C.S.E. Cooney lives and writes in a well-appointed Rhode Island garret, right across the street from a Victorian Strolling Park. She is the author of How To Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes and Jack o’ the Hills. She won the 2011 Rhysling Award for her story-poem “The Sea King’s Second Bride.” Her first short fiction collection Bone Swans is forthcoming with Mythic Delirium in 2015.
Other examples of her short fiction and poetry can be found in Rich Horton’s Years Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (2011, 2012, 2014), The Nebula Awards Showcase (2013), The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures (2014), The Moment of Change Anthology, Black Gate Magazine, Apex, Subterranean, Strange Horizons, Ideomancer, Clockwork Phoenix, Steam-Powered II, The Book of Dead Things, Cabinet des Fées, Stone Telling, Goblin Fruit, and Mythic Delirium.
Postcards from Mars
[Postcard 1:I am here. I am safe. I am starting a garden.]
She saved her whole life for this.
Penny-pinched from couch cracks,
Gutter garbage, bottom of the purse.
I gave my change to beggars;
She kept hers for Mars.
Clear mason jars, blue glass vases, brown
Microbrew beer bottles, heavy with her haul
She wanted to take them all
To Virgin Galactic Gateway —
Proof of her intentions.
“Mom,” I said, “let’s go to the bank. Get a money order.”
“Right! I’m so excited my head is spinning!”
She couldn’t stop grinning.
This piece is so great–it’s about the speaker’s relationship with her mother–except her mother has emigrated to Mars. And then something happens, and well, just read it. I love what Cooney does with language, both in her poetry and her prose. She has a grasp of the liminal that I find both appealing and subversive and carnal all at the same time.