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Cover art by MANDEM.

For the past few months, I have been reading for Zoetic Press’s NonBinary Review #12: The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, which I have the honor of serving as Guest Editor. It was just released, and is now available for digital purchase for just $1.99.

Out of something like 63 submissions, I selected 32 stories, poems, essays, and artwork to appear in this issue, as well as its online sister companion, Alphanumeric. I was only able to do this with the patient gut-checking and assistance of Zoetic Press‘s founder and editrix-in-chief Lise Quintana, and all of her awesome editors. I can’t thank them enough for letting me join their sandbox!

I really enjoyed editing this issue, and I hope you will enjoy reading it! From the dark, decadent gothic to sharp, modern retellings, I wanted to make sure the issue had something for every kind of Poe fan here. One aspect of this issue that may be surprising to all Poe fans is the presence of lighter tones and humor in some of the pieces. Poe was actually a funny guy and that aspect of his personality is often excised when we discuss his work, so I was very happy to receive submissions celebrating that. One fantastic example is “The Ravening,” by Meadhbh Hamrick, which launches this month’s Alphanumeric*

“The Ravening” is a hilarious text-based adventure game based on the archetypal Poe hero that no only sheds light on popular culture’s perception of Poe’s work but also illustrates its timelessness. Can you survive the massive doses of laudanum required to survive? Click here to find out. 

Oh, and Poepathists may recognize my introduction, “The Living Poe Girl.”It is a radically revised edition of a series that ran at Tor.com in 2009, and touches on the heroines that appear in this issue, Ligeia, Berenice, The Oval Portrait, and of course, Virginia Poe.

*Alphanumeric is the fun, free, month-long online companion to each issue of NonBinary Review. This is a great way for readers to get a feel for the issue’s vibe, so if you are on the fence about buying the issue, check in every week to get a sample of the issue.

It’s a book!!!

Light up your cigars, pop the bubbly, and behold my little bundle of horrors, Calls For Submission, my debut collection published by Pelekinesis.

 

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I am thrilled that it is adorned by Joan Horne‘s cute & creepy cover, and includes an introduction by Molly Tanzer, and collaborations with Jesse Bullington and Virginia M Mohlere.

Arriving this May.

If you are a reviewer, blogger, or podcaster, and would like an ARC, please contact either me at LeFilleHST[at]gmail[dot]com or Pelekinesis at pelekinesis[at]gmail[dot]com.

And if you are interested in helping me get the word out, please share!

Send me your Poe!

I have the distinct pleasure of being guest editor for Zoetic Press’s Non-Binary Review, #12: The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, and I want YOU to send me your Poe-influenced work.

I have worked with Poe’s material closely now for about ten years, so it has been a real pleasure seeing what others bring to the pendulum table. However, I want more!

Submissions close 2/1 (a week from today), and I am especially interested in seeing non-fiction and pieces riffing off of more obscure works (I’d prefer to read “The Raven” riffs, nevermore). I also would like to see more POC, LGBTQ, and women writers and perspectives represented.

Paying market. Reprints are welcome, but no Emo.

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Please send your submissions here. Continue reading

Reading! Writing! Editing! Yay!  As far as I can recall, this is what I was up too this year in publishing:

Fiction

Last Session

“The Last Session: The Facts in the Case of Clarissa Collyer.” Dunhams Manor Press Limited Edition Chapbook.

Longest fiction written to date. A whole novelette! Hot dang, I will conquer you yet, novel. This is a riff on Poe’s “Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” but through the exploration of a mother-daughter relationship estranged by adolescence and cancer, and of course Emo. I got some nice reviews and comments on this one, and I dare say the creep/cry factor is dialed to 11. Many thanks to editor Jordan Krall on letting me give this one the chance to breathe.

“The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour.” Reprint for WORDS zine, Hex Publishers. 

