Category Archives: Metastasis

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Joely Black

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeJoely and I first met, interestingly enough, when our stories followed one another in the 3 hundred and 65 project which benefited a children’s cancer charity. It was no surprise to me then when she submitted a story to Metastasis. Let’s here what she has to say about it:

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

When I was nine, my uncle died of a brain tumour. He was 37. We used to go and see him at the hospice in London. I became very curious about how a brain tumour changes the very nature of who we are, after watching how the tumour changed him. We get our very selves, all our creativity and thought, from the brain, and cancer changes that radically. I wanted to explore how that might change a person, but not in a uniformly bleak way.

How has cancer touched your life?

I’ve never had cancer myself, but I’ve lost three close relatives to it. My uncle’s death stayed with me a long time, as he died very young and made me conscious of how early cancer can claim a person. My grandfather died of prostate cancer when I was a teenager, which felt like a battle of the wills between him and the disease. I understand he never properly sought treatment for it, which is why he died so quickly. And of course, my other uncle died last year. That was a hard one; the cancer was concealed by his Alzheimer’s, and it’s awful to think that many of his unusual behaviours were caused by a tumour rather than the degenerative dementia.

When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?

Many of my friends are scientists, constantly working on tiny pieces that fit together to produce cures. The speed with which we’re learning about new treatments, new techniques and new medicines is astounding. I think we’re making progress, especially when it’s caught early.

Joely Black is a writer and author living in Manchester, England. She has published a fantasy trilogy and is currently writing a new fantasy serial called Five Empires. She has also written for the Manchester Literature Festival and appeared in One in Four magazine. You can find more info at joelyblack.com.

Metastasis is available at:

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All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Sara Cleto

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeSara Cleto is today’s participant in the series of Metastasis contributor interviews I’ve been hosting here on my blog. Sara’s poem, “A Hunter Reflects Upon the Properties of Sunlight, and Also of Ashes, is just one of several pieces from this anthology which touched on sunlight (Cat Jenkin‘s story “Like Sunlit Honey” being the most obvious other example). It was a theme I wasn’t expecting to find as I read submissions, but at the same time, it wasn’t surprising either. Which is not to say that Sara’s poem or Cat’s story are without surprises, because that would be a lie. I’m going to stop rambling now so we can hear what Sara has to say:

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

Despite my lifelong fascination with vampires–my favorite novel is Robin McKinley’s Sunshine, and my first academic article discusses Gothic vampires– I’d never written anything creative about them because vampiric literature can veer very quickly towards the cliche. The prompt for Metastasis offered an opportunity to invoke vampires in a really unconventional way, and once I made a connection between sunlight, cancer, and vampires, I knew exactly how my poem would unfold.
How has cancer touched your life?
Both my mother and my maternal grandmother have survived cancer. They faced illness with incredible bravery and grace, and my poem is dedicated to their strength. My partner’s extraordinary grandfather passed earlier this month after his own battle with cancer, and I don’t yet have the words to talk about it.
Not counting your own, which story or poem in Metastasis is your favourite?
Beth Cato’s poem “Hunter” just about broke my heart with its magic, sweetness, and sadness.
Sara CletoSara Cleto is a PhD Student at the Ohio State University, where she explores folklore, literature, and the places where they intersect. She spends most of her time reading, writing, and teaching her students about fairy tales and the supernatural. Her creative work can be found in Cabinet des Fees: Scheherazade’s Bequest, Ideomancer, Nightblade, and others.

Metastasis is available at:

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Kindle – $6.95

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All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Scott Lee Williams

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeScott Lee Williams is the next participant in our series of contributor interviews. Scott’s story, “The Cure” has a fantastic voice and real three-dimensional characters who I really liked.

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

When I wrote “The Cure” I was playing the game that all authors play – what if – asking, “If cancer had a story, what would it be?” In many ways, my story is two stories: the story of a man who has a disease, and how that affects him and his relationships, and the story of the disease – if the disease were actually a sentient lifeform with its own agenda. Each of those stories has its own emotional resonance. The danger, of course, is in possibly appearing too glib about the very real suffering that cancer causes. Sympathy for the devil, after all, is easy enough, until you realize what the devil’s really after. I tried to counter this by making my human characters as real as possible.

