Month of Letters 2015

TypewriterLetter Month is almost upon us. Are you excited? I am. If you can’t be bothered to click on the link, the short version is, it’s a month where you send people real, physical things in the mail, and they send you things in return. It’s awesome. You should do it.

Despite including a picture of a typewriter here, I (alas) do not actually have access to a functioning Underwood typewriter at the moment. I do however have a fancy new quill set given to me by my lovely spouse, which I’m dying to try out. So, if you want a smeary, illegible, possibly disastrous missive from me, sent by honest to goodness mail, you should sign up and friend me. I’m on as A.C. Wise.

Fair warning, I may mail you glitter. I promise to at least try to keep said glitter somewhat contained. (Guarantee void in all places you may live/visit/ever pass through, just in case.) Join me! I look forward to sending you things!

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Highlights of My Family History

For my birthday, my mother gave me a lovely hand-written book detailing our family history, pieced together from old documents and passed-down legends. She included family trees, showing how everyone is related – helpful since my family has a tendency to re-use names – and photos to put faces to the names. Some of the stories may be exaggerated or guess-work, as family histories can often be, but regardless, it’s fascinating. Here are a few highlights from the Irish-English-French-Danish side of my family.

  • When my great-great grandfather on my grandmother’s side was 11 years old, his father came after him with an axe. He ran into the forest and hid, and when he came out the next day, his father had been taken away to an insane asylum.
  • Henry’s son, also Henry (see how this gets confusing?) married a woman named Maggie who wouldn’t let him go back home to England to visit his family. When his family tried to visit them in Ireland, Maggie set her own kitchen on fire to keep them from coming.
  • My great-great-great grandmother was known in her town by the name “Ma” Dymond. She and her sons were supposedly the equivalent of the local mafia in the 1850s.
  • My great-uncle caused a minor scandal in the family by abandoning his fiancee to marry a French-Canadian Catholic girl he met while on a business trip to Montreal.
  • There is actually a woman in the Danish line of my family whose last name was Hubbard. She was also a mother, and a presumably at some point in her life, old.
  • My great-uncle Augustus died at age fourteen while saving another child from drowning. There is a plaque commemorating him in his home town.
  • My great-great-great grandfather on my grandfather’s side was a coffin-maker. His son went on to open a very successful brewery at Cheese Lane and New Bread Street (Best. Address. Ever.)
  • At least two men and one woman among my ancestors ditched the person they were engaged to in order to marry someone else they met while traveling.
  • My great-aunt was talked out of marrying a suitor her family thought “wasn’t good enough for her” and remained single for the rest of her life. Her older brother, on the other hand, had an affair with the woman living next door as a teenager, and fathered a child with her. Their youngest sibling, my grandfather, grew up down the street from grandmother. They officially “met” when he drew a pig on the back of her shirt in kindergarten class. They were married for over 60 years.
  • In the 1940s, just before they were married, my grandparents went to gender-swapped fancy dress parties together. (There’s photographic evidence of this one!)

So those are a few highlights of my family history, at least on my mother’s side. Anyone else have fun family stories to share?

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Giveaway: Whispers from the Abyss

WhispersAbyssOne year is almost over, and a new one is about to begin. What better way to celebrate this transition than with tentacles? Lest Old Gods be forgot… and all that. In the spirit of wishing you all a tentacular New Year, I’m giving away not one, but two copies of Whispers from the Abyss, an anthology full of Lovecraftian madness penned by the likes of Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Nick Mamatas, Tim Pratt & Greg Van Eekhout, Erika Satifka, and me! Drop a note in the comments by January 3rd, and the random number generator will pick a pair of winners. Good luck!

ETA: The random number generator has declared Bogi Takacs and Isabel the winners!

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Favorite Reads of 2014: Short Stories

Following up on my favorite novels and anthologies for 2014, here is the promised short fiction post to accompany it. Of course I’m nowhere near caught up. There are so many fabulous stories out there, there’s no way I can keep up with all of them. However I did do better in terms of reading things actually published this year than I did with novels and anthologies. In my opinion, 2014 was a strong year for short fiction as you’ll see from the length of my list. There were other works I enjoyed throughout the year, but these were the ones stuck out and stuck with me the most.

Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon – a fresh take on the idea of animal brides, which strips away the romance to leave the brutal and painful truth at the heart of the legend.

21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One) by LaShawn M. Wanak – a story about family, and finding your place in the world, wrapped in lovely, poetic language.

Who is Your Executioner by Maria Dahvana Headley – a story that perfectly captures just how creepy most children’s rhyming and chanting games are.

The Tallest Doll in New York City by Maria Dahvana Headley – a charming, glittering tale about architecture in Manhattan.

The Days When Papa Takes Me to War by Rahul Kanakia – an effective story about ants, human brutality, and Ernest Hemmingway.

The End of the World in Five Dates by Claire Humphrey – sometimes the world not ending can be an apocalypse in itself, and you have to learn to live with the potential messiness and pain that comes with just being alive.

Starcrossed by M. Bennardo – a story of love across lifetimes, and the idea that even destiny isn’t always a sure thing.

The Colorless Thief by Yukimi Ogawa – a story about race, objectification, and the sacrifice required by beauty, shot through with lovely imagery.

In Her Head, In Her Eyes by Yukimi Ogawa – a retold fairy tale that gives agency back to its main character and lets her take control of her own story.

The Devil in America by Kai Ashante Wilson – a twist on a classic deal with the devil story, woven in with painful issues surrounding race relations and slavery.

Falling from Earth to Haphazard Sky (Tadople Remix) by E. Catherine Tobler – a gorgeously poetic story about coming home (or not), and the alienation of being human.

A Box, a Pocket, a Spaceman by E. Catherine Tobler – another story wrapped in lovely language, poking at the reality under the tropes of the genre.

The End of the End of Everything by Dale Bailey – a decadent apocalypse, soaked in art and blood.

The Earth and Everything Under by K.M. Ferebee – a more grown-up take on the idea of a romantic, mystical quest to the underworld, and the lover left behind.

Communion by Mary Anne Mohanraj – a story that explores the meaning of family, death, and the possibilities and complications unlocked by genetic manipulation.

The Paradox of Color by A.M. Dellamonica – a time travel story centering on hard characters and hard choices.

The Contemporary Foxwife by Yoon Ha Lee – another story exploring the animal bride motif, expected gender roles, and the idea of servitude.

A Cup of Salt Tears by Isabel Yap –  a grown-up take on a familiar tale, this time the trope of the supernatural lover.

Anna Saves Them All by Seth Dickinson – a story about making impossible choices and living with the consequences.

Last Dance Over the Red, Red World by Gary Klosterman – a lovely, futuristic take on Poe’s Masque of the Red Death.

We Are the Cloud by Sam J. Miller – a painful story about love, heartbreak, and the exploitation of the most vulnerable members of society.

A Stretch of Highway, Two Lanes Wide by Sarah Pinsker – sometimes an arm is also a highway, and sometimes the loveliest stories are the ones that don’t feel the need to provide an explanation for why such a thing might be so.

Like a Wasp to the Tongue by Fran Wilde – a story of fierce women, reckless dares, and a medical mystery, all hinging on wasps.

Hunting Monsters by S.L. Huang – a mash-up of fairy tales with darkness at their core.

The Husband Stitch by Carmen Maria Machado – an incredibly tense re-telling of an old ghost story that also looks at gender roles and trust.

Mothers by Carmen Maria Machado – a twisty, slippery tale of broken relationships, blurring the line between what is and what might have been.

What Glistens Back by Sunny Moraine – a beautiful story about falling, memory, and finding peace in the last moments of life.

A Whisper in the Weld by Alix E. Harrow – a ghost story exploring the brutality of life on the home front during WWII, told from an often overlooked and marginalized viewpoint, that of a woman of color.

Persistence of Vision by Orrin Grey – an unsettling apocalyptic story full of creepy imagery and unexplained supernatural occurrences.

