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The benignly-neglected online home of writer Desmond Warzel

No, it’s not “123456.”

My first publication of 2019 is finally at hand: The new anthology Lost and Found: Tales of Things Gone Missing, edited by Terri Karsten is now out from Wagonbridge Publishing.  Fifty-seven authors tell tales of lost things: people, objects, memories.  In my case, it’s a forgotten computer password that incites the difficulties which abound in my story “One Thing Leads to Your Mother.”  The story first appeared in Unidentified Funny Objects 2 in 2013, but I’m happy to share it anew with a fresh audience.  Do check it out, if you like.

2018 in the books.

Stuff I read in 2018.  I did a little better this year (depending on one’s opinion of the quality of my choices in reading material.)

One for the files.

I make a habit of visiting the annual Friends of the Library used-book sale in Oil City, PA, each July.  This year, I ended up buying about fifty books, but when I got them home I put them aside and only just now have I gone through them.

Part of the fun is the detritus that often shows up in a random selection of old books.  Two years ago, mixed in with my purchases from the 2016 edition of this very same book sale, attentive readers will recall that a found a plane ticket, a couple of lottery tickets, and a photo of an unknown couple.

Last year’s sale was unproductive in this vein, but there was some small pay dirt this year.  In a copy of Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold, I found the following quite yellowed file card.

card

“Falling Free          Lois McMaster Bujold

“Baen   1998           Read May 94

“Very readable–my kind of story.

“Bionic mutants 1000 strong are created by some corporation for freefall space work but become obsolete by techno advances–company policy is to kill them (are not legally human–are bio constructs).  Have 4 arms and no legs (no gravity–don’t need legs)–are saved by engineer type).

“Cannot get over 4 legs [sic]   8.0    Possible top 100.”

I don’t know what possessed my cross-temporal correspondent to make such extensive notes.  I wonder if he or she did this for every book, and to what end?  It seems like the sort of thing I would have tried, but lost interest in after a few books.  I hope you got whatever you needed out of this meticulous practice.  I recently read my first Bujold earlier this year and quite enjoyed it; I was already looking forward to reading Falling Free, and your crosstime recommendation has only enhanced my anticipation.

That’s 2.214 Gettysburg Addresses

It hasn’t been a banner year for story publications for me thus far; not in terms of absolute numbers, and certainly not in terms of word count.  My longest story was “Look for the Union Label” at two thousand words and change, and “Scorn Not the Least” weighed in at an even thousand.  (Info on both pieces can be found in previous blog posts.)

But there’s light at the end of the tunnel: two new publications to announce.

And they total six hundred and six words between them.

Nevertheless, every little bit counts.  So here we go.  “Human Wheels Spin Round and Round” appears in Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: No. 27, edited by Daniel Arthur Smith.  It’s a brief (506-word) look at self-driving cars, but there are several other nifty stories included for your reading pleasure.

Additionally, a drabble of mine (a drabble is a short story of exactly one hundred words) has just appeared online.  “Strung Out in Alientown,” a story of chocolate and poor self-control, is up at Martian: The Magazine of Science Fiction Drabbles.  This one appeared in a print magazine called The Drabbler in 2009, but plenty of time has passed and I’m happy to present it to a wider audience.

Of tench and mushrumps.

Another announcement (that makes three for this year, which approaches some sort of record, I think):

My brief fantasy story, “Scorn Not the Least,” has just been published in the Summer 2018 edition of the online magazine Kaleidotrope.

My story’s title was inspired by the identically-titled poem, written by Saint Robert Southwell in 1595.  This was Southwell’s attempt to give the small and meek creatures of the world their due.  Needless to say, I interpreted the title a little differently.

The most interesting aliens to visit Cleveland since Howard the Duck.

As part of its “Flashback Friday” feature, Escape Pod is rerunning its 2011 audio adaptation of my 2009 short story “On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy,” with new commentary by publisher Alasdair Stuart.  Partly based on a semi-true story!  How can you resist?  Check it out!

