Stranger Horizons, September 2014

posted by Niall Harrison on 30 September 2014 | Comments (0) »

Crowdfunding first, this time: Sabrina Vourvoulias directs our attention to the Latino/a Rising Kickstarter, which is aiming to fund the first collection of US Latino/a science fiction, fantasy and other speculative fiction. It will be edited by Matthew David Goodwin, and feature stories from (among others) Sabrina, Carmen Maria Machado, and Daniel José Older. Read more about the project here in English, and here in Spanish.

New stories: Carmen Maria Machado has published a choose-your-own-adventure story at Yalobusha Review: "Ekphrasis." The new Hieroglyph anthology edited by Kathryn Cramer and Ed Finn includes Vandana Singh's novella "Entanglement", about which you can read a little here, and Brenda Cooper's "Elephant Angels", which you can read about here. GigaNotoSaurus featured Laura E. Price's "The Curator's Job". Daniel José Older's "Animal" appeared in Nightmare (also in that issue: Sunny Moraine's "Singing With All My Skin and Bone"). Two new stories by Seth Dickinson: "Economies of Force" in Apex, and "Anna Saves Them All" in Shimmer. Liz Argall's "Soft Feather Dance" appeared at Apex, while AC Wise's "Dream of the Fisherman's Wife" is also in Shimmer. Rich Larson's "Dreaming Drones" appears in AE. Sarah Pinsker's "No Lonely Seafarer" appeared in the September Lightspeed, while Beneath Ceaseless Skies included Stephen Ramey's novelette "Seeing". Neil Clarke's new anthology Upgraded includes work by Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Rich Larson, Mari Ness, Genevieve Valentine and others, while new Haikasoru anthology Phantasm Japan includes among its non-Japanese contributors Tim Pratt and Alex Dally MacFarlane. Margaret L. Carter's erotic paranormal romance novelette "Romantic Retreat", in which a married couple facing the husband's retirement from a Navy career stumble on a supernatural solution to their disagreements about their future, is out as an ebook from Ellora's Cave. Francesca Forrest's "Andy Phillips and the Jones Sisters" appears in Not One of Us #52, along with work by Sonya Taaffe, Liz Bourke, Finn Clarke, and Adrienne J. Odasso. And three flashes to finish: Michelle Ann King's fantasy, "Waiting to Burn"; Cat Rambo's flash fairytale, "The Mouse and the Moon", in Daily Science Fiction; and Natalia Theodoridou's sacrilegious flash piece, We Call Her Mama", in the third issue of Flapperhouse.

What about new books? Adam Roberts' new novel Bête is out from Gollancz in the UK ("'Moo', said the cow, arching one hairless eyebrow.") Octavia Cade's novella The Don't Girls is out from Masque (and if you haven't read Trading Rosemary yet, do). Tina Connolly's Copperhead is out in paperback (ahead of Silverblind in October). William Alexander's new middle-grade SF novel Ambassador is just out. Adrienne J. Odasso's second poetry collection, The Dishonesty of Dreams, is out from Flipped Eye Publishing. The second volume in Stefon Mear's "Telepath Trilogy", Immoral Telepathy is out from Thousand Faces Publishing. Joel Best has released The Dogs Are Gone, a collection of flash pieces, through Smashwords. Aliya Whiteley's post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novella "The Beauty" is out from Unsung Stories. And Jenn Grunigen's post-apocalyptic novel Skyglass is being serialised at Sparkler Monthly -- start here, or read the latest chapter here.

On the poetry front: The inaugural issue of new 'zine Liminality, edited by SH alums Shira Lipkin and Mat Joiner, includes JC Runolfson's "Sea Widow", Sofia Samatar's "Make the Night Go Faster", Adrienne J. Odasso's "The Word for Love", and work by others including Lynette Mejía, Gemma Files, Lisa M. Bradley and Erik Amundsen. Meanwhile Mat has one of his own poems, "The Bryomancer", in the aforementioned Not One of Us #52. Virginia Mohlere's found poem "Tilda Swinton Has a Life" is the latest entry in Sliver Birch Press' Celebrity Free Verse poetry series. Peg Duthie is featured poet at The Houseboat, with ten poems and an interview. David C. Kopaska-Merkel's poem "Curiosity Reports a Comet" appears in The Martian Wave: 2014, edited by J Alan Erwine, while Jenny Blackford has two poems in A Slow Combusting Hymn, a collection of work about Newcastle (the Australian one) and the Hunter Region, edited by Kit Kelen and Jean Kent. Jessy Randall's "A Different Kind of Stupid" appears in the October-November Asimov's. The latest Ideomancer features "The Glass Men" by Alexandra Seidel. And Elizabeth Barrette's September poetry fishbowl theme was "healing and growth."

