Constelación Magazine Launches in January

Cover art by Gutti Barrio

Constelación Magazine, a bilingual magazine of speculative fiction, will release its first issue in January of 2021. 

Publishing quarterly, each themed issue will feature original artwork. Stories can be submitted in either English or Spanish; selections will be translated and published in both. Submissions for the first issue open in October, concurrent with the launch Kickstarter. 

At the helm are Coral Alejandra Moore (Uncanny, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons) and Eliana González Ugarte (Elena Ammatuna, Itaú Digital, Roa Cinero award winner) with support from Cristina Jurado (Alucinadas, Spanish Women of Wonder, WhiteStar) and Hugo nominated Libia Brenda (A Larger Reality/Una realidad más amplia, Cúmulo de Tesla).

A sample issue can be seen at here. For more information on submissions guidelines and themes visit here.

Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Tobias the Starry Capybara

[Based on a press release.]

The Mandalorian Season 2
Official Trailer

The new season of The Mandalorian starts streaming Friday, October 30 on Disney+.

The Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire. “The Mandalorian” stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito. Directors for the new season include Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Carl Weathers, Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez. Showrunner Jon Favreau serves as executive producer along with Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson, with Karen Gilchrist serving as co-executive producer.

City of Gardner: NYRSF Readings Series Features Michael Swanwick in Collaboration with Gardner Dozois

Jim Freund (L), Michael Swanwick (R)

By Mark L. Blackman: On the evening of Tuesday, September 8, 2020 (Star Trek Day), the New York Review of Science Fiction Readings Series opened its 30th Season virtually (and perhaps virtuously) with a reading by Michael Swanwick from his extraordinary collaboration with the late Gardner Dozois, The City Under the Stars. The event was hosted by Series producer and executive curator Jim Freund, host of the long-running sf/fantasy radio program Hour of the Wolf on WBAI-FM, and was live on Facebook and posted to the Series’ page for later viewing. (Tech was handled by Barbara Krasnoff, and Amy Goldschlager was the virtual audience’s “Question Wrangler.”)

Michael Swanwick, a longtime reader at the Series, is the author of ten novels, including Vacuum FlowersStations of the TideThe Iron Dragon’s Daughter, Jack Faust, Bones of the Earth, The Dragons of Babel, Dancing With Bears, Chasing the Phoenix, and The Iron Dragon’s Mother; and roughly 150 stories. Notable among his non-fiction is Being Gardner Dozois, a book-length interview. He has been honored with the Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, the World Fantasy Award, and the Hugo Award.  (He has frequently noted that he has “the pleasant distinction of having lost more major awards than any other science fiction writer.”)

Gardner Dozois was, of course, the editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine for almost 20 years, winning the Hugo Award as the year’s Best Editor 15 times. He was also honored with the Locus Award, the Nebula Award and the Sidewise Award, inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and the Skylark Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Fiction. He was the author or editor of more than a hundred books.

The evening opened with a discussion between Swanwick and Freund (who proudly displayed his very own Darger and Surplus pen). The book that became The City Under the Stars was long in the making, said Swanwick. Dozois began the story in 1972, but hit a snag. He handed a cardboard box with his unfinished manuscript to Swanwick and asked if he could turn it into a novella. Swanwick said he saw a way – “I lied” – but later did see a plotline. “The City of God” (now the first half of this novel) was published in Omni and Asimov’s. The novella was “bleak,” “dark,” and “a little more downbeat than the Book of Job, without the happy ending.”

Its ending seemed to preclude any sequels, but, over the decades, he and Dozois “talked over what might come next” and how a longer, complete story would end; Dozois had “an uplifting idea” for how to give it “a surprisingly happy ending.” They planned to write two more novellas, “The City of Angels” and “The City of Men,” however, midway through the second novella, Gardner Dozois died.

Subsequently, Swanwick returned to the project – now a memorial to Dozois – because “I wanted the world to see this genuinely happy ending.” Aiming to “keep Gardner’s vision,” he revised and combined both novellas, and changed the direction of the work in progress. As he wrote on Tor.com, Swanwick “made of them a novel I think Gardner would have been pleased with. The ending is exactly what Gardner envisioned all those decades ago. A happy one. For everyone. When I wrote the last words of it, I cried.”

Swanwick’s reading selection was from the very beginning of Chapter 1, opening in Orange, NY. The protagonist, Hanson, is part of a crew digging in a pit for and shoveling coal to feed the machines. From there, though, he can see the City of God, “perfect and inviolate.” It’s an “astonishingly depressing story.” After that “bleak” passage, “things get even worse and worse.” He later enters the City of God, but that’s not yet “the happy ending” by any means.

