Tag Archive for horror

My 2020 Awards Eligible Short Stories

It’s award nomination season in the speculative fiction world, which means it’s time for me to roll out my annual review of my publications for the previous year! And by annual, I mean, I haven’t done one since…2018? Oh wait, 2018 was the only year I’ve ever done one? Um…oops? But I am recently inspired by Rosemary Claire Smith’s “Reason to Publicize Your Award-Eligible Works” article to to give it a go. So here goes!

Yes, I had seven publications to my name in the last year! That’s my highest total yet in terms of sheer numbers – I’m around a 15% acceptance rate at the moment, which is pretty gosh-darn good. Writing is a rejection grind, so anytime my acceptance rate is above 10% for stories I’ve sent out to be considered for publication, I’m feeling darn good. And I do feel good about the quality of my work published in 2020! Unfortunately, of those seven publications, only a couple are actually eligible for nomination for the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, or other awards of your nominating choice. Those are….

  • “It’s Only Vampire” – A humorous horror tale released in FARK in the Time of COVID: The 2020 Fark Fiction Anthology. The anthology was released in December 2020. What I most enjoyed about writing this one was finally capturing a bit of the humor in the generational battles we humans so often undertake – think, “OK, Boomer,” but for the fang and crypt crew.
  • “An Inconvenient Quest” – A flash fantasy quest in A Quiet Afternoon: Lo-Fi Speculative Fiction for a Peaceful Break from a Stressful World, released in July 2020. I wrote the first draft of this short story several years ago, when I wanted to really dig into using senses other than sight more often in my fiction. The result of focusing on smells? A synesthetic union of scent, emotion, and color for a lonely sprite who must find a way to save his ailing queen.
  • Wishing for More” – Oh, oh wait. This urban fantasy romance about graduates of the Jinn school trying to make their way in world came out in December 2019. I just didn’t learn that it had been published until a few weeks into 2020. Now that’s a story for another time. You can read “Wishing for More” in Helios Quarterly Magazine 4.4, but unfortunately, you cannot nominate it this year.
  • “Some Who Wander” – Oh, no, nope. Not that one either. Because it’s not fiction at all, but a fun little whirl of micro nonfiction about a bad choice I made one day while hiking through my neighborhood. “Some Who Wander” can be stumbled upon at Intrinsick.
  • Consider “Hobgoblin” instead! Except you can’t because it’s a reprint, found in Whigmaleeries & Wives Tales.
  • “What Scattered in the Wind”? Nope, also a reprint, this time in the ACCOLADES anthology.
  • Surely, “Thlush-A-Lum” is up for some nominating fun? Assuredly not, as it enjoyed its fourth printing this year, in It Calls From the Sky. Clearly, I believe in the power of making your words work for you again…and again…and again. Reprints are great! But they are not eligible for nominations…unless I put them together into my own collection someday! A girl can dream.

So I guess those first two stories really are the only ones I have eligible for nominations this awards season despite my great publishing year. With seven publications added to my grand total of thirty-one, I’m not at all upset about that. If you read either “It’s Only Vampire” or “An Inconvenient Quest” and liked them enough to give them a nomination, then you have my thanks.

And if not…more Stories by Rebecca Gomez Farrell are certainly coming your way in 2021. In fact, a new recording of my “Submission Caws” is up now at the Centropic Oracle here! More on that soon. One of my earliest stories, “She Could be Me,” will make its way into Bards & Sages Quarterly in the spring. My brand-new “Fresh Catch of the Day” is coming out in A Quiet Afternoon 2 as well. And more new things that I can’t quite speak about yet…but soon, very soon.

That’s it for my second-ever awards eligibility post! Maybe next year, I’ll have three pieces that’ll qualify. Fingers crossed – or rather – poised over the keyboard, ready to write.

It’s Only Vampire Published in FARK in the Time of COVID: The 2020 Fark Fiction Anthology!

