Watermark Sneak Preview

WatermarkE. Catherine Tobler’s new novel, Watermark, was officially released today. It’s a faerie story, the best kind, the dark kind, about goblins and kelpies and the unseelie court. To help celebrate her book-birthday, the author has kindly shared a sneak preview, and she’s even giving away a copy. Enjoy this exclusive sneak preview…

I joined Finn in the circle as he tore off small chunks of bread. He set one piece atop a mushroom and the cap turned itself inside out as the mushroom consumed the bread. A small sigh echoed through the chamber, even above the roar of the water. The other mushrooms leaned in, closer to Finn, the bread, and me.

I tore off a bite of bread and followed Finn’s actions, but was too slow. The mushroom sucked the bread down, but also caught the tips of my fingers. It suckled briefly then pulled away with another satisfied smack.

“They won’t hurt you,” Finn said. “They know you. You’re kin.”

I didn’t fear them, not even when I realized the mushrooms were growing to enclose us in a living, hungry cage. I fed those mouths more bread and stared as the mushrooms stretched over Finn’s back, caps and stems slithering across his shoulders. At the cold caress of rippling gills against my cheek, I reached for Finn. There was fear then.

“Breathe,” he said, and the world winked out.

My slick fingers slid against Finn’s arm and there came an answering squeeze from him. But his hand was not his hand at all, for his fingers were being swallowed by… Coffee? Ink? Oil? The fingers gleamed for a moment, then pressed firm into the hollow of my elbow. He held tight to me, even if I didn’t understand what I could both see and not see in the same instant.

When the world resolved itself, we were somewhere else. I could hear the pounding waterfalls, but that cavern was far distant. A quiet wood spread around us, grass rising in aquamarine spikes. I knew grass was not that color and as I watched, the color bled out of it until the grass hummed with a green color that remained unearthly.

But this wasn’t Earth.

And Finn wasn’t Finn.

Now that you’ve had a taste of the deliciousness in store, head over to the author’s webpage for a chance to win a copy. Or go straight to the source and pick up your very own copy at Masque Books!

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An Interview with Frances Grote

Frances Grote’s first short story collection, Death, Madness and a Mess of Dogs, was released today. She was kind enough to drop by today to talk about her debut collection and her work in general. Allow me to start by introducing her…

Frances is a psychologist with an MBA, a mother of four, and an award-winning author of memoir and short fiction. She supports her writing habit with a day job in the biotech industry, where she is a leading authority on the creation of supplier partnerships. When she finally figured out she was never going to achieve her goal of having an organized house – or, for that matter, an organized life — she traded in housework for writing some of those stories she was always talking about. Publishers Weekly called her first book, Fire In The Henhouse, “a novel brewing with tension, lightened by warm humor.” Her new short story collection expands on some of those same themes.

Thank you for being here today. You just published your first short story collection. Could you tell us a bit about Death, Madness and a Mess of Dogs?

I suspect many writers have an experience similar to mine, where they start out thinking they’re writing about a particular subject or character or topic, only to find that their work ends up somewhere very different than what they were expecting. This is certainly true of the stories in this collection. Some of them are humorous, some fall into the category often labeled “contemporary fiction”, some are genre, and a few simply defy categorization. As I was working on them I didn’t have a specific unifying theme in mind. But once the collection was done it became clear to me they’re all about variations on love and how the realities (or in some cases fantasies) of experience skew love without changing its fundamental nature.

DeathMadnessMessofDogs

Family seems to be a common theme across your stories – the relationship between husbands and wives, mothers and children, brothers and sisters. Did you consciously set out to explore family relationships through the lens of various genres, or was it a happy accident as you played with the tropes of SF, historical fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and contemporary fiction (to name a few)?

Though I didn’t intentionally focus on family as a theme, I am intensely fascinated by human beings and the inevitable wackiness of our behavior. I observe other people as they go about their everyday lives with the same kind of gawking, magnetized curiosity that other people experience at the scene of an accident. I became a psychologist because, when I was young and naïve enough to believe such things were possible, I was convinced I would be able to someday figure out “Why” – what makes us act and react the way we do? And then one day, I did, at least to my own satisfaction. And the answer is, we do what we do because that’s the way human beings are. We can learn, we can change, but at the end of the day our best intentions evaporate when we bounce into or off of the unexpected. Portraying the variations on that theme is what enchants me about writing and family is one of the most rich, treacherous environments for getting bounced around, a natural place to set some characters up and see what happens.

