I am delighted to announce that the first collection by C.A. Yates, ‘We All Have Teeth’ is now live in paperback from Amazon.
The ebook will be available over the next few days on Amazon and on Fox Spirit’s own ebook store.
This collection pulls together previously published and never before seen work by the author.
WE ALL HAVE TEETH
GO FORTH IN THE DANCE OF THE MERRYMAKERS
TONIGHT, YOU BELONG TO ME
A TREACHEROUS THING
PINS AND NEEDLES
HOW TO BE THE PERFECT HOUSEWIFE
THE SWEETNESS OF YOUR SKIN
PROFESSOR VENEDICTOS VON HOLINSHED VERSUS THE SORORAL LEAGUE OF BAZOOKA-BIKINI-WIELDING DEMONIC DIVAS FROM OUTER SPACE (DENOUEMENT)
KIKI LE SHADE
THE CITY IS OF NIGHT, BUT NOT OF SLEEP
EMMELINA IN LOVE
A KICK IN THE HEAD
A CACKLING FART
MAGGIE AND THE CAT
SHOOT TO KILL AND CAN ‘EM UP…
TITS UP IN WONDERLAND
THE FLESH TAILOR
LEAVE THE PISTOL BEHIND
THE MOST TRAGICAL AND IMPLAUSIBLE FATE OF MARY I: A DEMONIC SOLILOQUY
MADAM MAFOUTEE’S BAD GLASS EYE
THE DEVIL’S HAEMORRHOIDS
WELL OUR FEEBLE FRAME HE KNOWS
HIT THAT PERFECT BEAT, BOY
FRESHLY BAKED CHILDREN
THE HOLY HOUR
ALL THINGS FALL
You can listen on any major podcast outlet as Kate takes you on a tour of comedy through the ages. Laity is an academic, a writer, and always a fan making this a delightful gentle wander. Is it Funny is interesting and clever but made with genuine affection for the material which makes me want to spend time listening to the author enthuse about the subject of each session even where I have no familiarity with the material.
Haralambi is an old friend of Fox Spirit and I was delighted when i saw his name among the list for this volume, because this last year, more than ever it is nice to remember the connections we have. – Sentimental Aunty fox.
Lessons in Shapeshifting – A hala, a Podcast and a Questioning Protagonist.
by Haralambi Markov
I feel incredibly delighted and privileged to have been invited to Eurasian Monsters as I believe the work Fox Spirit Books has done with this series of coffee table anthologies is important. Who gets to talk about monsters and how they shape our understanding of legends and folklore, plus we all like a good creature feature. Popular culture has its favorite monsters, which I’m not here to mock or dismiss, because I have been greatly influenced by vampires, zombies and mermaids when coming up as a writer.
At the same time, human imagination has concocted some really insane monsters that are lesser known in wider circles. That’s why Margrét Helgadóttir’s work on this anthology series is essential – here you’ve a small registry of stories based on regional creatures written by people from within, so you get to see intimate reinterpretations of their history and how it’s contextualized. Also, it’s a lot of fun to examine your cultural legacy (I’ve been doing more of this work in recent years) and see how it fits with the present. Or doesn’t.
For me at least, there’s a definite disconnect between the lives we lead in Bulgaria and the folklore we once created. Much similar to how deforestation and lawless construction in national parks have severely impacted local ecosystems and endangered native species – our cultural ecosystem hasn’t been welcoming to its own cryptids. Where would these creatures go, if they existed today, and how would we view them?
This was the starting point of my story “Nine Tongues Tells Of”, which describes the relationship and the long conversations between my protagonist and a newly-emerged hala (a shapeshifting spirit of hail storms). The story is as much a commentary on how we commodify every aspect of our lives (the conversations are released as a podcast) as it is a questioning of what we have forgotten. Just as my protagonist is clueless about the hala, so was I initially, apart from its apparent connection to hail. My research was fueled by the intention to do it right; represent the hala correctly. The definitive hala, if you will.
In consulting with the big compendium of folkloric knowledge about the zmey, zmeitsa, lamya and hala, I discovered how rich and decentralized the understanding of what the hala is and what it could be. A reminder that oral knowledge easily differs from place to place and ultimately encourages the freedom to retell. It’s very fitting that stories and beliefs about the hala are as varied and changing since the hala herself is a shapeshifter.
My hala is one of many. Far from definitive, yet still true to her nature.
The Horrors of Childhood – What Inspired “The Housekeeper”
by Kat Hutchson
In my first draft of this blog post, I wanted to write that there were few things that terrified me during my childhood but then I had to reconsider. There was the domovoy, the toilet monster from the X files, the fear of being kidnaped, the instability of a looming war with Chechnya on the borders of Caucasus – although it was a mere nervous feeling that crept into the mind of everyone, even children that were not quite ready to grasp the actual impact. It was a ghost, another monster that hid under your bed.
