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I'm very pleased about my final schedule of readings and panels at Readercon in Boston this weekend. Anita and I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.
We'll also have copies of all our books with us (our big push will be for Clockwork Phoenix 5, and a little bit extra for The Spider Tapestries, but all the rest will be along, too), in case you want to get one in person and have it signed.

Friday July 08

5:00 PM A Clockwork Phoenix 5 Group Reading. Mike Allen, Rob Cameron, C.S.E. Cooney, Carlos Hernandez, Keffy Kehrli, Barbara Krasnoff, Sonya Taaffe, A.C. Wise. Contributors to the bestselling fifth installment in the critically-acclaimed, boundary-expanding Clockwork Phoenix anthology series read excerpts from their stories.


Saturday July 09

1:00 PM A Reading: Mike Allen. Mike Allen. Mike Allen reads stories and excerpts from his newest collection, THE SPIDER TAPESTRIES. In the words of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, expect "weird and transgressive" tales that "defy genre and moral expectations."


Sunday July 10

10:00 AM AT Autographs. Mike Allen, Joe Haldeman.

1:00 PM 5 Tanith Lee - A Retrospective. Mike Allen, Gemma Files, Lila Garrott, Theodora Goss (leader), Sonya Taaffe. Tanith Lee authored over 90 novels and 300 short stories, a children's picture book, poems, and television episodes. In 1980, she became the first woman to win the British Fantasy Award best novel award, for her book Death's Master. Yet in 2010, Tanith Lee mentioned she was still writing novels, and consistently publishing short stories, but publishers were not interested in her longer works. Lee's impact on the genres that make up slipstream fiction was significant. What leads a publisher to look at works from an influential, established writer and decide they are not worth the shelf space? How can we keep Lee in print, and in people's minds?

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MD_3_1_smallThis newest issue kicks off the fourth year of Mythic Delirium Mark II, and it launches as Anita and I prepare to see friends and hawk our wares at Readercon.
Our summer offering gives center stage to a trio of voices from the far side of the world: Suzanne J. Willis brings a beautiful and gruesome story of maps inked on skin and where they lead; Benjanun Sriduangkaew shares a story of a space-faring arms dealer who is herself a weapon; and Yukimi Ogawa rejoins us with a mash-up of mythology and multiple genres that’s unlike anything you’ve ever read.
Our poetry crew this time around consists of Jane Yolen, Lynette Mejía, Christina Sng, Ada Hoffman, Kavitha Rath and Lyndsey Silveira, who together take us on tours through realms of legend and sorcery, dinosaurs and death personified.
Our cover art comes from Lissanne Lake, illustrator of the Buckland Romani Tarot.
Here's the contents and the schedule for upcoming features:

Featured in July
The Cartographer’s Price • Suzanne J. Willis
Half in Love with Easeful Death • Lynette Mejía
Mirror to the Other Side • Christina Sng


Featured in August
Comet’s Call • Benjanun Sriduangkaew
I learned • Lyndsey Silveira
Million-Year Elegies: Edmontonia • Ada Hoffmann

Featured in September
Left Behind • Yukimi Ogawa
Morgan Le Fay at the Downtown Mall • Kavitha Rath
Rusalka • Jane Yolen

If you don't want to wait three months to read the entire issue, you can purchase it for $2.99 at Amazon (click here) or at Weightless Books (click here), or subscribe (click here) on the Mythic Delirium Books website. Subscriptions are also available at Weightless Books.

First posted at Mythic Delirium Books

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I’ve launched an experiment here at Mythic Delirium Books. For the next couple weeks or so, ebook editions of all five of the Clockwork Phoenix anthologies are discounted to 99 cents across all the major electronic book platforms. My thanks to Holly Heisey for the snazzy promo banner!
Links to all, or at least most, of the discounted editions below.