I am pleased to announce that my humorous horror tale, “It’s Only Vampire,” appears in FARK in the Time of COVID: The 2020 Fark Fiction Anthology! The anthology was released in December 2020.

fark fiction anthology, rebecca gomez farrell, fark in the time of covid, horror, humorous horror, funny horror, fark in the time of covid

I have a soft spot for the main characters in “It’s Only Vampire.” Vlad and Ji, a pair of old-timer vampires who live in a brave new world of vampire liberation, decades after vampires rose from the shadows to conquer the Earth. You see, vampires come into existence when humans write about them. After a fan fiction-based population boom, they finally had enough numbers to take their place as the dominant predator on the planet.

But ancient, sophisticated vampires like Vlad and Ji, still have a few concerns. Avoiding sunlight and garlic cloves, certainly. But also getting along with the newer generations of bloodsuckers. Some disagreements are only human — er, vampire — in nature.

Here are the first few lines of “It’s Only Vampire” to entice your purchase:

By the time Vlad’s paper-thin skin was sizzling in the sunshine as he sped down the zipline, I knew the sixth day of my nine hundred and ninety-fourth year had gone horribly wrong. Had the humans felt the same when we stepped from the shadows a decade ago to reveal our existence? We took charge before the mortals had the chance to form a resistance.

It started in late twilight with the piquant aroma of coffee brewing. Not the vampire takeover of Earth, but the sequence of events leading to Vlad’s unfortunate circumstance. Desire for my daily cuppa had uncreaked my old joints as Vlad and I waited for the steeping coffee on a café’s mahogany bench. Mahogany is a sign of exceptional taste—it makes quite elegant caskets.

it's only vampire, rebecca gomez farrell, fark in the time of covid, fark fiction anthology

This is my second time having a short story appear in the annual Fark.com fiction anthologies – the first was “Garbage” in 2017. Like its predecessors, FARK in the Time of COVID: The 2020 Fark Fiction Anthology, donates its proceeds to a children’s charity chosen by Fark.com posters. You can order it on Amazon as a paperback or read the ebook via Kindle Unlimited.

it's only vampire, rebecca gomez farrell, fark in the time of covid, fark fiction anthology

Obligatory author & book photo

What is Fark.com? Why, it’s one of the oldest, and most irreverent, news aggregator websites still around. Fark.com first came into existence in 1999. I’m mostly a lurker on their message boards, but I’ve always been a fan of the site and its humorous news headlines and epic discussion threads. Oh, and their taste in fiction. 😉 I’m a fan of that, too. The annual anthology was born from Fark’s weekly discussion thread for writers.

I wouldn’t leave you without a little photographic inspiration for “It’s Only Vampire” to get your imaginations churning.

Ben Farrell, ziplining, jamaica, zipline, man ziplining

“What Scattered in the Wind” appears in Accolades!

I’m so thrilled that “What Scattered in the Wind” is reprinted in the Accolades anthology from Women Who Submit Lit. The anthology launches today at the AWP conference in San Antonio.

accolades, accolades anthology, women who submit, women who submit lit, publishing women, horror, what scattered in the wind, rebecca gomez farrell

“What Scattered in the Wind” first appeared in Little Letters on the Skin, a chapbook/anthology (more info here). It’s a flash fiction horror tale of an older woman who wakes to find unwanted, and long forgotten, visitors to her isolated desert mesa.

What makes this reprint so special is that Accolades is a celebration of the submissions, acceptances, and publications of members of the national Women Who Submit Lit organization, of which I run a local chapter.

women who submit, women who submit lit, submission, publishing

Every other month, I spend two hours submitting out my work for publication and encouraging other writers to do the same. Accolades is proof of how effective that support and time investment is, as all the works featured within it are reprints of writing WWSL members have had published elsewhere — all that perseverance pays off!