Hanson, Swanwick surmised, was based on Dozois himself, “a blue-collar kid who grew up in the factory town of Salem, Massachusetts. … His sympathy was with the downtrodden.” Despite his image of being “large and jolly,” Dozois was “shy and private.” He knew that by becoming editor of Asimov’s, he was effectively ending his writing career, and his output did decrease.

Answering Freund about his own path, Swanwick said that he decided to become a writer after reading The Lord of the Rings; he wanted to make an impact like that. Another influence or impetus was his father’s early onset Alzheimer’s. This segued into a Q&A, with questions from Carol Gyzander, Ian Randal Strock and Gregory Frost, among others.

Swanwick reminisced about a collaboration of his with Dozois and Jack Dann, “An Afternoon at Schraft’s,” which was eventually published in a themed anthology with one title. His personal favorite Dozois story is “A Special Kind of Morning,” a war story. In his collaborations with Dozois, “Gardner was always the alpha male,” with say on the final draft. He reminisced about hosting the Milford-style workshop “Philford.” He met Dozois shortly after he (Swanwick) came to Philadelphia, through a friend of a friend. Eventually, Dozois shrugged and offered to make suggestions on “your sucky stories.” Swanwick is currently working on short stories for Tor.com. Final words: “Don’t let your babies grow up to be writers.” (It’s a funny business, he observed. On the same day, he received checks for $9 and $1,400.)

The next reading, announced Freund, is Tuesday, October 6th, with C.L. Polk and will be guest-hosted by Amy Goldschlager. As a postscript, he noted that the software being used was “not free” and suggested that donations be made via PayPal (details are on the Series’ Facebook page). Finally, he noted again that this was the first reading of the Series’ 30th Season, also Series founder Gordon Van Gelder’s birthday – and Star Trek Day.

Feedback: A Guest Post
by Rik Hoskin

Rik Hoskin has worked on graphic novels and comics with best-selling authors and many top franchises including Star Wars and Doctor Who. The authors that Rik has collaborated with include Brandon Sanderson, Dean Koontz, Pierce Brown, and Patricia Briggs. Most recently, the graphic novel of Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 , which Rik collaborated on with Brandon Sanderson and Julius M. Gopez, won the Dragon Award for Best Graphic Novel at last year’s Dragon Con. Rik lives in the UK.

By Rik Hoskin: When I was invited to write a guest column for File 770, I was drawn to the fact that this website still proudly recalls its fanzine roots.

I began my writing career working on my own fanzine, and it taught me a lot. In my case, it was a comic book fanzine, written and initially drawn by me, later incorporating other like-minded creative individuals and artists with more prowess than me. My ’zine – photocopied and stapled before being mailed out each month to a keen list of paying subscribers – taught me a lot about writing. It set me on a career path that’s seen me write for properties like Star Wars, Superman, Doctor Who and Shrek, as well as writing novels, graphic novels and video games, and also winning a Dragon Award and appearing on the New York Times bestseller list. And that all began with a ballpoint pen, a photocopier and a hard-won list of subscribers.

One of the trickiest things for a would-be writer (hopeful, amateur, up-and-comer – call it what you will) is getting feedback. I still try to give feedback and guidance to would-be writers who are just finding their way, but with fanzines you get feedback. You put your work out there for show, and it lands in front of people who are passionate enough to part with money for photocopied pages about characters no one else knows about, frequently based on nothing more than a classified ad in a trade paper. That sounds almost unbelievable to me now.

In my experience, some readers would say “I loved it” and a few might even say “I hated it”, but the most telling feedback was from people who saw something else in the stories to what I’d intended; who had looked deep into the words, who had sometimes misunderstood, or maybe just understood better than I did, what it was I was doing. That taught me that making a story clear and getting it across to the reader is as important as the story itself.

How people read stories is as much a part of them as what the author puts on the page. We all bring our own experiences, our own reference points, our own what-they-call “head cannon” to the words we read. As such, a work of fiction might not just be one fiction, but a whole muddle of different fictions all spawned by those same words.

This is the territory I was thinking about when I wrote my latest novel, Bystander 27, which plays with the conventions of a certain section of fiction I’m very familiar with. In it we follow Jon Hayes, an ex-Navy SEAL who’s an ordinary guy in a world of costumed superheroes. After the death of his wife, Jon begins to look into what these stories all mean, and how the superheroes he sees every day on the streets of New York fit with the world he’s known in the Navy.  I hope you’ll come join Jon as he searches for answers.


New Collection of Aldiss Essays from Ansible Editions

Photograph of Brian Aldiss in June 1970 taken by Margaret Aldiss.

