Category Archives: Glitter Squadron

Read the Rainbow

StoryBundle Covers

It’s Pride Month! What better time to queer up your reading list, right? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Right now, at StoryBundle, you can snag a special Pride Bundle curated by Melissa Scott. Pay what you want for five fantastic books, and if you choose to pay at least $15, you get eight additional books including my collection of inter-linked short stories full of superheroes kicking ass, female friendships, queers saving the world, and glorious, glorious wardrobes – The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again. You can also choose to donate a portion of your purchase price to Rainbow Railroad, a wonderful charity helping LGTBQIA+ individuals escape persecution and get safely out of Chechnya. There are tons of great books included in the bundle, and you can support a great cause; I highly recommend checking it out!

Another thing to check out is the recent list of Lambda Literary Award Winners. The list contains several of my favorite reads, so I’m delighted to see them being recognized! This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Lambda Literary Awards, so once you’re done with this year’s winners, spend some time catching up on the past winners as well.

Now, since I’m a firm believer that one can never have too many things to read, I have even more reading recommendations for you. Hopefully you’ll love these books and stories as much as I do!

Novels, Novellas, Collections, and Anthologies

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado – a stunning debut collection that has been racking up award nominations (and with good cause), full of stories inflected with darkness, anger, sexuality, and the fantastic.

TranscendentTranscendent edited by K.M. Szpara and Transcendent 2 edited by Bogi Takács – the first two installments in an anthology series collecting the best trans speculative fiction of the year.

The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang – the first two novellas in the Tensorate Series, which have also been racking up well-deserved awards notice, exploring themes of family, gender, power, sacrifice, loss, and magic.

Capricious Issue 9: Gender Diverse Pronouns – a special issue of an excellent publication, featuring stories exploring gender, identity, and the myriad of ways humans define themselves, all set against fantastical backdrops.

My Favorite Thing is MonstersMy Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris – a coming of age story wrapped around a murder mystery, exploring the messy, complicated nature of human beings (and occasionally monsters).

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time – an anthology of speculative fiction by indigenous authors exploring the many facets of identity, love, and relationships, set in futuristic and magical worlds.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon – a gorgeously-written and brutal novel about a generation ship strictly divided along racial lines, and one woman’s search for the truth and a way to escape the system.

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez – a unique vampire story spanning generations, focusing on chosen family, love, and kindness instead of insatiable hunger and blood.

Passing StrangePassing Strange by Ellen Klages – a gorgeous, queer love story, which is also a love letter to San Francisco in the 1940s, albeit one full of magic.

The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller – a novel balancing hope and pain about a young man whose eating disorder gives him special powers.

Singing With All My Skin and Bone by Sunny Moraine – a collection full of dark and unsettling stories, all told with beautiful and breath-taking prose.

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly – a slick and stylish novel full of shifting alliances, spies double-crossing spies, death, music, art, and brunch, set in decadent and glittering secondary world.

And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinsker – a trippy novella of alternate realities converging on a convention full of alternate Sarahs, which also just happens to be a murder mystery.

Short Fiction

The Hydraulic Emperor by Arkady Martine – a bidding war on an alien space station over a rare and eerie cult classic film, where the winning bid requires a great sacrifice.

Fiyah 3Cracks by Xen – a beautiful painful novelette full of longing, set in a world strictly divided into night and day, riddled with cracks where other realities seep through.

Four-Point Affective Calibration by Bogi Takács – a flash fiction story that packs a punch, exploring emotion and alien communication.

Granny Death and the Drag King of London by A.J. Fitzwater – a powerful exploration of communal grief and fear, set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis and the days surrounding Freddie Mercury’s death.

Salt Lines by Ian Muneshwar – a young man haunted by loneliness, thoughts of home, and a supernatural being.

AnathemaEverything You Left Behind by Wen Ma – a story exploring the many forms grief takes, set in an unchanging town locked in time.

Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time by K.M. Szpara – a trans man bitten by a vampire struggles with the changes brought on by his new, unasked for immortality.

In Search of Stars by Matthew Bright – a haunting story of desire, shame, and a top secret formula for paint that causes people to float away.