Accolades is available in print from Amazon for $15. Here are the leading lines into “What Scattered in the Wind”:

Hollow rasps of laughter pestered her to wakefulness. Any noise would have done the same, though she clamped her eyelids together in protest. For years, Ruth had heard nothing but the teakettle’s hiss or the slow scrape of her cane against the camper’s floor panels. The creaking sound of her voice rarely interrupted the silence. Unlike the other wayfarers, Ruth had never developed the habit of talking to herself. She didn’t care to hear what she’d have to say.

“Hee-hee, hee-he-heee!“

And a photo to set the mood:

what scattered in the wind, the gourmez, fiction, horror, trailers

Reading at Shades & Shadows in Los Angeles 9/16!

This coming Saturday evening, I am thrilled (or is it chilled?) to participate in Shades & Shadows, Los Angeles’s only dark fiction reading series:

shades and shadows reading rebecca gomez farrell

Details:

8:30 pm, doors open at 8
$10 entry fee. Tickets here.
THERE WILL BE CAKE
At the Mystic Museum
3204 Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA

Click here if you’d like to RSVP at the Facebook event!

Dark fiction, you ask? But isn’t your fantasy novel YA? Well, as many of the reviews can tell you, Wings Unseen is quite a bit darker than some readers expect for YA! I did pitch it as having elements of horror, for both the creatures contained within it and the horrific power struggle in Medua. Believe me, there is plenty of darkness to draw from in the worlds of Lansera and Medua. Now will I go dark horror, dark magic, or darkened halls for my selection? You’ll have to come to find out! This is my one and only SoCal stop on my book tour, so I do hope you’ll make it. If not, stay tuned for the podcast release of the evening’s festivities….which may take a while — the Shades & Shadows crew is about a year behind in podcast production. So you’re best bet is to show up! I hope to see you there.

Little Letters on the Skin Reading: Friday, 8/11!

This is essentially a repost of info from when this reading was originally scheduled, but it was moved to do publication issues. Well…it’s happening tomorrow! Time has flown by, and I am very excited to finally share “What Scattered in the Wind” tomorrow night in person and into posterity for anyone who orders this chapbook! Please come celebrate the launch for the anthology/chapbook it will appear in: Little Letters on the Skin.

little letters on the skin

What? The Cleave: Bay Area Women Writers and the Liminal Center Release of the Little Letters on the Skin

When? Friday, June 9, 2017   Friday, August 11, 2017

Where? The Octopus Literary Salon, 2101 Webster St, Oakland.

Time? 7 pm.

Eight other writers and myself, who have been involved with Oakland’s amazing creative space for feminists and womanists, the Liminal Center, will be taking part in the reading and small group Q & A afterward. The anthology will be available for purchase, with all profits going to help support the work of the Liminal Center, which I’ve written about before here and here. I will also bring along a few copies to sell of Typehouse Literary Magazine #9, which featured my humorous sci-fi story, “Mixed Signals, or, Learning How to Speak,” last September.

“What Scattered in the Wind” is not humorous sci-fi, that’s for sure. Rather, it’s horror flash fiction done in a poetic prose style, and it’s the first story I wrote upon moving to the Bay Area. I love the mood of it, and the angst within it, that of a woman struggling with her biggest regret in life and sentenced to forever re-remember it. The first lines?

Hollow rasps of laughter pestered her to wakefulness. Any noise would have done the same, though she clamped her eyelids together in protest. For years, Ruth had heard nothing but the teakettle’s hiss or the slow scrape of her cane against the camper’s floor panels. The creaking sound of her voice rarely interrupted the silence. Unlike the other wayfarers, Ruth had never developed the habit of talking to herself. She didn’t care to hear what she’d have to say.

“Hee-hee, hee-he-heee!

What I am most excited about for this event, however, is the exceptional list of fellow writers reading with me, at least half of whom I’ve read with before and they are STELLAR:

Christine No is a writer, filmmaker and pitbull enthusiast based in Oakland, CA. She is a Pushcart Prize Nominee and the 2016 First Place Poetry Winner of the Litquake Writing Contest. Say hello at  www.christineno.com

Gina Goldblatt is the founder of Liminal, a writing center for women, in Oakland California. She is a writer, an educator and an aerialist.

