Sunday, January 11, 2015

Some of my favorite 2014 reads

Yesterday, I put up a list of all of the things I had published in 2014. Today is when I tell you about the things that other people wrote that I read and loved in 2014. This is an incomplete list, partially because the vast majority of my books are packed in boxes in another state, and so I can't look at my shelves as a reminder, and also because I am behind on my short fiction reading. (This means I am even more grateful than usual for the recommendation/ here's what I wrote posts that other people are putting up.)

Novels

I wrote a post for SF Signal on some of my favorite 2014 genre novels, and you can find that here. I wish that I had remembered to include Maggie Stiefvater's wonderful Blue Lily, Lily Blue on that list - it's the third of her Raven Cycle books, and they are all wonderful.

In terms of non-genre books, my favorites were essay collections - Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, Eula Biss' On Immunity, and Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams. It was a good year to read smart women thinking about things.

Short Fiction

Novella

I loved John Scalzi's novel Lock In, but I loved the prequel novella, Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome even more.

"Grand Jeté (The Great Leap)" - Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Online)

Novelette

"Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)" - Holly Black (the link goes to the reprint in Lightspeed, but it is originally from the Monstrous Affections anthology.)

Short stories

"How to Get Back to the Forest" - Sofia Samatar (Lightspeed)

"A Dweller in Amenty" - Genevieve Valentine (Nightmare)

"If You Were a Tiger, I'd Have to Wear White" - Maria Dahvana Headley (Uncanny)

"The Quality of Descent" - Megan Kurashige (Lightspeed)

"When It Ends, He Catches Her" - Eugie Foster (Daily SF)

"The Fisher Queen" - Alyssa Wong (F&SF)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Things I published in 2014

Here is the fiction that I published in 2014. There are links included when available, for ease of reading. 

Novellas

The End of the Sentence - cowritten with Maria Dahvana Headley. (Subterranean) There's also an ebook version, if that's more your thing. NPR chose this as one of their best books of 2014, something that still makes me grin when I think about it.

"Hath No Fury" - Subterranean Online

Short Stories

"Variant Text" - Offline (This is the name of the magazine.)

"Locally Grown, Organic" - in HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects edited by John Joseph Adams

"A Different Fate" - Lightspeed

"A Meaningful Exchange" - Lightspeed

"A Flock of Grief" - Lightspeed

"To Hold the Mirror" - Interfictions

"The Saint of the Sidewalks" - Clarkesworld

"The Very Fabric" - Subterranean Online

"All of Our Past Places" - The Journal of Unlikely Cartography

"Dreaming Like a Ghost" - Nightmare

"Migration" - Uncanny

Monday, January 5, 2015

New

I didn't write a year-end wrap up post, and I didn't write one to start the new year. 

Partially, it was because the whole turning the page on the calendar thing wasn't the most important part of the early days of 2015 for me. That was actually the thing that happened on 3 January, 2015, when I watched my brother Joe stand up in church with an amazing woman, Jess, and speak vows and make commitments to each other, in front of family and friends. I'm so happy for them, and I wish them calendars and calendars worth of years of happiness together.

But there was an end and a beginning, and the calendar turned over.

2014 was a strange year for me. In one way, it was amazing. I sold my debut novel, Roses and Rot, a goal I've been working towards since I came back from Clarion in August of 2008. I'm so happy, and so proud, and so excited for you all to be able to read it. The End of the Sentence, the novella I wrote with my friend Maria Dahvana Headley, has had an amazing reception, and was selected by NPR as one of their best books of 2014. I moved out of the Twin Cities, to New Hampshire, something I had been wanting to do for a while. A lot of good things happened.

But before all of that, a lot of hard things happened, too. I've never had a year filled with so much fear and uncertainty and doubt. And so I'm glad it happened, and happy to be out of it.

I have a calendar for 2015. It's the kind you hang on a wall, with squares for each day, organized into a color palette. It's soothing. I wanted a calendar where I could see each day, and each month, and mark out long term plans, which is a thing I haven't had to do in a while. New place, new way of being in this life. I wanted the organization, the goals and deadlines, to feel beautiful somehow when I looked at them, the colors flowing into each other, so easily.

It's a 16-month calendar. I have unused months, time unmarked. Where I know what happened already, but I don't have to write it down, not if I don't want to. I can let the colors stand on their own, a sunset.

I think that you can pick a day, if you need to. The day that's most important, or the day that's Tuesday. Decide that that's the day that things start again. That you step out of time, and see a wash of color, and know it's beautiful.