Cover and Interior Art from NOWA FANTASTYKA, Apr 2015

NFApr2015cover

Earlier this year, Polish SFF magazine NOWA FANTASTYKA translated and published my story, “Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance”. The cover is above (click on it to see a larger version). It’s my first translation and my first international publication; I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out.

I don’t have the right to scan/post the entire story, but I did want to share this bit:

NFApr2015int

That’s original art, drawn for my story, by Maciej Zaganczyk. It shows a disgruntled Mr. Liu chasing after the dog who stole his arm. It’s the impetus for the rest of the tale: this risen corpse, this bad dog. (And we can all agree, it was a very bad dog.)

“Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance” was originally published at Red Penny Papers, in their Summer 2012 issue, and is no longer available to read online. However, you can still get it as a part of my short collection, Women and Other Constructs, here (including free downloads).

More Reviews of “Women and Other Constructs”

“I get to breathe in truth and swim around in a sea of knowledge.”
Carrie Cuinn, Women and Other Constructs

Someone took the time to add that as a quote on Goodreads. Isn’t that great? (The line is from “A Cage, Her Arms”, which is only available in this collection.)

The collection is still being read and reviewed, which I love. Here are a couple I haven’t shared before:

“Savor the Flavor of Each Short. This is a wonderful collection of short stories…. Further, I’m going to suggest that people definitely read the introduction, then work through the stories themselves, savoring each one. Make a point to read the ABOUT THE STORIES section for each story after reading said story as this gives an insight into what brought the story to life, if it had been published elsewhere, and any deeper meaning that the author may want to impart regarding the content. At that point, re-read the story; the background will give each a more intense flavor.” – Amazon, 5 stars!

and

“In a word, eerie. Ms. Cuinn’s imagination is on display here in technicolor. Reading her stories is like having a dream. They lull you in that way, you know how dreams always start perfectly believably, and get weird until you wake in a rush thinking, what the hell was that? I credit her clear prose, never overdone, with that ability to pull you in. Her strangeness is always situational, sometimes descriptive but conveyed in a frankness that makes it accessible. Until the hair starts rising on the back of your neck, that is. These are not happy ending stories for the most part, though you could see some of them that way, depending on your point of view. You could see many of them as unsettling, even disturbing–again, depending on your point of view. Cuinn leaves that to the reader. I appreciate that.” – H.W.

You can buy a copy in print from Amazon, here, or get a signed copy of the book directly from me — with a free instant download of the ebook! Choose from print + mobi or print + epub.

You can also download just the ebook for free. Choose from epub, mobi, or PDF. If you need all three formats, download a bundle here.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

SF Signal/Carl V. Anderson called 3 of my stories “Favorite of 2013”

womenprintcoverSMALL

I missed this when it came out* but in December 2013 Carl V. Anderson wrote a list of his favorite short stories of 2013. He reviews short fiction at SF Signal, and he’s been kind about my work in the past — including putting me on his 2014 Hugo nominations list — but discovering this list floored me. In the midst of a list of stories that include the greatest hits of Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Asimov’s, and some amazing collections, he put me. Not just one, but three of the stories in my little self-published collection.

Three.

He says:

“Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance” by Carrie Cuinn (Woman and Other Constructs)

On a nice Spring day a stray dog sets in motion a series of unexpected events when he digs up and runs off with the forearm of Mr. Liu, a resident of the village’s old cemetery. In his pursuit of the purloined appendage, something he is too attached to (or was until recently) to easily part with, he brings the dead in contact with the living in a manner that is far too familiar and discomforting for those still imbued with their mortal coil. As the villagers and the deceased meet to come to terms that will return the dead to their proper place, events unfold that demonstrate that a lot can be learned from those who have gone before.

Carrie Cuinn’s story mixes the humorous and grotesque with the manners, and the prejudices, of an earlier time. The treatment of the “outsider”, of those “not like us”, is both historical and fantastical in this tale but will be familiar to anyone who has lived long enough to understand this behavior is alive and flourishing today. The dead here are as charming as those in Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride; the story appeals when read on a surface level though it contains something more for those willing to look a little closer.

