Corey Mesler

Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published five novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002), We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006), The Ballad of the Two Tom Moores (2010), Following Richard Brautigan (2010), and Gardner Remembers (2011), three full length poetry collections, Some Identity Problems (2008), Before the Great Troubling (2011), and The Sky Needs More Work, and three books of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009), Notes toward the Story and Other Stories (2011) and I’ll Give You Something to Cry About (2011). He has also published a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He can be found at


Books for Upper Rubber Boot:

The Sky Needs More Work: poems by Corey Mesler, forthcoming 2014.

  • ISBN 978-1-937794-42-2 (epub) is forthcoming for iPad, Nook, etc.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-40-8 (mobi) is forthcoming for Kindle on Amazon.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-41-5 (pdf) is forthcoming at Smashwords.

With poems like “Strictly Blowjob” and “The Cancer of Believing You’re in Control,” acclaimed writer Corey Mesler has made a book that adjoins sex, love and social connection in their many manifestations, from meditations on The Beatles, death, pharmacology, and infidelity, to “the holycow feeling/of just being human and/satisfied like a goddamn poem.”

Add comment 23 July 2014

Soles Series of Stories

Upper Rubber Boot’s Soles Series comprises standalone ebook titles spanning the speculative fiction gamut, including science fiction, literary stories using SFnal tropes, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, steampunk, slipstream, alternate history, utopian and dystopian, fantasy, and horror.

Most Recently Released First

Series Number 001*

TRACY CANFIELD, “Heist”: Bill Martin’s favorite online game turns out to be a haven for con artists – con artists who aren’t human.

“A neat variation on an SF classic. The character makes the game work.”—Lois Tilton, “Analog, June 2010,” Locus Online Reviews, 7 April 2010.

“This was an imaginative tale of intrigue with many twists and turns that I enjoyed.”—Sam Tomaino, “Analog Science Fiction and Fact – June 2010 – Vol. CXXX Nos.6,” SFRevu, 23 April 2010.

“Since it is as likely that our washing machines will take over the world as it is that our software will teach itself to exploit us, the inventive quality of ‘Heist’ is what makes this tale merry reading. Jigging through the computers’ artificial world of Realms of Daelemil and fantasizing alongside the main character about the nature of a society governed by ‘sensible’ source code is entertaining.”— KJ Hannah Greenberg, “Analog, June 2010,” Tangent Online, 29 April 2010.

Tracy Canfield is a computational linguist from Indianapolis. CNN called her a Klingon scholar for her voice work on the Jenolan Caves’ Klingon audio tour. Her science fiction and fantasy stories have appeared in magazines around the world, including Analog, Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Crowded, and AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review. You can follow her on Twitter, @TracyCanfield, or check out her website at

“Heist” originally ran in the June 2010 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.



Series Number 002*

INDRAPRAMIT DAS, “The Widow and the Xir”: Hunter, worker, widow and mother, Sanih struggles to overcome the sorrow left in the wake of her husband Namir’s death. Beyond the dunes, Namir’s reincarnation, a young xir, a desert ghost, finds itself drawn to a single human and her son, haunted by memories of a past life with them. When Sanih’s grief begins to call the ghost to her tribe’s travelling camp, Sanih must find a way to put his death behind her or endanger them all.

“A neat fantasy world and a strong story of love… Recommended.”—Lois Tilton, “Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early July,” Locus Online, 7 July 2011.

Indrapramit Das is a writer and artist from Kolkata, India. His fiction has appeared in publications including Clarkesworld, Asimov’s and Apex Magazine, as well as the anthologies The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection (St. Martin’s Press), Aliens: Recent Encounters (Prime Books) and Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (Rosarium Publishing). He is a grateful graduate of the 2012 Clarion West Writers Workshop and a recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship Award to attend the former. He completed his MFA at the University of British Columbia and is currently in Vancouver working as a freelance writer, artist, editor, critic, TV extra, game tester, tutor, would-be novelist, and aspirant to adulthood.

This story originally appeared in Apex Magazine in July 2011.



Series Number 003*

DAVID M. HARRIS, “Changing the World”: We’ve received a message: Hold on. We’re coming. The aliens are coming! Now what do we do? Dr. George Metesky faces this problem when he gets the message from space. And how can he know whether or not he has the right answer?

