Monday, December 28, 2009


The twelfth issue of M-Brane SF, a special issue guest edited by Rick Novy has been released in its PDF edition this evening. The special trade paperback print edition of it, Ergosphere, has already started to reach  readers who pre-ordered it. I am continuing the special offers related to this book, originally set to expire on 12/24, as described in this post. There's never been a better time to become a regular subscriber.

I feel rather accomplished tonight. A year ago, I had acquired a few stories for M-Brane but hadn't yet published an issue. Since then, I have released twelve issues of the zine, published a stand-alone anthology (Things We Are Not), and am set to move ahead into an exciting second year which will see a dozen more issues of M-Brane SF and several new book projects.

Not everything has gone quite the way I wanted it to, particularly my ongoing difficulty in finding a stable way to fund my operations. On the other hand, a lot of opportunities that I had not been expecting have emerged and show much promise. Also, and perhaps most importantly, I have found a lot of great friends and talented colleagues during the past year, and that alone makes this all worth it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

ERGOSPHERE offer extended

I'm extending the awesome deal for ordering Ergosphere, or Ergosphere along with Things We Are Not (free M-Brane subscription included). The info is here on Page 2.  There is one slight modification: I neglected to specify before that I can only offer those prices for orders within the United States. Shipping to places like the UK is much, much too high for me to cut that kind of deal for non-domestic orders. I did let an order to Britain go through the other day, and ate the loss on it, because it was my own dumb fault for not being more clear about it. But from now on, the offer is only good in the US. I will, however, offer non-US readers the free M-Brane SF subscription (PDF edition) if they order either or both of the books from Amazon and email me a copy of their Amazon receipt.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A look at what's up

I apologize to regular readers for not tending much to this blog this month. It has been a rather hectic and busy season for me, even though I personally have little to nothing to do with the holidays this year. Some of the chaos has been day-job related and some of it is of my own making with having perhaps a couple too many projects in process at once. A few items drop off the list by the end of the month, however, and I should be refreshed and a bit more organized.  Here's the main news from M-Brane SF:

1. Issue #12, aka Ergosphere, releases in its PDF form by January 1. The trade paperback edition, however, is ready to ship now. See the 12/15 post for details about this. I have a nice deal going on with it, and there are still a few days to avail oneself. There's even an option to buy it along with Things We Are Not for a cheap price.

2. Cesar Torres's dozen-story short fiction cycle The 12 Burning Wheels is in process of getting ready for publication. This is going to be a remarkable item. It, too, will be published as a trade paperback and will be the first of several very special projects that I will bringing to readers during the next year. Expect to see more information, including a pre-order deal for it, sometime shortly after the first of the year.

3. Be in the habit of watching the Aether Age site. A lot of very exciting information has been posted there in recent weeks. This is gradually becoming not just a cool concept anthology but a multi-media extravaganza of high order which will include audio fiction and music. I wish to give a big shout-out to Brandon Bell who has been busily organizing these things.

4. Watch also in January for some more info regarding Derek J. Goodman's book Machina, which we are planning to release by April 1 and which will be super-cool. By the way, my announcements in recent weeks about this item and also Cesar's collection have prompted a few writers to query me about other possible book projects. I am not averse to seeing some pitches for new books, but I am not actively soliciting submissions for novels and short fiction collections yet either. I do want to plan some other projects for later on 2010, but I am taking it slowly and keeping my eyes open for some special opportunities rather than opening it up to general submissions.

I guess that's about it for now!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ERGOSPHERE pre-order! Great deal!

I am re-running this information from a few days ago:
There's a hella good pre-order deal for Ergosphere on Page Two today. It includes a subscription to the PDF edition of M-Brane SF, and there is also an option to get all that plus a copy of the paperback edition of Things We Are Not.  Offer good until 12/24.

The pic is of me with the shiny proof copy.

Here's the table of contents. These stories are all terrific and should not be missed.

