New poetry sale

/ July 1st, 2011 / No Comments »

Yesterday Alexa Seidel with Fantastique Unfettered informed me she’ll be adding my poem “Seed the Earth, Burn the Sky” to the pair (“Sisyphus Crawls,” “Binary”) she already has lined up for the Nov./Dec. issue, making it a triptych. I also understand the issue’s cover will be based on one of the poems. How cool.

“Seed the Earth, Burn the Sky” is another of my “Claire-dare” poems. I originally wrote 12 last October. There’s now only three left available. That’s quite satisfying, too.

ReaderCon schedule [UPDATED 7/2]

/ June 24th, 2011 / No Comments »

Today, I got the bulk of my schedule for ReaderCon.

Updated and complete on 6/27 and confirmed as complete schedule on 7/2:

Thursday July 14

9:00 PM RI    Speculative Poetry Workshop. Mike Allen. This is a basic workshop that challenges participants to write and share poems in various forms dealing with SF, fantasy, horror, and related topics.

Friday July 15

2:00 PM E    Autographs. Mike Allen, David Lunde.

4:00 PM NH    Mythic Delirium/Goblin Fruit group reading. Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, Theodora Goss, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Shira Lipkin, Sonya Taaffe. Contributors to the Mythic Delirium and Goblin Fruit speculative poetry magazines read selections from their work.

5:00 PM NH    Steam-powered I & II group reading. Mike Allen, C.S.E. Cooney, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Matthew Kressel, Shira Lipkin, Sonya Taaffe, JoSelle Vanderhooft. Contributors to Steam-powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories and Steam-powered II: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories read selections from their work.

Saturday July 16

2:00 PM RI    How We Wrote “The King of Cats, the Queen of Wolves“. Mike Allen, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Sonya Taaffe. Mike Allen, Nicole Kornher-Stace, and Sonya Taaffe discuss the collaborative writing of their epic speculative poem.

3:00 PM ME    The Rhysling Award Poetry Slan. Mike Allen (leader), David Lunde (moderator). A “poetry slan,” to be confused with “poetry slam,” is a poetry reading by SF folks, of course. The slan will be concluded by the presentation of this year’s Rhysling Awards.

8:00 PM F    The 25th Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition. Mike Allen, Craig Shaw Gardner (leader), Mary Robinette Kowal, Yves Meynard, Eric M. Van (moderator). Our traditional evening entertainment, named in memory of the pseudonym and alter ego of Jonathan Herovit of Barry N. Malzberg’s Herovit’s World. Here’s how it works: Ringleader Craig Shaw Gardner reads a passage of unidentified but genuine, published, bad sf, fantasy, or horror prose, which has been truncated in mid-sentence. Each of our panelists then reads an ending for the passage. One ending is the real one; the others are impostors. None of the players knows who wrote any passage other than their own, except for co-ringleader Eric M. Van, who gets to play God as a reward for the truly onerous duty of unearthing these gems. Craig then asks for the audience vote on the authenticity of each passage (recapping each in turn by quoting a pithy phrase or three from them), and the Ace Readercon Joint Census Team counts up each show of hands faster than you can say “Twinkies of Terror.” Eric then reveals the truth. Each contestant receives a point for each audience member they fooled, while the audience collectively scores a point for everyone who spots the real answer. As a rule, the audience finishes third or fourth. Warning: the Sturgeon General has determined that this trash is hazardous to your health; i.e., if it hurts to laugh, you’re in big trouble.

Sunday July 17

10:00 AM RI    Interstitial Arts Foundation Town Meeting. Mike Allen, K. Tempest Bradford, Ellen Kushner (leader), Shira Lipkin, JoSelle Vanderhooft. The IAF is a group of “Artists Without Borders” who celebrate art that is made in the interstices between genres and categories. It is art that flourishes in the borderlands between different disciplines, mediums, and cultures. The IAF provides border-crossing artists and art scholars a forum and a focus for their efforts. Rather than creating a new genre with new borders, they support the free movement of artists across the borders of their choice. They support the development of a new vocabulary with which to view and critique border-crossing works, and they celebrate the large community of interstitial artists working in North America and around the world. The annual Interstitial Arts Foundation Town Meeting at Readercon is an exciting opportunity to catch up with the IAF and its many supporters, hear about what they’re doing to support the interstitial art community in 2011, offer ideas for future projects, and contribute your voice to the development of interstitial art.

11:00 AM ME    Reconsidering Anthologies. Mike Allen, Leah Bobet, David Boop, Robert Killheffer, David Malki ! (leader). Anthologies are incredibly popular for writers to submit to and proudly display their work in–but who reads them? Why don’t they sell well? Is there some reason they occupy the same cultural mind-space as foreign films: culturally relevant, but rarely bothered with? David Malki !, editor of last year’s bestselling anthology Machine of Death, leads a discussion group about this outcast art form.

[RE: The Kirk Poland competition, a dilemma faces me: should I go for the laughs like I did last year, or should I seriously try to win?]

My audio reading of Eric James Stone’s “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” available at StarShipSofa

/ June 21st, 2011 / 7 Comments »

Today, zany Tony Smith of Hugo Award-winning StarShipSofa posted my reading of Eric James Stone’s Nebula Award-winning, Hugo Award-nominated novelette “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made.” If you want a listen, click here.

When Tony first asked me to make this recording, “Leviathan” was still a Nebula finalist. I didn’t actually make the recording until after Eric’s story won the Nebula and thanks to illness, didn’t get around to editing it until after some controversy stirred over Eric’s Nebula victory.

