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!

Short story in The Sockdolager

The fall issue of The Sockdolager is out today and includes a short study of feline psychopathy by me: Voice and Silence, featuring kittens, mice, old farmhouses, some other weird stuff that happened to be lying around in my head. Context: today I shook a mouse out of a boot and removed another (dead) one to the hedge. Yes, this is about my cats. Of course, they were younger then…

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 (December)

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.

FICTION

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)

OTHER NOTES

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?

Markets reopening in January: Apex (1 Jan), Shimmer (12 Jan), Strange Horizons (1 Jan)

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.

Drowning in Sky (Women Destroy Fantasy!, 1/10/2014, and PodCastle 331, 3/10/2014)*

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)

The Poet and the Lily (Star Quake 2 anthology, August 2014, originally published in SQ Mag in 2013).*

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.

Free fiction thisaway!

“Drowning in Sky” at PodCastle

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.