Posts tagged ‘Nick Wood’

Sunvault

Readers who’ve had their fill of dystopian fiction will want to explore these more positive futures.
                                     —Publishers Weekly

 

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Release date: 29 August 2017

 

About this book:

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation is the first English-language anthology to broadly collect solarpunk short fiction, artwork, and poetry. A new genre for the 21st Century, solarpunk is a revolution against despair. Focusing on solutions to environmental disasters, solarpunk envisions a future of green, sustainable energy used by societies that value inclusiveness, cooperation, and personal freedom.

Edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland, Sunvault focuses on the stories of those inhabiting the crucial moments when great change can be made by people with the right tools; stories of people living during tipping points, and the spaces before and after them; and stories of those who fight to effect change and seek solutions to ecological disruption.

Contributors include Elgin Award nominee Kristine Ong Muslim, New York Times bestselling author Daniel José Older, James Tiptree, Jr. Award winner Nisi Shawl, World Fantasy Award and Campbell Award winner Lavie Tidhar, and Lambda Literary Awards finalist A.C. Wise, as well as Jess Barber, Santiago Belluco, Lisa M. Bradley, Chloe N. Clark, Brandon Crilly, Yilun Fan and translator S. Qiouyi Lu, Jaymee Goh, José M. Jimenez, Maura Lydon, Camille Meyers, Lev Mirov, joel nathanael, Clara Ng, Sara Norja, Brandon O’Brien, Jack Pevyhouse, Bethany Powell, C. Samuel Rees, Iona Sharma, Karyn L. Stecyk, Bogi Takács, Aleksei Valentín, T.X. Watson, Nick Wood, and Tyler Young.

 

Table of Contents:

  • Fiction and poetry:
    • Foreword: Andrew Dincher “On the Origins of Solarpunk”
    • Jess Barber, “You and Me and the Deep Dark Sea”
    • Santiago Belluco, “The Death of Pax”
    • Lisa M. Bradley & José M. Jimenez, “Strandbeest Dreams”
    • Chloe N. Clark, “Fairy Tales & Other Species of Life” and “Please”
    • Brandon Crilly, “Pop and the CFT”
    • Yilun Fan, trans. S. Qiouyi Lu, “Speechless Love”
    • Jaymee Goh, “The Reset”
    • Maura Lydon, “The Herbalist”
    • Camille Meyers, “Solar Child”
    • Lev Mirov, “The Desert, Blooming”
    • Kristine Ong Muslim, “Boltzmann Brain”
    • joel nathanael, “light sail star bound”
    • Sara Norja, “Sunharvest Triptych”
    • Brandon O’Brien, “The Sailor-Boys”
    • Daniel José Older, “Dust
    • Jack Pevyhouse, “Solar Powered Giraffes”
    • Bethany Powell, “recursive”
    • C. Samuel Rees, “Teratology”
    • Iona Sharma, “Eight Cities”
    • Nisi Shawl, “The Colors of Money”
    • Karyn L. Stecyk, “The Trees Between”
    • Bogi Takács, “Synthesis: This Shining Confluence”
    • Lavie Tidhar, “The Road to the Sea”
    • Aleksei Valentín, “The Seven Species”
    • T.X. Watson “The Boston Hearth Project
    • A.C. Wise, “A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World”
    • Nick Wood, “Thirstlands”
    • Tyler Young, “Last Chance”
  • Artwork:
    • Likhain (cover)
    • Christine Moleski, “Solar Flare”
    • Clara Ng, “Hand Over the Future”
    • Sireesha Reddy, “Pan, Legs Resting”
    • Carlin Reynolds, “Radio Silence”
    • Bogi Takács, “Facing the Sun”
    • Leigh Wallace, “Through the Glass”

 

About the Editors:

Phoebe Wagner grew up in Pennsylvania, the third generation to live in the Susquehanna River Valley. She spent her days among the endless hills pretending to be an elf, and, eventually, earned a B.A. in English: Creative Writing from Lycoming College, where she also met her husband. She is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. Follow her on Twitter: @pheebs_w.

Brontë Christopher Wieland is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University where he thinks about how language, culture, and storytelling shape the world around us. In 2014, he earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Mathematics and Linguistics. His fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Online and Hypertext Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @BeezyAl.

 

About the Contributors:

Jess Barber lives in Cambridge, MA, where she spends her days (and sometimes nights) building open-source electronics. She is a graduate of the 2015 Clarion Writing Workshop, and her work has recently appeared in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection. You can find her online at www.jess-barber.com.

Santiago Belluco is a neuroscientist born and raised in Brazil before moving to America to get the usual degrees needed to become a real scientist (namely a funded one). He now lives and works in Switzerland, where he writes speculative fiction and studies the neurocircuitry of vision.

Lisa M. Bradley writes speculative poetry and fiction inflected by her Latina heritage. Most recently, her work has appeared in Interfictions, Uncanny Magazine, and Strange Horizons. Her collection of short fiction and poetry is The Haunted Girl (Aqueduct Press 2014). Forged in the scalding heat of South Texas, she now lives in Iowa. She loves horror movies, gothic country music, guerilla art, and art journaling.

Chloe N. Clark holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Environment. Her work appears in Abyss & Apex, Bartleby Snopes, Apex, Hobart, Midwestern Gothic, Sleet, and more. She currently writes for Nerds of a Feather and Ploughshares. She can be followed @PintsNCupcakes.

An Ottawa teacher by day, Brandon Crilly, has been previously published by On Spec, The 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, Third Flatiron Anthologies, and other markets, with an upcoming short story in 49th Parallels: Alternative Canadian Histories and Futures. He was a semi-finalist in the 4th quarter of Writers of the Future 32, contributes regularly to BlackGate.com, and is the Assistant Editorial Director of TEGG Games. You can find Brandon at brandoncrilly.wordpress.com or on Twitter: @B_Crilly. His first TEGG short story, “Wizard-sitting,” is now available at onderemporium.com.

Yilun Fan is a PhD student of comparative literature at the University of California, Riverside. She loves reading and writing science fiction because she believes in the power of story. She used to work for the official website of World Chinese Science Fiction Association as an editor and is now a columnist for Science Fiction World magazine.

Jaymee Goh is a Malaysian-Chinese writer currently based in California, writing a dissertation on steampunk. Previous publication credits include Strange Horizons, Science Fiction Studies, and more recently recompose magazine.

José M. Jimenez is a programmer with the heart of a poet. As Director of Research Information Systems at the University of Iowa, he creates systems that streamline administrative processes so researchers can focus on their projects, not paperwork. His interests include data visualization, workplace diversity and inclusion, geocaching, cooking, and Ingress. He is a proud parent and a beleaguered cat guardian.

Likhain is a Filipina artist and writer who works in ink, watercolor, poetry, and odd bits of creative non-fiction. She is a recipient of the 2016 Tiptree Fellowship and has been nominated for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist. A loving albeit wayward daughter of Metro Manila, she now lives in regional Australia with her partner, their pomeranians, and their princess cat.

S. Qiouyi Lu is a writer, editor, narrator, and translator; their translation with Ken Liu of “Chimera” by Gu Shi appeared in the March 2016 issue of Clarkesworld. Visit S. online at s.qiouyi.lu or follow them on Twitter at @sqiouyilu.

Maura Lydon is a college senior studying Environmental Science with a minor in Creative Writing at Hollins University. You can find her stories in Wings of Renewal: A Solarpunk Dragon Anthology and the online magazine Abyss & Apex. She enjoys writing, reading, and growing as many plants as will fit in her room.

Camille Meyers is a writer and wildlife conservation biologist with wanderlust. She has worked with falcons in Belize and as a zookeeper in Washington State. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University, where she received the 2014 Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship in Creative Writing. She served as poetry editor for Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment and volunteers in wildlife rehab at the Iowa Wildlife Center.

Lev Mirov is a queer disabled mixed race Filipino-American living in rural Maryland with his spouse Aleksei Valentín. Before he was a published poet, he studied medieval history, magic, and religion. His Rhysling-nominated poetry has appeared in Through the Gate, Liminality Magazine, Strange Horizons, and in other magazines and anthologies, and his speculative fiction has appeared in the anthology Myriad Lands.

Canadian illustrator and comic artist Christine Moleski recently graduated from the University of Regina (BA English, BFA Visual Arts). She self-published her first original comic book, ICE, as part of her graduating exhibition. She is interested in the individual human experience and how that experience resonates with humanity as a whole. “Solar Flare” was inspired by cybernetics, i-tech, and clean energy sources. You can find ICE, and more of her work, at www.christinemoleski.com.

Kristine Ong Muslim is the author of eight books of fiction and poetry including, most recently, Black Arcadia, Meditations of a Beast, Butterfly Dream, and Age of Blight. She serves as poetry editor of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction and was co-editor with Nalo Hopkinson of the original fiction section of the Lightspeed Magazine special issue People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! Widely anthologized and published in magazines, she grew up and continues to live in a rural town in southern Philippines.

joel nathanael is a second year MFA candidate in the Creative Writing & Environment program at Iowa State University. His writing interests are in and around the nexus of art and science. He has been given the title of space poet, due to his unrelenting obsession with the subject matter, and where he is often situated, the honorific is apt. While in the MFA program, Joel wishes to further his understanding of poetry through practice. He is currently working on multimedia thesis exploring recursive methods of interpretation of a given source text—space poetry.

Clara Ng is a confused snail scooting through life, soon to be a confused snail with a proper degree. Her greatest desire is to be a Renaissance snail, skilled in all the disciplines, but that’s sort of up in the air right now. She has appeared in several university theatre productions, been published in some other small magazines, and is very honored to be included in this anthology. Someday, she hopes to live in a solarpunk world, as one might have guessed.

Sara Norja dreams in two languages and has a predilection for tea. Born in England and settled in Helsinki, Finland, she lives for words, dance, and moments of wonder. Her poetry has appeared in venues including Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, inkscrawl, Through the Gate, Stone Telling, and Interfictions. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Flash Fiction Online, and the anthology An Alphabet of Embers. She blogs at http://suchwanderings.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter as @suchwanderings.

Writer, performance poet, and performance facilitator Brandon O’Brien is from Trinidad and Tobago. His poetry is published or forthcoming in Control Literary Magazine, Uncanny Magazine, and Strange Horizons, and my prose has been published in New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean. He has been shortlisted for the 2014 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing and the 2014 and 2015 Small Axe Literary Competitions. He currently serves as the poetry editor of FIYAH Magazine.

Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Shadowshaper Cypher, including Shadowhouse Fall and Shadowshaper (Scholastic, 2015), a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, which won the International Latino Book Award and was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature, the Andre Norton Award, the Locus, the Mythopoeic Award, and named one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read. He also writes the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series from Penguin’s Roc Books. He co-edited the Locus- and World Fantasy-nominated anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic, and hear his music at danieljoseolder.net, on Youtube, and @djolder on Twitter.

Jack Pevyhouse is a poet and writer with a BA in English and a minor in Creative Writing from UNC Pembroke, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the student literary magazine, The Aurochs, from August 2015 to December 2016. He is working towards an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Wilmington. His poetry has been published in the online magazines Paper Crown and Open Thought Vortex. He is also a scriptwriter, an assistant producer, and, in season two, voiced the Fig Wasp King for the award-winning audio drama podcast, Jim Robbie and the Wanderers, available to listen to, for free, on iTunes, Google Play, Podbay, and Stitcher.

Bethany Powell’s first published poem was inspired by her hobby of hand-spinning yarn—the literal kind. After a youth of traipsing the US coasts and Japanese inland, she is now based in weird rural Oklahoma. You can find more of her work at http://bethanypowell.com.

Sireesha Reddy is currently studying in California, loves to travel, and is really into cultural diversity. She can be found on Tumblr (sirinsquared.tumblr.com) and on Instagram (@sirinsq).

C. Samuel Rees has been featured in The Fairy Tale Review, Grimoire Magazine, The Account, Bridge Magazine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Matador Review, and JMWW, among others. Most recently he has been anthologized in The Dead Animal Handbook (University of Hell Press) and his poem “Guten Abend, Gute Nacht” was nominated for a Pushcart prize. C. Samuel is an Austin-based educator and poet who subsists on a steady diet of horror films and books on desert/river ecology.

Iona Sharma is a writer, lawyer, and linguaphile and the product of more than one country. She’s currently working on her first novel. She can be found at generalist.org.uk/iona and tweeting as @singlecrow.

Karyn Stecyk is a writer/editor for an indie video game studio. Her hobbies include rocking out to symphonic and power metal, traveling against the advice of her wallet, eating expensive chocolates, and of course, maxing out her video gaming stats.

Bogi Takács is a Hungarian Jewish agender person currently living in the US with eir cheerful neuroatypical family. E writes and edits speculative poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and eir work has been published in a variety of venues like Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Apex, and Strange Horizons. Bogi also draws, designs, and typesets things on occasion. If you liked this poem, Bogi recommends the stories “For Your Optimal Hookboarding Experience,” published in Lackington’s, and “Forestspirit, Forestspirit” in Clarkesworld. You can find Bogi at www.prezzey.net and as @bogiperson on Twitter and Instagram. E also reviews SFF at www.bogireadstheworld.com.

Lavie Tidhar is the author of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winning and Premio Roma nominee A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), the World Fantasy Award winning Osama (2011), and of the critically-acclaimed The Violent Century (2013). His latest novel is Central Station (2016). He is the author of many other novels, novellas, and short stories.

Aleksei Valentín is a queer, disabled, Jewish Latinx PhD student by day and writer by night. They live on the outskirts of the Battle of Antietam in Maryland with their husband and fellow writer, Lev Mirov, and two spoiled cats. Currently, they’re working on a Religious Studies dissertation and fitting in time for poetry and paranormal romance. Whenever they escape the library, they can be found scoping out deals on ballet tickets, cooking kosher and gluten-free food, and hunting for the world’s best cup of coffee. Their poetry has previously appeared in Liminality Magazine, and a joint paranormal romance with their husband, The Gods of Small Things, is coming out in early 2017. To see where they’re rolling next, connect with them at https://twitter.com/ai_valentin.

Leigh Wallace is an Ottawa writer, artist, and narrator who works as an Access to Information and Privacy analyst for the government of Canada. Her fiction is available or upcoming in Tesseracts 19, Urban Fantasist, and Podcastle, and more of her art is available at leighfive.deviantart.com. This is her first professional art sale.

T.X. Watson studies Sci Fi and Fantasy as a form of activism at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. Watson has been deeply engaged with solarpunk since late 2014, contributing to the growth of the genre with the Tumblr blog Watsons-Solarpunk, and, later, cofounding Solarpunk Press, a free solarpunk web fiction magazine at solarpunkpress.com. Their hobbies include digital art and binge-watching YouTube videos analyzing popular media.

A.C. Wise was born and raised in Montreal and currently lives in the Philadelphia area. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Liminal, and Tor.com, among other places. Her collections, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again and The Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories, are both available from Lethe Press. In addition to her fiction, she coedits Unlikely Story, and contributes a monthly review column to Apex. Find her online at www.acwise.net and on twitter as @ac_wise.

South African clinical psychologist Nick Wood has about twenty short stories published in various SFF magazines and anthologies, as well as a YA SF book under the ‘Young Africa’ series entitled The Stone Chameleon, and a recent adult SF novel Azanian Bridges.

Tyler Young is a Midwestern lawyer. His work has previously been published in Daily Science Fiction and Nature. When he isn’t writing speculative fiction, he is usually at a zoo or museum with his wife and two young children.

 

Reviews & Mentions:

Mentioned in:

and “A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World” by A.C. Wise was chosen for inclusion in The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Three, edited by Neil Clarke.

 

It was very fitting to name this anthology Sunvault, because it was truly a vault of little treasures. A collection of short stories, poems, and even drawings about the sun, plants, water, and different methods to live in peace with our planet. In them, you can find dozens of creative inventions, from solar-powered giraffes to green children. You can find activists who risk their lives and freedom for others, and people who are just trying to live in this world. You can also find the characteristics and people of many different cultures.

—Alexa, “Review: Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” A Thousand Worlds, 27 April 2018.

Many have called solarpunk naïve and pointless utopia, but there is nothing pointless in dreaming. When we imagine the future as we want it, we concretise it. We take our lofty ideals and make them real, attainable. And solarpunk stories are more than the objective: they are the road map, too. The fights along the way, the hardships as weather-beaten cities reform their means of food production, the struggles of self-sustaining communities shut down by governments who don’t want them off-grid. That is the –punk suffix. It is a rebellion against despair and fatalism, a refusal to accept false universal truths pushed down our throats through a promise to ourselves to create kinder, more hopeful worlds. We can read such stories in anthologies such as Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation.

—Claudie Arseneault, “Constructing a Kinder Future,” Strange Horizons, 23 April 2018.

