September Publications

Sorry these are so late. But look what wonders September held!

• Neile Graham had two poems, “Ksampguiyaeps—Woman-Out-To-Sea” and “Hermitage,” in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 29.

• Sandra M. Odell’s “Listening to It Rain,” a story of  loneliness, love, and coming of age after death, appeared in Fireside Magazine.

• Cat Rambo had audio reprints of “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain” and “Grandmother’s Road Trip” in Drabblecast and Tales to Terrify, respectively, as well as a Portuguese reprint, “Os Primos de Kallakak” in Dagon.

• Cat’s new fiction publications include “To Read the Sea,” published in What Fates Imposeand “Of Selkies, Disco Balls, and Anna Plane,” a story of lesbian wereseals, in Glitter and Mayhem.

June Stories

• Lauren Dixon’s “Your Words are Your Life, Your Death,” a non-fiction blog post about writing, death, and aging, was posted on Booklife Now.

• Sandra M. Odell’s “The Dictionary’s Apprentice” showed up at the Cast of Wonders YA podcast.

• And according to Leah Bobet, publisher of Ideomancer, Miscuer Vicki Saunders’s “‘Deus Ex Chelonia’” takes us on the most whimsical post-apocalyptic quest we’ve read in years and years.”

Happy Independence day, everyone!

Short month, happy reading

Okay, so I missed the end of February as it zoomed by (lousy short month!), but better late than never, here are your February publications by Horrific Miscuers:

• In Cat Rambo’s “Love’s Footsteps,” published in Daily Science Fiction, a wizard preserves his heart in order not to age, then regrets it.

• The month also saw audio reprints of two of Cat’s stories: “Clockwork Fairies” is in Steampunk Specs, a compilation of 8 hours worth of steampunk, including stories by Christopher Barzak, Eileen Gunn, Margo Lanagan, Nick Mamatas, Cherie Priest, and Michael Swanwick. “RealFur” from Near+Far, a story about the best fur coat ever, is on Bizarrocast.

• Sandra M. Odell’s “David Milner Is” is in Tales to Terrify. It’s a story of what it means to be a good man.

• And, back to Cat Rambo, she’s been nominated for a Nebula Award! Check out “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain,” which appeared in her story collection Near + Far.

Hear That? #19: Algernon & Laidlaw

Picture of President Grover Cleveland.Crossposted from Sandra M. Odell’s Write or Gnorw:

Hi there! Welcome to another installment of HEAR THAT?, a review of fine audio fiction on the internet. I know there are any number of quality audio fiction podcasts out there, so if you happen across one that you think I might like then drop me a line and I’ll check it out. This time around we have two stories from two very different podcasts, not about heroes but about real people.

CAST OF WONDERS #66 brings us “The Egg Game” by S.R. Algernon, read by Graeme Dunlop. S.R. Algernon began reading science fiction at an early age, and honed his writing in North Carolina. He currently resides in Singapore. Graeme hails from Australia, is the host of CAST OF WONDERS, and can be heard on many a fiction podcast.

“The Egg Game” is the story of a family vacation at The Sun Spot, a resort just outside of Earth’s atmosphere and certainly not what the main character hoped when his parents agreed to a vacation in space. The character and his younger brother devise a game involving falling eggs in the variable-gravity lift tubes, and an elaborate point system that takes a wrong turn when matters go from boring to worse. I kept waiting for “something to happen”, but it didn’t take long to realize the joy of this story is the realistic portrayal of young teens looking for a bit of fun. The action comes in the form of the science behind their game, and the eventual solution to the sudden crisis. The main character is intelligent, likeable, and knows he’s definitely in for it if his parents ever find out what’s going on. This is a great story for pre-teen and teen readers who are just dipping their toes into the waters of good, short science fiction.

Next we have PSEUDOPOD #319, “Cell Call” by Marc Laidlaw, read by George Cleveland. Marc is a writer, gamer, thinker, and game designer who currently works at Valve Software. George lives in Tamworth, New Hampshire, and serves as the Executive Director of the Gibson Center for Senior Services in North Conway. And as an added bonus, he is the grandson of President Grover Cleveland.

“Cell Call” is the story of a man attempting to manage his new cell phone while finding his way home in the rain. Flustered by the phone, the weather, and his wife’s irritation, he misses his turn and ends up someplace unexpected. Here is a story about subtle terrors, the kind that curl around you when you think there is nothing wrong. Much like “The Egg Game”, the main character is not a hero, he’s just an ordinary guy who loves his wife, and Laidlaw’s understated use of setting and very realistic dialogue lent itself well to the chill down my spine as the story progressed. Definitely worth the listen.