The Mussel Eater by Octavia Cade – yet another take on the animal bride motif and the idea of changing, taming, and possessing another person under the guise of love.

Skin in the Game by Sabrina Vourvoulias – a story about the power of family and community, mixed with the supernatural.

Griefbunny by Brooke Juliet Wonders – sometimes grief manifests as a giant rabbit, and that’s okay.

The Drawstring Detective by Nik Houser – a story perfectly balancing charm, heartbreak, and humanity, all encapsulated in the titular character – a most remarkable wind-up toy.

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Favorite Reads of 2014: Novels and Anthologies

As usual, most of the books I read this year were not actually published this year. If the award nomination process for 2014 happened in, say, 2020 or so, I’d probably be golden. However, I did manage to read a few current books this year, and for the sake of (hopefully) making this post useful for folks thinking about award nominations, I’ll mostly stick to those. Just so they don’t get neglected, I’ll also include an ‘honorable mentions’ section for non-2014 books at the end of the post. Of course, now that I’ve said that, I’m going to break my own rule and start with a non-genre book that came out in 2004. After that I’ll stick to 2014 stuff, I promise.

My absolute favorite read of 2014 was Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff. This book wasn’t even on my radar until I received it in last year’s All Hallow’s Eve Book Exchange. That being the case, I went in with no expectations, and ended up being floored. The central characters in the novel are the fractured ‘souls’ that occupy two bodies with multiple personality disorder, bodies primarily known as Andy Gage and Penny Driver. The novel is a fascinating look at trauma, perception, identity, gender, subjective reality versus objective reality (and whether such things even exist), conformity, or refusal to conform, coping, and the way people choose to see or not see what is ugly and dirty and doesn’t fit happily into their world view. It is a brilliant and complex story full of characters with rough edges, sometimes fitting together, and sometimes not. It’s the kind of book that stuck with me long after putting it down, and one I suspect will continue to linger for quite some time.

KingfisherClub

As for books actually published in 2014, I recently discussed a few of them over at Weird Fiction Review. I won’t repeat myself here too much. I’ll just say I adored the relationship between the sisters in Genevieve Valentine’s The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, which is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses set in the era of prohibition.  Jo in particular is a character to fall in love with, as the sister tasked with holding everyone together. She is just as fierce and heartbreaking as you’d expect given her circumstances.

I’ll also say get your hands on copies of Kaleidoscope edited by Julia Rios and Alisa Krasnostein and Long Hidden edited by Rose Fox and Daniel Jose Older because the stories in both anthologies are consistently strong and they are all well-worth your award consideration.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison was a surprise favorite for me. I never thought I’d find a novel about the intricacies of court manners and personal politics so intriguing, but the rich world made up of tiny details in this novel ended up being enthralling. There’s a mystery surrounding an assassination, but it’s entirely background to the story of Maia, the titular Goblin Emperor, struggling to fit in to his new role as ruler after a lifetime of living in exile as a bastard son, and having no exposure to high society at all, let alone experience being the center of the highest society of all.

RingsofAnubis

I knew I would love Rings of Anubis: A Folley and Mallory Adventure by E. Catherine Tobler based on the author’s short fiction, and this novel did not disappoint. Aside from being good fun, full of adventure and airships, danger and daring, gods and gadgets, Tobler creates a world so rich and sensual you feel like you’re walking around touching, tasting, and smelling everything as you read. At the same time, it’s a highly visual book, one that’s just begging to be made into a movie. (Could someone get on that, please?) I cannot wait for more adventures from Folley & Mallory.

The Poor Boy’s Game by Dennis Tafoya isn’t remotely speculative fiction. It’s a crime/thriller, but it deserves mention here for its often lovely and poetic writing, which stands out in a genre known for generally being terse and stripped-down. It also does something that is disappointingly rare – it features a female main character who is allowed to be a human being. Frannie Mullen is flawed and angry and broken and distant and determined and strong and capable of being hurt physically and emotionally all at once, and these things aren’t seen as contradictions. Whether or not you think you like the crime/thriller genre, I suggest giving this one a read.

