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.)
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
Nice start to a Monday morning: the autumn issue of Kaleidotrope is out, and with it my desert adventure Rites of Passage, featuring amber, dragons and Ann, among other things.
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.
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.