Archive for Announcements

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PodCastle Has Been Nominated for the Ignyte Award!


The finalists for the inaugural Ignyte Awards have been announced, and PodCastle has been nominated for this prestigious accolade! Co-editors Cherae Clark and Jen R. Albert, former co-editor and special editions editor Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, host & assistant editor Setsu Uzumé, and audio producer Peter Adrian Behravesh are finalists in the Best Fiction Podcast category for their work on the podcast. 

The Ignyte Awards both broaden and deepen the genre awards scene, including not only short story, novel, and art categories, but also awards for poetry, middle-grade, podcasts, and others as well as two separate awards that celebrate contributions to genre in the pursuit of inclusiveness and equity. The Ignyte Awards reflect the business models, values, and imagination of the SFFH field, lighting a path of possibility for both new and veteran creators.

We’re excited to be nominated alongside such an amazing group of diverse creators. FIYAH has created a truly wonderful thing in such a short time frame and they’ve managed to capture perfectly the variety of perspectives that the genre community has to offer. We are so honored.

We would like to extend our deep gratitude to PodCastle’s wonderful listeners, to the Escape Artists group of podcasts, and to the entire PodCastle team, past and present, who work tirelessly to bring you the best of fantasy fiction every week.

The team joins several other wonderful podcasts on the shortlist: NIGHTLIGHT (Tonia Thompson), LeVar Burton Reads (LeVar Burton), Beneath Ceaseless Skies (Editor Scott H. Andrews), and OBSIDIAN (Co-Creators, Producers, and Writers Adetola Abdulkadir & Safiyah Cheatam).

Nominations were sourced from the Ignyte Awards Committee: 15 BIPOC voters on FIYAHCON staff of varying genders, sexualities, cultures, disabilities, and locations throughout the world. Voting is open to the wider SFF community until September 11, 2020. Visit the convention’s website to vote now!

The winners of the 2019 Ignyte Awards will be announced virtually at FIYAHCON, October 17-18, 2020.

 

— Cherae Clark, Jen R. Albert, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, Setsu Uzumé, and Peter Adrian Behravesh

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British Fantasy Award Shortlist!


The dragon is getting stuffed on celebratory cake this week! The British Fantasy Society shortlist has been announced and PodCastle and PseudoPod have both been nominated under the Best Audio category!

Also, Alasdair’s weekly pop culture newsletter, The Full Lid, has gotten a nonfiction nomination, so there’s even more cake.

Please join us in congratulating our hardworking editorial teams on this awesome recognition.

The British Fantasy Awards are presented each year at Fantasycon, which takes place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 18th – 20th, 2019.

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Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest V


The Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest is back for a fifth time, and it’s PodCastle’s turn! The contest will be taking submissions beginning April 15, 2019, and ending on April 30, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Each author may submit one original fantasy story of 500 words or less. Stories will then be sorted into categories, anonymized, and posted by an administrator on our forums for all to read and vote on in a tournament-style contest!

The three winning stories will be purchased for USD $30 each and run together as an episode of PodCastle. Note that stories will be published on a members-only section of the forums, so first publication rights will not be expended by participating in the contest. And it’s easy to become a member! In fact, you can head on over to the forums and do that right now. All the pertinent details and rules will be posted under “The Arcade” section of the forums; voting will commence May 15, 2019!

Check back here on April 15 or follow us on social media for links to the Submittable portal where you can upload your contest entries. Best of luck to everyone participating!

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For Your Consideration: PodCastle Award Eligibility 2018


It’s that time again: awards season has begun! If you’re looking for some awesome fantasy fiction to nominate, here’s a convenient list of PodCastle‘s original, award-eligible short stories from 2018:

“Words Never Lost” by DaVaun Sanders

“Scar Clan” by Carrow Narby

“We Head for the Horizon and Return with Bloodshot Eyes” by Eleanna Castroianni

“My Heart the Bullet in the Chamber” by Stephanie Charette

“Propagating Peonies” by Suzan Palumbo

“Burning Season” by C. L. Clark

“One Day, My Dear, I’ll Shower You with Rubies” by Langley Hyde

“When Shadow Confronts Sun” by Farah Naz Rishi

“The Mooncakes of My Childhood” by Y. M. Pang

“There Is a Season” by Lynne M. MacLean

“Antler, Ash & Onyx” by A. C. MacLachlan

“Hosting the Solstice” by Tim Pratt

“Grounded Women Never Fly” by Stefani Cox

We thank you so much for thinking of us and our authors. We’d be honored if you were to consider any of our originals this year on your ballots. Cheers to the new year!

