Monday 22 September 2014

«Fragments d’histoires», Espace Kairos, Fribourg

Cécile Matthey, exhibition « Fragments d’histoires » at the gallery Espace Kairos, Fribourg (Switzerland), 20 September–18 October 2014.

Q: Your work is of course well-known to readers of TFF. Could you tell us a bit about how you put your exhibition together, what the themes and focus are?

Cécile: My first idea was to show illustrations of fairy tales and legends. But along the way, I felt I wanted to work on other subjects too, from mythology, fables or novels. Besides, I thought this exhibition was a good opportunity to show some of the works I produced in the last few years, including TFF illustrations, and posters advertising theatre plays. The initial theme was thus broadened to illustrations in general, and the exhibition called « Fragments d’histoires » (« Fragments of stories »), because it shows images that open like windows in the big world of stories: Little Red Riding Hood, Moby Dick, Treasure Island, the Raven and the Fox, The Hobbit, Alice in Wonderland, Icarus, Richard III, …

Q: Espace Kairos is an independent gallery featuring the work of local talent. Tell us more about this gallery: how does it work? Which other local artists will be featured in coming months?

Cécile: Espace Kairos is a small gallery located in an old house close to the cathedral of Fribourg (Switzerland). It is run as a non-profit activity by Vincent, a man who wishes to promote local artists in a simple and convivial way. The exhibitions, usually lasting one month, are very varied: paintings, drawings, sculptures, puppets and so on, and can include cultural happenings such as concerts or readings. The gallery has been successful for a few years now. But Vincent has new plans for the future and unfortunately, Espace Kairos will close in December. After “Fragments d’histoires”, two more artists will show their works: André Stauffer, who makes drawings in “ligne claire” style, and the painter Pierrick Matthey (perhaps a distant cousin of mine?).

Now show us some of the art!

Little Red Riding Hood
This interpretation of the well-known fairy tale is inspired by an old-fashioned advertisement, originally showing an elegant pair leaning on either side of a street lamp. The technique used, involving Indian ink and gouache, makes it look like an etching. It requires a little courage, because the drawing must be completely soaked in water, and the result is not entirely predictable.

Treasure Island
Illustrating this classic novel is a long-range project of mine, and this exhibition was a good opportunity to get started on it. I tried to compose the illustration like an old-fashioned book cover. It shows Jim and Long John Silver on the Hispaniola, seen from the back, arriving in sight of the island. The parrot turns to the spectator screeching, as if knowing what will happen next…

Richard III

This piece was made as a poster advertising the theatre play by Shakespeare. It was all about showing the archetype of the villain in a simple but scary way. A shadow is a good way to achieve this, as I remembered from the old film “Nosferatu” by Murnau. To create the silhouette, I posed in the sun wearing a long thick winter coat, and added a menacing spiked crown inspired by John Howe’s version of Sauron and… the top of the cathedral of Fribourg!

Shadow Boy (for “Shadow Boy and the Little Match Girl” by C. Allegra Hawksmoor, 2013)
To give a sense of the melancholy and solitude of the protagonist, I drew him seen from the back, walking among the graves at dusk. The long white hair brings some strangeness and ambiguity to the character, and adds contrast. The cemetery is inspired by old English and American cemeteries, which always impress me with their gravestones all askew—you wouldn’t see that in Switzerland.

Josh and Paris (for “The Man Who Watched the Stars” by Carol Holland March, 2014)

This illustration is inspired by the souvenir photos made by the NASA before each mission, showing the astronauts posing in their suits, smiling. It seemed a simple and elegant way to evoke the first flight out of the solar system, on which the story is based, and the main protagonists. Josh is inspired by Claude Nicollier, a Swiss astronaut. As for Paris, I found it hard to draw an attractive alien with huge eyes, avoiding the Roswell cliché. In the end I used a tarsier's face as a reference, because it is strange but cute!

More information about the gallery:

More information about the exhibition “Fragments d’histoires”:

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Accessing the Future CFS

Inspired by the cyberpunk and feminist science fiction of yesterday and the DIY, open access, and hacktivist culture of today, Accessing the Future will be an anthology that explores the future potentials of technology to augment and challenge the physical environment and the human form—in all of its wonderful and complex diversity. We are particularly interested in stories that address issues of disability (invisible and visible, physical and mental), and the intersectionality of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class—in both physical and virtual spaces. Accessing the Future will be a collection of speculative fiction that places emphasis on the social, political, and material realms of being.

We want stories from as many diverse people as possible, especially from people with disabilities (visible and invisible, physical and mental), chronic illness or mental illness, who are neuroatypical, or people who have an understanding of the institutional and social construction of disability. We welcome stories from marginalized groups within the speculative fiction community (e.g., QUILTBAG, people of colour, non-North American writers), and from anyone with sensitivity to intersectional politics.