This anti-Orientalism Steampunk tale set in Turkey originally appeared in Sarah Hans’ STEAMPUNK WORLD (Alliteration Ink). I was stoked to give the Şehrazat another avenue and be a part of Hex Publishers’ weekly magazine WORDS. There is a lot of great FREE stuff over there–stories by Nisi Shawl, Jason Heller, E. Lily Yu, and Alvaros Zinos-Amaro–so if you haven’t checked them out, you are missing out. Thank you for the opportunity, Josh Viola!

“Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne.” MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (AND FLASH FICTION) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (AND READER), edited by Nick Mamatas and Molly Tanzer. Skyhorse, October 2017.

I am proud of this story for several reasons.

First, to be in anything edited by Nick and/or Molly has been on my goals list for a while, and many thanks to them for liking and accepting the story!

Second, all I really ever want to do is write fiction about cocktails, in this case the French 75.

Third, I’d been reading a lot of and about Hemingway this year, and had been toying with the Iceberg idea–something like “Hills Like White Elephants,” but from only women’s perspectives. Pair this with the constant ostracizing of women who don’t want to have children ever (by women), or define their being by their sexual prowess, or dream of fairy tale love to be complete–you got “Arrangement in Juniper and Champagne.”

Fourth, I had no idea what was coming in November, so I feel this was sort of a preamble for whatever changes to my writing that may bring. Continue reading

There are a few Kickstarters underway that I wanted to share–a little something for everyone:

7523c5a56c2c302b16ead8ac5545141a_originalSteampunk Universe is the long-anticipated follow-up to Sarah Hans‘ award-winning Steampunk World from Alliteration Ink. Like with World, this anthology is “a diverse steampunk anthology from your favorite award-winning authors featuring disabled and aneurotypical characters.” As far as I know, there isn’t anything like this out there, and I am eager to see what the Universes depicted in each story.

While this Kickstarter was fully funded yesterday, there are still 3 days to go, and we all know more $$$ means a better product as well as better pay for the writers. As the publisher outlined:

OUR GOALS

$6000 – Once we hit this fundraising goal, the project will be able to pay all the creative folks for their work. All authors will get at least the current SFWA professional rate.

$7000 – Once we reach this fundraising goal, it will add value to all backers by adding interior line artwork to half the stories!

$8000 – Once we reach this fundraising goal, it will add value to all backers by adding interior line artwork to (the other) half of the stories!

$9000 – Once we reach this fundraising goal, we will be able to give all the authors a pay increase for their stories!

There are still plenty of great Rewards to grab up, but if you are light on the pockets like yours truly, there are more frugal options as well. Every little bit helps.

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If horror is more your thing:  “Pseudopod, the world’s longest running free short horror fiction podcast, is celebrating its 10th Halloween and wants to raise funds to pay their narrators.”

I’ve been a long-time listener of Pseudopod, and while I have yet to crack their market, I have enjoyed their cinematic readings of some of my favorite writers like Thomas Ligotti and Orrin Grey, who has written an essay about the experience here. The goal is about $30,000, which sounds high, but this is actually to ensure professional payment for their narrators for the next several years. In other words, these funds go to ensuring the stability needed to continue to hire and create quality podcasts like they do.

As Rewards go–they’ve got some doozies like the Tiki Pseudopod Tower mugs designed by Horror in Clay:

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Currently, the Pseudopod Kickstarter is a little over half way funded, with 19 days left to go. For more information about Rewards and intentions, visit here.

And speaking of Tiki…

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Holy crap, would you look at Crazy Al Evans‘ Big Sea Serpent!!!!!  Can one be in love with a ceramic mug set? What will society think?

This Kickstarter has been fully funded with 28 more days to go. It is hella expensive compared to the others I have shared, and more than likely I won’t be able to participate because I have a black hole budget, but this is something worth sharing, and the images of process and inspiration make for wonderful virtual window shopping.

WS CoverWhoops. I have been meaning to do an update for…two months?…and just haven’t. Blame the lassitude and election anxiety.

