Posts tagged ‘Julie Novakova’

Horror as the stock which flavors the whole

Today we feature three stories of mothers and children.

In Autumn Christian’s “Flowers for Dogman,” the protagonist, Effy, a senior in high school, believes herself to have ceased to be human because of her father’s emotional absence and her mother’s obsession with the dogman, a mysterious creature who lives in the woods near their house. Her relationship with her mother (“A ghost of a woman, her body gone to make more room for her shadow.”) is at the heart of this brutal tale of family dysfunction.

In sharp contrast to Christian’s story, Joyce Chng’s “Dear Son” is a short letter from a loving and generous mother to her morally upstanding son, who must let go of her after death. In her introduction to Sharp & Sugar Tooth, editor Octavia Cade writes:

In “Dear Son” by Joyce Chng [ritual and recipe are] used to pass on generosity. . . . This is worldbuilding with horror as the stock which flavors the whole, and it’s a genuine shift from the horror of consumption and control, or of consumption and addiction, or starvation, because there’s communication in it and even (especially in Chng and Horáková) a genuine underpinning of healthy love.

In Julie Nováková’s “Frankenstein Sonata,” it’s the mother who must let go of her song after death—but she can’t, with horrifying consequences.

Julie Nováková writes:

What happened in the world of Frankenstein after Dr. Frankenstein, and to what lengths could a mother go to save her child? These were the tantalizing questions at the start of “The Frankenstein Sonata”. As to the use of music in the story, I’m frankly not sure where it came from – it was just there. I use music in my stories a lot (and it shows: The Symphony of Ice and Dust, Étude for An Extraordinary Mind…), and especially classical music and opera are a great source of inspiration to me. I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it! I don’t mind if you listen to a little Fauré or Schumann alongside it. . . .

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About the Authors

Joyce Chng lives in Singapore. Her fiction has appeared in The Apex Book of World SF II, We See A Different Frontier, Cranky Ladies of History, and Accessing The Future. Joyce also co-edited The Sea is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia with Jaymee Goh. Her alter-ego is J. Damask.

Autumn Christian is a fiction writer who lives in the dark woods with poisonous blue flowers in her backyard and a black deer skull on her wall. She is waiting for the day when she hits her head on the cabinet searching for the popcorn bowl and all consensus reality dissolves. She’s been a freelance writer, a game designer, a cheese producer, a haunted house actor, and a video game tester. She considers Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, Katie Jane Garside, the southern gothic, and dubstep, as main sources of inspiration.

Julie Nováková is a Czech author and translator of SF, fantasy and detective stories. She has published short fiction in Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, Analog, and elsewhere. Her work in Czech includes seven novels, one anthology (Terra Nullius) and over thirty short stories. Some of her works have been also translated into Chinese, Romanian and Estonian. She received the Encouragement Award of the European science fiction and fantasy society in 2013, and the Aeronautilus award for the best Czech short story of 2014 and 2015, and for the best novel of 2015. Read more at and follow her on Twitter @Julianne_SF.

6 June 2018

Kickstarting Women Up To No Good!


Projects like the VIDA Count have demonstrated that women account for startlingly less than half of those published, and writers of marginalized sex and gender identities account for much less than their presence in the general population.

To help counteract that—and also because we thought it would be fun—we started the Women Up To No Good series, which focuses on “bad” women, and “good” women who just haven’t been caught yet.

There are other imbalances too, most notably race, and while we have no formal requirement for inclusion of writers of color, we strive for diversity in all of our anthologies.

Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good and Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good are anthologies of writing by women and authors of marginalized sex and gender identities, about female protagonists whose knowledge or appetites are critical to their stories.

We’re raising money to be able to pay our authors professional rates, and to properly promote the anthologies so they get the attention they deserve. Our hope is to get the Women Up To No Good series on a solid enough footing that sales of the books will support all future anthologies.


Broad Knowledge authors

Sharp & Sugar Tooth authors

Check out our Kickstarter here.

1 April 2018

Broad Knowledge

Print (978-1-937794-85-9).
Ebook (978-1-937794-86-6).

Go to: About | Reviews | Goodreads
Forthcoming 20 November 2018, during Small Press Week!



Many thanks to Christi Craig for hosting the cover reveal for Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good!




Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good is a feminist anthology of dark fiction and darker knowledge, edited by Joanne Merriam. Containing 35 stories of “bad” women, and “good” women who just haven’t been caught yet, it features 35 fearless writers who identify as female, non-binary, or a marginalized sex or gender identity. It’s the second in the Women Up To No Good series, and is forthcoming in winter 2018.


Table of Contents

  • Charlotte Ashley, “She Falls” (original)
  • R. S. Benedict, “Clara Vox” (original)
  • Megan Chaudhuri, “First mouse model of Innsmouth Fish-man Syndrome draft 2 USE THIS VERSION – edits by MK.doc” (original)
  • Autumn Christian, “Flowers for Dogman” (original)
  • Vida Cruz, “Blushing Blue” (original)
  • Sarina Dorie, “The Visitations of Seraphim by Biblical Scholar Father Anthony Maguire” (original)
  • L. Timmel Duchamp, “The Forbidden Words of Margaret A.” (first published in Pulphouse 8, August 1990, and also available in The Women Who Walk Through Fire, ed. Susanna J. Sturgis, Crossing Press, 1990 and in PDF on Duchamp’s website)
  • Estíbaliz Espinosa, “:: 23 commuter line chromosomes ::” (first published in Galician in Curiosidade, but original in English, translated by the author)
  • A. T. Greenblatt, “Five Meters Ahead, Two Centuries Away”(original)
  • Claudine Griggs, “The Cold Waters of Europa” (original)
  • Audrey R. Hollis, “Your Life Will Look Perfect From Afar” (original)
  • Joanna Michal Hoyt, “Taking It Back” (original)
  • Rebecca Jones-Howe, “Election Season” (original)
  • Maggie Maxwell, “Like I Need a Hole in the Head” (original)
  • Rati Mehrotra, “Make Pretty” (original)
  • Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría, “Liquid Glass” (trans. Lawrence Schimel) (original)
  • Premee Mohamed, “Below the Kirk, Below the Hill” (original)
  • Wendy Nikel, “Maidens of the Sea” (original)
  • Julie Nováková, “Frankenstein Sonata” (original)
  • Aimee Ogden, “Matched Set” (original)
  • Perla Palacios, “Viva La Muñeca” (original)
  • Therese Pieczynski, “Three Days, Two Nights” (original)
  • Laura E. Price, “Mary in the Looking Glass” (original)
  • Clarice Radrick, “The Red” (original)
  • Nisi Shawl, “Street Worm” (first published in Streets of Shadows, Alliteration Ink, 2014; also appeared in Street Magicks, Prime Books, 2016)
  • Tabitha Sin, “The Donor” (original)
  • Angela Slatter, “The Song of Sighs” (first published in Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth, 2013; also appeared in New Cthulhu 2: More Recent Weird, 2015)
  • D.A. Xiaolin Spires, “Sunbasker” (original)
  • Priya Sridhar, “Tidal Bloom” (original)
  • Jae Steinbacher, “Blood Sausage” (original)
  • Sonya Taaffe, “Like Milkweed” (first appeared in Not One of Us #52, ed. John Benson, October 2014)
  • Liz Ulin, “Profanity” (original)
  • Marie Vibbert, “Infinite Boyfriends” (original)
  • Mingzhao Xu, “Think, Baby Turtle” (original)
  • Xin Niu Zhang, “The Ladies in the Moon” (original)



Reviews & Mentions

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16 September 2017


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