Until 2003, David M. Harris had never lived more than fifty miles
from New York City. Since then he has moved to Tennessee, married, acquired a daughter and a classic MG, and gotten serious about poetry. All these projects seem to be working out pretty well. His work has appeared in Pirene’s Fountain (and in the anthology First Water: Best of Pirene’s Fountain), Gargoyle, and other places. His first collection of poetry, The Review Mirror, was published by Unsolicited Press in September, 2013. He is the author, with Harry Harrison, of Bill, the Galactic Hero: the Final Incoherent Adventure.

“Changing the World” was published by Writer’s Block in 1998, and was an Honorable Mention in Best of the Rest: The Best Unknown Science Fiction and Fantasy of 1998.



Series Number 004*

SHIRA LIPKIN, “The Selves We Leave Behind”: On the night side of Las Vegas, you can lose yourself… to a blessing or a curse. And when you lose everything, you get to decide what to pick back up and take with you.

Shira Lipkin has managed to convince Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Stone Telling, Clockwork Phoenix 4, and other otherwise-sensible magazines and anthologies to publish her work; two of her stories have been recognized as Million Writers Award Notable Stories, and she has won the Rhysling Award for best short poem. She lives in Boston and, in her spare time, fights crime with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Her cat is bigger than her dog.

“The Angel of Fremont Street” originally appeared in ChiZine in January 2009. “Fortune” originally appeared in Ravens in the Library, a benefit anthology for musician SJ Tucker, in February 2009.



Series Number 005*

MARI NESS, “Twittering the Stars”: Unlucky asteroid miners tweet from the stars.

“What could have been little more than a gimmicky format (the clue is in the name) is used to break a tale of unlucky asteroid miners into pithy, revealing chunks that comprise a grippingly personal narrative” —Sumit Paul-Choudhury, “Sci-fi: The near future looks brighter than ever,” New Scientist, 7 April 2010.

“A very clever piece of writing and one I’d recommend.” —Liz de Jager, “Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic Science-Fiction,” SFRevu, 15 April 2010.

“One of the most original stories I’ve read in years” —Paul Goat Allen, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades: Optimistic Science Fiction (Finally!),” Barnes & Noble Book Club, 30 March 2010.

“The story immediately engulfs you in the drama and wins you over to the protagonist’s side. What’s deceptive about the piece is that it’s quite lengthy but because Ness uses Tweets, it doesn’t feel overbearing.” —Charles Tan, “Book/Magazine Review: Shine edited by Jetse de Vries,” Bibliophile Stalker, 22 March 2010.

“most original” —”REVIEW: Shine edited by Jetse De Vries,” Speculative Book Review, 4 May 2010.

“Twittering the Stars” originally appeared in Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic Science Fiction, published by Solaris Books in 2010. In addition to the Shine anthology, Mari Ness’ short fiction has also appeared in Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction,, and Apex Magazine; her poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, and Dreams and Nightmares.



Series Number 006*

KENNETH SCHNEYER, “The Tortoise Parliament”: At the Parliament of the Confederation of Inhabited Worlds, speed-of-light instructions from home arrive too late, and personal loyalties and jealousies dominate decades of negotiations and lawmaking. Will Tithonos sacrifice the needs of his planet for the sake of his mistress?

“A space opera that makes the slowness of light and the spaciousness of time central figures in a thought-provoking exploration of love and politics.” —Ken Liu, author of “The Paper Menagerie” (winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards) and “Good Hunting” (winner of the WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction)

Nebula Award-nominated author Kenneth Schneyer thinks more about the legislative process than most people. A lawyer, law professor, and onetime appeals-court clerk, he comments extensively on lawmaking and legal interpretation in several published articles. His stories appear in Analog, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Clockwork Phoenix 3 & 4, Daily Science Fiction, Escape Pod, Podcastle, and hypothetical lawsuits created for students. A graduate of the Clarion class of 2009, he lives in the last state to ratify the U. S. Constitution, with three people who are smarter than he is and a litigious cat.

This story originally appeared in First Contact: Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1, edited by Jessi Hoffman (Digital Science Fiction, 2011).