Submission Guidelines

We pay $0.06/word (six cents a word) for global English first publication rights in print and digital format. The authors retain copyright.
  • Send your submissions to accessingfutureatgmailcom by midnight UTC on November 30th, 2014.
  • Length 2500-7500 words (with a preference for 4000-6000 words).
  • No reprints or simultaneous submissions.
  • Attach your story as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file, with your name, the story title, and the wordcount on the first page.
  • We do not require or request that submitting writers identify themselves as a person with a disability, but we respect anyone’s desire to self-identify.
We want stories that place emphasis on intersectional narratives (rejection of, undoing, and speaking against ableist, heteronormative, racist, cissexist, and classist constructions) and that are informed by an understanding of disability issues and politics at individual and institutional levels. We want to read stories from writers that think critically about how prosthetic technologies, new virtual and physical environments, and genetic modifications will impact human bodies, our communities, and planet.

For details, see the full CFS at

AtF final round-up of blogs, interviews, guest posts

We're on the last day of the Accessing the Future fundraiser ( with only nine hours to go and fast approaching our second stretch goal (which at $8000 will give us internal, black and white illustrations). I won't be awake when the final clock ticks over, so I'm leaving you with this final list of all the guest blog posts, interviews, plugs, and other words about the campaign and the anthology that have been posted in the last six weeks. Many thanks and much love to all of the people who have donated perks, blogged for us, spread the word in other ways, and contributed to the fundraiser itself. You (yes you!) have made it so this anthology will be excellent.
That's it so far! Next up, the Call For Stories will open tomorrow. (Watch this space!) In the meantime, there are still a few hours to pre-order the anthology or claim the last few perks. Please stop by and help any way you can!

Sunday 14 September 2014

Accessing the Future is pro-paying; stretch goals

Newsflash: Accessing the Future will be a full-length, pro-rate paying anthology of disability-themed science fiction! Thanks to all of our lovely supporters, the fundraiser reached $7000 this morning.

After paying fees and honoring all the rewards for the fundraiser, we will now have enough funds to produce an anthology of a little over 65,000 words of fiction, paid at 6¢/word, to pay our cover artist Robin E. Kaplan a fair artist fee, and to print off a few dozen review copies of the finished anthology next year.

But let's see how much further we can go! We still have over three days to raise more funds, and there are still story critiques, book bundles, and the opportunity to have a character named after you in a future short story by Lyda Morehouse, to be claimed. Or you can just pre-order the anthology itself. We have more stretch goals, which will be activated if we reach there further targets by September 16th:
  • At $8000 we will commission internal, black and white illustrations for the anthology.
  • At $9000 we will increase the wordcount to about 80,000 words (thus giving everyone who has pre-ordered even better value for money than they thought!)
Even if we don't quite make these goals, every penny we receive in this fundraising phase will go into making the anthology bigger and better.

The call for stories for Accessing the Future will open on Wednesday, September 17th, just after the end of the fundraiser.

You can claim one of the perks or pre-order the anthology at

Thursday 4 September 2014

Accessing the Future: artist reveal; 2 new rewards

The campaign to fund Accessing the Future, a disability-themed science fiction anthology, reached its first funding goal yesterday! At $4000 the anthology is guaranteed to happen, and will pay at least $0.03/word (“semi-pro” rates) to authors. But we have two weeks left on the fundraiser, and support is still going strong, and we have a stretch goal of $7000 in sight. If we reach this goal, Accessing the Future will be a full-size anthology and all authors will be paid SFWA-defined “professional” rate of $0.06 per word!

On this occasion we have two announcements to make:

(1) We’re delighted to announce that Robin E. Kaplan will be producing the cover art for the Accessing the Future print anthology!

For those of you who don’t know Robin’s gorgeous work, she illustrated the cover of Outlaw Bodies, and front covers of several issues of The Future Fire magazine. Her website The Gorgonist (and her Etsy store) features more of her art, and we featured an interview at TFF News a few years ago. I think you’ll agree she’ll do a great job with the artwork.

(2) We’re adding two new reward levels to the fundraiser, so if you haven’t yet pre-ordered your copy of Accessing the Future and want to chip in for something a bit nicer, read on:

Robin E. Kaplan signed art

You will receive a signed mini poster print of the cover artwork by illustrator Robin E. Kaplan, on archival photo paper. You will also receive the Accessing the Future anthology in trade paperback and DRM-free e-book.

Nicola Griffith Tuckerization

Nicola Griffith (winner of Nebula, Tiptree, World Fantasy and Lambda awards, and author of Ammonite and Hild) will name a character after you or a person of your choice in a forthcoming fantasy novella. (Note this may take some time to appear.) You will also receive the Accessing the Future anthology in trade paperback and DRM-free e-book.

These and all other perks can be found at