Posts tagged ‘Daniel Jose Older’


Readers who’ve had their fill of dystopian fiction will want to explore these more positive futures.
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Release date: 29 August 2017

About this book:

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation is the first English-language anthology to broadly collect solarpunk short fiction, artwork, and poetry. A new genre for the 21st Century, solarpunk is a revolution against despair. Focusing on solutions to environmental disasters, solarpunk envisions a future of green, sustainable energy used by societies that value inclusiveness, cooperation, and personal freedom.

Edited by Phoebe Wagner and Bronté Christopher Wieland, Sunvault focuses on the stories of those inhabiting the crucial moments when great change can be made by people with the right tools; stories of people living during tipping points, and the spaces before and after them; and stories of those who fight to effect change and seek solutions to ecological disruption.

Contributors include Elgin Award nominee Kristine Ong Muslim, New York Times bestselling author Daniel José Older, James Tiptree, Jr. Award winner Nisi Shawl, World Fantasy Award and Campbell Award winner Lavie Tidhar, and Lambda Literary Awards finalist A.C. Wise, as well as Jess Barber, Santiago Belluco, Lisa M. Bradley, Chloe N. Clark, Brandon Crilly, Yilun Fan and translator S. Qiouyi Lu, Jaymee Goh, José M. Jimenez, Maura Lydon, Camille Meyers, Lev Mirov, joel nathanael, Clara Ng, Sara Norja, Brandon O’Brien, Jack Pevyhouse, Bethany Powell, C. Samuel Rees, Iona Sharma, Karyn L. Stecyk, Bogi Takács, Aleksei Valentín, T.X. Watson, Nick Wood, and Tyler Young.

Table of Contents:

  • Fiction and poetry:
    • Foreword: Andrew Dincher “On the Origins of Solarpunk”
    • Jess Barber, “You and Me and the Deep Dark Sea”
    • Santiago Belluco, “The Death of Pax”
    • Lisa M. Bradley & José M. Jimenez, “Strandbeest Dreams”
    • Chloe N. Clark, “Fairy Tales & Other Species of Life” and “Please”
    • Brandon Crilly, “Pop and the CFT”
    • Yilun Fan, trans. S. Qiouyi Lu, “Speechless Love”
    • Jaymee Goh, “The Reset”
    • Maura Lydon, “The Herbalist”
    • Camille Meyers, “Solar Child”
    • Lev Mirov, “The Desert, Blooming”
    • Kristine Ong Muslim, “Boltzmann Brain”
    • joel nathanael, “light sail star bound”
    • Sara Norja, “Sunharvest Triptych”
    • Brandon O’Brien, “The Sailor-Boys”
    • Daniel José Older, “Dust
    • Jack Pevyhouse, “Solar Powered Giraffes”
    • Bethany Powell, “recursive”
    • C. Samuel Rees, “Teratology”
    • Iona Sharma, “Eight Cities”
    • Nisi Shawl, “The Colors of Money”
    • Karyn L. Stecyk, “The Trees Between”
    • Bogi Takács, “Synthesis: This Shining Confluence”
    • Lavie Tidhar, “The Road to the Sea”
    • Aleksei Valentín, “The Seven Species”
    • T.X. Watson “The Boston Hearth Project
    • A.C. Wise, “A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World”
    • Nick Wood, “Thirstlands”
    • Tyler Young, “Last Chance”
  • Artwork:
    • Likhain (cover)
    • Christine Moleski, “Solar Flare”
    • Clara Ng, “Hand Over the Future”
    • Sireesha Reddy, “Pan, Legs Resting”
    • Carlin Reynolds, “Radio Silence”
    • Bogi Takács, “Facing the Sun”
    • Leigh Wallace, “Through the Glass”

About the Editors:

Phoebe Wagner grew up in Pennsylvania, the third generation to live in the Susquehanna River Valley. She spent her days among the endless hills pretending to be an elf, and, eventually, earned a B.A. in English: Creative Writing from Lycoming College, where she also met her husband. She is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. Follow her on Twitter: @pheebs_w.

Brontë Christopher Wieland is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University where he thinks about how language, culture, and storytelling shape the world around us. In 2014, he earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Mathematics and Linguistics. His fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Online and Hypertext Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @BeezyAl.

About the Contributors:

Jess Barber lives in Cambridge, MA, where she spends her days (and sometimes nights) building open-source electronics. She is a graduate of the 2015 Clarion Writing Workshop, and her work has recently appeared in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection. You can find her online at

Santiago Belluco is a neuroscientist born and raised in Brazil before moving to America to get the usual degrees needed to become a real scientist (namely a funded one). He now lives and works in Switzerland, where he writes speculative fiction and studies the neurocircuitry of vision.

Lisa M. Bradley writes speculative poetry and fiction inflected by her Latina heritage. Most recently, her work has appeared in Interfictions, Uncanny Magazine, and Strange Horizons. Her collection of short fiction and poetry is The Haunted Girl (Aqueduct Press 2014). Forged in the scalding heat of South Texas, she now lives in Iowa. She loves horror movies, gothic country music, guerilla art, and art journaling.

Chloe N. Clark holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Environment. Her work appears in Abyss & Apex, Bartleby Snopes, Apex, Hobart, Midwestern Gothic, Sleet, and more. She currently writes for Nerds of a Feather and Ploughshares. She can be followed @PintsNCupcakes.

An Ottawa teacher by day, Brandon Crilly, has been previously published by On Spec, The 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, Third Flatiron Anthologies, and other markets, with an upcoming short story in 49th Parallels: Alternative Canadian Histories and Futures. He was a semi-finalist in the 4th quarter of Writers of the Future 32, contributes regularly to, and is the Assistant Editorial Director of TEGG Games. You can find Brandon at or on Twitter: @B_Crilly. His first TEGG short story, “Wizard-sitting,” is now available at

Yilun Fan is a PhD student of comparative literature at the University of California, Riverside. She loves reading and writing science fiction because she believes in the power of story. She used to work for the official website of World Chinese Science Fiction Association as an editor and is now a columnist for Science Fiction World magazine.

Jaymee Goh is a Malaysian-Chinese writer currently based in California, writing a dissertation on steampunk. Previous publication credits include Strange Horizons, Science Fiction Studies, and more recently recompose magazine.

José M. Jimenez is a programmer with the heart of a poet. As Director of Research Information Systems at the University of Iowa, he creates systems that streamline administrative processes so researchers can focus on their projects, not paperwork. His interests include data visualization, workplace diversity and inclusion, geocaching, cooking, and Ingress. He is a proud parent and a beleaguered cat guardian.

