BCS Ninth Anniversary 50% Off One-Day Ebook Sales!

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    Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #235, Ninth Anniversary Double-Issue cover - click to view full sizeLeading up to the ninth anniversary of BCS next week, we’re cutting the price on BCS ebook bundles in half!

    In nine years, BCS has published over 230 issues. Weightless has them all as single issues or in bundles, of 25 issues for $14.99 and 50 issues for $27.99. We’re putting those bundles on sale 50% off for each day leading up to BCS‘s Ninth Anniversary Double-Issue next Thursday.

    It starts with BCS #1-#50 for 50% off today, then #51-#100 for 50% off tomorrow, then #101-150 on Monday, and so on. But each set of bundles will be 50% off for one day only!

    Get great BCS issues delivered straight to your e-reader or phone for 50% off. Grab back issues you might have missed, and help support BCS at the same time. But act fast; each set of bundles will be 50% off for one day only!

    Today 9/21, 50% off:

    BCS #1-25 $7.49 (Marie Brennan, Saladin Ahmed, Chris Willrich, K.D. Wentworth, Holly Phillips)

    BCS #26-50 $7.49 (Yoon Ha Lee, Aliette de Bodard, Rachel Swirsky, Marissa Lingen, Vylar Kaftan)

    BCS #1-50 $13.99

    Friday 9/22, 50% off:

    BCS #51-75 $7.49 (Richard Parks, Steve Rasnic Tem, Genevieve Valentine, Cat Rambo, Marko Kloos)

    BCS #76-100 $7.49 (Yoon Ha Lee, Kat Howard, Seth Dickinson, Chris Willrich, Kenneth Schneyer, Mike Allen)

    BCS #51-100 $13.99

    Monday 9/25, 50% off:

    BCS #101-125 $7.49 (Gregory Norman Bossert , M. Bennardo, Marissa Lingen, Tori Truslow)

    BCS #126-150 $7.49 (Gemma Files, Aliette de Bodard, Yoon Ha Lee, Seth Dickinson, Rahul Kanakia)

    BCS #101-150 $13.99

    Tuesday 9/26, 50% off:

    BCS #151-175 $7.49 (Helen Marshall, Fran Wilde, Bruce McAllister, Carrie Vaughn, Rich Larson)

    BCS #176-200 $7.49 (Catherynne M. Valente, Kameron Hurley, Rose Lemberg, Caroline M. Yoachim, Jason Sanford)

    BCS #151-200 $13.99

    Wednesday 9/27, 50% off:

    BCS #201-234 $7.49 (A.M. Dellamonica, Mishell Baker, Marie Brennan, Richard Parks, Caroline M. Yoachim, Rose Lemberg, Tony Pi, Rachael K. Jones)

    Celebrate Beneath Ceaseless Skies’s Ninth Anniversary

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    Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #235, Ninth Anniversary Double-Issue cover - click to view full sizeBy picking up their 235th issue(!) which is a double issue and features four new stories:

    “On the Road to the Hell of Hungry Ghosts” by Richard Parks

    “The Fisherman and the Pig” by Kameron Hurley

    “The Fall of the Mundaneum” by Rebecca Campbell

    “Grassland” by T. S. McAdams

    Locus Spotlight On: Scott H. Andrews

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    In this month’s issue of Locus they turn the spotlight on Scott H. Andrews publisher of Beneath Ceaseless Skies:

    Locus: Give us some background on your magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

    SHA: I started BCS in 2008 because the F/SF short fiction field had no dedicated home for literary or character-driven secondary-world fantasy. There were lots of great literary fantasy, slipstream, and magical realism, and decades of great literary SF, but rarely were magazines publishing character-centered or stylistically bold fantasy set in invented worlds.

    Read on

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies 2017 Subscription Drive

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    by Scott H. Andrews

    Our BCS Issue #200 Subscription Drive last year was such a success, we’re having another subscription drive this year!

    Since BCS debuted in October 2008, we’ve published 225 issues, 475 stories, and 220 audio podcasts. We’ve been a finalist for five Hugo Awards, six World Fantasy Awards, four Nebula Awards, one BSFA Award, and numerous Aurora, Aurealis, Ditmar, and Parsec Awards. We’ve become the field’s go-to home for character-driven fantasy in secondary-world settings. Locus online says BCS “revived secondary-world fantasy as a respectable subgenre of short fiction… Not a trivial accomplishment.”

