Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Respect Fairy

The Respect Fairy
by Dusty Wallace

“Excuse me, ma'am. But this chicken is undercooked,” I said. “It's nearly raw in the middle.” I spread the meat apart with my fork and knife and showed her the pink center.
“I'm sorry, sir,” the waitress said. “I'll have the kitchen cook up a fresh serving on the double.”
That sounded reasonable to me. “That'll do fine,” I said. “No hurry.”
The Old Pine Diner wasn't what you'd call fancy eatin', but I didn't think fully cooked food was beyond expectation. In fact, I rather enjoyed simple diners. The service was almost always excellent and you could usually see right into the kitchen.
At the Old Pine, I could see my waitress approach the cook with my fried chicken thigh and calmly explain the situation. He took the plate from her and she went off to serve another customer. It was at this point he should have thrown the food in the trash and began cooking a new piece of chicken.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Long Overdue Writing Update

First, I sold a reprint to Memento Mori. I'm happy about this because the original publisher of the story closed shop a month after the book hit shelves. So maybe people will get a chance to read it now.

Also, The Overcast, which has featured prolific short story authors like Deborah Walker, Samuel Marzioli and the current SFWA President Cat Rambo, did a podcast of my story "Not Even A Whisper," originally published in Selfies From the End of the World.

And it's free to listen to right here. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (The Dusty Complains)


You loved The Force Awakens, right? Sure you did. Everyone did. It's made a gazillion dollars and shows no signs of stopping. It's washing that icky prequel Jar-Jar taste out of our collective mouths. It's giving us young feminine heroes sans slave bikinis to rally behind while still bowing the nostalgia strings of our cello hearts making J.J. Abrams look like the Yo-Yo Ma of space opera.

I understand. Really, I do. I took my eleven year old son to go help awaken the money force in IMAX 3D and it was nothing less than a spectacle. I loved the original trilogy like everyone else and The Force Awakens paid tribute in a way that fans dreamed about when they bought tickets for The Phantom Menace and had nightmares about when they left that movie.

It was entertaining as a standalone, also. The actors were solid. The story succeeded on the strength of a tested formula. The special effects were without equal.

But after the Star Wars intoxication had passed I had time to analyze a little deeper. I had time to pick apart things. Basically, I found things to bitch about. Bitching about them doesn't suddenly mean I don't like the movie. But I see no reason I should have to ignore these things either.

Kylo Ren is kind of a wuss. So is Finn, but I have a lot more problems with his character than just his uselessness in a fight. So let's stick with Ren for now. Here's a guy who's the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia. Both a couple of certified badasses. If that's not enough, he was identified as being strong with the force at a young age and received training from Luke Skywalker. Yet he's easily outwitted by some kids and eventually defeated by a child who has literally never held a lightsaber before. He couldn't even out-muscle her when they were leveraging for position. I understand she's a force prodigy, but he was able to toss her into a tree a few seconds earlier, then suddenly he's at her mercy. Even fucking Finn gets a wound on Kylo and he's got no force helping him out.

(Yes, I know Kylo is wounded from Chewie's blaster. It's no excuse. He's a wuss. Let's hope Supreme Leader Snoke fixes that.)

Tangentially, why do any of the Jedi or Sith fight with a lightsaber when they can sling people into walls or squeeze there brains telekinetically?

Now for the part that might be a bit controversial. Of course, there was already controversy when folks first found out there'd be black and female storm troopers. There's always idiots ready to spout nonsense at such announcements. I'm fine with black actors getting all the parts in Hollywood. Black Santa Claus? Bring it on. Idris Elba as James Bond? Might be the first Bond I watch in years. Remake of Passion of the Christ with a black Jesus? I say go for it. And don't leave the women out. You wanna make all female Ghostbusters? Sure, why not? Make an all female Magnificient Seven while you're at it.

But now that I've seen the movie. I don't think we should have had black and female Stormtroopers. Before I make my case, let me show you a couple of pictures.

Actual Fucking Nazis

Space Nazis (AKA Stormtroopers)

Does the First Order (and why the fuck can't they just be The Empire?) look like an inclusive group to you? If you're going to base an antagonist off the most historically racist government in the history of mankind, then it's a little self-defeating to have them be inclusive of other races and genders.

Besides, when did they stop being clones? (Don't answer that, angry nerds.) Which brings me to my next issue.