Likhain is a Filipina artist and writer who works in ink, watercolor, poetry, and odd bits of creative non-fiction. She is a recipient of the 2016 Tiptree Fellowship and has been nominated for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist. A loving albeit wayward daughter of Metro Manila, she now lives in regional Australia with her partner, their pomeranians, and their princess cat.

S. Qiouyi Lu is a writer, editor, narrator, and translator; their translation with Ken Liu of “Chimera” by Gu Shi appeared in the March 2016 issue of Clarkesworld. Visit S. online at or follow them on Twitter at @sqiouyilu.

Maura Lydon is a college senior studying Environmental Science with a minor in Creative Writing at Hollins University. You can find her stories in Wings of Renewal: A Solarpunk Dragon Anthology and the online magazine Abyss & Apex. She enjoys writing, reading, and growing as many plants as will fit in her room.

Camille Meyers is a writer and wildlife conservation biologist with wanderlust. She has worked with falcons in Belize and as a zookeeper in Washington State. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University, where she received the 2014 Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship in Creative Writing. She served as poetry editor for Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment and volunteers in wildlife rehab at the Iowa Wildlife Center.

Lev Mirov is a queer disabled mixed race Filipino-American living in rural Maryland with his spouse Aleksei Valentín. Before he was a published poet, he studied medieval history, magic, and religion. His Rhysling-nominated poetry has appeared in Through the Gate, Liminality Magazine, Strange Horizons, and in other magazines and anthologies, and his speculative fiction has appeared in the anthology Myriad Lands.

Canadian illustrator and comic artist Christine Moleski recently graduated from the University of Regina (BA English, BFA Visual Arts). She self-published her first original comic book, ICE, as part of her graduating exhibition. She is interested in the individual human experience and how that experience resonates with humanity as a whole. “Solar Flare” was inspired by cybernetics, i-tech, and clean energy sources. You can find ICE, and more of her work, at

Kristine Ong Muslim is the author of eight books of fiction and poetry including, most recently, Black Arcadia, Meditations of a Beast, Butterfly Dream, and Age of Blight. She serves as poetry editor of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction and was co-editor with Nalo Hopkinson of the original fiction section of the Lightspeed Magazine special issue People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! Widely anthologized and published in magazines, she grew up and continues to live in a rural town in southern Philippines.

joel nathanael is a second year MFA candidate in the Creative Writing & Environment program at Iowa State University. His writing interests are in and around the nexus of art and science. He has been given the title of space poet, due to his unrelenting obsession with the subject matter, and where he is often situated, the honorific is apt. While in the MFA program, Joel wishes to further his understanding of poetry through practice. He is currently working on multimedia thesis exploring recursive methods of interpretation of a given source text—space poetry.

Clara Ng is a confused snail scooting through life, soon to be a confused snail with a proper degree. Her greatest desire is to be a Renaissance snail, skilled in all the disciplines, but that’s sort of up in the air right now. She has appeared in several university theatre productions, been published in some other small magazines, and is very honored to be included in this anthology. Someday, she hopes to live in a solarpunk world, as one might have guessed.

Sara Norja dreams in two languages and has a predilection for tea. Born in England and settled in Helsinki, Finland, she lives for words, dance, and moments of wonder. Her poetry has appeared in venues including Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, inkscrawl, Through the Gate, Stone Telling, and Interfictions. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Flash Fiction Online, and the anthology An Alphabet of Embers. She blogs at and can be found on Twitter as @suchwanderings.

Writer, performance poet, and performance facilitator Brandon O’Brien is from Trinidad and Tobago. His poetry is published or forthcoming in Control Literary Magazine, Uncanny Magazine, and Strange Horizons, and my prose has been published in New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean. He has been shortlisted for the 2014 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing and the 2014 and 2015 Small Axe Literary Competitions. He currently serves as the poetry editor of FIYAH Magazine.

Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Shadowshaper Cypher, including Shadowhouse Fall and Shadowshaper (Scholastic, 2015), a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, which won the International Latino Book Award and was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature, the Andre Norton Award, the Locus, the Mythopoeic Award, and named one of Esquire‘s 80 Books Every Person Should Read. He also writes the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series from Penguin’s Roc Books. He co-edited the Locus- and World Fantasy-nominated anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic, and hear his music at, on Youtube, and @djolder on Twitter.

Jack Pevyhouse is a poet and writer with a BA in English and a minor in Creative Writing from UNC Pembroke, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the student literary magazine, The Aurochs, from August 2015 to December 2016. He is working towards an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Wilmington. His poetry has been published in the online magazines Paper Crown and Open Thought Vortex. He is also a scriptwriter, an assistant producer, and, in season two, voiced the Fig Wasp King for the award-winning audio drama podcast, Jim Robbie and the Wanderers, available to listen to, for free, on iTunes, Google Play, Podbay, and Stitcher.

Bethany Powell‘s first published poem was inspired by her hobby of hand-spinning yarn – the literal kind. After a youth of traipsing the US coasts and Japanese inland, she is now based in weird rural Oklahoma. You can find more of her work at

Sireesha Reddy is currently studying in California, loves to travel, and is really into cultural diversity. She can be found on Tumblr ( and on Instagram (@sirinsq).

C. Samuel Rees has been featured in The Fairy Tale Review, Grimoire Magazine, The Account, Bridge Magazine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Matador Review, and JMWW, among others. Most recently he has been anthologized in The Dead Animal Handbook (University of Hell Press) and his poem “Guten Abend, Gute Nacht” was nominated for a Pushcart prize. C. Samuel is an Austin-based educator and poet who subsists on a steady diet of horror films and books on desert/river ecology.

Iona Sharma is a writer, lawyer, and linguaphile and the product of more than one country. She’s currently working on her first novel. She can be found at and tweeting as @singlecrow.

Karyn Stecyk is a writer/editor for an indie video game studio. Her hobbies include rocking out to symphonic and power metal, traveling against the advice of her wallet, eating expensive chocolates, and of course, maxing out her video gaming stats.

Bogi Takács is a Hungarian Jewish agender person currently living in the US with eir cheerful neuroatypical family. E writes and edits speculative poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and eir work has been published in a variety of venues like Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Apex, and Strange Horizons. Bogi also draws, designs, and typesets things on occasion. If you liked this poem, Bogi recommends the stories “For Your Optimal Hookboarding Experience,” published in Lackington’s, and “Forestspirit, Forestspirit” in Clarkesworld. You can find Bogi at and as @bogiperson on Twitter and Instagram. E also reviews SFF at

Lavie Tidhar is the author of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winning and Premio Roma nominee A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), the World Fantasy Award winning Osama (2011), and of the critically-acclaimed The Violent Century (2013). His latest novel is Central Station (2016). He is the author of many other novels, novellas, and short stories.

