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.
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.
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.
... 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!
What have SH contributors been up to in June? In new books coming soon news, Simon & Schuster's new SF imprint Saga announced their launch titles, which includes novels by Genevieve Valentine and Ken Liu, coming next spring. Meanwhile, this year's Genevieve Valentine novel, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, is out now; here's a review by Amal El-Mohtar. Zen Cho's first short story collection Spirits Abroad -- in Malaysia, but there are ordering options for the rest of the world at the link, particularly if you're going to be at Nine Worlds or Loncon 3 in August. Andrea Hairston's mixed fiction/non-fiction collection Lonely Stardust is out from Aqueduct. Lucy A. Snyder's Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit: A Writer's Survival Guide is out from Post Mortem Press. Michael R. Underwood's fantasy novel Shield and Circus is out. A couple of reissues: Jason Erik Lundberg's anthology Fish Eats Lion: New Singaporean Speculative Fiction, originally published in 2012, is now available as an ebook from Infinity Plus Books., while Jenny Blackford's feminist historical novella The Priestess and the Slave, published in print in 2009 is now available as an audiobook. And a couple of extracts: Lawrence Schimel's translation of the first five chapters of For Nina, a Mexican YA novel with a transgender protagonist, is featured in the June issue of Words Without Borders; and the first chapter of Jenn Grunigen's serialised novel Skyglass appeared at Sparkler Monthly.
What about new stories? Mary Anne Mohanraj's "Communion" appeared in the June Clarkesworld. Cat Rambo's "English Muffin, Devotion on the Side" appeared at Daily Science Fiction. Natalia Theodoridou's "That Tear Problem" appeared in Kasma SF. The July/August issue of F&SF, edited by Charles Coleman Finlay, includes Paul Berger's "Subduction" (which is also the featured story in the free Kindle digest), plus stories by Charlie Jane Anders, Sandra McDonald, Haddayr Copley-Woods, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and others. In Lightspeed, meanwhile, women destroyed science fiction, including stories by Tina Connolly, N. K. Jemisin, Carrie Vaughn, Sarah Pinsker, and many more. Unlikely Story #9: The Journal of Unlikely Cartography is co-edited by AC Wise, and features work by Sarah Pinsker, Kat Howard, Shira Lipkin and others. Ada Hoffmann and Jacqueline Flay have a co-authored novelette in The Death God's Chosen, edited by James Tallett; Orrin Grey's story "Walpurgisnacht" is in The Children of Old Leech, a Laird Barron tribute anthology edited by Ross Lockhart and Justin Steele; Marissa Lingen's "The Salt Path" appears in the June Apex; and Hunter Liguore's "The Chiseler's Wife", a tale about a husband and wife who make headstones for the faery realm, appears in the third issue of James Gunn's Ad Astra. Andrew Kozma's "These Are the Things Our Hands Have Made" appears in Fantasy Scroll Magazine. Aidan Doyle's children's story "Words Beneath the Waves" appeared in Spellbound's sea monsters issue . James S. Dorr's "The Borrowed Man" is in The Girl at the End of the World, offering "forty-one striking visions of the apocalypse and the women and girls dealing with it".
In poetry, the Spring issue of Goblin Fruit is out, and includes Mary A. Turzillo's "Diva", Alexandra Seidel's "Moon Crop", Rose Lemberg's "Landwork", Sara Norja's "Shrug Charm" work by C.S.E. Cooney, Megan Arkenberg, and others. Jessy Randall's has a poem in Pilgrimage, part of a themed issue on labour. The latest Mythic Delirium released its table of contents, including Gwynne Garfinkle's poem "It's a Universal Picture", and work by Saira Ali, Jane Yolen, and Sonya Taaffe. The latest issue of Pedestal Magazine includes Wendy Rathbone's "Homecoming", Ann Schwader's "Fire Language", and others. Peg Duthie's "Five Finger Frustration" was shortlisted for unFold's 5th anniversary contest. Laura Walton Allen has a couple of poems in the summer issue of S/tick, the Canadaian women's literature journal, that can be previewed here. And Elizabeth Barrette's poetry fishbowl theme for the month was "first contact."
And in non-fiction, Brit Mandelo has been blogging extra "Queering SFF" columns at Tor.com, for Pride Month; the wrap-up, with links to all the pieces, is here. Carmen Maria Machado had an essay at NPR: "Michel Faber's 'Crimson' Gave Teen a New Sense of Possibility." Abigail Nussbaum tackles the fandom responses to Game of Thrones' recently-concluded fourth season. Aishwarya Subramanian read and blogged this year's Carnegie Award shortlist. Renay published this year's coverage of women on SFF blogs survey. There was some debate about the state of SF in the UK, with contributions from David Hebblethwaite and Nina Allan. And speaking of British SF, Loncon 3 is fast approaching -- the final membership price increase is due on 14 July, so if you've been waiting to buy yours, wait no longer.
Some very good magazine news this week: Sarah Pinsker's story from last year, "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind", has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award! Many congratulations to Sarah. You can read her story here, or listen to it in podcast form here.