Sometimes, science fiction can feel like it deals mostly in dystopias and other scary versions of the future. Into this darkness, solarpunk shines a ray of hope. The editors of this anthology describe solarpunk as a genre focused on “solutions to environmental disasters,” envisioning “a future of green, sustainable energy used by societies that value inclusiveness, cooperation, and personal freedom.” With stories by authors like Lavie Tidhar, Chloe N. Clark, Nisi Shawl, and Daniel José Older, and gorgeous artwork by Likhain, this anthology is a must-read for anyone feeling beaten down by stories of our grim future.

—Maria Haskins, “10 Recent Anthologies That Show Us What SFF Can Do,” Barnes and Noble Blog, 26 April 2018.

 

Politically, the stories vary, but they always feature a progressive focus on race, gender, and equality of all kinds: many revolve around themes of difference, recognition, and acceptance. Non-normativity is often raised to the level of heroism by imagining a world that facilitates the accentuation of one’s abilities precisely because of their difference.

—Rhys Williams, “Solarpunk: Against a Shitty Future,” Los Angeles Review of Books, 10 March 2018

 

Wise encapsulates the feelings of awe and dread that the natural world tends to inspire.

—Carly Nairn, “13 Female ‘Cli-Fi’ Writers Who Are Inspiring a Better Future,Sierra: The national magazine of the Sierra Club, 8 March 2018.

There’s not a bad short story or poem between the book’s two covers; editors Phoebe Wagner and Bronte Christopher Wieland certainly did an excellent job in selection and arrangement. . . . If you have any interest at all in science fiction or environmentalism—hell, even if you don’t—do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Sunvault and check out the budding solarpunk communities online.

—Eoin Madigan, “Review | Solarpunk – An Exposition,” HeadStuff, 27 February 2018

The selection of short stories is as eclectic and diverse as the authors, drawing from multiple styles and languages. The masterful Daniel José Older, author of the Shadowshaper and Bone Street Rumba fantasy series, contributes “Dust,” a tale of uprising that plays with fluidity of gender and space-opera tropes to tell an ultimately hopeful story. “The Road to the Sea,” by the Israeli author and Campbell Award laureate Lavie Tidhar, is both elegiac and uplifting. “Boston Hearth Project” by T. X. Watson is an action-packed, propulsive story that imagines a near-future Occupy with augmented reality tech. Iona Sharma’s “Eight Cities” explores faith and consciousness against the backdrop of a Delhi inundated by rivers swollen as a result of a changing climate. And “Speechless Love” by Yilun Fan (translated from Mandarin by S. Qiouyi Lu) tells the story of a relationship between two “stratospherians” in a future where “atmosphere colonization replaced space colonization.” . . . The true genius of this work lies in its essence as a community project, as a labor of love by writers, artists and editors.

—Paul Daniel Ash, “Book Review: “Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Hunger Mountain, 27 February 2018.

This is one of those books that gave me a real warmth in my heart while reading it.

—Michelle Meador, “Sunvault,” 3 January 2018.

The best story here is Lavie Tidhar’s “The Road to the Sea”, an autumnal but mutedly lyrical look at a society struggling to survive and put itself back together after most of the world as we know it has been destroyed by catastrophic climate change. Also good is “A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World,” by A.C. Wise, another autumnal story about the people, mostly older folk, who choose to remain behind on an Earth with a rapidly shrinking habitable zone, while their children set off in generation ships to seek refuge out among the stars. . . . So, a number of strong stories and some good reading here, but there’s no real reason why the majority of the stories couldn’t have been published in an ecological/climate change anthology rather than a specifically solarpunk one.

—Gardner Dozois, “Gardner Dozois Reviews Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, edited by Phoebe Wagner & Brontë Christopher Wieland,” Locus, 2 January 2018.

 

. . . this was a stand out collection of short fiction. . . . I am much more interested in the eco-punk style of fiction than dystopias because generally there’s more optimism involved with a combination of building, fighting, growing and with a focus on change and transformation generally. That’s definitely true of this collection, and it also makes me think about various things in current society and directions we’re going, turning points we’re approaching, and ones that have passed as well. This is a book not just of stories, but of art and poetry, it’s beautifully curated and this tiny summary does not do the book justice—I highly recommend it.

—Ju, “My favourite reads from 2017,” The Conversationalist, 2 January 2018.

I feel that the only complaint I can have about this book is that it has left me with a huge hunger for more Solarpunk stories which I know is going to be difficult to fill.

—Sarah, “Book Review – Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Brenhines Books, 14 October 2017

Third, in these imagined futures, family structures and genders are rearranged in any number of ways. From children being raised in collectives, to stories without gendered pronouns, to full on gender fluidity, after the end of the world we rely less and less on Christian/American definitions of our most basic relationships. It is key that in these frequently utopian stories, people set their own definitions based on what works for them and allows them to “get the job done.” The “job” is key to Daniel Jose Older’s story, “Dust”. I’ll be honest with you, this story is so good I had to put my e-reader down and walk away. I couldn’t read anything else the rest of the day, I just had to hold parts of the story in my mind.

—L. E. H. Light, “Explore Solarpunk SciFi with Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Black Nerd Problems, 6 October 2017.

Standing at the intersection of science and humanities, the book could rightfully be classified as Sci Hum—in the same way the merger of medicine and humanities produced a variety of programs termed Med Hum and Lit Med.

—Lanie Tankard, “Eye on the Indies,” 12 September 2017.

Contributor Sara Norja talks a little about how she wrote her poem “Sunharvest Triptych” in “Such Wanderings,” 30 August 2017.

BW: To me, the root of a -punk genre necessarily needs to be countercultural. In a very basic way, solarpunk responds to and challenges SF and Hollywood’s recent spell of “gritty reboot” stories. More deeply, though, solarpunk manifests a counterculture in the ways that it is community-focused, anti-capitalist, decolonial, inclusive, etc. Solarpunk presents an alternative. Every piece in Sunvault is in some way a response to the artists’ concerns for the world around them and a little nugget of hope.

