Apex Magazine 2016 Subscription Drive

The 2016 Apex Magazine subscription drive starts today and runs through November 15. Their goal is to raise $10,000.

As an incentive for people to chip in, more bonus content will be added the magazine’s January 2017 issue.

Pay attention, because one of these intermediate goals will fund a new Ursula Vernon story!

As an added incentive, they’ve set up rewards that will unlock additional content for the January 2017 issue of Apex Magazine, creating a double issue as a thank-you.

We already have an impressive lineup of original fiction scheduled for January. Stories by James Beamon, Lia Swope Mitchell, Iori Kusano, and J.J. Litke. The issue will feature two poems, a reprint, and interviews with an Apex author and our cover artist. Our cover artist for January will be Aaron Nakahara.

As Apex reaches its subscription drive goals, they will add the following to the January issue, as well as a couple of rewards that will continue in every issue all year long:

  • $500 – a third original poem will be selected by our poetry editor Bianca Spriggs
  • $1,000 – a second reprint will be added to the issue
  • $2,000 – a new story by Ursula Vernon.
  • $2,500 – a fourth original poem
  • $3,000 – an interview with Nisi Shawl
  • $4,000 – a new story by Nisi Shawl.
  • $4,500 – a third reprint
  • $5,000 – a second story podcast performed by Mahvesh Murad.
  • $5,500 – an interview with John Hornor Jacobs
  • $6,000 – a new novelette by John Hornor Jacobs.
  • $6,500 – an interview with E. Catherine Tobler about her circus universe
  • $7,000 – we will add an additional 2,000 words to each issue of Apex Magazine in 2017, bringing the total up to 14,000 words per issue.
  • $7,500 – increase pay rate for original fiction to 7 cents a word
  • $8,000 – a new story by E. Catherine Tobler set in her circus universe
  • $8,500 – increase cover artist rate to $100
  • $9,000 – we will add another additional 2,000 words to each issue of Apex Magazine in 2017, bringing the total up to 16,000 words per issue.
  • $10,000 – increase pay rate for original fiction to 8 cents a word

Ways to support Apex Magazine between October 24 and November 15 include:

  • Subscribe. Yearly subscriptions through Apex and Weightless will be only $17.95 during the drive. Monthly subscriptions are available through Amazon (US) and Amazon (UK).
  • Give a gift subscription to the scifi lover in your life.
  • Become a patron on Patreon. Pledge as little or as much as you want for each issue.
  • The tip jar. Chip in one-time to help them reach their goals.
  • Buy past issues of Apex Magazine.
  • Join their Thunderclap (http://thndr.me/m0Fve2) and help spread the news.

Michael Swanwick On His (Many) Short Story Collections

By Carl Slaughter: In exclusive for File 770, to celebrate the publication of Not So Much, Said the Cat, which came out this summer, Michael Swanwick gives us the inside story on his collections.

(The Dog Said Bow WowHello, Said the StickNot So Much, Said the Cat.  Anyone else see a pattern?)

Sauk City: Arkham House, 1991


Thirteen stories:

  • A Midwinter’s Tale
  • The Feast of Saint Janis
  • The Blind Minotaur
  • The Transmigration of Philip K.
  • Covenant of Souls
  • The Dragon Line
  • Mummer Kiss
  • Trojan Horse
  • Snow Angels
  • The Man Who Met Picasso
  • Foresight
  • Ginungagap
  • The Edge of the World

MICHAEL SWANWICK: Five of these stories were Nebula Nominees. One was a World Fantasy Award Nominee. One won the Asimov’s Readers Award. And one won the Theodore Sturgeon Award and was nominated for the Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

This was my first collection. Jim Turner, the editor at Arkham House at that time, called me up out of the blue one day, wanting to assemble a collection. I’d been publishing stories for a decade by then and we both agreed on which were the best, so the editing was easy. Jim was one of my favorite people. He’d begin a phone conversation by saying, “Listen, Swanwick, I don’t have time for any of your nonsense. I just need a question answered and that’s the end of it.”

“Hello, Jim. It’s good to hear from you,” I’d say. And with a harmless bit of gossip here and a comment about a hot new story there, I could keep him on the phone for hours. There aren’t many people I’d want to keep on the phone for hours, but he was right at the top of the list.

