Back in Brooklyn

On Saturday, October 14, I’ll be participating in Indie Author Day at the Williamsburgh Public Library, 240 Division Avenue, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That’s the library where I used to research my reports in sixth grade and junior high. I haven’t been back since, so this should be nostalgic. Or rage-inducing. Williamsburg does both for me.

I’ll be doing a brief workshop on “Writing Diverse Characters in Sci-fi, Mystery & Horror” at 11:15 a.m., reading from Roachkiller and Other Stories during the open mic, and then I’ll be hawking some books, mostly copies of Latin@ Rising. Come see me and some of my excellent author pals, including Lucky Henry Chang and Auspicious Adriana Erin Rivera (Swing Sets).

Posted in Appearances | Leave a comment

Latin@ Rising across Four Boroughs

This September I’ll be doing a series of events to help promote Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The book’s stalwart editor, Matthew David Goodwin, is flying into NYC from Puerto Rico and hitting four of the five boroughs, so many of the local-area writers from the collection will join him in events.

You can find out more about the book here, and Matthew discusses my short story here. The book began with a successful Kickstarter campaign before it was picked up by Wings Press. This Foreword Reviews article also gives a great overview of the book’s genesis.

All these are free and open to the public.

  • Edgar Allan Poe Park Visitor Center Reading and Q&A
    2640 Grand Concourse, Bronx, N.Y. 10458 | Saturday, September 16, 12-3 p.m.
    Scheduled participants: Matthew David Goodwin, Carl Marcum, Pedro Zagitt, and myself.
  • New York Society Library Panel
    53 East 79th Street New York, N.Y. 10075 | Sunday, September 17, 3 p.m. RSVP.
    Scheduled participants: Carlos Hernandez and Sabrina Vourvoulias will be there with Matthew and me.
  • LaGuardia Community College Reading and Q&A
    31-10 Thompson Avenue, Room E-242, Long Island City, Queens, N.Y. 11101 | Monday, September 18, 3-5 p.m.
    Scheduled participants: Matthew David Goodwin, Carl Marcum, and myself.
  • Word Bookstore Reading and Q&A
    126 Franklin St, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11222 | Tuesday, September 19, 7 p.m.
    Scheduled participants: Matthew David Goodwin, Carlos Hernandez, Carl Marcum, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Pedro Zagitt, and myself.

 

Posted in Appearances | Leave a comment

“Paumanok” on Great Jones Street App

My short story “Ending in Paumanok” is available, with this loverly illustration on the fiction app, Great Jones Street. Get the app and read the story here.

Some background on the story: I went to college at SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island, so when I wanted to contribute to an anthology called Long Island Noir, I asked if I could write about Stony Brook. Alas, that was taken, but the editor Kaylie Jones said she’d love to have a story about the Shinnecock Nation, a tribe of Native Americans from the eastern end of Long Island. She asked if I knew anything about them. I said, “Sure.” I knew nothing. But I really wanted to get a story into the anthology. I admit I was a little uncomfortable writing about 1) a culture that wasn’t my own, and 2) writing about individual members of the culture in a way that wasn’t necessarily positive, since, in a noir story, just about all of the characters are morally corrupt. But I made sure to do research on the Shinnecock people, with the aim of being as respectful as possible.

The story was inspired by a Native American name for Long Island: Paumanok (“land of tribute” in the Renneiu language). Also, I wanted to allude to Walt Whitman’s poem “Starting from Paumanok,” and alluding to a poem suggested an academic character. The story of the shipwreck of the Circassian mentioned in the story is true. It’s a tragic part of Shinnecock history. I knew I wanted to include it, and it inspired me to focus on the sea as a metaphor in the story. As far as intention, for me a noir story is by definition an observation of human suffering caused by desire, manifested via lust, greed, hubris, all that fun stuff. I got the crime plot from googling Shinnecock and local crime, where I found out about cigarette smuggling on the reservation.

The story was originally published in Long Island Noir and was highlighted in a New York Times article about the book.

