Autumn Is Coming

Just got word from Mike Davis that my story "Cul Du-Sac Virus" is going to be included in his Autumn Cthulhu anthology. As an avowed lover of Autumn (there really is no better season) I'm both honored and excited to have one of my stories among the leaves.






I Am Very Lucky

So December is shaping up to be a great month publication-wise. First, my story "Citizen of the Galaxy," is in Analog. Seriously, ANALOG--one of the publications that made me want to start writing fiction in the first place.

Adding to the joy, my story "From Salted Earth," appeared in the fourth quarter issue of Worlds Without Master, a fabulous pro e-zine that pushes the boundaries of the sword and sorcery genre by publishing great fiction and short-form roleplaying games.

Last, but certainly far from least, I've got some apocalyptic flash fiction sleighted for publication in Daily Science Fiction on December 16th.

Yes, three pro pubs. Really, really?!

If you're curious--no, I've done nothing to deserve this.   


Doom and Gloom? Not Really

Contrary to all rational expectations given my slew of sales, I've been feeling a little down, lately. Fortunately, I've been able to mine the existential doldrums for all they're worth. The result being a slew of cosmic horror stories, one of which will be appearing in the next issue of Shock Totem (out soon), and another upcoming in Daily Science Fiction. I'm particularly proud of both of these stories, and am quite excited that they found such great homes.

I've never been a strong proponent of authorial privilege. I feel much of art's power lies in its faculty for interpretation, so I'll try not to bore you with any self-obsessed rambles about what I "intended" in writing these stories and others. Whatever you take from my writing is yours.

Apocalypses have always fascinated me. As a horror, dark fantasy/SF writer it stands to reason that I'd take the cosmic view. While the current trend toward apocalyptic (specifically: ZOMBIE) fiction has run the sub-genre somewhat ragged, I can't help but feel there's still a lot of room for exploration. As humans, I feel like we try to understand the apocalypse, figure out its rules, even give it agency in some regards. Part of this stems from our frame of reference—namely that we only have one--and part from who we are as a species. Basically, if we hadn't always been trying to figure everything out, I don't think humanity would've reached such great heights.

But what if the apocalypse was beyond our comprehension? What if there was no why?

Obviously, I borrowed liberally from the usual suspects: Thomas Ligotti, Anna Tambour, Laird Barron, Caitlin Kiernan, Michael Wehunt, and others. I'm not saying I added anything revolutionary to the corpus of cosmic horror/apocalyptic literature, but it sure was fun to grapple with.   


Good News, Everyone

It's been an exciting few months--publications and sales enough to make me wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. My story "Semiosis" came out in Fiction Vortex. Primarily a love note to the silver age sci-fi I read as a kid, it's a planetary adventure that follows the estranged daughter of a famous scientist as she tries to piece together his final research project. Also, as always, I couldn't resist cramming in as many aliens as I could.

In a similar vein, my story "Citizen of the Galaxy," is slated to appear in a future issue of Analog. It's funny, but many of those aforementioned silver-age stories I enjoyed as a child (and more recently as an adult) appeared in the pages of Analog. Unsurprisingly, I'm a little north of ecstatic about coming full circle.

Also, my story "When it Was Ripe," will be appearing in the next issue of Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine. The issue had some delays, but I promise it will be worth the wait.

I'm also honored to announce that my story "Saturday" will be appearing in the July issue of Shock Totem. Although a relative newcomer when compared to luminaries like Cemetery Dance and Black Static, Shock Totem has published some of the best horror and dark fiction I've read in the past year, and has rapidly become one of my top picks for disturbing prose. As you can imagine, I still can't quite believe my luck.

Last, but certainly not least, my story "The Matchbox Sign," will be appearing in Darkfuse #2. I bought the first Darkfuse anthology on the recommendation of a friend, and enjoyed it so much I picked up a few of their books as well.

In truth, a small, but by no means insignificant part of me sincerely believes I'm being gaslighted (gaslit?) by a coterie of respected editors. I know, I know, it sounds insane, but until I have the actual magazines in hand, I'm not going to be able to quash the suspicion this is all just an elaborate practical joke.   


And So it Continues...

Well, the upgrades have started--as you can no doubt tell from the awesome banner Mr. George Foster Esquire hand-wove for the site. There will be more to come in the near future, as he continues to make improvements, and I continue to unwittingly undermine them.

I've had some luck with short story sales in recent days, having pieces accepted by Heroic Fantasy Quarterly (a personal favorite of mine) and Toasted Cake Podcast (another personal favorite). The first is a Mezoamerican sword-and-mythos story set in the late Aztec Empire, and the second, a flash piece about leaving behind childhood friends during an apocalypse. Other than that, I've been up to my elbows in rewrite requests on previous sales, changing this and that to better fit with the tenor of the publication, which I'm more than happy to do.

I'm still waiting on all the publications I listed in my last update. Not that I'm getting pushy, any editor that was generous enough to accept one of my stories can expect nothing short of my full support...okay, maybe not my full support, but close enough as to make no difference.

On the reading front, I've been alternating chapters of R. Scott Bakker's The Warrior Prophet, with Aliette de Boddard's Servant of the Underworld, and  Iain M. Banks' The Algebraist. It's an interesting combination of wild historical fantasy from Bakker and Boddard and sheer post-singularity weirdness from Banks. Come to think of it, I should tandem-read more authors alphabetically.  


The Waiting is the Hardest Part, Although Not Really...

The latter half of 2013 was consumed by writing and waiting--the first I enjoy, the second I'm learning to tolerate. Still, there's a lot to look forward to if you're Evan Dicken, which I am. Unfortunately, none of it is happening precisely now, which, being an American with a presumably finite lifespan, is when I want it.

First, I'd like to wax prosaic about the impending upgrade to this site. While perusing the web one day, my good friend George Foster--graphic artist, grandmaster cradle-stacker, ever-punctual prince among men--was scandalized to discover my inept attempts at web design, and offered, perhaps out of sympathy, to turn this site into something I wouldn't be embarrassed to have my name attached to. And so it will be, soon.

Second, I have a number of stories burning holes in various 'zines and anthologies--Andromeda Spaceways, Stupefying Stories, Chaosium's: Mark of the Beast anthology, Escape Pod, Alternate Hilarities, Tales of the Unanticipated and Legends of the Buckeye State to name a few…okay, most. The tables of contents for all the aforementioned publications make me feel like a little boy that has somehow wandered onto a featured panel at WorldCon. Pay no attention to that child next to Gary Braunbeck, Ken Liu, W.H. Pugmire, and Lucy Snyder!

Lastly, my novel: Beyond the Deshima Gate, being about as good as I can make it, is making the rounds to publishers and agents--one at a time, of course. It did well in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest, losing out in the semi-finals to the wonderful horror novel Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn, and ultimately to Timebound, a young-adult novel about a teenage girl who discovers she can travel through time, and must, in fact, do so to save the world. I've read excerpts of each, and must say that I'm honored to have been beaten by both.

Hopefully, in the coming months I'll have more to report, but until then. Thank you for reading, it means a lot to me.