How has cancer touched your life?
I’ve been very blessed that cancer has not directly affected my life in the way that it has many of the contributors to Metastasis. That being said, cancer affects everyone. It’s part of our culture, in that it’s the ur-horror story. Not everyone believes in the boogeyman, but everyone believes in cancer – the body as betrayer. We all walk around with it in our head everyday. We hear about it on the news, or a friend of a friend has it. We look at the unexplained bruise or sore and think, “Is it cancer?”  We all live with a greater or lesser portion of this fear in our lives, and I certainly look forward to the day when it will be something we don’t have to worry about.
When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?
Technology gives me hope in the fight against cancer. I tend to vacillate wildly in my belief in the power of science to improve our lives. I’ll say, however, that right now, the research that’s being done finds new treatments everyday, and screening methods catch cancer at earlier and more treatable stages. We’re also learning to address the environmental and genetic causes of cancer.  We may never entirely eliminate cancer from the human experience, but we are learning to fight better, and smarter, and that is certainly a reason to hope.
Scott Lee Williams writes in Brooklyn, NY, where he lives and thinks thoughts with his wife and cat. He also maintains a blog called Four Each Day, in which he writes four lines, every day, about something that happened that day. Most of the stories are even true. You can find that at http://foureachday.blogspot.com.  Scott Lee Williams

Metastasis is available at:

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Kindle – $6.95

Kobo
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Paperback – $14.95

All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Michael S. Pack

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeMichael S. Pack’s short story, Unchanged, takes place in a future where there is a cure for cancer but as we all know, nothing is without consequences…

How has cancer touched your life?
In 2007, a routine x-ray for back pain found bone mets in my mother’s spine. The oncologists never identified a primary tumour, but the biopsy indicated breast cancer. With advanced metastasis, the doctors could offer little in the way of treatment. They gave her two years, but it spread faster than they had predicted. No radiation, no chemo, no surgery. She accepted nothing but palliative care. She passed away just after New Year’s of 2008.
When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?
I don’t think we find meaning in our circumstances, but in our response to circumstance. It gives me hope to see the ways in which people choose to respond to cancer. You can’t stay neutral, even denial is a response. Every cancer survivor who finds the strength to persevere, every patient in treatment who perseveres even without strength, every family member that offers support, every community that holds a rally, runs a relay, spreads awareness — those offer me hope. When someone chooses to live their life in spite of the odds, whether from stubbornness or determination or force of will, that gives me hope. Every time someone finds the serenity to accept, that gives me hope. Cancer itself, it brings too much pain, too much suffering for me to find its value. The human reaction though, there’s value there. In the ways in which those responses are framed — by everyone who fights to live one more day, by everyone who comes to terms with mortality, by everyone who grieves for the time lost — those very human responses have meaning. They have value.
Not counting your own, which story or poem in Metastasis is your favourite?
That’s a tough question. I’ve read the anthology, and I’m impressed with all of the contributions. You’ve done a fantastic job putting together some really powerful pieces for Metastasis. If I had to choose just one though, I’d have to say Beth Cato’s poem, “Hunter”. It caught me a little off guard, and it spoke to me on an emotional level. It was beautiful, but also painful to read.
Michael S. Pack is a writer who grew up in the Deep South, but he now lives in northern British Columbia with his wife and three cats. He writes fantasy, science fiction, and other stories. Michael sometimes rambles on twitter @Michael_Pack and on https://www.facebook.com/M.Pack.Author where he posts updates about his stories. He is currently at work on a fantasy novel.

Metastasis is available at:

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Kindle – $6.95

Kobo
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Kindle – $6.95
PDF – $6.95

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Paperback – $14.95

All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Steve Lickman

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeSteve’s story in Metastasis sucked me in from the first paragraph and held my attention up to the very end. He’s here today to answer a few questions in another of our super short Metastasis interviews 🙂

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

It was really more of a what. Of late there’s been a lot of noise online regarding the role of women and minorities in the worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy and also nerd culture in general. The story came about as my brain tried to deal with the ugly, ugly things I was reading online. My thoughts regarding sexism and institutionalized misogyny dovetailed with the idea of metastasis. Most cancer treatments are not kind to the human body. We cut, burn, and bombard it with chemicals. A person’s sexual identity risks damage as a result. Comedienne Tig Notaro when talking about her fight with cancer jokingly referred to a double mastectomy as a “forced transition”.  That’s sort of the idea I was chasing.

