Dog Days

They aren’t quite over, no matter what Florence and the Machine says, but as the summer begins to wane, I’m feeling more optimistic about so many more things than I was earlier this year. That shift has been on a lot of fronts both personally and professionally, and I’d be lying if that wasn’t also bolstered by the January 6th Committee’s hearings and the work across the nation to galvanize women voters after the Dobbs decision. The Inflation Reduction Act’s impact on climate change is also another point of optimism. While it is not enough, it is a much-needed start, and I can only hope we can build on from there. Plus it helps that the monsoon season here in Albuquerque has been amazing–I stopped taking rain for granted years ago when we first moved to New Mexico, and I still marvel when it torrents down, soaking the mountains and riding roughshod over the city as it makes its way to the river.

So some good things, even though that same river went dry earlier this year, even though a dear friend was killed last month by a motorist while on a family bike ride, even if I now officially need reading glasses after spending the overwhelming majority of my life with perfect vision, even though the daily grind continues always across multiple fronts. There is good with the bad, even if it can be fatiguing to search it out sometimes. So long as we keep looking for it with a weather eye on the horizon, we will be okay—that much I am certain of.

There have been some bright points this summer as well. For starters, I finally got my hands on my contributor copy of Chromophobia: A Strangehouse Anthology of Women in Horror. I’ve gone into more detail about my story in previous posts, but it was a great experience overall working with Sara and the creative team at Rooster Republic Press.

I also attended Armadillocon this summer. It was my first time back since lockdown, and while it felt a bit like ripping off a bandaid getting back into the swing of paneling, I had a great time reconnecting with the Austin area writers and readers. While it is so easy to feel forgotten in our field if you are for whatever reason unable to stay on the hamster wheel of publishing, my interactions with the con-goers showed that that’s not true, that those connections matter.

A good reminder, particularly with our local convention Bubonicon gearing up this weekend!

Finally I am excited to share that I’ve been asked to contribute a solarpunk short story to Solar Flare, one of four new anthologies that Zombies Need Brains will publish, so long as their Kickstarter campaign is successful. If you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure you’ve already seen me plugging the campaign. We’re more than halfway through, and I’m excited to dig into my story idea for the anthology. There are a lot of reward tiers for backers to contribute and three other anthologies chock-full of stories by some amazing creators. Please consider supporting if you are able.

That’s all for now. May the last days of summer treat you well!

August Convention Schedule

August is nearly here, and with it is the return to con season. While I’ve participated in my local con virtually the last two years, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and return to in-person conventions. This all made more sense when I put my name in for programming earlier in the year than it does now with the recent increase in Covid and monkeypox cases throughout the country, but since I’m vaxxed and boosted and plan to mask the entire time (even when paneling), I’m going to honor my commitments.

First up is Armadillocon in Austin, Texas, August 5th through the 7th.

Fri 5:00 PM – “Chek Lonescrum: The Art of Making Fantastical Character Names”

Sat 2:00 PM – “Cross-Genre Capers”

Sat 3:00 PM – “Are We Too Late for Climate Fiction”

Sat 5:00 PM – Reading

Sun 11:00 AM – Signing Session


Then at the end of the month, August 26-28, it is time once again for New Mexico’s Bubonicon.

Sat 10:00 AM – “Hell or High Water: The Rise of Climate Fiction”

Sat 1:30 PM – “Cheese Magnet Tribute: What I learned from John Jos. Miller”

Sat 3:00 PM – “Practical Telepathy: The Science and Appeal of Mind-to-Mind Communication”

Sat 4:25 PM – Mass Autographing Session

If you choose to come out in Austin or Albuquerque, I’d love the chance to say hi. Stay cool and stay safe out there!

Remembering John Jos Miller

Earlier this month my friend, neighbor, and colleague John Jos Miller passed away. Not Covid, but that doesn’t really matter when gone is gone. I’ve been meaning to post before now to acknowledge his passing and the resulting loss, but it’s been hard to put the words together.

For years we critted each other’s work, sharing the ups and downs of the writing life here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was a fantastic writer who made a name for himself primarily from working in other creators’ IP, most notably the shared universe of Wild Cards. There have been a number of write ups (Locus, SWFA, GRRM not-a-blog, Westros, the Wertzone, ) that highlight the full range of his career, and if you are at all interested in the story worlds he published in, know you are in good hands. I’m just sorry there is not more of his standalone work available because I was privileged to see some of it and know it is equally as good if not better than his licensed stories.

I’m lucky enough to have shared two TOCs with him, for S.M. Stirling’s The Change anthology as well as Worlds of Light and Darkness. That brings me comfort to have our names are connected in this small way, even though he’s gone.

Victor Milan, John Jos Miller, Jane Lindskold, Lauren C. Teffeau, S.M. Stirling and Emily Mah at Page 1 Books, June 2015

He was a huge film buff, and I loved nerding out with him about movies. He shared his love for film through his posts at both Black Gate and the Cheese Magnet archives, which are full of fascinating nuggets if you are ever interested in doing a deep dive into SF/F films across the decades.

You can find his last short story “Don’t Look Back” in Dreamforge Magazine #9. I saw an early version of this, and I’m glad to know it found a home as it celebrates aspects that are quintessentially John: his love of baseball, historical fiction, and SF/F. A good read from a good man and, since it must be, a good bye too.

My copy of Dreamforge Magazine #9

This Weekend @ the Jean Cocteau Cinema

Just a quick note to say I’ll be at George R. R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this Sunday, January 26, 2020!beastlogonew

I’ll be joining authors Emily Mah, S.M. Stirling, and Sarena Ulibarri, who are all fantastic writers, humans, and coincidentally members of my local writing group here in New Mexico.

Author-Talk-CocteauJan2020

We will be talking shop, critting off the cuff, and generally having fun, so if you live nearby, please join us! For tickets and more information, please visit the Jean Cocteau website.

Hope to see you there, New Mexico!

Happy New Year to Me!

Welcome to 2020, and already, we’re off to a great start.

I spent New Year’s day basking in the news that my story “Sing! And Remember” made Tangent Online’s 2019 Recommended Reading List. This is my first appearance on the list, and I’m so happy this story earned their notice. I talked a bit about how important the story was to me in my year-end round-up, and this just underscores all the complicated emotions that come from seeing your work in print: elation and accomplishment, yes, but also that prickly sensation of having your inner life on display for others. But to have my work noticed amongst all the other stories published in professional SF/F magazines in 2019 makes all that angst worth it.

Be sure to check out all the wonderful stories that Tangent Online recognized.

To celebrate, DreamForge Magazine, who originally published “Sing! And Remember”, is making it available to read FREE online along with the other stories they published that were recognized by Tangent’s 2019 recap.

Sing-and-Remember

They are also extending their Writers & Friends $5 subscription discount to everyone until 1/15/20, so please check this great magazine out if you haven’t already!

Wishing you and yours a very happy 2020!