“The Centaur’s Daughter”

“The Centaur’s Daughter” (published in A Capella Zoo, 2015) was reviewed at New Pages:

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s “The Centaur’s Daughter” achieves a more nuanced approach to a queer text. First and foremost a coming of age narrative, Ruby’s queerness is one part of her character. Ruby is half centaur and queer, and Stufflebeam uses language reminiscent of a mixed-race family to discuss Ruby’s parentage. When Ruby narrates, “I’m a combination of my parents, and so they will never understand me,” she speaks from a place of real cultural confusion. Her teenage life is not like the “Centaursploitation movies” Stufflebeam references, and while Ruby loves her centaur father, she is also frightened of him and embarrassed by him. Stufflebeam’s piece makes queerness familiar because Ruby is a queer character, but she is so much more in ways that are both relatable and strange.

The story is available in print and free online.

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Two stories in Eleven Eleven

I’ve got two stories in the recent issue of Eleven Eleven: “Feeding the Skeleton Cats” and “Tornado Season.”

I wrote “Tornado Season” during, well, tornado season, after obsessively checking the TorCon and worrying over the arrival of my storm shelter, after crouching in my hallway with a mattress pad over my head while tornado sirens sounded, after setting up five weather alerts on my phone. I’m terrified of storms. To try to take some of the power out of that fear, I wrote a story, an exercise in free writing, about a couple in a weather-ravaged post-apocalypse trying to escape the weather and their memory.

I wrote “Feeding the Skeleton Cats” as a third in a skeletons series (“Skeletons” and “The Mammoth” are the other two stories). Every time I thought I was done writing about walking, living skeletons as metaphor, I come back to them. I’m not scared of skeletons, but I am scared of failing as a writer, and the main character in this story is a failed writer whose house is infested with the skeleton cats of the title.

Read them both here: http://elevenelevenjournal.com/2015/11/04/bonnie-stufflebeam/

“Skeletons” reprinted in audio

My story “Skeletons,” which originally appeared in Room Magazine, is in audio form today at GlitterShip! In a world where the skeletons of extinct animals go on walking and talking, a group of friends, all in love with the same woman, go camping.

Read it here: http://www.glittership.com/2016/01/19/episode-20-skeletons-by-bonnie-jo-stufflebeam/

Photo: [Dinornis Elephantopus] digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

“The Damaged” in audio on StarShipSofa

Listen to my dark sci-fi story “The Damaged” on today’s StarShipSofa podcast.

“The Damaged” appeared in the January 2014 issue of Interzone and was reprinted online in January 2015 on Story.

I wrote this during my time in grad school at Stonecoast. I don’t remember the inspiration, but I do remember when I turned it into mentor Elizabeth Hand, she commented on the obvious inspiration from Philip K. Dick’s replicants and the whole Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? story. The problem: I’d never seen or read either. Embarrassed to admit that, I rented the movie and was surprised at the similarities.

Listen to the story here: http://www.starshipsofa.com/blog/2016/01/06/starshipsofa-no-417-bonnie-jo-stufflebeam/