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Fiction: Coming Soon / Submissions Update

Strasbourger_feder_011

It has been (almost) exactly two months since we opened for submissions. Thanks to everyone that's been sending stories our way. It has been a pleasure getting to read them.

We're delighted to announce the first group of new stories. Over the next few months, we'll be proudly presenting readers with the following terrific tales:

  • "I Decided That Things Had Become Too Complicated" by William Curnow*
  • "Killing Time" by Jennifer Moore
  • "The Choreography of Masks" by David W Pomerico
  • "Zombie Hitler vs Neil Armstrong" by Marie Vibbert
  • "Dragons of Kraków" by Michal Wojcik
  • "Space Opera" by Olivia Wood*
  • "Ya-Ya Papaya" by J.Y. Yang*

We'll also continue to publish classic reprints as well, including upcoming stories by Bram Stoker, Algernon Blackwood and C.L. Moore. And many, many more.

And this doesn't mean we're closing up submissions! Please keep sending your work our way. All the details are here.

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*We actually snaffled these up before the open subs began, but they deserve to be announced too!


WTF PK?

We chilling out a bit in May, and you may have noticed that our daily posting routine has now dropped to 3-4/week. And a slightly quietness on the fiction and reviews front.

This isn't a long-term thing - rather, we're easing up a tiny bit ahead of a June 'relaunch'. That's a slightly grandiose term, but we've got a new look, a new template, new contributors and a ton of new stuff. With that on the horizon, we're doing boring back-end stuff in May, and that means slowing down. A little. 

That's it. It is entirely possible probable that you don't even notice, but, hey, we hold ourselves to a certain standard and were feeling a little guilty.

(Don't forget that you can find Jon/Bex/Jared on the One Comic Podcast, Anne on Hodderscape, Mahvesh and Jared on Tor.com, Mahvesh also in a lot of other places, and Molly, like, everywhere. We're a noisy bunch.)

(Oh, and an event next week. Come make sandworms with us!)


Submissions Update

PornokitschWe've received a lot in the first two weeks, but I'm determined to keep ahead of the 'you'll hear in six weeks' promise. Responses should start going out soon.

Keep them coming, but also - don't worrying about rushing stuff to me. We're not closing submissions at any point in the foreseeable future. If ever. 

The details are (and will remain) here.

I've initiated a round-table sort of thing with a few other editors from small publishers that take unagented shorts. We'll be sharing some advice on submitting fiction, which may be generally useful - especially to those just getting started as writers. Plus, it'll show off some of the UK's rather amazing small press scene.

That said, my own perspective is increasingly similar to that of Ellery Sedgwick, the editor of The Atlantic... in 1921. She said: "My selection is made according to the whim of one individual." Which is empowering, terrifying, and a very good reason that no  one should take it to heart. 

(Comments closed. Any questions, please ask on the original post.)


Composting with Sandworms - 19 May, Chelsea Fringe

DFH_S_01We're returning to the Chelsea Fringe! Last year, we rocked this delightful offbeat gardening festival with "The Evening of the Triffids" - a night of Wyndham-inspired apocalyptic plant construction.

This year The Kitschies are hosting "Composting with Sandworms" -a night of science fiction, exobiology and not-of-this-earthworms, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Frank Herbert's Dune and investigating (plant) life on other planets.

The whole crew is back together, with Royal Observatory's Marek Kukula giving a talk on plants & planets and Lauren "Deadly Knitshade" O'Farrell teaching a workshop on making your very own sock puppet sandworm. 

We'll also have books and... whatnot..., courtesy of Dune's publishers, Hodder & Stoughton and The Folio Society. We've even got a super-sexy copy of The Folio Society's anniversary edition (pictured) to give away...

Also, cake. The cake last year was pretty spectacular.

This is an event for readers and gardeners of all ages and interests, but please book now - tickets (and socks) are very limited.

Tickets and details.


Weekly Fiction: Open for Submissions

Typewriter

We're looking for short stories to publish on Pornokitsch.

