Clockwork Phoenix 4 submissions update

/ November 7th, 2012 / No Comments »

If you submitted a story to Clockwork Phoenix 4 in October and you haven’t received a response, it’s either because I’m holding your story for further consideration, or it somehow fell through the cracks in my submission system. Either way I encourage you to query.

We received about 500 submissions in October. In November so far we’ve gotten about 120. In allowing multiple submissions but barring simultaneous submissions, I feel I have an obligation to get back to everyone in a timely fashion so no one ends up with several stories tied up for a ridiculous length of time. My heartfelt thanks to my assistant editors, Sally Brackett Robertson and Sabrina West, who are helping me keep the task manageable.

A Clockwork Phoenix guidelines clarification: “rococo sf”

/ November 5th, 2012 / 2 Comments »

At, Bogi Takács asked me for a clarification of what “rococo sf” means in the Clockwork Phoenix guidelines.

This was my response:

My plea for “rococo sf” has caused puzzlement before. I recognize that recommending that people read the books to see what I mean is both obvious and futile, but if you read the sf stories I’ve actually published in the Clockwork Phoenix volumes (“Palisade” by Cat Sparks, “Oblivion: A Journey” by Vandana Singh, “Choosers of the Slain” and “Murder in Metachronopolis” by John C. Wright, “The Endangered Camp” by Ann Leckie, “Surrogates” by Cat Rambo, etc.) youll see that there is some element of the bizarre and/or the avant garde and/or the poetic and/or the dream-like that permeate them. Most writers who tackle elements like this in their prose and plots choose to do it as fantasy, but it can also be incorporated into convincing science fiction, and when someone pulls it off it makes me very, very happy.

Other sf stories in the pages of Clockwork Phoenix include Jennifer Crow’s “Seven Scenes from Harrai’s Sacred Mountain,” C.S. MacCath’s “Akhila, Divided,” Barbara Krasnoff’s “Rosemary, That’s For Remembrance,” Leah Bobet’s “Six” and arguments can be made for other stories that cross over from the slipstream side, such as Tanith Lee’s “The Woman” or Gregory Frost’s “Lucyna’s Gaze.”

You might ask why not call it “avant garde sf” or “surreal sf”? Well, to my mind that isn’t correct, because though I want the sf in Clockwork Phoenix to have that sumptuous strangeness, I also want it to be comprehensible. So I picked “rococo,” roughly meaning in this case “elegant and ornate” and also “florid” or “artistically complex,” in an attempt to give a sense of what’s different about what I select. Really, those descriptors apply to almost everything I pick in some way. Except when they don’t. (*Insert evil laugh here.*)

Mythic Delirium 27 cover complete

/ November 1st, 2012 / No Comments »

I wanted to show off how Tim Mullins handled adding the poet names to Paula Friedlander’s art.

Next comes printing. Now is a good time to subscribe.

Mythic Delirium 27 cover preview

/ October 29th, 2012 / No Comments »

Before Hurricane Sandy has her way with the East Coast, I wanted it known for the record that Mythic Delirium 27 has cover art now, created by Paula Friedlander.

The table of contents of Mythic Delirium 27 can be found here. If you don’t want to miss this issue, subscribe here.

Poems accepted for Mythic Delirium 28

/ October 28th, 2012 / No Comments »

I’m pleased to announce the poems that will be appearing in Mythic Delirium 28, scheduled to be published in Spring 2013. It’s a pretty eclectic mix, though road trips figure prominently.

