I’ve tried to record some statistics for my anthologies when I can, because I find it interesting myself, and I know that some people like to know this stuff! In the past six months or so, I’ve been reading for Insert Title Here, an unthemed speculative fiction anthology. While it takes a bit of extra time, I recorded (to the best of my ability) the vital statistics of the submissions, and here’s a bit of a breakdown about the slush. The usual disclaimer: I’m an editor/publisher, not a statistician!
252 submissions from at least 16 countries, for a total of over 1,200,000 words.
19 stories were accepted for Insert Title Here (plus 11 for an alternative anthology that emerged from the slushpile. I also solicited two further works for ITH).
Of the 19 accepted stories for Insert Title Here, 9 female authors, 1 F/M combo, 9 male authors (2 additional stories both by female writers). All 11 for alternative anthology by female writers.
Of 19 acceptances for Insert Title Here, 13 Australian, 1 NZ, 2 UK, 3 US (2 additional both Australian). Of 11 for alternative anthology, 10 Australian, 1 Philippines (plus one solicited US and one solicited AU).
I asked for two rewrites on submission and received one, but ended up being unable to make it fit.
Despite clear submission guidelines about multiple and simultaneous submissions, word count and the fact it is a speculative fiction anthology, I received several stories contravening the guidelines, including a number that were withdrawn on acceptance elsewhere. Stories outside of guidelines were rejected unread.
Several stories reached the very final round of reading, with quite a number being very hard to let go of – the reading for this book was the most challenging I have done, and the quality of the top 25% of stories the highest I’ve seen.
The slush was for an unthemed anthology, but as I was reading, it became clear that several stories themed themselves into the new book (to be titled Phantazein). I had sort of expected I might get a few stories on similar themes, but to have so many evoke a strong sense of connectedness really surprised me. To include them all in Insert Title Here would have unbalanced that book, so I exercised my right as a boutique publisher and decided to build an entirely new book for them! I call this the “Faith Mudge effect”, as it’s the same reason To Spin a Darker Stair evolved, and one of Faith’s stories was the catalyst for both books.
I’m hoping to launch both books at Conflux in Canberra in October! Lots of work to do between now and then…
What is Phantazein, I hear you ask? Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the slush… While reading for the unthemed Insert Title Here, several stories emerged as working very well together, with a strong sense of unity between them. To include all these wonderful pieces in Insert Title Here would have unbalanced that book, but given I’m a boutique publisher and can do things as and when they take my fancy, I decided to create an entirely new project, just for them! I call this the “Faith Mudge effect”, because Faith’s stories have now been the catalyst of two entirely new projects sprung from slushpiles
The title, Phantazein, is both the root word of the word “fantasy” and has its own meaning of “to appear”, which I think is most apt!. The astonishing Kathleen Jennings has agreed to create a cover for the book, and I’m very excited about this project – I hope you will be too!
Tansy Rayner Roberts
The love letters of swans
The village of no women
Suzanne J. Willis
Rag and bone heart
A Cold Day
How the Jungle Got Its Spirit Guardian
The Ghost of Hephaestus
The Seventh Relic
I’m still negotiating on another story for the book, so hopefully we will have more to add to that fantastic lineup, but I’m really looking forward to bringing this anthology to you at Conflux in October!
We’re delighted to announce the table of contents for the forthcoming FableCroft book Insert Title Here, an unthemed anthology of speculative fiction. We read more than 250 stories (over 1.2 million words) and have selected a fabulous lineup of stories from both established and emerging authors, which range from science fiction to fantasy to some truly dark horror, with some of the most unusual and engaging genre-bending stories I’ve ever read. It was really tough to select from the great slushpile, and Insert Title Here will be our biggest anthology yet – check out this amazing lineup!
