Dipping into Fantastique Unfettered #3…

The Cabinet of Curiosities Literary Extravanganza was fabulous fun last night! Readings and giveaways and beer and signings and books and conversations and beer and very loud rain and Bull Spec and beer and… :-) Bull Spec issue 6 is out in print–go get it if you haven’t got it coming by subscription!
Also coming out soon is the third issue of Fantastique Unfettered, of which I got a sneak peek at the poetry and an interview with Mike Allen, editor of speculative poetry ‘zine Mythic Delirium. Fantastique’s poetry editor, Alexa Seidel, has assembled a compelling selection of poems for this issue, and I look forward to seeing more poetry in Fantastique Unfettered. Here’s what’s on tap in issue 3:
There is a poignance in these poems: an ache and a loss, a love and a surrender, a luscious melange of sorrow and love. Bruce Boston’s “Relative Weights and Measures” starts off seeming cerebral science fiction poetry–until you reach the end and the simple contrasts of measures in the poem above becomes an unresolved tension in the image of a woman, presumably a loved one, cutting her hair after a certain length; this poem rewards one in multiple re-readings.
“Green Rushes”, by J.S. Watts, carries on the imagery of hair, of caring for it, of love and friendship mediated through the combing, plaiting, snarling of hair. There is a hint of folk tales in this poem, of a lover summoned by combing one’s hair at night “Apple core in one hand, brush in the other, / Just to see who came in…” and it, too, ends with a note of sorrow, and the cutting of hair.
The theme of love is picked up in Lisa Bradley’s “In Defiance of Sleek-Armed Androids”. There is a delicious ache in this poem: “I need to stub my soul on yours, / I need to lick the slivers in your wounds.” I love Bradley’s way of rendering emotion visceral, as she does in this poem and the others I’ve read (like “The Haunted Girl” in Goblin Fruit, Fall 2010 and “Kyrielle for a Cloned Baby” in Bull Spec issue 5).
“The Cartographer’s Ache”, by Robert Stutts, is also a love story and eeriely echoes the fragmented form-fitting evoked in Bradley’s poem. Here, the map is the territory, charting the emotions of two lovers, too distant: “now only overlays of you / remain within me”. I must admit that the end of the poem feels weak to me, compared with the rest, for dragons are plotted on the map but their significance to the lovers is not readily apparent.
Stutts’ second poem, “Blodeuedd, or the Maiden of Flowers”, is exquisite. If you are already familiar with the tale from the Welsh Mabinogion, the poem speaks from the myth beautifully, with a much sharper edge than the original. If you don’t know the myth, Stutts version of it gives one more than enough to sink into. Bees among flowers frame the poem. For me personally, the scents of the soil, of the green earth, of “honey and limes” hold a great weight and texture of meaning after reading Amal El-Mohtar’s The Honey Month. My favorite line of the poem comes from the middle. I must share it with you: “The only way to love you was to keep a dream of your death in my heart.”
Don’t get (entirely) lost in the poems, though–or, at least pause on the way to read the interview with Mike Allen, editor of Mythic Delirium and the Clockwork Phoenix series. Allen has been active in the speculative poetry community since (at least) the ’90s, both as a writer and an editor/publisher. Seidel’s interview covers the usual territory of such conversations, but do read it for a hint of how Allen performs his poems and an insight into the darkness present in his writing. I enjoyed learning more of Allen and how he approaches both editing and writing.

Bull Spec local events e-mailing list: August 2011

Vol. 1, No. 3, August 1, 2011:


Welcome to the August events and announcements newsletter from Bull Spec, a few days early for updates and new events right at the turn of the calendar, the new events being a pair of events at Quail Ridge Books on Sunday and Tuesday. There’s also a pair of new September local author book launches, for Lewis Shiner’s Dark Tangos and Clay and Susan Griffith’s The Rift Walker: Vampire Empire, Book 2. Meanwhile, Bull Spec Issue #6 will be in stores early next week, and is already online at both bullspec.com and e-retail at Weightless Books and Wizard’s Tower Bookstore.

