Locus Looks at Short Fiction: Paula Guran

If you subscribe to Locus, and flip (digitally or with a digit) to page 19 of the new June issue, you will notice “Locus Looks at Books: Paula Guran”…well, that is what it says in my PDF version… Oops! My assignment was not to look at books, but at periodicals—specifically periodicals with short dark fiction. We’re on a trial run for now, with the column running every other issue. First up, this time around:

LOCUS June 2016

LOCUS June 2016

  • Nightmare 4/16, 5/16
  • The Dark 5/16
  • Cemetery Dance 4/16
  • Black Static 3-4/16
  • Strange Aeons #19

And no, contractually, I can’t republish the reviews here (or anywhere) for a while. Read Locus.*

My next deadline is in mid-June (for publication in the August issue). I am trying to be as current as possible considering the six+-week gap, so I would appreciate getting original fiction for any upcoming (June-July-August) issues as soon as possible.

For the last seven or so years, I’ve been looking at dark fantasy and horror fiction from an annual P.O.V. for The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series, i.e. I haven’t been looking at WHEN anything was published as long as it fell within the year I was covering, nor was I paying all that much attention (initially) to what was a periodical and what was an anthology.

Now it matters! At least for these purposes.

So, if you edit or publish a periodical (or what is supposed to be a periodical) heads up! I need to see your original fiction on a timely basis. Online, print, whatever. Edited, yes, but it doesn’t need to be the final final version or publication lay-out. Nor do I need the entire issue, just the original fiction. Word docs or rtf will do.

For now, at least, I’m looking only at periodicals for Locus. Anthologies and collections I still need for “year’s best,” but for the next deadline—only periodicals.

Caveats:

  1. I may not be able to cover your publication. I have limited room. (But I definitely can’t review it if I never see it at all. This holds true for Year’s Best, too) No promises.
  2. I don’t know what the hell “horror” or “dark fantasy” or “dark fiction” is either. I have broad definitions. Try me. You can get some idea of what I think from What the Hell Do You Mean by “Dark Fantasy and Horror”?, the first introduction for The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2010.
  3. I regularly find great dark stuff in periodicals that are not necessarily all dark. So, I may review just the dark stuff. Don’t really know.
  4. Authors: Sorry, but for this I need the material from the editor or publisher of the magazine.
  5. I’ll try not to duplicate the efforts of Gardner Dozois or Rich Horton, who both review short fiction for Locus, but that may happen.
  6. Reviews are opinion. I strive to be a fair, professional reviewer. I am not a cheerleader.
  7. Yes, I am qualified: I reviewed regularly for Publishers Weekly for over a decade, was review editor for the original print incarnation of Fantasy for a few years (returning in 2009 to edit reviews for its online version), a columnist for Cemetery Dance for five years, and editor for the print section (reviewing, interviewing, and writing articles about sf/f/h) of CFQ (Cinemafantastique) Magazine (2004-2006) I served as nonfiction editor for Weird Tales magazine in 2011. I am a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Email material (or ask questions): paula@prime-books.com or paulaguran@paulaguran.com.

Spread the word!

—–

*If you are one of those folks who don’t feel Locus pays enough attention to the dark side…hey, obviously they are trying to do something about it or I would not have this gig.

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MBoCTHULHU GIVEAWAY!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu by Paula Guran

The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu

by Paula Guran

Giveaway ends June 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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Call for Submissions: Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2017

YBDFH(Thought I posted this in February when I posted on Prime Books site, but evidently not…)

As the editor of the anthology series The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (Prime Books) I am reading for the 2017 edition, which will cover material published in 2016. (The 2016 edition—seventh in the series—will be published this July.)

We define “dark fantasy” and “horror” broadly; it can also include dark science fiction. Try reading the previous previous volumes or read: www.prime-books.com/intro-ybdfh2010/

Guidelines: The work must be published during the calendar year of 2016. Publishers and Editors: You need not send a physical book/issue; a PDF emailed to me will be fine. (Ebook if there’s no other alternative.) Authors: Direct submissions to the editor can be made, but try to get your publisher to send the entire volume if possible. (PDF, Word doc, or RTF are preferred.) Readers: Sincere suggestions are always appreciated, just email me. Send submissions to: paula@prime-books.com, subject: YBDF&H. If a physical copy is submitted please email me for mailing address.