Jim’s original idea for the cover was to use Picasso’s Guernica as a wrap-around. But when he looked into it, the proportions were wrong. “I’d have to crop it to make it work,” he told me over the phone, “and you can’t cut up a great work of art!”

I will be grateful to my dying day that I resisted the urge to say, “Oh, go ahead, Jim.”

Lemoyne, PA: Tigereyes Press, 1997


Six stories:

  • Introduction: The Wireless Folly
  • Mother Grasshopper
  • North of Diddy-Wah-Diddy
  • The Edge of the World
  • Radio Waves
  • The Changeling’s Tale

MICHAEL SWANWICK: Five of these stories hadn’t been collected before. Of those, two were nominated for the World fantasy Award. One of these won and was also nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Award. “The Wireless Folly,” which imagined the science fiction/fantasy/horror genre as a rambling building, constantly being added to, was written as an introduction to the volume. “Mother Grasshopper” also appeared for the first time in this volume.

One day, out of nowhere, my friend Chris Logan Edwards said he wanted to do a slim collection of my work. Slim, he said, to keep the price down so that people could buy it on impulse. I looked at my uncollected work and realized that the very best of it all happened on strange locales – a planet-sized grasshopper, a train passing through the borderlands of Hell, a tavern on an overbuilt medieval bridge, and my own neighborhood as seen from the afterlife. So I added the previously collected “The Edge of the World,” to bring it to length, and had a collection whose stories chimed nicely. One critic said that they were all about death, and that’s possible too.

Chris put together a beautiful volume with a particularly evocative cover by Lee Moyer. It was Tigereyes Press’s first publication and not only was it nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection, but it earned Chris a place on the World Fantasy Award ballot for Special Award, Non-Professional, as well. Not bad for his first book.

Pleasantville, NY: Dragon Press, 2000


Twenty-seven stories:

  • A is for Albany (to) Z is for Zothique, (plus) 120 is for Issues

MICHAEL SWANWICK: Sometime in my first two decades as a published writer, I acquired a facility for writing flash fiction. I wrote a series of twenty-seven stories, one for each letter of the alphabet, plus one marking the magazine’s tenth anniversary, and sold them to The New York Review of Science Fiction for, as I recall, five dollars a pop. The money was nothing, but I’d written them for fun, so that didn’t matter.

David Hartwell, editor and founder of NYRSF, suggested that his Dragon Press collect the stories as a chapbook. The editing and illustration was done by Kathryn Cramer. This was an old school publication – sturdy, handsome, and economical – as suited David and Kathryn’s fannish streaks.

I don’t have any anecdotes about this one, but it made me happy and that will have to suffice.

Ann A. Broomhead and Timothy P. Szczesuil, eds., Framingham, MA: NESFA Press, 2000.


Eight stories and seven articles:

  • Moon Dogs HN NN
  • The Death of the Magus: Two Myths (article)
  • Mickelrede by Michael Swanwick and Avram Davidson
  • Vergil Magus: King Without Country by Michael Swanwick and Avram Davidson
  • Jane Swanwick and the Search for Identity (article)
  • The Hagiography of Saint Dozois (article)
  • Ancestral Voices by Michael Swanwick and Gardner Dozois
  • The City of God by Michael Swanwick and Gardner Dozois
  • The Dead
  • They Fell Like Wheat (article)
  • A User’s Guide to the Postmoderns (article)
  • Ships by Michael Swanwick and Jack Dann
  • In the Tradition… (article)
  • Growing Up in the Future (article)
  • Griffin’s Egg

MICHAEL SWANWICK: Two stories were nominated for the Nebula Award and three, including “Moon Dogs” (which was one of two stories original to this collection) were nominated for the Hugo. The introduction was by Gardner Dozois.

The New England Science Fiction Society has a pleasant tradition of creating a book, usually a collection, each year for the guest of honor at Boskone, Boston’s venerable science fiction convention. This presented a problem for me because I’d already contracted for what was by now my traditional collection-per-decade. Editors Ann Broomhead and Tim Szczesuil convinced me that by including non-fiction and some of the best of the collaborative fiction I’d written over the years, we could assemble a worthwhile book.

While there are some upbeat works in the collection (my posthumous collaboration – “Over my dead body,” I can hear his spirit growl – with Avram Davidson, “Vergil Magus: King Without Country,” is a hoot), the mood of the fiction is, overall, darker than usual for me. I have no idea why I didn’t include “Dogfight,” my collaboration with William Gibson, unless it’s that I didn’t want to look like I was trying to ride on his coattails.

