A Year on Saturn

...is approximately 29.7 Earth years.

"A Year on Saturn" is the website of Shannon Fay,
freelance and fiction writer.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Books I Read in 2022

This year I was more about doing research for my novel set in the 1920s, so I didn’t have as much time for fiction. But here is what I did manage to squeeze in:


Monday Meal Post: Red Lentil Soup (October 3rd)

Hi all! I wanted to start doing some posts where I link to recipes that I make. I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between food and finances, substance and the work we do to sustain ourselves. This soup relies on the most basic of ingredients: dried red lentils, carrots, celery, broth. The most expensive item involved is probably the bay leaves or the lemon. It may be cheap, but it’s delicious and especially nice on cold autumn days.

My partner and I recently bought our first house. I love it. Right now I’m writing this blog post in my writing nook, a small room with a bookshelf full of notebooks and wallpaper with blue stars (they glow in the dark). I love this house so much, but with it comes a fear of ever loosing it.

I think writers often have money on the mind. Book advance often come in one or two lumps, and it might be awhile before you see royalties (if you do). Short story sales are often few and far between, and what’s known as ‘professional rates’ rarely nets you enough to buy lunch. So I’m often on the lookout for meals like this, ones that actually taste good but use items that might already be in your fridge, or won’t cost you a ton at the grocery store.

If you like soup, visit the link below and give it a try yourself:


Clarion West Write-a-thon 2022!

Hello all! It’s Clarion West time again! This year, my goal of the six week write-a-thon is to write every day AND to seriously outline a new novel idea. I’ll try to update my progress here, but you know what would really motivate me? If you kicked a couple of dollars to Clarion West. You can do so through my write-a-thon participation page here:


Review up at Strange Horizons: Sinopticon

My review of Sinopticon 2021: A Celebration of Chinese Science Fiction is up at Strange Horizons. I liked this anthology and also like my write-up about it, so please check out my review here:


Interview with Matthew LeDrew at The Write Project

Earlier in the month I did an interview with Matthew LeDrew at Engen Books for his show, The Write Project! It goes live today!

2021 in Review (Part 2!) Short Stories

Aside from novel stuff, I also wrote a bunch about six new short stories:

Word of Mouth


Cold Hands

Thirst Trap

Burn Beside Me

Table for One (this one has already sold!)

Newfoundland Gothic (working title)

All these were pieces of flash fiction–it’s all I can really fit in around writing novels, and honestly, I really enjoy writing micro-fics. In 2022 my goal is to write even more of them; I have a challenge going on with my old Clarion West classmates where we write a short story every month based on the Flame Tree Press newsletter prompt (Jan.,2022’s prompt is ‘bioengineering’ and I feel like I’ve already had my fill of that topic thanks to the panini, but hopefully I can think of something new).

In 2021 I had a handful of short stories published (all at Daily Science Fiction):

March 2021, ‘Murky Waters

A mermaid/angler fish parable.


July 2021, ‘Eat You Up’

The longest story on this list (by which I mean it’s a whopping 1,500 words rather than 250-350 like the other stories). It’s also the one I’m most proud of. A sci-fi story about a young woman going to her job and then eating a meal with her family.


August 2021, ‘Meat Off the Bone’

Uhh, yet another mermaid story. I swear I don’t usually write about mermaids all that much.


November 2021, The Red Queen

A revenge story featuring a queen and her unicorn friend.


I promise I will someday soon update the recent works widget to include these stories…and update the general works tab…and post about the books I read in 2021.





New Stories This Week

Hello all! I have a scheduled post coming up recapping my short stories published in 2021, but I need to preempt that by trumpeting more recent news.

On Monday, my story ‘Flesh of My Fin’ went live at Daily Science Fiction. It is yet another mermaid story, but it’s also a story about family secrets and  reconciliation (it’s also a story about sexuality and finding common ground with your parent).

Flesh of My Fin

Also this week, my story ‘Fight for the Stars’ was reprinted over at Bullet Points. It’s a story I really like, and Bullet Points is a really cool market, publishing spec stories that focus on war but shies away from rah-rah military sci-fi. I’m really happy to see this story getting a second life.

Fight for the Stars


2021 in Review (Part 1???)

As far as writing goes, this has been a pretty stellar year for me, but I have failed in one of the things authors are supposed to do: keep one’s website at least somewhat up-to-date. Sorry folks! Every year I say I will post more on here, and every year I post less and less. I don’t think that’s going to change, but I will try and note milestones, if only so I have a digital record for myself.


2020 in Review

You don’t need to hear me recap what kind of year 2020 was for the world at large. I  was very fortunate in that my job wasn’t affected, my family is all safe and healthy, and that the part of the world I live in has managed to keep our covid numbers low to the point that it’s possible to meet up with a small number of friends and family. It’s still been a huge shake-up of a year, and it’s so disconcerting to think that it’s ‘over.’ I feel relieved even though I know changing the calendar year doesn’t really do anything besides create the illusion of a blank slate.