While we're on the subject of the Sturgeon Award, I'll also recommend Ethan Robinson's recent shortlist review project:
I mention this series not because I agree with all of it (indeed, Ethan doesn't particularly care for "In Joy..."), but because it's the sort of critical writing about short fiction that we could always do with more of -- thoughtful, thorough, and with a clear argued point of view. I'd love it if the Sturgeon attracted more of this sort of thing; it's the field's only major juried award for short fiction, and I think it would be all the stronger if its choices were more discussed, more challenged. So: go, read, enjoy, think, argue.
A quick update: as it says in the title of this post, comments on our reviews and on this blog have been disabled. Unfortunately, the Movable Type installation we use for those areas of the site is being overwhelmed by spam. We're looking into solutions. Apologies for the general inconvenience.
Of course, you could always send your feedback as an old-fashioned letter to the editor. I could even post the best ones here, letter column style. Maybe even rustle up a free book for the letter of the week. Well, it's a thought, anyway.
(Also, to be clear, this only affects the reviews department and this blog -- the comments system for the rest of the site is still up and running! e.g. for this week's podcast, which is in search of comments ...)
A day late with this installment, for which apologies; I've been on the road for the last week, and my final stop unexpectedly involved a lack of internet. Still, better late than never, here's the round-up of contributor news from May.
Starting with books: Rose Fox and Daniel José Older's anthology Long Hidden was published, which as well as being edited by SH contributors, contains many, with new stories by Sabrina Vourvoulias, Sunny Moraine, Sofia Samatar, Claire Humphrey, Benjamin Parzybok, Nghi Vo, Ken Liu, Sarah Pinsker, Nnedi Okorafor, and others. Tom Doyle's debut novel, American Craftsmen, is just out from Tor; it's a fantasy of military intrigue which imagines that Poe and Hawthorne were writing thinly veiled nonfiction. Nnedi Okorafor's Lagoon is out from Hodder (in the UK, US edition coming soon, apparently). Stefon Mears' Sleight of Mind, the latest in his Rise of Magic series, is out from Thousand Faces Publishing. A bilingual English/Hungarian edition of Lawrence Schimel's children's book The Boy and the Spy/A Fiú és a Kém is out from Csimota, with illustrations by Jamie Martinez. Will McIntosh's latest novel Defenders is out from Orbit. And Karen Burnham's book on Greg Egan is out in the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series from the University of Illinois Press.
Some stories not covered above: Susan Jane Bigelow's "The Possessed Egg Predicament: A Story" appeared at The Toast. Carmen Maria Machado's "California Statutes Concerning Defending an Innkeeper" is in AGNI 79. Rachael Acks' "What Purpose a Heart" is in Scigentasy. Natalia Theodoridou's "The Land Baby" appears in The Dark. Ken Liu's "What I Assume You Shall Assume" appears in John Joseph Adams' weird West anthology Dead Man's Hand. Beneath Ceaseless Skies' issues this month included M. Bennardo's "The Use and the Need" and E. Catherine Tobler's "We, As One, Trailing Embers". Liz Argall's "Falling Leaves" is in the May Apex. Orrin Grey's "The Bones of Heroes" is in the Innsmouth Free Press anthology Sword and Mythos, along with stories by Bogi Takács and E. Catherine Tobler, and others. James Dorr's noir piece "The Winning" is in Hard Luck, an anthology of dark fiction/psychological horror from Burnt Offering Books. A.C. Wise's "The Thief of Precious Things" appears in Paula Guran's anthology Magic City: Recent Spells. Ellen Datlow's The Year's Best Horror vol. 6 reprints Jeannine Hall Gailey's "Introduction to the Body in Fairy Tales" (and much else). And the May Lightspeed included Seth Dickinson's "A Tank Only Fears Four Things". I'll also note -- though technically it's a June release -- that the Women Destroy Science Fiction issue of Lightspeed is out, with work by Charlie Jane Anders, Amal El-Mohtar, NK Jemisin and many others.
Some poetry? Jenny Blackford just won the "Humorous Verse" section of the Henry Lawson Festival Verse and Short Story Competition with "A Brief Guide to Australian Fauna". Jessy Randall had four prose poems in Cease, Cows. Sara Norja's "The Alchemist's Lover" appeared in CSHS. Ada Hoffmann's "Goblin Love Song" is in the latest issue of The Literary Hatchet. Andrew Kozma had two poems in Blackbird. A. J. Odasso's "The Archer's Daughter" appears in Heavenly Bodies, a constellations-themed anthology from Beautiful Dragon Press. The latest Apex included Gwynne Garfinkle's "she's alive, alive". And Elizabeth Barrette's poetry fishbowl this month focused on "science and math".
