Stephanie Gunn reviewed Insert Title Here for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2015 (not all the contributors are women, or Australian, but we appreciate her including it!). Stephanie says she “loved the darkness of this anthology … and all of the stories were worthwhile reading” and “…this is an extremely strong collection. The stories are varied, and I suspect that most readers will find at least one or two which speaks to them. Highly recommended.” Cheers Stephanie!
Ju at The Conversationalist comprehensively reviewed Cranky Ladies of History and notes: This book is both a pleasure to read, and gives you some small insight into the historical significance of several women, mostly those who are forgotten by modern history. It’s not that the book is educational exactly, but it does make you want to learn more, to study these women and their lives.
Speaking of Cranky Ladies, we currently have a Goodreads giveaway open internationally for two copies! Even if you already have one, they make excellent gifts, and Christmas is coming…
A different Stephanie reviewed Phantazein a while ago, over at the No Award blog, noting that it “expands beyond Western fairytales” and is a “fun read”. Thanks Steph!
Delighted to see stories from Phantazein in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Recommended Reading list, including Faith Mudge’s “Twelve” and Suzanne J Willis’s “Rag and Bone Heart”. Several other Aussies and plenty of great company on that list too!
Angela Slatter is interviewing the contributors to Focus 2014 over at her blog. Check them out here.
Alex Pierce includes some FableCroft news in her latest Aurora Australis column at Tor.com.
It’s always a buzz when new reviews come in for our books, so I can’t quite believe I neglected to post about this first one for Phantazein from SQ Mag when it was published in April! Among other wonderful things, reviewer Sophie Yorkson says: Each and every one of the stories in Phantazein leapt off the page at me with a vivacity and clarity of storytelling.
Thanks Sophie! And thanks also to reviewer Rivqa on Goodreads who said the book is: Beautiful and glorious. Stories to linger in the quiet corners of one’s mind.
We also have not one but TWO reviews in the new issue of Aurealis magazine (#81). Deanne Sheldon-Collins looked at Cranky Ladies of History and notes that the book: showcases historical fiction, but touches of surrealism and folklore embrace the speculative nature of rewriting history.
Deanne also reviewed Insert Title Here, recommending that: If you want immersing but varied fiction, insert this title into your reading list.
As always, a massive thank you to every single person who takes the time to review one of our books, whether extensively or just a few sentences on Goodreads or Amazon etc – it’s so very appreciated!
River from Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup did a lovely little review of Phantazein, saying: My favourite story in the collection easily was The Nameless Seamstress by Gitte Christensen. Such a vivid and gripping story about a seamstress! Also Tansy Rayner Roberts did a story and it was also made of fabulous. Seriously, there’s some fantastic stories in this collection, and it’s worth checking out.
It was delightful to see a great review of Cranky Ladies of History over at Marianne de Pierres’ website, where reviewer A.V. Mather notes that the “contributing authors are as talented and diverse a group as you could expect to find in Speculative Fiction today” and that “What you have here is a treasure chest in which you will find a very eclectic collection of sharp and glittering delights…”
Thank you both, and to everyone who takes the time to review one of our books – it is most appreciated!
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that Cranky Ladies editors Tansy and Tehani will be joined by a number of the authors from the book to chat about various cranky ladies of history on a panel at the Continuum 11 convention in Melbourne this weekend! Our panel is at 6pm on Sunday June 7, but the whole program looks absolutely amazing! Tansy is one of the guests of honour at this convention, and will be talking herself hoarse on a bunch of great topics, and you can find Tehani on several other panels, or in the Dealer Room peddling books for most of the weekend. Hope to see you there!
A nice mix of new reviews to report – thank you as always to the amazing readers who take the time to share their thoughts.
In 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.
Over 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.
In 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.
Cybelle 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”.
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.
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!
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!
The Aurealis Awards shortlists were announced overnight, and we’re so delighted to see Phantazein appearing in the Best Anthology category, along with “Ghost of Hephaestus” by Charlotte Nash (from Phantazein) getting a nod on the Best Fantasy Short Story ballot! Congratulations Charlotte, and to all the nominees! Don’t forget you can get a free Phantazein chapbook which contains Charlotte’s story, and a coupon for a half price discount on the ebook, right here, for a limited time.
I’m also completely over the moon that my launch order of Cranky Ladies of History arrived yesterday! So many beautiful books (I may have overused my apostrophes on social media yesterday, such was my excitement) 🙂 But they are so very pretty, and I cannot wait for people to start getting their hands on these gorgeous things. We have sent out all the Pozible hardcover rewards now, as well as contributor copies, and we’d love you to tweet us a picture of yours when it arrives – tag it #mycrankyladies !
