New story in The Colored Lens

My story “The Hungry Ghosts” is now out in e-zine The Colored Lens, available from Amazon.

It’s free if you have Kindle Unlimited; otherwise, for the low, low price of $4.99, you get my story and 10 others.

Content warnings: profanity, sex, Christianity; plus a protagonist who’s already dead (at least she knows it).

This was my Clarion West application story; and as I attended the workshop in 2008, it’s, um, taken me a while to get this published. All the stories I wrote before attending Clarion West have now officially been published, though! (The ones that aren’t terrible, at least.)

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Boskone 2019

Donald and I will be at Boskone over the upcoming February long weekend, so if you’re going, be sure to find us and say hello!

Donald will, admittedly, be a little harder to find, as he isn’t on any panels. But I’m on 3, and also have a reading.

We’re not planning a Mysterion party this year, but will still be happy to talk your ear off about our online magazine if you give us half a chance.

Boskone is a great convention if you’re in the New England area, especially for writers and artists. Compared to Arisia, it’s smaller (maybe a third the size), generally an older crowd, and more focused on the literary and scientific aspects of science fiction and fantasy (less cosplay, more astronomy). It’s at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston’s Seaport District, which is a short walk from the World Trade Center Station on the Silver Line, or a long walk from South Station on the Red Line.

Here’s my schedule:

Your Own Doomsday: Speculating on Future Catastrophes

Friday, 3:00 pm, Harbor III

There are lots of ways to end the world, end humanity, or end civilization. Perhaps you agree with T.S. Eliot: “This is the way the world ends … Not with a bang but a whimper.” A multidisciplinary team will tackle this grim (but enjoyable?) subject and speculate about the worlds to come … after ours ends.

Robert V.S. Redick, Rebecca Roanhorse, Kristin Janz, MR Richardson (Room 10 Publishing), Tonia Thompson (NIGHTLIGHT Podcast)

Surviving the Review

Saturday, 10 am, Marina 4

Reviews are apparently inescapable parts of the writing process, and may often (sometimes?) be critical to the life of a speculative fiction work. What must authors know about reviews? For the average writer, does the fear of public disrespect and rejection balance against the possible joy of a positive review? Should you ever try to respond to a review, good or bad? What role do fans play in reviews? And what are some of the best places to post, read, and find useful reviews?

David McDonald, Alan Brown, Kristin Janz, Victoria Sandbrook, Elizabeth Hand

Guilty Pleasures

Saturday, 12 pm, Marina 4

The Smurfs! B movies! All that goofy jazz. Certain entertainments or activities give us great personal gratification. But somehow, we’re just a bit ashamed to admit that we like My Little Pony… or bowling … or mud wrestling. Hear participants reveal their guilty pleasures, and why they indulge.

Sarah Jean Horwitz, Batya “The Toon” Wittenberg, Steven Popkes, Suzanne Palmer, Kristin Janz


Sunday, 1:30 pm, Independence

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Welcome to the Mythic Orbits blog tour!

Today I have a guest post from Travis Perry, the editor and publisher of the Mythic Orbits anthology series (Volume 2 of which includes my story “The Workshop at the End of the World” and my husband Donald S. Crankshaw’s “Her Majesty’s Guardian”). This is part of the Mythic Orbits blog tour.

The full schedule for the blog tour appears at the bottom of the post, so if you’re interested in reviews, interviews with Travis and some of the authors, and some additional reflections from Travis on the kinds of stories that appear, be sure to check out some of the other stops on the tour!

Mysterion (the online magazine Donald and I publish) will be running an interview with Travis on October 15th as part of our regular interview feature.

About Mythic Orbits

You might be wondering what in the world “Mythic Orbits” refers to. I’m not sure if it will help reassure you to tell you the name Mythic Orbits was simply intended to suggest both science fiction and fantasy and to identify these books in a distinctive way, along with any that follow after in the series.

Just as these anthologies represent a wide variety of genres, there is no common theme to these tales, though the subject of empathy or lack thereof does come up in them repeatedly. This is most definitely not an anthology about orbits which are somehow mythical.

These anthologies are a showcase for the best stories submitted in the general field of speculative fiction by Christian authors. They represent a wide variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal.

