May 26, 2015
Alex Dally MacFarlane

O flea! you offspring of evil!

In news that will surprise no one: a Masters at Oxford University takes up a lot of time. I spend most of my days translating set texts from Classical Armenian to English in preparation for my increasingly imminent exams. (Highlights: everything in the Alexander Romance, particularly the kafas — a type of poem — introduced to the text by Armenian writers and often describing the peculiar animals Alexander encounters on his more legendary journeys. Giant fleas! Bats with human teeth! Foxes!)

I barely have any time to write, but the nice thing about having written in the past is that books reprinting my stories appear in the post from time to time.

This is definitely the prettiest: XIII edited by Mark Teppo, reprinting my story “Feed Me the Bones of Our Saints”. (The bees/wasps on the cover continue inside.) It is modelled here on top of whatever I was translating that day. Other books that have arrived in recent months are How to Live on Other Planets edited by Joanna Merriam, Clarkesworld: Year Seven edited by Neil Clarke & Sean Wallace, and Women Writing the Weird II: Dangerous Daughters edited by Deb Hoag, which marks a wonderful treat for me: the cover art by Ashlyn Fenton is based on my story, “Fox Bones. Many Uses.”

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"...the 33 stories that MacFarlane has gathered for this volume dazzle with the virtuosity of their contributors’ talents."

- Publishers Weekly: STARRED REVIEW

"Works from around the world, some in translation, provide an invaluable snapshot of this moment in the genre as well as some tremendously enjoyable reading."

- Publishers Weekly: Best Books of 2014

"The stories range widely in scope and form — from prose poems to metafiction — to capture a dynamic, forward-thinking genre that plays with history, myth and science."

- The Washington Post: Think science fiction is dominated by men? Think again.

"...ground-breaking and superbly conceived..."

- Nina Allan: Strange Horizons: 2014 In Review

Aliens: Recent Encounters

"...this [anthology] blew us away more than any other. Mostly because of the sheer volume of greatness contained in these 32 stories... These are classic stories of alien encounters, from some of the best science fiction writers working today."

- Best Books of 2013

Short Stories