The Last Case of Detective Charlemagne
Sins of meals past
The Last Voyage of Saint Brendan
The Winter Stream
Beyond the Borders of All He Had Been Taught
The Falcon Races
Footprints in Venom
Her face like lightning
Marianne de Pierres
Oil and bone
Ministry of Karma
The art of deception
Marissa Lingen & Alec Austin
Living in the Light
Alexis A. Hunter
Always Another Point
We’re aiming for release at Conflux in October (all going well) and I can’t wait to share this book with you!
Two weeks ago we launched Jo Anderton’s third Veiled Worlds novel, Guardian, to a great audience at Continuum (photos by Cat Sparks), and there’s been some lovely buzz about the book around the traps too!
Jo shares her Big Idea over at John Scalzi’s Whatever.
At SF Signal, Jo discusses what finishing a trilogy taught her about the creative process.
HUGEST thanks to the wonderful Tansy Rayner Roberts for doing such a fantastic job of launching the book into the world (loved the line “bibliophile search and rescue”!), as well as Alex and Katharine for being big help setting up and selling during the launch; to Justin from Slow Glass who has been a rock for convention sales and distribution; to Cat for the (as usual excellent) photos; to the brilliant Continuum X team for a great convention and a really awesome launch spot; and to the fabulous con-goers who came along and supported – you all rock!
And so we are out in the world. All pre-order copies have been sent, so if you have not yet received one, please let me know! Everyone else, please ask your local bookstore to order copies if they don’t have them on the shelf, or purchase from your favourite online bookseller (obviously we recommend Slow Glass Books for print copies!).
I don’t usually review books here on the FableCroft site, but like to periodically do so when it’s a book by one of the authors we have published in the past or is something so brilliant from another small press that it deserves to be shouted from the rooftops! Like this one:
Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories
August 2014, Twelfth Planet Press
Alisa Krasnostein & Julia Rios (eds.)
Kaleidoscope is one of the best anthologies I have read for a very long time. It’s not just the concept, which is both necessary and overdue; it’s not just the stories, which are engaging and beautiful and thoughtful and brilliant; it’s not just the way the authors explore science fiction and fantasy from perspectives all too frequently unseen in fiction; it’s all of these things, and that it seems so natural. In this anthology, every story takes a character (or two or three) who is often “othered” in fiction (and life), and makes their differences a part of the story. Readers will see themselves, they will see their friends, they will see their families, their cultures, their religious beliefs, their sexuality, their physical and mental states and they will see them as normal, as okay, as special. Not othered. Important and relevant and very very good, Kaleidoscope offers a powerful message to our society about difference, and about what we, as readers, want (and need) to see in our stories.
Some pieces, such as Tansy Rayner Roberts’ “Cookie Cutter Superhero”, offer a biting commentary on popular culture, couched in humour and teen spirit; others, such as “Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon” by Ken Liu, take a gentler approach, examining first love with a fantasical twist. Some stories shade darker, as with “The Legend Trap” by Sean Williams (set in his Twinmaker universe, an added bonus for fans) and “Kiss and Kiss and Kiss and Tell” by E.C. Myers; still others take a familiar trope and turn it sideways, like Faith Mudge’s “Signature” and “The Lovely Duckling” by Tim Susman. Some of my favourite works in the book were those that embedded the story in the protagonist’s nature, like the magic of Jim C. Hines’ “Chupacabra’s Song” and Karen Healey’s astonishingly good “Careful Magic”. There are so many wonderful stories in the pages of Kaleidoscope that every reader will find a favourite (or two or three), and every reader, teen or adult, will find at least one that speaks to them in deeper ways.
Thank you to the publisher for my review copy of the book. Kaleidoscope will launch on August 5, 2014 and can be preordered here.
