A Year on Saturn

...is approximately 29.7 Earth years.


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

Posts Tagged ‘Short stories’

Science Fiction Every Day!

I’ve recently had not one but two stories published in Daily Science Fiction. One is a story I wrote just this summer. I sent it to one market (where it was rejected) before sending it to DSF, where it was accepted PDQ. The other story is something I wrote in the year two-thousand and thirteen, back when I was still finding my feet as a writer. That older story was rejected at least 13 times before I remembered that I had never sent it to DSF, the perfect market for it. And it was the perfect market for it: they bought it.

I won’t say which one is the old story and which one is the new. The point is that sometimes you will find success with a submission right away, other times it might take several years and submissions before it gets out into the wider world. But however they ended up in the world, I’m glad they are finally there.

To Give you the Night Sky published on December 22nd, 2016

Goes Both Ways, published (today!) on January 10th, 2017

I will have a few posts up soon about my submission stats for 2016, but if you can’t wait you can re-read my post about my 2015 submission stats, as I suspect my 2016 post will be quite similar stats-wise (though maybe a bit more hopeful tone wise).

Tomorrow’s Cthulhu, featuring my short story ‘Church of the Renewed Covenant’

Yes, there are a ton of Lovecraft anthologies out there, but Tomorrow Cthulhu has something that none of those other collections have: a story by me.’Church of the Renewed Covenant’ is about a couple who are church-shopping for a place where they can comfortably worship the elder gods (the story is inspired by a church pamphlet I found near my house).

Check it out on Amazon here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This actually came out back in January, but better late than never.

Story Submission Stats 2015

Hey so it’s the end of the year. Maybe I should do some end of the year blog post. Or something.

I know! To the stats-mobile!

In 2015, I made 95 short story submissions

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My Favourite October things

Living in a foreign country, it can be easy to loose track of the rhythm of the year as you adjust to new holidays and traditions. But I am determined not to let Halloween just pass me by. So here’s a list of spooky stuff I like.

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Clever Bits

I have collected some of my previously published short stories into a book. That book is now for sale on Amazon.  The short stories range from 5,000 words to 250 (most are around 1k). There’s no real theme besides them all being clever (hopefully) and short (definitely).

I’m a lot more excited about this than I thought I would be. Before it went live it just seemed like the sensible thing to do. These are all stories I had previously sold to magazines, and now that the rights had reverted back to me it seemed like a good idea to collect them together. Nothing to lose, right? But now that it’s out in the world I feel weirdly sentimental. This book represents hours upon hours of working away, banging on the keyboard as if I was chipping away marble, trying to carve a David from a formless block. It represents my growth as a writer over the years (though a very edited version of that growth – there are some published stories of mine that didn’t make it into this collection, either because I didn’t think they fit the vibe or because I just don’t like them that much anymore). All the hours I spent sending out each story, again and again until they finally landed at the right market. Compared to all that, formatting the stories into one book was easy (that’s also because my good friend and fellow author Lesley Smith did all the work. Thanks Lesley!)

Anyway, back to the book itself:

 

Shannon Fay presents eight stories of speculative fiction, each one presenting a possible future, a hidden past, or an alternative reality. Whether you’re a robot in love with a long dead historical figure, a time traveler who needs to brush up on this decade’s pop-culture, or an angel of death looking to while away the time between jobs, this book has something for you.

 

New Story: M-STEM

A story of mine, my super-short flash piece ‘M-STEM,’ has been published on T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Fiction Blog. Please check it out here.

I hope to start blogging again here soon. No excuses, just been letting other stuff eat up my time.

 

A different kind of Clarion West update

Ugh, I know I was supposed to have posted a Week Four Clarion West update Friday, and the Friday before that, but I was too busy squeezing the last drops of summer from the season and then recovering from having my widsom teeth yanked out. Since I’ve most been taking it easy (aka lying on the couch watching grainy episodes of ‘Murder in Small Town X‘ on Youtube) I decided it would be a good time to catch up on what some of my fellow westies have been up to (aka, which of these talented mamma-jammas have gone and gotten published).

First up, I finally read Alison Wilgus’s comic,  A Stray in the Woods. Alison is not only a talented writer, she is also a fantastic cartoonist. A Stray in the Woods is a webcomic she created the help of her tumblr fanbase. Alison would pose a problem for her main character, a cat that wakes up in a strange house, and then choose what happened next from her reader’s suggestions. The result is a very charming, atmospheric comic. I especially liked the resolution, and a reveal that took me totally by surprise while still fitting the world.

Chinelo Onwualu meanwhile has sold one of her Clarion West stories already, a first for the 2014 class. You can read her fantastic (though very unsettling) story ‘Tasting Gomoa’ at Ideaomancer.

Rich Larson continues on his path to world domination with a haunting story ‘The Air we Breath is Stormy, Stormy‘ in Strange Horizons.

And if you prefer to listen to your stories, Folly Blaine’s story ‘The Truth About Woodpeckers’ has been produced by Toasted Cake.

I hope that will keep you all busy until I get back on track with my Clarion West posts. And if not, well, there will be more linky posts to come, as my class was packed with talented writers and it won’t be long before they have even more stuff out there for you to read.

 

Clarion West re-cap Week 1

Before I was accepted to Clarion West I went through a period where I frantically tried to read every blog post about the program that I could get my digital hands on. If I couldn’t go to CW, I figured, reading about it was the next best thing. It was a peek inside a workshop that really only a few get to experience firsthand, and I was always grateful whenever some alum took the time to write about their time in the workshop. So, with that in mind, I figured I’d do a broad re-cap of my six weeks in Seattle, both for myself and for anyone who’s where I was at two years ago. Week 1 Since I was coming from outside the states I was able to arrive at the house a day earlier than most people. I highly recommend doing this, if you can. For me at least it was nice to meet a couple people at a time as they trickled in rather than meeting the group all at once. Our week 1 instructor was James Patrick Kelly. Paul Park had been slated for week 1, but eye surgery left him unable to travel (even though we never met him, Paul Park’s eye became something of a deity that watched over us throughout the course, as seen in this picture here).

