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!

 

 

My Awards Eligibility Post for 2019

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It’s time for lists! Lists of the stories I published this year but also lists of my favorite stories!

This year had been a little busier than usual for me, both because I moved but also because I participated in the Clarion West Writers Workshop during the summer. It is a wonderful and fulfilling experience for any writer but left little room for other activities. As a result I have fallen a little behind on my reading but I plan on catching up soon.

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

We Are Here to Be Held – Strange Horizons

It is free to read online and it is in the Nebula Recommended Reading List.

What Cannot Follow – Fireside Magazine

April Teeth – Do Not Go Quietly: An Anthology of Victory in Defiance

Her Blood Like Rubies in the Ground –  Gorgon: Stories of Emergence, Pantheon Magazine

 

An incomplete list of fabulous stories I’ve read this year (by publication month).

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This year has been a roller-coaster for me. I went to Clarion West (a thing that seemed impossible just a year ago) and just recently moved back to Greece.

Needless to say I fell a little behind with my short story reading but what comforts me is that there are endless amazing stories out there so it wouldn’t be possible for me to read them all. For that I am thankful for all the year’s-end lists people are compiling because they will help me find more great stories!

I hope you find something you’ll love in this one.

Poems Written While, by Natalia Theodoridou, in Uncanny (January)

Dustdaughter, by Inda Lauryn, in Uncanny (January)

The Thing, With Feathers, by Marissa Lingen, in Uncanny (January)

The Daddy Thing, by K. C. Mead-Brewer, in Electric Literature (January)

The Message, by Vanessa Fogg, in The Future Fire (February)

The Crafter at the Web’s Heart, by Izzy Wasserstein, in Apex (February)

Give the Family My Love, by A. T. Greenblatt, in Clarkesworld (February)

The Archronology of Love, by Caroline M. Yoachim, in Lightspeed (April) – Novelette

Where the Rain Mothers Are, by Rafeeat Aliyu, in Strange Horizons (April)

Ten Excerpts from an Annotated Bibliography on the Cannibal Women of Ratnabar Island, by Nibedita Sen, in Nightmare (May)

Therein Lies a Soul, Osahon Ize-Iyamu, in The Dark (June)

The House Wins in the End, by L Chan, in The Dark  (July)

The Brightest Lights of Heaven, by Maria Haskins, in Fireside Magazine (July)

Ahura Yazda, the Great Extraordinary, by Senaa Ahmad, in Lightspeed (July)

1078 Reasons“, by Aidan Doyle in Translunar Travelers Lounge (August)

How the Trick Is Done, by A.C. Wise, in Uncanny (August)

And Now His Lordship is Laughing, by Shiv Ramdas in Strange Horizons (September)

Shelter, Sustenance, Self, by Aimee Ogden in Fireside (September)

The Silent Flowers of the Magician’s Garden, by Eleanna Castroianni in Beneath Ceaseless Skies (September)

A Square of Flesh, A Cube of Steel, by Phoebe Barton in Analog (September/October)

Failsafe, by Tim Chawaga in Escape Pod (October)

Personal Rakshasi, by Suzan Palumbo in Fireside Magazine (November)

A Tour of the Galesburg Glass Museum, by Kristina Ten in Cosmonauts Avenue (December)

The Garden’s First Rule, by Sheldon Costa in Strange Horizons (December)

NEW STORY OUT: What Cannot Follow

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Halloween is my favorite holiday and this couldn’t be a better timing for my bittersweet ghost story “What Cannot Follow” to be online at Fireside Magazine!

It features an amazing narration by C. S. E. Cooney that perfectly captures the feeling of the story.

The main question that inspired the premise was: What makes a family? I believe that sometimes we can find greater closeness and tenderness in people we are not related to. And that is an idea that gives me hope against the loneliness inside.

I was born and raised in Greece, where Halloween is not celebrated–although we do have our own day, dedicated to remembering the dead called The Saturday of Souls.

