Posts filed under ‘News’


We made our goal!

This otter agrees that you all are wonderful.

I’m so incredibly thankful for all of you. I’m grateful you’re in this with me. Together we’re going to push speculative and horror fiction to be more inclusive. We still have four hours to go, so hopefully we can raise some advertising money for these phenomenal stories!

30 June 2018

Crowd-funding has made the press―and many of our books―possible.

Liz Loves Books posted a guest post with me! Here’s an excerpt:

My journey into publishing started with a job listing in the local paper for an administrative assistant position at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, where I ended up working for five years in the ’90s. I was the office manager, and the volunteer coordinator, and the receptionist, and, well, I basically did everything the Executive Director didn’t do. One of my many tasks was answering questions from the public about how publishing worked, and in the examples I gave, I didn’t want to use the name of a real publishing company and cause any confusion or accidentally defame somebody, so I made up a publishing company which I called Upper Rubber Boot Books, after the Nova Scotian expression for a marginal and probably uncool place (Canadians often name places Upper and Lower Whatever, in reference to a more populous place, so if there were a town named Rubber Boot, then Upper Rubber Boot would be even more remote, you see). If I were American, perhaps I’d have called it Podunk Press. And so, when I decided to start my own company, I continued using the name as a sort of inside joke with myself.

I’m grateful to everybody who has posted about the anthology, which has included our authors, Octavia Cade’s wonderful Twitter explorations of the stories in her anthology (look for more of these today as we move into the last 24 hours of our campaign): “The Doll’s Eye” by Kathleen Alcalá, “And When We Die They Will Consume Us” by Betsy Aoki, “Dear Son” by Joyce Chng, “Gimme Sugar” by Katharine E. K. Duckett, “The Fool’s Feast” by Anahita Eftekhari, “She Makes the Deep Boil” by Amelia Gorman, “What the Bees Know About Discarded Girlish Organs” by Jasmyne J. Harris, “Strong Meat” by A. R. Henle, “A Year Without the Taste of Meat” by Erin Horáková, “The Honey Witch” by Kathryn McMahon, “I Eat” by H. Pueyo, “Bristling Skim” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires, “Alice Underground” by Rachael Sterling, “Red, From the Heartwood” by Penny Stirling, “A Fish Tale” by Sabrina Vourvoulias, and “Who Watches” by Rem Wigmore, and these websites:

Go donate now! The world needs these stories, and these authors need your support. We’re still living in a world where it’s apparently unremarkable that horror anthologies like this one by Stephen King, coming out this September, contain only men (and we hate to call them out, because this is a great publishing company and we love King’s writing, but come on guys), so we need anthologies like the Women Up To No Good series to provide some balance and help readers find the full breadth of excellent horror and dark speculative fiction out there.

Thanks so much for being here with us.

29 June 2018

“The bees died because they know,” she said finally.

Today we have our final feature! We’re sharing a bit about our final two stories, both featuring insects and the body: Maggie Maxwell’s “Like I Need a Hole in the Head” from Broad Knowledge and Jasmyne J. Harris’s “What the Bees Know About Discarded Girlish Organs” (from which today’s title comes).

Maggie Maxwell writes:

Like I Need a Hole in the Head has an interesting but simple backstory: it was written based off a prompt. Every year, a writing forum I’m on runs a event where participants post a prompt and will in turn be randomly given one of those prompts to write a story on. It’s an enjoyable challenge that results in many strange but high-quality works that scatter themselves across the world of publishing over the course of the year. Participants range from complete newbies to Hugo-nominated writers. In 2016’s event, I was given the simple prompt of “a story with cats, dogs, or fish, black holes, and at some point, a llama should spit on somebody.” And thus, Like I Need a Hole in the Head was born.

Over on Twitter, editor Octavia Cade talked about Harris’s story:

Seriously, guys, this story is OUTSTANDING. Nearly every single sentence is a kick in the gut. It, like all the other stories in this antho, is about food and horror.

And consumption, in this story, is the ultimate goal of romantic relationships. In order for two people to merge into a single unit, one partner has to eat the other – and eat them in parts, because the one to be eaten doesn’t disintegrate at once.

Oh, no. It’s cough up a lung lobe here, a quarter of a liver there, and a nice romantic dinner that Hannibal Lecter would be proud to serve at, as the next step to symbiosis continues. But sometimes relationships end…

And suddenly the man you’ve gifted half your internal organs to doesn’t want to be with you anymore. No consequences for him, or very few, but your investment has left you Partial, second-rate in the dating world, and ultimately recyclable in very biological ways.

It is the creepiest, most painful, most terrifying story in this entire anthology, and once award nominations open for next year I will be pushing it HARD.

You’ll want to read these stories! Donate now to pre-order.


About the Authors

Jasmyne J. Harris writes from Washington, DC. Her work is forthcoming in Bayou Magazine. Find her on Twitter at @ciaojasmyne.

Maggie Maxwell lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband and a collection of overworked bookshelves. She has neither pets nor superpowers, so she writes about both to make up for it. Sometimes she puts them in space, just because.

28 June 2018

So much for Plan A. Plan B was more flexible. Okay, less well-formed.

Today’s feature focuses on two stories of girls with special gifts living on the streets: Rati Mehrotra’s “Make Pretty,” in which an orphaned girl in a post-collapse Toronto makes art for the aliens she empathically connects with, and Nisi Shawl’s “Street Worm” (from which today’s title comes), in which a rebellious teenager who can see things others can’t lives on the street to escape her social worker parents, who think she’s crazy. Both stories are in Broad Knowledge. “Street Worm” was first published in Streets of Shadows, and also appeared in Street Magicks. (You can read its sequel, “Queen of Dirt,” at Apex Magazine.)


About the Authors

Born and raised in India, Rati Mehrotra makes her home in Toronto. Her first book, Markswoman, was published in January 2018 and the sequel is scheduled for March 2019. Her stories have been published in Apex Magazine, AE – The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Urban Fantasy Magazine, Podcastle, and many more. Find her at

Nisi Shawl is the author of the Belgian Congo steampunk novel Everfair, co-author of Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, and co-editor of Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler and Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany. Her story collection Filter House co-won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 2009 and was nominated for that year’s World Fantasy Award. She was Guest of Honor at WisCon 35 in 2011, and at the Science Fiction Research Association’s convention in 2013. She is a co-founder and Steering Committee member of the Carl Brandon Society, a nonprofit supporting the presence of people of color in the fantastic genres, and she also serves on the writing workshop Clarion West’s board of directors.

27 June 2018

I thought you understood about transformation.

Last night, we posted a new cover for Broad Knowledge, after receiving feedback that it didn’t fit its genre. Our donors will choose (in the backer survey sent out after the campaign ends) which of the two covers becomes the actual published version! You can still get whichever cover you like, no matter which one wins; one of the covers will be a Kickstarter exclusive.

In honor of our new cover, both of today’s stories are from Broad Knowledge, and both involve visitations of numinous creatures: Sarina Dorie’s “The Visitations of Seraphim by Biblical Scholar Father Anthony Maguire” and Sonya Taaffe’s “Like Milkweed” (from which today’s cover comes).

Taaffe’s story, a reprint which originally appeared in 2014 in Not One of Us #52, is of a woman, Alicja, talking to a mysterious visiting alien about her ex-girlfriend, who left her after staying with her through her transition, because of the aliens, in a roundabout way. It’s a contemplative and emotionally raw story, gorgeously told.

Of her story, Sarina Dorie writes:

With many of my stories, the premise starts as a question or concept. For The Visitations of Seraphim by Biblical Scholar Father Anthony Maguire, I started off thinking about the questions all of us probably ask about angels. Historically or mythologically they are supposed to be genderless but we always create angels in our image, so what if we wrote about genderless angels or angels that choose their gender? If modern day humans were faced with the divine and it was so beautiful we couldn’t comprehend it, how would we react?


About the Authors

Sarina Dorie has sold about 100 short stories to markets like Daily Science Fiction, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s IGMS, Cosmos, and Sword and Laser. Her steampunk romance series, The Memory Thief, and her collections, Fairies, Robots and Unicorns—Oh My! and Ghosts, Werewolves and Zombies—Oh My! are available on Amazon, along with other books. You can find more information about her quirky fantasy series or other short stories or novels at

Sonya Taaffe’s short fiction and poetry can be found most recently in the collection Ghost Signs (Aqueduct Press) and in the anthologies The Museum of All Things Awesome and That Go Boom, Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place, and An Alphabet of Embers: An Anthology of Unclassifiables. She reads dead languages for fun, edits living poets for Strange Horizons, and lives in Somerville, MA with her husband and two cats. She once named a Kuiper belt object.

26 June 2018

Just imagine if people took every word that came out of your mouth as seriously as they take every bullet fired out of a gun.

Today we feature two different takes on the power of your voice.

In R. S. Benedict’s “Clara Vox,” that power is very literal: the main character is saved from suicide by a woman with the dubious gift of possessing a voice that people can’t disobey, which is only fair since she (it’s strongly implied) also caused her to go off her antidepressants by doing an anti-drug PSA. Benedict says:

“Clara Vox” came to me while I was stuck in a low-paying job writing copy without meaningful opportunities to use my talents to their fullest extent. At the time, being able to write felt like having one of those ironic gifts from the gods you read about in Greek mythology: eternal life without eternal youth, the uncontrollable ability to turn everything into gold, perfect prophecies that no one else will believe, that sort of thing.

