The 2021 Awards Eligibility Post!

As the good folks over on that twitter have reminded me, it’s time to shout about the fings wot I had published this year.

Just the two short stories this year, but I’m very proud of both so…

Cover of Book of Love anthology

‘Rapture on the Lonely Shore’ appeared in The Fox Spirit Book of Love

About: mermaids, nuns, and the sweet music they make… [Ace protag, platonic wlw, historic fantasy]

Extract:

At night the mermaids sing.

Their voices echo clear and ethereal over the gentle hushing of the waves, rising into the air in a chorus that easily surpasses the daylight efforts of the Abbey choir.

I am not the only one to haunt the tiny windows that look out on mermaid-speckled water. Nor am I the only one drawn down the stairs and out into the cooling night, and onwards to the low wall that guards the gardens from the cliff edge.

Novice Morwen joins her voice to theirs, singing a fisherman’s shanty in a clear, almost taunting voice. Laughter rises up from the sea and first one then two then three mermaids join her bawdier tune, the rest holding true to their notes in a blending of one sea song to the other.

I wonder how she dares challenge them so, why she doesn’t fear ending their music with her intrusion, but then Novice Morwen was born and raised on Asenora’s Isle, so perhaps she understands their ways enough to risk what we mainlanders would never dream of. 

I glance at the other nuns lined up beside me, expecting disapproval at such heathen ways but all are calm, smiling, almost approving of the spectacle, and near one of the wych elms I think I can even see Abbess Wenna nodding along to the song.

For the first time since joining the sisterhood, I begin to feel I might belong.

—-

Available in epub/mobi direct from Fox Spirit Books or via Amazon in Paperback or Kindle formats.

And for the horror fans….

‘Songs in the Dark’ appeared in The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3: A Miscellany of Monsters

About: mermaid revenge and a new wife dealing with the consequences of her smuggler husband’s mistakes… [wlw, historic horror, dark fantasy, gothic horror if you squint]

Extract:

“Who have you brought me?” the mermaid asks. She is pale as a wraith, with a mass of lanky seaweed-like hair draped down her head and scales that glint silvery in the lantern light. As she floats in front of us there seems to be something of the snake about her movements. I glimpse curved fangs in her mouth, and I wonder if they are as small as they look or if, like the cobra, their true size will only be revealed when she opens her jaws wide enough to feed.

And I wonder how Pedrick can stand to do business with such a thing as her.

Available from Amazon in Paperback or Kindle formats, or from Hive in Paperback

Happy reading! x

Horrors 3 is alive. Ish!

Yeeeesssssssssss my pretties. The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3: A Miscellany of Monsters is here! Available to buy right now in kindle from the Amzn here and paperback out on Friday but available to pre-order from Amzn here or go indie and try Hive here!

Aaaaanyhoo! Yes. Full contents list:

Glorious cover art by Daniele Serra.

Stories:

Build Your Own Monster!!! Guaranteed to Scare the Whole Family by Bryn Fortey and Johnny Mains
The Head by Garry Kilworth
Inappetence by Steve Rasnic Tem
Songs in the Dark by Jenny Barber
The Beast of Bathwick by Sarah Ash
Cuckoo Flower by Tom Johnstone
A Song for Christmas by Ashe Woodward
Dream a Little Dream of Me and My Shadow by Adrian Cole
Memories of Clover by K T Wagner
Sun, Sand, Stone by Marion Pitman
Redwater by Simon Bestwick
Dreamcatcher by Pauline E Dungate
The Daughters by Tim Jeffreys
Black Spots by John Llewellyn Probert
Echoes of Days Passed by Mike Chinn
What the Snow Brings by Ralph Robert Moore

My fantabulous delightful story is, as mentioned previously, a mermaid gothic-ish horror with a deal-breaking smuggler and the new wife who gets dragged into the consequences of his mistakes…

It’s also part of the Mermaids of St Senara universe which keen readers may have encountered in my Fox Spirit Book of Love story earlier this year.

In related news, the Mermaids of St Senara patreon is definitely going live end of November, which I’m all the excite about. Dedicated post about all that coming in a couple of weeks!