    And there’s more to come! BCS this year will feature new work by Richard Parks (two stories set in a new world), Margaret Ronald, Rebecca Campbell, Marissa Lingen, Stephen Case, Charles Payseur, Ryan Row, and many promising newcomers. Plus a new Science-Fantasy Month and a new Birdverse novella this summer by Nebula finalist Rose Lemberg, twice as long as any piece BCS has ever published.

    Ebook subscriptions to BCS are only $15.99 for a full year/26 issues. (That’s less than 30 cents a story!) Subscribers can have issues delivered directly to their Kindle or smart phone, and they get new issues early, a week before the website.

    From now until June 2, when you buy a BCS ebook subscription or renew your existing subscription (you can renew at any time), you will help unlock our drive goals.

    Since BCS #1 in 2008, over a third of our fiction has been novelette-length or longer. Longer stories work great to show awe-inspiring fantasy worlds, like you’ll find in every issue of BCS. Our word-count limit for submissions has always been among the longest of pro-rate online magazines, and last year as a goal unlocked by our subscription drive, we made it even longer: 11,000 words.

    With your help, this year we’d like to make it longer still!

    • At 25 new/renewing subscribers, BCS will raise our submissions word-count limit to 12,000 words.
    • At 50 new/renewing subscribers, we’ll raise our word-count limit to 14,000 words.
    • At 100 new/renewing subscribers, we’ll raise it to 16,000 words.
    • At 200 new/renewing subscribers, we’ll raise it to 20,000 words!

    Every subscription makes a difference in helping us pay our authors, for their great stories of all lengths. Thank you for your support of BCS!

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    BCS 8th Anniversary Sale

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    the-best-of-beneath-ceaseless-skies-online-magazine-year-seven-coverIt’s BCS anniversary sale time again! See below for details from editor Scott H. Andrews. – Michael

    To celebrate the eighth anniversary of BCS and our new ebook anthology The Best of BCS, Year Seven, we’re having an Eighth Anniversary Ebook Sale!

    Buy or renew a BCS Ebook Subscription or buy Best of BCS Year Seven at Weightless Books, and you’ll get a free BCSanthology of your choice.

    Best of BCS Year Seven has eighteen great BCS stories by authors such as K.J. Parker, Carrie Vaughn, Yoon Ha Lee, and Aliette de Bodard, including “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds” by Rose Lemberg, a finalist for the Nebula Awards.

    BCS Ebook Subscriptions are still only $15.99 for a whole year/26 issues (that’s less than 30 cents a story). Subscribers can get issues delivered directly to their Kindle or smart phone (any device with an email address), and they get new issues early, a week before the website. You can renew at any time, no matter when your subscription expires.

    A free BCS anthology is a $3.99 value. Choose any of ourBest of BCS anthologies (which include stories by Aliette de Bodard, Yoon Ha Lee, Marie Brennan, Richard Parks, Gemma Files, Seth Dickinson, E. Catherine Tobler, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Gregory Norman Bossert and more) or our theme anthologies Ceaseless West and Ceaseless Steam.

    The sale will end soon, so make sure you buy your BCS subscription or Best of BCS Year Seven at WeightlessBooks.com now!

    BCS 200th Issue Subscription Drive

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    To celebrate the 200th issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, we’re having a Subscription Drive!

    UPDATE: our first goal is unlocked! BCS has raised our word-count limit to 11,000 words.
    Subscribe now, and help us raise it to 12,000 or even 15,000!

    BCS #1 debuted in October 2008. Since then we’ve published 200 issues, 419 stories, and 201 audio podcasts. We’ve been a finalist for four Hugo Awards, five World Fantasy Awards, two Nebula Awards, one BSFA Award, numerous Aurora, Aurealis, Ditmar, and Parsec Awards, and won a World Fantasy Award. We’ve become the field’s go-to home for character-driven fantasy in secondary-world settings. Locus online said BCS “revived secondary-world fantasy as a respectable subgenre of short fiction… Not a trivial accomplishment.”

