CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 is OUT!

/ July 1st, 2013 / 3 Comments »

The anthology Kickstarter built is available for everyone to buy.

CP4_web_small Kindle Price $4.99
Canada $5.07
UK £3.28

Watch Weightless Books for e-book editions in alternate formats.

Trade Paperback $15.95 (Discounted at some stores)
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com.uk
Barnes & Noble
Powell’s
Indiebound

Don’t see it on the shelves at your local store? Ask for it.

If you want to get a signed copy direct from me, go here. #SFWAPro

What reviewers have said:

The tone ranges from dark to heartwarming and simple. The overall quality is high … Several of the pieces are quite challenging. Readers will do well to pick up a copy. — Locus Online

What makes this fourth edition so special is that it belongs to an impassioned community of writers and readers who went above and beyond to make it happen. … All eighteen [stories] have the power to pull the reader out of his own reality and transport or transform them entirely. — Cabinet des Fées

This 4th volume of Clockwork Phoenix contains an excellent diversity of speculative fiction ranging from cold and hopeless to harsh but victorious and warm and fulfilling. It was a pleasure to read. — Tangent Online

What kind of stories will you find in Clockwork Phoenix 4? Only those that are magical, imaginative, heart-wrenching, just plain bizarre, forward-looking, backward-looking, biological, romantic, hopeful, darkly funny and openly frightening. All the words that describe the best speculative fiction you’ve ever read apply. In fact, if this isn’t the epitome of speculative fiction, I don’t know what is. — Little Red Reviewer

Clockwork Phoenix 4 is a collection of 18 stories edited by Mike Allen. Who, I will tell you now, is a master editor. And the authors, all masters as well. This collection is really fantastic. I took my time reading it and was rewarded each time a new story began. You can call it speculative, fantasy, science fiction, but what it is, is good reading. — Just Book Reading

The stories are diverse. Yves Meynard’s “Our Lady of the Thylacines” is a tale of a young woman embracing her adrenalin-filled destiny. Alisa Alering’s “The Wanderer King” depicts a society collapsed into mutual extermination, and Barbara Krasnoff’s “The History of Soul 2065” manages to find a happy face for encroaching mortality. Of particular note is Gemma Files’s “Trap-Weed”; in its way the mirror image of the Meynard, it follows a Selkie determined to reject both the ways of its people and those of the humans it encounters. Publishers Weekly

This volume contains eighteen original stories which can only be classified as speculative; most of them blur or even reject genre lines altogether. The common thread which runs through these stories is a sense of unsettling strangeness. There were several moments when reading that I felt physically altered, only to realize that it was the story and not my body which was causing the queasy feeling in my gut. … That is not to say that these stories are not enjoyable; they are, in a discombobulating, shiver-inducing kind of way. And there were several of the tales which left me thinking on them long after I had finished reading. — Short Story Review

The cover promises “tales of beauty and strangeness” and by god it delivers. This is a collection of stories to boggle the mind and exercise the imagination. A must read for fans of weird speculative fiction. — Goodreads review

You read Clockwork Phoenix books the way you would eat a meal prepared by a master chef: trusting that every ingredient is placed precisely and with a purpose, even if one bite is bitter, it is to allow you to savor the sweetness of the next. In that way, the book absolutely succeeds and is a triumph. — Goodreads review

 

Table of Contents
“Our Lady of the Thylacines” by Yves Meynard
“The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine Daughter” by Ian McHugh
“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
“A Little of the Night” by Tanith Lee
“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

 

A new reward for the MYTHIC DELIRIUM Kickstarter

/ July 1st, 2013 / No Comments »

Taken from our first update, posted last night (6/30.) To visit the Kickstarter, click here.

Howdy, MYTHIC DELIRIUM backers (and all the others who read this.) #SFWAPro

First, my thanks to all of you who’ve backed the project so far. It’s only been six days, and this Kickstarter has already passed the halfway mark. I’m humbled and amazed that this esoteric project has so much support, thank you so much! That $1,300 will fund a full year of issues, from July 2014 to June 2015. Of course with the all-or-nothing nature of Kickstarter we still have to raise the remaining $1,200 or we get nada, so there’s lots of work left to do.

