Where is Here?

Eligibility 2020

I don’t know if there’s anything I can say about 2020. We endured it. I wrote a lot, because there hasn’t been much else to do and it was one of the few things that made me feel a little better. Though technically the province– and our region– has been into and out of and into various shades of lockdown, we haven’t left our bubble since March. Everything happens at a distance, separated from us by a thin film of dread, hand sanitizer, and masks.

I’ve published a few stories this year. One was completed in lockdown, so it very much belongs to 2020. Once again, I am happy that Clarkesworld has such a fast turnaround for both acceptances and publication: it means that the magazine is a record of the moment.

If you’re a reader or a voter, please consider the following:

“An Important Failure”

In near future Vancouver, a luthier named Mason tries to build a violin, but the wood he needs (old growth spruce, ebony, willow) is harder and harder to find. My defiant celebration of skill and survival while the world falls apart. It’s also available as an audiobook.

“Dysnomia”

This was written for the special Orwell-themed issue (#84) of sub-TERRAIN. It’s about forgetfulness, both collective and private. It’s a slightly totalitarian future full of climate change and denial, and it’s about a woman who slowly loses her words. The world around her is losing things, too.

“Thank You For Your Patience”

In “Dysnomia” and “An Important Failure” I lit wildfires on the Pacific coast. In this one I hit it with a megathrust earthquake. Mark works in a call centre in Ontario, and he’s burnt out and miserable when he gets a call from a woman just as the tremors start.

“Child of Shower and Gleam”

A young pregnant woman tries to make a safe place for her child, while the neighbourhood (and her abusive ex) get increasingly weird. The whole anthology is brilliant and strange, just like everything Undertow publishes.


Representative of 2020: Detroit is less than 1km from where I’m sitting right now, but totally inaccessible, like it’s a different universe.

In addition to the conventionally published stories above, I also posted a couple of things on Curious Fictions, stories I love but which are a little out of step:

“Deep Water”

Something weird happened when these siblings were kids. She might have forgotten what, but it’s still there.

“We Love the Store”

small towns, ghosts, and old weird family businesses.