  • Día de los Muertos • F.J. Bergmann
  • The Beast • Rachel Manija Brown
  • Mice • Beth Cato
  • Maud Gonne, After • Alicia Cole
  • The Serpent Explains the Nature of Tricksters to His Wife • Ruthanna Emrys
  • The Princess Becomes a Prophet • Jeannine Hall Gailey
  • Wheels • Adele Gardner
  • The Last Siren • Andrew Gilstrap
  • The Green Green Rain • Neile Graham
  • skin • Lynn Hardaker
  • Circe in Manhattan • Wendy Howe
  • Gleaming • Mari Ness
  • The Theatre Golems • Dominik Parisien
  • Rare Annie • Caitlyn Paxson
  • How to Bring Your Dead Lover Back • K.L. Pereira
  • The Motor Prayer • Donald Raymond
  • Doomcall • Alistair Rennie
  • Persephone Set Free • Sofia Samatar
  • Revising Horror (The Wrong Mouth) • David Sandner
  • The Nostalgia of Roads • Alexandra Seidel
  • The Ceremony of Innocence • Sonya Taaffe

Don’t want to miss an issue? Click here to subscribe.

“The Vigil” appears at Gobin Fruit

/ October 20th, 2012 / No Comments »

My poem “The Vigil,” dedicated to Nicole Kornher-Stace — and also one of my “Claire-dare” series of poems from late 2010 — has just appeared in the newest issue of Goblin Fruit.

Making this appearance extra special, the audio reading is by Claire Suzanne Elizabeth Cooney herself. And making it extra, extra special, artist Elisabeth “Liz” Heller based her illustrations for this issue on my poem — check out the steed of bone and straw below, and the imposing woman you see riding it when you click through. I think it’s the best illustration of one of my own poems I’ve ever seen. And even sweeter than that, the next poem in the issue, “Blueshift” by Sonya Taaffe, is dedicated to me. What a great early Halloween present.

New Tour of the Abattoir column at Tales to Terrify

/ October 19th, 2012 / No Comments »

My “Tour of the Abattoir” audio column for Larry Santoro’s Tales to Terrify horror podcast skipped the month of September so that I could finish novel edits for The Black Fire Concerto, coming very soon as an e-book from the fine madmen at Black Gate.

But now “Tour” is back. In this installment I review Laird Barron’s slightly hard-to-find first novel The Light Is the Darkness as well as the recent theatrical release The Possession (with a little bit of snark tossed in for The Devil Inside, from earlier this year.) Then, in the “live” segment of the column, my buddy Shalon Hurlbert and I compare and contrast two films about zombie sieges at radio stations, Dead Air and Pontypool. It’s an “Abattoir” feast!

Let’s not forget the main fiction feature, “The Stuff of the Stars, Leaking” by Tim Lebbon. And if you’re a Laird Barron fan like I obviously am, last week TtT presented Laird’s new darkly funny novelette, “Frontier Death Song.”

“The Magic Walnut” from Mythic Delirium 25 a Dwarf Stars nominee

/ October 19th, 2012 / No Comments »

Congratulations to poet Sofía Rhei (and translator Lawrence Schimel) whose poem “The Magic Walnut” from Mythic Delirium 25 is a contender for the 2012 Dwarf Stars Awards.

(I’ve mentioned earlier that my own poem co-written with Anita, “Unland, Unlife,” is also in the running, along with many other worthies. May the best poem win!)

Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter update

/ October 14th, 2012 / No Comments »

This is a reposting of the progress report I posted on the Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter page this morning.

Hello, CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 backers!

I’ll feel I’m overdue in letting all of you know how things are going, so here’s an update.

1) First, CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 opened to submission on Oct. 1. (The guidelines are here.) Again, thanks to all of you … without your help this step would be unthinkable. We’ve already received over 200 submissions, with more coming in every day. I’ll keep you folks updated as the book comes together.

2) Second, with the exception of CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 (obviously) all of the e-books that are being offered as Kickstarter rewards are ready. Kickstarter allows me to send official backer surveys only once, so if you pledged $20 or more, I will not be sending your official survey until CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 is ready. However, if you’d like me to go ahead and send you the e-books of the previous three CLOCKWORK PHOENIX volumes and the three bonus stories, here’s what you need to do: send me an e-mail at, or message me through Kickstarter, and in that email message tell me what format(s) you want to receive the books in: your options are PDF, EPUB, MOBI, a combination of any two, or all three. It would be helpful if you also tell me the amount of your pledge, to make it easier for me to check you off in my spreadsheets. (IMPORTANT: If you message me through Kickstarter, tell me what email address you want the books sent to. Because if you don’t I’ll have to ask you anyway.)

