Archives: Perihelion Science Fiction

Bits and Pieces, Odds and Ends, This and That

Perihelion Science-Fiction magazine published a bit of flash fiction I was commissioned to write for an article on The End of the World. (Read that last phrase in a pretentious film trailer voice, with a dramatic pause between the second and third word.) It’s a brief read, a literary hors d’oeuvres. Here it is, if you want a snack.

I know I’ve already mentioned that I have a short story in Mama Tried. It is a straight up crime piece, no rocket ships or wizards. I’m rather proud of it, though I suppose I’d prefer the title had been spelled correctly. It’s Copperhead Road, not Cooperhead Road. Well, no use crying over spilled beer. A single, anguished tear ought to do. The reason I bring it up is that I received my author copy. So I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the stories. And seeing if their titles are spelled properly.

I’m over two-thirds of the way through Bernard Cornwell’s latest, The Flame Bearer. I’ll probably finish it today. Even strapped for time to read, I still power through Cornwell’s stuff like a chainsaw through pudding. He writes utterly compelling drama. It is familiar territory. I have the Cornwell beats down by heart, and I know how it is going to end. But it doesn’t matter, I’m still swept along by this relentless tide of action.

So, enough of this web log post. I’ve got a book to finish.

Accepting Praise with Grace

Perihelion Online Science Fiction Magazine likes my novel, Under Strange Suns. No, really. Check out the review. And that’s good. It warms the outer crust of my black, stony lawyer’s heart. But it also makes me squirm a bit. I don’t receive praise well.

Stupid, isn’t it? Someone likes what you do. Say thank you. Appreciate that someone appreciates your work. And move on. But I’ve never been comfortable with it. You might think it speaks to a lack of self-confidence, a deep-seated, niggling sense that nothing I produce could be that good. Could be, but I don’t think so. My well of amour-propre seldom runs dry.

I suppose it is something to work on. To learn to accept praise in the spirit in which it is offered without it leading to either a swelled-head or to a parsing of the praise, picking it apart to look for some hidden slight or suggestion of insincerity.

There are worse problems to have.