Nonfiction! The September NYRSF includes Ursula Pflug's "Around the Gyre", an essay on Ruth Ozeki's novel A Tale for the Time Being. Lawrence Schimel translated "Exilium Ergo Sum", an essay by dissident Cuban author Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo (whose Abandoned Havana is forthcoming from Restless Books), for Words Without Borders. L. Timmel Duchamp has put a new essay online: "Real Mothers, a Faggot Uncle, and the Name of the Father: Samuel R. Delany's Feminist Revisions of the Story of SF." Adam Roberts has been busy at Sibilant Fricative, with reviews of Memory of Water, Europe in Autumn, Howard Jacobson's J and more. Nina Allan has some thoughts on J in comparison with David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks. Dan Hartland is blogging his way through this year's Booker Prize contenders. In the latest Clarkesworld, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro interviews Ann Leckie. Meghan McCarron has an essay at The Toast: "Awkwardly Dapper: The Strange Exhilaration of Buying, and Wearing, a Suit." And Abigail Nussbaum has posted an essay on "The Problem of Mike Peterson: thoughts on Agents of SHIELD and Race."




A Brief Hiatus

posted by Niall Harrison on 29 September 2014 | Comments (0) »

Very brief, in fact: this is just to note (and say sorry for the fact) that there is no issue of Strange Horizons this week, 29th September, and to say that we'll be back as usual next Monday. The glitch is due to a combination of factors, but it is a glitch, and we don't anticipate it happening again any time soon. So -- see you next Monday!




A Last-Minute Boost

posted by Niall Harrison on 16 September 2014 | Comments (0) »

Where does the time go? I've been meaning to blog about Accessing the Future all month, and suddenly there are only 13 hours (at the time of writing) left on the crowdfunding clock.

So: this is the next Future Fire anthology, following on from We See a Different Frontier. It will be edited by Future Fire editor Djibril al-Ayad along with Kathryn Allan, who has previously edited Disability in Science Fiction (reviewed here by Aishwarya Subramanian). Together they will:

... call for and publish speculative fiction stories that interrogate issues of disability—along with the intersecting nodes of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class—in both the imagined physical and virtual spaces of the future. We want people of all abilities to see themselves, as they are now and as they want to be, in our collective human future.

I trust the editors, and I'm interested to see what stories come out of this project, so I've supported the book. The good news if you're still considering it is that the project is already funded, and now ticking off stretch goals -- as I write, they need just over $250 to hit their next target, internal B&W illustrations.

Some related blog posts, if you're on the fence:

EDIT: And now that the anthology is officially funded, here's the call for stories.




News From Reviews

posted by Niall Harrison on 15 September 2014 | Comments (0) »

As you may have seen in this week's editorial, we're preparing for some changes in the reviews department. Current Reviews Editor Abigail Nussbaum is stepping down at the end of the year, and she's in the process of handing over the reins to a new team. So far that team includes Maureen Kincaid Speller, Aishwarya Subramanian, and Dan Hartland (and we're looking for one more person to join them -- details here).

So it's also a good time to reach out to potential new contributors. We always like to see submissions from new reviewers, but from time to time it's worth putting out a dedicated call. So are you interested in writing reviews for Strange Horizons? Then read on!

You can see our pay rate ($30) and get a sense of the kind of reviews we're looking for by reading our guidelines; you may also want to read some published reviews. The short version is that we're looking for serious engagement with speculative work -- what does the work do? How does it do it? Why does that matter? -- by people who can write engagingly and creatively.

Beyond that, we don't have a house style. Our regular reviewers include readers, writers, academics, fans, and people who wear several of those hats all at once; and we have contributors who've been reviewing for decades, and contributors who've published their first reviews with us. What we want is to hear your voice and your perspective.

As with all our other departments, we're particularly interested in hearing from potential contributors whose perspectives are under-represented within the SF community. As our annual SF Count shows, there's still a lot of work to be done to improve representation in the critical discussion of SF, as well as in SF itself, and we want to help with that. So we'd love to hear from more women, reviewers of colour, queer reviewers, and international reviewers (among others!).

