Selena Chambers

Writer. Editor. Throwback Surrealist.

I’m very excited that Pseudopod has adapted not one but two short stories this year. The first is “Dr. Lambshead’s Dark Room,” that appeared in a special Edgar Allan Poe episode (#699). I’m not sure, but this may be the first time I share actual billing with Poe! Initiate self-actualization mode.

The other was one was “Dive in Me,” which I wrote with Jesse Bullington, and is a story near-and-dear to both of us as it is set in a town based on where we both grew up and became friends. A lot of grunge, Florida Gothic mess going on. You don’t want to miss the creeps.

You can listen to host Alasdair Stuart introduce and make some awesome comments, and hear the lovely Tatiana Grey read “Dr. Lambshead’s Dark Room” here.

Jordan Shiveley opens up “Dive in Me,” and has a really neat response to it at the end you should stick around for. Floridaian sister Alethea Kontis performs the story, and brings 100% authentic to the Moirai, even nailing the melody to “Dive in Me.” Check it out here.

 

Happy Halloween my Treaties!

I know we’re all busy putting the final trimmings on our costumes, but I wanted to celebrate this day with you by sharing the eldritch news that Paul Jessup and I have made a thing, and after much toil and trouble, it now lives on the Interwebs and RSS Feeds as THE SKELETON HAT PODCAST, which you can listen to immediately at our Skelly Hat home base, along side show notes and various RSS feed links.

Our aim is to talk about all the misconceptions, delusions, and gumdrop perceptions surrounding the Write Life. Our tagline kind of says it all, as taglines do: “Welcome to Skeleton Hat, where the writer’s struggle is real, and two struggling writers try and figure it out.”

This episode focuses on headspace, and how hard it can be to keep it decluttered when you are having to meet the demands of an online presence and promotion.

We don’t know where this will go, although we have some pretty promising plans to start including guests and features. If you take a listen, let us know what you think, and please share!

Other than that, my Halloween plans consist of haunted houses and transforming myself into a Hekatean Oracle for my performance as cartomancer tomorrow at the Goddess Lounge. For those in Tallahassee, the Goddess Lounge is going to be a divine, immersive experience held behind Railroad Square, Friday, November 1, 7 pm to 10 pm. There will be Astro and Tarot readings, confrontations with the Fates, and other delightful encounters with the Divine Dark Feminine–all free and all fun.

Enjoy the spooky times, friends.

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!

 

sisterhood-final-v1It’s been a while, and since I just wrote my first TinyLetter in a really, really, long time, and am feeling nostalgic for internet discourse, I thought now might be a good time to update what’s been going on in my little nanobit of the publishing world.

ESSAY: THY FATAL PRESENCE: THE WOMAN WHO BROUGHT POE TO PROVIDENCE, travel essay exclusive to NECRONOMICON PROVIDENCE MEMENTO BOOK.

No, sadly I won’t be in Providence this week, although I wish I were. However, I am there in spirit with the ghosts of Sarah Helen Whitman and her boyfriend Poe, holding a seance within the pages of the MEMENTO BOOK. It also features a gorgeous illustration by Dave Felton, so if you are at the convention, please make sure to pick up a copy and go see the original in all her glory at the ARS NECRONOMICA exhibit at the Providence Art Gallery.

ESSAY: LOST TRANSMISSIONS: THE SECRET HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, edited by Desirina Boskovich, will include my sidebar about the Ideal Men Robot Wars of the 1920s & 30s, starring Eric the Robot and Elektro! It looks to be a beautiful and insightful book with other awesome writers blowing the lid off of sci-fi, and I can’t wait to read it. Published by Abrams Image, it’s available for pre-order here, and will be released September 10.

SHORT STORY:  SISTERHOOD, edited by Nate Pedersen and featuring this amazing cover above by Liv Rainey-Smith, published by Chaosium is still forthcoming. It includes my story, “The Veils of Sanctuary,” a Bas Bleu tale centered around a lost Sappho poem and dance performance about Medusa á la Salomé. Featuring Beatrice Vail, my fictional tribute/composite of Maud Allen, Isadora Duncan, and Mata Hari, this is my lit-nerd love letter to the women of Modernism, the Underworld Goddesses, Medusa, Sappho, (and Paris).

MARGINALIA:  I’m starting to rev up my TinyLetter with a more focused mission that I’m still kind of like…ugh…about…the writing life. I’ve always been reticent and hesitant to talk about the writing life, or writing advice, just because there is such a gluttony of it, and it is so subjective…but this year has fucked me through the hollow earth and back, and I find I got some things to say about it all. You can see what’s happened and what’s coming by subscribing at my newsletter here.

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 5.28.45 PMI am pleased as punch to announce that I will be a guest at this year’s OUTER DARK SYMPOSIUM in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s been an evolving and wonderful conference, with each year outdoing the other, and I was sorry to have missed last year in CA. I was honored to be at the first one, and looking forward to reconnecting to old friends, and making new ones. Will I see you there?

