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The following entry was originally posted as a Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter update. There’s just 8 days left, and the campaign still needs a lot of help. Check it out here.

Hello, Clockwork Phoenix 5 backers!
We’ve been idling today at just over $6,300 with about 9 days left. I’m still holding a giveaway at $6,500, of two story collections by Hugo and World Fantasy Award winner and Clockwork Phoenix contributor John Grant. I thought this might be a good time to double back and better explain just what all these e-books that we’re offering as rewards actually are.
First, the most important thing to know–if you pledge at the $25 tier or higher, you get all 14 of them. (And to those who have already: thank you and I hope you will enjoy them!)



(And all but one are or will be available as trade paperbacks, too.)
So what are these books?
Well, aside from the obvious one, the one we’re hoping to make, Clockwork Phoenix 5:

  • The first four Clockwork Phoenix anthologies, obviously, laid the foundation for the book we’re Kickstarting. Combined they hold over 1,000 pages of original, poetic, exciting, mind-bending fiction, several best-of-the-year picks and award finalists among them.
  • The first Mythic Delirium anthology holds all the poems and stories from our ‘zine’s first year as a digital journal. A Publishers Weekly starred review called it “a winner from cover to cover.” Mythic Delirium Vol. 2, forthcoming in October, will hold, you guessed it, the stories and poems from the ‘zine’s second year. Both sport beautiful covers from Hugo winner Galen Dara.
  • Bone Swans is the debut fiction collection from Clockwork Phoenix and Mythic Delirium contributor C.S.E. Cooney. My Mythic Delirium Books imprint will release it in July. It’s our first single-author collection, with an introduction by none other than Gene Wolfe. Catherynne M. Valente calls Cooney “one of the most moving, daring, and plainly beautiful voices to come out of recent fantasy” and Delia Sherman says, “These stories are a pure joy.”
  • Francesca Forrest, who copy edits for Mythic Delirium, generously allowed her debut YA fantasy novel Pen Pal to be part of our reward package. At SF Site, Sherwood Smith called it “a vivid, memorable book that is one of my favorite picks of 2013.” And Little Red Reviewer wrote, “if you’re just looking for a damn good book with two empowering women, Pen Pal is that.”
  • Unseaming is my own debut collection of horror and dark fantasy short stories, now a Shirley Jackson Award finalist. Laird Barron wrote the introduction. Thomas Ligotti wrote a very flattering blurb in which he called my stories “fun” — try to picture that, if you’re familiar with his work and nihilistic outlook. (I consider it a badge of honor.) The creepy cover comes from British horror photographer Danielle Tunstall.
  • I’m a heavy metal fan, and heavy metal bands often release EPs between albums. That’s basically what The Spider Tapestries will be — a short collection containing some of my science fiction and fantasy stories, which are way weirder than my horror stories. It’ll come out in January, about the same time as Clockwork Phoenix 5, knock on wood.
  • The Black Fire Concerto is my first novel, a post-apocalyptic dark fantasy with a dash of zombie trouble. I like Little Red Reviewer‘s description of it best: “Exploding with magic, music, and violence, this short novel has the magical feel of an old school suspenseful fantasy adventure as filtered through the eyes of H.R. Giger.”
  • For something completely different, The Sky-Riders is a light-hearted steampunk Western co-written with my friend Paul Dellinger, whose forthcoming book, Fuzzy the Robot, was co-authored with New York Times–best-selling middle grade author Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda fame. Our graphic novel-style cover came from the team of Orion Zangara and Derek L. Chase. (Note: this title is only available as an ebook or audiobook. The rest all have trade paperback editions.)
  • Lastly but not leastly, Hungry Constellations is a retrospective on my 20+ year career as a poet, with the selections made by up-and-coming anthology editor Dominik Parisien, an introduction from Locus Award finalist Amal El-Mohtar, and a beautiful cover by Paula Arwen Owen.

