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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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Goings On

There are various goings on happening, now or coming up soon, so instead of a really substantive post, I’m going to tell you about them.

On April 5th at The Brooklyn Commons, I’ll be taking part in the New York Review of Science Fiction Readings’ launch party for Clockwork Phoenix 5. Clockwork Phoenix is an excellent anthology series, and the fifth entry is no exception. It’s full of fantastic stories, some of which I’ve covered in my recent Women to Read posts at SF Signal, and my Non-Binary Authors to Read posts right here on this blog. You can find the posts in question here, here, and here. Clockwork Phoenix 5 is currently available for preorder, and will be officially available as of April 5th. Starting March 18th, you can also enter to win your very own copy at Goodreads. I highly recommend grabbing a copy any way you can.

01 Publishing is currently running a Kickstarter for Whispers from the Abyss 2. As you might guess from the title, this is an anthology of Lovecraftian fiction. It contains a story a story of mine set in the same universe as Venice Burning, where R’yleh has risen, time is broken, and humanity is essentially fucked to hell. It’s a love story, of course. As part of the Kickstarter campaign, you can claim a critique from me – up to 8000 words for either a story of a novel excerpt. There’s lots of other fantastic rewards on offer, too. Go check it out!

Speaking of Kickstarters, Apex is currently working toward their second Stretch Goal for their anthology Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling. The anthology is edited by Monica Valentinelli and Jaym Gates and packed full of fantastic authors such as Sunil Patel, Alyssa Wong, Haralambi Markov, Maurice Broaddus, Michael Underwood, and Nisi Shawl taking tropes and flipping them on their heads. Thanks to meeting the first Stretch Goal, I will be contributing an essay to the anthology all about the Heroine’s Journey and everyone’s favorite goblin sparkle fest, Labyrinth.

This March marks Lethe Press’ 15th Anniversary. To celebrate, they’re holding a massive ebook sale. Buy a minimum of three ebooks and get them for $1.50 each. For less than the price of a fancy cup of Starbucks coffee, you could get, oh, say The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again, along with two other fabulous titles. That includes excellent things such as Christopher Barzak’s Before and Afterlives, Richard Bowes’ Dust Devil on a Quiet Street, Where Thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Edgar Allan Poe edited by Steve Berman, Heiresses of Russ: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction edited by Jean Roberta and Steve Berman, or Livia Llewellyn’s Engines of Desire.
And that’s just the tip of the highly affordable iceberg. What are you waiting for? Head on over and buy up some ebooks!

 

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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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Get Your Glitter On!

Glitter CoverWhen sea monsters rise, when space eels attack, when the world needs saving yet again, who do you call? The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron, of course. Sure, there are other superheroes, but they don’t have half the glitz, the glam, or the style of the Glitter Squadron. To heavily paraphrase the famous quote about Ginger Rogers, they do everything other superheroes do, but  they do it in high heels.

All of which is to say that The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again is now available for preorder! The collection will be out in October, but I’m plotting something extra special to send to folks who do preorder. On a totally selfish level, preorders do help with reviews and convincing bookstores to carry the work, but I also want to send you things! More details on will be forthcoming once I’ve figured out which of my Top Sekrit Plans to deploy.  I promise not send you an envelope full of glitter. Unless you’re into that kind of thing. In which case I WILL TOTALLY SEND YOU AN ENVELOPE FULL OF GLITTER. (You think I’m kidding, but I’m not. If you fully and consensually agree to receive such a thing, I will send you glitter, because glitter is awesome.)

Ahem. Anyway, if reading about queer and trans and cis women (and the occasional scantily-clad cis men) teaming up to save the world, and looking damned good while doing s,o is your kind of thing this is the collection for you. The book is also interspersed with cocktail recipes, so if none of those other things I mentioned are your cup of tea, you can at least get a good buzz on. The stories are a little bit pulpy, a little bit serious, and hopefully a lot bit glitteringly fabulous.

If you want a taste of what you can expect in the collection, you can read the original version of the story that started it all, Operation: Annihilate Mars! Or, Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron, over at Ideomancer.

Saving the world may be hard, thankless work, but that’s no excuse to be anything less than fabulous.

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