I have an idea for a short story, but it resisted lexeme rendering, so I decided to render it as runny strokes.

Watercolor on a supermarket brown bag.

Yay for recycling (?)

Here’s the zoomed-out version with the ‘frame’ of the handles on the bag. haha



Rich Horton’s Campbell Recommendation List!

I woke up this morning to notifications from fellow SFF/speculative fiction writers that I’m on Rich Horton’s Campbell Award-eligible recommendation list!

I’m honored to have my name alongside the nine other wonderful new writers!

From Rich Horton’s website:

Finally, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. This is given to the best writer whose first professional publication in the SF or Fantasy field appeared in the past two years (2016 or 2017). Writertopia has a page, not guaranteed to be complete, with a list of eligible authors: .

I went through that list and came up with the following writers who have done something that impressed me:

G. V. Anderson (who already has a World Fantasy Award!)
R. S. Benedict
J. R. Dawson
Giovanni di Feo
Tonya Liburd
Benjamin C. Kinney
Finbarr O’Reilly
Vina Jie-Min Prasad
Rebecca Roanhorse
D. A. Xiaolin Spires

Interestingly, I don’t think any of these have published novels, and in fact I didn’t recognize a novelist among all the eligible writers listed. (Probably there were some, but I hadn’t seen their novels.) Typically novelists have an advantage. Maybe this year will be different.

I have a novel!!– well, not really, yet. But, I have two novels-in-progress (one currently tabled) and one novella out with beta-readers! These longer forms will come–eventually!

It was certainly nice seeing my name included on the recommendation list– and now I have a lot of fantastic works to (re)read by fellow Campbell-eligible authors!

“Food Craving Zap” microstory

My microstory (second helping) is up at Story Seed Vault! Thanks Editor Alex Massey for the sci-commentary!

Story Seed Vault

Retiring Faux-Meat Competitive Eater Checks Into A Diet Facility
Surgeons penetrate her skull, implant an electrode into her basal
forebrain and press the trigger. ~
Zz!~ Her cravings switch off.

 In the first serial story published by the Vault, D. A. Xiaolin Spires serves us up a second helping of competitive eater Yamamoto. Reading that innovative approaches to food cravings and impulsive behavior may lead to new methods of dietary supervision, Spires surrenders her character to another stage for observation by a crowd – a diet facility. Is this technology new in her universe? Or are cravings now pathologised? That is up to the impulses of our readers. // Alex Massey

//D.A. Xiaolin Spires chomps on a faux-meat “Sham Jim”. Work in Clarkesworld, Analog and Fireside. @spireswriter//

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“Yamamoto”–Lab-grown meats microstory!

My microstory on lab-grown meats is up on Story Seed Vault!

Thanks Editor Alex for the science commentary.

Story Seed Vault

Flecks fly from Yamamoto’s lips. She soaks another lab-grown burger in water, swallows it whole. The crowd cheers, waving flags featuring animations of stem cell extraction.

As lab-grown meat grows in popularity, the public begins to turn its attention from the scientists who created it to where it will be sold. Contemplating this, D. A. Xiaolin Spires blends together the notions of promotional stunts and extreme sports to create a new competitive eating contest. In the crowd, the ethical consumer cheers, waving flags made of digital OLED fabrics. In Spires’ future, GIFS are printable, and meat is vegetarian. Will her fiction become fact before our very eyes? // Alex Massey

//D.A. Xiaolin Spires waves from a billowing fabric screen. Work in Clarkesworld, Analog and Fireside. @spireswriter//

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analog selfie

I was looking at some wonderful sci fi & fantasy illustrators’ portfolios and their imaginative creations swarmed my mind.

Up at 3am, my mind full of visuals, here’s the analog selfie I came up with, finding only a pencil and a sharpie in my vicinity. (If only I had some paint somewhere… I’ll have to dig in the morning. Not really polished, since it is 3am after all!) Thrown together in probably less than 10 minutes.


(Shadows attributed to my lamp and camerawork.)