Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Audioshort #2: “Apron Strings”

January 16th, 2013

Download the MP3 here: Apron Strings

Way back in 2010, I started fiddling with some of my older short stories to see how they might work as audio. The first, “Pairings”, is available here and while I’ve never heard a peep from anyone about it it still gets downloaded thirty or forty times a month by various bots selling knockoff Prada bags and Viagra. So in a way it’s already achieved a greater immortality than it did with its original publication, the hard copies of which were likely long ago recycled.

For the second story, I chose “Apron Strings,” another one of those pieces that fell in that spot where I live, not genre enough for SF, too genre for the lit crowd. Eventually it found a home at Aoife’s Kiss which is a print magazine and therefore nifty in the way of all  tangible creative artifacts; it’s a nice change to actually hold the published piece in your hands instead of squinting at the pixels on screen.  Unfortunately,  like many print magazines that satisfaction is tempered by somewhat limited distribution and a short half-life.  Even those treasured few people who might have wanted to read the story were unlikely to have found it.


So it seemed perfect for the spoken word treatment but there was still one snag. Like a lot of my stories, it was written in the first person from the perspective of female narrator. In this case, a teenager. Not to knock my vocal chops but like Harvey Fierstein, I know my limits.

Instead, I turned to local writer, statistical analyst, and all-around polymath Melinda Thielbar, who generously donated her time and voice to the project. We never really discussed the piece or rehearsed; I gave her the script and a few days later she sent me her takes in email.  I had no idea what to expect until I opened them in the sound editor but even now I’m still a little in awe of how well Melinda nailed the voice of a character who had previously only lived in my head.   She took the story and ran with it, making it vastly better than it had any right to be.

Listen for yourself:

If you’re interested, the legal details are available under the cut:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Mortis Operandi is now on sale

January 7th, 2013

Mortis Operandi Cover

Harrow Press released Mortis Operandi, their new anthology of supernatural crime and detection just before Christmas so it got a bit lost in the holiday tumult. Now that things have calmed down, I’ve had a chance to look at my contributor copy and it’s a really sweet looking book. It contains my story “All the Many Ways We Burn” which involves Walpole prison, the six of spades, a phoenix, a defrocked priest and all the shanking, swearing, and flaming you’d expect from such. It was an odd story to place; thanks to editors Dru Pagliassotti and Kfir Luzzatto for giving it a home with such good company!

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Review: Zero History by William Gibson

September 16th, 2010

My review of the new William Gibson novel Zero History is in this week’s Boston Phoenix.   It’s available online here:

Fashionista:  William Gibson in the Present Tense


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AudioShort #1: “Pairings”

July 5th, 2010

Lately I’ve been experimenting with recording a few of  my older stories as readings for podcast.  It’s all very DIY at the moment but with so much free software and Creative Commons work now available, I’ve been surprised at how little effort is required to put yourself on somebody’s iPod.

Here’s AudioShort #1:  “Pairings.mp3” (right-click to save)

Cover of Sybil's Garage #4

The story was originally published in Sybil’s Garage #4 in 2007 by Senses Five Press.



The fine print:

Creative Commons License

“Pairings” by John Bowker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Opening and closing music sampled and remixed from “A Billion Years of Green” by Mseq, available on with a Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 license and “Zero Zero: Daemon in the Cube” by Calling Sister Midnight, available on with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license.

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