2015 was a vast improvement on 2014, but also a full and difficult year for me personally. I published two conference papers and traveled internationally to present both of them (in computer science, unlike most academic fields, conferences are where most of the action happens). I defended the equivalent of a thesis proposal. I ended a seven-year-long romantic relationship, and there turned out to be messy fallout and consequences to having done so. I finished the draft of a novel I had been working with, on and off, since 2012 (it is now out with beta readers). I started a new relationship, which did not last, but which instead became a wonderful friendship. I adopted a cat. I worked, constantly, on repairing my mental health, and enjoyed both successes and setbacks. These are just the things I feel comfortable mentioning in a public post; there was much more. Unlike in 2014, I did not enter the year with a backlog of finished and publishable work that I could use to disguise the times when I didn’t feel able to write.
I was going to use this list of things as an apology for not having published more. Then I thought about that. Why should I? Many people had even more difficult years in 2015 than I did, yet published more than this. And the reverse. There are many authors I deeply respect who have had years – sometimes more than one year in a row! – of publishing nothing at all, with no explanation given. It does not make me respect them less or like their work less. It does not make me wonder if they are still “real writers”. It’s just a year with less work from a person whose work I enjoy. It happens. When it’s not me, I understand this. So if I don’t think less of writers who publish less than me – why on earth should I assume that anyone who matters will think less of me?
So, here is what I wrote that was published this year. Quod scripsi, scripsi.
The single fiction story I published this year was “Lady Blue and the Lampreys“, in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir. It is weird fiction involving a gender-flipped Bluebeard, some three-headed soul-eating lamprey-people, and Verdi’s Requiem.
I also published a few poems:
“Ekpyrotic Theory” in Lakeside Circus. Love, astrophysics, and the beginning of time.
“Octopi Viewing a Submersible” in Strange Horizons. What it says on the can, and in alliterative Germanic verse to boot.
A third poem, “Kraken Quatrain” (again, what it says on the can), will appear in Issue #62 of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. This issue has been assembled and gone to the printers, but is not yet quite released. Hopefully it will be out before the end of the year – but, if not, then I suppose I’ll simply have a head start on my publication credits for 2016.
I already have a few works lined up to be published in early 2016, including more poetry and a steampunk story with an autistic protagonist coming up in GigaNotoSaurus. I am continuing to work, and I feel hopeful and optimistic that I will be able to increase my visible output from here.