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[sticky post] An introduction

Apr. 30th, 2013 | 04:02 pm


I'm Alena McNamara. I write speculative fiction, mostly fantasy. I am a recent college graduate with a degree in Physics (and a minor in Critical Social Thought) who works in a library. My stories have appeared in Crossed Genres Magazine and Kaleidoscope.

Most of the entries on this journal are friends-locked, but I usually add people back. I'm also active on twitter as @aamcnamara, and all my content on LJ is mirrored to a Dreamwidth account of the same name too. Stop in and say hi!

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a sacred relationship

Aug. 26th, 2015 | 05:37 pm

My story "Starling Road" has been out for a little while in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #33. I'm still really pleased with this story, and so happy that it found a good home.

Today, LCRW #33 guest editor Michael DeLuca posted an interview I did with him about "Starling Road", romance, imperialism, and environmentalism. If you are interested in my thoughts about such things, check it out! I'm grateful to him for giving me the chance to natter on about my story.

This entry originally posted at Dreamwidth. See comments there.

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Readercon schedule 2015

Jun. 28th, 2015 | 08:00 am

My Readercon schedule has been finalized! Where I'll be:

Friday July 11
4:00 PM EM LCRW. Christopher Brown, Michael J. Deluca, Eric Gregory, Deborah McCutchen, Alena McNamara. Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet Group Reading

5:00 PM ENL The Works of Nicola Griffith. Jonathan Crowe, Kelley Eskridge, Alena McNamara. Nicola Griffith was born in Yorkshire, England, but has lived in the U.S. for many years with her wife, Kelley Eskridge. She began publishing SF with “Mirror and Burnstone” in Interzone in 1987. Her novels include Ammonite (1992, Tiptree and Lambda Award winner), Slow River (1994, Nebula and Lambda winner), The Blue Place (1998), Stay (2002), Always (2007), and Hild (2013). She has also co-edited three anthologies with Stephen Pagel: Bending the Landscape: Fantasy (1997), Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction (1998), and Bending the Landscape: Horror (2001). She has published a memoir, And Now We Are Going to Have a Party: Liner Notes to a Writer's Early Life (2007), another Lambda Award winner. Join us for a discussion of her work.

8:00 PM F Revealing the Past, Inspiring the Future. Amal El-Mohtar (leader), Max Gladstone, Alena McNamara, Sarah Pinsker, Julia Rios. When writing Hild, Nicola Griffith was aiming for historical accuracy where possible, including in her depictions of women, queer characters, people of color, and slavery in seventh-century Britain. She writes, "Readers who commit to Hild might see the early middle ages differently now: they see what might have been possible, instead of the old master story about the place of women and the non-existence of POC and QUILTBAG people 1400 years ago. And if it was possible then, what might be possible today and in the future?" What other books and stories expand our notion of the possible by revealing the truth of history? How can creators of future settings learn from the suppressed or hidden past?

Saturday July 12
9:30 AM ENV Reading: Alena McNamara. Alena McNamara. Alena McNamara reads from an unpublished fantasy novel.

1:00 PM G Confronting the Gods. Chris Gerwel, Alena McNamara, Anil Menon, Eugene Mirabelli, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. In the last few years, N.K. Jemisin, Max Gladstone, Jo Walton, and Robert Jackson Bennett have written some intriguing new takes on interactions between gods and mortals. Have cultural shifts made it easier to freely imagine different deistic dynamics? How do we read these books while living in a world full of complicated and conflicting attitudes toward religion?

I am very excited for my panels! "Revealing the Past, Inspiring the Future" might be the topic I'm looking forward the most to discussing. The LCRW reading will be for issue #33--should be pretty great. And last but certainly not least...well, I was not really expecting them to give me a reading slot. Eep. I plan to read from my novel in draft; I've got the first chapter re-drafted/revised at this point but I should polish that, or decide if I want to read from some other bit of it and work that up to strength.

(Also, I should likely look up all those stats on How Many Pages You Should Plan To Read In A Half-Hour Reading.)

That's me--who will I be seeing there?

This entry originally posted at Dreamwidth. See comments there.

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LCRW #33 and Readercon

Jun. 26th, 2015 | 08:53 am

My newest short story sale, "Starling Road", will appear in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #33 (out next month from Small Beer Press!). I love "Starling Road" and am extremely pleased it found such a good home. Michael DeLuca, the guest editor for the issue, has posted the full table of contents on his blog. It looks like it's going to be pretty awesome.

Associated with LCRW #33 will be a group reading at Readercon. I am also a program participant at Readercon--which is coming right up! I've seen a draft panel schedule, and it looks great, but I don't have the finalized version yet. Hopefully I will see many people there!

