moths & mythology

I’m pleased to announced that my short story, The Moths of Luness, will be appearing in the Mythology from the Rock anthology coming out from Engen Books on April 30th, 2020.

In The Moths of Luness, a witch bespells a moth to tell her the story of its species; an original myth that stretches across the galaxy in the arms of a goddess named Luness. As some of you may know, I spend my summers in awe of the lovely moths that surround my forest home. Daydreaming a mythology for these fairy-like creatures was a wonderful escape from the reality of the pandemic, and I hope reading the story gives you as much of an escape as you might need, too.

Pre-orders for Mythology from the Rock are open today, with ebooks available for $2.99 and paperbacks at $24.99 (CDN). You can find it in Canada at: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0911RWFZ6 and in the United States at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0911RWFZ6

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In other news, I recently received an acceptance for a deeply personal retelling of Tennyson’s the Lady of Shalott, titled The Voiceless of Shalott, from Luna Station Quarterly. Voiceless will be coming out in their June issue and to say I’m on tenterhooks would be an understatement. I’ll reveal more about what this story means to me as we get closer to the publication date (I need to stock up on courage for this one, hoo boy).

hellions and robot rhinos

My flash story, Hellion Babysitting Services, is now available to read in Speculative North Issue #4. You can snag a free e-copy of this one until Friday, February 26, 2021 so run don’t walk to this handy link right here.

Hellion Babysitting Services was born of my parental desperation for any possible babysitting service during the first lockdown. I mean, have you tried demon possession? Warning: tongue firmly in cheek.

And if that doesn’t pique your interest, look at this amazing cover. It has a ROBOT RHINO.

Release day!

Today’s the day! Book #5 of the multi-author Slipstreamers series, The Plague of the Dreamless, written by me, Jennifer Shelby, is officially released into the wild. If your book kingdom could use a little Indiana Jones meets Doctor Who adventure, a splash of otherworldly cephalopods, and a brand new world to explore, hold onto your imaginations because have I got a book for you!

My novella can be read as a stand-alone adventure though I do recommend the entire Slipstreamers series. With a new novella coming out every three weeks, you won’t have to wait long before Cassidy’s next adventure. Engen Books has curated an epic crew of authors to create a fun and engaging multiverse that is content-safe for all ages, though I do classify Plague of the Dreamless as YA dystopian SF.

Click here to check out my novella Plague of the Dreamless, and click here to check out the whole Slipstreamers series!

5 Things You Should Know About the Plague of the Dreamless

My first-ever SF novella, Plague of the Dreamless, is officially on pre-order! Yes, I’m terrified (a whole book! That people might read! Aaaaah) But BESIDES that Plague of the Dreamless is also book #5 in Engen Books’ multi-author Slipstreamers series. Engen is producing a new Slipstreamers episode every three weeks featuring the adventures of anthropologist Cassidy Cane, an adventuress hired by a professor to explore the far side of a series of portals he’s discovered. She gets adventure, he gets funky alien tech. It was described to me as “Indiana Jones meets Doctor Who” and right away I knew I wanted to be involved in the project (hashtag: Whovian).

Okay, I’m nervous enough that I’m about to start rambling, so without further ado, here are five things you should know about my book Plague of the Dreamless:

  1. the sky in the alien story world is inhabited by giant cephalopods who exude a gaseous fog in their sleep that powers all of the industry in the endless human cities.

2. the cityscape is filled with rickety skyscrapers, each floor added haphazardly on top of the last, mismatched in size and function, and prone to collapse.

3. on their sixteenth birthday, all citizens must submit to having their imaginations removed to make them better, more compliant workers

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

4. in the absence of imagination, the humans’ brains cease to dream, leading to physical breakdown that becomes fatal over time. The locals refer to individuals suffering from this affliction as ‘Dreamless’

5. The only way to cure the Dreamless is to buy them a dream from the Dreamkeeper… *if* they can afford one (whispers: no one can afford one)

Cassidy Cane arrives on this world in search of alien tech but soon stays to help the citizens of this SF dystopia. Unfortunately, she might have accidentally introduced the common cold to this new world and… MAKES STORY HAPPEN. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnn. *flails*

The ebook is scheduled to release on November 27th and you can pre-order it at the links below. Paperbacks should soon follow but I don’t have those dates just yet.

Click here for Amazon U.S.

Click here for Amazon Canada

Click here for Amazon UK

Thank you for reading and a big thank you to anyone who pre-orders. Stay safe!

(all photos, with the exception of the cover, are from pexel)

Meriden’s Moonlet at Hybrid Fiction

I’m pleased to announce that my flash fiction story, Meriden’s Moonlet, has been published in Hybrid Fiction‘s August issue. Check out this beautiful cover:

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The issue in its beautiful, hybrid totality is available for purchase on Hybrid Fiction’s website here, and Meriden’s Moonlet is available at Hybrid Fiction‘s website as August’s free content. Click here to go there now. Huzzah!

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Meriden’s story has been near and dear to my heart for a long while. His is the first story in which I tried to express a character’s change from seeing themself as a hero to realizing they’re actually just a bully, and doing something about that. The moonlets, the fireflies, they ignite some magic in my soul. I think this is my favourite story that I’ve written to date and I hope you like it.

Recognize Fascism (updated)

Will you be a part of the rebellion?

I am pleased to announce that my story A Disease of Time and Temporal Distortion will be the first story in the upcoming Recognize Fascism anthology. Edited by the wonderful Crystal Huff and published with World Weaver Press, each of the 22 stories in this collection are written on the theme of “the moments when people see the fascism in front of them for what it is, accept it as real, and make the choice to fight it.” The anthology will be funded via kickstarter, and you can view that campaign here.

