So I was a little surprised to find that my story, "Beyond Far Point," is up now at Plasma Frequency Magazine. I knew that the story was accepted but I didn't know when it was going up and there's been a slight delay with the Q2 issue so some further confusion. But it is up and this was one of the sales that I had been more quiet about because I didn't know when I should be talking about it. But it is definitely safe now so yeah, "Beyond Far Point."
It's hard for me to pin down genres most of the time. I think I'd describe this one as steam Western or science fantasy or second world steampunk. I know, the options! But it doesn't really take place on Earth so I'm not sure if it can be properly classed a Western. The setting isn't too well established, it being a flash and all, but hopefully I get through enough of the world and the feel of the world. Which is a bit grim. Where the law really isn't a huge thing and where people can still form up a posse to deal with shit. And it's a place where there are dragons and trains and guns and automatons. Which is part of why I like the story, because it takes a lot of elements and throws them all together.
And I like the voice. I like the general aesthetic of the voice, that sort of roguish cowboy almost punky vibe dealing with injustice with, well, if not exactly justice then something approaching it. If I have a regret about the story it's that I don't explicitly say that the character is white. Maybe I just would have picked an entirely different name. I have this weird reaction to reading it now probably thanks to that "Save the Pearls" thing that happened. In my head the name made sense largely because of a backstory that doesn't get explored here. This being a flash, it's really just a glimpse of the characters. We know that Twenty-Three is an automaton and that there's some doubt about the sentient-ness. We know that Coal has never exactly been on the good side of the law. There is a part of me that wants to dip back into this world and tell a story that would give them a bit more to do, a bit more to explore their characters and the world. Here it's pretty much all waiting for that moment of draw at the end, that moment before everything goes red.
Despite being a bit older of a story, it's one that hasn't seen as many rejections as others I've written, probably because it was held a few places for some extra time. This was it's sixth time being sent out. And it had received a few promising rejections before it was ultimately accepted at Plasma Frequency. Which, I'm quite glad that it placed. I've been a fan of Plasma Frequency for quite some time and was rather bummed last year when they suffered the misfortune of falling victim to theft which made them close for a while. And (full disclosure) I did contribute to the Kickstarter they ran to come back (I bought a print subscription for the year which has been quite nice). And ever since they've opened submissions I've been sending stuff in and hoping. That this story was the first to hit isn't exactly surprising. It's certainly a bit more straight-forward than a lot of my stuff. And it's just a but more...fun? I don't know. Probably a bit similar to "Nothing" but with a different setting and larger cast and very simple plot.
But yeah, I'm super happy that the story is out in the world. Also terrified because I'm always afraid of my stories once they're out there. It's another flash fiction sale, though, and just sort of a fun little moment in the sand. I do think that I could dive back into this world, these characters, and find more to say, but I doubt I'll be doing that any time soon. There is a different Western story that I've been playing around with that includes trains and ghosts and robots, but so far I haven't figured it out yet. Ah well. Anyway, the story it up and if you like you can certainly check it out, as long as the rest of the Q2 issue, over at Plasma Frequency (or you will be able to soon). I still actually don't know all of what's in the issue but the Q1 content was quite good and I have high hopes for this issue! Thanks for reading!
All the best,