Fearful Symmetries edited by Ellen Datlow is another one I was bound to enjoy. I’m a sucker for horror, and a sucker for short fiction, and Datlow is the master of curating both. Like Kaleidoscope and Long Hidden, Fearful Symmetries is packed with strong stories, all of which are well-worth your time and consideration.

ETA: Steve Berman points out that his anthology, Handsome Devil, was indeed published this year, so I will add to the list… Handsome Devil edited by Steve Berman. Who doesn’t love a good seduction story? The ones in this anthology avoid falling back on tired cliches and tropes, offering surprisingly bittersweet ghosts stories, tales of first loves, tales of magnetic animal attraction, and men and women who enter into relationships with the supernatural with their eyes wide open, armed with enough wisdom to know what they’re getting into and plunging over the edge anyway. Not that one should judge a book by its cover, but it doesn’t hurt that a handsome man with horns happens to grace this one either.

Honorable Mentions (aka books I loved this year which were not published in 2014)

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Glitter and Mayhem edited by John Klima, Lynne Thomas, and Michael Damian Thomas
At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson
Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh

Lest the stories get lost in the shuffle, I’ll do a separate post focusing on short fiction soon. Stay tuned!

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Coming Attractions

I’m still not quite ready to post my favorite reads of 2014. The year isn’t over, and there’s so much reading to catch up on. If you could all please slow down with your awesome novels and short fiction, it’d really help me out a lot. Thanks. Anyway, while I’m scrambling to not be woefully behind on things that came out this year, I figured I’d take a few moments to talk about what I’m looking forward to next year.

Fran Wilde’s debut novel, Updraft. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this thing. A city of bone, a girl with wings, and monsters in the clouds. Having gotten a sneak preview, I can tell you this book is amazing, and I want everyone else to know how amazing it is so we can all squee about it together. Speaking of Ms. Wilde, I’m also very much looking forward to her story How to Walk Through Historic Graveyards in the Digital Age, which will be in the April/May 2015 Asimov’s, and The Ghost Tide Chanty, which will be up at Tor.com sometime during the year as well.

SignaltoNoise

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel, Signal to Noise will be out in February 2015. It’s all about music and magic cast using vinyl records. What more do you need to know? Ever since Silvia started teasing details about this, and her second novel about vampires in Mexico City, I have been making grabby hands in their general direction. Books now, please.

Jaime Lee Moyer’s Against a Brightening Sky. This is the third book in her Delia series, which started with Delia’s Shadow in 2013, followed by A Barricade in Hell this year. Delia, Gabe, Sadie, Dora (oh, Dora!), and even Delia’s kitten – it is impossible not to fall in love with these characters. It’s all set against the rich and beautiful backdrop of San Francisco in the early 1900s. I’ve been making serious grabby hands toward this one too.

Queers Destroy Science Fiction! In 2014, women destroyed all the genres, and because they did it so well, there will be a follow-up issue/anthology of Lightspeed Magazine, which already does wonderful things. I am very much looking forward to the next iteration of destruction. If you happen to be a queer author, please consider the guidelines for this issue, which can be found here.

Speaking of anthologies, I’m pretty much looking forward to every anthology Paula Guran publishes in 2015. It just so happens she has a lot of them lined up. You can find a list of her forthcoming projects here. Yes, some do spill into 2016, but that’s all the more reason to be excited. Paula Guran consistently puts together fantastic collections, and I look forward to reading everything she publishes.

Radiance

Catherynne M. Valente has two novels coming out next year, and I’m thrilled about both of them. The Boy Who Lost Fairyland is the fourth book in a series that grew out of a throw-away reference in another novel she wrote. That’s not to say that this is in any way a throw-away series of course (in case there is anyone left who may be concerned). It is beautiful and adult and family-friendly all at once. The language is rich and deep and the books are well worth reading no matter what your age. The other Valente book I’m looking forward to is Radiance, which will be out in August 2015. Decopunk space opera set in an alternate Hollywood? Yes, please! And the cover is just gorgeous. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

Another novel that looks to combine all the wondrous things one could want to combine in a novel is Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear, due out in February 2015. I’ve pretty much loved everything else Bear has written, and this one involves bordellos, steampunk, tentacles, and many other things of which I am a fan. Much excitement!