    And there’s more to come! BCS this year will feature new stories by returning BCS authors Marie Brennan, Gregory Norman Bossert (whose first BCS story “The Telling” won the World Fantasy Award), Mishell Baker, Raphael Ordoñez, KJ Kabza, Grace Seybold, Stephanie Burgis, Walter Dinjos, and Tony Pi, plus Catherynne M. Valente, Kameron Hurley, A.M. Dellamonica, Claude Lalumière, and many more.

    Ebook subscriptions to BCS are only $15.99 for a full year/26 issues. (That’s less than 30 cents a story!) Subscribers can get issues delivered directly to their Kindle or smart phone, and they get new issues early, a week before the website.

    From now until June 3, if you buy a BCS ebook subscription or renew your existing subscription, you can help unlock our drive goals.

    Since BCS #1 in 2008, over a third of our fiction has been novelette-length or longer. Longer stories work great to show awe-inspiring fantasy worlds, like you’ll find in every issue of BCS. Our word-count limit for submissions, 10,000 words, has always been among the longest if not the longest in pro-rate online magazines.

    With your help, we’d like to make it even longer!

    • At 25 new/renewing subscribers, BCS will raise our submissions word-count limit to 11,000 words.
    • At 50 new/renewing subscribers, we’ll raise our word-count limit to 12,000 words.
    • At 100 new/renewing subscribers, we’ll raise it to 13,000 words.
    • At 200 new/renewing subscribers, we’ll raise it to 15,000 words!

    Every subscription makes a difference in helping us pay our authors, for their great stories of all lengths. With your support, we look forward to another 200 issues of BCS and great literary adventure fantasy!

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    Beneath Ceaseless Skies Author Interview: Walter Dinjos

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    beneath-ceaseless-skies-issue-191-coverWeightless Books interviews Walter Dinjos, author of “The Mama Mmiri” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue 190.

    Q: Your story “The Mama Mmiri” revolves around a teenaged boy and a water spirit. Have you ever seen a water spirit or felt like you’ve been in the presence of one?

    Dinjos: Nigerians are a superstitious lot. It’s not uncommon to find a good fraction of us professing the existence of water spirits. When you, however, get down to asking what these spirits really are or look like, you begin to realise that our conviction is rooted in nothing but hearsay and blind faith.

    Some may tell you that the spirits are the same as the regular mermaids you find in fairy tales, some others may claim they are goddesses, and others may say they are female water apparitions—you know, like ghosts, but more powerful. But you have to wonder which one it really is, and if you are anything like me, you must be practical about this.

    It’s rumoured in Nigeria that if you should bend and look behind through your legs in an open market, you would see spirits floating in the midst of the crowd, and you would not survive the sight. I put that rumour to the test once, but here I still am.

    So, no, I have not seen a water spirit, or any spirit at all, but I believe I have felt their presence—in my stories, of course.

    Q: When did you first know you wanted to write?

    Dinjos: I can’t say I knew I wanted to write when I was little, because reading and writing in English didn’t grow on me until 2010. And I’m not a native English speaker (you can understand my apathy as a boy). So, trust me, writing was hard, very hard, for me in the beginning. Now it’s just . . . hard.

    Looking back and considering how tedious the journey has been, I find it funny that I embraced writing to raise money. I needed money to record some songs, and I imagined that writing a book was an easy way to it.

    So I wrote a book, The Prospect, about illegal diamond mining in DR Congo and the forceful extraction of bone marrow from people immune to the dominant strain of HIV by the antagonist’s doctor in an attempt to cure the antagonist of the virus. It took me three months. Piece of cake, I thought—well, until the rejection letters started flying in. Fortunately, I had fallen in love with writing by then, and I couldn’t stop.

    Q: You’ve published short stories and poetry. How do you decide whether something wants to be a short story or a poem?

    Dinjos: It’s actually easy for me, since most of my poems are lyrics from my songs. I can literally sing my poems. If you take a look at my poem “My Maker,” you’d see it’s in song form, with verses and a repeating chorus.

    Sometimes, I fear I’m incapable of writing poetry without a melody in my head, seeing as the few times I attempted writing poetry from scratch I ended up with short stories instead. In fact, “The Mama Mmiri” is one of these stories. I started it, along with my poem “The Diamond Fish,” as a prose poem, but it turned out to be longer than I expected.

    Q: How do your singing and songwriting affect your other writing?

    Dinjos: When writing, I tend to favour lyrical prose, and I think that’s because of my musical side. I can’t begin to tell you how hard I fight the urge to include music in my prose. Sometimes, though, to better understand the emotions my characters feel, I ask myself what kind of song this character would sing when faced with this plight or that plight. If I succeed in writing a song that exudes one character’s emotion at a point in my story, I tend to find that part of the story easier to write. It…just flows.

    Q: What kind of challenges do you face in making time for your writing?

    Dinjos: My writing and my studies at the Writers Bureau England are in sync, and I love that by writing my assignments I produce short stories, poems, and articles that I can submit to magazines. And since these are assignments, I enjoy the privilege of having my tutor look over them before I start making submissions.

    My singing and songwriting are also very helpful. I found that when I’m stuck, singing or writing a song is a nice way to recuperate.

    My day job is the only thorn on my writing life. I work from 7am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday in a place riddled with so much noise—the kind of noise that invades your thoughts. That’s what you get when you are into transportation and logistics in Nigeria, and this makes it difficult for me to think about writing at work.

    When I finally return home, all I want to do is sleep, and that’s what I do, so that when I wake around 10pm, I’m able to give my writing all the attention it deserves until 2am when I go to sleep again.

    Q: Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on that you can share?

    Walter DinjosDinjos: I do. Most of them are short stories, but one is a novel—A Hundred Lifetimes. The story revolves around reincarnation (trust me, it’s not what you think; so don’t take a second look at the title), a form of teleportation that requires a certain natural ray to be possible, and a society where the coalescence of magic and science has led to the cloning of the human soul.

    Walter Dinjos is Nigerian, and he enjoys singing and songwriting as much as he does writing. In addition to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, his work has been accepted at Space & Time, Stupefying Stories, Literary Hatchet, and others. He is currently exploring means (both scientific and magical) of attaining immortality. You can find him online at www.walterdinjos.com.

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a three-time Hugo Award finalist and World Fantasy Award-winning online magazine publishing the best in literary adventure fantasy, is available DRM-free in single issues and as a 12-month subscription.

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies Author Interview: Bill Powell

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    Andrea Pawley interviews Bill Powell for Weightless Books. Powell’s play “The Punctuality Machine, Or, A Steampunk Libretto” appears in Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue 173.

    beneath-ceaseless-skies-issue-173-cover-200x266Q: How did “The Punctuality Machine, Or, A Steampunk Libretto” come together? Especially as a supposedly authentic Victorian script for a stage comedy?

    Powell: This is one of those extremely improbable projects where you break down and just write about the weird stuff you know you’ll love yourself, even though there’s no way it’ll actually get published. For this story, those loves include:

    • Time travel disasters, including fighting with your double(s). As a kid, Back to the Future completely messed me up.
    • Crazy comedies like I’ve been writing since high school (a format editors request rather infrequently).
    • The extravagant, amazing language and satire of Gilbert and Sullivan, especially Pirates of Penzance.

    As far as I know, Gilbert and Sullivan never happened to write about time machines and alien invasions — a most regrettable omission. But I had tons of fun trying to tackle these ideas as if I were one of their (much less skillful) contemporaries.

    Q: What’s the first play you remember wanting to write?

    Powell: Alas, I hesitate to inflict any of my juvenilia on the unsuspecting reader, even in summary form. :) But my first big audience for one of my comedy skits was a gym packed for my high school talent show.

    This must have been Election Year 1996, because the title of my skit was “Waiting for Perot,” which perhaps suggests the obscure quality of much of the humor. As I mounted the stage, I had no idea whether this heartless horde in the shadows would get most of the jokes. Comedy is wonderfully and brutally testable – people either laugh, or they most emphatically do not. You face ecstasy or evisceration. In public.

    The first few jokes got modest laughs, but then came a weird, complicated joke . . . and silence.

    A seething silence – I could feel hundreds of people all straining their mental muscles in concert. The question hung high above us all, like the long, long arc of a desperate three-point shot. Would they get it? Would they?

    Then came the explosion. Whoosh!

    They got it. And they got me – I’ve never recovered from the high of making an audience laugh as one. It’s an altered state for us all.

