This page is specifically for news related to Things We Are Not, the upcoming anthology of queer science fiction. For other information about M-Brane SF, such as subscription info and regular blog updates, please visit the main page.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


See the "Sponsorship" post earlier on this page for details on how to be a Benefactor! This funds drive has gone amazingly well so far, but we still need about $105 to reach the goal. And we need to reach the goal. I will, as described below, consider donations of any amount as applicable to this sponsorship. Any further "votes" in the cover art contest (see below) will apply. Also, any payments for new subscriptions to M-Brane SF will apply. We will succeed.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


You'll see over in the right-hand column under the Benefactor donation buttons, two more donation buttons, entreating you to vote for either the "Boy" or "Girl" versions of Mari Kurisato's cover art for Things We Are Not (images with this post). The contest rules are quite lax:

1) Vote as many times as you want--the dollars collected go toward the same fundraising drive as the Benefactor plan. Can't decide whether you likes girls or boys better? Then vote for both! And, as I always say, "Vote early and vote often."

2) Ballot-stuffing is fine. Want to get other people to throw in some money and vote a hundred times under your own name? Fine. We don't mind. The $1.00 "poll tax" makes us look the other way.

3) The winning cover art will be hailed and feted as The Winner, though both images will be used anyway in two
different editions of the book. But only one will be the "real" Winner. Which gender will it be?

4) A prize winner
will be chosen at random from among the voters (I'll know who you are and how to contact you from the Pay Pal receipt that I will receive). Despite the rule about ballot-stuffing, each person voting will only have his or her name entered into the contest pool once, to keep it economically fair (though repeated voting is still encouraged because the dollars are all for a good cause and it can have an impact on whether girls or boys "win").

and announce The Prize:

A copy of the print edition of Things We Are Not (with cover art of your choice) personally inscribed by artist Mari Kurisato and yours truly. Mari will also add to the book a special one-of-a kind print of an as-yet-unseen piece of original artwork! Awesome!

The polling station is now open.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Yesterday I announced the title, table of contents and put up a cover art preview for Things We Are Not (see previous post). I have also set up this separate M-Brane blog page just for matters related to the anthology.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am quite impressed with the diversity and quality of stories that I ended up with for this project. Some stories deal directly with issues of sexuality, while some incorporate it as an incidental element in the story. The collection has a good gender balance also, with female writers creating both female and male characters; male writers doing the same; and writers of both sexes imagining some new expressions of queer sexuality that are made possible by science fiction. The authors themselves represent across the spectrum as well. While I do not know the personal orientations of all of them (nor is it my business), I happen to know that plenty of the stories come from str8 male and female writers as well as gay guys and lesbians. I am very happy that the premise of the book did not ward away straight writers, nor did it attract too much cheesiness from gay male erotica writers (note: I very much like gay male erotica, but I didn’t want it to dominate the collection; I’ll also note that a lot of str8 female fantasists seem, for some reason, to be especially good at writing gay male erotica).

Now to the necessary panhandling portion of this post: The initial publication of the anthology involves a couple of up-front costs that I would like to have comfortably defrayed ahead of time to ease stress on my little family. New subscriptions and single-copy sales of M-Brane have been seriously lagging for the last couple of months, and the treasury is being depleted rather too quickly. I am going to do some advance sales of Things We Are Not soon, which should help, but I have decided to also offer a way for interested parties to support this project for a very modest sum in exchange for some promotion by way of M-Brane (the zine and the blog) and within Things We Are Not. Specifically, I would like to raise an extra $500. More would be great, too, but $500 would make things comfortable both for the launch of the book and for the next few months of the zine. This is how I would like to do it:

Become a Benefactor of M-Brane SF and Things We Are Not:

In exchange for a donation, I am offering the following:

1. Listing on a sponsorship page in Things We Are Not of your name or project or company, a one-line description of who you are or what your business is, where applicable, and the address of your webpage, if applicable. For example, it could say something like: “Chris Fletcher, President of the United States, Defending Democracy, www.” Or “Big Scary Object Magazine: The biggest and scariest sf magazine in the Galaxy. (website)” Or “Clive McPowell, DDS: Dentist and lover. Best oral care.” Or, “Olaf Stapledon, deceased science fiction writer. Follow my new blog at…” And so on. You get the idea. And you don’t need to be selling anything either or pushing a website. A sponsorship can just be on behalf of yourself or even anonymous.

