My ultraweird short story “Monster” sells to Nameless

/ August 24th, 2012 / No Comments »

I’m pleased to report that my truly strange short story “Monster” that combines serial killers and fractals has sold to the new horror journal [Nameless] Magazine, and is currently scheduled for a Spring 2013 release.

I’ve got a number of other behind-the-scenes things going on right now in regards to my own writing that I’m dying to share but can’t yet, so for now this tidbit will have to do.

Thank you

/ August 20th, 2012 / No Comments »

I apologize that this is so late in coming. For a number of reasons, neither Anita nor I have had much of a chance to stop and reflect since the Kickstarter for Clockwork Phoenix 4 reached such a stunning conclusion on August 9.

In case anyone needs a reminder what that conclusion was:

Reflecting back on the days leading up to launching the Kickstarter, and what my expectations were, this result wasn’t something I weighed as a serious possibility. More along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be wild if…”

This simply would not have happened without the amazing breadth and depth of support this community gave, to help Clockwork Phoenix, to help Anita and me, to help bring more art into the world.

It would not have happened without the help of all our backers — and as of this writing, as long as this thank-you list is (click here to view) this still represents just barely half of the people who stepped up to support us.

It would not have happened without all the people who chose to signal boost us, many more than once, from fans with 50 Twitter followers to bestselling authors. It all mattered. It all helped. It was all amazing.

It would not have happened without the platoon of friends and colleagues, fellow poets and writers and Clockwork Phoenix contributors and fans, who made suggestions and let me bounce ideas off of them in the weeks leading up to the launch. (I want to single out Rose Lemberg, Elizabeth Campbell and Ken Schneyer in particular for excellent advice, and Cherie Priest and Paula Friedlander for signing on for the game-changing chapbook project without hesitation. Thank you folks.)

And it certainly wouldn’t have happened without Anita’s artistic skills and sensible instincts. Thank you so much, sweetheart.

I’m already working on getting rewards to people. I have a lot to do in the coming months. (Our submission window’s going to run from Oct. 1 to Dec. 14, so recruiting slush readers will be a priority task.) But I’m grateful that I get to do these things. Anita and I are grateful for this wonderful mandate, this unexpected, stunning, beautiful show of support.

We did it. You did it. Thank you so much.

Extra bonus: if you’re interested in my thoughts on the nitty-gritty of Kickstarter, there’s an interview with me on that topic now posted at Twisted Scifi.

Clockwork Phoenix Kickstarter: less than 24 hours to go

/ August 8th, 2012 / No Comments »

Just one last reminder: there’s less than 24 hours to go in the Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter.

Aside from pre-orders of the anthology, two rewards have been especially popular: Anita’s hand-crafted Clockwork Phoenix pins (of which there are 5 remaining to be had) and the signed, limited edition chapbook of Cherie Priest’s fantasy story “The Immigrant,” illustrated by Paula Friedlander. The chapbook, in particular, will never be offered again outside this Kickstarter. Your last chance to get them ends 11:15 a.m. Thursday morning.

Then the celebration begins. Thanks, all of you!

Clockwork Phoenix Kickstarter: final rewards recap

/ August 7th, 2012 / No Comments »

Hello, folks! Please feel free to repost this.

As of this posting there’s less than 48 hours to go in the Clockwork Phoenix Kickstarter. It’s not at all clear to me whether we’re going to make our final stretch goal that lets us found a companion webzine for Clockwork Phoenix and Mythic Delirium; I guess that will come down to the wire. Regardless, I want to emphasize that whether we make this last goal or not, the book will still happen, we will pay pro rates, and every little bit we get still helps with assembling, printing and marketing this anthology.

I want to do one more quick rundown of the rewards we’re offering, too, because if any of them look tempting, you only have until Thursday morning to make them yours.

Of utmost importance, most all of the rewards involve a pre-order of the new book once it’s made, in e-book or trade paperback form.

A very popular new reward combines the pre-order of Clockwork Phoenix 4 with a special limited edition signed chapbook edition of Cherie Priest’s short story “The Immigrant,” which I originally published in an anthology series called MYTHIC, the precursor to the Clockwork Phoenix books. This chapbook will only ever be offered through this Kickstarter.

Another popular reward: Anita’s Clockwork Phoenix pins. The photo to the left depicts two of them in progress.