    Q: I understand in college you turned in philosophy essays in the form of plays when your classmates were taking more traditional approaches. Are you the first person in history to do this and get away with it?

    Powell: Ha! Definitely not. The honor of “first play-writing philosophy student” goes to that chap Plato. The Socratic dialogues really are dialogues, sometimes with a whole dinner table of argumentative characters.

    Personally, I stumbled early on into this rich tradition of disputation masquerading as drama, from the zany, high-spirited philosophical “novels” of G. K. Chesterton that I devoured in high school all the way back not only to Plato, at least, but also the delectable satire of his contemporary Aristophanes.

    In fact, I think my first college success at handing in a play instead of a paper was in a class where we’d read an Aristophanes comedy. I simply asked if I could write a modern retelling.

    This was for my “Great Books” seminar, a wonderful experience across all four years where everyone could actually talk about Plato, Homer, and all those names we’d always heard but never read. I suppose the course was already so offbeat that the teacher was comfortable letting me try something cool.

    Best of all, my class did a reading.

    After that, I hustled to write comedies instead of papers whenever I could. Professors, it turned out, were also human beings, at least part-time, and almost all appeared to be even more bored reading normal papers than I was writing them…up to and including my philosophy thesis advisor.

    Besides, comedy isn’t just a blast – it’s a most sensible way to discuss philosophy. People loved seeing these crazy philosophical positions come to life as even crazier characters. It’s one thing to read Descartes nattering on for chapters about how he might not exist; it’s quite another to watch Bob the Cartesian really try to get through his day.

    Q: If you could debate any living or dead comedian, philosopher, or playwright who would it be?  

    Powell: Wow! Are you kidding? All of them! I’d put everyone in a huge school cafeteria and lock the doors until they’d figured everything out.

    Things might get dicey once the grape juice started to ferment.

    Q: You’re a graduate of the the Odyssey Writing Workshop. How has your experience at Odyssey influenced your writing?

    Powell: Every possible good way! I can’t even list them all.

    Odyssey is like you’ve spent your whole life trying to build custom dollhouses, and you think you’re pretty good at it, maybe, and then Jeanne Cavelos walks in and:

    1) Turns your workshop light on (whoa!),

    2) Explains how to use hundreds of specialized carpentry tools, as opposed to your current toolset of a rubber mallet and a crowbar,

    3) Gently deconstructs your current attempts in microscopic, systematic, eviscerating and yet loving detail, illuminating every minute opportunity for improvement,

    4) Teaches you how to analyze and learn from other people’s dollhouses at this same incredible level, and

    5) Introduces you to a network of master carpenters, all of whom are delighted to meet you (even years later) simply because Jeanne chose you as a student.

    Apply to Odyssey. Everything will change.

    Bill PowellQ: Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on now that you can share?    

    Powell: Sure! I’m writing a comedy novel about a hapless college student who gets trapped in a small, rural Virginia town where everyone is delightfully crazy. This town bears no resemblance whatsoever to the small, rural Virginia town where I happen to live.

    Bill Powell lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he eats and breathes regularly. He writes fantasy, science fiction, metaphysically problematic author bios, and character-driven stories about driverless cars. His website is http://billpowell.org, and you know what’s awesome? Mutual funds. Seriously! You can retire with a million bucks! How is that not science fiction?

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a three-time Hugo Award finalist and World Fantasy Award-winning online magazine publishing the best in literary adventure fantasy, is available for DRM-free purchase from Weightless Books.

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies 30% off sale

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    View full version

    In conjunction with their new BCS theme anthology Ceaseless West: Weird Western Stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and its special early release here at Weightless Books, BCS is having an ebook sale!

    Buy Ceaseless West and you’ll get a free ebook of BCS‘s first theme anthology, Ceaseless Steam: Steampunk Stories from BCS, and a coupon for 30% off all BCS anthologies and ebook subscriptions.

    Those other BCS anthologies eligible for this 30% off include all their Best of BCS annual anthologies, such as The Best of BCS, Year Five, featuring Richard Parks, Gemma Files, and Gregory Norman Bossert’s World Fantasy Award-winning story “The Telling.”

    BCS ebook subscriptions eligible for this 30% off include not only new subscriptions but also renewing or extending your existing subscription, regardless of when it ends. Subscribers can get issues delivered directly to their Kindle, smart phone, or tablet (any device with an email address), and they get new issues early, a week before the website.