Even though we’re ahead of schedule I’m not taking anything for granted. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that we’re adding a new limited reward. For our new $45 backer level, Paula Friedlander, a long time illustrator for MYTHIC DELIRIUM, is offering ten signed 8″ x 10″ Giclée fine art prints of her paper cutout artwork “Triptych,” which began life as illustration for Dan Campbell’s poem “Triptych: an Offering of Fruit” in MYTHIC DELIRIUM 26 (print issue, Winter/Spring 2012 — you can read the poem, by the way, if you click here.) Paula afterward created a color version of the illustration that Anita and I loved so much that we asked her to modify it so that we could re-use it as the cover for MYTHIC DELIRIUM 0.2,  coming in October. Check it out below and I think you’ll see why:

I note that Paula also created the cover for one of our other rewards, the signed and numbered edition of THE IMMIGRANT by Cherie Priest.

Last but not least (for now) — as of this morning, MYTHIC DELIRIUM 0.1, the first issue of this new electronic incarnation, is already ready already. Though it feels like a bit of a gamble, as we’re not fully funded yet, I’ve decided that it’s not fair for the folks who’ve backed us so far to have to wait until July 24 to read it. So this update will be followed by another one for BACKERS ONLY with instructions on how to get your copy now.

The corollary to this, obviously, is that if you want to read a copy now and you’re NOT a backer, I hope you’ll consider becoming one.

Thanks folks for all you’ve done so far. Whatever you can do to further spread the word, we’ll be grateful for the help.

Poetry sale: ‘Hungry Constellations’ to GOBLIN FRUIT

/ June 29th, 2013 / No Comments »

I’m pleased to report my first new sale of the year (yes, it’s true) — The Queens of Air and Darkness at Goblin Fruit have accepted “Hungry Constellations,” which can be read as a cycle of 10 interlinked poems or, taken together, as possibly the longest single poem I’ve ever written. (I don’t know for sure as I haven’t been counting lines.) I’m told the Editrixes (Editricksters) plan to use “Hungry Constellations” for a poetry feature in the Fall 2013 issue. I’m honored, for sure, to be a featured poet there.

While you’re at it, you should check out their latest issue. Riches abound. #SFWAPro

GFSpring13

So….

/ June 27th, 2013 / 1 Comment »

I was wondering aloud to Anita in a grousing way why it’s seemed so hard to get the Mythic Delirium Kickstarter to reach $1000 … it’s been so close all day.

She suggested I offer to post a picture or video of myself doing something silly (or sillier than usual.) I was reluctant. What if no one bid? And I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired.

After a bit of riesling steeped with elderflower that Anita gave me, the idea looked a little better. I posed the possibility as a question in a tweet, actually got a couple affirmatives.

So I made the offer. No response. For all of about five minutes. Then I received a Kickstarter notification for the exact $21 needed.

I am a man of my word.

silly

THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO is here. For real.

/ June 27th, 2013 / 1 Comment »

See? I write things too!

 


Pic by Anita, who knows how to make me look less ugly. ;-p #SFWApro

The Black Fire Concerto is not available for sale just yet, unless you buy one from me. But it won’t be long now. (UPDATE: I am told it’s already supposed to be available on Amazon and the publisher is trying to sort out why not. Stay tuned.)

While I’ve distracted you with the shinies, don’t forget, I have a shiny Kickstarter too, for one of those deals where I publish other people. Check it out!

The MYTHIC DELIRIUM Kickstarter is live

/ June 24th, 2013 / 1 Comment »

UPDATE: The first issue, Mythic Delirium 0.1, is ready. You can get it by backing the Kickstarter for Mythic Delirium or by ordering a subscription through the Mythic Delirium website.

 


 

As the Bard put it so eloquently, “Once more into the breach.”

I’m announcing a new Kickstarter, to fund the new, rebooted  e-zine version of Mythic Delirium beyond its first year of operations (click the pic to check it out.)

