Among the many things to be thankful about in 2009 is the fact that it’s been a very good year to a lot of my friends who also toil in the wordmines. There’s nothing quite so awesome as being part of a community full of folks doing cool stuff, and it seems like virtually everyone I know has spent the last twelve months firing on all cylinders. Among the highlights are Ben Francisco‘s story Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts in Realms of Fantasy, seeing photographs from the set where one of Angela Slatter‘s stories being transformed into a short film, and the news that Chris Lynch will be launching his publishing company’s first anthology before the year is out.
Basically, lots of folks have done lot of cool things this year. And given the time you can bet that I’d loudly and assertively celebrate the awesomeness of every single one of them until you too became a fan of what they’re doing. Sadly, I still have a novella to rewrite, which means I’m going to pick two of the folks who have had a particularly big year and declaim their awesomeness as a kind of representational stand-in for my writer-peeps as a whole.
Jason Fischer (7/15)
A few months back I got a text message from Jason saying “I just won the WotF.” This was a good thing – Jason’s been chasing the elusive top-spot in WotFfor three years now and had more close shaves than anyone would really care for. It also means the world is either a) doomed; b) about to get its mind blown; or c) both of the above. I say this because Jason Fischer is one of the mad scientists of Australian SF, and now that he’s cracked WotF it’s time for him to direct his deranged fancies in other directions.
Jason’s complete list of publications for the year runs something like this:
After The World: Gravesend, Black House Comics (A zombie novella due to hit Australian newsagents in the next couple of months, featuring many of the Fisch’s trademark craziness).
Busking, Midnight Echo #3
Inventory, Brain Harvest
for want of a jesusman, Aurealis #42
Houndkin, Eclecticism #9
A Rose for Becca, Borderlands #11
The Imogen Effect, Farrago’s Wainscot
The Patchwork Palace, “Masques” edited by CSFG
Better yet, it looks like Jason has finally started writing his novel, which means we should all be both very afraid and, once he’s removed the puns, very thankful.
Chris Green (8/15)Okay, lets start with the list of stuff Chris has achieved this year:
My Rough Cut – The Edge of Propinquity (2009)
Father’s Kill – Beneath Ceaseless Skies (2009)– Shortlisted for Best Fantasy Story (Aurealis Awards)
Reservations – Expanded Horizons (2009)
A Crazy Kind of Love – Nossa Morte (2009)
A Hundredth Name – Abyss & Apex (2009) – Shortlisted for Best Science Fiction Story (Aurealis Awards)
Having Faith – Nossa Morte (2009) – Shortlisted for Best Horror Story (Aurealis Awards)
Secondly, allow me to note that while I’m psyched to be nominated for an Aurealis Award or two myself, I’m way happier to see Chris’s name up there three times because he’s one of those guys who has a tendency to be too damn self-effacing for his own good. I met Chris at Clarion South in 2007 and after a quiet couple of years he hit the ground running in 2009 with a slew of publications and his somewhat hardcore drive to try and achieve 100 rejections before the year was out (the theory being: you can’t control acceptances, but you *can* make sure you keep sending the stories out and the acceptances are things that might happen along the way). So far, I think he’s made it to 75. Given how good Chris is as a writer, and how many stories people said “yes” too along the way, I think we can agree that this is a crazy-awesome kind of number to have reached.
I wrote the following speil about Chris back in July when he published a story in Abyss and Apex, and I think it bears repeating here:
You should go read Chris Green’s story at Abyss and Apex because the man is freakin’ talented and understands things like brevity and leaving empty spaces for the story to breathe. I’ve critted Chris a bunch of times and it’s a bloody hard thing to do, because he crams more story into two thousand words than there should actually be allowed and he fits the damn things together so tight that pulling one segment out causes the whole damn thing to unravel in your hands.
You should read his story because he’s one of the few people I know who manages to give the impression of being genuinely, fearlessly interested in everything and somehow manages to filter that down into his fiction, even though his bailiwick seems to be horror rather than any of the forms of SF where being fearlessly interested in everything would be a useful trait in an author (not a slight on horror authors, but you guys need to understand fear and I’m not sure Chris does). You should read it because he can usually nail one image that makes you cringe, or cry, or wince with pain, and yet there’s still something beautiful in the stories he writes. You should read him because he’s one of my favourite-writers-who-doesn’t-get-published-enough (a distinction he shares with Ben Francisco), primarily because he seems to spend too much time at his day job and not enough time producing fiction. And despite this, he seems to believe that every time he gets published it’s a fluke, despite the fact that it isn’t.
You should also read it because Chris owns cooler footwear than you ever will. Yes, you included, even though I’m sure your shoes are fairly damn cool. I’ve seen Chris step out in boots that’d make a gothic shoe fetishist cry with envy. Come to think of it, his beard is cooler than yours too. And he owns a t-shirt featuring my favourite Buffy quote ever.
To put it simple: one of the great joys of 2009 has been watching Chris kick arase. May he continue the trend next year.