)

An Explorer’s Cartography of Already Settled Lands, by Fran Wilde, in Tor.com (April)   

A Promise of Dying Embers, by Jordan Kurella, in Diabolical Plots (April)

Glass Bottle Dancer, by Celeste Rita Baker, in Lightspeed (April)

Caring For Dragons and Growing a Flower, by Allison Thai, in PodCastle (April)

Have Your #hugot Harvested at This Diwata-owned Café, by Vida Cruz, in Strange Horizons (May)

Open House on Haunted Hill, by John Wiswell, in Diabolical Plots (June)

The Sinkhole that Ate Los Angeles, by Gardner Mounce, in Lowestoft Chronicle (June)

Bring the Bones That Sing, by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, in Diabolical Plots (July)

Baba Yaga and the Seven Hills, by Kristina Ten, in Lightspeed (July)

Tara’s Mother’s Skin, by Suzan Palumbo, in PseudoPod (August)

What Lies Within, by Isha Karki, in Augure Magazine (August)

Weaving in the Bamboo, by Eliza Chan, in Translunar Travelers Lounge (August)

An Incomplete Account of the Case of the Bird-Talker of Yaros, by Eleanna Castroianni, in Fireside (August)

Slipping the Leash, by Dan Micklethwaite, in Podcastle (August)

A Voyage to Queensthroat, by Anya Johanna Deniro, in Strange Horizons (August)

Heartsob Playplayplay Promisegift, by Monte Lin, Cossmass Infinities (September)

The Dreadnought and the Stars, by Phoebe Barton, in Glitter + Ashes, Neon Hemlock (September)

A Layer of Catherines, by Elisabeth R. Moore, in Strange Horizons (October)

The Angel Finger, by K. C. Mead-Brewer, in CRAFT Literary (October)

Teeth Long and Sharp as Blades, by A. C. Wise,  in PseudoPod (October)

Ask Not What the Penguin Horde Can Do for You, by Noah Bogdonoff, in Strange Horizons (October)

To Look Forward, by Osahon Ize-Iyamu, in Fantasy Magazine (November)

Winter’s Heart, by Vanessa Fogg, in Hexagon Magazine (December)

Tiny House Living, by Kristiana Willsey, in Fantasy Magazine (December)

 

Novelettes:

The Shadow Prison Experiment, by Caroline M. Yoachim, in Lightspeed (August)

City of Red Midnight: A Hikayat, by Usman T. Malik, in Tor.com (October)

The Little Witch, by M. Rickert, Tor.com (October)

My Awards Eligibility Post for 2020

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What a year. Yes, I know. I did not end up reading as much as I had hoped *gestures at the world* but the little I did read was a lovely break from reality and I’ll soon post my recs for 2020.

I did not end up writing so much either but I am very proud of two things: 1) I wrote and published my first ever essay (!) about living in Greece during the pandemic (and it went pretty well!) and 2) I published a story I love, that is also the most personal piece I have written yet.

Here are the stories I published this year and are eligible for awards:

My Country Is a Ghost – Uncanny Magazine, issue #32 

If you were to read just one I would recommend “My Country Is a Ghost” since I love it to bits. It is free to read online and it is in the Nebula Recommended Reading List.

Those We Serve – Interzone, issue #287

I hope next year is far far better on many fronts and that this post finds you well, friends.

NEW STORY OUT: THOSE WE SERVE

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I just sold my first science fiction story and I am so happy!

My story “Those We Serve” is included in Interzone issue #287 (May-June 2020) and as a bonus my CW classmate and friend Kristina has a story in the sister magazine Black Static issue #75 at the same time!

I wanted to expand my writing palette for quite some time now and I started experimenting with science fiction before I left for Clarion West last summer (and of course during the workshop itself). This was my first complete science fiction story and it explores the consequences of over-tourism and themes of identity and memory.

The idea came to me when I read an article about Dubrovnik and how Game of Thrones has contributed to the city becoming overcrowded with tourists. Coming from a country like Greece, for which tourism is one of the key industries, and having an undergrad degree in tourism myself, the what if scenario came to me immediately and demanded to be written.

I hope you find something in this story that speaks to you. Enjoy!Martin Hanford

 

 

 

New Story Out: My Country Is a Ghost

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Fallen Embers by Nilah Magruder

I am so thrilled to announce that my story “My Country Is a Ghost” is out today in Uncanny Magazine issue #32!

This story sprang from an idea I had about ghosts being able to follow their families. The initial idea branched out to be two different stories (at least). One was the flash “What Cannot Follow” and was published last October in Fireside Magazine.

This one though takes the premise to a more personal territory and that is immigration and mother-daughter relationships. What if ghosts, like living people, needed permission to emigrate to a new country? What if that permission was denied? How would the family of this ghost fare in a strange country without the solace of the ghost?

I wrote the first draft of this story during Week 3 of Clarion West Workshop and my instructor for that week was none other than the wonderful Amal El-Mohtar! With hers and my amazing classmates feedback I was able to expand the story and make it much more nuanced in a way that resonated with me.

Caroline M. Yoachim asked me some very insightful questions about the story and myself. If you want to know more you can give my first ever interview a read here.

I hope this story resonates with you as well. Happy New Year!