So that’s what you get at $25 and up. On top of whatever else you pledge for.
Later tonight I hope to share more giveaway news. I intend to stay hard at it until the train reaches the end of the line. Once again, my thanks to all of you for climbing on board!


Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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The following entry was originally posted as a Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter update. Check out the campaign here. Just 10 days left!

Howdy, Clockwork Phoenix 5 backers!
Thanks again for your help in making this book happen. We’re in the second half of the game, for certain — the points on the board are promising, but the clock is ticking down.
A bunch of new backers have signed on, which is wonderful! I hope you folks will check out the add-ons you can choose (detailed here with a little more here) — all of Anita’s jewelry offerings and most of her tumbler sets remain available, for example.

More about the Clockwork Phoenix decals

Before I get to the giveaway stuff — in the madcap rush to get this Kickstarter going, I posted pictures of quite a number of our rewards on the main page without really explaining in detail what they are (and people have pledged for them anyway, which I find really comforting, heh). In a previous update (linked here) I offered more detail about the limited edition signed and numbered chapbooks from Laird Barron (The Occultation) and Catherynne M. Valente (Temnaya and the House of Books) that are never going to be offered anywhere other than through this Kickstarter.
This time around I want to share a little bit more about the vinyl Clockwork Phoenix decals designed by Paula Arwen Owen. They’re based on the new emblem design she created for the Clockwork Phoenix 5 cover and interior. She cuts the decals herself! She made a couple illustrations of their possible uses for me to share.

Every backer who pledges at the $40 “Full Phoenix Level” and up gets one, and will have a choice of black or silver color.

Should anyone desire more than one, I can offer them as a $10 add-on for those who pledge at $40 or above. As with any add-ons, if you do increase your pledge, message me to let me know what you’re adding.

And the giveaway news

Congratulations to Robin L. Martinez, who won copies of my audiobooks The Black Fire Concerto and The Sky-Riders for pledging to get us across the $6,000 mark! We have a winner of the complete Clockwork Phoenix paperback set, I’m still waiting to hear back–but congrats to that person too! (By the way, at $8,500, I’ll give away another set, so there’s still a chance to win one…)
The next giveaway happens when we hit $6500 (less than $325 to go as of this writing.) Hugo Award winner and World Fantasy Award winner John Grant is generously offering signed copies of his short story collections Tell No Lies and Take No Prisoners. If you’re a fan of “All the Little Gods We Are” from the first Clockwork Phoenix or “Where Shadows Go at Low Midnight” from Clockwork Phoenix 3, here’s a chance to get even more of John’s particular brand of strange.

And there’s more coming! I’ve put the full schedule on the main page.
Once again, folks, thank you for all your help so far!


Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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The following entry was originally posted at the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter:

Howdy, Clockwork Phoenix 5 backers!
Wow! We had a surge in pledges yesterday, mostly due to a batch of new people learning about the exclusive chapbooks we’re offering. (My thanks to Elizabeth McClellan, Alexandra Erin and Cat Valente herself for that!)
It made me realize that perhaps I’ve not done the clearest job of explaining exactly what those chapbooks are. But before I get to that, I want to update folks on the giveaways — we flew past three in a row!
Congratulations to: Cliff Winnig, who won audiobook editions of my novel The Black Fire Concerto and novelette The Sky-Riders (co-written with Paul Dellinger); Charlie Byrd, who won a signed copy of my newly Shirley Jackson Award-nominated collection of short stories, Unseaming; and Sam Fleming and Mike Skolnick, who won signed 11″ x 17″ inch giclee prints of Paula Arwen Owen’s beautiful cover art. (Another Unseaming winner has yet to respond to my note.)

Paula Arwen Owen"s illustration for our cover. We may be offering these again down the road, stay tuned

Paula Arwen Owen’s illustration for our cover. We may be offering these again down the road, stay tuned!

