2009 Brain Harvest Mega Challenge

From the Brain Harvest website:

As writers, we’re warned constantly against resorting to tried-and-true tropes, usually for very good reason. In fact, our colleagues at Strange Horizons have assembled a very smart list of contrived plots seen too many times (http://strangehorizons.com/guidelines/fiction-common.shtml).

But here at Brain Harvest, we’d actually like to see if you can untrope the tropes, and create something interesting, solid, and, well, bad ass from these overly familiar clichés. In fact, we’re willing to stake the first annual Brain Harvest Mega Challenge on the fact that one of you out there can… in 750 words or less.

Jeff VanderMeer resplendent in homemade BH 'stache!

Your entries will be read by the Brain Harvest editors, and the winners chosen by our celebrity guest judge, the amazing, award-winning writer and editor, Jeff VanderMeer.

The winning entry will receive $100, publication in Brain Harvest, a hand-knitted mustache, 1 Fresh Eyes crit (up to 10,000 words) to be used on the piece of their choice, and the accolades of their peers, friends, and family.

The second place winner will receive $25, publication in Brain Harvest, and a hand-knitted mustache.

Details available here.

July Issue of Apex Magazine

The July 2009 issue is Apex’s first since their brief hiatus. It includes:


  • “She Called Me Sweetie” by Glenn Lewis Gillette
  • “…That Has Such People in It” by Jennifer Pelland
  • “The Frozen Sky” by Jeff Carlson


  • “Foiled” by Alethea Kontis


  • BEAUTY AND DYNAMITE: “Here Lies an Era” by Alethea Kontis
  • Interview with Nate Kenyon
  • Interview with J.M. McDermott
  • Editorial: I Just Can’t Help Myself by Jason Sizemore

It can be found online here.

July 2009 Issue of Clarkesworld

cw_34The July issue of Clarkesworld Magazine is now available:

Placa del Fuego by Tobias S. Buckell
Placa del Fuego (AUDIO VERSION) by Tobias S. Buckell, read by Mike Allen
On the Lot and In the Air by Lisa Hannett

Dirty Hands and Invisible Words: Speculative Fiction Book Editors Speak Out, Part 1 of 2 interview by Jeremy L. C. Jones
Doing Crappy Things to Good Characters: A Conversation with Jim C. Hines by Jeremy L. C. Jones
Helping Hands: Fairylands, Boneshops and More by Neil Clarke

Sea Monster by Jasper Ng

Apex Magazine to return from hiatus

According to Jason Sizemore on the Apex blog:

“We’re pulling Apex Magazine out of hiatus and plan on releasing a new issue on the first Monday of July (July 6th).

Why now? And why the magazine?

As I’ve said before, I’m stubborn. That’s playing a role in this decision. But I also try to be sensible when it comes to expensive business decisions. This time, I have a better plan in terms of financing the magazine…”

Read their plan, here. Welcome back Apex. Best of luck!

Talebones to cease operations as a magazine

Taken from Patrick Swenson’s blog:

Talebones the magazine is closing up shop. There are many reasons, some of which I’ve mentioned before in earlier attempts to close the magazine (I thought I was out…but they dragged me back in!). Subscribers are hard to come by. I could throw numbers at you, but why bother? They’re not pretty. Talebones has stayed afloat for the last few years only because of (a) the Save Talebones drive two years ago and (b) other funding from Fairwood Press, the Rainforest retreat, and my pocket.

But even so … money is not the main reason I’m ending the mag. I need just a little less stress in my life, and more time for other things. My son. My health. My job. My writing.

And even so … Talebones is not dead. Oh no.

Talebones #37 will be out within the next month. Issue #38 before the end of the year. (Decisions were made not too long ago on that issue.)  I am returning all submissions that come to me, unread, with a note attached regarding the closure. I will take all of 2010 off from Talebones except for the work/planning needed to put out the long-awaited Best of Talebones anthology. By the end of this year, Talebones will be owned by my book company, Fairwood Press.

Starting in 2011, Talebones will become an annual anthology. It will be all fiction, no poetry, probably no artwork other than the cover. It will have broader distribution (I hope). Submission guidelines will go up sometime in late 2010, and I will probably do some invites for that first anthology to get a good jump on things. I expect the guidelines to be fairly similar to the magazine guidelines. I also expect that submissions will be accepted during a limited window of time each year, and probably all online. Down the road there might be guest editors and themes. Don’t hold me completely to all these expectations, though.

So Talebones isn’t really going away. Just entering its chrysalis phase; when it comes out, it will hopefully be changed for the better. There’s no guarantee it will survive that way, either, but I’ve got to give it a try.

Subscribers…I’ll be contacting you about your options. You can certainly beat me to the punch and email me (or send a note to my LJ inbox) and I’ll get right to you. Some subscribers will have one or two issues left, some four, some even more. I’m not taking in any more subscriptions (the subscription option is gone from the website), but in the meantime, anyone, subscriber or not, can consider buying the last two issues individually, and even consider picking up some back issues. This will be extremely helpful, as it will not be an easy road financially getting subscriptions paid back and getting #38 out without any subscription money coming in.