Black Static #47 Now on Sale

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Black Static 47-smallI’m going to have to find a more reliable source for my newsstand copies of Black Static. It takes a little effort to find a copy on the shelves here in Chicago — but that effort is definitely worth it.

Issue #47 is cover-dated July/August, and contains six stories:

“On the Road with the American Dead” by James Van Pelt
“All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck” by Kate Jonez
“Razorshins” by John Connolly
“The Devil’s Hands” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
“When the Devil’s Driving” by Ray Cluley
“A Case Study in Natural Selection and How it Applies to Love” by Eric J. Guignard

The magazine’s regular columns include Coffinmaker’s Blues by Stephen Volk and Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker.

The magazine also offers two terrific review columns: Blood Spectrum by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray reviews); and Case Notes by Peter Tennant (book reviews). I’m not sure why so many other magazines have a hard time doing highly visual review columns, with book covers, movie stills, and behind-the-scenes pics. Just open up a single issue of Black Static (or its sister magazine, Interzone), and you’ll see how it’s done.

Issue 47 is nearly 100 pages and comes packed with new dark fantasy and horror, and top-notch art.

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Enter the Grimdark Magazine Battle-off Competition

Monday, July 27th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Grimdark Magazine Battle-off Competition

Grimdark Magazine is getting some great notices among fans of heroic fantasy — including from our own Fletcher Vredenburgh, who said in his review of the first three issues, “From a swords & sorcery perspective, the biggest — and potentially most interesting — new publication out there is Grimdark Magazine.” Grimdark editor-in-chief Adrian Collins contacted us this morning to let us know of a new contest sponsored by the magazine, open to heroic fantasy writers of all kinds. Here’s the deets:

We’re running a competition over at Grimdark Magazine that may interest some of Black Gate‘s followers — both readers and writers. It’s a battle-off, where self and small published authors enter a 1K word excerpt featuring a battle scene, the readers then vote on a top 7 and a panel of judges then decide on the top 3 to win awards.

It will run for a couple of months between mid August and the end of October… There are some pretty awesome prizes up for grabs, including a Kindle HD, signed hardcovers, plenty of paperbacks and ebooks, editing services and cover art services.

This is one of the most unusual writing contests I’ve heard of, and I highly approve. So sharpen your pens, all you aspiring adventure fantasy writers. This is your chance to show that you have the chops to deserve wider attention — and maybe win something that could help your new novel really stand out. Get the complete details here.


Interzone #259 Now on Sale

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Interzone 259-smallThe July – August issue of Britain’s longest running science fiction and fantasy magazine is now on sale. The cover, by Martin Hanford, is titled “Green Tea.” (Click the image at right for a bigger version.)

This issue has an intriguing installment in an ongoing series by Chris Butler. Here’s Lois Tilton at Locus Online on “The Deep of Winter”:

A prequel to this author’s series in which people emit spores that signal their emotions to others. Because some persons’ spores are more powerful, a coercive aristocracy has been built on them. Here, our protagonist is Sebastián, trusted servant of the Winter Duke, a member of his Guard. People have been reported missing, and the Duke has ordered the Guard to search the buried old city, where trespass has long been forbidden. Sebastián’s narrative alternates with that of Aluna, a mad scientist from an alternate world, ambitious to experiment with other realities, regardless of the consequences to the inhabitants of those worlds. When they meet in the buried city, questions are answered at last.

Read Lois’ complete comments on the issue here.

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Weirdbook Returns in October…

Friday, July 24th, 2015 | Posted by John R. Fultz

WB31

Front Cover of Weirdbook #31

Back Cover

Back Cover of Weirdbook #31

“It’s alive! Alive!!!!!”

Weirdbook is coming back to life. New editor Doug Draa has done an immense job of resurrecting Paul Ganley’s classic weird fantasy mag.

Weirdbook #31 will be the first issue since 1997, and it’s slated for an October release from its new publisher Wildside Press.