-Sam

JULY


NEW: 30 (Saturday): Durham’s Sci-Fi Genre Comics & Games celebrates its 5-year anniversary with cake and gaming, and by openings its doors (and shelves) to local authors. Short ceremony at 2 pm. More info: http://scifigenre.com/store/eventViewer.aspx?nEventID=1129

*!* 30 (Saturday), 7 pm (musical guests at 6 pm): Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, SJ Chambers, Ekaterina Sedia, Durham author Mur Lafferty, Greenville artist Scott Eagle, Winston-Salem writer Nadine Wilson, and a few surprises for the release of the VanderMeer co-edited anthology The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, as well as to talk about the recently released book The Steampunk Bible. The musical guests are the Davenport sisters, the folks behind the weekly Steampunk radio show Clockwork Cabaret. Update: One of the artifacts of Lambshead’s Cabinet, a Jake von Slatt creation, will be debuted at the event. More info: http://bullspec.blogspot.com/2011/05/cabinet-of-curiosities-literary.html




NEW: 30 (Saturday), 9 pm to after Midnight: The Gaslight Ball: A Steampunk Party at historic downtown Pittsboro’s Davenport & Winkpleperry. $5 admission. More info: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=240963939266216


NEW! 31 (Sunday), 3 pm: Whether you’re coming in from out of town for the CABINET event or, well, just happen to live here anyway, Quail Ridge Books is hosting Ransom Riggs for a reading and signing of his debut novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children at 3p. Billed by USA Today as “[A] thrilling, Tim Burton-esque tale with haunting photographs.” and marketed as mainstream fiction for ages 12 and up, it’s  already both a NY Times bestseller and optioned as a feature film by 20th Century Fox. More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/ransom-riggs-chilling-miss-peregrines

AUGUST
NEW: 2 (Tuesday), 5 pm: Quail Ridge Books: Maggie Stiefvater brings her novel Forever, “her thrilling conclusion to the #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy, on Tuesday, August 2, at 5 p.m. In Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. InLinger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Werewolves rule! For ages 12 and up.” More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/maggie-stiefvater-forever


2: Local author book release: The Mark Van Name-edited anthology The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge includes a story from Van Name as well as local contributor Gina Massel-Castater. From Baen. More info: http://www.webscription.net/p-1422-the-wild-side-urban-fantasy-with-an-erotic-edge-arc.aspx



NEW: 5-7 (Friday to Sunday): Burlington: An unofficial (yet Joss Whedon approved) charity staging of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. More info: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=166829343373509

15: Local author book release: Rebecca Rowe’s new science fiction novel Circle Tide to be released by EDGE Science Fiction.

NEW: 27 (Saturday), 11 am: Speculative fiction author Allen Wold, who lives in Durham, N.C., and has published more than a dozen novels, will speak at an Avant-garde Writers event at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Danville, Va., public library auditorium.

27 (Saturday), 3 pm: Launch party for Hillsborough author John Claude Bemis’s closing book in his Clockwork Dark trilogy, The White City, at the Public Market House in downtown Hillsborough. More info: http://johnclaudebemis.com/2011/04/launch-party-for-the-white-city/

NEW: 27 (Saturday), 11a-5p: Ultimate Comics hosts the next in their NC Comicon signing series, this one a huge (HUGE!) spread of local creators. Tommy Lee Edwards (TURF), John Mahoney (LAST MORTAL), Firetower Studios (ORDER OF DAGONET, PRINCELESS), Brockton McKinney, and Angi Shearstone (BloodDreams).

NEW: 28 (Sunday), 2-3 pm: Bemis at Flyleaf Books for The White City. More info: http://www.flyleafbooks.com/event/john-claude-bemis-presents-conclusion-his-clockwork-dark-trilogy-and-our-august-flyleaf-summer

*!* 30 (Tuesday), 7 pm: Bestselling author of The Magicians, Lev Grossman, to be at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on his tour in support of the sequel, The Magician King. More info: http://flyleafbooks.com/event/lev-grossman-reads-his-new-novel-magician-king


31: Local author book release: Lewis Shiner’s new novel Dark Tangos to be published by Subterranean Press. More info: http://www.subterraneanpress.com/index.php/2011/05/02/announcing-dark-tangos-by-lewis-shiner/



SEPTEMBER
6: Local author book release: David Drake (with John Lambshead) starts a new SF space opera series with Into the Hinterlands. From Baen. More info: http://david-drake.com/2011/hinterlands/


NEW: 7 (Wednesday), 7 pm: Local author Lewis Shiner reads from and signs his new novel Dark Tangos. More info: http://www.regulatorbookshop.com/event/lewis-shiner-1

7 (Wednesday), 7:30 pm: Bestselling fantasy author Terry Brooks comes to Quail Ridge Books on his tour in support of his forthcoming Legends of Shannara book, The Measure of the Magic.


