60 hours to go for IN YOUR FACE!

There are just over 60 hours left in our In Your Face crowdfunding and pre-order campaign. Thank you so much to every person who has shared or backed the campaign, and to our incredible authors who have talked about the often very personal genesis of each of their stories (read about them via the links here).

We’re still chasing our stretch goal of pro-rates for all the original stories in the collection, so this last 60 hours could be huge!

The book comprises original and reprinted speculative fiction stories that deal with very provocative themes. These stories are confronting but with a firm purpose – they are pieces that will perhaps make readers uncomfortable because they are a bit too hard-hitting or close to the bone, but which interrogate these themes and ideas, and make a point about the world we live in.

If you’d like to support the book and pre-order your copy (in print or ebook – still fantastic pre-order prices available), you can back the campaign here, for as little as $8.00 for an ebook.

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Tehani on Galactic Suburbia – another life goal achieved!

GS1400IconI was absolutely over the moon to be invited to take part in the 2015 Galactic Suburbia’s New Year Special episode, which went live on December 31. Along with a bunch of other fabulous women, I got to chat about the year that was, have my own little Culture Consumed session AND share cool stuff we’re doing at FableCroft in 2016. I’ve always been such a huge Galactic Suburbia fangirl (and of course, consider Alex, Alisa and Tansy as good friends!), so this was definitely a highlight for me. Thanks for having me, Galactic Suburbians, and for your great show.

You can listen to the podcast (there are lots of other cool people talking too, not just me 🙂 ) on iTunes or via the Galactic Suburbia Podbean.

Ten days left for crowdfunding IN YOUR FACE

We are so very delighted to have now tripled our target, with the tally passing $1500 earlier today – to all our wonderful backers, THANK YOU! To every single person who has shared the campaign with their networks, friends, families and random people on the street, THANK YOU! To our amazing authors, who continue to astonish with their thoughtful posts about their stories, THANK YOU!

The tally so far means that we have been able to add several more stories to the anthology, taking us to 21 pieces (including four reprints), and a total of over 135,000 words (check out the amazing Table of Contents). We’ve also been able to increase the payment for authors of stories longer than 5,000 words (to pay them for the full length of the story), and the payment for reprint pieces. That’s fantastic!

But we’ve still got a dream! In order to pay pro rates of six cents per word for the original stories in the anthology, we estimate we need to reach a goal of $4,500 – and we’ve still got ten days to try for it! We’re happy to aim for the stars even if we don’t quite make it though, because even if we only get to $2,500, we can increase the per word payment, which would be fabulous.

So please, tell your friends! Share with your networks and check out the blog posts about the stories – this book is going to knock your socks off!

If you would like to support the the In Your Face Pozible campaign, you can do so here – thank you!

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Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: ALL THE WEYRS OF PERN

Tehani and Marisol bonded over Pern (and Doctor Who) at a science fiction convention, decided that it was time for a reread of the series, and really, they should blog about that. They are reading in Anne McCaffrey’s preferred way, which is basically publication order.  

gl49of4nx3uzug5weu1fPern Series – All the Weyrs of Pern

T: This is the book you could really end the series with. And maybe McCaffrey should have, though I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve reread Dolphins and Skies (and the Masterharper), because I don’t think I’ve read some of those more than once, so don’t really remember much about them. I’ve not included The Chronicles of Pern in that, because everything in it comes from the beginning, prior to or following Dragonsdawn.

M: I’d be really sad if we didn’t include Dolphins, that’s one of my favorites from my childhood, although we shall see if that’s still the case.

AnneMcCaffrey_AllTheWeyrsOfPernT: Oh, we’re totally doing it, I’m just saying that the story cycle really completes nicely in All the Weyrs

M: I remember being surprised they came out with more books after, because it seemed like they were going to stop after this one. At the same time, though, I really enjoyed reading about the ‘fallout’ post AIVAS in the next books, and I’ve got some thoughts on that I’ll keep shushed til we get there. Continue reading “Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: ALL THE WEYRS OF PERN”

Sparking In Your Face: Cat Sparks

Cat Sparks is a multi-award-winning author, editor and artist whose former employment has included: media monitor, political and archaeological photographer, graphic designer and manager of Agog! Press amongst other (much less interesting) things. She’s currently fiction editor of Cosmos Magazine while simultaneously grappling with a PhD on YA climate change fiction.  Her debut novel, Lotus Blue, is forthcoming from Talos Press in February 2017.

A friend of mine, an English teacher once remarked upon a curiosity amongst her class of 17-year-old boys. When asked for the worst thing they could think of in regards to their own futures, all apparently cited the same thing. That the absolutely worst thing ever would be to get blind drunk and wake up in bed next to a fat girl.

My friend was gobsmacked. Surely the boys were more worried about employment, or climate change, terrorism, HECS debt, rising house prices or maybe speeding and getting mangled in a car wreck? Nope. Unanimously fat chicks were the epitome of social and personal apocalypse.

Which got me thinking…

I reckon every Aussie woman larger than a size 14 has likely experienced a man criticising her appearance. I’m not talking about garment choices, I’m talking about overweight, and the invisible accompanying license to express contempt.

My In Your Face story, “No Fat Chicks”, is set in the near future where a mystery virus has rendered all women obese. The story focuses on a group of male friends not coping well at all with the situation.

I’d had the idea for this one for some time, but hadn’t known where or how to start. I recognised the story would be tricky – but all my stories are difficult these days. Perhaps I should have realised a sci-fi semi-satire piece might prove particularly troublesome to place.

