Awards Eligibility 2021

Milky Way closeup

I had two sto­ries appear in mar­kets in 2021.

First up, in the spring, my super-short sto­ry “The Atlas” appeared in Cloud Lake, Vol­ume Two. “The Atlas” is 325 words long, and fea­tures an erased nation, a hunt­ing knife, and a bot­tle of absinthe, among oth­er delights.

Jen­nifer said her great-to-the-nth-grand­moth­er came from Untille. The coun­try, erased in some primeval war, exist­ed now only in folk­lore. On the atlas page it bor­dered Iraq, Uqbar, Syria.

—“The Atlas”

And then, in the fall, my sto­ry “Sum­mer­time in the Void” appeared in Alter­nate Plains (ie, the sequel to Par­al­lel Prairies). It’s got vari­coloured pills, theft, con­fes­sions, road trips, ghosts, and an answer to “What hap­pens if the Rap­ture (or the Sin­gu­lar­i­ty) does­n’t want you?” (And yes, if you’re won­der­ing, I absolute­ly stole the title from the I Moth­er Earth song.)

The upside-down sun glared down on him from a cloud­less blue sky. He’d tried explain­ing once to a friend what the sun looked like when it was upside-down. It had­n’t gone well. The best he’d man­aged to come up with was “You’ll know it when you see it.”

—“Sum­mer­time in the Void”

See you in 2022!

Publications in 2021

Image: scattered maps and old atlases

Out now on the fin­er Inter­nets every­where: my (very) short sto­ry “The Atlas”, which fea­tures an atlas, a bot­tle of absinthe, and a hunt­ing knife, pub­lished in Vol­ume 2 of Cloud Lake Lit­er­ary.

Forth­com­ing in Octo­ber 2021: Alter­nate Plains (avail­able for pre-order now!), fea­tur­ing my sto­ry “Sum­mer­time in the Void”, which is one answer to the ques­tion “What if the Sin­gu­lar­i­ty did­n’t want you?” (Can­ny Can­Con types might won­der if I lift­ed the title from an I Moth­er Earth song. The answer is “Absolute­ly.”)

(It’s been a long time since I had two pub­li­ca­tions in the same cal­en­dar year. I think the last time was ’04, when On Spec pub­lished “Res­ur­rec­tion Radio” and I won the Man­i­to­ba Short Fic­tion con­test with “A Map to the End of the World”.)

Publication day!

Image: scattered maps and old atlases

Today is the release date for Cloud Lake Lit­er­ary, Vol­ume 2, which con­tains my very short sto­ry “The Atlas”, which fea­tures an atlas with at least one extra coun­try, a bot­tle of absinthe, and a hunt­ing knife.

I just checked my stats on The Sub­mis­sions Grinder, and this one sold to the 18th mar­ket I sub­mit­ted it to. 17 mar­kets said, gen­tly or blunt­ly, “Thanks but no” before this one found a home.

I guess the les­son is, Keep try­ing. Some­one out there wants your story.

Writ­ers: If you’re not using The Sub­mis­sions Grinder, you owe it to your­self to at least look into it. It’s a mar­ket list for fic­tion and poet­ry, and it’s a sub­mis­sions track­er, and it’s free. It’ll let you import your data from Duotrope (if you were using Duotrope before, it’s kind of like a less-pol­ished Duotrope).

Cloud Lake Vol­ume 2 is avail­able for pur­chase from Cloud Lake’s site. For $10.00 $7.50 (Cana­di­an), you get fic­tion, non-fic­tion, chil­dren’s sto­ries, poet­ry, and art from 16 Cana­di­an cre­ative types.

Check it out!

Head­er image by Andrew Neel on Unsplash.