33 ⅓: Babes in Toyland’s Fontanelle by Selena Chambers

So…my 13-year old self just swooned through the future to fall into my 39-year old arms as a major dream has come true… 

I will be writing the 33 ⅓ series installment on the band that changed me forever–Babes in Toyland–and their seminal album Fontanelle! 33 1/3 Books made the announcement this afternoon, revealing their next 15 picks from an open call of 400 submissions earlier this year.

Coming Fall 2022, here’s a short summary of what you can expect:

Babes in Toyland was one of the most influential and forgotten bands of the 1990s. Despite creating a unique brand of sisterhood that inspired fans to create Riot Grrl and legendary bands such as 7 Year Bitch, Bikini Kill, and yes, even Hole, the Babes’ story seems to only exist as footnotes to other more famous figures. The all-girl band rode the wave of the Minneapolis grunge scene crafting a unique sound composed of self-taught instrumentation and unabashed banshee raging vocals. Their stage presence was enigmatic, their lyrics vitriolic, and their Kinderwhore fashion ironic and easy to emulate. But what made them most inspiring was their ethos. 

While all female, the band insisted their music wasn’t a political statement but a personal expression. They would dismiss labeling their act as feminist but their actions sent a positive message of what a matriarchal system within music could look like. But then they let the patriarchy in via their major label contract with Warner Bros., and the unique frission of the Babes would never be the same again. Now, almost 30 years after their most seminal record, Fontanelle was released, the legend of the band is being resurrected and respun to reclaim their proper space and context in the history of music and women in rock.

I’ve been a long-time fan of this series, and getting to share my love of the Babes with the series editors and readers is an amazing opportunity that has left me humble and excited to write again. I am so excited to see the other albums and the wonderful range on display–Maria Callas, Kendrick Lamar, George Michael, and Britney–and really can’t believe I’ll have a contribution among them. I can’t thank 33 1/3 enough for including me!

Lost Transmissions: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Lost Transmissions

Congratulations to Desirina Boskovich, who has done it again with the glorious coffee table book LOST TRANSMISSIONS: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Published by Abrams Image, all sorts of people are spilling the beans in here:  Charlie Jane Anders, Neil Gaiman, Paul Tremblay, Molly Tanzer, Nick Mamatas, Annalee Newitz, Christie Yant, Darran Anderson, Jesse Bullington, William Gibson, and many many more. I especially enjoyed the essay about Jane Loudon, Assassin’s Creed, and Janelle Monaé!

img_20190916_084955997.jpgMy humble essay is about “The Ideal Men,” which were the competing, celebrity robot rascals of the 1930s and 1940s including my favorite, Elektro the Smoking Robot.

Anyway, if you think you are a SFF buff, think again and buy this book!

 

BOOK RELEASE: MECHANICAL ANIMALS

mechanimalscover
Out November 27th. Cover art: Aaron Lovett

While it is true Marilyn Manson’s MECHANICAL ANIMALS has turned 20 years old, another MECHANICAL ANIMALS has been just born, and I hope will grow up to be as long-lasting and epic.

This is the anthology I co-edited with the brilliant Jason Heller (whose STRANGE STARS came out earlier this year, and needs to be on your gift list, if not already). While I haven’t talked about it too much, this project has been 5 years in the making, and it’s hard to believe it is finally out and about in the wild.

This has been a dream project, and I am thankful to Jason for being an ideal collaborator (not to mention friend), to Josh Viola, Dean Wyant, and the team at HEX Publishing for putting their faith into the book, and, most of all, to our contributors who turned this antho’s theme into a conversation about biomimcry, automata, and our complex relationship with nature and technology. Needless to say, Jason and I couldn’t do this with out their wonderful words and worlds.

We will be celebrating the book’s release at Tattered Cover (Colfax location) in Denver, on December 5th. Joining us will be Stephen Graham-Jones, Molly Tanzer, and Carrie Vaughn. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and if you are in the area, please stop by and say hi!

