This past week, PW reviewed the upcoming Mothership anthology with a shout out to yours truly, which just about made my month. They had kind words for “The Taken” one of the stories in the mosaic novel, R/evolution. I’m proud to be part of this project and amongst so many fine writers. Beyond all that though I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the stories in this anthology: 40 multicultural tales of sci fi, horror, and fantasy compiled by editors Edward Austin Hall and Bill Campbell. I’m a big fan of spec fic tomes with something for everyone, and this particular one looks to be just that. It’s due out in October.
“The Swell of the Cicadas,” a ghost story, is out now in Prime Books’ Shades of Blue & Gray. The anthology has stories by Connie Wilkins, Nick Mamatas, and many more.
More Americans were killed during the years of the Civil War (1861-1865) than any other date in history. Men shattered,women lost, families broken. In Shades of Blue & Gray, editor Steve Berman offers readers tales of the supernatural, ghost stories that range from the haunts of the battlefield to revenants on the long march home. Yank. Rebel. Both finding themselves at odds in flesh and spirit…
Heads up. Radio, my romantic favorite, is still out there and this week “How the Carters Got Their Name” tripped across its waves. It was featured on the Black Tribbles show’s inaugural Octavia City episode, a showcase of all stories and topics, Afrofuturistic. Check out it here
Dear Author has just reviewed, Smoketown and here’s a bit of the reviewer had to say:
“The characters each had not exactly a secret, but maybe a small mystery behind them, which are first hinted at and then revealed in each individual’s “song” which is played in the main symphony. I say “song” not because every character in the book was singing, but because at times the writing felt very musical and very passionate to me . . . I truly did feel that the city of Leodaire was a living breathing thing in this book; the city which was still hurting from the traumatic event of its past and which finally started healing at the end of the book. I really loved how the hope and darkness are both present in this story and that hope eventually prevails.”
The full review is available here.
I’m happy to announce that my co-editor, Steve Berman, and I have made the final selections for this year’s edition of Heiresses of Russ. It’s a great list of authors and stories. We can’t wait to present them to you all. They are:
“Harrowing Emily” by Megan Arkenberg
“Reality Girl” by Richard Bowes
“The Witch Sea” by Sara Diemer
“Saint Louis 1990” by Jewelle Gomez
“Narrative Only” by Kate Harrad
“Nightfall in the Scent Garden” by Claire Humphrey
“Elm” by Jamie Killen
“Beneath Impossible Circumstances” by Andrea Kneeland
“One True Love” by Malinda Lo
“Winter Scheming” by Brit Mandelo
“Feed Me the Bones of Our Saints” by Alex Daley McFarlane
“Nine Days Seven Tears” by JL Merrow
“Oracle Gretel” by Julia Rios
“Otherwise” by Nisi Shawl
“Chang’e Dashes from the Moon” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“Astrophilia” by Carrie Vaughn
“Barnstormers” by Wendy Wagner”
“Swell of the Cicadas,” my foray into ghost stories is coming out in Prime Books’ Shades of Blue and Gray, a collection of Civil War ghost stories, due out in August 2013.
Just posted a short reading/excerpt from Only Then Can I Sleep if you’re looking for some alien love and metamorphosis. Now back to work on the fiction album.
This Sept. 15th I’ll be appearing with fellow author Lynette Mae at the Girls Out Loud Music Fest in St. Pete. GOL will feature Hunter Valentine, Geri X, and a ton more talented musicians and DJs.
Jeff was wonderful as always. Had great conversations, audience, and meal. Thanks again to Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel for the invite and to everyone who showed up. You all made it a great night.
Am I excited? You could say that. Back in NYC to read with the great Jeffrey Ford and revisit my old stomping grounds and good friends. It’s the perfect antidote to the Floridian heat.
Double Dragon has just released the Love and Darker Passions anthology.
Love and Darker Passions is a collection of provocative short stories by today’s up-and-coming authors of dark, urban and Gothic fantasy. One man falls in love with an ancient monster, another becomes enchanted by a voice that drives him to a frenzy of self-punishment, and another can’t understand three very odd days he’s spending with his girlfriend. Award-winning author Karen Duvall sends a Millennial Alice through a very different looking glass, and acclaimed author Lee Barwood sends the Sighted bard of her upcoming series into the passionate world of faerie to find a child and a special destiny. Bestseller C.E. Murphy makes her twisted fairytale tell what drives a lover into the arms of her questionable beloved, and Tenea D. Johnson works a soul-stealing spell of magic. In Love and Darker Passions, edgy and cult fantasy authors combine their talents to make us question what inspires love, why we crave revenge against those who’ve stolen love from us, and why we despair when love’s pain is lost.
Shewired has posted an excerpt of Smoketown on their site. You can check it out here.
If you ever wanted to stalk me (and I trust you don’t), here’s a head start.
I’m very pleased to announce I’ll be co-editing the 2013 edition of Heiresses of Russ anthology, with Steve Berman next year. For Tor.com’s review of this year’s inaugural edition, check this out.
Future Fire has posted a very thorough and engaging review by Kate Onyett. Here are the highlights:
“The scope of this series of interconnected tales is nothing short of epic. A stylishly presented larger tale covering the state of the USA as it turns upon a near-future of decreasing resources and heavy social unrest. Thematically, this is not a frivolous book; it is politically driven with strong views on racial and social discrimination . . . The book moves at a feisty pace, the content is uncompromising and marvellously lacking in over-sentimental fluff. This is a thought-provoking, moving and clever piece of writing, which seems to shift the turn with definite sense of musicality; a symphony of meanings. I was intrigued and challenged. Highly recommended.”