 

Jen R. Albert and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, PodCastle Co-Editors

 

 

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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

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The Best of PodCastle: Vote for Your Favorite Episodes!


Nominations are closed, and the final ballot is revealed! We’re now asking fans and frequent listeners of the podcast to vote for their favorite episodes from the ballot in the link below. The top five PodCastle episodes, as voted by fans, will be featured in a special later this year!

You can find the survey here. Vote now!

All the episodes in the final ballot are linked below for your listening pleasure.

Episode 1: “Come Lady Death” by Peter S. Beagle
Episode 20: “Cup and Table” by Tim Pratt
Episode 51: “The Cambist and Lord Iron” by Daniel Abraham
Episode 88: “Another End of the Empire” by Tim Pratt
Episode 92: “Sir Hereward and Mr. Fitz Go to War Again” by Garth Nix
Episode 93: “The Mermaid’s Tea Party” by Samantha Henderson
Episode 136: “The Christmas Mummy” by Heather Shaw & Tim Pratt
Episode 147: “Card Sharp” by Rajan Khanna
Episode 154: “Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters” by N.K. Jemisin
Episode 165: “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu
Episode 186: “Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar Pirates of Sarskoe” by Garth Nix
Episode 200: “In the Stacks” by Scott Lynch
Episode 211: “The Axiom of Choice” by David W. Goldman
Episode 214: “We Never Talk About My Brother” by Peter S. Beagle
Episode 254: “Sundae” by Matt Wallace
Episode 324: “Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy” by Saladin Ahmed
Episode 336: “Why I Bought Satan Two Cokes on the Day I Graduated High School” by Nathaniel Lee
Episode 345: “Makeisha in Time” by Rachael K. Jones
Episode 354: “The Sea of Wives” by Nathaniel Lee
Episode 356: “Super-Baby-Moms Group Saves the Day” by Tina Connolly
Episode 385: “Where Monsters Dance” by A. Merc Rustad
Episode 405: “Beat Softly My Wings of Steel” by Beth Cato
Episode 409: “The Husband Stitch” by Carmen Maria Machado
Episode 413: “This is Not A Wardrobe Door” by A. Merc Rustad
Episode 427: “Squalor and Sympathy” by Matt Dovey
Episode 438: “Defy the Grey Kings” by Jason Fischer
Episode 458: “Home is a House that Loves You” by Rachael K. Jones
Episode 467: “How I Became Coruscating Queen of All the Realms, Pierced the Obsidian Night, Destroyed a Legendary Sword, and Saved My Heart’s True Love” by Baker & Dovey
Episode 487: “A Whisper in the Weld” by Alix E. Harrow
Episode 490: “The Names of the Sky” by Matthew Claxton
Episode 501: “The Christmas Abomination from Beyond the Back of the Stars” by Heather Shaw & Tim Pratt
Episode 506: “La Gorda and the City of Silver” by Sabrina Vourvoulias

Have questions? Please email editor@podcastle.org.

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For Your Consideration: PodCastle Award Eligibility 2017


PodCastle wants to thank all of our listeners and fans for a wonderful 2017. We’re so proud of everything we accomplished throughout the year, from the astounding amount of original fiction we put forth to the addition of some fabulous new staff to our first nomination and win of a major podcasting award. Below is a list of our award-eligible stories from 2017. Also note that PodCastle itself is eligible in the semiprozine category of the Hugos.

The stories:

 

Here’s to all our listeners, authors, narrators, and contributors; we are so grateful for all your enthusiasm and support. Wishing you all a happy 2018!

 

Jen R Albert and Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali, co-editors, Setsu Uzume, assistant editor, and the PodCastle team