If you're interested, contact us at reviews@strangehorizons.com with the subject line "REVIEWER: [your name]". Tell us:

  • What sorts of material you're interested in reviewing
  • How often you'd be able to review
  • A bit about yourself

Please also include some samples of your writing (or links to samples), and feel free to ask us any questions you might have. We'd love to hear from you.




Dwarf Stars

posted by Niall Harrison on 11 September 2014 | Comments (0) »

The SF Poetry Association has announced this year's winners of its Dwarf Star Awards, and first and second place have been taken by SH poems! The Dwarf Stars are for short speculative poems up to 10 lines long.

So, congratulations to Mat Joiner for first place for "And Deeper Than Did Ever Plummet Sound", and to Mari Ness for second place for "The Loss."

(Also published in the accompanying anthology is another SH poem, "I Am Learning to Forget" by Dominik Parisien, and many other fine works, so check it out.)

(Also of interest: the Elgin Awards for poetry collections and chapbooks, won this year by Bryan Thao Worra and Helen Marshall, respectively.)




Stranger Horizons, August 2014

posted by Niall Harrison on 31 August 2014 | Comments (0) »

A quick apology first: I meant to write a proper report on Loncon 3, honestly I did, and yet somehow it has not happened and seems unlikely to happen any time soon. Thus I direct you to the flickr tag, to Martin Wisse's big Loncon 3 links post, and within that in particular to Julia's writeup of the SH brunch party (thank you to everyone who came! It was lovely to put faces to names, and to meet new faces and names) and Abigail's con report. So far as the Hugo results go, many congratulations to all the winners, in particular to Sofia Samatar for taking home the John W. Campbell Award, Kameron Hurley as Fan Writer, A Dribble of Ink in Best Fanzine, XKCD's "Time" in Best Graphic Story, and Ancillary Justice in Best Novel; and to Lightspeed, the winner in our category of Best Semiprozine. It turns out we ran them close (16 votes, the stats show!), so thanks to everyone who voted for us or ranked us high in their preferences.

And with that out of the way, on to this month's news.

Let's start with new stories: Victor Fernando R. Ocampo's "I m d 1 in 10" appeared in The Future Fire -- an homage to Boethius' Consolatio Philosophiae, written partly in SMS-speak and partly in a Filipino-English argot called Jejemon. This year's iteration of "Twelve Tomorrows" -- the now-annual MIT Technology Review SF special -- includes work by Christopher Brown and Pat Cadigan, among others. Issue three of Lackington's features many delights, including Alexandra Seidel's "A Quest for Fire", Sonya Taaffe's "In Winter", Yukimi Ogawa's "Not Her Garden", and Bogi Takács' For Your Ultimate Hookboarding Experience." An Owomoyela's "Undermarket Data" appeared in Lightspeed. Ian Whates' new anthology Solaris Rising 3 includes work by Ken Liu, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Adam Roberts, Benjamin Rosenbaum, and Nina Allan. Octavia Cade has a new story in The Dark: "Tommy Flowers and the Glass Bells of Bletchley." Sara Norja's flash "Wind Chimes" appeared in 365 Tomorrows. Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, features stories by Orrin Grey and A.C. Wise, among others. And a couple of reprints: Jason Erik Lundberg's "Taxi Ride" was reprinted in Starry Island: New Writing from Singapore, the latest issue of Mānoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing; James S. Dorr's "No Place to Hide" has been reprinted in Fantastic Stories Presents: Science Fiction Super Pack #1; and a number of SH contributors have stories in The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies Magazine: Year Five, including Seth Dickinson, E. Catherine Tobler, Alex Dally MacFarlane, and Matthew Bennardo.

Some games writing! Rachael Acks has written six episodes for the fitness game Superhero Workout.