Although most of this fear faded away and with it the physical memory, some parts are still not quite vivid. I find it impressive how events that might look more traumatic to the outside eye only left behind a movie scene without a clear emotional response while other less striking events still feel more close to home.
My story “The Housekeeper” was inspired by a saying that had terrified me most of my childhood and had effectively stopped me from begging my parents to ever go home early. If you asked your parents to go home, you received the answer that there is a domovoy who is drying his legs and will strangle you.
The Russian version of this sounds far more poetic due the rhyme sushit – dries- and sadushit – strangles – at the end of the sentence. Although the poetic aspect doesn’t make it less terrifying if you ask me.
In my research I wanted to explore the origins of the proverb but unfortunately I was unable to find any clue. I know that it was passed on from my grandmother to my mother – and that it hadn’t terrified her as much as it had me. Some sources mention that it was part of a children’s song and that there might be a version where the domovoy dries his shoes instead of his legs.
The concept of the story draws from the definition of the Fantastic as a state where the reader as well as the protagonist are uncertain if the events actually happened. There is no way of telling if the protagonist purely imagined them or if something supernatural took place. Based on Tzvetan Todorov’s definition of the Fantastic in Introduction à la littérature fantastique there are two ways to interpret such events: as the fantastic uncanny or fantastic marvelous. While the uncanny has a rational explanation such as an illusion, the marvelous defines the events as real.
In case of “The Housekeeper” the Fantastic is tied to the traumatic. The divorce of the protagonist’s parents, separation from the father, moving to a new environment could all be considered as the culprit for his physical symptoms and experiences. The subjectivity of the events, the passing of time and the memories of a child do not allow for a simple decision if the Fantastic is marvelous or uncanny. They seem real to the protagonist but his visits to the psychiatrist suggest a rational explanation. To confirm one or the other would negate the state of the Fantastic.
I guess, you’ll have to read for yourself and form your own opinion.
Kat Hutchson was born in Kislovodsk, a Russian spa city located between the Black and Caspian Seas. As a child she fell into the fountain of the Narzan Gallery and started writing shortly after. The magic powers of the Narzan contributed to her trying various forms of writing including slam poetry, academic publishing and poetry, and led to her finally finding her current home in the weird and the fantastic. Kat holds two master’s degrees (in Comparative Literature and Scandinavian Studies) from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, where she currently lives. Follow Kat on Twitter where she is @HutchsonKat or check out her blog www.KatHutchson.wordpress.com
Well my fair foxes, it’s Valentine’s Day and admit all the chocolate and flowers and hastily purchased garage cards we thought this was the perfect time to announce the contents of our forthcoming FS Book of Love edited by the fabulous C. A. Yates
Further monster blogs and news of other 2021 releases coming soon
DECOMPOSING CORPSES – Douglas J. Ogurek
THE HOLY WATERS – Dolly Garland
JIXXA, MY LOVE – Alec McQuay
END TIMES IN PARIS – James Bennett
LOVE IN THE AGE OF… – David Tallerman
THE FIRST DAY OF KHIRSHI-DA – Joyce Chng
BY BLADE AND BLOOM – Xan van Rooyen
THE FINE ART OF FORTUNE-TELLING – Michelle Ann King
A CURSE THAT’S NOT FOR BREAKING – Lawrence Harding
A TRUE WISH – Charlotte Bond
NOTES ON A HAUNTING – Kit West
SUBATOMIC FOR ‘IT MUST BE LOVE’ – Emma K. Leadley
THE TWELFTH DAY – Ro Smith
THE WIND’S SON – K.C. Shaw
SALT OCEAN – Lisa Shea
ENCHANTED GARDEN – K.A. Laity
RAPTURE ON THE LONELY SHORE – Jenny Barber
THE WHALE AND THE MOON – G. Clark Hellery
A note from the Editor:
I don’t think anyone really knows what love is or where it comes from, but so many of us feel such an extraordinary connection to another person at least once in our lives that it can make us feel and do the most incredible things. I’m not talking about romance, all that hearts and flowers business. There are many people who don’t feel romantic attraction at all, but they experience love. Some people love more than one person at a time; some truly love only one person their entire life. For some, love is platonic, while for others it has to be sexual. There are those for who one glance, one moment, can connect them so deeply to another person they are never quite the same again.
So why create an anthology based on such an unknowable yet ubiquitous creature? Well, I believe love is a power for good. Of course it has its ups and downs; it can be a comfort or a wild ride; it can mean sacrifice or abundance; it can taste of the ripest, sweetest strawberries or turn as rotten as a certain something in the state of Denmark. Whatever it is, I believe it can change the world. Or, at least, it can change yours forever.
There is a wonderful part at the end of Terry Pratchett’s the Hogfather, where Death explains to Susan that we believe in the Toothfairy, the Hogfather etc as practice, believing little lies before we can believe the big ones like Justice. You can look up the exact quote, but it’s on my mind today.