Pretty Maids All in a Row Caren Gussoff
A Single Shot Lawrence M. Schoen
Hard for Us Michelle M. Welch
The Mushroom King Michael Canfield
Humans in the Zoo Paul Williams
Becoming Connie Thea Hutcheson
After Babel Joe Pitkin
Generation Cleansing Michael Andre-Driussi
The Secret Names of Buildings Maura McHugh
Havana Augmented Tim Maughan

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I keep forgetting to direct everyone's attention to Theme and Variations. This is a super-cool podcast anthology of speculative fiction produced by Michelle M. Welch (a story by her upcoming in M-Brane #12/Ergosphere). Listening to it has been on my "List of Things to Do" since I first heard of it, but I figured I had plenty of time since it grows in weekly installments. Well, there's seven weeks of it online now, and I just finally got caught up. The stories, presented in (obviously) audio form by Michelle and the stories' authors, are spec fic tales with music at their hearts. I'll give a special shout-out to Rick Novy, well-known M-Brane contributor and editor of issue #12 (Ergosphere), who reads his story and plays some music. The whole thing is terrific. I really like audio fiction anyway, and I wish that I would manage to leave myself more time in the schedule to listen to it, because we seem to be in a new golden age of it.

Signal Boost: Keep a geek in training

I have never met Caren Gussoff in person, but I know her as a colleague and an ally. She is a brilliant writer (I've published her once in M-Brane already, in issue #5, and will again in #12--the Ergosphere book--in a few days). She is also a brilliant editor, as is evident from her webzine Brain Harvest. I don't know her spouse, the artist Chris Sumption, at all. Never even exchanged an email or tweet with him. But I hear that he is doing his best to further his education and employability in this shitty economy, and that he and Caren are a mere $600 short on making his tuition payment. His Pell grant ran out. What? The Feds run out of money? Why? (Look no further than Afghanistan and Iraq...don't get me started...) Anyway, they need the money by December 21. That's in just a few days, y'all. So go to Caren's website and see what she has to offer in exchange for a donation to their cause. She's not just begging over there. She's offering some fine services in trade. She'll write you into her novel--her real novel that she has grant money for--or critique your fiction. Or, what the hell, just throw her a donation in return for nothing but that good feeling. As many of you know, I just recently completed successfully a little fund drive to help my guy Jeff do some school, and it breaks my heart that so many people are being so completely fucked over by such petty amounts of money. I know people in the online spec fic community (especially my readers, jeez!) get burned out on being shaken down for donations all the damned time. But there it is. Once again. Help if you can. 

WIRED HARD 4 review

I put up a review of Circlet Press's gay sff erotica antho Wired Hard 4 on the Region Between blog, for those who may be interested.

The Occult Files of Albert Taylor

I rather over-promised on plugs and reviews of books from some of my writing and publishing friends during the last couple of months, but I am working through my stack of stuff, and come now to Derek Muk’s collection The Occult Files of Albert Taylor.

I know Derek by way of the M-Brane slush pile. He has submitted stories to me a few times, and I included his item “Croatoan” in M-Brane #7. His usual genre as a writer is stories of the paranormal and the occult, which is not my usual genre as a reader. Nonetheless, he tells his stories with an appealing energy and enthusiasm that is quite engaging. Indeed, these stories put me in mind of paranormal TV shows, especially the 1970s series Kolchak: The Night Stalker and its indirect offspring The X-Files, both of which I enjoyed quite well, the former being a classic "guilty pleasure" and the latter being one of the best TV series of the last couple of decades. I was also, as a child, a big fan of Leonard Nimoy's In Search Of... which was one of the scariest programs on TV (for a kid of my age at the time), and which covered much of the same ground that we find in this book.

The back cover describes the collection thus:
“Meet Albert Taylor, an anthropology professor who investigates cases of the supernatural on the side. Welcome to this macabre gallery of horrors that includes such case as Jack the Ripper, Bigfoot, the Boogeyman, the Spanish Inquisition, ghosts, cults, and more!”

