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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Stupefying Stories #23 • T-Minus 8 Days


Today’s featured author is Karl Dandenell. Karl is a relative newcomer to Stupefying Stories with his one previous appearance in our pages being the decidedly cyberpunkish story, “The Carpetbagger’s Ball,” in SHOWCASE #1. For his contribution to Stupefying Stories #23 he’s gone all the way over to the opposite end of SF/F genrespace with a tale of sorcery, scullery, and murderous intrigue, “The Last Feast of Silas the Wizard.” 

Rather than my writing about this story, I’ll let him do it:

“What I can say is that genre fans note the influence of Patricia McKillip and a certain popular BBC Masterpiece soap opera in my kitchen scenes. This story also owes a large debt to the Nebula Award-winning author Rachel Swirsky, who workshopped the first draft of “Last Feast” at FOGcon a few years back. She pointed out some issues around gender and age that would end up being problematic. Finally, “Last Feast” is my first tale with a younger protagonist, and I wanted to explore how Adaryn could be instrumental to the larger plot while avoiding the “Chosen One” trope.

“There’s also a cat, which is pretty much required in my first drafts.”


Karl’s current author’s bio reads like this: 

Karl Gustav Schlosser Dandenell is a first-generation Swedish American, graduate of the University of Southern California's Professional Writing program, survivor of Viable Paradise XVI, and Active member of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

His short fiction has appeared in such magazines as Fireside Fiction, Metaphorosis Magazine, BuzzyMag, and Perihelion SF. You can also find his work in the anthologies Strange Economics, Robbed of Sleep, Vol. 5, Reading 5 X 5, and Abandoned Places. For a more complete list, see his Amazon author’s page.

Karl lives on an island near San Francisco with his family and cat overlords. He is fond of tea and distilled spirits.

On a personal note I’d like to thank him, first off for shortening his professional name, because “The Last Feast of Silas the Wizard” by Karl Gustav Schlosser Dandenell would pose some thorny problems with formatting the TOC, but more seriously, for his unfailing behind-the-scenes support and encouragement during these past two very difficult years. There have been more than a few times when an encouraging IM or email from Karl was what made the difference between my giving up or deciding to tough it out and carry on in the SF/F publishing business.

I wish I could point you to a free story by Karl that you could read on one of our web sites, but he’s too new to the Stupefying Stories family to have anything out there. Instead, I’ll point you to SHOWCASE (Stupefying Stories Presents #1), which is FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers or the lordly price of $0.99 USD for everyone else. 

Which reminds me: we’d just released the Kindle ebook edition and were working on putting out a print edition of that book when the COVID crisis hit. Add that to the list of things to be done, now that I have plenty of extra time on my hands.

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