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, January 1, 2011

TWAN gets favorable new review!

[wow, I haven't been to this page in a while!]

Things We Are Not is the subject of a very comprehensive and very positive review from novelist Kelly Jennings on the the new Rise Reviews site. People who may be looking at this page because you were linked here from Rise Reviews, please take a moment to browse down through the earlier posts which include some profiles of the book's authors. Note that the various ways to purchase the book in the right-hand sidebar, while still functional and fine to use, may not be the current best value because the price of the paperback edition has come down since these were last updated. Paperback and Kindle versions can be found at Amazon, and I recommend while there also considering picking up some of our other titles. M-Brane Press's more normal home book news is now at this site.

Monday, October 19, 2009

THINGS WE ARE NOT: The trailer

Here's something silly: my new "trailer" for the book  at YouTube !  If you are here for the first time, be sure to see the previous post describing all the new order options!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New order options for THINGS WE ARE NOT

I have a few ways available as of now--the official publication day of Things We Are Not.  I'll detail them (with their pros and cons) in the same order as the links to the right:

1)  PRINT option 1:  I am continuing what was previously known as the pre-order deal:  US readers may order directly from me, using the first Pay Pal button, the edition of the book for $16.00, shipping included. This offer also includes a subscription to M-Brane SF (PDF edition).  Pros: It's a bit cheaper than it would be to order it from Amazon because the shipping is included. Plus, you get the zine! And this is the most direct way to support M-Brane SF and its writers, since we get to keep a larger share of the purchase price.  Con: It may take a bit longer to get your book than by using the options below. This is because I need to periodically order copies sent to me and then send them out to you. So how fast you get it will depend on where I am in that process when I get your order. [NOTE: it is not necessary to have a Pay Pal account to use Pay Pal. You can use a credit or debit card. It is fast, easy and secure.]

2) ELECTRONIC option 1: Order the book in either PDF format or as a MOBI-format (.prc) ebook. The ebook version is viewable on devices that support non-DRM files in the .prc format, including Kindle and various smart phones.  The PDF displays like a print book on a computer screen, and it can be printed if desired. I am told that the new Kindle 2 supports PDF viewing, but I cannot personally confirm that. Pro: Money raised through selling these goes straight into the M-Brane fund with no middlemen taking a cut, so it's a good way to support the cause. Also, you get a subscription to the zine (PDF or MOBI).  Con: None really, but if you select the MOBI option please be sure that you know how to get it from an attached file and onto your device, and that your device indeed supports .prc files,  because that is not an area of tech expertise for me.

[SUPER IMPORTANT!  When ordering using Pay Pal, please make certain that you provide a correct email address--I have found during the pre-order period that some people using credit cards have made errors in their email addresses and I have not been able to start their zine subscriptions yet. If the address is wrong for these electronic edition orders it will be a serious drag.]

3) PRINT option 2: Order directly from our print-on-demand service. The link will take you to my CreateSpace e-store.  Pros:  You'll probably get the book faster than going with option 1. M-Brane's share of the sale is similar to that of option 1. Cons: It will also cost a bit more due to shipping unless you are getting multiple items. If you order this way, and then provide me with an email copy (at mbranesf at gmail dot com) of your CreateSpace receipt, I will include the zine subscription with this option as well.

4) PRINT option 3 and ELECTRONIC option 2: Order from Amazon, either the print edition or the Kindle edition. Pro: Probably the quickest way to get your book, and favorable price-wise if you are ordering multiple items from Amazon, since shipping cost drops a lot with bigger orders. So if you're buying something else from Amazon anyway, this is a good option. For Kindle users, this is obviously a simpler way to get it onto your device than the above MOBI option. Amazon is also probably the best option for international readers.  Con: Because M-Brane's share of the sale with Amazon is considerably lower than with the other options, I am not including the free zine subscription for Amazon customers.

Sue Lange wins contest!

Even though I bagged the idea of actually having two distinct editions of the book, one with each of the two different covers created by Mari Kurisato, we kept the contest and voting going on anyway. This morning I conducted a random drawing from entrants (with literal slips of paper with everyone's name on them) and selected Sue Lange as the winner of the prize!  M-Brane followers know Sue since she has had stories published in the zine a couple of times. She also a member of

Ironically, Sue is one of the scant few voters who supported the boy cover, which, alas, did not even come close to winning, but which does survive as the back cover of the book.

