Tomorrow’s Cthulhu is out today!
You might notice something when you go to the publisher’s website: There’s a quote from the book at the top of the page. That quote is from my story.
There’s also something you might not notice until you buy the book (in any format) and it’s had me jumping about in glee:
“Tangles,” my story, is the first one in the anthology.
Please note: any story that gets into an anthology like this is pretty damn fantastic. They paid me professional rates and it’s available on Amazon as well as in both hard and soft cover dead tree (paper!) formats. But in addition to that, “Tangles” was chosen to open the whole book. When I asked if the order was going to stay that way, Scott Gable (the editor I was working most with) said: “We loved your story and thought it really set the tone for the anthology” which is just about the most ego-inflating thing one can really say to a writer.
I have a special fondness for this story. I wrote it quite a while ago and I’ve worked on it for a very long time to make it shiny. I’ve read it at several events over the years and each time I’ve done so, there’s a point near the end where someone in the audience either gasps or says “oh shit” or otherwise has a reaction when they connect the dots just slightly before everyone else, and that always fills me with glee because it means I did my job right. I’ve wanted to see this particular little monster find a home for so very long and it’s finally got one.
I figure that on the birth day of the story, it’s appropriate to tell the story-behind-the story. So I direct your eyes and clicky fingers to this math-game-thing: http://planarity.net/ which I will warn you is disturbingly addictive. It’s an illustration/example/mental instantiation of this math here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planar_graph
This is a fast play video of someone doing level 20:
I was shown this particular flavour of madness by my friend Dan, back in our days working in the call centre together and I dove into it with my usual level of obsession when I find something especially shiny.
Sleep deprivation plus sideways mental stimulation does indeed result in an altered state of consciousness (at least for someone as able to hyperfocus as effectively as I sometimes can). And there is a point described in the story where one turns away from the tangle and starts seeing the world differently. That totally happened. It’s true. I got high on math.
I didn’t speak to any Great Old Ones, though. And no dogs or humans were murdered/dismembered/dissolved as research for this story.
Well… not that I remember…
One of the things I’m especially curious about is to find out if people reading the story gender the narrator. I always envisioned the narrator as masculine/not-gendered, yet every time I’ve done a reading someone has mentioned they figured the narrator was feminine (and/or simply just an extension of me – which is even more disconcerting, considering what happens in the plot). I’m intensely curious to find out if the printed text removes that assumption.
I was also told people might review the anthology. I hope they are not horrible, but even if they are, feedback is important and I want to receive it. It’s hard to track down these things though, so if you know of anywhere with a review of Tomorrow’s Cthulhu (or if you have posted a review up somewhere yourself) please let me know so I can link to it.
I’m tempted to bake my story a birthday cake, but I’m also far too lazy so I’ll just link to a picture of a cool one here: