Choose Wisely Goodreads Book Giveaway

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Choose Wisely by H. L. Nelson

Choose Wisely

by H. L. Nelson

Giveaway ends August 23, 2016.

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Add comment 23 July 2016

Museum Goodreads Book Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Museum of All Things Awesome and that Go Boom by Joanne Merriam

The Museum of All Things Awesome and that Go Boom

by Joanne Merriam

Giveaway ends July 31, 2016.

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The Museum of All Things Awesome and That Go Boom

Edited by Joanne Merriam, The Museum of All Things Awesome and That Go Boom is an anthology of science fiction featuring blunt force trauma, explosions, adventure, derring-do, tigers, Martians, zombies, fanged monsters, dinosaurs (alien and domestic), ray guns, rocket ships, and anthropomorphized marshmallows.

It contains work by 40 authors: fiction by Jim Comer, James Dorr, Aidan Doyle, Tom Doyle, Kendra Fortmeyer, Nick Kocz, David Kopaska-Merkel, Ken Liu, Kelly Luce, Tim Major, Laurent McAllister, Sequoia Nagamatsu, Jerry Oltion, Ursula Pflug, Leonard Richardson, Erica L. Satifka, G. A. Semones, Matthew Sanborn Smith, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Lucy Sussex, Mary A. Turzillo, Nick Wood, and K. Ceres Wright, and poetry by Khadija Anderson, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, Kristin Bock, Alicia Cole, Estíbaliz Espinosa (translated by Neil Anderson), Miriam Bird Greenberg, Benjamin Grossberg, Julie Bloss Kelsey, Katie Manning, Martha McCollough, Marc McKee, Richard King Perkins II, Christina Sng, J. J. Steinfeld, Sonya Taaffe, Deborah Walker, and Ali Znaidi.

The book is available in the gift shop of MATAGB (the Museum of All Things Awesome and that Go Boom), housed in the half-kiloSmoot-square, two-centuries-old dancing building, the Old Ptolemy, in the city of Draconis on the planet Epsilon Eridani b, or can be purchased from the vendors below.

MATAGB-front

 

Table of Contents:

  • Khadija Anderson, “Observational Couplets upon returning to Los Angeles from Outer Space”
  • Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, “Photograph of a Secret”
  • Kristin Bock, “I Wish I Could Write a Poem about Pole-Vaulting Robots”
  • Alicia Cole, “Asteroid Orphan”
  • Jim Comer, “Soldier’s Coat”
  • James Dorr, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians”
  • Aidan Doyle, “Mr. Nine and the Gentleman Ghost”
  • Tom Doyle, “Crossing Borders”
  • Estíbaliz Espinosa, “Dissidence” (translated by Neil Anderson)
  • Kendra Fortmeyer, “Squaline”
  • Miriam Bird Greenberg, “Brazilian Telephone”
  • Benjamin Grossberg, “The Space Traveler and Runaway Stars”
  • Julie Bloss Kelsey, two scifaiku
  • Nick Kocz, “The Last American Tiger”
  • David Kopaska-Merkel, “Captain Marshmallow”
  • Ken Liu, “Nova Verba, Mundus Novus”
  • Kelly Luce, “Ideal Head of a Woman”
  • Tim Major, “Read/Write Head”
  • Katie Manning, “Baba Yaga’s Answer”
  • Laurent McAllister, “Kapuzine and the Wolf: A Hortatory Tale”
  • Martha McCollough, “valley of the talking dolls” and “adventures of cartoon bee”
  • Marc McKee, “A Moment in Fill-In-The-Blank City”
  • Sequoia Nagamatsu, “Headwater LLC”
  • Jerry Oltion, “A Star Is Born”
  • Richard King Perkins II, “The Sleeper’s Requiem”
  • Ursula Pflug, “Airport Shoes”
  • Leonard Richardson, “Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs”
  • Erica L. Satifka, “Thirty-Six Questions Propounded by the Human-Powered Plasma Bomb in the Moments Before Her Imminent Detonation”
  • G. A. Semones, “Never Forget Some Things”
  • Matthew Sanborn Smith, “The Empire State Building Strikes Back!”
  • Christina Sng, “Medusa in LA”
  • J. J. Steinfeld, “The Loudest Sound Imaginable”
  • Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, “The Wanderers”
  • Lucy Sussex, “A Sentimental, Sordid Education”
  • Sonya Taaffe, “And Black Unfathomable Lakes”
  • Mary Turzillo, “Pride”
  • Deborah Walker, “Sea Monkey Mermaid”
  • Nick Wood, “The Girl Who Called the World”
  • K. Ceres Wright, “The Haunting of M117”
  • Ali Znaidi, “A Dolphin Scene” and “Australian Horoscope”

