Category Archives: random cool stuff

Catching Up – October Edition

O!M!G!  It’s not a post about Urban Mythic!  I know, it’s been a while, right?

So, what’ s been going on? Well now, I’m glad you asked.

Big main thing is the university year has started right back up and with only two modules left to do for my degree it’s all very serious and researchy.  On the plus side, this year’s module is Myth in the Greek and Roman world which is all kinds of awesome. seriously, why did no one tell me classics was so much fun. (Actually I did kind of suspect it, but it’s been a bugger to find an actual course that wasn’t medieval to modern history.) So, yes, I do classics now. Classics are cool. 😉

So too is accountancy. Though that one is more of a business necessity since some crazy person or persons to go unnamed decided to make the family business a limited company with employee on payroll and proper grown up serious stuff. Oy gevalt. This has made the book keeping a bit more complicated. Well, I say a bit, in the way that the Pacific is a bit wet… Still, I like a challenge, and anything that involves juggling numbers on spreadsheets and I’m definitely your girl. So I’m also working my way towards a professional bookkeeping/accountancy certification thingy. Cos why do things by halves, right? Right!  (Egads, there will be exams. Exams! Gah!)

Ooh, and the fabulous Shapeshifters anthology from Fox Spirit should be out soon, in which discerning readers will find a story by yours truly. Also many other funky peeps.

WFC is of course the hot topic of the season. I will, of course, be on registration duty again so expect plenty of completely forgetting the names of people I’ve known for years while trying to give sensible answers to random questions.

Ooh and I’ve booked up for next year’s Nine Worlds Geekfest, cos how cool did this year’s one sound.  Yes, going to an actual convention that I’m not working at! Stop fainting at the back there.  Might even attempt to do Edge-Lit next year as well.

But that’s enough excitement for one day! 😉

 

Guest Blogging: Foxy Temples

foxpiracyAnd today I’ve got a guest blog up on the Fox Spirit Books site to celebrate the launch of the very fabulous Piracy. (Yarrrrgh!)

It’s subtly entitled – When Temples Attack! and lets me gloriously indulge in my love of pseudo-archaeology and archaeology-adventure tropes in films and other media.  (Though this has nothing whatsoever to do with m’story in Piracy, but our Feral Leader did say we could do any subject we wanted!)

More funky kickstarters!

If you’re in the kickstarter mood, look no further than the following two cool projects –

What Fates Impose: Tales of Divination – an anthology of original fiction about the complications of predicting the future.

The Pitch:
“Edited by Nayad A. Monroe, this anthology brings together stories from a diverse group of speculative fiction writers who show the possibilities of what can go right or very wrong when people get predictions of their future. The book also includes cover artwork by Steven C. Gilberts, and an introduction by Alasdair Stuart.”

At present, the contributors are:Introduction by Alasdair Stuart: “Singing from the Book of Holy Jagger”
David Boop: “Dipping into the Pocket of Destiny”
Maurice Broaddus: “Read Me Up”
Jennifer Brozek: “A Card Given”
Amanda C. Davis: “The Scry Mirror”
Damien Walters Grintalis: “When the Lady Speaks”
Sarah Hans: “Charms”
Erika Holt: “Murder of Crows”
Keffy R.M. Kehrli: “Gazing into the Carnauba Wax Eyes of the Future”
Jamie Lackey: “Another Will Open”
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz: “Body of Truth”
Remy Nakamura: “Pick a Card”
Cat Rambo: “To Read the Sea”
Andrew Penn Romine: “Ain’t Much Different’n Rabbits”
Ken Scholes: “All Our Tangled Dreams in Disarray”
Lucy A. Snyder: “Abandonment Option”
Ferrett Steinmetz: “Black Swan Oracle”
Eric James Stone: “A Crash Course in Fate” (new) and “A Great Destiny” (reprint)
Tim Waggoner: “The Goggen”
Wendy N. Wagner: “Power Steering”
LaShawn M. Wanak: “There Are No Wrong Answers”
Beth Wodzinski: “One Tiny Misstep (In Bed)”

Why It’s Cool: 
Dude, look at the contributors!  That’s why it’s cool.

The Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stevensaus/what-fates-impose-tales-of-divination

Also check out…

Upgraded: A Cyborg Anthology – an original science fiction anthology for the cyborg age. Stronger… better… faster… We will rebuild you.
The Pitch:

“Hi. My name is Neil Clarke and I’m the editor of Clarkesworld Magazine and a current Hugo Nominee for Best Editor Short Form. Last July, I suffered a “widow-maker” heart attack that nearly killed me. The damage to my heart was very significant and that led to my doctors installing a defibrillator in my chest. That day, I became a cyborg.I’ve been working on Clarkesworld for almost seven years, but I’ve never edited an anthology that wasn’t Clarkesworld-related. I just didn’t come across anything that inspired me. Trust almost dying to provide you with inspiration.

“As I began looking into the possibility of a cyborg anthology, I quickly noticed that the cyborgs most people think of are villains (Cybermen, Darth Vader, the Borg, etc.). My people make excellent villains, but that only represents the tip of the iceberg. The more I thought about it, the more certain I became that this was the anthology project I had been looking for…  a cyborg-edited cyborg anthology. I don’t think that’s been done before. Besides, cyborgs are cool.

“It seems only appropriate that this campaign will end on the first anniversary of my heart attack.”

The following authors have already agreed to have a story in Upgraded:

  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Tobias S. Buckell
  • Yoon Ha Lee
  • Ken Liu
  • Genevieve Valentine
  • E. Lily Yu

And Julie Dillon has agreed to create an original piece for the cover of this anthology.
Plus there will be an open submissions period for some of the content.

Why It’s Cool:
Again I say, dude! Look at them authors! Also Julie Dillon is a fantastic artist.

The Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/clarkesworld/upgraded-a-cyborg-anthology-edited-by-neil-clarke

Getting Your Fix #1 – Online Magazines

From time to time it is said that short fiction is a dying form and that publishers just aren’t publishing it any more. To that I say: bollocks! Short fiction has never been healthier and more available than it is now. There are more anthologies than you can shake a stick at, e-book shorts are sold for the device of your choice via assorted retailers, authors post free online fiction on their websites and then there’s the crown jewel of the short fiction world – online magazines.

To the surprise of no-one who knows me, I love online magazines. (Check out the Shiny Stuff section on my other site for links to my favourite stories!) And really, what’s not to love. So long as you have an internet connection and some kind of tech to read on, you have easy access to a vast quantity of free fiction. If you don’t like reading on a computer screen, then you can throw a few quid the magazine’s way and subscribe to get the e-book versions delivered to your preferred reading device, and many magazines do podcast versions of their stories and dead-tree versions as either individual issues or end of year anthologies.

But me, I read on screens. (Laptops, unlimited broadband and wifi – the three best inventions in the universe, I tell you true. Kindles and iPads come a close second.) I slush for Lightspeed, so would, of course, highly recommend anyone taking a shuftie at it. They publish some awesome fantasy and science fiction, along with author interviews (and they’re reopening for subs on 20th June, if you’re that way inclined!) Lightspeed also has a sister magazine – Nightmare – for the horror aficionados, though I’ll confess to not having read much of that as yet. (Bad Jen, no cookie.)

Strange Horizons is another firm favourite and has my highest stories-I-like hit rate of all the magazines I read, and always gives fascinating non-fiction. Beneath Ceaseless Skies is another top one, and is great for thoughtful secondary world fiction, as well as some gorgeous cover artwork. Clarkesworld completes the top tier online magazine roster, and another one with gorgeous cover artwork, however I find them a little bit highbrow at times so can be something of an acquired taste. Always worth a read though.

Crossed Genres can always be counted on for fiction that pushes at the traditional boundaries and has a specific interest for stories about under-represented people. (They also do some cracking anthologies, but anthologies are for another post!) Expanded Horizons is another great magazine pushing for more diversity in the field and publishes some truly breathtaking stuff.

In the department of ‘does what it says on the tin’, there’s Heroic Fantasy Quarterly and Alt Hist, which, no surprise, do heroic fantasy and historical/alternate historical stories, so if that’s your thing, that’s where you want to go. If you like longer short fiction, then may I point you at GigaNotoSaurus for all your novella pleasures. If you prefer much shorter short fiction, than Daily Science Fiction does flash fiction five days a week (and free subscription if you want the stories delivered via email.)

Other fab free online mags include Abyss & Apex, Indian SF, Subterranean Magazine, Apex Magazine, Philippine Genre Stories and Ideomancer, and if you get a taste for any of them, don’t forget to donate a couple of quid to show your appreciation and generally keep them going.

Lastly we have the hybrid online magazines – those that exist in both dead-tree and electronic formats and include, but are not limited to, things like: Albedo One, who sell PDF versions of their magazines, Something Wicked has moved to an annual anthology but back issues are still free on their site, Shimmer has some of their content free online while selling the full issues in print and multiple digital formats, and fans of the TTA Press range of mags can easily buy DRM-free digital copies of Crimewave, Interzone and Black Static from Smashwords.