3) Third, a detailed breakdown of how rewards are going.

3a) Because this Kickstarter has a lot of moving parts, my goal has been to tackle it a piece at a time. My first goal was to collect all the backer names for those who want to be listed on the CLOCKWORK PHOENIX website acknowledgement page and in the acknowledgements of the completed CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 anthology. At present there are 208 names on that list. However, there’s still room for more. If you’re a backer and you’re not on this list (click here to view) and you want to be on it, send me an email at, or message me through Kickstarter and spell your name out for me exactly as you want it to appear.

3b) My second goal was to take care of the rewards for the people who pledged in the $5 to $15 range. This is mostly done. To my puzzlement, two backers in the $10 category have not yet filled out their reward surveys. I very much want to give these two people their rewards. So if you happen to be one of those people and you’re reading this, please fill the survey out — or, if for some reason you can’t do that, email me at and I’ll get you squared away.

3c) My third goal was to take care of the people whose rewards include a 1-year or 2-year subscription to Mythic Delirium. All of those folks have responded to my request for their addresses: thank you so much! The monkey wrench here has been than I’ve had unanticipated problems with cover art that have delayed the release of Issue 27, the newest issue. I’ve taken steps to take care of this, but it will still be a couple weeks yet before it’s ready. So stay tuned.

3d) My fourth goal is to get the remaining e-book rewards (again, with the exception of CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 itself, which isn’t ready) out to those who’d like them now. I am going through category by category and sending messages to backers asking them their ebook format preferences. However, if you don’t want to wait for me to message you, you’re welcome to follow the steps I outlined in paragraph 2 above.

3e) At present, my plan is to send all rewards that involve the shipping of physical books out at the same time, which means they’ll go out once the CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 paperback is in hand. This includes the Cherie Priest chapbook, copies of the first three CLOCKWORK PHOENIX volumes and of my poetry collection, THE JOURNEY TO KAILASH, and the tote bag rewards.

3f) Craft items by Anita, on the other hand, will likely go out as they’re completed. (She’s still working on those pins.)

4) Okay, fourth, I thought I should mention that the new web market for fiction and poetry made possible by that final $2,000 push (again, thank you) is in progress, though in its very early stages. The new website that will house it is in the process of being built. My plan is to open a submission window in the spring that will seek stories and poems for the first six months of the new webzine and also collect poems for issues 29 and 30 of the print edition of Mythic Delirium. It should be quite the bonanza.

5.) Further complicating these things, though at present not causing any schedule problems: CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 4 is not my only book project at the moment. My first novel, THE BLACK FIRE CONCERTO, is scheduled to to appear in late November/early December as an e-book from Black Gate. My first short story collection, THE BUTTON BIN AND OTHER STORIES, is scheduled to appear this coming March from Dagan Books.

6) Still have questions? If any of you have any questions, at any time, feel free to shoot me an email at or message me through Kickstarter.

7) I will alert all of you if anything changes, and as more things develop. Whew!

Mythic Delirium update

/ October 13th, 2012 / No Comments »

I’ve reached the stage in assembling Mythic Delirium 28 where I’ve read all the submissions, and now have a pool of finalists. Anita will look over the poems too to help me decide what I accept, which pieces I might ask to be tweaked, and which I’ll decide ultimately don’t fit. Usually I wait until this process is finished before telling people they should query if they haven’t heard from me — so I can make sure I haven’t missed anyone — but on reflection I’ve decided that’s not soon enough. So if you want to query me about submissions status, now is a good time.

Mythic Delirium 27, which I had hoped to have out in September, remains delayed because of unexpected complications involving the cover. I remain hopeful that I’ll have it out by the end of the month.

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