Babes in Toyland’s Fontanelle available for pre-order

Can you believe that 30 years ago, Babes in Toyland’s Fontanelle was unleashed on the world? The band was changing lives years before this, but this was the album that broke through the mainstream and has kept them being rediscovered again and again.

Babes in Toyland were a formative discovery for 12-year old me (I know, I know–there were quite a few seminal experiences along the way), and it has been an honor and a privilege to devote my next book to them and Fontanelle.

While it won’t be out in time to celebrate this huge milestone, it is available for pre-order at the following places:

Bloomsbury

Midtown Reader

Bookshop

Amazon

Welcome Surrealists!

It’s been a while and a while before that. So, I thought I would introduce myself to newcomers making their way here from the BBC3 interview that aired today, “I Arrive Without Leaving–A Discussion on Women Surrealist Poetry.”

I am a writer, a lit nerd, music and art lover. I studied Art History in college with an emphasis on Poe and French Symbolism, Dadaism and Surrealism. This is when I first began my studies of the women surrealists, but I had fallen in love with Mina Loy at the end of high school, which I shudder to think was about 22 years ago.

I get bored easily, so I am enthusiastic about a lot of different things. I think that is reflected in my eclectic career in publishing over the past 18 years. But for the sake of algorithms, let’s say I’m a Weird Surrealist Grrl who likes to write about women’s history and lost history in general.

My work has been translated in France, Spain, Brazil, and Turkey, and has been published in the U.K. and Australia. It has been nominated for the Pushcart, Colorado Book Award, Best of the Net, the Hugo Award, and World Fantasy award (twice). Recent bylines include Literary Hub, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, The Debutante: Women Surrealists Art Journal, and BBC3.

My recent works/projects are:

Calls for Submission, my weird historical fiction collection from Pelekinisis, which you can buy here.

33 1/3: Babes in Toyland’s Fontanelle, out January 2023, and available for pre-order here.

The Lillith Assimilations: An Exkphrastic Appreciation,” will be appearing in modern surrealist painter Carrie Ann Baade’s forthcoming book, Carrie Ann Baade: Scissors and Tears.

Most of my writing on surrealism is internalized within my fiction, which you can find in the above mentioned short story collection. In the BBC3 discussion, I discuss my need for a Women Surrealist Survival Kit. This was for an essay/listicle turned manifesto that was publish on Literary Hub in 2017. My other writings in this vein include a meditation on Leonora Carrington and Brexit for the amazing feminist surrealist arts journal, The Debutante.

I am not terribly active online. The best way to keep up with me is either by subscribing or dropping a comment on this blog, subscribing to my Substack, or following me on Twitter where I check DMs @BasBleuZombie.

Thanks for visiting!

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. 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!