Aleksei Valentín is a queer, disabled, Jewish Latinx PhD student by day and writer by night. They live on the outskirts of the Battle of Antietam in Maryland with their husband and fellow writer, Lev Mirov, and two spoiled cats. Currently, they’re working on a Religious Studies dissertation and fitting in time for poetry and paranormal romance. Whenever they escape the library, they can be found scoping out deals on ballet tickets, cooking kosher and gluten-free food, and hunting for the world’s best cup of coffee. Their poetry has previously appeared in Liminality Magazine, and a joint paranormal romance with their husband, The Gods of Small Things, is coming out in early 2017. To see where they’re rolling next, connect with them at

Leigh Wallace is an Ottawa writer, artist, and narrator who works as an Access to Information and Privacy analyst for the government of Canada. Her fiction is available or upcoming in Tesseracts 19, Urban Fantasist, and Podcastle, and more of her art is available at This is her first professional art sale.

T.X. Watson studies Sci Fi and Fantasy as a form of activism at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. Watson has been deeply engaged with solarpunk since late 2014, contributing to the growth of the genre with the Tumblr blog Watsons-Solarpunk, and, later, cofounding Solarpunk Press, a free solarpunk web fiction magazine at Their hobbies include digital art and binge-watching YouTube videos analyzing popular media.

A.C. Wise was born and raised in Montreal and currently lives in the Philadelphia area. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Liminal, and, among other places. Her collections, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again and The Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories, are both available from Lethe Press. In addition to her fiction, she coedits Unlikely Story, and contributes a monthly review column to Apex. Find her online at and on twitter as @ac_wise.

South African clinical psychologist Nick Wood has about twenty short stories published in various SFF magazines and anthologies, as well as a YA SF book under the “Young Africa” series entitled The Stone Chameleon, and a recent adult SF novel Azanian Bridges.

Tyler Young is a Midwestern lawyer. His work has previously been published in Daily Science Fiction and Nature. When he isn’t writing speculative fiction, he is usually at a zoo or museum with his wife and two young children.

Reviews & Mentions:

Mentioned in:

and “A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World” by A.C. Wise was chosen for inclusion in The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume Three, edited by Neil Clarke.

It was very fitting to name this anthology Sunvault, because it was truly a vault of little treasures. A collection of short stories, poems, and even drawings about the sun, plants, water, and different methods to live in peace with our planet. In them, you can find dozens of creative inventions, from solar-powered giraffes to green children. You can find activists who risk their lives and freedom for others, and people who are just trying to live in this world. You can also find the characteristics and people of many different cultures.

–Alexa, “Review: Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” A Thousand Worlds, 27 April 2018.

Many have called solarpunk naïve and pointless utopia, but there is nothing pointless in dreaming. When we imagine the future as we want it, we concretise it. We take our lofty ideals and make them real, attainable. And solarpunk stories are more than the objective: they are the road map, too. The fights along the way, the hardships as weather-beaten cities reform their means of food production, the struggles of self-sustaining communities shut down by governments who don’t want them off-grid. That is the –punk suffix. It is a rebellion against despair and fatalism, a refusal to accept false universal truths pushed down our throats through a promise to ourselves to create kinder, more hopeful worlds. We can read such stories in anthologies such as Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation.

–Claudie Arseneault, “Constructing a Kinder Future,” Strange Horizons, 23 April 2018.

Sometimes, science fiction can feel like it deals mostly in dystopias and other scary versions of the future. Into this darkness, solarpunk shines a ray of hope. The editors of this anthology describe solarpunk as a genre focused on “solutions to environmental disasters,” envisioning “a future of green, sustainable energy used by societies that value inclusiveness, cooperation, and personal freedom.” With stories by authors like Lavie Tidhar, Chloe N. Clark, Nisi Shawl, and Daniel José Older, and gorgeous artwork by Likhain, this anthology is a must-read for anyone feeling beaten down by stories of our grim future.

–Maria Haskins, “10 Recent Anthologies That Show Us What SFF Can Do,” Barnes and Noble Blog, 26 April 2018.

Politically, the stories vary, but they always feature a progressive focus on race, gender, and equality of all kinds: many revolve around themes of difference, recognition, and acceptance. Non-normativity is often raised to the level of heroism by imagining a world that facilitates the accentuation of one’s abilities precisely because of their difference.

–Rhys Williams, “Solarpunk: Against a Shitty Future,” Los Angeles Review of Books, 10 March 2018

Wise encapsulates the feelings of awe and dread that the natural world tends to inspire.

–Carly Nairn, “13 Female ‘Cli-Fi’ Writers Who Are Inspiring a Better Future,Sierra: The national magazine of the Sierra Club, 8 March 2018.

There’s not a bad short story or poem between the book’s two covers; editors Phoebe Wagner and Bronte Christopher Wieland certainly did an excellent job in selection and arrangement. . . . If you have any interest at all in science fiction or environmentalism—hell, even if you don’t—do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Sunvault and check out the budding solarpunk communities online.

–Eoin Madigan, “Review | Solarpunk – An Exposition,” HeadStuff, 27 February 2018

The selection of short stories is as eclectic and diverse as the authors, drawing from multiple styles and languages. The masterful Daniel José Older, author of the Shadowshaper and Bone Street Rumba fantasy series, contributes “Dust,” a tale of uprising that plays with fluidity of gender and space-opera tropes to tell an ultimately hopeful story. “The Road to the Sea,” by the Israeli author and Campbell Award laureate Lavie Tidhar, is both elegiac and uplifting. “Boston Hearth Project” by T. X. Watson is an action-packed, propulsive story that imagines a near-future Occupy with augmented reality tech. Iona Sharma’s “Eight Cities” explores faith and consciousness against the backdrop of a Delhi inundated by rivers swollen as a result of a changing climate. And “Speechless Love” by Yilun Fan (translated from Mandarin by S. Qiouyi Lu) tells the story of a relationship between two “stratospherians” in a future where “atmosphere colonization replaced space colonization.” . . . The true genius of this work lies in its essence as a community project, as a labor of love by writers, artists and editors.

–Paul Daniel Ash, “Book Review: “Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Hunger Mountain, 27 February 2018.

This is one of those books that gave me a real warmth in my heart while reading it.

–Michelle Meador, “Sunvault,” 3 January 2018.

