Twenty-two years ago, as a college sophomore, I took 1st runner up in the Dell Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing (then known as the Asimov Award). Sheila Williams (the editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine) and Rick Wilber flew me and the other finalists out to a writing conference, where I sat by the pool and talked writing with Joe Haldeman, Sean Stewart, Kelly Link, Charles Sheffield, Nancy Kress, Daniel Keyes, Ted Chiang, Octavia Butler, Brian Aldiss, Neil Gaiman, and many others. The next year, I won the contest and went back. These were life-changing experiences for a young person with only distant dreams of being a writer. I realized that “making it” was well within reach and began submitting stories, without success.
I got busy after that, with my Air Force career and a young family. Writing came and went. In 2020, amidst the pandemic and a transition into a teaching job, I committed to writing more seriously. It has only taken 22 years, but with “The Repair,” I finally made it into Asimov’s.
The story began as an experiment, as I tried to stretch my usual style and write a cyberpunk tale with the atmosphere of Blade Runner. It took on a life of its own and grew into a commentary on cancellation, asking that classic speculative fiction question: “What if this continues?”
Asimov SF’s blog also ran an interview with me about the story.
I’m a little late getting this post up, but you might still be able to find the March/April issue on the shelves at your favorite bookstore. You can also order it at www.asimovs.com or purchase the digital issue via Amazon Kindle. Even better, you can subscribe!