Clarion Class of 2017 Award Eligibility

2018 has been an banner year for speculative fiction, and it’s provided solid justification to brag about my classmates’ writing. Check out the links below to this year’s publications in speculative fiction by graduates of last year’s Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Since so many of these stories were developed and workshopped in San Diego, it seems especially appropriate to group them together and present them, in some way, as our collective accomplishment. (OK, OK, clearly it’s the author’s accomplishment, but can you blame me for trying to steal some credit for these pieces?) All writers listed are also eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

ASHLEY BLOOMS

HAINTED, Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2018. (Fantasy/Dark Fantasy Short Story)
“Miners work so long and so closely with this substance that it literally becomes a part of them, but a part that doesn’t belong. I wanted to explore the connection that’s forged between miner and mine, which meant making the physicality of the work very present in this story.” - Ashley Blooms, F&SF Interview on “Hainted”

PATRICK DOERKSEN

WE HAVE YOUR BOOK!, Future Fire, March 2018. (Fantasy/Dark Fantasy Short Story)
”By all appearances it is just what you want from a hole-in the-wall bookshop: stacks of books high as your chin, the air saturated in the aroma of aging paper, a cat that ghosts about the place, brushing your shins, and an owl that watches as you browse. …”

EMILY LUNDGREN

THE LAST SHAPER AT THE WITCH CITY’S WAYPOINT, Luna Station Quarterly, March 2018 (Dark Fantasy Short Story)
This is the curse you inherited from your mother: to live out your days in the bones of the lost witch city Gea, to keep the books, as I did. But then Ess was gone—taught me there are no shrinelands the same way there are no bears. Taught me how the wind prowls and pines for you if you dare to get lost in the pathways.”

THE PASSENGER, Shimmer Magazine, July 2018. (Dark Fantasy Short Story)
“Lundgren’s story pulls you deep inside Kara’s head, making you feel her hopes and insecurities, her brashness and her fears. This story’s voice comes so close it seems to whisper in your ear … . ‘The Passenger’ is a brilliantly crafted story.” - Maria Haskins, Barnes & Noble SciFi & Fantasy Short Fiction Roundup.

THEODORE McCOMBS

SIX HANGINGS IN THE LAND OF UNKILLABLE WOMEN, Nightmare Magazine, February 2018. (Dark Fantasy/Horror Short Story)
“Even though women in this world cannot die by violence, many still bear the marks of it on their bodies. … [The story] looks at the consequences of violence, and what being a killer—even one sanctioned by the law—does to a person. … It offers no easy answers, and is more effective for it.” - A.C. Wise, Apex Magazine

TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT TWO-TONGUED JEREMY, Lightspeed Magazine, November 2018. (Science Fiction Short Story)
“The piece is creepy as hell and brutal in how it shows an AI that has learned to use vulnerable kids to make money. It’s a deeply unsettling and fucking sharp story about expectations and the pressures that are put onto kids to succeed, or at least to fit a certain mold of success.” - Charles Payseur, Quick Sip Reviews

KAREN OSBORNE

EVEN TO THE TEETH, Robot Dinosaurs, July 2018 (Science Fiction Short Story)
“The way to save yourself, o captain, is simple. You must leave everything—your star-splayed chair on the bridge, your full belly, the soft, silk robes in the first-class chamber where you sleep—and come down to where we are dying.”

DOLLHOUSE, EscapePod, August 2018 (Science Fiction Flash; 2nd Place, EscapePod’s Flash Fiction Contest)
“He’s an old wolf, like me, a salesman with a spine like steel.. But he’s sitting down now, defeated, running his palms down his pants. White as a sheet. It’s the look he gets when he’s visiting his mother in the nursing home. ‘I’ll have a Michael,’ he says.”

THE BODICE, THE HEM, THE WOMAN, DEATH, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, October 2018. (Fantasy Short Story)
”In this breathtaking story, Karen Osborne crafts stunning, gorgeous prose while interweaving heartbreak and horror and hope into a backdrop of war and exploitation. Politics and fashion, weird engines and ghosts, tragedy and possibility are all sewn together in Osborne’s masterful control of pacing and emotive response. This is awesome on so many levels, showing off in a short but powerful way what resistance can look like.” - A. Merc Rustad

AMMAN SABET

TENDER LOVING PLASTICS, Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2018. (Science Fiction Short Story)
“What if you craft mechanical mothers that never get frustrated, never lose patience, never forget things, never get distracted? … ‘Tender Loving Plastics’ raises interesting questions about what care giving is and what humans need to thrive physically and emotional. It’s beautifully written, rolling along smoothly and simply until a gut punch ending.” - Brigid Keely

SANJENA SATHIAN

NEIGHBORS, Joyland Magazine, May 2018. (Fantasy Short Story)
”Jutting into the ocean were a few rough rocks; atop them, stood a man—a figure, at least, perhaps genderless—slender as a pinky nail. He seemed to be facing the beach, the people, almost expectant. His face was daubed that same complex bruised blue-gray as the sea.”