Sunday, December 16, 2007

There's a mixed but overall positive featured review of Kaleidotrope's third issue at SF Site. Rich Horton notes that there is "plenty of nice stuff -- I think the groundwork has been laid for more significant future work."

Monday, December 03, 2007

Can someone explain this? The nomination deadline for the annual Pushcart Prize is December 1. However, if is to be believed, the book with this year's selections will be available on December 10. That seems like an awfully unlikely turn-around time to me, suggesting that the final table of contents was set long before the nomination deadline. In fact, Amazon is already listing the book as in stock. I don't see how a nomination that reached Pushcart on December 1 has any shot at making the final cut, quite frankly.

Which is something I wish I'd known when I made my own six nominations last month.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Any Kaleidotrope contributors/readers attending the World Fantasy Convention next year?

Attending any other conventions in 2008 or '09?
So the current issue of Lady Churchill's is hot of the press, and it looks really neat. My copy arrived just today -- well, actually, it may have arrived earlier this week, but I almost never get down to the old PO box except on the weekends -- and I'm eager to dive into it. What's more, I'm pleased to see that Aunt Gwenda answered my question (which was actually just a riff on "Jon"'s question before it) in her advice column. If you want to see what I asked, and what other pearls of wisdom she has to share, you'll have to pick up a copy yourself.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

James Van Pelt has some really interesting thoughts on what it means to be a professional writer:
The one part of a writer's career that she can't control is the very part that opens the door into the "professional" ranks, which is selling the work. The writer writes the best she can, finds the most appropriate markets, then sends the work out. What happens after that is beyond her control. But she can control everything else. Being professional is about a lot more than making money.
"I'm not the kind of man who tends to socialize
I seem to lean on old familiar ways..." - Paul Simon

I've been toying with the idea of attending next year's World Fantasy Convention in Calgary (just as I toyed with the idea of attending last year's in Austin and this year's in Saratoga). A lot of what I've read online makes it sound like great fun. Of course, it also makes it sound a lot more like a reunion, something better suited to past attendees and World Fantasy Award nominees. It's not as if there's a sign on the door that reads, "Newbies not welcome," but still, I've been thinking it might be better to start with something different, and smaller -- like maybe Readercon in July, for instance.

(I'm also slowly trying to put together a trip to Los Angeles with friends for next fall, so that could eat into my already limited vacation time and disposable income.)

And then I read something like this, and I think: he's never attended before, and he had fun... So I don't know.

How many months does it take to get a passport?
Well now...

Clearly, the smartest people out there read Kaleidotrope!

Quiz via Electric Velocipede

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Between now and November 30, Apex Digest is holding a subscription drive, with the goal of increasing subscribers and, therefore, increasing the amount they can pay contributors. More power to them. Apex publishes some really interesting dark science fiction and horror a few times a year, and it's great to see them trying to spread more of the love around to the authors.

Kaleidotrope offers only a token payment at the moment, so I can definitely understand the desire to break into being a professional, or even semi-professional, market. If I could afford to pay my contributors more, believe me, I would. (It's questionable whether I can actually afford that token payment in the long run.)

So check it out. Anyone who buys or renews a subcription between now and the end of the month will be entered into a drawing to win Apex for life and a new mug.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I used to be part of a collaborative writing blog. I'm thinking about possibly reviving it. This would be completely independent of Kaleidotrope, but I'd be curious if anyone reading this would be interested.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I was in Maryland this past weekend, visiting my sister, while meanwhile, back in New York, the World Fantasy Awards were being held. I'm happy to learn that M. Rickert's Map of Dreams and Jeffrey Ford's "Botch Town" both won, for best collection and novella respectively. I finished reading both this weekend, as it happens. Ford's novella is reminiscent in some ways of the best of Bradbury -- I'm thinking Dandelion Wine or Something Wicked This Way Comes here -- while Rickert's stories definitely have the feel of dreams to them. Reading the novella from which her collection takes its name, I was a little reminded of Kevin Brockmeier's excellent novel, The Truth About Celia, and I think it would make an excellent companion piece to that.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sam Tomaino of SF Revu offers a quick overview of Kaleidotrope #3, as well as some nice words:
The October 2007 issue of Kaleidotrope has stories by old pros Bruce Holland Rogers and Step[h]en Graham Jones as well as talented newcomers like Daniel Ausema and Sarah Frost Mellor.

The October 2007 issue of Kaleidotrope is another nice one with a fine mix of stories and poems. I liked all the stories in the issue....