Rivers Run Free by Charles Payseur – a gorgeous story of personified rivers and waters fighting against those who would chain and control them.

And that’s just to name a few. I really did restrain myself, I promise!

The Kissing Booth Girl and Other StoriesLast, but not least, if you need one more book to add to your tottering TBR pile, here’s a giveaway! My collection The Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award last year, and included in last year’s Pride Month StoryBundle. If you didn’t have a chance to grab it then, here’s your chance to win a signed paperback copy now. Just drop a note in the comments between now and June 15th with your own favorite queer reading recommendation(s), and I’ll choose a winner via the magic of a random number generator. Happy Pride, y’all, and happy reading!

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Pucker Up!

Kissing Booth GirlThe Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories is here! The collection contains 14 stories, 4 of which are brand new. An e-book version is on the way, but right this very minute you can get your hands on a paperback copy direct from the wonderful Lethe Press at the link above, or through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. What is this collection, you ask? Well, it’s a little bit of darkness, a little bit of the weird, some sexy bits, some happy bits, and some bits that are hard to define. You want underwater nuns? I’ve got ‘em? A queer zombie love story? Got that, too. Witches, aliens, outer space, and a steampunk circus? Got ‘em all!

Publishers Weekly was kind enough to give the collection a starred review.

Wise’s inventive sense of weirdness and wonder comes to the forefront in this intense, graceful collection of stories in which plot plays second fiddle to quietly immersive world-building, longing and obsession are the forces of beauty, and grimness leads not to depressive dystopia but to desperately hopeful and brave, if still unsettling, solutions.

ETA: Lambda Literary had some very kind things to say about it, too!

They liked it, so maybe you will, too. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of The Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories and a copy of my first collection, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again. So step right up, try your luck, and throw your name in the hat below (aka the comments). One lucky winner will get two books, and maybe even a bit of extra swag thrown in. Comment by midnight on November 15, 2016 (wherever in the world you happen to be) and that winner might just be you!

ETA: The Random Number Generator has chosen lucky #1. Congratulations, Zach, and thank you to everyone who entered!

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Three(ish) Things Make a Post

Here we are in July, and at long last Unlikely Story #12.5: The Journal of Unlikely Observances (aka the April Fool’s Day issue) has made its way into the world. Good things are worth waiting for, right? This issue celebrates the act of celebration with seven new pieces of fiction exploring fools, holidays, transformation, tricks, and rebirth. We have two Unlikely Story alums, Rhonda Eikamp and Charles Payseur, returning to our digital pages. We also have three new-to-Unlikely Story authors – Heather Morris, Arkady Martine, and Joshua A. Dilk. Something that is particularly exciting for editors, we also have two authors, Rajiv Mote and Anne M. Gibson, whose stories in this issue are their first professional paid publication. It’s a fantastic issue. I do hope you’ll check it out and let us know what you think!

Next week, I’ll be attending Readercon in Quincy, Massachusetts. For those unfamiliar, Readercon is a wonderful con with a literary focus. It’s become one of my favorite cons, and it’s one I look forward to every year. I’m not officially participating in programming, however I will be part of the group reading for Clockwork Phoenix 5. We’re tentatively scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, room TBD. If you’re attending the con, come see us! The rest of the time I’ll be attending other people’s programming, hanging out in the dealer’s room buying far too many books, hanging out in the bar, and hanging out with friends who I don’t get to see often enough. It promises to be a fabulous time.

As you may or may not have noticed, my upcoming collection The Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories is up for pre-order. For a limited time, it’s available for the super-special pre-order price of $13. That’s $5 off the regular paperback price. If you’re of a mind to pick up the collection, now would be a good time to do so. The super-special sale price of $13 also applies to my first collection The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again.