And there’s a whole palette of other things to choose from: some have been nibbled at, some are untapped.

Short story critiques:

Tote bags full of books;

Custom hats;

Poems to order and story Tuckerizations;

Your stories or novels formatted as e-books;

Books hollowed out and decorated to create e-reader cases;

The last remaining 10th anniversary issues of Mythic Delirium,featuring Neil Gaiman;

And lots more. I hope you’ll give them all at least one more look before we’re done.

And lastly, in case you missed it; during the course of the Kickstarter I promised to do something special if the campaign paused at $6,666. It did, and I did indeed do something off the wall. Here I am reciting my devilish poem from the pages of my collection The Journey to Kailash, titled “lis pendens“:

A new “Tour of the Abattoir” column at Tales to Terrify + a poetry sale

/ August 3rd, 2012 / No Comments »

The newest Tales to Terrify podcast contains my latest “Tour of the Abattoir” column, in which I and buddy Shalon Hurlbert tear the liver out of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus … but end up finding it somewhat tasty. There’s also a story from podcast overlord Larry Santoro, narrated in his inimitable style.

I’m also proud to report that in the midst of all this Kickstarter campaigning I’ve sold my anti-Persephone poem “Machine Guns Loaded With Pomegranate Seeds” to Sonya Taaffe at Strange Horizons.

The Clockwork Phoenix Kickstarter made its goal paying pro rates. Now trying for one more: a new webzine.

/ August 2nd, 2012 / No Comments »

Reposted from the latest project update.


Thank you all so much! We’re overwhelmed.

The next volume of Clockwork Phoenix will pay 5 cents a word for fiction. Again, thank you.

So, we’re here. Earlier than expected. And I think there’s time to try for something more. I’ve mentioned before that one of our stretch goals could be creating a new webzine for showcasing poetry and fiction. This is something we’ve wanted to do for years but completely lacked the resources.

But now, I think we could make it happen.

If this Kickstarter can reach $10,000, that should leave us with enough to fund 12 issues of a new Internet magazine. Each issue will hold one story (word limit 4,000 at 2 cents a word) and two poems ($5 each.) In essence, it will be a continuation of the MYTHIC anthologies we used to produce (that published stories like Cherie Priest’s “The Immigrant.”)

If we hit that goal, we’ll launch in 2013.

I can’t think of what else to say other than to repeat, again: Thank you!

Black Gate lets me explain why I edit Clockwork Phoenix

/ August 1st, 2012 / No Comments »

The Kickstarter for Clockwork Phoenix is less than $450 away from reaching $8,000, at which point the anthology will be able to pay pro rates for stories. We have a week left.

Should we manage to go past $8,000, I have a new stretch goal in mind. I’ve wanted to try creating my own web-only market for poetry and fiction for a long, long time but haven’t had the resources. Now maybe it’s finally possible.

John O’Neill of Black Gate has generously allowed me to make a guest post explaining what drives me to edit Clockwork Phoenix, and why I personally feel it’s worth continuing. Click here to check it out!

New Clockwork Phoenix update (w/ video): Story critiques, “book cases,” & a possible submission window

/ July 29th, 2012 / No Comments »

Reposted from Update #12 of the Clockwork Phoenix Kickstarter.

Hi, folks! I hope you’re having a good weekend and getting to enjoy some of the Olympics.

We’re battening down for the final stretch.

There’s only 10 days left and we’ve still got a long way to go to reach our stretch goal of $8,000 that will let us pay the pro rate of 5 cents a word — which helps us make this book the best it can be, and lets us finally give our writers what they really deserve for their artistry and hard work. (We’re really, really close, though, to crossing the $6,500 goal that lets us bump the pay rate up to 4 cents a word, so here’s hoping.)

In addition to the signed, numbered and illustrated edition of Cherie Priest’s “The Immigrant” that we’re now offering exclusively through this Kickstarter, we’ve added three other rewards that I want to elaborate on.

First, Anita is offering to make special “book cases” for your favorite e-reader device, in which she’ll hollow out a book to custom specs (we’ll of course need the dimensions of your device, when the time comes, to do this properly) and then decorate the cover with the Clockwork Phoenix motif. Because these are time consuming projects, we’re offering five of these for the Kickstarter. The video should help give you an idea what they’ll be like. (The video also gives an update on the special pins she’s making, and some unofficial information on when we’ll open to submissions.)

