Slowly and surely, we begin to care for this strange man and his creations, even as we realize that both are more dangerous than they seem, and this in itself is a delight.
Paul Cornell had some very kind words for “Watch Bees” in his Favourite Fiction of 2011 post:
Again, what becomes of America in the near future, where genetic engineering is available for farmers, but social order not so much. It’s not about the deadly bees that guard property from anyone whose biology they don’t recognise, or the desperate ways to get around that, it’s about how the world got here.
I can only be delighted to find myself mentioned among such company as Neal Stephenson, Carol Emshwiller, Kij Johnson, John Kessel. . . .
“Watch Bees” was in the August, 2011 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction.
In her “picks for the best of 2011′s short fiction,” Lois Tilton had kind mentions for two stories that appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, including one of mine:
Two good ones were “Like a Hawk in Its Gyre” by Philip Brewer and “Evoë! Evoë!” by Robert Pritchard.
I woke up this morning to email from Alexander Shalganov, Editor-in-Chief of ESLI, an sf and fantasy magazine in Russia, saying that he wanted to buy reprint rights for my story “Watch Bees,” which appeared in the August issue of Asimov’s! (The name ESLI apparently means “IF” or perhaps “What if” in Russian.)
This ticks off a couple of firsts for me: First reprint sale and first translation into a foreign language.
I pick up a mention in the beta of the new on-line Science Fiction Encyclopedia, in the entry on Redstone Science Fiction:
“Like a Hawk in its Gyre” (February 2011 #9) by Philip Brewer delivers a soft but effective punch in portraying a future that’s not all it seems.
The story itself is available at Redstone: Like a Hawk in its Gyre.
Lois Tilton seems unconvinced by the economic scenario implied by my story “Watch Bees.”
The August issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction with my story “Watch Bees” was on the shelf at the local Borders this evening!
My mom bought two copies, leaving just one on the shelf. (A fact possibly of interest to local folks who’re hoping to get a copy.)
I got a call from my dad, who said that he’d found a copy as well, but he bought his at the Michigan News Agency in Kalamazoo.
“Watch Bees” is in Asimov’s Science Fiction, August 2011, Vol. 35, No. 8, edited by Sheila Williams.
Picking his way through morning glory vines, over rolling chunks of old pavement, David made his way to the edge of the ditch. Kneeling down, he got close enough to the dandelions and clover to see that the bees visiting them were striped the distinctive orange-and-black of watch bees.
Looking up, David took in the farm as a whole. The paint on the farmhouse and barn wasn’t fresh, but it wasn’t peeling. The garden was big. The fields grew food, not just biofuel crops. He was six or seven miles from town, having rejected each of the farms he’d passed, but this one looked promising.
Update: “Watch Bees” has been reprinted in the Russian Magazine Esli!