... and here's the first round-up of 2016. 'tis the season for awards (although when is it not), so we'll start off with congratulations to the eight poets whose work from SH last year is on the Rhysling Awards list; and also congratulations to one of our poetry editors, A. J. Odasso, who has three poems on the list. Elsewhere, Benjamin Parzybok's Sherwood Nation is a Silicon Valley Reads pick for 2016 (with Emmi Itäranta's Memory of Water), meaning he'll be doing a number of events between now and the end of March.
Moving on to new books: Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky ("a stunning novel about the end of the world -- and the beginning of our future") is out from Tor in the US and Titan in the UK. Daniel José Older's Midnight Taxi Tango (sequel to Half-Resurrection Blues) is out from Roc. Marie Brennan's latest novel is Chains and Memory, second in her Wilders series. Daniel Ausema has released the season two bundle of his Spire City stories. Kate Heartfield's Shakespearean fantasy novella The Course of True Love is available from Abaddon. Grant Stone's new collection Everything is Fine includes twenty stories, six of which are brand new. Stefon Mears' novel The Patron Saint of Necromancers is out from Thousand Faces Publishing. And the first Unlikely Story anthology, co-edited by AC Wise, is Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix, and includes stories by Carlie St George, Cassandra Khaw, Charles Payseur, and more.
New stories keep on coming in fact: the latest Lackington's includes JY Yang's "Song of the Krakenmaid", Mike Allen's "The Spider Tapestries", and more. JY Yang also had a story in Lightspeed: "Secondhand Bodies". Nisi Shawl's "Vulcanization" (connected to, but not excerpted from, her upcoming novel Everfair) appeared in Nightmare. E. Catherine Tobler's "The Abduction of Europa" and Rich Larson's "Extraction Request" appeared in Clarkesworld. Sonnets from the 'New Heart's Ease' by Z. Finch (aka Susannah Mandel) is in The Future Fire. Aidan Doyle's "Gold Farmer's Daughter can be found at Fireside. LS Johnson's "Ada, Awake" appears in the current issue of Strangelet (link is to excerpt). Jenn Grunigen's "The Snail, the Fox, the Owl" can be found in Spolia. And the latest Asimov's includes "The Charge and the Storm" by An Owomoyela and "The Singing Bowl" by Genevieve Williams, among others.
Some poetry? The latest issue of Inkscrawl is guest-edited by Bogi Takács, and includes work by Gwynne Garfinkle ("Dorothy's Prayer"), Sonya Taaffe ("False Lights"), Naru Dames Sunder ("Mage // Cirrus"), Gabby Reed ("Even If You Want To"), Sara Norja ("Storm-yarn"), and M. Sereno ("The exile, athirst"), among others. The latest Star*Line includes several poems by David C. Kopaska-Merkel, along with poems by Deborah P Kolodji, Sandra J Lindow, and others; Deborah also has some scifaiku in Grievous Angel, and a response to the San Bernadino shootings at Rattle. Virginia Mohlere's "Where Secrets Are Placed" and Andrew Watson's "Spirit of the Deciduous" are in the latest issue of Through the Gate. Jessy Randall's "Possible Reasons Why Dan Thought I Would Like Rickie Lee Jones's Album 'Pirates'" appeared in Mixtape Methodology, a new online venue for poems about music. The latest issue of Eye to the Telescope includes poems by Akua Lezli Hope, Bruce Boston, Salik Shah and others.
On the non-fiction front, I note that Crooked Timber is having one of their seminars about SF, this time looking at the Thessaly novels by Jo Walton (although I'm a bit surprised they didn't wait for the trilogy to be completed later this year). Octavia Cade's paper "'I Close the Mima': the Role of Narrative in Harry Martinson's Aniara" is in the latest issue of Scandinavica (not online yet, but Octavia notes that Aniara is a book-length poem featuring artificial intelligences and space travel by a Nobel Laureate in Literature, so I'll be checking back on the site to see when it does go up). Carmen Maria Machado's essay about 253 by Geoff Ryman appeared on the Granta website. Tom Speelman has two pieces at ComicsAlliance: a review of the 2011 Singaporean film Tatsumi (about the manga pioneer), and an essay on Marvel's 1970s-1980s Star Wars comic. And the latest issue of the Cascadia Subduction Zone includes reviews and essays by L. Timmel Duchamp, Eleanor Arnason, Nisi Shawl, S. Qiouyi Lu, Maria Velazquez, and others.