 

About the Contributors:

Butoh dancer, Muslim convert, and Pushcart nominated poet Khadija Anderson has been published extensively in print and online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University LA and her first book of poetry History of Butoh was published in 2012 through Writ Large Press. Find her at khadijaanderson.com.

Neil Anderson is a translator and teacher living in Lubbock, Texas. His translations from Galician have been published in Asymptote, The Bitter Oleander, Shearsman, Absinthe, M-Dash, and elsewhere.

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the 2013 Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange poetry winner. She has work published in American Poetry Review, CALYX, and Acentos Review among others. A short dramatization of her poem “Our Lady of the Water Gallons,” directed by Chicano activist and Hollywood director, Jesús Salvador Treviño can be viewed at latinopia.com. She curates the quarterly reading series HITCHED and co-founded Women Who Submit. Her debut poetry collection, Built with Safe Spaces, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications.

Kristin Bock holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts—Amherst where she currently teaches. Her poems have appeared in many literary magazines and journals, including VERSE, Columbia, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, The Black Warrior Review, and FENCE, as well as the URB anthology Apocalypse Now: Poems & Prose from the End of Days. She lives with her husband, artist Geoffrey Kostecki, in Montague, Massachusetts where they refurbish liturgical art. She is also a contributing editor to the literary magazine, Bateau. Bock’s debut collection of poetry, Cloisters, won Tupelo Press’s First Book Award and the da Vinci Eye Award.

Alicia Cole is a recent New Orleanian transplant by way of Atlanta, GA. She’s a professional writer, editor, and artist. Her sci-fi serial Blinded is currently being published by Rainbow Rumpus, and her work has recently appeared on PodCastle, and been reviewed in Dead Reckonings. You can find more of her work at www.facebook.com/AliciaColewriter and https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6470571.Alicia_Cole.

Jim Comer is an author and teacher who lives in Arkansas.

Indiana writer James Dorr‘s The Tears of Isis was a 2014 Bram Stoker Award nominee for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection. Other books include Strange Mistresses: Tales of Wonder and Romance, Darker Loves: Tales of Mystery and Regret, and his all-poetry Vamps (A Retrospective). For more, visit Dorr’s blog at jamesdorrwriter.wordpress.com.

Aidan Doyle is an Australian writer and computer programmer. He has visited more than 90 countries and his experiences include teaching English in Japan, interviewing ninjas in Bolivia and going ten-pin bowling in North Korea. Find him at aidandoyle.net and @aidan_doyle.

In 2014, Tor Books published American Craftsmen, Tom Doyle‘s first novel in a three-book deal. The Left-Hand Way followed in 2015. He is a winner of the WSFA Small Press Award and a Writers of the Future Award. His short fiction has appeared in Aeon, Buzzy Mag, Daily Science Fiction, Futurismic, and the URB anthology How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens. Paper Golem has published his short story collection, The Wizard of Macatawa and Other Stories.

Estíbaliz Espinosa is a Spanish- and Galician-language writer, author of the books Pan (libro de ler e desler) (2000); -orama (2002); Número e (2004); zoommm. textos biónicos (2007); and Curiosidade (2015). Find her at estibalizes.wordpress.com.

Kendra Fortmeyer received her MFA in fiction from UT Austin, and is the fiction editor for Broad! magazine. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in PANK, NANO Fiction, Forge, apt, Juked, Fiddleblack (under pen name Zoe Abramson), Corium and elsewhere.

