My novelette “Stolen Souls” to reappear in Fantastique Unfettered

/ Friday, September 9th, 2011 / No Comments »

I learned something today that leaves me especially tickled.

As a part of the “Mike Allen feature” in issue 4 of Fantastique Unfettered, the zine is reprinting my science fiction novelette “Stolen Souls.”

Whatever flaws it may have, this piece holds a lot of sentimental value for me. The opening scene was the final bit I came up with for my creative writing seminar at Hollins University when I was a grad student there. Five years later, fleshed out into an 8,600-word novelette, that story became my first SFWA-level pro sale (whatever stock you put in that.) It appeared in the Australian magazine Altair in 1999 and earned a sweet review from Tangent:

One of the two tales in this issue I felt stood far above the rest … Venner lives in the near future, where aliens steal living human brains to use as computers. His wife is such a victim, and Venner vows to recover her. So he allows himself to be cyborged, and tracks the brain thieves across the universe. But as he approaches closer and closer to his goal, he must surrender piece after piece of his humanity to gain the edge on his adversaries. In the end he succeeds, but it’s unclear if he is capable of understanding what his victory means.

There’s a minor tale of woe that’s also attached to this piece. Once upon a time there was going to be an American edition of Altair and it was supposed to launch with the very same issue “Stolen Souls” appeared in. The issue was actually printed (and I saw the proofs) but because of a financial dispute between publisher and printer it was never distributed to newsstands and presumably ended up being pulped.

So, I’m delighted that Alexa and Brandon at Fantastique Unfettered are giving this story a chance to appear before some new eyes.

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