Last but not least, a crowdfunding note: Rachel Kahn's Kickstarter for a collection of her sword-and-sorcery-and-autobiography comic By Crom! has ten days to go; and Lightspeed's latest "destroy" Kickstarter, this time focusing on sf by people of colo(u)r, has twenty-one days to go. They're posting daily personal essays, which include one by SH fiction editor An Owomoyela (and a number of SH contributors).
Welcome to 2016! It being the start of a new year, we have a few notes and updates for you.
First, our 2015 Readers' Poll is live. Please vote! We always like to know what's struck a particular chord. You can pick your top five favourite things in each department (and also send us any general comments you may have), and the poll will be open until Sunday 17th January.
Second, we're recruiting! We're looking for new proofreaders, new articles editors, and new associate editors to assist with the running of the magazine. If any of those roles sound interesting to you, there are more details at the link -- you have until the end of January to apply.
Third, and following on from last autumn's fund drive, we've officially increased some of our pay rates! We now pay $40 for poems, $50 for columns, and $80 for articles. So if you've been waiting to submit, now's a good time.
Fourth, speaking of submissions, the poetry department has now re-opened -- send us your poems! After some deliberation, however, the fiction department is staying closed for another month. We want to keep our response times reasonable, and the truth is there's currently a bit of a backlog.
Fifth (and last, I think, though of course not least), we have today's new issue. We kick off the new year with a story by Nin Harris, a poem by Naru Dames Sundar, Kari Sperring's latest Matrilines column, and our annual year in review. If that doesn't immediately add at least three things to your to-be-read list, well, you have more willpower than me. Happy reading!
A double-issue round-up of news, to see you through to the end of the year -- what SH contributors have been up to in November, and what they will by up to in December. So what do they have for you?
Marie Brennan is running a fundraiser, Lady Trent's Friends of Nepal, with all proceeds going to Heifer International's Nepal initiatives. It includes lottery prizes and sale items from Alyc Helms, Vonda McIntyre, Peter Watts, Linda Nagata, and Mindy Klasky, as well as Brennan's own books.
New books in November: Three new collections: Mary Robinette Kowal's collection Word Puppets is out from Prime; Lucy A. Snyder's While the Black Stars Burn is out from Raw Dog Screaming; and Faith L. Justice's The Reluctant Groom and Other Historical Stories is out from Raggedy Moon Books. Michael R.Underwood's The Shootout Solution, first in the Genrenauts series, came out from Tor.com. Stefon Mears' urban fantasy novel Caught Between Monsters is out from Thousand Faces Publishing. Octavia Cade's poetry collection Chemical Letters ("the story of a scientist who wakes up in the periodic table, if that table were an apartment block...") is out from Popcorn Press. And Lore Graham's novel Rule of Three (tags: bisexual; gay; genderqueer; intertwined; poly; urban fantasy) is out from Less Than Three Press. And a books sold note: Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, will be published by Graywolf.
Kickstarting now and Coming Soon, the Ecotones anthology will include by Daniel Ausema, Tobias S. Buckell, Kurt Hunt, Ken Liu and others. And the new literary/genre journal Recompose features Nisi Shawl's "HOW TO GIVE A DOG A NAME WITHOUT OWNING IT", Ken Liu's "Safe Empathy", Cat Rambo's "Tiger Lily Madness" and more; their Kickstarter for future issues is here. Mythic Delirium volume 2, edited by Mike and Anita Allen, will be out in December including work by Gwynne Garfinkle, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Sunny Moraine, and plenty of other names you might recognise from SH. And Jessy Randall's poetry collection There Was an Old Woman (prose poems springing from lines in Mother Goose) is out 1 December from Unicorn Press.
