"The Paragon Lure" Reviewed at Abyss & Apex

My novella "The Paragon Lure", which appears in Alembical 2 from Paper Golem LLC, has received a 'highly recommended' rating at the new Abyss & Apex site:
Tony Pi’s “The Paragon Lure” is a prequel to his “Metamorphoses in Amber”, published in Abyss & Apex (Issue #24: 4th Quarter 2007). Art dealer Felix Lea is a member of a nearly immortal group of shape-shifters, the Elect, who use the distilled power of insectoid metamorphosis trapped in Amber to heal and change. Their rivalries and power-balances shift over the centuries, so stories set in this world are a sort of alternate history. This time it’s about some fascinating and deadly unfinished business from the time Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth, but set in present day England with cell phones, jewel thieves and their fences, and a police detective who just happens to be the daughter of the fence who works for Felix Lea. The Paragon Lure is a gem associated with Good Queen Bess, and it’s used to bait a deadly trap that has no concern for mere mortals. Highly recommended.

Also reviewed are 2 other great novellas from Alembical 2: David D. Levine's "Second Chances" and J. Kathleen Cheney's "Iron Shoes".

If you are a voting member for the Hugos, Nebulas, or other awards and would like to see a copy of my story for consideration, please drop me a line. Thank you.

2010 in Review: Most Memorable Moments

My top 10 in chronological order. They're all unforgettable in their own way:

  1. Watching the Winter Olympics, from the opening ceremonies to the gold medal wins. For me, the Men's Curling gold was the most satisfying, as I used to curl and had been following it closely. (Unfortunately, due to a writing group meeting, I missed the win in Men's Hockey.)

  2. The launch for the anthology The Dragon and the Stars at the Merril Collection, which was quite well-attended.

  3. Just seeing the Grand Canyon was incredible, but the best moment of the trip was conquering my fear of heights, forcing myself to walk the entire length on the glass bridge of the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

  4. Celebrating our 7th anniversary at CUT by Wolfgang Puck in Las Vegas. The Kobe beef sashimi was simply divine, as was their porterhouse steak.

  5. My 40th birthday party at the Duke of York. I'm very thankful to have so many friends come.

  6. Walking my mother down the aisle at her wedding.

  7. After standing in line for 2 hours, finally seeing Michelangelo's David in all its magnificence in Florence. Pictures really don't do it justice.

  8. In Italy, meeting my stepfather's side of the family for the first time and seeing my aunt and uncle from Taiwan for the first time in decades. My Taiwanese uncle and my new step-uncle transcended cultural and linguistic barriers with the help of wine and accordion.

  9. Looking up at Mount Vesuvius from the forum in Pompeii, and realizing how incredible it was to be standing in a slice of frozen time.

  10. My writing group's 24-hour story challenge, when some of us gathered at Stephen Kotowych's house and wrote Writers of the Future-style. I got little sleep but it was worth it.


2010 in Review: Stories

Now that all of my stories for 2010 have been published, here's a summary of where they appear. The links below go to subpages with links and reviews. It's the most I've published in any single year, and the reviews for my stories have been very positive, so an excellent year overall.

Short Stories

“A Sweet Calling”Clarkesworld #44, May 2010 (online)
“The Gold Silkworm”Fantasy Magazine, December 13, 2010 (online)
“The Character of the Hound”The Dragon and the Stars, DAW Books, May 2010 (print)
“The Curse of Chimère”Beneath Ceaseless Skies #53, October 7, 2010 (online)
“Cygnet’s Shadow”On Spec #80, Spring 2010 (print)


“Night of the Manticore”Abyss & Apex #33, January 2010 (novelette, online)


“The Paragon Lure”Alembical 2, Paper Golem LLC, June 2010 (print)


“Silk and Shadow”The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies Online Magazine, Year One (online)

As it's also award nomination season, some readers may also find this list useful as a reading guide. I've received very positive reviews for "A Sweet Calling" (in the short story category) and "The Paragon Lure" (in the novella category). The former is readily available on the web, and the latter is available to SFWA members in the discussion forums. Or, contact me if you prefer a different format. Thank you for your consideration.
Note: Some works are eligible for certain awards due to geographical restrictions. "The Paragon Lure" is ineligible for the Prix Aurora Borealis Award, and "Cygnet's Shadow" is ineligible for the Nebula or Hugo Awards.

