Getting weird in Canada’s prairie provinces

The good people at Enfield & Wizenty and Great Plains Publications published my short story Frank 2.0 last fall in the anthology  Alternate Plains: Stories of Prairie Speculative Fiction. It’s the follow-up to their 2018 anthology Parallel Prairies. Frank 2.0 is an alternative worlds story that also serves as a kind of autobiography of my fantasy life.

Frank 2.0 was actually my second story with a science fiction or speculative fiction angle to it to be published in 2021. Earlier in the year FreeFall Magazine ran my short story The Going and the Gone, which I’ve described as a kind of magical realism take on the pandemic.

I stayed on a bit of fantasy/speculative run in the fall with a new short story, titled The Symbolic Cemetery, which will be published in the spring of 2022 in the “Uncharted Territory” themed issue of Prairie Fire Magazine. While many of my stories come together slowly from an initial idea, I thought through The Symbolic Cemetery in two or three hours while hiking alone through the North Shore Mountains overlooking Lake Superior near Thunder Bay, Ontario. That night I wrote out the story longhand in a travel journal and when I got home I finished the story, gave it an edit and submitted it. Shortest path ever from idea to acceptance.

All three stories feature in the manuscript I’m sending around to publishers at the moment, a short story collection I’m currently calling A Time and A Place.