New Release: Dunhams Manor Press Presents: The Last Session

Last Session
Contributor copies of The Last Session, now available for purchase at Dynatox Ministries.

I am very happy to announce that my new novelette, The Last Session: or, The Facts in the Case of Clarissa Collyer, is now out and available for purchase. This is my fourth project with Jordan Krall, Dunhams Manor Press, and Dynatox Ministries, and it has been every bit an awesome experience as the last three. As with all DMP chapbooks, this is a limited run, so when they are gone, they’re gone.

A few readers have been posting pics of their copies on Facebook, and that has really been making my days. Thank you so much, and I hope you all enjoy.

Synopsis:

Clarissa Collyer is having problems growing up. Among the usual teenage problems of identity and independence, she also has to care for her mother, whose soul is stuck in her cancer-ridden body. A modern riffing on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” this weird bildungsroman tale from Selena Chambers frays the threads between cutting the mortal coil and the umbilical cord.

Purchasing details:

$8 + S & H.

Copies can be ordered from:  http://dynatox.storenvy.com/products/15651756-the-last-session-by-selena-chambers-dunhams-manor-weird-fiction.

 

 

Story Published: “The Neurastheniac” in CASSILDA’S SONG

Awesome cover for CASSILDA'S SONG designed by Steve Santiago.
Awesome cover for CASSILDA’S SONG designed by Steve Santiago.

Joe Pulver’s long-awaited anthology, CASSILDA’S SONG, is finally in the world! This collection looks at the more feminine-side of Robert Chambers’ THE KING IN YELLOW, and I am honored to share a TOC with some of the awesomest ladies writing today. You can find the full Table of Contents at the end of this post.

Not only am I proud to be in this antho for the TOC, but also because I think my story “The Neurastheniac” may be one of my favorite things I’ve written to date. Joe is a really great editor to work with. Not only is his enthusiasm in the project infectious, but he goes the extra mile to encourage you in your vision, even when you are working within someone else’s sandbox. What has resulted is probably a story that is more Selena biz than anything published so far, with the exception of my piece in Starry Wisdom Library.

“The Neurastheniac” is about Helen Heck, a failed beat/confessional poet/junky, and what she uncovers from a series of trespasses through the abandoned suicide chambers in the 60s. It gets weird.

Reviews for CASSILDA’S SONG have begun popping up, and I am happy to say people have been enjoying my weird Poetess as much as I enjoyed writing her. Here are a few highlights:

For Laird Barron’s “Five for 2015”, he wrote on his blog: “Cassilda’s Song, edited by Joseph Pulver. An anthology dedicated to the King in Yellow. Pulver’s third major tribute anthology in recent days and probably the best. Selena Chambers, Maura McHugh, and S.P. Miskowski set the pace for a sleeper anthology of 2015.”

Des Lewis is live-reading the collection, reviewing each story blow-by-blow and having a lot of fun. Of “The Neurastheniac,” he compares her notebooks to Ferlinghetti and Ligotti, but also the Decadents. “That contemporaneous example of her Ferlinghetti-like poetry (poetry that sometimes in this work approaches, to my eye, fin de siecle decadence) is a section of this delightful patchwork quilt of impressions and examples of the work of Helena Heck (1937-1968) whom KiY’s surnamesake surconscious author Selena jams for us like jazz. ”

Many thanks to Messrs. Barron and Lewis!

Speaking of jazz, there are a lot of musical references in the story, from the suicide songs of the 20s and 30s through the ironic melancholy of the 90s. So, to celebrate the release of the collection, I created a playlist of all the songs that either inspired or are featured in the tale. You can tune in here.

CASSILDA’S SONG is published by Chaosium Inc. and is available for Kindle, and forthcoming for print.

