Gypsy Biker

"Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" is an Award Finalist

On Spec #120 coverWell, this is cool. My SF short story, "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home," is a finalist in the Alberta Magazine Awards in the "Fiction" category.

These are annual juried awards, administered by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA), which "honour and celebrate the work of magazine makers – the editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, and other creators" in Alberta. Here's a link to the full 2022/23 ballot.

"Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" first appeared in On Spec, the excellent, long-running Alberta-based Canadian speculative fiction magazine, in their July 2022 issue (cover shown here). On Spec also has another story on the ballot: "Bottom's Dream" by Glenn Clifton. So a big congrats to On Spec (and Glenn).

Even better, you can read all of the stories on the ballot online. The AMPA has made PDFs of the finalists available on their website. You can read "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" here. For the Canadians out there, this is probably a good time to mention "Gypsy Biker" is eligible to be nominated for the 2023 Aurora Awards.


PS—A big thanks to Diane Walton, Executive Editor, and everyone at On Spec, for publishing "Gypsy Biker." This was my fourth appearance in On Spec. Those four stories have resulted in an Aurora Award winner, an Aurora finalist, and now this. 

And a shout-out to Susan MacGregor, who edited "Gypsy Biker" and also edited another On Spec story of mine, "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland," which won an Aurora. I have another story coming out in On Spec in 2023. Guess who I want to edit that one?

New short story in On Spec Magazine!

On Spec issue coverNot quite as big news as my upcoming trilogy, but this is still special for me. I have a brand new short story (okay, novelette, or long short story) published in the current issue (#120, vol 32, no. 2) of On Spec, the fantastic "Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic."

The story is called "Gypsy Biker's Coming Home" and is drawn from the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name, off his "Magic" album.

I'm a huge Springsteen fan and have written other stories inspired by his songs, like "Going Down to Lucky Town" (in my collection, Impossibilia) and "Radio Nowhere" (Campus Chills, anthology, 2009).

His "Gypsy Biker's Comin' Home" tells the moving story of a family mourning the death of a son and brother, friend and husband, who has returned from a war, but in a coffin. If you don't know the song (and you should), you can listen to it here and read the lyrics here. It's Springsteen at his political and human and musical best.

Springsteen's ballads are tiny perfect jewels of stories, and this one has so many evocative lines and scenes, it was always calling to me to write something inspired by its characters and their pain and the images he paints.

"Gypsy Biker" also ties into my Merged Corporate Entity universe stories, such as "Scream Angel," "Enlightenment," and "Memories of the Dead Man" (On Spec, Winter 2005, #63 vol.17 No.4).

This is my fourth story to appear in On Spec over the years. My first was way back in 2001 with "The Red Bird," which was a finalist for the Aurora Award. My last appearance in On Spec was in 2014 with "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland," which won the Aurora Award.

This issue also features an interview with yours truly. I hope you'll check out the issue, available to purchase in print or ebook here.

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