Miriam Bird Greenberg is the author of the chapbooks All night in the new country and Pact-Blood, Fever Grass, and her work has been awarded fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the NEA. She lives in Berkeley and teaches ESL.

Benjamin S. Grossberg is Director of Creative Writing at The University of Hartford. His most recent book of poems, Space Traveler, was published by the University of Tampa Press in spring of 2014. His earlier collections include Sweet Core Orchard (University of Tampa, 2009), winner of the 2008 Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award.

Julie Bloss Kelsey writes speculative poetry and short stories from her home in suburban Maryland. Her work has been published in Scifaikuest, Seven by Twenty, Eye to the Telescope, Star*Line, and Mad Scientist Journal, among others. She is currently writing a scifaiku chapbook about an ill-fated alien romance. Visit her on Twitter @MamaJoules.

Nick Kocz‘s stories and essays have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Entropy, Five Chapters, Mid-American Review, and The Nervous Breakdown. He has an MFA from Virginia Tech and is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Virginia Tech. He lives in Blacksburg, VA with his wife and three children.

An aether compactor by trade, David C. Kopaska-Merkel began writing poetry after witnessing the Ascension of Tim. He won the Rhysling award for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He has written 23 books, of which one of the latest is SETI Hits Paydirt (Popcorn Press, 2014). Kopaska-Merkel has edited Dreams & Nightmares since 1986.

Ken Liu is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards, he has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among other places. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts. Saga Press, Simon & Schuster’s new genre fiction imprint, published his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, in 2015, and will publish a collection of his short stories, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, in 2016.

Kelly Luce‘s story collection, Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail, won the 2013 Foreword Review‘s Editors Choice Prize in Fiction. Her debut novel, Pull Me Under, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2016. A Contributing Editor for Electric Literature, she hails from Illinois and lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Tim Major lives in Oxford with his wife and son. His time-travel novel, You Don’t Belong Here, will be published by Snowbooks in September 2016 and his horror novella, Carus & Mitch, was published by Omnium Gatherum in February 2015. His short stories have featured in Interzone, Perihelion, Every Day Fiction, and numerous anthologies. He is the Editor of the SF magazine, The Singularity, and also blogs at cosycatastrophes.wordpress.com.

Katie Manning is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman. She has received The Nassau Review Author Award for Poetry, and her writing has been published in Fairy Tale Review, New Letters, PANK, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. She is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review, and she is an Assistant Professor of Writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Find her online at katiemanningpoet.com.

Laurent McAllister is the symbionym of a duo of Canadian writers, Yves Meynard and Jean-Louis Trudel. Since 1984, they have published extensively in French and in English, penning under the McAllister identity one award-winning novel, Suprématie (2009), one collection, three young adult books, and several short stories. Writing separately, they have authored nearly 40 books, and many more short stories. Tor published Meynard’s fantasy novel Chrysanthe in 2012. Trudel’s short story “The Snows of Yesteryear” was included in the John Joseph Adams anthology Loosed Upon the World from Saga in 2015.

Martha McCollough is an artist and writer who lives in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Her videopoems have been exhibited at festivals and conferences internationally, and have appeared in Rattapallax, Gone Lawn, and TriQuarterly. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Small Po[r]tions, Cream City Review, and Salamander.

Marc McKee received an MFA from the University of Houston and a PhD from the University of Missouri at Columbia, where he lives with his wife, Camellia Cosgray. His work has appeared in several journals, among them Barn Owl Review, Boston Review, Cimarron Review, Conduit, Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, Forklift, Ohio, LIT, and Pleiades. He is the author of the chapbook What Apocalypse?, which won the New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM 2008 Chapbook Contest, and two full-length collections, Fuse (Black Lawrence Press, 2011) and Bewilderness (Black Lawrence Press, 2014).

