Space truckers set sail in Clarkesworld

Clarkesworld #167, August 2020

I have a short story called “Drawing Lines Between the Stars” in the August issue of Clarkesworld. You can read the story for free online, or purchase an eBook edition. I think it will be in print later this month. You can also listen to an audio version on the podcast.

This was a big one for me—I’ve read some of my favorite short stories in Clarkesworld and have been submitting there for years. It’s also exciting that there’s an interview with Michael Swanwick in the issue—one of my SFF heroes.

“Drawing Lines Between the Stars” started out with the working title “Space Trucking” and is about Bex, an engineer on a star-ship crew that runs a regular route between the Earth’s moon and Europa. After they pick up a hitchhiker—a solar sail nomad on her way to a gathering of other nomads for a once-in-a-century celebration—Bex is forced to face his drug addiction and reconsider his artificial life trapped inside a star-ship and whether he wants to pursue a more natural life, like the nomad. More happens.

I’ve never been able to explain this one, actually. The nomads were part of a longer story that didn’t work and Bex and Captain Onome are original characters to this story. The Mike character appeared after I’d re-read The Dog of the South by Charles Portis and realized I needed more conflict. I also liked the idea of Bex always talking shit about his co-worker. The Dog of the South also changed the voice in this story, creating a voice that is something I’ve been trying to figure out for some time.

With all of the the chaos in the world, I haven’t had as much time to write as I used to, and have especially suffered from a creative block. I have a writing friend, Matthew Fox, and we met at The New School and were roommates in Brooklyn what feels like a billion years ago now. In the last few years we’ve started trading stories back and forth again, and while Matthew hadn’t read this one in particular, his encouragement is what made me send it out during a point in time when I didn’t think it made much sense to bother with the whole writing business.

It’s good to have friends.

Anyway, please consider supporting Clarkesworld by picking up the latest issue. Or with a subscription. Thanks for reading.