waiter, is that horror in my sf?

The events of the previous week came at a time when I was busier than normal, so it’s taken me some time to catch up, and even out my workload.

Except now I have the joyful task of sorting out my tax returns, ASAP. Hurray!

So, it’s nice to hear that issue 9 of M-Brane SF has been released. It contains my horror sf story “Empty Mind Came Back with the Pearl”.

When I began submitting it to publications I learned that a lot of markets aren’t so keen on horror in their sf; many expressly forbid it. It’s a pity, and certainly a factor to consider when writing a mixed genre story.

Still, one of the lessons I’ve learned is that it is far, far better to have an editor who loves your work, than someone who is lukewarm about it. Chris Fletcher at M-Brane SF got what I was trying to do, and embraced it. That makes M-Brane SF the perfect market for “Empty Mind”.

There are sections in the story where I employ narrative devices that could be perceived as experimental, although for me they were just the best way to convey experiences that are difficult to describe in words. I consciously emulated cinematic techniques, and that choice added a layer of subtextual meaning that I thought complemented the theme.

Still, there’s a risk sometimes in being a little too clever in one’s choice of narrative artifices. It can intrude too much and disrupt the reading experience.

“Empty Mind” is meant to be an entertaining story first and foremost. So I hope I struck the correct balance between action and introspection.

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