On the new stories front, a couple of free anthologies you might want to investigate: Microsoft has sponsored Future Visions, which includes Ann Leckie, Elizabeth Bear, and others; and the Atlantic Council has sponsored War Stories, which includes Ken Liu, Madeline Ashby, Linda Nagata and others. Jonathan Strahan's anthology Meeting Infinity, looking at humanity's ability to adapt to change, includes stories by Kameron Hurley, Yoon Ha Lee and An Owomoyela, among others. The November Clarkesworld includes Nin Harris' story "Your Right Arm." The latest Beneath Ceaseless Skies includes "The Delusive Cartographer" by Rich Larson; Rich is also in the December Asimov's with "Bidding War", and Interzone 261 with "We Might Be Sims". Kurt Hunt's "QSFT7mk2.7853 Has a Name" is out at Perihelion. Sam J. Miller's latest story, "To Die Dancing" is in Apex. Marissa Lingen's "Points of Origin" can be found at Tor.com. And at Lightspeed this month you can among other things read Helena Bell's "When We Were Giants" and Kenneth Schneyer's "The Plausibility of Dragons." Aidan Doyle's "The Sweet Life" appeared in a bear-themed issue at Podcastle; while Daily SF had Sarah Pinsker's flash "What Wags the World" and Lynette Mejia's "Connection", among others. Maggie Clark's "The Stars, Their Faces Uplifted in Song" was this month's story at Giganotosaurus. The current issue of Uncanny Magazine includes Elizabeth Bear's "And the Balance in Blood", as well as stories by Karin Tidbeck, Yoon Ha Lee and others. A.C. Wise's "Even in This Skin" appears in the November/December issue of Shimmer. Indrapramit Das and Shveta Thakrar have stories in Interfictions: "Psychpomp" and "Shimmering Warm and Bright", respectively. James Dorr's "A Christmas Carnage, a Dickensian/Lovecraftian seasonal ghost tale with chainsaws, is in The First Annual Geeky Kink Anthology edited by Lori Perkins. Brenda Coooper's "Iron Pegasus" appeared in Mission Tomorrow, an anthology of near-future space exploration stories from Baen. Last but not least, Paul Jessup has launched Grendelsong, which in its first issue includes stories by Cat Rambo, Darin Bradley, Stephanie Burgis and others.
And then in December (mostly on 1 December, i.e. tomorrow): Iona Sharma's novella "Quarter Days" will appear at Giganotosaurus; Seth Dickinson's "Morrigan in Shadow" will be in Clarkesworld; Aidan Doyle's "Beneath the Silent Stars" will be in Lightspeed; Rachael K. Jones's "St Roomba's Gospel" will appear at Diabolical Plots; Lisa Carreiro's "Makour" will be in The Playground of Lost Toys, edited by Colleen Anderson and Ursula Pflug; Charles Payseur's "Questing" will be in the Circlet anthology Nights of the Round Table: Arthurian Erotica
New poetry: At Uncanny you can find "Something Different from Either" by Sonya Taaffe and "The Thirteenth Child" by Mari Ness, with Lisa M. Bradley's "Aboard the Transport Tesoro" coming in December. More immediately you can find Lisa at Interfictions, with "Glass Womb." The 101st issue of David C. Kopaska-Merkel's Dreams & Nightmares includes work by Mary Soon Lee, Robert Frazier, Valerie Bodell, and others (order here). Akua Lezli Hope has three new pieces out: "Neverland" in Sub-saharan Magazine, "Resignation" in Rattle, and a contribution to the million-line poem. Arkady Martine's "The Demon Vivienne Explains Volitional Geography" appeared in Through the Gate, along with Neile Graham's "Portrait of Skara Brea". Peg Duthie had 5 micropoems at the Twitter venue 7x20, including "spoon...". And Elizabeth Barrette has a stack of new poems published in her Polychrome Heroics superhero series.
In December, Gabby Reed will have "Elegy for the Hulk" in Liminality Magazine; Deborah P. Kolodji's "Living Near the San Andreas" is in Haibun Today; and Wendy Rathbone's poem "Build a Rocketship Contest" will be featured on the Asimov's website (from December 8th, in the January 2016 issue, because print cover dates are like that).
Non-fiction: Maureen Kincaid Speller has a guest editorial in the latest Interzone (which also features columns by Nina Allan and Jonathan McCalmont). Matthew Cheney's latest blog-essay is: "Thinking Back with Our Foremothers: For Jane Marcus." Christina Scholz's essay "Queerversity: Desire and Sexuality in China Miéville's Fiction" appeared in Alluvium. And Lucy A. Snyder's essay "Well, That Escalated Quickly: Adventures in Teaching Creative Writing" appeared in Writers on Writing vol. 2: An Author's Guide.
