The State of Things: Bull Spec Magazine

Today I had the pleasure of being on The State of Things, a show hosted by Frank Stasio on WUNC, along with Samuel Montgomery-Blinn (the editor of Bull Spec), John Kessel, Richard Dansky, and Paul Celmer. We talked a great deal about speculative fiction (with leanings toward science-fiction) and touched on steampunk, technology, the line between reality and fiction, women writing in the genre, and how the genre is changing. You can even hear a version of my short flash piece, “Sand” that was put together especially for the episode.

You can find the whole transcript here! Ah, the magic of the internet.

It was quite the experience–even though I’ve spent a lot of time behind a microphone, it was certainly a bit nerve-wracking. I’ve never been on live radio to speak about anything, let alone one of the things I’m most passionate about in the world (okay, wait, technically I was on the radio in high school to promote our production of Guys & Dolls, but I don’t consider that as, you know, a part of the whole writing career).

It’s great to have had this opportunity, and amusing to me that “Dr. Adderson’s Lens”–the story I talked a little about, and was reprinted in Bull Spec #1–has such legs! It was the first story I’d ever had accepted for publication, back the first time around, but it keeps cropping up. These things really do have lives of their own.

For the curious, I’m putting the text of “Sand” below.


Sand on rocks. Wind blowing. Sand sifting, swirling, making rivers of dust across the flat, red, rocks. Those smooth, hot rocks I made.

The wind, that’s Cass. Right now, she’s mad with me for making so many rocks. But it’s what I do. It’s all I do. I can’t help it.

So Cass makes wind; wind like daggers and chisels, wind that breaks down my rocks, hollows them out—turns the stone to sand.

Sometimes we make lovely things. Sculptures, rock-faces. But we always end up angry at each other, when one part doesn’t come out right, and we tear it down.

I don’t tell Cass this, but every time one of our sculptures fall, I love it. I love it like I love her. Just the same way, I think.

I can’t break her, though, even if I tried. I’m the builder, and she’s the breaker.

It’s what we do. It’s all we do. We can’t help it.

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