In 2014, I published half my stories at SF/F-specific venues (Lightspeed twice, Interfictions) and half at non-genre places (Granta, AGNI, Yalobusha Review). All of them were non-realist, and some mix of fantasy and horror. Here are my Nebula-eligible stories for the upcoming awards cycle. Thank you, as always, for your consideration.
“The Husband Stitch,” Granta. This story has gotten more love than anything else I’ve published this year. J.Y. Yang said: “I started reading. And then kept reading. And kept reading. The beauty of this story is the way it takes urban myth, freshly scraped off the walls of the Internet, and kneads it into something electric.” Over at SF Signal, A.C. Wise wrote: “Nearly everyone knows how the story will end, how it must end, and yet the sense of impending doom, the question of when crawls beneath the reader’s skin and leads them through the story.” K. Tempest Bradford included it in her “Best Short Stories for the Week of November 10th – 15th,” saying: “This is exactly the kind of SF you’d expect to find in a magazine like Granta — language spun like gossamer, linear narrative dipping in and out of some other mode, be it the past, the future, or the stories of others, a mysterious truth held tight in the hand, a surprise to people unfamiliar with fantasy or horror but sweetly expected by those of us who are.” And perhaps most excitingly, Ellen Datlow mentioned it during a World Fantasy Convention panel when asked about her favorite work of the past year.
“Mothers,” Interfictions. This story was a finalist in the American Short Fiction Contest, judged by Amy Hempel. Gillian Daniels at Fantastic Stories calls the prose “tight and gorgeous,” and says “the main character of ‘Mothers’ [functions] in worlds where explanations hide behind curtains that are never lifted. [She] can only do the best with the circumstances offered to [her].”
“Please Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead.” First published in the John Joseph Adams anthology Help Fund My Robot Army & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects, and later reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine. K. Tempest Bradford included this in her “Best Short Stories for the Week of July 7th – 12th” post at io9, saying “The concept is interesting but I had my doubts about whether or not it could be pulled off without seeming gimmicky. I should have known that Machado’s story would be brilliant and work exactly right, given that she’s already proved her skill at spinning great tales through unconventional story structures.”
“Observations About Eggs from the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa,” Lightspeed Magazine. Lois Tilton at Locus Magazine recommended this story: “Eggs as cosmic metaphor and pickup line – unusual and original premise.”
“California Statutes Concerning Defrauding an Innkeeper,” AGNI. A genre- and form-bending romp through a magic-realist road trip gone terribly awry. (Print only – available on the SFWA forums)
“Ekphrasis,” Yalobusha Review. For the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure enthusiasts out there.