The Jonbar Point: Essays from SF Horizons by Brian Aldiss will be released by Ansible Editions on September 1, with a new introduction by Christopher Priest.

The Jonbar Point collects, for the first time, two major essays on science fiction which Brian Aldiss published in the two issues of SF Horizons, the magazine of science fiction criticism originally published and edited by Aldiss and Harry Harrison, with Tom Boardman Jr.

  • “Judgement at Jonbar” (1964) is a lengthy analysis on several levels of Jack Williamson’s pulp-era classic The Legion of Time, which gave SF the term “jonbar point” – where alternative timelines diverge. This essay is described in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction as “one of the most penetrating studies yet written about a pulp-sf novel”.
  • “British Science Fiction Now: Studies of Three Writers” (1965) examines the work of the contemporary authors Lan Wright, Donald Malcolm and J.G. Ballard – treating the first two somewhat cruelly (though very entertainingly) and the third with measured admiration. This, based on his early work to 1965, was the first substantial critical study of the later very famous J.G. Ballard.

27,000 words. Trade paperback 9″ x 6″, 82pp. £7.50 or $9.99 plus local postage from Lulu.com: click here. Ebook in the usual formats at £3.00: click here.

SFWA Creates Anti-Email-Harvesting Policy for
Membership List

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have notified members that they will be subject to discipline if they violate a new policy against abuse of the SFWA Member Directory.

Last month, one of our members used the membership directory to send all members of SFWA a promotional email. This was done without SFWA’s consent or prior knowledge. As a result, the Board decided to prioritize an email harvesting policy already in development for the organization.

No one is named in the announcement, however, the timeframe is right for this alert tweeted in June by Natalie Luhrs which many writers remarked on and SFWA responded to. Thread starts here.

Marc Zicree subsequently issued a video “Apology to the Science Fiction Writers of America” expressing regret for using their membership list to publicize Space Command.

SFWA’s policy statement reads:

The SFWA Member Directory exists as a courtesy to facilitate communication between individual members of SFWA. It is not to be used for marketing or promotional purposes.

Using member contact information for marketing without explicit permission from the individual is considered a violation of our privacy policy. This includes all marketing-related activities such as emailing, mailing, or calling SFWA members.

Our privacy policy exists for our members’ safety and to comply with the laws governing the use of email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses for promotional purposes. Any individual or business using a SFWA member’s email or physical address must be able to demonstrate compliance with anti-spam laws. In most cases, this means the individual or business must be able to prove the SFWA member opted-in for email notices or physical pieces of information that the user consented to receive. Violations of this policy will result in a formal letter of censure. A second transgression will result in the member being removed from good standing. 

SFWA provides a number of opt-in opportunities for promotion, including our Featured Books and Authors Program and the New Release Newsletter page where you can promote new releases. The board encourages members to participate in these approved programs as both readers and writers.

Selections Announced for Horton’s 2020 Year’s Best SF & F

Editor Rich Horton has released the list of stories in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2020 Edition.

The collection will be released by Prime Books in December. 

  • “The Savannah Problem” by Adam-Troy Castro (Analog, 1-2/19)
  • “Love in the Time of Immuno-Sharing” by Andy Dudak (Analog, 1-2/19)
  • “Empty Box” by Allison Mulvihill (Analog, 11-12/19)
  • “At the Fall” by Alec Nevala-Lee (Analog, 5-6/19)
  • “Anosognosia” by John Crowley (And Go Like This)
  • “Tourists” by Rammel Chan (Asimov’s, 3-4/19)
  • “At the Old Wooden Synagogue on Janower Street” by Michael Libling (Asimov’s, 9-10/19)
  • “The Ocean Between the Leaves” by Ray Nayler (Asimov’s, 7-8/19)
  • “Cloud” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s, 11-12/19)
  • “Cloud-Born” by Gregory Feeley (Clarkesworld, 11/19)
  • “Give the Family My Love” by A.T. Greenblatt (Clarkesworld, 02/2019)
  • “Tick Tock” by Xia Jia (Clarkesworld, 5/19)
  • “The Visible Frontier” by Grace Seybold (Clarkesworld, 07/2019)
  • “Secret Stories of Doors” by Sofia Rhei (Everything is Made of Letters)
  • “miscellaneous notes from the time an alien came to band camp disguised as my alto sax” by Tina Connolly (F&SF, 3-4/19)
  • “Mighty are the Meek and the Myriad” by Cassandra Khaw (F&SF, 7-8/19)
  • “Shucked” by Sam J. Miller (F&SF, 11-12/19)
  • “How to Kiss a Hojacki” by Debbie Urbanski (F&SF, 5-6/19)
  • “Green Glass: A Love Story” by E. Lily Yu (If This Goes On, edited by Cat Rambo)
  • “Fix That House!” by John Kessel (Interzone, 9-10/19)
  • “Ink, and Breath, and Spring” by Frances Rowat (Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, 11/19)
  • “The Death of Fire Station 10” by Ray Nayler (Lightspeed, 10/19)
  • “The Archronology of Love” by Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed, 04/19)
  • “The Fine Print” by Chinelo Onwualu, (New Suns, edited by Nisi Shawl)
  • “The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations” by Minsoo Kang (New Suns, edited by Nisi Shawl)
  • “Bark, Blood, and Sacrifice” by Alexandra Seidel (Not One of Us, 10/19)
  • “Mnemosyne” by Catherine MacLeod (On Spec, 04/19)
  • “A Country Called Winter” by Theodora Goss (Snow White Learns Witchcraft)
  • “And Now His Lordship is Laughing” by Shiv Ramdas (Strange Horizons, 09/20/19)
  • “The Girl Who Did Not Know Fear” by Kelly Link (Tin House, Summer 2019)
  • “The Hundredth House Had No Walls” by Laurie Penny (Tor.com, 09/11/19)
  • “Knowledgeable Creatures” by Christopher Rowe (Tor.com, 03/06/19)
  • “Vis Delendi” by Marie Brennan (Uncanny, 3-4/19)
  • “The Migration Suite: A Study in C Sharp Minor” by Maurice Broaddus (Uncanny, 7-8/19)
  • “A Catalog of Storms” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny, 1-2/19)