It occurred to me recently, that given we have Jo Anderton’s launch next weekend, I probably should (finally) post about the OTHER book celebrations we’ve had recently. Well, in the past year. Hmmm, yes, it HAS been a busy 12 months! (more photos of events over at the FableCroft Facebook page)
First off the rank (gosh, was it really in APRIL last year?!) was the dual launch for The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories by Joanne Anderton and One Small Step, an anthology of discoveries at Conflux, the 2013 Natcon in Canberra in October. We had a great spot in the thoroughfare, and a good time slot too, and it was lovely to see so many con-goers in attendance. Kaaron Warren acted as launcher (for both our books AND Thoraiya Dyer’s Twelfth Planet Press Twelve Planets Collection Asymmetry!), and Joanne, Thoraiya and I said a few words too. Lots of fun!
So we had an intimate but fun launch for Dirk Flinthart’s debut novel, Path of Night, way back in November 2013. It’s the first book of ours that has been launched by the local mayor, which was exciting, and the author and cover designer both attended in fine style. Was lovely to meet some of the good people of Scottsdale, and we had a great evening.
Earlier this year, we had a FableCroft Book Party, hosted by the great folks at The Hobart Bookshop. The wonderful Lian Tanner said lovely things about Ink Black Magic and Path of Night, and Tansy and Dirk both got to read some of their novels too. Was a good turnout, particularly for the Sunday afternoon of the long weekend, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
Photo by Helen Merrick
Just a few weeks ago (okay, okay, it was nearly two months – goodness me, the year is flying!) we celebrated two wins at the Aurealis Awards, with The Bone Chime Song taking out Best Collection and One Small Step sharing the glory with The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 2012 in the Best Anthology category. With several other FableCroft works on the shortlists, including Path of Night and Ink Black Magic, we had a brilliant night, and enjoyed being able to spend the evening with the best and brightest of Australian spec fic.
Now we’re gearing up for next weekend’s celebration of Jo’s new book Guardian, and I’m still a bit boggled that it’s been over a year since the launch of The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories! Hopefully it won’t take me so long to blog about the fun we have there… All attendees of Continuum X are welcome to join us for the launch, 4pm on Saturday 7 June. Hope to see you there!
Join the FableCroft Publishing team at Continuum X in Melbourne to launch Jo Anderton‘s new Veiled Worlds novel, GUARDIAN. Tansy Rayner Roberts will officiate proceedings, Jo will be there to sign books, and there will be prizes, treats and special launch prices available!
We’ll be in “The Big Top” following the Fan Fund Auction and would love to see you there – let us know you’ll be coming by joining the Facebook event page or by commenting below.
FableCroft will have a presence in the Dealer Room most of Saturday and Sunday of the convention, with Slow Glass Books stocking our publications on Friday and Monday – come say hi!
The advance copies of Jo Anderton’s new novel Guardian have landed! We’re super excited to see them, because they are GORGEOUS! You can pre-order print copies from all your favourite physical and online retailers, but we are still honouring our pre-order special price (with BONUS ebook content!) which is the absolute cheapest way to get the book! Special pre-order offer ends on June 6, as the book will be officially launched at Continuum in Melbourne that weekend. So get in quick, for the best price (and exclusive Veiled Worlds content delivered straight to your email!).
PRE-ORDER Guardian by Jo Anderton, with exclusive bonus ebook (ended 5/6/14)
I think we’re having way too much fun with this. Not only have we offered a bunch of free fiction to celebrate our Ditmar shortlistings, but now we’re discounting books!
For the month of May, the ebooks of Ink Black Magic by Tansy Rayner Roberts and The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories by Joanne Anderton are HALF PRICE – that’s less than three dollars each! This special is currently live on Smashwords and Kobo, and Amazon will no doubt follow real soon.
We’re almost ready to go to print on Guardian, Jo Anderton’s new novel, and we just got the final cover art through last night! I know Jo couldn’t wait to share it (she seems to like it…) and I’ve finally had a chance to pop it here as well!
Original art by Dion Hamill, design by Amanda Rainey
Don’t forget, you can still pre-order Guardian for a special price and receive exclusive bonus Veiled Worlds content — more details here.