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.
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.
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.
So Women Destroy Fantasy! is a real thing that definitely exists (I have external confirmation that I am not solipsistically hallucinating this… though I guess that doesn’t mean much if we’re going to carry solipsism to its logical conclusion) and I have a story in the book version, which you can get hold of here! I am thrilled and amazed and slightly terrified about this: it’s my first pro sale and the first story that sold on first submission, and I am so deeply grateful to Cat Rambo for picking ‘Drowning in Sky’ out of slush. ❤ Importantly, I’ve had the proofs of this for the last couple of weeks, so I can say for certain that everything in this massive special issue is amazing, starting with Kate Hall’s story The Scrimshaw and The Scream, which you can read for free on the Fantasy Magazine site.
All going well, there should be another piece of news about ‘Drowning in Sky’ soon, but since it isn't currently available for free I'll say here that it's a pretty busy story. There's an author spotlight in which I talk about some of the things that went into it (the Arachne myth / the sinking of Helike / the statue of Nike Apteros), but other ingredients include a line borrowed from Aristotle, the ancient Athenian festival of Anthesteria, and probably some things I’ve already forgotten. And if you were curious about how Ann, who certainly hasn’t read Plato’s account of the death of Socrates in the Phaedo, jumped to a certain conclusion so quickly, well, my Lakeside Circus flash Aqua Vitalis has the answer.
Hello Monday morning! I have a new flash fiction up over at Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi: 7 Noises Heard While House-Sitting Alone, In the Dark, That Would Be Alarming If I Didn’t Know What They Were, a slightly Mythos-flavoured glimpse of country life WITH KITTENS. And certainly you should go and read the grisly longer story it’s paired up with, Twenty Aspects of Exhumation by Cameron Huntley, because it’s great.