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It's a day early to be a technopeasant wretch, but my story "Down with the Lizards and the Bees" is online at Daikaijuzine, a new magazine y'all should check out. "Down with" appeared in Realms of Fantasy a few years back, and in my first collection, but it's never been free online before, so it's probably new to many of you. It's one of my favorite stories, and the main character, Bradley Bowman, appears in my novel Blood Engines in a prominent role.

Actually, I have a tendency to bring characters from my short stories into the world of my Marla novels. I don't think it's a misguided desire to create some single unified setting for my work -- certainly the world of "Captain Fantasy and the Secret Masters" isn't Marla's world, and neither are those of "Dream Engine" or The Light of a Better World (though the latter two are multiverse stories of a sort, so bleed-through is possible, if unlikely). But I can imagine many of my contemporary fantasy stories taking place in the same vast world, and sometimes when writing a novel I need a particular sort of character, and if I've already created a character I know and love who fills that role, well... Mr. Zealand from "Life in Stone" is a fairly major character in Poison Sleep, because I needed an assassin, and he fit. There are a couple of other characters from my Bay Area stories in Blood Engines, though they have extremely minor roles, and I leave their discovery as an exercise for the very devoted reader! Ayres the necromancer, who is a vanishingly minor character in a couple of stories, has a big role in Dead Reign. I don't know if this trend will continue for future books, but I guess it's possible. It's nice to visit old friends. Even if, sometimes, they survived the short stories only to die in the novel...


About 55 Flytrap subs in the first week -- awesome! Started reading through them yesterday. Some good stuff, but really, people... lay off the twist endings. I just read three twist ending stories in a row. They're really hard to do well, and when the whole point of a story is the twist, well, that's just not enough.

I've accepted a couple of stories. "It's All About the Shoes" by Steph Burgis. It combines a postmodern fairy tale, contemporary fantasy, an empowered heroine, seven league boots, and an aggressive deconstruction of the notion of One True Love, which are pretty much all in the top ten of things I love in fiction, so I had to take it. I also took "Breathe" by Jon Hansen. It's deeply weird and sad and smart and strange. There are half a dozen more stories I enjoyed sitting in my "Maybe" folder. I've still got about a dozen I haven't read at all, but the reading period is young.

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