Mermaid Horror

Coming very soon – ‘Songs in the Dark’ – soon to be appearing in The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3: A Miscellany of Monsters…

Like my story in the Fox Spirit Book of Love, this is set on St Senara and is a mermaid horror with a deal-breaking smuggler and the new wife who gets dragged into the consequences of his mistakes…

Horrors is not available to buy until 31st October, unless you’re a UK peep who’s at the stage of venturing outside, then you can get an advance copy signed by fantabulous people, plus free glass of wine, at the amazing Alchemy Press Living and the Dead Signing/Launch at Fantasycon on 25th September at 2pm. (The Jury’s Inn Hotel, Broad St, Birmingham.)

Obviously (gestures at …everything…) my Mermaids of St Senara patreon got a smidge delayed, but! I’m finishing the editing on the launch stories right now so hoping that November is when things will all go live. Supporters can expect a mermaid story every month plus random bonus stories and other St Senara related content… Stay tuned for more news on that…

Fox Spirit Love-Fest

Today, calloo callay, the Fox Spirit Book of Love has gone live! Woohoo!

Cover of Book of Love anthology

Here’s the deets:

‘These are probably not the love stories you are looking for…..

…. but they should be.’

Love. That many-splendoured thing. It can move mountains and make fools of us all, but what is it? Does it come courtesy of a cherub’s bow? Is it a battlefield? Endless? Crazy? Only available on a Friday? Well, the answer might be between these covers. Inside you’ll find stories from fantastical worlds to fairy tales, from dark places to virtual reality, tales of transformation, hope, and despair. Above all else, each one is, at heart, about love.

Edited by C.A. Yates, with cover by the combined might of C.A. Yates, Paul Yates and Vincent Holland-Keen.

Contents:

Decomposing Corpses: A Love Story by Douglas J. Ogurek
The Holy Waters by Dolly Garland
Jixxa, My Love by Alec McQuay
End Times in Paris by James Bennett
Love in The Age Of… by David Tallerman
The First Day of Khirshi-Da by Joyce Chng
By Blade And Bloom by Xan van Rooyen
The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling by Michelle Ann King
A Curse That’s Not For Breaking by Lawrence Harding
A True Wish by Charlotte Bond
Notes on a Haunting by Kit West
Subatomic for ‘It Must be Love’ by Emma K. Leadley
The Twelfth Day by Ro Smith
The Wind’s Son by K.C. Shaw
Salt Ocean by Lisa Shea
Enchanted Garden by K.A. Laity
Rapture on the Lonely Shore by Jenny Barber
The Whale and the Moon by G. Clark Hellery

My story – ‘Rapture on the Lonely Shore’ – comes from my Mermaids of St Senara universe (look out for more St Senara stories on my patreon launching later this month!) ‘Rapture’ tells the tale of mermaids and nuns and the sweet music they make…

You can get yourself an epub/mobi copy of the Fox Spirit Book of Love direct from their website here or pop to Amzn for the kindle version here or the paperback version here!

Prepping for Launch

I’m in the final stages of prepping the 2021 Mermaids of St Senara patreon launch of loveliness and it’s getting really exciting!  Allllll the mermaids! All of them!  And quite a few stone witches, shapeshifters and portal hopping rogues as well.

It’s going to be quite a mix of time periods too – spanning from Iron Age to modern, with the odd side trip offworld. You can expect a varied selection of portal fantasy, sword & sorcery, historic fantasy, urban fantasy and horror, with both standalone stories and a glorious collection of cross-over fic with characters getting all up in each others business!

More details on all of that coming soon…

Sliding into Summer

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::Sticks head above the parapet… gestures vaguely at the almighty fuck up happening on multiple levels online, offline, and don’t even get me started on the burning trashfire that is the UK right now because just headdesk…::

(For the record, Black Lives Matter, Trans Women are Women, bigotry, harassment, and other abuse of power & position in genre and other spaces can go do one, and Brexit is giant donkey balls.)

So, happy things.

Fantasy Magazine is coming back with new editors Christie Yant and Arley Sorg! And they’re opening for submissions, which is quite lovely too.

Fox Spirit Books are open for genre love stories for their Fox Spirit Book of Love to be edited by Chloë Yates.

And Alchemy Press will be opening January 2021 for The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3: A Miscellany of Monsters – to be edited by Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards.