You’ve also published a novel, Fire in the Henhouse. Could you talk about that a bit? It’s set in the fictional town of Dooleysburg, PA, but loosely based on Doylestown, PA. If you don’t mind saying, how much truth is mixed in with your fiction? Are there real people who inspired the characters in your book?

No question that the charming quirkiness of Doylestown inspired me to finally get off my duff and start writing fiction. There are all kinds of things about the town, where I’m lucky enough to be based part of the time, that inspire flights of fancy. I did a signing at a book club an hour or so west of there, and the members had rented a van and taken a field trip to Doylestown to see how many of the settings in the book they could find. And there were certain events, some of them very disturbing, inspired by tragic events that were narrowly averted while I was writing the book. But when it comes to creating characters, I’m not so much inspired by real people as I am by isolated observations – the way a couple sits in a tavern, physically at the same table but mentally in different universes; the unabashed pride of someone nearly too old to walk parading down Main Street on Memorial Day in a uniform that clearly lives in the attic the rest of the year – my imagination grabs those details and just takes off with them.

In 2010, you and your husband launched Rule Bender Press. Could you talk a bit about your experience running a micropress? What are some of the challenges? The rewards? Did anything surprise you about the publishing business? Do you have any advice for those thinking of getting into the publishing business?

The biggest piece of advice I have for anyone considering getting into the publishing business is don’t do it unless you feel passionate about it. Well, maybe I shouldn’t be so dogmatic – I do believe not only that everyone has a story (at least one) to tell, but that we have no business judging each other’s stories. Every living person is entitled to her or his voice, and if letting everyone have access to the means to publish their own stories is a mechanism for ensuring we can all get heard, I am enthusiastically in favor of that.

But my husband and I see our micropress as a serious business endeavor. And for anyone who wants to treat publishing that way, be prepared to invest the time and money needed to get it right. There were two things that surprised me quite a bit when we decided to get serious about publishing. The first was that while it’s difficult to break into the infrastructure, there are lots of generous people out there who willingly share expertise, tips, and advice, and much of what the “big guys” know can be scaled down to be very useful for small start-up presses. The second thing, which was kind of disappointing, is that there’s an assumption that publishing “outsiders” deliver substandard quality. Because Rule Bender Press is small, we outsource many of the services larger houses might have on staff. But we only work with established professionals. From my perspective, “small” is often an enabler of quality, not its opponent.

Anyone thinking about starting a publishing business – as opposed to self-publishing, which really does have a different focus and different requirements – should be prepared to invest time, brainpower and money. You can self-publish pretty successfully using many of the free or low-cost tools that are available now, but if your publishing endeavor is going to be a real business you’ll need to treat it like one. That doesn’t mean you’ll need to spend a fortune, but if you’re going to be successfully representing the work you produce, you’ll need to “buy a ticket onto the industry bus”. This means having a budget for professional editors, designers and promotion; attending industry conferences, and putting time into networking. (Not social networking, which has gotten so competitive in terms of grabbing people’s attention, but real networking, where you walk around and shake people’s hands and pretend you’re always that charming.)

And the rewards? I can honestly say that nothing I’ve done professionally has come close to the satisfaction I feel when somebody reaches out to me because they want to tell me what they felt about something Rule Bender Press published. It still feels like a gut punch every time somebody posts a negative comment, and I suppose it always will, but that is nothing compared to the sheer pleasure when a reader talks to me about something we produced as if the characters are someone they know, or tells me something wonderful the book made them feel. I have so many favorite stories readers have shared with me — one told me when she finished Fire In The Henhouse, she went to sleep hugging the book, and another told me he almost got in trouble with his wife until he showed her his dog-eared copy because she didn’t believe him when he said he was in his office reading – it turns out he’d never finished an entire book before. You can’t beat stories like that for giving you a reason to keep going.

What other projects do you have coming up that you want people to know about?

Thanks for asking! I’m currently working on a novel that’s the most challenging thing I’ve written yet because the story itself is so emotionally difficult for me – it’s about a woman who has to find her voice and stand up a controlling, manipulative husband in order to, essentially, stay alive. Like many writers, I begin to live my characters’ lives internally, and I have to find ways to keep my mental distance enough to be fair to all the parties in this story. To me, there’s no point in writing a character, any character, if s/he isn’t sympathetic to some degree. I have to love my villains as well as my heroines. But of course, if you’ve read Death, Madness and a Mess of Dogs, you already know that.