The main goal of these anthologies was to demonstrate that Christian authors can write speculative fiction well. Stories with a wide range of appeal are included here, mostly serious, some with humor, some with “happy endings” and others clearly not so happy. All of them worth reading.

Some of these stories feature Christian characters in speculative fiction worlds, some make use of Christian themes either subtly or overtly, while some have no discernible connection to Christianity at all. Christian authors are featured in this collection rather than specifically Christian-themed stories.

So, is it widely known all over the world that Christians write speculative fiction?

Well, clearly Christians who themselves are speculative fiction writers know what they write. But does everybody else?

Especially when we’re talking about theologically conservative Christians, Evangelicals of some sort, professed Bible-believing Christians, do people know about their works? Is it legitimate for people to wonder if writers with personal convictions along these lines produce speculative fiction, that is, science fiction and fantasy and related genres like LitRPG, paranormal, and horror?

These books provide an answer: Not only do Christian writers produce speculative fiction stories, they write some great ones.

Enjoy these examples!

Travis Perry (Editor and Publisher)

Mythic Orbits 2016


Fourteen of the best speculative fiction stories by Christian authors, spinning science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal genres into worlds of intrigue and delight. Featuring “Graxin” by Kerry Nietz, author of Amish Vampires in Space and A Star Curiously Singing, Mythic Orbits 2016 has something for every speculative fiction fan.

Mythic Orbits Vol. 2


In a series praised by Tosca Lee, Kathy Tyers, and Kerry Nietz, this anthology of eleven speculative fiction stories by Christian authors shines in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and LitRPG genres. Featuring Kat Heckenbach’s “Mark the Days,” this collection has something for every speculative fiction fan.

Featured Authors & Links:

Mark Venturini (Mythic Orbits 2016)

Jill Domschot (Mythic Orbits 2016)

Richard New ( Mythic Orbits 2016)

Kirk Outerbridge (Mythic Orbits 2016)

Cindy Emmet Smith (Mythic Orbits 2016)

Lisa Gefrides (Mythic Orbits 2016)

L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright (Mythic Orbits 2016)

Joshua M. Young (Mythic Orbits 2016)

Matthew Sketchley (Mythic Orbits 2016)

R. V. Saunders ( Mythic Orbits 2016) Sherry Rossman (Mythic Orbits 2016)

Kerry Nietz (Mythic Orbits 2016) Linda Burklin (Mythic Orbits 2016 & Vol. 2)

Kat Heckenbach (Mythic Orbits 2016 & Mythic Orbits 2)

Steve Rzasa (Mythic Orbits 2)

Donald S. Crankshaw (Mythic Orbits 2)

CW Briar (Mythic Orbits 2)

Cindy Koepp (Mythic Orbits 2)

C. O. Bonham (Mythic Orbits 2)

Kristin Janz (Mythic Orbits 2)

William Bontrager (Mythic Orbits 2)

A. K. Meek (Mythic Orbits 2)

Keturah Lamb (Mythic Orbits 2)

Blog Tour Schedule

Oct. 7th–C.O. Bonham (kick-off)

Oct. 8th–Kristin Janz (spotlight)

–Travis Perry (Empathy or lack thereof in Mythic Orbits)

Oct. 9th–Josh Smith at The New Authors’ Fellowship (review)

Oct. 10th–L. Jagi Lamplighter (guest post by Cindy Koepp)

–Julia Menard (interviews/spotlight)

Oct. 11th–Sherry Rossman (guest post by C.O. Bonham)

–Laura A. Grace (interview with C.O. Bonham)

Oct. 12th–Kristen Stieffel at The New Authors’ Fellowship (guest post by Cindy Koepp on Gamer Lit)

Oct. 13th–Linda Burklin (review)

Oct. 14th–Laura Storm Hancock (spotlight)

Oct. 15th–Mysterion (interview with Travis Perry)

–Hillary Koenig (interview with Keturah Lamb)

Oct. 16th–Josh Smith at The New Authors’ Fellowship (interview with Travis Perry)

Oct. 17th–Keturah Lamb (review)

–H.L. Burke (spotlight)

Oct. 18th–Travis Perry (guest post by C.O. Bonham)

Oct. 19th–Donald S. Crankshaw (review)

Oct. 20th–Joshua Young (Mythic Orbits 2 review)


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Mythic Orbits Vol. 2 available on Amazon

If you’re interested in picking up Mythic Orbits Vol. 2, the new anthology that Donald and I have stories in, the Kindle version is available now on Amazon! (Paperback to follow in a few weeks.)

