My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome KJ Kabza to talk about how the power of Neurotic Attention to Detail relates to Under Stars.
For many hours a day, I look through dense scientific papers and find where all the Oxford commas aren’t.
I’m a copyeditor. This has developed in me a super-powered, refined, neurotic attention to detail. If you have misplaced your keys somewhere in your house, I will find them. I will also notice your dusty surfaces, crooked pictures, and the zit you’re self-conscious about (sorry).
I’m also a fiction writer. My ability to zero in keeps my writing clean, my prosody present, and my stories… short. Before I’ve even started writing, I’ve seen where the tingly nerve center of a narrative lies, and you can’t unsee a thing like that. Novels, to this day, I can’t yet write, but if you want a world in 7,000 words? Aye aye.
My second collection of short fiction, Under Stars, showcases my hummingbird-like zoom-in abilities and my albatross-like ability to cover a hell of a lot of ground. My tightly-written stories are far-ranging and unlike each other (or so I’m told), leaving reviewers to stutter, “Fascinating, unique, imaginative” and “Does not end as you’d expect.“
There is so very much to examine in fiction, and so many astonishing worlds to build and explore, that I am forever preoccupied with finding those metaphorical lost keys — all of them. I write dark fantasy, gonzo fiction, folktales, soft SF, flash fiction, microfiction, far future SF, horror, urban fantasy, fantastical erotica, and even dirty limericks, and Under Stars has it all.
If you, too, are always hunting for something shiny, feel free to give my collection a look.
Since 2002, over 50 pieces of KJ Kabza’s fiction have appeared over 60 times in over 40 different venues, including F&SF, Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, and more. His work has been anthologized in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2014 and The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Six, among others, and has been called, “Intelligent and sublime—a powerful combination” (Tangent), “Rich in magic” (SFRevu), and “Worthy of Edgar Allan Poe” (SFcrowsnest). Sign up for his mailing list to receive news and alerts on newly-released fiction or follow him on Twitter.
KJ Kabza’s second short fiction collection features his freshest work from top science fiction and fantasy venues of today, including F&SF, Nature, Daily Science Fiction, and more. With five new stories and a bonus section of dirty limericks with a speculative twist, Under Stars showcases wonders from worlds both here and beyond—enchanted hedge mazes, abandoned cities, programmable cyberneurons, alien overlords, 1,000-foot-high tides, secret dreams, and humanity’s omnipotent future.