During the convention, I was hobbling around on a cane, the result of a fall down the stairs and a broken toe, waving the book about and telling everybody that it was only one of three collections I had out that year.

“You know,” Marianne Porter, my wife, said, “you’ve got the makings of good murder mystery here.”

“How so?” I asked.

“Tomorrow morning, when you’re found beaten to death with your own cane and the detective asks who at the convention would have a motive for killing you, every writer here is going to raise a hand.”

Rick Berry, the artist guest of honor, created a beautiful illustration for the cover.

San Francisco: Frog Ltd., 2000, 2002


Nineteen stories:

  • The Very Pulse of the Machine
  • The Dead
  • Scherzo with Tyrannosaur
  • Ancient Engines
  • North of Diddy-Wah-Diddy
  • The Mask
  • Mother Grasshopper
  • Riding the Giganotosaur
  • Wild Minds
  • The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-o
  • Microcosmic Dog
  • In Concert
  • Radiant Doors
  • Ice Age
  • Walking Out
  • The Changeling’s Tale
  • Midnight Express
  • The Wisdom of Old Earth
  • Radio Waves

MICHAEL SWANWICK: Of these nineteen stories, fifteen were never collected before. The previously uncollected stories garnered three Nebula nominations, three Hugo nominations, two Sturgeon Award nominations, a World Fantasy Award nomination, an Asimov’s Reader’s Award, and two Hugo Awards. The introduction was by Bruce Sterling.

This collection was a collaboration between Frog, Ltd., an imprint of North Atlantic Books, and Tachyon Publications. It was my second major collection, gathering together all my best stories of the prior decade.

This book began my professional association with Jacob Weisman, who quickly became a good friend. Such good friends that, some years later, Marianne and I flew to San Francisco to attend Jacob’s wedding to his wife Rina. So now we have two good friends (at least) at Tachyon.

San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2003.


Ten stories (or more, depending on how you count them):

  • Cigar-Box Faust
  • Writing in My Sleep
  • An Abecedary of the Imagination
  • Eight Takes on Kindred Themes
  • Picasso Deconstructed: Eleven Still-Lifes
  • Brief Essays
  • Archaic Planets
  • The Mask
  • Letters to the Editor
  • The Madness of Gordon Van Gelder

MICHAEL SWANWICK: Cigar-Box Faust gathers together pretty much all my flash fiction written to that point, save for the 26 short-shorts in Puck Aleshire’s Abecedary. The title piece was a short drama written in one day for a cigar-box theater and a cast made up of a cigar cutter, a box of matches and, in the title role, the cigar itself.

Marianne came home from work that day and asked, “What’s new?” I sat her down at the kitchen table, placed the cigar box between us, and said, “Watch.

San Francisco, Tachyon Publications, 2004.


Fourteen (or eighteen, depending on how you count them) stories:

  • flash fiction
  • The Thief of Time
  • A Matter of Size
  • Three Conversations
  • How the West Was Won II
  • The Scientific Method
  • Dueling Mosasaurs
  • Pocket Brontosaurs
  • Herbivores
  • Parallels
  • Wusses
  • Dinosaur Music
  • The Bird-Fishers
  • Proving Dr. Tom’s Hypothesis
  • Five British Dinosaurs
  • Iguanodon anglicus
  • Yaverlandia bitholus
  • Altispinax dunkeri
  • Megalosaurus bucklandii
  • Craterosaurus pottonensis

MICHAEL SWANWICK: “I don’t think you understand how many genera of dinosaurs there are,” I replied when my editor at HarperCollins suggested that as a promotional device, I should write a brief story for every genus. But I was happy to write a goodly number, which were serialized on the Web to draw attention to my paleontology novel, Bones of the Earth.

Jacob Weisman, God bless him, liked the series, added “Five British Dinosaurs,” which had appeared in Interzone, and published them all in chapbook form with lovely illustrations by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.

I had great fun including some of my pals in the paleontologist community in the fictions. Ralph Chapman got to see his Pachycephalosaurus theories tested in the wild. Bob Walters was stranded in the Campanian Age when a hadrosaur crushed his time machine. Tom Holtz got eaten by a tyrannosaur. And Tess Kissinger went for a midnight ride with Ray Harryhausen in a pair of robot theropods.

