Tag Archives: Twelfth Planet Press

Retro Review: Kaleidoscope (2014)

Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories

ISBN: 978-1-922101-11-2

August 2014, Twelfth Planet Press

Alisa Krasnostein & Julia Rios (eds.)

Kaleidoscope is one of the best anthologies I have read for a very long time. It’s not just the concept, which is both necessary and overdue; it’s not just the stories, which are engaging and beautiful and thoughtful and brilliant; it’s not just the way the authors explore science fiction and fantasy from perspectives all too frequently unseen in fiction; it’s all of these things, and that it seems so natural. In this anthology, every story takes a character (or two or three) who is often “othered” in fiction (and life), and makes their differences a part of the story. Readers will see themselves, they will see their friends, they will see their families, their cultures, their religious beliefs, their sexuality, their physical and mental states and they will see them as normal, as okay, as special. Not othered. Important and relevant and very very good, Kaleidoscope offers a powerful message to our society about difference, and about what we, as readers, want (and need) to see in our stories.

Some pieces, such as Tansy Rayner Roberts’ “Cookie Cutter Superhero”, offer a biting commentary on popular culture, couched in humour and teen spirit; others, such as “Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon” by Ken Liu, take a gentler approach, examining first love with a fantasical twist. Some stories shade darker, as with “The Legend Trap” by Sean Williams (set in his Twinmaker universe, an added bonus for fans) and “Kiss and Kiss and Kiss and Tell” by E.C. Myers; still others take a familiar trope and turn it sideways, like Faith Mudge’s “Signature” and “The Lovely Duckling” by Tim Susman. Some of my favourite works in the book were those that embedded the story in the protagonist’s nature, like the magic of Jim C. Hines’ “Chupacabra’s Song” and Karen Healey’s astonishingly good “Careful Magic”. There are so many wonderful stories in the pages of Kaleidoscope that every reader will find a favourite (or two or three), and every reader, teen or adult, will find at least one that speaks to them in deeper ways.

This review was first published at FableCroft on June 18, 2014.

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Retro Review: Madigan Mine (2010)

Madigan

Kirstyn McDermott

Picador (2010) / Twelfth Planet Press (2016)

ISBN: 978-0-330-42571-1

Alex Bishop has had his heart broken and his life twisted up in knots by Madigan Sargood. Childhood friends, adult lovers, Madigan’s reappearance in Alex’s life causes havoc, throwing him into chaos and causing him to question his own values and beliefs. Then Madigan commits suicide and Alex doesn’t know how he’s supposed to feel, or why he is driven to find out the reason why. And why he can’t get Madigan out of his head. Literally.

I didn’t know what to expect from this book. Kirstyn McDermott is a known quantity as a quality writer of dark short stories, but the novel form is not necessarily a smooth transition for authors. However, McDermott evolves easily to the longer mode, creating clearly defined characters interacting in a detailed world and sustaining the narrative over the length of the novel, with the thread of supernatural twining elegantly through the story.

I have to admit that I felt the first half of the book was a little slow initially, but it was worth perseverance – the pace is tightly drawn and builds tension, so that the concluding part of the novel is powerful and kept me turning pages quicker and quicker to find the final outcome.  It’s an impressive debut novel; McDermott has a dark and powerful future on the nation’s bookstore shelves!

This review was first published at ASiF! on August 31, 2010.

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Call for submissions: Year’s Best YA speculative fiction

12pp-newpink-websmTwelfth Planet Press announces a new Year’s Best reprint series, the Year’s Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction.

Editors Alisa Krasnostein and Tehani Wessely are now reading internationally for the inaugural anthology, and are seeking Young Adult speculative fiction first published in 2013 for consideration.

Our goal is to uncover the best young adult short fiction of the year published in the anthologies dedicated to the form, the occasional special edition of a magazine, and individual pieces appearing in otherwise “adult” anthologies and magazines, and bring them together in one accessible collection. So many young readers are avidly reading speculative fiction in novel form; we want to introduce them to the delight that can be found in the short story as well.

What is YA? We define the Young Adult arena of speculative fiction as being multi-faceted. It’s not just about the age of the protagonist; it’s not just about the generally accepted “coming of age” story; it’s not just stories about young people and the (figurative or literal) journey they are on in life. We’re not afraid of stories that shine a dark light on human nature, if it is relevant to the YA theme being explored. We aren’t scared of things that go bump in the night. We want science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all of the subgenres associated with these. We want to explore diversity in all forms, because young people are diverse, and they want to see themselves and their friends in the stories they read. We consider Young Adult to be a subset of adult fiction rather than children’s fiction.

