Literally Lyndsey

May 2023

Welcome to the May 2023 instalment of Literally Lyndsey. Read on for writing news, sub calls, updates, book recommendations, submission calls, folklore facts and more!

Writing News

Short Stories:

  • My short story 'To Replace a Broken Heart' from Seize The Press Issue #6 is now free to read online - I'm quite fond of this weird dystopian story of organs and plants, and you can read it here.

  • The OBSOLESCENCE anthology from Shortwave Publishing, which includes my dark SF story 'Hush, Little Sister', is out now! Look how beautiful it is below, I really love this book and that I get to be a part of it!

  • I had a small piece included in a cool Spell Sounds soundscapes series from Alternative Stories & Fake Realities. The first episode is “Sea and Shore”, and it’s a lovely mix of narrated short, poetic, and lyrical pieces with sea-themed soundscapes. Check it out here.

Coming in June!

  • ‘The Gathering’ will be published in Shortwave Magazine next week. This is a fun SF horror story that I definitely enjoyed writing! It takes place in a world where ghosts need to be harvested from dying planets for wormhole-travelling spaceship fuel. One harvester finds they might be haunted after a particularly challenging gathering. (A slightly dark Ghostbusters in Space vibes!) Shortwave is the perfect home for it too!

  • ‘Rain Days in Biodome Three’ will be published in the 2023 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology, and my drabble ‘House for Sale’ will be reprinted as part of the NFFD Flash Flood.

  • I know I mentioned both of these last months, but with some publishing delays, both 'The Medium's Assistant' a story about a Medium taking advantage of AI tech for his shows, will now be out in BFS Horizons #16 this month, and ‘Crosswords and Coffee' about a couple travelling on a final job in space, falling into their daily routines, will be animated by new fiction app Calliope Interactive, very soon (I’ve been told!)

What I've Been Reading

  • ‘Our Wives Under the Sea’ by Julia Armfield - I absolutely adored this book. It was atmospheric, strange, absorbing, and so beautifully written. I don’t want to say too much about the plot, as I didn’t know much when I “dived” in, and though it wasn’t quite what I expected, it was the best kind of surprising!

  • The Greenhollow Duology by Emily Tesh - this was a lovely novella duology, and was totally drawn into this cosy, magical, wholesome, and fantastical world. I listened to the audio versions which made it all the better, as the narrator was brilliant - had slight Tom Bombadil meets Legend & Lattes vibes.

  • Currently reading: ‘This is My Body, Given to You’ by Heather Parry, and ‘Mother Sea’ by Lorraine Wilson.

Other News and Events

  • We launched our Kickstarter for Shoreline of Infinity Magazine’s Special Climate Change Issue today which I’m delighted to be guest-editing! The issue will include short fiction, poetry, reviews, interviews, and non-fiction essays, from new and emerging authors to science and climate fiction greats like Kim Stanley Robinson! The Kickstarter, if successful, will allow us to run a longer issue, and importantly increase contributor pay. Rewards include pre-orders of the issue (digital and print), discounts on back issues, art prints, editorial critiques, and more! I hope there'll be something for readers of sci-fi and beyond, so please do consider supporting or sharing if you can!

  • I’m looking forward to Cymera Fest, one of the literary highlights of the year. I’m delighted to be one of the Brave New Words readers this year, and I’ll be reading from Have You Decided on Your Question on Sunday at 10am, supporting the Future Perfect event with Louise Carey, Kate Dylan, and Temi Oh. Also in an exciting surprise, looks like my books will be available at the Festival, and I’ll hopefully be able to sign some copies after the event! I’ll also be around Cymera all weekend, and will bring some signed bookplates with me if you want to grab one from me!

Submission Calls

  • Grist's Imagine 2200 open for subs for hopeful futures climate fiction - open until June 13th.

  • Thank You For Joining the Algorithm, an anthology from Tenebrous Press of dark speculative fiction is open until June 20th.

  • Qualia Nous anthology series is open until July 31st, for SF stories 3-10k words (check the sub page for description of the theme!)

  • Haven Spec general submissions open June 1st-30th.

Scottish Folklore of the Month

I was working on a writing commission this month all about superstitions and omens, and I realised one of the motifs that often comes up in my writing is the magpie. For me, seeing a magpie or group of magpies always conjures the rhyme ‘one for sorrow, two for joy…’, and the superstitions that come with it, like saluting a solitary magpie, or saying good morning to it to scare away bad luck. These were things I was told growing up, though there are regional variations to the sayings.

Magpies around the world get a bad reputation – even their collective noun is a mischief or in some areas, a tiding. In Scotland, it was sometimes believed magpies had a drop of the Devil’s blood under their tongue, and that if seen near a window death was near. They were also said to be one of the forms that witches could shapeshift into.

Other updates

My writing again has taken a bit of a back seat this month as I’ve been prioritising health and other things. I’ve also honestly been finding the publishing grind really tough lately, and being what feels like perpetually on-submission with little luck takes its toll. I hope some better news will come soon on the book front, as it’s led to a little bit of writing burnout overall. But, that said, I have very gently started work on a new idea and hope to make some progress over the summer and have something new to focus on.

Hopefully next month this section will be a little more positive! Until then, have a great month of reading and writing!