Table of Contents:

Black Stars on Canvas, a Reproduction in Acrylic … Damien Angelica Walters
She Will Be Raised a Queen … E. Catherine Tobler
Yella … Nicole Cushing
Yellow Bird … Lynda E. Rucker
Exposure … Helen Marshall
Just Beyond Her Dreaming … Mercedes M. Yardley
In the Quad of Project 327 … Chesya Burke
Stones, Maybe … Ursula Pflug
Les Fleurs Du Mal … Allyson Bird
While The Black Stars Burn … Lucy A. Snyder
Old Tsah-Hov … Anya Martin
The Neurastheniac … Selena Chambers
Dancing The Mask … Ann K. Schwader
Family  … Maura McHugh
Pro Patria! … Nadia Bulkin
Her Beginning is Her End is Her Beginning … E. Catherine Tobler & Damien Angelica Walters
Grave-Worms … Molly Tanzer
Strange is the Night … S.P. Miskowski

Reading: This Weekend in Atlanta

I am crawling out of my hermit crab-shell this weekend, and will be rolling into Hawtlanta to tangentially participate in the World Horror Convention. And by tangentially I mean via pool and/or bar-conning as well as a special group reading with friends: Jesse Bullington, J. T. Glover, Orrin Grey, and Molly Tanzer. While I haven’t quite pinned down what I am reading, I am leaning towards “Descartar,” which is part of Jason V. Brock’s THE DARKE PHANTASTIQUE anthology, nominated for Stoker Superior Achievement in an Anthology, so that seems pretty approps. The location is TBA, at the moment, so if you are at #WHC, or just in the Atlanta area, and want to check us out, follow the Facebook event here.

Readings by Jesse Bullington, Selena Chambers, J. T. Glover, Orrin Grey, and Molly Tanzer.
Readings by Jesse Bullington, Selena Chambers, J. T. Glover, Orrin Grey, and Molly Tanzer.

Appearance: Anomalycon, March 27-March 29, 2015 in Denver, CO

I am very excited to be returning to my second Anomalycon as a guest along side such Steampunk/SF luminaries like Cory Doctorow, Ay-Leen the Peacemaker (a/k/a Diana Pho), Madeline Foxtrot (a/k/a Ashley Rogers), Christine Rose (formerly a/k/a O.M. Grey), Carrie Vaughn, Jason Heller and Molly Tanzer to just name a few of the awesome line-up, which you can see here.

The programmingphoto looks great, and I submit my own schedule below as just a sampling as to what con-goers can expect this coming weekend.

FRIDAY

Fri 5pm–The Future of Steampunk:  Steampunk isn’t dead, or even plateauing. New fiction, exciting ideas and where the genre is going beyond the world of written words. S. Chambers, M. Tanzer, S. Ficklin, S. West. Fiction

Fri 7pm–Closing the Loop:  Editing and re-editing and outlining and reviewing and getting your book out to an agent…you have so much to do now that you’ve finished your first novel draft. Where do you go from here? B. Dornbusch, S. Chambers, J. Brawner, Ay-leen the Peacemaker

Fri 8pm–Why Are We Still Talking About This?:  No, seriously. Aren’t you tired of hearing about angry minorities? Why are we still talking about feminism and equality? Isn’t it here yet? C. Doctorow, S. Chambers, M. Fowler, J. Heller, C. Rose (M)
SATURDAY

Sat 10am–Tropes and the Victorians:  Did they really all wear corsets? And what’s with the layers? S. Holl, S. Schafer, S. Chambers

Sat 11am–Steampunk, Anarchy, and Socio-political Activism:  Steampunk is on the rise and fans of the genre enjoy more than just the aesthetic. But what about using the core of a movement to bring about positive change in the political or socio-economical climate? C. Doctorow, S. Chambers, J. Heller, A. Rogers.

Sat 1pm–Author Free-For-All:  Don’t miss this wild answer to every question you never thought to ask your favorite authors! Twitter meets steroids. S. Chambers, C. Doctorow, K. Seibert (M), J. Nye, S. Litore, G. DeMarco, J. A. Owen, M. Tanzer, M. Mohanraj, J. Koyanagi, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, L.J. Hachmeister, T. Heermann

Sat 3pm–Steampunk Paris:  Travel Paris in real style. Only Steampunk will do. S. Chambers

Sat 5pm–Steampunk World Interview with S.J. Chambers and Molly Tanzer:  Beyond the Tropes talks Steampunk with S.J. Chambers and Molly Tanzer

Sat 6pm–Steampunk is Taking Over The World!:  When people think “Steampunk” Jules Verne and Wild Wild West often come to mind. But the last 50 years of media have been full of hints of Steampunk. It’s everywhere, and there are things you need to see and read.  J. Heller, S. Chambers, M. Acevedo