Hannah Rubin is a writer and artist based in Oakland, CA.

Heather Schubert is a published author, visual artist, teacher, Priestess and mother of four.

Jasmine Wade is obsessed with the tumultuous, hilarious, heartbreaking, and never-ending process of growing up. Find a list of her short stories at www.jasminehwade.com.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, public speaker, mental health advocate and proud Oakland native. Visit her podcast and blog CocoaFly.com where she covers issues related to women, race, wellness and sex.

Norma Smith was born in Detroit, grew up in Fresno, California, and has lived and worked in Oakland since the late 1960s. In  support of her writing, she has worked as a ward clerk in hospitals, as a radio producer, as a translator and interpreter, as an educator, and as an editor and writing coach.

Rebecca Gomez Farrell writes all the speculative fiction genres she can conjure up. Find a list of her published shorter works at RebeccaGomezFarrell.com, and find her debut fantasy novel, Wings Unseen, in August 2017 from Meerkat Press.

Ruth Crossman was born and raised in Berkeley and currently lives in Oakland. She is a poet and a songwriter who teaches ESL to support her writing habit.

Additionally, the anthology is edited by Dr. Raina J. León, who’s an associate professor at Saint Mary’s College and the founder of the Cleave reading series along with numerous other accolades. That’s a stellar line-up that I’m glad to be a part of! I do hope you’ll come out and join us, celebrating what women are doing in the literary arts in Oakland. Here’s the Facebook event page, if you’d like to RSVP. I always like to know what friendly faces I’ll see in the crowd!

My Next Reading & Story: “What Scattered in the Wind”

Update! This reading and publication has been postponed until 8/11. All other details remain the same. Join me in August instead!

My next short story publication is coming up soon! And I will soon be taking part in a reading to celebrate the launch for the anthology/chapbook it will appear in: Little Letters on the Skin. I do hope you’ll join me.

little letters on the skin

What? The Cleave: Bay Area Women Writers and the Liminal Center Release of the Little Letters on the Skin

When? Friday, June 9, 2017   Friday, August 11, 2017

Where? The Octopus Literary Salon, 2101 Webster St, Oakland.

Time? 7 pm.

Eight other writers and myself, who have been involved with Oakland’s amazing creative space for feminists and womanists, the Liminal Center, will be taking part in the reading and small group Q & A afterward. The anthology will be available for purchase, with all profits going to help support the work of the Liminal Center, which I’ve written about before here and here. I will also bring along a few copies to sell of Typehouse Literary Magazine #9, which featured my humorous sci-fi story, “Mixed Signals, or, Learning How to Speak,” last September.

“What Scattered in the Wind” is not humorous sci-fi, that’s for sure. Rather, it’s horror flash fiction done in a poetic prose style, and it’s the first story I wrote upon moving to the Bay Area. I love the mood of it, and the angst within it, that of a woman struggling with her biggest regret in life and sentenced to forever re-remember it. The first lines?

Hollow rasps of laughter pestered her to wakefulness. Any noise would have done the same, though she clamped her eyelids together in protest. For years, Ruth had heard nothing but the teakettle’s hiss or the slow scrape of her cane against the camper’s floor panels. The creaking sound of her voice rarely interrupted the silence. Unlike the other wayfarers, Ruth had never developed the habit of talking to herself. She didn’t care to hear what she’d have to say.

“Hee-hee, hee-he-heee!

What I am most excited about for this event, however, is the exceptional list of fellow writers reading with me, at least half of whom I’ve read with before and they are STELLAR:

Christine No is a writer, filmmaker and pitbull enthusiast based in Oakland, CA. She is a Pushcart Prize Nominee and the 2016 First Place Poetry Winner of the Litquake Writing Contest. Say hello at  www.christineno.com

Gina Goldblatt is the founder of Liminal, a writing center for women, in Oakland California. She is a writer, an educator and an aerialist.

Hannah Rubin is a writer and artist based in Oakland, CA.