The best story here is Lavie Tidhar’s “The Road to the Sea”, an autumnal but mutedly lyrical look at a society struggling to survive and put itself back together after most of the world as we know it has been destroyed by catastrophic climate change. Also good is “A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of the World,” by A.C. Wise, another autumnal story about the people, mostly older folk, who choose to remain behind on an Earth with a rapidly shrinking habitable zone, while their children set off in generation ships to seek refuge out among the stars. . . . So, a number of strong stories and some good reading here, but there’s no real reason why the majority of the stories couldn’t have been published in an ecological/climate change anthology rather than a specifically solarpunk one.

–Gardner Dozois, “Gardner Dozois Reviews Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, edited by Phoebe Wagner & Brontë Christopher Wieland,” Locus, 2 January 2018.

. . . this was a stand out collection of short fiction. . . . I am much more interested in the eco-punk style of fiction than dystopias because generally there’s more optimism involved with a combination of building, fighting, growing and with a focus on change and transformation generally. That’s definitely true of this collection, and it also makes me think about various things in current society and directions we’re going, turning points we’re approaching, and ones that have passed as well. This is a book not just of stories, but of art and poetry, it’s beautifully curated and this tiny summary does not do the book justice—I highly recommend it.

–Ju, “My favourite reads from 2017,” The Conversationalist, 2 January 2018.

I feel that the only complaint I can have about this book is that it has left me with a huge hunger for more Solarpunk stories which I know is going to be difficult to fill.

–Sarah, “Book Review – Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Brenhines Books, 14 October 2017

Third, in these imagined futures, family structures and genders are rearranged in any number of ways. From children being raised in collectives, to stories without gendered pronouns, to full on gender fluidity, after the end of the world we rely less and less on Christian/American definitions of our most basic relationships. It is key that in these frequently utopian stories, people set their own definitions based on what works for them and allows them to “get the job done.” The “job” is key to Daniel Jose Older’s story, “Dust”. I’ll be honest with you, this story is so good I had to put my e-reader down and walk away. I couldn’t read anything else the rest of the day, I just had to hold parts of the story in my mind.

–L. E. H. Light, “Explore Solarpunk SciFi with Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Black Nerd Problems, 6 October 2017.

Standing at the intersection of science and humanities, the book could rightfully be classified as Sci Hum—in the same way the merger of medicine and humanities produced a variety of programs termed Med Hum and Lit Med.

–Lanie Tankard, “Eye on the Indies,” 12 September 2017.

Contributor Sara Norja talks a little about how she wrote her poem “Sunharvest Triptych” in “Such Wanderings,” 30 August 2017.

BW: To me, the root of a -punk genre necessarily needs to be countercultural. In a very basic way, solarpunk responds to and challenges SF and Hollywood’s recent spell of “gritty reboot” stories. More deeply, though, solarpunk manifests a counterculture in the ways that it is community-focused, anti-capitalist, decolonial, inclusive, etc. Solarpunk presents an alternative. Every piece in Sunvault is in some way a response to the artists’ concerns for the world around them and a little nugget of hope.

–Sarena Ulibarri, “Interview with the Editors of Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” 29 August 2017.

When Brontë Wieland and I started tossing around the idea of editing an anthology together, we were both disillusioned with the dystopian trend in SF. While dystopian worlds and stories offered the opportunity to explore different ideas of destruction and how our current trends in politics, environment, capitalism, globalism, and so on might play out, the stories seemed too hopeless. . . . When I stumbled upon solarpunk through the active Tumblr community, I knew I’d found the positive, inspiring, yet deeply layered genre I wanted to explore.

–Phoebe Wagner, “Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation – Anthology – (Guest Post),” Always Trust In Books, 29 August 2017.

The anthology has a brilliant selection of short stories. The Boston Hearth Project by T X Watson, with its Occupy Wall Street meets heist movie vibe is extremely entertaining. Another favourite is Speechless Love by Yilun Fan, which is a truly sapiosexual romance. Eight Cities by Iona Sharma, peppered with Hindi words and set in a drowned Delhi, was a surreal piece. Last Chance by Tyler Young is a beautiful story about choices. The Trees Between by Karyn L Stecyk is another favourite story. It is filled with a hope that made me smile.

Boltzmann Brain by Kristine Ong Muslim is another brilliant and chilling piece. The Road to the Sea by Lavie Tidhar, reflects on how human greed pushed things over the edge. The Reset by Jaymee Goh asks us what would happen if there were a reset button that we could push. Solar Child by Camille Meyers takes an intriguing look at how humans may try to push forward their own evolution, and wonders if it will be enough. A Catalogue of Sunlight at the End of The World,by A.C. Wise is a touching story about goodbyes and new beginnings. These are just a handful of my favourites out of the many more excellent short stories in this anthology.

–Vijayalakshmi Harish, “Book Review: Sunvault – Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” thereadingdesk, 29 August 2017.


  I highly recommend it, particularly for those looking to get an overview of this subgenre. —Elizabeth, “Sunvault edited by Phoebe Wagner and Bronte Christopher Wieland,” Earl Grey Editing Services, 28 August 2017.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars . . . While there are many varying ideas on what solarpunk is in this book I never felt like any of the included stories or poems missed the mark. All of them were fascinating to read and offered a refreshing speculative look into climate change, post apocalyptic scenarios, interstellar communities, time travel, and other forms of science fiction. But whatever the situation there often still remains hope for a better and brighter future. . . . This is a must have anthology and a great addition to the solarpunk genre.

–“ARC Book Review: Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Dragon Realm Books, 23 August 2017.

PW: I hope readers feel encouraged to become engaged, that it isn’t hopeless. We have a hard road ahead when it comes to climate change and social justice. This summer has seen America pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and I’m still sick over the domestic terrorism in Charlottesville. It does not feel like a hopeful time. I hope the stories, poems, and art in Sunvault will encourage small and large actions, encourage resistance, and bring joy. It’s hard not to smile when I look at Likhain’s bright cover.

–Christi Craig, “Q&A with the Editors of Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” 23 August 2017.

In a time when it’s all too easy to imagine a grim future where corporations and profit are valued over individual people, and hate-speech is given free rein, The Boston Hearth Project offers hope. It is a story of camaraderie, resistance, and working for a greater good, all of which make it an excellent, and timely, starting place for T.X. Watson’s work.

–A. C. Wise, review of T.X. Watson’s “The Boston Hearth Project,” “Non-Binary Authors to Read: Where to Start – Part 9,” 22 August 2017.


