NEW STORY OUT: OF THE BODY

So stocked to announce that my first publication in Beneath Ceaseless Skies is out! “Of the Body” is a fantasy story set in a world where animals carry and give birth to human babies. Sali and Osarah are going to have a baby together, but first they have to hunt and kill the animal that is pregnant with it.

It’s a story about a family’s persistence, the symbiotic relationship of human and nature, community, and adaptation. It’s in the wonderful company of Adam R. Shannon‘s story “Five Aspects of River and Sky”, a story that also deals with themes of human vs nature, adaptation and moving forward. I couldn’t have asked for a better story-match.

I wrote this story at the beginning of 2021. I stumbled upon a prompt about a dead deer and a human baby on Codex Writers’ Forum and things just clicked in my mind. I wanted a world where things where so interconnected to each other that humans would be born of animals. And I wanted people to still be stubborn and still make mistakes when it came to their relationship with nature. Because humans don’t learn easy.

Many questions were born from this idea. What would happen to the humans then? Would they find their way to each other despite being born of a different species? And if they did, how would they then view their animal mothers? Who did the babies really belong to? A considerable amount of denial would have to exist for them to not recognize that in fact they were part of both worlds. And so this story with one of the wildest premises I’ve written was born.

We arrived to this world, fresh and ignorant, and stood separate from it. All living things shared one single breath. It was the Body revealing itself to our ancestors. We stood on top of the Body, walked around it, dove into its guts, yet we did not see it.

This story was a bit out of my comfort zone and I enjoyed stretching my writer’s muscles. If you want to listen to the story here is the Podcast version of it. I hope you like it! 

NEW STORY OUT: BONESOUP

 

My story “Bonesoup” is out in the new issue of Strange Horizons! This is my second appearance in a magazine I really love and I am so excited! 

The amazing Dante Luiz picked my story and created a gorgeous and chilling illustration based on it. It’s the one you see as a featured image at the top. I just can’t stop staring at it and finding new details that fit my story’s themes so well. 

The story sprung from a strange thought I had one night (more like super early morning…) about the Witch from Hansel and Gretel having children of her own, and what if these children carried on the cannibalistic tradition. It was not meant to be set in the modern-day, rather than set in some unspecified place that had a Middle Ages/fairytale feel. What happened, of course, was that the minute I sat down to write the story it became a modern-day Greek story about a grandmother trying to feed her granddaughter “good food” with references to the Greek Famine, and the occupation syndrome, and all the baggage the past carries. 

 

For a moment—perhaps it was my sweet-tooth brain—she looked mostly made of custard, her eyes were two pastel blue candied almonds, her chin was a shortbread biscuit. But parts of her were still meat.

 

This is a dark story that invokes a lot of uneasiness, but underneath it all there is love that binds the family of the story together. Food is love after all. I hope this story resonates with you. 

 

NEW STORY OUT: THIS VILLAGE

Wall of Roses by Elaine Ho

I am happy to announce that my story “This Village” is out today in Uncanny Magazine issue #46, in which features a breath-taking cover and a company of excellent writers. 

This story sprang from a Codex writing contest, during Week 3. By that time I had already written another story for the contest which turned out to be a short story instead of a flash. Then a week of no story at all. This one was a desperate attempt to actually nail the flash length after a long time of not writing any. I was so absorbed by the form that I only saw the themes the story grappled with after I had finished and had gotten the first feedback. 

The story talks about literally building your own safe space (or safe house for accuracy’s sake,) and having people urging you on and supporting you in the process. It also talks about resisting forces that might try and stop you. Someone who critiqued this story called it ominous positivity and support and I think that’s exactly what it is. 

If you peer through an opening framed by two linden trees. If you follow the foam of the waves on a cold night. If you are not afraid to crawl into the long narrow caves that open like mouths on jagged rocks. You will see them. They all lead here. To this village.

The story went out today during a very difficult time, while things already look pretty bleak around the world. I hope that anyone who needs a little positivity–even if it is the ominous kind–and finds this story, will feel a little more hopeful, or just escape for a little while in that village.  

Love, always. 

Two readings and New story out: Tomatoes!

The past week had been a busy one! Because of scheduling I ended up doing two readings back to back. The first reading I did was for the wonderful Story Hour, organized by the awesome Laura Blackwell and Daniel Marcus. I read my dark fantasy story “We Are Here to Be Held.” I was paired with Michelle Belanger, whose reading I enjoyed immensely, and I ended up having so much fun! The fundraiser I chose for the reading was Letjaha, a network of assistance for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. The video of our reading has been uploaded on Facebook where you can watch it without an account. It has currently amassed 4k views!

unnamedThe second reading I did was for Strong Women-Strange Worlds. This time I read a flash horror story called “Cherry Wood Coffin.” This was a lot of fun too, and I got to hear excerpts from some pretty amazing books that varied a lot genre-wise. All the readers were incredibly talented people and I am honored to have been in their company.

On to another piece of news, my short story Tomatoes is now free to read in Khōréō, issue #1.4! There is also a stunning reading of the story by the amazing Kat Kourbeti. This story was the first one I wrote during Clarion West. It happened because I had read Yoko Ogawa’s story “Tomatoes and the Full Moon” in her collection titled “Revenge” and was hellbent on writing a story that had “Tomatoes” in its title. Stephen Graham Jones was our instructor for that week and he was just the right person to help me figure out the focus and the ending of this story along with my wonderful classmates.

[Twitter]-Tomatoes-teaser

It is the story of two witch sisters as they navigate their own duty to their family at the cost of their freedom. It’s a story with Greek sensibilities, especially when it comes to families and filial duty. It’s also a story about the dangers of greed. But there’s also magic, and darkness and body horror and of course, tomatoes.

The story was reviewed at Tor Nightfire! The wonderful Aigner Loren Wilson had some nice things to say. Here is an excerpt:

Triantafyllou balances the dark in the story with the emotional pulse of a family falling apart and dying, and in the process creates a wonderfully touching account of death and love.

I hope you give this one a read and enjoy it!

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

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!

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

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!

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 on Locus Recommended Reading List

Super chuffed to announce that My Country Is a Ghost is on the Locus Recommended Reading List along with many fabulous stories that you should definitely check out!

This also means that the Locus Awards are open for anyone to vote and even write in their own choices from last year! If you’d like to vote for the stories you loved last year here is the link!

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!

NEW STORY OUT: THOSE WE SERVE

 

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