2021 was an incredibly transformative year for me. A lot of that transformation took place behind the scenes, in my personal life, rather than anything that would be immediately visible to readers. I bought a house and cleaned the fuck out of it! I ended one relationship and started a few more. I found a more solid community locally. I processed some trauma. I did all this under the auspices of Year Two of the COVID-19 pandemic, which threw emotional and logistical monkey wrenches every which way and which doesn't look like it's going to be over anytime soon. Like, legitimately I was a badass.
I've got to push back against the brain weasels that want to say my writing fell by the wayside. Inevitably, some things got slowed down, because pandemic or because otherwise. But 2021 was still a very productive year for me in publishing, and I have a bunch of new works out this year that are eligible for a bunch of awards.
THE FALLEN, book two in the Outside trilogy, came out in July 2021. This book takes THE OUTSIDE's themes and pushes them further into an exploration of neurodivergent community and survival in the most difficult of times. It's eligible for most of the science fiction novel awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, Lambda (it's very queer), and Aurora (I'm Canadian).
MILLION-YEAR ELEGIES, my debut poetry collection, came out in March 2021. This book is full of poetry about evolution, deep time, and DINOSAURS! Like THE FALLEN, it is very much about the theme of survival, even in the face of mass extinctions and other colossal dangers. It's a book very dear to my heart. MYE is eligible for any award that applies to a science fiction poetry collection - this includes the Elgin and the Aurora (a poetry collection would fall under "Best Related Work").
"The Hedge-Witch of Welland," a story I co-wrote with Jacqueline Flay, appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Kaleodotrope. This one is eligible for all the standard awards as a fantasy short story.
My poem "Dream Logic" appeared in Climbing Lightly Through Forests: A Poetry Anthology Honoring Ursula K. LeGuin. This poem is from the point of view of The Lathe of Heaven's main character, George Orr.
My poem "I grew out of it" closed out Issue #66 of Not One of Us.
The majority of the poems in MILLION-YEAR ELEGIES are also original to that collection and would therefore be eligible for awards this year as individual poems. In particular, "Ursus" - the final poem before the epilogue - was singled out as one of April's recommendations on Charles Payseur’s X Marks the Story, making it the only poem by any author to make the list.
The other thing I accomplished this year, writing-wise, was to start this very Substack you are reading - which has already brought in more annualized revenue than Patreon ever did, back when I was on Patreon. Thank you so much for your support!
So many of us struggled so hard this year, and it is fine and worthy just to have survived. But I am not the only author who was fortunate enough to be able to thrive and publish during this time. In my next published post, I'll be giving you a big list of my favorite short stories and poems that I read in 2021. Stay tuned!
You're the nicest person I've met online. And a great writer. I hope 2022 is even better for you!