Inhuman Swill : Writing : Page 11
            

My novelette "Not of This Fold" made the preliminary Nebula ballot for 2007. John Klima, publisher of the chapbook where it originally appeared, is making a free PDF of the story available on the Electric Velocipede website:

Not of This Fold (PDF)
This link is for anyone, not just for the SFWA members who might soon be voting on the preliminary ballot. I hope that you Worldcon members will read it before making your Hugo nominations.
There's also an audio version of "Not of This Fold," slightly abridged, available as Episode 10 in my ScientiFicShunn podcast:
Not of This Fold (MP3)
The audio is taken from a 2006 broadcast of "Hour of the Wolf."
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Old shoe week

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John eat BRAINS!
Going home to New York City is as comfortable as slipping on an old shoe. I flew there Tuesday afternoon with just a backpack and the parka on my back, and I was immediately at ease and confident in a way I don't yet feel in Chicago. The only bad part was that I was alone, since Laura was on a concurrent business trip to Rochester.

But I wasn't solitary for long. I took a cab from Laguardia to my borrowed apartment in Astoria, Queens, dumped off most of the contents of my pack, and headed into the city. After a quick stop at my old office, I met John Klima, in from Iowa way, at the Tor offices in the Flatiron Building. I acquired an advance copy of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, I chatted with Patrick Nielsen Hayden for a minute or two, and John and I hauled his bags back to Astoria on the subway.

We had a full evening ahead, but before I tell you about it I have to back up several months and remind you of the segment of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" that Laura and I caught back in July:

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Stories for SFWA members

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SFWA members, if you're looking for something to read over this coming holiday week, drop me a line at shunn [at] livejournal [dot] com and I'll send you PDFs of my novelette "Not of This Fold" and my short story "Objective Impermeability in a Closed System," both original stories from my recent chapbook, An Alternate History of the 21st Century.

By the same token, if you have 2007 stories you want to share, send 'em on over.

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The polite lie

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I'm sorry, but no, I don't respect everyone's views and opinions.

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Locus of power

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It was as straightforward as I had hoped to find the November Locus in Manhattan. I simply walked up to the usual place on the newsstand at the Union Square Barnes & Noble and picked up a copy. I'm trying not to be frustrated that I don't yet have the ability to pull off similar feats in the city of Chicago. But it will come.

Anyway, I was finally able to read the Nick Gevers review of my chapbook, which leads off his short fiction column. It says, in part:

William Shunn is one of those SF writers who, because they specialize in short fiction, are not given quite the recognition they deserve—no novels, no mass-market publication, so only the plaudits of the cognoscenti of the short form. Yet Shunn is a fine writer; ingenious, stylish, closely in touch with current global trends and expert in producing thought-provoking near-future SF, and at last he has a collection to show off that keen ability, even if it is only of chapbook length. [It] contains six stories, including two impressive original novelettes.

"Objective Impermeability in a Closed System" is an intense evocation of the ethical and emotional dilemmas of a scientist of whom idealism is expected but for whom compromise is easier.... A temporal paradox exists; AIs and a time machine become involved; but rather than the conventional circular narrative this implies, Shunn opts for an unusual, psychologically resonant conclusion, and a subtle questioning of the essentials of cause and effect. The implications run quite deep.

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Recommended

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I still haven't seen a copy of the November Locus, but I have learned that Nick Gevers put both new stories from my chapbook on his recommended reading list for the month.

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Audible inclination

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Inclination: A Far Future Novella by William Shunn
By the way, in audio publication news, my novella "Inclination" is now available for purchase and download as an audiobook at Audible.com:

      "Inclination" audiobook

I'm not sure I realized that this would be the case, but this de facto also means "Inclination" can be purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store. I stumbled on that bit of intelligence by accident, while checking on my podcast listings at iTunes. Just go to the Store and search on William Shunn.

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Utah writer Christopher Bigelow, in the course of answering the "Four Things" meme, cops to coveting my lifestyle—but then again, not really:

I'm a little envious of his lifestyle of living in big cities like New York and Chicago, not having any kids, letting go of the Mormon rope, doing lots of traveling and drinking, and getting deeply involved in a writing community.... But I suppose I got all that worldliness out of my system as a young adult—well, most of it, anyway—and I'm sure the path I'm on now will lead to more long-term happiness than his....  [full post]
While I suppose I'm flattered in a way, I'm more than a little disturbed by the implication that there's greater long-term happiness to be derived from a traditional and religious nuclear family than from my little family. It's possible that Chris means my lifestyle would not ultimately be satisfying to him, which would be a perfectly fair thing to say, but the way the statement is phrased makes it sound like the objective possibility of satisfaction obtaining from my choices in life is on the slim side.

It probably goes without saying, though I will say it anyway, that I do not covet Chris's lifestyle. I trust he won't be offended when I say that, because I don't intend to offend. I mean only that some of the things he values most are simply not what interest me in life, and I have good reason to suspect that playing patriarch to a Mormon nuclear family would render me dangerously miserable. I'm certain enough that I'm on the path of greatest happiness for Bill Shunn that I feel no compulsion to make major course corrections at this point in my life. Comparing levels of happiness with someone else is pretty much a pointless game.

Of course, what Chris mentions (lightly) coveting about my lifestyle are really just the trappings. He doesn't mention the two things that are most important to me, which are surely two of the things he cares about most: devotion to a loving spouse, and the writing itself. On that score I doubt we're so different.

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Jolly St. Nick is dead, alas

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So I have this other podcast called ScientiFicShunn, which really just consists of fiction readings from ShunnCast but shorn of all the associated chatter. Most of the episodes are downloadable and shareable and so forth.

So Sunday I posted an original, unpublished Perry Slaughter Christmas story for Halloween to ScientiFicShunn, "Jolly Saint Nick Is Dead, Alas." Laura hadn't even heard this one before, and when I played it for her she said, "That was just mean. Funny—but just mean."

But let Boing Boing let me tell you about it. I hope you'll listen.

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ShunnCast #50

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[info]
Epidode #50 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill reads an original Christmas story in the Halloween spirit, written by and starring his unsavory alter-ego Perry Slaughter.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=50

See also shunncast.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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