(cross-posted from

"The Gold Silkworm" extra

This post contains spoilers for “The Gold Silkworm” at Fantasy Magazine. Please read the story first. Thanks!

Tattoos of Chinese phrases play an important role in “The Gold Silkworm”. I had originally intended to include them as visual aids, but the story worked without them. Also, it was difficult to embed Chinese fonts for electronic submissions to magazines. So, here they are instead as story extras.

Extras at my WordPress blog



Assorted stuff:

1. The hardcover for Alembical 2, which includes novellas by me, J. Kathleen Cheney, and David D. Levine is on sale for $5.98! Great discount, but I don't know how long that will last.

2. Wrote "The Marotte" during my writing group's 24-hour, WOTF-style challenge last weekend.

3. I signed up for a Twitter account, although I'm only slowly easing into the whole thing and figuring out the social conventions...someone took the obvious tonypi handle, so I'm going by @wistling.

4. Awards season's upon us...I'll have a summary of my publications etc. next week when my last story of the year, "The Gold Silkworm", comes out at Fantasy Magazine.

An Update

Just finished the first draft of "Brine Magic". Whew!

Sorry this blog's been a bit dusty in the last few months...with my mom getting married and a two-week trip to Italy, it's been pretty busy! The trip was a great chance to absorb new ideas for stories, so maybe some new stuff soon. There are a few stories I'm working on, and also the Big Novel Project.

A few good reviews have popped up for "The Curse of Chimère" at Beneath Ceaseless Skies - one at Locus and a pair at Tangent Online, and a mention by ecbatan.

Coming up: SFContario (see my schedule 2 posts back), where Stephen Kotowych, Brad Carson, and I will be among the recipients of the Aurora Pin, which will be given out to all previous finalists for the Aurora Awards. Pretty cool.

Also, in December, "The Gold Silkworm" will appear in Fantasy Magazine, so watch for it. It's set in Song Dynasty China.

More later.

SFContario Schedule

Here's my SFContario schedule for Nov 19-21. Hope to see you there!

Fri. 6:30 PM – Room 207 Reading

Fri. 9 PM – Ballroom BC Aurora Pin Ceremony

Sat. 5 PM – Gardenview
Learning to write Is it possible to learn how to write? Why does
Clarion enjoy such a great reputation when the fact is that two-thirds
of those who attend it never publish a single word professionally?
Aren't writer’s workshops just the blind leading the blind? What
should you look for in a creative-writing course? Will you learn more
about writing by reading the dozen or so good books out there on how
to write SF, or by reading a dozen true classic novels, such as To
Kill a Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye (Ed Greenwood, Ira
Nayman, David Nickle, Jana Paniccia, Tony Pi(M))

Sat. 9 PM – Courtyard
Geek is in. Does this mean we won? John Scalzi once wrote that “When
the goddamned President of the United States makes Vulcan salutes and
is photographed quite unselfconsciously whipping a lightsaber about on
the White House lawn, you have won.” The rise of the geek as
hero(ine)/sex symbol permeates prime time programming. (Chuck,
Numbers, Bones etc) Does mainstream acceptance make us sexy, or will
that only come with Margaret Atwood’s approval? (Elizabeth Hirst, Jeff
Orth, Jane Paniccia, Tony Pi, Lance Sibley(M))

Sun Noon – Ballroom A
Review and Criticism in the SF Field How is science fiction and
fantasy being reviewed? Is it only amongst readers of SF or is it
getting more mainstream attention. Are reviews helping or harming the
genre, and where can the most reliable reviews be found? Are there
things, aside from writing a brilliant story of course, that a writer
can do to insure a positive review or should the writer ignore reviews
altogether? (Leah Bobet, Peter Halasz, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Tony
Pi(M), Brett Savory)

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2nd Anniverary Issue!

This week's issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies will be their Second Anniversary Double-Issue! In two years, BCS has published 45 podcasts and over a hundred stories, including my story "Silk and Shadow", under the direction of the very capable Scott H. Andrews.

The next issue comes out October 7, and includes my story "The Curse of Chimère" as well as stories from Richard Parks, Sarah L. Edwards and Rosamund Hodge.

I'll be off the internets for a couple of weeks, but please do check out the issue!