Series Number 007*

J. J. STEINFELD, “The Suicide Inspector”: In a harsh future society where meaning and purpose are turned upside down, a citizen who has struggled through fifty jobs becomes a Suicide Inspector, and finds meaning by writing reports on what the government calls self-terminants.

J. J. Steinfeld is a Canadian fiction writer, poet, and playwright who lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published fourteen books, including the short story collections Disturbing Identities (Ekstasis Editions), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Gaspereau Press), and A Glass Shard and Memory (Recliner Books), the novels Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation (Pottersfield Press) and Word Burials (Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink), and the poetry collections An Affection for Precipices (Serengeti Press) and Misshapenness (Ekstasis Editions). His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over forty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.

“The Suicide Inspector,” in a slightly different version, was first published in The Apostate’s Tattoo (Ragweed Press, 1983) by J. J. Steinfeld, and was reprinted in The Atlantic Anthology (Vol. 1/Prose, Edited by Fred Cogswell, Ragweed Press, 1984), in Forever Underground Magazine (Issue #1, 2005), and in Aoife’s Kiss (Vol. X, No. 2, September 2011).



Series Number 008*

TADE THOMPSON, “Bicycle Girl”: In a future Nigeria where cyborg surveillance animals, decommissioned space stations and RFID implants are commonplace, theoretical physics professor Aloy Ogene is in solitary confinement and stands accused of the murder of one thousand, one hundred and seventy-five people. Under interrogation he tells the story of a visit from a strange child, a girl with limited command of English who needs his help with a mysterious antique machine, whose request leads to life-or-death consequences.

Tade Thompson’s roots are in Western Nigeria and South London. His short stories have been published in small press, webzines and anthologies. Most recently, his story “Notes from Gethsemane” appeared in The Afro SF Anthology, and “Shadow” appeared in The Apex Book of World SF 2, and “120 Days of Sunlight” appeared in Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond. He lives and works in South England. His influence field includes books, music, theatre, comics, art, movies, and memoirs. He haunts coffee shops, jazz bars, bookshops, and libraries. He is an occasional visual artist.

This story originally appeared in Expanded Horizons (July 2013).



Series Number 009*

PHIL VOYD, “Johnny B”: Johnny B is mediocre at everything. Average. Ordinary. Straight Bs in everything. Except for one thing. Shinny, a pickup game of ice hockey played outdoors and the heart of Canadian hockey. Flying across the rinks every winter, no one can touch him. No one can even come close. Until one night, he plays against someone who is better than him. Unnaturally better. Now Johnny has to play like he’s never played before because the price for losing is a lot more than wounded pride.

Phil Voyd’s stories have appeared in various anthologies, magazines and podcasts, including Fear’s Accomplice, Not One Of Us and The Sonic Society. He has received a couple of Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror series and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. One of his stories was adapted into a radio play at the CBC and another was recently made into a short film.

This story was first published in On Spec in 2000 and reprinted in 2002 in the high-school textbook Foundations of English 12.



*Note: Series Numbers only reflect order of release, and are mainly used because some online bookstores require them. You can read these stories in any order you like.




ANATOLY BELILOVSKY, “Chrestomathy”: Pushkin lives.

“interesting work”—Gardner Dozois, introduction to The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection

Anatoly Belilovsky was born in a city that went through six or seven owners in the last century, all of whom used it to do a lot more than drive to church on Sundays; he is old enough to remember tanks rolling through it on their way to Czechoslovakia in 1968. After being traded to the US for a shipload of grain and a defector to be named later (see wikipedia, Jackson-Vanik amendment), he learned English from Star Trek reruns and went on to become a pediatrician in an area of New York where English is only the fourth most commonly used language. He has neither cats nor dogs, but was admitted into SFWA in spite of this deficiency, having published stories in NATURE, Ideomancer, Immersion Book of Steampunk, Daily SF, Kasma, UFO, Stupefying Stories, Cast of Wonders, and other markets. He blogs about writing at, pediatrics at, and his medical practice web site is

This story originally appeared in Ideomancer, June 1, 2011.

  • ISBN 978-1-937794-47-7 (epub) is forthcoming for iPad, Nook, etc.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-46-0 (mobi) is forthcoming for Kindle on Amazon.