I’ll confess that I was skeptical about the prospect of stories featuring such things as Jack the Ripper and Bigfoot, but “Dear Boss” (about the former) and “Footprints” (about the latter) were both good fun and concluded in rather surprising ways. “Competition” is a fun tale of vampirism in Hawaii, while we have UFOs and ET’s in “Ghost Town” and “The Sun Disc.” There are creepy haunting investigations in “Lynch Mansion” and “Asylum,” and a bizarre mystery enfolds “The Exhibit” of some Spanish Inquisition artifacts. I’m loath to say too much specifically about any of the stories since they are rather prone to spoilers. But if paranormal investigations are your thing, be sure to check out this book.

Pre-order ERGOSPHERE by 12/24, M-Brane subscription included, add TWAN for super deal

There's a hella good pre-order deal for Ergosphere on Page Two today. It includes a subscription to the PDF edition of M-Brane SF, and there is also an option to get all that plus a copy of the paperback edition of Things We Are Not.  Offer good until 12/24.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Little Death

Bart and Kay of Crossed Genres just announced minutes ago their exciting new project, The Little Death of Crossed Genres, a new quarterly publication of erotic science fiction and fantasy. I've actually been waiting for weeks to be able to say something about this. What? Did I know about it already?  Yes! I'll be providing my services as a slush reader along with Jaym Gates, and I was just about ready to burst from keeping it secret.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BROKEN VESSELS: The Audio Version!

We're having a serious run of awesomeness on the Brane lately. I am delighted to bring to you today something very, very special. Sit back, relax and listen to this fantastic audio version of Brandon Bell's beautiful short story "Broken Vessels," recently published in M-Brane #11, read by the hugely talented TC Parmelee.

Friday, December 4, 2009

ERGOSPHERE cover, front and back

Here's what the full cover, front and back and spine spread out flat, for Ergosphere (M-Brane #12) look like. I'll have order info for the print edition up here within a few days. I am going to offer a deal on it for people who pre-order it by 12/24 (for delivery near or shortly after 1/1). There might also be some kind of combo deal for Ergosphere and Things We Are Not together, but I don't know those details quite yet.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Announcing ERGOSPHERE (aka M-BRANE #12)

Year One of the M-Brane Era (glory be) will conclude on January 1 with the release of our twelfth issue, this one guest-edited by speculative fiction author and frequent M-Brane SF contributor Rick Novy.

I am preparing a special trade paperback edition of this issue's stories, tentatively titled Ergosphere: Astounding New Tales from M-Brane SF, with this cover. The manga-influenced cover art is by talented pencil artist Hazel Abaya, and it is an illustration custom-made for Caren Gussoff's deeply stirring short story "Pretty Maids All in a Row," the collection's lead story. Also, we will have interior illustrations by Weigy for Tim Maughan's spectacular novelette "Havana Augmented" which bookends the issue.

Keep an eye on this page for updates, as I expect to be able to announce price and order info for this very special edition within a week. Subscribers to the M-Brane SF PDF edition will receive this as their normal issue #12, but if there was ever a time to spring for a dead tree copy of M-Brane, then this is it.

This is an astonishing collection of stories that must not be missed by anyone who likes short science fiction. Here's the TOC:

Pretty Maids All in a Row Caren Gussoff
A Single Shot Lawrence M. Schoen
Hard for Us Michelle M. Welch
The Mushroom King Michael Canfield
Humans in the Zoo Paul Williams
Becoming Connie Thea Hutcheson
After Babel Joe Pitkin
Generation Cleansing Michael Andre-Driussi
The Secret Names of Buildings Maura McHugh
Havana Augmented Tim Maughan

A couple of geek notes: Michael Andre-Driussi is the author of the Lexicon Urthus, the major companion to Gene Wolfe's Urth Cycle, which makes him an even more formidable geek than I am; Caren Gussoff is co-editor of Brain Harvest, the world's most powerful flash fiction webzine (hey, Caren, y'all can use that as a promo quote on your site if you want); Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen is one of the world's foremost Klingon linguists (I am not making this shit up) and  author of Buffalito Destiny, published by (get this) Eric T. Reynolds of Hadley Rille Books, our collaborator on the The Aether Age. Oh, and manga/anime blogger Tim Maughan is one of the few people on Earth that I know personally who humiliates me on my otherwise respectable and world-class Cursebird ranking.


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