Out now, new novella from Shona Kinsella with fantastic cover art by Sarah Anne Langton.
In Slyvo, one child in a hundred is born with an affinity: a magical link to an element, able to shape and use it as they choose. If they are lucky they will become a master craftsman, able to command high prices; if they are unlucky, the factories always demand new wielders, kept as slaves and worked to exhaustion.
Talis and Almoris are free wielders, dedicating their lives to helping wielders leave the country for better lives abroad. But not everyone believes in their mission, and not everyone can be trusted – when Almoris takes in a runaway, they find themselves pulled into a mission that puts their lives in danger and threatens both their loyalties and their love.
We are delighted to launch the third and final collection in Anne Michaud’s ‘Girls’ series, closing the loop with this revisited second edition of Girls and Monsters.
Five Girls, Five Monsters. Five Tales of Creatures strange and savage.In this collection Anne Michaud tells of Dire Beasts and horrors lurking below the surface where the monstrous and dangerous confound expectation.Revised Second Edition
Cover art for all three titles is by Daniele Serra
Available now in Paperback and Kindle editions from Amazon and as an ebook in epub and mobi formats from our own ebook store
‘a great collection of loss, love, horror revenge and most of all empowerment’ – From a review of Girls and Aliens by RunAlongTheShelves
If you have been following the issues in academia in the US and to some extent the UK, or just like a good murder, Prof Nemo is here to help with ‘Hire Idiots’, which seems to be the rallying cry of academic institutions at the moment.
Hire Idiots by Professor I.M. Nemo
Cover by Jenny Haines
Edited by Daz Pulsford
‘This is a work of fiction.Any resemblance to the living or the dead is purely coincidental and ought to make you ashamed at the comparison.’
PROMINENT PROFESSOR STABBED TO DEATH AT KINGSLEY COLLEGE!
Unfortunately, the murder may get lost in the confusion of new vice presidents, marketers, focus groups, assessors and protestors as the administration tries to make education profitable. There’s no time for mystery!Professor Clarence Van Dyke finds himself bewildered by the changes, but determined to get to the bottom of the killing. He wants his friend to rest in peace – or perhaps he just wants to spend more time with the attractive Detective Riordan. But isn’t he the primary suspect?
The world lies in ruins: overrun by an endless tide of self-replicating killing machines known as the Bugs. Only a fraction of its population managed to flee the planet aboard whatever ship would carry them, heading for jump points that would take them to new solar systems and, hopefully, to safety.
The last ship to escape from orbit is the passenger vessel Caleuche: populated by a band of traumatised refugees, piloted by the mind of a murder victim. They face a desperate struggle for survival in the pitiless void of space, as fear and mistrust threaten to doom them all.
Yet they may not be alone, out there in the darkness.
‘Programmable Construction Drones (PCD), or Bugs as they are more commonly known, are poised to forever change life as we know it. Equipped with cutting-edge nanotechnology, they can carry out almost any task, and are even able to build the tools they need to accomplish their objective.’
‘It is, however, my recommendation that the JCCO retains full control of all PCD-related technology. Although the potential of the Bugs is almost limitless, the extreme care required in their programming coupled with the dangers unfettered nanotech poses means that the oversight of a central authority is required. If Bug technology were to fall into the wrong hands, the possible consequences could be horrific beyond all measure.’
– Excerpts from report submitted to
the Jericho Colonial Control Office, August 23rd, 2145
For an unknowable length of time, Sophia drifted, enveloped by slow, placid dreams of gentle ocean waves and the heat of the sun beating down on a tropical shore. She was filled by a sense of peace so overwhelming that she could feel little else, and didn’t care to: no fears or concerns could break through the tranquillity and intrude into her thoughts. Indeed, she could imagine nothing other than an eternity of relaxation.
The sequel to Hobgoblin’s Herald is now available in kindle and paperback formats on Amazon worldwide as well as in ebook formats via our own website! We are obviously very excited. If you haven’t read the first book yet, grab it quick and get caught up!