The Cranky Ladies giveaway ends in about 10 hours (I’m also just a little bit ecstatic to see the number of entries – at least double of any Goodreads giveaway we’ve ever done before) – enter now!
And we’re so excited to be on them! It’s a fantastic list again this year, and I’m very proud to have been involved with so many great projects that have been recognised. Congratulations to all the shortlistees – a privilege to have FableCroft noted alongside you.
If you would like to read our shortlisted stories as a sample of Phantazein, we’ve made it easy for you! Download a free chapbook of the three shortlisted pieces right here! We’ve also discounted the full anthology at Smashwords (epub/mobi/PDF etc) – use the coupon XY47E to buy the whole book for just $3.99 – valid until April 1, 2015.
Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, in Black-Winged Angels (Ticonderoga Publications)
Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, of Phantazein (FableCroft Publishing)
Illustrations, Kathleen Jennings, in The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings (Tartarus Press)
Best Fan Writer
Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work
Tsana Dolichva, for body of work
Bruce Gillespie, for body of work
Katharine Stubbs, for body of work
Alexandra Pierce for body of work
Grant Watson, for body of work
Sean Wright, for body of work
Best Fan Artist
Nalini Haynes, for body of work, including “Interstellar Park Ranger Bond, Jaime Bond”, “Gabba and Slave Lay-off: Star Wars explains Australian politics”, “The Driver”, and “Unmasked” in Dark Matter Zine
Kathleen Jennings, for body of work, including Fakecon art and Illustration Friday series
Nick Stathopoulos, for movie poster of It Grows!
Best Fan Publication in Any Medium
Snapshot 2014, Tsana Dolichva, Nick Evans, Stephanie Gunn, Kathryn Linge, Elanor Matton-Johnson, David McDonald, Helen Merrick, Jason Nahrung, Ben Payne, Alex Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs, Tehani Wessely, and Sean Wright
It Grows!, Nick Stathopoulos
Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts
The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
Galactic Chat, Sean Wright, Helen Stubbs, David McDonald, Alexandra Pierce, Sarah Parker, and Mark Webb
Don’t forget to enter to win an exclusive Cranky Ladies of History calendar, designed by Tansy Rayner Roberts – these calendars are ONLY available through this giveaway, unless you were a clever campaign backer and got yours there! Competition closes tomorrow.
Speaking of Cranky Ladies, it’s very pleasing to see the anthology appearing on some “anticipated reads of 2015” lists (such as Tsana’s, here) – we’re in the final stages of edits for the book, and can’t wait to share it with you!
A wonderful review of Phantazein from A Fantastical Librarian, where Mieneke says the book is “filled with fabulous stories from a strong and all-female line-up” and is “…entertaining and a joy to read”. Thank you, Mieneke!
Sean Wright also reviewed Phantazein recently, noting that “Phantazein showcases the depth of talent Australia has in the fantasy field…” Indeed!
The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories is unpacked a bit over at Peter Tennant’s new site Trumpetville – take a look at what he says here.
We really appreciate all the reviews from our readers – if you have read one of our books, please post (or cross-post) a review on Amazon or Goodreads, as they do help!
We had a lovely weekend at Conflux a couple of weeks ago, and celebrated the launch of Phantazein with a fantastic roll up of con attendees. Cake and champagne were consumed, and wonderful congoers purchased books. I made a short and hopefully coherent launch speech that thanked the contributors, the cover artist Kathleen Jennings, and our designer Amanda Rainey, and also the authors of the forthcoming Insert Title Here anthology, which got slightly bumped because of Phantazein leapfrogging it (it will now launch in April 2015). The convention itself was quite intimate, but had some big-hitting panellists and a really lovely friendly feel to it. Was great to catch up with so many interstate friends, and I must give a huge shout out to intern extraordinaire Katharine and (sub intern?!) Elanor, who spent a great deal of time in the dealer room taking care of the table – it made such a big difference to my con experience, and is so much appreciated!
I’m delighted to see the first reviews of Phantazein starting to come in now – people seem to be enjoying it! Over at Butterfly Elephant, Bethwyn says “There is something dark to this collection, something that weaves everything together and leaves you coming back for more each time.” Katharine gave it five stars on Goodreads and said “From the very first piece in this anthology (one of my favourites!) I was swept away. This is a collection of wonderous fantasy, the kind that don’t always have a happy ending…” and Matt Morrison says of the stories “…all have a fresh voice and a unique spin…”.
My co-editor Tansy Rayner Roberts and I had a chat about the line up for Cranky Ladies of History today, and we’re very VERY close to being able to announce the table of contents. It’s SO exciting and we’re so delighted with the stories our amazing authors have shared with us – just you wait and see!