On the left is a look at the front cover by Dusan Kostic. Click for a bigger version.

The back cover (right) will be a piece by the great Stephen E. Fabian, who did all the covers for the original WB run.

This issue is sort of a bridge between the magazine’s past and its future.

Here’s a look at the Table of Contents for Weirdbook #31.

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July 2015 Nightmare Magazine Now on Sale

Friday, July 24th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Nightmare Magazine July 2015-smallThe July issue of the online magazine Nightmare is now available.

Fiction this month includes original short stories from Alison Littlewood and Nate Southard, and reprints from Lisa Tuttle and Christopher Golden:

Original Stories

Wolves and Witches and Bears“ by Alison Littlewood
The Cork Won’t Stay“ by Nate Southard

Reprints

Replacements“ by Lisa Tuttle (originally published in Metahorror, 1992)
Under Cover Of Night“ by Christopher Golden  (Originally published in Five Strokes to Midnight, 2007)

The non-fiction this issue includes the latest installment in their long-running horror column, “The H Word” (“The Politics of Horror”), plus author spotlights, a showcase on cover artist Dennis Carlsson, an editorial, and a feature interview with Kc Wayland & David Cummings.

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Beneath Ceaseless Skies 177 Now Available

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Beneath-Ceaseles-Skies-177-smallBeneath Ceaseless Skies 177 has two new short stories by Caroline M. Yoachim and Kate Marshall, and a podcast by Karalynn Lee:

Seasons Set in Skin by Caroline M. Yoachim
Horimachi’s own tattoos were from before the war, when black ink was made of soot instead of faery blood.

Stone Prayers by Kate Marshall
Mattar comes to the house of Anaharesh in search of a single word; a word to end a war.

Audio Fiction Podcast: Court Bindings by Karalynn Lee
The sparrow had too diminutive a mind to realize it could serve you longer by taking time to eat and sleep.

Caroline M. Yoachim has been published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, and Lightspeed. Her previous story for Beneath Ceaseless Skies was “The Land of Empty Shells.” Kate Marshall’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Pseudopod, and Crossed Genres.

Issue 177 was published on July 9. Read it online completely free here.

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July 2015 Lightspeed Magazine Now on Sale

Sunday, July 19th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Lightspeed July 2015-smallLightspeed has some intriguing new fiction this month, from Carrie Vaughn, Andrea Hairston, and Taiyo Fujii (translated by Jim Hubbert). But they also have four top-notch reprints, including a Hugo nominee from Tony Daniel (“Life on the Moon”), a Detective Inspector Chen story from Liz Williams (“Adventures in the Ghost Trade,” a 2000 British Science Fiction Award Nominee), and classic stories from Mary Robinette Kowal and William Alexander.

Lightspeed publishes fantasy and SF, both new fiction and reprints. Here’s the complete fiction contents of the July issue.

Fantasy

Adventures in the Ghost Trade“ by Liz Williams (from Interzone #154, April 2000)
Saltwater Railroad“ by Andrea Hairston
“Ana’s Tag” by William Alexander (from Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, #23, November 2008; available 7/28)

Science Fiction

Crazy Rhythm” by Carrie Vaughn
Life on the Moon” by Tony Daniel (from Asimov’s Science Fiction, April 1995)
“The Consciousness Problem” by Mary Robinette Kowal (from Asimov’s Science Fiction, August 2009; available 7/21)
“Violation of the TrueNet Security Act” by Taiyo Fuji. Translated by Jim Hubbert. (available 7/28)

Readers of the eBook version also get a reprint of the novella “Dapple,” by Eleanor Arnason, and two novel excerpts: Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman, and Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand.