I parse the debate this way. A few prominent writers/bloggers with connections to the genre field — all quite accomplished themselves, most of whom I might characterize as outspoken progressives — have resoundingly condemned the novelette, in some cases to the point of suggesting that its win proffers proof that the Nebula voting system is broken.

Intriguingly, on the blog sites denouncing “Leviathan,” nobody tends to speak up to support it. However, it’s not hard to use Google to find at least a couple bloggers, admittedly not as prominent, who are ecstatic the story won — and who are devout Christians. That the camps don’t seem to have crossed swords anywhere might well speak to how fragmented sf fandom can be. (Eric Stone himself has stayed out of the debate. Smart man.)

Being the guy charged with converting this apparently controversial piece to audio, I’ve read the criticism with interest.

Read the rest of this entry »

A poem sale

/ June 20th, 2011 / No Comments »

After a week full of rejections for both new poems and new stories — so it goes — I finished up with a nice poetry sale, to Strange Horizons. The poem is called “La Donna del Lago,” and it’s dedicated to Claire Cooney. It was the final poem in what I call the “Claire-dare” series, a bunch of poems written last October in response to a bunch of prompts rustled up by Claire.

It’s cool to be back at Strange Horizons — you could say that’s where I’ve made my biggest mark poetry-wise, with 18 poems published there, most solo, some in collaboration, many of them Rhysling Award nominees, two of them Rhysling runner-ups, two of them Rhysling winners. And yet my last appearance there was in November ’09. My thanks to Sonya Taaffe for bringing me back on board.

A new poem, co-written with Anita, up at Inkscrawl

/ June 17th, 2011 / No Comments »

The first issue of Inkscrawl has just appeared, featuring a creepy little poem called “Unland, Unlife,” which I wrote based on a dream my wife had.

Several other good pieces in this issue, though I feel a need to call special attention to Rose Lemberg’s “If I had Reb Yoel’s violin,” which is devastating in a mere six lines.

And now, it’s showtime

/ June 10th, 2011 / No Comments »

Hogging the StarShipSofa

/ June 9th, 2011 / No Comments »

The latest podcast from Hugo Award-winning StarShipSofa features the second installment of Diane Severson’s Poetry Planet, which, in the name of exploring the theme of “first contact,” contains two of my poems, “The Thing in the Gutter” and “On Discovery of a Habitable World.” The second of these is actually the first sf poem I ever tried my hand at.

I’m pleased to note that the podcast also contains Ann K. Schwader’s “The Ones Who Met Them,” which I’m proud to have published in Issue 21 of Mythic Delirium, also known as “The Trickster Issue.”

Poems accepted for Mythic Delirium 25

/ June 4th, 2011 / No Comments »

I’m pleased to announce that the following poems by the following poets have been accepted for Issue 25 of Mythic Delirium, which I hope to have out in early October.

    • “An Unkindness of Ravens” • Rachel Manija Brown
    • “Claiming Tyche; Nemesis Rising” • Michael Fosburg
    • “Venus Crossing the Sun” • Melissa Frederick
    • “Little Girls, Atom Bombs” • Jeannine Hall Gailey
    • “Trans-Neptunian Shores” • Wade German
    • “Babel Before Babel” • Howard V. Hendrix
    • “The tenured faculty meets to discuss the Moon’s campus visit” • Rose Lemberg
    • “Elegy for Robert Sheckley” • Florence Major
    • “Joseph Carey Merrick” • Florence Major
    • “Raven Singing” • Mari Ness
    • “Silence” • Mari Ness
    • “The Magic Walnut” • Sofía Rhei • Translation by Lawrence Schimel
    • “Space Dogs” • Ann K. Schwader
    • “Alien Graffiti” • Darrell Schweitzer
    • “Cloth Demon” • Alexandra Seidel
    • “Yurei” • Susan Slaviero
    • “The Description of a Wish” • Sonya Taaffe
    • “Moon Girl, Earth Guy” • Mary A. Turzillo
    • “The Melancholy of Mechagirl” • Catherynne M. Valente
    • “Nobody’s Song” • Jessica Paige Wick

Congratulations, all!

Further updating: Issue 24 is now collated and will go to the printer for binding on Monday.

And, again, if you sent me something for Issue 25 and you haven’t heard back from me yet, you need to query me. Like really, really, really soon…

Mythic Delirium update

/ June 3rd, 2011 / No Comments »

If you sent me any poems to be considered for Issue 25 of Mythic Delirium and you haven’t received a response, you need to query. To my knowledge, at this moment, I have given everyone an answer.

My hope is to see Issue 25 on its way to people’s mailboxes in early October.

Now, to get Issue 24 finished….

Nebula Showcase “bragging rights”

/ June 2nd, 2011 / No Comments »

Last week Tor Books released Nebula Awards Showcase 2011, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. Its publication marks a nice milestone for me as an editor that I feel the need to make a little note of.

The book reprints Saladin Ahmed’s “Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela,” a 2009 Nebula finalist for Best Short Story that I first published in Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, and Amal El-Mohtar’s “Song for an Ancient City,” the 2009 Rhysling Award winner for short poem, which I published in Mythic Delirium 19. In other words, an editorial double whammy.

Mind you, Saladin and Amal are both intimidatingly good writers, and I think these pieces would have done well wherever they wound up. But I’m proud that I got to showcase them first.

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