    So buy a copy of Ceaseless West to get your free ebook of Ceaseless Steam and the coupon for 30% off BCS anthologies and subscriptions. But hurry; this sale ends May 5!

    BCS 6th Anniversary Ebook Sale

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    It’s BCS anniversary sale time again! See below for details from editor Scott H. Andrews. – Michael To celebrate the sixth anniversary of BCS and our new ebook anthology The Best of BCS, Year Five, we’re having another ebook sale! beneath-ceaseless-skies-issue-157-sixth-anniversary-double-issue-coverBuy a BCS ebook subscription or the new Best of BCS Year Five, and you’ll get a coupon code inside the book for 30% off all BCS anthologies and back issues.

    That includes all our previous anthologies, Best of BCS Year One, Year Two, Year Three, Year Four, and our steampunk anthology Ceaseless Steam. It includes back issues of BCS at Weightless Books: all 155 issues of BCS going back to #1 in 2008, including one not available at any other retailer or on our website. It includes the 25-issue bundles of back issues. It also includes all BCS subscriptions; you can use the coupon to renew your subscription no matter when it’s set to expire.

    The Best of BCS, Year Five has seventeen stories for only $3.99, including ones by Richard Parks, Gemma Files, Seth Dickinson, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, and more. It includes three stories that made the Locus Recommended Reading list, one that was a finalist for the British Science Fiction Association Awards and the Parsec Award, and one that won the World Fantasy Award.

    BCS ebook subscriptions are only $15.99 for a whole year/26 issues (that’s less than 30 cents a story!). Subscribers can get issues delivered directly to their Kindle or smart phone (any device with an email address), and they get the issues early, a week before the website.

    the-best-of-beneath-ceaseless-skies-online-magazine-year-five-coverSubscribers will get our Sixth Anniversary Double-Issue, featuring Richard Parks, K.J. Parker, and Aliette de Bodard, a week before the website, including two stories which won’t be released on the website until two weeks later.

    The ebook subscriptions and anthologies are also a great way to support BCS–all proceeds go to pay our artists and authors.

    Unending Steampunk!

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    Ceaseless Steam: Steampunk Stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies Online Magazine cover - click to view full sizeToday’s Weekly Sale book, Ceaseless Steam, collects 18 steampunk stories—not bad for $3.99: great for $1!—from that biweekly powerhouse, Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

    And: Ceaseless Steam includes a story by Dean Wells, “To the Gods of Time and Engines, a Gift,” which is set in the same world as his new story “Evensong, Having Been Answered” out in today’s new issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Lovely!

     

    BCS 5th Anniversary Ebook Sale Ends 10/16

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    The Beneath Ceaseless Skies sale ends this Wednesday, October 16th! Get in before it’s gone!

    Details below, courtesy of editor Scott H. Andrews:

    36491-coverTo celebrate the fifth anniversary of BCS and our new ebook anthology The Best of BCS Year Four, we’re having an ebook sale!

    Buy a BCS ebook subscription or the new Best of BCS Year Four from WeightlessBooks.com, and you’ll get a coupon for 30% off all BCS anthologies and back issues at Weightless Books.

    That includes all our previous anthologies, Best of BCS Year One, Year Two, Year Three, and our steampunk anthology Ceaseless Steam. It includes all back issues of BCS at Weightless Books: over 70 issues going back to 2008, with new ones added especially for this sale. It includes all BCS subscriptions; you can use the coupon to renew your subscription no matter when it’s set to expire.

    The Best of BCS, Year Four has eighteen stories for only $3.99, including ones by Richard Parks, Margaret Ronald, Adam Callaway, Chris Willrich, and more. It has three stories that appeared in Year’s Best anthologies, four that made the Locus Reading list, and one that’s a World Fantasy Award finalist.

    BCS ebook subscriptions are only $13.99 for a whole year/26 issues (that’s 25 cents a story!). Subscribers can get issues delivered directly to their Kindle or smart phone (any device with an email address), and they get the issues early, a week before the website.

    36349-coverSubscribe now and you’ll get our Fifth Anniversary Double-Issue, featuring Richard Parks and Adam Callaway, before the website, including three stories which won’t be released on the website until two weeks later.

