Archive for the ‘Clockwork Phoenix’ Category

Our MystiCon schedules

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Anita and I will be on all kinds of panels and workshops at the upcoming MystiCon convention right here in Roanoke. I’ll be reading from my novel The Black Fire Concerto and Anita and I together will be talking about Clockwork Phoenix and anthologies in general, and Anita, it seems, will be sharing her costuming know-how just about everywhere. Here’s what our schedules look like:
Friday, Feb. 21

4 p.m. Anita. Two hour costume workshop.

7 p.m. Anita. Panel: You Wear It Well: Owning the Costume.

9 p.m. Mike. Kaffeeklatch/reading from novel The Black Fire Concerto.

Saturday, Feb. 22

10 a.m. Mike. Writer’s workshop.

10 a.m. Anita. Panel: Costume fusion.

11 a.m. Anita. Editor’s panel: “If you spell ‘cheif’ like that one more time…”

1 p.m. Anita. Panel: Beyond The Paintbrush: Non Traditional Mediums of Artistic Expression

2 p.m. Mike (moderator.) Panel: Kickstarting your project.

3 p.m. Anita. Panel: Costuming: Form, Function, and Fantasy

3 p.m. Mike. Autograph signing.

Sunday, Feb. 23

10 a.m. Mike. Writer’s workshop.

10 a.m. Anita. Panel: Steampunk Costuming.

1 p.m. Anita. Panel: The Real Dr. Venkman

2 p.m. Anita & Mike (moderator.) Panel: The Role of Anthologies


The end times are here (2013 edition)

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Last year this time I was ill and bedridden. This year, I’m simply inconvenienced thanks to a kaput computer. I consider this a step up.
In fact I was so sick at this time in 2012 that my year-end summary didn’t turn up until mid-January. At least 2013 lets me be a bit more on the ball.
My 2013 writing, editing and publishing adventures amounted to a kind of small press triathlon, all intertwined, all the culmination of groundwork laid in 2012.
First — maybe biggest in the long run? — my first novel came out, a dark fantasy titled The Black Fire Concerto. This novel’s appearance resulted from some cool and sometimes nerve-wracking small press strangeness — after spending five years writing my first novel (which remains unpublished) I was among those solicited to contribute to a line of books from the folks behind Black Gate Magazine … and as it turned out, my book, written and rewritten in five months, was the only one to actually make it to print. No pillars shook at my novel’s arrival, but I had two fun launch parties, got some nice reviews, and also demands for a sequel, which I’m two thirds of the way through writing, because why not?
Part one of the novel, “The Red Empress,” was published in full at the Haunted Stars website and also as a podcast on Tales to Terrify read by C.S.E. Cooney. The beginning of part two, “Bone Mosaics,” has been a popular read at Black Gate.
Second, at more or less the same time as the novel, my newest anthology, Clockwork Phoenix 4, came out, published by … me! This was the culmination of last year’s giant Kickstarter, and it was refreshing, sobering, and incredibly demanding of my time, to be in charge of every aspect of the book’s fate. (Last year this time I was on the verge of picking the final lineup for the anthology when the flu or whatever the heck it was flattened me.) Clockwork Phoenix 4 has gotten a ton of laudatory reviews (with one sour note sounded by Publishers Weekly, heh) and I don’t think it’s done yet. There’ll be more good news to come.
Third, and heavily linked to item two, I launched the Mach 2 version of Mythic Delirium, funded in part by last year’s Kickstarter and the rest of the way by a second Kickstarter held this past summer. This new format is still finding its sea legs, but I’m ever grateful to the community support that’s made this possible.
By the way, never say never, but I’ve sworn off Kickstarter for at least the next year. Heck, I’ve still got rewards to produce for the first two (they had some overlapping prizes, natch) that won’t be out until at least late spring 2014.
I’d say that I didn’t have much of my own writing published this year … except, you know, novel. I had two new short stories appear, fairly par for the course in that department, both written in response to invitations.
“Still Life With Skull,” in Solaris Rising 2: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction, is a sideways sequel to last year’s “Twa Sisters,” set in the same far future world. Like the first story, it made Rich Horton’s monthly recommended reading list in Locus.
The Helping Hand: A Ghost Story” was written for my employer, The Roanoke Times, and picked up by the McClatchy-Tribune wire service (!) — it’s a spooky little piece of Halloween entertainment that had readers calling me to tell me about their own ghostly encounters.
Now here’s a big difference from years past — only two poems of mine appeared in 2013.
“Darksein the Diabolic Plots His Comeback from Beyond the Grave” is a goofy bit of doggerel that I was delighted to contribute to Michael Damian Thomas and Shira Lipkin’s Flying Higher: An Anthology of Superhero Poetry.
Hungry Constellations,” the longest poem I’ve ever written, and one I’m extremely proud of, had the honor of being the autumn feature presentation at Goblin Fruit. It will also be the title piece of my forthcoming poetry collection (which is one of those Kickstarter rewards I need to deliver.)
Last but not least, I managed to record nine “Tour of the Abattoir” columns for the Tales to Terrify podcast this past year, some with help from buddy in horror Shalon Hurlbert. (It’s supposed to be monthly. I was close!) At least I already know what my January column will be about.
Much unfinished business in the air. Onward to 2014!