Our stories are both reprints from Daily Science Fiction. Mine is “The Workshop at the End of the World”, and Donald’s is “Her Majesty’s Guardian”.

For only $2.99, you get both those stories, and 9 others by different Christian authors, in convenient e-book form!

The editor and publisher, Travis Perry, is one of the few people in the Christian speculative fiction world who publishes short stories, so of course because of what we’re doing with Mysterion, we hope to see him succeed (even though his approach to “Christian fiction” is a lot different from ours–we think there’s room for a lot of different ways of engaging with the Christian faith in one’s writing and publishing projects).

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Mythic Orbits Vol. 2 Release Party tonight!

Donald and I both have short story reprints in Mythic Orbits Volume 2, an anthology that has its official release party on Facebook tonight.

Fortunately, the editor and publisher, our friend Travis Perry of Bear Publications, doesn’t like long book-release parties anymore than we do. He thinks it will only be about 15 minutes.

Mythic Orbits is an anthology series Travis does that aims to collect the best short fiction available from Christian authors. It’s a little different than what we’re doing at Mysterion: Travis requires the stories in his anthology series to be written by Christian authors, but not to have any particular Christian content (though they’re allowed to!). Whereas we require Mysterion stories to be about Christianity in some thoughtful and significant way, but not to be written by Christians (though again, they can be!).

The book release party is at 8 pm Central time tonight (Friday, July 27th)/9 pm Eastern. Donald and I will probably be there (online). If you’re interested in learning more about the 11 stories in the anthology, please stop by!

My contribution is “The Workshop at the End of the World”, which originally appeared in Daily Science Fiction in December 2015.

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“The Vanished Legions” in Tales of Ruma

My latest story is out now in the Tales of Ruma anthology, available in both Kindle and paperback versions.

“The Vanished Legions” explores the popular trope of Ancient Roman legions being spirited away to various fantasy worlds, but from the viewpoint of the Roman authorities in this world trying to figure out where all those missing soldiers have gotten to.

It’s not the most serious story I’ve ever written.

Tales of Ruma ties into Ruma: Dawn of Empire, a tabletop roleplaying game from the same company (Azure Keep). The game is “set in an alternate Roman Empire where myth and magic are real.” Stories for the anthology could be set in the game world, or in Ancient Rome or Greece. If you’re into RPGs, and Ancient Rome, you might want to check out the game as well!

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“King of Nowhere” at Strange Constellations

Happy to announce my 2nd story publication of the year: “King of Nowhere” is out now at Strange Constellations.

This one falls solidly in the traditional secondary world fantasy genre–although whether the main character can be called heroic may depend on how you view such things.

Also there’s a dragon. Of sorts. (If dinosaurs can have feathers, so can dragons!)

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“The Water Tower” in Polar Borealis

It’s been over a year since I’ve had a new story published, so I’m excited to announce that you can now read “The Water Tower” in the latest issue of Polar Borealis.

Polar Borealis is a free online magazine that publishes Canadian speculative fiction (in this case, mostly science fiction, with some fantasy and horror). R. Graeme Cameron is the editor and publisher. He’s especially committed to promoting the work of beginning authors, and reserves at least three story slots per issue for previously unpublished writers. So, if this describes you, you might want to consider sending him a story! (You do have to be Canadian, though; or at least a Canadian resident.)

Fortunately for me, he doesn’t only publish beginning writers. While I’m certainly not established or anything, “The Water Tower” is my 21st story publication. And–more good news!–Graeme just accepted another story of mine: “Portrait of an Aging Woman” will appear in the very next issue, scheduled for sometime this summer.

