Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009 Small Press Reading

Thanks to prompts by Aaron, Cate and Jamie, I figured it was time I assessed my efforts at supporting small press in 2009.

The list of what I've read this year (I was going to be good and do all the links but it got a bit big):

Novels and anthologies I've brought and read.

  • Jack of All Trades by K. C. Shaw (One of the best buys I made all year)
  • Shadows by Joan de La Hoya (A gift - thanks Joan)
  • Atrum Tempestas Anthology (Danielle's story in this antho was very good. Pity the editing side let everyone down.
  • Grants Pass Anthology (Read for review on HorrorScope - most of it is very good)
  • Tainted Anthology (Purchased - another excellent choice)
  • RealmShift (Read for review on HorrorScope - a good read)
  • MageSign (Read for review on HorrorScope and subsequently became good friends with the author - an even better read than its predecessor.)
  • Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror V2 (Purchased - My way of supporting Australian small press & it contains excellent stories)
  • Book of Shadows (Purchased - what can I say, I've not had a dud from Brimstone Press yet!)
Novels and anthologies I've brought and have not yet read.
  • Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror V3 (Another Brimstone Press purchase)
  • Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror V4 (Pre-ordered and expect early in 2010)
  • Shards (Yet another purchase from Brimstone but this is a collection of stories by Shane Jiraiya Cummings - I'll admit to being a big fan of his work)
  • Festive Fear Anthology from Tasmaniac Press (Saving this to read over my Christmas break)
Magazines & Ezines.
  • Apex (because I want to be in it)
  • Yellow Mama (because lots of people I know are in it regularly)
  • The New Bedlam Project (not only because I was in it)
  • Eye of Fire (I write reviews for them but they have great articles and stories as well)
  • Aurealis (subscribed - and I slush for Stuart but I still fork out my hard earned. This is a very good publication)
  • Eclecticism (somewhere I will send some work)
  • Ruthless People (Because they publish very cool stories by some very cool people)
  • Demonic Tome (Because I was in it)
  • Midnight Echo (I'm subscribed as part of my AHWA membership but they publish kick-arse stories as well)
  • Strange Weird & Wonderful (Because they also publish very cool stories by some very cool people)
  • Necrotic Tissue (subscribed - one day I'll get in here)
  • Fear & Trembling (My first horror sale in a US market - and because they publish some interesting stories)
Chap Books and Novellas (aka Longer works that aren't quite full novels)
  • The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon by Cate Gardner (Purchased - brilliant)
  • Phantasy Moste Grotesk by Felicity Dowker (Received the PDF to review and still went ahead and purchased one of the rare printed copies.)
  • Phoenix and the Darkness of Wolves by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Given to review - it's beside my bed as we speak as the next thing to be read. Seriously looking forward to it.)
Lastly, I've also supported small press this year by donning my never before used editor's cap and taking up the vaunted post for the soon to be released (sometime during 2010) anthology Dark Pages Volume One, to be published by Blade Red Press (this would be those 267 stories I've read over the last couple of months).

On top of the dozen or so major publishing house novels I've also read, I don't think I've done too bad. There are probably more on my shelf, but I'm not at home so this is all I can remember/gleam from my lists on my blog.

But it did become painfully obvious that so much reading was liable to cause burnout and cut into my writing time in a big way. So next year I need to support small press but I need to be very selective about it.

So in 2010 I intend to target a select group of small press publishers.

Brimstone Press - I'm a big fan of their work and will continue to purchase from them.
Aurealis - A market I would one day like to crack so research is essential.
Necrotic Tissue - same reason as above.
APEX - I'm going to start buying their anthologies because I'd like to be in more of them.
Midnight Echo - it's part of my AHWA membership but I'd buy it anyway.

On the free side of things, I'll only be reading a very select few:
Eclecticism - Craig has grown this zine from scratch and it has become an excellent read.
The New Bedlam Project - Jodi has a wonderfully twisted world evolving here and I wouldn't be adverse to being included in it's pages again.
APEX - The more I read the types of stories they accept, the more chance I'll have of getting in.

I'm a sucker for supporting my fellow writers so I'll be seriously looking at anything that has people I know listed in the ToC.
I'll also continue with my review work so no doubt others will crop up that I haven't thought about.

So that's my list of what has been and what is to come. It is unashamedly bent towards supporting the Australian industry, but that's okay - I live here. Have you made any pledges to support small press in your neck of the woods?

You may also notice a big lacking of professional markets. Yes, I want to be published in the big markets but I don't think I'm ready yet. I'm also not sending printed short story manuscripts through snail mail across vast oceans. When more professional pay-scale markets begin accepting electronic submissions, then I'll start thinking about subscribing to them - there, that's my bit for world environment conservation. Besides, if I make money with my writing, it will be with novels - my shorts are for the entertainment of myself and any of the masses who choose to read them. They are my sandbox, my playground, my place to learn and grow - why bother with struggling via snail mail to compete with the thousands of others who are trying to get into the select few spots. I'll stop there. I don't want to open up that argument over FTL and low paying markets again.

Once more this post has turned into a ramble and over extended. If you're still reading - thank you for your perseverance. Go have a virtual drink on me.


  1. A beautiful list. I never thought about the editing thing as supporting the small press but you're so right.

  2. Thanks Cate, and thanks to you, Aaron and Jamie for the idea for the post - gave me something to write about if nothing else.


  3. I really agree on the electronic sub front. Wake up and smell the new century-- about 10 years late. I'm sure they're doing it just because they know it'll keep more people from subbing, thereby reducing their slush pile... but maybe that's just paranoia. (Is it, if they're really out to get us? Ah-ha!)

  4. An impressive reading list to be sure.

  5. Tis a most impressive list and I love the fact that everyone supports each other and spreads the word.

  6. Aww, thanks, BT!

    hehehe - we'll be opening up for subs on February 1st, I believe. As soon as the contest ends.

    I've added Dark Pages to my want list for 2010, btw. I'm hoping to pick up at least one anthology or mag from each of my friends and colleagues, to make up for the sad lack of participation I managed this year.

  7. That's an impressive list. I really need to do more to support small presses in 2010 myself. I picked up some small-press anthologies and books this year, but not very many.