  Solarpunk really does live up to its description and was much more uplifting and hopeful than I expected. It was a refreshing change from not only my reading life, but my day-to-day life as well. —”Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks …of Books, 15 August 2017


I cannot wait to find out what solarpunk and eco-speculation are all about. And look at that gorgeous cover art by Likhain!

—”The SF Bluestocking 2017 Summer Reading List,” 30 June 2017.

Every story and poem in this optimistic illustrated anthology of “solarpunk and eco-speculation” portrays a future in which environmental disaster is encroaching on or encompassing our world, but a glimmer of hope remains. . . . Some pieces are bizarre. Many are haunting and will linger in the reader’s memory. Readers who’ve had their fill of dystopian fiction will want to explore these more positive futures.

Publishers Weekly, 19 June 2017.

. . . once again in English, Upper Rubber Boot Books in Nashville will be publishing an anthology entitled Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation, which has been financed through a Kickstarter campaign that raised an incredible 6000 dollars.

–Luca Albani, “Solarpunk, the First Anthologies Published and Those in Progress,” Medium, 16 May 2017.

I put in Proulx’s hand something she was in no position to offer me: hope. Specifically, I gave her a postcard for an anthology called Sunvault, a book of “solarpunk” stories postulating a future in which we overcome our species’ doom. Solarpunk, aka “ecospec,” aka “cli-fi,” is a subgenre of SFFH confronting the looming threats of melting ice caps, rapidly rising oceans, monster storms, and the thousand other slings and arrows of climatic catastrophe.

–Nisi Shawl, “Future Alternative Past: hope for the ecospec-future,” The Seattle Review of Books, 11 May 2017.

There’s a lot of discussion about what solarpunk is or isn’t, but the truth is there just hasn’t been enough written to set the tropes and expectations yet. Some of what has been called “climate fiction” could be called solarpunk as well, if it presents an optimistic view of the future (which much of it does not).

–Sarena Ulibarri, “Cover Reveal: Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation,” 26 April 2017.

Some stories are so unique I couldn’t imagine them on the page until I read them. Others deal with solarpunk in a more straight forward manner. Overall, reading how writers and artists interpreted solarpunk was invigorating.

–Michael J. DeLuca, “Reckoning Interviews: Phoebe Wagner, Editor of Sunvault,” Reckoning: An annual journal of creative writing on environmental justice, 27 October 2016.

Solarpunk is a movement that considers what a sustainable, environmentally-ethical society could look like. It spans from science to religion, from social problems to sustainability, with a focus on ingenuity and community. Obviously, this description is pretty far off from most societies around the globe, so that’s what makes it a true –punk movement. While solarpunk might not be chaotic, it is countercultural. When it comes to the literary genre, solarpunk is still largely undefined, and we hope Sunvault might give shape to the genre.

–from “Interview with the Editors of Sunvault: Phoebe Wagner and Bronte Wieland,” nerds of a feather, flock together, 27 April 2016.

BW: Solarpunk, at its core, is about a future, or an idea, of ingenuity in clean energy and sustainability. Especially with that idea of counterculture and community, as I mentioned above. Eco-speculation inspects the way we interact with, and change, our environment, and what effects that will have in the future. It’s the way we experiment recklessly with our surroundings like we would never be able to experiment on subjects that were visibly mortal. It’s about the ways we are careful too, and how we try to protect and defend the world around us.

–Chloe N. Clark, “S2/ E5: Eclipsing, an interview with the editors of Sunvault, Part 1,” Luna Station Quarterly, 11 March 2016.

Other Places to Buy

United States: Amazon (paperback or Kindle); Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell’s, or these independent bookstores: Hearthside (Juneau, AK); Ernest & Hadley (Tuscaloosa, AL); Poisoned Pen (Scottsdale, AZ); Pegasus (Berkeley, CA); Skylight (Los Angeles, CA); Mysterious Galaxy (San Diego); Tattered Cover (Denver, CO); RJ Julia (Madison, CT); Ninth St (Wilmington, DE); Politics and Prose (DC); Sundog (Santa Rosa Beach, FL); Avid Bkshop (Athens, GA); Kona Stories (Kailua-Kona, HI); Prairie Lights (Iowa City); Book People (Moscow, IL); Book Cellar (Chicago, IL); Rainy Day (Kansas, KS); Watermark (Wichita, KS); Poor Richard’s (Frankfort, KY); Joseph-Beth (Lexington, KY); Octavia (New Orleans); Longfellow (Portland); The Ivy (Baltimore, MD); Porter Sq (Cambridge, MA); Schuler (Grand Rapids/Okemos); Moon Palace (Minneapolis, MN); Left Bank and Subterranean (St Louis, MO); Fact & Fiction (Missoula, MT); Sundance (Reno, NV); Gibson’s (Concord, NH); River Rd (Fair Haven, NJ); Bookworks (Albuquerque, NM); Astoria Bookshop; Community (Brooklyn, NY); McNally Jackson (New York); Malaprop’s (Asheville, NC); Park Road (Charlotte, NC); Paragraphs (Mt Vernon, OH); Brace (Ponca City, OK); Annie Bloom’s (Portland, OR); Head House (Philadelphia, PA); Books on the Square (Providence, RI); Books on Broad (Camden, SC); Mitzi’s (Rapid City, SD); Parnassus (Nashville, TN); BookPeople and BookWoman (Austin, TX); Blue Willow and Brazos (Houston, TX); King’s English (Salt Lake City, UT); Crow (Burlington, VT); Prince (Norfolk, VA); Orca (Olympia, WA); Elliott Bay (Seattle, WA); Room of One’s Own (Madison, WI); Boswell (Milwaukee, WI.)

Canada: Amazon or Chapters Indigo or these independent bookstores: Pages Kensington (Calgary, AB); BookMark (Charlottetown, PEI); Audrey’s (Edmonton, AB); Lighthouse (Fredericton, NB); BookMark and King’s Co-op (Halifax, NS); Oxford Book Shop (London, ON); Librairie Bertrand (Montreal, PQ); Singing Pebble (Ottawa, ON); Maison Anglaise (Quebec, PQ); Tidewater (Sackville, NB); Hager (Vancouver, BC); Words Worth (Waterloo, ON); McNallyRobinson (Winnipeg, SK); Yellowknife Book Cellar (Yellowknife, NT).

International: Australia: Australia: Wheelers France: Amazon Germany: Amazon Italy: Amazon New Zealand: Wheelers Spain: Amazon UK: Amazon; Blackwell’s; Book Depository

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4 comments 29 August 2017

Contributor news!

It’s been a pretty long time—nine months!—since I’ve shared contributor news, so I have a long list of stuff for you to read and enjoy below.

Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days contributors:

Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good contributors:


How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens contributors:


The Museum of All Things Awesome and That Go Boom (which will be released next year) contributors:

Soles Series contributors:

The Twelfth Planet book Letters to Tiptree includes many talented writers, including URB authors Rose Lemberg, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Sarah Pinsker, Cat Rambo, Nisi Shawl, Lucy Sussex, Rachel Swirsky, and Bogi Takács.

And, finally, Flight 505: A Novella‘s author Leslie Bohem has a TV series with Hulu involving psychics and organized crime that’s going to be awesome.

31 October 2015

How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens

  • Paperback (ISBN 978-1-937794-32-3) available used from Amazon (Canada; USA).
  • Ebook ISBN 978-1-937794-33-0 (epub) or ISBN 978-1-937794-31-6 (mobi).
  • Out of print.
  • Discuss this book at Goodreads.

About | Reviews

About this book:

How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens explores the immigrant experience in a science fiction setting, with exciting fiction and poetry from some of the genre’s best writers. A diverse book, it comprises writers from the US, Canada, Hungary, India, Laos, New Zealand, Malaysia, Ukraine, Switzerland, South Africa, the Philippines and the UK.

In these pages, you’ll find Sturgeon winner Sarah Pinsker’s robot grandmother, James Tiptree, Jr., Award winner Nisi Shawl’s prison planet and Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Award winner Ken Liu’s space- and time-spanning story of different kinds of ghosts. You’ll find Bryan Thao Worra’s Cthulhic poetry, and Pinckney Benedict’s sad, whimsical tale of genocide. You’ll travel to Frankfurt, to the moon, to Mars, to the underworld, to unnamed alien planets, under the ocean, through clusters of asteroids. You’ll land on the fourth planet from the star Deneb, and an alternate universe version of Earth, and a world of Jesuses.

The most compelling fiction articulates the unsaid, the unbearable, and the incomprehensible; these stories say things about the immigration experience that a lecture never could. The purpose of this book is, first and foremost, to entertain the casual and the sophisticated reader, but its genesis is a response to the question: Who do we become when we live with the unfamiliar?

Table of Contents:

  • Dean Francis Alfar, “Ohkti”
  • Celia Lisset Alvarez, “Malibu Barbie Moves to Mars”
  • RJ Astruc, “A Believer’s Guide to Azagarth”
  • Lisa Bao, “like father, like daughter”
  • Pinckney Benedict, “Zog-19: A Scientific Romance”
  • Lisa Bolekaja, “The Saltwater African”
  • Mary Buchinger, “Transplanted”
  • Zen Cho, “The Four Generations of Chang E”
  • Tina Connolly, “Turning the Apples”
  • Indrapramit Das, “muo-ka’s Child”
  • Tom Doyle, “The Floating Otherworld”
  • Peg Duthie, “With Light-Years Come Heaviness”
  • Thomas Greene, “Zero Bar”
  • Benjamin S. Grossberg, “The Space Traveler’s Husband,” “The Space Traveler and the Promised Planet” and “The Space Traveler and Boston”
  • Minal Hajratwala, “The Unicorn at the Racetrack”
  • Julie Bloss Kelsey, “tongue lashing” and “the itch of new skin”
  • Rose Lemberg, “The Three Immigrations”
  • Ken Liu, “Ghost Days”
  • Alex Dally MacFarlane, “Found”
  • Anil Menon, “Into The Night”
  • Joanne Merriam, “Little Ambushes”
  • Mary Anne Mohanraj, “Jump Space”
  • Daniel José Older, “Phantom Overload”
  • Abbey Mei Otis, “Blood, Blood”
  • Sarah Pinsker, “The Low Hum of Her”
  • Elyss G. Punsalan, “Ashland”
  • Benjamin Rosenbaum, “The Guy Who Worked For Money”
  • Erica L. Satifka, “Sea Changes”
  • Nisi Shawl, “In Colors Everywhere”
  • Lewis Shiner, “Primes”
  • Marge Simon, “South”
  • Sonya Taaffe, “Di Vayse Pave”
  • Bogi Takács, “The Tiny English-Hungarian Phrasebook For Visiting Extraterrestrials”
  • Bryan Thao Worra, “Dead End In December” and “The Deep Ones”
  • Deborah Walker, “Speed of Love”
  • Nick Wood, “Azania”

Contributor Bios:

Dean Francis Alfar is a fictionist, playwright and the publisher of the Philippine Speculative Fiction annuals, beginning with the first volume in 2005. His fiction has appeared in The Time Traveler’s Almanac, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, Strange Horizons, Rabid Transit: Menagerie, The Apex Book of World SF, and the Exotic Gothic anthologies, among others. His books include a novel, Salamanca, and two collections of short fiction, The Kite of Stars and other stories and How to Traverse Terra Incognita.

Celia Lisset Alvarez holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Miami and teaches at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy. Her debut collection of poetry, Shapeshifting (Spire Press, 2006), was the recipient of the 2005 Spire Press Poetry Award. A second collection, The Stones (Finishing Line Press, 2006) followed that same year. Other work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies. Born in Madrid of Cuban parents en route to the United States, she grew up in Miami, where she lives with her husband, Cuban-American literary scholar and fellow poet Rafael Miguel Montes.

RJ Astruc lives in New Zealand and has written two novels: Harmonica + Gig and A Festival of Skeletons. RJ’s short stories have appeared in many magazines including Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, ASIM, Aurealis and Midnight Echo, as well as the short story collection Signs Over the Pacific and Other Stories (Upper Rubber Boot Books, 2013).

Lisa Bao is Chinese, Canadian, and American to various degrees. She studies linguistics and computer science at Swarthmore College. Her poetry has previously been published in Strange Horizons and Eye to the Telescope.

Pinckney Benedict grew up in rural West Virginia. He has published a novel and three collections of short fiction, the most recent of which is Miracle Boy and Other Stories. His work has been published in, among other magazines and anthologies, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, the O. Henry Award series, the Pushcart Prize series, the Best New Stories from the South series, Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days, The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction, and The Oxford Book of the American Short Story. Benedict serves as a professor in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Octavia E. Butler Scholar Lisa Bolekaja is a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop, an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association, and a member of the Carl Brandon Society. She co-hosts a screenwriting podcast called “Hilliard Guess’ Screenwriters Rant Room” and her work has appeared in “Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History” (Crossed Genres Publishing), as well as “The WisCon Chronicles: Volume 8” (Aqueduct Press). Her story “Don’t Dig Too Deep” will be in the upcoming Red Volume, an anthology of speculative fiction produced by her Clarion 2012 class with all proceeds going to support the Clarion Foundation.