Posted in Publications | Leave a comment

Story in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination

My flash story “The Chupacabra’s Charming Cuchifrito Cafe, Recommended Review” has been published in the latest and, sadly, one of the last anthologies from Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. The magazine was started in 1952 and this January announced that it was closing.

Here is an excerpt of “The Chupacabra’s Charming Cuchifrito Cafe, Recommended Review”:

★★★★ 7/14/2014 Discovered this frighteningly good place by accident. Arriving late from a delayed flight to my hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, late in the afternoon, I was starving. Taco Bells and Subways and Pollo Tropicals everywhere I looked. But I wanted something genuine. I knew from my amazing experiences as a world traveler that the best foods are served in small, humble, out of-the-way joints known only to locals. So I asked an older woman at my hotel, and she told me, “Take the road to Naranjito. But beware!” Then she cackled for a very long time. Before I could ask her what she meant, she was off to vacuum the next room. Although I could still hear her cackling.

You can buy the issue here and here.

Posted in Publications | Comments Off on Story in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination

Beam Yourself Up for a Workshop on World Building

I’ll be running the workshop Creating Strange New Worlds: How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, as part of the Bronx Writers Center Big Read series — the read in this case being Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea, which is not to be confused with A Wizard of Avenue C, or Warren: A Geezer of Earth C.

“Whether or not your story takes place on Earth or another planet, dimension, or timeline, you need to build a reality for your characters — and your readers — to live in. Join us for look at science-fiction/fantasy world-building, with some writing exercises, in this two-hour workshop.”

Where:
Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos Community College
450 Grand Concourse, Rm C-190
Bronx, NY 10451 Earth A

When: Saturday, April 22, 4-6 p.m.

Cost: Free, but you must reserve a space

Posted in Appearances | Comments Off on Beam Yourself Up for a Workshop on World Building

“Nuyoricans Go Home” Finds a Home

My essay “Nuyoricans Go Home,” a fictionalized memoir, is now up in the premiere issue of Latino Literatures: A Cultural and Literary Journal.

The journal hopes to be an online source for contemporary discussion on Latina/o literature and culture, and publishes visual art, short prose fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and relevant book, album, and film reviews. Mil gracias to Thania Muñoz Davaslioglu and Fabio Chee Madrigal for considering and accepting my work and for giving me very good editorial notes.

Here is an excerpt from the essay:

In Puerto Rico that summer, red from the sun and so bored his ankles itched, Fever saw the boys playing softball. He saw them from his aunt’s front porch, picked up the bat his uncle had given him and ran across the street. He was twelve, thin, and had a boxy head.

The players were around his age, dark haired and bronzed. Fever stood off to one side and did practice swings with the bat.

He went up to one of the boys and, in English, asked the boy’s name.

The boy looked him up and down and said, in a thick accent, “Janqui go home.”

“I’m not a Yankee,” Fever said. “I’m a Met.

You can read the whole thing by clicking here.

Posted in Publications | Comments Off on “Nuyoricans Go Home” Finds a Home

A Working Visit to the Motherland: Puerto Rico

Early next month you can find me doing a flyby visit to Puerto Rico, courtesy of Matthew David Goodwin, editor of Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey.

Airport security, planes, student strikes, and impending apocalypse permitting, on Friday, March 3, I’ll be running a Fiction Writing Workshop at Sala Héctor Campos, UPR, in Cayey, from 9 to noon. If you’re in PR and want to go, you can register here.

From 1 to 3 p.m. that same day, I will be part of a book presentation of Latin@ Rising with Matthew at the Chancellor’s House.

On Saturday, March 4, from 6 to 7 p.m., I will be part of a panel on “La Ciencia Ficción en un Tiempo de Crisis,” also with Matthew and with Miguel Adrover, at Libreria La Tertulia, 251 Calle de La Cruz, in Viejo San Juan.

Apologies to all my relatives on the island! There won’t be time for visiting, but come see me if you can!

Posted in Appearances | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on A Working Visit to the Motherland: Puerto Rico