Guest Post by Kevin Saavedra, WWP Intern
World Weaver Press is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and, as someone born and raised here myself, I definitely have an affinity for local artists. New Mexico is attractive to people for many reasons, from Roswell being the UFO capital of the world, to being the setting of critically-acclaimed shows like Breaking Bad. Personally, I’m really fond of the art culture around here and how the state seems to have this indescribable pull that draws in so many artists. Beyond that, New Mexicans love celebrating their work--you’ll be hard-pressed to walk through Santa Fe without seeing Georgia O’Keefe mentioned once.
In much the same way that it’s brought in visual artists, New Mexico has hosted its fair share of writers over the years (Cormac McCarthy, D.H. Lawrence, and, of course, George R.R. Martin to name a few). And, when it comes to speculative fiction, the state has no shortage of creatives contributing to the genre. Let’s take a glimpse at a few sci-fi and fantasy authors living in the “Land of Enchantment”:
Daniel Abraham was actually born in Albuquerque and attended the University of New Mexico (class of 1996). He is perhaps best known for The Long Price Quartet and his frequent collaborations with George R.R. Martin. You may also know him as M.L.N. Hanover and James S.A. Corey, pen names he uses for his urban fantasy and science fiction, respectively.
Jane Lindskold’s Athanor series is definitely worth checking out if you’re into mythical creatures (merfolk, unicorns, and the like), but her more well-known series is the Firekeeper Saga. Around the time she first moved to New Mexico, she joined a gaming group that included other authors such as Melinda Snodgrass and Walter Jon Williams, which spawned the Wild Cards series.
Stephen R. Donaldson is famous for The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Of course, he has other collections and series that have helped him become a more recognizable name in fantasy, but what he is isn’t known for are his fan-fiction novellas based on Marvel’s Thor and Heart of Darkness (both of these were never published, unfortunately).
Laura J. Mixon won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2015. Her work is often associated with cyberpunk, and her first series Avatars Dance offers a welcome feminist take on the genre. Also of note are her collaborations with her husband Steve Gould (author of Jumper) and game designer Chris Crawford.
Robert E. Vardeman’s got his start in fanzines and played a key role in founding Bubonicon (one of Albuquerque’s major sci-fi conventions). He’s also is pretty prolific, having written over 50 novels including The War of Powers series and tie-ins with major properties like Star Trek and God of War.
Meet some of these New Mexico authors and many more at Bubonicon, August 25 to 27, 2017! World Weaver Press will be there. Find us in the dealer's room.
Kevin Saavedra graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Secondary Education. When he isn't working with kids, he's probably wandering around Albuquerque taking photos or scouting for a cozy spot to work on his novel.
Guest Post by Rhonda Parrish
I’ve always loved books—they were a temporary escape, a source of freedom, for me for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I primarily borrowed them from the library, but I also had a small, perpetually growing, personal collection. Most of them had been purchased second-hand from musty old shops with names like, “The Rabbit Hutch” or “Marshall’s Attic” but some rare few were purchased new from a Scholastic book fair at my school. And they were almost always softcovers. Hardcover books were an incredible luxury and I owned only a very few until recently.
My first ever hardcover book was a copy of The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. It still have it. It is inscribed:
Merry Xmas Rhonda
1984 means I was eight years old when I received it. Eight years old and crazy about horses. I never owned a horse—oddly enough they tend to be even more expensive than hardcover books—but from Kindergarten to grade three I spent every lunch hour and recess playing ‘Unicorns’ with my friend Linda, and every Friday I’d sleep over at her house and we’d ride her horses. Her real horses.
A couple years later we moved and I made a new friend—Miranda. Miranda also had horses—Raven Chick and Mr. Tuxedo. We called them Raven and Tux (or Tuxy) for short, and I spent a lot of weekends at Miranda’s farm. Weekends that always included some horse time.
While our mutual love of horses wasn’t the only thing that informed my friendships with Linda and Miranda, horses were one of the reasons we were friends. Horse people attract other horse people—even beyond childhood. To this day a great many of my best friends and favourite people are horse people.
And of the horses themselves, what is the attraction?
I can’t speak for anyone else but for me it’s a whole lot of things. Physically they are gorgeous, gorgeous creatures. They’ve great, dark, gentle eyes that might just be the origin of that whole ‘windows to the soul’ idea. And they are so strong, so clever, so amazingly intelligent—yet they let us ride on their backs. Their spirits are wild, and they are freedom made physical.
There was a lot I wanted to escape from when I was younger, and what could possibly be a more romantic escape—more freeing—than galloping off into the sunset on the back of a horse?
Given how often horses, books and imagination had provided an escape for me (separately as well as in different combinations with one another) how could I possibly resist the idea of making the final installment in the Magical Menageries anthology series about horses? I could not.
And though horses are magical in their own right, I did grow up on a steady diet of pretending to be a unicorn, and watching Pegasus, Newton (and little Toot!) on the 1960s cartoon, “The Mighty Hercules”. Later I fell in love with The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and… well, I’d best not start a list or this introduction could get a wee bit long. The point is, why limit the anthology to just horses when I could throw open the doors and include all kinds of equines?
I didn’t have a good answer to that question either, which is why in this anthology you’ll find stories of horses, and unicorns, and flying horses, and Sleipnir, and demon horses, and… you get the idea.
They are all here, waiting to gallop you away new worlds, new adventures with them. And the two things they all have in common is that they include an equine creature and an offer of freedom.
When I was re-reading these stories during the production process the themes of escape and freedom came up again. And again. And again.
I hadn’t consciously chosen freedom-themed stories for Equus, but as it turned out, that’s what I ended up with.