Deadline: December 1, 2016. If your work/publication is being published in December, please try to get it to me in some form by that date. Overall: The earlier I get the material the better.

Please post and/or pass this on to others.

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THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF CTHULHU edited by Paula Guran

CthulhuCover-300UK: 16 April 2016
Publisher: Robinson(14 April 2016)
496 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1472120035
ISBN-13: 978-1472120038
UK Kindle Ebook

US: May 24, 2016
Publisher: Running Press
ISBN-10: 0762456205
ISBN-13: 978-0762456208

An outstanding anthology of original stories inspired by H. P. Lovecraft from authors who do not merely imitate, but re-imagine, re-energize, and renew his concepts in ways relevant to today’s readers. Fresh new fiction that explores our modern fears and nightmares. From the depths of R’lyeh to the heights of the Mountains of Madness, some of today’s best weird fiction writers—both established award-winning authors and exciting new voices—THE MAMMOTH BOOK of CTHULHU collects tales of cosmic horror that traverse terrain created by Lovecraft and create new eldritch geographies to explore . . .


CONTENT

  • “In Syllables of Elder Seas” by Lisa L. Hannett
  • “The Peddler’s Tale, or, Isobel’s Revenge” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
  • “It’s All the Same Road in the End” by Brian Hodge
  • “Caro in Carno” by Helen Marshall
  • “The Cthulhu Navy Wife” by Sandra McDonald
  • “Those Who Watch” by Ruthanna Emrys
  • “A Clutch” by Laird Barron
  • “Just Beyond the Trailer Park” by John Shirley
  • “The Sea Inside” by Amanda Downum
  • “Outside the House, Watching for the Crows” by John Langan
  • “Alexandra Lost” by Simon Strantzas
  • “Falcon-and-Sparrows” by Yoon Ha Lee
  • “A Shadow of Thine Own Design” by W. H. Pugmire
  • “Backbite” by Norman Partridge
  • “In the Ruins of Mohenjo-Daro” by Usman T. Malik
  • “Legacy of Salt” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • “I Do Not Count the Hours” by Michael Wehunt
  • “An Open Letter to Mister Edgar Allan Poe, from a Fervent Admirer” by Michael Shea
  • “I Dress My Lover in Yellow” by A. C. Wise
  • “Deep Eden” by Richard Gavin
  • “The Future Eats Everything” by Don Webb
  • “I Believe That We Will Win” by Nadia Bulkin
  • “In the Sacred Cave” by Lois H. Gresh
  • “Umbilicus” by Damien Angelica Walters
  • “Variations on Lovecraftian Themes” by Veronica Schanoes

Notes:

  • There is an earlier version of the cover on display in various places online (including US Amazon). This is the correct cover. You can click the image here to see larger version.
  • I do not have copies as yet (and neither do the authors). There are no ARCs. I should be receiving some UK print editions to send out as review copies. Right now I can currently provide an unproofed PDF to bona fide reviewers only. Email me at paula@prime-books.com
  • Yes, it is over 150,000 words of ORIGINAL FICTION not REPRINTS.
  • It seems as if this were finished aeons ago...
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The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novellas: 2016 ToC and Cover

The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novellas: 2016
Edited by Paula Guran

2016YBSF&FNovellasThe second volume of Prime Books’ annual anthology series collecting some of the year’s best novella-length science fiction and fantasy. Novellas, longer than short stories but shorter than novels, are a rich rewarding literary form that can fully explore tomorrow’s technology, the far reaches of the future, thought-provoking imaginings, fantastic worlds, and entertaining concepts with all the impact of a short story as well as the detailed depth of a novel. Gathering a wide variety of excellent science fiction and fantasy, this anthology of “short novels” showcases the talents of both established masters and new writers.

Contents:
“The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s, Oct/Nov 2015)
“The Bone Swans of Amandale” by C.S.E. Cooney (Bone Swans, Mythic Delirium Books)
“Binti” by Nnedi Okorafor (Binti, Tor.com)
“The Last Witness” by K. J. Parker (The Last Witness, Tor.com)
“Johnny Rev” by Rachel Pollack (F&SF, Jul/Aug 2015)
“Inhuman Garbage,” Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Asimov’s, March 2015)
“Gypsy,” Carter Scholz (F&SF, Nov/Dec 2015)
“The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” by Usman Malik (The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, Tor.com)
“What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear” by Bao Shu, translated by Ken Liu (F&SF, Mar/Apr 2015)

The cover of this year’s edition features original art by Julie Dillon!

