My first real fiction sale to a real fiction market,”Pahwakhe” was the first of my two Clarion West Week 6 stories, and received a thorough critique by Vernor Vinge and my classmates. Fantasy magazine bought it shortly after I sent it to them, and it’s currently forthcoming sometime in 2007 early 2008.
What was really amazing was that I wasn’t the first to know. News of the acceptance was posted after I was emailed but before I woke, so I discovered, that morning, some email from Clarion West classmates congratulating me.
Update (11 Dec. 2007): This story is supposed to appear online in a few months, but Podcastle — the fantasy podcast-sibling of Escape Pod — has gone ahead and purchased reprint rights for the story. I’ll put a link up when the story goes live.
Update (2 May 2008): The PodCastle podcast is live! Listen to it here!
Update (27 February 2013): In the story-trivia category, I was going through old boxes and found a copy of the Native American folktale that inspired this story, “The Girl Who Married a Ghost.” I don’t have the book it’s from, The Girl Who Married a Ghost and Other Tales from the North American Indians, edited apparently by Edward S. Curtis (my notes say it was edited by John Bierhurst, but Librarything disagrees). I’m not sure whether the origin of the story is a Salish group as I depict in the story–I think so, but without access to the book I cannot be sure. (I certainly don’t remember.)
“The story feels very much like a tale told by a fireside… The prose is sometimes stark, sometimes lyrical and filled with images of startling clarity…” (Carol Ryles, Writing Walking Whatever)
“…blurs together myth and history in his standout story, “Pahwakhe.” … Sellar’s skillful merging of European traders and visitors from Ghost Town makes this retribution as poignant and creepy as it is unjust… [and his] use of descriptive writing and visual imagery make his tale effective and haunting.” (Val Grimm, The Fix)
“A moody little story that carries you to a sorrowful land.” (Pam Phillips, Writing Every Day)