Anyway, as you may recall, Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN is my travelogue through three key geography points in Mary Shelley’s seminal text. It was nominated for a Best of the Net a few years back and is available now as a bicentennial, special-limited edition designed and annotated by Yves Tourigny and Tallhat Press. I write more extensively about it here.

Only 200 copies will be made, and only then available for 9 months from its initial release.

So, current stats are:  there are 140 copies of Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein left, with 4 months to go.

If you would like to purchase a copy, you can do so at the below links:

Order now on Amazon.com
Order now on Amazon.ca
Order now on Amazon.co.uk

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Courtney Love plays William Tell as Joan Vollmer in BEAT.

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Chaosium V.P., Michael O’Brien to discuss Joe Pulver‘s CASSILDA’S SONG, which they published, and my story therein, “The Neurastheniac.” Both the anthology and my story have been nominated for a World Fantasy Award.

For those new here, CASSILDA’S SONG explores the feminine side of Robert Chambers’ (no relation) KING IN YELLOW, and features an all ladies table of contents. My story, “The Neurastheniac” is about Helen Heck, a failed beat/confessional poet/alchemist/junky, and what she uncovers from a series of trespasses through the abandoned suicide chambers (as mentioned in “The Repairer of Reputations”) during the 60s. It gets weird.

It’s a quickie–around ten minutes–and I discuss my influences for the story [Joan Vollmer, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Billie Holiday, Courtney Love (who incidentally plays Vollmer in the 2000 film BEAT)] and my love for mystic junkies like William S. Burroughs.

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Selena Chambers plays at writing in CASSILDA’S SONG.

I haven’t done a speaking gig in a while, and I have forgotten how strange it is to hear one’s own voice. It’s even stranger to hear the topics my voice are discussing.  Not to dwell, but I sound shellshocked, and perhaps I am. Surreal? Oh, yes. In the best way.

Michael also sat down with my awesome editor, Joe Pulver, and artist Steve G. Santiago, who did the stunning cover. (I had no idea that image was photo manipulated!) So, yeah, some good behind the scenes stuff, here.

CASSILDA’S SONG is available in print and as an ebook.

Many thanks to Michael and the folks at Chaosium for the time and attention. Links below:

Interview with Joe Pulver.

Interview with moi.

Interview with Steve G. Santiago.

 

 

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Mina Loy’s Surreal Scene hints pretty accurately as to what one might expect from me. 1930. Source: at.bc.edu

This is a pretty informal announcement, but I have been sitting on this all summer and I must unburden my soul, or else….

I have sold my first short story collection to Pelekinesis press! Entitled CALLS FOR SUBMISSION, it will be born into the world sometime in May of next year. We’re in the beginning stages of production, so there aren’t a lot of details to share at the moment, but…well, okay, here’s a few things:

  • Molly Tanzer is introducing it,
  • Jesse Bullington and Virginia M. Molhere will be making guest appearances,
  • and my story “The Venus of Great Neck,” will appear in English for the first time!

I am humbled by the enthusiasm and encouragement Molly, Jesse, and Virginia have offered me while trying to get all of this together, and I’m so thrilled they will be part of it.

I am also really excited to be working with Pelekinesis, which opened its doors in 2014. For those who haven’t encountered them yet, Pelekinesis “is an independent book publishing company focusing on the development of literary-minded authors and artists by embracing the evolving publishing paradigm and creatively supporting the skills of these talented individuals.” I’ve really been enjoying their titles which range from the erotic illustrations of Edward R. Beardsley in MR. ABOBAZIZ & THE NANCY, to the first children’s book fairy tale to feature a transgender princess in Greg McGoon’s THE ROYAL HEART. I have especially enjoyed Joelle Renstrom’s CLOSING THE BOOK:  TRAVELS IN LIFE, LOSS, AND LITERATURE, Marc Zegans’ THE UNDERWATER TYPEWRITER, and Ian Pyper’s CODEX OCULARIS. You can pursue more titles in their catalog here.