Thank you for stopping by!

Thank you for inviting me!

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Giveaway: Upgraded

upgradedCyborgs are awesome. We all know it. So why wouldn’t you want to read about them? Don’t answer that, it’s a trick question. Because I’m a nice person, I want to enable your desire to read about cyborgs. To that end, I’m giving away a copy of Upgraded, an anthology filled with stories by the likes of Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Ken Liu, Rachel Swirsky, and Benjanun Sriduangkaew, among others. It’s about cyborgs and it’s edited by a cyborg, namely Neil Clarke, of Clarkesworld fame. Should you need more convincing, the entire ToC is available here.

I had hoped to come up with some sort of super-clever and thematically relevant contest, but as it turns out, I’m not a clever person. So… If you want to win a copy of Upgraded, comment on this post and tell me why you think cyborgs are awesome. Or, if you’re anti-cyborg, tell me why they’re not awesome. Or, if you’re not into explaining yourself and think I should mind my own damned business, leave a cyborg-neutral comment. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator, or maybe my corgi, so your pro, anti, or indifferent cyborg stance will not impact your chance of winning.

The contest will be open until September 30, 2014, why not.

ETA: The random number generator has decreed musingaloud, who commented over on LJ, to be the winner. Thank you everyone for your fabulous comments, and congratulations, Pam!

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(Finally) Announcing…New Bugs!

We had a lot of fabulous submissions, and a lot of very tough choices to make, but I’m pleased to say we’ve made our final selections for Unlikely Story #10: The Journal of Unlikely Entomology. In no particular order, the issue will feature:

Miranda’s Wings by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
Bookends by Michael Wehunt
Prism City Blues by Naim Kabir
Gemma Bugs Out by Victorya Chase
On Shine Wings by Polenth Blake
Coping With Common Garden Pests by Will Kaufman
Meltdown in Freezer Three by Luna Lindsey

I know I say this a lot, and I mean it every time, but this is an incredibly strong issue, and I can’t wait to share these stories with you. Unlikely Story #10 will be available sometime in November. In the meantime, we continue to read subs for Unlikely Story #11: The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography. If you’re interested, you can find the guidelines here. Come October 1, we’ll be reading stories for our next mini issue, The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia. So if you like clowns, or computers, we’re everywhere you want to be.

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Apocalypse, Canadian Style

The moment Silvia Moreno-Garcia announced her anthology, Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post Apocalypse, I knew I wanted to write something for it. I like Silvia’s work. I like the anthologies being published by Exile Editions. I like post-apocalyptic stories. And I’m Canadian. It seemed like a natural fit.

Fractured

However, I have this little problem when I try to write stories specifically set in Canada – I trip myself up by making it too personal. Instead of authentically Canadian details woven smoothly into a story, I end up with rambling tangents that go nowhere, people and places and things all knotted up in a way that would only be interesting to me. I get a lot of half-finished tapestries that way.

True to pattern, the story I excitedly started for this anthology got stuck. I let it languish. But lo and behold, months later, when I’d all but given up inspiration struck. Driving back from a trip to the Southern U.S., a climate decidedly the opposite of Canada’s, I started thinking about Canadian mythology, and things that were quintessentially Canadian. I tried to find the Canadian equivalent of the Matter of Britain (Arthurian Legend) or the Matter of France (Charlemagne). I came up with Anne of Green Gables. I mean, what could be more Canadian?

Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse is now available. I hope you enjoy my odd little contribution. And if not, don’t fear. As you can see from the ToC below, I’m surrounded by an awesome amount of talent, so you’re sure to find something you love.