NEW: 15 (Thursday), 7:30 pm: Raleigh authors Clay and Susan Griffith launch book two of their Vampire Empire series, The Rift Walker, and Quail Ridge Books. More info: http://www.quailridgebooks.com/event/clay-susan-griffith-rift-walker-vampire-empire

20: Local author book release: Pyr to publish The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire: Book 2) by Raleigh’s Clay and Susan Griffith. Sequel to last November’s The Greyfriar.

27: Local author book release: Random House Books for Young Readers to publish The Death of Yorik Mortwell by Durham’s Stephen Messer. More info: http://stephenmesser.com/?page_id=119

NOVEMBER
1: Local author book release: John Kessel’s next anthology for Tachyon, Kafkaesque, collects “Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka”, including stories from JG Ballard, Terry Bisson, Borges, Paul Di Filippo, Jeffrey Ford, and more. More info: http://tachyonpublications.com/book/Kafkaesque.html
5-6 (Saturday and Sunday): NC Comicon at the Morrisville Outlet Mall. Also check out theirsummer signing series which has June 25 and July 16 events already scheduled.

15 (Tuesday), 7:30 pm: Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books hosts Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow, to present her latest novel Doc, a retelling of the life of “Doc” Holliday.

JANUARY 2012
3: Local author new edition: The David Drake onmibus Voyage Across the Stars collects his Hammer’s Slammers novels Cross the Stars and Voyage. From Baen. More info: http://www.baen.com/order_isbn.asp?isbn=9781451637717

13-15: New local SF convention illogiCon (January 13-15, 2012) in Raleigh with literary guest of honor Joe Haldeman. More info: http://illogicon.com/

31: Local author book release: Solaris Books to publish the first book in a new fantasy series from Hillsborough author James Maxey, which starts with Greatshadow.



MARCH 2012
2-4: StellarCon (March 2-4, 2012) in High Point with literary guest of honor Patrick Rothfuss. More info: http://stellarcon.org/

JUNE 2012
1-3: ConCarolinas (June 1-3, 2012) in Charlotte with writer guest of honor Jack McDevitt. More info: http://www.concarolinas.org/

21-24: ConTemporal (June 21-24, 2012) in Raleigh with literary guest of honor Cherie Priest. More info: http://contemporal.org/

UNDATED
A trio of forthcoming first novels from local authors without confirmed release dates:
  • Jay Requard: The Night from Apex-based Peak City Publishing, Late 2011. “This new dark fantasy story takes place in Tarinthol, a world fueled by action, magic, intrigue, and dark plots.” More info: http://jayrequard.blogspot.com/
  • Natania Barron: Pilgrim of the Sky from Candlemark & Gleam, Late 2011. “A novel that might be best described as mythpunk. With elements of fantasy, science fiction, Romantic poetry, steampunk, and multiverse theory, well, it isn’t exactly the sort of book that finds a comfortable little niche to sit in.” More info: http://pilgrimofthesky.com/
  • JL Hilton: Stellarnet Rebel from Carina Press, early 2012. “A science fiction romantic thriller.” More info: http://jlhilton.com/stellarnet-rebel/
END

Video overview of issues 2, 4, and 5.

Well, one of the long-forgotten tasks has been putting together the video overviews that I missed along the way. So, without further adieu:
BULL SPEC #2:

BULL SPEC #4:

BULL SPEC #5:

Whew. All caught up. And just in time! Because issue 6 arrived this morning! (Yes, I’m dancing.)


It’s going to be quite a Saturday!

To quote George Takei, “Oh my!” It’s going to be quite a Saturday.

First up is the Sci-Fi Genre 5th anniversary party, with cake — no lie, there will be cake — games, fun, and the opening of the all-new local authors section. SFG is opening its shelves (and global shipping) to local authors, and they’ve been great supporters of Bull Spec since even before their issue #1 interview. This starts at 10a and runs “all day long”, though there is a short ceremony at 2p. Still, you won’t be staying there all day, because…

Next up is The Cabinet of Curiosities Literary Extravaganza! Hosted by The Regulator Bookshop at Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery, there will be copies of The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, The Steampunk Bible, Ekaterina Sedia’s brand new Steampunk-Russia novel HEART OF IRON, and a good pile of the other projects of guests Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, S.J. Chambers, Ekaterina Sedia, Durham’s Mur Lafferty, Greenville’s Scott Eagle, and Winston-Salem’s Nadine Wilson. Also, if plans hold, it should be the launch of Bull Spec #6 as well! All in all, don’t you dare miss this. Things start warming up at 6p as the Pittsboro-based The Clockwork Cabaret treats early arrivals to Steampunk-themed musical selections, with short (humorous!) readings at 7. Signing and conversations to follow. Please come. Please tell your friends! There is no age requirement to come to Fullsteam, by the way. So you don’t have to leave your under-21 friends at home, jealous, because, well, that would engender resentment, and we don’t want that.

Finally, if you’re not Steampunked out, follow the Cabaret home to historic downtown Pittsboro’s Davenport & Winkleperry for The Gaslight Ball from 9p to 1a.

And if you’re not Steampunked out by then then I don’t know what to tell you. Seek professional help.


Last minute call for advertisers for issue 6.

Still haven’t sold the back cover ($200) or back inside cover ($100) for issue 6. Full color, 8.5×11. Publication date July 30, on newsstands until late fall. Final art due July 15. Contact sam@bullspec.com for details. Previous back covers have included Pyr, Tor, and Solaris. Also have black and white full page space at $50. Back cover is for books and conventions only, inside is more open. Thanks! Back inside cover runs opposite editorial.

More info: full page is really 8.75 x 11.125, with outside 0.125 the bleed area, and the next 0.125 not a good spot for important text or line art (machine cut might cut into the trim).
And yes, there’s an advertiser copy. Two for the back cover spot.

Bull Spec local events e-mailing list: July 2011

Vol. 1, No. 2, July 1, 2011:


Welcome to the July events and announcements newsletter from Bull Spec. Issue #5 still has a month left on newsstand shelves around the Triangle, with issue #6 hopefully arriving in time for the July 30 event at Fullsteam. As usual, it’s going to be close. Highlights below include a just-announced Terry Brooks appearance at Quail Ridge Books in September, and two events for tomorrow, Saturday, July 2.


-Sam


JUNE
NEW! 12: The last two of Lewis Shiner’s previously published novels, Say Goodbye and Slam, were released in the Subterranean Press “Definitive Edition” series. More info: http://www.lewisshiner.com/definitive.html

NEW! 15: Kij Johnson announced that Small Beer Press will be publishing a collection of her short stories sometime next year. Link: http://twitter.com/kijjohnson/status/80878763679817728


JULY
NEW! 2 (Saturday), 5-7 pm: Angi Shearstone launches issue #1 of her “fully painted” comic, BloodDreams, at Chapel Hill Comics on Franklin Street. Praised by Warren Ellis as “A beautifully monstrous punk vampire story, an urban fantasy 1977 rendered in a kaleidoscope of blood and toxins.” More info: http://www.chapelhillcomics.com/content/?p=1341

NEW! 2 (Saturday), 5-8 pm: Opening reception for a month-long show of the art and illustration of Jason Strutz at Pittsboro’s Davenport and Winkleperry, which includes the cover art for Bull Spec issues #3 and #4. More info: http://strutzillustration.com/art-show-this-saturday-at-davenport-winkleperry

NEW! 5: Local author new edition: a new David Drake omnibus Loose Cannon collects Drake’s two Tom Kelly technothrillers Skyripper and Fortress. From Baen. More info: http://www.amazon.com/Loose-Cannon-Tom-Kelly-Novels/dp/1439134502


NEW! 16 (Saturday): Ultimate Comics Prime hosts the writers and artists behind The Stuff of Legend as part of their NC Comicon Signing Series. More info: http://www.ultimatecomicsonline.com/?p=1291



19: Local author book release: David Drake’s The Books of the Elements series continues with Out of the Waters. From Tor Books. More info: http://david-drake.com/2010/out-of-the-waters/



NEW! 20: Local illustrator new edition: The Tommy Lee Edwards illustrated mini-series TURF comes in a hardcover collecting the series. More info:http://comicbuzz.com/claim-your-turf



NEW! 26: SC author book release: TC McCarthy’s debut military science fiction novel Germline. From Orbit. More info: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780316179928.htm



NEW! 30 (Saturday): Durham’s Sci-Fi Genre Comics & Games celebrates its 5-year anniversary by openings its doors (and shelves) to local authors. More info: http://scifigenre.com/store/eventViewer.aspx?nEventID=1129


*!* 30 (Saturday), 7 pm (musical guests at 6 pm): Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, SJ Chambers, Ekaterina Sedia, Durham author Mur Lafferty, Greenville artist Scott Eagle, Winston-Salem writer Nadine Wilson, and a few surprises for the release of the VanderMeer co-edited anthology The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, as well as to talk about the recently released book The Steampunk Bible. The musical guests are the Davenport sisters, the folks behind the weekly Steampunk radio show Clockwork Cabaret. More info: http://bullspec.blogspot.com/2011/05/cabinet-of-curiosities-literary.html





AUGUST
2: Local author book release: The Mark Van Name-edited anthology The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge includes a story from Van Name as well as local contributor Gina Massel-Castater. From Baen. More info: http://www.webscription.net/p-1422-the-wild-side-urban-fantasy-with-an-erotic-edge-arc.aspx



15: Local author book release: Rebecca Rowe’s new science fiction novel Circle Tide to be released by EDGE Science Fiction.