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The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2016 ToC

Computer designed grunge border and aged textured backgroundThe Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror: 2016
Edited By Paula Guran

Macabre meetings, sinister excursions, and deadly relationships; uncanny encounters; a classic ghost story featuring an American god; a historical murderer revived in a frightening new iteration; innovative Lovecraftian turns; shadowy fairy tales and weird myths; strange children, the unexpected, the supernatural, the surreal, and the all-too real . . . tales of the dark. Such stories have always fascinated us, and modern authors carry on the disquieting traditions of the past while inventing imaginative new ways to unsettle us. Chosen from a wide variety of venues, these stories are as eclectic and varied as shadows. This volume of 2015’s best dark fantasy and horror offers more than 500 pages of tales from some of today’s finest writers of the fantastique—sure to delight as well as disturb.

Alphabetical by Author Last Name:

  • “The Door” by Kelley Armstrong (Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong, Tachyon)
  • “Snow” by Dale Bailey (Nightmare, June 2015)
  • “1Up” by Holly Black (Press Start to Play, ed. Adams, Vintage)
  • “Seven Minutes in Heaven” by Nadia Bulkin (Aickman’s Heirs, ed. Strantzas, Undertow)
  • “The Glad Hosts” by Rebecca Campbell (Lackington’s #7)
  • “Hairwork” by Gemma Files (She Walks in Shadows, eds. Moreno-Garcia & Stiles, Innsmouth Free Press)
  • “Black Dog” by Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, William Morrow)
  • “A Shot of Salt Water” by Lisa L. Hannett (The Dark #8)
  • “The Scavenger’s Nursery” by Maria Dahvana Headley (Shimmer # 24)
  • “Daniel’s Theory About Dolls” by Stephen Graham Jones (The Doll Collection, ed. Datlow, Tor)
  • “The Cripple and Starfish” by Caítlin R. Kiernan (Sirenia Digest #108)
  • “The Absence of Words” by Swapna Kishore (Mythic Delirium #1.3)
  • “Corpsemouth” by John Langan (The Monstrous, ed. Datlow, Tachyon)
  • “Cassandra” by Ken Liu (Clarkesworld # 102)
  • “Street of the Dead House” by Robert Lopresti (nEvermore, eds. Kilpatrick & Soles, EDGE)
  • “Mary, Mary” by Kirstyn McDermott (Cranky Ladies of History, eds. Roberts & Wessely, Fablecroft)
  • “There is No Place for Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold” by Seanan McGuire, The Doll Collection, ed. Datlow, Tor)
  • “Below the Falls” by Daniel Mills (Nightscript 1, ed. Muller, Chthonic Matter)
  • “The Deepwater Bride” by Tamsyn Muir (F&SF Jul-Aug)
  • “The Greyness” by Kathryn Ptacek (Expiration Date, ed. Kilpatrick, EDGE)
  • “The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill” by Kelly Robson (Clarkesworld # 101)
  • “Those” by Sofia Samatar (Uncanny #3)
  • “Fabulous Beasts” by Priya Sharma (Tor.com)
  • “Windows Underwater” by John Shirley (Innsmouth Nightmares, ed. Gresh, PS Publishing)
  • “Ripper” by Angela Slatter (Horrorology, ed. Jones, Quercus)
  • “The Lily and the Horn” by Catherynne M. Valente (Fantasy #59)
  • “Sing Me Your Scars” by Damien Angelica Walters (Sing Me Your Scars, Apex)
  • “The Body Finder” by Kaaron Warren (Blurring the Line, ed. Young, Cohesion)
  • “The Devil Under the Maison Blue” by Michael Wehunt (The Dark #10)
  • “Kaiju maximus®: “So various, So Beautiful, So New” by Kai Ashante Wilson (Fantasy #59)
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Warrior Women

So I just realized I never posted the cover (click the image below for a larger version of the cover; art by the fabulous Julie Dillon) or contents of Warrior Women and now wanted to mention the starred Publishers Weekly review. So, first things first:

Warrior-200Warrior Women, edited by Paula Guran

From fantastic legends and science fictional futures come compelling tales of powerful women—or those who discover strength they did not know they possessed—who fight because they must, for what they believe in, for those they love, to simply survive, or who glory in battle itself. Fierce or fearful, they are courageous and honorable—occasionally unscrupulous and tainted—but all warriors worthy of the name.

Content (alphabetical by author last name):
• “They Tell Me There Will be No Pain” by Rachel Acks
• “Love Among the Talus” by Elizabeth Bear
• “The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile” by Aliette de Bodard
• “Anukazi’s Daughter” by Mary Gentle
• “England Under the White Witch” by Theodora Goss
• “Soul Case” by Nalo Hopkinson
• “Not That Kind of War” by Tanya Huff
• “Wonder Maul Doll” by Kameron Hurley
• “Joenna’s Ax” by Elaine Isaak
• “The Sea Troll’s Daughter” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
• “Eaters” by Nancy Kress
• “Northern Chess” by Tanith Lee
• “The Knight of Chains, The Deuce of Stars” by Yoon Ha Lee
• “In the Loop” by Ken Liu
• “Dying With Her Cheer Pants On” by Seanan McGuire
• “The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr” by George R. R. Martin
• “Naratha’s Shadow” by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
• “Hand to Hand” by Elizabeth Moon
• “And Wash Out by Tides of War” by An Owomoyela
• “Prayer” by Robert Reed
• “The Application of Hope” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
• “Boy Twelve” by Jessica Reisman
• “The Girls From Avenger” by Carrie Vaughn
• “Become a Warrior” by Jane Yolen

Now, for the review…

Publishers Weekly Starred Review:

Two dozen stories of women warriors form this epic anthology of stories about those forced to fight, those who chose to fight regardless of odds, those who ran from their destiny as warriors, and those who will end war at any cost. In Caitlín R. Kiernan’s “The Sea Troll’s Daughter,” the titular daughter of a fearsome beast reluctantly confronts the woman who slew her father. In Carrie Vaughn’s nonspeculative “The Girls from Avenger,” a WWII pilot tries to determine the cause of her friend’s mysterious crash. An immortal wandering warrior meets an immortal prisoner in George R.R. Martin’s hopeful but bleak “The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr.” Spaceship captain Tory Sabin must battle bureaucracy and physics to locate a missing friend in “The Application of Hope” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. The warriors include girls as well as grown women: young Thien Bao is offered the chance to end a cataclysmic war at an unimaginable cost in Aliette de Bodard’s “The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile,” and a girl who discovers her father is a “monster” grows into a woman who tries to save others from his fate in Ken Liu’s “In the Loop.” Each story contains strength and compassion, even when the personal cost is high. The depictions of battle and trauma are rarely graphic, but they’re as hard-hitting as the subject demands. This is a truly impressive accomplishment for Guran and her contributors.

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Quickie Subs and Suggestions

Very brief call for suggestions and submissions! Now: By six p.m. EST on Wednesday 11 November (2015). I MAY have room for a few more stories in STREET MAGICKS, a reprint anthology for Prime. (1) Previously published work (unless you have unpublished work you don’t want to get paid much for—but I wouldn’t advise that). (2) The theme is very specific: stories must take place, integrally involve, or obviously invoke streets or a streetwise attitude AND magic. Not just the supernatural, but magic. Email to paula@prime-books.com. Do NOT use Facebook “Messenger”!

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BEYOND THE WOODS: Fairy Tales Retold: Cover and Content

BeyondTheWoodsBEYOND THE WOODS: Fairy Tales Retold
Edited by Paula Guran
Night Shade Books
$15.99 paperback
ISBN 978-1-59780-838-5 
6″ x 9″ • 448 pages
JULY 2016

Once upon a time, the stories that came to be known as “fairy tales” were cultivated to entertain adults more than children; it was only later that they were tamed and pruned into less thorny versions intended for youngsters. But in truth, they have continued to prick the imaginations of all ages.

Over the years, authors have often borrowed bits and pieces from these stories, grafting them onto their own writing, creating literature with both new meaning and age-old significance. In the last few decades or so, they’ve also intentionally retold and reinvented the tales in a variety of ways—delightful or dark, wistful or wicked, sweet or satirical—that forge new trails through the forests of fantastic fiction.