I think it’s wonderful to see more and more authors responding to Things They Want to See More Of by starting their own magazines. Graeme started Polar Borealis because there weren’t enough paying markets in Canada where beginning authors had a good chance of seeing their work published. Getting into the established magazines is very competitive (in Canada or anywhere else). In the same way, Donald and I started Mysterion because we wished there was more of a market for speculative fiction that took Christianity seriously as a significant theme without falling into the usual stereotypes. Editing and publishing a magazine is a tremendous amount of work, and not something that every author has either the time or financial resources to manage. But if you can do it, it’s incredibly rewarding!

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Kickstarter for Tales of Ruma anthology

Do you love stories about Ancient Rome? If so, you might want to check out this Kickstarter for the Tales of Ruma anthology, coming out in April.

Described as “an anthology of short stories inspired by Greek and Roman mythology”, Tales of Ruma includes fiction by Jody Lynn Nye, David Farland, and Julie Frost–and my own story “The Vanished Legions”.

You can get the ebook for a $5 pledge, the paperback for $15, or a special limited edition hardcover for $50.

I love the cover art, and I’m really excited to read all the other stories!

They also have a tabletop roleplaying game called Ruma: Dawn of Empire. This is “set in an alternate Roman Empire where myth and magic are real”. In fact, the anthology is really a tie-in for the game, with some of the stories set in the game world. (Although mine is about actual historical Romans. Mostly.)

Anyway, take a look!

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Boskone 2018

I’m at Boskone this weekend (February 16-18), so if you’re here, please find me and say hello! I’m doing a reading, and am on 4 panels.

Donald and I are also hosting a party on Saturday (February 17th) to promote the new Mysterion online magazine. Room 405, starting at 8 pm.

Here’s my official schedule for the weekend:


Reading by Kristin Janz
17 Feb 2018, Saturday 10:00 – 10:30, Independence (Westin)

Come hear my story about alien anthropologists! “As Travelers in Sky Boats” first appeared in Escape Pod, in 2016.

CRISPR, Gene Editing, and the Future of Food

17 Feb 2018, Saturday 11:00 – 12:00, Marina 4 (Westin)

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) techniques for gene editing are said to find wide application in the food industry, raising the possibility of food that won’t spoil so fast. Or pigs that carry less harmful fat. Such genetically modified organisms (GMOs) carry considerable promise — plus a fat load of questions about possible consequences. Let’s talk about the future of food.

David Shaw (M), Rajnar Vajra, Kaitlin R. Branch, Kristin Janz, Stacey Berg

Faith, Philosophy, and Religion in Speculative Fiction

17 Feb 2018, Saturday 13:00 – 14:00, Marina 2 (Westin)

Resolved: science fiction, fantasy, and horror are perfect genres in which to explore ideas and philosophies, especially aspects of religion and faith. True? If so or not so, why? And what dangers do we face in creating new religions (*cough* Hubbard), or in these kinds of speculations generally?

Rajnar Vajra, Kristin Janz, Janice Gelb (M), Inanna Arthen

The Scientific Method in SF

17 Feb 2018, Saturday 15:00 – 16:00, Marina 2 (Westin)

Scientists abound in science fiction. Do these characters behave like real scientists, the good and the bad? Which authors get it right as they present positive images of scientists, and depict the way they work? The “mad scientist” is a common type in our literature — but is that really the way scientists go wrong?

Kaitlin R. Branch (M), Genny Dazzo, Kristin Janz, Justin Key, Vincent Docherty

Notes: Sir Francis Bacon’s method of reasoning, put forward in 1620, was the first attempt to codify what scientists do. While his can be said to be the first word, we haven’t heard the last word on the scientific method. Names like Kant, Ayer, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, and Feyerabend have had their say.

Field Medicine in a Fantasy World

18 Feb 2018, Sunday 14:00 – 15:00, Harbor III (Westin)

After fighting orcs or falling into a ravine, you can come out with more than cuts and bruises. Yet without modern medicine, our fantasy heroes are often left to their own devices to stitch themselves back together. What tips and tricks should they know? What nearby items — plants, herbs, spyderwebs — might be helpful? But also: why isn’t there tons more toothache, child mortality, and gangrene in Fantasielande?

James D. Macdonald, LJ Cohen (M), Kristin Janz, Kevin McLaughlin, Christopher Paniccia

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