Sequoia Nagamatsu is the author of the Japanese folklore inspired story collection, Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone (Black Lawrence Press). His work has appeared in journals such as Conjunctions, Lightspeed Magazine, Zyzzyva, The Fairy Tale Review, Tin House online, and Black Warrior Review. He is the managing editor of Psychopomp Magazine and an assistant professor of creative writing at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. More info at http://sequoianagamatsu.net.

Jerry Oltion has had over 150 short stories and 15 novels published over the last 30 years, and is still hard at it. He has become the most frequently published author in the history of Analog magazine, and has won the Nebula Award for his novella, “Abandon in Place.” He is mostly known for hard science fiction with a human, often humorous touch.

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He has a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in hundreds of publications including Bluestem, December Magazine, Emrys Journal, Poetry Salzburg Review, Roanoke Review, Sierra Nevada Review, The Louisiana Review, The Red Cedar Review, The William and Mary Review, and Two Thirds North.

Ursula Pflug is the critically acclaimed author of the novels Green Music (Edge/Tesseract), The Alphabet Stones (Blue Denim) and Motion Sickness (Inanna; illustrated by S.K. Dyment). She penned the story collections After the Fires (Tightrope) and Harvesting the Moon (PS). She edited the anthologies They Have To Take You In (Hidden Brook) and Playground of Lost Toys (Exile; with Colleen Anderson.) A YA novella, Mountain, is forthcoming from Inanna. She teaches creative writing workshops at Loyalist College, Trent University (with Derek Newman-Stille) and elsewhere. She has collaborated with filmmakers, dancers, and installation artists and her short fiction has been taught at universities in Canada and India. Find her at ursulapflug.ca.

Leonard Richardson became a programmer because paleontology involved too much outdoor work. He writes prose and open source software from his home in New York. For more about him, go to www.crummy.com.

Erica L. Satifka‘s fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, and Shimmer as well as URB’s anthology How to Live on Other Planets.

Weaned on fairy tales and hero adventures, G. A. Semones remembers reading his first space opera when about nine years old. He began writing in his teens and writes primarily fantasy and science fiction. He is a Liberty Hall Writers denizen. A software engineer, he has built scary things that self-heal and self-organize. He is a devoted husband, dad and granddad who, when not writing, enjoys history, antique cryptography, fossils, reading, and gardening with his wife. His work has appeared on The Drabblecast, Ray Gun Revival, and Alternate Hilarities, among others.

Matthew Sanborn Smith is a South Floridian speculative fiction author whose fiction has appeared at Tor.com, Nature, Chizine, and Diabolical Plots among others. He is an occasional contributor to the StarShipSofa, SF Signal, and SFF Audio podcasts. His collection, The Dritty Doesen: Some of the Least Reasonable Stories of Matthew Sanborn Smith, is waiting patiently for just the right reader, and his podcast, Beware the Hairy Mango, is adored by dozens.

Christina Sng is a Rhysling-nominated poet, writer, and artist. Her work has received several Honorable Mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She is the author of three chapbooks and her first full-length book of poetry, A Collection of Nightmares from Raw Dog Screaming Press arrives late 2016. Visit her online at christinasng.com.

Canadian J. J. Steinfeld 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 sixteen books, including the short story collections Disturbing Identities (Ekstasis Editions), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Gaspereau Press), A Glass Shard and Memory (Recliner Books), and Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Ekstasis Editions), 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), Misshapenness (Ekstasis Editions), and Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (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.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam lives in Texas with her partner and two literarily-named cats: Gimli and Don Quixote. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, and Interzone. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program and curates an annual Art & Words Show, profiled in Poets & Writers. Bonnie is represented by Ann Collette at Rees Literary. You can visit her on Twitter @BonnieJoStuffle or through her website: www.bonniejostufflebeam.com.

Lucy Sussex was born in New Zealand. She has edited four anthologies, including She’s Fantastical (1995), shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award. Her award-winning fiction includes books for younger readers and the novel The Scarlet Rider. She has five short story collections, My Lady Tongue, A Tour Guide in Utopia, Absolute Uncertainty, Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies (a best of), and Thief of Lives. Her latest project is Blockbuster!: Fergus Hume and the Mystery of a Hansom Cab.

