ACTUALLY I AM NOT SURE I AM ELIGIBLE FOR ANYTHING. LITERALLY ANYTHING. But I have been peer-pressured into doing one, oh the horror of social media!
Campbell eligibility: Don’t believe so, last year was my second year, so this year is nothing, I think.
Other things: Beats me. Do you have to be American to win stuff? If so, count me out. SADNESS.
Anyway, publications! These started out in reverse chronological order and then went all bassackwards. My apologies.
SHORT STORIES: 2017
‘No One Will Come Back For Us’ – part of the Typhon 2 anthology put out by Pantheon Magazine! One of my very, very favourite stories, and approximately the third or fourth one I wrote when I started writing again in 2015. I know I say this a lot, but this has to be like…a top 5, easily, in terms of stories I can stand to re-read. This is also (gulp) the one with the illustration controversy that I talked about on Twitter. This is being resolved though. Yay Pantheon! More story notes after it comes out. This got a stunning rejection from a big-name author for her anthology, and she said I was a writer to watch and would ‘clearly’ have no problem finding the story a home. And this was in a post-script with a smiley-face. I was SO thrilled I think I did some actual dancing around.
‘The Water and the World’ – in Mythic Delirium Issue 4.2! Mine’s in the December chunk, so not available juuuuust yet, but you can go to the Amazon link if you can’t wait three days. A quiet story about a young man who appears out of nowhere, unfashionably old for the world of Olympic prodigies, and his coach’s struggle to allow him to keep the deep secret they both know he holds.
‘Below the Kirk, Below the Hill’– inBroad Knowledge: Women Up to No Good, by Upper Rubber Boot Press! Also not available just yet, but here’s the cover! (Which I cannot say I am really enthusiastic about, as it strongly resembles some kind of soft-core erotica collection, and from the titles I’m seeing most of the stories are extremely… not that, but oh well.) A lighthouse, a strange little island town, an unwilling mother for an unusual daughter, and the lengths to which someone might go to protect something both innocent and terrible.
‘And Sneer of Cold Command’ – in the last ever issue of the Sockdolager, sadly! Gosh I really loved this one, I really really did. It’s not quite a detective story, but it’s not not, either; it’s about darkness, and light, and monsters that cannot be named. FUN FACT: I’m writing a prequel for this (part of Krystof’s back story, and a daring armory heist) that still needs a good polish. I also (much to my horror and dismay) outlined a three-POV, 150-character Straight-Up Dystopian Epic set in the same world, in a different town, a few months before ‘Sneer.’ But that’ll take five years to write, so I’m not thinking about it right now. (I lie. I am. I am impatient to start, but not so impatient that I can shove aside what I’ve got planned for 2018). Also, see Charles Payseur’s Quick Sip review on this story here! (Spoiler: “A great read!”)
‘Fortunato’ – in the Ride the Star Wind anthology by Broken Eye Books! This one was so much fun to write it was unbelievable; it was like I was watching a 20-minute short film in my head. A newbie marine on her first command, a colony struck by obscure disaster, and a rescue mission gone horribly wrong. Also some light cannibalism, but nothing really horrible, I swear. This is also just generally a cool anthology – hard sci-fi (space opera!) and gloopy weird fantasy (Lovecraft!). I really liked this cast of characters and would love to write them into a future mission, maybe something even messier. I get name-dropped in this fun little review-slash-story by Morgan Crooks, and even in this starred Publisher’s Weekly review! Do not miss out on this one. It is a great, chunky read with almost 30 stories and illustrations for each.
‘The Evaluator’– in theA Breath From The Sky anthology by Martian Migraine Press! By far one of my favourite stories this year, inexplicably sharing a universe with ‘Below the Kirk’ and ‘Willing’ (below), as well as a number of other stories in progress. I intensely, deeply liked this one; I feel it’s a very Premicular story. A world-weary investigator who’s a bucket of nerves: check. A creepy little kid: check. Excessively unpleasant horrors from beyond: check. (And that cover! I love that cover. And it is soooooooo smooooooooth in person. I swear to God I do not submit to anthologies just so I can stroke the contributors’ copy I get. Honestly.) I get name-dropped inSam Burns’ review of the anthology here at Turn to Ash! “Premee Mohamed’s “The Evaluator,” inverts an archetype, builds a world and so vividly depicts its setting all in a handful of pages.” 😀 I was sad this anthology didn’t get more attention because, to anxiously but truthfully toot my own sackbut, my story in it is pretty dope.