KickPlay

The first year — four issues of “Mythic Delirium Zero” — was funded last year as the final stretch goal of the wildly successful Clockwork Phoenix 4 campaign. The first two issues have been filled, with Mythic Delirium 0.1 set for launch in a couple weeks. I’m going to hold a reading window from Aug. 1 to Oct. 1 for Mythic Delirium 0.3 and 0.4. But to keep going beyond that the magazine needs a subscription drive. This Kickstarter is the equivalent of that.

The new Mythic Delirium, containing fiction as well as poetry, will be released in PDF, EPUB and MOBI format every three months. In addition, each month, one story of up to 4,000 words and two poems from the most recent issue will be featured on the website until the entire issue is archived online — following the models established by Lightspeed and Nightmare magazines, but at a less hectic pace. (Below, you’ll find the contents of the very first issue, and its website schedule.)

The rewards we’re offering start with subscriptions and work up through additional e-books, jewelry pins, and poem and story critiques (click here for all the details.) #SFWApro

I’ll be honest with you, I’d be delighted if I didn’t have to launch a Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter is really hard work. But I’m in this for the long haul, and for the new Mythic Delirium to survive and thrive, it has to have support and subscribers. The evidence is overwhelming that Kickstarter is the most effective way for me to make that appeal. So here I am again, nervous, and already worn out, as I’ve been working nonstop to get all these things ready … but also eager to get started.

Even as this Kickstarter gets under way, I’m getting ready to launch the first issue of Mythic Delirium in its new incarnation. Here is the table of contents of the e-book editions (in PDF, EPUB and MOBI) of Mythic Delirium 0.1.

The Wives of Paris • Marie Brennan
Ahalya: Deliverance • Karthika Naïr
Cuneiform Toast • Sonya Taaffe
Hexagon • Alexandra Seidel
Voyage to a Distant Star • C.S.E. Cooney
Rhythm of Hoof and Cry • S. Brackett Robertson
Echoes in the Dark • Ken Liu
This Talk of Poems • Amal El-Mohtar
Two Ways of Lifting • Virginia M. Mohlere
Cover by Danielle Tunstall

Image by Danielle Tunstall, http://www.danielletunstall.com/

Here’s the schedule for when the stories and poems will appear on the new website:

Featured in July
The Wives of Paris • Marie Brennan
Ahalya: Deliverance • Karthika Naïr
Cuneiform Toast • Sonya Taaffe

Featured in August
Hexagon • Alexandra Seidel
Voyage to a Distant Star • C.S.E. Cooney
Rhythm of Hoof and Cry • S. Brackett Robertson

Featured in September
Echoes in the Dark • Ken Liu
This Talk of Poems • Amal El-Mohtar
Two Ways of Lifting • Virginia M. Mohlere

So as you as you can see, we’re off and running. This Kickstarter is designed to turn what could be a short sprint for the new Mythic Delirium into a productive marathon. I hope you’ll find it worthy of support, and even if all you can do is help spread the word, I’ll still be grateful.

eggs rolling out of the basket

/ June 23rd, 2013 / No Comments »

It all comes down to ReaderCon. Somehow I always manage to do this. However, ReaderCon has always been very good to me, so I suppose it’s in part the con’s fault for being so encouraging.

Here’s everything that is supposed to happen, that I’m going to try to make happen, in the next three weeks. #SFWApro

KickPlay1) I will launch, very very very soon, a Kickstarter with a $2,500 goal, basically to serve as subscription drive for the new version of Mythic Delirium. The first year of the new version of the zine is actually funded already — and Issues 0.1 and 0.2 are filled. I’ll be reading stories and poems from Aug. 1 to Oct. 1 for Issues 0.3 and 0.4, regardless of what happens with the Kickstarter. Whether I read for any issues beyond that of course depends on how the Kickstarter goes — it’s meant to fund the zine through at least mid-2016.