My story follows an elderly protagonist suffering from a degenerative time disease caused by a lifetime of illegal time travelling. She is horrified to discover a fascist leader is coming to power in the timeline she set aside to keep her estranged family safe from her enemies, but she struggles to keep herself from blinking out of time. Is she up for one last fight?

Artist Geneva Bowers has illustrated a vivid, gorgeous cover for the collection, check it out:

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You can check out more of Bowers’ vibrant artwork at her website here.

We’ve had a wonderful response to our kickstarter campaign so far (we hit our initial goal in 12 hours!!) and it feels so good to see that what we’re doing is resonating with people. When I first saw the call for submissions for this collection I knew I wanted to have a story inside. I’ve always seen writing as a form of resistance and I desperately wanted to be a part of this project, so I wrote the best story I could and sent it off. My acceptance came over a year ago and I was so chuffed. Last summer editor Crystal Huff and I headed into some serious editing work and they polished my little story into something I’m proud of. We planned an autumn fundraiser and – it all fell apart.

The publisher folded for personal reasons and our dream appeared finished. Freed from my contract, Crystal gave me permission to shop my story around with their edits in place, but my heart wasn’t quite in it, you know? The magic was in the collection, and the sparks it could send out into the world and the unseen differences it could make, because stories matter. But, as it turns out, Crystal Huff hadn’t stopped believing in Recognize Fascism.

Early last winter, they contacted me to let me know they’d found a new publisher for Recognize Fascism who would honour our original contracts if we still wanted in: World Weaver Press. I may have jumped out of my chair and danced a silly dance when I got  the news.

I’ll admit, I was worried that a kickstarter might struggle in our COVID-ravaged world economy, but I clearly underestimated people’s need for stories and heroes that fight fascism. Me too, world, me too. Our kickstarter is running until August 28th, 2020, if you’d like to be a part of this movement. Ebook and paperback copies of Recognize Fascism are included in the tiers, meaning you can support us just by snagging yourself a copy.

At some point in the campaign, there should be a clip of me reading a selection from my story A Disease of Time and Temporal Distortion. Eek! Watch this site and I’ll post about it when it’s up. UPDATE: it’s out today! How’s that for timing? If you want to watch me read my clip, click here and the link will take you through to the kickstarter update where it’s posted.

 

 

Unknown Writer #4897980z has big news!

Yesterday I discovered my Metaphorosis story, Zsezzyn, Who is Not a God, made a list of Must-Read Short Speculative Fiction for June 2020 on Tor.com – seriously, click here, I’m not making this up. I checked it a bunch of times to make sure it was real and – it appears to be?

Now, this probably isn’t a huge deal if you’re famous, but as Unknown Writer #4897980z I – just read my name on Tor.com (whaaaaaaaaat?). This is very encouraging!

Also? Metaphorosis editor B. Morris Allen put some serious work into this story. They had me change the ending, tweak this, tweak that, change Zsezzyn’s name so it stops making that association to readers, and this other thing too. I was challenged, they were patient, and the story is so much better for their hard work and skill.

If you haven’t read the story or you would like to read it again, Zsezzyn, Who is Not a God is available to read or listen to on the Metaphorosis website here.

I’ve mentioned a few times in the life of this blog that in writing nothing happens for a looooooong time and then everything happens at once. In keeping with that, Engen Books decided that the Must-Read list is a good time to announce some news I’m relieved I don’t have to keep under my hat anymore:

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You’ll have to wait a little longer to hear more about this project, but November isn’t too far off.

Thanks for reading, I hope you find some success and something to equally encourage your work today. Keep writing, and please, keep healthy.

Just Enough for Jenny is now available on Short Èdition

Hello writers! I’m happy to announce that I’m feeling much better and Submit Your Stories Sunday WILL be happening this week (stay tuned… )

In more personal news, my flash fiction piece Just Enough for Jenny has been published by Short Èdition/Rendez-Vous fiction! This market was featured on a Submit Your Stories Sunday about a year ago, so if you’d like details on submitting to them, check out that post here.

Just Enough for Jenny tells the story of a grieving fisherman who spies a mermaid in the bay and remembers an old bit of folklore that just might save his beloved. If you’d like to read my story, click here. I’d love to hear what you think! All stories are available on the website without charge. The fun thing is that my story will also be in one of their short story dispensers, fun little vending machines for short stories in waiting areas around the world. How cool is that?

Wishing you well, see you Sunday!

facebook live and new releases

I’ve been neglecting my between-Sundays posts during this strange time of plague and for that I am sorry. I had planned to fill the space with book reviews but stress has given me a case of reader’s block that I’m hoping will clear up soon. But, I have been writing, editing, and doing writer-adjacent activities. One of those was trying out facebook live and reading a story for the stuck-at-home masses. I’m camera-shy so it was difficult to work up the guts to try it, but it went well and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I set the settings to public, so if you’re interested, and especially if you have a kiddo around,click here and go have a listen. The story I’m reading is called ‘Toby’s Alicorn Adventure’ and it was originally published in Cricket a few years ago.

Today is also the release day of the Pulp Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology, which is home to my story Parachutes and Grappling Hooks as well as many other wonderfully pulpy stories and even pulpier writers. You can check that out by clicking here.

I hope you are well. If you are doing any online things to entertain or promote your work, feel free to drop a link in the comments so I can support you. See you Sunday!

pile of hardbound books with white and pink floral ceramic teacup and saucer
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

parachutes, grappling hooks, and pulpiest scifi

Engen Books has announced me as one of the authors in the upcoming anthology Pulp SciFi From the Rock with my story Parachutes and Grappling Hooks. Whew. That’s one less secret under my hat. But… THERE ARE MORE *bursts with excitement*

In the meantime, you can read Engen’s official announcement and check out some of the other authors by clicking here.

woman in blue striped flannel shirt holding a book indoors
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com