Never let it be said that I don’t know how to show my friends a good time.

PS Publishing, 2005


One hundred eighteen stories:

  • Hydrogen: The Hindenburg (to) Ununoctium: Now You See It Now You
  • Flash fiction, one story for every element in the Periodic Table. Introduction by Theodore Gray.

MICHAEL SWANWICK: For a couple of years in the early part of this century, I was publishing, in addition to my usual fiction, two stories a week online. For Eileen Gunn’s ezine The Infinite Matrix, I produced a series of stories, The Sleep of Reason, based on Goya’s Los Caprichos etchings. That was 80 stories for Eileen and 118 for Ellen. Writers used to turn pale and hold up crucifixes when I entered the room.

Peter Crowther, the founder of PS Publishing, liked my series based on the elements and reprinted it in a beautiful book which very quickly went out of print.

The Sleep of Reason hasn’t appeared in book form yet. If anybody is interested, I can think of the perfect illustrator for it – and his work is all in the public domain.

Tachyon Publications, 2007


Sixteen stories:

  • ‘Hello,’ Said the Stick
  • A Great Day for Brontosaurs
  • A Small Room in Koboldtown
  • An Episode of Stardust
  • Dirty Little War
  • Girls and Boys, Come Out to Play
  • Legions of Time
  • Slow Life
  • The Bordello in Faerie
  • The Dog Said Bow-Wow
  • The Last Geek
  • The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport
  • The Skysailor’s Tale
  • Tin Marsh
  • Triceratops Summer
  • Urdumheim

MICHAEL SWANWICK: One story was nominated for the Nebula Award and four for the Hugo Award. Of those four, three won. Introduction by Terry Bisson.

My third decade collection arrived three years early. It was named after “The Dog Said Bow-Wow,” the first Darger & Surplus story and easily one of the most popular stories I ever wrote. At the time the collection came out, there were only three stories in the series, all of which were included. Someday there will be a full collection’s worth. But that day, alas, is not here yet.

(Subterranean Press), 2008


  • The Feast of St. Janis
  • Ginungagap
  • Trojan Horse
  • A Midwinter’s Tale
  • The Edge of the World
  • Griffin’s Egg
  • The Changeling’s Tale
  • North of Diddy-Wah-Diddy
  • Radio Waves
  • The Dead
  • Mother Grasshopper
  • Radiant Doors
  • The Very Pulse of the Machine
  • Scherzo with Tyrannosaur
  • The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-O
  • The Dog Said Bow-Wow
  • Slow Life
  • Legions in Time
  • Triceratops Summer
  • From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled…

MICHAEL SWANWICK: Subterranean Press likes to put out career-summing “best of” volumes dedicated to people like Joe Haldeman, Lucius Shepard, Nancy Kress, Larry Niven… Pretty heady company to be numbered among. So when Bill Schafer asked me to join them, what else could I do but blush and nod?

This collection was not only beautifully made but large – so much so that it was a bit of a relief to discover that I didn’t have to include any of my weaker stories to fill it up.

Bill asked if I had any ideas for the cover artist should be and I immediately suggested Lee Moyer, who had done such a bright and witty job on A Geography of Imaginary Lands. When I saw the cover (which includes a half-hidden portrait of my hirsute self), I was glad I did.

I look forward to the day when I have enough new fiction to assemble The Second Best of Michael Swanwick.

Jack Heckel’s Reimagined Fairy Tales

By Carl Slaughter: In the Charming Tales series, Once Upon a Time becomes Once Upon a Rhyme, Happily Ever After becomes Happily Never After, and the Sword of Destiny becomes the Pitchfork of Destiny. Harper Voyager Impulse author Jack Heckel aims his sly pen at Prince Charming, Rapunzel, Beowulf, the Three Bears, Sleeping Beauty, the Seven Dwarves, Goldilocks, dragons, Robin Hood, and more. And Castle White, is that a takeoff on…

By Jack Heckel



The dragon is dead. The princess has been saved. There is but one problem: Prince Charming had nothing to do with it.

