Life, the Universe & Everything (Writing Related)

Categories: Life,Publishing,Short Stories,Writing

I’m back and I’m blogging again. Moses help us. I can’t believe it’s really been six months since I updated this page. That shit is straight unacceptable. Why didn’t someone say something? This is on you fools, too. I’m willing to take 30…maybe 40% of the responsibility. Apportion the rest as you see fit.


To make up for my absence I’ve decided to post a recap of everything writing-related that happened over the past few months as well as some timely updates regarding projects that are in the works. This is not only to keep all you beautiful reader(s) informed, but also to provide some measure of accountability. You know. For me. You see, once I publish this prospectus all the information will be out there. In the aether. That’s like a binding contract between author and reader(s). Just ask GRRM. I’m willing to go there, so I’m counting on you all not to cock it up this time. If I don’t deliver on the projects listed below, take me to task. Tweet weird shit at me. Leave anonymous comments comparing me to prominent war criminals. Donate the money you were planning to spend on my books to Trump 2016. Maybe don’t really do that last one, but you get what I mean. Demand progress. And for what it’s worth, I plan to deliver. It’s going to be a pretty good year.


Before we begin prognosticating, let’s talk business. Several of my stories, many of which were gestating or prematurely birthed during Clarion, have appeared in various publications over the last six months. Did you miss one or more of them? You might have. Probably because some asshat couldn’t be bothered to update his blog. Check it.

Out Now


A Cautionary Tale for Young Deities

Freeze Frame Fiction Volume IV

everythingOriginally published online back in April. This story is a flash fable about a selfish God and the devotion he squanders. Fun fact: despite the great creative debt I owe to Brooklyn, this is the only piece in my bibliography written and conceived entirely in the borough of note. Non-coincidentally, it also happens to be one of my older pieces. There’s ink on some early drafts dating back to mid-2008 (though the published iteration didn’t solidify until 2014). The entire anthology used to be available for free on the publisher’s website, but now you have to buy it along with all the other great stories included in the volume for the ultra-reasonable price of $2.99. Illustration credit: Luke Spooner aka Carrion House.

I Married the Valley

Gaia: Shadow & Breath Volume 2

everythingPublished just two weeks ago by Pantheon Magazine. G:S&B2 is the latest in a string of high quality anthologies from the indie press, each one inspired by a different classical deity. As the title suggests, this volume is a direct sequel to G:S&B, published in 2014. My contribution is a short (but not flash-short) lyrical narrative about a man and the valley he loves. The physical anthology is gorgeous and includes more distinctive, original art from the ubiquitous Luke Spooner. Other contributors include Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Julie Day and David Tallerman. As always, it’s an honor to share the TOC. The anthology is available in both print and ebook formats.

Firearms, Fur & Boyhood Bliss

Liquid Imagination

Sasquatch story Lo, and behold a story so problematic, tales of the workshop turmoil it wrought at Clarion reached the ears of the great Kim Stanley Robinson all the way in northern California. I met Stan for the first time in person at FOGcon in Walnut Creek, CA, a sleepy little suburb just outside Berkeley. After a few drinks and some enlightening conversation, he realized he was sharing libations with the ignominious militia-story author. He generously offered to read the story, an offer I elatedly accepted. Less than a week later I had a thorough critique waiting in my inbox. I don’t want to sell the workshop short–there were a handful of students who engaged honestly with the piece and managed to provide some useful feedback, but Stan’s critique was penetrating and illuminating. Bar none the best notes I’ve received on a story to date. I went about revising to the letter of Stan’s notes and a month later I had a contract from Liquid Imagination. This story about a story has two morals: don’t ever be discouraged by hostile workshop experiences and Kim Stanley Robinson is a beautiful genius. Head over to the publisher’s website to see what the fuss was about. Illustration by Sue Babcock.

Coming Soon


Where the Millennials Went

Fantasy Scroll Magazine

EverythingThis piece has the exact opposite origin of “Firearms”. “Millennials” was probably the most well received piece I produced at Clarion. That’s not to say it came into the world fully formed. The incomparable Cat Valente really believed in this piece and she more than anyone else helped midwife it through to publishable form. Several markets sniffed around “Millennials” for a spell, but Iulian Ionescu at Fantasy Scroll was the first editor to take a bite. Look out for this surrealist portal fantasy about talking voles, pajama kings and Ronald Wilson Reagan in an upcoming issue.

Next blog post: long form projects reaching maturity in the next year. OMG, can you even? I literally can’t even.

On to Part II

Author: Zach Lisabeth

Author of speculative fictions, lapsed musician and reluctant Angeleno. Graduate of Northwestern University and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Workshop at UCSD.