I’ve always thought of Halloween as a holiday that makes us more mindful of our mortality in the hopes that we’ll make, even temporarily, some peace with it. And what better way to fight that ancient fear by celebrating this Holiday with loved ones?

I hope you enjoy the story and Happy Halloween!

We made it!!!

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I am beyond thrilled to say that my GoFundMe Campaign has just been fully funded!  I can’t begin to explain how much it means to me that friends but also people I have never met or spoken to, have my back and support me in such an important moment of my life.

So let me take a moment to say thank you to my Twitter and Facebook friends, my Clarion West classmates, to Codex, ALEF, and the entire writing community!

If you are still looking to donate to a Clarion West or Clarion campaign it would be wonderful if you could help out these soon-to-be classmates:

Celeste Rita Baker

Barton Aikman

M. Shaw

Dianne M Williams

Thank you so very much everyone! You are amazing!

 

NEW STORY OUT: APRIL TEETH

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Cover art by Marcela Bolívar

 

I am very excited to announce that my story “April Teeth” is part of the DO NOT GO QUIETLY anthology by Apex Publications.

Part of my excitement is because I am sharing a TOC with so many awesome writers. I could have never imagined being in the same anthology with even one of those people, let alone all of them.

As for how the story came to be, I already had the vague idea of a ceremony or a celebration involving teeth but I did not know how to turn it into a solid plot until the element of resistance clicked into place and the story felt completed in my head.

So if you enjoy stories about unnerving ceremonies and bloodthirsty deities, but also women who stand up for themselves, you are welcome to give this one a read!

You can buy the anthology here. Enjoy!

 

 

 

NEW STORY OUT: HER BLOOD LIKE RUBIES IN THE GROUND

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Stoked to announce that my story “Her Blood Like Rubies in the Ground” is out in the anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence.

This was one of the stories I drafted in Codex’s Weekend Warrior competition in 2017. It had been a very prolific few weeks and I feel very good about the stories that came out.

The story began as a title that another author was kind enough to donate. When I started thinking about why someone would feed their blood to the ground the plot came to me in its entirety. I imagined a pair of witches and how they use magic to cope with loss. How personal that struggle can be and what conflicts might arise between them from the use of magic.

You can order the anthology here.

Please enjoy!

My Awards Eligibility Post

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It is that time of the year again and I have to say I am proud of many things.  Some of them are my own accomplishments and some are friends’ successes (i.e. Natalia Theodoridou winning the World Fantasy Award in the short story category.)  Here are the two stories I published this year. Both of them fall under the Short Fiction category and I would be extremely happy if you considered either of them.

If you were to read just one I would recommend my short story  “Cherry Wood Coffin” in Apex Magazine. This particular story is both in the Nebula Reading List and in the Bram Stoker Award Reading List. So if any of you is reading for the Bram Stoker Award as well, I would be honored if you kept my story in mind.

This is my second year of eligibility for the Campbell Award for New Writers.

Cherry Wood CoffinApex Magazine issue 108, May 2018

It’s a Gothic horror piece about one day in the life of an unusual coffin maker and the decisions that haunt him.

Ghost Mapping – Lost Films, August 2018

This is a weird story about a couple’s love, death and the icy ghosts of antarctic explorers from another dimension.

 

 

New story out: We Are Here to Be Held

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Art by Rachel Quinlan

I have a new story out! You can read it here in the new issue of Strange Horizons or listen to the podcast here, in awe of Anea’s spectacular narration.

The idea came to me when I stumbled upon the weirdest pictures by photographer Ian Turner, of pelicans fighting over food scraps and stealing them from each other stomachs!

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This photo in particular gave me instantly the impression of a mother swallowing her daughter. I wonder what Freud would have to say about that.

This story is very personal to me and I feel like I’ve managed to handle the symbolism and the themes exactly as I intended to. It is about familial relationship and how complicated they can get sometimes. There isn’t one solution for everyone. Each of us has to find their own balances with the people they call family and sometimes the decisions might seem cruel but are necessary.

I hope you enjoy this one and maybe find something in this story that speaks to you.