(Our) Year in Review

I always wind up writing 3,000+ word versions of these posts, and then delete them: there are few things on the internet more annoying than bloggering (verb. 'to blog about blogging, at the expense of saying anything remotely interesting'). Rather than bore you with sixteen pages of cod philosophising and blithering self-aggrandisement: bullets!

Executive summary

  • This is the year we went from 'a couple of people yelling into the void' to 'a dozen people yelling into the void'
  • By the numbers, our most successful year ever. And growing.
  • We published 260ish articles from a dozen regular contributors and a horde of guests. That includes 175+ reviews of books, comics, films, radio plays, games and stuff.
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Being read feels awesome.

Continue reading "(Our) Year in Review" »

Pornokitsch at FantasyCon

Smiler's Fair

We're at FantasyCon!

You can find various Pornokitsch people at various things, including:

  • Friday, 5 pm - Writing in a Franchise - Bex chilling with Paul Kane, Mark Morris, Mark Latham and Brandon Sanderson
  • Friday, 7 pm - The Weird Western - Anne moderating, and Stark Holborn, uh, moderated? alongside Guy Adams, Benedict Jones, Ben Galley and Arianne Thompson
  • Saturday, 5 pm - Publishing in the 21st Century - Anne's hanging out with other friendly publishing types, including Marc Gascoigne, Gillian Redfearn, Natalie Laverick, Meg Davis and Jo Fletcher
  • Saturday, 2.40 pm - Rebecca Levene reading
  • Saturday, 3 pm - Agenting - Anne's wrangling an array of literary gurus, including Meg Davis, John Wordsworth, Ellen Gallagher, Kevin Murphy and Juliet Mushens

Also keep your eyes peeled for events featuring some of our favourite con-goers, writerers and talkerers, including Leila Abu el Hawa, Den Patrick, Jon Oliver, Scott Andrews, Matt Blakstad, John Connolly and Francis Hardinge.

The British Fantasy Awards take place on Sunday. Although we've not got a Pornokitsch/Jurassic horse in the race this year, Jared helped judge two of the categories (Artist and Comics), and swears that the results are awesome.

See you in the bar!

Support Our Writers

NunslingerWe don't shout about it much, but Pornokitsch doesn't have advertising or affiliate links. And it isn't Kickstarted, Patreonised or otherwise crowd-funded. In short, we don't take in any money at all. Not a nickel. We're very happy this way.

But... our contributors are awesome. We're lucky to have a team that includes Becky Chambers, Rebecca Levene, Stark Holborn, Mahvesh Murad, Jesse Bullington and Molly Tanzer - all of whom are responsible for some fantastic books. So if you like what you've been reading, why not check out the rest of their work? And, even better, support them by picking up one or two or three.

After the jump, a smorgasbord of literary talent for your browsing pleasure.

Continue reading "Support Our Writers" »

Fiction: Coming Soon / Submissions Update


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.


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


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


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" »

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)