Finn is also a wuss. He wants to run away from everything. He wants to avoid conflict with the First Order at all costs. I understand that he was taken from home at a young age. The fact that he's a non-conformist despite his years of training and brainwashing is a pretty cool gimmick. But what about his attitude. Why is he trying to be sassy and funny? Why wouldn't he be stone cold serious all the time? He acts more like a guy who's been kidnapped last week, not as a child.

Let me offer a different version of Finn and Rey. Finn is indeed a pacifist. He doesn't want to kill, but he's underwent the brainwashing of the First Order. He's white, and the First Order has taught him to see other races as inferior. After making his escape to Jakku he meets Rey, a young black salvager who's in possession of BB-8. The girl proves her mettle time and time again, causing him to question everything he's been taught. He decides to join the resistance and use his superior Stormtrooper training and cold logic to help win the fight. Against the odds he and Rey become close, and Finn becomes a softer character over the course of the film.

That's my version. Maybe a little too deep for the kids buying Star Wars happy meals.

Another tangential question. If you are going to open up Stormtroopers to other races and genders, then why are there still only humans in the First Order? The resistance has all kinds of weird alien allies, including Ackbar and Nien Nunb. Why don't the bad guys ever have anyone like that? There are clearly some badass aliens in the Star Wars canon that would make for better soldiers than humans, so where are they?

Lastly, lets talk about Han Solo's death. Should it have been saved for the second or even third film? It's impossible to say without knowing what else is in store. It was a beautifully tragic moment but if the other two films lack anything comparable then it will be for naught. Plus, Han was really terrific in The Force Awakens. I'm not sure the new stars can carry scenes the way Harrison Ford does and I don't think Carrie Fisher is up to that challenge either these days. Even if she is, it doesn't look like she'll have that sort of role in this trilogy. That leaves only one hero who can save us. Help us Mark Hamill, you're our only hope.

Friday, April 24, 2015

New Stuff

Been a while since I updated anything so here we go.

Shaundra The Watcher finally came out in ARES Issue #2. Head to for that one.

I was recently accepted into "Selfies from the End of the World" from Jeremy and Dawn over at Mad Scientist Journal. It's a first-person account of a black southern farmer renting a room to a white northern scientist who things that the farm is ground zero for the apocalypse. 

I've also been accepted to Bete Noire since I last updated. This piece is a pulp crime about two laid-off rednecks in Franklin County Virginia who kidnap a mobster in hopes of stealing his moonshine money. It's pretty funny stuff and Bete Noire is a nice magazine.

Alternate Hilarities accepted my piece "Lenny's Dilemma" for the anthology "Hysterical Realms." It's a story about a genie whose lamp needs to be rubbed before it grants a wish. And by lamp I mean penis.

In poetry news, Star*Line accepted my poem "Formicidae Martis." It's about an ant from Mars who just doesn't have a fun time on its visit to Earth. 

There's a few submissions out that I have a good feeling about so hopefully I'll have a reason to update again soon.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Publishing News

My story, "Flight of the Lonely" just came out over at Acidic Fiction:  

It's about an elderly man with wings who lives in a retirement home. He's cranky and always has been. Always used his wings for selfish reasons. Until now.

I also had an existential poem published in Page & Spine:

And one in Scifaikuest's print edition:

In other news, ARES Magazine #2 should be in mailboxes in January. It contains my story "Shaundra the Watcher," about a teen girl with superpowers. Superpowers that seem sort of lame, at first.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

ARES Magazine Issue #2

The second issue of ARES Magazine comes out soon and I have a story in it! I'm very excited about this. ARES is the biggest publication I've been accepted into as of yet. It pays pro rates but is not qualified by SFWA because it hasn't been around long enough. Plus, SFWA rules bumped up to 6cents a word and ARES is still at 5cents a word. Still, it's a healthy rate and was considered pro at the time I got the acceptance.

Here's a preview. If you click on the 'store' button you can pre-order a copy. ARES has two options: You can buy the print edition with an original board game, or the magazine alone. Later you can get an e-copy also I think. Obviously the board game edition is a little pricey if you're not a gamer but the zine-only is a good value. It's a 11x14 magazine that feels like a trade paperback it's so thick. The first issue was about 90 pages and probably would have been double that in a digest-sized zine.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Giving away two paperback copies of People Eating People.

All you have to do is enter the giveaway at Goodreads. While you're there add the book to your 'to-read' list. If you don't have a membership, you can easily create one with your facebook profile. Open to US and Canada only.

Starts on August 27th.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

People Eating People - A Cannibal Anthology by Dusty Wallace

People Eating People - A Cannibal Anthology

by Dusty Wallace

Giveaway ends September 04, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win