In L. Timmel Duchamp’s classic science fiction story “The Forbidden Words of Margaret A.” (from which today’s title comes), a black female dissident’s words are so inflammatory and radical that the government puts her into quarantine on a military base and passes a law (The Limited Censorship for the Preservation of National Security Act) to systematically and completely obliterate them.

In her quest to meet with Margaret A., the reporter-narrator meets a “Justice Department official assigned to what they call ‘the Margaret A. Desk’—an ‘expert’ who cheerfully admitted to me that he had never heard or read any of Margaret A.’s words himself.” In a story deeply engaged with the power and danger of women’s voices, and women of color’s voices especially, the reader never finds out what Margaret A. advocated for, or indeed her full name, which functions to keep the focus on her silencing, and on what may happen when inevitably the next generation pushes for the law to be overturned.

Duchamp may have been thinking of political prisoners like South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela or Myanmar’s pro-democracy politician Aung San Suu Kyi, who were both imprisoned by their respective governments when the story was first published in 1990.

However, the text itself allows for Margaret A. to be an ordinary woman making mundane observations about oppression, who happened to hit the cultural zeitgeist at a particular moment of cultural change, like the one we are living through now with the #metoo movement. The narrator expects to meet “not only the most remarkable woman in history, but probably the most charismatic, charming and possibly lovable person I would ever have the pleasure of knowing,” and is startled to find instead a “a small stout figure in gray cotton shirt and pants” whose interview is a “disappointment.” Many ordinary women have had the experience of pointing out seemingly obvious gender bias and having their words treated (mostly—but sadly not exclusively—by men) as inappropriate and out of line. Margaret A.’s imprisonment is this reflexive patriarchal silencing writ large.


About the Authors

R. S. Benedict grew up in rural New York but spent three years living in China. Her work has appeared in Unicorn Booty and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

L. Timmel Duchamp is the author of several books, including The Waterdancer’s World and Never at Home. Her five-novel Marq’ssan Cycle series was awarded a Special Honor by the 2009 James Tiptree, Jr. Award jury. In 2004, she founded Aqueduct Press, which now claims the lion’s share of her time and effort and won her the 2017 World Fantasy Special Award—Professional. She lives in Seattle. Find her at Her “The Forbidden Words of Margaret A.” was first published in Pulphouse 8 and has been anthologized in The Women Who Walk Through Fire and Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology.

25 June 2018

There’s a slight green sheen. Not from the lichen or whatever, just normal rot.

About today’s two stories, editor Octavia Cade writes:

Are there limits to the consumptions we’ll perform as a community, as H. Pueyo argues in “I Eat”? When we choose, as ecosystem actors, to act to the detriment of that ecosystem as a whole, is there ever any coming back from that? We tell ourselves stories of single persons and change, but there are times this takes on the sticky-sweet patina of myth, and by framing her question within a post-apocalyptic environment Pueyo questions the choices we can make as part of a learning and adaptive community.

In the absence of that community we lose a culture. In the second post- apocalyptic story of the anthology, Rem Wigmore in “Who Watches” follows the single survivor of a lichen infestation that is so transformative its victims are no longer human. They remain edible, but as Sam navigates the wreck of her old life, eating what was once her own kind, she’s still the last gasp of an old method of consumption. The new has adapted, evolved, and has its own method of eating outsiders, turning them into something else.



We have a little news: Broad Knowledge contributor Rati Mehrotra just had another of her stories longlisted for the Sunburst Awards! (Ursula Pflug, who had a story in our anthology The Museum of All Things Awesome and That Go Boom, is also on the list.) Congratulations to all!

We’ve also made the weekly roundup at Paper Cat Press, and at the International Examiner: Seattle’s Asian Pacific Islander nonprofit news source since 1974.


About the Authors

H. Pueyo is a South American writer, currently living somewhere in Brazil. She writes short stories and comics of many genres, published both in English and Portuguese. Find her portfolio at or follow her on Twitter: @argiopidae.

Rem Wigmore, also published under Summer Wigmore, is a speculative fiction writer based in Wellington. Their first novel The Wind City was published in 2013 by Steam Press and they had a short story in the 2016 At the Edge anthology. They like coffee, snacks, and destroying the patriarchy.

24 June 2018

There is a constant buzz that is very nearly comforting.

Tabitha Sin’s “The Donor,” from Broad Knowledge, and Kathryn McMahon’s “The Honey Witch” (from which today’s title comes), from Sharp & Sugar Tooth, both explore the horrific side of preservation. In both, organs are taken over by something else, something that is supposed to keep them safe from harm or injury, but at what cost?

