Here we are again, pandemic year 2, and another year end review. It’s been a heck of a year, both struggling with pandemic related stuff, as well as writing stuff. Post last year’s update, Mr Telly had a health scare, with him ingesting a ribbon and needing emergency surgery to the tune of several thousand dollars, but we caught it in time and he made a full recovery.
This year has been a bit of a roller coaster. I got a bunch of professionally published pieces. I broke into Clarkesworld, a long time dream of mine and about a thousand other writers. Before the end of the year, I got a second story published at Clarkesworld! I also participated at Bonfiyah (previously FiyahCon Fringe) to moderate 2 panels with insightful and wise panelists. Mr Telly got on the panel, and Mr Telly was writing famous for five minutes. Unfortunately, there won’t be a FiyahCon next year, so Mr Telly’s moderating aspirations have been put on hold for a while. To the actual stories, in order of publication:
A House Is Not a Home – Clarkesworld
This story is probably one of those that I’m most proud of, clocking in just a smidge over a thousand words. A story about the aftermath of a smart house existing in a world of fascist surveillance, told through the unrelenting forward routine of fixed schedule and surveillance sweep. It’s been both panned for being too similar to Ray Bradbury’s tale and liked by some others, but I like it and I hope you do to.
Welcome To Hauntd – A Quiet Afternoon 2
Welcome To Hauntd is a sort of supernatural companion piece to A House Is Not A Home, a light hearted story about a haunted house looking for a ghost to haunt them through the perils of app dating. Slightly in dialogue with Wiswell’s Open House On Haunted Hill (which is an awesome award winning short story!), with a dose of humour and feels when you least expect it.
Immaterial Girls – Joining Forces
A story of my heart that took a long time to find a home. 3 mythical creatures, a fox spirit, a muse and a nymph find themselves caught up in the grind of a modern office, where all is not what it seems. Stay for the found family vibes and lots of drunken karaoke.
The Spelunker’s Guide To Unreal Architecture – The Dark
My 4th (!!! still can’t believe it) story in The Dark, this one focuses on 2 best friends who explore strange buildings as a hobby. Almost creepypasta like in outlook, I loved the idea of liminal spaces, of higher dimensions bleeding down into ours, spreading like water or mold, defying our concepts of time, space and life. Also featured in an essay on liminal spaces by Avra Magariti in Strange Horizons, a first for me!
Your Body Is A Doorway – Hexagon
A reverse ultraman story! Instead of having one heroic humanoid fighting a series of kaiju, the antagonist is an ultraman pastiche and the protagonist summons a series of dark eldritch monsters to fight him. Ultimately featuring a post-apocalyptic Singapore with a ton of demolition. My second story in Hexagon, which is doing very exiting work in the semi-pro field!
The Death Haiku Of The Azure Five – Clarkesworld
My second story in Clarkesworld, which feels like a dream to be honest. A story which I had immense imposter syndrome about, not daring to submit it in the normal markets (it accumulated 8 rejections before I submitted it to CW, which was the first pro market I sent it to). Another sad AI story, about 5 sibling AIs in a hopeless war fought for humans. What would a day zero exploit look like for AIs? Would a virus attack be the same as committing genocide, and would you do it to your own kind to win a war? Warning, contains poetry and I am NOT a poet.
It Takes A Village – Augur
About to be released, It Takes A Village is my second story in Augur Magazine, a mash up of Strange Tales From A Chinese studio with a wandering magistrate visiting a village of retired clay dolls that served as magical proxy bodies for the rich. Creepy Annihilation vibes, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and soft studious protags trying their very best!