Heather Schubert is a published author, visual artist, teacher, Priestess and mother of four.

Jasmine Wade is obsessed with the tumultuous, hilarious, heartbreaking, and never-ending process of growing up. Find a list of her short stories at www.jasminehwade.com.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, public speaker, mental health advocate and proud Oakland native. Visit her podcast and blog CocoaFly.com where she covers issues related to women, race, wellness and sex.

Norma Smith was born in Detroit, grew up in Fresno, California, and has lived and worked in Oakland since the late 1960s. In  support of her writing, she has worked as a ward clerk in hospitals, as a radio producer, as a translator and interpreter, as an educator, and as an editor and writing coach.

Rebecca Gomez Farrell writes all the speculative fiction genres she can conjure up. Find a list of her published shorter works at RebeccaGomezFarrell.com, and find her debut fantasy novel, Wings Unseen, in August 2017 from Meerkat Press.

Ruth Crossman was born and raised in Berkeley and currently lives in Oakland. She is a poet and a songwriter who teaches ESL to support her writing habit.

Additionally, the anthology is edited by Dr. Raina J. León, who’s an associate professor at Saint Mary’s College and the founder of the Cleave reading series along with numerous other accolades. That’s a stellar line-up that I’m glad to be a part of! I do hope you’ll come out and join us, celebrating what women are doing in the literary arts in Oakland. Here’s the Facebook event page, if you’d like to RSVP. I always like to know what friendly faces I’ll see in the crowd!

Good Genes published at the Future Fire!

“Good Genes,” is now available to read at the Future Fire as part of their 38th issue, or Issue 2016.38 in the magazine’s parlance.

the Future Fire issue 2006.38

I am super glad it was published just in time for Halloween as it’s a spooky story, and a bit of an epic one, combining a modern-day tale with a narrative from the Wild West stage of American history. Sometimes, a place a refuge may bring more horror than the past left behind…

Good Genes Artist Pear Nuallak

Artwork by Pear Nuallak

The illustration posted above is one of two that accompany “Good Genes” in the Future Fire. Both are done by Pear Nuallak, and I love when my stories get a little pictorial boost! Read the magazine online to see the second one! Here’s the link directly to the story. And here’s a new teaser for you:

The noise of the carnival had died down as the ceremonial hour approached and the townspeople made their way to the gathering place in a trickle. Clumps of dry needles covered brittle pine cones hanging from a handful of trees. The great lawn was a patchwork of mud-filled trenches, struggling green grasses, and yellowed squares that had given up the fight. A faded wicker pavilion rose up at the park’s eastern edge, in front of a free-standing wall of cement—handball courts? Two banners strung across the stage declared “Heritage Festival” and “May Our Founders Live Forever.”

There are other great reasons to tune in to Issue 2016.38 — free short stories by authors Ola Al-Fateh, Petra Kuppers, Kelly Rose Pflug-Back, and Damien Krsteski, and poetry by F. J. Bergmann! I look forward to reading them all. As Editor Djibril al-Ayad describes the collection:

“Not everything is what it seems—sometimes unseen terrors lurk in every shadow, around every corner, beneath an unassuming countenance or behind unthreatening doors. We might be pleasantly surprised by the resilience of a people we expected to collapse in defeat, and we could be equally shocked by the creeping bigotry and xenophobia of our smiling neighbors. Surprises are at the heart of dramatic tension, and hidden depths and dark secrets are a recurring theme in the stories in this month’s issue.”

Feel free to leave me your reactions to “Good Genes” or comment on it at the Future Fire blog. Whatever you do, try not to take your next next cough too seriously…

 

 

Catch the Hydra (and me!) Reading on 10/25!

Last week, I was invited to join the Hydra literary series for their spooky Halloween reading, and of course, I said yes. Read my horror? I look forward to any spine-chilling I can cause!

What: The Hydra #7 Reading Series!
Where: Woods Bar & Brewery, 1701 Telegraph, Downtown Oakland
When: 7 pm.

