Wednesday, 30 September 2015

New Issue 2015.34

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”

—Maya Angelou

 [ Issue 2015.34; Cover art © 2015 Carmen Moran ]
Issue 2015.34

Download e-book version: PDF | EPUB | Mobi

Review this issue on Goodreads.

Friday, 18 September 2015

TFF-X blog carnival recap

A recap of guest posts, interviews and other blog posts that were posted as part of the TFF-X fundraiser during the month of August (thanks to everyone involved!):
  1. Interview in Urban Fantasy Magazine
  2. Interview on Fox Spirit blog
  3. Micro-sequel Monday: “Little Match Girl, ten years on” *
  4. Interview with Joyce Chng
  5. Interview with Djibril by Jocelyn Koehler
  6. Friday Flash: “A Sense of Place” *
  7. Interview with Kathryn Allan at Twinja Book Reviews
  8. Micro-sequel Monday: “Galatea's Stepchildren, ten years on” *
  9. Ernest Hogan, "A Low Ride with Victor Theremin"
  10. Stephanie Saulter interviews Valeria
  11. Blog post at Theaker's Quarterly Fiction
  12. Interview with Richard Thieme
  13. Rebecca Schwab interviews Bruce
  14. Interview with Lori Selke at Apex Books
  15. Friday Flash: “From the Mud, Rising Bravely” *
  16. Djibril's Friday Five at Pornokitsch
  17. Margrét Helgadóttir interviews Cécile Matthey
  18. Su J. Sokol interviews Jennifer Marie Brissett
  19. TFFX writing contest
  20. Micro-sequel Monday: “Good Form, ten years on” *
  21. Quiltbag stories from the last decade
  22. “My Superpower” by Djibril over at Skiffy and Fanty
  23. Alasdair Stuart interviews Valeria
  24. Cécile interviews Rebecca Schwab
  25. Valeria interviews Vanessa Fogg
  26. Friday Flash: “Now Playing” *
  27. Serge interviews James W. Bennett
  28. "Keeping The Future Fire Burning" at Anne E. Johnson's blog
  29. Micro-sequel Monday: Rustwisdom *
  30. Peter Tennant interviews Djibril at "Case Notes"
  31. Re-opened: "Number 10"-themed writing challenge
  32. Tracie interviews Kathryn Allan
  33. Rebecca Buchanan interviews Robin
  34. Friday Flash: Morphic Resonance *
  35. Sunday Sequel: Pirate Stories *
  36. Microfiction Monday: 2084 *
  37. Dennis Upkins interviews Cécile
Look out especially for the micro-sequels posted at this site (marked with * above) which are lovely—and there will be more new material like that in the anthology.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Seeking experimental microstories

Call for Stories

The TFF-X (The Future Fire—ten years) anthology will contain 15 reprinted or slightly revised stories, plus at least as many new pieces that we hope will give an idea of the sort of things we’d like to see more of in the magazine in the future. We’re enthusiastically looking forward to the next decade, as well as celebrating the last one.

If you think you can help us to exemplify different and experimental modes/kinds of social-political, diverse, progressive and speculative stories, we’d love to hear from you. Some of our ideas are listed below. We're looking for very short pieces, so 500-1000 words is about right (or equivalent, for comics/poetry). We'll pay $20 per piece, and this call will remain open until we have the 5-10 new pieces we need to fill the volume (or until the end of October at the latest, at which point we'll have to firm up the table of contents if we’re to publish the anthology before the end of 2015). If you have any other experimental ideas—try us! Email your submissions or pitch ideas to with a subject line beginning “TFF-X submission: (title of work) and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Genre, style or conceit (many of these can be summed up as “ekphrasis”—a representation of one art form via the medium of another):
  1. Story written as a theater or radio play, or as an interview
  2. Story written as a pitch for a TV show or web series
  3. Story in the form of an online user review for a science-fictional/fantastic product (hoverboard, replicator, magic wand? You can think of something more original than this!)
  4. Design a poster or one-page advert for a made-up book or film
  5. Story in the form of a critical review of a non-existent book (no spoilers!)
  6. Story in the form of a user guide for a videogame or a module for an RPG
  7. Story told via a letter or letters (letter to a magazine advice column; letter of complaint; rejection letter for a job/story/grant; letter of condolence/congratulation; any letter that isn’t just the sender telling a story to the recipient)
Theme, content or medium (can be combined with one of the above, if you want to be hyper-efficient):
  1. Stories written largely/partly (or with dialogue) in a language or dialect other than US-English—with no apology or translation for the reader
  2. Bi/pansexual and trans/nonbinary characters (we do pretty well with queer representation otherwise)
  3. Utopian story—a world that satirizes our own by being visibly better than it in some significant way (doesn’t have to be perfect)
  4. Absurdist or nonsense piece—any combination of surrealism, dadaism, bizarro, dream-quest
  5. Horror and dark fantasy (so many possible modes)
  6. Poetry (any style; up to 40 lines)
  7. Graphic/comics story (2-4 pages)
All stories should of course be social-political, diverse, intersectional, and all the others things that TFF want to see in fiction anyway!
(If you would like to read more about what some of our editors would like to see more of in TFF in the future, the question has been addressed by Kathryn, Cécile, Valeria and Djibril in recent interviews. More suggestions welcome!)

