2017 Eligibility Post

It’s that time again, folks! If you will, please indulge me in talking about the work I had published this year, and if you enjoyed them, please consider them for nomination and share this post with others.

Bear Language
Illustration for Bear Language, by Galen Dara

My short story “Bear Language,” was published at Fireside Fiction in May, and can be found here to read: https://firesidefiction.com/bear-language

It is a story about family and abuse, about language and power, about failing as a parent and growing up enough to realize that love can’t always save everything. It is a hard story to read, but I’ve been thrilled that it has resonated with so many, and so grateful for the love it has received from readers. It’s appeared on multiple recommended reading lists of 2017, and is currently listed in the SFWA Nebula Recommended Reading List. Thank you again to Brian White, Daniel Jose Older, Pablo Defendini, and Galen Dara, for helping to make this story what it became.

Here are some nice things folks have said about it:

“This is a beautiful but wrenching story about family and about truth and about beasts and monsters . . . It’s a beautiful and magical piece about safety and about protection and you should definitely give it a read!” – Charles Payseur, Quick Sip Reviews

“The voice is perfect in this bittersweet and fierce story about family and strength and survival. Plus, Susan is such a good bear—and one should never get between a bear and her cubs.” – Merc Rustad

“I love this story so much. LOVE. IT. Heartbreaking and dark, this story of two children stuck in a house with an addicted and abusive father who is not capable of being the parent they need, still manages to be oddly uplifting, thanks to the presence of a Very Good Bear. I really love how Cahill manages to infuse a desperate and nightmarish situation with a fairytale vibe, and gleams of resilience and hope. This story will stick with me for a long time.” – Maria Haskins

“Such a stunning, completely absorbing story. A bear has broken into a house and trapped two children and their father on the upper floor. But who is the real threat to the children? This story is so perfectly done. It’s full of hurt and truth and love that exists but which cannot save.” – Vanessa Fogg

And here are some of the 2017 reading lists it can be found on:

Quick Sip Reviews 2017 Recommended Reading List – Charles Payseur

Some Favorite Stories of 2017 from Sam J. Miller

My 2017 Recommended Reading List from Maria Haskins

Some Awesome Stories from 2017 from Merc Rustad

My Favorite Short Fiction of 2017 from A. C. Wise

Awards Recommendation Post 2017 from Jordan Kurella

800px_july2017 (1)
Shimmer Issue #38 Cover by Sandro Castelli

My other short story published this year was “Salamander Six-Guns,” at Shimmer Magazine in July.

It can be found here to read: https://www.shimmerzine.com/salamander-six-guns/

It is a story of pain and loss, of scaled creatures from another world looking to dominate this one, and the two broken men who have to last long enough to stop them, let alone figure out their feelings for each other. It’s a queer Weird Western with magic six-guns, were-alligators, and dragons from another dimension looking to burn it all down. Thank you to all those who have read it and enjoyed it, and thank you especially to gunslinger elite, Elise Catherine Tobler, without whom it wouldn’t be what it is.

Here are some of the nice things folks have said about it:

“Tragic, heroic, and built around aliens bent on twisting the human landscape, be prepared to jump into an exotic yet satisfying ride.” – Tangent Online

“I’ve been quite impressed with some of Martin Cahill’s recent stories and ‘Salamander Six-Guns’ is pretty great. Not one to miss . . . This is an action-packed and nicely weird western story featuring mutants, guns, loneliness, and hurt . . . It’s a story that centers this idea that trying, even against a seemingly-insurmountable foe, is the only real option. Because without trying, everything is already lost. And it’s a dark and moving story with a fast pace and a fun aesthetic, which makes for a great read!” – Quick Sip Reviews, Charles Payseur

“This is such an extraordinarily weird and wonderful western. A gripping story of love and vengeance plays out in a world that has been fundamentally altered by the arrival of… something new… that has changed both the landscape and the people in it. Action, emotion, and glorious prose.” – Maria Haskins

“The greatest part of the story is some of the beauty of the lines. Cahill is clearly a writer who is as much in love with the sound of language as the story it tells.” – SFF Reviews

Thank you once again to all of the editors who published me this year, and to all of the readers who read, supported, and shared my work with others. Your continued support and enthusiasm for my work means the world to me, and I can’t wait to show you what I have coming out in 2018.

Thank you for reading and for considering these two stories for nomination.