There’s a cool sounding fairy tale mash-up anthology open for subs from air and nothingness press –  Upon a Once Time

The SFWA blog is after short articles for their blog. They pay pro rates! You don’t have to be a SFWA member!

And Angry Robot will be briefly opening up for unagented book subs for a Black Voices Matter call. Black writers of SFF & Horror can hit them with subs Monday 6th July to Sunday 19th July.

Online Conventions! 

Online conventions are one of the better developments in this new plague-world, and something that is reinvigorating my love for genre get-togethers. Here’s a few to keep an eye on…

ConZealand – bringing Worldcon to the interwebs 29th July – 2nd August 2020

#conTamination2020 – coming to you 12th-13th September 2020, this online con is all about using sci-fi and fantasy to explore pandemics and the long-term future of humankind

World Fantasy Convention 2020 – have moved their normal shenanigans online – catch them 29th October – 1st November 2020

Books!

The ever fab Jan Edwards has the next in her cool cosy crime series coming out in August – Listed Dead : Bunch Courtney Investigation #3 paperback edition is available for pre-order with kindle and other digi formats available on 6th August.  Love this series to bits!

The charity anthology – Consolation Songs: Speculative Fiction For A Time of Coronavirus, edited by Iona Datt Sharma is fresh out today.  This anthology of optimistic speculative short fiction has stories from all kinds of fantastic folks and all proceeds will be donated to the COVID-19 appeal being run by the UCLH Charity, the charity supporting the University College London Hospitals NHS Trust.

And the awesome powerhouse combo of Elizabeth May and Laura Lam have the first book in their feminist space opera duology – Seven Devils – coming out in August.  Available for pre-order right now!

September Catch Up

And here we are in September – and what a strange summer it’s been (also double impeachments on the horizon, maybe, so yay!)

While I’m up to a great many projects (so! many!) that are still bubbling and can’t be announced yet, I still managed to get some things out into the world!

Over on the Fox Spirit Books blog I’ve got a couple of listicle posts as part of their celebration of Tens:

Check out 10 Archaeologists to Dig for cool lady archaeologists and, my favourite thing, 10 Lost City Breaks for the ultimate travel guide to legendary cities.  I also put together the Fox Spirit Summer Sampler (which I can’t now find a download link for, but it was fab, of course!)

In other news, I’m a juror for the BFS Awards Best Magazine/Periodical category this year and we’ve just delivered our verdict to the boss – the awards will be announced in full at the BFS Awards ceremony at Fantasycon in Glasgow 18th – 20th October.  All I’ll say is that it was fun to catch up on old favourites and discover new to me things…

Oh! And! Much excite! My story in the Alchemy Press Book of Horrors – ‘Down Along the Backroads’ – made the Honourable Mentions list in Ellen Datlow’s just released The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eleven.  This is the first time I’ve ever been in such a thing so happy dancing all round.  Ellen! Datlow! Y’all!

 

Weekly Geekery

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Due to the dual whammo of bank holidays and illness I’ve had the opportunity to catch up with watching things while I wait for my brain to start working again, and happily I picked some good ‘uns that were worth the wait.

First and foremost, a bingewatch of both seasons of Star Trek: Discovery. I’m not the most dedicated of Trek viewers – I’ve never seen Enterprise, I’ve got fond memories of random movies, the odd TOS and most of Next Gen, adore DS9 and quite like Voyager though I’ve not managed to catch all the seasons of that, so watching Discovery hadn’t been high on my priority list. Big mistake.

After seeing trusted online mates enthusing about it (and hearing that there was something to do with mycelium and spores in it… which got my attention as they’re things I’ve been fiddling about with for a mushroom based apocalypse thing I’ve been working on… but, digression…) I finally took the plunge and started watching. And continued watching. And couldn’t focus until I made it through all the episodes in one glorious blur of SF goodness. It is so good. Soooo good. From the set up and mirror universe shenanigans in S1, to the magnificence that is the twisty time-loopy red-angel plot of S2 and the potential it brings for S3, Disco is now firmly my favourite trek ever!