Last, but not least, to all my fellow Canucks, Happy Canada Day!
Fireworks

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A Glitter Bomb for Your Ears

Glitter SquadronHas this ever happened to you? You find yourself sitting around the house, or at the office, or stuck in traffic, and you think to yourself, how can I get more glitter in my life? Wonder no more, my friend! The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again is now available as an audio book! The stories and the cocktail recipes between them are wonderfully narrated by Renata Friedman, and you can grab your very own copy at Audible or through Amazon. Now you can take glitter with you wherever you go! Planning a road trip? Let the Glitter Squadron ride shotgun! Headed to the gym? Let the Glitter Squadron make your workout fabulous! Writing an angry letter to the editor about how there are too many birds in your neighborhood? The Glitter Squadron will help soothe your rage-filled soul!

Still not convinced? Check out what these fine reviewers have to say about the collection…

Ana Grilo of The Book Smugglers gave the collection an 8/10 in her review at Kirkus, and called it “whimsical” and “delightful”.

Mieneke van der Salm aka A Fantastical Librarian called the collection “fun to read” “but also surprisingly touching and serious” in her review.

Derek Newman-Stille of Speculating Canada calls it “as beautifully, sparklingly camp as the title suggests” in his review.

Alyx Dellamonica compares the stories to “gems strung together in a necklace” in her review at Tor.com, and she named it among her favorite books of 2015.

Now you can get all that fabulous glittery goodness in audio form. As an extra bonus, listening to the book will leave your hands conveniently free for mixing up one of those aforementioned cocktail recipes so you can sip along with the gang as they save the world. If you’ve ever wanted fill your ears with glitter, there’s finally have a medically safe way to do so. Happy listening!

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From Sapphire’s Little Black Book of Cocktails

This past Thursday, the wonderful Main Point Books was kind enough to host a reading for The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again. There were glittery cookies and glittery shoes, and Sapphire even mixed up some special drinks just for the occasion. Of course, the 60+ degree weather wasn’t exactly conducive to the hot cider, but boozy apples are delicious no matter what the temperature. Since several folks were lamenting  that they couldn’t make it to the event, I thought I’d share Sapphire’s special recipes here so you can all make the drinks at home. Cheers!

SapphireWinter Wonderland Sangria

750 ml Bottle of Pinot Grigio
3/4 cup of Peach Brandy
2 cups of white cranberry juice
1/4 cup ginger ale or tonic water
Orange slices, and fresh or frozen cranberries and blackberries to garnish.

Combine all ingredients in a tall pitcher, stir them up, and enjoy!

 

For those who like their winter drinks chilled, this is for you. My summer sangria is famous for bringing people together, but the Glitter Squadron saves the world all year round. After all, victory over villainy knows no season. Cheers!

Hot and Hard Apple Cider

5 cups of apple cider
1 cup of Paddy Devil’s Apple
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 apple, sliced
6 whole cloves

Stud apple slices with cloves. Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot (can also be made in a crockpot), and float apple slices on top. Heat on medium to low. Cider should be warm, not boiling. Adjust portions up or downward as desired.

This drink is a crowd-pleaser, especially on a cold winter’s night. After a day of swishing down the slopes, fighting yetis on the way, it’s the perfect way to warm up. Who doesn’t like to cuddle up with something hot and hard when the temperature goes down?

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Glittery Giveaways

CorgiGlitterDo you need more glitter in your life? Silly question – of course you do. Well never fear; I’ve got you covered! I’m giving away a signed copy of The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again at Goodreads. The giveaway runs until the end of November 2015. But wait, there’s more! From November 9-15, SF Signal will also be giving away a signed copy of the collection. Two chances to win your very own copy of glittery goodness.

And for those who have already picked up a copy of the collection, I’m giving away signed bookplates. I even have glittery pens to sign them with. If you’d like a  bookplate, just drop me a note at a.c.wise (at) hotmail (dot) com, and I’ll stick one in the mail. Spread the word and share the glittery love!

Many thanks to my shameless marketing corgi, who very patiently posed with the collection in exchange for treats and barely even tried to lick the book at all.

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Sapphire’s Super Secret Speakeasy Tour

Glitter Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again is here! Well, technically it’s been available for about a week, but since October 20th is the original release date I was given, I’m considering today the collection’s birthday. Or, perhaps coming out party, if you will. And that means it’s time to celebrate!

