Well, it has been a slow year, and I have only had one story published — The Miracle Lambs of Minane — in the October 2018 edition of Clarkesworld.
On the plus side, I only wrote one story in 2018 (so far — I’m currently about 15,000 words off the pace in NaNoWriMo), so my publication rate is a blistering 100%. And it was the second sale I’ve made to Clarkesworld out of three stories I’ve submitted there, so 66% in that market is pretty good.
It’s a story I am proud of – it’s a little bit about food and famine, a little bit about abortion (Ireland had a pretty conclusive referendum on the matter in May, voting by two thirds to end the constitutional ban on ending unwanted pregnancies), and a little bit of a follow-up to my earlier story, The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon.
The Miracle Lambs has been described as both a folk tale and a witch story, which it is, although I didn’t truly realise that until other people commented on it. This also happened with The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon. It genuinely didn’t occur to me that it was a “horror” science fiction story until somebody tweeted me about it. I mean, I see it now — maybe I’m a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to my own work.
Anyway, The Miracle Lambs has had some pretty good reviews:
- Quick Sips Reviews called it “a wonderful story that could easily have been much, much darker” in a “fascinating if grim world”
- The Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog said it was: “Vividly written, and with mouth-watering descriptions of food, this is a tale worth pondering, and savoring”
- Rocket Stack Rank gave it an honourable mention (and requested a series title — I’ve gone with Celtic Kraken)
- Featured Futures said it was “full of local colour” and “makes tomorrow look like yesterday, only more so and not in a fun way”
- SF Revu called it “well written”
- Tangent Online called it “a wonderful read”
- [UPDATE] Karen Burnham in her review for Locus magazine “especially liked the denouement of the story”
So please go give it a read — and maybe subscribe to Clarkesworld – they’re great — and keep me in mind should you be nominating anything this year. For the Nebulas or perhaps the Hugo Awards, which are being handed out at WorldCon in Dublin next year. That is a big deal for me — I went to university in Dublin and lived there for the bones of a decade (so I can tell you where the good pubs are, or at least where they were, which is practically time travel. With good Guinness).
I’m also in my second and final year of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award, which, although not technically a Hugo award, is also being presented at WorldCon.
Thanks for your time and attention and maybe see you in Dublin (I’m going either way, but wouldn’t it be nice?).