Anathema’s Second Issue is Live!

As of yesterday morning Anathema‘s second issue is live and free to read in its entirety! (If you want to help keep the mag going you can purchase a copy of the issue or a subscription — all funds earned go directly toward paying contributors and our website costs.)

We’re ecstatic to finally have this one out in the world. This issue just kept throwing up hurdles to pull together — you may have seen our extended/emergency calls for first non-fiction and then fiction after our standard submissions period was done. If it wasn’t one thing it was another, all the way up to taking all the content live on the website. (And, oh, there’s a story about that too … ) But the three of us (Andrew Wilmot, Chinelo Onwualu, and myself) finally fucking did it, with the help of some truly stellar contributors and their equally amazing work.

Issue 2 encompasses a broad range of styles and tones, all the way from glorious, pitch-perfect humour all the way to high fantasy misandry. (Yes. Really.) We fucking love the issue that came together, and we think you will too. :D

This being borne out by the fact that all the reviews we’ve had of the issue so far have been highly positive. And as always it’s wonderful to watch readers discover something they connect with and love deeply. That never gets old for me — connecting people with amazing work, creators, and artists. :)

But, seriously: there’s an amazing issue of fiction, non-fiction, and some fucking glorious cover art to be enjoyed — what are you still doing reading this post? The issue’s free, go read it already!

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An Unexpected THoM Rec from Book Riot

Two posts in one day. What are the odds? :)

But it’s a day, as mentioned last post, with enough different news to warrant two posts rather than piling things together as I normally do. Which I may stop doing generally, just to make news easier to find on here. We’ll see.

In any case, the reason for a second post today? (And one worthy of yet another shocked face post header.) I just yesterday ran across a post on Book Riot from a couple of days back, wherein Margaret Kingsbury pulled together a fantastic recommendations post: 100 Must-Read SFF Short Story Collections.

Covering 60 single author collections and 40 anthologies, it’s a deeply impressive post, wide-ranging in what it covers, and includes a number of books I love and overall just an extraordinary collection of writers and editors, primarily contemporary.

So imagine my surprise when I found The Humanity of Monsters on that list!

Like, holy crap, look at the company I’m keeping on that thing. O_o

In truth, it’s been a good few months of news with an award nomination, Anathema‘s second issue coming together (and dropping August 1st), and a number of other things coming together that I can’t talk about yet. But I thought much of the news for THoM was over and done with it having come out almost two years ago now. I’m delighted to be wrong in that. :D

I’d urge you to go have a look at the list if you haven’t already. It’s a shockingly good reading list. And contains the work of a number of friends and colleagues, all of whom I’m delighted to see on there, and who you should be reading.

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Anathema Issue 2 ToC/Cover Reveal

You can tell I’ve been busy when I’m writing posts a month apart (normal posting schedule around here is once every couple weeks, give or take). And, indeed, the last couple months have been exceedingly full. And though things aren’t exactly easing up for the next few weeks in terms of deadlines, there is news. Hell, enough for this post and one after it. :)

But speaking to immediate things:

With now less than one week to go until the release of Anathema‘s second issue on August 1st, we’ve put together our usual ToC and cover reveal for the coming issue. And damn but we love the way that issue came together, visually and otherwise. :D

Why? Because aside from having some fucking fantastic content in the August issue, this is the cover for Issue 2:

You can see the full ToC reveal here, and Issue 2 will be available to read for free online (or purchase as an eBook) on August 1st! :D

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Happy Canada Day & (A.C. Wise’s) Fiction Recs!

(The above image, which feels much more appropriate to post right now than the Canada 150 logo given the ongoing discourse we’ve seen about colonialism, reconciliation, and more in the runup to the celebrations — see articles like this one, for example — is Art Kilgour’s creation in response to Inuk filmmaker Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s discussion in this video of her talk about Canada 15,000.)

Hey everyone, how you doing? A belated Canada Day to one and all! (See the above paragraph for quick thoughts on same.)

It’s been a while. I’ve been under a crush of freelance work and pulling together the next Anathema or would have posted something sooner. I trust you’ve all missed me? :)

Still in the throes of being fairly busy, so popping in to note that while there’s all this work going on on my end, there’s also acknowledgement of existing work to report. And it’s an absolutely lovely mention:

Yesterday, in honour of Canada Day, A.C. Wise (whose fiction, reviews, and other content you should be reading) put up a blog post, More Than Margaret, to highlight some of their favourite speculative fiction in a mixture of things recent and less so. The post covers novels, anthologies, and short fiction, and there’s a fantastic mix of colleagues and friends in the field represented, all of whom I’m delighted to be mentioned alongside. :D

My own contribution to that list is “And in That Sheltered Sea, a Colossus” from Shimmer #36. I always love seeing the Titan and Serpent stories get a nod or a review. Still working on selling the other five currently written, so hopefully there’ll be more of them available to read soon. But it’s been so good to see both that one and “Until There is Only Hunger” land so well. Indeed, in some cases very well given the feedback they’ve had and the award nomination for the latter — which I’m still trying to wrap my head around.

