My library is now open!
In the next few minutes I’ll be sending out the password to those of you who have already contacted me. If you haven’t and you’d like access, just let me know. I’m happy to email it (or DM on Twitter, if that’s more your thing: @CosDrift). Once you have it, click on the link to The Reading Room at the top of the blog screen, give the password, and read the instructions there.
The point of providing these stories here, essentially a collection of my first year of publications (2011-2012) is not to discourage anyone from reading them at their original homes. In fact, if you choose to read here and like something, please click on the link to the publisher and go read more stories from other writers! If you like the other stories, then subscribe, or donate, or just tell the writers that you appreciate what they’ve written, or the editors that you like their choices.
There are very few rules for The Reading Room. The main one: please don’t hand out the password to others. If you know a blog follower who wants access, have them contact me.
Actually, that may be the only rule, aside from obvious ones, like don’t take the stories and publish them yourselves, in which case you’re clearly in dire straits and maybe you should contact me so that we can figure out a better source of income for you. The comments are open–I’m happy to answer story-specific questions there.
Oh, the one piece missing from the collection is Phoenix, for the simple reason that Phoenix is an e-book and the rights remain with Musa. If you’d like to read it, you’ll have to buy it.
It’s hard not to stumble across all the lists out this time of year. I’m not enough of a consumer of current trends to be good with annual lists. I read a lot, but most of it comes from the library, and it’s hardly ever hot off the presses.
But I will give my vote for two stories from 2011, both deserving of lots of love. The first is “Movement,” by Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s). It’s such a strong story, with a unique POV perfectly captured by the author. For anyone who hasn’t read it, you can read/hear it for free here, or, better yet, you can buy it here, because it’s nice to fund good writing.
The other is “Messengers from the Stars Will Come to Help Us Overcome the Obstacles That Hold Us Back From Achieving Our True Potential,” by Grady Hendrix, available here. This story is the kind I love–full of heart and truth, about people who neither start nor end with everything.
That’s it. That’s my whole list. My completely subjective, and undoubtedly short-sighted list, with apologies to the many many stories I did not read in 2011. I’ll try to do better this year.
Rainpocalypse is done and out the door. Not with that title, of course, though it was tempting.
I’m terrible with titles. I love titles, interesting ones, the kind that feel like they could front a thousand different stories, but are truly perfect for just one.
My titles though? I cringe to think about them. I’ve got one story out, one I dearly love and truly think is one of the best things I’ve written, whose title is more or less A Story about Dark and Depressing Things for People Who Long to be Dark and Depressed. At least that’s how it feels at the moment.
Titles are such bold things. They demand attention, reek of confidence. Look at me, they say, I’m not only worth my space in the world, I’m also worth your undivided attention. Great ones capture the essence of a story, which requires that the writer be clear about what that essence is, as well as be prepared to announce it to the world. It’s the difference between A Book about Some Unhappy Times and Some Better Times and War and Peace.
I’ll keep trying. I like to imagine that someday it will take me less time to write a 7,000-word short story than it does to write a five-word title.
This year was the year of short fiction for me. In October 2010 I sent out my first short story. I sold it on January 3, 2011, and I spent the rest of 2011 devoted to writing shorts, all while telling myself I was just taking a month off from my novel.
It’s been a good year. I’ve written enough stories that I currently have a backlog waiting for revision. Two years ago my siblings and parents gave me a little netbook for writing (after absorbing my fear that the Frankenputer sitting on my desk would finally die for good, and all would be lost). I’ve managed to fill it up nicely.
(I should put in a plug for W1S1 here. While I’m something of a ghost member, it’s a wonderful place to find encouragement to write.)
But this coming year needs to be all about novels. I’ve got this series, see, that I promised myself I would finish as part of my writing education. I’m achingly close to being done. I have to get back to that world and complete what needs completing, so I can earn my homemade graduation tassel.
At least that’s what I tell myself today.