In a more non-specific form of anticipation, I’m looking forward to new issues of all my favorite online fiction magazines, including but not limited to the ones outlined in my round of up year end posts. I’m also looking forward to new short fiction by many of my favorite authors, who would be too numerous to list here, as well as discovering new-to-me authors who will become my favorites.

Finally, bias aside, I’m looking forward to the stories we’ll publish in Unlikely Story next year. First up will be the Journal of Unlikely Cryptography in February. (We recently posted the ToC.) In 2015, we’ll also publish The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia (ToC pending) and The Journal of Unlikely Academia, which will open to submissions on January 1, 2015. I promise you, these issues will be full of fantastic stories, and I can’t wait to share them!

Having written this post, I now feel like I’m already behind on my reading for 2015, and the year hasn’t even started yet. However, an abundance of wonderful books is not a bad problem to have. Now that I’ve shared a few of my eagerly anticipated reads, what are you looking forward to next year?

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Award Eligible Fiction 2014

I’ve been rounding up awards-eligibility posts and recommended reading lists from others, and now I’m finally getting around to putting together a post of my own. This was a year of reprints for me, but I did manage to sneak in a few originals. I even have stories eligible in the novelette category! If you’re reading for awards, and you’d like copies of any of the stories that aren’t freely available online for consideration, drop me a note.

Short Stories

Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife – Shimmer #21
Taking the Ghost – Upgraded (Wyrm Publishing)
Matthew, Waiting – Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse (Exile)
And the Carnival Leaves Town – Nightmare Carnival (Dark Horse)

Novelettes

A Game of Cards – Streets of Shadows (Alliteration)
From Stone and Bone, From Earth and Sky – GigaNotoSaurus

There’s a post over at Unlikely Story covering the editorial side of what I did in 2014. Obviously I’m biased, but I think everything published at Unlikely Story in 2014 is well-worth your awards consideration.

In addition to all the usual awards – Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, etc. – I’m eligible for Canadian Awards like the Prix Aurora.

So there you have it. I’ll be putting together a separate post with my favorite reads of 2014 at some point as well.

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New Bugs, Hot Off the Press!

Unlikely Story #10: The Journal of Unlikely Entomology is finally here! We’ve got brand new fiction by Will Kaufman, Polenth Blake, Naim Kabir, Luna Lindsey, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Victorya Chase, and Michael Wehunt. I may be slightly biased, but in my opinion, they’re all fabulous stories. Starting next week, we’ll be posting our Unlikely author interviews with the contributors, so keep an eye on our blog.

On a more general note, we’re still closed to submissions, but we’ll be reopening on January 1, 2015 for our Unlikely Academia issue. Guidelines are available here.

We’re still working through the stories we’re holding for a second look for the Unlikely Cryptography issue, but we hope to make our final decisions and announce the ToC soon.

We’ve responded to all Coulrophobia submissions with a pass or a hold, and once we’ve finalized the ToC for the Cryptography issue, we’ll be working through those and making our choices. (It won’t be easy.)

And that’s all the Unlikely news that’s fit to print. Now go peruse Unlikely Story #10: The Journal of Unlikely Entomology and let us know what you think!

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What Have You Done This Year?

The year is almost over, and while I’m not quite ready to write my own year-end wrap-up post yet, several other intrepid people have started to do so. In the interest of signal boosting, and providing a handy reference for myself and others as the award season progresses, here are a few eligibility and recommendation posts I’ve come across thus far. I’ll do my best to keep updating, so if you have posts (your own or others) you’d like me to link, please share them in the comments or drop me an email.

Mike Allen: The Quiltmaker + 2014 Eligibility Post

Charlie Jane Anders (i09): The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2014

Charlotte Ashley/Clavis Aurea: Best Short Fiction o f 2014

Richard Auffrey: My Favorite Fiction of 2014

Prix Aurora Awards: Eligibility Lists (These are constantly being updated, and authors can submit their own eligible work for inclusion if it isn’t already listed.)