What we want

  • Contemporary, relevant fiction that's fun to read!
  • We like technology and pop music and superheroes and fairytales and apocalypses and dinosaurs and the Gothic and zombies and fairy tales and the Blues and high school and bug-eyed monsters and ghosts and duels and and coming of age and Victorians and truck stops and romance and monsters (we love monsters)and spaceships and cities and magic swords and mysteries and and and and and...
  • Genuinely, we do not care what genre it is in. It doesn't even need speculative or fantastic elements to it. How's that for broad?
  • Please do not include anything that's linked to an existing world. The one exception would be if that existing world is public domain. (If you want to send something set on Wells's Mars or in the Castle of Otranto, that's cool. Just make sure we know that's what you're doing.)
  • A good story should have a beginning, a middle and an end. And characters. 
  • [Added from Twitter] The complete list of what we've published on this site in the past is here. And, of course, any of the anthologies from Jurassic London. They're pretty bonkers, but may give some hint of the stuff we like. (Maybe?)

Continue reading "Weekly Fiction: Open for Submissions" »


Jews vs Zombies, Jews vs Aliens & The Book of the Dead

Jews vs Zombies and Jews vs Aliens

Out now!

In Jews vs Zombies and Jews vs Aliens, editors Lavie Tidhar and Rebecca Levene have gathered together brand new stories from the light-hearted to the profound with almost twenty tales of zombies, aliens and the Chosen People.

With authors including Orange Prize winner Naomi Alderman, Big Bang Theory writer/producer Eric Kaplan, BSFA Award winner Adam Roberts and best-seller Sarah Lotz, these are undoubtedly the must-have anthologies of the year. (Plus, check out the sexy covers by Sarah Anne Langton!)

Jews vs Aliens - Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Kobo

Jews vs Zombies - Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Kobo

Details and TOC and whatnot.

The Book of the DeadAlso, for today only...

The Book of the Dead is completely free! This is to celebrate the unveiling of Amelia Edwards' English Heritage Blue Plaque. As well as the founder of the Egypt Exploration Fund (later Society), Amelia Edwards was a suffragette, archaeologist and author of brilliant supernatural fiction. All of which is why we dedicated The Book of the Dead to her in the first place.

We're delighted to see her honoured, so please - grab a copy of this terrific anthology (the one and only collection of all-original mummy fiction) and tell your friends!

The Book of the Dead contains original stories from Gail Carriger, Paul Cornell, Adam Roberts, Roger Luckhurst, Jesse Bullington, David Thomas Moore, Lou Morgan, Molly Tanzer, Jenni Hill, Michael West, Sarah Newton, Den Patrick, Glen Mehn, Jonathan Green, Louis Greenberg, Will Hill, Maurice Broaddus and Maria Dahvana Headley. The illustrations are by Garen Ewing, and the introduction is courtesy of John J Johnston, of the Egypt Exploration Society. 

The  Book of the DeadAmazon.com / Amazon.co.uk


Terra Incognita - Out now!

Terra-incognitaTerra Incognita, the new anthology from Short Story Day Africa, is out today. There's a launch tonight at the Book Lounge in Cape Town - I am sad to be on the wrong continent. (Also, Facebook.)

The anthology features nineteen new short speculative stories from the fringes and hidden worlds of Africa. It is edited by Nerine Dorman and features a gorgeous cover by Nick Mulgrew.

Annoyingly, I was one of the judges for the SSDA competition (humblebrag!) so I can't review this. I can, however, say that the stories - and I've read all 19 - are absolutely gorgeous. I've got a lot of favourites, not least of which is Diane Awerbuck's filthy, delicious "Leatherman", which won the competition.

Via SSDA:

The collection includes well-known and award-winning and authors Cat Hellisen, Diane Awerbuck and Gail Dendy, alongside emerging stars like Dilman Dila, Nick Mulgrew and Chinelo Onwaulu. The stories in the collection encompass all forms of speculative fiction, from literary magical realism to science fiction to dark horror, and pulsing through each is a new African paradigm. Here be vampires, tokoloshi, ghosts, unnatural obsessions and the unspeakable things that lurk beneath land and in the water.

