Story Release! “Cut From Cracked Ice” out at IGMS

I’m beyond excited to have a new story out in the latest issue of InterGalactic Medicine Show. This piece, “Cut From Cracked Ice” has an interesting history, but first, let’s take a look:

This is a snapshot available to non-subscribers (an annual fee to see IGMS content)

The artwork is nothing short of phenomenal. This is a story of hurt minds and healing, of the walls we build around ourselves, of problems deep but fixable. Anna Repp‘s illustration captures this so wonderfully.

I’m proud of this story, and glad it found a good home at IGMS. I’m also pretty attached to the character of Renei, who not only comes from a larger body of fiction, but is my Dragon Age 2 character. She’s a first, in that sense: the first time I made a character in an RPG who wasn’t modeled after myself (bearded white dude with my name, making the choices I’d make fitting my moral/social/emotional matrix). So what started as Purple Hawke with spells from the Elemental and Arcane trees, slaying fools as the Champion of Kirkwall in the name of love and large explosions, turned into one of the more cathartic characters to write.

But I’ll let her speak for herself. This story is behind a paywall, but there’s some truly great fiction in IGMS. For not that much, you get a year’s worth of reading and complete access to *all* of their content, past and present,  online or ebook. (Plus you can, you know, read my story.) In terms of dollar value, it’s probably among the best you can get from a pro venue.

My name, on a thing! Next to other very good stories!

At any rate, I hope you read it, and enjoy it. In the larger ‘verse of my short and long SFF work, this is Renei’s origin story. Those are still popular, right? Hopefully it’s not the last time you’ll see her.

Wilde Stories 2016

I never blogged about this! Because I’m terrible at promoting myself, and this particular story has been a curious one. “What Lasts,” the flash piece accepted July of 2015 in Daily Science Fiction, was reprinted in August in Wilde Stories: Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction. img_20160811_170212

The collection itself is put together by Lethe Press, who do incredible work. Here’s a link to their Patreon. Support their work! Without more support, they won’t be able to have more annual collections like this one, which is a total shame. The last thing the publishing industry needs is to become more homogenized and bland and have Year’s Best collections that don’t publish me.

As to the story. It’s a big source of impostor syndrome for me, for several reasons. The least of these is the incredible TOC! E. Catherine Tobler and A. Merc Rustad and Sam J. Miller and Haralambi Markov and agh! All fantastic stories, engaging and beautiful, and it got a starred review from Publishers Weekly. So now PW has said of my story that “love transcends humanity,” which, you’re goddamned right.

Impostor syndrome, though. I can handle being in a big-named TOC. Totally fine with that. It’s a weird story because “What Lasts” is 800 words of flash sci-fi I riffed off at work. I love it, it’s a little gem, and it’s (loosely) part of my novel’s universe, but I wrote it in an ephemeral heat, showed it to no one, did no editing, and sent it to Daily Science Fiction. Which I say not to brag at all, but it threw me through a bit of a loop. Rejectomancy can be a confounding beast, so here’s Jared W. Cooper, with his more ambitious stories and plots and more rounded characters, his stories upwards of 3,000 words, and those are bouncing off with form rejections and lovely personals.

But I’m a slusher. That’s the game. I get that. Impostorism is not rational. So when I doubt, I just have to open this genuinely good-looking hardcover and see my own name.