But as humans we need some way to measure time or we go crazy. So, even if it’s somewhat arbitrary, here’s a list of some of the books/movies I read/watched in 2020:

2020 Books and movies in review


Witchmark – C.L. Polk

The Monster of Elendhaven – Jennifer Giesbrecht

Washington Black – Esi Edugyan

Supernova Era – Cixin Liu

The Dead Girls Club – Angelica Walters

The Mirror and the Light – Hilary Mantel

A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab

Big Girl – Meg Elison

Homesick – Nino Cipri

The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang

The Luminous Dead – Caitlin Starling

An Unkindness of Ghosts – Rivers Solomon

Afterland – Lauren Beukes

The Grip of It – Jac Jemac

Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Dragon Republic – R.F. Kuang

Catherine House – Elisabeth Thomas

Piranesi – Susanna Clarke

The Burning God – R.F. Kuang

Films directed by women:

Little Women – Greta Gerwig

Josie and the Pussycats – Deborah Kaplan (and Harry Elfont)

Birds of Prey – Cathy Yan

Emma – Autumn de Wilde

Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Céline Sciamma

The Farewell – Lulu Wang

The Spy Who Dumped Me – Susanna Fogel

Late Night – Nisha Ganatra

The Fits – Anna Rose Holmer

Booksmart – Olivia Wilde

Pitch Perfect 3 – Trish Sie

Satanic Panic – Chelsea Stardust

Saving Face – Alice Wu

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness – Mami Sunada

Deadcon – Caryn Waechter

Marie Antoinette – Sofia Coppola

The Old Guard – gina Price-Bythewood

The Lodge – Veronika Franz (with Severin Fiala)

The Turning – Floria Sigismond

Tigers Are Not Afraid – Issa López


I also had several short stories published this year:

Eyespots (Daily Science Fiction) – A 300-word or so story about two university girls figuring out their feelings for each other (oh, and one of them might be an alien)

Familiar Ground (Daily Science Fiction) – A young woman visits her family home. Again, about 300 words.

Just Another Day (Daily Science Fiction) – An immortal goes about her day.

As you can can see, all the stories of mine that were published this year were incredibly short. I’ve been working hard on editing my historical fantasy novel (and writing its sequel) so I really only have time to write short flash. If you want to learn more about writing microfiction, please check out the Clarion West class I am offering on the subject:

Keep It Short: Writing Microfiction with Shannon Fay

Oh, I’ve also started a patreon where I post about writing and solo table-top role-playing games! I do actually post there several times a month, unlike this blog.

Best wishes to you all in the new year.

Book Clubs, Short Story Discussions, and Author talks for the week of April 20th-27th, 2020

This has not been the year anyone planned it to be. Nearly every annual event that writers look forward to have been cancelled or transmogrified. For some writers, this means missing out on a career milestone, like accepting a Hugo Award in person, or going to a workshop that’s no longer happening. There’s a great sense of loss as we miss out on these traditions, but at the same time people are stepping the fuck up and offering so much of their time, expertise and resources to each other. Everything sucks, but we’re not in this alone.

There are a lot of great things going on out there if you are a speculative fiction writer. So many great things that I don’t have the time or energy to recap them all, so in this post I wanted to focus on 1. Reading and discussion groups. One of the things that help writers grow is reading a shit ton and thinking about what goes into each story 2. Stuff happening this week 3. Things I am personally interested in.

That narrows it down to three events this week I want to highlight:

Monday, April 20th – Us in Flux: Conversations with Kij Johnson and Jessie Rack

Kij Johnson is amazing writer and a great teacher (I was lucky enough to have her as an instructor at Clarion West). If you haven’t read her short stories, google “Ponies”, “Mantis Wives”, and “Spar,” and get ready to be hollowed out. On Monday Kij and ecologist Jessie Rack will be discussing a new story of Kij’s that was published on Thursday. The event is free.

Tuesday, April 21st – Short Story Club: Live Q&A with Ted Chiang
The short story book club is less a discussion group and more of an author Q&A (at least, based on the previous event with Cory Doctorow) and I am A-okay with that. Ted Chiang is one of the most acclaimed shot-spec writers working right now, and I can’t wait to get a chance to listen to him talk. Tickets are free but can be purchased with the money going to Covid-19 relief charities.

Friday, April 24th- Vox’s Online Book Club Discuss the final part of “The City We Became”

Even during a shutdown, my local library is still coming through- just recently my hold on a digital copy of N.K. Jemisin’s newest novel “The City We Became” came through. I’m pumped to read it, in part so I can take part in all the book clubs that are discussing it.