—Sarena Ulibarri, “Interview with the Editors of Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” 29 August 2017.

When Brontë Wieland and I started tossing around the idea of editing an anthology together, we were both disillusioned with the dystopian trend in SF. While dystopian worlds and stories offered the opportunity to explore different ideas of destruction and how our current trends in politics, environment, capitalism, globalism, and so on might play out, the stories seemed too hopeless. . . . When I stumbled upon solarpunk through the active Tumblr community, I knew I’d found the positive, inspiring, yet deeply layered genre I wanted to explore.

—Phoebe Wagner, “Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation – Anthology – (Guest Post),” Always Trust In Books, 29 August 2017.

The anthology has a brilliant selection of short stories. The Boston Hearth Project by T X Watson, with its Occupy Wall Street meets heist movie vibe is extremely entertaining. Another favourite is Speechless Love by Yilun Fan, which is a truly sapiosexual romance. Eight Cities by Iona Sharma, peppered with Hindi words and set in a drowned Delhi, was a surreal piece. Last Chance by Tyler Young is a beautiful story about choices. The Trees Between by Karyn L Stecyk is another favourite story. It is filled with a hope that made me smile.

Boltzmann Brain by Kristine Ong Muslim is another brilliant and chilling piece. The Road to the Sea by Lavie Tidhar, reflects on how human greed pushed things over the edge. The Reset by Jaymee Goh asks us what would happen if there were a reset button that we could push. Solar Child by Camille Meyers takes an intriguing look at how humans may try to push forward their own evolution, and wonders if it will be enough. A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of The World,by A.C. Wise is a touching story about goodbyes and new beginnings. These are just a handful of my favourites out of the many more excellent short stories in this anthology.

—Vijayalakshmi Harish, “Book Review: Sunvault – Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” thereadingdesk, 29 August 2017.

  I highly recommend it, particularly for those looking to get an overview of this subgenre. —Elizabeth, “Sunvault edited by Phoebe Wagner and Bronte Christopher Wieland,” Earl Grey Editing Services, 28 August 2017.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars . . . While there are many varying ideas on what solarpunk is in this book I never felt like any of the included stories or poems missed the mark. All of them were fascinating to read and offered a refreshing speculative look into climate change, post apocalyptic scenarios, interstellar communities, time travel, and other forms of science fiction. But whatever the situation there often still remains hope for a better and brighter future. . . . This is a must have anthology and a great addition to the solarpunk genre.

—”ARC Book Review: Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Dragon Realm Books, 23 August 2017.

PW: I hope readers feel encouraged to become engaged, that it isn’t hopeless. We have a hard road ahead when it comes to climate change and social justice. This summer has seen America pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and I’m still sick over the domestic terrorism in Charlottesville. It does not feel like a hopeful time. I hope the stories, poems, and art in Sunvault will encourage small and large actions, encourage resistance, and bring joy. It’s hard not to smile when I look at Likhain’s bright cover.

—Christi Craig, “Q&A with the Editors of Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” 23 August 2017.

In a time when it’s all too easy to imagine a grim future where corporations and profit are valued over individual people, and hate-speech is given free rein, The Boston Hearth Project offers hope. It is a story of camaraderie, resistance, and working for a greater good, all of which make it an excellent, and timely, starting place for T.X. Watson’s work.

—A. C. Wise, review of T.X. Watson’s “The Boston Hearth Project,” “Non-Binary Authors to Read: Where to Start – Part 9,” 22 August 2017.

  Solarpunk really does live up to its description and was much more uplifting and hopeful than I expected. It was a refreshing change from not only my reading life, but my day-to-day life as well. —”Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks …of Books, 15 August 2017

I cannot wait to find out what solarpunk and eco-speculation are all about. And look at that gorgeous cover art by Likhain!

—”The SF Bluestocking 2017 Summer Reading List,” 30 June 2017.

Every story and poem in this optimistic illustrated anthology of “solarpunk and eco-speculation” portrays a future in which environmental disaster is encroaching on or encompassing our world, but a glimmer of hope remains. . . . Some pieces are bizarre. Many are haunting and will linger in the reader’s memory. Readers who’ve had their fill of dystopian fiction will want to explore these more positive futures.

Publishers Weekly, 19 June 2017.

 

. . . once again in English, Upper Rubber Boot Books in Nashville will be publishing an anthology entitled Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation, which has been financed through a Kickstarter campaign that raised an incredible 6000 dollars.

—Luca Albani, “Solarpunk, the First Anthologies Published and Those in Progress,” Medium, 16 May 2017.

I put in Proulx’s hand something she was in no position to offer me: hope. Specifically, I gave her a postcard for an anthology called Sunvault, a book of “solarpunk” stories postulating a future in which we overcome our species’ doom. Solarpunk, aka “ecospec,” aka “cli-fi,” is a subgenre of SFFH confronting the looming threats of melting ice caps, rapidly rising oceans, monster storms, and the thousand other slings and arrows of climatic catastrophe.

—Nisi Shawl, “Future Alternative Past: hope for the ecospec-future,” The Seattle Review of Books, 11 May 2017.

There’s a lot of discussion about what solarpunk is or isn’t, but the truth is there just hasn’t been enough written to set the tropes and expectations yet. Some of what has been called “climate fiction” could be called solarpunk as well, if it presents an optimistic view of the future (which much of it does not).

—Sarena Ulibarri, “Cover Reveal: Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” 26 April 2017.

Some stories are so unique I couldn’t imagine them on the page until I read them. Others deal with solarpunk in a more straight forward manner. Overall, reading how writers and artists interpreted solarpunk was invigorating.

—Michael J. DeLuca, “Reckoning Interviews: Phoebe Wagner, Editor of Sunvault,” Reckoning: An annual journal of creative writing on environmental justice, 27 October 2016.