No Man is a Promontory, Hilary Janzen
Persistence of Vision, Orrin Grey
The Dome of St. Macaire, Jean-Louis Trudel
Kalopsia, E. Catherine Tobler
White Noise, Geoff Gander
Edited Hansard 116, Miriam Oudin
The Body Politic, John Jantunen
D-Day, T. S. Bazelli
Matthew, Waiting, A.C. Wise
Jenny of the Long Gauge, Michael Matheson
Snow Angel, A. M. Dellamonica
Keeper of the Oasis, Steve Stanton
Manitou-wapow, GMB Chomichuk
Saying Goodbye, Michael Pack
Of the Dying Light, Arun Jiwa
@shalestate, David Huebert
City Noise, Morgan M. Page
Brown Wave, Christine Ottoni
Ruptures, Jamie Mason
River Road, Amanda M. Taylor
Last Man Standing, Frank Westcott
Dog for Dinner, dvsduncan
Maxim Fujiyama and Other Persons, Claude Lalumière

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An Interview with Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas

Lynne and Michael Thomas likely need no introduction, but on the off chance you’ve been living in a cave, on Mars, with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears, allow me to introduce them by shamelessly cribbing from their bios.

Lynne M. Thomas is the former Editor-in-Chief of Apex Magazine (2011-2013). She co-edited the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords, as well as Whedonistas and Chicks Dig Comics. She moderates the Hugo Award-winning SF Squeecast, a monthly SF/F podcast, and contributes to the Verity! Podcast. In her day job, she is the Curator of Rare and Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University, where she is responsible for the papers of over 60 SF/F authors. You can learn more about her shenanigans at lynnemthomas.com

Along with being a two-time Hugo Award nominee as the former Managing Editor of Apex Magazine (2012-2013) Michael Damian Thomas co-edited the Hugo-nominated Queers Dig Time Lords (Mad Norwegian Press, 2013) with Sigrid Ellis and Glitter & Mayhem (Apex Publications, 2013) with John Klima and Lynne M. Thomas. He also has worked as an Associate Editor on numerous books at Mad Norwegian Press, including the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea, 2010) and Hugo Award-nominated Chicks Dig Comics (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Sigrid Ellis, 2012). You can find out more at michaeldamianthomas.com.

As if their credits weren’t impressive enough, Lynne and Michael are in the process of launching a new online magazine, Uncanny, which they are running a Kickstarter campaign for right now.

Welcome, Lynne and Michael! Care to tell us a bit about your hopes for Uncanny? What is your vision for the magazine?

Thank you! It’s lovely to be here!

We want to create a magazine that is all about content – fiction, poetry, and nonfiction — that makes you feel. The best SF/F stays with you because of how it evokes strong emotions, through voice, elegant prose, and characterization. That’s what we’re seeking.

On a related note, you’re both obviously veterans of the genre publishing industry. What niche do you see Uncanny filling that isn’t currently being filled?

We think there’s always more room for distinctive voices from around the globe within the genre. We also hope to be a home for emotional, strongly written, experimental stories and provocative nonfiction that is relevant to our community.

You have an impressive line-up of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry authors slated for year one of Uncanny, along with several amazing cover artists. What drew you to their work? What makes their work ‘uncanny’ and/or how to you define ‘the uncanny’ in terms of your vision for this magazine?

See above! We think each of these creators epitomize what we value most in writing and art. They all have strong, distinctive prose and poetic voices. We define “uncanny” as that surprising feeling that you’ve been here before, but never quite like this. We took a lot of inspiration from Ann VanderMeer’s Weird Tales run. We want Uncanny to feel as though it has existed since the pulp era, but has evolved into modern SF/F.

I have to ask about the space unicorn logo, designed by Katy Shuttleworth. Why a space unicorn? What about a space unicorn captures the spirit of Uncanny? Do you secretly have a name for the space unicorn, outside of the Kickstarter reward level to name said unicorn? (You don’t have to tell me the name, just blink once for yes, two for no.)

*blinks twice* We were discussing with Katy what we wanted for a logo, and Michael jokingly suggested a space unicorn, and my reaction was “wait a second, that’s AWESOME. Do it for real!” We didn’t come up with anything more awesome than space unicorns in the interim, so there you are. The beauty of it is, the space unicorn does exactly what we’re hoping for Uncanny. It recognizes and honors what has been great in SF/F, and moves it forward into the modern age.

The Kickstarter campaign for Uncanny is off to a roaring start. What made you decide to go the Kickstarter route? What are your plans for funding the magazine going forward?