The next big giveaway comes up at $4,500 (less than $350 away at this point): Nicole Kornher-Stace will send the winner a signed copy of her debut YA novel Archivist Wasp. At $5,000, Marie Brennan is offering a signed copy of her novel Voyage of the Basilisk. At the halfway mark, $5,500, I’ll give away the 10th anniversary issue of Mythic Delirium signed by Neil Gaiman. And I’m now starting to plan for the second half! May we get there soon.
So: a further word on our chapbooks, Temnaya and the House of Books by Catherynne M. Valente and The Occultation by Laird Barron. These will be numbered, signed by the authors, with covers and illustrations by Paula Arwen Owen. They’ll be published under my Mythic Delirium Books imprint and the only way to get them is through this Kickstarter. They will never be offered any other way.

We’re modeling them on The Immigrant by Cherie Priest, an exclusive chapbook that we offered through the Clockwork Phoenix 4 Kickstarter. Like “Temnaya and the House of Books,” “The Immigrant” was originally published in Mythic 2, an anthology I edited in 2006 in partnership with Prime Books that was kind of a precursor to the Clockwork Phoenix series. The idea to create a special chapbook in the first place came from my colleague in poetry and prose Rose Lemberg.
Paula Owen created the art for Cherie’s story, as she will for these works from Cat and Laird:


We ultimately made 65 copies. It was so successful for us that it made absolute sense to try again with new authors. Cat and Laird readily, generously agreed to let us use their stories for this go-round.
So those of you who have pledged for these rewards, hopefully that helps give you some idea of what’s in store. Those of you who haven’t, now maybe you have a sense of what you might be missing out on.
Folks, thanks again for all your help so far!


Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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So this was always the plan—
Well, the idea that my short story collection Unseaming would be one of the rewards in a Kickstarter campaign for Clockwork Phoenix 5, that has been my plan for quite some time. Most every publishing project I tackled in 2014, I had in the back of my mind (or even the front of my mind) the notion that it would double as a Kickstarter prize.
What I didn't plan for: the way Unseaming picked up a momentum all its own. Selling over 3,000 copies so far (mostly on Kindle, where, by the way, it's still available at 99 cents through the end of the day, that wasn't planned either), picking up starred reviews, and now, my Creepy Book That Could is a Shirley Jackson Award finalist.
Talk about an honor. Especially when I look at the fellow finalists in my category: Helen Marshall, Simon Strantzas, Robert Shearman, Stephen Graham Jones. I've read or am reading three of the four books, and they're all terrific. It's fortuitous that Anita and I were already planning to go to Readercon in July, where the winners get announced. I'll be in great company.
I want to thank the judges for liking the book enough to include it on that wonderful list; my publisher, Elizabeth Campbell, for making all of this possible; and all the folks who've helped along the way.
Something I did plan: the Clockwork Phoenix 5 campaign is floating toward the $3,500 mark (there's quite a ways to go still, with 20 days to go as of this writing). When we hit that mark I plan to give away at least one (likely more) signed trade paperback copies of Unseaming (via names drawn from a hat) to my Kickstarter backers. I hope you'll consider becoming one of them!
What a week, what a month, what a year.
Current Mood:
accomplished accomplished
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Congratulations to Richard Novak and Rachel Swirksy, who won trade paperback ARCs of C.S.E. Cooney’s debut collection of fantasy novellas, Bone Swans, in the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter giveaway yesterday evening.
CP5_cover_mockup_smallThis morning I’ve updated our giveaway “schedule” with a couple new rewards, signed paperback copies of Nicole Kornher-Stace’s Archivist Wasp and my own Unseaming. To be eligible, you have to be a backer of the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter.