And just one bit of upcoming non-fiction: Nisi Shawl's essay "I. G. Y.", on the future of the past and the future of the future, will appear in the inaugural issue of Shattered Prism.
Just a quick note here to say that, as is often the case, the fiction and poetry departments will be closing to submissions in December. So if you have something you've been working on with us in mind, make sure to send it along by the end of the day on Monday.
(Obviously read this week's issue first, which includes Geoff Ryman introducing Samuel Delany, a poem by Rose Lemberg, this month's poetry podcast, reviews, etc.)
October has been something of a blur for me; not just because of the fund drive, but because it's been peak-time for my day job as well. Even more than usual, then, it's pleasant to pause and find out what SH contributors have been up to elsewhere recently.
New books: Series completing and continuing this month. Ann Leckie's Ancillary Mercy completes her trilogy (and though I haven't read it yet, I gather from people mentioning it on Twitter that the story we published last year, "She Commands Me and I Obey", has acquired additional meaning). Kameron Hurley's latest is Empire Ascendant, which has gone straight onto the far-too-optimistic pile of "things to read before the end of the year." S. L. Huang's Root of Unity is the third book in the Russell's Attic series, about a mathematical mercenary. The 2015 Heiresses of Russ, collecting the best lesbian sf of the year, includes among other things three SH stories: "Sarah's Child" by Susan Jane Bigelow, "Because I Prayed This Word" by Alex Dally MacFarlane, and "Nkásht íí" by Darcie Little Badger. And our own Cassandra Khaw has a novella out from Abaddon Books: Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef.
Onwards to new stories. Carmen Maria Machado has a new and seasonal story in Granta: "Horror Story." Gabby Reed has a graphic story, illustrated by Rachel Dukes, in Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Comic Anthology. October's Beneath Ceaseless Skies includes Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam's "A Careful Fire" and Cory Skerry's "Bloodless." The latest Apex includes Arkady Martine's "When the Fall is All That's Left." The October Clarkesworld included A. C. Wise's "And if the Body Were Not the Soul" and Rich Larson's "Ice"; and just missing out on last month's round-up, Rich's "Six Month Ocean appeared at Daily SF. Also at Daily SF recently: "And in the End, They All Lived Happily Ever After" by Michelle Ann King, "Anatomy of an Arrow" by Natalia Theodoridou, and "The Devil is Beating His Wife Today" by Sandra McDonald. A couple of contributors had Futures in Nature: "The many media hypothesis" by Marissa Lingen, and "Copyfactory" by Naru Dames Sundar. Charles Payseur's "Nothing" appeared in Betwixt. Liz Argall and Kenneth Schneyer's "The Sisters' Line" appears in Uncanny. Rachael K. Jones' "The 1st Annual Lunar Biathlon" appeared at Crossed Genres. Peg Duthie was the featured writer at Upper Rubber Boot's twitter-fiction zine 7x20 for the week of 19th October. James Dorr's "Lobster Boy and the Hand of Satan", a tale of carnival grifters on Halloween, is out in How to Trick the Devil. The December Asimov's (on sale now, because that's how these things work) includes M. Bennardo's "We Jump Down into the Dark", there's an excerpt on the magazine's site, although given that the URL is /current-issue/story-excerpt2/ I wouldn't place any bets on it still being there if you're clicking this in a few weeks' time. L. S. Johnson's "The Tale of King Edgar" won On The Premises' Contest 26. And Lightspeed reprinted An Owomoyela's "Water Rights."
What's happening with new poetry? The latest Star*Line includes poems by David C. Kopaska-Merkel, Marge Simon, Lynette Mejía, Deborah P. Kolodji, Zella Christensen (one of whose poems is featured online) and others. Ting Gou has two poems in Ghost Ocean: "Landscape in which the World is Ending" and "Landscape with Prophecies". Sally Rosen Kindred's "Path of Needles" appears in Cider Press Review. Daniel Ausema's "A Poem Sent Back Across Time-Space" was in Grievous Angel. The latest Eye to the Telescope includes three poems by Jeannine Hall Gailey, plus work by Lynette Mejía and Bruce Boston, among others. Carrie Naughton's "Horse Lubber" is in The Tishman Review (pdf), while Jessy Randall has two poems in Forklift, Ohio. And Deborah P. Kolodji has a haiku in the YouTube journal Frozen Butterfly. To finish with a staff member for the third time (talented bunch work on SH, you know), A. J. Odasso has three poems in Swamp.