What exactly is the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again? It’s a collection of inter-linked short stories about trans women, cis women, and queer women (with the occasional cameo by a few scantily-clad men), all looking fabulous while saving the world. Two of the stories are reprints, and the rest are brand spanking new. You can read the story that started it all – Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron – in its original form at Ideomancer. The collection is available in paperback and Kindle format, and Publishers Weekly seemed to like it, so maybe you will too. But wait, there’s more! Even if glitter, high heels, gender-fuckery, and saving the world aren’t your thing, the book also contains cocktail recipes. So, if nothing else, at least I can help you getting drunk.

Which brings us to the title of this post, Sapphire’s Super Secret Speakeasy Tour. It’s not all that secret, but it does involve alcohol. What better way to celebrate a collection full of drink recipes than with more drink recipes? Over the next few months, I’ll be in various places in person and online, scattering drink recipes around me as I go. (It turns out people are more amenable to that than me scattering glitter. Silly people.) So if you want more cocktails designed by the Glitter Squadron’s supreme mixologist (and who wouldn’t?) here’s where you can find them.

Sapphire’s Super Secret Speakeasy Tour

Shimmer – October 19 – E. Catherine Tobler, chief badger-wrangler at Shimmer, was kind enough to interview me, and design a fabulous drag name/cocktail name generator. Use your first and last initial to create your name, and put your result in the comments for chance to win your own customized drink recipe and a glittery flask so you can take the party with you wherever you go.

Book Bites – October 19 – The wonderful Fran Wilde invited me to her blog to chat a bit about the collection. Of course, a cocktail recipe ensued.

Uncanny – October 21 -The Space Unicorn Ranger Corp gave me space to talk about listening to constructive criticism and using it to make your writing stronger. There’s a recipe for a shot at the end of the post, in case you ever wondered what sort of alcohol space unicorns favor.

Shimmer – October 23 – Because I behaved myself and didn’t spread glitter all over the carpet the first time around, Shimmer invited me back to do a guest post. I wrote about female friendships, and, of course designed them their very own cocktail recipe.

Browseabout Books – On November 14 from 2 – 4 p.m., I’ll be doing a signing at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, DE, and I’ll be bringing a fresh new cocktail recipe with me to hand out. If you’re in the area, drop by and get one!

Main Point Books – On December 10 at 7 p.m., I’ll be reading at Main Point Books in Rosemont, PA. Not only will I have drink recipes to hand out, I’ll have drinks themselves. Come by, have a cocktail, have a cookie, and listen to me read about glitter.

Links and additional information will be added as things crop up. Now, I’ll leave you with a recipe to kick things off.

From Sapphire’s Little Black Book of Cocktails

(Orange You Glad) It’s Party Time

2 sugar cubes
1 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz nectarine juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz Cointreau
Dash of orange bitters
Champagne
Orange slice garnish

Crush one sugar cube, and use it to create a sugar rim on a champagne flute. Place other sugar cube in glass and splash with orange bitters. Add juices, Cointreau, and top with champagne. Garnish with a slice of orange.

This is it, honeys, our big debut. What better way to start the party than with champagne? So let’s pop that cork and get our glitter on.

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Music to Save the World

The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again was originally supposed to be released on October 20, but it seems a few copies are sneaking their way out into the world early. For instance, if you follow the link above, you can grab the paperback for a special discounted price. Or, if you you click here, you can get the Kindle version. While I’ll be launching the official celebration of the collection here on the blog next week, there’s no harm in getting the party started a little early. In that spirit, I asked each member of the Squadron what song they listen to in order to get pumped up for battle. After all, what’s a party without music to set the mood?

Starlight: Okay, I suppose I can get things started. I know it’s a little cheesy, but I like to listen to Dancing Queen by Abba. They used to play it all the time at the RollerRama and… I don’t know. It just feels like home.

Penny: Barbie Girl by Aqua. Not what you were expecting? It’s upbeat, it’s catchy, and nothing else is guaranteed to make me want to punch someone in the face faster.

CeCe: Jazz piano. Something like Dreamy by Erroll Garner. I keep my prep low-key.