And I would be remiss if I didn’t point you to the Drabblecast‘s 2014 interpretation of that very same story.  Compare and contrast!  (The audio player is all the way at the bottom of the page.)

Union Yes

Just out from Cloaked Press: Spring Into Scifi: 2018 Edition.

The lineup:

  • Date Night by Sandy Stuckless
  • The Portal by Anthony Engebretson
  • Look for the Union Label by Desmond Warzel
  • The Radium Room by Tony Conaway
  • Deepest Blue by Ewan R. Chapman
  • One Shot Kill by Mike Adamson
  • The Man Without a Planet by Myke Edwards
  • Invaders by Matthew McKiernan
  • Data Transfer by Nick Morrison
  • Hero’s End by John Haas
  • Eyes of the Lion by Nick Korolev
  • Steamed by Kate E. Lore
  • Future Sleuth by Larry Lefkowitz

Check out my piece, “Look for the Union Label,” wherein we explore the state of the android repair business in the mid-twenty-first century.  It’s an attempt at humor.  Successful?  The world will have to decide.  What am I actually making fun of in this story?  Unions? Robots? Broadway shows?  I’ve never been sure myself, but apparently it works.  There are two reviews on Amazon as of this post, and they seemed to like it.  Surely that’s good enough.

2017 in the books.

Stuff I read in 2017.  That’s it.

Updates and such.

I see it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I’m not sure why. I’m not a blogger; this was only ever going to be a means of announcing story publications anyway. I’ll try to do better. At any rate, a few things have happened since last I emerged from hiding, and, for the benefit of this blog’s three readers. Here they are:

  • One of my earliest published stories, “Called,” found its way back into the public eye last September on the Digital Fiction Publishing website as part of their “Quickfic” short fiction feature. This story first appeared in two online magazines: AlienSkin and, subsequently, Golden Visions. Both of these publications have since vanished from the material sphere, so it’s nice to have the story available again.
  • Also a part of this “Quickfic” project is “Same-Day Delivery,” which they reprinted in August 2016. This one first appeared in On the Premises back in 2010. See also its audio adaptation on the Cast of Wonders podcast. The only thing cooler than a story about a narcotics-smuggling wizard is an audio story featuring a narcotics-smuggling wizard with an Australian accent.
  • Likewise, “Cosmetic Procedures,” which first appeared in 2011 in an anthology called It Came from Her Purse, appeared as part of Quickfic back in December.
  • Issue 245 of Cast of Wonders (April 26, 2017) featured my 2013 story “One Thing Leads to Your Mother,” narrated in the golden tones of Patrick Bazile, about whom I can’t say enough good things.
  • supernatural horror short storiesPress, edited by Laura Bulbeck. This book contains contemporary stories from living authors (like me) alongside classic dark tales from people like Ambrose Bierce and Arthur Conan Doyle. If that sounds like it interests you, check it out.
  • My 2013 story “The Final One Percent” has been reprinted in the rather handsome hardcover tome Supernatural Horror Short Stories from Flame Tree Press, edited by Laura Bulbeck. This book contains contemporary stories from living authors (like me) alongside classic dark tales from people like Ambrose Bierce and Arthur Conan Doyle. If that sounds like it interests you, check it out.
  • My humorous time-travel story “You Can Not Have a Meaningful Campaign if Strict Time Records Are Not Kept” represented yet another contribution to Quickfic back in April.
  • Speaking of time travel, my story “I Only Time-Travel During School Hours” appearstimetraveltales in Chappy Fiction’s Time Travel Tales, edited by Zach Chapman, alongside works by such luminaries as Robert Silverberg and Sean Williams. Do check it out.
  • And, in news from the future, an audio adaptation of my fantasy story “Irresistible Forces” is pending from the fine folks at the Far-Fetched Fables podcast, and my story “Scorn Not the Least” is forthcoming in Kaleidotrope. More on those as they approach.

(N.B. All of this information, and all other publication info, is always available on the Bibliography tab of this here blog.)

2016 in the books.

Stuff I read in 2016 (I wish I had found time for more…):