Monday, January 20, 2014


Hello again! (so soon?)

I've had two new stories bloom into cyberspace over the past couple of weeks. I'll tell you about them, because they were both written during the same summer, and occupy two sides of the same coin:

1. "The Inventory of Marcus, Level 16" in Issue 54 of The Collagist.

This is the biggest story I've ever had published anywhere (6400 words!). It was one of those magical things that came out more or less correctly the first time, written, initially, during the summer of 2012, very quickly and in very tiny handwriting. This is the story that finally put the hundreds of hours I spent playing Diablo and Baldur's Gate to good use, as well as most of my high school angst. Writing solves problems!

The Collagist, too, has been a personal publishing benchmark for a couple of years, and so it's extra-satisfying to have such a thick, meaty story in there. It is, as always, a stellar issue all around, and I'm in there this month with Meghan McCarron, an amazing writer whose 2010 story "WE HEART VAMPIRES!!!!!!" was a very formative short-fiction read for me.

Also, "Inventory" is illustrated! With ASCII images! Which was also something that I was into during the summer of 2012, apparently (see, for example, these poems in Word Riot many moons ago). Many thanks to Gabriel Blackwell, for taking the story and giving it so much time and care as we prepared it for the issue (did I mention it was long?).

2. "Two Heads" in Issue 15 of Crime Factory.

Basically exactly what it promises. I wrote this story staring at a lake, which makes sense because the story is set in a desert. The first draft of it was written for the PANK 'pulp' special issue in 2012, and then rejected, so the fact that, many editions later, it's found a home in Crime Factory - a no-holds-barred hardboiled noir journal - is a particular kind of revenge (it has stitches on the cover, so you can tell it's hard).

It'll cost you $1.99 to get this issue, but there's 220 pages of legit crime writing (including my 2400 words) and you got 640,000 for free in the last story, so it all evens out. If you're saving up money to buy SATURN when it comes out, though, I understand.

"Two Heads" was originally part of PARTNERS, the story-collection I've mentioned here a few times, which is out searching with big googly-eyes for a home. On my last round through, I nixed "Two Heads" from the lineup, because there are enough painful sex scenes without it. Which is to say, you won't be seeing this one anywhere else, so hop to it while you still can.

There are a couple of personal meta-morals to take away from the publication of these fairly 'old' stories. First, if there's a story that's been kicking around for a really long time, and which hasn't found the right home yet - sit tight. It will get there, eventually. Second, going through "The Inventory of Marcus" again has made me realize that there's nothing quite as fun as a good, shaggy story. After a full year of focusing on hyper-concise David Bowie stories, I think it's time to sprawl a little bit. Like the suburbs.

(FYI, when I think of a 'shaggy' story, this s generally a variation of what I imagine, along with Matthew Lillard:)


SATURN is getting so close, and I am too excited. I have basically run out of things that I can do to 'prepare' in advance of its publication, other than making .gifs, so if you have ways to keep me busy or are interested in doing something with the book, let me know and I'll be in your debt forever.

All for now,

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Today is David Bowie's 67th birthday, which is an especially appropriate time for this announcement:

My first book, SATURN, a collection of David Bowie stories, will be published in early 2014 by none other than Spork Press.

I bolded that. And increased the font size. You bet I did. It's the biggest news we've had around here since ever!

You know Spork, right? The press responsible for such beauties as Colin Winnette's ANIMAL Collection, Joyelle McSweeney's The Necropastoral, and Zachary Schomburg's From the Fjords; handbound, hardback books (they have such sturdy spines), embossed covers, each one of them made with love and sweat and tears and definitely blood beneath the hot sun of Tuscon, Arizona. David Bowie could not be in more loving hands, and I could not be happier.

The book is 19 stories long - I like to call it, very loosely, a latter-day biography of potentiality. There's a lot of trivia in it, a lot of factoids for David Bowie nerds (I know there are a few of them out there), a lot of heart/soul/minotaurs/etc. I think you'll love it. My mother read it and said to my father, "It's amazing, the things he knows."

Earlier versions of a couple of these stories have been published already in places like Everyday Genius and The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review - check them out for a taste!

SATURN will probably be out in February, definitely in time for the Spork table at AWP in Seattle, where you'll be able to go and purchase your very own little piece of All-Simon to take home and treasure forever, along with all of your other David Bowie collectibles.

I won't be at AWP this year, unfortunately, as I will be on the hunt for the ever-elusive Snowy Buffalo.

Rest assured, as soon as SATURN is out, you'll never hear the end of it. There's even a cover now, which is one of the most badass pieces of art I've ever seen; it's not completely done so I can't share it with you just yet, but again: we don't keep these kinds of secrets for long.


If you investigate the newfangled links at the top of the page, you'll also see that I now have something called a 'mailing list,' which, if you sign up, means that you'll receive cryptic updates from Simonthia about as frequently as I post on this blog, which is very close to not at all. Basically, I set this up in order to send pictures of weird fish to a defined, self-selected group of people, and also because the Mailchimp logo is, obviously, a monkey, and I wanted to support that.

There's also now a page specifically for SATURN, because why not, under which you'll be able to find excerpts, reviews, interviews, etc. as they appear. If any of you invisible readers out there are particularly interested in knowing more about the book or the project, let me know and I'll overwhelm you with information. Thanks for reading! A book, a book, a book.