Solarpunk is a movement that considers what a sustainable, environmentally-ethical society could look like. It spans from science to religion, from social problems to sustainability, with a focus on ingenuity and community. Obviously, this description is pretty far off from most societies around the globe, so that’s what makes it a true –punk movement. While solarpunk might not be chaotic, it is countercultural. When it comes to the literary genre, solarpunk is still largely undefined, and we hope Sunvault might give shape to the genre.

—from “Interview with the Editors of Sunvault: Phoebe Wagner and Bronte Wieland,” nerds of a feather, flock together, 27 April 2016.

BW: Solarpunk, at its core, is about a future, or an idea, of ingenuity in clean energy and sustainability. Especially with that idea of counterculture and community, as I mentioned above. Eco-speculation inspects the way we interact with, and change, our environment, and what effects that will have in the future. It’s the way we experiment recklessly with our surroundings like we would never be able to experiment on subjects that were visibly mortal. It’s about the ways we are careful too, and how we try to protect and defend the world around us.

—Chloe N. Clark, “S2/ E5: Eclipsing, an interview with the editors of Sunvault, Part 1,” Luna Station Quarterly, 11 March 2016.

The Boston Hearth Project

 

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4 comments 29 August 2017

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.

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About this book:

The anthology 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 actual Museum of All Things Awesome and that Go Boom is 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.

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.

 

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Reviews:

26 July 2016

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

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. A diverse book, it comprises writers from the US, Canada, Hungary, India, Laos, New Zealand, Malaysia, Ukraine, Switzerland, South Africa, the Philippines and the UK.

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About | Buy | Reviews
HTLOOP-COVER-front

 

About this book:

In these pages, you’ll find Sturgeon winner Sarah Pinsker’s robot grandmother, James Tiptree, Jr., Award winner Nisi Shawl’s prison planet and Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Award winner Ken Liu’s space- and time-spanning story of different kinds of ghosts. You’ll find Bryan Thao Worra’s Cthulhic poetry, and Pinckney Benedict’s sad, whimsical tale of genocide. You’ll travel to Frankfurt, to the moon, to Mars, to the underworld, to unnamed alien planets, under the ocean, through clusters of asteroids. You’ll land on the fourth planet from the star Deneb, and an alternate universe version of Earth, and a world of Jesuses.

The most compelling fiction articulates the unsaid, the unbearable, and the incomprehensible; these stories say things about the immigration experience that a lecture never could. The purpose of this book is, first and foremost, to entertain the casual and the sophisticated reader, but its genesis is a response to the question: Who do we become when we live with the unfamiliar?

Table of Contents:

  • Dean Francis Alfar, “Ohkti”
  • Celia Lisset Alvarez, “Malibu Barbie Moves to Mars”
  • RJ 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”
  • 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”
  • Abbey Mei Otis, “Blood, Blood”
  • 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”

Contributor Bios:

Dean Francis Alfar is a fictionist, playwright and the publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction annuals, beginning with the first volume in 2005. His fiction has appeared in The Time Traveler’s Almanac, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, Strange Horizons, Rabid Transit: Menagerie, The Apex Book of World SF, and the Exotic Gothic anthologies, among others. His books include a novel, Salamanca, and two collections of short fiction, The Kite of Stars and other stories and How to Traverse Terra Incognita.

Celia Lisset Alvarez holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Miami and teaches at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy. Her debut collection of poetry, Shapeshifting (Spire Press, 2006), was the recipient of the 2005 Spire Press Poetry Award. A second collection, The Stones (Finishing Line Press, 2006) followed that same year. Other work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies. Born in Madrid of Cuban parents en route to the United States, she grew up in Miami, where she lives with her husband, Cuban-American literary scholar and fellow poet Rafael Miguel Montes.

RJ Astruc lives in New Zealand and has written two novels: Harmonica + Gig and A Festival of Skeletons. RJ’s short stories have appeared in many magazines including Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, ASIM, Aurealis and Midnight Echo, as well as the short story collection Signs Over the Pacific and Other Stories (Upper Rubber Boot Books, 2013).

Lisa Bao is Chinese, Canadian, and American to various degrees. She studies linguistics and computer science at Swarthmore College. Her poetry has previously been published in Strange Horizons and Eye to the Telescope.

Pinckney Benedict grew up in rural West Virginia. He has published a novel and three collections of short fiction, the most recent of which is Miracle Boy and Other Stories. His work has been published in, among other magazines and anthologies, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, the O. Henry Award series, the Pushcart Prize series, the Best New Stories from the South series, Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days, The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction, and The Oxford Book of the American Short Story. Benedict serves as a professor in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Octavia E. Butler Scholar Lisa Bolekaja is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop, an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, and a member of the Carl Brandon Society. She co-hosts a screenwriting podcast called “Hilliard Guess’ Screenwriters Rant Room” and her work has appeared in “Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History” (Crossed Genres Publishing), as well as “The WisCon Chronicles: Volume 8” (Aqueduct Press). Her story “Don’t Dig Too Deep” will be in the upcoming Red Volume, an anthology of speculative fiction produced by her Clarion 2012 class with all proceeds going to support the Clarion Foundation.

Mary Buchinger is the author of Aerialist (Gold Wake Press, 2015; shortlisted for the May Swenson Poetry Award, the OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize for Poetry and the Perugia Press Prize). Her poems have appeared in AGNI, Cortland Review, DIAGRAM, Fifth Wednesday, Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. She is Associate Professor of English and Communication Studies at MCPHS University in Boston, Massachusetts. You can find her at yellowdogriver.blogspot.com.

Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia, and now lives in London. Her short story collection Spirits Abroad was published in summer 2014. Her short fiction has appeared most recently in anthologies End of the Road from Solaris Books, Love in Penang from Fixi Novo, and The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic. She was a 2013 finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Tina Connolly’s stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Rich Horton’s Unplugged: Year’s Best Online SF and URB’s Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days. Her books include the Nebula-nominated fantasy Ironskin (Tor, 2012) and its sequel Copperhead.

Indrapramit Das is a writer and artist from Kolkata, India. His fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Asimov’s and Apex Magazine, as well as 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). His short story “The Widow and the Xir” is available as an ebook from URB. 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.

Tor Books published Tom Doyle’s first novel, American Craftsmen, in 2014. His novelette “While Ireland Holds These Graves” won third place in the Writers of the Future contest, and his novelette “The Wizard of Macatawa” (Paradox #11) won the WSFA Small Press Award. His stories have also appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Futurismic, and several other magazines. Paper Golem published his short fiction collection, The Wizard of Macatawa and Other Stories.

Peg Duthie is a Taiwanese Texan resident of Tennessee. She is the author of Measured Extravagance (Upper Rubber Boot, 2012), and there’s more about her at www.NashPanache.com.

Tom Greene was born in Texas, grew up as a biracial Anglo/Latino science nerd, then moved to New England to study British Literature. He works as a full-time English professor and part-time lecturer on vampire literature. Recent publications include short stories in Analog, Polluto and Strange Horizons. He lives in Salem, Massachusetts with his wife and two cats.

Benjamin S. Grossberg is the author of Space Traveler (University of Tampa Press, 2014), Sweet Core Orchard (University of Tampa, 2009, winner of the 2008 Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award), Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath (Ashland Poetry Press, 2007). His poems have appeared in many venues including the Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. He teaches creative writing at The University of Hartford.

Minal Hajratwala has inhabited San Francisco, New Zealand, Michigan, Bangalore, and several other earth sites. Her nonfiction epic, Leaving India: My Family’s Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents, won four literary awards. She is the editor of Out! Stories from the New Queer India and creatrix of a one-woman performance extravaganza, Avatars: Gods for a New Millennium. Her poetry collection Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment is forthcoming in 2014. Educated at Stanford and Columbia, she was a 2010-11 Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar. She is a writing coach and co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, publishing innovative poetry from India, and can be found at www.minalhajratwala.com.

Julie Bloss Kelsey started writing scifaiku in 2009, after the birth of her third child. Her short science fiction poems have since appeared in Scifaikuest, Seven by Twenty, microcosms, Eye to the Telescope, and other publications. She won the Dwarf Stars Award in 2011 for her poem “Comet.” Julie lives in Maryland with her husband, kids, and an ever-changing assortment of pets. Connect with her on Twitter (@MamaJoules).

Rose Lemberg was born in Ukraine, and lived in subarctic Russia before immigrating to Israel with her family in 1990. She moved countries again in 2001, this time to the US, for graduate school. She officially became an immigrant in 2010, after living in the US for 9 years as a nonresident alien. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, and other venues. For more information, visit roselemberg.net.

An author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer, Ken Liu is a winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards. His fiction has appeared 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. His debut novel, The Grace of Kings, the first in a fantasy series, will be published by Simon & Schuster’s new genre fiction imprint in 2015, along with a collection of short stories. He’s online at http://kenliu.name.

Alex Dally MacFarlane is a writer, editor and historian. When not researching narrative maps in the legendary traditions of Alexander III of Macedon, she writes stories, found in Clarkesworld Magazine, Strange Horizons, Heiresses of Russ 2013: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction and other anthologies. She is the editor of Aliens: Recent Encounters (Prime Books, 2013) and The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women (Constable & Robinson, 2014).

Anil Menon’s short stories have appeared in Albedo One, Chiaroscuro, Interzone, Interfictions, LCRW, Sybil’s Garage, Strange Horizons, among other publications. His debut novel The Beast With Nine Billion Feet (Zubaan Books, India) was nominated for the 2010 Parallax Prize and the Vodafone-Crossword award. Along with Vandana Singh, he co-edited Breaking the Bow (Zubaan Books, 2012), an anthology of speculative short fiction inspired by the Ramayana.

Editor Joanne Merriam is a Nova Scotian writer living in Nashville, Tennessee, and runs Upper Rubber Boot Books. Her writing has appeared in Asimov’s, Escape Pod, On Spec, Pank, Per Contra, Strange Horizons, and The Journal of Unlikely Entomology. Her poetry collection, The Glaze from Breaking, was published by Stride Books in 2005 and was re-issued by URB in 2011. She is also the co-editor, with H. L. Nelson, of Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good.

Mary Anne Mohanraj wrote Bodies in Motion (a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards and translated into six languages) and nine other titles, most recently The Stars Change (Circlet Press, 2013). Mohanraj received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, and has also won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. Mohanraj is Clinical Assistant Professor of fiction and literature and Associate Director of Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois. She serves as Executive Director of DesiLit.

Daniel José Older is the author of the upcoming Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015) and the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, which begins in January 2015 with Half-Resurrection Blues from Penguin’s Roc imprint. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. He co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History and guest-edited the music issue of Crossed Genres. His short stories and essays have appeared in Tor.com, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review, PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons and the anthologies Subversion and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond. Daniel’s band Ghost Star gigs regularly around New York and he facilitates workshops on storytelling from an anti-oppressive power analysis. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at ghoststar.net and @djolder on Twitter.

Abbey Mei Otis likes people and art forms on the margins. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College and is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. She has taught poetry in the DC public schools with the DC Creative Writing Workshop, and is now a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas.

Sarah Pinsker is a writer and musician living in Baltimore, Maryland. Her fiction has been published in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and the Long Hidden anthology, among others. Her novelette “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,” was nominated for the Nebula and won the 2014 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.

