Welcome to the July/August 2023 instalment of Literally Lyndsey. A double-bill this month as I missed July because of various life things! Read on for writing news, sub calls, updates, book recommendations, submission calls, folklore facts and more!
New work in July and August!
‘Seeing Death: Dark Omens from Scottish Folklore’ an essay about omens, superstitions, and death in Scottish folklore was published in The Deadlands - check out the very cool cover below! This is a topic I’ve been absorbed in for the last few years in particular as I worked on my collection of tales inspired by Scottish folklore (currently out on submission!)
‘Sugarspun’, in Hexagon Magazine Issue 014. So pleased to be in Hexagon again, with my tale of cosmic communication and weird aliens. It’s currently early access for Patreon subscribers (I might be biased but Hexagon are definitely worth the subscription!), but should be out soon more widely!
‘Space for One’ a flash fiction about the aftermath of a spaceship crash, was published by Wyldblood Press.
‘The Botanist of Sky City Celeste’, a Solarpunk tale of robots, plants, and finding purpose, was published in The Dérive. The books are limited to 150 special edition print copies, and can now be ordered here.
‘The Medium’s Assistant’, in BFS Horizons #16 as the Second Place winner for their 2022 Short Story Competition - it’s about a fake Medium on a spaceship, who runs shows with the help of his AI assistant. It’s out now in e-version for members of British Fantasy Society, so if you’re a member it will be somewhere in your inbox! Otherwise, it should be available soon more widely.
Some recent acceptances!
‘Please Select Your Issue’ a dark tech flash piece will be in Apex Magazine’s Strange Machines: An Anthology of Dark User Manuals, edited by Marissa van Uden. Very excited for this one!
‘Sleep Well, My Prince’ a space opera and loose retelling of Sleeping Beauty will be published in the September issue of Luna Station Quarterly.
‘Every Part of You’, previously published in OOZE: Little Bursts of Body Horror will be reprinted in PseudoPod, as part of their anthologies and collections call! My first EA Podcasts publication, which has been a dream market aim for a while!
My flash piece ‘Be Still, Iron Heart’ originally in Myriad Zine, will be in the next Space Cat Press anthology Into the Forest.
And two pieces of vague news which I should be able to share next month, but I also recently sold an original story and a reprint to two different dream markets that I’m very excited about! The original story is about a shapeshifting Cat-Sìth detective investigating the murders of Witches’ familiars…some folklore about the Cat-Sìth below to celebrate!
What I've Been Reading
‘Tentacle’ by Rita Indiana, a weird and surreal novel with post-apocalyptic and eco-horror vibes, filled with brilliant characterisation and an intriguing mystery.
Some non-fiction novel research: ‘Below the Edge of Darkness’ by Edith Widder, a brilliant book about exploring the lights beneath the dark of the sea, and ‘The Deepest Map’ by Laura Trethewey about the quest to map the deep sea!
‘Godkiller’ by Hannah Kaner - absolutely loved this brilliant fantasy, and can’t wait for the next book! It was pacy, with a super cool concept and world, and characters to root (and not root) for!
I also shared a post the other week of some poetry collections I’ve been enjoying this year - I like having my poetry TBR pile near my reading corner and sitting with some poems from different collections in the mornings over a coffee, so these all have been lovely to read through, with a mix of poignant, powerful, funny, and speculative work!
Reading otherwise has been a bit slow for me over the summer, with editing the Shoreline issue, some beta reading, and general August chaos! I’ve been feeling a bit guilty about it, but I am very excited for cosy autumn reading plans, and hope to be diving into my TBR pile properly in the coming weeks!
Short Fiction Recommendations
‘A World Unto Myself’ by P.A. Cornell in Apex Magazine - this was such a lovely and moving tale of nature and tech together. It’s short and sweet too, so do check it out!
‘The Ferryman’ by Fernanda Coutinho Teixeira in The Deadlands Issue 28 is one of the best takes on The Ferryman that I’ve read. The structure and style are perfect, and it’s just so beautifully written.
‘A Feast of Houses’ by R. L. Summerling in Cloister Fox - a dark and delicious tale about the things we consume…I’ll say no more, it’s so beautifully written and I was gripped from the first line. The whole issue looks excellent, and also includes a story by Aliya Whiteley, one of my favourite authors, so definitely recommend picking up a copy here! I’ve also just downloaded R.L. Summerling’s new collection which is free to read here - looking forward to diving in!
‘Resilience’ by Christi Nogle in PseudoPod, which has some things in common with R. L. Summerling’s story, but is an intriguing, twisting tale that draws you in as it gradually unravels.