If you happen to be seeing this post right after I post it here and start flogging it on Twitter, you may see that the pre-order deal is still up (described in previous post).  Indeed, it's still up at this moment, and I will probably keep a deal going on at that price and with the zine subscription included, but soon there will be links to a couple of other ways to order it as well.

Monday, September 28, 2009


The Print Edition:

A domestic (United States) pre-order period for the Things We Are Not print edition begins immediately and will run until 10/15. Order using the Pay Pal button to the right (you do not necessarily need a Pay Pal account to use Pay Pal—you may use a credit or debit card through Pay Pal. It’s quick, easy and secure). Options are available for ordering multiple copies up to five (which include further discounting: 5 copies at the price listed brings the per-copy price down to $12.95, shipping included).

This option is for orders to be shipped within the United States on or near 10/15/09, the book’s official release date. 

The price includes shipping, so this represents something of a discount from what it will cost from online stores (which will be $16.00 plus shipping).  All pre-orders of the print edition received by 10/15 will include a one year (12-issue) subscription to the PDF edition of M-Brane SF, normally sold by itself for $12/year or $2/single issue. So this is a great deal. Subscriptions will commence with issue #9, due out by 10/1, and the download link will be sent to readers as orders are processed.

My apologies, but readers outside the United States (sorry, Canada, that means you, too) will need to wait a couple of days until the book comes online on Amazon.  I will announce it here with a link to it when that happens. The reason for this is that I cannot offer a reasonable price with shipping for international orders. You will be much better off ordering from Amazon, especially if you buy more than one copy or other items along with it.

NOTE: The book will be shipped in opaque packaging with nothing on the exterior indicating the content of the book. I mention this for the reassurance readers who may not be in comfortable situations as far as receiving items that suggest samesex content. Also, Things We Are Not contains a few stories that have explicitly erotic content, and so should not be purchased by readers below the legal age to purchase adult-oriented media. Use of Pay Pal to order items sold by M-Brane SF implies that the customer is 18 years of age or older as required by Pay Pal's Terms of Service, and M-Brane assumes no responsibility for any moral outrage that may result from a younger reader somehow gazing upon our publications.

Electronic editions:

You may pre-order the PDF edition starting immediately, using the Pay Pal button to the right. These will be delivered via email on 10/15.  The price ($6.99) represents a pre-order discount from what will be the normal price ($7.99).  All PDF edition orders include a one-year (12 issue) subscription to M-Brane SF, normally sold at $12/year or $2/single issue. Subscriptions will commence with issue #9, due out by 10/1, and the download link will be sent to readers as orders are processed.

For those of you reading on handheld devices, Kindle and Mobipocket editions will come online by 10/15. I will post order details here when that happens.

Check out the previous posts on this page for more information on the book, including several recent posts with information about the book's stories and its authors.

Though the design of the cover is long since completed and the result of the vote itself is no longer relevant, I am still accepting entries into the contest (using those $1.00 Vote Girl! and Vote Boy! buttons) to win the inscribed copy of the book. I will announce a winner by 10/15.  By the way, the image below shows the book cover (front, back and spine).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

TWAN proof approved! Pre-order to start 9/28

At last I have in my hands the proof for the print edition of Things We Are Not. It’s a bit later than I had hoped it would be at this stage, but I believe we are still on track to release by 10/15.  The physical edition is quite gorgeous and I breathed a great sigh of relief when I opened the package and laid eyes upon it for the first time. This is the first book project of its type that I have produced and the first time I have used this particular process to publish something, so I had an irrational yet persistent fear that the spine text would somehow not be on the spine, or that the cover image colors would be all wrong or that the interior pages would be shuffled out of order. But all is well.

I will start a pre-order period soon.  Order options will appear on this page and there will be a link to it from the M-Brane main page and M-Brane Page 2 (the usual buy-stuff page). This will likely begin on Monday 9/28.  The reason I am delaying a couple more days is simply because of day-jobbery tomorrow and through the weekend. A couple more details need to be firmed up before I can set a final price for the paper and e-editions, and I won’t be able to have all that squared away until Monday morning. A couple of things that I can say for sure is that I will have a shipping-included price that will be available to US domestic readers who order directly from me, which will probably be cheaper than ordering it from Amazon. As for overseas orders, I do not know how the numbers work out yet, and that’s one of the things that are delaying the pre-order period for a couple more days.