More details at the Facebook event page!

The Hydra is hosted by the Association of Black and Brown Writers, an affliate of Oakland’s own Nomadic Press. The series is inspired by the six-headed creature of myth, woken from beneath Mt. Diablo as the Bay Area burst into the poetry scene! Knighted keeper of the beast, Ursula K. Le Guin, declared “With the popularity of poetry readings in the Bay Area, the heads of the beast are growing back at an alarming rate, and the only thing that will slow down the beast is the inclusion of more fiction in the literary scene. We need stories of mythical beasts stronger than the Hydra. We need stories of worlds that is not the world it remembers, or maybe stories of lands the Hydra knows all too well. We need stories of heroes that can destroy it, and villians greater than it. We need experimental stories, we need short stories, we need fiction. Fiction is the only thing that will down the beast for once and for all. Counteract the poetry that is making the beast grow, and do it now.”

I am happy to do my part in this battle against the Hydra and will be reading at least two short stories as my weapons. And if we can get it right this time, Ben will Facebook Live it as well. 😉

But an in-person audience is always best! Hope to see you there.

cat yawning mazu

Mazu gives away the ending of one of my tales…

 

September Appearances

The last week of September will be a busy one for me! I will be participating in two groups readings, and I’d love if you came out to support me and the great slates of other authors sharing their work at these series.

Rebecca Gomez Farrell reading At the Inkwell

Me, reading last spring at Alley Cat Books for the At the Inkwell literary series.

I will read excerpts from my short stories released this fall, though I’m not sure which one I’ll do on which night quite yet. Those stories are “Mixed Signals, or, Learning How to Speak,” a humurous sci-fi tale that is available now in Issue #9 of Typehouse Literary Magazine (info on how to get it here), and “Good Genes,” a horror/Weird West story that will appear in the Future Fire’s Issue #38, publication set for mid-October.

Each of these readings is a regularly occurring literary series in the Bay Area. You’ll get to hear from talented authors who write a range of genres, which is always a treat for me, as I think literary and genre fiction share more in common than in divergence. Here are the details:

What: Literary Speakeasy (link goes to Facebook Event page, where you can RSVP)
Where: Martuni’s, in the piano room
Address: 4 Valencia Street, San Francisco
When: 9/29 at 7:00 pm

There’s no event page yet for the Liminal reading, so just let me know below if I will find your smiling faces in the audience! I look forward to seeing you.

What: Writers-in-Residence Reading and Art Closing for Affordable Art Prints
Where: Liminal
Address: 3037 38th Avenue, Oakland
When: 9/30 at 7:00 pm

I will also be attending Con-Volution in Burlingame on 10/1 & 10/2, so I would love to meet you there as well! Let me know, and we’ll figure out how to make our paths cross during the Con.

The One Word Story Project

In November, I stumbled across Rob Kristoffersen’s (@kristoffrable) One Word Story Project while browsing my Twitter feed. A group of authors writing stories each inspired by one word? Sounded like a lot of fun!

one-word-story-graphic-banner

I’d been looking for ways to share my fiction more often, as I had limited myself to publishing stories only with professionally rated Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America outlets, and I wasn’t feeling satisfied by the awesome, yet limited, opportunities they provide. So Rob’s project seemed perfect! As he’s a contributor at Team Hellions, a geek website covering a wide range of fandoms (even wrestling!), the stories will be hosted there.

And the first one is up today! Fittingly, the series begins with Rob’s story, “The Home is Where the Haunting Is,” which is inspired by the word epicedium: a funeral dirge. Click on over to read this tale, which, like my own, is a haunting story with marriage at its forefront. Rob’s tale is an affecting look into the aftermath of divorce, and it ends especially strong.

There will be a new One Word Story up at Team Hellions every weekday for a month, through 2/11/2016. My own is inspired by misogamy: a hatred of marriage, and I’ll tell you when it’s up, of course!  But I’ll also point you over to the site whenever I especially enjoy the other writers’ stories.