 

SUNDAY

Sun 12pm–The Grand Tea Hosted by Psyche Corporation and S.J. Chambers, featuring a special painting demo by Aria. Tickets are only available ahead of time (before pre-registration closes). Featuring glorious afternoon tea fare and hours of wonderful company and entertainment. An AnomalyCon special event! S. Chambers, Aria, Psyche Corporation, C. Rose 12th Floor Ballroom

Sun 2pm–Beyond the 19th Century Steampunk Fiction is often categorized as analyzing the future by looking to the past. Explore works that go beyond this past concept and apply Steampunk ideals to other timelines. S. Litore, S. Chambers, M. Tanzer History (Or Fiction)

Sun 3pm–New Fiction Now Writers Reading Cool Stuff that just came out. Pick up a new favorite. M. Tanzer, S. Chambers, S. West, S. Ficklin Fiction

Sun 4pm
COLLAPSE!

Story Sold: SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS

SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles. Innsmouth Free Press. October 2015.
SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles. Innsmouth Free Press. October 2015.

 

Pleased as punch that my story “Body to Body to Body” will be part of Innsmouth Free Press’ SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS, the first all-ladies writing about Lovecraft’s ladies anthology. Each author was assigned a specific character to treat, and my challenge was extracting 4000 words out of Eunice Babson, who exists on the pages of “The Thing on the Doorstep” in only three sentences, all involving the word “wench.” Many thanks to editors Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles for having me and throwing me the challenge.

As per usual with Innsmouth Free Press, the cover (by Sarah K. Diesel) is stunning, and the roster dazzling. Behold!

Table of Contents

“Bitter Perfume” Laura Blackwell
“Violet is the Color of Your Energy” Nadia Bulkin
“Body to Body to Body” S. J. Chambers
“De Deabus Minoribus Exterioris Theomagicae” Jilly Dreadful
“Hairwork” Gemma Files
“The Head of T’la-yub” Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas (translated by Silvia Moreno-Garcia)
“Bring the Moon to Me” Amelia Gorman
“Chosen” Lyndsey Holder
“Eight Seconds” Pandora Hope
“Cthulhu of the Dead Sea” Inkeri Kontro
“Turn out the Lights” Penelope Love
“The Adventurer’s Wife” Premee Mohamed
“Notes Found in a Decommissioned Asylum, December 1961″ Sharon Mock
“The Eye of Jupiter” Eugenie Mora
“Ammutseba Rising” Ann Schwader
“Cypress God” Rodopi Sisamis
“Lavinia’s Wood” Angela Slatter
“The Opera Singer” Priya Sridhar
“Provenance” Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“The Thing in The Cheerleading Squad” Molly Tanzer
“Lockbox” Elise Tobler
“When She Quickens” Mary Turzillo
“Shub-Niggurath’s Witnesses” Valerie Valdes
“Queen of a New America” Wendy Wagner

Interior artwork by

Sara Bardi
Shelby Denham
Lisa A. Grabenstetter
Karen Hollingsworth
Liv Rainey-Smith
Pia Ravenari
Diana Thung
Kathryn Weaver

 

STEAMPUNK WORLD is In The Haus, and in EW.com

STEAMPUNK WORLD, the Kickstarter Exclusive is on right, the trade is on the left. Both covers by James Ng. Edited by Sarah Hans. Published by Alliteration Ink.
STEAMPUNK WORLD, the Kickstarter Exclusive is on right, the trade is on the left. Both covers by James Ng. Edited by Sarah Hans. Published by Alliteration Ink.

The long-awaited Kickstarter success, Sarah Han’s STEAMPUNK WORLD (Alliteration Ink), was released last August. It contains my Orientalism tourism story “”The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour.” I received my contributor copies last Thursday, and I am very impressed.

Featuring illustrations by James Ng, an excellent introduction by Beyond Victoriana’s Diana Pho, and stories by Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu, Jay Lake (whom the tome is dedicated too), Jaymee Goh, Balogun Ojetade, Pip Ballantine. and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (to name a few!), this collection aims to illustrate that Steampunk’s legacy lies outside of its common, mainstream Western trappings.

