My latest short story, “How Nothing Happens,” a nihilistic deconstruction of cyberpunk, will appear in the forthcoming Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow, edited by Jason Heller. From the publisher’s website:
Cybernetics. Neuroscience. Nanotechnology. Genetic engineering. Hacktivism. Transhumanism. The world of tomorrow is already here, and the technological changes we all face have inspired a new wave of stories to address our fears, hopes, dreams, and desires as Homo sapiens evolves—or not—into its next incarnation. Cyber World presents diverse tales of humanity’s tomorrow, as told by some of today’s most gripping science fiction visionaries.
My story, “They Would Only Be Roads,” which first appeared in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology Paper Cities, is now available as an audio recording at Far Fetched Fables
A photo from my recent reading as part of the Literary Arts Festival at Richland College.
When we closed down Farrago’s Wainscot in 2009, after our twelfth issue, it was for the usual reasons: time and money. Publishing the ‘zine was a labor of love—we never charged for it, we never really sold advertising (we gave a few ads away there for a little bit), and we paid as much as we could ($20 per story, poem, or article). The online speculative fiction zeitgeist at the time was definitely “weird.” Weird was everywhere. “New,” “old,” “literary” (sorry, that one was our fault), “post-,” “New, new-,” “little” (again, my fault—needed a dissertation title)—we, collectively, couldn’t get enough. Tastes were changing there around Issue 12, and while we were still bringing in our steady readership, we were running out of music festivals and masquerades and tip jars with which to fund the Old Man’s cabinet of curiosities. Steampunk was on fire; hard SF was making an awesome comeback; and urban fantasy was gobbling titles and categories like a 2nd ed. ooze, which was awesome—we were prone to some urban fantasy publications of our own.
So, with heavy hearts, we stopped the project. The lamentations and gnashing of teeth that we received from internet friends and strangers at our passing surprised us. We had quietly gone about our weird business, keeping mostly to ourselves, garnering a few very nice reviews, some Year’s Best nods, and even pocketing the 2007 StorySouth Million Writers Award for “Best New Online Magazine or Journal” and the 2007 Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll for “Best Fiction Magazine/Ezine”—not to mention the handful of lauds our contributors collected on their own. We were surprised that people were marking our passing, but it was gratifying.
Life went on.
It’s been five years now since Old Man Farrago last put out his shingle. Behind the scenes, we’ve all shuffled jobs a few times, put out a few books, moved around the country, etc. But we’ve never stopped watching what people are buying and reading. What “weird” means today. How the genre pendulum swings from clearly defined to ill . . . and then back. What it means to write speculative or experimental fiction in an age of increasing efforts to include and understand—in an age when so, so much of this work remains to do. At at time when the world is still falling apart. Like it always does.
So it is with great excitement that I tell you that I’ve reached an agreement to revive Farrago’s Wainscot—weirder and more challenging than ever!—under the imprimatur of Resurrection House, who will serve as the ‘zine’s publisher. We will release issue 13 on January 14, 2015, and throughout the year, you’ll see some familiar Farrago alums—many of whom have gone on to publish books and garner awards of their own—and you’ll see fresh new voices. “Fresh weird.” There you go—a new neologism for a new era.
We’ll be paying more. $0.06/word for fiction; $20/poem (Hey, that was a fair price even back then). And we’ll be using a submissions manager, so no more strange emails from the communal hive-mind of the old “wainscot.editors” email address. Our new submissions page has all the details, so go click around the site. It’s been given a facelift, and all your old favorites are still there for a re-read before we re-weird next year. There’s another one: “re-weird.” This is going to be an odd year.
So until January, thanks for reading, and keep up with us on Twitter. We’ll see you in the funny papers.
Now that it’s official, I can let you know that I’ve accepted a position as the full-time writer for id software—the revolutionary outfit behind classics like Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, and others.
In February of this year, I had the privilege of being interviewed at 1670 AM, an independent, underground AM radio station here in Denton. The experience was fascinating and entertaining, if not a bit drunken—as all such interviews should be I think. I am finally able to share the full thing with you, wherein I discuss Noise, the apocalypse, and writerly identity. The entire thing is about an hour and ten minutes long, and there are a few f-bombs, so you may not want to play it at full volume at work, but therein lies anything you might ever have wanted to know about the novel, Denton/Slade, and how I write.