Stories, 2014

I’m very proud of the seven stories of mine that came out in 2014. I had the chance to work with brilliant editors, and to see my work illustrated by talented artists.

If you’re reading for awards, my favourites are “Bonsaiships of Venus,” “Cattail Heart” and “The Semaphore Society.” All three are science fiction. My favourite of my fantasy stories this year is “Traveller, Take Me.”

I’m in my second year of eligibility for the John. W. Campbell award. As a Canadian, I’m eligible for the Aurora awards.

Here are this year’s stories in chronological order:

  • Their Dead So Near” in Issue 1 of Lackington’s, Feb. 13, 2014. This is an experimental story told from the perspective of an Ottawa cemetery. I had the great pleasure of hearing it as a dramatic reading this spring in an event put on by Third Wall theatre company. The story was reviewed in Speculating Canada.
  • “Traveller, Take Me” in On Spec, Summer 2014. A ghost story, set 100 years ago among prospectors along the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border. Inspired in part by the story of how the town of Flin Flon took its name from a science fiction dime novel, and by the story of Kate Rice, prospector. In Locus, reviewer Lois Tilton called it “a poignant tale of loss and self-reflection.”
  • Cattail Heart” in Daily Science Fiction, Aug. 29, 2014. A story about an Ojibwe girl in an abusive 19th century residential school in Manitoba, and how she makes her future.
  • The Semaphore Society” in Crossed Genres, “Typical” issue, Sept. 1, 2014. This is, as William Gibson would say, speculative fiction about next Tuesday. It’s about a teenage girl using eye-tracking technology that is just about here already, although I don’t know of any networked communities of people with ALS or locked-in syndrome, as described in the story. K. Tempest Bradford included it among the “best stories of the week” at i09.
  • Bonsaiships of Venus,” in Lackington’s issue 4. This is a spacey story about graphene airships in the atmosphere of Venus. It’s about art, and science, and how utility and aesthetics are false distinctions. At Tor.com, Amal El-Mohtar wrote that the story made a “wonderful metaphor: art as something that makes holes through which light and life come in. It touches on the nature of catharsis—art as the means by which we slough off skins and selves in order to grow and renew ourselves. It’s immense—and the crux of Heartfield’s story is where failure, imperfection, and the nature of representation come into it.”
  • Hairbrush, Socks, Pencils, Orange” in Flash Fiction Online, Dec. 1, 2014. This is a very short Christmas story — a sad, creepy story about the way we use rituals to drive off the all-too-real monsters in our lives.
  • Born on a Glumday” in Daily Science Fiction, Dec. 4, 2014. Another short one, this one inspired by the “Monday’s child” rhyme. What if the days really did come with their own emotions? What sort of magic would work in such a world?

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