In order to save his royal reputation, Prince Charming must begrudgingly enlist the help of accidental hero William Pickett. The two set out on an adventure that has them fighting trolls, outwitting a scoundrel, and drinking the foulest ale ever, collecting bruises to both body and pride along the way. Meanwhile, the rescued princess, Gwendolyn, turns out to be one dangerously distressed damsel, and an evil presence takes over Castle White in Charming’s absence …

Enter this rollicking world and discover just what happens when a fairytale leaves the well-trodden path of “once upon a time.”



Once upon, once again …

The dragon has been slain, but the problems have just begun for Prince Charming.

Disowned by his father, the King, and abandoned by his only friend, William Pickett, Charming must find a new path in life—but he’s going to need a lot of help. His love, Liz, barely survived an assassination attempt; his former fling, Rapunzel, is in danger; and William is under an evil spell cast by Princess Gwendolyn.

The fate of Castle White hangs in the balance as Charming tries to find himself, while finding new allies along the way—including an odd number of dwarfs (or is it dwarves?) and a reformed beast. But he’s running out of time to stop royally ruinous wedding bells from ringing …



Life in the Kingdom of Royaume has been happily ever for King William Pickett and his fiancee, Lady Rapunzel. But when Volthraxus, the Great Dragon of the North, returns looking for the love of his life, the Great Wyrm of the South, it becomes clear that some fairy tales never end.

After Volthraxus discovers his love was slain by the newly crowned king, he seeks his revenge by kidnapping Rapunzel. Once again, Will teams up with Edward Charming, the only man in all the kingdom with the skill, ego, and dashing good looks to fight a dragon. Our heroes fates depend on finding a weapon re-forged in dragon blood the Pitchfork of Destiny.

But as the two set off after the dragon, Charming s bride, Lady Elizabeth, falls into the clutches of a mysterious sorcerer known as the Dracomancer, who has his own plans for Royaume.

Undebatably Fantastic Fiction as KGB Readings Series Features Ketchum and Kiernan

By Mark L. Blackman: The “K” in KGB stood for Ketchum and Kiernan as, on the evening of Wednesday, October 19 – a record-breaking warm day and the night of the third and final Presidential Debate – the monthly Fantastic Fiction Readings Series hosted authors Jack Ketchum and Caitlin R. Kiernan at its venue, the 2nd floor Red Room at the KGB Bar in Manhattan’s East Village.

The crowd in the room, distinctive for its red walls and Soviet era-themed décor, was smaller than usual, was ascribed by co-host Ellen Datlow to some regular attendees staying home to watch the Debate and she expected that part of the audience would dash out quickly to catch it. She encouraged those present not to “get your stomachs in a knot,” but to stay here “and have fun.” They could, she noted, always watch the Debate on YouTube.

Continuing, she announced that next month’s readers, on November 16 will be John Langan and Series co-host Matthew Kressel. On December 21, Livia Llewellyn and Sarah Pinsker will be reading; and on January 18, 2017, Holly Black and Fran Wilde will be featured. (Details are available at the Series website.) The Series, ongoing since the 1990s, is known for reliably offering an outstanding mix of writers and styles.

Caitlin R. Kiernan. Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

Caitlin R. Kiernan. Photo by Kyle Cassidy.

The evening’s first reader, Caitlin R. Kiernan, is a four-time winner of the International Horror Guild Award and a two-time recipient of the World Fantasy, Bram Stoker and James Tiptree, Jr. Awards. Her work includes the novels The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, and the short fiction collections A is for Alien, The Ape’s Wife and Other Tales, and the forthcoming Dear Sweet Filthy World. She read from a novella due to be published in February by Tor, Agents of Dreamland, a marvelously descriptive, furiously stream of consciousness evocation of modern culture, with allusions ranging from Charles Manson to the mandatory supplanting of analog tv by digital.


After a break, Matt Kressel took the podium and urged the crowd to support the Bar, whose generosity allows the Series’ readings to be free, by buying a drink or soft drink. He noted too that the Series nevertheless has expenses (such as treating the readers to dinner afterward) and that they planned a fundraising drive after the new year, offering nifty premiums like signed books.


Jack Ketchum

Jack Ketchum

Jack Ketchum, the second reader of the evening, is a five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, most recently for Lifetime Achievement, and has been called “probably the scariest guy in America” by Stephen King. A wide-ranging talent, he is the author of thirty books, including novels – five of which have been filmed – novellas, collections, nonfiction and poetry. His most recent books are the novel The Secret Life of Souls (written with director Lucky McKee) and the collection Gorilla in My Room, both due out later this year. His offering, the mystery shocker “Bully,” was from the latter. A woman’s question to her third cousin about an old photo elicits uncomfortable reminiscences and slowly reveals a terrible family secret.


