I’m back! And I have a very short piece of Virgiliana up at Two Words For: Durus Amor, about that time Dido met Aeneas in the underworld. Which is a nice thing to happen on a day dreary even for an English July. Feel free to share the page on Facebook, if you’re there.
This is likely to be the last of these posts for a few months, which is why I’m posting now, rather than at the end of April. I’m currently travelling and am unlikely to have much time (or internet, more to the point) for online reading until the end of the summer.
Spring Thaw by Charles Payseur (horrible things coming up from the ice)
The Spine of Worlds by Eric Rosenfield (tower, adventures, crossing worlds)
Monkey King by Zen Cho (Monkey visits Elfland)
Five Things Every Successful Clown Must Do by Derek Manuel (flash fiction, clowns, humour, horror)
More editorial changes at Podcastle, where Rachael K. Jones and Graeme Dunlop have taken over. Congratulations both!
Lackington’s #6 is now available for free online, if you were waiting for that to see the pretty pictures/read the sea stories from last month. Plus note that subs reopen in May for the themes of dreams and architecture.
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.
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:
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:
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)
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.)
I’ll post about this again when it goes live online, but Lackington’s Issue 5 (theme: beldams) is now available and includes a rather dark fairytale of mine with a fabulous illustration by Paula Arwen Owen! Buy it! Buy it for the pretty pictures! And the stories, of course.
Things seen and read this month (rather short, because it’s one of those busy months). Plus a review of my short stories from 2014, because it’s the end of the year, after all.
The Mercy of Theseus by Rachael K. Jones (road trip, paradox, podcast)
The Ravens’ Sister by Natalia Theodoridou (ravens, fairytale, war)
Pay Phobetor by Shale Nelson (mind hack)
Hibernal by Megan Arkenberg (poetry, summer boys, autumn a dark queen)
The Whalemaid, Singing by Sonya Taaffe (poetry, mermaids)
Cantor’s Dragon by Craig DeLancey (infinity, stairways to heaven)
The Deverry books were such a formative experience for me. I discovered them when I was still trawling for books in the children’s section of my local library, and when the series was still in an “oh, just a couple more to go!” state of “totally almost complete, you guys!” Anyone who reads ASOIAF will understand I spent the next ten years anxiously waiting for what eventually turned out to be another seven or eight books to appear. Between that and Kate Elliott’s annually expanding Crown of Stars series, I am now rather more wary of starting on things still being written, but the books themselves are wonderful and I will always have a very special place in my heart for both sets. So: go look? And consider supporting the fundraiser?
C.C. Finlay will be guest-editing another issue of F&SF. He writes lovely rejections and has a two-week submission window that accepts e-subs (!!!! If F&SF took e-subs as standard, I would submit everything to them. Unfortunately I have this aversion to posting paper mss. to America for the sake of a form rejection, so instead am quietly hoping Mr. Finlay ends up editing all the issues. Well, all right, two a year would be acceptable, I suppose).
Unlikely Story has a special call for an Unlikely Academia themed issue (ending 12 March).
MY FICTION FROM 2014
Featuring enchanted thread,* inventory management, creepy cat noises, inadvisable poetry,* poison,* desert jokers, aqueductpunk elephants. In that order.
The Words of the Maguš to Kūruš, King of Kings (Lightning Cake Lit, 24/09/2014)
7 Noises Heard While House-Sitting Alone, In The Dark, That Would Be Alarming If I Didn’t Know What They Were (Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi, 15/09/2014)
Aqua Vitalis (Lakeside Circus, Issue 2, August 2014).*
Bitter Water (Triangulation: Parch anthology, July 2014).
Elephants and Omnibuses (Lackington’s Magazine, Issue 2, 13/05/2014).
* Stories involving Ann, in one form or another. These are not in chronological order for Ann; at some point, when I have enough to make it worthwhile, I will put a list together.
Every other week or so, I see something about how much short fiction there is out there and how there need to be more reviewers reading it. Well, this isn’t a blog, I’m not a reviewer, this isn’t a review – but I do read short fiction in a fairly random way, and when I read a story I like, I do usually say something, usually on Twitter. And then it gets lost immediately, of course, because Twitter’s a busy place. So I thought I should collect links here to pieces I’ve read and enjoyed and which other people might enjoy too, starting with things I read in November. Also some other useful odds and ends, because why not?
Níðhöggr by Vajra Chandrasekera (Mother had said We had to be home by Götterdämmerung)
Once, Upon a Lime by E. Catherine Tobler (frog, fairytale, pearls, perfume)
Caretaker by Carlie St. George (dead stars, ghosts)
Who Is Your Executioner? by Maria Dahvana Headley (beetles, creepy Victorian photos)
More Embers than Feathers Filled the Firmament by Penny Stirling, illustrated by Kat Weaver (birds, language)
A Chance of Cats and Dogs by Ken Scholes (old world, new world, shapeshifters)
Not the Grand Duke’s Dancer by Emily B. Cataneo (undead ballerinas)
Victoria’s One Way Ticket by Emily B. Cataneo (dying robots)
Ahas, Tala by M. Sereno (poetry, stars)
A Whisper in the Weld by Alix E. Harrow (ghosts, steel mills)
Bill and I Went Hunting Today by Louis Rakovich (contemplative robot spouse-substitutes)
Diabolical Plots is looking for fiction submissions (closing date Dec 31).
Lackington’s has a theme for Issue 7: Skins.
Clockwork Canada is open for subs (anthology of steampunk stories set in Canada by Canadian authors).
Terraform, a new SF market paying $0.20/word, opened up this month (if only I’d written more than one SF story in the history of ever).
Lightspeed has a special call for SF submissions: Queers Destroy Science Fiction! (closing date 15 Feb).
She Walks In Shadow (anthology of stories about Lovecraft women, by women) is open for subs (closing date 15 Dec).
Plasma Frequency Magazine has a special call for anti-apocalypse stories (closing date 15 Jan).
Kaleidotrope is opening early for submissions (1 December).
A lot of really exciting things were found in a tomb at Amphipolis.
So this is the other good news about ‘Drowning in Sky’: you can’t read it for free, but you can now listen to it over at PodCastle! So many thanks to Abra Staffin-Wiebe for a wonderful reading, and to Rachael K. Jones for a wonderful introduction. ❤ And if you did want to read it, you can get all of Women Destroy Fantasy! here.