On the non-fiction front, Vandana Singh has a long and thoughtful new essay on her blog: "Alternate Visions: Some Musings on Diversity in SF". NK Jemisin also posted her Wiscon 38 Guest of Honor speech (see also, though she's not an SH contributor, Hiromi Goto's GoH speech). Some reviews: Abigail Nussbaum has thoughts on the first season of SHIELD. Maureen Kincaid Speller is impressed with Dave Hutchinson's new novel, Europe in Autumn. And a couple of reviews by Aishwarya Subramanian: Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor, and City of Devi by Manil Suri.
And just the one crowdfunding note: Marie Brennan is running a Kickstarter for Chains and Memory, the sequel to her 2012 urban fantasy Lies and Prophecy.
Last Monday, we posted a review of Long Hidden, a new anthology edited by Daniel José Older and Rose Fox; a number of commenters were disappointed and/or hurt by the way the review approached its subject, in particular its critique of the use of dialect in Troy L. Wiggins's "A Score of Roses", for which we did and do apologise (see the comment thread there for details).
Some excellent and useful commentary has been written about our review and the larger discussion over the course of this week; I recommend checking out all of the following:
(And for more about Long Hidden itself, see this Big Idea piece at Whatever.)
As usual, we start this round-up of SH contributor news with some new books: Emily Jiang's Summoning the Phoenix ("Poems and prose about Chinese musical instruments", illustrated by April Chu), is out from Shen's Books (and got a starred review from Kirus). Other new books this month include Elizabeth Bear's conclusion to her The Eternal Sky trilogy, Steles of the Sky; Mary Robinette Kowal's latest, Valour and Vanity (which apparently includes a Doctor Who cameo); Paul Kincaid's latest review collection, Call and Response; and Michael R. Underwood's Attack the Geek, a novella in his Ree Reyes urban fantasy series. And David Lunde's A Full Load of Moonlight, a collection of Chinese Chan Buddhist poetry from its beginnings to the twenty-first century, translated with Mary MY Fung, is out (in Hong Kong, at least) from Musical Stone Culture Ltd.
Let's do non-fiction next, for once. Daniel José Older's essay, "Diversity Is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing" appeared at Buzzfeed. Sabrina Vourvoulias published two pieces about Gabriel Garcia Márquez: "The Macondo of the Soul: how Gabriel Garcia Márquez taught me to believe in words"; and "Gabo and Faulkner". Maureen Kincaid Speller's essay, "They Are Not Ghosts: On the representation of the indigenous peoples of North America in science fiction and fantasy" is up at A Dribble of Ink. Hal Duncan's essays are collected in Rhapsody: Notes on Strange Fictions. Matt Hilliard wrestled with Max Gladstone's Three Parts Dead. And although its editors are not SH contributors, it would be remiss of me not to note that Ana Grilo and Thea James' Speculative Fiction 2013 collection is out now, including work by at least 15 SH contributors that I can count.
New stories: Natalia Theodoridou's dark fairytale "The Shadow and the Snake" appears in Black Apples. Sarah Pinsker and Nghi Vo's latest tales appear in The Future Embodied, "An anthology of speculative stories exploring how science and technology might change our bodies and what it means to be human". OJ Cade's "Vita Urbis" is in Twisted Boulevard: Tales of Urban Fantasy. Issue 51 of Not One of Us includes among other things Mat Joiner's "A Portrait in Rust" and Sonya Taaffe's "The True Alchemist" (plus poems by Sonya, Neile Graham, and Sandi Leibowitz). Lightspeed had a new story by Carmen Maria Machado in April: "Observations About Eggs from the Man Sitting Next to Me on a Flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cedar Rapids, Iowa." Crossed Genres' latest issue included a story by Rachael Acks, "The Heart-Beat Escapement". (There's also just a few hours left on the current Crossed Genres kickstarter, as I write.) The most recent Beneath Ceaseless Skies includes stories by Seth Dickinson ("Our Fire, Given Freely") and Alex Dally MacFarlane ("Women in Sandstone" -- Alex also posted some historical notes to this story here). James S. Dorr's latest story, "Casket Girls", appeared at Daily Science Fiction. And the second issue of LONTAR, edited by Jason Erik Lundberg, includes Victor Fernando R. Ocampo's story "Entanglement" (and a bunch of other interesting people, but no other SH contributors, I think). Coming any minute now to Pseudopod (it's been slightly delayed) is Usman Malik's story "Blood Women". And Marissa Lingen had a story in Nature's Futures section: "The Stuff We Don't Do".
And so last but not least, to poetry, which is a little quiet this month. Jessy Randall has three poems riffing on Mother Goose in The Bakery. Andrew Kozma's "Ode to the Common Housefly" appeared in Subtropics 17, which can be ordered here. Peg Duthie's "Your Mother, Weeping" appeared at unFold. And Elizabeth Barrette's April poetry fishbowl theme was "genderqueer people".
Wait, I forgot a crowdfunding note! Peter Chiykowski is kickstarting The HMS Bad Idea, a staff-picked collection of comics published under an imprint of ChiZine Publications. Reward tiers, he writes, include "me potentially saving backers' lives through time travel", which sounds like a good deal.