So, to the nitty gritty details, then:

MECHANICAL ANIMALS: TALES AT THE CRUX OF CREATURE AND TECH is a speculative fiction safari that riffs on the traditional ideals of automata to explore our strange and competitive relationship with the natural world. Biomimicry is no stranger to literature, with canonical authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hans Christian Anderson, and Jules Verne setting the tone for a trope that has expounded and expanded upon what exactly separates humans from the animal kingdom as well as the boundary between machines and living beings. Featuring 15 original stories by today’s top science fiction and fantasy authors and contextual mecha-fauna essays by artist and Insect Lab Studio maker, Mike Libby, and SF encyclopedist and author Jess Nevins, Mechanical Animals presents a biomimicry menagerie of animalistic machines that will blur the lines between what is and isn’t nature’s design.

Contributor’s Include: Mike Libby, Jess Nevins, Tessa Kum, Delia Sherman, Maurice Broaddus, Sarah Hans, Lauren Beukes, Jesse Bullington, An Owomoyela, Stephen Graham Jones, Hans Christian Andersen, Molly Tanzer, Aliette de Bodard, Nick Mamatas, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kat Howard, Michael Cisco, Adrian Van Young, Robert T. Toombs, Joseph S. Pulver, Jr., Alistair Rennie, Jules Verne, Caroline Yoachim, Carrie Vaughn

It has been called “Mind-stretching tales of synthetic fauna….” by Kirkus.

ORDERING (If you c

HEX Publishing

Amazon

Indiebound

 

Barnes & Noble

Leonora Carrington’s Centennial & Some Giveaways at WeirdFictionReview.com

WFR Giveaway_Fotor
WeirdFictionReview.com is having a Leonora Carrington giveaway! To enter, email your mailing address to weirdfictionreview@gmail.com with the subject of “Carrington” by October 31st. US residents only. Winners will also receive an ARC of my collection, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION.

For the past few months, I’ve been living in the bizarre and exquisite surreal world of Leonora Carrington. This year is her centennial, and the publishing world celebrated by bringing most of her writing back into print!

Dorothy, a publishing project published THE COMPLETE STORIES OF LEONORA CARRINGTON in the US, while Silver Press launched their new feminist press in the UK with THE DEBUTANTE AND OTHER STORIES.

Sequentially, New York Review of Books Classics released Carrington’s novella DOWN BELOW and a children’s book MILK OF DREAMS. Virago books published the first proper and authorized biography, THE SURREAL LIFE OF LEONORA CARRINGTON by Joanna Moorhead.

And I’ve been celebrating this wonderful comeback with my read-along, “Hyenas, Horses, and Rabbits, Oh My!” of all the above with WeirdFictionReview.com, and several GIVEAWAYS! Each giveaway will feature one of the Carrington books discussed, plus an ARC of my debut collection, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION.

We started with Part 2, where Craig from Indiana was the lucky winner of a copy of MILK OF DREAMS.

Our next giveaway began today to commemorate the conclusion of reading THE COMPLETE STORIES OF LEONORA CARRINGTON for Part 3, which you can read here.

To enter the giveaway, email your mailing address to weirdfictionreview@gmail.com with the subject of “Carrington” by October 31st. US residents only. Winner will receive a copy of THE COMPLETE STORIES OF LEONORA CARRINGTON from Dorothy, a publishing project, and also receive a signed ARC of CALLS FOR SUBMISSION.

Happy Book Release Day to MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (and Flash Fiction) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (and Reader)

Mixed Up

I know this may look familiar, but while bookstores and contributors have been receiving copies early, today is the official release date for MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (and Flash Fiction) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (and Reader).

Mixologists and Fabulists are going to be thrilled with this new anthology from Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. Published by Skyhorse Publishing, MIXED UP is a lovely new gift book that pairs fantastic fiction with annotated and updated recipes.

My story, “Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne,” riffs on the French 75. It’s about Hannah Höch, friendships strained by adulthood, and of course, public drinking.