CP4_web_small2) I will, very very soon, officially launch Clockwork Phoenix 4. Hard to believe it’s not out already, isn’t it? Well, actually, technically, I’ve been quietly putting it in place this past month so that when I announce that it is out, people can find it. But it hasn’t launched yet. So I’ll announce that next. With the official launch events happening at ReaderCon, a group reading from the anthology and a party, woo-hoo!

3) And next (very soon) I launch the new Mythic Delirium website, which was funded by the Clockwork Pheonix 4 Kickstarter, and which has the first featured story and poems from Mythic Delirium 0.1 built in. By proxy I also launch the first issue of the new zine. Though there’s no official tie in to ReaderCon for this, there is a giant “Mythic Poetry Reading” scheduled that I’m co-hosting with Caitlyn Paxson of Goblin Fruit (they have a new issue out, by the way, give it a read.) So I imagine I’ll at least mention it.

Screencap1Those are the three things I have (almost) complete control over. By the way, I’m aware that there are poets still waiting to hear back from me about inclusion in the second-to-last print issue, Mythic Delirium 29. I hope to nail that down during this time period too, but I need to ask for your continued patience in the meantime.

There’s a fourth thing on the agenda that’s not completely in my hands — the launch of my first novel, The Black Fire Concerto. It’s tantalizingly close — the plan is for me to have copies with me at ReaderCon, and to read a passage to whomever I can bribe to show up with candy and cookies (I’ll even take requests, heh.) By the end of this coming week I should know for certain whether this will go down like I’m hoping it will.

And just today I received a great bit of news that would add a fifth thing to this list, but it’s not my place to announce it here first. So stay tuned. The draft of my ReaderCon schedule looks awesome, so stay tuned for that too. Stay tuned for all of it, in fact!

Tours of the Abattoir

/ June 9th, 2013 / No Comments »

The latest edition of Tales to Terrify contains a new “Tour of the Abattoir” column from me, in which I discuss why I’m not a Scott Sigler junkie. And I’ve been so swamped these past couple months that I completely neglected in this space to mention the previous column, in which Shalon Hurlbert and I examine Evil Dead. #SFWApro

Kickstarter, more CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 reviews & adventures of the special signed edition

/ June 9th, 2013 / No Comments »

I’m still too busy for my own good — in other words, nothing new under the sun. The writing life isn’t the only reason why I’m busy … but it’s reason enough!

So all but a handful of the Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter rewards have gone out, and that remaining handful is earmarked for folks to whom I’ll be handing their bounty to in person. So now it’s time to finally get this book published, right?

Well, yes, but it’s not quite so simple as that. The final stretch goal of the Kickstarter provided funding for a year of a new webzine for fiction and poetry, and afterward I decided to transform Mythic Delirium into that new zine. And it’s coming up on time for that new zine to launch, which means, as I’d suspected it would, a month-long scramble before July 1.

It also means that I’m getting ready to launch another Kickstarter. Those of you with Kickstarter fatigue, I can hear your groans from here. I believe though that this is the sensible thing to do — the new Mythic Delirium needs a subscription drive to last past next June, and Kickstarter has been proven again and again to be about the only effective tool a small press guy like me can turn to these days. So there’s that! More about this very soon, you betcha.

It’s been comforting as I’ve plunged into this to see Clockwork Phoenix 4 continue its accumulation of accolades. The self-described “snarky redhead” behind the Little Red Reviewer blog has penned a review of Clockwork Phoenix 4 that’s the opposite of snarky. She writes:

What kind of stories will you find in Clockwork Phoenix 4? Only those that are magical, imaginative, heart-wrenching, just plain bizarre, forward-looking, backward-looking, biological, romantic, hopeful, darkly funny and openly frightening. All the words that describe the best speculative fiction you’ve ever read apply. In fact, if this isn’t the epitome of speculative fiction, I don’t know what is.

The review goes on to highlight stories by Patricia Russo, Richard Parks, Ian McHugh, Gemma Files, Marie Brennan, Corinne Duyvis and Benjanun Sriduangkaew.