    The sale ends October 16th, so make sure to buy your BCS subscription or Best of BCS Year Four at WeightlessBooks.com soon to get your coupon for 30% off!

    You can find the coupon code inside the ebook, at the bottom of the title page. To redeem it, just enter the code in the shopping cart coupon field at checkout. – Michael

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies Editor Interview: Scott H. Andrews

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    Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue 123 Cover

    Weightless Books interviews Scott H. Andrews, publisher and editor-in-chief of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a literary adventure fantasy zine.

    Q: What are you hoping the reader takes away from Beneath Ceaseless Skies?

    A: I hope that the reader, once they finish a BCS story, realizes that at some point during or after that read of what was hopefully an entertaining or awe-inspiring fantasy story, they were also made to think about what it means to be human.  The human condition; to think on that universal question of what it means to be who we are.

    Some stories I think do that while you’re reading them.  By the nature of their characters or theme, you can’t help but ponder such questions in the moment.  Other stories I think feel more purely entertainment while you’re reading, but later you realize that there actually was an undercurrent of something more personal and profound woven in beneath the entertainment.

    Q: As an editor, how do you know when you have a story that’s right for Beneath Ceaseless Skies?

    A: A big part of it for me is the richness of the fantasy setting.  Lush and awe-inspiring worlds are a personal favorite of mine and a hallmark of the magazine.  In short fiction, of course, it’s harder to develop and display such a world than in a longer work.  But an interesting world, and a writer who has made skillful choices about what of the world to show in the limited space of a short story, always engage me.

    Yet alongside that I also need to feel a character who resonates with me.  Maybe it’s their personality or attitude.  Maybe it’s what they’re striving for or trying to avoid, or trying to solve or come to terms with or understand.  Maybe it’s a tone or quirk in the voice that the author has crafted for that character’s narrative.  The world is important to me, but without a person whose story is taking place in that world, then for me it doesn’t feel alive.

     Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue 113 CoverQ: Can you offer a new favorite and an old one from Beneath Ceaseless Skies?

    A: A recent favorite would be “Boat in Shadows, Crossing” by Tori Truslow, from this past January.  It’s a lush and interesting setting, a rich and droll voice, and I think it speaks very well to many aspects of what it means to be human.

    It’s hard to single out just a couple from over two hundred stories, but a few past favorites include “Thieves of Silence” by Holly Phillips, a story of seduction by belonging, and “The Isthmus Variation” by Kris Millering, which features personal dynamics among a company of players performing a fascinating live-action tableau that has a hidden purpose.

    Q: Do you have any advice for someone thinking about starting an zine?

    A: Starting a zine, and then keeping it going, is a colossal time commitment.  The last decade of F/SF short fiction is littered with zines that lasted only a couple issues because the editors didn’t realize what they were getting into; for example, didn’t understand that they would be deluged with hundreds of submissions a month.

    For any aspiring editors out there who aren’t dissuaded by that :) , my main piece of advice would be to treat everything thoroughly professionally.  Be prompt in replying to people and unfailingly polite.  Be organized, so things won’t slip through the cracks.  Plan well for how you’re going to handle things (like that deluge of hundreds of submissions a month) both now and in the future.

    Q: You’re a writer, too. How has that fact influenced your interactions with people who submit stories to Beneath Ceaseless Skies?

    A: My experiences as a short fiction writer are a huge influence on my interactions with writers who submit to BCS and who I buy from.

    The most prominent example is that every rejection we send is personalized with comments.  I know of no other magazine that does that.  It takes a lot of extra time, but I know that many up-and-coming short fiction writers are eager for a few thoughtful comments on why their story didn’t work for one particular magazine.  We often hear from writers that they used the comments from our personalized rejection when they revised the story and it later sold to Realms of Fantasy or F&SF or another equally top-level magazine.

    Scott H. Andrews in Dog-Faced Bascinet

    I also think my experience as a writer makes me better able to interface with BCS writers on revisions or rewrites.  I know what that process is like from the writer’s side of things, and that I think helps me to work within their vision for the story while tweaking it in the ways that I think it needs in order to fit with BCS.

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a 2012 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Semiprozine, is available for DRM-free purchase from Weightless Books. Scott H. Andrews is shown at right in a dog-faced bascinet.

