I’m packing on up for my flight to Denver tomorrow. I’m really excited to be visiting the area again, and finally visiting the famous Tattered Cover bookstore in Colfax, Denver.
I will be there Wednesday, December 5th celebrating the release of MECHANICAL ANIMALS: TALES AT THE CRUX OF CREATURE AND TECH with my co-editor Jason Heller, and contributors Stephen Graham-Jones, Molly Tanzer, and Carrie Vaughn. It’s going to be a really great reading with signings to follow, and if you are in the Denver area I hope you will come by and say hi!
While it is true Marilyn Manson’s MECHANICAL ANIMALS has turned 20 years old, another MECHANICAL ANIMALS has been just born, and I hope will grow up to be as long-lasting and epic.
This is the anthology I co-edited with the brilliant Jason Heller (whose STRANGE STARS came out earlier this year, and needs to be on your gift list, if not already). While I haven’t talked about it too much, this project has been 5 years in the making, and it’s hard to believe it is finally out and about in the wild.
This has been a dream project, and I am thankful to Jason for being an ideal collaborator (not to mention friend), to Josh Viola, Dean Wyant, and the team at HEX Publishing for putting their faith into the book, and, most of all, to our contributors who turned this antho’s theme into a conversation about biomimcry, automata, and our complex relationship with nature and technology. Needless to say, Jason and I couldn’t do this with out their wonderful words and worlds.
We will be celebrating the book’s release at Tattered Cover (Colfax location) in Denver, on December 5th. Joining us will be Stephen Graham-Jones, Molly Tanzer, and Carrie Vaughn. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and if you are in the area, please stop by and say hi!
So, to the nitty gritty details, then:
MECHANICAL ANIMALS: TALES AT THE CRUX OF CREATURE AND TECH is a speculative fiction safari that riffs on the traditional ideals of automata to explore our strange and competitive relationship with the natural world. Biomimicry is no stranger to literature, with canonical authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hans Christian Anderson, and Jules Verne setting the tone for a trope that has expounded and expanded upon what exactly separates humans from the animal kingdom as well as the boundary between machines and living beings. Featuring 15 original stories by today’s top science fiction and fantasy authors and contextual mecha-fauna essays by artist and Insect Lab Studio maker, Mike Libby, and SF encyclopedist and author Jess Nevins, Mechanical Animals presents a biomimicry menagerie of animalistic machines that will blur the lines between what is and isn’t nature’s design.
Contributor’s Include:Mike Libby, Jess Nevins, Tessa Kum, Delia Sherman, Maurice Broaddus, Sarah Hans, Lauren Beukes, Jesse Bullington, An Owomoyela, Stephen Graham Jones, Hans Christian Andersen, Molly Tanzer, Aliette de Bodard, Nick Mamatas, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kat Howard, Michael Cisco, Adrian Van Young, Robert T. Toombs, Joseph S. Pulver, Jr., Alistair Rennie, Jules Verne, Caroline Yoachim, Carrie Vaughn
It has been called “Mind-stretching tales of synthetic fauna….” by Kirkus.
Longest fiction written to date. A whole novelette! Hot dang, I will conquer you yet, novel. This is a riff on Poe’s “Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” but through the exploration of a mother-daughter relationship estranged by adolescence and cancer, and of course Emo. I got some nice reviews and comments on this one, and I dare say the creep/cry factor is dialed to 11. Many thanks to editor Jordan Krall on letting me give this one the chance to breathe.
This anti-Orientalism Steampunk tale set in Turkey originally appeared in Sarah Hans’ STEAMPUNK WORLD (Alliteration Ink). I was stoked to give the Şehrazat another avenue and be a part of Hex Publishers’ weekly magazine WORDS. There is a lot of great FREE stuff over there–stories by Nisi Shawl, Jason Heller, E. Lily Yu, and Alvaros Zinos-Amaro–so if you haven’t checked them out, you are missing out. Thank you for the opportunity, Josh Viola!
“Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne.” MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (AND FLASH FICTION) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (AND READER), edited by Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. Skyhorse, October 2017.
I am proud of this story for several reasons.
First, to be in anything edited by Nick and/or Molly has been on my goals list for a while, and many thanks to them for liking and accepting the story!
Second, all I really ever want to do is write fiction about cocktails, in this case the French 75.
Third, I’d been reading a lot of and about Hemingway this year, and had been toying with the Iceberg idea–something like “Hills Like White Elephants,” but from only women’s perspectives. Pair this with the constant ostracizing of women who don’t want to have children ever (by women), or define their being by their sexual prowess, or dream of fairy tale love to be complete–you got “Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne.”
Fourth, I had no idea what was coming in November, so I feel this was sort of a preamble for whatever changes to my writing that may bring. Read More