Realised I started this post some months ago but somehow forgot to finish it! A few random links that are pertinent to our interests 🙂
Kathleen Jennings shares some sketches related to her wonderful story in One Small Step, “Ella and the Flame”.
Zena Shapter interviews editor Tehani Wessely about the editing process.
Joanne Anderton talks about the story behind The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories at Upcoming4Me.
In addition to the fantastic news that Kathleen Jennings is on the World Fantasy Awards ballot for Best Artist (see our special offer for To Spin a Darker Stair here – just $5!), over the weekend the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award shortlist was announced, and we’re VERY excited to see Jason Nahrung’s Epilogue story “The Mornington Ride” on it! This story won the Victorian Chronos Award for Best Short Story earlier in the year, and we’re just delighted to see it recognised on an international ballot.
The WSFA Small Press Award is perhaps my favourite award, because not only does it recognise the very best of small press around the world, but the process by which the shortlist and winner are decided is very special. Stories are read “blind” by a panel (meaning the author and publication details are unknown) who select the shortlist. The shortlist is then read by the members of WSFA (again, completely blind), and the winner voted on. Which means the stories are judged completely on merit – marvellous!
Huge congratulations to Jason for making such a prestigious shortlist and fingers crossed for the announcement of the winner!
Want to read the story? Print stock of Epilogue is almost sold out (get your copy here while you can!), but the ebook is available from Kindle, Kobo, Wizard’s Tower and Weightless Books!
Submissions will open in December 2013 for the new unthemed speculative fiction anthology, Insert Title Here.
Stories should be between 2,000 and 12,000 words and contain speculative elements – science fiction, fantasy and horror and their sub-genres are all welcome, but we recommend researching FableCroft’s past projects for an idea of the sort of stories we publish. Generally, no erotica or splatterpunk is desirable. Please query the editor before sending stories outside those limits.
We are seeking original stories only, for first and exclusive world rights (for a period of twelve months, excluding any subsequent Year’s Best reprint request) – no reprint submissions please.
No simultaneous submissions please.
For multiple submissions, please query first.
The anthology will be open worldwide.
Submissions open: December 1, 2013
Submissions close: February 28, 2014
Anticipated publication date: August 2014
Payment will be AUD$75.00 and one contributor copy of the print book. Further royalties will apply for e-book revenue – information about royalties will be provided in contract negotiations with successful authors and is dependent on final book details.
Thanks to Jonathan Strahan for the title idea, from his Aurealis Awards acceptance speech in May this year.
A few days ago, DK Mok (whose excellent story “Morning Star” closes out the One Small Step anthology), wrote a guest post for SF Signal. We have such knowledgeable and talented authors here at FableCroft! DK’s post looks at humour in fantasy, and why it is so tricky to do well but why it’s good to do!
Humour can be a tough sell. It might take a reader several chapters to realise that a dramatic novel isn’t to their taste, but in a light-hearted novel, the first pun can be a dealbreaker. It’s the exquisitely subjective nature of humour that makes it such a tricky element to handle. A reader who loves Hogfather might loathe Red Dwarf. Someone might find Douglas Adams thigh-slappingly hilarious, but Piers Anthony leaves them cringing. Reading a mediocre drama might be boring, but reading a mediocre comedy can be excruciating.
In other news, Dave Versace gave One Small Step a great review on Goodreads – among other things, he says: Smart, heartfelt and a little bit otherworldly. Thanks Dave!
We were very excited this week to see the World Fantasy Awards shortlists come out with SEVERAL Aussies featuring, including our own Kathleen Jennings for Best Artist! Congratulations to all the nominees, particularly Kaaron Warren, for her Twelfth Planet Press awards blitzer “Sky”, Anna Tambour for her novel Crandolin, editor Jonathan Strahan for Under My Hat, and of course Kathleen.
To celebrate, we’re running a special offer on To Spin a Darker Stair, which features Kathleen’s gorgeous artwork both as the cover and internally. Published in 2012, To Spin a Darker Stair contains two beautiful stories by Catherynne M Valente and Faith Mudge – it’s a lovely gift book and the art is a great example of Kathleen’s justifiably recognised talent!