Now, technically, I’ve also got stories in four of the anthologies/anthology series listed in the post (Tesseracts 19: Superhero UniverseMasked MosaicDead North, and Fractured). And that’s a weird realization — I don’t tend to think about the number of stories I’ve had published since I first managed to sell something back in 2011, or where they’ve come out, but apparently about half my fiction sales have been to Canadian markets? US markets always loom so large when submitting, and yet I’ve clearly been paying equal mind to Canadian markets and just not realized it.

Canada has a complicated history with its own cultural output, part and parcel of which is a decidedly nationalist/protectionist approach for the last fifty years that’s slowly breaking down or being circumvented (Elaine Dewar’s The Handover is an excellent primer for the inception and failures of that national policy), and part of that is absorbing so much American culture. So much so that sometimes you forget how ubiquitous Canadian cultural content is, and how much you participate in it.

Or maybe that’s just me. :)

Either way, it’s a nice discovery to make.

Now go read the list if you haven’t already. There’s some amazing reading there, and all of it Canadian.

 

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Shock and (Award) Awe – Sunburst Longlist Nomination

Holy shit. My Titan and Serpent story “Until There is Only Hunger” (published in Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling, edited by Monica Valentinelli & Jaym Gates) got longlisted for the 2017 Sunburst Award. I, uh, was not expecting that? I mean obviously, but since the Sunburst Awards don’t notify nominees ahead of time it was in all respects a surprise.

I may be excessively fond of that story, but it’s another thing entirely to have an award jury say: “Why yes, this thing deserves to be longlisted for an award.”

So. Yeah.

Quite an impressive longlist across the three categories, and I’m there with friends and colleagues, and looking at a number of excellent stories and novels on that ballot, and dear god the CBC posted about the longlist. O_o

Madeline Ashby and Madeleine Thien are rightly headlining that article, but god damn it my work showed up in an article/press release appearing on the CBC. I’m just going to enjoy this moment because I’d already read all but two of the short stories longlisted and I don’t expect to win my category.

But I’m now a Sunburst nominee! Been longlisted for fiction in a contest before, but never for an award (been award-nominated elsewhere as an editor, but it doesn’t have the same feel), so that’s thoroughly awesome! :D

If anyone needs me I’ll just be over here squeeing.

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End of May Roundup – A(nother) Matter of Time

While it’s not technically the end of May yet, that being about a week away I’m fudging the title of this post a little. Got a few things to update this time round. Some procedural things, and some deadlines.

And while it would be true to say that I’m racing some time-dependent deadlines as the month comes to a close, it’s not my deadlines I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about deadlines that affect you, the reader. :)

Anathema Submissions Window Closes 05/31

The Anathema submissions window for Issue 2 will only be open for one more week. The official end of this reading period is end of day May 31st, though we’ll read everything that comes in June 1st as well to make sure that we don’t miss out on any submissions because of time zone differences.

We’ve had some fantastic stories come in toward Issue 2, but we’d love to see more fiction and art right now. (We love seeing non-fiction subs as well, though we do end up handling that mostly in-house at this point.) I’m always wary of telling people what we’d like to see in terms of theme and content, because we really don’t know what we’ll love until we see it.

I will say, though, that we absolutely love getting stories that have been hard to sell elsewhere (they tend to be the most interesting things we see, and the least easy to classify). And that we love seeing work from new writers. We offer feedback where we can, and are happy to do so for younger writers, or writers just starting out. (You’re welcome to mention this is the case in your cover letters.)

At this point, our second issue is starting to take shape, but it’s not there yet. We still need more stellar, impossible to resist work to come in over the transom. That’s where you come in. Send us your work (if you’re a queer POC/Indigenous/Aboriginal creator), or send people our way. You can find our full submission guidelines here.

And there’s another way you can help:

Anathema Gift Subscriptions and Patreon

While we’re still setting up the Anathema Patreon, we’ve finally got gift subscriptions (for every subscription tier) up and running on the website’s store. We’ve set them up as voucher/discount codes you can gift to whomever you like. The codes are single use, but they never expire, so the recipient of your gift can activate their subscription whenever they choose, rather than being locked into someone else’s schedule or having only a narrow window of redemption.

We push the subscriptions from time to time because they (and single issue sales) are our primary form of revenue at Anathema — and all that revenue goes straight to paying contributors and the website hosting. We’re debating a subscription drive down the road, but in the meantime, if you’d like to purchase a subscription for yourself or a gift subscription for someone else, you’re directly supporting Anathema paying amazing contributors for their work, and you get some damn good content out of it in the bargain. :D

And speaking of none of the editorial staff making any money from running Anathema, *cough*…

Freelancing Rates Going Up Come 06/01

Every once in a long while I re-evaluate the rates I charge as a freelance writer/editor. My rates are right at the bottom of the professional scale for my industry, and I try and keep them relatively low because I work with a lot of newer and indie authors. Self-publishing and/or running a small press is a hard road, and I like to be able to offer people services at as low a rate as possible to help everyone keep their own business running.