TERESA P. MIRA DE ECHEVERRÍA, “Memory”, translated by Lawrence Schimel: “Memory” tells the story of a boy on Mars in the near future. Its beginnings echo Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, although the story quickly moves on to ideas much more risky and radical involving personal relationships and sex roles, using the gigantic process of the terraforming of Mars as a backdrop.

Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría, from Buenos Aires, holds a doctorate and is a university professor and director of the Center for Science Fiction and Philosophy in the Research Department of the Human Vocation Foundation. She has published articles and stories in Cuásar, Próxima, NM, and Axxón, among other periodicals, and is one of the most interesting voices that has emerged in Argentine science fiction during this century.

Lawrence Schimel writes in both Spanish and English and has published over 100 books as author or anthologist, including Fairy Tales for Writers (A Midsummer Night’s Press), The Drag Queen of Elfland (Circlet), Tarot Fantastic (DAW Books), and Southern Blood: Vampire Stories from the American South (Cumberland House). He has won the Rhysling Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Spectrum Award, and others. He lives in Madrid, Spain, where he works as a Spanish to English translator.

This story originally appeared in the anthology Terra Nova: An Anthology of Contemporary Spanish Science Fiction (Sportula, 2013). It was also a finalist in the Spanish 2013 Ignotus awards in the short story category.

  • ISBN 978-1-937794-62-0 (epub) is forthcoming for iPad, Nook, etc.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-62-0 (mobi) is forthcoming for Kindle on Amazon.


NICK WOOD, “Of Hearts and Monkeys”: Noluthando Ngobo Bhele is an older woman negotiating the dangerous post-apocalyptic wilderness, some distance from the burnt out husk of Cape Town. Tentatively, Noluthando allies with a family as they journey in search of food and water towards the Atlantic Coast. On the way she is confronted by animals, humans and the amadlozi (ancestral spirits of the dead)—the ghosts of her own past.

“a clear and unique voice”—Lois Tilton, “Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-November,” Locus Online, 20 November 2010.

Nick Wood is a South African clinical psychologist, with over a dozen previously published short stories in Interzone, Infinity Plus, PostScripts, Redstone Science Fiction and the Newcon Press anthology, Subterfuge, amongst others. He has also had a YA speculative fiction book published in South Africa entitled The stone chameleon. Wood has completed an MA in Creative Writing (SF & Fantasy) through Middlesex University, London and is currently training clinical psychologists in Hertfordshire, England. He can be found: @nick45wood or

“Of Hearts and Monkeys” first appeared in PostScripts 22/23 (2010).

All author’s royalties donated to The Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust, the oldest organization in South Africa supporting adult rape survivors on the road to recovery and justice.

  • ISBN 978-1-937794-59-0 (epub) is forthcoming for iPad, Nook, etc.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-58-3 (mobi) is forthcoming for Kindle on Amazon.



AUTHOR, “Title”: Tagline.


author bio

  • ISBN ***** (epub) is forthcoming for iPad, Nook, etc.
  • ISBN ***** (mobi) is forthcoming for Kindle on Amazon.


6 June 2014

The Sky Needs More Work

The Sky Needs More Work: poems by Corey Mesler, forthcoming 2014.

  • ISBN 978-1-937794-42-2 (epub) is forthcoming for iPad, Nook, etc.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-40-8 (mobi) is forthcoming for Kindle on Amazon.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-41-5 (pdf) is forthcoming at Smashwords.

With poems like “Strictly Blowjob” and “The Cancer of Believing You’re in Control,” acclaimed writer Corey Mesler has made a book that adjoins sex, love and social connection in their many manifestations, from meditations on The Beatles, death, pharmacology, and infidelity, to “the holycow feeling/of just being human and/satisfied like a goddamn poem.”


From The Sky Needs More Work:


She drove me to a playground
behind a church.

There underneath the rocking
swings she sat

astride me, taking my root
roughly into her

body like a philter. I bucked
against her, the

ground was hard and cold.
Later she would be too.

But, for a while, illicitly she
carried me around like

a stone. She was in love with
my smile, my talk,

my ability to not be her husband.


Poems from the book available online:

These links all open in a new window.


Reviews of The Sky Needs More Work:

…the subject matter is dripping with delicious verbal concoctions… This book is not to be missed.