What is especially exciting this year is this: “This year we’re beyond excited to welcome our largest line-up yet, 40 of the most dynamic authors, editors, artists, publishers, and scholars in Weird fiction today. As with The Outer Dark podcast, our goal is to foster conversation and community among a diverse slate of program participants–inclusive, safe and welcoming to women, LBGTQ+, and writers of color. Returning to Atlanta allows us again to involve SOBSF/BlacktastiCon organizers Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade. And sponsor support from Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s Innsmouth Free Press is helping us bring World Fantasy Award-nominated Mexican author Gabriela Damián Miravete.” (This is a huge deal. Don’t believe me, here are some of her stories online here and here.)

In order to fund this conference, Scott Nicolay, Anya Martin, and Melanie Crew are holding an Indiegogo with some pretty insane perks–signed Hellraiser memorabilia, rare and out-offprint chapbooks, and bundles by your favorite Weird authors. (They also make an amazing program book, with exclusive art and such. When I went in 2015, Yves Tourigny illustrated my piece on Leonora Carrington’s “Down, Down, Down.” This year it features original cover art by Liv-Rainey Smith!

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I was happy to donate a few books and some services: currently, there are a few copies of my first Dunhams Manor Press limited-edition chapbook, Of Parallel and Parcel, which was sold out in 2014, and has a run of 50 copies. You can also get this chapbook in a bundle with an ARC of my short story collection, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION. All signed and personalized!

I’m also offering some Tarot reading services. Tarot has become an important creative tool for me, and I love sharing its power with friends and colleagues, so I’m doing two kind of readings for Outer Dark fans and supporters. For $25, you can get a personalized email reading with images, or for $50, you can get a 60-min Skype session with me, plus follow-up email with a write-up and images.

Of course, I know there are other things needing your money, but if you had just $5 to spare in support, that would be of great help and will get you some swag and a shout-out in the program book.

If you are unfamiliar with THE OUTER DARK, here is more info quoted from their Indiegogo page:

“The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is the world’s only conference focusing on contemporary Weird fiction, film and art. The third annual symposium will gather more than 40 writers, artists, filmmakers & editors on March 22 and 23, 2019 at Silver Scream FX Lab and Hotel Indigo-College Park in Atlanta, GA. Hear all the readings and panels on The Outer Dark podcast, which airs on This Is Horror, reaching thousands of listeners who are readers of Weird and speculative fiction.

“GUESTS/PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS: Mike Allen, Gregory Norman Bossert, David Bowles, Jesse Bullington, Nadia Bulkin, Selena Chambers, Gerald Coleman, Nancy A. Collins, Milton Davis, Kristi DeMeester, Kurt Fawver, John Foster, Chris Gavaler, Fiona Maeve Geist, Craig Laurance Gidney, Larissa Glasser, Orrin Grey, Edward Austin Hall, Lynne Hansen, Brian Kirk, Gwendolyn Kiste, Marc Laidlaw, Ian McDowell, Violette L. Meier, Gabriela Damian Miravete, Sunny Moraine, Shane Morton, Balogun Ojetade, Liv Rainey-Smith, Zin E. Rocklyn, Eric Schaller, Jeff Strand,  Damien Angelica Walters, Brookelynne Warra, Michael Wehunt, Lesley Wheeler, Gordon B. White, Lisa Yaszek.

 

 

I’m packing on up for my flight to Denver tomorrow. I’m really excited to be visiting the area again, and finally visiting the famous Tattered Cover bookstore in Colfax, Denver.

I will be there Wednesday, December 5th celebrating the release of MECHANICAL ANIMALS: TALES AT THE CRUX OF CREATURE AND TECH with my co-editor Jason Heller, and contributors Stephen Graham-Jones, Molly Tanzer, and Carrie Vaughn. It’s going to be a really great reading with signings to follow, and if you are in the Denver area I hope you will come by and say hi!

Event page with details: https://www.tatteredcover.com/events#event-id-144273

 

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

Sisterhood - Final V1.jpg

This fantastic cover for SISTERHOOD is by the amazing Liv Rainey-Smith.

I am very excited to finally share the release date for SISTERHOOD, the new all-female anthology from Chaosium and edited by Nate Pedersen, who is always doing neat things with anthos and I enjoy working with immensely.

Alongside some of my favorite writers like Livia Llewellyn, Molly Tanzer, Nadia Bulkin, my story “The Veils of Sanctuary,” is included. Keeping with the theme, it’s a Bas Bleu story, and reveals more of that sisterhood’s origins than anything I’ve written so far. Also includes tributes to Medusa, Sappho, Oscar Wilde, and any American writer who has sat foot on Parisian cobblestones.