Sonya Taaffe‘s short fiction and poetry can be found in the collections Ghost Signs (Aqueduct Press), A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press), Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Prime Books), and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), and in various anthologies including The Humanity of Monsters, Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place, and Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror. She is currently senior poetry editor at Strange Horizons; she holds master’s degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object. She lives in Somerville with her husband and two cats.

Mary Turzillo‘s 1999 Nebula-winner, “Mars Is no Place for Children” and Analog novel An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl are recommended reading on the International Space Station. Her poetry collection Lovers & Killers won the 2013 Elgin Award for Best Collection, and she has been a finalist on the British SFA, Pushcart, Stoker, Dwarf Stars and Rhysling ballots. Sweet Poison, her collaboration with Marge Simon, came out from Dark Renaissance in 2014. She lives in Berea, Ohio, with her scientist-writer husband, Geoffrey A. Landis.

Deborah Walker grew up in the most English town in the country, but she soon high-tailed it down to London, where she now lives with her partner, Chris, and her two young children. Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the past for future inspiration or on her blog, deborahwalkersbibliography.blogspot.com. Her poems have appeared in Dreams & Nightmares, Star*Line, and Enchanted Conversation.

Nick Wood is a South African clinical psychologist, with around twenty short stories previously published in Interzone, Infinity Plus, AfroSF, PostScripts, Redstone Science Fiction, Fierce Family, and How to Live On Other Planets, amongst others. His YA speculative fiction novella The stone chameleon was published in South Africa and his debut novel Azanian Bridges is due to be published in the UK in 2016 by NewCon Press. He has completed an MA in Creative Writing (SF & Fantasy) through Middlesex University, London and is currently training clinical psychologists in London, England. He can be found at @nick45wood or nickwood.frogwrite.co.nz.

K. Ceres Wright received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, and Cog was her thesis novel for the program. Wright’s science fiction poem, “Doomed,” was a nominee for the Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s highest honor. Her work has appeared in Diner Stories, Hazard Yet Forward, Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction, The 2008 Rhysling Anthology, Far Worlds, The Dark God’s Gift, and Many Genres, One Craft. Find her at www.kcereswright.com or on Twitter @KCeresWright.

Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia, where he teaches English. He authored four poetry chapbooks including Experimental Ruminations (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Moon’s Cloth Embroidered with Poems (Origami Poems Project, 2012), Bye, Donna Summer! (Fowlpox Press, 2014), and Taste of the Edge (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2014). You can see more of his work on his blog at aliznaidi.blogspot.com.

 

About the Editor

Joanne Merriam is the owner and publisher of Upper Rubber Boot Books. She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and lived thereabouts for her first three decades. In 2001, she quit her job as the Executive Assistant of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia to travel Canada by train, and then parts of the Northeastern and Southern United States. Her first book of poetry, The Glaze from Breaking, was written, in part, about those travels. In 2004, she immigrated to the USA, where she has lived in Kentucky and New Hampshire, and now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Joanne Merriam’s poetry and fiction has appeared in dozens of magazines and journals, including The Antigonish Review, Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Fiddlehead, The Furnace Review, Grain, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, The Mainichi Daily News, Per Contra, Riddle Fence, Room of One’s Own, Strange Horizons and Vallum Contemporary Poetry, as well as in the anthologies Ice: new writing on hockey, To Find Us: Words and Images of Halifax and The Allotment: New Lyric Poets. She most recently edited How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens and co-edited Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good with H. L. Nelson. Visit her at www.joannemerriam.com.

26 June 2016

Sunvault open to submissions

Slated for release in spring 2017, Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation is edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Wieland. This anthology focuses on the aftereffects of environmental disasters, but with hope—stories of those inhabiting the crucial moments when great change can be made by the right people with the right tools; stories of people living during tipping points, and the spaces before and after them; and stories of those who fought to effect change and seek solutions, even if it was too late. We are currently taking submissions, through June 4th for fiction and poetry, and June 30th for black and white line art. Details here.