Silk: I’ve always been fond of the classics. Lately, I’ve found myself coming back to Edith Piaf’s Non, Je Ne Regrette Rein. After…well…you know. It seems appropriate somehow.

M: [Instead of answering, M just stared until I got creeped out and backed away. I really don’t know what I was expecting. I should have known better.]

Bunny: Starships by Nicki Minaj. Ask me next week, and I might have a different answer, but right now, it’s my go-to song.  I mean, who could resist that video?

Esmeralda: Promise you won’t laugh? Vangelis’ Conquest of Paradise from the 1492 soundtrack. I know, I know, the story is all kinds of problematic, but the music is still beautiful. It’s uplifting. When I was really little, I wanted to be a sailor. Listening to this song, I could imagine the wind in my hair, the deck rolling under my feet. It made me feel like I could go anywhere, do anything, take over the world.

Sapphire: To tell you the truth, honey, I don’t listen to  music all that much. I suppose, if anything, I might want to listen to CeCe and Silk singing together. They do it sometimes when they think no one else is listening. It’s sweet. Mind you, I’ll call you a damn dirty liar if you ever tell them I said so. I can’t have them thinking I’ve gone all sentimental.

Ruby: It’ll probably make me sound like some kind of yokel, but Lost Highway by Hank Williams Sr. My grandparents loved his record. Those songs drove me crazy as a kid, but now that my grandparents are gone, listening to Hank Williams gives me a way to connect with them. I miss them.

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KGB Fantastic Fiction

KGBOne week from tonight, I’ll be reading at KGB Bar in NYC as part of the Fantastic Fiction Reading Series. I’ll be reading with N.K. Jemisin, who is fabulous. Copies of her books will be for sale, courtesy of Word Bookstores. I’ll be reading something from The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again. I had hoped to find a thematically-appropriate glittery dress for the occasion, but alas, so far my quest has been unsuccessful. Even though I don’t have copies of the collection on hand yet, I will have postcards with a bonus Glitter Squadron drink recipe. If the reading happens to inspire you to pre-order the book, don’t forget to let me know so I can send you your very own custom-made drink recipe on a Glitter Squadron coaster! The reading starts at 7 p.m., and it’s at a bar, so obviously there will be alcohol involved. Hope to see you there!

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Top Secret Glitter Squadron Swag!

Well, it’s not really all that secret since I’m telling you about it, but still…

Do you want your very own customized cocktail recipe, designed for you by the Glitter Squadron’s Bartender Supreme, Sapphire? Of course you do! As you may know, Bob, the Glitter Squadron Collection stories are interspersed with cocktail recipes, with a drink matched to each of the characters. So I thought to myself – what can I do to a) give something special to folks who preorder the collection, and b) drive people to drink? Why, I can get Glitter Squadron coasters, and write recipes on the back of them. So that’s just what I’m going to do!

If you preorder The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again, I will send you your very own customized cocktail recipe. But wait, there’s more! I’ll even send you a nifty bookplate to stick it in the book when it arrives. (It’s possible I’ve seen too many infomercials.) Here’s a peek at what said bookplates and coasters look like.

Glitter Swag

The bookplates will be available to anyone, but the coasters and recipes are only for those who preorder… Something a little extra special to say Thank You!

In case you’re wondering, the art on the bookplates and coasters is by the amazing Staven Andersen, who did the cover for the collection. Staven’s work is seriously worth checking out. If you’re still on the fence about the whole Glitter Squadron thing, the first taste is free.  You can head on over to Ideomancer and read the original version of Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron, the story that started it all.

So, if you want your own Glitter Squadron recipe, drop me an email at a.c.wise [at] hotmail.com with proof of your preorder, and where you’d like your swag sent. If you’d like, you can prompt me with a particular flavor, base alcohol, or theme you’d like your cocktail built around. If not, well, I’ll just let my imagination run wild. If mixed drinks aren’t your thing, or don’t drink in general, just let me know. I’m more than happy to suggest a non-alcoholic, or non-mixed drink pairing. Otherwise, I look forward to getting you drunk!

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