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!

https://www.facebook.com/events/432196747273586/

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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Arisia 2018

Donald and I will be at Arisia this weekend, telling everyone about the new Mysterion webzine (which is currently open to submissions–6 cents a word, y’all!). We’ll also be reading from our own fiction, and I’m on 4 panels.

Here are all the details (all events are at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel):

Donald’s schedule

Saturday, 11:30 pm, Hale (3W): Humorous Horror Reading

Kristin’s schedule

Friday, 5:30 pm, Faneuil (3W): Food and Fandom
Sunday, 11:30 am, Adams (3W): Writing Faith Into Your Fiction
Sunday, 7:00 pm, Hale (3W): Relationship Basics
Sunday, 10:00 pm, Hale (3W): Historical Fantasy and Alternate History Reading (this is a group reading–I’ll be reading “The Vanished Legions” from the forthcoming Tales of Ruma anthology)
Monday, 11:30 am, Douglas (3W): Does Science Fiction Hate Science?

Mysterion Party

Room 454: I just spent the day baking 4 different kinds of cookies, including a triple chocolate variety that’s always quite popular. There will also be a fine selection of local New England cheeses, grapes, a variety of chocolate bars and things covered in chocolate, and some fun non-alcoholic beverages (but I’m not doing mixed drinks this year, because that was just too much work).

Oh, and … I guess we’ll be talking about the webzine? Showing off the anthology? Sorry, I assumed you were mostly interested in the menu.

8 pm until around 1 am (or whenever we get tired and kick everyone out).

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At World Fantasy Convention this weekend

Donald and I will be at the World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio this weekend. We’re sharing a table in the dealers’ room with some author friends, so if you’re attending, be sure to stop by and say hello! (And pick up a copy of Mysterion, of course.)

I’m also doing a reading from my own fiction at 8:00 pm on Thursday, in ExecSalon 3. Come hear my silly story about ancient Romans!

Temperatures are supposed to be in the high 80s in San Antonio, which will be a nice change from Boston, where it’s finally gotten chilly. (Not that chilly, though; I still don’t think we’ve had frost, and there are years I’ve had to start wearing long underwear by October’s end.)

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Mysterion goes online

Last year Donald and I published an anthology of speculative fiction stories that engage with Christianity (still available, BTW).

This past summer, we ran a Kickstarter campaign, hoping to raise enough to pay the authors for a second anthology. When that didn’t quite work out–we only got to 83% of our funding target, and Kickstarter fundraising is all or nothing–we decided we needed a less cost-intensive way of bringing Christian-themed fantasy and science fiction to readers, ideally one that would help us grow our audience.

We’re now pleased to announce Mysterion’s new online home: MysterionOnline.com. We open to fiction submissions in January (and are already open to art submissions), and plan to start publishing stories on the site in April.

There won’t be any paywall, but we will be setting up a Patreon for those who want to support us beyond just reading what we publish and sending us their story submissions. Stay tuned for more information on that… We pay 6 cents/word for new fiction, 3 cents/word for reprints, and $100 for art.

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