4 May 2016

Questions to Ask While Revising

Joanne Merriam, Upper Rubber Boot Books1

Grammar, Syntax, Usage:

  • Is the grammar, punctuation, and spelling correct?
  • Does wrong or non-standard syntax serve the purpose of the work?
  • Does the diction [ornateness/simplicity] fit the meaning?
  • Is there music? Is the music serving the work?

Serving the Reader:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it ethical?
  • Does it go deep enough?
  • Is it based on cultures I don’t belong to or don’t have a deep knowledge of? If so, have I run it past people who do belong to those cultures, and/or done extensive research to avoid misrepresentation and mistakes?
  • Are there places that would be confusing to an outside reader or where I’ve assumed non-general knowledge or mind-reading?

Serving the Story:

  • Is it predictable? Are there clichés in words, images, ideas, or plot? (Strange Horizons lists cliché plots: http://www.strangehorizons.com/guidelines/fiction-common.shtml; Teresa Nielsen Hayden lists dreadful phrases: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/007425.html.)
  • Can I strengthen the story by changing my world-building assumptions? (Charles Stross’ list: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2016/01/a-world-building-puzzler.html.)
  • Are the transitions serving the work? Is every scene serving the work? Are the ideas and rhetorical gestures in the right order?
  • Is it in the right voice [first person/second person/third person]?
  • What does it actually say on the page (as opposed to in my mind)? Is it saying what it wants to say? Is it confused?
  • Would saying less be stronger?
  • Does it follow its own deepest impulses, rather than my initial idea?
  • Do I know more than I did when I started writing it? Did I discover anything?
  • Do characters follow their own goals and impulses, or have I forced them to act against their own character to fit the plot? Do they talk, act, and think authentically?
  • Is there anything that doesn’t belong?
  • Do any digressions serve the work?
  • Is it self-satisfied/smug?
  • Does it allow strangeness? Is the strangeness it allows accessible?
  • Should it go out into the world or is it the seed for another story (or poem)?

1 Also includes questions from a talk given by poet Jane Hirshfield at Vanderbilt University, and from a workshop given by poet Sue MacLeod at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. Feel welcome to reproduce or excerpt this list, provided attribution and this notice are included.

21 March 2016

Sunvault will open for submissions soon

Writers! Upper Rubber Boot Books wants your stories for Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation, the upcoming anthology of speculative fiction edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Wieland. Set for publication in spring 2017, Sunvault will open to submissions following the funding of our Kickstarter project in April.

We want this anthology to reach outside Western and Anglophone traditions of speculative fiction, showcasing the way environment and environmental issues are talked about and perceived in all parts of the world. We encourage and welcome submissions from diverse voices and under-represented populations, including, but not limited to, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, those with disabilities, and the elderly. Authors of all walks of life should feel encouraged to send us stories celebrating these diverse characters and settings all around us.

What are we looking for?

We want short stories that fall under the scope of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, weird fic, etc.). If you’re unsure, submit! We love to be surprised.

The anthology will focus on times of environmental crisis and the people inhabiting these tipping points, fighting to effect change and seek solutions, even if it’s already too late. But these are stories of hope, not just disaster! Turn your lens to those crucial moments in a world’s history when great change can be made by the right people with the right tools. Remember: hope can spark in even the grimmest of situations.

Is there environmental SF already?

There is! Although environmental factors in SF aren’t seen as frequently as other issues, writers are addressing it in revolutionary ways. Here are some examples of SF with primary environmental concerns:

  • Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy
  • Paulo Bacigalupi’s novels (The Windup Girl, The Water Knife)
  • George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer
  • Edan Lepucki’s California
  • Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy

The list goes on. Not all of these stories, though, truly fall into the solarpunk category. So what is solarpunk?

What is solarpunk?

Solarpunk follows in the tradition of steampunk and cyberpunk as the embodiment of a counterculture ideology: innovating a way of life that is better for the present and ultimately better for the future. Concepts like clean energy and sustainability are integral to solarpunk as they are outlets for societal reform. The fight for positive change is where -punk comes into play.