27 (Saturday), 3 pm: Launch party for Hillsborough author John Claude Bemis’s closing book in his Clockwork Dark trilogy, The White City, at the Public Market House in downtown Hillsborough. More info: http://johnclaudebemis.com/2011/04/launch-party-for-the-white-city/

*!* 30 (Tuesday), 7 pm: Bestselling author of The Magicians, Lev Grossman, to be at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on his tour in support of the sequel, The Magician King. More info: http://flyleafbooks.com/event/lev-grossman-reads-his-new-novel-magician-king



31: Local author book release: Lewis Shiner’s new novel Dark Tangos to be published by Subterranean Press. More info: http://www.subterraneanpress.com/index.php/2011/05/02/announcing-dark-tangos-by-lewis-shiner/



SEPTEMBER
6: Local author book release: David Drake (with John Lambshead) starts a new SF space opera series with Into the Hinterlands. From Baen. More info: http://david-drake.com/2011/hinterlands/


NEW! 7 (Wednesday), 7:30 pm: Bestselling fantasy author Terry Brooks comes to Quail Ridge Books on his tour in support of his forthcoming Legends of Shannara book, The Measure of the Magic.


20: Local author book release: Pyr to publish The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire: Book 2) by Raleigh’s Clay and Susan Griffith. Sequel to last November’s The Greyfriar.


27: Local author book release: Random House Books for Young Readers to publish The Death of Yorik Mortwell by Durham’s Stephen Messer. More info: http://stephenmesser.com/?page_id=119


NOVEMBER
NEW! 1: Local author book release: John Kessel’s next anthology for Tachyon, Kafkaesque, collects “Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka”, including stories from JG Ballard, Terry Bisson, Borges, Paul Di Filippo, Jeffrey Ford, and more. More info: http://tachyonpublications.com/book/Kafkaesque.html

5-6 (Saturday and Sunday): NC Comicon at the Morrisville Outlet Mall. Also check out theirsummer signing series which has June 25 and July 16 events already scheduled.


15 (Tuesday), 7:30 pm: Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books hosts Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow, to present her latest novel Doc, a retelling of the life of “Doc” Holliday.


JANUARY 2012
NEW! 3: Local author new edition: The David Drake onmibus Voyage Across the Stars collects his Hammer’s Slammers novels Cross the Stars and Voyage. From Baen. More info: http://www.baen.com/order_isbn.asp?isbn=9781451637717


13-15: New local SF convention illogiCon (January 13-15, 2012) in Raleigh with literary guest of honor Joe Haldeman. More info: http://illogicon.com/


31: Local author book release: Solaris Books to publish the first book in a new fantasy series from Hillsborough author James Maxey, which starts with Greatshadow.


MARCH 2012
2-4: StellarCon (March 2-4, 2012) in High Point with literary guest of honor Patrick Rothfuss. More info: http://stellarcon.org/


JUNE 2012
1-3: ConCarolinas (June 1-3, 2012) in Charlotte with writer guest of honor Jack McDevitt. More info: http://www.concarolinas.org/


21-24: ConTemporal (June 21-24, 2012) in Raleigh with literary guest of honor Cherie Priest. More info: http://contemporal.org/


UNDATED
A trio of forthcoming first novels from local authors without confirmed release dates:

  • Jay Requard: The Night from Apex-based Peak City Publishing, Summer 2011. “This new dark fantasy story takes place in Tarinthol, a world fueled by action, magic, intrigue, and dark plots.” More info: http://jayrequard.blogspot.com/
  • Natania Barron: Pilgrim of the Sky from Candlemark & Gleam, Fall 2011. “A novel that might be best described as mythpunk. With elements of fantasy, science fiction, Romantic poetry, steampunk, and multiverse theory, well, it isn’t exactly the sort of book that finds a comfortable little niche to sit in.” More info: http://pilgrimofthesky.com/
  • JL Hilton: Stellarnet Rebel from Carina Press, 2012. “A science fiction romantic thriller.” More info: http://jlhilton.com/stellarnet-rebel/

END


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