How has cancer touched your life?

My family is certainly no stranger to the disease. My grandmother beat both breast and lung cancer during her lifetime. My dad has beaten skin cancer. Unfortunately, my Aunt Michael wasn’t as fortunate. Lung cancer claimed her life. Right now one of our dogs is sick, and our vet says that cancer is the most likely culprit. I pray she is wrong.

However the most striking way cancer has touched my life involves a friend with whom I had a falling out with a number of years ago. Our friendship disintegrated over a bunch of stupid bullshit and we ceased all communication with each other. About a year ago I learned he died of lung cancer.  A mutual acquaintance showed me a picture of him that had been taken shortly before he died. When I knew him, he was a chain-smoking Falstaff, a larger than life character who was always quick with a joke. The person in the photograph looked to be less than 120 pounds with sagging yellow skin and the suggestion of a smile on their lips. It’s my understanding that the disease hit him hard and fast. Whenever I catch myself acting petty, I think of him. It’s cliché, but life can turn shockingly short for stupid bullshit.

Not counting your own, which story or poem in Metastasis is your favourite?

That’s a difficult question, because I had that in mind as I read the anthology, and it starts off with Jay Lake’s powerful “The Cancer Catechism”. And as I continued to read, there was just one fantastic idea after another. The Phillip K Dick fan in me loved the central idea behind David Sklar’s “Quantum Therapy”. However, at one point during Gabrielle Harbowy’s story, “Arpeggio”, I audibly gasped. So if I had to pick just one, I’d pick her’s.

When not being mean to his characters, Steve Lickman is mean to software in his role as a quality control analyst. His story, “Fangirl”, recently appeared in Sidekicks! published by Alliteration Ink. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveLickman or at his website, BeerAndMonsters.com, where he writes about pop culture, home brewing, and, occasionally, writing.

 

Metastasis is available at:

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Kindle – $6.95

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All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

 

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Michael Kellar

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeAs part of my efforts to both increase awareness of Metastasis and also allow you a little insight into the people behind the stories, I’m presenting a series of super short interviews with some of the contributors of the anthology. Michael Kellar is one of those contributors. Michael’s story, Oil and Water, is the superhero(ish) story from this collection and is one of my favourites.

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

Rather than a single source of inspiration, I think that my story evolved from a sense of collective empathy. I was working on the idea of having a young boy possess an unusual ability that was rather nondescript.  I knew I wanted it to be both a little bit tragic and a little bit hopeful at the same time – kind of bittersweet. But it wasn’t until I started to get to know my characters that I realized the exact direct direction it would go. I drew upon my memory of a number of families I had known personally who had been affected by this disease, and I suddenly knew that this would be the core issue. The final line just seemed to leap into my head, and I found that I was then excited to go back and rework everything up to that point.

When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?

Our track record. We have been highly successful at dealing with smallpox, polio, measles, diphtheria, rubella, mumps, tetanus – and any number of other diseases which have afflicted us. Currently, cancer may be more tenacious, but we will get on top of it.

What do you believe is our greatest obstacle to finding a cure?

Misguided or misplaced efforts.

Not long ago there was an article in the “Washington Post” with the title “You give religions  more than $82.5 billion a year”. It provided the interesting perspective that even if one religion  happens to be true, “it’s undeniable that the majority of church-spending is going to support false doctrines” since no single belief system receives the majority of the funding.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I cannot help but wonder what could be accomplished in the area of searching for a cure for cancer if that annual $82.5 billion were instead devoted to medical research.

There are a lot of good people out there who want to accomplish great things. I just wish more of them would go about it in a different manner.

 

Michael Kellar is a writer, poet, and occasional online bookseller living in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Other than his story in “Metastasis”, his most recent print publication was a horror story appearing in the anthology “Side Show 2: Tales of the Big Top and the Bizarre”. He has also recently had a story accepted for “The Ghoul Saloon” and a poem accepted for “Gothic Blue Book III”.