This is a REPRINT anthology. We are only reading material first published during the calendar year of 2013. Reprint submissions are welcome from anywhere in the world, in the English language (we are more than happy to consider translations of works appearing for the first time in 2013). We anticipate a publication date in the first half of 2014.

PUBLISHERS: You are welcome to send e-copy (in Word, PDF and/or Mobi format) or hard copy, at your discretion.

Electronic Submissions should be directed to:
twessely@twelfthplanetpress.com

Print Submissions should be directed to:
Tehani Wessely
PO Box 559
Kings Meadows TAS 7249
Australia

READERS: We appreciate your recommendations. Please use the subject header Year’s Best YA Recommendation and email twessely@twelfthplanetpress.com

If your publication appears on the Web only, please make us aware of it at the email address above.

WRITERS: Please ask your publisher to send copies of their publications. Please do not send your individual story or stories unless we request such from you.

Please post and/or pass this on to others.

DEADLINE for 2013 materials: November 30, 2013

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New Project! Year’s Best YA anthology…

You know me, hate the thought that I might get *shudder* BORED or something! Alisa Krasnostein at Twelfth Planet Press and I will be co-editing a new Year’s Best reprint anthology (due out in 2014), and it will be all YA stories! 

Twelfth Planet Press announces a new Year’s Best reprint series, the Year’s Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction.

Editors Alisa Krasnostein and Tehani Wessely are now reading internationally for the inaugural anthology, and are seeking Young Adult speculative fiction first published in 2013 for consideration.

Our goal is to uncover the best young adult short fiction of the year published in the anthologies dedicated to the form, the occasional special edition of a magazine, and individual pieces appearing in otherwise “adult” anthologies and magazines, and bring them together in one accessible collection. So many young readers are avidly reading speculative fiction in novel form; we want to introduce them to the delight that can be found in the short story as well.

What is YA? We define the Young Adult arena of speculative fiction as being multifaceted. It’s not just about the age of the protagonist; it’s not just about the generally accepted “coming of age” story; it’s not just stories about young people and the (figurative or literal) journey they are on in life. We’re not afraid of stories that shine a dark light on human nature, if it is relevant to the YA theme being explored. We aren’t scared of things that go bump in the night. We want science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all of the subgenres associated with these. We want to explore diversity in all forms, because young people are diverse, and they want to see themselves and their friends in the stories they read. We consider Young Adult to be a subset of adult fiction rather than children’s fiction.

This is a REPRINT anthology. We are only reading material first published during the calendar year of 2013. Reprint submissions are welcome from anywhere in the world, in the English language (we are more than happy to consider translations of works appearing for the first time in 2013). We anticipate a publication date in the first half of 2014.

PUBLISHERS: You are welcome to send e-copy (in Word, PDF and/or Mobi format) or hard copy, at your discretion.

Electronic Submissions should be directed to: twessely@twelfthplanetpress.com

Print Submissions should be directed to:
Tehani Wessely
PO Box 559
Kings Meadows TAS 7249
Australia

READERS: We appreciate your recommendations. Please use the subject header Year’s Best YA Recommendation and email twessely@twelfthplanetpress.com

If your publication appears on the Web only, please make us aware of it at the email address above.

WRITERS: Please ask your publisher to send copies of their publications. Please do not send your individual story or stories unless we request such from you.

Please post and/or pass this on to others.

DEADLINE for 2013 materials: November 30, 2013

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Very exciting news!

Thanks to the magic of Twitter, we knew almost as soon as it was announced that my good friend and colleague (in indie press) Alisa Krasnostein won the World (WORLD!!!) Fantasy Special Award – Non-professional in San Diego (presented at World Fantasy Con) for her work at Twelfth Planet Press. The World Fantasy Awards are annual, international awards given to authors and artists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of fantasy and are considered among the most prestigious in the speculative fiction genre.

I’m SO excited for Alisa – this backs up from the international award win Twelfth Planet Press had at the WSFA Small Press Award last year, with Tansy Rayner Roberts’ “Siren Beat”, and TPP is just going from strength to strength. Alisa works so hard for her press, producing beautiful, brilliant books and nurturing creative talent in Australia. Well done Alisa!!

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