Sarah did a fine job, and I am not the only one who thinks so. Writing for EW.com, Jason Heller  included STEAMPUNK WORLD in his overview of Steampunk slipping into the mainstream, and in doing so is garnering a broader appeal. One happy conclusion he draws is that the mainstream wants to see a multicultural steampunk: “Clearly, there’s a hunger for steampunk literature that looks through a different pair of goggles; Steampunk World is a strong step in the right direction.”

If you did not back the anthology, you can order copies directly from the publisher  or from Amazon.

Summer Catch Up

Hukilau selfie
Aloha from the Jungle Queen Cruise, part of the 2014 Hukilau in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

So, it is summer again and I’ve let the heat, humidity, and well…frankly, Hannibal keep me from blogging. And, I was doing so well, too!So here, in list form, is what’s been up on the writer side of things. Travel side of things will come later. Eventually. After I consume Season Two, more likely:

Publications:

Online you will find a few things:

Vintage Scenes #3: Morellino di Scansano, 2011 Vendemmia” is now available in the latest issue of Mungbeing magazine. This round’s theme is reflections, and although the wine is Tuscan, I couldn’t help but play in Frida Kahlo’s world of scryes a bit. And there’s some local flair in there too, for those who are around.

The Revolution Will Be Served: Jeff “Beachbum” Berry Mixes at the Hukilau and Takes us Through the Past, Present, and Future of Tiki” ran a few weeks ago on ATLRetro.com. I interviewed the Beachbum and talked about the rise and fall and rise again of Tiki, as well as his awesome new book POTIONS OF THE CARIBBEAN, which I highly recommend, even if you aren’t a cocktailian.

This interview is in conjunction of Hukilau coverage I did for ATLRetro, where I joined editor Anya Martin to check out the vibe. It was a great vibe. Hadn’t had fun like that in a while, if even ever…. Definitely something to put on repeat.

In Print:

“The Venus of Great Neck,” is my Jazz-baby Steampunk story written exclusively for ACRONOS II edited by Josué Ramos (Tyrannosauras Books), and is currently only available in Spanish. Although, an English edition is being discussed, and I’ll be sure to throw deets down when they are available.

Forthcoming:

My series “Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN” will be published as a whole in the second issue of NonBinary Review, where Mary Shelley’s seminal novel is the theme. If you haven’t heard of NonBinary Review yet, definitely put this on the radar because…well, their website says it best, so I’m just going to quote from them:

“NonBinary Review uses Lithomobilus, a new type of e-reader that allows for multi-threaded, interactive literature. It allows novelists to tell a story from every point of view. Essayists can comment on other works. Short story writers can add alternate points of view to an existing narrative. Any author can add notes, photos, or other artifacts of the creative process.”

Thanks to editors Allie Marini Batts and Lise Quintana for having me aboard! I am very excited to be a part of this, and to have my letters aside one of my favorite novels of all time. And, if that wasn’t enough, the cover is going to be done by the awesomeness that is Mandem!

You can download the reader here, and check out the first issue–all for free.

Updates on Forthcoming Publications

James Ng's interior illustration of "The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour," my short story in STEAMPUNK WORLD.
James Ng’s interior illustration of “The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour,” my short story in STEAMPUNK WORLD.

STEAMPUNK WORLD, edited by Sarah Hans for Alliteration Ink is still steaming along. I am unsure of the final release date, but I do know that James Ng has finished his interior sketches, and I am allowed to share my story “The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour.”  Also, Alliteration Ink has partnered with BitLit to bundle digital copies with all hardcopy sales, so those who will be receiving print copies as part of their Kickstarter pledge will get a digital copy also, I believe.

A DARKE PHANTASTIQUE edited by Jason V. Brock for Cycatrix Press, containing my short story “Descartar,” should be out by the end of the summer, and is available for pre-order here.

STARRY WISDOM LIBRARY, edited by Nate Pedersen for PS Publishing, containing my short story “Remnants of Lost Empires,” is slated for September 2014. According to Nate’s website, PS Publishing will be launching the tome at FantasyCon. Update can be found at the above link.