Kaleidotrope is a small press magazine that deserves your support.
Be sure to check out the rest of SF Revu while you're there!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In the spirit of the holiday, the Science Fiction Poetry Association is hosting its second annual Halloween Poetry Reading online. It features audio readings from several poets, including C.A. Gardner, whose poem "Sleep" appeared in Kaleidotrope #2. They're worth a listen!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Today marks the release of the US edition of Joe Hill's debut short story collection, 20th Century Ghosts. If you haven't read the collection yet -- it had a small-press release a couple of years ago from PS Publishing -- do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Ghosts is easily one of the best books I've read this year, and while I'm still not completely sold on Hill's follow-up novel (Heart Shaped Box, which I'm reading now), there really isn't a false note in his short stories. Highly recommended.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

At the urging of reader Victor Colonna, I've started a Kaleidotrope Facebook group. How similar this will be to the zine's MySpace page, which I very infrequently update, I don't know. But everyone is welcome to join and offer feedback on the new issue, now out and available.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Kaleidotrope #3 is hot off the presses and now available for purchase. Copies will be going out to contributors, subscribers, and some reviewers over the next couple of days.

I have noticed two small misprints I thought I had corrected in the final draft. One is a very minor added piece of punctuation that you may never even notice, but the other is a missing credit for one of the illustrations. Artist Remi Treuer provided many of the wonderful drawings that appear throughout the issue -- as well as that nifty cover art you're seeing above -- and that includes the drawing on page 46. Just so you know.

I think the issue looks terrific overall, though, and I'm very pleased to be able to share it with everyone. The issue features some terrific work from genre veterans, like Bruce Holland Rogers, Stephen Graham Jones and Mark Rich -- as well as many up-and-coming writers-to-watch, like Rachel Swirsky, Kristine Ong Muslim and Daniel Ausema. Over fifty pages of scary, silly, strange and just plain fun stuff.

I hope you'll check it out!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

So here, more or less, is the contents of the October 2007 issue of Kaleidotrope:

"Click" by LaShawn M. Wanak
"Best Friends Forever" by L.M. Harmon
"Guy, Sky High" by Edd Vick
"Stump Courtship" by Daniel Ausema
"Pistil, Stamen, Bloom" by Stephen Graham Jones
"The Locked Door" by Tara Kolden
"Eyes" (a comic) by Marc Schuster
The Tailings of Men by Eric Stever
Two Stories by Bruce Holland Rogers
"The Loneliest Person in the World" by Beth Langford
"Terraformers" by Natalie J.E. Potts
"Gingered" by Sarah Frost-Mellor


Two Poems by Kristine Ong Muslim
"The Moth Explains" by Rachel Swirsky
Two Poems by Mark Rich
Two Poems by Sheri Fresonke Harper
"Dreams of Sinaloa" by Alveraz Ricardez
"Chalk and Violet (Advice to a Werwolf)" by Alyce Wilson
"As If We Could Change Anything" by G.O. Clark
"Death is Dance" by Cathy Buburuz
"And the Black Snake Smiled for Mary" by Jason Huskey
"Metal With Me" by L. Christopher DelGuercio
"The grandmother I thought I knew" by Terrie Leigh Relf
"Zombie Haiku" by Dana Koster
"A Question to Those Who Have Been Successfully Transported" by Louisa Howerow


"Why I Love Doctor Who by Betty Ragan
Plus original artwork from Marcia A. Borell, Remi Treuer, Peter Schwartz, G.W. Thomas, and Sharon Kindig -- as well as other sundry bits. Pre-order a copy today!

Friday, September 07, 2007

To mark the tenth anniversary of his website, Kaleidotrope contributor Nigel "Beedo" Willis (#1, "Probed"), has announced a contest:
Star Wars Humour Site? What A Concept!

Amazing! Astounding! Adjective! Beedo Sookcool's Cool Sci-Fi Page is celebrating its tenth birthday this September! To mark this special anniversary, Beedo himself is giving away free stuff! For full details on rules and prizes, click on over to Beedo Sookcool's Cool Sci-Fi Page!
Be sure to check it out!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Okay, it's official: Kaleidotrope is now open to submissions year-round.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, It Came From Airport Security:
BRISTOL, VA - Announcing the publication of It Came From Airport Security - an anthology of short fiction concerning what happens when confiscated liquids are dumped into trash bins. One year ago the news was flooded with images of airport security. Twenty-four people were arrested in east London, each one suspected of conspiracy to blow up airliners by mixing chemicals on board the planes. The immediate response was to confiscate all bottles of liquids and gels from passengers and to dump the contents of those bottles into large trash bins.
Featuring eight new stories, plus an introduction from yours truly! As mentioned on Boing Boing! And, as co-editor Glen Williams points out, "it’s the perfect book to be seen reading on the airplane!"
I'm thinking about maybe doing away with my reading periods (March to June; September to December), and officially accepting submissions year-round. This is what I do unofficially right now, and I think a lot of people either ignore or never notice the reading periods altogether. I'm not sure what value it's adding for me, since I'm not so hopelessly overwhelmed with submissions, and it's possible they're just acting as a deterrent for those who do notice them.