Laird Barron: State of My State 2014

OJ Cade: 2014 in Review

John Chu: 2014

Aliette de Bodard: Awards Consideration Post

Diabolical Plots: Award Eligibility Post 2014

Seth Dickinson: What Seth Wrote in 2014

Shaun Duke: Award Recommendations

Fantastic Stories of the Imagination: Award Eligibility

Fabio Fernandes: My Award Eligibility Post (And Why I’m Posting It)

Rose Fox: A Break Down of Long Hidden’s Eligibility

Kate Heartfield: Stories, 2014 and Some Recommended Reads from 2014

Kat Howard: Things I Published in 2014

Rachael K. Jones: Awards Eligible Stories for 2014

Kaleidotrope: 2014 in Review

Cecily Kane: Provision Short Fiction Round-Up

Lackington’s Magazine: Our Nominations, 2014

Lady Business: The Hugo Awards 2015: A Collection of Nominations

Largehearted Boy: Compilation Post of Best of 2014 Book Lists

Jenn Lawrence/Jenn’s Bookshelves: Horror/Thriller Favorites of 2014 and A Year in Review: Series Favorites of 2014 (Other genres coming; keep checking back!)

Rose Lemberg: Award Eligibility, “Stalemate” Reviews, Rhysling

Ken Liu: Nominating Stories for Awards

Luna Lindsey: 2014 Awards Eligible Post

Natalie Luhrs: 2014 in Review

Carmen Maria Machado: My Nebula Eligible Stories

Sunny Moraine: Here Be My 2014 Awards Post, Yarr

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: December

Mythic Delirium Stories: Awards Eligibility Post

Linda Nagata: Award Eligible Work – 2014

Nerds of a Feather: Draft Hugo Ballot 2014

Mari Ness: Publication Round-up, 2014

Novelociraptor: Our Favorite Short Fiction of 2014

NPR: Our Guide to 2014′s Great Reads

Daniel Jose Older: Award Eligibility Page 2014

Over the Effing Rainbow: A Year of Awesomeness – Looking Back on 2014

Sarah Pinsker: My Award Eligible Stories for 2014

Cat Rambo: The Inevitable Awards Post, Best of 2014 Version

Merc Rustad: Award Eligibility 2014 Edition

Sofia Samatar: What I Wrote & How I’ll Vote

Erica L. Satfika: 2014 Year in Review

SF Signal: Hugo Awards Eligibility for SF Signal and Its Contributors

The Book Smugglers: Smugglivius 2014 (This is a multi-part series, so keep checking back!)

Carlie St. George: 2014 My Favorite Short Stories
and The 2014 Vote for Me, Vote for Me Post
Bogi Takacs: 2014 Award Eligibility
and a bonus Roundup of 2014 Stories with Non-Binary Characters

Lynne M. Thomas: 2014 in Review and Awards Eligibility

Lavie Tidhar: 2014 in Review

E. Catherine Tobler: 2014 in Review

Joseph Tomaras: 2014: Results and Prospects

Tor: A Crowd-Sourced List of Favorite Books of 2014 and Tor.com Reviewer’s Choice 2014 and 2014 Fiction Wrap-up from Tor.com and Hugo and Nebula-Eligible Fiction from 2014

Unlikely Story: Award Eligible Fiction 2014

Sabrina Vourvoulias: Looking for the Best Speculative Fiction of 2014 in Expected and Unexpected Places

Wendy N. Wagner: 2014: My Work in Glossy Review

Damien Angelica Walters: 2014 in Review

LaShawn M. Wanak: 21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One) Eligible for 2014 Awards

Martha Wells: Award Eligible Work This Year

Paul Weimer: The 2015 Awards Consideration Post

Weird Fiction Review: End of the Year Booklist (2014 Edition)

Fran Wilde: 2014 Favorite Reads

Bryan Thao Worra: 2014 Year in Review

Isabel Yap: 2014 Year in Review

Caroline M. Yoachim: Stories in 2014

On a related note, as you’re thinking about awards, here’s a list of online publications that consistently publish impressive and lovely fiction (and in some cases poetry and non-fiction as well). While you’re catching up on what the authors above have published this year, and thinking about award nominations, these online magazines are ones I consider well-worth checking out. The list is by no means exhaustive, and only covers online magazines (though a few produce associated print anthologies and collections).

