Thursday, April 4, 2019

Tara Campbell's Midnight at the Organporium

I'm pleased to announce the release of Midnight at the Organporium, a collection of short fiction by Tara Campbell, in both print and ebook editions, as the sixty-seventh volume in Aqueduct's Conversation Pieces series.

What do a homicidal houseplant, an enchanted office picnic, sentient fog, and the perfect piece of toast have in common? They’re all part of the world of Midnight at the Organporium. At turns droll, wicked, and surreal, these tales cover topics from white flight, to the Princess and the Pea, to marriage in the afterlife. Visit Midnight at the Organporium for a dose of twisted obsession, covert complicity, and peculiar empowerment—and don’t forget to pick up your spare heart while you’re there.

Advance Praise for Midnight at the Organporium

 Tara Campbell’s stories exist at a delightful quarter turn to the left from our world — places where CEOs turn into lions, and hearts are sold in the mall — while simul­taneously beautifully and deftly exploring exactly what it means to be human.—Tina Connolly, World Fantasy-nominated author of On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories

So much unexpected happens in Tara Campbell’s weird and wonderful short story collection, Midnight at the Or­ganporium, that I didn’t want to let these stories go. From full-length to flash fiction, Campbell’s stories in Midnight at the Organporium sneak up on you with an exquisite hyper-realism, a sure-fire wit, and most of all, a daring sense of adventure and possibility.—Caroline Bock, author of Carry Her Home, Before My Eyes, and Lie

Sometimes funny, sometimes frightening, and always full of heart — in Midnight at the Organporium, the everyday and the fantastic conspire to create the authentic.—Erin Fitzgerald, author of Valletta73

You can read a sample from Midnight at the Organporium at you can purchase a copy at

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Vonda N. McIntyre (1948-2019)

Vonda N. McIntyre died yesterday. She was a person of many, albeit overlapping, communities, which makes it unusually difficult for me to give a sense of who she was in our world. The most visible aspect of her life, of course, is her published work, which includes Dreamsnake (winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel), the fabulous historical science fiction novel The Moon and the Sun (winner of the Nebula Award), a few other standalone novels, her four-novel Starfarers series, several Star Trek and Star Wars novels, and a host of short fiction, some of which was collected in Fireflood and Other Stories, and includes, from 2005, "Little Faces," which I especially loved, and which was a finalist for the Nebula and Sturgeon Awards.

Vonda was one of those authors whose work I read and loved long before I met her. In fact, her Dreamsnake was among the first science fiction books I ever read. I found it in a bookstore in Salt Lake City, when I was living there in 1978, and it gave me my very first taste of what I later came to call feminist sf. The idea of women being able to learn to control their reproduction through biocontrol enchanted me (and instantly raised the bar for what I expected from science fiction texts), and made me hungry for more such imaginative approaches to biology-- by which I mean the biology that society had told me was destiny--for girls and women. I suspect that that novel in particular helped prepare me for a different conceptualization of biology that I eventually picked up from feminist science studies. In short, I was an early fan of Vonda's. Much later, reading Joanna Russ's letters to Alice Sheldon (which can be found in the University of Oregon's Special Collections), I inferred, without surprise, that Joanna and Vonda must have had many intense conversations in the 1970s about all things feminist and science fictional because Joanna often referred to what Vonda had said about this or that when writing to Alli Sheldon.

I first saw Vonda in the flesh a few years later, after I'd moved to Seattle, at a women writers conference (graced by such stars as Maya Angelou, Joanna Russ, Toni Cade Bambarra, and Carolyn Forche). Vonda gave a reading as well as participated on a panel I attended. I don't think I'd ever before seen a woman wearing blue jeans and a blazer (which I'd often known male mathematicians and musicians to do), and seeing her do so instantly made me want to, also. What I recall most from both the panel and her reading was my impression of how deeply embedded her science fictional imagination was in her background in biology. She was, to me, a star in a dazzling firmament of stars--all women writers.

Later, of course, after Nicola Griffith dragged my isolated, introverted self into Seattle's community of sf writers, I came to know her, at first as a crusty, trenchantly witty personality and then as a generous force helping make things happen and run smoothly (always unobtrusively). She was, for instance, one of the founders of Clarion West. Later, she helped found the Bookview Cafe and helped produce their ebooks, which I became aware of only when Kath and I were referred to her for much-needed advice for Aqueduct. Her community was larger than these, though, as evidenced by her being a GoH at the 2015 WorldCon, held in Spokane.

I thought a great deal about her last month, while in Port Townsend, because I knew she had only weeks to live. I was stunned by the volume of memories I have of my encounters with her. Like many other people, I know, I'm thankful to have enjoyed her friendship and will miss her actively intelligent presence in the world..   

Monday, April 1, 2019

Sofía Rhei's Everything Is Made of Letters

I'm pleased to announce the release of Sofía Rhei's Everything Is Made of Letters, a collection of short fiction translated from Spanish, as the sixty-sixth volume in Aqueduct's Conversation Pieces series, in both print and paperback editions. The stories' translators include Sue Burke, James Womack, and the author herself (with assistance from Arrate Hidalgo and Ian Whates).

A man risks his life by carefully forging bibliographic references in a parallel Barcelona; at the Cyclotech, a woman strives to keep the storytelling different engine safe from ignorant hands that could get words lost; off-planet, an interpreter gives an account of her language learning process involving a realistic alien doll that claims to be a sentient being… Words boast a heavy, at times disturbing, weight of their own across these alternative realities in which language rules supreme, fleshed out by the mind of one of the most prolific writers in contemporary Spanish genre fiction.

You can read a sample from the book here:

You can purchase a copy of the book here: