What I Wrote in 2016 and The List of Award Eligibility Posts I’ve Found

christmas_carenOh, it’s that time! The season of looking back at the year and seeing what you did or didn’t get done. And the season for starting to nominate for awards. I’ve been reading and recommending for a while now, but it’s always fun to read all the wrap-up posts and find anything that I missed. I do have a monster post full of some of this year’s reading, but I’m still working on that. (When I have it, there will be a link here.)

Writers wondering whether or not they should put up an awards eligibility post, the answer is yes, yes you should. Do us all the favor of collecting your stuff and making it easy to find. If you’ve got a lot, point out some favorites.

The stories of my own I am pushing this year are “Left Behind” (short story), “Red in Tooth & Cog” (novelette), “Haunted” (novella co-written with Bud Sparhawk), and the fantasy collection Neither Here Nor There. SFWA members should be able to find copies of those on the member boards; I am happy to mail copies to people reading for awards whether or not you are a member. Drop me a line and let me know the preferred format. I am looking for reviewers interested in Neither Here Nor There and happy to send copies as needed.

Here’s the overall 2016 publication list as far as my stuff goes. Altogether the count was 12 short stories, 2 novelettes, 1 novella, 2 story collections, and a new edition of a nonfiction work. No novel, argh, but Hearts of Tabat is a definite for 2016, huzzah. I had a decent output, plus managed to create/teach a bunch of classes, and do a little for SFWA here and there, despite a lot of travel and some midyear health issues.

This time I’ve tried something new and provided a little excerpt for each story, a practice I snagged from Rachel Swirsky and Fran Wilde.


Short Story:

ImprimirSeven Clockwork Angels. This short story is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and appeared as a Patreon post, then was collected in Altered America later that year.

Scuttlepinch steepled his fingers as though preparing a classroom lecture. “I have harnessed various eldritch and magnetic energies,” he said. “Whatever fate the machine pronounces for an individual, will come true, with 98% accuracy. And…” He sneered here, and would have twirled his moustache if it had been long enough. “The fates are never pleasant ones.”

The Mage’s Gift. This short story is set in Serendib, the same location as “The Subtler Art”, and features the same characters.

This is a story of Serendib, the origami city where dimensions intersect and where you step between worlds as easily as turning down a new street to hear the stars singing overhead or the clanging steps of automata on patrol or centaur hoofs clattering over concrete. Everyone that comes to Serendib has a story, and sometimes those stories continue well after they’ve come to stay.

“Tongues of Moon Toad” in Ann VanderMeer’s The Bestiary Anthology. I’m very fond of toads, and a chance to make one up for a project by a favorite editor was a lot of fun. Short story.

A particular kind of toad is not a toad. These not-toads are called Tongues of Moon or False toads or other names less mellifluous. Such a toad does not believe itself a toad, but rather a dog, or a dragon, or an alabaster statue. Something very difference from the earth and flesh of its origin.

“The Mermaid Club”, co-written with Mike Resnick, in Conspiracy! edited by Tom Easton. Our hapless protagonist discovers an ancient feminist conspiracy and alien mermaids. I had a certain amount of fun with this one.

The first rule of Mermaid Club is…
Well, you should know the rest first. Let me start again.

Call and Answer, Plant and Harvest. Another Serendib short story, this time appearing in Beneath Ceaseless Skies’ Science Fantasy issue and featuring a side character from “The Subtler Art,” Cathay the Chaos Mage.

When she arrived in the city, she had three seeds, a dusting of lint, and a peppermint candy in her pocket. She found an empty lot, precisely between a street where water magic ruled, in constant collision with the road made of fire and iron, so daily fierce sheets of steam arose, driving the delicate indoors and hissing furiously so it sounded as though a swarm of serpents was battling.

She popped the mint in her mouth despite its linty covering and dug a hole with her little finger, and then one with her thumb, and a third by staring at the dirt until it moved. Into each she dropped a seed, and covered it up, and sat down to wait, sucking on the candy and listening to the steam’s whispers.

Web of Blood and Iron. Another Patreon steampunk story, also included in the Altered America collection. A Marxist manservant helps a English werewolf and peer to win a deadly race of car versus train.

I was up quick, and went in to help him off with his tuxedo, ripe with boozy sweat and cigar smoke and the hyacinth scent the siren whores wear. He was so drunk I was surprised he’d made it home at all, that none of the vampire gamblers had decided to take him home as a nightcap instead of selecting a whore.

Left Behind” appeared in a favorite market, Clarkesworld Magazine. Pretty happy with this one as well; I think it tries to look at gender stuff and make some predictions.

Her office doorway was one of the many things that annoyed Shi about her job. It wasn’t a proper door, one that could be closed, but an open arch. She’d complained about it more than once, but been told that doors were antithetical to the institute’s brand.

Altered-America-Revised-Cover-ebook“Thursday’s Child” is a Patreon-supporters only story, set in Baltimore in the world of Altered America.

Peppermint and vanilla is what she smells like, not like poison, but I know if the world was right, she would. And so I’ve got two puzzles set me. The first is what to do with this Miss Nerium, standing here in the front parlor talking with my mistress, Mrs. Thursday, and second is how is she keeping me from smelling what she is?

Because if it means that she knows what I am, things are worse than I had thought.

Aardvark Says Moo is another Patreon supporter story but this flash piece is available in its entirety. It was inspired by a discussion of the alphabetizing of story lists.

“Whimsy,” my child says, “is playfully quaint or fanciful. A talking aardvark impersonating a cow is just dumb.”

“The Rest Between the Notes” was written for Cyberworld: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrows, edited by Jason Heller and Josh Viola. This book had a cool Kickstarter campaign that it’s lived up to, including a Playstation 2 theme for the book.

“You’re a creature of disgusting privilege,” Rosalie lectures. She comes from a socialist country where there aren’t families like mine and words like “hereditary wealth” and “plutocracy” and “blueblood” mean different things. She thinks if she tells me this, I’ll be seized with guilt about the unnaturalness of my social position. Maybe I’ll flee to one of the unrelieved countries and work towards social justice there. Whenever she says things like this, I catch her watching me as though calculating how exactly to get me to Live Up to My Responsibilities as a Human Being.

Fuck that.

Gods and Magicians was a Patreon post that is publicly available. A flash piece, it owes a great deal to Lord Dunsany and his peers.

The magician gestured. Out of the pool came musicians, the very first thing the tip of a flute, sounding, so it was as though the music pulled the musician forth, accompanied by others: grave-faced singers and merry drummers; guitarists and mandolinists with great dark eyes in which all the secrets of the moon were written; and one great brassy instrument made of others interlocked, so it took six to play it, all puffing away at their appointed mouthpiece. All of them bowed down to the priestess who stood watching, her sand-colored eyes impersonal and face stone-smooth.

“Books Are No Good” is a short story that appeared in Champions of Aetaltis, edited by John Helfers and Marc Tassin.

It started, as so many things do, with a book. In this case, a book of adventure stories authored by one Octavia Viort, entitled The Curious Peregrinations of a Goat Herder, in which Octavia, at first a simple goat herder, was swept up by chance into adventure to the point where she circumnavigated the Sea of Tears, fighting great serpents and cat creatures in the Zhamayen jungle, journeying into the Deeplands for ancient treasures, taking a series of highly unsuitable lovers, including a half year spent among the elves, and generally leading a much more exciting existence than that of an innkeeper or her maid.

Each adventure had been more exciting – and more improbable – than the last. While Letitia didn’t doubt that there were seeds of truth hidden here and there within Octavia’s pages, most of what had sprouted from them were exaggerations, misrepresentations, and on occasion, outright lies. Books were good for nothing.

Image of a feline mermaid.Novelette:

“Red in Tooth and Cog”, which is one of my favorite stories. This novelette appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and I read from it at the magazine’s reading at Worldcon in Kansas City this year. It’s a near future story, featuring…

“Feral appliances?” she said in disbelief. She’d heard of such things, but surely they were few and far between. Not something that lived in the same park in which she ate her lunch every once in a while.

“The Threadbare Magician” is a novelette that appeared in the anthology Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place, edited by Jaym Gates. It’s part of my Seattle-based urban fantasy world, and features a magician whose magic works through Hawaiian shirts.

The spell struck up from a black background, red serpents, scales lined with scallops as blue as the sky outside. Slashing bites along the outside of my left hand, locking on, tails sticking straight out as they attached themselves.

I lurched sideways.

The floor crashed up into my face, thunked against my forehead in painful collision.

Then I was gone.


“Haunted” is a novella co-written with Bud Sparhawk, and is far future space fantasy. Writing it was a lot of fun and a real learning experience.

I had imagined my stay in the Graveyard as sentinel would provide a similar refuge. And, as I’d imagined then, I was out of range of all but the most insistent of signals, and even those were weakened by distance.

I recalled how I’d pressed close against the small transport’s port for my first sight of the Graveyard a year before, peering though the shuttle’s spiderlike tracery of spar and line, cable and post. The port framed distant stars as we moved on a trajectory that would intersect the Graveyard’s long path about the sun and find the station that would be my future home.

“I confirmed our approach,” the pilot said over his shoulder. “Enjoy the free fall while you can.”

I tapped the kitten’s carrier, a transparent sphere in which she was amusing herself by caroming off the inner surfaces. She swatted at my finger and did a backwards somersault.

“Enjoy it while you can,” I echoed, “Gravity’s coming.”

nhntfrontAs far as book length stuff goes, I had two collections: Altered America: Steampunk Stories and Neither Here Nor There. I also produced a new edition of Creating an Online Presence; I already have plenty of notes for the next version.

My other notable nonfiction primarily appeared on the blog. I’ve sorted it into categories below.

Writing Advice:

Writing Career Advice:

Nattering Social Justice Cook series:

SFWA Stuff:

And now for the part you’re scrolling down for! 🙂

These are all the awards eligibility and “what I’ve done this year” posts I’m aware of. If you’ve got one for me to add, please drop it in the comments, e-mail it to me, or DM me on Twitter with it.

Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Award Eligibility Posts for 2016

Someone asked me if I would include a pointer just to the story they wanted considered for awards, since they didn’t have an awards eligibility post. Nope. I want to encourage such posts, and so I’m being kinda a hardass about that. I am happy to include award eligibility posts from magazines.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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