This new anthology compiles some of the best modern fairy tale retellings and reinventions from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers and exciting new talents, into an enchanting collection. Explore magical new realms by traveling with us, Beyond the Woods…

CONTENT

* Introduction: Throwing In – Paula Guran
* Tanith Lee – “Red as Blood”
* Gene Wolfe – “In the House of Gingerbread”
* Angela Slatter – “The Bone Mother”
* Elizabeth Bear – “Follow Me Light”
* Yoon Ha Lee – “Coin of Hearts Desire”
* Nalo Hopkinson – “The Glass Bottle Trick”
* Catherynne M. Valente – “The Maiden Tree”
* Holly Black – “Coat of Stars”
* Caitlín R. Kiernan – “Road of Needles”
* Kelly Link – “Travels with the Snow Queen”
* Karen Joy Fowler – “Halfway People”
* Margo Lanagan – “Catastrophic Disruption of the Head”
* Shveta Thakrar – “Lavanya and Deepika”
* Theodora Goss – “Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon”
* Gardner Dozois – “Fairy Tale”
* Peter S. Beagle – “The Queen Who Could Not Walk”
* Priya Sharma – “Lebkuchen”
* Neil Gaiman – “Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale”
* Richard Bowes – “The Queen and the Cambion”
* Octavia Cade – “The Mussel Eater”
* Jane Yolen – “Memoirs of a Bottle Djinn”
* Steve Duffy – “Bears: A Fairy Tale of 1958”
* Charles de Lint –“The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep”
* Veronica Schanoes – “Rats”
* Rachel Swirsky – “Beyond the Naked Eye”
* Ken Liu – “Good Hunting”
* Kirstyn McDermott – “The Moon’s Good Grace”
* Peter Straub – “The Juniper Tree”
* Jeff VanderMeer – “Greensleeves”
* Tanith Lee – “Beauty”

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The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novellas: 2015

>>>Read the Introduction<<<

Year'sBestSF&FNovellasThe Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novellas: 2015 inaugurates a new annual series of anthologies featuring some of the year’s best novella-length science fiction and fantasy. Novellas, longer than short stories but shorter than novels, are a rich and rewarding literary form that can fully explore tomorrow’s technology, the far reaches of the future, thought-provoking imaginings, fantastic worlds, and entertaining concepts with the impact of a short story and the detailed breadth of a novel. Gathering a wide variety of excellent SF and fantasy, this anthology of “short novels” showcases the talents of both established masters and new writers.

Contents (alphabetical order by author last name):

  • “In Her Eyes” by Seth Chambers (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jan/Feb 2014)
  • The Churn: An Expanse Novella by James S. A. Corey (Orbit)
  • “Where the Trains Turn” by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (translated by Liisa Rantalaiho) (Tor.com, 15 November 2014)
  • Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress (Tachyon Publications)
  • “Claudius Rex” by John P. Murphy (Alembical 3: A Distillation of Three Novellas, eds. Schoen & Dorrance)
  • “The Things We Do For Love” by K. J. Parker (Subterranean Press Magazine, Summer 2014)
  • “The Mothers of Voorhisville” by Mary Rickert, (Tor.com, 30 Apr 2014)
  • “The Lightning Tree” by Patrick Rothfuss (Rogues, eds. Martin & Dozois)
  • Dream Houses by Genevieve Valentine (Dream Houses WSFA/ Wyrm Publishing)

Publishers Weekly Review:
Longtime editor Guran (The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2015) makes a thoughtful selection of nine novellas in this high-quality anthology, which skews toward fantastical crime fiction. James S.A. Corey’s “The Churn” reads like a futuristic version of The Wire and is instantly accessible even to readers who aren’t familiar with Corey’s Expanse series. The blend of noir and science fiction is near perfect, with a Baltimore-based gangster, whose decision to eschew his upper-class background and instead work in a criminal enterprise highlights the division between classes, and a pervasive lyric melancholy—one character life is described as “a fabric woven of losses.” Fans of the brilliant sedentary detective Nero Wolfe will be hard-pressed to find a better emulation than John P. Murphy’s “Claudius Rex,” narrated by an Archie Goodwinesque legman who reluctantly partners with the eponymous AI; the story comes complete with Wolfe’s disdain for slang and his desire to reveal his brilliance before a classic gathering of the murder suspects. The other contributions range from epic fantasy to a classic alien invasion with a twist, and all are solid selections.

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