Platform Clockwork Phoenix Volume
Kindle One Two Three Four Five
Kindle UK One Two Three Four Five
Kindle CA One Two Three Four Five
Kindle AU One Two Three Four Five
Google Play One Two Three Four Five
Nook One Two Three Four Five
iTunes One Two Three Four Five
Kobo One Two Three Four Five


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

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Mythic Delirium Books at last has a site map!
On this page, you can find all the stories and poems from all the online issues of Mythic Delirium, sorted alphabetically by author. The index also includes all the stories from the Clockwork Phoenix anthology series and in C.S.E. Cooney’s collection Bone Swans, with links to the landing pages for the individual books.


I gotta give a shout of gratitude to Jacob Clifton, who super-generously made this page for us.
Further things included: links to stories from our books, poems from the print issues of Mythic Delirium, and even song lyrics that we’ve shared on the site.
Things not included: a breakdown of the contents of my own books (Hungry Constellations, The Spider Tapestries, The Sky-Riders); sortings of the first and second Mythic Delirium anthologies, as all the stories and poems they hold are available on this site; an alpabetical indexing of the poems from the print issues of Mythic Delirium (though a complete index of the contents of those issues can be found here.)
Have fun exploring!

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

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MD_2_4_cover_smallOur June featured poems and story from the electronic pages of Mythic Delirium 2.4 have gone live on our website, wrapping up three full years of digital zinesterhood.
Alisa Alering’s “We Will Hold,” inspired by a remarkable ceramic sculpture by Pam Stern, shares a surreal, eerie and unforgettable tale of five sisters with a special bond.
Daniel Ausema makes his Mythic Delirium debut with “Beings of Air,” a wistful science fiction poem, while A.J. Odasso offers an evocative, grim meditation on genetics and chemotherapy in “XX/XY.”
Check ’em out and let us know what you think!Cover art by Lissanne Lake
At present, I’m at work assembling the July-September issue, Mythic Delirium 3.1, and it looks like I’m going to be able to deliver it on time despite a slew of surprise technical problems. (So it goes in the life of a micropress publisher…)
The new issue holds fiction by Suzanne J. Willis, Benjanun Sriduangkaew and Yukimi Ogawa, and poetry by Lynette Mejía, Christina Sng, Lyndsey Silveira, Ada Hoffmann, Kavitha Rath and Jane Yolen. Our wild cover art comes from Lissanne Lake.
You don’t want to miss this, trust me, so be sure your subscription is up-to-date. You can do that here at the Mythic Delirium Books website, or here at Weightless Books.

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

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MD_2_4_cover_smallOur slow reveal of our spring issue continues with the unveiling of our featured content for May.
In “The Muse,” Amy Aderman shares a thoughtful, touching tale of the prince whose transformation from swan to human remains incomplete. Sandy Leibowitz’s poem “One-Winged” approaches that story from yet another angle. Completing an anthropomorphic trifecta, Carina Bissett warns us about “Swimming with the Shark Boys.”
If you can’t wait to read the rest of the issue, you still have options! You can subscribe here, or purchase the complete issue at Amazon or Weightless Books.

