Dagan Books released various electronic versions of its anthology FISH earlier this year, and I’m ever so pleased to pass on the news that the paper version is now available as well.
The book has a fantastic line-up, including my lovely fellow Clarion West 2011 classmate Maria Romasco-Moore (whose story in the anthology is one of my favorites!) and heavy-hitters like Ken Liu and Cat Rambo. The stories are beautiful and dangerous and deliciously weird, and if you’re at all into speculative short fiction, I highly suggest you take a look. My own story, “The Applause of Others,” has received excellent reviews so far from both SF Signal and A Fantastical Librarian.
As far as my story goes: “The Applause of Others” was written in my final week at Clarion West, almost two years ago now. It was my first time consciously threading in certain themes and metaphors, and while I’m still not sure how successful it was, it was fantastic practice.
I had a lot of fun writing about my home town, too; I’ve written novels set in Amsterdam before, but they’re not likely to see the light of day anytime soon. If you want to hear me wax poetic about canals, here’s your chance.
Lastly, in case anyone reads the story and blinks at the MC calling her dads by their first names… During Clarion West, one classmate pointed out that they were dubious about that aspect. Why wouldn’t Floor simply call them ‘Dad’ or some variation thereof? Wouldn’t she do that under other circumstances?
Basically, the answer to that is ‘no.’ When I drafted the story, her parents were a straight couple, and Floor did the same thing. (I took a look, and it turns out I actually shared an excerpt at the time. Ha!) Floor’s parents see themselves as being all modern and cool, and being on a first-name basis comes with the territory. I think this happens in the United States, too, but perhaps to a lesser degree?
When I waved my author wand and turned not!Mom into not!Dad, I didn’t immediately realize how calling them by their first names might be perceived given the different context. After some waffling, I ended up keeping it as is. It just fit them in my head. In addition, when I researched whether kids being on a first-name basis with their parents was indeed more common in NL vs US, I stumbled upon several queer parents who go by their first names for practical reasons, which set my mind at ease.
Anyway, if anyone did raise an eyebrow at it, I hope this clears up the what and why