As the blurb says, there are monsters of all shapes and sizes, as well as a lot of very shifty, very crafty explorations of the idea of place. It is an exceptional anthology, and I feel very lucky to have seen it early. Congratulations to everyone in it, and everyone involved in its creation. This is an awesome book.

You can find the full table of contents here.

And go shopping for it on Amazon, Amazon.co.uk and Smashwords.


Meet, like, everyone at Forbidden Planet on 7 March

IrregularityForbidden Planet are hosting a massive signing on Saturday, 7 March - 1 pm - 2pm. 

We're specifically celebrating the discovery of a lost box of the Irregularity limited edition, but the writers and artists will be signing all sorts of amazing stuff.

Attendees include:

  • Tiffani Angus
  • Rose Biggin
  • Richard Dunn
  • Simon Guerrier
  • Nick Harkaway
  • Roger Luckhurst
  • Adam Roberts
  • Claire North
  • Gary Northfield
  • Henrietta Rose-Innes
  • James Smythe
  • M. Suddain
  • E.J. Swift
  • Sophie Waring

So if you're keen on Touch, Tigerman, Tamaruq, Nineveh, Theatre of the Gods, Gary's Garden, No Harm Can Come to a Good Man, Bête, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Osiris, The Machine, etc. etc. etc... come along!

There will also be non-limited copies of Irregularity for sale, in case you find the super-rare, unicorn-bound edition a little intimidating.

Event details here. 

And on Facebook here. 

And more about Irregularity here.


The Kitschies - Shortlists Announced

FallenLondon_HatThe Kitschies reward the year's most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic. 

Now in their sixth year, they are sponsored by Fallen London, the award-winning browser game designed by Failbetter Games.

The Kitschies' 2014 finalists were selected from 198 submissions, from over 40 publishers and imprints. 

The Red Tentacle (Novel)

  • Lagoon, by Nnedi Okorafor (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith (Egmont)
  • The Peripheral, by William Gibson (Viking)
  • The Way Inn, by Will Wiles (4th Estate)
  • The Race, by Nina Allan (NewCon Press)

The Golden Tentacle (Debut)

  • Viper Wine, by Hermione Eyre (Jonathan Cape)
  • The Girl in the Road, by Monica Byrne (Blackfriars)
  • Memory of Water, by Emmi Itäranta (HarperCollins)
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers (Self-Published)
  • The People in the Trees, by Hanya Yanagihara (Atlantic Books) 

The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art)

  • The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, design by Steve Marking (Weidenfeld and Nicolson)
  • A Man Lies Dreaming, cover by Ben Summers (Hodder and Stoughton)
  • Through the Woods, cover by Emily Carroll and Sonja Chaghatzbanian (Faber and Faber)
  • The Book of Strange New Things, cover by Rafaela Romaya and Yehring Tong (Canongate)
  • Tigerman, cover by Glenn O'Neill (William Heinamann)

The Invisible Tentacle (Natively Digital Fiction)

  • echovirus12, created/curated by Jeff Noon @jeffnoon, Ed @3dgriffiths, James Knight @badbadpoet, violet sprite @gadgetgreen, Richard Biddle @littledeaths68, Mina Polen @polen, Uel Aramchek @ThePatanoiac, Graham Walsh @t_i_s_u, Vapour Vox @Wrong_Triangle
  • Kentucky Route Zero, Act III, by Cardboard Computer
  • 80 Days, by Inkle Studios
  • Sailor's Dream, by Simogo

This year's judges did a great job. (They also included Frances Hardinge and Cat Webb, who are BSFA Best Novel finalists as well, so double-congrats.)

A huge, huge, huge congratulations to the award's director, Glen Mehn, who has wrangled a new sponsor, added a new category, recruited the judges and, frankly, done a kickass job. Buy the dude a drink. 

From the standpoint of a random punter, these lists are the perfect combination of 'stuff I've read and loved', 'stuff I've read, not loved, but really respected' and 'stuff that sounds really good, and now I want to read'.

From the standpoint of a non-random punter, this is totally weird, as it is the first year where Anne & I were totally uninvolved with the award - is it ok if I kind of secretly resent how well it has gone without us? Just a tiny bit? (sniffle)