Tag Archives: unlikely story

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!


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An Unlikely Holiday

FoolAs I mentioned in my last post, Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix is officially out in the world. That being the case, Unlikely Story has moved onto its next adventure. This time, we’re exploring the roots of April Fool’s Day. It’s a strange holiday, unlikely even. Peasants become kings, the earth is renewed, and tricks are played. Can you write a story encompassing those concepts in less than 2,000 words? If so, we’re the venue for you!

The guidelines for The Journal of Unlikely Observances can be found here. This is a mini issue, so we really are looking for flash fiction. As the guidelines say, we’re willing to be a little flexible, but by that we mean it’s okay if you go over by a few words, not a few hundred words or more. As the old saying goes – kill your darlings. Give us a story that’s lean and mean and encompasses the spirit of April Fool’s Day. There are more details on our website. We can’t wait to read what you send us.

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The Clowns Have Landed

ClownsIt’s been a long journey, but Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix is finally here! This is Unlikely Story’s first print anthology, and we’re very proud of it. There are twenty-two stories, seventeen of them brand-spanking-new, featuring clowns, jesters, and mimes in all their guises – happy, sad, funny, and yes, frightening. There are whaling clowns, tormented jesters, parasitic shoes, haunted clown cars, eerie mimes, and clowns at the end of the world, from authors such as Mari Ness, Chris Kuriata, Cate Gardner, and Cassandra Khaw, to name just a few. There are also original illustrations accompanying each story, and clown facts scattered throughout the book, because knowledge is power and know thy enemy and whatnot.

Those who backed the Kickstarter (thank you very much, we couldn’t have done it without you!) at the relevant levels should be receiving their print and ebook copies soon. In the meantime, the ebook is available on Amazon. With any luck, it’ll eventually be available in a  other places as well, and the print version should be up on Amazon shortly as well.

Coming up, there will be a Goodreads giveaway. We’ll also be announcing our future plans for Unlikely Story in good time, so keep an eye our website. But for now, it’s time to pile into the clown car and join us for a ride. The circus awaits you.

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The Journal of Unlikely Academia

You know that saying, better late than never? Well, Unlikely Story #12: The Journal of Unlikely Academia is finally here! We’d originally intended the issue to be out in July, but life is rarely cooperative in these matters. Still, I promise you the issue is worth the wait. It contains all new fiction by Nicolette Barischoff, Sean Robinson, E. Saxey, Eric Schwitzgebel, Julia August, Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Pear Nuallak, and Rose Lemberg. As you’ll see from the Editors’ Note, instead of focusing on one narrow subject of study (bugs, maps, etc.), this issue celebrates the pursuit of learning itself, in all its unlikely permutations.

On a somewhat related note, both editors of Unlikely Story just happen to be headed to Capclave this weekend. If you see us, feel free to say hi and tell us how awesome the new issue is. It’s particularly exciting for us to be at Capclave this year as Kat Howard’s story All of Our Past Places from Unlikely Story #9: The Journal of Unlikely Cartography is a finalist for the WSFA Small Press Award, which is presented at Capclave every year. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

In the meantime, head on over to Unlikely Story and peruse the Journal of Unlikely Academia. You might just learn something. (See what I did there? See?)

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It’s the Final Clown Down

It’s hard to believe it, but we are in the final stretch of the Kickstarter for Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix. We have 4 days to go, and while we’ve hit our funding goal, we’d love to be able to add even more stories to the anthology. With clowns, you can always fit in more than you think. Every $125 raised above our goal allows us to add another story. As of this writing, we have only $76 to go before we can add the next story.

On May 1, we’ll be re-opening to submissions for a month. We’ve updated our guidelines accordingly. The best way to get an idea of what we’re looking for with the anthology is to take a look at the current issue available free online. The five stories from the online issue will be reprinted in the anthology, along with six additional stories we already have in hand, and a to be determined number of new pieces from the open submission period.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Kickstarter thus far. We could not do this without you! This is a new venture for us, and we’re very excited about it. Over the next few days, please do continue to signal boost the project if you can. True to the spirit of the anthology, we want to fit in as may clowns between our pages as possible.

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There Ought to Be Clowns

Unlikely Story #11.5: The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia went live last night with flash fiction by Derek Manuel, Sara K. McNeilly, Virginia M. Mohlere, Caroline M. Yoachim, and Carlie St. George. It’s Unlikely Story’s fourth mini-issue, and our second April Fool’s Day issue. But, as it turns out, clowns are very serious business. We were pleasantly surprised by the intensity, and often heart-wrenching nature of the stories we received. There were so many good stories, in fact, that we decided a single issue couldn’t hold them all, and we needed to put together an anthology.  So we launched a Kickstarter.

Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix will include the stories from Unlikely Story #11.5: The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia, and add stories by Mari Ness, Kristen Roupenian, Evan Dicken, Line Henriksen, Holly Schofield, and J.H. Pell. If we’re funded, we’ll also re-open to submission, and add even more clown stories. Plus interior illustrations by Bryan Priniville – more money means more art!

To prove how serious we are, we’ve put together possibly the least serious Kickstarter video ever. But we interspersed it with terrifying images of clowns, just to make sure you never sleep again. If you’re kind enough to fund our project, we promise not to tell them where you live.

The best way to get an idea of what we’re trying to do is to take a look at the current issue. Even if you can’t support us, please do spread the word!

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Unlikely Story 11: The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography is Here!

Unlikely Story #11: The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography is live! The issue features all new fiction by Lauren C. Teffeau, Levi Sable, Curtis C. Chen, Barry King, Fiona Moore, and Joseph Tomaras. This is our second foray into the world of unlikely cryptography and, as always, we’re extremely proud of these stories, and delighted to share them with you.

In other unlikely news, we just announced the table of contents for our next mini issue, The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia, which will be published on April 1, 2015. We have other plans up our sleeves in relation to this issue, but you’ll just have to wait for further details.

In the meantime, please enjoy the stories of hacking, coding, surveillance, technology, and cyberpunk in the current Journal of Unlikely Cryptography. Let us know what you think of our stories, and if you like them, please tell your friends! Also, don’t forget you can subscribe to Unlikely Story for free.

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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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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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