Short Unlikely Story

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. ❤

Around the Internet (September 2015)

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.)

FICTION

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)

OTHER THINGS

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 Magazine editor Ranylt Richildis went to Nantes and saw a clockwork elephant!

Things seen and read around the internet

Around the Internet: July 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.

FICTION

The Skinner of the Sky by M. Bennardo (profligate prince, lighthouse, weird fiction)

OTHER THINGS

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”.

Things seen and read around the internet

Around the Internet (March 2015)

FICTION

The Selkie by David K. Yeh (selkie, adventure, Nazis, witches)

The Whale of Penlan Tork by Stevan Earnshaw (experimental, Greek chorus, sea journey, whale; full disclosure: I really have no idea what was going on here, but I rather loved it anyway)

The Rud Yard by Vajra Chandrasekera (the President then expressed a preference, if it came right down to it, for literal assassination over character assassination, because he just found the latter so offensive)

A Screech of Gulls by Alyc Helms (otherworld Venice, extortion and gull-murder, bleak or what)

A Winter-Piece to a Friend Away by John Berryman (poetry, seasons, subtle rhythm)

Lepanto by G.K. Chesterton (exhilarating martial poetry from the dawn of WW1, Don John goes to war, well I never promised it would all be new)

Any House in the Storm by Tais Teng (rivalry, architecture, spiky characters, rapprochement)

OTHER NOTES

Strange Horizons is shut to fiction subs for April.

New speculative podcast, The People’s Ink, is open for subs (focus on the Pacific Northwest for preference, $0.02 per word, original and reprints).

Submission periods for Lightspeed Queers Destroy! projects have been announced, along with a brief general submissions window (June/July).

More royal Macedonian tombs at Vergina! (Greece, like Italy, has more archaeology than it can afford, unfortunately.)

A piece in TLS on archaeological destruction in Iraq etc. by Eleanor Robson (“The fact is that ancient stones can wait, as they have waited for millennia; they depend on the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi people need us more”).

Things seen and read around the internet

Around the Internet (Feb 2015)

In case you missed it, all the Lackington’s #5 fiction and illustrations are now live on the website, including my short story. (Whole issue kindly reviewed by Charles Payseur! I am still at the stage where I carefully avoid looking for reviews, because reviews are for readers not writers, knowing other people have read my fiction makes me feel naked, and a negative review would certainly ruin my mood for weeks, but this one was flagged up on Twitter so I couldn’t not look… after several days of vacillating.)

FICTION

A Lover by A.W. Marshall (flash, birds, gifts, cats, murder)

Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg (civil war, apocalypse, ambiguously-evil-sorceror, novel)

The Gaeneviad by Boulet (comic, gods, heroes, humour, Zeus, Hades, little old ladies)

Dave the Mighty Steel-Thewed Avenger by Laura Resnick (urban epic fantasy parody, prophet, opossum, humour, law school)

The Best Little Cleaning Robot in All of Faerie by Susan Jane Bigelow (science, magic, spaceships, fairies, humour)

The Nalender by Ann Leckie (gods, lizard, river, treasure, whoooops)

PodCastle 348: Testimony of Samuel Frobisher Regarding Events on Her Majesty’s Ship CONFIDENCE, 14-22 June, 1818, With Diagrams by Ian Tregillis, read by Ian Stuart (nautical fantasy, horror in the vasty deeps, sirenic tentacles)

OTHER NOTES

Fireside Fiction is open for flash subs from 15 March–11 April.

Nebula Award nominees announced. Congrats all!

PodCastle has a new submissions manager (remember: every time a mag moves to Submittable, an angel gets its wings) and new (pro!) rates: $0.06 per word for original fiction 2000–6000 words, $0.02 per word for reprints.

Anthology call: Ghost in the Cogs, steampunk ghost stories ($0.06 per word, reading period 1 March to 1 April).

A new magazine: Forever Magazine, a zine for science fiction reprints edited by Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld. There’s no submission system, as such, but the recommendation form is here.

More tombs! This one Mycenean and perhaps not so controversial.

Free fiction thisaway!

‘Unravelling’ up at Lackington’s

Only slightly belated: my story Unravelling is now up at Lackington’s, along with the rest of a wonderful issue! The Issue 5 theme is ‘beldams’, with a focus on deconstruction, and my story does feature the rather literal deconstruction of a witch, so… take that as a content warning, I guess, if a little gore is not quite your thing. And look out for the Turkish drop spindle in Paula Arwen Owen’s great illustration! ❤

For the curious, the real thing looks like this:

Spindles

Things seen and read around the internet

Around the Internet (January 2015)

Ugh, January. I hate January: unfailingly a black pit of misery and disappointment, without even Christmas to look forward to. Speaking of black pits, in case you missed it I have an end-of-the-month fairytale in Lackington’s Issue 5! Note: does not in fact feature black pits, as such, although it is pretty dark.

Other things seen and read in January:

FICTION

Scarecrow by Alyssa Wong (crows, transformation, guilt, horror)

Unconventional Advice for the Discerning Reader by Sophie Wereley (advice, helpful or otherwise; in theory you can read the whole story at the DSF site, although I’ve never been able to, but I did like this when it turned up in my inbox).

Floaters by Robert Lowell Russell (brutal sci-fi, PTSD space marines)

Animal Magnetism by Shannon Peavey (ghost, snail, communication issues)

Anarchic Hand by Andy Dudak (demon puppet, dystopian future, downsides of cryogenesis)

Podcastle 344: Other Worlds Than These, with flash fiction by Nick Scorza, Tina Conolly, Peter Wood (podcast, flash, alternate universes, portals, wizards, books).

Go to the Dead Rabbi’s House by Louis Rakovich (golem, subtle creep)

Necessary Evil by Stephen J. Barringer (clans, curses)

OTHER NOTES

Editorial changes at PodCastle to go with reorganisation at Escape Artists generally. For selfish reasons, I went “awww” at the PodCastle news, but wish Dave and Anna all the best and the same to their successors, Kitty NicIaian and Dawn Phynix. And PodCastle is open to subs for the theme Dirty Jobs (deadline March 15).

My prayers are answered! Possibly everyone else’s prayers too, going by immediate reaction on Twitter. C.C. Finlay has taken over as the forever editor at F&SF, which means e-subs stay open. At least until I submit All The Things and he changes his mind hurriedly.

Interfictions is open from 1–15 Feb for poetry, non-fiction and art subs only.

Tor.com is closing to subs from 1 Feb to 1 March. (Given their wait times, if they felt like switching to a non-email-based submission system where you could check they’d actually received and were still holding onto subs, I should be very grateful. What? It worked with the F&SF thing.)

New Scottish semi-pro SF zine, Shoreline of Infinity, is calling for subs. The guidelines aren’t too clear, but the “Why us?” page suggests future SF is the way to go here (if only I wrote any of that).

Amazing news from that tomb in Amphipolis: the bones belong to 5 different people! (Plus, I gather, although it doesn’t say so in that link, a horse. Fun speculation over at Dorothy Lobel King’s site. Less speculative overview at The History Blog.)