A few new books: Nina Allan's first novel, The Race, was launched at Loncon and is available from Newcon Press. Also having a party at Loncon was Kaleidoscope: An anthology of diverse contemporary YA fantasy, co-edited by SH fiction editor Julia Rios, with Alisa Krasnostein; spoilers for the new stories section, but this includes work by William Alexander, Amal El-Mohtar, Ken Liu, Sofia Samatar, and others. Benjamin Parzybok's new novel, Sherwood Nation, is out from Small Beer Press: "As drought-stricken Portland, Oregon falls apart, a new city rises from within..." Ursula Pflug's collection Harvesting the Moon is available from PS Publishing, with an introduction by Candas Jane Dorsey. Ben Peek's new fantasy The Godless is out from Tor in the UK and Thomas Dunne in the US. Faith L. Justice's new collection Slow Death and Other Dark Tales is out in ebook, with print edition to follow (details at the link). Jenn Grunigen's SF novel Skyglass is being serialised at Sparker Monthly, with chapter three up now. And, though it's less likely these will have flown under your radar, John Scalzi's latest novel Lock In and Kameron Hurley's The Mirror Empire are both getting positive reviews.

Poetry: David C. Kopaska-Merkel's "Mom says son should get a haircut and a real job" appeared in Star*line issue 37. Jessy Randall has five Mother Goose poems in this month's matchbook. Deborah P. Kolodji has two poems in Frogpond, the print journal of the Haiku Society of America. Peg Duthie read four Anton Yakovlev poems for Poetry Storehouse. Jenny Blackford's "Its fur so shining-smooth" won third prize in the Australian Catholic University Literature Prize. And the theme of Elizabeth Barrette's Poetry Fishbowl for August was "flexible truths."

And finally, non-fiction: Two new reviews collections feature many pieces that appeared in these pages: John Clute's Stay, from Beccon (which also includes a complete reprint of The Darkening Garden), and Adam Roberts' Sibilant Fricative, out from Newcon press. Vandana Singh posted an essay on Women and the Destruction of Science Fiction. Matthew Cheney wrote about Octavia Butler's 1978 novel Survivor. At the LA Review of Books, Dan Hartland considers Simon Ing's Wolves. And oh, what the hell, here are a few more Loncon (and in some cases Nine Worlds) write-ups from SH contributors: Liz Bourke; Aishwarya Subramanian; Fran Wilde; and JY Yang.




Strange Horizons at Loncon!

posted by Niall Harrison on 11 August 2014 | Comments (0) »

And suddenly, it was time for Loncon! I'm honestly not sure where the rest of this year went, but here we are, with this year's Worldcon kicking off later this week -- and no shortage of other genre events in the UK over the next month.

Strange Horizons will be at Loncon with a brunch party on Saturday morning in the Fan Village, which is the big social and party space for the con, as well as hosting the Gaming Tent and various other areas. We're going to be in Tent A, which you can see on this map (top-right corner), from 10.00 to 12.00, with pastries, tea and coffee, so do come along and say hello!

You can also browse the full convention programme online, including searching by participant. Our columnist, and long-time critic and encyclopedist John Clute is one of this year's Guests of Honour, of course, but there are also a lot of other SH contributors and staff in attendance as well. In the list below I've linked to the individual participant schedules for everyone I'm aware of -- if I've missed you, let me know so I can update the list.




Fiction Closed to Submissions

posted by Niall Harrison on 7 August 2014 | Comments (0) »

As previously noted, as of today the fiction department is closed to submissions until September 15th. You can, of courses, continue to submit other material.




Stranger Horizons, July 2014

posted by Niall Harrison on 3 August 2014 | Comments (0) »

A couple of days late this month, because I've been on holiday for the past week: so let's get to it. What have SH contributors had going on in July?

A couple of crowdfunding projects to begin: first, Rose Lemberg's An Alphabet of Embers Kickstarter, which I've been meaning to mention all month -- it has three days left to run at the time of writing -- and which has already made its target, but is heading towards assorted stretch goals, including a joke issue of Stone Telling and an audiobook edition. Second, Mary Anne Mohanraj is running a Kickstarter to support a festival of South Asian Arts and Literature in Chicago -- this hasn't reached its goal yet, and rewards include limited edition posters, totes, and book bundles, so take a look. Cat Rambo has set up a Patreon page and will be releasing a short story every two weeks. Finally, not strictly an SH alumni project, but the Kickstarter for the new new Uncanny Magazine, to be edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, may be of interest to many people reading this.

I should also include a brief awards update to congratulate all the World Fantasy Award nominees; so far as SH contributors go, Marie Brennan's A Natural History of Dragons and Sofia Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria are up for best novel, while Sofia's "Selkie Stories Are for Losers" is nominated in Short Story!