An Australian literary publication invited me to sub a story. They sat on “No Fat Chicks” for months before finally giving it the flick. My rejection came with a half page email mansplaining the intricate mechanics of human attraction. As far as that particular editor was concerned, I simply didn’t know how such things worked.

I sent the story out again a dozen times. A few submissions scored a polite ‘no thanks’ but other rejections read more along the lines of “ew – get this thing out of my face!” Even a sci-fi feminist magazine wouldn’t touch it. They weren’t sure why they didn’t want it, but they didn’t. A prominent editor friend had a look and advised me that the story was too misogynist.

It wasn’t the fact of the rejections that bothered me so much as the wording of them. As a writer of 25+ years in the saddle, I’m no stranger to editorial rejection, no kind of delicate little flower who expects her words to be regarded as precious gifts. I’m an editor myself – and a bit of a hardarse – well aware that no can mean no for many reasons.

“No Fat Chicks” is not about #allmen, but the men it describes are absolutely real. For research, I waded through a swamp of unpleasant websites. The kind that advocate dating girls with eating disorders as they’re hot in the sack and easy to control. And then there was the miserable hatefest known as @fatshamingweek. Don’t go there – I really wish I hadn’t.

To be fair on the editors who rejected my submissions, I tweaked the story every time it bounced. Perhaps my earlier drafts didn’t do my ideas proper justice. Perhaps my writing needed a bit more polish. But the overwhelming feeling I experienced with each no was that I wasn’t supposed to be telling this tale at all.

Western women are raised with the belief that it’s more important to be beautiful than anything. We can all name five supermodels or screen sirens, but how do we score naming five top female CEOs or scientists?

There are many men out there who consider ‘fat chicks’ a blight upon the landscape. They believe the world was made for them alone. That women and girls are servants and accessories, and all are supposed to be petite and small. Anything else is unnecessary and offensive. This story is about those men. It is not about all men everywhere, any more than any other story could be expected to reflect all men everywhere.

Thank you Tehani for giving “No Fat Chicks” a go.

Editor’s Note: Cat’s story is the true spark that brought the In Your Face anthology into being. I wasn’t going to do an anthology this year. “No Fat Chicks” is the reason the book came to life. 

If Cat has sparked your interest in the In Your Face anthology and the powerful stories it contains, you might like to support the crowdfunding campaign by pre-ordering the book (and lots of other goodies) at Pozible. And please feel free to share with your networks!

You can find more posts by our authors linked here.

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Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: THE RENEGADES OF PERN

Tehani and Marisol bonded over Pern (and Doctor Who) at a science fiction convention, decided that it was time for a reread of the series, and really, they should blog about that. They are reading in Anne McCaffrey’s preferred way, which is basically publication order.  

gl49of4nx3uzug5weu1fPern Series – The Renegades of Pern

M: This is the book I always think of as “The Gypsy Book”. I always forget all the OTHER stuff that happens in it.

T: The events of The White Dragon, The Renegades of Pern and All the Weyrs of Pern are apparently just one big jumble in my head, because I really had no idea which events took place in what book (or sometimes, short story…), so it was wonderful fun revisiting these to find out!

M: Given the ridiculously wide timeframe this book covers, it’s no surprise. I mean, we see Fax before he’s been killed. That’s ages ago!

michael whelan_anne mccaffrey_pern_renegades of pernT: At first I felt like we really *should* have skipped Moreta/Nerilka and Dragonsdawn to come back to later, because Renegades runs concurrently in the chronology to Dragonflight, Dragonquest, the Harper books and The White Dragon (as well as a couple of short stories!) for a big chunk! However, as I read on, I realised that it probably would have been a bit irritating to read the book in too close a proximity, and in fact the break really made this a better read. It also helps one gloss over the little continuity errors…

M: Too much dipping in the same pot, I agree. Even if Dragonsdawn is my least favorite story (so far as I remember). This book is like the book that shouldn’t be. It’s vignettes sliced up over an enormously long time.

T: Renegades certainly has the most ensemble cast of any of the books so far, I think. We get multiple widely varied points of view, with the dragonriders and harpers interesting quite sidelined for most of the story. Quite a fascinating choice McCaffrey made there! Continue reading “Revisiting Pern, the great McCaffrey reread: THE RENEGADES OF PERN”

Announcement: Table of Contents for IN YOUR FACE

We’re delighted to announce the preliminary table of contents for the In Your Face anthology. There may still be some additions over the coming weeks, but the following are firm acceptances!

Thoraiya Dyer Where The Pelican Builds Her Nest
Tansy Rayner Roberts Letters to Cleopatra
Stephanie Lai Cherries in Winter, Rivers in Spring
Simon Brown Rain from a New God (reprint)
Shauna O’Meara No one Here is Going to Save You
Sean Williams Lust, Entrapment, and the Matter Transmitter: a Case Study
Paul Haines Wives (reprint)
Marlee Jane Ward Fert
Kirstyn McDermott Accidents Happen
Kaaron Warren All Roll Over
Jo Anderton A pain that must be suffered
Jason Nahrung A House in Blue
Ian McHugh Tolerance
Dirk Flinthart Waters of Kati Thanda
David McDonald And Now Art Thou Cursed From the Earth
Darren Goossens Zero Sum Game
Craig Cormick The Lost Boys
Claire McKenna The Autumn Dog Cannot Live to Spring
Cat Sparks No Fat Chicks
Barbara Robson Absolution (reprint)
Angela Slatter Home and Hearth (reprint)
Alan Baxter Bodies of Evidence

If you would like to learn more about the stories, check out the authors talking about their piece via our link round up here. And if you are keen to get your hands on the book, you can pre-order via the crowdfunding campaign, with the added bonus of helping the authors earn more for their work!

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