Archive for the genre fiction Category

A Sale! A Sale!

Posted in acceptance, genre fiction, publication, Queer life, Queer Lit, science fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, writing with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2010 by katekanno

Below is a list I’ve kept on my wall to track submissions. I’ve started using Duotrope’s online tracker as well, but I like to have things on paper where I can see them, even if they’re mostly riddled with big red R’s.

As you can see, just barely before reaching the bottom of this round there is a big purple — not scarlet –“A” for acceptance followed by a psychotically scrawled “Whooooooooop!”

It’s been about six months since I’ve started submitting seriously and systematically, and I’d expected to go through at least five to ten pages of the same before adding any purple to the mix. But on Sunday, I got an email informing me that my story “Tfoo” has been accepted to the Rockets, Swords and Rainbows anthology,

brought to you by the wonderful people at the Library of the Living Dead.  It will appear under my real name. (Er…Not doing so well at this pen name stuff.)

I’m am thrilled to be a part of this, and proud that a LGBT story will be my first sale in the realm of speculative fiction.

 

 

Short-listed again!

Posted in genre fiction, lifehacking, multitasking, Science Fiction and Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by katekanno

Just got word that story I’ve just workshopped again because I wasn’t happy with it has been shortlisted. And this time, even if it’s rejected I’ll get an honorable mention. I’m still waiting to hear back on the first one I mentioned back in August, and I was going to quote the line from Red Leader, but then I remembered that he not only failed to successfully blow up the Death Star, he crashed into a flamey ball on its surface. So no, not going to go there.

In other news, I had to erase my laptop’s WiFi settings. Somehow the connection, once broken, had kicked in and I was wasting time in internet La La-land again. Now I’m back at the kitchen counter hooked to the cable and oh so much more focused and productive. This is not a recommendation for others, but it works for me. I’m too easily distracted. Of course to look at dark side of this arrangement, I am closer to the food.

 

Rejection! Hoorah!

Posted in genre fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, shyness, Tokyo, writing with tags , , , , , on October 10, 2010 by katekanno

Came home from Japan Writer’s Conference to a rejection email today.

Why am I happy about it?

I had little hope for this story after I’d sent it out. The high and confidence that came with completing it dissipated the second I hit submit and saw the typo on the first page.

I’ve been rejected by this publication before, but usually it’s a form letter. In fact, on their blog they posted an email defending their use of the form letter.

This was not a form letter. It was a brief, but friendly personal note telling me that their decision had been difficult, before proceeding to complement specific parts of the story and encouraging me to submit again.

So…yay!

The conference was a lot of fun. One thing that is good about being part of an expat writing community is that you’re more accepting of others’ differences, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to open up to people.

Gone, but er…not gone

Posted in blogging, genre fiction, Kyoto, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2010 by katekanno

It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve posted. Bikes were ridden, temples were visited, and even a few kilos were lost, which has been great for the arthritis.

Yes, two months ago I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my left hip. Oh, joy. Apparently, it was advanced enough for the doctor to recommend replacement, but I decided that to do so in my early forties would be silly, especially as I really wasn’t in enough pain to even warrant aspirin.

My father had his knee replaced a few years back, so there’s probably a gene or two to be blamed; however, osteoarthritis is near epidemic among those who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Not enough Vitamin D, but rather than turning into sulky vampires with abominable dialogue and cement coiffed hair, we just need new joints every now and then. Yeesh.

Anyway, took the alternative route. Traded jogging for cycling, lost several pounds (not hard in Japan where you can get healthy food even at a 7-11), and now other than the occasional bout of night aches, I’m back to relative normalcy.

Back in Tokyo and the writing is going well. Still waiting to hear back on that story that was in the running awhile back, but have sent out several others. Will be going to the Japan Writers’ Conference in a few weeks, which I’m really looking forward to, and was asked to write an essay for Sequart’s book on Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan. A few years ago (under real-non-aspiring-genre-writer-name) I wrote one for their anthology on the Legion of Superheroes, so I’m darned excited to do another one.

And without further kvetching about joint pain…here are some pics of Kyoto.

How was your summer? Early fall?

There’s hope after all

Posted in genre fiction, science fiction, Tokyo, writing with tags , , , , , , , on July 17, 2010 by katekanno

A blurry sign of encouragement.  I submitted two pieces to the Escape Pod flash fiction contest.

