In 2014 I had a secondary world adventure story called ‘Bitter Water’ published in the anthology Triangulation: Parched (ed. Stephen V. Ramey), featuring sand, bandits, extremely aggrieved merchants, alarming spirit-haunted mountains and some rather unkind practical jokers. Now it’s been reprinted by Digital Fantasy Fiction as an e-book, which I am delighted about, because the characters in it remain among my personal favourites. You can get it both on its own and as part of an anthology of ten awesome fantasy stories. So, you know. Why not?
In case you missed it, Lackington’s #9 is now free to read, including my story Under Dead Marsh, gorgeously illustrated by Random House. The whole issue is great and Ranylt Richildis is an unsung hero (again!) for putting up with my experiments in formatting, among other things.
I may as well repeat what I said about this story when the issue first appeared: Under Dead Marsh may be the only true hard sci-fi story I ever write! It is likely to be of particular interest to three types of people: people trying to get planning permission; people trying to stop other people getting planning permission; and local councillors. Oh, and Dylan Thomas fans. I hope you like Dylan Thomas. I do too.
Lackingtons #9 (theme: architecture) is available to buy and I have a new short story in it, alongside the wonderful Arkady Martine, Sara Saab, Y.X. Acs and Natalia Theodoridou, with illustrations by Carrion House, Derek Newman-Stille, Paula Arwen Owen, Random Dreaming, Gregory St. John, and Kat Weaver. I am indebted, as ever, to Ranylt Richildis for a lot of very wise editorial direction. Thanks, Ranylt. I owe you, uh, three now. ❤️
Under Dead Marsh may be the only true hard sci-fi story I ever write! It is likely to be of particular interest to three types of people: people trying to get planning permission; people trying to stop other people getting planning permission; and local councillors. Oh, and Dylan Thomas fans. I hope you like Dylan Thomas. I do too.
To all intents and purposes, I took October off to watch Person of Interest. Whoops. John Reese: sucker for a pretty woman who knows how to frame an inconvenient witness with a brick of cocaine. Anyway, I had two stories out this month: (1) Soteriology and Stephen Greenwood in The Journal of Unlikely Academia, featuring textual criticism, academic passive-aggression, Latin puns and quite a lot of links. If you don’t feel like following all of them, maybe just start here. I love the issue as a whole, so do check out the other stories. (2) A piece of drowned-town flash, The Girl who Talked to the Sea in Unsung Stories. This one is really about the drowned towns along the Norfolk coastline.
Unearthly Landscape by A Lady by Rebecca Campbell (dresses, painting, filigree cosmic horror)
Directions by Fred Coppersmith (underworld, quest, instructions, whoops sorry no revenge for you)
Witches and Wardrobes by Anna Anthropy (interactive, clothes, anxiety)
And Other Definitions of Family by Abra Staffin-Wiebe (pregnancy, self-sacrifice, humour)
Minotaur: An Analysis of the Species by Sean Robinson (ethnography, analysis, minotaur)
Follow Me Down by Nicolette Barischoff (orphan, incubus, heartwarming)
Alviss the Dwarf by David A. Hewitt (Loki, courtship, trickery)
To Claim a Piece of Sky by Crystal Lynn Hilbert (shapeshifter, weapon, freedom)
There are Rules by William Stiteler (ritual, food, savants)
Dance of the Splintered Hands by Henry Szabranski (gods, hands, adventure)
What Happened to Lord Elomar During the Revolution by Kelly Jennings (three wishes, revolution, victory)
Mother Made a Lovely Feast! by Laura DeHaan (Tam Lin, hallucinations, R’lyeh)
The newly minted SFWA-qualifying Journal of Unlikely Academia is out, featuring stories by Nicolette Barischoff, Sean Robinson, E. Saxey, Eric Schwitzgebel, Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Pear Nuallak and Rose Lemberg, illustrations by Patricio Beteo, Thomas Christopher Haag, Liam Quin, Diane Dellicarpini, Kevin Martin and John Bibire, plus a piece by me with a wonderful illustration by Jakub Niedziela.
Soteriology and Stephen Greenwood expresses my sincere conviction that most long-lost-apocalypse-prophecy-fetch-questers have completely the wrong priorities. They may not be the only ones, of course. It includes textual criticism, academic passive-aggression on a grand scale and Latin puns! Could I sink any lower? (Yes. Almost certainly, yes.) I’m not going to say much more, because if you follow the links within the story (and you should!) you’ll get a pretty clear idea of at least one of the things that inspired it, but I’m ridiculously pleased: I love this story, but was never sure anyone else would get the jokes, and so am very grateful to editors Bernie Mojzes and A.C. Wise for offering it a home. ❤
In case you missed it, I had a couple of short stories out this month: (1) Voice and Silence appeared in The Sockdolager this month. It’s a dark little piece featuring kittens being horrible to even smaller animals, among other things. If you cohabit with cats, you may appreciate it. (2) Rites of Passage appeared in Kaleidotrope. It’s a dusty desert adventure featuring empire-building, false amber, Ann and a dragon, among other things. (Helpful note: when I say “dragon”, I’m thinking of something that looks rather like this.)
The Unicorn by Amanda C. Davis (poem, unicorn, magic)
Your Future and Mine by John Grey (poem, space, not so glamorous as you thought)
Ghostalker by T.L. Huchu (practical necromancy, vivid landscapes, cultural references)
The Closest Thing to Animals by Sofia Samatar (artists, jealousy, friendship)
Prospero by Bruno Dias and Edgar Allen Poe (interactive, red death, masque)
The Peal Divers by Francesca Forrest (poetry, sunken churches, sound)
Grandmother by Leslianne Wilder (poetry, grandmother, ageing wolfishly)
Note to the Caretaker by Lisa Bellamy (poetry, mole, earth artistry)
Scythia by Marinelle G. Ringer (poetry, myths, Greece and Rome)
Hide Behind by Jason Kimble (monster, mystery, jackalopes)
Storm on Solar Seas by T.L. Huchu (space shipwreck, cannibalism, unhappy ending)
Lock and Key by Mike Reeves (assassination attempts, vizier, lady alchemist)
Dustbaby by Alix E. Harrow (end times, dust bowl, old worlds)
The Oiran’s Song by Isabella Yap (war, abuse, prostitution, demon)
Plasma Frequency are holding a kickstarter to fund their return.
The Strange Horizons 2015 fund drive has launched.
Lightspeed is open to fantasy subs until 31 October.
The Book Smugglers have a call for novellas.
— Lackington's Mag (@Lackingtons) September 30, 2015
Not much here, because I got back mid-July and slept for a week, or maybe a little more. Let’s just say that if something happened between April and now, I probably missed it. One thing that did happen in the last couple of weeks was that I had a very small piece of Virgiliana up at Two Words For: Durus Amor, about that time Dido met Aeneas in the underworld.
The Skinner of the Sky by M. Bennardo (profligate prince, lighthouse, weird fiction)
A new token SFF market, Capricious, is open for fiction and nonfiction subs (3000-5000 words, $50 per piece).
Fireside Fiction is opening for subs 1-30 September (1-4000 words, $0.12 per word).
Canadian dark SFF anthology series Post-Scripts to Darkness moved to an invitation-only, online magazine model.
A new $0.6-per-word fun SFF online ‘zine opened up: Mothership Zeta, part of the Escape Artists stable, edited by Mur Lafferty, Sunil Patel and Karen Bovenmyer. Quarterly, with limited submission windows (already opened and closed for #1, in fact), emphasis on “fun”.