Abyss & Apex
AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review
Apex Magazine
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Betwixt
Book Smugglers
Bourbon Penn
Clarkesworld
Crossed Genres (also check out their anthologies, which include the above-mentioned Long Hidden)
Daily Science Fiction
Granta
GigaNotoSauraus
Ideomancer
Innsmouth Free Press (alas, the magazine ended its run this year, but they are still publishing incredibly anthologies and other wonderful fiction in print form)
Interfictions
Lackington’s Magazine
Lakeside Circus
Lightspeed
Nightmare
Shimmer
Strange Horizons
The Dark
Three-Lobed Burning Eye
Tor.com
Uncanny Magazine
Unlikely Story

ETA on 11/30/2014: It just occurred to me that it would be smart to include some links to the folks who regularly review short fiction, especially since several new review columns have popped up recently. One of the best ways to find out what’s out there, what you might have missed, and what you might want to read and recommend come award time is word of mouth. So…

Niall Alexander and Brit Mandelo’s Short Fiction Spotlight at Tor

Charlotte Ashley’s Clavis Aurea at Apex

K. Tempest Bradford’s Newsstand at i09

Fantastic Stories of the Imagination: New & Noteworthy Short Fiction

Haralambi Markov’s Short Fiction You Need to Read

Amal El-Mohtar’s Rich and Strange at Tor

Nerds of a Feather’s Monthly Taster’s Guide to Speculative Short Fiction

Derek Newman-Stille’s Reviews at Speculating Canada (mix of short fiction and long fiction by Canadians)

Lois Tilton’s Short Fiction Reviews at Locus Online

Sam Tomaino’s Short Fiction Reviews at SFRevu

Various Reviews at Strange Horizons (mix of long and short works)

J.Y. Yang: Fiction Nuggets

Eventually I’ll be posting my own eligible work and my favorite reads of 2014. In the meantime, feel free to send me round-up post links, review site links, or recommend online magazines people should be reading.

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All That Glitters is Fabulous

LipsThis is a scary post to write. Because it’s about something amazing and terrifying that doesn’ta feel quite real yet. Part of me is afraid that saying it aloud will make it vanish – like the opposite of Beetle Juice or Bloody Mary. Talk about it too much and it will just go away.

… But, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Collection is going to be a real thing. A. Real. Thing!

The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron started with a short story in Ideomancer: Operation Annihilate Mars! Or, Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron. It was so much fun to write, but I thought that was the end of it. Then Bunny had different ideas. She stepped up and insisted her story be told. And so, there was How Bunny Came to Be, which appeared in Shimmer #17.

And after that, I fell in love. These incredible, fierce, amazing characters kept stepping up and insisting their stories be told. Their armor is glitter and sparkles and they are all the things that so many narratives tell us is the opposite of what ‘strong’ is supposed to be. They wear dresses and nail polish and high heels, and they fight and save the world over and over again. They think gender check boxes are stupid.  And they kick ass harder than you’ve ever seen ass kicked before. Did I mention I love them? I may be biased.

I was afraid no one would ever care except for me. But other people did, and as it turns out, Steve Berman of Lethe Press happened to be one of them, and is willing to take a chance on my gorgeous, glittering girls. I will be forever grateful. (Lethe Press is wonderful, by the way, and you should run out and buy books from them.)

If all goes according to plan, you’ll be able to read all about The Glitter Squadron in Summer 2015. I’ll post more details as they’re available. But for now, I wish glitter to you all.

 

Image from flickr user Snowkei, cropped and used under Creative Commons License.

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