 

Metastasis is available at:

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All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Robert Dawson

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeRobert Dawson, the author of “Folklore of Lunenburg County”, is my guest interviewee today. I loved Robert’s story and enjoyed a little insight into what inspired it, as well as what Robert thought of the anthology as a whole. I suspect you will too 🙂

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

To be honest, the starting point was the setting and the bootlegging, not the cancer. That came into the story because I was wondering “what could an alien artifact do on the scale of an individual human life?” and that was the answer that came to me.

When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?

We do seem to know a lot more about it than we used to, individually and collectively. And knowledge is power.

Not counting your own, which story or poem in Metastasis is your favourite?

That’s not a fair question! They’re all so different. How to compare Jay Lake’s dispatch from the trenches with the giggly gallows humor of David McLain’s spoof article? The narrative with perfectly-embedded metaphors of `Hunter’ with the sparse sting-in-the-tail abstraction of `A Murder of Crows’?  The reassuring hard SF of `Tide Pools’ and `Quantum Therapy’ with a classic ghost story like `The Lady in the Doorway’?  And where to put the truly weird ones like `Painter X’ and `Cancer Maximized’?

Sorry. In the word supposed to answer a Zen koan, “Mu.”

Robert Dawson teaches mathematics at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His SF stories have appeared in AE, Imaginaire, the anthology Dandelions of Mars, and elsewhere; and he has had poems published in magazines such as Rampike, Parody, and Dalhousie Review. His other interests include cycling, fencing, hiking, and music. He is married to Bridget Thomas, a meteorologist; they have one son in Grade 12 and one in university.

Website:  http://cs.smu.ca/~dawson/Writing/

 

Metastasis is available at:

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Paperback – $14.95
Kindle – $6.95

Kobo
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Kindle – $6.95
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Paperback – $14.95

All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Cat Jenkins

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeOver the past few days I’ve been sharing short interviews with some of the contributors of Metastasis here. Today’s interviewee is Cat Jenkins. When it came time to order the stories in this anthology I very deliberately did it so that Cat’s story came last. I really wanted the ending of her story to be the last words of fiction you, as the reader, saw before moving on to read Jay Lake’s afterword. The ending of Like Sunlit Honey is one that stays with me and I think it will stay with me for a very, very, very long time. As will her pure honesty in answering these interview questions.

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

It’s so tempting, when asked about inspiration, to masquerade behind some deep thought, some high ideal; to take the opportunity to make others think you have access to truth on a more profound level; to make it all about you and your incredible perception.

But it’s not like that at all.

These words won’t mean a thing unless they come from a place so honest and real, that it hurts to write them.

The inspiration for ‘Like Sunlit Honey’ was sunlight. The light that shone through the window of my mother’s hospital room on the last day I saw her…the day I told her the biggest lie of my life. The day I stood in the corridor afterwards, trying to remember how to breathe, while a nurse, a total stranger, told me what I’d done was a beautiful thing. She hugged me, kissed my hair, and pushed me toward the elevators.

“Go home. She can die in peace now.”

Home.

I come from one more shattered than broken. One of the sharpest shards was my big sister, my mother’s firstborn. Sis abandoned the family when I was a child. Mom’s last wish was for reconciliation of a breach of trust and ties, the breaking of which she never understood. But Sis was not about to forsake the anger and teenage bitterness she’d held so close for so long, defining her life in a way that allowed deflection of blame; avoidance of explanation.

I entered my mother’s room to admit defeat. Sis would not come. There would be no final farewell.

But when Mom looked up, she didn’t see me; she saw the one person she wanted most. She asked me questions that had nothing to do with my past, my circumstances; that confused me at first, until I realized for whom such questions were meant. The confirmation of my suspicion came when she at last called me by my sister’s name.

Stunned, I looked out the window, mind racing.

Should I correct her? Should I stick to the truth and let her find her own way to deal with it? Should I refuse to have any part of this travesty of familial ties?

