My YA novel, CATFISHING ON CATNET, is coming out in November of this year, and the cover (AND AN EXCERPT) are up today at Den of Geek. Go check it out!
The actual trip was at the invitation of Future Affairs Administration, which publishes SF in China (and does a bunch of stuff, actually, but I was most familiar with their publishing because they’ve translated several of my stories into Chinese). It was also sponsored by Wanda Group, which I had not heard of prior to the invitation but which owns, among other things, AMC Theaters. There was a group of both Chinese and non-Chinese science fiction writers; we were taken around the Danzhai Tourist Village and in exchange, we’re each writing a story inspired by the trip.
I didn’t know who else was coming until I got there. The other western writers were me, Fran Wilde, Carolyn Ives Gilman, and Samantha Murray (who’s Australian). The Chinese writers were Han Song, Zhao Lei, Tang Fei, Liang Ling, and Su Wanwen. The organizers from FAA were Vera Sun and Emily Gu.
Here’s my fiction that came out in 2018 (with helpful information on the categories they’d go in, should anyone want to nominate them for anything):
“Prophet of the Roads,” which appeared in the Infinity’s End anthology (edited by Jonathan Strahan), July 2018. If you squint, this might be a far-far-far-future sequel to “Cat Pictures Please.” This is a short story.
Field Biology of the Wee Fairies, which appeared in Apex, September 2018. There’s also an interview with me about the story in which you can see some photos of the protagonist, who is based on my mother. This is a short story.
In 2019, look for my YA novel, Catfishing on Catnet, which will be coming out from Tor Teen in November! (You’ll see the cover, an excerpt, outtakes, and the all-important pre-ordering link as those become available this year, don’t worry.) This book includes one of my absolute favorite scenes I have ever written, in which the AI protagonist of “Cat Pictures Please” teaches a high school sex ed class.
Over on Twitter, I saw this insightful observation:
She is not wrong. There’s a lot of writing advice that focuses on, “shut off the inner critic, just write, you can fix it in editing” and a lot less advice on editing. I think about editing pretty consciously both because I work on my own stories, and because I’m in a critique group (I’ve been in this group for over twenty years) and so I think a lot about story structure and what my colleagues are trying to do with their stories so I can help them do it better.
I responded with a Twitter thread, but my friend Magenta nagged me to turn it into a proper blog post, so okay. Here’s an essay with my insights on how to edit your story, now that you’ve followed Anne Lamott’s classic advice and written a shitty first draft, which you are now trying to fix.
(I know basically nothing about editing magazines or books. I have never worked as an editor professionally. This isn’t about that sort of editing; this is about taking a draft, something that’s truly not ready for the light of day, and turning it into something you’re sufficiently pleased with to show other people.)
My short story collection (published by Fairwood Press) is OUT TODAY!
It includes “Cat Pictures Please” (of course) but also a number of stories that are not online:
“Isabella’s Garden,” about a preschooler with supernatural gardening powers. Originally appeared in Realms of Fantasy. (Almost the very last issue.)
“The Wall,” my Berlin Wall time travel story, which appeared in Asimov’s and won the Asimov’s Reader’s Choice Award.
“Artifice,” which is a story about robots and board game parties and what makes us human. It appeared in Analog.
“Cleanout,” which is my story about the emotional difficulty of cleaning out the extremely cluttered home of a dead or dying relative. This is one of those incredibly common difficult experiences, and I wanted to write about it. It’s also about family secrets. Published in F&SF.
“Perfection” and “Ace of Spades,” two stories that have not been previously published and are not available anywhere else.
As well as “Cat Pictures Please,” “Bits,” “So Much Cooking,” “Wind,” and other stories that have appeared online, gathered together here for your convenience (or so you can give it to your friend or family member who doesn’t much Internet.)
(Not included in this volume: the Seastead stories. Those fit together into a novel, which my agent is trying to sell.)
If you would like a SIGNED copy of Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories, my two local SF/F bookstores can set you up. Uncle Hugo’s. Dreamhaven. You can also, of course, order it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It is available in both print and e-book versions.
So hey, fans of pushy, nosy, cat-loving AIs: I am writing a YA novel for Tor Books based on “Cat Pictures Please.”
It features the AI, a social network that revolves around cat pictures, and a teenager with an unstable home life, an obsession with bats, and a night-photography hobby.
It’s going to be AWESOME and I’m super excited. Here’s the announcement from Tor (and yes, the picture in the article is a picture of one of my cats, Balto): http://www.tor.com/2017/02/27/naomi-kritzer-cat-pictures-please-novel/
(I was writing and submitting this year! I sold stories that will appear in 2017, and I wrote new stories that I’ve started sending around, I sold a short story collection that will come out in 2017, and I sold translation rights to “Cat Pictures Please” and some of my other stories…but only one story actually appeared this year, and that very late in the year. So it goes.)