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.
Issue 2 of the new Grendelsong is out and I have a piece of flash fiction in it: The Wardrobe of Metaphysical Maps, involving unsatisfactory relationships and maps of a non-geographical nature. The issue’s gone out to Patreon subscribers and will be available for Kindle/Nook shortly; in due course the content should appear on the website too. I’ll post again then.
Table of contents:
Editorial – Paul Jessup
The White Snake Part 1 – Humberto Maggi
We Ride the Stillness – Deborah Walker
Sisters – Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
The Tale that Wrote Itself – Berit Ellingsen
On the Acquisition of a Very Fine Steed – Virginia Mohlere
Verses on St. Andrews – Berrien C Henderson
Carnival Microbial – Octavia Cade
Eat Me, Drink Me, Set Me Free – Julie Reeser
What the Hoffenphaafs Know – Samantha Henderson
Wardrobe of Metaphysical Maps – Julia August
A Lover’s Discourse: Five Fragments and a Memory of War – Fábio Fernandes
Lunching with the Sphinxes – Richard Bowes
(It’s all great. I love Octavia Cade’s ‘Carnival Microbial’ especially, though. 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)
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”.
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.