Offer is limited to stock on hand, or until the awards are announced (OFFER ENDED 3 November 2013), whichever comes first! Postage worldwide included in the special price of AUD$5.00!
I’m neck deep in reading for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards, which involves judging around 400 books in four categories throughout the year. Around now is when the biggest boxes arrive (approximately 40 in each of the most recent boxes, which come every three weeks), so I don’t have much time for any other reading! Luckily, there are some great novels for children and young adults, as well as beautiful picture books to enjoy, so it’s not a hardship 🙂
But if YOUR reading isn’t of the required kind this weekend, maybe you’d like to try some FableCroft ebooks? We’ve short stories, novels, anthologies and collections, ranging in price from 99 cents to $9.99, all at the click of the mouse! All our ebooks, with direct links to Kindle, Kobo or our independent distributors Wizard’s Tower and Weightless Books, are listed on our Ebooks page. Check it out!
Thoraiya is the only author to appear in every one of FableCroft’s anthologies, and I had the privilege of publishing her very first story with Andromeda Spaceways, and another early one in New Ceres Nights. You might say I like her work 🙂 Thoraiya has guest blogged at SF Signal on the topic of “Animals in Fantasy” – as a vet, she knows what she’s on about, and it’s an interesting topic!
From the post:
Prevailing wisdom is that fantastic secondary worlds are generic when they contain ravens, horses and hounds, but as soon as you insert a kangaroo, you jolt the reader out of their suspension of disbelief and rudely bring them crashing back to reality.
Read more at SF Signal!
A little while ago, FableCroft author Faith Mudge guest posted at SF Signal on the topic “Feminism in Fairytales”. Faith’s excellent story “Oracle’s Tower” (in To Spin a Darker Stair) is a very clever reworking of a traditional tale, and her beautiful piece in One Small Step also subverts fairytale tropes. Faith blogs frequently on fairytales at her own blog, and she really knows her stuff! From the article:
I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but I’m pretty sure 2012 was the Year of the Fairy Tale. There wasn’t an official announcement or anything, but the nod was clearly given in secret circles and the retellings spread outwards like ripples on the waters of speculative fiction. Novels such as Kate Forsyth’s Bitter Greens, Sophie Masson’s Moonlight and Ashes and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder were released, there were big movie adaptations Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, there was even a TV series. Hell, there were two TV series! I’m a fiend for fairy tales; I was in paradise. And I was seriously impressed by the ingenuity of all these storytellers for finding something new to say about stories that have been retold over so many years.
But there was also a bitter aftertaste that’s been bothering me for some time. It was so subtle, and so pervasive, that it is difficult to pin down when exactly I first noticed it – in the reviews? The promotional interviews? The posts I read afterwards? What I noticed was this: that when people spoke about a fairy tale adaptation, the assumption was that it would be better than the original. Specifically, that the women would be better.
I highly recommend the post to you, if you’re at all interested in the resurgence of fairytale retellings in all media, and particularly the portrayal of women in these.
The first of Glenda Larke’s Isles of Glory trilogy, The Aware, is now available in ebook from FableCroft. From the blurb:
Imagine what it’s like to be born citizenless in a world where citizenship is everything.
Imagine what it’s like to be abandoned by the parents you can’t remember before you are two years old, in a city that despises you for being a halfbreed.
Imagine what it is like to be able to see magic when others can’t.
Imagine what it’s like to live in the Glory Isles at a time when your archipelago is about to be discovered by another civilization from half a world away.
Changes are in the wind.
This is the world of The Aware.
One of my favourite things about this book is that the narrator, Blaze, is not the typical character we so often see in fantasy. You know that idea of a “strong female character” we often hear about but rarely actually see in action? To me, Blaze is the type of creation that phrase actually describes! Put her alongside a supporting cast who you will get to know and still want more, and some of the best world-building in modern fantasy, and The Aware is the start of an excellent reading journey.
“Rich world building will capture the reader’s interest. With a forceful heroine who is mature and experienced, Larke crafts a fantastic tale that moves beyond a typical coming-of-age fantasy. Fans of Lois McMaster Bujold and Mercedes Lackey’s strong heroines will relish Blaze’s adventures.” –Romantic Times, USA.
See where you can grab your copy of The Aware here, and look out for the rest of the trilogy soon!