‘The Sound’ by Rachel Handley in Sonder Magazine, an original and compelling botanical flash that’s really worth a read! You’ll find some plant magic-esque stories in the Shoreline Climate Issue too (details below!)
‘On Planetary Palliative Care’ by Thomas Ha in IZ Digital, a moving epistolary story with a brilliant voice - really worth a read!
Other News and Events
The Shoreline of Infinity Special Climate Change Issue is now edited, and we’re doing the final things in time for launch at the end of September. Here’s the announcement of the full ToC - I’m so happy with how it’s come together, so many great pieces included!
Last week, I read at the ALT Book Fringe with Argonaut Books and Shoreline of Infinity’s Event Horizon…I still have a few special bookplate signed copies left, which you can now order direct from me for just £7.50 including postage via my KoFi here!
Crab Tales, a new magazine featuring micro stories about crabs (yes you read that right and isn’t it cool?) is open for submissions until 24th September of stories up to 250 words.
Shortwave Magazine will be open September 9th-15th for horror, dark fantasy, and sci-fi 1,000-4,000 words, 5c per word.
Fusion Fragment is open 1st-8th September SF or SF-tinged literary fiction, 2,000-15,000 words.
Hexagon Magazine will be opening 1st-7th for stories up to 10k words.
Also via Hexagon, MYRIAD Zine is opening soon for two different themes, up to 1,000 words - Necropolis edited by R. L. Summerling open 15th September-15th October (16-21st extended), and Duel edited by Guan An, open 15th-30th September. Full details here.
The Deadlands opens for fiction and poetry submissions on September 1st - get your death stories ready!
Nightmare Diaries from Moonstruck Books is open for dark fiction until December 27th for stories 500-10,000 words for a new anthology. They pay 10c per word
Weird Horror Magazine is open from 2-16th September for their bi-annual submission call.
Cloister Fox Zine is open for 3-4k stories from British authors and authors living in Britain for a theme of “roots” until September 14th. Pay £25 plus author copy of their beautiful magazines.
Tales from Between are opening for story subs from 4-17th September (reprints and originals, 2k-6k words!)
Escape Pod are opening again on 1st September for SF stories.
Some good notice for this one, but Apex Books is opening soon for a new anthology The Map of Lost Places: “Editors Sheree Renée Thomas and Lesley Conner are looking for stories about places where weird things happen. Places that have strange histories, their own traditions and customs, their own dangers.” Sounds like a cool theme, I’ll definitely be thinking about stories!
That might be enough to be getting on with this month…!
Scottish Folklore of the Month
As it was featured in my The Deadlands essay, and as I’ve recently sold the top secret story about the Cat-sìth (pronounced “cat shee”), let’s delve into some feline folklore this month!
The Cat-Sìth appeared as a large black ghost-like cat with a tiny white patch on its chest. They walk on all fours, but when not being watched would stand on two legs. One of the theories about them is that they are actually witches who could transform into a cat nine times before the change became permanent - a possible origin of "nine lives". They prowled the streets for souls to steal, which they could do by passing over the corpse of someone dead before burial. They were said to be drawn in by warmth, so in the Scottish Highlands, fires would not be lit near bodies during the wake so as to keep the Cat-Sìth away. It was sometimes said that they could be summoned in a dark ceremony to grant a wish, and around Samhain, houses could leave saucers of milk out so as to be blessed by the Cat-Sìth - those that didn’t could be cursed…
What I’m Working On
I’ve been working on a new novel, a deep sea slightly speculative eco thriller/horror, and I’m about 12k words in. I am taking it slow though, and taking my time with research, as I’ve been focusing on other things the past few months, including various life events and the Shoreline Issue. I’m also still waiting to see how the few projects I have on sub come together, and hoping I might have a clearer idea of those by the end of the year! I might also try NaNoWriMo in November, though will see closer to the time how things are progressing!
I also started a KoFi account this month so if you enjoy my newsletter, or if you wanted to support my writing in any way, you can find it here! There are also some limited signed copies of HYDOYQ available there too!
And a wee moment for a special cat…
Some sad news this past month that our clever, loving, chatty, friendly family cat Oscar sadly died suddenly, so wanted to give him a wee shout out here too. He was the best cat, brought home as a tiny sickly wee kitten, to become the best cat we could have asked for! He had a good life, and I like to think he’s now off on adventures in another one of his nine lives somewhere! ❤️
Until next month, happy reading, writing, relaxing, and enjoying all upcoming autumnal things!