Copies of Ketchum’s and Kiernan’s books were for sale at the back of the room from the Word Bookstores of Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Jersey City.

Datlow’s photos of the event may be seen at the Series website.

Logan Official Trailer

Logan, tenth installment in the X-Men film series, is based on the comic book series Old Man Logan by Mark Millar. Directed by James Mangold, the film stars Hugh Jackman, Sienna Novikov, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Stephen Merchant, and Patrick Stewart. The film marks the final portrayal of Wolverine by Jackman. It is scheduled to be released on March 3, 2017.

Antici….pation! Rocky Horror Picture Show Tonight

Fox airs its brand-new production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show this evening (October 20).

A reimagining of the original movie, the two-hour event follows sweethearts JANET (Victoria Justice, “Victorious”) and BRAD (Ryan McCartan, “Liv & Maddie,” “Heathers the Musical”), who stumble upon DR. FRANK-N-FURTER’s (Emmy Award-nominated actress Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black”) bizarre abode. Frank-N-Furter, a sexually ambiguous, flirtatious mad-scientist, is holding an annual Transylvanian science convention to showcase the birth of ROCKY HORROR – a muscle-bound specimen created solely to fulfill Frank’s desires. Actor and singer Staz Nair (“Game of Thrones”) will star in the role. Also featured in the event are “American Idol” alum Adam Lambert as EDDIE, Reeve Carney (“Penny Dreadful,” “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark”) as RIFF RAFF, Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford (“Sylvia,” “You Can’t Take It With You,” “Masters of Sex”) as COLUMBIA, Christina Milian (“Grandfathered”) as MAGENTA, Ivy Levan as USHERETTE, Tony Award winner Ben Vereen (“Pippin”) as DR. EVERETT SCOTT and Emmy Award nominee Tim Curry, the original Frank-N-Furter, as the show’s CRIMINOLOGIST NARRATOR.

For those who’ve never attended a theatrical showing of the movie with a crew on stage leading the audience participation, Fox provides this infographic (you’ll need to download and magnify it):


The new production is directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega, whose credits include Michael Jackson’s comeback show, This Is It.


More Publishers Cut Ties With Sunil Patel

Two more publishers have ended their connections with Sunil Patel in response to  accusations about his conduct toward women aired on Twitter and summarized in the Pixel Scroll for October 16.

Mothership Zeta made a “Staff Announcement” that Patel is no longer associated with the magazine:

Sunil Patel has resigned as Fiction Assistant Editor at Mothership Zeta, effective immediately. We thank him for all his hard work on the magazine’s first six issues.

Steven Saus, who does business as Alliteration, Ink, also made a public statement about how he will be adjusting the fulfillment of backer rewards for a Kickstarter-funded anthology he published that contains a Patel story, No Sh!t, There I Was, edited by Rachael Acks. Acks co-signed the statement, “The Complicated Mess When The Missing Stair Gets Noticed”.

Saus begins,

Me? When I choose not to publish someone because of their behavior, I’m saying that because I don’t want to be associated with sexist, racist, bigoted, assaulting jerks. It’s because I want the areas where I am, that I’m sponsoring, and that I’m representing to be safe and inclusive.

I believe the women who have come forward. I’m all too aware, as Natalie Luhrs put it, “[that] this is a problem that is endemic to our community, social and professional. There are people being abused right now who truly believe that no one will care if they speak up.”

And I do care.

Then he outlines what he will be doing:

I admire the example set by The Book Smugglers, but I can’t exactly follow their example.

The contracts have already been signed, and the money already paid. Review copies have already been sent out. I can’t undo those things. And undoing them would impact not just Mr. Patel, but all the other fine authors who are in No Shit, There I Was.

What I can – and will – do is offer that all backer rewards that involved Mr. Patel may be fulfilled by me personally, or if we can work it out, another author.

I will also investigate how to update future contracts so that should this situation happen again with a different author, I will have more options.

I welcome your feedback about the actions I’m taking. I am not interested in discussing whether or not you believe the accusations.

