Most of Grendelsong Issue 2 is now live on the website, including my piece The Wardrobe of Metaphysical Maps, featuring unsatisfactory relationships and maps of a non-geographical nature. This is in some respects a counterpart to a poisonous little flash piece from 2014, Aqua Vitalis. Anyway, you can now go and check out (almost) the whole issue! It is all great, though I think my favourite story is Octavia Cade’s Carnival Microbial; as I said before, it’s so inventively icky.
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)
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
Urk, September already. Of course the first day of September is sunnier than any day in August. Maybe that’s why I went on a dark reading kick in the middle of last month.
Three Adventures of Simon Says by Daniel Ausema (playground rhymes, familiar horrors, cute adventures)
How to Recover a Relative Lost in Transmatter Shipping, in Five Easy Steps by Carrie Cuinn (family, work, killer last lines)
And this is the song it sings by Megan Arkenburg (road trip, highway monsters, ghost stories)
An Army of Angels by Caspian Gray (inadvisable loyalty, Frankenstein’s angel, horrible things in the closet)
Ishq by Usman T Malik (grandmother, sister, floods, ghosts)
Bog Dog by Seras Nikita (rural horrors)
Shiva, Open Your Eye by Laird Barron (squamous elder things)
The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins by Molly Tanzer (sorcerer, treachery, cutest awful incest, humour)
The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter by Angela Slatter (ghosts, murder, poison)
Magdala Amygdala by Lucy A Snyder (upstanding virus-zombies, relapses, whoops)
I Make People Do Bad Things by Chesya Burke (gang violence, creepy kids)
Where It Lives by Nathaniel Lee (grief, loss, children coping badly)
Terrible Fish by Dora Badger (murderer, mirrors, actually cancer)
Palimpsest by Frances Rowat (enslaved desert creature, days of misrule, the king in yellow)
This is not a metaphor by Christie Yant (curse, troll, metaphor owning its status as metaphor)
Replete by Maggie Butt (poem, sea view, winter)
The Cure by Malinda Lo (escape through vampirism)
The Conversion by Barry King (alien, assimilation, extremely weird)
The Matter with Mr Levene by Louis Rakovitch (ghosts, landlords, letters)
Snake Game by Vajra Chandrasekera with Tory Hoke (ghosts, soldiers, interactive)
New SFF magazines: Farstrider, fantasy, 1000-4000 words, $0.03 per word, actually closed already for subs but launching in January. Sub-Q, an interactive fiction magazine paying pro-rates that gives me an opportunity to find out just what interactive fiction is! Sub-Saharan Magazine, African flavour SFF, 1000-2000 words, token payment.
Uncanny Magazine Year 2 Kickstarter has funded but there are still stretch goals (deadline 10 September).
Call for subs for the Escape Artist event Artemis Rising II: original SF/F/H fiction at $0.06 per word from women and non-binary authors, submissions open during September.
Call for subs for the anthology Cthulusattva: Lovecraftian Tales of the Black Gnosis (up to 7000 words, $0.03 per word, stories from the cultist’s perspective, deadline 15 December).
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”.
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)
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”).
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.)
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)
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).
More tombs! This one Mycenean and perhaps not so controversial.