Short Story in 3LBE #28

I have a new short story in 3LBE #28: Delia’s Door, a piece about music, escapism and the power of inertia. It’s a little melancholic, but on the plus side: no body horror.

The first time I saw the summer country was when the first fugue of Vivaldi’s Dixit came together, finally, for a single perfect moment one wintry night. The rain beat against the drafty windows and fifty voices sang out together, split into two choirs, which means eight different harmony lines, which is quite hard when you’ve only got six tenors and seven basses to start with, and for once, for once it sounded as if we were really singing what Vivaldi had written.

I saw it then. A wash of blue and gold lit up the old school hall turned community centre, splashing raggedly across the choir notice boards and institutional paint and hundred-year-old prize lists full of familiar names, and through a hole as evanescent as a soap bubble I saw a new horizon: green hills, summer sunset skies, a long perspective onto light and color and a different country, far away — yet one I could reach if I could just step through the door our singing had opened up…

I may as well admit now that the quickest way to get my attention is to have a really good singing voice, preferably bass. For this reason, my favourite dragon is Fafner. (Sorry, Glaurung; sorry, Smaug.) Anyway, you should certainly check out the issue! The full table of contents is:

Short Story in The Sockdolager

I have a new story up in The Sockdolager: Tongueless, a small, nasty story about small, nasty people. It’s SF horror, as you might expect at this time of year.

There was a white light in the dark where there shouldn’t have been. It lit up the window and glowed around the door, so I said, “Hello? Is someone out there?” and no one replied. I wrestled the bolt back and stepped out into the porch on my bare toes, shivering as the breeze pushed up my cotton nightie.

I haven’t had a chance to read the issue, but the TOC looks great! It is:

Two Queens of the River • Aimee Ogden
Butter-Daughters • Nin Harris
The Dust Gate • Marissa Lingen
Tongueless • Julia August
Wolfswood • Becky Allyn Johnson
The Three Lives of Truck the Red • Naru Dames Sundar
The Beachings • JY Yang
We’re All Friends Here • Michelle Ann King

Actually, the issue has been out for days. Like an idiot, I got it into my head it was coming out at the end of the month, and it was only Charles Payseur’s characteristically thoughtful review that alerted me. Check him out for an overview (with spoilers).

Lackington’s #9 free to read

In case you missed it, Lackington’s #9 is now free to read, including my story Under Dead Marsh, gorgeously illustrated by Random House. The whole issue is great and Ranylt Richildis is an unsung hero (again!) for putting up with my experiments in formatting, among other things.

I may as well repeat what I said about this story when the issue first appeared: Under Dead Marsh may be the only true hard sci-fi story I ever write! It is likely to be of particular interest to three types of people: people trying to get planning permission; people trying to stop other people getting planning permission; and local councillors. Oh, and Dylan Thomas fans. I hope you like Dylan Thomas. I do too.

Note: Issue 10 will be available to buy from 12 May! It looks very exciting. Did you think about getting a subscription?

Short Story in Lackington’s #9

Lackingtons #9 (theme: architecture) is available to buy and I have a new short story in it, alongside the wonderful Arkady Martine, Sara Saab, Y.X. Acs and Natalia Theodoridou, with illustrations by Carrion House, Derek Newman-Stille, Paula Arwen Owen, Random Dreaming, Gregory St. John, and Kat Weaver. I am indebted, as ever, to Ranylt Richildis for a lot of very wise editorial direction. Thanks, Ranylt. I owe you, uh, three now. ❤️

Under Dead Marsh may be the only true hard sci-fi story I ever write! It is likely to be of particular interest to three types of people: people trying to get planning permission; people trying to stop other people getting planning permission; and local councillors. Oh, and Dylan Thomas fans. I hope you like Dylan Thomas. I do too.

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!

Things seen and read around the internet

Around the Internet: July 2015

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.

FICTION

The Skinner of the Sky by M. Bennardo (profligate prince, lighthouse, weird fiction)

OTHER THINGS

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 around the internet

Around the Internet (March 2015)

FICTION

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)

OTHER NOTES

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”).

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 (January 2015)

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:

FICTION

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)

OTHER NOTES

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.)