2021 Titles Eligible for Awards
Since I can no longer accidentally trip and release a new story or book, I can finally do a gratitude post about what I released in 2021.
And yes, it's also an eligibility post, because it serves the same list of items. If you are voting in any awards that cover the 2021 year, I appreciate your consideration.
“A Ship With No Parrot”
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Short Fiction, Flash Fiction
Wordcount: 997 (eligible for most Flash or Short Story categories)
Two aging cyborgs run into competition when they attempt to salvage a deep space prize.
The first piece, released in June 2021, is "A Ship With No Parrot" (SF, 997 words) via MetaStellar Magazine, in which two aging cyborgs run into competition when they attempt to salvage a deep space prize.
"A Ship With No Parrot" was originally written for a themed submission call a couple years ago, for which the magazine only sought one piece. Highlander rules make some rejections easier to take! As does selling the story later. :D
One role this story serves that I didn't anticipate is: it's free & public (and short!). So when I end up talking to strangers about how I'm a writer, there's something they can check out without having to drop $25 on an anthology, or commit to my trilogy. Most of the people I talk to are NOT into SFF. But it's not a refusal, it's just generally a "I don't think it's my thing." What I hope is that the curiosity of "meeting an author in the wild" will move them to check out more SFF, because our field is amazing and rich.
Self-Publishing Formatting Guidelines
Graphic Standards and Best Practices (Jun 3 2021 | R J Theodore)
Genre(s): Writing Tips, Non Fiction, Self-Publishing, Related Works
Eligible as a Related Work
A guide to creating a uniform look for your indie publishing imprint, along with considerations such as font choice, trim size, and more.
The second work I released in 2021 falls under the "Related Works" category. I needed to write a publishing instruction guide for Robot Dinosaur Press and Latte Literary (the two imprints of Chipped Cup Collective). I didn't think much of it at the time. I either call it "Format Your Books for Publication"—cause SEO, or "Self-Publishing Formatting Guidelines." Cause SEO. But if you need a guide to creating a uniform look for your imprint, or help with font choice, trim size, and more, it might be $5 you won't be mad you spent.
I regard my writing colleagues with awe over the things they know. Sometimes I forget I have my own expertise that I can share. So my gratitude for this work is the lightbulb that went off — I DO know important things, and I CAN help people (even if only in small ways).
The Phantom Travelogues (Aug 24 2021 | Robot Dinosaur Press)
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Wordcount: 20,662 (eligible for most Novella categories)
Alien sisters chronicle the strange worlds visited by Harrow's Tusk in this illustrated travelogue.
I had a lot of personal distractions in 2021, so I almost entirely forgot about my 3rd release planned for the year. Luckily it was on my Asana production calendar—and luckily I'd timed out the various steps, so I was reminded it was coming before I had to panic. Imagine my surprise when I remembered I had a complete, illustrated novella almost ready to go! In Underway, the alien sisters of the Phantom Traveler series chronicle the strange worlds visited by their ship, Harrow's Tusk, in an illustrated travelogue.
My gratitude to this book is that it exists! It was written in 2019 and put aside because I couldn't decide how to format it. Originally I thought to print it in a perforated book of postcards, to serve the travelogue theme, but 11 illustrations wasn't quite enough for that. So for Underway's release, I went with full-color two-page spreads. I hope readers enjoy seeing my experimentation with different imagery and styles. (If not, there's always the gorgeous cover art from Galen Dara instead!)
We Make Books
Genre(s): Non Fiction, Podcast (eligible for most Related or Fancast categories)
Episode Count: 21
An author and an editor cover every topic they can think of on the subject of writing, publishing, and everything in between. Rekka is a published author, and Kaelyn is a genre fiction editor.
Also in the "Related Works" category (or sometimes "Fancast," depending on the award), is We Make Books, the podcast for which my co-host, Kaelyn, and I released 21 episodes, despite a lot of scheduling trouble (and a LOT of pandemic malaise, tbh). Pre-2020, Kaelyn visited once a month or more to record episodes. In 2021, we only got one visit and, because of masking, we didn't bother recording. With no end to the quarantine in sight, I worry this is the last year we will release enough episodes to be eligible for awards.
“The Coven of TAOS-9”
Genre(s): Short Fiction, Anthology, Speculative Fiction
Wordcount: 4,288 (eligible for most Short Story categories)
A coven of witches strives to keep friendship and magic sacred under capitalist pressure from the space station that hired them to keep its wormholes open.
My final release for 2021 is "The Coven of TAOS-9" which was published in October in the extremely, overwhelmingly cool Unfettered Hexes: Queer Tales of Insatiable Darkness anthology.
Not only is the table of contents an absolute gift to humanity (and HEY! How bout that starred review from PW!), but the final collection of oracle decks, coins, pins, alter cloths, and artwork made for such a wonderful presentation. You want a witchy SF anthology? You want this!
I'm so grateful & honored to be part of this collection. I'm also super touched that Neon Hemlock Press commissioned not just Matt Spencer to illustrate my story (and all stories, WOW), but a back cover spread from Frances P.—who nailed the color vibe!
And that's my 2021 wrap-up!
Thank you to the publishers & readers who supported my work in 2021. I don't know how I'd get through the rest of everything without this community. Thank you to my stories, you precocious little babies. And thank you if you enjoyed my words enough to nominate them.