Rachel Swirsky’s 2014 Publications & Award Reading

This was two separate posts on my own blog, but condensed here for convenience.

First, my 2014 work:

Grand Jete (or “The Great Leap”) came out in the last issue of Subterranean Online. I am honored to have been part of the magazine and saddened to lose it. “Grand Jete” is one of my favorite things I’ve ever written, and among the longest, at novella length. I started it during the first February when I was living in Iowa, when it felt like the snow had been there forever, and would always be there, and that didn’t feel so much oppressive as just… like stasis.

I wanted to write about the ways that love can cause pain. It became a story about the ballet Coppelia, Judaism, and Winter. “Grand Jete” is being reprinted in year’s best anthologies from Jonathan Strahan and Gardner Dozois.

“Endless” came out in the British anthology SOLARIS RISING 3. The extremely patient editor Ian Whates was more than generous in dealing with my (seemingly also endless) writer’s block. I wrote a short draft of this story several years ago with the vague aim of selling it to Nature’s Futures, but it didn’t really work at that length; it was just a dry sort of letter thing without any background or character. The published version is five times the length of the original, and I think it really needed the extra word count. It’s about a post-singularity world and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

“Tender” came out in Neil Clarke’s anthology UPGRADED which is about the physical merging of humans with robotic technology. For months, I was working on a story for this about a kidnapped battle robot, but I was just never able to make anything happen. Then, one morning when I couldn’t sleep, I wrote this piece more or less entire (I did revise, later, but the whole structure was there). I love it when that happens; I wish it could happen more. The story is told from the perspective of a mad scientist’s wife whose husband is deploying increasingly desperate mechanical interventions to keep her alive.

If anyone would like to get access to one of these stories, please let me know, and I’ll send you a copy. (This offer is intended for Hugo and Nebula voters, but if someone else who isn’t either wants a copy anyway, do ping–within reason, I’ll try to accommodate.)

And a brief note on my 2014 award reading (slightly modified for clarity to an audience of people who aren’t necessarily immersed in science fiction and fantasy publishing):

Most years, I try to read as widely as possible before award nominations. I like to be an informed nominator, but more than that, I like being an informed reader of the genre; I like knowing what’s going on. I love discovering writers who are new to me which I almost always do, and I love being able to recommend and talk about fiction.

This year, I’m on the jury for an award given to young adult novels. This means I need to read many, many young adult novels. On the one hand–yay! Young adult novels! On the other hand, ouch. Less time for reading anything else.

I will try to blitz-read some short fiction. But it won’t be as much, and it won’t be drawn from as widely, and I’m sorry for that.

However, if you have a piece of fiction that you think I should read, or that you’d like me to read, please link me, or (for attachments) contact me so that we can set it up by email. Recommend me your fiction, or someone else’s. I can’t guarantee what I’ll be able to read, but I’ll try. (This offer is meant to cover fiction published in 2014 that’s eligible for the Nebulas or the Hugos, but I’m always happy to read other good fiction, too. Just please note if you’re recommending ineligible stuff so I know I’m not on a deadline to read it.)

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3 Responses to Rachel Swirsky’s 2014 Publications & Award Reading

  1. 1
    Ben Lehman says:

    Thank you for the links. Congrats on writing your favorite and longest thing.

    I think that the year might be a typo?

  2. 2
    Mandolin says:

    Er. Yes. Good catch.

  3. 3
    delagar says:

    I’m an editor over at Crossed Genres — if you get a chance, would you read a few of our stories? I’m especially recommending Rachael Jones’ Makeisha in Time and Megan Chaudhuri’s Mabo. But I love all our writers!

    Link to everything.