“Monsters, Monsters Everywhere” by Carrie Cuinn (Woman and Other Constructs)

Culinary delights mix with grand adventure in this tale of a monster hunter traveling through remote Mexican villages, dealing with monster troubles big, and small. There is something of a Lost World feel to the jungle the unnamed protagonist finds herself in, and as she takes in her surroundings, providing description to the reader, the suspense builds towards the inevitable confrontation. The jungle touches off reminiscences of her youth and time spent with her grandmother and these are intertwined with the more intense moments of the story creating an even greater degree of tension. There are no wasted moments in this story, even its denouement surprises.

“About the Mirror and its Pieces” by Carrie Cuinn (Woman and Other Constructs)

If you have ever read fairy tales with their stock evil stepmothers, princesses or queens, or viewed film adaptations of the same, and found yourself wondering about the villain’s motivation, Carrie Cuinn provides a possible explanation. This story is the least obviously fantastical of the collection and it explores some difficult subject matter in regards to the treatment of children by parents who, in an ideal world, should know better. Concepts like “entertainment” and “pleasure” that play at least some part in the story choices of readers are misplaced inducements when it comes to stories of this nature. This is not the realm of fiction in general, let alone genre fiction, where most readers want to dwell consistently on their reading travels. Which is what makes issues like those raised in “About the Mirror and its Pieces” ideal for short fiction.

The story is powerful, visceral, and left me feeling quite raw. I work in the mental health field with broken families and stories like this, which remind me thematically of the work Charles de Lint does in his Newford stories, humble me. They take me to a place that I am grateful I have never experienced personally and they help me to develop a more tangible empathy with the people I come into contact with on a daily basis. Stories like this awe me in their ability to open readers’ eyes and they become a foundation upon which one can begin to build understanding and healing.

You can get the collection for free for the rest of this month, here.

* Unless I’m tagged in the post somehow (the author’s included @CarrieCuinn on Twitter, or tagged me on FB, etc) I don’t always know about reviews of my work or people talking about me online. I get Google Alerts but they don’t cover everything. If you ever write or see something positive about me online that you want to make sure I’m aware of, please let me know! Thank you.

Free! All digital editions of “Women and Other Constructs” until the end of the month

womenprintcoverSMALL

Last year, I put out a little collection of short fiction. Mostly previously published, with a few new pieces, and even a sonnet about a murderous robot. It’s called Women and Other Contstructs, and it’s been well-reviewed — a few people even suggested stories from it for a Hugo award. You can buy it on Amazon and B&N and Weightless… Overall, it was a valuable lesson in how to self-publish a collection, and it helped me reach new readers, as well as earn a little money.

But as I move forward with new writing, I can’t help thinking that what I really want is for more readers to find my work. The money and reviews and award nominations are all lovely, but the biggest thrill I get is just from hearing that someone read and enjoyed something I wrote. And you, my readers, have been incredibly kind and supportive over the years. So, I’m giving the book away for the rest of April 2014!

Click on the links below to get it in your preferred format:

ePub

mobi

PDF

If you love the collection and want buy a copy to support my work, or are one of those people who craves a paper book to hold in your hands (I’m one, too!) you can purchase a signed copy of the book here (with free .epub) or here (with free .mobi), or get it the unsigned version on Amazon here.

Note: I’m using my online marketplace to track how many downloads I get; please let me know if you have any trouble with it.

#SFWAPro

Buy a signed copy of WOMEN AND OTHER CONSTRUCTS in print, get the ebook free!

I love my print books, but I read on my tablet more than anything else, because it’s portable, less likely to rumple than a printed page, and carries hundreds of books at once. This means that I read more ebooks than print, but I haven’t quite gotten over the need to own the physical artifact as well as the story. Lately, I’ve been buying ebook copies of the print books sitting on my shelves (just to get through my To Read pile), or buying print books knowing I won’t find time for it unless I get the ebook too… but why should I have to pay extra for a digital copy of a book I already own?

Why should you?

Now, if you buy a signed print copy of my short collection, Women and Other Constructs, you get an instant download of a DRM-free epub or mobi file along with it, free! Check out what’s been called “a varied, powerful collection of stories that showcases the range and talent of an author who will hopefully continue to rise in exposure in the SFF community.” (SF Signal, July 12, 2013) Only $10 plus shipping.

Bundle of signed print book + free instant download of a DRM-free epub file click here

Bundle of signed print book + free instant download of a DRM-free mobi file click here

If you don’t need the print book, you can also get a bundle of three ebook formats $2.99, here, or purchase them individually: ePubMobi, or PDF, for just $1.99

womenprintcoverSMALL

#SFWAPro