“Horror Story” in Granta; Interview at Electric Literature

An end-of-October update:CSkLhdAWEAAgDLx

I have a brand-new story up at Granta, just in time for Halloween! You can read “Horror Story” here.

There’s also a wonderful interview with me over at Electric Literature, published last week. There, Rebekah Bergman talks to me about sex, horror, formal constraints, fantasy, gender, and the apocalypse.

Also, speaking of Halloween: I just found out that last year’s Halloween story of mine at Granta (is this a thing now?), “The Husband Stitch,” received a Special Mention in 2016 Pushcart Prize XL: Best of the Small Presses. So exciting!

Happy Halloween, all.

Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015

BASFF-2015Exciting news! Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015, the first of its kind, dropped yesterday. It’s a spectacular anthology, edited by John Joseph Adams and Joe Hill (you can read his wonderful introduction here), and full of established and up-and-coming writers writing literary non-realism.

And, it just so happens to include my story “Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead,” which originally appeared in Help Fund My Robot Army!!! & Other Improbably Crowdfunding Projects, and was reprinted at Lightspeed.

Over at Tor.com, Martin Cahill has this to say:

Some of the strongest stories in this collection are the ones that perfectly meld the unsettling nature of science fiction and fantasy, with the beating human heart of our own experience. Carmen Maria Machado’s Kickstarter-inspired short story, “Help Me Follow My Sister Into The Land of the Dead,” is heartbreaking and inventive, as it utilizes the format of the crowdfunding website to delve into the relationships of two estranged sisters, and has an ending like a gut punch.

11225468_10101119494256405_1077508257569709999_oI’m unbelievably proud to be appearing in these pages with so many writers I admire, including Sam J. Miller, Kelly Link, Karen Russell, and Sofia Samatar.

So head to your local brick-and-mortar or an internet retailer and pick up a copy of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015. You won’t regret it, I promise.

And if you’re in or around New York City, I’ll be at a panel/signing/Q&A with Joe Hill at Forbidden Planet on November 9th, and a reading with Seanan McGuire as a part of the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series on November 10th, both to celebrate the release of BASFFSee you there?

My Nebula-Eligible Stories

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.

Novellette:

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.

Short Stories:

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.

Update: “A Girl’s Guide to Sexual Purity” & “The Husband Stitch”

LARB QJ CoverMy personal essay “A Girl’s Guide to Sexual Purity” – about adolescence, sex, and faith – is in the LA Review of Books’ Quarterly Journal’s Fall 2014 issue, which is hitting shelves soon. You can pick up a copy via amazon.com, indiebound.com or b&n.com, or become a LARB member and receive the issue. I’m in there alongside of amazing company: Aimee Bender, Michelle Huneven, Mona Simpson, Daniel Handler… couldn’t ask for a more exciting lineup. Check it out!

HusbandStitchLadiesAlso, my story “The Husband Stitch” is now up at Granta! A special thank-you to Mark Mayer, Val Howlett, and Granta editor Yuka Igarashi for their indispensable feedback and thoughtful edits and advice. This story is better for their presence.

Updates: io9 & #pitchbitch

K. Tempest Bradford says lovely things about “Please Help Me Follow My Sister Into the Land of the Dead” over at io9:

This story is a reprint from the anthology Help Fund My Robot Army!!! (edited by John Joseph Adams) where all of the stories take the form of crowdfunding pleas. 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.

Also, my interview with Estelle Tang about pitching and writing literary criticism is up at #pitchbitch. Check it out!

Links: Genre, Risky Reads, & the Land of the Dead

lightspeed_50_july_2014Fellow writer and friend E.J. Fischer has a brilliant map of the rhetorical relationships between genres up at his website. It’s great for anyone who teaches fiction writing and is available under a creative commons license for use in the classroom.

My essay “Michel Faber’s ‘Crimson’ Gave Teen A New Sense Of Possibility” is up at NPR Books as a part of their PG-13/Risky Reads series.

My Kickstarter-shaped story “Help Me Follow My Sister Into the Land of the Dead” is out in the brand-new anthology Help Fund My Robot Army!!!, and can also be read at Lightspeed. My author interview is full of thoughts about formal conceits and crowdfunding.

 

Announcements & Links

First of all, I am excited to announce that my story “Please Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead” will be appearing in the John Joseph Adams anthology Help Fund My Robot Army & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects. The anthology will drop in July. Get ready! It’s gonna be amazing.

Lois Tilton of Locus Magazine recommends my Lightspeed story “Observations About Eggs from the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.” She writes that “[eggs] as cosmic metaphor and pickup line [is an] unusual and original premise.”

In a round-up about the “best stories [he’s] been making time for,” Matt Bennardo recommends and also does a close reading of “Observations About Eggs…” that makes my heart sing.

In an interview with Short Story Review, Rachel Swirsky reiterates her love for “Inventory.”

In “something you need to watch today” news, I recently stumbled across this amazing clip of David Lynch explaining where his ideas come from. His observations and advice are invaluable for any creative person.