And, man, in addition to having an excuse to write about all of that, I am honored to be sloshing about with these other amazing contributors:

• Maurice Broaddus
• Nick Mamatas
• Jim Nisbet
• Jarret Kobek
• Benjamin Percy
• Libby Cudmore
• Dominica Phetteplace
• Gina Marie Guadignino
• Tim Pratt
• Elizabeth Hand
• Robert Swartwood
• Cara Hoffman
• Jeff VanderMeer
• Carrie Laben
• Will Viharo
• Carmen Machado

If you enjoy pouring over great stories while decadent booze pours into you, order your copy here now.

Publishing Notes: New story in MIXED UP, edited by Nick Mamatas & Molly Tanzer

Mixed Up

Mixologists and Fabulists are going to be thrilled with this new anthology from Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (and Flash Fiction) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (and Reader), published by Skyhorse Publishing, is a lovely new gift book that pairs fantastic fiction with annotated and updated recipes. Even better, it’s now shipping out WAY early from Amazon.

My story, “Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne,” riffs on the French 75. It’s about Hannah Höch, friendships strained by adulthood, and of course, public drinking.

And, man, in addition to having an excuse to write about all of that, I am honored to be sloshing about with these other amazing contributors:

• Maurice Broaddus
• Nick Mamatas
• Jim Nisbet
• Jarret Kobek
• Benjamin Percy
• Libby Cudmore
• Dominica Phetteplace
• Gina Marie Guadignino
• Tim Pratt
• Elizabeth Hand
• Robert Swartwood
• Cara Hoffman
• Jeff VanderMeer
• Carrie Laben
• Will Viharo
• Carmen Machado

If you enjoy pouring over great stories while decadent booze pours into you, order your copy here now.

CALLS FOR SUBMISSION: Electric Lit, Lovecraft Ezine, & Hemingway Days

Some other great stuff has been going on in #CFSBOOK land in addition to the great event I had at Midtown Reader in Tallahassee.

 

June, Lovecraft eZine Review

EZine
Selena Chambers Delivers Sharp Prose in Calls for Submission” was written by Acep Hale, and ran on Lovecraft eZine on June 8.

In June, Calls for Submission received another glowing review from Lovecraft eZine’s Acep Hale, who calls it: “the showcase of a writer with a deliberate and considered world view, intensely honed craft, and a calculated message. My only hope is the next work I read by her is of novel length.” I hope so, too!

This review is very thorough, touching on all of the stories, and hits on many points and intentions I had hoped readers would enjoy. It’s also the first time I’ve ever been compared to anyone in hip-hop, which is unexpected and also really fucking cool. I’ve always been humbled to find myself compared to a lot of awesome people in the past, but Ghost Face Killah alongside Gabrielle Wittkop, Leonora Carrington, and Francesca Woodman all in one swoop blows my mind!

Many thanks to Mr. Hale, Mike Davis, and Lovecraft eZine for giving Calls for Submission the attention and space!

 

July, Electric Lit Interview

Electric Lit
The Weird World of Selena Chambers” was written by Adrian Van Young, and ran on Electric Literature on July 6th.

Last week, an interview with Adrian Van Young went live at Electric Lit! In its introduction he calls Calls for Submission “a creepy-sad, smart and courageous collection that stimulates the intellect while inexorably pulling and pulling the heartstrings.” In addition to the collection, we discuss “reclaiming literary territory, “the female glance,” being a hot-weather Goth, Florida weirdness, and the non-intersectionality of literary circles.”

This is sort of a first. I did plenty of interviews in the past when I was promoting The Steampunk Bible, but they always focused on the artists and makers we featured in that book. I’ve never really had to discuss myself or my own work up until this past few months and I have to say it is way different and more difficult to do that than to discuss the work of others. In the few instances I have been interviewed about my own work, usually the person has never read me, and that is even harder…BUT, in the case of Adrian Van Young, not only did he come prepared, he put the screws to me in the best of ways. When we finished the interview, conducted via email, I was left empowered by more knowledge of myself and my work than going in. That’s testament to an excellent interviewer, and I am very grateful to Mr. Van Young for his thorough questioning and conversation, and for Electric Lit for the space and support!