With everything that happened in the US yesterday, with the UK in it’s 3rd national lockdown, a number of those big lies, things that rely on everyone quietly following the laid out accepted terms of engagement and pretending they are unassailable seem more fragile than ever to me.
I don’t know what to do about any of this. I remain tucked in relative safety and my own privilege at home, working through the pandemic, and watching the fires (literal and figurative) burning all over the world, including here on my own Island, and hoping we all make it out still relatively whole.
It feels as though all I can do right now is reiterate the things I believe, so I want to take a moment to do that. We will return to Monster Blogs and books and cheerful matters soon, but first from us here at Fox Spirit and specifically your Aunty Fox:
Black lives matter
Trans rights are human rights
LQBTQ+ rights should be equal and unassailable
Democracy, flawed as it is should be protected and there must be consequences for attacking it
Disabled lives matter
Own voices need to be heard
First people’s land and rights should be protected
As far as our own world of fiction diverse and own voices are essential.
Just in case anyone was in any doubt where we stand.
Be safe folks, as best you can.
Well, it looks as though we may mostly be at home for a while. I would imagine even those who normally work from home are going to start to struggle at some point to maintain the same level of productivity. That’s ok, it’s a weird time. We though we would put together a few resources for free and reduced reads. I will continue to add to this post.
Obviously please do look in on what your local and national libraries are doing online.
We have of course Fearless Genre Warriors, our cross anth taster for free on our store.
With the voucher code ‘cabinfever’ you can get 50% off your basket, we are going to update that to run until 1st June.
We also have lots of free fiction to read, some audio stuff and video for you to enjoy any time, including our youtube channel.
Authors & Publishers
Tabatha Wood has made her book free
GM White has dropped his price to 99p/c
Joyce Chng is offering Xiao Xiao for MG and Teens free along with other work at really low prices
Adrian Tchaikovsky has put a collection on GDrive for anyone to enjoy
Kate Laity has a ton of stuff free on her site as always
Adding Jo M Thomas has lots of free stuff on her website
Loads of free web comics to enjoy from Things Without
Margret Helgadottir has a number of stories free on her site
Bad Dog Books have added titles to their sale section
Farenheit Press are offering a free book a day to get you through
Sinister Horror Company have free content on their site and are reducing all their ebooks to 99p/c.
Bookstores If you want books, we recommend supporting indies who will post them out to you.
There was a thread on twitter today, started by the lovely @Odrah, regarding those click baity ’10 things’ lists often associated with women’s magazines. You know, 10 ways to keep him interested, 10 ways to wear a wrap, 10 things women over 40 shouldn’t wear (the skins of our enemies?) etc etc. The initial thread was about alternative types of 10 things articles. I have the go ahead to run with the idea for a blog series.
While we are not in anyway opposed to women’s magazines with their shoes and make up and bikini body tips (how you woman is entirely up to you) we do think that for balance it would be nice to see ’10 best places to eat cheese’ or ’10 work outfits that have actual proper pockets’, ’10 women in politics worth following on twitter’, ’10 sword techniques you can practice in limited space (living room), ’10 things to ask a tattoo artist before you commit’.
So that is the blog call. £10 token payment per post, no word limits, thought for guidance, 500 – 1,000 usually works well for blogs, short and snappy is fine though! I mean a literal list of 10 hilarious points works. Subjects, I am particularly keen to see representation from HEMA and other marital arts, clothing that has nothing to do with fashion (pockets), food posts that are about pleasure not weight, and frankly anything you wouldn’t expect to see generally. Have fun, that’s the whole point, we aren’t trying to shame people who enjoy women’s mags, I do on occasion, we are just playing with alternative versions of the concept.
You can tweet me if you want to check the subject before you write @FoxSpiritBooks and articles should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your paypal address for payment.
Well, I have to say when I agreed to do one book, on split proceeds in 2012 I didn’t expect to be here celebrating our seventh birthday and over 70 titles. I am so proud of what we have accomplished and the stories we have put out, of all our authors and artists and the behind the scenes team of editors and formatter and others who work their tails off to make FS what it is.
Over on twitter we are doing random giveaways all month and other bits and bobs. We also have, throughout June a 25% discount on the FS ebook store (shop ebooks above) with the voucher code ‘skulkis7’.
I ordered this cake for my birthday a year or two ago, but it seems fitting.
We will be getting the newsletters going again this weekend, after a brief hiatus (I changed day jobs) and there are even more exclusive short stories on the members page, along with a long term discount on the store and more stuff to come, so please do consider joining the skulk.
We have loads of amazing titles coming out this summer, so there will be updates coming on those too.
I would also like to do an update on our authors who are out in the world doing other stuff, so if you have ever written for Fox Spirit and have books recently out or coming soon, award nominations, events, or anything else please let us know. We want to spread the good news this month as we are full of birthday joy.
It’s also Mr Fox’s actual birthday soon so there is so much cake going on at Kettu talo!!
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