Fiction uploaded to SFWA Forums

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

This notice is mainly for those associate and active SFWA members who have access to the private forums. I’ve made all of the following available there for those looking for material for Nebula consideration. #SFWApro




    From Clockwork Phoenix 4

  • “The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter” by Ian McHugh
  • “A Little of the Night” by Tanith Lee
  • short stories:

  • “Our Lady of the Thylacines” by Yves Meynard
  • “On the Leitmotif of the Trickster Constellation in Northern Hemispheric Star Charts, Post-Apocalypse” by Nicole Kornher-Stace
  • “Beach Bum and the Drowned Girl” by Richard Parks
  • “Trap-Weed” by Gemma Files
  • “Icicle” by Yukimi Ogawa
  • “Lesser Creek: A Love Story, A Ghost Story” by A.C. Wise
  • “What Still Abides” by Marie Brennan
  • “The Wanderer King” by Alisa Alering
  • “I Come from the Dark Universe” by Cat Rambo
  • “Happy Hour at the Tooth and Claw” by Shira Lipkin
  • “Lilo Is” by Corinne Duyvis
  • “Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer” by Kenneth Schneyer
  • “Three Times” by Camille Alexa
  • “The Bees Her Heart, the Hive Her Belly” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
  • “The Old Woman with No Teeth” by Patricia Russo
  • “The History of Soul 2065″ by Barbara Krasnoff





The CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 special signed edition in Tokyo

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

The special signed edition that was the top reward in the Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter is continuing its travels.

Clockwork Phoenix 4 contributor Yukimi Ogawa writes, “I went to the shrine to wish for its safe journey, and got a traffic safety amulet. I put it between my story’s pages…”


Yukimi also sent terrific pictures of the table of contents that show how the edition is progressing:

Next stop, Hong Kong!
Don’t forget, SF Signal is hosting a worldwide giveaway of two copies of the anthology. The giveaway ends this coming Friday. #SFWApro

Kenneth Schneyer’s story from CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 at Podcastle

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

I was too buried in Kickstarter promotion and website building to signal boost this when it happened, so apologies for the lateness. Podcastle has posted an audio adaption of Kennenth Schneyer‘s much-praised short story “Selected Program Notes From the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer” from the pages of Clockwork Phoenix 4. Here’s the teaser they offered up:

34. Magda #4 (1989)
Oil on poplar wood, 30 x 21″
Private collection

Sometimes called “Devotion” by critics, this nude the earliest extant work featuring Magda Ridley Meszaros (1963-2023), Latimer’s favorite model and later her wife. The lushness of the flesh and the rosiness of the skin are reminiscent of Renoir’s paintings of Aline Charigot (See, e.g., The Large Bathers (1887) (Fig. 8)). Latimer maintains microscopic hyperrealism even as she employs radiating brushstrokes which emanate from the model, as if Meszaros is the source of reality itself.