A little closer to (my) home, a Roanoke business journal, Valley Business Front, has printed (print!)  a review of Clockwork Phoenix 4 by Heather Brush (another redhead, for what it’s worth) that’s much shorter but just about as enthusiastic.

 This anthology defies genre, offering bits and pieces of sci-fi, horror, paranormal and more, while a vein of plain creepy runs throughout. … Eighteen times the anthology offers a drink to appease the thirst of wanton readers, succinctly and precisely.

This shorter review gives special props to A.C. Wise’s “Lesser Creek: A Love Story, a Ghost Story.”

In the meantime, the single special edition of Clockwork Phoenix 4 that’s supposed to be signed by all the authors has been traveling back and forth across the U.S.

Here it is when Anita and I first unveiled it to its owner back in April, in the special padded case Anita made for it to travel in.

The unveiling of the special singular signed edition of CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 in the special padded case Anita made for it to travel in.

And here it is at Alisa Alering’s pad a couple weeks ago. #SFWApro

SpecEdAlisa

If all goes according to plan, it will come back home to me after visiting one more author (five in all), and then Anita and I will bring it with us to ReaderCon, where seven more contributors will sign it. And then it gets to travel internationally. Good luck, little book.

Almost but not quite to the end, and new CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 reviews

/ May 29th, 2013 / 1 Comment »

Funny how when I haven’t blogged in a while, I get worried. Yet I’ve just been flat out too busy to do it. Reason #1 pictured below.

CP4box

For two weeks straight (maybe longer?) I’ve been mailing out the rewards for the Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter, most of which are simply copies of the book itself, which exists, as you can see. It’s been wild raising and then spending so much money and distributing 100s of copies of a book that technically isn’t published yet. The official launch still takes place at ReaderCon, where seven of the authors — Gemma Files, Barbara Krasnoff, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Shira Lipkin, Yves Meynard, Ken Schneyer and A.C. Wise — will join me (hopefully!) in christening ye book!

(BTW, if you can’t wait to get one, and want to give a beleagured publisher a little boost, there is a way. The preorder buttons at clockworkphoenix.com are still live and kicking.)

I’ve been sending out other rewards, too. Here’s the special Cherie Priest chapbook (all copies signed by Cherie herself) that was created exclusively for the Kickstarter.

ImmigrantBox

It looks like I may end up with a few left over. I’m going to have to figure out what to do with them…

In the meantime, advance reviews of Clockwork Phoenix 4 continued to come out, but I’ve been too busy to post links.

The fantasy and fairy tale webzine Cabinet des Fées says:

What makes this fourth edition so special is that it belongs to an impassioned community of writers and readers who went above and beyond to make it happen. … All eighteen [stories] have the power to pull the reader out of his own reality and transport or transform them entirely.

Here in my hometown, blogger Dusty Wallace of Dusty on Movies gives the book a thorough-going over, story by story:

Clockwork Phoenix 4 takes the reader on a journey through the outer reaches of imagination.

And a briefer summation at the book’s entry at GoodReads.

The cover promises “tales of beauty and strangeness” and by god it delivers. This is a collection of stories to boggle the mind and exercise the imagination. A must read for fans of weird speculative fiction.

And to be fair, Publishers Weekly has also reviewed the book, though the reviewer apparently was not as enthusiastic as whomever reviewed the first three volumes for that publication. Though I suppose the odds of four raves in a row were pretty slim. On the other hand, the fact that PW acknowledged this Kickstarted and self-published book is a bit of a triumph in its own way.

And there’s material to work with:

Yves Meynard’s “Our Lady of the Thylacines” is a tale of a young woman embracing her adrenalin-filled destiny. Alisa Alering’s “The Wanderer King” depicts a society collapsed into mutual extermination, and Barbara Krasnoff’s “The History of Soul 2065” manages to find a happy face for encroaching mortality. Of particular note is Gemma Files’s “Trap-Weed”; in its way the mirror image of the Meynard, it follows a Selkie determined to reject both the ways of its people and those of the humans it encounters.

Previous reviews of Clockwork Phoenix 4 can be found here, here, here and here.

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