26 October 2012

Strange Horizons Fund Drive

If you love Strange Horizons (and I very much do) then now is the time to show your support by donating a little to their fund drive.  Over on their blog they've got a lovely list of reasons why you should support them, including a few nifty prizes for donators... Books!  Art!  Tarot Readings!  Tax relief!  (er, what?)

All of which are very good reasons, however the best and foremost one should be this: Strange Horizons is one of the best magazines out there.  Not just for the fiction - which, it has to be said, is almost uniformly excellent.  On Shiny Shorts we've reviewed  Recognizing Gabe: un cuento de hadas by Alberto Yáñez (Jan 2012) and Tornado's Siren by Brooke Bolander (Feb 2012), and not reviewed by still highly recommended are Feed Me the Bones of our Saints (part 1) (part 2) by Alex Dally MacFarlane (July 2012), Tiger Stripes by Nghi Vo (May 2012), Pataki (Part 1)&(Part 2) by Nisi Shawl (2011), 起狮,行礼 (Rising Lion—The Lion Bows) by Zen Cho (2011),  The Yew’s Embrace by Francesca Forrest (2011) & Last Of The Monsters by Emil Skaftun (2010).

But! Also! Their non-fiction is also brilliant.  Always fascinating articles and some extremely juicy in-depth reviews that should not be missed.

Share the love and keep them going strong by donating here!

And if you're curious, here's how the fund drive is going so far:

19 October 2012

Alchemy Goodness for 2013

Following the rather lovely launch of Ancient (Buy it! Buy it now!) Wonders, am dead chuffed to announce that me and m'funky co-editor Jan Edwards will be doing another Alchemy anthology next year! It will be called ::drum roll:: The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic and will be launching at WFC next year.

Can I get a woohoo? Woohoo! ;-) Now then...this does, of course, mean we're looking for subs...

The basics: For The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic, we are seeking contemporary tales with all the magic and wonder of myth and legend, blending modern life with the traditions of folklore from around the world. Whether lurking in dark alleys or brash shopping malls; from shanty towns to the floating cities of Venice, Bangkok or Dubai; swanky riverside penthouse lofts or humble suburban semis, we want to see how the mythic is woven into the everyday. We want fantasy that entertains but also pushes beyond the usual urban fantasy boundaries; fast-paced action; folk tales re-imagined; mythic creatures adapting to the urban environment; noir; humour; horror (with recognisable mythic elements); literary or lighter styles. Fully realised characters are a must and solid plots extremely desirable.

We don’t want: secondary worlds, steampunk, SF, zombies, paranormal romance or erotica. Also, no human sacrifice, magic help-lines, heaven/hell as a corporation, mythic-beastie love triangles or relentless gore. No poetry.

We are seeking original fiction. Reprints only accepted by agreement with the editors (and will be very few). No simultaneous or multiple submissions. Contributions between 3,000 and 8,000 words. Submission period runs from January 1st to March 31st 2013. Do not submit outside of those dates. More details to be found on the official APBOUM page here.

We're interested in settings and cultures not traditionally covered in urban fantasy but make sure they're well researched and not exoticised.* We'd also like to help make the field of speculative fiction more inclusive and welcoming to both authors and readers from traditionally underrepresented groups, so we're interested in seeing stories from diverse perspectives and backgrounds. 

~ # ~

And if that wasn't enough, we'll also be launching a range of Alchemy Novellas! Full guidelines and wotnot here... In very short - in 2013 there will be 4 e-novellas, which will be collected into a print book at end of the year. Open subs months are December 2012, March 2013, June 2013 & September 2013. Length range: 15,000 - 35,000 words. (The big boss prefers 20,000 - 25,000.) No reprints.

Genre-wise, they'll cover almost all areas of fantasy: heroic fantasy, alternate world fantasy, urban fantasy, supernatural, dark crime and horror. Comic fantasy will be considered but not if it’s a parade of puns or bad gags. We are not fans of zombies or heroic vampires. We will not publish hard science fiction. Though there is some flexibility depending on how well the novella works for the editors considering them. Of which I am one! :-) That guidelines link again!

~ # ~

*Handy links for things to bear in mind:
 Appropriate Cultural Appropriation by Nisi Shawl
What is Cultural Appropriation by the Angry Black Woman also posted here with additional comments.
Safe Exoticism, part 2: Culture by Athena Andreadis
From Aliette deBodard:
-  Writing Cultures: Insider vs. Outsider
-  On Worldbuilding, Patchwork and Filing off the Serial Numbers
-  The Prevalance of U.S. Tropes in Storytelling

(I'm sure there are more, but I can't track them down at the mo. Any additional links on the above/similar topics gratefully accepted!)


01 October 2012

BFS 2012 Awards

Am back from that there Fantasycon (post later on that!), so for now, here be the 2012 BFS award winners!

Main Jury Awards: 
Jury: James Barclay, Hal Duncan, Maura McHugh, Esther Sherman, and Damien G. Walter.

Best Novel: 
August Derleth Award/Best Horror - The Ritual by Adam Nevill
Robert Holdstock Award/Best Fantasy -  Among Others by Jo Walton

Best Novella: 
Gorel and the Pot Bellied God by Lavie Tidhar

Best Short Fiction: 
The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter by Angela Slatter

Best Anthology: 
The Weird, ed. Jeff and Ann Vandermeer

Best Collection:
Everyone’s Just So So Special by Robert Shearman

Best Screenplay: 
Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen

Best Magazine/Periodical:
Black Static, ed. Andy Cox

Best Comic/Graphic Novel:
Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Then the Special Juried Awards (which a lot of blogs keep forgetting to mention...and, yes, I'm slightly biased because I was on one of the juries for them, so don't forget that they are actual proper BFS awards as well, right? All right then! x )

The BFS/PS Publishing Best Independent Press Award: Chomu Press
(Jury: Sandy Auden, Peter Crowther, Nicholas Royle, Peter Tennant & Darren Turpin)

BFS Best Artist Award: Daniele Serra
(Jury: Guy Adams, Anne Sudworth, Christopher Teague)

BFS Best Non-Fiction Award: Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Super Hero by Grant Morrison
(Jury: Djibril al-Ayad, Roz Kaveney & Adam Roberts)

BFS/Sydney J. Bounds Best Newcomer Award: Kameron Hurley
(Jury: Adele Wearing, Jenny Barber, Lou Morgan)

BFS/Karl Edward Wagner Special Award: Peter & Nicky Crowther
(Jury: BFS & Fantasycon committees)