Rounding up the Cranky Ladies launch posts

I realised today that I hadn’t done a final round up of the blog post series our authors contributed during Women History Month to celebrate the launch of Cranky Ladies of History. So now I’m doing that, in one easy click post! Enjoy 🙂

9780992553456CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: A few notes on Nora (of Kelmendi)

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Juliet Marillier’s author notes for “Hallowed Ground”

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Elizabeth Tudor, last Queen standing

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Due Care with the Truth (Dr Lilian Cooper)

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: Hatshepsut’s rise to power


CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: The Pirate Queen of the Connacht

CRANKY LADIES OF HISTORY: A story about the story you won’t see (and why that’s okay)

And don’t forget, we still have a Cranky Ladies of History Mothers’ Day Special running – a rare chance to grab a hardcover of the book, plus other offers!


Open Reading Period: middle-grade/YA science fiction novels


Image via Pixabay
Image via Pixabay

From May 1, FableCroft Publishing will be conducting an open reading period for submissions of high-quality science fiction novels for a middle-grade and younger end of young adult readership (approximately covering 9-14 year olds).

We are explicitly not looking for dystopian stories; rather, we seek books with interesting extrapolations on our present world and/or challenging ideas (appropriate to the readership) about possible or potential futures.

We actively encourage work that explores or considers perspectives other than first world (ie: not typically the privileged, straight, white, male point of view) and are particularly keen to see premises that are not frequently seen in books for this readership.

Space exploration, alien and first contact stories are welcome but must have a strong scientific base to be considered.

Strong characterisation is essential, while overt violence or sexual themes are unlikely to be appropriate.

Works should ideally be between 20,000 and 60,000 words (depending on intended audience), unpublished, and not under consideration with any other publisher.

Open internationally to works written (or translated to) the English language.

Please send full manuscripts only as a Microsoft Word compatible document attached to an email containing a short author biography and publication history. Submit to fablecroft [at] gmail [dot] com

Please be cautious to only submit final, proofread copy – ensure you have checked all your edits and removed all track changes in your document.

No multiple submissions.

No simultaneous submissions.

Payment will be in the form of a small advance plus royalties for print and ebook sales.

We do not accept submissions via snail mail.

  • Please use a common reading font, size 12, with margins of at least 2cm.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraphs by 0.5 (approx 1cm – do not use tabs), and indicate section breaks with a centered “#”.
  • Indicate chapter breaks with a new page and a number or chapter heading.
  • Include name, address, phone number, email etc at the top of the document.

Submissions open on May 1, 2015. The open reading period will continue indefinitely at this point.

New reviews!

A nice mix of new reviews to report – thank you as always to the amazing readers who take the time to share their thoughts.

CLOH cover smallIn a truly wonderful review of Cranky Ladies of History over at Goodreads, Catherine Heloise notes (among lots of other lovely things) that: the truly impressive thing about this anthology was that there really were no weak stories. Every story was compelling and fascinating in a different way; some were strict historical fiction, others had a touch of fantasy, fairy tale, myth, or even science fiction to them, and all were ordered with a keen eye to the stories that surrounded them. I’m not sure how best to describe this, but in my experience, at least, it’s rare to find an anthology which is put together in such a satisfying way.

ITH CoverOver at Marianne de Pierres’ blog, Joelene Pynnonen reviews Insert Title Here, noting it has: …consistently astounding world-building. Story after story explores unfamiliar realms – and story after story succeeds in making those realms blindingly convincing. As the title suggests, the possibilities in these stories are endless, and some of the worlds are so lovingly rendered that they would be more suited to a novel.

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 9.55.45 amIn a lovely review of Phantazein in Aurealis #79, Deanne Sheldon-Collins calls the book: Atmospheric and lyrical, confronting but readable, it proves that even something not meant to exist can be worthwhile.

Guardian coverCybelle over at Heroines of Fantasy discussed Guardian, calling it: “an outstandingly engaging read and works well as a stand-alone novel” and noting that “the pacing of this novel is impressive, and the characters are wonderfully rich”.

Cranky Ladies of History Mothers’ Day Special

CLOH cover small“…a strong anthology…”

“…highly recommended…”

“The works run the gamut of straight historical to historical fantasy.”

“…a unique project…”

“…an important collection of fiction that gives voice to an extraordinary selection of women from a broad range of backgrounds, eras and cultures…”

“…full of stories of fascinating, powerful, determined, and yes, occasionally cranky women.”

“…the stories overall show the power of women…”

These are just some of the things people are saying about Cranky Ladies of History, and so many people we talk to have bought copies not just for themselves, but for other people in their lives. As Mothers’ Day approaches, we thought it a perfect time to offer a special deal!


The hardcover of the book is not available for general sale, but we have the opportunity to offer a VERY limited number of copies. If you are looking for something special for the cranky lady in your life (or gentleman – really, we don’t mind!), now is your chance. It’s one of the offers below. Another option? Nab a copy of the trade paperback and get the ebook sent to you free. Want more? Buy the Cranky Ladies of History trade paperback and get a copy of Phantazein for just $10. And one more – buy the Cranky Ladies of History trade paperback and for just $10 extra, receive ebook copies of Cranky Ladies, Phantazein and One Small Step.

This offer will run right up until Mothers’ Day, but if you want to gift a physical copy of the book, you will need to place the order by the end of April to guarantee delivery!

Congratulations Australian Awards Winners!

It’s been a really busy week in Australian speculative fiction, with THREE sets of Awards presented over the past week. We were delighted to be shortlisted for several of them, and even more delighted to take home gongs for some of them! Well done to all the finalists and congratulations to all the winners!

Tin Duck Awards (Western Australia)

Tehani and Katharine were part of a 15-strong interviewing team (including several West Aussies) for the 2014 Snapshot, which won the Tin Duck for Best Fan Written Work.

Ditmar Awards

Cat Sparks with her Ditmar
Cat Sparks with her Ditmar

We were up for quite a few and were stoked to see Kathleen Jennings win Best Artwork for her cover of Phantazein and Cat Sparks pick up Best Short Story for “The Seventh Relic” from the book as well!

Aurealis Awards

Tehani at the Aurealis Awards – photo by Cat Sparks
Tehani at the Aurealis Awards – photo by Cat Sparks

Phantazein was again represented among the finalists, with “The Ghost of Hephaestus” by Charlotte Nash shortlisted in Best Fantasy Short Story and the book shortlisted in Best Anthology. We didn’t succeed in taking home a pretty trophy this year, but we’re always chuffed to be on the Aurealis Awards list!

It’s always a pleasure to attend the Awards ceremonies and get to see the looks of pure disbelief on some recipients’ faces, and the excitement and palpable joy that fills the room as Awards are announced. Following along on social media is also lots of fun, but I’m really glad I got to be at both ceremonies this year, and enjoy the vibe in person. If you weren’t so lucky, here’s a Storify of the Tin Ducks/Ditmars, and another of the Aurealis Awards. On top of that, Cat Sparks has done an amazing job capturing the evenings here and here (the Swancon set).

If you are looking for a good place to start reading Australian writers, the shortlists are certainly an excellent place to begin (the full Aurealis Awards shortlist and winners is here). Again, congratulations to everyone – look forward to another great year of Australian speculative fiction!