So, yeah, no-one’s publishing short fiction at all. 😉

Long Hidden

Another rather funky kickstarter project that’s just appeared on the radar is the rather excellent looking Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History by Bart Leib.  The anthology is to be published by Crossed Genres, which on its own should be enough to sell you on it, and already has a whole stack of fabulous authors attached (with bonus room for open subs should they make the funding target!)

The Pitch:
“Most written chronicles of history, and most speculative stories, put rulers, conquerors, and invaders front and center. People with less power, money, or status—enslaved people, indigenous people, people of color, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, the very young and very old, and religious minorities, among others—are relegated to the margins. Today, mainstream history continues to perpetuate one-sided versions of the past while mistelling or erasing the stories of the rest of the world.

“There is a long and honorable legacy of literary resistance to erasure. This anthology partakes of that legacy. It will feature stories from the margins of speculative history, each taking place between 1400 and the early 1900s and putting a speculative twist—an element of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or the unclassifiably strange—on real past events.”

Why It’s Cool:
The subject! I’m currently studying history-from-below and subaltern sources as part of my undergrad degree so this isn’t just hitting my buttons, it’s slamming into them with the force of a truck. The stories of the colonised get far too easily lost under the dominant voices of the colonisers and what historical accounts that are recovered get filtered through a privileged lens and often distorted to reflect specific agendas so straight up accounts from people in the margins are a rarity.  So a whole anthology of stories from this perspective is very shiny.

The authors! They’ve got: Linda Addison, Jennifer Marie Brissett, Chesya Burke, Aliette de Bodard, Tananarive Due, Amal El-Mohtar, Andrea Hairston, Beverly Jenkins, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Kima Jones, Victor LaValle, Ken Liu, Sarah McCarry, Neesha Meminger, Nnedi Okorafor, An Owomoyela, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Veronica Schanoes, Rion Amilcar Scott, Nisi Shawl and Troy Wiggins.  Some of whom I’m huge fans of, some of whom I’ve not yet read things from.

The Rewards!  There’s ebooks and dead-tree books, t-shirts and critiques, a Ken Liu Emoji translation of the short blurb of your choice, custom stories and artwork, dinner with the editors and a writer workshop, and if you’re really rich you can get a private performance from a soul quartet!

Seriously, how can you not back it?!
The link again!

Kickstart your peerback

Out in the world there are two funding deadlines coming up for awesome projects that just absolutely, positively have to meet their goals so if you haven’t donated to them yet, you might want to take a wander over and do that!

Project #1
The World SF Travel Fund
Set up by a group of international genre professionals and fans in 2011, the aim of the Fund is to enable two international people involved in SF/fantasy/horror to get over to a major genre event.  The WSFTF is looking for funding to cover two years worth of travel and while next years travel candidates have yet to be chosen, this year the lucky candidates are Csilla Kleinheincz and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz.  ::happydance::  (Must try not to fangirl RL-R at WFC this year…)

The excellent thing about this project is that it opens up genre events to people that wouldn’t be able to get to them otherwise, which can only be a good thing.   And there’s ebooks as funding rewards, which is always nice too!

More info and the Peerbacker page can be found here!

Project #2
Glitter & Madness
Seriously, did you need any more than that? Glitter! And! Madness!
Coming from Apex Publications, G&M is “a fiction anthology filled with Roller Derby, nightclubs, glam aliens, (literal) party monsters, drugs, sex, glitter, debauchery, etc.” and to be launched at the San Antonio Worldcon in August 2013, possibly with a glow-in-the-dark roller skating party!

Not only will G&M features work from Alan DeNiro, Amal El-Mohtar, Daryl Gregory, Damien Walters Grintalis, Maria Dahvana Headley, Kat Howard, Jennifer Pelland, Tim Pratt, Cat Rambo, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Diana Rowland, Sofia Samatar, David J. Schwartz, and William Shunn, but! It will also include a standalone InCryptid novella from Seanan McGuire.  (Sold!)  And! There will be an open reading period for submissions as well!

Does this, or does this not, sound like a purely fabulous anthology!  And the donation rewards are pretty funky too, ranging from ebooks & print books, to assorted Apex & G&M merchandise, editorial critiques, lunch with the editors, tuckerisations…

Check it all out on their kickstarter page here.