Uncanny Magazine Issue 36 Launches September 1

The 36th issue of Uncanny Magazine, winner of five Hugos and a British Fantasy Award, will be available on September 1. 

Hugo Award-winning Publishers Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas are proud to present the 36th issue of their five-time Hugo Award-winning online science fiction and fantasy magazine, Uncanny Magazine. Stories from Uncanny Magazine have been finalists or winners of Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. As always, Uncanny features passionate SF/F fiction and poetry, gorgeous prose, provocative nonfiction, and a deep investment in the diverse SF/F culture, along with a Parsec Award-winning monthly podcast featuring a story, poem, and interview from that issue. 

All of Uncanny Magazine’s content will be available in eBook versions on the day of release from Weightless Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo. Subscriptions are always available through Amazon Kindle and Weightless Books. The free online content will be released in 2 stages- half on day of release and half on October 6. 

Follow Uncanny on their website, or on Twitter and Facebook.

Uncanny Magazine Issue 36 Table of Contents

Cover:

  • Connected by Christopher Jones

Editorials:

  • “The Uncanny Valley” by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas (9/1)
  • “Imagining Place: Worldbuilding As” by Elsa Sjunneson (9/1)

Fiction:

  • “Metal Like Blood in the Dark” by T. Kingfisher (9/1)
  • “Anchorage” by Samantha Mills (9/1)
  • “Laws of Impermanence” by Kenneth Schneyer (9/1)
  • “Juvenilia” by Lavie Tidhar (10/6)
  • “The City of the Tree” by Marie Brennan (10/6)
  • “In The Space of Twelve Minutes” by James Yu (10/6)

Reprint:

  • “The Mouser of Peter the Great” by P. Djèlí Clark (9/1)

Nonfiction:

  • “Finding Myself in Speculative Fiction Again After Leaving Other Worlds Behind” by Del Sandeen (9/1)
  • “The Roots of Hope: Toward an Optimistic Near-Future SF in a Pandemic” by Marissa Lingen (9/1)
  • “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence” by Nibedita Sen (10/6)
  • “Sticks and String” by Christopher Mark Rose (10/6)

Poetry:

  • “Fin” by Terese Mason Pierre (9/1)
  • “My Cat, He” by Beth Cato (9/1)
  • “The Body in Revolt” by Rita Chen (10/6)
  • “As if My Flesh was Summer Soil” by Lora Gray (10/6)

Interviews:

  • Kenneth Schneyer interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (9/1)
  • Lavie Tidhar interviewed by Caroline M. Yoachim (10/6)

Podcasts:

  • Episode 36A (September 1): “Metal Like Blood in the Dark” by T. Kingfisher, as read by Erika Ensign, “Fin” by Terese Mason Pierre, as read by Joy Piedmont, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing T. Kingfisher.
  • Episode 36B (October 6): Editors’ Introduction, “In The Space of Twelve Minutes” by James Yu, as read by Joy Piedmont, “As if My Flesh was Summer Soil” by Lora Gray, as read by Erika Ensign, and Lynne M. Thomas interviewing James Yu.