Manila-based Elyss G. Punsalan runs her own video production company. Some of her fiction can be found in the anthologies Philippine Speculative Fiction (Volumes 3, 6, and 9), Philippine Genre Stories, A Time for Dragons, HORROR: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults, and the webzine Bewildering Stories. At one point in her life, she produced and hosted the monthly Filipino audio fiction site Pakinggan Pilipinas (pakingganpilipinas.blogspot.com).

Benjamin Rosenbaum lives near Basel, Switzerland with his wife and children. His stories have been published in Nature, Harper’s, F&SF, Asimov’s, McSweeney’s, and Strange Horizons, translated into 23 languages, and nominated for Hugo, Nebula, BSFA, Locus, World Fantasy, and Sturgeon Awards. He has collaborated with artist Ethan Ham on several art/literary hybrids. Find out more at www.benjaminrosenbaum.com.

Erica L. Satifka’s fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Ideomancer, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and the Greek magazine supplement εννέα. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at www.ericasatifka.com.

Nisi Shawl’s collection Filter House was a 2009 James Tiptree, Jr., Award winner; her stories have been published in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and both volumes of the Dark Matter series. She was the 2011 Guest of Honor at the feminist SF convention WisCon and a 2014 co-Guest of Honor for the Science Fiction Research Association. She co-authored the renowned Writing the Other: A Practical Approach with Cynthia Ward, and co-edited the nonfiction anthology Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler. Shawl’s Belgian Congo steampunk novel Everfair is forthcoming in 2015 from Tor Books. Her website is www.nisishawl.com.

Lewis Shiner’s latest novel is Dark Tangos (Subterranean Press, 2011). Previous novels include Frontera and Deserted Cities of the Heart, both Nebula Award finalists, and the World Fantasy Award-winning Glimpses. He’s also published four short story collections, journalism, and comics. Virtually all of his work is available for free download at www.fictionliberationfront.net.

Marge Simon’s works appear in Strange Horizons, Niteblade, DailySF Magazine, Pedestal Magazine, Dreams & Nightmares and other places. She edits a column for the HWA Newsletter and serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees. She has won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award, the Bram Stoker Award™(2008, 2012 & 2013), the Rhysling Award and the Dwarf Stars Award. Collections: Like Birds in the Rain, Unearthly Delights, The Mad Hattery, Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls, and Dangerous Dreams. Find her at www.margesimon.com.

Sonya Taaffe’s short fiction and poetry can be found in the collections Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Prime Books), Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), and A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press), and in anthologies including Aliens: Recent Encounters, Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, and The Best of Not One of Us. 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.

Bogi Takács is a Hungarian Jewish author, a psycholinguist and a popular-science journalist. E writes both speculative fiction and poetry, and eir works have been published or are forthcoming in a variety of venues like Strange Horizons, Apex and GigaNotoSaurus, among others. E is online at www.prezzey.net.

Deborah Walker grew up in the most English town in England, 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 stories have appeared in Nature’s Futures, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction and The Year’s Best SF 18.

A South African clinical psychologist, Nick Wood has short stories in AfroSF, Interzone, Infinity Plus, PostScripts, Redstone Science Fiction and the Newcon Press anthology, Subterfuge, amongst other publications. His YA speculative novel, The stone chameleon, was published in South Africa. Nick 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 nickwood.frogwrite.co.nz.

Bryan Thao Worra is an award-winning Lao-American writer. An NEA Fellow in literature, he is a professional member of the Horror Writer Association and the Science Fiction Poetry Association. His work appears internationally, including in Innsmouth Free Press, Tales of the Unanticipated, Illumen, Astropoetica, Outsiders Within, Dark Wisdom, and Mad Poets of Terra. He is the author of the books of speculative poetry On the Other Side of the Eye, Barrow, and Demonstra. Visit him online at thaoworra.blogspot.com.

Stories and poems from the book available online:

 

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Reviews:

Suffice it to say, the stories and poems in this collection are, for the most part, exceptional at addressing a related theme and in exploring the social effects of immigration and alienation. Collected together, they make for a memorable themed anthology.

—Shaun Duke, How to Live on Other Planets edited by Joanne Merriam, Strange Horizons, 27 April 2015

This collection explores the immigrant experience in a science fiction setting, with exciting fiction and poetry from some of the genre’s best writers (including DARK MATTER faves Lisa Bolekaja, Nisi Shawl and Daniel José Older to name just a few). DARK MATTERS was wildly enthused…

Dark Matters Talks To Joanne Merriam About “How to Live on Other Planets”, Dark Matters, 27 April 2015

All of these stories have previously appeared in major genre magazines or other anthologies, so serious science fiction fans will have encountered at least some of these stories before. However, the book is still worth buying, and the gnomes highly recommend it to both serious fans of the genre and newcomers to science fiction.

Rating: 5 Gnomes out of 5

—Jennifer Mitchell, Review: How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens, Gnome Reviews, 15 April 2015

should make you smile

—Cory Doctorow, Links: Immigrant experience science fiction; principal calls FBI over flag-tossing; Sriracha doesn’t want trademarks, Boing Boing, 13 February 2015

16 March 2015

Soles Series of Stories

Upper Rubber Boot’s Soles Series comprised 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.

 

Go to: Heist | The Widow and the Xir | Changing the World | The Selves We Leave Behind | Twittering the Stars | The Tortoise Parliament | The Suicide Inspector | Bicycle Girl | Johnny B


 

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 www.tracycanfield.com.

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

Cover-600x800


 

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.

TheWidowandtheXir


 

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.

ChangingtheWorld


 

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.

Selves-Cover


 

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, Tor.com, and Apex Magazine; her poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, and Dreams and Nightmares.

Cover-600x800


 

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).

TheTortoiseParliament


 

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).

TheSuicideInspector


 

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).

BicycleGirl


 

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.

JohnnyB

 

*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.

6 June 2014


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