Mary Buchinger is the author of Aerialist (Gold Wake Press, 2015; shortlisted for the May Swenson Poetry Award, the OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize for Poetry and the Perugia Press Prize). Her poems have appeared in AGNI, Cortland Review, DIAGRAM, Fifth Wednesday, Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. She is Associate Professor of English and Communication Studies at MCPHS University in Boston, Massachusetts. You can find her at

Zen Cho was born and raised in Malaysia, and now lives in London. Her short story collection Spirits Abroad was published in summer 2014. Her short fiction has appeared most recently in anthologies End of the Road from Solaris Books, Love in Penang from Fixi Novo, and The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic. She was a 2013 finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Tina Connolly’s stories have appeared in Lightspeed,, Strange Horizons, Rich Horton’s Unplugged: Year’s Best Online SF and URB’s Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days. Her books include the Nebula-nominated fantasy Ironskin (Tor, 2012) and its sequel Copperhead.

Indrapramit Das is a writer and artist from Kolkata, India. His fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Asimov’s and Apex Magazine, as well as anthologies The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection (St. Martin’s Press), Aliens: Recent Encounters (Prime Books) and Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (Rosarium Publishing). His short story “The Widow and the Xir” is available as an ebook from URB. He is a grateful graduate of the 2012 Clarion West Writers Workshop and a recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship Award to attend the former. He completed his MFA at the University of British Columbia.

Tor Books published Tom Doyle’s first novel, American Craftsmen, in 2014. His novelette “While Ireland Holds These Graves” won third place in the Writers of the Future contest, and his novelette “The Wizard of Macatawa” (Paradox #11) won the WSFA Small Press Award. His stories have also appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Futurismic, and several other magazines. Paper Golem published his short fiction collection, The Wizard of Macatawa and Other Stories.

Peg Duthie is a Taiwanese Texan resident of Tennessee. She is the author of Measured Extravagance (Upper Rubber Boot, 2012), and there’s more about her at

Tom Greene was born in Texas, grew up as a biracial Anglo/Latino science nerd, then moved to New England to study British Literature. He works as a full-time English professor and part-time lecturer on vampire literature. Recent publications include short stories in Analog, Polluto and Strange Horizons. He lives in Salem, Massachusetts with his wife and two cats.

Benjamin S. Grossberg is the author of Space Traveler (University of Tampa Press, 2014), Sweet Core Orchard (University of Tampa, 2009, winner of the 2008 Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award), Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath (Ashland Poetry Press, 2007). His poems have appeared in many venues including the Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. He teaches creative writing at The University of Hartford.

Minal Hajratwala has inhabited San Francisco, New Zealand, Michigan, Bangalore, and several other earth sites. Her nonfiction epic, Leaving India: My Family’s Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents, won four literary awards. She is the editor of Out! Stories from the New Queer India and creatrix of a one-woman performance extravaganza, Avatars: Gods for a New Millennium. Her poetry collection Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment is forthcoming in 2014. Educated at Stanford and Columbia, she was a 2010-11 Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar. She is a writing coach and co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, publishing innovative poetry from India, and can be found at

Julie Bloss Kelsey started writing scifaiku in 2009, after the birth of her third child. Her short science fiction poems have since appeared in Scifaikuest, Seven by Twenty, microcosms, Eye to the Telescope, and other publications. She won the Dwarf Stars Award in 2011 for her poem “Comet.” Julie lives in Maryland with her husband, kids, and an ever-changing assortment of pets. Connect with her on Twitter (@MamaJoules).

Rose Lemberg was born in Ukraine, and lived in subarctic Russia before immigrating to Israel with her family in 1990. She moved countries again in 2001, this time to the US, for graduate school. She officially became an immigrant in 2010, after living in the US for 9 years as a nonresident alien. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, and other venues. For more information, visit

An author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer, Ken Liu is a winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards. His fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among other places. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts. His debut novel, The Grace of Kings, the first in a fantasy series, will be published by Simon & Schuster’s new genre fiction imprint in 2015, along with a collection of short stories. He’s online at

Alex Dally MacFarlane is a writer, editor and historian. When not researching narrative maps in the legendary traditions of Alexander III of Macedon, she writes stories, found in Clarkesworld Magazine, Strange Horizons, Heiresses of Russ 2013: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction and other anthologies. She is the editor of Aliens: Recent Encounters (Prime Books, 2013) and The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women (Constable & Robinson, 2014).

Anil Menon’s short stories have appeared in Albedo One, Chiaroscuro, Interzone, Interfictions, LCRW, Sybil’s Garage, Strange Horizons, among other publications. His debut novel The Beast With Nine Billion Feet (Zubaan Books, India) was nominated for the 2010 Parallax Prize and the Vodafone-Crossword award. Along with Vandana Singh, he co-edited Breaking the Bow (Zubaan Books, 2012), an anthology of speculative short fiction inspired by the Ramayana.

Editor Joanne Merriam is a Nova Scotian writer living in Nashville, Tennessee, and runs Upper Rubber Boot Books. Her writing has appeared in Asimov’s, Escape Pod, On Spec, Pank, Per Contra, Strange Horizons, and The Journal of Unlikely Entomology. Her poetry collection, The Glaze from Breaking, was published by Stride Books in 2005 and was re-issued by URB in 2011. She is also the co-editor, with H. L. Nelson, of Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good.

Mary Anne Mohanraj wrote Bodies in Motion (a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards and translated into six languages) and nine other titles, most recently The Stars Change (Circlet Press, 2013). Mohanraj received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, and has also won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. Mohanraj is Clinical Assistant Professor of fiction and literature and Associate Director of Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois. She serves as Executive Director of DesiLit.

Daniel José Older is the author of the upcoming Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015) and the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, which begins in January 2015 with Half-Resurrection Blues from Penguin’s Roc imprint. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. He co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History and guest-edited the music issue of Crossed Genres. His short stories and essays have appeared in, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review, PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons and the anthologies Subversion and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond. Daniel’s band Ghost Star gigs regularly around New York and he facilitates workshops on storytelling from an anti-oppressive power analysis. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at and @djolder on Twitter.

Abbey Mei Otis likes people and art forms on the margins. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College and is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. She has taught poetry in the DC public schools with the DC Creative Writing Workshop, and is now a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas.

Sarah Pinsker is a writer and musician living in Baltimore, Maryland. Her fiction has been published in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and the Long Hidden anthology, among others. Her novelette “In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,” was nominated for the Nebula and won the 2014 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.

