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!

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

 

 

 

New Story Out: My Country Is a Ghost

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!

NEW STORY OUT: What Cannot Follow

Fireside Quarterly cover by Reiko Murakami

Halloween is my favorite holiday and this couldn’t be a better timing for my bittersweet ghost story “What Cannot Follow” to be online in issue #72 of 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!

NEW STORY OUT: APRIL TEETH

Don’t Go Quietly 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

Cover by Carrion House
 

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!

New story out: We Are Here to Be Held

The King’s Mirror 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.