Any thoughts? Is anyone out there reading this?
Ralan's SpecFic & Humor Webstravaganza needs your support:
If you use, you have probably benefited by it. Maybe you made a sale, or won a contest you would not have known about without visiting, or found a useful writing-related link or two. Or maybe you haven't yet had your break, but is helping you towards it in a way that no other web site does -- with the most up-to-date information on speculative and humorous fiction available anywhere -- information you can get nowhere else. Or perhaps your publication is enjoying a sharp rise in the number and quality of submissions and new visitors are swelling your stats.

Whatever. I urge all of you -- loyal supporters and those who want to be -- to make a donation this month, if you haven't already done so this year.
I suspect I owe a great many of my submissions to Kaleidotrope's listing on Ralan's site (as well as to the one on Duotrope), and he's always been really prompt at making updates. So if you found Kaleidotrope, or any other publication, through Ralan's site, I urge you to help him out a little during his August fundraising.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

There's a brief listing for Kaleidotrope in the most recent issue of Zine World:
A literary journal featuring fiction, nonfiction and poetry, not to be confused with Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope. The writing here is mostly speculative, so if you dig Martians, robots and people with melting heads, this might be worth your time.
I don't think I've published many melting-head stories, but y'know, maybe that's a challenge for the next issue...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

John Klima recently posted the first in what promises to be an interesting series on starting your own zine:
One of your concerns might be that you might think that there are too many magazines out there, that there's no room for another publication. This is where you're wrong. Every single person who sees this post can (and should) make a zine. And they can be fiction zines. There's a lot of good fiction out there.
It's well worth your time, if you have any interest at all in publishing a zine. Or even just some insight into how a quality one like Electric Velocipede gets produced.

And here's Part 2.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Someone recently asked me if Kaleidotrope had won any awards, or if any of the stories that I've printed have gone on to be anthologized elsewhere. To the best of my knowledge, this hasn't happened just yet. The first issue received a couple of genuinely nice reviews, and I've received some great feedback from contributors and subscribers alike on both issues, but awards and greater glories thus far elude me.

Then again, Kaleidotrope is only a little more than a year (and two issues) old. It existed nowhere but in my own head before April of 2006, when I sent out my first call for submissions. And the quality of those submissions -- not just from award winners like Bruce Boston and Bruce Holland Rogers (whose presence1 alone is enough to surprise me sometimes), but from everyone -- continues to amaze me. It's why I keep doing this. Sure, I'd love to see the stories and poems I've printed go on to win awards and earn the sort of recognition I think they deserve, but the reason I print them is simple: I think they're really cool and I want to share them with others. And, if any greater glories do await Kaleidotrope as a whole, better they be for that than for anything else, right?

Still, there are things I'd like to see happen and other things I'm considering:
  • I'd like to see my subscriber base grow, and see Kaleidotrope made available in more locations. Right now, the distribution is limited, with the zine available only through the main website and, in the real world, at Quimby's in Chicago2. A subscription discount might help. Only a fool goes into zine publishing hoping to turn a tidy profit, but a few extra dollars wouldn't hurt. And a few more readers would be phenomenal.
  • I'd like to expand the focus of Kaleidotrope somewhat, seeing a wider range of stories and genres, while at the same time emphasizing the things that I think make this zine unique.
  • I'd like to take a more pro-active approach to marketing Kaleidotrope and getting the word of its existence out there. To that end, I sometimes feel like maybe I should start thinking about attending some conferences -- even if it's not in anything like an "official" capacity, with a table in the dealers room and a stack of copies ready to sell. I toyed very briefly with the idea of attending last year's World Fantasy convention in Austin. (A work-related conference I ultimately did not attend would have had me in town the week before.) This year's convention is closer to home, in New York, but I don't think that's going to happen either. Maybe next year in Calgary? Honestly, I'm a complete neophyte when it comes to conventions (and probably not the most outgoing of sorts), so I really don't know where to begin.
  • I'd like to reach out to past contributors and receive more feedback on past issues -- what's worked, what hasn't.
  • I'd like to sell at least one t-shirt. C'mon, they're really neat!
But the chief thing, I think, is to continue publishing quality writing and artwork, and working to continually make Kaleidotrope a better zine.

