Archive for Announcements

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PodCastle has won, and is declining, the Parsec Award


PodCastle has had an extraordinary year. We’ve published some amazing stories. We ran our fourth Artemis Rising. We were nominated for a World Fantasy Award. And just this week, we learned that we won our first Parsec Award — Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form) for our story “Six Jobs” by Tim Pratt, narrated by Stephanie Malia Morris.

Unfortunately, shortly after we received news of the win, we learned that another of the winners has a problematic history of abuse. The Parsec committee launched an investigation into the matter, and their findings were swift and clear and disappointing. They chose to take no action, saying:

“It is the goal of The Parsecs to judge solely on the merit of the content and not on gender, heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, politics, or other factors not in the podcast as presented to the audience. To do more would be to fail at our core purpose.”

PodCastle has never made a secret of our feminist ideals or our dedication to inclusivity, and we aim to act with integrity and credibility in a way that emulates those ideals. We find it unconscionable to celebrate an award that was also offered to a well-known abuser, one that has been awarded by an organization that has chosen to ignore these abuses in favor of remaining apolitical. In the current climate, we cannot support an award that ignores the complaints of victims while boosting the platforms of their abusers; for us, an appeal to high-minded ideals is not reason enough considering the harm that was done and that may be done in the future. For this reason, PodCastle has decided to decline our 2018 Parsec Award.

Being non-partisan is not an excuse to shirk the responsibility to stand for justice. If the Parsec committee won’t, PodCastle certainly will.
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On Inclusion and Artemis Rising: An Apology


It has come to our attention, through multiple channels, that the current incarnation of Artemis Rising 5 has caused harm to members of our community.

Thanks to Bogi Takács’s eloquent explanation of how to bring more voices to the table, we are examining the best way to repair the trust we’ve broken. We appreciate the conversations happening on various platforms and thank you for allowing us to participate in them.

Artemis Rising’s aims have always been to highlight the work of underrepresented genre authors and provide training and progression opportunities to junior members of the Escape Artist family who are members of traditionally marginalized groups. The underrepresented groups that we’ve chosen to focus on have changed over time and are likely to continue to change from year to year.

This year, we failed to consider the effect this change would have on people who were previously eligible to submit but were not eligible this year.

Artemis Rising’s submission portals will remain open and stories are being read while we consider how best to move forward, but we feel it is imperative to urgently acknowledge our mistake.

We apologize for the exclusion and hurt caused by this year’s call. We appreciate the feedback we’ve received; to everyone who voiced their objections, thank you for giving us a chance to correct our error. We hear you.

Escape Artists editors

Escape Pod: S.B. Divya & Mur Lafferty
PseudoPod: Shawn Garrett & Alex Hofelich
PodCastle: Jen R. Albert & Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali (and assistant editor Setsu Uzume)
Cast of Wonders: Marguerite Kenner

The 2018 Artemis Rising editors

Escape Pod: S. Kay Nash & Laura Pearlman
PseudoPod: Cecilia Dockins & Tonia Thompson
PodCastle: Krystal Claxton & Elora Gatts
Cast of Wonders: Amy Brennan & Karissa Sluss

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ARTEMIS RISING 5: Call for Submissions


In March 2019, Escape Artists will bring you ARTEMIS RISING for a fifth year. This special month-long event across all four Escape Artists podcasts is a celebration of stories written by women, in the broadest definition of the word. This year, PodCastle’s ARTEMIS RISING guest editors will be Krystal Claxton and Elora Gatts!

ARTEMIS RISING specifically highlights women in genre fiction, a demographic that has been underrepresented until recent years. This showcase helps to address that historical imbalance and correct the impression, which continues to persist in some social circles, that women cannot write excellent genre fiction.

Who Can Submit

Submissions are open to anyone who identifies as a woman to any degree.

In past years, we have specifically included the term “non-binary” in our Artemis Rising submission calls — you may notice it is missing this year.

English is flawed in its ability to accurately represent the breadth of human genders, and as such the language we use is always evolving. We respect the feedback that we’ve received regarding our use of “non-binary” as a catch-all: that it erroneously tilts the perception of non-binary people in a feminine direction.