Discussion questions:

a. The materials and dimensions of this painting duplicate those of Da Vinci’s La Gioconda (c. 1503-1519) (Fig. 17). Is this merely a compositional joke or homage by Latimer? How does it change the way you see the painting?

b. Most biographers agree that Latimer and Meszaros were already lovers by the time this work was completed. Is this apparent from the composition or technique? From the pose of the model? As you proceed through the exhibit, note similarities and differences between this and other portrayals of Meszaros over the next 34 years.

Click here to have a listen. #SFWApro

The CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 special signed edition continues its travels

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Here it is with Camille Alexa in Montreal, just prior to heading out for Tokyo.



MYTHIC DELIRIUM is fully funded!

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Last year, on the Monday before ReaderCon, I launched a Kickstarter to revive the Clockwork Phoenix anthology series. It went better than I ever could have dreamed.

Today — on the Monday before ReaderCon — the Kickstarter to revitalize my other longtime publishing project, Mythic Delirium, has reached its funding goal. We’ll be able to keep publishing the new web and e-book version of the magazine at least through mid-2016. It’s like an anniversary gift!


This community is an incredibly generous, giving group to be part of. Thank you all.

Of course I have stretch goals, heh. For $750 more — $3,250 total — I’ll be able to publish a print anthology gathering the stories and poems in the first four issues of the new zine. Fortunately, perhaps, for those who’d like a break from my constant sales pitch, I’m not prepared to outline this second phase in full, as I have to finish prepping for our trip to Boston. #SFWApro

So instead I just want to point out that we have plenty of cool swag left that’s ripe for claiming. We have available:

  • Ten special color art prints from Paula Friedlander
  • Four copies left of the signed and numbered chapbook edition of The Immigrant by Cherie Priest
  • 18 unclaimed jewelry pins that Anita is in the process of making — and will likely finish at ReaderCon
  • Two story critiques from myself and Anita
  • And lots of other stuff. I hope you’ll give it all a look.

    The jewelry pins for the Mythic Delirium Kickstarter in progress

    Monday, July 8th, 2013

    So a year ago today, more or less, I launched my first Kickstarter, to make Clockwork Phoenix 4. And thanks to amazing support from this community, that ended up going really, really well.

    Today, my second and much smaller Kickstarter is less than $300 away from being fully funded. If we reach full funding early I have a couple of fairly simple stretch goals. An additional $750 will cover the cost of a print anthology collecting Mythic Delirium 0.1 through 0.4, and if we get that far, another $750 would cover an anthology of the next year’s issues, putting us at a total of $4,000. #SFWApro

    Anita’s been working on a special set of Mythic Delirium pins just for this Kickstarter (only one of the 20 has been claimed so far,) and I can finally give you a sense what they will look like. They’re not finished yet, but if you catch us at ReaderCon this weekend, you’ll likely get to watch her putting them together.






    I am speechless

    Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

    This review of Clockwork Phoenix 4 at Strange Horizons pulls no punches.

    But here’s how it ends:

    … this anthology, and this anthology series, are serious about working on the edge of commercially viable fiction. There is room here for the confusing, intentionally or otherwise; for the unexplained; for the extremely different. When it pays off, it pays off spectacularly. The first three Clockwork Phoenix anthologies were published by Norilana Books, but this one was funded by a Kickstarter campaign run by Allen after Norilana ran into financial difficulties. It’s good to see that a community can come together and support an original endeavor of this kind, and delightful to see how well the results have turned out. Whether Allen continues this particular anthology series or not, this book is in several distinct ways a look into the future: the future of fantasy and science fiction, diverse, strange, and wonderful; the future of these individual writers, many of whom are at or near the beginning of careers which promise to be interesting; and, additionally, the future of publishing, in which a crowd-sourced publication from a very small press can produce, and can present professionally and beautifully, work which is at the height of what is being written in genre. This particular phoenix has risen from its ashes triumphant.