  • At $3,500, I’ll give away signed trade paperback copies of my own debut collection of short stories, Unseaming. Locus kindly said in a review that “its stories show an imaginative writer with a very original voice working at the top of his game. “
  • At $4,000, I’ll give away a signed 11″ x 17″ inch giclee print of Paula Arwen Owen‘s beautiful cover art.
  • At $4,500, Clockwork Phoenix contributor Nicole Kornher-Stace will give away a signed copy of her debut YA novel Archivist Wasp. In a starred review, Kirkus wrote called the book “a ravishing, profane, and bittersweet post-apocalyptic bildungsroman transcends genre into myth.”
  • At $5,000, World Fantasy Award nominee Marie Brennan will give away a signed copy of her new fantasy novel Voyage of the Basilisk. Marie has contributed a short story to every volume of Clockwork Phoenix, and to the first Mythic Delirium anthology, so we’re glad to share even more of her writing with you.
  • At $5,500 (halfway there!): The special 10th anniversary issue of the print version of our journal Mythic Delirium featured Neil Gaiman’s poem “Conjunctions.” As soon as we hit the halfway mark, I’ll hold a giveaway for the one copy signed by Gaiman himself.

Naturally, I hope you’ll check us out!

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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Mythic_Delirium_1_4_coverThe big event here at Mythic Delirium Books is of course the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter, which as of this writing is one quarter funded. We’re offering many of our books as rewards and giveaway prizes, and a number of other things besides. You can check it all out here.
But there’s new bounty in the Mythic Delirium pasture, too. Our featured story and poems for May are live on our site.
Jessy Randall offers a delightfully dark tribute to Shirley Jackson in “Maybe a Witch Lives There,” while Jane Yolen offers haunting reflections on the tales of Chicken Little (“Eating and Being Eaten“) and Baba Yaga (“Mortar/Pestle“).
Can’t wait to read the rest of the issue? Click here to subscribe — or you could renew your subscription by participating in the Clockwork Phoenix 5 Kickstarter.

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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Last week I launched a new Kickstarter campaign to fund Clockwork Phoenix 5, which I hope will be the next installment in our critically-acclaimed, award-nominated flagship anthology series.
With the costs of shipping and printing having risen, and the professional standard payment for fiction also having risen, my funding goal for this new book is pretty epic, $11,000. But we’re six days in and more than 1/5 of the way to the goal, so we’re off to a promising start!
CP5_cover_mockup_smallThis campaign has been in the works for months; I haven’t made a secret of it. I hope folks can forgive the social media barrage that I now need to generate to properly promote this project. But man, I sure to want to get this project secured so I can put together a book worthy of Paula Arwen Owen’s amazing cover.
So as of this writing we have 24 days to go and we’re 23% of the way to our goal. I have stretch goals I’m hoping to deploy but first we gotta get past the long haul to fully funded — and by the way, as soon as we reach that goal, I will open the book to submissions, even if the campaign still has time left.
I hope you’ll check out the cool rewards we have to offer; there’s a lot, and I’m going to be adding even more as we proceed.
I’m also going to be holding giveaways as we go along to add additional grease to the machine. You gotta be a backer to be entered. These are what I’ve got planned so far:

And that won’t be all. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, I hope you’ll check out our Kickstarter page and consider pledging. And I also hope you’ll spread the word, as we need all the help we can get, heh.

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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Bone_Swans_ARC_frontTiffany Trent, author of the young adult novels The Unnaturalists and The Tinker King, has added to the accumulating accolades for C.S.E. Cooney’s debut collection Bone Swans:

C.S.E. Cooney’s Bone Swans is like visiting a literary Ys. Coaxed by her deft hand, lands and people long lost to memory resurface, breaking through the hearts of readers with the force of a gentle tsunami. Once that wave has broken over you, you are never the same.

We’ve got an advance reading copy of Bone Swans available for bid in the Con or Bust auction — you could win a copy and help a very worthy cause at the same time! An initiative of the Carl Brandon Society, Con or Bust raises money to help fans of color go to SFF cons. I hope you’ll check it out.
We’ll officially launch Claire Cooney’s book at Readercon in July.

Originally published at Mythic Delirium Books. You can comment here or there.