Today, in retrospect, I don’t know if what I did was right. But at that instant, with the sun pouring its clear light into a room where a soul was ready to take its leave of mortality…in that bright, white moment…truth was unimportant. What mattered was strength and commitment…and love.

I kept my back to the window, hoping the sun’s fierce illumination, backlighting me, would prevent Mom from recognizing her error. I played along until she closed her eyes and the sun had set.

When all was said and done, there was only peace, and quiet, and a beloved face, strangely transfigured, luminous…like sunlit honey.

It hurt to lie. It still hurts. But that light…that light was…beautiful. It wasn’t until much later, as I relived that day, that I realized the light was still there, still bathing her, long after the sun was gone. It was almost as though she was the source; the light was leaving her, to join with something greater.

How has cancer touched your life?

Shortly after my contribution to “Metastasis” was accepted, I received a phone call. A family friend, a tough guy, a retired cop. His alpha male voice had turned frail, fragile.

“Diane has cancer.”

His beloved wife; the center of a family filled with laughter and love I’d always admired and secretly envied.

“Diane has cancer…”

So inadequate, the standard, sympathetic noises we make to each other at such times.

“It’s the most aggressive type of breast cancer there is…”

We fall into the silences between sentences together. It’s dark and black and we don’t know how to get out.

“It’s spread to her liver…”

And while we each interpret this in very private, very quiet horror, I wonder how Diane feels. We are only ripples. She is the epicenter.

“She begins chemo next week…”

My stomach twists, imagining the pharmaceutical struggle to which she has committed herself. Secretly, for I will never admit my cowardice, I wonder ‘why?’ Why does she choose to fight what sounds like a losing battle? Why not savor what’s left without the illness, the indignity, of chemo?

He tells me she has called her firstborn, a grown son with a family of his own, to fly in from the South tomorrow.

“She wants to see him before she loses her hair…”

We both know she’s taking her leave; giving her eldest child one more memory of the mother he loves and recalls as vital, glowing, alive with a pulse and a beat so strong it’s infectious.

Cancer hasn’t touched my life. It touched Diane’s.

But Diane’s life has touched so many, so beautifully. ‘Courage’ is the first word that has always come to mind when she is the subject. Always. Not in cancer’s aftermath. Cancer is only a footnote.

Diane is the story that will overwhelm and outlast cancer’s touch.

When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?

People. And love. And light.

And the absolute certainty that through it all, there runs a current. If you can still the storms that cancer provokes in your soul…the rage, and terror, and the primal scream of refusal…you’ll feel it. It brings a rightness, and a peace, and a purpose.

I can’t explain. But some things I know. And this is one of them: In the end, we win.

This mindless disease has no soul.

We win.

catjenkins

 

Cat Jenkins lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the weather is often conducive to long hours before a keyboard. She has been thrilled to have short stories in horror, fantasy, speculative fiction and humor published. She anticipates finishing her first novel whenever the next round of foggy, wet weather rolls in. In the meantime, Cat posts stories on the internet about strange people and places and hospitals that specialize in treating patients with psychic abilities…. Writer’s block dissipates when confronted with the question “What if…?”

 

 

 

Metastasis is available at:

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Kindle – $6.95

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Paperback – $14.95

All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: David Sklar

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeDavid Sklar is the next contributor in the series of Metastasis interviews I’m hosting here on my blog. David’s story, Quantum Therapy, is a weird and wonderful contribution to this anthology.

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

As best I recall it, “Quantum Therapy” didn’t start with thinking about cancer; it started with watching a TV show about string theory and thinking, “How would they apply this to medicine?” Because it seems like, whenever people learn something new about how the world works, they try to apply it in three places: In war, in medicine, and in business. So it’s “how can I use this to kill people?” “how can I use this to save people?” and “how can it make me money?” And I’m not interested in war, and not as interested in business as I really should be, but there’s fascinating stuff going on in medicine these days, with stuff like nanobots and biologic therapies. So what would be the medical application of tiny particles that move in and out of alternate universes?

How has cancer touched your life?

Cancer hasn’t hit my life as hard as it has some other people I know. I lost three grandparents to cancer, but they were all in their late 70s or 80s. The one who died young was killed by a heart attack. And I’ve got a sibling who died of myesthenia gravis.