And, of course, stay tuned here for more details about CALLS FOR SUBMISSION!

 

 

romantic outlawsAugust 30 marks two major events in Romantic literature. Today is the day Mary Godwin Shelley was born in 1797, which lead to an infection in her mother’s womb. Thus the world lost its pioneering feminist and adventuress, Mary Wollstonecraft, ten days later.

This wabi-sabi truth of creation would haunt Mary and the pages of her most famous creation. In her own life, too, she strove to live within her mother’s ideals, and as a result, lead a very interesting and parallel life to Wollstonecraft’s. It is an obvious thesis, but not until last year has any biographer sat down to illustrate the various connections outside of academic and intellectual sympathies.

Enter Charlotte Gordon’s Romantic Outlaws. Telling both of Marys’ stories in alternating chapters, she makes great and thorough connections with their posthumous relationship, and as a result, really enhances any and all readings of Mary Shelley’s work. It is no surprise that it was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle award. It is, by far, my favorite resource for my own studies, and if you are looking to celebrate Mary Shelley today, or any day, honoring both her and her mother’s lives is a great way to do it. For more information on Romantic Outlaws, including purchasing details, check out Gordon’s website here.

 

 

Wandering Spirits:  Traveling Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN  has been out in the world for a few months, and I’m happy to report that, not only is it alive, but doing well! I have been getting thrills from seeing Book Selfies on Facebook (scrapbooked below), and getting cool shout-out on various Frankenstein related content like Orrin Grey‘s piece on the “9 Best Frankenstein Movies” for The Lineup.com. I was especially honored to be interviewed by Nate Pedersen over at the Fine Books and Collectibles blog. If you want some “behind the music”* access to this project, you’ll certainly find it here.

Wandering Spirits selfies

Before you think I’m super creepy, I asked and obtained permission from all above. Many thanks to Nick Mamtas, Molly Tanzer, Larva Jane Parker, Travis Neisler (who won the Frankenstein 200 giveaway), and Anya Martin!

It’s also garnered some 5-star reviews at Amazon and on GoodReads:

Ross Lockhart wrote on both venues:

“A stunning presentation of Selena Chambers’ epistolary travelogue exploring the locales of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this Tallhat Press chapbook includes breathtaking illustrations by Yves Tourigny, an afterword providing larger context and history of the travelogue, and extensive notes. Fans of Frankenstein would do themselves a favor to pick this up before it goes out of print in early 2017.”

Jake Marley wrote on Amazon:

“I am dearly hoping that Wandering Spirits will tutn out to be the first in a series of literary travel books. Selena Chambers brings us along for an unforgettable journey through the world of Frankenstein, offering up charming insight into the past, and into her subject.

The book felt like a really great escape, and with the beautiful artwork by Yves Tourigny it all came together is a perfect package.”

And over at Goodreads, Adam Gorman said that it was:

“A short but enjoyable investigation in epistolary form. I highly recommend this chapbook for anybody who works with or enjoyed Shelley’s Frankenstein.”

Reviews and social buzz are critical to writers and indie projects like this, so an infinite amount of thanks to the gentlemen above who took the time to review Wandering Spirits, and also to my friends and colleagues who have bought the book, posted awesome pics of it online, and helped me share the news, and spread the word! If you, dear reader, would like to help with further word-spreading, I am available for interviews or guest posts about this, or anything else, really. Just shoot me an email at: LeFilleHST@gmail.com.

As you may recall, Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN is a bicentennial, special-limited edition designed and annotated by Yves Tourigny and Tallhat Press. Only 200 copies will be made, and only then available for 9 months (as of last June). So, current stats are:  152 copies are left, with 7 more months to go. If you would like to purchase a copy, you can do so at the below links:

Order now on Amazon.com
Order now on Amazon.ca
Order now on Amazon.co.uk

*Quoting friend J. T. Glover, who described it as thus, and I’m stealing because it makes me sound much cooler than I am.

 

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