Second, Anita and I are offering ten critiques of short stories to interested backers. Stories we’ve selected and edited previously have been picked for “Year’s Best” anthologies and been finalists for the Nebula Award, the Shirley Jackson Award and others. Again, these are time-consuming, and we plan to be thorough, so we’ve put a limit on how many we’ll do.

Third, we’ve added a “Bag of Books” level that lets you get all the paperback books we’re offering (including the Cherie Priest chapbook) in a custom decorated tote bag (we’ll let you select from Clockwork Phoenix-related designs.)

And that’s all for the moment. Thanks, all of you, for helping us make this happen. And stay tuned.

New rewards at the Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter (& another interview)

/ July 27th, 2012 / No Comments »

The Interstitial Arts Foundation has posted an interview with me about the Clockwork Phoenix Kickstarter and other things. My thanks to them for lending me a soapbox.

In pursuit of our goal of going pro, we’ve added some new reward levels. Anita and I are offering story critiques at $100 — fair warning, I’m known for brutal honesty when I do these — and we’re also offering a “bag full of books” reward at $125.

And we’ve got another one that’s really special, that I’m really thrilled about. Please forgive me for being long-winded, because it requires a little back story.

Before I edited the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies, I edited another anthology series called MYTHIC. It only had a two-volume run, but wound up being the prototype for what we did with the Clockwork Phoenix books. I had the pleasure of including in the second MYTHIC book a delightfully whimsical little story called “The Immigrant” by a writer named Cherie Priest.

In 2006, when the “The Immigrant” came out, Cherie was in the middle of her Southern Gothic trilogy that begins with Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Three years later she came out with Boneshaker, the book that threw her career wide open, combining the Old West, steampunk and zombies. Cherie was nominated for a Hugo, won a Locus Award and Boneshaker was snatched up for a movie adaptation by Hammer Films.

“The Immigrant” displays the same seamless blend of the historical and the fantastic that marks all Cherie’s work. Here’s how Strange Horizons described the tale’s opening: “An American GI finds a young dragon, injured and alone, in the cellar of a French church during the days following the Normandy invasion.”

I asked Cherie if she’d be willing to let me reprint this story in a special limited, numbered edition just for this Kickstarter and she said yes, and that she’s willing to sign copies too. I then asked regular Mythic Delirium illustrator Paula Friedlander if she’d be willing to create the cover and illustrations, and she’s also on board. Paula works exclusively with paper cutouts; no one’s work in this field looks quite like hers.

So here’s the deal: this special edition signed chapbook of Cherie Priest’s “The Immigrant” brought to life with Paula’s art will be made available only through this Kickstarter. We’ll make as many as we need to fill the orders we receive here and no more. I’ve created a new $45 reward level that adds a pre-order of this book to the pre-order of the paperback edition of the fourth Clockwork Phoenix volume that you get at the $25 pledge level (along with all the accompanying e-books.)

Furthermore, if someone has backed us or wants to back us at one of the reward levels ranging from $50 to $100 and also wants to add “The Immigrant” to their swag, increase your pledge by $20 and it will be yours — I’ll track who does this (or you can e-mail me at and let me know) and follow up once the Kickstarter closes. If you pledge at one of the levels that gets you listed as a supporter in all our future publications ($125 and up) this chapbook will automatically be included in your bounty.

My heartfelt thanks to Cherie and to Paula for their willingness to make this happen, and a hat tip to Rose Lemberg, who sparked this idea. And thanks again to all the rest of you who’ve backed the project so far, for presenting me with the wonderful problem of how to come with ways to make an already successful Kickstarter even more so.

Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter hits halfway mark + interview at Marshall’s Super-Sekrit Clubhouse

/ July 24th, 2012 / No Comments »

Today the Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter reached the halfway point, with 15 days done and 15 days to go. I’m amazed at the progress we’ve made, but we’re still chasing that elusive $8,000 goal so that for the first time the series can pay pro rates for fiction. So many have pitched in already for which I’m sublimely grateful; any more help we can get spreading the word will still make a difference.

Speaking of spreading the word, I’ve been interviewed (a second time!) over at Marshall’s Super-Sekrit Clubhouse, about how it came to be that I could take charge as publisher as well as editor of Clockwork Phoenix 4, and other things, such as balancing poetry and fiction, and the other projects I have in the works. Click the banner below to take a look.

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