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Coming Up or Newly Here



 Electric Literature's The Commuter will be publishing

"So Much to Know" in July

(Can you talk your way out of ANYTHING?)






Check out my story "Potential Spam" in the March/April 2024 Analog

(Now the calls are coming from VERY Far away)









Read my story "Instar" at Reactormag.com (formerly Tor.com)

(They're here, and how could you not love them?)








Arkansas International has taken a story for this fall


 (Some jobs are less ... legal... than others... )








Conjunctions has published a story of mine in the "Ways of Water" issue




  (Every lake and pool has a bit of magic, whether you actually pay attention or not)









and take a look at a sample from my most recent novel  ...


The Splendid City 

Betsy Bunderoo was used to seeing cats, but not ones who walked upright or spoke. She was standing at the bus stop, reading the notice that said the bus had been cancelled, permanently. Why? she wondered. Why don't they say? But these were the times – indefinite suspensions, removals, reversals, etc. Things suddenly were, and then just as suddenly, were not.
The structure is breaking down, she thought, and no surprise there. She felt a sort of grim satisfaction in it. So much had already changed since the election, why not this too? Why should anything work when none of it made sense? The president did not want buses to run anywhere near the palace, and that was necessary, she supposed. She understood. But the larger problem was that the world was going crazy. No one could tolerate anyone who didn't agree with them.
"It's true," the big black cat said, nodding wisely. Ah! She had been muttering again, a bad habit that was growing on her.
The cat was wearing a bowtie and a fanny pack. "I'm finding it very hard to have a reasonable conversation these days. Everyone shouts sound bites and no one shouts facts."
"I wonder if there are any facts left," she said with a sigh. "I mean, everything is endlessly manipulated." If she'd had time, she would have wondered why she was having a conversation with a cat, but right then and there she felt it was best to be polite, because he was such a very large cat. And he sounded irritated.
"Things would be so much better if there were no internet," the cat said. "Because it spreads everything too fast. People see crap, believe it, and act on it before there's a chance to respond. And there's never just one response. It branches out," he said moodily. "Have you heard about those mushrooms whose underground root spreads out for miles in all directions? That's the internet for you."
"But mushroom roots aren't right or wrong," she said, frowning. "I don't think you've got quite the right kind of analogy there."
"Really?" he asked with a nasty, hissing kind of snarl, pulling off his fanny pack and rummaging through it quickly to pull out a gun. "Really?" he asked again. And shot her.
She clutched her upper arm. Blood ran through her clothes. The cat put the gun back in his pack and ran off.
Eleanor was going to be mad. A happy growl rose in his throat.
* **
"How was your day?" Eleanor asked the cat when he walked in the door. She could see that he was miffed. He was always miffed.
"I shot someone again," he said, sighing. He had to agree it was becoming a nasty habit. "I do regret it."
"You always regret it." It was very hard not pointing out the cat's failures. She tried to make sure her face was neutral; it wasn't easy. She had pale skin, medium length brown hair, hazel eyes, and a face that gave away everything.
"Well, that just tells you about my character. I'm not actually the kind of person who goes around shooting people."
"And yet you do," she said. "Let's consider the circumstances. No doubt they said something to annoy you. What was it?"
He frowned and shrugged his shoulders. "She contradicted my theory about the internet being like that huge mushroom root."
"Stan," Eleanor said firmly. "It's a bad analogy. Now, do you want to shoot me?"
Stan scowled. "I do." Of course he wanted to shoot her. Shooting people made him feel better, for a while. And it was certainly true that she could benefit from being put in her place every so often. She was bossy. Opinionated. He was the way he was because of her.
"Why not talk it out instead? You have the power of speech, so why not talk about things instead? Gloria will blame me if you continue to go around shooting people."
"I never kill them, you know," he said, his hairs rising.
"Try and be the kind of cat who never shoots them in the first place," she said. "You're just drawing attention to yourself."
The cat shrugged. "Who'll believe a cat shooting a woman anyway?"
"They're a nation of believers here," she said in disgust. "Read a newspaper once in a while."
Of course his hands twitched at that, but he only allowed himself one shot a day.