And that’s a wrap for this installemtn of HEAR THAT? Drop me a line and let me know what you thought. Did you agree with the recommendations? Think I was way off base? Even better, if you liked what you heard with these podcasts, post a comment on the forums for either podcast, or donate a few dollars to keep great fiction alive and well on the web.

That’s all for now, gentle listeners. Until next time, kee your ears open!

Happy 2013, y’all! Here are some HM publications/news to get the year started.

• Sandra M. Odell’s “The Poison Eater” appeared in the anthology Deep Cuts from Evil Jester Press.

• Eliza Hirsch’s story “A Map of the Heart” came out in Con(viction): Anthology of the Con.

“The Passing of Grandmother’s Quilt” by Cat Rambo appeared on Every Day Fiction. It’s a flash piece about the grieving process.

• Issue #16 of Shimmer came out this month, with editing by Keffy R.M. Kehrli.

• January’s issue of The Colored Lens contained stories by TWO miscuers. Kris Millering’s “Those Who Do Not Reap” is about aliens, alien sex, and how stories grow. Emily C. Skaftun’s “A Fairy Tale” is a cautionary tale about firefly hunting, magic, and relationships.

• The stage version of Liz Argall’s “Dear Ms. Moon” was/will be performed January 26th and February 2 as part of Pulp Diction. If you missed the shows you can read or listen to the story.

• And finally, Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars, is available now, with stories by ANOTHER TWO miscuers! Not only will you get Caren Gussoff’s new novel start, “Free Bird,” and Erik Owomoyela’s “Steal the Sky,” but the proceeds from the book support the Carl Brandon Society, which helps more awesome people attend Clarion and Clarion West. The anthology is only available until June.

Remember, remember! The month of December!

In all the excitement about the end of the year I kind of forgot that December is also a month. And yet, Miscuers still published things!

• One of them is a book! Sandra M. Odell’s The Twelve Ways of Christmas was released by Hydra House. Publishers Weekly calls it “a bewitching enterprise.”

• Caren Gussof was part of a GalleyCat crew who rewrote the mostest purplest vampire book ever, “Varney the Vampire.” It’s free at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/266802

• Caren’s story “Anything Chocolate” is also live now at Toasted Cake. Yum!

• Cat Rambo’s story “Events at Fort Plentitude,” which originally appeared in Weird Tales, was podcastified by Tales to Terrify. It features a frontier rife with fox and snake women, frozen soldiers, and flying demons.

• Emily C. Skaftun’s “The Red Sno-Cones Are Not for Sale” appeared at Every Day Fiction. It’s a “chilling” tale of ice-cream trucks gone bad.

Another month . . .

Another bunch of stories to read! This November has seen:

• Caren Gussoff’s short, “The Moon Illusion,” is at mixer. I could describe it, but you may as well just read it. Go on!

• Sandra M. Odell’s “Dining with Salmoxis” is now up at Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi. It was written from the shadows.

• Emily C. Skaftun’s not-particularly-SF story, “Like Braces for Broken Teeth,” is at Every Day Fiction. Read it to find out what roads eat.

• and, last but not least, Derek Zumsteg’s novelette, “Musici,” is in the latest issue of Electric Velocipede.

Hear That? #15: Gregory & Lee

Welcome back for another quick review of some fine stories and storytelling. I hope these posts encourage you to take the time to delve into the wonderful world of audio fiction on the net.

First, CLARKESWORLD MAGAZINE brings us “The Battle of Candle Arc” by Yoon Ha Lee, narrated by Kate Baker. A confession. I dearly love Ms. Lee’s stories; they make my imagination’s mouth water, as it were, and this offering is no exception. Ms. Lee is a Korean-American wordsmith with a love of mathematics, computer gaming, and caffeine free Dr. Pepper. You can find her work in places such as CLARKESWORLD, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Tor.com, The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2012, ed. Rich Horton, and many more. Kate Baker is the Hugo-award winning Podcast Director for CLARKESWORLD Magazine, and frequent voice artist for other podcasts. She lives in northern Connecticut with her three children.

