New short fiction: "The Hydraulic Emperor", in Uncanny #20

My newest short story, "The Hydraulic Emperor", is available online now in Uncanny Magazine #20: This is the first story I've sold to Uncanny (after many attempts!) and I'm exquisitely pleased and honored to share the table of contents with a whole group of my dearest friends in-genre: how lucky I am to get to have a story in the same issue as Elizabeth Bear's masterful and heartbreaking tory "She Still Loves The Dragon", John Wiswell's deeply insightful essay "The Stories Our Games Tell Us", and Fran Wilde's viciously important creative-nonfiction piece, "We Will See You Now".

And that's just (part of) the first half of the issue. In February the other half goes live, with stories from Marissa Lingen and my own beloved wife, Vivian Shaw, who has written a piece of near-future hard SF horror that squicked me, and that's saying something. (I'm very proud of her). This is wonderful company to find myself in. I'm glad it's the company I got for "The Hydraulic Emperor", which is one of my favorite pieces of my own work, and one I'm desperately proud of.

It's about sacrifices, and being a fan, and collecting beautiful things, and aliens, and solidarity, and I got the idea for it from an AV Club article by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky back in the dim dark December of 2014, when I was living in Fredericton, New Brunswick and thought it would never stop snowing. It took me three years to find the right way to tell it. It turned out that what I wanted to do, really, was try to write as if I was Burning Chrome-era William Gibson. The part of this story that doesn't come from Vishnevetsky is right out of Gibson's "Hinterlands".

I like thinking about objects, and what people will do for them. People are fascinatingly nasty about wanting, even when they know wanting is actively destructive.

Also I got to name a place the Hotel Terminus, which may be the most Gibsonesque thing I will ever do.

I hope you read it; I hope you enjoy it. I'm looking forward to 2018 in short fiction -- I'll have at least one other story soon, and hopefully more in the later months of the year. Short fiction remains an entire delight of mine, the skillset I'm most comfortable in, the playground to test ideas and make tiny, perfect, vicious little worlds. It's been great to get back to it, briefly, before I embark on novel #2.