Eulogy for an Immortal
Bodies are the Strongest Conductors
"Lumpy gave me a gift today..."
This story was reprinted in Year’s Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction 2015, edited by Julia Rios and Alisa Krasnostein, 31 August 2016. (Available in Paperback or Kindle Edition.)
"The first person to visit me in prison was a stranger..."
Winner of the 2012 Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Prize
From Jeff VanderMeer, contest judge and bestselling author:
“A unique tale of love, commitment and redemption. In Mammals, an orphaned teenager sent to juvenile detention because of a violent crime becomes part of an odd experiment to see if he can learn about compassion and also teach it to another living creature. The story displays sensitivity without sentimentality and a sense of the strange that is grounded in very real emotions. A thoughtful and unusual gem.”
“Do you know why the Americans with Disabilities Act used to let you register a snake? A snake’s belly can sense subterranean vibrations like a seismograph, and if you let a snake rest around your neck, it’ll know what’s going on inside you. Everything that moves: every pump, every secretion, every rise and fall, every clench and release. All of you. Spend enough time with a snake, learn how to listen, and the snake will tell you things about your own body that you’d have to pay another person $5,000 to tell you.”
I live with my wife and dog in Atlanta, Georgia. I will never be mistaken for an extrovert, but I enjoy getting together with book nerds and talking about how the stories we love are put together. I am probably hardwired to build things, and to think about how things are built. I’m a recent graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and the Clarion West Writers Workshop.
My father was an All-American competitive swimmer who spent most of his youth in the water, and he encouraged his children to be equally interested in aquatics. I spent my childhood in community swimming pools, where I slowly made friends with weightlessness, strategic breathing, and limited usability of my ears and eyes. I enrolled in a scuba certification course when I was 12, and if I do the math, I have now spent an entire week of my life at the bottom of the ocean. I think this enjoyment in changing my body’s sense of space and exploring worlds that are unfamiliar (and perhaps even uncomfortable at times) is the same thing that makes me want to read and write fiction. When you are underwater for more than ten minutes, part of you begins to forget who you are and as your mind shifts, the water begins to feel like thick air. A great story can have the same effect.
Thanks for visiting my website. Send me a message if you want to get in touch.