Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Will you claim #Seat14C?

| No Comments
            

XPRIZE's Seat 14C
For those of you with an interest in science fiction, technology, and futurism—or just in life on Earth itself—I'd like to bring to your attention a new writing contest sponsored by XPRIZE.

XPRIZE, as you may know, is a non-profit organization that designs and manages public science competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit all of humanity. (No small goal, there.) One of their latest initiatives is a push for science fiction stories that promote a more hopeful future than the dystopian visions that seem to be so popular.

To that end, XPRIZE has launched Seat14C.com, a site that is both an online anthology and a fiction contest. Thirty well-known science fiction writers have all contributed short stories about the passengers on a transatlantic flight that departs Tokyo in 2017 but somehow lands in San Francisco in 2037. (The contributors list includes names like Margaret Atwood, Hugh Howey, Nancy Kress, Bruce Sterling, Charlie Jane Anders, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Charles Yu. My own contribution, about the passenger in 42E, will appear on the site on August 16th.) Our stories were written to highlight the amazing positive effects that twenty years of scientific advancement could have on a city like San Francisco.

As for the contest, XPRIZE invites readers to submit their own stories about the passenger in Seat 14C. The winner, to be chosen by members of the XPRIZE Science Fiction Advisory Council, will receive round-trip airfare to Tokyo, four nights in a four-star hotel, and $1,500 in spending cash, besides having his or her story published on Seat14C.com.

Full entry
            

My novelette "Our Dependence on Foreign Keys" is now available as a 99¢ ebook! I hope you'll check it out, especially since I'm hoping to get to work on more Franny and Hondo stories.

"Our Dependence on Foreign Keys" was originally published online in 2015 in Across the Margin.


Our Dependence on Foreign Keys

'Our Dependence on Foreign Keys' by William Shunn

Release date: 2 May 2017

When high-tech partycrashers swarm his exclusive soirée high above the floodways of New York City, billionaire inventor Pell Franziskaner can't be sure whether it's a garden-variety annoyance or a prelude to murder. His own.

Environment, economics, and augmented reality collide in this tale of reputation, revenge, and artificial intelligences so advanced they run directly on the fabric of spacetime.


Full entry
            

Bill and Laura with Anthony Atamanuik after 'Trump Dump: The Last Rally,' NYU Skirball Center, 3 November 2016
Contrary to what Morrissey would have you think, we love it when our friends become successful. It's especially sweet when that friend has been doing fantastic work in relative obscurity for a decade and a half. That's why I've long been so vocal on social media in support of Anthony Atamanuik.

Anthony is a brilliant comedian and improviser—fearsomely disciplined yet fearless in accessing the most twisted recesses of his id. Before I met him, I got to know his work through a series of bizarre short films he made, like this one:

As a performer and teacher at the Upright Citizens Brigade, Anthony was tapped to play one of the writers on 30 Rock. As essentially a glorified extra, he appeared on the show for years but did not get so much as one line until the series finale:

Full entry
            

My novelette "After the Earthquake a Fire" is now available as a 99¢ ebook.

This story tells a fictionalized version of some of my experiences as a Mormon missionary in Idaho after I was ejected from Canada. If you finished reading The Accidental Terrorist and wondered what what the rest of my mission was like ... well, I hope you won't read too much into this.

Be aware that this story includes scenes of animal cruelty which may be disturbing to some readers.

Um, I hope you like it.

Full entry
            

Queens Lit Fest 2017
For three years now, the Queens Lit Fest has highlighted the incredible talent and diversity of writers in this greatest of New York City's boroughs. I participated last year, together with writers from my reading series, Line Break, and I'm delighted to be part of it again this year.

The Queens Lit Fest 2017 runs for two full days this weekend at LIC Landing in Long Island City. Admission for both days is free but does require an RSVP.

I will be reading promptly at 7:00 pm on Sunday evening, but don't come just to hear me. Come for an afternoon, evening, or all day to hear a wide array of Queens poets, essayists, storytellers, and more, including friends of mine like Emily Alta Hockaday, Jackie Sherbow, and Audrey Dimola.

Oh, and I'll have copies of The Accidental Terrorist with me for sale. I hope to see you there!

Full entry

Spoon: a baptism by immersion

| No Comments
            

Temporary Fandoms Spoon Immersion: Day 1
Temporary Fandoms is a group for plunging into complete discographies, and for days, weeks, or on rare occasions, even months, listening exclusively to the work and evolution of a single artist.

Starting Monday, I will be guest-curating a two-week immersion in the discography of Spoon. Every weekday from now until April 21 we will listen to and discuss one Spoon album (with a side excursion into Divine Fits on Day 8). There will be bonus listening with B-sides, live tracks, and more, and more than a spoonful of spirited debate.

Please join us.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/tempfans/

Full entry
            

Calgary Herald: Mormon missionary told to leave country
Why is the despondent young missionary below drinking himself to death? On dandruff shampoo, no less?? Could it have anything to do with the events detailed in the 30-year-old newspaper clipping to the right?

Could very well be—and you can read all about it in my acclaimed memoir The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary. For a limited time, you can get a personalized, signed edition for only $19.95 in hardcover or $11.95 in trade paperback,—with free shipping in the United States! Or get the ebook edition for just $2.99.

Do it now. Don't force this poor kid to drink more Head & Shoulders. Because he will. Oh, yes, he will.

Full entry
            

Lakeside Review: Phoning in bomb threat results in fine
What? Surely the angelic young missionary pictured below could never have been capable of the act described in the 30-year-old newspaper clipping to the right. Right?

Sorry, but we're afraid he was. You can read all about it in my acclaimed memoir The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary. For a limited time, you can get a personalized, signed edition for only $19.95 in hardcover or $11.95 in trade paperback,—with free shipping in the United States! Or get the ebook edition for just $2.99.

Trust me. That kid below? He's a bad, bad hombre. It's sad, really.

Full entry
            

So, after a week of my urging, you still haven't purchased a copy of my memoir, The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary. Hmm.

No, don't apologize. I understand that a book about a depressed missionary intertwined with a biography of Joseph Smith doesn't exactly sound like a must-buy.

That's why I'm going showing you the video clip below. If you still don't want to get the book after watching it, no hard feelings. But if you do, for a limited time you can grab a signed and personalized edition for only $19.95 in hardcover or $11.95 in trade paperback,—with free shipping in the United States. Or get the ebook edition for the ridiculously low price of 99 cents!

But you need to puzzle out the password to watch the video. Do you have the expertise you need?

Full entry
            

Deseret News: Utah missionary sentenced for bomb threat in Canada
This Deseret News article from Saturday, February 28, 1987, can tell you all about what got me arrested earlier that week, but it can't tell you what it was actually like to be a reluctant 19-year-old Mormon missionary in the wilds of Canada in the mid- to late '80s. And hey, it's the Deseret News, so it wouldn't tell you the truth about that even if it could.

No, for that you need my award-nominated memoir, The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary, and there's still time to get in on plenty of great sales! While supplies last, grab a signed and personalized edition for only $19.95 in hardcover or $11.95 in trade paperback,—with free shipping in the United States. Or get the ebook edition for the ridiculously low price of 99 cents!

Not only that, but you can even enter at Goodreads to win one of ten free copies of the trade paperback. But hurry! Like a train to Darjeeling, the days of these sales are limited.

Full entry
The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

Archives