 

UPCOMING APPEARANCE:  July 18 through July 23rd, Hemingway Days (reading and rumming)

KWAHS
Source: Hemingway in Key West online exhibit of The Key West Art & Historical Society. http://www.kwahs.org/exhibitions/ernest-in-key-west

Next week, I’m heading down to the Southernmost part of the US to participate in the 37th annual Hemingway Days!

There are a lot of events throughout the week, and I am excited to be part of Wednesday’s evening readings alongside some of Florida’s best! Because speculative fiction isn’t exactly associated with Hemingway, I will be doing a mini-presentation on how his interest in pulp, crime, and action, alongside other aspects of craft, inspired some facets of my fiction. If you are in the Keys for vacation or for Papa festivities, please come by and say hi!

Here are the details, and you can find out about the rest of the events here:

7:30-10 p.m. “Voices, Places, Inspirations.” This evening of readings features authors Chuck Ball, Selena Chambers, Mandy Miles and Terry Schmida — plus a highlight appearance by Ted Geltner, author of “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews.” Presented by Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County, the event also includes a “meet the authors” reception. Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St.

I am also excited to be near water. I haven’t traveled too much this year, and so I am ready to take it all in:  the Symposiums, the literary pilgrimages, the Daiquiris, and of course the beauty of the Straits.

RECAP: CALLS FOR SUBMISSION at Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, June 16, 2017

SignTwo weeks ago was my book release party for Calls for Submission. And, as usual, I’m blogging about it in a totally timely manner. The delay in posting doesn’t diminish how amazing of a night it was! My book had been out for exactly a month by the evening of the reading, but it didn’t feel REAL until I arrived at Midtown Reader and found my books on the New Arrivals table.

 

IMG_5173That was when it finally hit me:  Holy crap, I made a thing. This thing. This beautiful, weird little thing.

And that was just the first of many pleasant surprises. Friends I hadn’t seen since high school were there, and since we were all the types to forget about going to reunions, it was lovely to get to see everyone’s faces and catch up (albeit way too briefly!) on the past 17 years. My mother and brother were there, too, and I think Mom especially enjoyed seeing how all of us kids had grown up.

IMG_5176

After some cupcakes and wine, owner Sally Bradshaw gave a wonderfully warm welcome and introduction, and I babbled way too much about the Florida Gothic before diving into “Dive in Me,” a Gothic tale set basically in Tallahassee, and co-written with my small times bud, Jesse Bullington, whose mother was also in the audience!

Book book

My friend was really kind enough to take pictures for me, and she did a pretty excellent job documenting the night. But there is one photo that never was taken, and it was what I saw after I read the concluding line.

“Dive” is almost too long for a reading, and every other time I’ve read from it, I have usually had to stop right when the getting was good, or jumble a lot of stuff together. But I read it from start to finish that night, about 20 to 25 minutes total, and when I began I was already intimidated that all the seats were mostly full. But when I finished reading and looked up, all seats were taken, and the store was full of standing friendly faces I hadn’t seen come in while performing! I’m glad I didn’t noticed, or else I might have froze and blown the whole thing. Heh.

IMG_5177

I signed ALL the books and we pretty much cleaned house. While signing, many people told me they hadn’t visited Midtown Reader yet, and they had fallen in love with the store as much as I had. This, probably, more than anything else really felt great because after having gone without an independent bookstore for, well, basically, ever, I really want Tallahassee to come out and appreciate what Sally and her wonderful staff are creating for us. This is the lodestone of a strong literary community, and since it’s opening in November, I have already noticed the difference Midtown Reader is making here.

IMG_5178

Check out that banner in the back! My publisher, Pelekenisis, sent it special delivery from California and it really was a special touch and showcased the cover art well, which was a real hit.