THE NEW GOTHIC Giveaway: On Nirvana and the Gothic

THE NEW GOTHIC among all my Nirvana swag from the Tallahassee concert in 1993. Took those photos in the corner with a really crappy $10 camera from Kmart. Oh, the 90s.
THE NEW GOTHIC among all my Nirvana swag from the Tallahassee concert in 1993. Took those photos in the corner with a really crappy $10 camera from Kmart. Oh, the 90s.

So, this week is a big week for Nirvana fans. Today marks the 20th anniversary of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death and on April 10, the band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I don’t know if y’all realize, but I’m really into Nirvana. IN UTERO came out just in time for me to throw my twelfth birthday money at it. It, along with BABES IN TOYLAND’s PAINKILLERS and Hole’s PRETTY ON THE INSIDE and later LIVE THROUGH THIS, was one of those albums that changed my life in the way that only music and books and arts can do. Nirvana even came to my town with the Breeders in December ’93, and being at that concert is pretty much on my list of life achievements.

Anyway, as has been mentioned here before, I wrote a short story with my inimitable friend Jesse Bullington that is in Stone Skin Press’ THE NEW GOTHIC: DON’T EMBRACE THE DARKNESS. FEAR IT.  Edited by Beth Lewis, this anthology reassess the Gothic legacy, and as critic Ed Grabianowski put it in a glowing review over at i09:

“I’m not too worried about whether this collection redefines the field. What I can tell you is that editor Beth K. Lewis and the team at Stone Skin Press have selected a terrific set of stories. They hang together, despite disparate elements; each tale hints at the darkness lurking in urban neighborhoods, in old houses, on desolate roads, and in our hearts. Cue Vincent Price’s menacing laugh echoing down a black corridor. There are no castles here, but there’s no sympathy for the devil either.”

Sounds pretty hardcore, right?

The story Jesse and I wrote is called “Dive In Me,” and is about three adolescent girls in the early 90s and their friendship that leads to staring into atramedous pits of both the literal and figurative senses.  Jesse has described it as “Daria goes to Hell,” and I’ve called it a “grunge-nightmare.” It is definitely a period piece, and that hasn’t been more apparent to me than today, on the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, in which I am definitely feeling kind of bored and old.

The title, of course, refers to my personal favorite Nirvana song “Dive,” which is on Incesticide, and provides something of the “soundtrack” to the ramblings, froggings, and chain smoking antics of the girls in this story.  As a Nirvana fan, I didn’t really want to do anything celebrating death or hype or whatever, I kind of wanted to celebrate how expression can lead to other forms of expression, and so because of the connection with “Dive In Me,” I thought it’d be fun to do a THE NEW GOTHIC giveaway during this big   Nirvana week.

Stone Skin Press is throwing in two copies to my one for a three book giveaway! Deets below.

THE RULES:  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post about either Nirvana or the Gothic–it is entirely up to you. Comments will be open from now until April 10 at 12 EST.  I will choose the best three comments and announce the winners Friday, April 11th at 8 am EST.

I do have one tiny request. The kind i09 review aside, THE NEW GOTHIC hasn’t had many reviews on Amazon, GoodReads, etc.  Obviously, it’s a free country, but if the winners of this contest would be so kind as to give their thoughts, even if you hate it, at some bookish reviewer thing, even if it is your blog, that would be lovely.

Alright. Well, let’s dive in then….

Dive by Post: Feature on Stone Skin Press for THE NEW GOTHIC

Sleepy Selena wants to share a thing before she slips off to miscount sheep.

Stone Skin Press is excerpting “Dive In Me,” a story Jesse Bullington and I wrote about growing up SO(thern) GOTH and grunge in the 90s. It is the opener to THE NEW GOTHIC, edited by the awesome Beth Lewis, and is on sale now.

Jesse and I actually grew up in the same small times town in Northern Florida, and shared a similar taste in flannel, boots, and mischief, if I recall. This story encapsulates a bit of that along with a composite of the adolescent girls we once knew.  The title, for reasons that will be seen in the story, was inspired by Nirvana’s “Dive.”

There are plenty of awesome authors in this collection like Ramsey Campbell, Damien Kelley, Lauren Ellen Joyce, Richard Dansky, and more.  I, personally, can’t wait to check out everyone else’s contribution.

Woo-boy. Neuron switches are being flipped one by one. Thanks for shutting the place down with me. I’m diving in and out. Good night, folks!