And given my history with horses and escape, I couldn’t possibly be happier. Things worked out perfectly.
Rhonda Parrish is driven by the desire to do All The Things. She was the founder and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine, is an Assistant Editor at World Weaver Press, and is the editor of several anthologies including, most recently, Sirens and D is for Dinosaur. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012 & 2015), and Mythic Delirium. Her website, updated weekly, is at rhondaparrish.com.
The final installment in Rhonda Parrish's Magical Menageries anthology series has arrived! EQUUS, an anthology of fantasy stories about horses, unicorns, kelpies, and other horse mythology is available today, July 18, 2017, in both ebook and paperback.
"Equus is a delight, with a unique take on an old subject. There's a nice range of mood and subject, but the overall theme is well-explored and central."
"All the stories in this collection are good. Each author has a completely different take on where the animals live and how they behave. It makes the stories surprising and unique. If you like fantasy, magic, or horses, you'll love this book."
There’s always something magical about horses, isn’t there? Whether winged or at home in the water, mechanical or mythological, the equines that gallop through these pages span the fantasy spectrum. In one story a woman knits her way up to the stars and in another Loki's descendant grapples with bizarre transformations while fighting for their life. A woman races on a unique horse to save herself from servitude, while a man rides a chariot through the stars to reclaim his self-worth. From steampunk-inspired stories and tales that brush up against horror to straight-up fantasy, one theme connects them all: freedom.
Featuring nineteen fantastic stories of equines both real and imagined by J.G. Formato, Diana Hurlburt, Tamsin Showbrook, M.L.D Curelas, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, V.F. LeSann, Dan Koboldt, J.J. Roth, Susan MacGregor, Pat Flewwelling, Angela Rega, Michael Leonberger, Sandra Wickham, Stephanie A. Cain, Cat McDonald, Andrew Bourelle, Chadwick Ginther, K.T. Ivanrest, and Jane Yolen.
More Magical Menageries
SonofaWitch!, an anthology of humorous fantasy stories about magic spells gone wrong, will be available in paperback and ebook on October 3, 2017. Today, we have a sneak peak of the fun you'll find between its covers. Oh, and what those covers look like, too.
About the Stories
“Good Spell Gone Bug” by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
She wants to get rid of a tattoo, and that's not so unusual. Sure, this tattoo is magical. Sure, there are cockroaches and a playful kitten and a local crime lord to interfere, but really, what could go wrong?
“The Trouble with Love Spells” by Sara Dobie Bauer
Talented witch, Violet, has been crushing on her barista for the past year. Maxwell James is possibly the only thing more gorgeous than the famed mansions of her Charleston hometown, which is why Violet decides to do a spell that'll make him notice her. Imagine her surprise when she wakes up... different.
“All the Petty Curses” by Lissa Marie Redmond
As James struggles to manage a coffee shop, the Fair Folk who have adopted it as their second home come to him to solve their problems. Can James convince a witch to lift an ages old curse for Scarlet? And if he can, will Scarlet be able to live with the consequences?
“The Perfect Mate Fiasco” by Frances Pauli
Rowan's perfect love spell goes awry when her Golden Retriever decides to lend a paw. Now, she's got a man-sized dog problem that no obedience class is going to fix, and her search for love takes a wild turn into ridiculous territory.
"A Matter of Perspective" by Mara Malins
It's just another day, another failed potion, in Magick class for Olyvar Caudwell. His instructor repeatedly tells him he'll never amount to anything, despite the magick that runs deep in the Cauldwell family. When he finds himself in a field in a time period he can't identify, Olyvar's unsure of his next move. Can he escape unscathed, or is he doomed to be the worst in everything he does?
“A Poppet Named Dave” by Adam Millard
Unreciprocated love is a dreadful thing. No one knows it more than River Everbleed, who goes largely unnoticed by the object of her affection, Dave Quinn. The only thing is, River knows a thing or two about magic (although that's about the extent of her knowledge). If only she could get Dave to love her. If only she could figure out how to do that without turning Dave into an anthropomorphic voodoo doll.
Ready for the Cover?
No one is perfect—not even a witch. Witches have amazing power at their fingertips to do unbelievable things. That magic can come in really handy sometimes too. They can make someone fall in love, poison an apple to enact a sleeping curse, banish an enemy to an alternate reality, or just conjure up some Nutella when there is none in the house.
Sometimes a bird just needs new feathers. CORVIDAE, the second volume in Rhonda Parrish's Magical Menageries has a fresh new cover, available now from all our vendors. Thanks to Jonathan C. Parrish for this beautiful new design! He also designed the covers for SIRENS and EQUUS.
Associated with life and death, disease and luck, corvids have long captured mankind’s attention, showing up in mythology as the companions or manifestations of deities, and starring in stories from Aesop to Poe and beyond.
More Magical Menageries
If the summer heat has you hiding inside from the sun, or standing in front of the open freezer for relief, maybe you'd also like to be transported to cooler times through a book? We have several books that highlight the winter season, and we're putting them on sale for the month of July. Ebooks are all a dollar or two less than usual at all vendors, and all these paperbacks are $10 or less (plus shipping) when you order from the World Weaver Press online store.
Click on each wintery cover for more information about the book and links to Amazon, iTunes, etc.
But wait, there's more! This winter, we'll be bringing out a new anthology all about Mrs. Claus. Order three or more of these winter books through the WWP online store in the month of July, and we'll send you a free advance review copy of MRS. CLAUS as soon as it's available. You'll get to read it before anyone else. Order ebooks, we'll send you an ebook MRS. CLAUS; order paperbacks, we'll send you a paperback MRS. CLAUS.
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.