Submission guidelines summary:

Length: approx. 500-1000 words (poems 40 lines, comics, 2-4 pages)
Email submissions as attachment to
Deadline: October 31, 2015, or sooner if filled
Pay: $20 (USD) per story, poem, comic, etc.

Monday, 14 September 2015

TFF-X Fundraiser — Thanks!

The following message has just gone out to all backers of the TFF-X fundraiser (in case anyone missed it):
Many thanks to all of you who supported the TFF-X fundraiser, which exceeded its target by nearly $300 at the beginning of the month; you have made this anthology possible, and freed up some much-needed funds to increase the pay rate for Fae Visions of the Mediterranean as well.

We expect the anthology to appear before the end of the year, at which point those who backed at the appropriate levels will receive your print or e-copies of these and other books. (The five-anthology bundles won’t be available until the last two volumes are published, of course.) Copies of Lowest Heaven should already have gone out to those of you who backed at those levels, and undead dolls and custom artwork recipients have been put in touch with their respective creators. If you think you should have heard from me but haven’t, please drop me an email asap, and I’ll try to sort it out.

Warmest thanks to you all again!
As noted, we have as a result of the generosity of our backers raised the pay-rate for Fae Visions to €30 per short story or poem, and €15 per flash story. The CFS for that anthology is still open for a few more weeks, and we’re especially keen to hear from any authors from the Mediterranean region, in particular those from North Africa, the Near East or Turkey, who are currently very underrepresented. It’s going to be a great anthology whatever happens, but it has to be representative of the region if it’s to mean anything.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Ten-years-after Tuesday: Xiomara's Flying Circus

Xiomara’s Flying Circus
Pancho Villa’s Flying Circus, ten years on
by Ernest Hogan
This flash sequel takes place ten years after the events of “Pancho Villa’s Flying Circus”, Ernest’s story in We See a Different Frontier, and was written to celebrate the tenth anniversary of TFF. If you want to see more fiction like this in the future, please support our fundraiser, where you can pre-order the celebration anthology and pick up other exciting rewards, for a few more hours only!

Mr. Burroughs must have thought he was Tarzan the way he treated Xiomara.

“You’ve done well for a hot little tamale. In just ten years, you’ve gone from a señorita in a dirty little town in Mexico to to owning a movie studio in Hollywood.”

He reached under the table.

I reached for the pistols under my silly embroidered waiter’s jacket

Mr. Burroughs’ bodyguard, a big lug who was too stupid to play Tarzan didn’t even notice me. He believed me when I said I “no espeak mucho English.”

Xiomara slapped Burroughs’ hand. “Please, Señor, we are in public!”

“We might as well be in Tijuana by the looks of this place. And call me Ed.”

“Ed. A funny little name.”

“We can’t all be something exotic like Xiomara.”

I hate the way gringos mispronounce her name.

“And I will be be the perfect Dejah Thoris!”

Mr. Burroughs licked his lips and grinned.

“So, Señor Burroughs, do we have a deal?”

“I’d love to have you make A Princess of Mars!”

“I’ll have my lawyers send you a contract.”

“Yes, yes. But first, I though we would seal this deal in another way.”

He panted a sloppy kiss on her lips, tore her dress, and squeezed a chichi.

I reached for my guns.

One of Xiomara’s eyes told me to wait.

“Señor! You are a married man!”

“My wife is more interested in making love to a bottle than me. And you inspire me!”

“Cabrón!” said Xiomara.

Mr. Burroughs whistled. His bodyguard aimed his gun at Xiomara’s face.

Her fist smashed Mr. Burroughs’ huevos as I put a bullet into the bodygaurd. Then I vaporized Mr. Burroughs with the Tesla death ray.

Cháirez and Holguín, who flew with me for General Villa, and now owned this restaurant, came out from the backroom, with guns drawn.

“Any problemas?” asked Cháirez.

I vaporized the bodyguard.

“Nada,” said Xiomara. “He thought my naglas were part of the deal.”

“That chingdera makes life easier,” said Holguín.

“Too bad,” said Cháirez. “It would have been a great movie.”

“It will be,” said Xiomara. “I’ll talk to his widow.”

Cháirez and Holguín hooted. “Viva Princess of Mars!”

“Princess?” said Xiomara. “I’d like to make her more of an empress.”