Three Sci-Fi Anthologies

They are here! They’re here! Our three beautiful sci-fi anthologies, Infinite Dysmorphia, Terra Nullis and Holding On By Our Fingertips, are out – and if you’re in Oxford this Friday (the 8th June) do come along to Waterstones for the launch!

I can’t play favourites as the editor, but I can’t anyway – I love all the stories that made it into the anthologies (and most of the ones that didn’t! It was so hard to pick!) You can go from nano-bots to a saltwater moon, exoskeletons to aliens, from ghosts to fauns and faeries, clones to  vampires and back to AI.

There’s stories about gardens in the ruins of a changing earth and in the depths of a factory, terraformed alien worlds with short-lived lifeforms or un-breathable air. There’s tales of survival in the wastelands and the city estates, in the depths of space and at the end of civilisations. There’s explorers of alien shores, finders of secrets, eaters of sins and builders of new worlds. There’s love and hope and despair, the end of humanity and the birth of new worlds, loss and mystery and exploration and above all, there’s amazing stories about the end of the world, about exploring the universe, and about the sheer variety of possibilities for humanity.

I am so ridiculously proud of all of the stories and authors that we selected, and really pleased to be able to share them with you! I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

Infinite dysmorphia, holding on by our fingertips, terra nullius covers

Ps. I’ll make a little bet with you. I think you’ll cry at the last story of Holding On By Our Fingertips; every editor did!

Reading, reading and more reading

grimbold anthology coversI have one hundred and thirty-five submissions to read. One hundred and thirty-five. If we give an average length of, say, 6000 words, that’s 810,000 words. Considering some of the submissions are longer, it’s probably closer to 900,000 words. I’m reading a whole shelf of novels in short story form!

I am exaggerating slightly, I admit, as I’ve already read forty-five of the submissions. It’s just the rest that I have to work through…

Forty-something of the submissions are for an anthology that I’m editing along with Ellen Crosháin, Terra Nullius – so I actually get to make story choices for that one! The others are for two other anthologies, Infinite Dysmorphia and Holding On By Our Fingertips – as I’m one of the slush pile readers for Grimbold anyway, I’m being a reader for those to narrow down the submissions before the editors make their individual choices.

I love reading new subs, and this call has been really fun. The open calls tend to have a percentage of manuscripts that lose me some braincells when I try to read them, but all the stories for Terra Nullius have been fabulous, and I haven’t lost any brain cells so far! I’m really looking forward to seeing what else is in the pile.

This is why I love my job!

BristolCon 2016: pre-con

I’m going to BristolCon this year! It was my very first con ever last year, and I really enjoyed it; it’s a small, friendly and sociable convention with a lot of interesting people.

This year, I’m on one panel with Will Macmillan Jones, Lucy Hounsom and Thomas David Parker, and moderated by Jonathan L. Howard. We’re talking about…The “F” Word.

The late Graham Joyce believed in fairies. He wrote about fairies. He lit candles on his lawn for fairies. But he didn’t like to use the F word (not ‘f**k’. He said ‘f**k’ all the time). He said they didn’t like it. And Graham’s fairies were not people you’d want to cross. “…when the shadow steps out, not only is it sometimes not sweet, but sometimes it stays out…” The panel discusses the darkly numinous otherworld where fairytale meets nightmare.

The full programme is up on the website, so go check it out! There’s a whole load of interesting panels and talks, plus a book launch (a Grimbold book, woot! I haven’t got my hands on Amunet yet but I’m really looking forward to it) with cake, then games in the evening, along with the inevitable talking at the bar. I’m steampunking it up with minor amounts of cosplay (may include a hat) and looking forward to seeing everyone! If you’re coming along, come and say hi to all of us on the Grimbold stall.

Amunet has a unique talent; she can talk to the dead. She has been told all her life that this is the key to rescuing her mother, who has been taken by mysterious and powerful forces. To unlock her mother’s prison, all she has to do is find the Locksmith. Posing as a medium, she scours Europe for the one person who can help her.

Harry and his father are investigators, employed by the Church to hunt down mediums and hand them over to the mercies of the Inquisition. Harry has always believed he, and the Church, were doing the right thing. Until now.

Refusing to believe the Church claim that Amunet is evil, Harry risks his own life, and his relationship with his father, to free her from under the eyes of the Church. As Harry loses his heart to Amunet, she guides him on a journey to prevent a terrible evil being set loose in the world.

Interview with Evelinn Enoksen

The wonderful Evelinn Enoksen is an artist who lives in Norway and works internationally. I know her through Grimbold Books – she has done some amazing covers, including the beautiful one for Spark & Carousel, and she kindly agreed to answer some questions for me. So, over to Evelinn…

Hello. Thank you for having me on your blog. Yay, I get to talk about artsy stuff.

Spark & Carousel
Spark & Carousel by Joanne Hall

At the moment, I’m working on several book covers as well as illustrations for my own books. I think I like acrylic paint more than anything else, mostly because I can fix mistakes 😉 Pencil drawings are fun too, and water colours, but I stay away from oils, don’t have the patience for it. However, I can happily draw every single scale on a huge dragon, totally not a problem…Fantasy and sci-fi are my favourite genres, but anything space related can be tricky to paint, so I tend to use Photoshop for those.

I knew from an early age that I wanted to create stuff, be it through writing, painting or music, (unfortunately, music was not a talent I harboured, not as a child, and definitely not now.) Painting and writing have been large parts of my life, and I also had writers and artists in my family to nurture and scrutinize my talents. I remember my grandmother (also an artist) asking; “Why dragons and monsters?” I don’t know what I answered, but if she were alive today, I would say “Because I’ve never seen dragons and monsters.”

The Unfortunate Fisherman
The Unfortunate Fisherman

My idea of what good art is changes almost daily, maybe it has something to do with my mood. I think the same applies to my creative process. Some days, words bend to my will and fill the pages in a blur, or the brush strokes flow neatly across the canvas. Other days, everything is like climbing a mountain. Listening to music helps. Right now, I’m listening to Muse, but perhaps I’ll find an obscure Danish opera tomorrow, you never know…When I get a chance to be creative, the living room is where the magic happens, preferably after everyone is asleep. I’m an owl, if I could stay up all night and live in a tree, I would 😉

Burning Sky
Burning Sky

There are many artists I admire for their awesome skills, and I don’t think I like them for their styles, because they’re all so very different. Most are not famous, and you’d probably not have heard of them, unless you were browsing Deviant-art’s fantasy and archives on a regular basis. Looking at art helps inspire me to challenge myself. As long as I practice, I’ll always be better tomorrow than I was yesterday. Now, inspirational quotes are not really my thing, but I have a motto, and that’s: “If you’re gonna do a thing, do it well.”

Thank you, Evelinn! You can find more of Evelinn’s work at her blog on Siamone at DeviantArt, or keep an eye out for more of her covers on new Grimbold Books releases…