Dark Magic Anthology Now Available

I’m proud to announce that my scifi/horror story, “Feedback Loop,” is out in the anthology, Dark Magic, from Owl Hollow Press. I am just starting to read the many stories included in the volume, and already have experienced some creepy thrills. Great Halloween reading! So get yours today. Dark Magic is available in print and digital formats on Amazon, here.

“Feedback Loop” is the first science fiction I have written. Last spring I visited the MIT Museum and was struck by a robot named Kismet who was designed to show emotions. As part of the process of developing the robot, people were encouraged to interact with it while scientists observed. I watched a video of some of the interaction, and wondered whether some people might be tempted to bully the robot, just to get certain “cute” reactions.

I also watched a video about training other robots. The researcher said she had to caution her robot against bumping into things. The robot got the idea that it was supposed to move without hitting stuff–so it just spun around in one place until its understanding could be adjusted. This inspired me to show the robot in my story having difficulty with category distinctions and gauging human expectations.

This story is also the first one I ever sold to a publisher for something approaching real money, so I definitely regard it as a milestone. Please check it out!

New Flash, “Reunion”: Please Vote!

I have posted my flash fiction, “Reunion,” to the I Can Taste the Blood contest here. Please read it and vote!

I realized as I was writing that this is the third story involving doubles I’ve written lately (the other published one, “The Splitting,” is here). The stories are all quite different, but I think I am fascinated by the uncanny, as Freud describes it–the familiar that is somehow not right. In “Reunion” I try to bring the “unheimlich” home in a new way. Please let me know what you think.

And don’t eat the jerky.

New Publication: “The Splitting”

Wanted to share that I have a horror/scifi flash called “The Splitting” up on Deadman’s Tome. You can read it here. It’s not for children, and Deadman’s Tome is proud to feature lurid, uncensored horror, though actually my piece was also a finalist in the Valus’ Sigil Competition sponsored by The SHARKPACK Poetry Review, which is edited by distinguished poet J. Spece.

My rejection from SHARKPACK was unique in addressing me as “Our own Lorna.” Likewise, my acceptance by Jesse Dedman, editor of Deadman’s Tome, was memorable because he recollected that he liked “The Splitting” when I wrote withdrawing another piece (which you can read here), and because he characterized the story he chose as “microorganismal porn.” I prefer to think of it as literary microorganismal porn, but you may decide for yourself.