Wednesday, March 31, 2010


This was just released to the PDF subscribers. The print version is live at the Lulu store

The April issue is marvelous.  Here's the table of contents:

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: "The Manticore"

Erica Hildebrand: "Aunt Eustace"

Kaolin Imago Fire: "Immersion"

Jason Heller: "The Prospect"

Deborah Walker: "Data Crabs"

Cate Gardner: "Treading the Regolith"

Prolific writer of strange fiction Cate Gardner is well known to readers from many venues, including a previous appearance in M-Brane (issue #3); Deborah Walker has appeared in M-Brane twice previously (issues #5 and #8), in our anthology Things We Are Not, and has stories forthcoming in  other venues later this year; Jason Heller appeared in M-Brane #6 and is a regular contributor to The Onion AV Club.  New to M-Brane's pages are Silvia Moreno-Garcia, publisher of Innsmouth Free Press; Erica Hildebrand, fiction writer and Odyssey graduate; and Kaolin Fire, well known to M-Brane readers as one of the editors of GUD Magazine.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

AETHER AGE progress report

If anyone's interested, there's a new post at The Region Between with some my thoughts and reflections at this stage of editing The Aether Age. It contains links to the book's TOC on the AeA blog and links to some of the other creative folks who are working with us on it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

AETHER AGE announcement soon

Yesterday, we settled a few remaining details and finalized the table of contents for The Aether Age. We will be announcing it very soon at the Aether Age blog.

This is a bigger and more complex project than I had imagined it would be be when we started, and, because of the shared-world nature of the book, a lot different than compiling an anthology of unrelated short stories or even a themed collection. The stories selected for The Aether Age will comprise much more than a theme--they will open windows into an astonishing new world. This is going to be a very cool book.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reminder: MACHINA pre-order deals

In case readers missed it earlier, I want to point out that we are still offering some excellent pre-order deals for Derek J. Goodman's Machina over there on the books info page. Pre-order purchases of either the print or ebook versions will include subscriptions to the electronic M-Brane until April 1. The price for the print book includes shipping.

Friday, March 12, 2010


The April issue will charm, stun, dazzle and blow the minds of M-Brane readers. Here's the table of contents:

Silvia Moreno-Garcia: "The Manticore"

Erica Hildebrand: "Aunt Eustace"

Kaolin Imago Fire: "Immersion"

Jason Heller: "The Prospect"

Deborah Walker: "Data Crabs"

Cate Gardner: "Treading the Regolith"

Prolific writer of strange fiction Cate Gardner is well known to readers from many venues, including a previous appearance in M-Brane (issue #3); Deborah Walker has appeared in M-Brane twice previously (issues #5 and #8), in our anthology Things We Are Not, and has stories forthcoming in  other venues later this year; Jason Heller appeared in M-Brane #6 and is a regular contributor to The Onion AV Club.  New to M-Brane's pages are Silvia Moreno-Garcia, publisher of Innsmouth Free Press; Erica Hildebrand, fiction writer and Odyssey graduate; and Kaolin Fire, well known to M-Brane readers as one of the editors of GUD Magazine.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A little bit of well-earned recognition

I was delighted to see that M-Brane SF rated a couple of mentions in this Tangent Online list of reading recommendations for short fiction published in 2009. Cheers to Sue Lange ("Zara Gets Laid") and Edward W. Robertson ("Steve Kendrick's Disease"), both in issue #5, June 2009. A few months ago, we did get a quite favorable review of that overall issue from Tangent. I believe that's the only issue of our eleven last year that was seen by a Tangent reviewer, so it makes me wonder if we might have received a couple more nods if more stories had been reviewed. I should probably make a better effort to get these issues in front of more reviewers. In any case, getting these mentions for M-Brane and a couple of my writers gave me a nice feeling of legitimacy, a sense that I have, in fact, made some good decisions with the zine.  The second year, already about to see its third issue, is going to be even better. My decision to decrease somewhat the number of stories per month is actually making it easier rather than harder to put together some really solid monthly collections, and I think we will see a lot of M-Brane stories and writers showing up on a lot of lists in another year's time.