Here are the current details:

Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Histories

Edited by Nate Pedersen

CHA6058

SRP $17.99

ISBN 978-1-56882-464-2

272 pages

Trade paperback

In churches and convents and other religious communities, sisterhood takes many forms, forged and tested by such mundane threats as disease and despair, but also by terrors both spiritual and cosmic—Satan’s subtle minions and the Lovecraftian nightmare of the Outer Gods. Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Histories presents sixteen horror stories by some of the genre’s leading female voices. Their settings range around the globe and across the centuries, from 14th century Spain to 17th century Virginia to England in the present day.

Contributors include such award-winning and critically acclaimed authors as Nadia Bulkin, Livia Llewellyn, Molly Tanzer, Sun Yung Shin, Gemma Files, Kaaron Warren, Damien Angelica Walters, and Selena Chambers. With original cover art by Liv Rainey-Smith.

Table of Contents:

“The Wine of Men” by Ann K. Schwader

“From an Honest Sister, to a Neglected Daughter” by Monica Valentinelli

“Étaín and the Unholy Ghosts” by Lisa Morton

“The Barefoot Sisters of Saint Beatriz of the Mountain” by Kali Wallace

“Unburdened Flesh” by Penelope Love

“Only Dead Men Do Not Lie: The Trials of the Formosans” by Kaaron Warren

“Jane, Jamestown, The Starving Time” by Sun Yung Shin

“Dorcas and Ann: A True Story” by Molly Tanzer

“The Resurrected” by S. P. Miskowski

“The Low, Dark Edge of Life” by Livia Llewellyn

“The Anchoress” by Lynda E. Rucker

“Siūlais ir Kraujo ir Kaulų (Of Thread and Blood and Bone)” by Damien Angelica Walters

“Gravity Wave” by Nadia Bulkin

“The Veils of Sanctuary” by Selena Chambers

“The Sisters of Epione” by Alison Littlewood

“Red Words” by Gemma Files

 

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I’ve been quiet around these parts because I’ve been dealing with some stuff, and I am also overhauling how I use my online tools. Over the next few weeks, this site will metamorphosize into a more static portfolio than a blog. While news items like publishing updates, etc. will continue to be posted here, more personal items and acts of literary citizenship will be in my TinyLetter Gentle Gasps of Enlightenment.  I launched my inaugural missive earlier this week discussing some shadows I have encountered over the past few years. I’d love for you to join me over there by subscribing here.

As always, I am really grateful for the friends and readers I’ve made over the years. My work wouldn’t be what it is without you all, and I thank you for your attention and support. <3!

I just realized this morning that CALLS FOR SUBMISSION has been out in the world for six months! It’s been a really great experience and I want to thank everyone who bought the book, bore with me during promotions, took the time to read it, review it and blurb it, and championed it either on your social media or through interviews and publications. I also want to thank my publisher/editor Mark Givens and Pelekinesis for midwifing and delivering this strange baby into the world with me. As I wrote in my announcement last May, none of this would have happened without all of you!

If you missed it and are like “Whaaaa? You had a book come out this year?” Check it:

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#Holiday tip: CALLS FOR SUBMISSION would make a great Yuletime gift for that gothy, weird, Lydia Deets-like cousin who is always reading by the fire rather than watching football and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE with the rest of the fam.

The past six months have been a great journey. This was a minimal travel year for me, but I had a fabulous event at Tallahassee’s new independent bookstore, Midtown Reader (I was also honored to help them celebrate their first anniversary last weekend) and I’ve been doing several literary events around my hometown which have lead to new friends and a greater understanding of my community. I also got to present my thoughts on Hemingway and Horror in Key West during Papa’s annual summer celebration.

I’ve done several interviews with great readers, writers, and critics who helped me access and rethink a lot of what I have done and what I want to do in the future with my writing. I also was afforded some important publishing opportunities that allowed me to see my byline at some of my favorite literary publications and spaces. If you’d like to see where these various avenues took me, including at Literary Hub, Electric Literature, and Largehearted Boy, check out my #CFSBOOK round-up page here.

So, yeah, she’s growing up quite nicely.

If you have been wanting to read the book but just haven’t had the opportunity to, there are a few giveaways happening. The first is with THE OUTER DARK, where Scott Nicolay and I plotted a fun puzzle for Poe/Shelley fans to solve, and when my concluding Leonora Carrington article runs on Weird Fiction Review.com, there will be a combo giveaway there along with Carrington’s DOWN BELOW.

And if you’ve read the book and would like to help me out even more, I have one request: Spread the Word. Tell me what you thought or give me a shout out on Twitter or Instagram, tell your GoodReads community or blog readers what you thought, or shout it from the mountain top that is Amazon!

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Note to the Note: I still have some ARCs and would love to see CALLS FOR SUBMISSION receive more reviews. If you are a book blogger or reviewer, please drop me a line at LeFilleHST@gmail.com and I’ll hook you up.

 

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