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

Before the Dawn
I'll be one of more than 150 scheduled performers at the 25th Annual Alternative New Year's Day Spoken Word/​Performance Extravaganza, which takes place on January 1, 2019, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church in Greenwich Village. This year's theme is "Before the Dawn."

(Note: My 3-minute slot on the program will take place at some point between 7 and 9 pm.)

The Alternative, which is free to the public, features poets, prose writers, monologists, musicians, dancers and other performers in an eight-hour showcase that ranges from some of New York's most seasoned talents to emerging stars. The lineup evolves each year to keep the event fresh and democratic. The audience is encouraged to donate paperback books to Books Through Bars, for people incarcerated in prison, and canned or boxed food or drink for City Harvest, which provides for the hungry in New York.

The Alternative began on New Year's Day in 1995, and quickly became one of the most popular events on the city's poetry and literary scene. Founder Bruce Weber is ably assisted by a staff of writers, designers and curators. Each year a fresh group of performers are plucked from all corners of the Tri-State area to enliven and transform the Alternative in unexpected ways. Adding to the mix for the sixth consecutive year will be an anthology comprised of featured writers, published by Rogue Scholars Press under the guidance of C. D. Johnson.

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Smells Like Brooklyn

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Homeless man smoking
In 45th Street Station.
We'll cut him some slack.

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I'm delighted to announce that my new short story, "Last" (with a nifty illustration by Marco Megrati), has just appeared at Seat14C.com, an online science fiction anthology and writing competition presented 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.) 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.

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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.


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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.

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Today is 30 years to the day since a sentence was handed down in my trial on terrorism-related charges in Canada. If you're curious how things turned out, you have a few options:

  1. Purchase a signed copy of my memoir for as little as $11.95
  2. Purchase an ebook edition of my memoir for just 99¢
  3. Enter my Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win one of 10 free copies
  4. Or, just be a lazy ass and watch the video below, which was recorded this past October at Taboo Tales NYC

The choice is yours. But choose wisely.

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Nail salon workers
Lined up in a row of five
Taking a selfie

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Tuesday Funk, 100th show, December 6, 2016, 7:30 pm
I'm delighted to be appearing tonight at a very special edition of Chicago's Tuesday Funk reading series.

It's the 100th episode of the long-running series. In honor of that occasion, current hosts Andrew Huff and Eden Robins have invited all the former hosts back as guests.

Please come out to Hopleaf tonight at 7:30 to see not just me but also Connor Coyne, Reinhardt Suarez, Hallie Palladino, and Sara Ross Witt. It's upstairs and it's free! It'll be a terrific show!

It's Tuesday Funk—Chicago's eclectic monthly reading series where good writing and good beer mix. (Hey, I coined that.)

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Taboo Tales

I'm very excited to be part of the second Taboo Tales event in New York City on Monday, October 10th. Taboo Tales is the long-running show from Los Angeles where people tell stories about their fucked-up lives. Come out and see us at The PIT on Monday and I guarantee you'll feel better about yourself.

Now, I'll let Taboo Tales tell you more...


We've learned New Yorkers are pretty fucked up so we're putting on our second show on October 10th. It's Columbus Day so tell all your friends to come out and discover this one of a kind storytelling show where we talk about topics no one wants to discuss in public.

Our BRAVE storytellers for this show will be:

  • Allison Guerra
  • Tony Carnevale
  • Kent Koren
  • William Shunn
  • Karen Fratti
  • Bobby Hankinson

    Hosted by Vanessa Golenia and Kejal Macdonald
    Happening at the PIT theater (24th and Lex)
    7pm. Arrive by 6:30pm.

    Save some money and get your tickets in advance!
    $10 online tickets // $13 at the door

    Want to see how much fun we had at the last one? Say no more. Check our event photos.

    SEE YOU THERE!


    More info:
    http://tabootalestheshow.com/about-2/
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1781798598730652/

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  • Uh-oh! Oreo!

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    Oreo mayhem
    Oreo packet,
    rip'd open and crush'd on the
    subway floor. Tragic.

    —for the kid in all of us

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