There are various communities online that are imagining and building solarpunk as an idea and an aesthetic, but as a literary movement, it is as yet largely undefined. That’s where you come in. Sunvault is the SF community’s opportunity to define the solarpunk genre. We want to see your conceptions and interpretations of the genre. We want to see what solarpunk looks like to you.

Length & Payment:

We’re looking for short stories from 500 to 7500 words. Don’t query about longer pieces. We want to include as many stories as possible in the anthology, so we aren’t able to consider longer works. All authors will be paid 6 cents USD per word upon publication for original fiction.

We are also open for reprint submissions. Reprints are paid a flat rate of $50 for stories under 2000 words and $100 for stories over 2000 words. Please include a complete publication history for reprint submissions.

We will accept submissions from any country.

Translations:

Translations are welcome. Please include proof that you have the permission of the original author to translate and submit the story, and provide the original author’s contact details as well as your own. Payment will be split equally between the translator and the author. If this is the first publication of the story in English, even if it has appeared in its original language in print, we will pay the rate for original work.

How do I submit?

Submissions will open as soon as our Kickstarter is fully funded and run for approximately a month. Send your story to us at sunvaultanthology[at]gmail.com with the subject like Original Submission: Story name for originals and Reprint Submission: Story name for reprints. Submit translations as original stories (if previously unpublished in English), but be clear that it is a translation in the body of your message. If the format is wrong, your story may end up in our spam folder, so be diligent. We will only read files sent as .doc, .docx, .odt, or .rtf.

Include a cover letter in the body of your email to tell us a bit about who you are. Please include the story’s length, any relevant info we should know about the story, and an author’s bio. Do not describe your story in the cover letter.

We will not be accepting simultaneous submissions. You may only submit one story during the reading period.

Response Time:

We won’t be responding to submissions until the reading period has officially closed, so response times will vary, but expect to hear back from us within 2-3 months. Please don’t query until after 3 months.

28 February 2016

Sunvault

Upper Rubber Boot Books is delighted to announce a new title, slated for release in spring 2017:

Edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Wieland, Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation is an anthology focusing on the aftereffects of environmental disasters, but with hope—stories of those inhabiting the crucial moments when great change can be made by the right people with the right tools; stories of people living during tipping points, and the spaces before and after them; and stories of those who fought to effect change and seek solutions, even if it was too late.

Currently taking submissions, through June 4th for fiction and poetry, and June 30th for black and white line art. Details here.

  • ISBN 978-1-937794-75-0 (print) is forthcoming in spring 2017.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-76-7 (mobi) is forthcoming in spring 2017.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-77-4 (epub) is forthcoming in spring 2017.

Discuss this book at Goodreads.
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14 February 2016

This Is Horror

We’re excited and humbled that Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good was nominated in the anthology category for a This Is Horror Award! Also lovely to see Damien Angelica Walters and Rebecca Jones-Howe, both of whom were in Choose Wisely, nominated for their short story collections – and so many other wonderful writers and presses here. Please go vote!

10 January 2016

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2, containing poetry by Kallie Falandays, Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs, and Judy Jordan, was released on 17 November 2015.

floodgate_coverart_no2_2015_6x9_front

This is the second volume in the Floodgate Poetry Series, an annual series of books collecting three chapbooks by three poets in a single volume, edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum. Chapbooks—short books under 40 pages—arose when printed books became affordable in the 16th century. The series is in the tradition of 18th and 19th century British and American literary annuals, and the Penguin Modern Poets Series of the 1960s and ’70s.

 

Kallie Falandays‘ debut collection of poetry, Tiny Openings Everywhere, distorts reality and the many ways we perceive it with a raucous, almost violent brand of play in poems more interested in questioning reality than nailing it down. At times breathtaking, others delightfully perplexing, these verses are as quixotic and witty as they are essential and damning. Falandays received her MFA from Wichita State University in 2015. She writes copy by day and runs a small editing business, telltellpoetry.com, by night from her home in Philadelphia.