Sue Lange also appeared in M-Brane #9 with "The Kangaroo War" (there's a link in the right-hand column to get #9 for free), and Ed Robertson will appear soon in The Aether Age.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New anthology forthcoming from M-BRANE SF: 2020 VISIONS edited by Rick Novy

Read this post at Rick Novy's blog.  He will be editing an anthology of very-near-future sf titled 2020 Visions (as in the year 2020), which I will be publishing. We do not have a publication date set yet, but we are definitely planning to get it out in 2010, a mere ten years before the time period of these visions of 2020. It's a cool concept in that most of us will presumably (hopefully) still be alive in 2020, and it will be fun to look back and see if any of the writers foretold anything about the near future.

THE LITTLE DEATH of CROSSED GENRES to be edited by Jaym Gates...and me!

After that post from a couple days ago (linking to Tycho Garren's blog) about scaling one's projects and managing one's time, I took a big cleansing breath and decided that I ought to add another magazine to my editing duties. That's not quite what happened. A couple months ago, writer Jaym Gates and I offered our assistance to Bart Leib and Kay Holt of Crossed Genres as slush readers for their new erotic sf/f quarterly. Yesterday, Bart and Kay informed us that time constraints were making the project unwieldy for them and asked Jaym and me if we would like to step up and actually edit and produce the zine. And, of course, we said yes. We're excited about it, and it should be a very cool (or, probably hot) zine.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Charlie Stross posted an interesting entry today wherein he reviews the history of the length of sf novels and how length has evolved through a series of things not to do with writing, such as distribution channels and printing/binding methods. As examples, he explains why his Accelerando was made to fit into a few score fewer pages in its US edition versus its UK edition, and why his Merchant Princes series consists of more volumes than he had originally envisioned. It's interesting reading if that's the sort of thing that's your bag.

He speculates that if ebooks become the major sales channel, this could aid in a revival of fiction formats that have been eclipsed by what we see as the "regular"-length novel, such as the novella, the Dickensian serial and the "gigantic shoebox-sized monster." This interests me because I, too, have been thinking that a revival of the novella in particular would be fun as a development for sf. I don't know if there's a lot of future for it in print, but I am trying a couple of projects this year (they'll be in ebook formats as well): Derek J. Goodman's Machina (pre-order info on the books page) which is a 236-page trade paperback short fiction collection with just four stories in it, one of them a nearly-30K novella. The next will be the first (and hopefully not the only) "Double." The two stories that will comprise the first one are, by word count, novellas rather than novels, and that was the case with plenty of stories in the old Ace series, too. Future volumes may have longer stories, but I will probably cap them at perhaps 50K. This is a decent yet reasonably short chunk of reading, a nice length for a lot of sf stories. It offers more to delve into than a short story but without being an epic. Not that I don't like a big, long epic just fine, but I think there's room for mid-range material, and if the new methods and the smaller publishers (like me) make possible getting more of it published, then I think that's probably a good thing for the genre.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Dream Journal

I don't know how many people who look at this blog also ever read my Live Journal (The Region Between)--I seem to have cultivated a couple different followings that overlap a little bit but not completely. That's okay, and that's why I started the LJ in the first place, to keep some my non-M-Brane business off of this page so that it wouldn't annoy people. But I thought I'd mention here to writers in particular, that I recently started a fun (to me) project of using the LJ to take notes on weird dreams that I have. I think I've mentioned before that images and narratives from dreams frequently stick with me and inspire fiction. Nearly everything that I have attempted to write in recent memory has had its origin in a dream.

