William Shunn

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On October 10, 2016, Bill delivered a taboo tale of Mormon missionary life at Taboo Tales NYC.

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My body math index

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Photo by patricia serna on Unsplash
Here is an actual thing that happened yesterday at LabCorp, where I went for a routine biometric screening for health insurance purposes.

Tech: How tall are you?

Me: Five-eleven.

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After the July republication of Cast a Cold Eye (the spooky novella I co-authored in 2009 with Derryl Murphy), I’ve been inspired to continue our stroll down Memory Lane with a rare little number from 2007.

That was the year John Klima’s Spilt Milk Press brought out a chapbook of six of my stories under the title An Alternate History of the 21st Century. This little collection of near-future science fiction included four reprinted short stories and two original novelettes.

One of those original stories, “Objective Impermeability in a Closed System,” went on to be reprinted in Hartwell & Cramer’s Year's Best SF 13. The other, “Not of This Fold,” has only ever appeared in the chapbook, but was still called out favorably in my entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

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Today is America's day, and what's more American than Coney Island? I have a poem for Coney Island, so, by the transitive property, this poem is also for America. And like America, it perhaps contains some bad words.

(It’s also for Throwback Thursday, since it was recorded live, complete with rhythm section, at the HiFi Bar in Manhattan on October 11, 2015. Happy 4th.)

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latest proper manuscript format post

Paragraph formatting box from Microsoft Word 2010
A reader writes to ask:

I want to submit a novel manuscript to a small press in the US and their guidelines say "indented, not tabbed."

What's the difference? Usually I just hit the tab key once. Should I be doing something else?

I have Word Starter 2010, and I can't see any distinction between "indent" and "tab."

How do I make sure I'm indenting and not tabbing? If I'm tabbing, how do I change it to indent?

This is an excellent question, and I'm sure the cause of much confusion among word-processing novices. There is in fact a distinction between tabbing and indenting—or rather, it might be more accurate to say that tabbing is only one way to indent a paragraph. I will try to explain a method for indenting paragraphs that makes your document more portable* and easier for your publisher to use.

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About William Shunn

William Shunn is the Hugo and Nebula Award–nominated author of over thirty works of short fiction, which have appeared everywhere from Asimov's Science Fiction to Salon. His memoir, The Accidental Terrorist, was published to acclaim in 2015, and was shortlisted for the Association for Mormon Letters Award. He also edits The Piltdown Review.

Featured Calendar

Past Appearances
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
7:00-9:00 pm
Liars’ League NYC Presents
Accident & Emergency
85 E. 4th St.
New York, NY 10003
Monday, October 10, 2016
Taboo Tales NYC
(People's Improv Theater)
123 E. 24th St.
New York, NY 10010
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Saturday, November 14, 2015