Score for a Burning Bridge, Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs‘ debut collection of poems, examines politics, loneliness, and doubt in poems that startle the intellect and imagination. In these intimate meditations, Jorgensen-Briggs explores the modern world and searches (as so many of us do) for his place in it with a singular voice and vision. Jorgensen-Briggs received his MFA from New York University in 2007, spent two months in Palestine working with the International Solidarity Movement, and currently works with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and live in the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community.

Judy Jordan‘s Hunger chronicles Jordan’s time living in a greenhouse in Virginia that continues (and nearly concludes) the story she started in her first two books, Carolina Ghost Woods and 60¢ Coffee and a Quarter to Dance. Hunger cements Jordan’s status as an expert of the vertical narrative in lyrical style and is the first collection she’s published in eleven years. Jordan teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she lives off the grid in the heart of the Shenandoah National Forest in an eco-friendly, earthbag house she built by hand.

 

Reviews of Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2:

Judy Jordan’s “Hunger” section was the one that struck deepest for me. It was keenly observed lack, hunger but also bills and illness, and yet not in a way that became a drumbeat of woe. It started with my favorite of the section, “These First Mornings Living in the Greenhouse,” and the entire section had the feel of a latter-day imperial fall in real daily terms—not what we imagine an imperial fall would be like, but what it actually was, dragged out, small, particular, personal ways. The greenhouse in the cold is vivid and rich and particular, and Jordan goes on from there to all the other particulars of a fall (not an autumn, a fall), the bulldozers, the algae-clogged ponds.

—Marissa Lingen, “Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 2, by Judy Jordan, Kallie Falandays, and Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs,” Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway, 29 September 2015

Welcome to the Kallieverse, which shares the everyday pleasures and perils of our world, but seems to obey slightly different laws of physics and tilts its language in new intriguing ways. It’s the twin of our cosmos, separated from ours at the Big Bang—and happily, Ms. Falandays has reunited them.

—Albert Goldbarth, on Kallie Falandays’ Tiny Openings Everywhere

There is a stillness and attentiveness in Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs’s Score for a Burning Bridge, an abiding quiet, as if the poems are trying not to scare something wild nearby. In this stillness you can hear “the purr of locusts” and “dusk, quiet / as a coat on a hook.” But as you travel deeper into this stunning collection to where “the map is lost / inside the act of folding”—you see, of course, that the poems are wild themselves.

—Maggie Smith, on Aaron Jorgensen-Briggs’s Score for a Burning Bridge

This is a great American poem. Jordan tells the truth of a life as split open by the world—by life on this earth with other kinds of beings, human and other, with dreams and ghosts, machinery, between the visible and invisible. The language is thick, allusive, rich, dense. She turns scalding materials into gorgeous art.

—Adrienne Rich, on Judy Jordan’s Hunger

1 comment 17 November 2015

“Poetry is hard, let’s…read more poetry.”

So I’m working today to get Floodgate Poetry Series​ Vol. 2 promo set up, and I search on Floodgate because I am looking for something else and up pops this really thoughtful review by Marissa Lingen​ that I missed when she published it, probably because I was packing for Kenya and so tremendously distracted by all of that—anyway, these particular chapbooks aren’t 100% her thing, but I am loving how thoughtful she is in her examination of this (“I think it was less ‘these are bad poems’ and more ‘these are not mostly the poems for me.'”) and I love what she has to say about Judy Jordan​’s chapbook:

Judy Jordan’s “Hunger” section was the one that struck deepest for me. It was keenly observed lack, hunger but also bills and illness, and yet not in a way that became a drumbeat of woe. It started with my favorite of the section, “These First Mornings Living in the Greenhouse,” and the entire section had the feel of a latter-day imperial fall in real daily terms–not what we imagine an imperial fall would be like, but what it actually was, dragged out, small, particular, personal ways. The greenhouse in the cold is vivid and rich and particular, and Jordan goes on from there to all the other particulars of a fall (not an autumn, a fall), the bulldozers, the algae-clogged ponds.

Thank you, Marissa. And everybody: go read her reviews! Not just of our books but all of her reviews, because they are always thoughtful and well-expressed, and we need this kind of literary conversation.

14 November 2015

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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 and print format.

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