Time is the Death of Heroes. Time is the Eater of Names.The old knight is lost.Sir Aethed, disguised as a merchant’s bodyguard, travels the world seeking to reunite his crusading king Aaren with the mythical blade Moontalon, so that the crusader king might turn the tide against Ivak Mornscour and save Guien from his horde of travesties.But stranded on the frozen, windswept tundra of Ashebos, Aethed must face child-eating demons and mammoth gods, with the unwelcome aird of a wretched band of hobgoblins and the strange, savage girl who serves as their herald.
We are delighted to announce the launch of the first book in Anne Michaud’s trio of collections that put girls and women at the fore of their own stories.
In the first volume our heroines find themselves face to face with alien forces.
Five Girls, Five Aliens. Five Tales of courage and outer space. In this collection by Anne Michaud the lesson is clear, never underestimate the power and resolve of ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances.
‘Anne Michaud’s writing is haunting, powerful and often beautiful’ – Amanda Rutter
Snakes and Ladders
Stories by Anne Michaud
Cover by Daniele Serra
Edited by Amanda Rutter
Formatted by HandEbooks
Cover layout by Vincent Holland-Keen
You can find the paperback and ebook on Amazon worldwide and the ebook in mobi and epub on our own estore.
A love letter to the people who do the thankless work behind the scenes at SFF cons everywhere!
It’s three days before the start of ConEIRE, the best Irish-themed science fiction and fantasy con in the tri-state area, when a phone call sets the entire Convention Committee into panic mode. Is Big Name Writer going to pull out at the last minute? What does Very Famous Artist have to do with that decision? And what do the fairies have to say about all this? Follow the hilarious mishaps as the committee members work desperately to salvage months of planning and hard work, all of which are about to be undone by a well-known prima donna.
But there are skulk members appearing throughout the con:
Where does the Gothic fit into the overall horror tradition? What elements of the Gothic remain so compelling today, and why? Panellists discuss the genre from its roots to Southern Gothic and other modern interpretations.
From body horror to body snatchers to possession and beyond, how has horror explored, exploited, and pushed the limits of bodily integrity? What is the subtext of different approaches to body horror, and what practitioners are exploring these assaults on the flesh in the most interesting ways?
Come and learn more about free weekly podcast fiction! Join the Escape Artists for an audio fiction show presented by all four EA podcasts: Escape Pod, PseudoPod, PodCastle, and Cast of Wonders. There’ll be a Q&A session, swag giveaways, all the latest news, and live readings.
Noir tropes are hugely popular in science fictional settings, such as China Miéville’s The City and the City, or William Gibson’s Neuromancer. In what ways are noir tropes adapted or subverted within the genre? Is there a difference in the ways SF books, comics, and movies use elements of noir? The panel will discuss the uses of noir across SF genres and formats.
The medieval period is a rich source of inspiration for writers of speculative fiction, but medieval life has been so romanticised in popular culture that it has become hard to separate the chaff of fiction from the wheat of historical fact. Our panel of medievalists will saddle up their warhorses and ride to rescue the damsel of medieval history!
How do revolutions (e.g. overthrowing government) occur in an era of advanced technologies? Are orderly regime changes jeopardised with growing asymmetries in weaponry, surveillance, and political power? Are current political processes up to the challenge?
Susanna Clarke’s sprawling novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell takes in the whole of the 19th century attempt to restore magic to respectability in England. Repeatedly the readers are warned that fairy magic is ‘not respectable’ – most often by Gilbert Norrell, who hides his shame at stooping to its employment on at least one occasion. Why is fairy magic not ‘respectable’? I will argue that it is because it is mostly Celtic, rather than the more dour, respectable, and rather puritanical English magic that Norrell seeks to revive and rule over. In contrast, John Uskglass was trained in fairy magic and his troop, the Raven King’s army, is specifically identified as the Daoine Sidhe. In pursuing the Raven King’s example, Jonathan Strange remains open to this Celtic influence and soon surpasses his teacher in skill and daring, but both Englishmen are unprepared for the full fury of the fairy fight.