A relatively light months for new books: The latest Wilde Stories, collecting last year's best gay SF, is now out, edited as usual by Steve Berman; no SH stories in this one, but it does include Sam J Miller's Shirley Jackson-winning "57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides", and John Chu's Hugo nominee "The Water That Falls on You From Nowhere." Lucy A. Snyder's collection Soft Apocalypses is out from Raw Dog Screaming press, including her Stoker-winning "Magdala Amygdala" plus 14 others ranging from Lovecraftian steampunk to a rock-and-roll post-apocalyptic Western. And Wendy Rathbone's soft SF novel Letters To An Android is out from Eye Scry.

Lots of new stories, though: the latest Jurassic London anthology is Irregularity, an anthology of stories about order and chaos in science from 1660-1860, published in partnership with the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London; it includes stories by among others Tiffani Angus ("Fairchild's Folly") and Adam Roberts ("The Assassination of Isaac Newton by the Coward Robert Boyle"). July's Lightspeed reprinted Carmen Maria Machado's "Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead" from HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY, and also featured Theodora Goss's "Cimmeria: From the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology", among others. The July Clarkesworld includes NK Jemisin's "Stone Hunger". Bogi Takács' "This Shall Serve As A Demarcation" is up at Scigentasy. Nisi Shawl's "Promised" -- an excerpt from her forthcoming Belgian Congo steampunk novel, Everfair, is in Steampunk World. The latest Shimmer includes "The Seaweed and the Wormhole" by Jenn Grunigen. Rachael Ack's "Asleep in Zandalar" is at Abyss & Apex. Octavia Cade's excellent novella Trading Rosemary has been podcast by Starship Sofa: there's also a new story, "The Absence of Feathers", in Luna Station Quarterly. Michelle Ann King's "Jump, and I'll Catch You" appeared at Daily Science Fiction. Sabrina Vourvoulias' "The Bar at the End of the World" appears in The Many Tortures of Anthony Cardno along with, among others, Steve Berman's "Three on a Match." The July issue of Apex included Victor Fernando R. Ocampo's "Blessed are the Hungry" (and a short interview), plus more. Virginia M. Mohlere's "Hold Back the Waters" appeared in Mythic Delirium. Neil Clarke's Upgraded anthology of cyborg stories is nearly out in the world, and includes work by Elizabeth Ber, Seth Dickinson, Rich Larson, Ken Liu, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Mari Ness, Genevieve Valentine, A.C. Wise, and many more. And Aidan Doyle's "Hokkaido Green," which we published in 2010, has been translated into Hebrew and published in Bli Panika.

On to poetry: Dreams & Nightmares 98 is out now, featuring work by Lynette Mejia, Alicia Cole, and Jessy Randall, among others (and you can read Romie Stott's interview with editor David Kopaska-Merkel in our latest issue). Jessy Randall also has five poems in Menacing Hedge. Joanne Merriam has two poems in the lavish Language Lessons: Volume 1, from Third Man Records. Jenny Blackford's "Ghosts of ancient underwater clouds" appears in Australian Poetry Journal 4.1. A selection of haiku by Peg Duthie are available on her page at The Haiku Foundation. Neile Graham's "Cairn by Dark by Cairn" appears in the latest Apex, while Adrienne J. Odasso has a poem co-written with Dominik Parisien in Ideomancer, "The Memory-Thief". Elizabeth Barrette's poetry fishbowl theme for the month was pieces in her polychrome heroics superhero fantasy setting.

And to finish, non-fiction: Clarkesworld has been serialising Susan E. Connolly's report on "The Issue of Gender in Genre Fiction": "A Detailed Analysis", "The Math Behind it All", "Publications From Slush", "The Math Behind the Slush", and "Conclusions." At Tor.com, Brit reviews Wilde Stories 2014, and looks at some stories from The Apex Book of World SF 3. Reviews by Liz Bourke this month include Hurricane Fever by Tobias Buckell, Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews, and All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry. Matthew Cheney has a video essay about Snowpiercer at Press Play, with further thoughts on his blog. There's a video interview with James Dorr done at World Horror Convention, discussing among other things his Stoker-nominated collection The Tears of Isis. And at Lady Business, Renay reviews (and wrestles with) Luc Besson's new film, Lucy.




Fiction Department Closing

posted by Niall Harrison on 14 July 2014 | Comments (0) »

... for a few weeks. Due to (a) having quite a lot of material in inventory, and (b) editorial travels, the fiction department will be closed to submissions from August 7th to September 15th. So if you've been meaning to send us your story, now's the time!




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