“The Battle of Candle Arc” is the story of General Shuos Jedao’s victory over a heretical planetary force, the workings of science as supported by the metaphysics of an official calendar, and a wonderful study of one man’s hopes to change the world one victory at a time. Hardly a cut and dry science fiction story (CLARKESWORLD stories rarely are), Ms. Lee uses the backdrop of tactics and intrigue to delve into matters of hierarchies, honor, loyalty, war, and technology. It took perhaps 2 minutes to get into the story, most likely because I listened while driving, but once the distractions cleared I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Next we have a story of a different sort, PODCASTLE #230, “Unpossible” by Daryl Gregory, narrated by Peter Wood. Mr. Gregory lives in Pennsylvania, writes “programming code in the morning, prose in the afternoons, and comics at night” (from his blog), has written three novels, and numerous short stories. Not only is Peter Wood the sound director for PODCASTLE, he is also an accomplished photographer and dabbler in theater and sound.

“Unpossible” is the story of a man hoping to go back again, back to the days of childhood adventure where anything and everything is possible. With his wife and child gone, he feels there is nothing left for him, so he takes to the attic to find his old bicycle. After making a few changes, he sets off on a journey that does not lead where he expects to go. This is a poetic, gentle story, one for the child in all of us. Old friends from books and television reappear, and along with them the realization that you can’t go back…but you can move forward. The outro essay after the story. Both is also worth your time and attention.

That’s it for another HEAR THAT?. As always, if you like the stories please stop by the forums and let them know. Even better, make a donation! Good fiction is often free for the ears, but the authors are still paid for their work. And when you’re finished there, drop by and let me know what you thought. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, keep your ears open!

Crossposted from Sandra M. Odell’s blog.

Summer Reading

I have been remiss in posting, so here’s a whole summer’s worth of Horrific Miscue words to read!

• Liz Argall started a web comic called Things Without Arms and Without Legs. Things! Things! If there is no spoon, why does it taste so nice?

• Tod McCoy was published in an anthology called Bronies: For the Love of Ponies. Join Kazka Press as we explore the simple love between a man and his pony, a woman and her pony, and the world and their bronies and pegasisters. The foreword is written by Kij Johnson, and the anthology includes her Nebula-winning story “Ponies.”

• Sandra Odell’s “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow” is up at Kasma Science Fiction. This is a story of zombies, choice, and what it means to be human, as seen through the eyes of Willy Shakes, everyone’s favorite bard.

• Cat Rambo has two recently podcasted stories: “Grandmother,” a space opera story, is up at EscapePod, and “Coyote Barbie,” a humorous short originally published in Expanded Horizons, is up at Toasted Cake.

AND . . .

• William T. Vandemark’s “Alkahest,” originally published in Brain Harvest, is also up at Toasted Cake. If you  have 8 minutes and the inclination, check it out.

Go! Read! Listen!

Hear That? #9: Walters & Russo (Sandra M. Odell)

(Cross posted from WRITE OR GNORW)

Hi there, and welcome back to HEAR THAT?, a quick review of some of the great audio fiction on the web. This time around we have offerings from Cast of Wonders and PodCastle.

First we have a deliciously creepy tale, Cast of Wonders #41, Jake Walter’s “The Living Earth”. One thing I’ve noticed about YA is that it’s difficult to find good horror, not dark fantasy or dystopian fiction, but solid, creepy, horror that offers up shivers of fearful delight. Jake Walters recently returned from a three year tour in Romania as a member of the Peace Corps. With this story, he delivers on all counts, providing a YA tale that explores the first hints of a growing sexual awareness bound together with a healthy dose of the creeps. Graeme Dunlop’s narration brings life and an edgy realism to the story. Well done!

Patricia Russo offers her take on one possible future with Podcastle #210, “Sittin’ Round The Stewpot”, the story of a young man’s coming of age, the generation gap, and the nature of dogs. With this story, Ms. Russo explores issues of gender, age, culture, and hope, spinning the tale of a young man struggling to understand what he saw on the other side of the river even as he fights against the confines of village life. The story is narrated by Cian Mac Mahon, a talented voice actor who’s Irish accent lends a misty reality to the story and the hopes yet to come.

As always, I urge you to take a few minutes and indulge your ears in some great audio fiction. The writer’s write, and the narrators narrate, so the stories can be enjoyed. Drop me a line and let me know what you think, and stop by the podcast forums to share your thoughts on the work. And if you can, stop by the donate button to show your support for all the great fiction.

Until next time, keep your ears open!