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So, at the end of 2010, I thought my days of writing poetry were behind me. I had gone from someone excited about speculative poetry, who advocated for it anywhere the opportunity arose, to someone so burned out and dejected by the state of the scene that I doubted I'd ever write it again. It depressed me to no end. (For evidence, what I wrote back then in a locked post: "For many months, when it comes to writing poetry, I've been blocked. Even the thought of trying depressed me.")
Along came C.S.E. Cooney, who rained down prompts on me and encouraged her friends and family to do the same. (Nicole Kornher-Stace, Patty Templeton and Sita Aluna (Claire's mum!) all participated, as I recall.)
And it worked. The wall that kept the poetry from me crumbled away. The result: a cycle of a dozen poems that I call the Claire-dare poems, that have a special place in my dark heart.

As of this spring, the last unpublished Claire-dare appeared in the world — with the appearance of "The Bone Bird" in the latest issue of Spectral Realms — and I wanted to take stock of the series. I've listed them in the order I wrote them, still preserved in a series of locked Livejournal posts. Then noted where they ended up and when, and if it's still possible to read them or get hold of them, I've included the link:
  1. "Sad Wisps of Empty Smoke," Van Gogh's Ear, Jan. 9, 2015

  2. "Binary," Fantastique Unfettered 4, December 2011

  3. "Empty Nest," Illumen, Spring 2011

  4. "The Bone Bird," Spectral Realms 2, Winter 2015

  5. "Heart’s Delight," Not One of Us 46, October 2011

  6. "The Vigil," Goblin Fruit, Autumn 2012

  7. "Sisyphus Crawls," Fantastique Unfettered 4, December 2011

  8. "Seed the Earth, Burn the Sky," Fantastique Unfettered 4, December 2011

  9. "These Wonders Are Yours," Illumen, Spring 2011

  10. "A Prayer," Fandom Forever 1, March 2012

  11. "The Unkindest Kiss," Apex Magazine 20, April 28, 2011

  12. "La Donna del Lago," Strange Horizons, August 22, 2011


Once upon a time I wouldn't have thought twice about gathering these up into a chapbook of some sort. Any thoughts out there about this idea?
(I should mention that the new Spectral Realms also holds a rare "Dwarf Stars"-sized poem from me, "Purloined." And that an upcoming issue will contain the poem I actually co-wrote with C.S.E. Cooney, "Toujours Il Coûte Trop Cher.")
Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
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So I've written a new Lovecraftian tale, my first explicit stab at the Mythos since "Her Acres of Pastoral Playground" appeared in Cthulhu's Reign in 2010.
My new story is called "The Sun Saw," and I'm proud to share that it will be appearing in Joseph S. Pulver's forthcoming anthology The Leaves of a Necronomicon.
The premise of Joe's book is delightful — Leaves traces the ownership of a single volume of The Necronomicon through the decades, in the manner of Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx. Some contributors were asked to coordinate their efforts for narrative consistency. I, however, was not. I was asked to set my story in the 1950s, which I did.
"The Sun Saw" takes place in the same milieu as my story "Gutter" from Unseaming, though a casual reader probably wouldn't find any evidence of that. You'll just have to take my word for it for now; I'm working on a couple of stories that would make the connections clear, but they're nowhere close to finished.
Chaosium intends to release The Leaves of a Necronomicon in August. (August will be a big month for me, as that's when Rhonda Parrish's Corvidae anthology is also scheduled to drop, with my new story "The Cruelest Team Will Win," set in the same continuum as my stories "The Hiker's Tale" and "Follow the Wounded One.")
Speaking of works tied to other works, which I seem to be doing a lot of lately, my poem "Dearly Beloved," published last year in Postscripts to Darkness, landed a Rhysling Award nomination. The poem is set in the same far future Earth as my short stories "Twa Sisters" and "Still Life With Skull." (And I'm right now working on a new story in that series.)
I'm grateful to Dominik Parisien for giving the poem a home (this is on top of all the work he did editing my newest poetry collection, Hungry Constellations.) I owe the man at least a beer, don't you think?
Current Mood:
contemplative contemplative
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