—Susan Cushman, “Writing on Wednesday: The holycow feeling of just being human. Or today we burn clouds.,” Pen & Palette, 23 July 2014


Critical Praise for Corey Mesler:

Corey Mesler is that rarest of things: a truly fun, literary writer.

—C. L. Bledsoe, “The Lit Report,” Prick of the Spindle, September 2013

Mesler repeatedly examines the flip-side of the coins laid over the eyes of pain and find laughter.

—Steve Stern, author of the Jewish Book Award-winning, The Wedding Jester, praising The Catastrophe of my Personality

Mesler’s poems bear a family resemblance to the excellent poetry of Kay Ryan and Tim Suermondt but chances are you have not read poems exactly like his. Inimitable, sometimes surreal or synthetic (joining the possible with the impossible), never illogical but willing to take brave leaps, his poems are as individual as he is, original, engaging, goofy, and smart as blazes.

—Kelly Cherry, author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems, praising The Catastrophe of my Personality

Not also but especially in the briefest, the tenderest of moments, when one is possessed by intimacy with his own life, there is no more crowding an enemy than human time. The radicality (I know, there’s no such word) of Corey Mesler’s poetry is its presentation of the terrific values in pieces of being, in protracted moments of verbal attention, in images that make even the awful and perilous things we know—enlightening.

—Gordon Osing, author of Things that Never Happened, praising Our Locust Years

30 May 2014

Hey, how about some contributor news

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted contributor news, since I’ve been pretty busy with our new projects, like the Floodgate Poetry Series, the Soles Series of Stories, our forthcoming 2015 anthology, How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens, and another anthology still being formed, co-edited by H. L. Nelson and me, Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good. I’m pretty psyched about all of these projects.


…on to the news!

Lyn Lifshin, whose Marilyn Monroe: Poems we put back into circulation in December, has a new book of poems, Malala, out from Poetic Matrix Press.


News for Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days contributors:

  • Tina Connolly‘s Copperhead (sequel to the Nebula-nominated Ironskin) came out in November, and her story “On the Eyeball Floor”, which first appeared in Strange Horizons, came out in translation in the Argentinian magazine La Idea Fija. Her “Flash Bang Remember,” co-written with Caroline M. Yoachim, was featured in StarShipSofa 320.
  • Seth Fried‘s story “Hello Again” is in the Spring 2014 issue of Tin House (and you’ll have to buy a copy to read it).
  • Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum‘s poetry collection Ghost Gear, a 2013 Miller Williams Poetry Prize finalist, was released by University of Arkansas Press.
  • Tessa Mellas has a new book of short fiction, Lungs Full of Noise, out with University of Iowa Press.
  • Chet Weise is the co-editor, with Third Man co-founder Ben Swank, of Language Lessons: Volume 1, the debut book by Third Man Books (a new division of Nashville’s Third Man Records), which was celebrated at AWP. Contributors include Jake Adam York, C.D. Wright, Brian Barker, and me.


And for 140 And Counting contributors:

  • David C. Kopaska-Merkel‘s poem, “Spark,” was in Polu Texni, and his story “A Better Place” is in the December issue of The Fifth Di….

30 March 2014

Open call for submissions for our Soles Series

Announcing an open call for reprint speculative short story submissions for our new short story ebook series, to begin publication in 2014 by Upper Rubber Boot Books. Each story will be published as its own stand-alone title.

Send speculative fiction, including: science fiction, literary stories using SFnal tropes, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, steampunk, slipstream, alternate history, utopian and dystopian, fantasy, and horror. We’ve listed these genres in descending order of our interest in them: we’re tremendously interested in science fiction, and not as interested in horror (but still willing to read it; genres we’re not willing to read are not listed above at all).

There’s no theme for this series. Publisher and editor Joanne Merriam wants well-written stories with interesting characters doing interesting things, and she has a special interest in feminist writing, LGBTQ writing, writing which reflects alternative lifestyles and diverse characters, writing from traditions outside the English-language publishing world, and writing from the American South and Canadian Maritimes.