     

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies Author Interview: Michael Haynes

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    Michael Haynes, whose story “The Barber and the Count” can be found in Beneath Ceaseless 25781-coverSkies Issue 119, answers a few questions for Weightless Books.

    Q: How did you first know science fiction and fantasy were for you?

    A: My love of science fiction and fantasy short stories stretches back across most of my memory. I come by my affinity for the genres naturally. My parents both have read science fiction and fantasy and when I was young I went along with them to some science fiction conventions. (The 1979 NASFiC was, as far as I know, my first con.) By the time I was ten or so, I was reading and collecting old (mostly 1950’s/60’s) SF/Fantasy anthologies.

    Q: Have you found a way to incorporate your love of hockey into your writing?

    A: Only in very minor ways. I’ve had a character or two that were hockey fans in stories, but I haven’t written any hockey stories yet. If I did, it would probably be just as likely to be a non-speculative fiction mystery story as SF. I’m also a baseball fan, and when I got really serious about my writing a couple of years ago, one of the first stories I wrote was a baseball SF story titled “Out With the Crowd.”

    Q: What’s your favorite place to write?

    A: I’m content to write just about anywhere that I can have quiet time to think and compose text — which can be a bit hard with kids around the house! Still, I’ve gotten lots of writing done at a desk in my bedroom or sitting on my bed. I’ve written in coffee shops (Yes, I can be one of those writers!) and in libraries. I’ve even written in the notepad feature of my phone when I had time to kill and no computer at hand.

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies is available for DRM-free purchase from Weightless Books. Michael Haynes lives in Central Ohio where he helps keep IT systems running for a large corporation during the day and puts his characters through the wringer by night. An ardent short story reader and writer, Michael had over 20 stories accepted for publication during 2012 by venues such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and Daily Science Fiction. He is the Editor for the monthly flash fiction contests run by Kazka Press and an Associate Editor for the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology series.

    Outspoken Authors

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    The interview with Catt Kingsgrave (One Saved to the Sea) went over well so we’ll work on adding more of those.

    This week we have the new issue of the bimonthly magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Issue #120 features stories by Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald and Laura E. Price.

    We also have five new titles from PM Press, including a new Michael Moorcock and the latest in the Outspoken Authors series, New Taboos by John Shirley. The previous book in this series, Ken MacLeod’s The Human Front has proved very popular. And of course I love the Ursula K. Le Guin one, the interview by Terry Bisson is amazing.

    We have big news for people who like a technical book or two coming in the next couple of weeks!

    New Taboos Snitch World Left of the Dial Jerusalem Commands: The Third Volume of the Colonel Pyat Quartet The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History: Volume 2: Dancing with Imperialism The Human Front The Wild Girls

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #120

    ChiZine!

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    Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies

    Fans of Apex and Nightmare rejoice, today we added 30+ titles from ChiZine Publications with books from Tim Pratt, Gemma Files, Nick Kaufmann, and, you know, many more. For instance, check out Imaginarium 2012 which is the first in a series, The Best Canadian Speculative Fiction, and James Marshall wins catchiest title award with Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies.

    Actually, Rick Klaw may win best title with his Tachyon book, The Apes of Wrath, which collects stories from Pat Murphy , the late Steven Utley, Howard Waldrop, Karen Joy Fowler, among others. (Karen has a new novel coming this summer from Penguin Putnam: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Read it and weep—but don’t read the spoiler-y jacket copy!)

    Also new today: The Steampunk Megapack, Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #113and  The Transcriber by Kristen Witucki.

    We added two titles from Australia’s FableCroft, Epilogue and After the Rain, both edited by Tehani Wessely.

    I like the sound of Epilogue: “Twelve writers take on the end of the world and go beyond, to what comes next” but I want to recommend (unread as yet!) After the Rain as it has stories from two favorite people, Kathleen Jennings (whose art has graced a number of Small Beer books) and Robert Hoge, whose memoir, Ugly, I am reading right now. It comes out from Hachette Australia in August and it is fabulous. I don’t know that we’ll have it here to sell—hey, you never know—but I’m going to be rec’ing it again and again so you might as well preorder it now!

    (Got totally distracted there by Kathleen’s “Dalek of the Pigeons” post.)


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