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

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Since mid-April, I’ve started a new chapter.
Not so much in any particular writing project, of which I have several ongoing, but in my writing life as a whole.
This “new chapter” feeling comes not from fresh goals I’ve set for myself, but from the way a number of endeavors of mine reached a satisfying denouement, a sort of serendipitous equivalent of the awards-giving scene at the end of the first Star Wars movie.
CP5_widgetMay 2015 was a watershed month in my overlapping careers as writer, editor, publisher and journalist. On the freelance side, I hustled and huckstered my way through the $12,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund the Clockwork Phoenix 5 anthology. On the newspaperman side, I was the point person for The Roanoke Times' coverage of the return of the restored Norfolk & Western J Class 611 steam engine, a once-in-a-lifetime event for many in this built-by-the-railroad city where I live. (I called these twin tasks my “Test to Destruction,” which, for the curious, is a reference to Keith Laumer’s short story in the ol’ Dangerous Visions anthology.)
A lot more happened that month, some things awesome, one event a heartwrenching tragedy, but I’ll leave out those details for the sake of streamlining.
On April 5, I hosted the launch reading for the completed Clockwork Phoenix 5 anthology in the Brooklyn Commons Café in NYC. Jim Freund had invited me to make the launch part of the monthly New York Review of Science Fiction Readings series that he’s overseen since the late 1980s.
You can hear Jim and I talk about how successful the reading was on the Hour of the Wolf radio show, which Jim also hosts (click here to listen/download). We had a standing-room only crowd — according to Jim, the second-largest crowd in the decades-long history of the reading series. Rob Cameron, Shveta Thakrar, Barbara Krasnoff, Sonya Taaffe, A.C. Wise, and the duo of C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez read excerpts from their stories (and in a couple of cases, the entirety of their stories), and even though these were all challenging, artistically-layered works, not the sort of stuff you think of as audience-friendly, this audience loved it. (There's a Facebook photo album here; there's even a File 770 report on the reading, a first for an event I've hosted.) It was a giddy night, and I spent most of the evening stunned by delight. After a full year of painstaking labor, I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing finale.
And then, further adding to that sense of a chapter coming to a close: four days later, on April 9, I shared a first place award for best story and pictures from the Virginia Press Association. I don’t talk about my journalism career much at all on this blog (professionalism requires me to be careful about “crossing the streams”) but this feels worth sharing. The award was for our Sunday, May 31, 2015, coverage of the 611 steam engine’s return to Roanoke. My role? I boarded the 611 in Lynchburg, rode it back to Roanoke, and wrote about the people I met and the things I saw during that historic ride. (You can read that story by clicking here.)
It was my first 1st place award from VPA since 2000, when I was part of a Roanoke Times team that claimed 1st place in the investigative journalism category, so to say it’s a satisfying personal milestone phrases it mildly. Another reason I’m fiercely proud of our 611 coverage? The second place prize went to The Washington Post, a paper with circulation at least five times our size.
Anita couldn’t join me for the Clockwork Phoenix 5 reading, but she was there at the Virginia Press Award ceremony, which made it 100 times better.
Now the CliffsNotes version: Clockwork Phoenix 5 made its funding goal May 28, 2015. The 611 came back to Roanoke on May 30, 2015. The launch for Clockwork Phoenix 5 happened April 5, 2016. The VPA awards were April 9, 2016.
Okay, life, what next?
Current Mood:
accomplished accomplished
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Thanks to a surprise opportunity, e-book editions of the Mythic Delirium Books anthologies and collections (and a number of my own books, too) are now available on Google Play, the Android equivalent of iBooks.
One feature of Google Play that particularly impresses me: readers who buy a book can toggle back and forth between an EPUB edition and a PDF edition, thus having the choice of a standard e-book with flowing text and a facsimile of the print book available simultaneously. Given that many of my books (written by and edited by) incorporate some typographical pyrotechnics, this strikes me as especially handy.
Here are links to all our books on Google Play:
Edited by Mike Allen
Clockwork Phoenix:
Tales of Beauty and Strangeness


Clockwork Phoenix 2:
More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness

Clockwork Phoenix 3:
New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness

Clockwork Phoenix 4
Clockwork Phoenix 5

Edited by Mike and Anita Allen
Mythic Delirium
Mythic Delirium:
Volume Two


Bone Swans
Stories by C.S.E. Cooney
(Introduction by Gene Wolfe)

Hungry Constellations
by Mike Allen
(Introduction by Amal El-Mohtar)
The Spider Tapestries
Seven Strange Stories by Mike Allen
(Introduction by Nicole Kornher-Stace)
by Mike Allen
(Introduction by Laird Barron)

The Black Fire Concerto
by Mike Allen


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

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Here’s a treat: what I consider to be the most fine-detailed and insightful review of the Clockwork Phoenix 5 anthology to date appeared in installments over the course of a couple months at the A Story A Day Keeps Boredom Away blog, also known as 365shortstories.
Here’s links to all of the individual reviews:

  • The Wind at His Back” by Jason Kimble
  • The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me” by Rachael K. Jones
  • The Perfect Happy Family” by Patricia Russo
  • The Mirror-City” by Marie Brennan
  • The Finch’s Wedding and the Hive That Sings” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
  • Squeeze” by Rob Cameron
  • A Guide to Birds by Song (After Death)” by A.C. Wise
  • The Sorcerer of Etah” by Gray Rinehart
  • The Prime Importance of a Happy Number” by Sam Fleming
  • Social Visiting” by Sunil Patel
  • The Book of May” by C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez
  • The Tiger’s Silent Roar” by Holly Heisey
  • Sabbath Wine” by Barbara Krasnoff
  • The Trinitite Golem” by Sonya Taaffe
  • Two Bright Venuses” by Alex Dally MacFarlane
  • By Thread of Night and Starlight Needle” by Shveta Thakrar
  • The Games We Play” by Cassandra Khaw
  • The Road, and the Valley, and the Beasts” by Keffy R.M. Kehrli
  • Innumerable Glimmering Lights” by Rich Larson
  • The Souls of Horses” by Beth Cato

    The reviewer also offers a brief overview here.
    And just in case any of this inspires you to get the book, here’s where it can be found:

    Paperback: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
    Ebook: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon AU | Google Play | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Scribd | Weightless


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

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    CP5-reading-detailSo, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’m still playing the “belated” game, which is why I’m only now getting to the official post declaring that our newest anthology, Clockwork Phoenix 5, is available everywhere — though, to be fair, numerous shouts resounded via more ephemeral social media outlets on the April 5 launch date, and the launch reading that day was a smash success. More about that anon.
    First, links to all the places you can find Clockwork Phoenix 5 can be found here. (Including a new Google Play edition! More about that in the coming days.)
    Second (Part A), in addition to the starred review from Publishers Weekly, the book’s launch was heralded by a sweet review from Faren Miller of Locus:

    “The arrangement is superb. This anthology of 20 stories can resemble a symphony of themes and variations in a wide range of keys, or a tapestry whose elements form patterns of imagery and meaning that shift and offer new insights throughout the book.”

    And a wonderful metaphor-rich endorsement from well-known book blogger Andrea Johnson, a.k.a. Little Red Reviewer:

    “And then there is that secret restaurant . . . It is perfection on a plate! And you feel better about yourself and your life and the world every time you go there. Clockwork Phoenix is the name of this restaurant, and Mike Allen is the restaurateur. One sublime dish after another, and yet I still have my favorites that I keep coming back to.”

    Second (Part B), an interview Andrea conducted with me about Clockwork Phoenix 5 and other incarnations of my career appeared on launch day at SF Signal, and can be read here.

    CP5 signing

    Third, the Clockwork Phoenix 5 launch the evening of April 5, went better than I could ever have expected. More than 90 people came to the NYRSF Reading in Brooklyn, which apparently set an attendance record — the largest crowd they’ve had since a special reception held 12 years ago for Susanna Clarke (and thus the second largest in the 25-and-some-year history of the series). It was so successful it even took the organizers by (happy) surprise.
    The people who came out got to see one hell of a show. Rob Cameron (his blog entry on the event here), Shveta Thakrar, Barbara Krasnoff, Sonya Taaffe (her LiveJournal entry here), A.C. Wise and the team of C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez all gave terrific readings. From my perspective as a dabbler in amateur theater, there’s nothing quite as electrifying as a packed room that’s paying rapt attention to everything happening on stage, and wow, did we have that. It was even more remarkable what a crowd-pleasing event this was when you consider how complex and poetic all of these stories are.
    I’m thrilled too that our cover artist, Paula Arwen Owen, made it out, and got to share in the autograph signing and the delicious apple cake that NYRSF organizer Jim Freund acquired for the contributors.
    CP5 turnout

    The reading was livestreamed, and can still be watched in its entirety here: http://livestream.com/accounts/12973202/events/5083616/videos/118332564
    A whole album of photos from the event has appeared on Facebook, and can be viewed by clicking this link.
    Also, a kind of half review/half report about the reading appeared on File 770 the next day: http://file770.com/?p=28343
    This was definitely the most glorious “rise from the ashes” in the history of the series. My thanks to Jim Freund for thinking it up, to Shveta Thakrar, C.S.E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez for making it possible for me to get to the launch and back (and, especially to Shveta, for many other kindnesses besides), to all the readers for the distance they traveled and the terrific jobs they did, and to everyone who came out to watch and listen.

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

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