There are cool nods to the wider Trek universe, gorgeous character notes and relationships, Tilly! Stamets! Stamets and Engineer Jett! Georgiou snark! Culber being adorable! Moody young Spock in a beard! Nhan and Georgiou kicking ass! Burnham’s complicated relationships with all her adopted family members! Sentient space mushrooms! And the last two episodes of S2 near broke me with some of the emotional notes, and that’s a thing that doesn’t happen often. Bloody brilliant.

I also caught up with a couple of movies I’ve been meaning to see – Ant-Man and the Wasp, for one. I’m fairly certain I haven’t actually seen the first Ant-Man, save perhaps a few minutes here and there while flipping through movie channels, but that didn’t hinder my appreciation of the sequel. It’s a lot of fun and I’ll freely admit I was mainly there for the superhero lady representation – Wasp and Ghost (Killjoys fan in da house, yo!) were excellent and it’s always a joy to see women kicking ass and being super competent.

Another fun one was Solo. Again, I’m not the most dedicated of Star Wars viewers, but I have been loving the new movies – especially Rogue One and The Force Awakens (Rey and Jyn for the win! Competent leading ladies kicking all the ass and getting stuff done.) Like Disco does with Trek, Solo provides a lot of neat nods to its wider universe and manages to pull off some nice character interactions. I mean, what is not to love about the double act of Lando and L3?! And the Kessel Run! And shiny new Falcon! Admittedly it is a little uneven in places, but definitely worth sitting it out through the draggy bits as the larger whole is quite cool.

Flash Recs

So last week I finally started catching up on my Daily Science Fiction email backlog… (If you like flash fiction, then you might want to check out Daily Science Fiction, purveyors of, yes, daily flash fic delivered online or via email, and yours for the stunning price of free!)

Which I mainly mention as the lead in to some flash fic recs!

And, lo! A Listicle! Here are some of the ones I particularly loved…

A Heart, An Egg, A Lock of Hair by Kelly M Sandoval – a modern love story with echoes of the folktales where sorcerers hide their heart in improbable places.

A Thousand Times Over by Tamoha Sengupta – mermaids!

Wendy, Darling by A.C. Wise – a look at Wendy full grown and what it takes to protect your daughter from Peter Pan.

Of Puddings and Prophecies by Helen French – two friends in a prophecy competition where interpretation is everything.

Last To Know by Leanne A. Styles – aliens and family secrets.

Go check ’em out and have a bounce around the DSF site for more free fic!

2018 Roundup

2018 book covers

2018 was a year of stuff getting done! Here’s what and where…

Fiction!

My short story ‘Down Along the Backroads’ appeared in the fabulous Alchemy Press Book of Horrors – you can get your copy of Horrors in ebook and paperback formats from a variety of retailers including Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Book Depository and Indiebooks

Non-Fiction!

Across the interwebs, I had a review of Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant published as Day 17 of the Countdown to Christmas feature on the Fox Spirit Books blog and a Five Fave Anthologies appreciation piece as Day 11; Fox Spirit also took part in the annual Women in Horror Month and my piece on five favourite short horror stories was also published by them – Women in Horror: Short Fiction Queens; elsewhere I wrote an appreciation of Stephen King’s ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’ as part of the Stephen King Mixtape on Mark West’s blog.

Editing!

I edited the rather gorgeous Fox Spirit Books short fiction sampler – Fearless Genre Warriors – an epic anthology that pulls 26 pieces of short fiction, 3 poems and 2 pieces of non-fiction from Fox Spirit’s range of anthologies and collections, with bonus internal art from Kieran Walsh and cover art from Vincent Holland-Keen.  Available in epub or mobi format as a FREE download from Fox Spirit Books.

Ann J. Clark

And with my myth and magic non-fiction hat on, I launched my Ann J. Clark website and published 4 divination taster guides!

Let’s Try Dowsing – co-written with Patricia Barber – a beginner’s guide to dowsing.  Available as kindle edition from Amazon.

Let’s Try Tarot – co-written with Patricia Barber – a beginner’s guide to tarot reading. Available as kindle and paperback editions from Amazon.

Let’s Try Cartomancy – a beginner’s guide to playing card divination. Available as kindle and paperback editions from Amazon.

Let’s Try Runes – a beginner’s guide to runes and rune divination. Available as kindle and paperback editions from Amazon.

And that was my 2018! Stay tuned for an even more packed 2019!