Also, if you were thinking of becoming a subscriber to the zine and haven’t yet, you might as well wait a couple days now: everyone who buys Things We Are Not in print or electronic form directly from M-Brane during the pre-order period will also get a subscription to the PDF edition of the zine (this offer will probably not apply to Amazon print or Kindle sales, but I will be able to determine that for sure by start of next week).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More TWAN author profiles: Calsing, Walker, Wilson, Goodman, Roman, Gale

Here are some introductions to the remaining six writers of Things We Are Not and their stories (see two previous posts for the rest of them).

C.B. Calsing, in the afterword to her story “Seeker,” describes how she got a lot of insight into survival in a disaster scenario or a post-apocalyptic situation during her experience with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In “Seeker,” she combines that insight with a thing all reasonable people fear: the eventual domination of the United States by religious fanatics and racist supremacists. That’s a scenario that has usually seemed only remotely possible, but since the lunatic fringe seems to be flourishing nowadays in their opposition to a black President, “Seeker” seems to be perhaps the timeliest entry in this anthology.

In “The Meerprashi Solution,” Deborah Walker introduces us to an interesting alien race whose mating practices are quite different from those of humans. For one thing, they bond in groups of three. Humans have changed, too: switching gender is commonplace. In this entertaining story about gender, sex and the meeting of cultures, the protagonist has a remarkable encounter with the Meerprashi, which leads to both a personal breakthrough and an incredible opportunity for the people of Earth. Deborah has appeared in M-Brane SF in issues #5 (“Daughter of Science, Daughter of Magic”) and #8 (“Forever Sisters”) and has had a number of other recent publications elsewhere.

A man pursues a boyhood dream of sending an object into orbit around the sun. A poet decides that she’d like to get away from it all. Their paths cross in astonishing fashion in Alex Wilson’s “Outgoing.” This novelette, which originally appeared in Asimov’s a couple years ago, is a deeply touching story, and (in a book with a lot of outstanding endings) has one of the most extraordinary and satisfying conclusions. Alex runs the audiobook project Telltale Weekly and the minicomic/zine Inconsequential Art.

Derek J. Goodman’s “As Wide as the Sky, and Twice as Explosive” is the amazing story of Johnny Rey’s relationship with something called “580T-85.” I’m not even going to tell you what 580T-85 might be, and whatever you might guess it is, you’re almost certainly wrong. I don’t want to spoil a bit of this story before its release, but I will say that Derek certainly answered the call when I said that I hoped to see some stories that expand the definition of queerness and come up with the new permutations of it that a genre like sf makes possible. Derek has appeared in M-Brane twice (in issues #4 and #6), and has had many other recent and forthcoming publications elsewhere. His novel The Apocalypse Shift was recently released by Library of Horror Press, and his short story “Dea Ex Machina” is being adapted for an opera. Yeah, an opera.

Trent Roman’s “Confessions of a Call Herm,” as one might glean from the title, focuses on a protagonist who is biologically an intersex person and who has found some advantage in this, working as a call girl (well, call herm) for a class of plutocrats who occupy the heights of colossal towers in a highly stratified (literally) society. This very amusing story combines a lively confessional style with a murder mystery and a bit of bedroom farce as well. Trent writes from Montreal, and describes himself as “fascinated by what makes people tick at both the intimately personal level and the sweeping societal level, and enjoys every opportunity to pursue such questions through the means of fiction.”

Larissa Gale’s “Diplomatic Relations” is a somewhat comedic  “first contact” story involving humans meeting aliens and attempting to find some common ground. For me, it is somewhat evocative (in a good way) of a Star Trek episode about first contact, and it is the only story of its kind in the collection. Also, its component of “queerness” is quite unlike those in any of the other stories, and I will refrain from revealing it here—this story is rather “spoiler”-prone.  Larissa has also appeared in Ruthie’s Club, Justus Roux’s Erotic Tales and Oysters & Chocolate.

[Images, from top to bottom, are of Calsing, Wilson, Goodman and Gale. I am missing pics of Walker and Roman (and Shapter from two posts ago), but I’ll be glad to add them if I get them later.]