Not much non-fiction to report this time, but Marie Brennan's Writing Fight Scenes is part of the 2015 NaNoWriMo StoryBundle, while Tom Speelman is reviewing Supergirl for Loser City. David J. Schwartz's essay "Masculinity is an Anxiety Disorder: Breaking Down the Nerd Box" appeared at Uncanny. And it seems like I forgot to link to Sofia Samatar's essay "Skin Feeling" last month; if you haven't read it, you should.
And last but not least, a new comic: Rachel Kahn (this month's artist) has launched Resonant Realms, a webcomic using music to inspire travelogues through imagined landscapes, running twice a week.
Well, we hit our third stretch goal, and then some.
The final total in this year's fund drive is $20,330!
We're all absolutely floored by this. We thought $18,000 was going to be a tough goal -- the highest we've gone for, without (at the base goal) offering anything extra, just compensating for the loss of a one-year grant -- but not only was the outcome never really in doubt, but you've taken us way past what we aimed for. So from 1 January 2016, poetry pay is going up tot $40, columns is going to $50, and articles is going to $80! Not only that, but there's a little bit extra left for the fiction budget -- and special projects.
I should emphasize that this is a slightly different number to previous years, because it's not all a lump sum sitting in our account -- a big (big) chunk of it is the money implied by the current level of support at Patreon. So that's a new thing. But there's a pessimism factor in how we've calculated that support, so if anything for the year as a whole we might end up slightly above this number. If we do, that obviously makes life easier for next year's fund drive...
But let's not think about next year. We have to say thank you: to all the contributors who trusted us to include their content in our fund drive special, to everyone who donated a prize to our prize draw, to everyone who's tweeted, blogged, or otherwise promoted the fund drive, and to everyone who has donated this year. (It's not just our highest total, it's the most donors we've ever had.) Thank you! We will put out the best magazine we can next year.
What happens next? The 15th anniversary ebook will be out in a day or two -- we're just putting the finishing touches to it at the moment. The prize draw will be starting up: we email people in small batches to give them a chance to pick from the list, so it will take a few weeks to complete, but keep an eye on your email in the meantime. And there will be a new issue next Monday, of course.
And there's this, a full-up fund drive rocket:
One last time: thank you!
That's it! No more! I would say we'll all go away and sleep for a week, but as you're reading this I'm probably still in the process of waking up. I'll be putting together the final total as quickly as I can, I promise -- I want to know where we ended up as much as you do -- but in the meantime, why not read the excellent things in the fund drive special you helped us to publish?
Well, no, that's not quite right; you can donate to us any time of year, we don't mind, honestly. But (again, assuming I've scheduled this right, which is by no means certain), it is your last chance to donate to this year's fund drive, which means your last chance to get in on this year's particularly excellent prize draw, and your last chance to get a copy of our 15th anniversary ebook. Both of which are good things. Trust me. Would I lie to you?
... this is, if I've scheduled this post correctly; time zones mean that I'm asleep. So maybe we've reached our last stretch goal, maybe we haven't. Either way, frankly, this has been an amazing fund drive: our highest number of donors and highest total to date. Fifteen years gone, and on this evidence, plenty more to come. It's both humbling and energising: thank you.
Time for another quick update before I call it a night -- thanks to the magic of time zones, the fund drive has another 8 hours, 38 minutes, and 53 seconds to run, but I intend to be asleep for most of that. I might have scheduled a post or two to keep you on your toes, however.
Anyway, the news is good! Literally as I was putting this post together, we reached 600 donors, the most we've ever had in a single fund drive by some distance -- and we've hit our second stretch goal! Our current total is $19,076, which means that starting in January, thanks to all of you, our columnists get a pay rise.
That leaves just one goal to go: higher pay for the articles department. After that, anything extra goes into the fiction budget -- although if it's a lot extra we might find a cool project or two to fund with it. (Could we make it to $20,000 this year? That would be amazing.)
Donate here, get our 15th anniversary ebook, entry into this year's prize draw, and a warm glow. And don't forget that if you're in the US your donations are tax-deductible.