Tag: Story: Husbandry

Three Things Make A Blog

That’s what I’ve heard, anyway. And I think I can scrape up that many. First, some good news: my story “Husbandry” was given an honorable mention by Ellen Datlow for her anthology Best Horror of the Year Vol. 2. Thanks so much, Ellen, I’m thrilled to make your longlist.

Next, a digital version of the April/May double issue of Asimov’s, containing my story “Adrift,” is now available from Fictionwise. If you wanted to read “Adrift” but were unable to find a physical copy of the magazine, you can now download it here for about $5.

I need a third thing. How about a weird Turkish knockoff of Star Trek? It is based on the first episode of the show, “The Man Trap,” and has English subtitles. It steals footage from the original for effects shots and when the opening credits run too long for the Star Trek theme, they cleverly borrowed music from other science fiction shows to make up the difference. And the description says that it features once popular Turkish character called Omer the Tourist.

I’m Big In Ghana

Well, at least, I’m big enough to have had my work plagiarized by someone ostensibly from Ghana.  The Grin Without A Cat blog reports the receipt of a strange submission for an anthology of fantasy stories by Filipino authors:

Specifically, someone sent in a pseudo-submission with this intro:

From: samuel ansah asare
Date: Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 6:44 PM
To: estranghero@gmail.com

P.O.BOX 1049,
TELEPHONE NUMBERS: +233(0)242517475, +233(0)267307499



But what made this doubly-interesting was when– on a whim– I googled the first line of the first story and what came out was Eugene Fisher’s Husbandry in Strange Horizons. The others were Nira and I by Shweta Narayan, The Spider in You by Sean E. Markey, and Turning the Apples by Tina Connolly.

So, there we have it.  My first plagiarization.  (Also, the first misspelling of my name in attribution of published work.  This will almost certainly happen again.)  This brings to my mind Neal Stephenson’s remarks upon learning that text from his novel Cryptonomicon was being used by spammers:

e-mail filters learn from their mistakes. When the Cryptonomicon spam was sent out, it must have generated an immune response in the world’s spam filtering systems, inoculating them against my literary style. So this could actually cause my writing to disappear from the Internet.

If this blog–or worse, Strange Horizons–should suddenly go dark, blame the Ghanan fiction spammers.

“Husbandry” Genre Poll Results

My poll asking readers to tell me what genre they think my story “Husbandry” is has been up for a week now, and as of this writing the results are: 4 votes for “Fantasy,” 5 votes for “Science Fiction,” and 6 votes for “Something Else.”  So it’s pretty close.  The something-elses have, I think, some granularity, with Sarah, Damien, and Kat arguing that it’s interstitial fiction, and Elizabeth Twist opining that it’s subtle horror–an opinion shared by Karen Meisner (who was my editor on the story) in this comments thread.  (Thanks for the kind words, Shweta!)  EDIT: Oops! I mischaracterized Karen’s opinion–see the comments on this post.

I didn’t vote in the poll.  If I had voted when I set up the poll, I probably would have voted for fantasy, though I would have been thinking that it was fantasy written with a distinctly science fiction sensibility.  I have trouble thinking of it as really being science fiction because, well, zombies.  Everything around that core I tried to treat naturalistically, even rigorously, but there is no mechanism for how death works in the story, and without that I can’t really consider it science fiction.  All of the stories I’ve read with zombies have been ones I would characterize as fantasy, but I could be persuaded that this is because my familiarity of horror as a literary genre is almost nonexistant.  It occurs to me that most zombie movies are considered horror; perhaps that is the natural home of the trope.  I don’t really know where the edges of fantasy and horror meet, or how widely they overlap.  And is what I’m calling an overlap what the Interstitial Arts Foundation would call an interstice?  I’m not sure I understand what interstitial art is.  It seems more natural to me to think of these categories as overlapping Venn diagrams, of genres as things that bleed into each other rather than as things with gaps between them into which some stories slip.  But then I don’t have the task of marketing books to bookstores.  The interstitial metaphor begins to make more sense if there is a shelf of fantasy and a shelf of horror, and they don’t touch each other.  Suddenly, in the bookstore of my mind, my story is lying on the floor somewhere between them.  So, I’m still not sure I know what genre “Husbandry” is, but I’m starting to be persuaded that “something else” is a worthy winner.  Let’s hear it for the wisdom of crowds.  (I’m going to leave the poll open for a while longer, just to see what happens.)

“Husbandry” Goes Live at Strange Horizons

My short story “Husbandry” has just gone up at Strange Horizons!  I encourage you to read it, and hope you enjoy it.

I have never been able to characterize this story to my satisfaction in terms of genre.  I can’t decide if I think it is fantasy or science fiction.  To that end, a poll:

What genre is "Husbandry?"

View Results

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Sick and Tired and…Happy?

Yesterday I had a tickle in my throat that metamorphosed in the night into something more akin to a forest fire.  And I’m on day 2 of a weird, intermittent nose bleed.  And as I mentioned a little while back, I’ve lately been suffering from an increase in the severity of my Crohn’s symptoms.  But for all that, I’m feeling pretty happy today, for the following reasons, listed in ascending order of importance:

  1. Magic robe.
  2. I had an appointment with my gastroenterologist on Monday, and he decided that the backwards progression of my symptoms called for several aggressive steps to be taken on my behalf, including giving me stronger pain meds.  So now I have a magic robe and a big bottle of hydrocodone.  Even at this level of pain, hydrocodone seems to be strong enough to keep Zelazny’s Toothache at bay.
  3. If you have clicked over to the “Writing” tab since last night, you will have noticed that there is now a firm publication date for the story of mine that Strange Horizons is publishing.  I’m going through the galley now.
  4. I’ve spent the last three months on prednisone (which I was only supposed to be on for a matter of weeks) due to a protracted and ridiculous battle with my insurance company.  As of this morning, that battle is over.  I am finally going to be allowed to start on one of the class of medications my doctor first prescribed for me back in January.  If things go as planned, I will finally have a gleaming syringe full of specially tailored monoclonal antibodies delivered to me on Friday.

I’ve been putting off writing up a long, detailed account of The Harrowing Tale of E. J. and the Crohn’s until the insurance issues were resolved one way or another.  If I actually get my meds on Friday, that will give the narrative enough closure for me to be willing to commit it to text.  I expect it will be somewhat cathartic to write, though I can make no promises that it will be particularly pleasant to read.  And I might wait a little while to post it, as I’m not convinced that thousands of words about misery and blood and pain are what I want on the front page of this site when my first published story goes live.  But if my discussion of my health issues up to this point has, to borrow a phrase from Neal Stephenson, sounded like the terse mutterings of a pilot at the controls of a damaged plane, know that that has been more or less by design.  For the last 2/3 of a year, my life has been awfully one-note; limiting the degree to which I let it dominate my conversation has been an intentional coping strategy to force me to pay attention to more positive things.