It’s been a great year. Here’s some highlights. I have tried to identify what length and genre everything is, as well as where you can get it. The podcast I work with, IF THIS GOES ON (Don’t Panic), is eligible for Hugo nominations.
In January, my story “Shot Through with Shards of Light” appeared in SPACE: 1975, SPACE OPERA STORIES, 70S STYLE edited by Robert Jeschonek. This story is set in the same universe as my space opera, YOU SEXY THING, and grew out of thinking about a particular aspect of that universe.
March of 2021, my short story “Crazy Beautiful” appeared in The Magazine of F&SF as part of Sheree Renee Thomas’s inaugural issue. This story is very important to me, speaking about something that I deeply care about, and I’ve been stoked that so many people liked it. It is my only story that starts with a Bob Ross quote. Rich Horton said of it, “Perhaps my favorite story from early in 2021.”
In April, Jennifer Brozek and I turned in the manuscript for our co-edited anthology, THE REINVENTED HEART. So exciting! I got a piece of game writing in, with “The Sisterhood of the Shovel,” which appeared in THE WELL from Shoeless Pete Games.
My Beneath Ceaseless Skies novelette, Every Breath a Question, Every Heartbeat an Answer, also appeared in April. This is a Tabat story, and features the protagonists of “Hoofsore and Weary” and “Brittle Are My Boughs, And Sorrowful My Heart.”
Some things reviewers said about Every Breath a Question, Every Heartbeat an Answer
- A complex and wonderfully rendered story, deep and yearning and wounded, but with the hope of healing, and change. – Quick Sip Reviews
- Without a momentâ€™s hesitation, this is probably the most well-crafted story I have reviewed to date. – Tangent Online
- Beneath Ceaseless Skies continues going strong this spring with stories such as Cat Ramboâ€˜s â€œEvery Breath a Question, Every Heartbeat an Answerâ€œ, set in her Tabat universe. … This is a long, measured story that really functions as a lacuna between two halves of a larger narrative. I donâ€™t know if those other halves will ever exist, but Iâ€™d love to read them; as it stands Callyn does a lot of growing and healing in the space of this story of pause, resistance, and the language of flowers. Karen Burnham for Locus Magazine
In May, the third book of the Tabat Quartet, EXILES OF TABAT, appeared from Wordfire Press. In it, Bella, Teo, and Lucy all adventure outside the city, with very different results. The final book, GODS OF TABAT, will appear in 2022.
In July, a story that my spouse Wayne and I wrote together, “Stand and Deliver,” appeared in DARK MATTER magazine. It’s a story of fatherhood and time travel…sort of.
In August I actually did some traveling. I went to Laramie, Wyoming, and was part of the Laucnh Pad workshop, an effort aimed at getting more science into one’s science fiction, and I learned so much that I’ve got an entire notebook’s worth of notes.
In October, my flash piece “A Tourist’s Guide to Terror,” appeared in Jennifer Brozek’s anthology, 99 TINY TERRORS.
In early November, my collaboration with Jermaine Martin, “Riders of the Void,” appeared in GUNFIGHT ON EUROPA STATION, edited by David Boop. We took one of my favorite westerns, “Shane,” and used it as the spark to start our story and I’m pleased with the result!
In mid-November, my long-delayed space opera, YOU SEXY THING, appeared finally! Amazon named it one of the 20 best F&SF books of 2021 and there’s been some great reviews. Here’s some of what people have said.
- â€œ…a thoroughly entertaining sci-fi rompâ€ – Publishers Weekly
- â€œA romp. If youâ€™re the kind of person who likes Mass Effect, or enjoyed Valerie Valdesâ€™s Chilling Effect and Prime Deceptions, or fell head-over-heels for Tim Prattâ€™s Axiom trilogyâ€¦ then this book is definitely for you. This is a fast, zippy novel that hides some surprisingly substantial emotional heavy lifting under its hoodâ€¦. Cozy-with-a-soupÃ§on-of-suspense hoot-and-a-half.â€ â€•Locus
- …a delightful, action-filled space jaunt, packed with engaging alien species, a bioship that learns emotions, and witty references.â€ â€“ Library Journal
- “Rambo absolutely nails it.” – BookPage
- â€œFun, fantastic, and deliciousâ€•I loved it!â€â€•Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice
- This action-packed space opera is loads of fun.â€ â€•BuzzFeed
I did a lot of other stuff, like teaching for the Norwescon Writers Workshop, Cascade Writers, Williamette Writers, and Clarion West. I read for Older Writer’s Grant for Speculative Lit Foundation as well as for a middle grade contest. I did a holy crapton of readings, and plenty of panels, which I should have tracked better in order to include here.
The school did nicely again this year and I added several on-demand classes of my own:
- Principles for Pantsers: Navigational Tips for the Unguided Journey
- Different Kinds of Love: Writing Non-Romantic Relationships
- Twenty(ish) Types of Terror: Horror Subgenres and How to Generate Ideas for Them