  • Word/page count: Between 5,000 and 20,000 words, per story.
  • Payment: Royalties of 15% for ebook sales. (URB generally pays a higher royalty rate for ebook sales, but we’re constrained here by Amazon, where we anticipate making most of our sales — they keep 70% of the cover price for ebooks that sell for under $2.99. Price points may range from $0.99 up, depending on length.)
  • Publication history: Must be previously published, unless it’s a translation, in which case the original must have been published in its original language (and we’d prefer, but do not require, that the translated story be previously published as well). Non-exclusive reprint rights must be available. Unpublished works may be submitted by invitation only. In the case of this series, we also ask that the work not be available for free anywhere online (it’s okay if it used to be, as long as it isn’t now and won’t be in the future).
  • Multiple submissions: Up to 3 stories may be submitted at a time.
  • Simultaneous submissions: Since we will be asking for non-exclusive rights, this is fine as long as the other market is also non-exclusive; please note that this means we will expect you not to withdraw a submission because it has been accepted elsewhere.
  • Deadline: None. This is an ongoing series.


To submit: Send to joanne at upperrubberboot dot com:

  • your complete manuscript as a .RTF (if submitting more than one story, please submit separate .RTFs for each story)
  • a bio of 100 words or fewer
  • a description of the story of 100 words or fewer, suitable for display on Amazon/B&N/iStore/etc. (no spoiling the ending!) should your work be accepted
  • a listing of previous publication credit(s) for the work
  • if your story was ever reviewed, quotes of the reviews will be helpful

Put “SOLES” in the subject line to defeat my spam filter.

If the work is a translation, please also provide a statement from the rights holder that you are authorized to translate it.

28 March 2014

How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens

  • ISBN 978-1-937794-33-0 (epub) for iPad, Nook, etc. forthcoming.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-31-6 (mobi) for Kindle from Amazon forthcoming.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-32-3 (pdf) forthcoming.

How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens explores the immigrant experience in a science fiction setting, with exciting fiction and poetry from some of the genre’s best writers.


Table of Contents:

  • Dean Francis Alfar, “Ohkti”
  • Celia Lisset Alvarez, “Malibu Barbie Moves to Mars”
  • R.J. Astruc, “A Believer’s Guide to Azagarth”
  • Lisa Bao, “like father, like daughter”
  • Pinckney Benedict, “Zog-19: A Scientific Romance”
  • Lisa Bolekaja, “The Saltwater African”
  • Mary Buchinger, “Transplanted”
  • Zen Cho, “The Four Generations of Chang E”
  • Abbey Mei Otis, “Blood, Blood”
  • Tina Connolly, “Turning the Apples”
  • Indrapramit Das, “muo-ka’s Child”
  • Tom Doyle, “The Floating Otherworld”
  • Peg Duthie, “With Light-Years Come Heaviness”
  • Thomas Greene, “Zero Bar”
  • Benjamin S. Grossberg, “The Space Traveler’s Husband,” “The Space Traveler and the Promised Planet” and “The Space Traveler and Boston”
  • Minal Hajratwala, “The Unicorn at the Racetrack”
  • Julie Bloss Kelsey, “tongue lashing” and “the itch of new skin”
  • Rose Lemberg, “The Three Immigrations”
  • Ken Liu, “Ghost Days”
  • Alex Dally MacFarlane, “Found”
  • Anil Menon, “Into The Night”
  • Joanne Merriam, “Little Ambushes”
  • Mary Anne Mohanraj, “Jump Space”
  • Daniel José Older, “Phantom Overload”
  • Sarah Pinsker, “The Low Hum of Her”
  • Elyss G. Punsalan, “Ashland”
  • Benjamin Rosenbaum, “The Guy Who Worked For Money”
  • Erica L. Satifka, “Sea Changes”
  • Nisi Shawl, “In Colors Everywhere”
  • Lewis Shiner, “Primes”
  • Marge Simon, “South”
  • Sonya Taaffe, “Di Vayse Pave”
  • Bogi Takács, “The Tiny English-Hungarian Phrasebook For Visiting Extraterrestrials”
  • Bryan Thao Worra, “Dead End In December” and “The Deep Ones”
  • Deborah Walker, “Speed of Love”
  • Nick Wood, “Azania”

9 February 2014

“I’m wary of writing advice, I have to say, because I find it tends to make me think I’m doing lots of stuff badly and that’s a creativity killer.”

Intermittent Visitors: Simon Kewin interviewed by Joanne Merriam.

21 December 2013

The Mask Game

The Mask Game: released 7 December 2013.