Just another day at CW 2014 under Paul Park’s ever watchful eye.

Luckily, despite the short notice, Jim was the perfect first week instructor. He was warm and gracious but not afraid to poke fun at us as we settled into this strange workshop world. He was like the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, in that he was the first companion we met on our journey, and, like the Scarecrow, he was super friendly and very smart. For week 1 Jim had us all write flash fiction. We later learned that by making us write flash on the fly, he hoped we’d ‘use up all our bad ideas.’ Well, jokes on you, JPK! You barely scratched the tip of our bad idea pile! If our bad ideas were an ice berg, that flash piece would be just the teeny tiny tip of it!

(At this point, I should note that obviously I don’t speak for the whole of Clarion West 2014, but there are times when I just want to bite people’s one liners and this is the easiest way to do it. I figure this is the best way to protect people while still making myself look funny and clever. Also, just assume when I’m making fun of us as a class I am really just signalling out myself.)

I actually really liked my flash piece. Of all my stories, it is the one I am most eager to re-write and send out. Maybe that’s because the more time has passed since I wrote it than for any other story? Hmm.

Also in the first week we wrote anonymous flash pieces about an important event from our own lives. Afterwards we were randomly assigned one of the pieces to read aloud. It was a very emotionally trying exercise, but I felt it helped us coalesce as a group. Sure, we were all still getting to know one another, but after sharing those things (even if anonymously) it felt as though we had moved beyond introductions into something deeper.

For most people, that’s all they had to write. Two flash pieces. Easy-peasy-chedder-cheezy. But I had signed up for the Friday due date, which meant that while everyone else was having fun me and the rest of Team Friday were typing away, trying to get our first stories in on time. This meant my first week was rather frantic, but choosing a Friday slot had a pay-off later in week 6 (What was it? Ooh, you’ll have to keep reading to find out what! Better hope I keep writing these things!) Week 1 ended with the Locus Awards, as well as a party held at the same hotel. I was mainly happy to meet people that I knew from writer’s forums online (by ‘knew,’ I mean that I lurked and read their posts but never said anything myself).

After the Locus Awards a group of us went to the EMP, a music museum that also has really cool sci-fi, horror, and fantasy exhibits. I was amazed by the set design for the displays (the horror section was my favourite- it reminded me of the Japanese horror film ‘House.’) They had so many different movie/TV show props, everything from David Bowie’s outfit from Labyrinth (stuffed to give it the proper, uh, dimensions) to the alien from Alien. The music section of the museum was pretty cool too. I especially liked the music video section.

Me rocking out

Playing air guitar at the EMP.

If you’re ever in Seattle, I highly recommend visiting the EMP. It’s a bit pricey (about $20) but worth it. Now…I like to do touristy things when I go to new places, which is how I got suckered into buying a City Pass. A City Pass is a pretty good deal, in that it lets you into 9 different Seattle attractions for $60. Basically if you want to do 3 or more of the things on their list, it might be worth your while. But but halibut it’s only good for nine consecutive days from the date you visit your first attraction. When you’re at Clarion West, you’re pressed for time and it’s hard enough to do all the things you want to do when you have a whole month, let alone nine days. If I could do this whole thing again, I’d probably pass on the pass. Luckily, this wasn’t something I had to worry about right away as the guy who sold me the pass let me into the EMP without stamping my ticket (I suspect it was because we are both fans of Picnicface, a Halifax sketch comedy group.

Represent!) So went my first week at Clarion West. It was a good warm-up, but it was only when week two began did I realize what we were getting into…

Back from Clarion West

I have returned from Clarion West! It was an amazing experience and I plan to write about it in a series of posts here in the near future. In the meantime, why not read my story, ‘Readymade,’ which was published yesterday by Daily Science Fiction?

Readymade

More 2014, some 2013

Super busy with work lately, but don’t feel too sorry for me- one of my day jobs involves reading a lot of manga and I love my work. I’ve also hit on a streak of inspiration lately, so the writing has been strong. I’ve written roughly five stories since the start of the year. All of them super short flash pieces, but stories nonetheless.

I’m taking a break from my regular scheduled programming to brag a little bit. Two of my stories that were published in 2013 have made it onto Tangent Online’s 2013 Recommended Reading List: ‘House Hunting’ (published in Crowded Magazine) and ‘Colossus’ (published in the June 2013 issue of Penumbra). Both stories got three stars and kind words from their reviewers.

Also in December, fellow writer Danielle N. Gales had some very flattering praise for my story ‘You First Meet the Devil at a Church Fete,’ naming it as one of her favourite stories of 2013. From her blog:

You First Meet the Devil at a Church Fete

by Shannon Fay (Interzone, #246)

Here’s the thing: I hate stories told in second person. Hate them. It’s a gut reaction. Usually I can’t get more than a paragraph in before becoming irritated beyond belief, no matter how well-written, no matter how intriguing the premise. And yet…

This one works. Hell, more than that, I couldn’t imagine it being told any other way. You First Meet the Devil… charts the life of a certain fifth member of a certain band as he is offered a Faustian bargain, and then follows the repercussions of the choice he makes. A great, imaginatively told story, and winner of 2013′s James White award, with good reason.

Wow. It makes me really happy to see my strange Beatles story connect with people.

All right, enough about 2013! Back to work.