We have been completely, wonderfully flabbergasted at the roaring start for the Kickstarter. Since we had success funding Glitter & Mayhem last year via Kickstarter, it seemed natural to try again when we decided to jump start a magazine. It’s a great place to go with ideas and find a community who wants to make your awesome idea a reality. Going forward, our plan is to make and keep Uncanny sustainable over a hopefully short time, through growing our subscriber base, advertising and sponsorships, and other things we haven’t thought of yet. The beauty of the Kickstarter method is that it will cover the expensive start up infrastructure of the first year; our expenses drop significantly for year two.

On a broader note, what is your favorite thing about editing in general?

Our favorite thing is finding and sharing works that make our hearts skip a beat, especially when they are by new writers. There is nothing more fun than being someone’s first professional sale, and watching their careers grow.

Is there anything else you’re working on you’d like to mention?

We’re still working on the SF Squeecast and Verity!, so we should stay out of trouble for a while. There are always future ideas, of course, but right now, we are completely focused on getting Uncanny off the ground in the next few months.

Thank you for joining me here today. I look forward to everything Uncanny has to offer!

Thanks for having us!

Keep an eye out for awesome new rewards to be added to the Uncanny Magazine Kickstarter today!

ETA: The new Kickstarter rewards are here and they are awesome.

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There and Back Again: Readercon 2014

Fair warning, a lot of this post will be me squeeing about things you can’t read yet, but which you will be able to some day, and on that day you will want to squee about them, too.

Getting to Readercon was an epic adventure in its own right. Perhaps there weren’t dragons to slay, or mines to traverse, but there was a heck of a lot of traffic. At every single turn. What should have been a six and a half(ish) hour drive became a ten hour drive. Luckily I had stalwart companions - A.T. Greenblatt and Shveta Thakrar – and together, we prevailed.

Readercon has firmly established itself as my favorite con in the three years I’ve been attending, and this year was no exception. I attended more readings than panels this time around, and each was incredibly enjoyable.

The first of my highlights was listening to Shira Lipkin read her swamp witch story. It doesn’t have a home yet, but I have no doubt it will find one in a flash. Another highlight was listening to Maria Davhana Headley read her supernatural Bonnie and Clyde Story. It’s also homeless at the moment, as I understand it, but it won’t stay that way long. Other highlights included the Fearful Symmetries group reading, the Latin@ Writers group reading, The Booty Don’t Lie: A Cheeky Discussion of Butts in Literature panel, (so many puns! so much twerking!), and The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours performance. There were other wonderful things throughout the weekend of course, but those were few that stood out.

Outside of official programming, Readercon is always a fantastic opportunity to see people I only get to see once or twice a year, and to meet new people. So much of the con is hanging out in hallways, the dealers’ room, and elsewhere, just chatting. The one downside to this is there are so many wonderful people, I feel like I never get enough time to talk to any one person.

This year, I once again participated in programming, both official and unofficial. The Circlet Press group reading went over well, and the Unlikely Cartography panel was surprisingly well attended for being lateish on Sunday afternoon. The panelists were brilliant, talking about unlikely maps and imaginary geography. Thank you again to everyone who attended! On the unofficial side, I recorded a podcast for Circlet Press, and sneakily tacked a reading on to the end of a real and proper reading by Danielle Friedman. Despite having a hard act to follow, I read Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron, because it’s short and because glitter is never the wrong answer.

Can I gush again about something you can’t read yet? I’m going to anyway. Danielle read from her novel in progress, and I love it. I’ve heard two excerpts so far, and I can’t wait for it to be a real physical thing I can hold in my hands, because it is fabulous.

The drive home was much less obnoxious than the drive there. I was once again privileged to get a preview of an awesome story you can’t read yet, but which you will be able to read very soon. Shveta read her story, “Krishna Blue” from the upcoming anthology, Kaleidoscope, due out in just a few weeks. The story is beautiful and brilliant, and you should all run out and buy the anthology as soon as you can. I’ve been lucky enough to hear an except of another story, by E.C. Meyers, which will be appearing in the anthology as well, and based on these two stories, I can promise you this anthology will kick ass.

So that’s it. Readercon was fantastic as usual, and I’m already looking forward to next year. In the meantime, I’ll be off to Capclave in October and World Fantasy in November. Hopefully with less traffic to fight along the way.

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Cryptography and Clowns and Academics, Oh My!