1 In the October 2006 and October 2007 issues, respectively.

2 Issue #2 is available through their website, at any rate.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Congratulations to Kaleidotrope contributor Edd Vick, whose short story, "Moon Does Run" (from the always terrific Electric Velocipede), has been selected to be reprinted in The Year's Best SF 12.

Another fun story from Edd, "Guy, Sky High," will appear in the upcoming October issue of Kaleidotrope.

Congratulations again to him and to Electric Velocipede editor John Klima!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I updated the subscription information on the Kaleidtrope website -- and let slip a few quick details about the upcoming third issue. I'm still putting together the final table of contents, but the October issue will feature stories and poems from a terrific lineup of artists, including Bruce Holland Rogers, Stephen Graham Jones, and Mark Rich.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I think I want to make this my official rejection letter. Is that wrong?

I hate turning things down, even when they're awful, because they're almost always not awful, just a bad fit, not quite what I'm looking for, or better suited to somebody else. In a perfect world, every submission to Kaleidotrope would be wonderful, and I would have the space and wherewithal to print every last one of them.

That even a small percentage of them are wonderful still amazes me sometimes.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

So, um...t-shirts! For the consumer-minded among you.

They each feature Remi Treuer's nifty cover illustration from issue #2 (still available, by the by). I'm wearing one of the black t-shirts right now, and I'm really pleased with how they came out.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Heather was one of the first supporters of Kaleidotrope, so it seems only fair that I should do a little of the same for her new endeavor, Project Paper Crane. The way it works is pretty simple:
  1. Send an email Project Paper Crane. Name and address, please.
  2. Wait for said crane to arrive (it may take a while).
  3. Email a picture of your crane when it arrives.
I'm going to take part and maybe donate a little folding money -- get it? it's origami, so folding money's a pun...? It's...oh, never mind. Just go, get a crane.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Copies of Kaleidotrope #2 are now available for purchase. Each issue is just $4 -- less than ten cents a page -- and a four-year subscription is just $16 altogether. (International rates may vary.)

And while you're sending Kaleidotrope a little love, why not also consider these fine publications?

  • Army of the Fantastic -- "13 original tales of fantastical battles for anyone who needs a dose of un-reality."
  • Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing -- "Nineteen writers dig into the imaginative spaces between conventional genres-realistic and fantastical, scholarly and poetic, personal and political-and bring up gems of new fiction: interstitial fiction."
  • Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories -- "We asked twenty-one of today’s most talented and inventive writers to go even further and pen an original tale inspired by one of dozens of obscure and fascinating championship words."
I think I'm going to go pick up a copy of each. You can never have enough good stories to read.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

So apparently, there's a new Livejournal out there called Kaleidotrope. I'm confident this is just one of life's weird coincidences. There's also a (although nothing's there, it would seem).

Anyway, I would be remiss if I didn't use this as a shameless opportunity to remind you that copies of the second issue of my Kaleidotrope are available for purchase, and I'm currently accepting submissions for the October 2007 issue and beyond.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

With, I think, just a couple of exceptions, copies of the second issue went out to contributors and subscribers earlier this morning. Reviewer and distro copies will have to wait until tomorrow, if not early next week. (Kaleidotrope is a one-man operation, and there's only so much that this one man can carry with him to the post office.)

I think the issue looks really good overall, but I'd love to hear what readers have to say, good and bad alike.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Somehow this escaped my attention, but the first issue of Kaleidotrope got a couple of nice write-ups in the March 2007 issue of Xerography Debt. Both Eric Lyden and Gavin Grant received copies of the zine. Here's what they had to say:

On first glance I wasn’t sure this was my cup of tea. But as I glanced I saw it had an article on the Transformers so I figured if nothing else I should give a quick skimming. And in spite of the fact that Jim Cleveland (the author) didn’t care for the Transformers movie (he says it was too violent for his tastes which was kinda the point—no one died on the TV show so in the movie they offed a whole bunch of Transformers. Add to that the minor but very memorable cursing and... how any true fan can dislike the movie is beyond me.) it was an enjoyable read for anyone who grew up with the show. So I read a little more and aside from the poetry (Poetry + Eric = dislike. That was a clumsy was of putting it, but fact is it just ain’t my thing) I found it to be a pretty enjoyable read. The fiction was all solid (and I’m trying to think of one story that was a real stand out, but in general it was all good. None of it quite reached “Holy shit, I will never forget this story!” level, but it was all good) and I enjoyed the back page blather where Stuart Crause just sorta goes on about topics ranging from magnetism to fashion to math. One of the better literary type zines I've seen lately. 44 not quite full size but bigger than half sized pages. No price listed but send a couple bucks at least to Fred Coppersmith