Who decides which YA books get bought? Publishers? Editors? Booksellers? Parents? Or maybe even YA readers? Join us for a thoughtful discussion on marketing and publishing in YA as we look at how YA novels get chosen. Moreover, what are publishers and readers looking for in a book?
Content warning: may include discussions of suicide and self-harm, mental illness and ableism, eating disorders.
Mental health used well can drive a story, create believable motives for characters and even greater awareness amongst the audience. However, these issues are not always treated sensitively or realistically. This panel will explore examples of mental health issues in genre fiction and consider their implications and accuracy.
Critic Peter Tremayne observed that: ‘Practically every Irish writer has … explored the genre for the supernatural part of Irish culture.’ Ireland has always held its own in fantastical literature, from Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker to Dorothy Macardle and Elizabeth Bowen. But is there a discernible tradition threaded through their fictions? And what, if anything, makes their writing Irish?
Did you know there’s an ebook store right here? And that you can use coupon code ‘skulkis7‘ to celebrate our 7th birthday with 25% off throughout June!! What are you waiting for?
It’s a milestone that makes you thoughtful. Shakespeare talked about the ‘seven ages’ of human life in his ‘All the world’s a stage’ speech. The first is birth which he describes as
At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Fox Spirit managed to avoid that unpleasantry: it was born with a song in its heart, a laugh in its mouth and a pub on its mind — the Nun & Dragon. It was meant to be a one off, but here we are seven years later! Which in Bill’s words means:
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school.
I suppose we can see a little bit of that: hands up skulk members who would rather be writing/drawing/plotting than creeping to our jobs and other duties? Yes, you can put your hands down now. We itch to have the luxury of time, but there are always new responsibilities. In the mean time we can remember that we are yet young and have so many ways to grow.
What will the next anniversary bring? More books? More multimedia efforts? Games? Skulk Island? World Domination?
Time alone will tell — but the skulk has ambitions, you can bet your floof on that. All kudos to our fearless leader Adele!
We are going to blow our own wind instruments a little today. My personal preference would have to be the Sax, but you may be more into the Oboe or French Horn. All welcome here.
Danie Ware, author of the blindingly excellent urban alchemical fairy tale ‘Children of Artifice’ has been featuring heavily over at Damien Seaman’s blog this week with an Interview about her writing career and dayjob and the juggling act many of you raising kids on top of work and writing will be familiar with.
Then there was an in depth review which looked at the prologue debate, the core of family drama in the book and how Danie is a master craftsman when it comes to using description to move things forward and world build at the same time.
From the review The book is heartfelt and emotional, authentic and musical, a new mythology that draws its power from the old.
Maybe add this one to your Christmas reading list and don’t forget to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to share some of your own favourites on the blog this December.
Books make fantastic gifts, I get Papa Fox one every Christmas, it’s his annual book and he always reads it over the few days of Christmas while he has a few genuinely slow days.
So with that in mind we are inviting anyone who would like to, to send us a review or a short list of recommendations of books people should be reading and gifting this year.
There is a £5 payment and posts should come to email@example.com
We will continue to accept new posts until around the 14th. Please include your paypal details. Also, for each post we will put £5 into a pot to go to booktrust.org.uk. That’s £125 if we get a post per day, so please do join in.
To get things going a few Fox Spirit titles you might want to consider for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.
The Judgement Call / Along the Long Road
by Simon Bestwick and Penny Jones
Two short rural horrors playing with the idea of just desserts. A double date goes horribly wrong in Along the Long Road and in The Judgement Call you have to wonder, would the bell toll for you?
A collection of dark stories to keep you under the covers this winter
Edited by Margrét Helgadóttir
The Monsters Series
Edited by Margrét Helgadóttir
European, African, Asian and Pacific Monsters are all available now, with Pat 1 of American Monsters coming later this month. Collections of short stories and at in a coffee table format.
By G Clark Hellery
Something for younger readers from our Fennec line. Spooky adventures.
And if none of those appeal, head over to our buy links to browse a broad selection of genre treats.