My mother’s around 70 now, and she had cancer, but she survived. And a couple of relatives by marriage have also survived cancer not long ago. So cancer hasn’t hit me personally that hard.

But I’ve got friends who’ve had it worse. Some who lost their mother to cancer, and another good friend whose brother-in-law passed away. Around my age, and he got cancer of the liver. He beat his prognosis by years, but in the end it still laid him low, and it left behind a young widow and two kids, and now they have to grow up without their dad.

Another thing, though I don’t think it’s what you meant when you asked the question–cancer has been a part of my professional life. I’ve been writing and editing medical communications since 1998–sometimes advertising, sometimes more complicated scientific writing to inform doctors about new treatments. And I’ve learned a lot about cancer on the job. A lot of the science in this story–not all of it, but a lot–is based on things I’ve read about in the workplace.

When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?

Hope’s a funny thing. I mean, ultimately, we’re all gonna die of something, and there’s no way around that.  But when it comes to cancer–when it comes to a lot of diseases that used to be incurable–there are just some fascinating things going on in medicine, like I said.

Like angiogenesis inhibitors. You know, when a tumor grows, the old way to treat it was to kill off all the growing cells for a while, and hope they get the cancer with all the rest. That’s what chemotherapy is. But now, they think “What does a tumor need?” It needs oxygen, so it needs blood. So inside of a tumor there’s this tangle of new veins and arteries, growing fast to support the tumor’s rapid growth. But the rest of your body has most of the veins and arteries it needs already. So they have these drugs that stop your body from growing any new veins–instead of killing all the growing cells, they just stop what the cancer needs most, and they starve the tumor.

And then there’s new ways to target the cancer–so instead of putting chemo drugs into your whole body, they’re developing new ways to tag the cancer cells so they can deliver the medicine there and only there. That way they can give a higher dose where you need it, and little or none of the medicine where you don’t.

While I was revising “Quantum Therapy,” there was an advance in this targeted medicine, and it made headlines. I was incorporating technical comments from my friend Jenn, who’s an MD in Colorado, and I see this article in my newsfeed, about–I think they called them nanoparticles–so I worked them into the story, just in a mention in one scene, and I e-mailed Jenn the article, and she looked up more about it and told me some more about the nuances of how it works. That was pretty cool.

And you know, what if she tells a colleague about this article, and that colleague uses this therapy? My story may save a life. Probably not, because Jenn’s not an oncologist, she’s in family practice. And because when this treatment becomes viable, it will probably be in lots of oncology journals. But all the same, silly though it may be, it’s fun to think that my researchDavid Sklar for a work of fiction might result in somebody getting a lifesaving treatment.

David Sklar‘s work has appeared in an odd eclectitude of places, including Strange Horizons, Ladybug, and Scheherazade’s Façade. As a freelance writer and medical editor, David has researched cutting-edge cancer treatments and served as managing editor of a newsletter for health care professionals who treat melanoma. This story of Schrödinger’s cancer is the first time he has applied this experience to his fiction writing.The medical science in “Quantum Therapy” was reviewed by Jenn Hronkin, MD. The quantum physics was reviewed by Sandy McReynolds, PhD, who simultaneously does and does not attest to its veracity.For more about David and his work, please visit http://davidwriting.com

Metastasis is available at:

Amazon.com
Paperback – $14.95
Kindle – $6.95

Kobo
ePub – $6.95

Smashwords — Use coupon code LM63L in order to receive 25% off your order
ePub – $6.95
Kindle – $6.95
PDF – $6.95

Createspace — Use coupon code TGERED9J in order to receive 25% off your order
Paperback – $14.95

All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Beth Cato

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeOver the past couple days I’ve been sharing super short interviews with Metastasis contributors. The next in our series is of Beth Cato. Beth has not just one, but two poems in this collection and I’m pretty sure you’re going to love both of them. I do.

Who was the inspiration for your poem in Metastasis?