    My schedule at ReaderCon (& news of a party)

    Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

    I have a great schedule at ReaderCon. And a full schedule. And a ton of things to promote: my anthology Clockwork Phoenix 4 (now out!), my novel The Black Fire Concerto (almost out!), the new Mythic Delirium and its attendant Kickstarter (over halfway but still needs help!). Anita and I are holding a room party Saturday night to celebrate my double book launch — and we planned this even before word got out the hotel wouldn’t have a bar this year. Should be a blast. #SFWAPro

    Thursday July 11

    9:00 PM RI Write What You Know All Too Well. Mike Allen, Gemma Files (leader), Shira Lipkin, Sonya Taaffe. Gemma Files is currently making the transition from writing a series of novels (the Hexslinger series) to a stand-alone novel (Experimental Film), from historical fantasy to contemporary horror, and from something very separate from her life to something that actively riffs off it in a somewhat intimate, vulnerable-making way. She will discuss this process and invite others to talk about similarly intimate work they might have created or experienced.

    Friday July 12

    1:00 PM RI Speculative Poetry Workshop. Mike Allen (leader), Margo Lanagan, Alex Dally MacFarlane. Speculative poetry can be defined a number of ways. One is that a speculative poem uses the trappings of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or more unclassifiable bends in reality to convey its images, narratives, and themes. Speculative poetry can unfold with the same subtlety and power that speculative fiction does, with considerably fewer words. Come prepared to write.

    4:00 PM NH Clockwork Phoenix 4 Group Reading. Mike Allen, A.C. Wise, C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Barbara Krasnoff, Shira Lipkin, Yves Meynard, Ken Schneyer. All of the critically acclaimed Clockwork Phoenix anthologies have officially debuted at Readercon since the series began in 2008. That bond deepened when editor and publisher Mike Allen launched the Kickstarter campaign for Clockwork Phoenix 4 at Readercon 23. The campaign was a smashing success, and the latest lineup of boundary-pushing, unclassifiable stories has been bought and paid for. At this official reading, the new anthology’s authors will share samples from their stories with everyone who helped make this book reality

    5:30 PM VT Reading: Mike Allen. Mike Allen. Mike Allen reads an excerpt from the novel The Black Fire Concerto.

    Saturday July 13

    3:00 PM NH Mythic Poetry Group Reading. Mike Allen, Leah Bobet, C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files, Gwynne Garfinkle, Andrea Hairston, Samantha Henderson, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Rose Lemberg, Shira Lipkin, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Dominik Parisien, Caitlyn Paxson, Julia Rios, Romie Stott, Sonya Taaffe, JoSelle Vanderhooft. Over the past decade, speculative poetry has increasingly turned toward the mythic in subject matter, with venues such as Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Stone Telling, Cabinet des Fées, Jabberwocky, and the now-defunct Journal of the Mythic Arts showcasing a new generation of poets who’ve redefined what this type of writing can do. This reading will feature new and classic works from speculative poetry’s trend-setters.

    7:00 PM F Speculative Poetry Open Mic. Mike Allen. Mike Allen emcees an open mic for speculative poets. Sign up at the information desk.

    8:00 PM F A Most Readerconnish Miscellany. Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, Lila Garrott, Andrea Hairston, John Kessel, Daniel José Older, Caitlyn Paxson, Sonya Taaffe. C.S.E. Cooney and Mike Allen emcee an extravagant evening of music, theater, and readings to benefit the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and Operation Hammond. Bring cash or credit cards to make donations toward these very worthy organizations, all while being entertained by exquisite performers including Andrea Hairston and Pan Morigan, Daniel José Older, John Kessel, Sonya Taaffe, C.S.E. Cooney and Caitlyn Paxson, and a capella group Sassafrass. Don’t miss this unforgettable event.

    Sunday July 14

    12:00 PM E Autographs. Mike Allen, Rosemary Kirstein.

    1:00 PM ME Crowdfunding: The Glory and the Peril. Mike Allen (leader), Kevin E.F. Clark, Matthew Kressel, Ken Schneyer, Cecilia Tan. In this troubled market, small publishers, authors, and editors are all turning to crowdfunding to get the backing for their cherished projects. Novelists, anthology editors, and magazine publishers are asking for funds on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other sites, and some are coming away triumphant. If you want to try it for yourself, how do you make it work? What do you avoid? What unexpected problems lurk? Author, editor, and publisher Mike Allen, veteran of a $10,000 campaign to fund the anthology Clockwork Phoenix 4, will lead a discussion of what works, what doesn’t, and what successful campaigners wish they’d done differently.