I received many compliments on Joan Horne‘s cover, which was really cool because Joan is also a Tallahassee-native and long-time bud. While she is doing her kick-ass thing in L. A., it felt like having her there with me. I felt that way about Molly Tanzer, too, who wrote the Intro for Calls for Submission, and of course, my “Dive in Me” co-author, Jesse. I realized that night that I was carrying around a lot more of Tallahassee in my little book than I realized, given not only the material of some of the stories, but just the love and involvement it got from close childhood friends. And the fact that even more family and friends, like Lisa, Jesse’s mom, came out to help me celebrate this crazy achievement was one of life’s rare joyous feelings that I am grateful to get to experience!

IMG_5193

Because most of the time you feel like you are doing this in a vacuum. It’s easy to think no one takes you seriously or cares about what you do in the shadows, but thanks to Midtown Reader, my beautiful friends and family, and the new friends I made that night, including staffers Darrell and Reid, I realize that I had that all wrong. And I am humbled and grateful for the love and this community!

THANK YOU all for coming out, buying books, and helping me launch this bizarre baby into the world! THANK YOU Midtown Reader for throwing one heck of a shindig! XoXo

And if you are reading this from Tallahassee and haven’t been to Midtown Reader, yet. Get thee to the bookstore! (They may still have a signed copy or two of Calls for Submission, left, you never know).

IMG_5171

 

CALLS FOR SUBMISSION: The First Fortnight

About two weeks ago, Calls for Submission was released by Pelekinesis. I made a nifty comic, did some guests posts, and have enjoyed some really nice reviews at Goodreads, Amazon, and This Is Horror. Here’s a recap of what all has happened:

Friday, May 5, Calls for Submission received its first review at Goodreads (and at 5 stars, to boot), courtesy of Plant X Publications founder Michael Adams (Thank you, Michael!).

He writes: “A nearly flawless debut collection. Evocative, lyrical prose combines with realistically flawed and complex characters in a pleasing variety of settings, historical and modern, to become a book that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

You can read the rest of the review here or at Amazon.

Read More

Publishing Notes: Book Notes at Largehearted Boy

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 12.59.41 PM

This is my mixtape to the world that never jammed with me…or something like that. Actually, it’s a playlist for my collection, Calls for Submission, which came out last week. Each tale has its own song and in turn its own story.

I had a blast with this one. In some ways, the playlist had formed itself while I worked on the stories over the years. In other ways, a new serendipity formed as brand-new songs, like Chagall’s Sappho would send me back into “Remnants of Lost Empire” and created a more appropriate soundtrack than the music I had used while drafting. I also feel more connected with the work being able to reminisce on their creation in a way that wasn’t solely about words, but about evocation and feeling in a Schopenhauer-way.

I’ve been a longtime reader of Largehearted Boy since its early days, and have always viewed it as the epitome of what a blog can actually achieve with focus and citizenship. Just like LitHub felt like taking communion, having a playlist on Largehearted Boy is a wonderful and rare moment of self-actualization–HOLY CRAP I PUBLISHED A THING!

So, just to go back to riffing on Emmy D, I guess that does make this my mixtape to the world that I hope will take a listen and read back to me.

A thousand thanks to David Gutowski for giving me the space to jam literary with everyone!

You can check out my Book Notes to Calls for Submission, and access the playlist, here.

___

“From the dazzling mind of Selena Chambers, we are treated to fifteen provocative stories. Whether in collaboration with other writers, or on her own, her voice shines brightly through each tale.  Although these stories have an underlying darkness within them, they are still gloriously illuminating.”–Ann VanderMeer, co-editor of The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories and Sisters of the Revolution.

CALLS FOR SUBMISSION can be ordered from the publisher directly: Pelekinesis,

But it is also available from SQUARE and SPD and the following locations:

Prefer an ebook? Yes m’am, we can do that:

Liked what you read? Please leave a review at Amazon & Goodreads! Or share on your social network. The hashtag for the book is #CFSBOOK. You can find me and Pelekinesis on Twitter and Instagram at: @BasBleuZombie & @Pelekinetic.