Spring and early summer have been quite busy for me between travel, a big work project, and starting some classes, but things seem to be calming down now (I say this every week) so I hope to get back into spending more time writing soon. It's not for lack of things to work on: I've got projects at novel, novelette, and short story length awaiting revisions. Fingers crossed I'll soon be able to work through those and get one, or more, out the door.

This entry originally posted at Dreamwidth. See comments there.

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Eligibility Post, 2014 edition

Jan. 18th, 2015 | 07:24 pm

I kept forgetting to do this in December, so it's a little later than most people's.

Published stories in 2014:
"The Day the God Died" in Kaleidoscope
"Katabasis" in Lightning Cake

Some of the Kaleidoscope reviews mentioned my story, quite a few of them favorably! This was probably the coolest part of 2014 for me as a writer. (Plus the part where I ended up talking with a book group about my story.)

I am in my second year of eligibility for the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer. If you are nominating for this award, please note that I have another short story available online for free, "As Large as Alone" which was published in Crossed Genres Magazine in summer 2013. This story will also be appearing in Twelfth Planet Press's Year's Best YA Speculative Fiction 2013 (not yet available).

This entry originally posted at Dreamwidth. See comments there.

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you don't have scales

Nov. 10th, 2014 | 12:09 pm

I am extremely delighted to announce that my short story "As Large as Alone", which appeared last summer in Crossed Genres, will be reprinted in Twelfth Planet Press's Year's Best YA Speculative Fiction for 2013. Here's the full table of contents:

Selkie Stories Are For Losers - Sofia Samatar
By Bone-Light - Juliet Marillier
The Myriad Dangers - Lavie Tidhar
Carpet - Nnedi Okorafor
I Gave You My Love by the Light of the Moon - Sarah Rees Brennan
57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides - Sam J. Miller
The Minotaur Girls - Tansy Rayner Roberts
Not With You, But With You - Miri Kim
Ghost Town - Malinda Lo
December - Neil Gaiman
An Echo in the Shell - Beth Cato
Dan's Dreams - Eliza Victoria
As Large As Alone - Alena McNamara
Random Play All and the League of Awesome - Shane Halbach
Mah Song - Joanne Anderton
What We Ourselves Are Not - Leah Cypess
The City of Chrysanthemum - Ken Liu
Megumi's Quest - Joyce Chng
Persimmon, Teeth, and Boys - Steve Berman
Flight - Angela Slatter
We Have Always Lived on Mars - Cecil Castellucci

See more at: Twelfth Planet Press's website

Of course, "As Large as Alone" is still available online for free over at Crossed Genres, but there are enough other excellent stories in that list that, if you buy it, I think you'll get your money's worth.

This entry originally posted at Dreamwidth. See comments there.

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dull the blade when it comes

Oct. 9th, 2014 | 06:20 pm

A nifty thing: my flash fiction piece "Katabasis" is up at Lightning Cake this week. It has two (yes, two!) illustrations, which I am going to be excited about for quite some time. I've never had illustrations before.

I feel like a lot of fantasy writers do something based on Greek mythology at some point--it's one of those rites of passage, like writing a story in the Arthurian mythos. (Which, for the record, I haven't done.) "Katabasis" is mine. I'm glad that Lightning Cake liked it enough to buy it; from what I've seen, some other people are enjoying it too. And really, that is one of the best parts about having stories published.

This entry originally posted at Dreamwidth. See comments there.

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Kaleidoscope is out!

Aug. 5th, 2014 | 07:58 pm

Kaleidoscope released today, and there is great excitement--rounded up at the Kaleidoscope website! They also have links to many places where it can be purchased: Indiebound, B&N, Amazon...you name it.

For my own part, I can say that I read through the anthology after I received my contributor's copy at Readercon, and enjoyed all the stories. It's a scattered anthology, not solidifying around theme or plot or a particular element, but that's what a kaleidoscope does best. Kaleidoscopes are toys, and I hope that Kaleidoscope does what the best toys do--helps people think about the world in new and different ways.

This entry originally posted at Dreamwidth. See comments there.

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Writing Questions meme

Jun. 6th, 2014 | 11:52 am

Blair tagged me a while ago, and then my life got ridiculous for a bit, so here goes!

long post is longCollapse )

I am tagging Brackett and Steph to carry on! I've been having fun reading people's answers to these questions and look forward to theirs.

This entry originally posted at Dreamwidth. See comments there.

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where I exist on the internet

May. 16th, 2014 | 04:58 pm

I have gone and gotten myself a website: alenamcnamara.com.

So far it's just a tiny thing, with links to my blog and to my story at Crossed Genres. Mostly I've put it up so that people who read Kaleidoscope and want more like that can find their way to my Crossed Genres story, and so that I can expand upon it later. I have no particular plans to enwordpressify my blog (it would take too much work and I like LJ/DW). But, well, who knows what the future will hold? At the least I have the domain name.

This entry originally posted at Dreamwidth. See comments there.

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