2022 In Review

2022 was the year I didn’t expect. It was the year I lost most use of my left hand, and the year I sold to a market I’d been aiming at for twenty-two years ("Remembered Salt" will appear in F&SF next year).

In 2022, I published:

Becomes the Color, Three-Lobed Burning Eye, ed. Andrew Fuller (short story)

Seventy years after a war none of us could remember outside the crumbling sepia photographs our parents kept from their parents, the rocky pools at Hanging Lake had filled with a water so turquoise you would expect it to stain your skin. The years had allowed the slow dissolution of fragile shoreline travertine and the carbonate minerals in each pool’s belly, turning the waters blue, but the color did not cling to me no matter how many times I submerged. 

By that time, I hadn’t spoken to Jess in two years, but ghosts lingered, surprising me in books, closets, and refrigerators. Still capable of finding some part of Jess in a head of goddamn broccoli, and still recalling our last conversation, I headed to Hanging Lake at Lindy’s behest. It wasn’t a big lake, hers the only cabin there because her family had owned the land since the war—no one else wanted it, claimed it was rotting with ghosts.

Flickering I Roam, Leaves of a Necronomicon, ed. Joe S. Pulver (short story)

She runs on the beach under a gray, clouded sky. Fluid, long-legged, shedding clothes, a laughing shadow. She outruns the drunken jackass chasing her, to the ocean that accepts her with a sloppy kiss. In the water, she is lit only by the rising sun beginning to stain the sky.

Then: swallowed by a thing unseen.

Her shrieks don't wake the man who has stumbled to the beach; he is lit by the vague sunrise on the inward rushing tide, asleep and maybe naked, but I don't care. My thoughts stay with her. Her, thrashing in blood-clouded water that doesn't look like blood-clouded water. Things unseen in the half dark of a morning that will never come.

No one understands what draws me to such images. I am only fifteen, I am only seventeen, I am only nineteen, they say. (I am only remembered in odd ages, never even, never steady.)

Nine in Number, Baffling,  ed. dave ring (flash fiction)

A trail of nine freckles curls down the shadow of your spine, some so small they might not be counted as proper at all, but I count them, one by one by one, with fingers and lips and tongue.

It will change everything, you say. Your back arches under my firm kiss on the fifth freckle, this near the curve of your waist. This freckle tastes like salt.

(R + D) /I = M, reprint, Nowa Fantastyka
Originally published in Clarkesworld

Grapes grew differently on Mars and no one minded. This trespass was for science, ask anyone.

Perhaps they shouldn’t have grown at all, but they did, into oblong coils that turned the color of copper under the days of long, if distant, sunshine. We found they were best at night, when they froze into slush.

In 2022, I also edited 12 issues of The Deadlands. My fellow staff members are: Sean Markey (publisher), David Gilmore (nonfiction editor), Nicasio Andres Reed (poetry editor), Amanda Downum (necromancer), Laura Blackwell (copy editor), Cory Skerry (art director), and Rekka Jay (designer). In 2022, The Deadlands did away with our subscription model. The issues are yours to read for free. The Deadlands is a semiprozine, and we would love your consideration.

Going into 2023, I have a novel on submission, and need to finish writing another one. With one hand, the work is slower, but page by page, we get there.