‘Four Hours of a Revolution’ – in Pseudopod, #555! Shit I loved this one. LOVED. One of the only stories here that I dropped into the universe whole and entire, and didn’t want to come back out. I didn’t even want to submit it, initially, because I didn’t want other people to read it. A revolution, a hero, a Death, some other Deaths. Set in a future that’s probably not too far from now, with a protagonist I adore but who is actually too cool to hang out with me. And the narration on this is precisely, 10000% what the voice of Death sounded like in my head. He also coped effortlessly with even my most, shall we say, typically baroque sentences. Take a gander, have a listen! Made it onto Maria Haskins’ monthly shout-out in August, also, as “This is a well-crafted and harrowing tale of struggle, betrayal and the price paid for revolution.” 🙂
‘These Are The Ways’ – in Shoreline of Infinity #8! One of my quite short ones – an alien war, and more space marines, and a curious, ferocious, uneven love warring with the pride that love should never have to fight. Definitely a case of not writing what you know; what do I know about war, what do I know about love? But this, dear reader, is what we call imagination. I think it worked; so did the lovely Maria again, though not a full review, as “A fast-paced, moving, and also heart-wrenching science fiction story of war, love, bad decisions, and loss.”
‘The Adventurer’s Wife’ – podcast at Far Fetched Fables! I…did not like this production at all, but go listen if that’s your thing.
‘The Adventurer’s Wife’ – again! At Nightmare Magazine, which I never ever thought I’d get into, so this was a real highlight of the year for me. Also note, my first ever (and so far only) author spotlight! Maybe you can tell it’s my first. There’s some babbling. (About pulp, about not-pulp, about brown people, about assumptions.) Big ups to Sandra Odell for not minding, and for asking such interesting questions! The story that started it all. 🙂
‘What Can Be Seen’ – a very smol story, at Freeze Frame Fiction! Got your standard creepy little Edwardian-era kid here, who develops powers that… uh, well, I mean it’s kind of a happy ending?
‘Willing’ – another story in my top 5 for the year, maybe ever, maybe anywhere anytime, in the Third Flatiron Press anthology ‘Principia Ponderosa.’ A story set in the prairies, with gods as big as mountains, and a father and a daughter that don’t know how to relate to each other except by breaking one another’s hearts. Marion Deeds gave this a fabulous write-up at Fantasy Literature (and called me a writer to watch, awww!) Importantly, she also knows a lot about farming and ranching, and I’m glad it connected with its intended audience. Tangent Online also reviewed each story, which is cool, and they liked it as well, calling it ‘convincingly-written’ and ‘thought-provoking’! (I did hope to provoke some thoughts, really. About love, and the gods. The gods are here, but they are not here for you. That is a myth they like to put around.) This is also going to be reprinted in Third Flatiron’s Best of 2017 (yay! Now available for pre-order for very few moneydollars) and was also reprinted with permission in the 2017 Campbell Author Anthology (more yay! But I don’t think you can download the ebook any more, sorry).
‘The Devil’s Apprentice’– in ‘No Shit, There I Was,’ the funniest-titled anthology I’ve been in, and the one that’s resulted in the most lasting friendships on Twitter. (And another one with a smooth, smoooooooooth cover. And also, coincidentally, a very charming and appropriate cover.) A deal with the Devil, a familiar, a decision that’s not as easy to make as one might think. My littlestory notes on the Kickstarter are here, and Alex Acks’comments on it are here! And I quote: “This is another of those stories that crawled into my brain and left me feeling incredibly fucked up.” 😀
NON-SHORT STORY STUFF
My novel is still on sub, and the less said about that the better. I am getting some very nice, flattering rejections though. (And I mean really nice. Like, ‘no,’ but gushingly complimentary nos that I save to a special folder so I can read them when I feel sad.)
So since it hasn’t sold, I am no longer working on The Fucking Sequel! EVERYBODY THROW YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR. I hate what I have on it so far anyway, and I think that’s because it starts at the wrong place; but I’ll get back on the horse (that I hate) if the first one sells.
The plan is to spend 2018 focusing entirely on a completely different and very time-consuming novel! Also a fantasy, but a secondary-world fantasy, but not one like the one I’m working on now, which is so second-world that I can’t even say ‘apple.’
I don’t plan on spending much time on short stories next year. This year has been fun, but short stories are like… I mean yes, you get paid virtually immediately, which is so great! But the whole formatting, submitting, emailing, copyediting, announcing, updating, etc etc, the whole stuff around short stories is so time consuming, bleh. It really is not the words I begrudge; it’s the time. So I guess if an idea pops into my head and I like it, I’ll write it; if not, then not. And none of this ‘hours submitting every week’ crap!
Re: my vanity project, the final polish and edit is all done! Dedication and acknowledgements have been written, illustrations have been chosen. Next steps are cover design (about halfway done that), followed by the usual rigmarole of thumbnail, pencil, ink, scan, cleanup, cry, sob, curse, collapse. I also decided to do fancy initials (like in medieval manuscripts!) for the start of each new section (I didn’t break it up into chapters, it’s quite short) so that’s probably what I’ll start on. I still love it, I’ve read it about 13 times and I still want to know what happens next, and I still will not sell it.
I think that’s it for the year… apologies for the wonky images, obviously. I was too lazy to align everything properly (and, arguably, so was WordPress). Have a good holiday season in 2017, and a happy 2018, everyone!