“Postlude to the Afternoon of a Faun” published in F&SF + Some featured Jazz

My story has been published in F&SF for the March/April 2019 issue. I’m so happy about that.

An old jazz-playing faun has the chance to get back everything that was taken from him a hundred years ago, if he can take it from his only student. The story has Jazz, Mentoring and Hope as themes. It also asks the question: how do you change your own life?

My two characters, a young college football player who wants to become a jazz musician, and an old faun who just wants to be a part of the world again, struggle and fail and attempt again this massive turn in their lives, together. At one point, one of the characters says, “I feel like I’m this tiny tugboat trying to turn this massive life around.” And that’s one of the questions I wanted to pose–how do you do that? I hope you find these characters as inspiring as I did.

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program

I mention an organization I used to work for in my twenties when I was at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program under the Missouri Folk Arts Program. An example of their work is here–pairing two musicians together, a master and an apprentice, much like Mr. Dance and Eric in the story.

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Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Ceases, Hope in the Comments

Year's Best Fantasy and HorrorLCRW announced the end of an era. The Anthology that praised the best in Horror and Fantasy published every year has ceased after 21 volumes. Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror collected two genres together, ones that complemented each other. It was good to have the cross-pollination. There’s much sadness in the Fantasy and Horror worlds, yes, but there seems to be glimmers of hope in the Comments section which has turned into a Who’s Who of Fantasy and Horror. In these comments, Ellen Datlow reveals that she has a new publisher for the Horror side of the anthology and Kathryn Cramer, publisher of Year’s Best Fantasy, reveals they have switched publishers. It’s the “narrowly dodged the bullet” reference that Cramer makes that causes me to think that the YBF&H closing might have been a publisher decision to cut costs in the rapidly diminishing American economy* (Ellen Datlow comments below that it was a combination of things, but most importantly it was an agreed-upon decision between the editors and publisher, not a sole publisher decision. My apologies for jumping to conclusions.).

Editors and authors alike send condolences in the nearly 100 comments that follow the announcement. The anthology was a huge part of the community–a way to celebrate and honor stories that represented what was happening in that community. Award shows can be fleeting celebrations–anthologies preserve and mark the year. I felt like a family gathering in the comments for a funeral or a wake. I look forward to seeing what new incarnations will arise from these decisions. And if there is a wake for the Anthology, I hope it is a big, raucous one for all the good they have done for the community!

To purchase a copy of the last volume of work, celebrating the best of 2007, follow the links above.