2. Listing of the same sponsorship information, with my abundant thanks, in M-Brane #9 (October).

3. Listing of same sponsorship information, with web links, on the Things We Are Not blog page for as long as this page remains up.

4. For donation amounts of $20.00 or greater, all the above plus an electronic advance review copy of the book (in PDF), issued a week or two ahead of the official publication date of the paper editions and the other formats, and a year subscription to the PDF edition of M-Brane SF.

I am placing a new donations button on this page (upper right). I am not asking for a specific level of contribution from anyone—I just want to meet the total goal one way or another. If I were to suggest an amount, it would probably be ten dollars, but if anyone can do more than that, it would certainly be appreciated. If some people can’t manage that much but can do a smaller amount, then this is much appreciated as well. After placing a donation via Pay Pal, sponsors can then email me mbranesf (at) gmail (dot) com with whatever info or acknowledgement I should include on the sponsors page.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cover image preview

The great Mari Kurisato has prepared two fantastic images as possible cover art for this book. I preview them both here as they might appear in the finished product. Please note that this design is just a mock-up, a temporary thing meant to convey roughly what the book cover may look like. The final product may (almost certainly will) be different. I will be conducting a vote, as part of an actual contest with a prize, to determine which of these images ends up being on the final cover. More news about that will follow soon.

Contents announced: THINGS WE ARE NOT

The upcoming M-Brane “queer anthology” will henceforth be called by its newly official title Things We Are Not, which is also the title of Brandon Bell’s contribution to it. While the title means one thing in the context of Brandon’s story, I strongly felt that it could apply appropriately to the entire contents of the book. In four syllables, it seems to catch a bit of the rebellion and transgression that infuses the entire collection. As this project’s editor, I will concede that I may be unduly enthusiastic about it, but I am convinced that this collection is not what anyone is expecting. It is better.

I am not ready to show the cover art yet, but I will list below the authors and their story titles. This table of contents is provisional pending completion of contracts with the writers (yes, writers, I will be sending you those shortly, I promise), and the order in which stories are listed does not necessarily indicate their order in the final publication. The cover art has been created by Mari Kurisato and will be shown soon. The catch, however, is that we have two covers from Mari and there will be a contest to determine which one ends up being the final one. Details will follow within a few days.

Alex Wilson “Outgoing”

Derek J. Goodman “As Wide as the Sky, and Twice as Explosive”

Alex Jeffers “Composition With Barbarian and Animal”

C.B. Calsing “Seeker”

Trent Roman “Confessions of a Call Herm”

Mari Kurisato “Connected”

Larissa Gail “Diplomatic Relations”

Eden Robins “Switch”

Deborah Walker “The Meerprashi Solution”

Jay Kozzi “Pos-psi-bilities”

Abby “Merc” Rustad “Queen for a Day”

Therese Arkenberg “Reila’s Machine”

Christopher Fletcher “The Robbie”

Stephen Gaskell “The Offside Trap”

Michael D. Griffiths “Transitions”

Lisa Shapter “The World in His Throat”

Brandon Bell “Things We Are Not…”

[Notes: Wilson’s story appeared previously in Asimov’s (February 2007); Jeffers’ story appeared in slightly different form in Universe 3 (1994, Robert Silverberg and Karen Haber, editors). Goodman, Walker, Arkenberg, Griffiths, Rustad, Kozzi and Bell have appeared with other stories in the pages of M-Brane SF. Gaskell has a story upcoming in M-Brane #8; Robins and Kurisato both have stories upcoming in M-Brane #9.]