One of them made it through the first round. The other, at this moment, is in fourth place.  Regardless of whether I make it into the next one, it was a nice thing to wake up to. Even more impressive were the comments from members of the Escape Artists forum.  As a long-term participant of writers workshops, they are among the most insightful, focused critiques I’ve been lucky enough to receive.

I also got another rejection.  I’m getting tougher.

Tomorrow, I go to the Tokyo Writer’s workshop for one last meet up before the summer starts.

To be nitpicked is to be alive.

The Road: Cormac McCarthy's Guide for Helicopter Parents

Posted in books, eco anxiety, education, genre fiction, genre wars, science fiction, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2009 by katekanno

The film adaptation of The Road opens this weekend, perfect timing for post-Thanksgiving guilt and much easier than a long workout. I’ve never quite been able to take McCarthy seriously, which probably has much to do with an overabundance of road trips: the cowboy, sacred steer of middle class radio listeners was a common form of torture employed by my parents, who’d flip immediately to the Prairie Home Companion, or those utterly unfunny Cowboy Poets.

And then there’s McCarthy’s blatant misogyny. In the Road it comes through with the “Woman,” i.e. the bad mother, who kills herself – a sensible decision in this case – but before doing so spends two pages calling herself a whore: “You can think of me as a faithless slut if you like. I’ve taken a new lover. He can give me what you cannot. . Because I am done with my whorish heart and I have been for a long time.”

The Road’s sonorous prose and kiddy pool depth has also been a choice target in the genre wars: bald proof that literary fiction is at a loss for ideas as it rifles through the sci-fi candy bag, scarfing down undeserved critical acclaim. Once you realize there aren’t any actual ideas behind the chest beating, Bunsen burner cannibalism, and miraculous morels, you should rush out to read Canticle for Leibowitz or Parable of the Sower.

Ah, but there are! Maybe.

The popularity of McCarthy’s novel, you see, is not merely another sign that literary taste is a matter of conformity. Forget about climate change, meteor fears, or annihilation via nukes or Oprah, because that’s not what the book is about. It’s not about an archetypal father really either, but rather an archetypal helicopter parent: the “man,” who still finds the time and strength to sensitively minister to his son’s every physical and psychological need, despite starvation, cannibals, and an utter lack of hope. Just look at the guy, slavishly hovering over his child, lovingly scrounging for that Pepsi, and hacking up his lungs in bad weather rather than spending a few extra days in that food-stocked bomb shelter. The son — like two 18-year-old boys I saw being massaged by their mother at the library while they studied (creeped out yet?)  — does nary a lick of work in this bleak landscape.

Then there’s the pop psychology: “What you put in your head is there forever.” McCarthy plops this truism throughout the book, hoping it will magically gain weight, while the father, on top of the physical privation, still manages to shield his child from horror after horror, like some superhuman V-chip, although if he really wanted that kid to survive, he might want to own up to the frakked state of the world.

Leave it to those as naïve and jittery as a helicopter parents, who live in gated communities free from the terrors of working poor to believe it. Only those who trust the mantras of test scores and college resumes, who think that a prestigious degree means that one is “educated” would find depth in this misplaced nugget of therapy culture.

It all falls apart when one confronts the pesky reality outside the book, wherein millions of children in less cushy areas of the world live under not quite as awful conditions, but pretty damn close. Those children do not enjoy the luxury of such assiduous parenting in the form of covered eyes and stories about “carrying the fire.”  Much like kids in those generations muckraked by Dickens, they live and toil away in hellish conditions, without the luxury of someone worrying about what they put into their precious psyches.

There forever? I doubt it. And if so, so what? I much prefer a line from faux suburbanite Donald Draper — once again, TV trumps literary fiction: “It will amaze you how much it didn’t happen.”

I guess it’s not surprising that scads of terrified parents who’ve chosen to battle rather than to engage with their communities would find The Road appealing. The trials of The Road’s starved, embattled superdad provide the perfect ennobling reflection of their own daily squabbles with teachers, principals, and admissions officers, the piecemealing of academic resumes for their infantilized progeny. For as bleak as it gets, the book nevertheless  provides the delusion that even in such horrifying conditions, they might still micromanage our children’s lives, while in the real world protecting  them from the glaringly obvious fact that our progress on social and economic equality, not to mention that pesky climate, are in dire need of a reality check.

 

McCarthy’s book certainly isn’t one, but it’s popularity is just a sign that many have already given up trying. When I hear the term helicopter parent, the words overprotective and assertive rarely come to mind. Remember that helicopters after all, are a privileged means of escape.

 

Just watch any pre-Road apocalypse film. You’ll see.