In a continuing effort to support diversity and inclusivity, we’re changing the language of our ARTEMIS RISING call. Non-binary authors who identify at any time/to any degree as women are welcome to submit. Your gender is for you to determine, and we support you and take you at your word. If you feel you have a story that helps cast light on the multitudinal existence that is womanness, please don’t self-reject.

Please note we’re talking about author identity here, not pen names. We fully respect the right of authors to use whatever pen names they like. However, as we note in our Legalese, we require information in the submission form be accurate and truthful.

As always, we strongly encourage submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional speculative fiction, including, but not limited to, people of color, LGBTQ authors, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States. Our goal is to publish fiction that reflects the diversity of the human race, so we strongly encourage submissions from these and any other under-represented groups.

What to Submit

Send in your best speculative fiction between 1,500–6,000 words. Original fiction as well as reprints are welcome this year. Payment will be USD $0.06 per word for original fiction and $100 for reprints.

You can send in one submission for ARTEMIS RISING to each of our podcasts (Escape Pod for science fiction, PseudoPod for horror, PodCastle for fantasy, and Cast of Wonders for young adult), but please don’t send the same story to more than one podcast at a time.

If you have a story under consideration already in the general submissions queue, you are welcome to submit an additional story for ARTEMIS RISING. One submission per portal for a total of two under consideration.

Multiple and/or simultaneous submissions are not accepted.

While we’ll be accepting a limited number of stories for ARTEMIS RISING, all stories will also be considered as general submissions as well, in the event that we simply have too much awesome to contain in one month.

What We’re Looking For

We’re living in times that send people scrambling for the nearest wardrobe door. Dark times. The sort of times that make you want to curl up in a chair with a blanket, some noise-canceling headphones, and a great story; the sort of times that draw us to protagonists who, despite living in hard times themselves, have the power to do something.

This year, we want stories that tap into the zeitgeist’s current existential anxiety and focus on overcoming it in unconventional ways. That can be a quiet, understated story where the protagonist faces a personal crisis or a sprawling epic where literally everything is on the line.

Regardless of scale, we want stories with:

  • Protagonists who have agency over the plot
  • While confronting complex, insurmountable antagonistic forces
  • To earn a hopeful resolution

We’d like to see characters with nuance and stories with endings that leave us with a glimmer of hope, no matter how faint. We want protagonists who know when to reach out and when to fight. (Magical empathy powers are a bonus.) Remember that not every conflict is settled with violence and rarely are victories absolute.

Stories we love:

  • “A Whisper in the Weld” by Alix E. Harrow (Shimmer (and podcast by us Here!)
  • “The Glow-in-the-Dark Girls” by Senaa Ahmad (Strange Horizons)
  • “And The” by Alyc Helms (Daily Science Fiction)
  • “Odonata At Rest” by Nancy Au (Liminal Stories)
  • “Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny)
  • Silence by Shūsaku Endō
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
  • Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (and the film of the same name)
  • Princess Mononoke (film)
  • Daredevil (TV Series)
  • The 100 (TV Series)
  • Steven Universe (TV series)

We’re open to all Fantasy subgenres, but some subgenres and story elements we especially hope to see in AR 2019 submissions follow (feel free to mix-and-match!):

  • Magical girls
  • Crisis of faith
  • Superheroes
  • Queer characters
  • Film noir
  • Found families
  • Liminal fantasy
  • Love (romantic, platonic, familial)
  • Mannerpunk
  • Unreliable narrators
  • Beautiful, experimental prose
  • Redemption or reconciliation
  • Femme characters

Hard Sells:

  • Pointless suffering/unfulfilling endings
  • Fables, myths, and fairy tales that are part of the Western canon  
  • Deals with a literal demon/devil
  • Grimdark or noblebright
  • Mustache-twirlingly evil antagonists
  • Fridged characters

How to Submit

Start writing now! A special ARTEMIS RISING Submittable portal will open September 1. Submissions will be open for the month of September 2018. Stories will air in March 2019.

Thanks, and we look forward to reading your stories!

 

Krystal Claxton and Elora Gatts

PodCastle ARTEMIS RISING 5 Guest Hosts