Manila-based Elyss G. Punsalan runs her own video production company. Some of her fiction can be found in the anthologies Philippine Speculative Fiction (Volumes 3, 6, and 9), Philippine Genre Stories, A Time for Dragons, HORROR: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults, and the webzine Bewildering Stories. At one point in her life, she produced and hosted the monthly Filipino audio fiction site Pakinggan Pilipinas (

Benjamin Rosenbaum lives near Basel, Switzerland with his wife and children. His stories have been published in Nature, Harper’s, F&SF, Asimov’s, McSweeney’s, and Strange Horizons, translated into 23 languages, and nominated for Hugo, Nebula, BSFA, Locus, World Fantasy, and Sturgeon Awards. He has collaborated with artist Ethan Ham on several art/literary hybrids. Find out more at

Erica L. Satifka’s fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Ideomancer, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and the Greek magazine supplement εννέα. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at

Nisi Shawl’s collection Filter House was a 2009 James Tiptree, Jr., Award winner; her stories have been published in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and both volumes of the Dark Matter series. She was the 2011 Guest of Honor at the feminist SF convention WisCon and a 2014 co-Guest of Honor for the Science Fiction Research Association. She co-authored the renowned Writing the Other: A Practical Approach with Cynthia Ward, and co-edited the nonfiction anthology Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler. Shawl’s Belgian Congo steampunk novel Everfair is forthcoming in 2015 from Tor Books. Her website is

Lewis Shiner’s latest novel is Dark Tangos (Subterranean Press, 2011). Previous novels include Frontera and Deserted Cities of the Heart, both Nebula Award finalists, and the World Fantasy Award-winning Glimpses. He’s also published four short story collections, journalism, and comics. Virtually all of his work is available for free download at

Marge Simon’s works appear in Strange Horizons, Niteblade, DailySF Magazine, Pedestal Magazine, Dreams & Nightmares and other places. She edits a column for the HWA Newsletter and serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees. She has won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award, the Bram Stoker Award™(2008, 2012 & 2013), the Rhysling Award and the Dwarf Stars Award. Collections: Like Birds in the Rain, Unearthly Delights, The Mad Hattery, Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls, and Dangerous Dreams. Find her at

Sonya Taaffe’s short fiction and poetry can be found in the collections Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Prime Books), Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), and A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press), and in anthologies including Aliens: Recent Encounters, Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, and The Best of Not One of Us. She is currently senior poetry editor at Strange Horizons; she holds master’s degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object. She lives in Somerville with her husband and two cats.

Bogi Takács is a Hungarian Jewish author, a psycholinguist and a popular-science journalist. E writes both speculative fiction and poetry, and eir works have been published or are forthcoming in a variety of venues like Strange Horizons, Apex and GigaNotoSaurus, among others. E is online at

Deborah Walker grew up in the most English town in England, but she soon high-tailed it down to London, where she now lives with her partner, Chris, and her two young children. Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the past for future inspiration or on her blog: Her stories have appeared in Nature’s Futures, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction and The Year’s Best SF 18.

A South African clinical psychologist, Nick Wood has short stories in AfroSF, Interzone, Infinity Plus, PostScripts, Redstone Science Fiction and the Newcon Press anthology, Subterfuge, amongst other publications. His YA speculative novel, The stone chameleon, was published in South Africa. Nick has completed an MA in Creative Writing (SF & Fantasy) through Middlesex University, London and is currently training clinical psychologists in Hertfordshire, England. He can be found: @nick45wood or

Bryan Thao Worra is an award-winning Lao-American writer. An NEA Fellow in literature, he is a professional member of the Horror Writer Association and the Science Fiction Poetry Association. His work appears internationally, including in Innsmouth Free Press, Tales of the Unanticipated, Illumen, Astropoetica, Outsiders Within, Dark Wisdom, and Mad Poets of Terra. He is the author of the books of speculative poetry On the Other Side of the Eye, Barrow, and Demonstra. Visit him online at

Stories and poems from the book available online:


Suffice it to say, the stories and poems in this collection are, for the most part, exceptional at addressing a related theme and in exploring the social effects of immigration and alienation. Collected together, they make for a memorable themed anthology.

—Shaun Duke, How to Live on Other Planets edited by Joanne Merriam, Strange Horizons, 27 April 2015

This collection explores the immigrant experience in a science fiction setting, with exciting fiction and poetry from some of the genre’s best writers (including DARK MATTER faves Lisa Bolekaja, Nisi Shawl and Daniel José Older to name just a few). DARK MATTERS was wildly enthused…

—Dark Matters Talks To Joanne Merriam About “How to Live on Other Planets”, Dark Matters, 27 April 2015

All of these stories have previously appeared in major genre magazines or other anthologies, so serious science fiction fans will have encountered at least some of these stories before. However, the book is still worth buying, and the gnomes highly recommend it to both serious fans of the genre and newcomers to science fiction.

Rating: 5 Gnomes out of 5

—Jennifer Mitchell, Review: How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens, Gnome Reviews, 15 April 2015

should make you smile

—Cory Doctorow, Links: Immigrant experience science fiction; principal calls FBI over flag-tossing; Sriracha doesn’t want trademarks, Boing Boing, 13 February 2015

16 March 2015

Happy New Year!

Lots of news to share! First, our Kickstarter campaign for How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens has 10 days left to go—get your pre-ordered copy now!

Secondly, the deadline for submissions to The Museum of All Things Awesome And That Go Boom is coming up on Sunday.

Finally, there’s tons of new reading out from, and news for, Upper Rubber Boot authors since our last round-up over the summer!

Corey Mesler, author of The Sky Needs More Work, was discussed recently in The Commercial Appeal Memphis‘s article “2014 in Review: Remembering the year’s best Memphis poetry“:

As both a producer and a retailer of poetry, Mesler is not only grateful to patron saint of poetry Keillor, but also is well positioned to affirm the accuracy of a quote he recalls by novelist John Fowles: “Poetry, alas, is something you can’t sell.”

But Mesler is dauntless: “If you want to talk magic, I’d like more people to leave their homes occasionally to visit the bookstore to hear a poet read. How nice it is to hear a poet read his or her own words! How nice to know that you can take those words home with you in little packets called books!”


Lyn Lifshin, author of Marilyn Monroe: Poems, has a new book out with Glass Lyre Press entitled Femme Eterna.

Soles author Mari Ness has a poem in Goblin Fruit.

Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days contributors:

How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens contributors:

Hope you all have a happy New Year!

1 January 2015


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