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Clarkesworld 106 Now on Sale

Friday, July 17th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Clarkesworld-106-smallIn his editorial this issue, Editor-in-Chief Neil Clarke recalls the birth of the magazine at Readercon:

Our ninth anniversary will occur in October, but the magazine was born at Readercon. At the Friday night Meet the Pros(e) party, Sean Wallace and I got into a long discussion about online magazines spurred on by SciFiction’s recent closure. [SciFiction was the Sci Fi channel’s online magazine and its demise was a huge blow to the perceived credibility of the medium.] That night, we spent hours trying to figure out why so many online magazines had failed and what it would take to make one succeed. Sleep-deprived and a bit too overconfident, we came up with a business model we thought would work. By the end of the weekend, it was a done deal: I was launching a magazine. Nine years later, that wild little experiment is turning into what I hope will become my career. Not bad for something I stumbled into with no prior experience.

Over the past nine years, Clarkesworld has become one of the most important magazines in the field, a three-time winner of the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine. In 2013 it received more Hugo nominations for short fiction than all the leading print magazines (Asimov’s, Analog, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction) combined, and last November the magazine was awarded a World Fantasy Award.

Issue #106 of Clarkesworld has seven stories — five new, and two reprints — from Sam J. Miller, Kay Chronister, Natalia Theodoridou, Pan Haitian, Yoon Ha Lee, Keith Brooke, and Adam Roberts.

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The July Fantasy Magazine Rack

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Apex Magazine Issue 74-rack Asimov's Science Fiction August 2015-rack At-the-End-of-Babel-Michael-Livingston-rack Beneath-Ceaseles-Skies-176-rack
Fantasy-and-Science-Fiction-July-August-2015-rack Uncanny-Magazine-Issue-5-rack Grimdark Magazine 4-rack Faerie Magazine 31-rack

There’s a few new faces in the July magazine rack, including Faerie Magazine, a quarterly print magazine “that celebrates everything magical and extraordinary.” Since they don’t have regular issues, we also haven’t done justice to Tor.com, one of the best online magazines in the industry, but this month we highlighted Black Gate author Michael Livingston’s story “At the End of Babel,” which appeared there on July 1.

Check out all the details on the magazines above by clicking on the each of the images. Our late-June Fantasy Magazine Rack is here.

As we’ve mentioned before, all of these magazines are completely dependent on fans and readers to keep them alive. Many are marginal operations for whom a handful of subscriptions may mean the difference between life and death. Why not check one or two out, and try a sample issue? There are magazines here for every budget, from completely free to $7.50/issue. If you find something intriguing, I hope you’ll consider taking a chance on a subscription. I think you’ll find it’s money very well spent.

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Apex Magazine #74 Now on Sale

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Apex Magazine Issue 74-smallCongratulations to Ursula Vernon, whose story “Jackalope Wives” (Apex 56) won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story! Charlie Jane Anders at io9 called it “the most beautiful story I’ve read in ages.” Check it out here.

Columnist Charlotte Ashley reviews the Hugo Award short fiction nominees this month in her short fiction column in Apex #74, and she address the controversy head on:

I will not be coy and pretend I do not know that the contenders for this year’s Hugo Awards are controversial. The nominees in, especially, the short fiction categories have mostly been drawn from the “Rabid Puppies” slate: stories chosen to reflect the values of a vocal ideological minority in fandom, often published by them directly. These are stories that were largely unfamiliar to most readers of speculative fiction until very recently.

I intend to vote in the Hugo Awards, and while I am well aware that voting “No Award” in the face of a slate offered in bad faith is an option preferred by many of my peers, I prefer to make my decisions armed with well-informed reasons for my choices. I have opted to read the slates with a generous attitude, to determine for myself if there are any hidden gems in the corners of SFF that I have unfairly overlooked.

“On A Spiritual Plain” by Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2) is definitely not that gem. This is a straight-forward piece about a Methodist minister posted to a remote outpost on the planet Ymilas. The local aliens are a “low-tech highly-ritualized” people who live alongside the ghosts of their dead, called “Helpful Ancestors.”…

Read the compete article online here.

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