The Unlikely Story submission guidelines have been updated. What’s changed? We’re now paying $0.06/word in keeping with the SFWA’s new rules for pro markets. We’re also no longer accepting unsolicited reprints, though we will continue to consider them until the end of our current Unlikely Entomology reading period, which closes on 8/1/14. We’ve also announced our next two reading periods, and our next three unlikely themes.

The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography will accept submissions from 8/1 to 10/1. For this issue we’re looking for stories about coding, cracking, hacking, and things with a vaguely cyberpunkish feel. To get an idea of the kind of things we’re looking for, peruse the digital pages of our first Unlikely Cryptography issue.

The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia is our next April Fool’s Day mini-issue, and we’ll be accepting submissions from 10/1 to 11/1. Why clowns? Because we’re horribly masochistic human beings and clowns are terrifying. See? We’re also looking for stories of jesters and fools, and they don’t need to be terrifying, but they do need to be 1038 words or under.

While we haven’t determined the exact reading period yet, The Journal of Unlikely Academia will be next. We’ll be looking for stories about unlikely fields of study, fictional academic papers, stories about schools, students, teachers, and teaching. Why limit ourselves to one specialized field when we can look at learning itself?

In the meantime, our current issue, The Journal of Unlikely Cartography, has been getting some nice reviews. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I encourage you to check it out! Don’t forget, you can also subscribe and receive the PDF version, including author interviews and occasional bonus content. Just send an email to unlikelystory (at) kappamaki.com and we’ll sign you up. Happy reading!

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To Readercon I Go!

In just over a week, I will once again be headed to Readercon in Burlington, MA. For those of you who don’t know, Readercon is a wonderful, magical place full of books and people talking about books. This will be my third year attending, and I’ve been consistently impressed with the insightful panels, lovely people, and generally positive atmosphere.

As I have in the past, I’m unofficially and sneakily taking part in programming. On Friday, I’ll be participating in the Circlet Press Group Reading. I haven’t quite decided what I’ll be reading yet, but I’m leaning toward erotica about spies. On Sunday, I’ll be par of the Unlikely Cartography panel, which appropriately enough celebrates the publication of Unlikely Story #9: The Journal of Unlikely Cartography. I’ll be moderating, so my participation will mostly consist of gently prodding the authors of the Unlikely Cartography issue, then sitting back and listening to them say smart stuff. The program descriptions for these two panels appear below, and the full Readercon Program can be found here.

Friday – 9:00 PM – EM – Circlet Press Group Reading. Cecilia Tan (leader). For over twenty years, Circlet Press has been the only publisher specializing in erotic science fiction and fantasy. Contributors to the recent best-of collection Fantastic Erotica and other Circlet books will read excerpts from their work.

Sunday – 1:00 PM – G – Unlikely Cartography. Shira Lipkin, Sarah Pinsker, Carrie Cuinn. This summer, Unlikely Story will publish their Unlikely Cartography issue, featuring stories by Shira Lipkin, Kat Howard, Sarah Pinsker, Carrie Cuinn, and others. Together with editor A.C. Wise, these authors will discuss their stories, and other authors (historical and modern) who similarly explored the cartography of the fantastic. Influences and discussion topics may include Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Eco’s Legendary Lands, Post’s Atlas of Fantasy, Mieville’s The City and the City, and more.

When I’m not actively participating, I’ll be attending panels. I’ve already spotted several I’m excited about, and I suspect I will lament my inability to be in two places at once on multiple occasions over the course of the convention. Aside from panels, I’ll like be hanging out in the bar, hanging out in the dealers’ room, or wandering around in a daze, my head swimming with all the smart things people have been saying about books and speculative fiction. If you see me wandering in such a daze, say hi! I hope to see you there.

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Join the Cyborg Revolution

UpgradedNeil Clarke recently announced the ToC for his upcoming anthology Upgraded. As far as I know, it is the first anthology about cyborgs edited by a cyborg. How cool is that?

Among many fabulous stories by wonderful authors is my own contribution, Taking the Ghost. Because the first thing you think of when you hear the word cyborg is secondary world fantasy with metallic limbs powered by ghosts, right? Or maybe that’s just me. Regardless, I’m thrilled to be in such good company in this anthology, and I’m looking forward to reading the other contributors’ stories. I’m also thrilled to be in an anthology with cover art by Julie Dillon. Her work is gorgeous.

Upgraded is officially out sometime in July, but it’s available for pre-order now.

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