In “The Donor,” an organ harvester discovers a donor who is supposed to be freshly dead, but who comes alive in an extremely unsettling way:

In “The Honey Witch,” a beekeeper tries to help her ex-lover with honey and beeswax, but the two women discover the danger of the magic she tries without fully understanding what she is letting into her home.

Kathryn McMahon writes:

I get a lot of inspiration from nature shows or articles. I like to take something real and warp it, and when writing horror, I play with it and stretch it out until it’s grotesque. In the case of my story “The Honey Witch” in Sharp & Sugar Tooth, I’d come across an article about a saint’s remains preserved in beeswax. Beeswax and honey are incredible materials that have almost an immortal lifespan as long as they are pure. Archaeologists have discovered honey made by bees in ancient Egypt that is still edible today. And anything preserved in beeswax or honey lasts a long, long time. Honey is also used in the treatment of wounds and has a variety of health benefits. It’s no wonder that it has been viewed as possessing magical, curative properties—but what if that magic was misused?

Donate now to pre-order both anthologies!


About the Authors

Kathryn McMahon is an American writer living abroad with her British wife and dog. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Baltimore Review, Crack the Spine, and Necessary Fiction, among others. More of her writing can be found at She tweets as @katoscope.

Tabitha Sin is a speculative fiction and hybrid memoir-fiction writer. Her science fiction works have been published in Dear Robot: An Anthology of Epistolary Science Fiction and Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction. Her hybrid memoir-fiction pieces can be found in Side B Magazine and Moonroots zine. She is a VONA alum and a mango fiend.

23 June 2018

There, just behind his teeth, is what I’m looking for: ugly thoughts, viscous as boiled tendon.

Today we spotlight two stories of eating souls, Crystal Lynn Hilbert’s “Soul of Soup Bones” and Alyssa Wong’s “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” (from which today’s title comes):

Unlike most of the stories in these anthologies, both of these stories have been published before: you can read “Soul of Soup Bones” in Apex Magazine and “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” in the 2015 Queers Destroy Horror! issue of Nightmare. It won the 2015 Nebula Award for Best Short Story and the 2016 World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction!


About the Authors

Crystal Lynn Hilbert lives in the forgotten backwaters of Western Pennsylvania and subsists mostly on old trade paperbacks and tea. A fan of things magical and mythical, her stories tend towards a peculiar blend of high magic and Eddic poetry. You can read her latest stories “Oath Breaker Priest to an Almost God” and “Rediscovering the Lich: A Study on the Lost Art of Self-Reanimation” in Betwixt Magazine. A monster masquerading as her sleeps at

Alyssa Wong lives in Chapel Hill, NC, and really, really likes crows. She was a finalist for the 2016 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Hugo Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Locus Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. Her work has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, and, among others. Alyssa can be found on Twitter as @crashwong.

22 June 2018

To give that much, so thoughtfully, you have to have a self, well-established, and conscientiously choose to give of it.

Today we feature two stories from Sharp & Sugar Tooth which center around generosity: Erin Horáková’s “A Year Without the Taste of Meat” and A. R. Henle’s “Strong Meat.” But first, a little news!

On to our stories!

In her introduction, Octavia Cade writes that, “the fate of ritual and recipe are explored further in . . . “Dear Son” by Joyce Chng [where] they’re used to pass on generosity.” We featured Chng’s story on June 6th. The idea of food as a cultural mechanism for generosity is woven throughout this collection.

In “Strong Meat,” a specialty chef uses sympathetic magic in her meat courses to strengthen her clients’ good natures. A.R. Henle writes:

How I got the idea for my story rather resembles the old ad for Reese’s peanut butter cups—where the chocolate and the peanut butter bump into each other in the dark and decide to be friends. In my case, however, a couple of other things joined the mix. One day I read some of the slew of articles about mice born from eggs and sperm formed from skin cells. This somehow intersected with celebrity chef culture, then met up with revenge sagas and took a hard turn into horror. There the story elements discovered certain Greek myths and, oddly enough, self-help books. All this mixed together and resulted in a story about “Strong Meat.”

In “A Year Without the Taste of Meat,” the narrator returns home to share a ritual meal with her ex’s new lover to mourn the death of their mutual friend, something that the new lover could have denied to her: “We talked in the kitchen while Lova ground the bone for ash cookies. I felt certain that Ebba had loved Lova for her incredible generosity. That is the right word, rather than selflessness. To give that much, so thoughtfully, you have to have a self, well-established, and conscientiously choose to give of it.”

Go to the Kickstarter to donate now!


About the Authors

A. R. Henle is an archivist, historian, and librarian (not necessarily in that order). She writes non-fiction by day and fantasy by night—except when story ideas sneak into her head during daylight hours and demand to be written right now.

Erin Horáková is a southern American writer who lives in London. She’s working towards her literature PhD, which focuses on how charm evolves over time.

21 June 2018

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