First issue of a new science fiction leaning lit zine that will be familiar to readers of ELECTRIC VELOCIPEDE or FLYTRAP. It’s not up there with those two yet, but these are early days and Fred shows a good amount of enthusiasm putting this together and getting it out there. The Horoscopes were a nice addition, i.e. “Leo: You have an active imagination and a keen imagination,so it will be all the more sad when that pack of rabid wolves finally get to you.” It’s the “finally” in there that gets me. All those years avoiding the wolves only to be brought down at last. Ach.
Electric Velocipede and Flytrap are definitely models of the sort of high quality, if not necessarily the exact same material, that I'd like to see in Kaleidotrope. And I think each issue -- I've already started putting together #3 -- is a little stronger than the one before, as I learn from my mistakes...and learn to make new ones.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It occurs to me that I haven't posted the actual contents of Kaleidotrope's second issue. So here, for just $4 -- all of which, I think I can safely say, will wind up in my contributors' hands -- is what you'll get:

"The Pilgrim" by Carol D. Green
"First Peeling" by Daniel Ausema
"The Diary of Hillary Sorensen-French" by S. C. Bryce
"The Role of Plumage in the Mating Habits of the Karraw" by J. R. Blackwell
"Midnight Gardener" by Bill West
"The Bride" by Adicus Ryan Garton
"Abergavenny" by J. Anderson Coats
"Einstein's Lost Paper" by George O'Gorman
Three stories by Beth Langford
"Wonan the Barbarian and the Sentence of Certain Death" by Kiel Stuart

"Biology Experiment" by Sheri Fresonke Harper
"Sleep" by C. A. Gardner
Two poems by Terrie Leigh Relf
Two poems by Jennifer Crow
"How to Be a Bunny" by Rachel Swirsky
"Scifaiku I-V" by Daniel C. Smith
"Bee-Bop" by d. cat chopra
"Contact" by Tracie McBride
"Merchants" by John Grey
"A Lesson in Magic" by Kristine Ong Muslim
"Signal" by Aurelio Rico Lopez III

Remi Treuer
Amelia Peel
Cathy Buburuz
Jim Cleaveland
Rod Walker
Erik Wilson
Plus an in-depth interview with popular fantasy author John Marco, horoscopes, and some other incidental bits and pieces, pieces and bits.
Well, I was expecting to have copies of the second issue in-hand by this afternoon, but, thanks to a screw-up at the printer, that isn't going to happen. Maybe it's time to find somewhere more reliable than FedEx Kinkos. (Certainly it may be time to investigate somewhere cheaper*.)

My apologies in advance to contributors and subscribers alike. The issue almost certainly will be out before the month is over. In the meantime, if you'd like to purchase an advance copy, I definitely won't stop you...

* At the very least, an RFQ to places like Paradise Copies -- which I know prints both Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet and Electric Velocipede, two fine and wonderful zines -- wouldn't be wholly out of order.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Rachel Swirsky, who has poetry forthcoming in this month's issue of Kaleidotrope, wonders over on her journal just what it is we love about stories. It's an interesting discussion.

Via Gwenda Bond.

Monday, April 09, 2007

John Marco, who I interviewed for the second issue of Kaleidotrope, is holding a contest for three free copies of his upcoming fantasy anthology, Army of the Fantastic. The book features thirteen stories about fantastical armies from writers like Tanya Huff, Alan Dean Foster, and Tim Waggoner, and it looks like a lot of fun. Drop John a line for your chance to win a copy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Curious about what's inside issue #2 of Kaleidotrope? Well, here's what the outside looks like...

It's a little like that inside, too, only more so! Artwork courtesy the talented Remi Treuer.

Individual copies are available for the low price of $4 US ($6.50 international).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A friendly reminder that Kaleidotrope is once again open to submissions. The official reading period for the October 2007 issue runs until June 30, so please consider sending something my way -- and feel free to query if you already have but I've yet to respond.

In the coming days, I plan to post something approaching a final table of contents for the second issue, due out next month. It's turned out to be a really great issue, and I'm really proud to be publishing some terrific work from authors like Kiel Stuart, Adicus Ryan Garton, Rachel Swirsky, and Kristine Ong Muslim. The April issue also features some terrific artwork, some assorted weird bits and pieces, and an in-depth interview with popular fantasy author John Marco. Copies are available for advance purchase now. (And all the money goes to keeping contributors happy and paid.)