BrazenHead design fiction

year-end sum up

Gregorian year 2012 was, on a number of personal levels, profoundly horrible, demoralizing, debilititating. But those are the exact personal levels I believe it unseemly to talk about in public, so you, Dear Reader, are spared endless litanies of woe and humiliation. Be reassured, however, that Misses Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, and I, remain housed, warm (not as warm as I’d prefer, granted), and fed as one year turns over to the next, during which matters might improve.

Miss Jane Austen (l) and Miss Charlotte Brontë (r)

On other levels, 2012 was pretty damned spectacular.

I published seven original stories:

  1. “Tattooed Love Boys,” an 11,000-word novelette, at in March.
  2. “Liam and His Dads,” the third, 6,000-word Liam story, in Icarus: The Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction #12, the Spring issue.
  3. “Wheat, Barley, Lettuce, Fennel, Salt for Sorrow, Blood for Joy,” a 12,000-word novelette, in Boys of Summer, an anthology of young-adult stories from editor Steve Berman and publisher Bold Strokes Books, in May.
  4. “Ban’s Dream of the Sea,” a 6,200-word short story, in The Touch of the Sea, an anthology of new marine fantasies from editor Steve Berman and publisher Lethe Press, also in May.
  5. “Haider and His Dog,” a 5,700-word short story, sequel to the earlier “Firooz and His Brother” (in the sense that both are self-contained excerpts from a never-to-be-finished novel), in my collection You Will Meet a Stranger Far from Home (Lethe Press, July).
  6. “Then We Went There,” a 5,400-word short story—my first purpose-written short story in some fifteen years, finally printed in You Will Meet a Stranger Far from Home.
  7. “Two Dead Men,” a 5,900-word short story, in Icarus #14, the Fall issue.

I had a 2011-published story reprinted:

I resold two of the above-listed 2012 stories for reprint in 2013:

  1. “Tattooed Love Boys” to Wilde Stories 2013 (Lethe Press, July).
  2. “Wheat, Barley, Lettuce, Fennel, Salt for Sorrow, Blood for Joy” to Best Gay Stories 2013 (Lethe Press, August).

I published a book.

I completed seven new stories—an annual record. Up until a few hours ago, I really thought it might be eight, but that last one will have to count for 2013.

  1. “Seb and Duncan and the Sirens,” an 11,000-word novelette set on a contemporary Greek island, completed in March. Tentatively sold to Icarus but not yet scheduled. Likely to be serialized across two issues.
  2. “The Other Bridge,” 5,600 words, written in March. Rejected by eight markets so far but hope remains.
  3. “Two Dead Men,” 5,900 words, written in May. Published, as noted above, in Icarus #14.
  4. “The Oily Man,” 10,000 words, completed in August. Sold to and scheduled to appear in the anthology Handsome Devil: Tales of Sin and Seduction, edited by Steve Berman and due from Prime Books in February 2014.
  5. “The Hyena’s Blessing,” 6,000 words, written in October. Sold to and scheduled to appear in the anthology Zombies: Shambling through the Ages, edited by Steve Berman and due from Prime Books in August 2013.
  6. “You Deserve,” 6,000 words, written in October–November. Sold to and scheduled to appear in the anthology Bad Seeds: Evil Progeny, edited by Steve Berman and due from Prime Books in July 2013.
  7. A 2,800-word short story written and sold in November, which will appear in 2013 under an inside-joke pen name. I am forbidden to reveal more.

I sold an older story, 7,300 words, originally drafted in August 2010.

  • “A Man Not of Canaan,” a tale of Lovecraftian elder gods and BDSM set in the Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean, will appear at in the spring—April or May, I’m told.

I sold a much, much older full-length novel, originally drafted in the early 1990s (!).

In response to an early reader’s critique, I sternly revised but did not substantially shorten my gargantuan novel The Unexpected Thing. That revised MS received another thoughtful critique from a different reader but I haven’t got ’round to addressing his points yet. Fall had already fallen and I learned during the three years of composition that I can only work on The Unexpected Thing in late spring and through the summer.

I invented a brand-new secondary world in which gods and other preternatural entities take an interest. It doesn’t have a name because its inhabitants just call it the world. For convenience, I refer to it as the world of the subcontinent, a significant geographical, cultural, and political feature. Of 2012’s seven completed stories, three are tales from the subcontinent: “The Other Bridge,” “Two Dead Men,” and “The Oily Man.” Three incomplete stories that I hope to finish in 2013 are likewise subcontinental tales: “The Tale of the Ive-ojan-akhar’s Death,” “A Joke of the Kandadal,” and “The Lake Is Not the World” (all titles subject to change). A seventh tale, originally envisioned as a novelette, seems to want to be a novel: The Cat in the Moon.

Other, non-subcontinental stories in progress that I intend, dammit, to complete in 2013, include (in no particular order):

  • That eighth 2012 story I didn’t quite manage. If taken by the editor it’s aimed at it will have to appear under a pen-name so I’ll say no more about it.
  • “Liam and the Changelings,” the long-delayed fourth (of an eventual seven) Liam story.
  • “The Water Palace,” set in contemporary İstanbul and involving a peri and the ancient Byzantine cisterns.
  • “The Discovery of Vinhático,” a ghost story that takes place on an imaginary island in the Atlantic, an autonomous region of the Portuguese Republic. I’ve been trying to get this one to work since 2010.

As editor, in 2012 I witnessed the continued ascent into the empyrean of BrazenHead’s first release, Eat Your Heart Out by Dayna Ingram (December 2011), and published the second—Green Thumb by Tom Cardamone (June)—and third—The Grigori by Joshua Skye (November). Fallout from my own personal disasters may have sabotaged my hopes for BrazenHead #4—I need to talk to that very poorly treated author soon.

As designer, I put together a whole lot of books. I can’t quite figure out how to count them—a few printed in 2012 were designed the year before, while I currently have in my files, I think, nine designed in the last few months but not scheduled to appear, in one case, until July.

As weary blogger, at nearly 3.oo AM EST, 1 January 2013, I’ve finished my New Year’s split of Catalan cava and this entry.


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