Ego Strokes

I’ve been too busy keeping up with various duties, e.g. daily review of 2014, two anthologies, moderating Show Me Your Lits and posting at Write 1 Sub 1, among others, to do much personal blogging. It’s important from time to time to take stock of things and feel good about the work into which we pour our passions (take that, Grammar Police!). So, here’s a quick update from the last couple of months.

I was selected as one of FlashFiction.Net’s Favorite Authors. This may not seem like a huge deal, but even to be mentioned in the same breath as writers like Raymond Carver and Kim Chinquee, Steve Almond, and Bruce Holland-Rogers (OMG!) is pretty life Continue reading

Writing Tag – My Writing Process

Hemingway slogan about writingMy Writing Process is a series of blog posts in which authors ‘tag’ each other to answer some questions about their work. Matt Potter asked me to take part, along with Paul Combs.

About Matt Potter

Matt Potter is an Australian writer born and based in Adelaide, who keeps part of his pysche in Berlin.  He is the founding editor of Pure Slush.  Matt has also been nominated for the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll’s Best Magazine / e-zine Editor.

What am I working on?

I am working on my last 4 stories for Pure Slush’s 2014 A Year in Stories. Continue reading

UNCOV/rd Interview


Susan Tepper interviews me about Glass Animals at UNCOV/rd. She touches on a couple of my “issues” and two of my favorite stories from the collection. Here’s an excerpt.

ST:  Speaking of troubling behavior, let’s discuss your story Sacred in This Light.  This story is lyrical prose with legs, one that creeps up on the reader.  It’s a story of a profound misdeed.  You wrote:

The ground is a battlefield of shadow and light.  Do worms worship flame?  Will ants build monuments to this night?

Despite everything going on this story, I didn’t hate your character.  I should have, but you turned me!  And I still don’t know how you did.   Rather, Continue reading

Men Are Not Dragons at Fiction Vortex

I’m happy to report that my fantasy short story, “Men Are Not Dragons” has been published over at Fiction Vortex. The editors were great to work with, and I heartily recommend submitting good work to them.

As for the story, it has quite a history. I wrote the first draft of this story, then titled “The First Man” for James Gunn’s Intensive Workshop in Writing Science Fiction. This would have been around 2002. Kij Johnson liked the boldness of the opening scene, and the overall structure, but pointed out that I was missing a transitional scene in the relationship between boy and dragon. Continue reading

“A Clockwork Clef” at Chrome Baby

One of my favorite forms is flash fiction (under 1000 words, and often under 500) and my favorite genre is SF. Combine the two, and you get one of my best stories to date, “A Clockwork Clef”. It’s an obvious nod to the A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, but I think I brought something of my own to the mix as well. What do you think?

Thanks to editor Robin Wyatt Dunn at Chrome Baby for reprinting my baby in the Xmas Bairn.

The story originally appeared in the sadly defunct Eschatology, published by Bruce L. Priddy.

“The Sea as a Sickness” at Apocrypha and Abstractions

I was pleased when the fine folks at Apocrypha and Abstractions accepted my surrealist “The Sea as a Sickness” and even more pleased when it was singled out in Michael Alexander Chaney’s flash markets series.

Another lovely flash recently published here is “The Sea as a Sickness” by Stephen V. Ramey. This is the kind of writing you’ll want to linger over–phrases so finely turned they’ll make you smile (“The beach was the texture of beef tongue”) and a situation so existentially piquant, you’ll want to read it again just to make sure the life guard in the story is real, and whether or not that lifeguard is really you.

Spring Fashion Published at Pure Slush

Spring Prosthetic Leg“Spring Fashion,” one of my more controversial flash stories appears this week at Pure Slush. It’s about a teenaged girl and her little sister, fashion trends, sibling jealousy, and most importantly the lengths we will go to to “fit in”. The reaction has been intense. What do you think?

Carol touches her sister’s big toe. The flesh is cold and hard, not like skin at all. She pulls away. A thrill of terror runs down her spine. For the first time, she understands how dangerous her sister’s obsession has become.


susan tepper:
OMG I was utterly horrified at what this girl is doing. Continue reading

Minstrel Monkey Reviews Glass Animals

Many of Steve’s characters are quite oblivious of what’s happening to them which is an enormous part of the appeal (and torture) of each story. We gain an (often uncomfortable) insight into the protagonist’s experiences but we are, of course, powerless to explain it to them, or save them from whatever destruction or change seems inevitable. Universally, Ramey’s characters are very real, even the most absurd and outlandish of them, no matter what age or gender – he picks out and unweaves exactly what makes each one human and flawed and beautiful. Every story makes you wonder how you’d seem if sketched as one of the characters – not always a wholly enjoyable idea but one that certainly keeps those tales secure in your head for days…

The stories I can’t forget have implanted themselves into my brain for completely different reasons: The Divide for its domestic profundity, Simply Salazar for its casual intimidation, Canis es Machina for Clarise (who really ought to be the star of a beautifully grim indie movie), The Mailwoman for its duplicitous gossip, Meringue for its… climax, Nora’s RV for its aching urgency, Funny Stuff for the ultimate tragic clown, and, finally, Leaving the Garden, a story that has stayed with me ever since I first read its initial incarnation at our writing group.

My bookshelf has a space in between Q and S reserved for more Ramey. Yours should too.

Read the full review.