A lot of people say that they never remember dreams, or at least seldom recall any detail. I think, however,  that one can cultivate the habit of remembering them. For me, the ones I recall best generally happen in that period of sleep not long before I am about to wake up for the day or in the early part of sleep (like when I doze for an hour on the couch and things that I am hearing on the TV weave their way into REM state). What I usually do upon awakening is simply think about it for a minute, just review whatever I can remember as immediately as possible upon awakening, and generally the main points stick in memory. And even if the narrative sense of the dream is lost, sometimes images and scenery will linger, and those can be interesting in themselves.

I've often seen the recommendation that one keep a notepad next to the bed to take notes on dreams, or even speak some observations into a recording device right away upon awakening. In my case, the former would never work (I can't handwrite anything for crap--not even a brief note), and the latter would certainly annoy my partner. Indeed, he has little patience for it when I try to tell him about a dream under any circumstances...because he thinks they are intensely boring. So instead of boring him, I will try the patience of my LJ followers. One can peek in on my dream journal using the dream journal tag. There are only four such entries so far, and they probably are fairly dull. But sfnal geekiness surfaces constantly, which suggests that my subconscious is wonderfully marinated in it.

"Humans as individuals don't scale well."

Demands on my time--which have grown in recent months--make it so that I have not been reading some of my favorite blogs as often as I would like. One that I try to make a few minutes for, however, is "Tychoish: Dialectical Futurism," a very thoughtful series of essays on a far-ranging series of topics that together indicate the configuration of the vast intellect of multi-talented Sam Kleinman (aka Tycho Garen). I'd like to point everyone to this post, "Conceptualizing Scale." It gets right at a source of frequent anxiety for me, namely a nagging sensation of being underwater or out of the loop with information that I suspect I need or with projects that I think I should be giving some more time. Each of the items on his list makes a lot of sense to me, and it strikes me that there is a tremendously useful congruence between his forth and sixth points: "ignore everything you can possibly stand to" and "use technology and media to build relationships rather than accumulate information." It's all good stuff to consider for people like me who try to be publishers and fiction writers in the world as it is with its endless web content and social media opportunities. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pre-order Goodman's MACHINA!

"We so rarely give thought to the machines that surround us, but just because we ignore them does not mean they don't have stories to tell. Monolithic factory machines might just hide a divine presence, robots from a forgotten war lay in wait in the sewers for a time when they can rise again, creatures of steel and steam patrol the skies, and a metal giant made for destruction learns emotions from a teenage boy. In these four tales, Derek J. Goodman shows us just what mysteries the mechanical world may hold."

In a few weeks, M-Brane SF will publish Derek J. Goodman's collection of sf novelettes and novellas Machina. The book starts with the spectacular "Dea Ex Machina," which has been adapted as an opera for an upcoming production by the Crucible in Oakland California, and also includes the amazing steampunk novella "The Twister Sisters"; the loving homage to 1980's-era sci-fi and teen movies "Those Were the Days," and the stunning manga-influenced boy/machine love story "As Wide as the Sky, and Twice as Explosive."

Mark Streshinsky, the librettist and director of Machine, the opera based on Derek's story, provides an introduction to the collection. The cover art is by Dan Galli.

The book will become available in print and as an ebook from Amazon on April 1, but we are offering several direct-from-M-Brane pre-order deals starting immediately. These will also appear on the books page.

1) Buy Machina in print (trade paperback) for $12.95 (shipping included!). Get a complimentary one-year subscription to the PDF edition of M-Brane SF!

2) Buy the electronic version of Machina in either PDF, .prc(mobi), or .epub formats for $4.95. Get a complementary one-year subscription to the PDF edition of M-Brane SF!

Select format

3) Buy Machina together with Cesar Torres' The 12 Burning Wheels (both in trade paperback) for only $14.95! Or with Ergosphere, ten stunning stories from the pages of M-Brane SF, for $15.95! Shipping included, as well as a complimentary one-year subscription to the PDF edition of M-Brane SF!

Choose an option...


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