“Only Then Can I Sleep,” a short dark fantasy story about what one will do for love will be published in the upcoming anthology Love and Darker Passions out soon. I’ll update with exact publications info as soon as I can.
I’ll be reading at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts on March 23rd with a group of great writers including Rebecca Rowe, Nick DiChario and Will Ludwigsen. Kelly Link and China Mieville are the author guests of honor this year so should be a great one.
And in August I have the great pleasure of reading with Jeffrey Ford at KGB Bar’s Fantastic Fiction series, curated by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel. August 15th, 8pm, KGB Bar, Manhattan.
I’ll update more as more dates are added.
Lambda Literary’s take:
Smoketown, on the surface, is a creative attempt at shaping a story around one of today’s most pressing concerns, climate change, and man’s timeless battle to control nature. There is a post-apocalyptic feel to the novel that stems from its underlying theme of loss and isolation. The tandem fuels what essentially is a story of intrigue and mystery. The novel unfolds to reveal a fate of devastation incurred by man’s relentless quest for technology and disregard for the environment. Ms. Johnson tackles the complex relationship between nature, humans, and technology, from a wonderfully imaginative and engaging perspective.
Fellow writer and reviewer Craig Gidney had this to say:
Smoketown, the debut novel of Tenea D. Johnson, belongs in a rare subset of speculative fiction novels that examine the relationship between art and society. These books include Pat Murphy’s The City, Not Long After and a number of Samuel R. Delany’s work, most notably Dhalgren. Smoketown, like the aforementioned works, blurs the boundaries between perception, magic and science, and the futuristic/transformed landscape is both a living metaphor and geography . . . Johnson weaves all these strands together with lyrical prose and a thematic eye towards redemption and transformation.
Fluidity of Time gave Smoketown 5 of 5, An ‘Amazing’ Rating:
” . . . A fascinating setting that is both intriguing and disturbing, and a story that completely captures me . . .This book is also beautifully written . . . Reading it made me feel quiet and thoughtful, and it made me want to read more from this author.
This one’s just in from Mrs. Giggles reviews:
“ . . . Smoketown is more of an exploration of the human psyche. Loss, loneliness, idealism, cynicism, and hope may be by themselves banal words but in this story, these concepts take wings like the birds in this story. I find myself fascinated by the characters, thanks to the author’s graceful prose.
Smoketown isn’t a romance novel or a typical action-oriented urban fantasy romp. It has elements of both, but it’s more about the believable human emotions that endure through harsh climates and heartbreaks. I did not know what to expect when I picked this book up, but I’m completely satisfied with what I got out of it.”
From Publisher’s Weekly:
In the neurosis-filled city of Smoketown, where birds are outlawed after being blamed for a devastating plague, three purposes collide to alter the city’s future. Genetic artist Anna, seeking a lost friend, creates something beautiful that the city fears. Eugenio, recording survivors’ remembrances of the plague, unearths Smoketown’s deepest secret. Rory, an elderly survivor who has barricaded himself from the city in a luxury apartment, fights his own greatest fear after discovering a connection to Eugenio’s discovery. All of Johnson’s characters come nicely slantways at their unintended roles in Smoketown’s destiny, often hardly caring about the parts they play as they gauge the personal successes of their quests, and the understated, lyrical prose makes even small moments, such as the appearance of a flock of birds within the city’s force field, feel triumphant.
World Fantasy reminded me of how much I really do enjoy a good reading -getting and giving. So without further ado and some help from the folks at Sound Cloud here’s the opening of the new mosaic novel.
Hope you enjoy.
Join me for drinks, words, music, and more. I’ll be reading from the new novel , performing compositions (storytelling to music), premiering a short film inspired by R/evolution – and, hopefully having the pleasure of meeting you
L Train, 900 Central Avenue Suite 25B, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
A new short film of The Measure of a Man, a chapter of R/evolution premiered at the L Train theater this past weekend and can now be found up at YouTube here
If you’ve got 4.5 minutes, there are worse ways to spend it.
Next week I’m off to WFC 2011 in San Diego. I’ll be launching the new mosaic novel R/evolution (due out 11.11.11) . My reading is @2:30.
Drop in after the Year in Fantasy panel with Datlow/ Hartwell/ Guran/Strahan, see me, and then on to Neil Gaiman’s interview. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
No? OK how about the Beautiful Monstrosities panel or Kapur or Grabien readings, then me, then Maureen McHugh. Still no?
I guess I’ll just leave it to you then. Explore your options.
People are starving, biogenetic adaptations are prevalent amongst the privileged, and the poor are being ground to a sharp and dangerous point. This is the future US where in the struggle for survival citizens are pushed to the breaking point as relationships start to fracture along the lines of class and race. These are stories of the leaders and the followers, the victims, heroes, and the everyday people caught in history’s wake, chief among them Dr. Ezekiel Carter, a genius in his field, who decides to offer genetic reparations to those being left behind. In this world, what will become of the people at the fringes and of humanity itself?
R/evolution (Book One), a novel-in-stories, will be released in ebook and print this Fall.