At the moment though, I’m just not making enough off the substantive/developmental and line/copy editing I do to make ends meet. Yeah, I scrape by much of the time, and I take what work in the outside world I can (I’ve got a surprisingly broad skill range from working in multiple industries over a couple decades). But you couple reasonably low rates with some heavy payment snafus and non-payments over the last six months or so and that puts me in a bind.

I’m only changing the rates for the substantive/developmental and line/copy editing. Everything else will be staying the same for now. Might shift some other things down the road as well, but the two types of editing named above are what I most frequently do as a freelancer, so that’s what I’m focusing on adjusting. The current rates are $3/page (250 words) for those two services, and they’ll be going up to $4/page on June 1st.

All work booked before the end of this month will use the old rates, and that includes bookings for work starting sometime later this year. Serialized work started (or booked) before June 1st will be charged at the current rate until that serialized material’s course is run.

If you’ve been hovering on the fence about querying/hiring me for something, bug me about it before the end of the month to get that $3/page rate. I’ve got slots open for the rest of the year, with some work already committed to here and there. But there’s still plenty of room to take on new jobs and new clients. You can find general information at Matheson Freelancing, and information on the various rates I charge here.

And that, my friends, is a wrap for the time being. There’ll be more news as it happens. For now, feel free to spread the word on Anathema and reach out if you have freelancing you want done.

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Still More Anathema and Colossi!

***

I was tempted to set aside this post in favour of writing about the AHCA vote (I’m Canadian, but so many of my friends and colleagues are in the US), but that’s not why I hopped on the blog today. And if I start screaming at the top of my lungs about that vote and the damage it does if it becomes law I may never stop.

So I’m going to post the blog I was writing when the vote came down. Said post is entirely publishing related. For all that publishing is frequently a shitshow, contemplating the good things that come out of it and sharing them is one way I cope with the state of the world.

Thus, today’s post:

***

Screenshot from Dejobaan Games’ Elegy for a Dead World.

Hot on the heels of posting about reviews for Anathema and my own work, yet another recs post went online that recommends … wait for it … both work in Anathema (and the mag itself), and my own work as well!

As part of an excellent list of recommended work, Vanessa Fogg’s March/April 2017 Reading Recs post gives a shoutout to S. Qiouyi Lu’s “A Complex Filament of Light”:

Depression is a topic not easily discussed among Asian-Americans—not even among the younger generations. To see this addressed in a work of fiction is deeply meaningful to me.

You can read the whole review/rec at the link above.

If you haven’t yet read S. Qiouyi Lu’s “A Complex Filament of Light” you can read it for free in Issue 1: http://www.anathemamag.com/a-complex-filament-of-light

And then Fogg goes on to add:

(Note: Lu’s story appears in the first issue of Anathema Magazine, a new journal dedicated to publishing speculative fiction by queer people of color. The other stories I read in this issue are also gorgeous and well worth your time.)

I’m ridiculously happy to keep seeing Anathema connect with our readers. :)

I’m also ridiculously happy that the recs post didn’t just cover editorial projects I’m involved in, but went on to cover my own story, “And in That Sheltered Sea, a Colossus”, from Shimmer 36:

Some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever seen. A lushly atmospheric piece which immersed me in a world unlike any other. Ghosts, titans, and the weight of family. A woman living alone in a drowned land encounters a stranger who might just set her free. This piece is gorgeous.

I’m posting the whole rec/review because … god damn.

“Some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever seen.”

Someone actually said that about my work.

I am still in delighted shock. Especially given the last couple of reviews received for that piece.

In truth it’s timely encouragement since I just started writing the seventh of the Titan and Serpent pieces the other day, and have been thinking about the framework of that story again and what pieces of the narrative I want to tell directly within that larger arc (it really is moving toward working best as a book at this point, rather than solely as disparate stories).

Knowing that people out there are connecting with those stories is a hell of a motivation to keep telling them. :)

For months I have been trying to think of how best to describe Titan and Serpent, since I frequently fumble on trying to include all the elements it contains when I try and talk to people about its larger narrative and themes. (There’s a fair bit of worldbuilding going on, and the material’s time span covers about a millennium, so talking about it gets complicated fast.) But I think I’ve finally found the answer (though you’ll need to understand the video game references to make this work):

The series is, I think, best described as a combination of Shadow of the Colossus and Elegy for a Dead World.

This is not, in truth, surprising to me now that I’ve finally come to that description, since the series began directly as a way of interacting with the kind of storytelling SotC was doing. SotC is still one of my favourite video games — and one of my favourite pieces of storytelling.

But there you go. Now to finish fucking writing all those pieces and figure out how the hell I’m ever going to sell a book with that logline as its sales point. ;)

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