In this irresistible novel, Ukrainian author Sergey Gerasimov tells the tale of a man with fourteen twists of fate embedded in his arm.

The child of a man who had cheated death, if only temporarily, and a woman who had despaired of having children until she buried a pear seed in her garden, and watched over by a mysterious old woman whose ears never stop twitching, Herodion must journey the world to find fourteen secrets from the Broken Glass Age and discover the true purpose of the aliens’ three great gifts to mankind before he can be reunited with his love.

Part fantasy, part science fiction, and part magical realism, this is a tremendously entertaining and exciting tale from a very talented author.


Sergey Gerasimov on writing The Mask Game:

The novel The Mask Game was written in about 500 brief sessions of automatic writing, and then the fragments were put together and edited. I have big enough experience with automatic writing as well as drawing (or almost automatic because some editing is always necessary), for example, my story that appeared in Clarkesworld and some other stories written in Russian were written using the automatic writing method. As far as I know, The Mask Game is the only complete fantasy novel ever written through automatic writing, which is not just a nonsensical text, but a book with a substantial plot, that includes many twists, themes, subplots, and questions remaining unanswered until near the end, where all the plot lines dovetail one into another, which makes this book unique.


Other work by Sergey Gerasimov available online:



As any familiar with the podcast will tell you, when I compare this book to Welcome to Night Vale, that is no small compliment. There’s a weird sort of internal logic that pervades the story, but what Welcome to Night Vale does for Lovecraft, the Mask Game does with fairy tales.

— Christopher, “Review of The Mask Game by Sergey Gerasimov,” Probably Fiction, 31 December 2013.

7 December 2013

I’m fairly certain thirtysomething men living in Brooklyn are issued Bukowski and Carver books by the State Department. And I fall in line.

Intermittent Visitors: Lucas Stensland interviewed by Joanne Merriam.

4 December 2013

Marilyn Monroe: Poems

Marilyn Monroe: Poems: released on 30 November 2013.

Lyn Lifshin has written an astonishing portrait of the real Marilyn Monroe, inside the icon. These poems imagine Norma Jean Baker’s inner thoughts about Hollywood, love, her work, her memories, her hopes, and the sorrows that eventually led to her overdose from sleeping pills in 1962. Lifshin gives us Marilyn the toy, Marilyn the mother, and Marilyn the survivor, in a remarkable tour de force.

This book was originally published in 1994 by Quiet Lion Press.


Poems from the book available online:


Lifshin on Marilyn Monroe: Poems:

If I have nothing, or very little on the subject, it’s like a starter’s gun go get me going. You could say I get carried away, obsessive and excessive! I love the feeling of being lost in something I never planned to write or think about. I love “assignments,” suggestions that take me on a road I’ve never been on. A forthcoming collection of Barbie poems and my book MARILYN MONROE came from wanting to write something for the Mondo books Rick Peabody was editing. I had just begun to spend time in DC, felt isolated, alone and I wanted to write some Marilyn Monroe poems for the collection. I thought of Marilyn feeling the same way, wandered through museums imagining her at the same exhibits, in the same galleries, penthouses, subways.

—Lyn Lifshin, “An Interview With Lyn Lifshin
by Nathan Leslie
,” Word Riot, 2011


Critical Praise for Lyn Lifshin:

Here she is! Might as well stop fighting it. Lifshin is not going to go away. For men, she’s sexy. For women she’s an archetype of gutsy independence. As a poet, she’s nobody but herself. Frightening prolific and utterly intense. One of a kind.

San Francisco Review of Books

Few poets can permeate the heart of things as Lyn Lifshin does.

—Alice Pero, review of All the Poets Who Have Touched Me

In the decades I’ve read Lifshin poems she is invariably interesting. Like dancing, the poems in this book are on the move in a variation of emotions usually with lovers, ex-lovers, or would be lovers. The speaker moves through the narrative with clarity and is utterly convincing in Lifshin’s unique idiom. There’s a breathing humanity in these poems, which future generations can read to feel the grit and grace of feminine life in our era.

—William Page, review of Ballroom

30 November 2013

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About URB

“Upper Rubber Boot” is slang for a remote place. URB publishes literary and speculative poetry and fiction from (metaphorically) remote places in ebook format.

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