“Emotional Dues” in YEAR’S BEST DARK FICTION & FANTASY 2015


I was very pleased to have my story “Emotional Dues”, first published in my collection, BURNT BLACK SUNS, selected for inclusion in THE YEAR’S BEST DARK FICTION & FANTASY 2015 (Prime Books, 2015).

“Emotional Dues” was a story I’d been writing for a number of years. It was originally intended for an all-novella anthology I’d been invited to, but I simply couldn’t make the story work. As sometimes is the case, my original intent for the story—more specifically, for the ending of the story—was forced to change when I reached my planned conclusion and realized the story itself wasn’t done being told. No matter how many times I came at the tale, I always hit the same roadblock. So, I put it aside for a short time. And that short time became a number of years. It was only while working on my collection, BURNT BLACK SUNS, that it occurred to me that I had a suitable addition in this piece, and I hoped that somehow I’d finally find a way to finish the story that hadn’t been clear to me before. As is evident, I think I found my way. The fact that it was selected by Paula Guran for her best-of book, and that a number of readers have reported it being a favourite story, helps convince me I made the right choice.