I have two poems in the anthology, and one of them is personal. “Hunter” is directly inspired by my cat Palom, who succumbed to cancer last year. He was a meddlesome brat–the sort who stuck his nose in every grocery bag and delivered terror to Christmas tree ornaments–and also the most lovable, social cat I’ve ever known. He greeted everyone at the door, inspected purses and shoes, and groomed people if necessary. I miss him every single day.

When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?
That science fiction is becoming fact. That when a family member of mine had prostate cancer, a robot removed his prostate without any issue–and the man remains healthy several years later. That my mom had benign lesions growing in her eyes and underwent radiation to save her sight. This technology didn’t exist ten years ago. It makes me excited for what will come next–and who it will save.
You write a lot about healers. Is that because of a personal connection to cancer?
Yes. When I was four, my grandpa was diagnosed with myelofibrosis, a severe bone marrow disorder, and was told he had six months to live. He lived another seven years. Because of immune issues, he also was fighting valley fever, cancer, and other ailments by the end. I grew up with the awareness that he was dying. Soon after his death, I discovered role playing games and the healer archetype: white wizards, clerics, priestesses, etc. They’ve been something of an obsession for me ever since. My steampunk novel due out next year has a healer as a main character. If I could have any superpower, without any hesitation I would ask for the ability to cure the sick.
Palom
Palom napping

 

Beth Cato’s debut steampunk novel will be released by HarperCollins Voyager in late 2014. She’s originally from Hanford, California, but now resides in Arizona with her husband and son. Her short fiction, poetry, and tasty cookie recipes can be found at http://www.bethcato.com.

 

 

 

 

Metastasis is available at:

Amazon.com
Paperback – $14.95
Kindle – $6.95

Kobo
ePub – $6.95

Smashwords — Use coupon code LM63L in order to receive 25% off your order
ePub – $6.95
Kindle – $6.95
PDF – $6.95

Createspace — Use coupon code TGERED9J in order to receive 25% off your order
Paperback – $14.95

All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Marge Simon

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeMetastasis, a speculative anthology to benefit cancer research (which I edited) was recently released and some of the contributors agreed to participate in super short interviews here on my blog. One of those contributors is Marge Simon. I’ve known Marge for a few years now, we met through Niteblade (she does all our art) and connected very quickly. Not only does Marge have a poem in this anthology, she has also donated her artistic talents and illustrated some of the pieces within. Just one more awesome part of the book 🙂

What inspired your poem for Metastasis?

This poem was originally written for  a collection with Charlee Jacob, focused on a world wide apocalypse caused by plague, Vectors, A Week in the Death of a Planet.  I tweaked it a bit and altered the title. Cancer is  a plague of another sort.

How has cancer touched your life?

Cancer took my mother, and two good friends are cancer survivors. Everyone nowadays knows someone (friend or relative) who has battled cancer. A number of teachers at my school were afflicted by some form of cancer. I still wonder if the location of the new school  had something to do with it– at least one of the staff or faculty every year.

Why did you choose this scenario of a child and his grandmother reading to him from a fairy tale book? (SPOILER ALERT: The answer contains spoilers for those who haven’t read the poem yet)

Because it makes the poem more poignant when you realize that he is as yet cancer free, but his mother is gone (perhaps to a hospital for care, perhaps to be cured) and his grandmother knows this, and knows she is also dying of it. So the boy waits eagerly for his mother to come for him. And still we all have hope.

Marge 2012

 

Marge Simon’s works appear in publications such as Strange Horizons, Niteblade, DailySF Magazine, Pedestal Magazine, Dreams & Nightmares. She edits a column for the HWA Newsletter and serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees.  She has won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award, the Bram Stoker Award™(2008, 2012), the Rhysling Award and the Dwarf Stars Award. Collections: Like Birds in the Rain, Unearthly Delights, The Mad Hattery, Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls, and Dangerous Dreams. Member HWA, SFWA, SFPA.  www.margesimon.com

 

Metastasis is available at:

Amazon.com
Paperback – $14.95
Kindle – $6.95

Kobo
ePub – $6.95

Smashwords — Use coupon code LM63L in order to receive 25% off your order
ePub – $6.95
Kindle – $6.95
PDF – $6.95

Createspace — Use coupon code TGERED9J in order to receive 25% off your order
Paperback – $14.95

All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.