Recent press: Quick Sip Reviews on my poem ‘Instructions for Astronauts’: ‘strange and haunting’

Thank you to Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews for taking the time to read my work and write about it. Very cool!

Quick snippet “strange and haunting” and “great”!

If you need more, here are some snippets from his review of “Instructions for Astronauts”:

This is a rather strange and haunting poem about humanity fleeing Earth in an attempt to survive, in an attempt to get to a different and better world, one unspoiled by our touch.

 

There is a strong religious element to the poem, all of the parts preceded by a biblical verse (save two) to set up how those sections read. These are the sections of the believers, of the grand hope for humanity. The renewal, the what-have-you. And I love that the poem sets itself up that way, with everything working and working toward this end, only to pull away at the ending …

He also calls the video “An amazing experience!”

Wow! Read what he wrote here.

Here’s the video

 

 

Recent press: Times Union on my Pushcart nomination

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.57.49 PM

If you read my announcement on this blog last week, then you already know this news. But it caught the attention of the good people at the Albany Times Union, including current arts editor Gary Hahn. He worked his magic and one of the newest hires to the TU, Sara Tracey, was kind enough to write up my literary news.

Thank you, Gary and Sara!

You can read the full story here: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Delmar-writer-s-poem-nominated-for-Pushcart-Prize-11089133.php

This was also buttressed from some really great social media mentions. Here’s a Twitter sampling

 

Watch: My poem ‘Instructions for Astronauts’ now a video

You can also read the poem at Mithila Review.

Thank you, Mithila Review!

My new speculative poem, Instructions for Astronauts, appears in the new edition of The Mithila Review!

It has also been made into a video. Check it out:

 

Ajapa Sharma, one of the co-founding editors of the journal, writes in the introduction:

When we read Michael Janairo’s submission “Instructions for Astronauts” for this issue, it resonated with some of the themes of our favorite space-based films and series. SyFy’s series based on James S.A. Corey’s Hugo award winning books, The Expanse has been our staple since season 2 of the series started airing in February. Against all criticisms, we’ve also thoroughly enjoyed Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and are eagerly waiting to watch Alien: Covenant later this year. Janairo’s poem captured elements that have traditionally been a part of science fiction’s visual corpus and his stellar voice quality made it all the more adaptable for a film. Working with Michael’s poetry, it became evident that good visual material can only come from excellent writing. The visual, after all, is an innovative translation of a textual script. The hope is that the video will become a medium through which Janairo’s poetry can travel far and wide.

Excerpt From: Salik Shah, Editor. “Mithila Review – Issue 8.”

Why you should download the massive, free e-book ‘Up and Coming’

AnthoCover3_400.pngWhat is the future of science fiction?

It could be in the pages of Up and Coming: Stories by the 2016 Campbell Eligible Authors.

You can download the book here: http://www.badmenagerie.com/

Hurry up, though, the download will only be available until March 31, 2016.

What is a “Campbell Eligible Author” you may ask? These are writers who are new to the science fiction and fantasy field with their first professionally paid publications. The John W. Campbell Award is presented at the World Science Fiction Convention (this year, it will be held in Kansas City, Mo., in August). More info on the awards is available here: http://www.writertopia.com/awards/campbell

I was happy to see lots of writers that are familiar to me from my reading of shot stories and/or SFF-related blogs, including:

  • Nicolette Barischoff
  • S.B. Divya
  • David J́on Fuller
  • Jaymee Goh
  • LS Johnson
  • Alyssa Wong
  • Jeff Xilon
  • Isabel Yap

So you could consider this list of writers as a point of entry into this tome. You may find plenty of your gems in it, though.

Let me know what you find and recommend.

 

Audio book review: ‘Prophecies, Libels and Dreams’ by Ysabeau S. Wilce


This was a fun listen: “Prophecies, Libels and Dreams” by Ysabeau S. Wilce, which I got in a giveaway from Small Beer Press (Thank you, Small Beer Press!).

I didn’t know what to expect, and so this was my introduction to the fictional world of Califa that Wilce has written about in previous books, where there’s magic, magic boots, thieves, soldiers, deceptions, betrayals, and arranged marriages.

The best part of these interconnected stories is Wilce’s exuberant facility with language. Here’s a long example from the story “Quartermaster Returns”:

He died a hero’s death, Lieutenant Rucker did, trying to save, not another comrade, but rather the hog ranch’s entire supply of beer. The story is short and tragic: the freight train dropped fifteen cases of beer at the hog ranch, before proceeding on to Rancho Kuchamonga; an inexperienced drover off-loaded the beer in the arroyo below the hog ranch; when the storm came up, Pow organized his fellow whist players into a bottle brigade and supervised the shifting of fourteen cases to higher ground; the water was already foaming when Pow went back for the last case—refusing to allow the others to join him in harm’s way; Pow heroically managed to shove that case up the bank, just as a wall of water twenty feet high came roaring down the ravine.

This minitale is a great example of the kind of tall tales that dominate the seven stories in this collection. And these stories are offset by short “corrections” in the guise of an academic critique, often decrying the inexactitude of the previous tale. It’s a nice movement to add this layer to deepen a sense of place and time.

An unfortunate aspect of this audiobook is that the first story, which may be the whimsical, elicits from the reader some of the most forced interpreations that make him sound actorly in a too-forced storybook way. The audiobook does get better though.

Book review: ‘1Q84’ by Haruki Murakami

1Q84
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Little People are Watching You

“If something really existed, you had to accept it as a reality, whether or not it made sense or was logical. That was his basic way of thinking. Principles and logic didn’t give birth to reality. Reality came first, and the principles and logic followed.”

Murakami’s imaginative worlds — with preternaturally gifted girls, bewildered young men, misshapen men, magical creatures, violence, and passageways between various forms of reality — all set in a recognizable every-day mundaneness of contemporary Japan are the main element that attracts me to his work.

“1Q84” doesn’t disappoint. And the quote above does a great job of summing up the novelist’s approach to this novel and to writing in general — you have to go with wherever “reality” takes you. In “1Q84” that reality is a strange Japan in 1984, in which some characters can see two moons, and in which strange beings, called Little People, have such extraordinary powers that they help to power a religious cult, which rests at the heart of this really long novel.
Continue reading