Inhuman Swill : Short Fiction : Page 2

New short story online

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The Visitors at Wriggly Field, by William Shunn
Batter up! My pulpy new short story, "The Visitors at Wriggly Field," is now online as part of the Pulps series at ChicagoIn2012.org. It's probably my first sports story, and may well be my last, so I hope you enjoy it. (The illustration is by Frank Wu!)

The Pulps series supports Chicago's bid for the 2012 Worldcon. Earlier stories in the series, both in print and online, have been contributed by Frederik Pohl, Gene Wolfe, Mike Resnick, Phyllis Eisenstein, Roland Green, Richard Garfinkle, Lois Tilton, and others. I'm glad I hadn't read any of the earlier stories before I wrote mine, or I might have been too intimidated to produce.

The stories are an homage to Chicago's past as a home to many classic publishers of pulp science fiction. The guidelines we all were given were that:

  • the hero must be square-jawed and dim-witted, with B.S. for his initials;
  • the heroine must be smart, capable and beautiful, with the name Elaine Ecdysiast;
  • the evil-genius villain must be dastardly and scenery-chewing, with the name D. Vice;
  • and the story must be set at least in part in Chicago.
Even by those standards, I clearly went for the lowest common denominator. No, seriously. Frank chose wisely by not illustrating the story's climax.

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Some short Chicago fiction

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My new short story "A Strong Premonition of Death Struck Me This Morning" is now live at the Electric Velocipede blog. I think it was the first piece of fiction I ever wrote that's set in Chicago (though I'm now deep into a novel that's also set here in Chi-town).

Stick around at EV, order more drinks, and remember to tip your servers. I'll be blogging there all week.

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The benefactors are back!

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Three-time World Fantasy Award nominee John Klima has brought back the benefactor level subscription for his autumn Electric Velocipede subscription drive. For a mere $150, you get not just a lifetime subscription to the wonderful EV and everything else that Spilt Milk Press publishes, but you also get copies every issue of EV still in print, every Spilt Milk Press chapbook published so far (which includes my own Alternate History of the 21st Century), a copy of John's delightful anthology Logorrhea, and a T-shirt!

How the fuck can you go wrong? Become a damn benefactor today, already!

(BTW, I would tout EV even if my story "Timesink" were not scheduled to appear in the forthcoming double issue...)

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Pumped

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If you haven't heard already, Paolo Bacigalupi was on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday yesterday discussing his excellent collection from Night Shade Books, Pump Six and Other Stories. Way to go, Paolo!

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Our own [info]bobhowe, if you didn't know, can now have the descriptor anthologist extraordinaire prepended to his name, as in anthologist extraordinaire Robert J. Howe.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, pop over to his place and get in line for some Coney Island Wonder Stories.

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It's official, or will be when the promised contract arrives in the mail. I just made my first sale to Asimov's. A 19,000-word novella no less.

The story's called "Inclination," and though it takes place a few decades earlier, it's set in the same future milieu as my Nebula-nominated novelette "Dance of the Yellow-Breasted Luddites." And it certainly won't be the last thing I write that's set on or near or in a place somehow connected to Netherview Station.

No clue yet when it will run, but publication is surely many months away.

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Well, I'm just back from a four-day trip to Arizona, so if you've been expecting email from me, that probably why you don't have any. I returned to discover an awfully nice gift—my short story "The Practical Ramifications of Interstellar Packet Loss" has just been reprinted on the very fine SF site Infinity Plus. Check it out if you get a chance.

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Maybe you caught the news this morning that, in a surprise announcement, Andrew Cuomo declared his intention of running for governor of New York. Cuomo, until ten days ago, was of course our HUD Secretary, and you probably know that his dear ol' dad Mario used to be governor here.

What surprised me was that this was a surprise announcement. What else is the son of a former governor going to do when his Cabinet appointment ends—particularly one whose family connections stretch back so far in national politics on both sides?

In all fairness, I had some, er, insider information. My friend Jonathan worked until recently for Kerry Kennedy Cuomo's human rights organization Speak Truth to Power. Kerry is Andrew's wife, and she's also RFK's daughter. Jonathan invited Laura and me to a private signing of the coffee-table book Speak Truth to Power in December, which was held at Kenneth Cole's flagship store at Rockefeller Center. Kenneth is married to Andrew's sister, and all the above-mentioned folks were in attendance at the little shindig, plus RFK Jr., who looks far more like his father than JFK Jr. looked like his.

Anyway, Jonathan told me that Andrew would be running for governor, and that he has his eye on the Presidency eventually. (Maybe he and Hillary will duke it out for the Democratic nomination in 2008—which would be an even stranger scenario than the one I sketched out for my story "From Our Point of View We Had Moved to the Left," which appeared F&SF in 1993 and concerned the Presidential Inauguration of 2009.) Andrew's intent seemed so inevitable that I guess I couldn't believe anyone would find his announcement a surprise.

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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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