Meanwhile, Heather A. at Around the World in 80 Books Blog said in “Hot Air: Fall From Grace” they have yanked a Patel interview from their site.

Over the weekend I found out about a problematic person in the SFF community. He seemed like a nice person in real life when we met to do an interview for this blog, but the accusations from women writers in the community left me stunned (the interview has now been removed).

I take their side….

And I just want to emphasize that I want to be here for support of the community and those who may have been victimized by this person. This blog will not be promoting his work in the future.

And Mary Robinette Kowal discussed a complicated situation — “On Being Friends with Someone Who Turns Out to Be an Asshole” — without commenting on anyone by name, in remarks posted October 17:

Sometimes, someone you’re fond of turns out to be an asshole. Holding them accountable is part of being a friend. It helps them be better. I have a colleague/student/friend who has been awful to other people. Not to me, and that isn’t a defense. Ever.

Their behavior is inexcusable.

Defending my asshole friend’s behavior would make me complicit in it, because then I would be condoning the problematic behavior. The question then becomes… do I remain their friend?

Update 10/19/16: Lightspeed announced Patel’s resignation today as well:

Christopher Kastensmidt: Muskets and Magic

Christopher Kastensmidt

Christopher Kastensmidt

By Carl Slaughter: The Fortuitous Meeting, the first in Christopher Kastensmidt’s Elephant and Macaw series, was nominated for a Nebula. He nicknamed the subgenre ‘muskets and magic.’ It is a mix of magic, monsters, adventure, and friendship, with a heavy dose of European, Africa, and South American culture, set in the jungle, during an early colonial time period. Check out the awesome cover art and listen to the theme music. And how about those adjectives: fortuitous, parlous, discommodious, inauspicious, preposterous, tumultuous,

Listen to a podcast of The Fortuitous Meeting on Starship Sofa: http://www.starshipsofa.com/blog/2011/03/16/starshipsofa-no-180-nebula-nominated-christopher-kastensmidt/

Listen to Elephant and Macaw series theme music here.



Gerard van Oost and Oludara are destined to become two of the greatest heroes in Brazilian history, but first, this unlikely pair must meet far from their homelands, in the central plaza of Salvador, capital of the fledgling colony. Oludara, a slave, and Gerard, an outcast, must each outwit a legendary foe to overcome their pasts and forge a new future together.



The Dutch explorer Gerard van Oost and Yoruban warrior Oludara discover that they are poorly equipped to deal with the dangers of the Brazilian wilderness. They agree to seek aid from a native tribe, a decision that could cost them their lives. Their only escape lies in confronting a powerful foe: the seemingly invulnerable Kalobo.



Oludara wishes to marry the Tupinamba native Arany, but an unusual secret from her past will make that more difficult than he could ever imagine. Together with Arany and his faithful companion Gerard van Oost, Oludara must find a way to turn magic against magic and deal with a host of supernatural beings beyond his control.



In order to save their Tupinamba friends, Gerard and Oludara must split up and put themselves in great danger, as Oludara travels in the company of their greatest rival and Gerard must brave the wilderness alone. Little do they know that the paths ahead contain two of their deadliest foes yet.



When Antonio Dias Caldas swears revenge on Gerard van Oost and Oludara, they have no choice but to flee through the Brazilian wilderness. When they reach the land of the feared Wytaka warriors, however, they discover that what they’re running too might just be worse than what they’re running from.



Gerard and Oludara finally arrive in the famous port of Rio de Janeiro, but the visit is far from the holiday they seek. When the French attack the city, Gerard is forced to take sides in a battle that will decide the future of a nation.

Kylie Chan’s Celestial Battles

By Carl Slaughter: While living in Hong Kong for several years, Australian native Kylie Chan extensively researched Chinese mythology and philosophy. After she returned to Australia, she read numerous fantasy novels. Combining all this, she wrote three trilogies about Emma, a young Australian woman in modern Hong Kong who encounters the pantheon of Chinese mythological characters while studying martial arts. The first trilogy is Dark Heavens, the second is Journey to Wudong. Chan wrapped the third trilogy, Celestial Battle, with Black Jade in September. (Aussies read it in April.) Reviews from longtime fans of the series have been mixed.


Follow the link to read a sample chapter. Chan plans a couple of spinoffs in the same universe, Simone on Earth and Dragons in Space.

Black Jade chapter 1