2020 Long List Anthology Kickstarter

David Steffen has launched a Kickstarter appeal to publish Long List Anthology Volume 6, designed to celebrate more of the fiction loved by the Hugo Award voting audience.

Every year, science fiction and fantasy fans vote for their favorite works for the Hugo Award, and the winners of those are chosen at Worldcon in a different city every year (if you think that sounds cool, it is, and you should get involved as much as you want to, the rules for the award are fan-voted too if you can attend Worldcon).  After the Hugo Awards each year, the World Science Fiction Society (who administer the award) publishes a longer list of works that fans cast nomination votes for.  The works on the ballot get a lot of attention — but these other stories were also loved by so many fans, and the purpose of this anthology is to help more readers find them.  

The starting point for Volume 6 is the 2020 Hugo voting report. Steffen notes, “This project is not endorsed by nor affiliated with the Hugo awards, WSFS, Worldcon, or any associated entities. The Hugo name is used with permission.”

Backers have already pledged $956 of its initial $1,850 goal with 23 days to go.

The cover art is by Jorge Jacinto.

WHAT STORIES WILL BE IN THE ANTHOLOGY?

Short Stories (base goal with digital-only rewards, $1850)

  • “Lest We Forget” by Elizabeth Bear
  • “A Bird, a Song, a Revolution” by Brooke Bolander
  • “Beyond the El” by John Chu
  • “Give the Family My Love” by A.T. Greenblatt
  • “Fisher-Bird” by T. Kingfisher
  • “Articulated Restraint” by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • “I (28M) Created a Deepfake Girlfriend and Now My Parents Think We’re Getting Married” by Fonda Lee
  • “Shucked” by Sam J. Miller
  • “The Dead, in their Uncontrollable Power” by Karen Osborne
  • “How the Trick is Done” by A.C. Wise

Novelettes(stretch goal at cost to be determined, trying to finalize some details with a service that can handle add-on rewards with shipping)

  • “A Strange Uncertain Light” by G.V. Anderson
  • “Deriving Life” by Elizabeth Bear
  • “Erase, Erase, Erase” by Elizabeth Bear
  • “Nice Things” by Ellen Klages
  • “His Steps, Through Darkness and Light” by Mimi Mondal
  • “Blood, Bone, Seed, Spark” by Aimee Ogden
  • “Dave’s Head” by Suzanne Palmer
  • “Circus Girl, the Hunter, and Mirror Boy” by JY Yang
  • …up to 2 others!

Further stretch goals:

…novellas if 1 or more can be confirmed (these are queried one by one, and reprint rights tend to be less available, so they tend to take longer

THE LONG LIST ANTHOLOGY BOOK CLUB. A new facet to the Long List Anthology this year, they will be running a discussion group on the Kickstarter where “backers can come together, discuss the individual stories, and share their thoughts and reactions.” Everybody backing at the $15 level and up will have access.

[Thanks to JJ and Standback for the link.]

Datlow Shares Cover for Best Horror of the Year Volume Twelve

Editor Ellen Datlow has unveiled the cover for The Best Horror of the Year volume Twelve.

With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this light creates its own shadows. The Best Horror of the Year chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness as articulated by today’s most challenging and exciting writers.

It will be released October 6. Available for preorder here.

Table of Contents:

  • Ice Cold Lemonade 25? Haunted House Tour: 1 Per Person by Paul Tremblay
  • A Song For Wounded Mouths by Kristi DeMeester
  • Birds of Passage by Gordon B. White
  • The Puppet Motel by Gemma Files
  • The Senior Girls Bayonet Drill Team by Joe R. Lansdale
  • The Night Nurse by Sarah Langan
  • They Are Us (1964): An Oral History by Jack Lothian
  • As Dark As Hunger by S. Qiouyi Lu
  • I Say (I Say, I Say) by Robert Shearman
  • The Pain-Eater’s Daughter by Laura Mauro
  • The Hope Chest by Sarah Read
  • Nor Cease You Never Now by Ren Warom
  • Playscape by Diana Peterfreund
  • Adrenaline Junkies by Ray Cluley
  • Watching by Tim Lees
  • Mr. And Mrs. Kett by Sam Hicks
  • Below by Simon Bestwick
  • My Name is Ellie by Sam Rebelein
  • Slipper by Catriona Ward
  • How To Stay Afloat When Drowning by Daniel Braum
  • This Was Always Going to Happen by Stephen Graham Jones
  • The Butcher’s Table by Nathan Ballingrud
  • Honorable Mentions
  • About the Authors
  • Acknowledgment of Copyright
  • About the Editor