Tag Archives: asimov’s science fiction

Asimov’s Readers’ poll.

asimovs-cover-jan-2016Asimov’s Science Fiction hold reader polls each year – where readers get the chance to vote for their favorite story from the past year’s issues.

I’m honored that my story “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” is a finalist in the short story category. Amazed really.

The full list of finalists, in all categories is on the Asimov’s website.

The story is also a finalist in New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards, so I’m doubly honored.

And, triply cool is that the fabulous cover image by artist Maurizio Manzieri for the story is also a finalist in the Asimov’s Awards. I’ll be releasing the story later in the year as a standalone ebook, with an alternative illustration that Maurizio has graciously licensed to me.

Exciting times. Fingers crossed.


As a bonus, most of the stories are available for a limited time to read online for free at the site.


The Billows of Sarto – new short story in Asimov’s

asimovs march april 2018I probably wax on about my teenage dream of getting published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. This month marks the publication of my fifth story there, in the March-April 2018 issue. I’m humbled every time. That my little ol’ story gets such an honor.

Without giving too much away, “The Billows of Sarto” is set in an dormant volcanic crater, teeming with forest life and hotpools, on a far away planet (isn’t science fiction cool – I get such a fun playground). There’s an interview around somewhere with me (I’ll link to it once I find it!), but one of the questions was about my inspiration for the story.

Well, I do like volcanoes. Growing up in New Zealand, they’re all over. On a clear day, with a bit of elevation, you can see two from my hometown – Taranaki and Ruapehu.

I’ve also been lucky enough to visit volcanoes in other parts of the world too, from the volcanic plugs of the Glass House Mountains in Queensland Australia, to Rano Kau on Easter Island to Mt Fuji in Japan (well in the distance from a train).

One of my favourite places is Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. This is a genuine collapse caldera, where part of the mountain has dropped into the magma chamber (if I have those processes right). A smaller cone has even developed inside the caldera.

(photographs by Diana Monaghan – when I was there I was so in love with the place I forgot to take any. Excuse the bluriness – not Mum’s fault: mine. I photographed her photos with my phone. Sheesh).

It was fun to write the story, taking those places and reinventing them, with new ecologies and geothermal systems and, I hope, interesting characters.

Oh, it also turns out that my last story for Asimov’s, “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles”, is also a finalist in the Asimov’s  Annual Readers’ Award Poll, short story category, which is quite an honor. Maurizio’s wonderful cover art is also a finalist in the art category. Feels like that’ll need a longer post soon.

Sir Julius Vogel Award finalist

smFront-v5I’m fortunate enough to have have my short story “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” on the finalist ballot for New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards. I’m honored, and thrilled to be standing with such good company.

Best Short Story
“Earthcore: Initiation” – Grace Bridges, published on http://www.gracebridges.kiwi.
“Syren Song” – A.C Buchanan, published in Kaleidotrope.
“The Stone Weta” – Octavia Cade, published in Clarkesworld, issue 131.
“From the Womb of the Land, Our Bones Entwined” – A.J. Fitzwater, published in Pacific Monsters anthology (Fox Spirit Books).
“Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” – Sean Monaghan, published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Jan/Feb 2017.

Yeah. Look at those other stories, those other names. Sheesh.

Well, it’s nice to be a finalist at least.

Unfortunately other commitments this year mean that I won’t be attending the awards ceremony, but I will be back next year  (whether I’m on the ballot or not).

Good luck to all.

Crimson Birds of Small Miracles – story in January/February Asimov’s

asimovs-cover-jan-2016My story “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” is out now in the January-February issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. 2017 marks the 40th year of Asimov’s. I’m honored to be included, and extra-honored to have my story illustrated for the cover with wonderful art by Maurizio Manzieri.

C.J. Penn does everything he can for his ailing daughter, including traveling across worlds in search of relief from her symptoms. When they find the opportunity to witness the displays of Shilinka Switalla’s crimson birds, Penn leaps at the opportunity.

The issue should be out in bookstores now, and it’s also available as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and others.

Maurizio was kind enough to share with me (and grant permission for me to share here), the original image and his study work for the birds themselves. I’m thrilled with these. The images capture the story so well.

Octavia Cade in October/November Asimov’s

asf_octnov2016_400x580Taking a break from my regular programming here to shout out to fellow New Zealander Octavia Cade, who has a story in the current issue of Asimov’s.

Living, as I do, in New Zealand, my copy has only just arrived (I have a print subscription, rather than that sci-fi type electronic sub).

I’m behind on my reading, so I may not get to Octavia’s for a little while, but I know it’ll be great.

Octavia was, btw, the winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Award this year for best novella – a category for which I was also a finalist (grrr). 🙂

But do go pick up a copy of Asimov’s. Despite my late announcement here, it’s still available.

To join SFWA, or no?

SFWAcolorWith my recent publication in Asimovs, I am now eligible to be an Active member of SFWA. Cool, that feels a milestone.

The Science Fiction Writers of America is a professional body, advocating for sf writers. I know that several of my friends are members. It seems like a wise move on my part to join up, and I probably will. Mixing with my peers is always fun.

The slight hesitation I feel revolves around location. While I have some American heritage, I’m not really ‘of America’. More like ‘of New Zealand’ (though I also hold Australian citizenship). Some of the benefits-medical support, attendance at the Nebula weekend, etc-feel like they’re only useful if I lived a whole lot closer.

Then again, I do get the the U.S. from time to time. Perhaps this would encourage me to flit over more frequently. And there is that whole collegial thing. What do you think?