Archive for 2010

World Fantasy 2010

I’ll be attending the World Fantasy Convention later this week. I’ll be arriving Thursday evening and departing early Monday morning.

Here’s my schedule:

Friday, 8-11:30PM (Regency Ballroom)

Saturday, 4-4:30pm (Knox Room)

For my reading, I’ll be reading a few selections from my anthologies. I’d rather do a group reading, featuring the authors etc., but World Fantasy forbids such events for some reason.

Hope to see you all there!

Read More

Fantasy Magazine to Relaunch in March 2011 with a New Look, a New Approach, and a New Editor

ROCKVILLE, MD, OCT. 25Fantasy Magazine, the critically-acclaimed online short fiction magazine published by Prime Books, will relaunch in March 2011, with a brand new look, a new approach, and a new editor: bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams (Wastelands, The Living Dead).

Fantasy Magazine is currently edited by Sean Wallace and Cat Rambo. Wallace, who is also the publisher of Prime Books and Fantasy Magazine, will stay on as publisher but will be stepping down as co-editor. Rambo, who in addition to her work as an editor is also an accomplished author, will be stepping down in order to focus on her writing. John Joseph Adams will edit Fantasy Magazine while continuing to edit Lightspeed Magazine (also published by Prime Books), bringing both magazines under the same editorial umbrella.

Fantasy’s new publishing approach will bring it in line with its sister magazine, Lightspeed. Like Lightspeed, Fantasy will:

  • Offer all of its content for free on the web
  • Offer ebook editions of every issue of the magazine (including back issues)
  • Publish four short stories a month (two originals and two reprints)
  • Publish three nonfiction articles a month, closely tied to the fiction, plus one feature interview
  • Publish two fiction podcasts a month, produced by award-winning producer and narrator Stefan Rudnicki
  • Publish interviews with Fantasy Magazine authors (a/k/a “Author Spotlights”)

Fantasy Magazine launched in 2005 as a print magazine, before transitioning to its current online model in 2007. The magazine’s current inventory, selected by Rambo and Wallace, will appear in the magazine through February 2011; Adams will take editorial control of the magazine immediately, and his first selections will debut in the March 2011 issue when the new website launches.

About John Joseph Adams (Editor)

John Joseph Adams ( is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as Wastelands, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), The Living Dead 2, The Way of the Wizard, By Blood We Live, Federations, and The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Barnes & named him “the reigning king of the anthology world,” and his books have been named to numerous best of the year lists. Prior to taking on the role of editor at Lightspeed and Fantasy Magazine, John worked for nearly nine years in the editorial department of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. In addition to his editorial work, John is also the co-host of’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

About Prime Books

Prime Books (, edited and published by Hugo Award- and World Fantasy Award-winner Sean Wallace, is an independent publishing house specializing in a mix of anthologies, collections, novels, and magazines. Some of its established and new authors/editors include John Joseph Adams, KJ Bishop, Philip K. Dick, Theodora Goss, Rich Horton, Nick Mamatas, Sarah Monette, Holly Phillips, Tim Pratt, Ekaterina Sedia, Catherynne M. Valente, and Jeff VanderMeer.


Sean Wallace, publisher:
John Joseph Adams, editor:

Read More

THE WAY OF THE WIZARD Table of Contents

The Way of the Wizard

My anthology, The Way of the Wizard, is forthcoming in November from Prime Books. Here’s the cover copy, and the table of contents is after the cut:

Power. We all want it, they’ve got it—witches, warlocks, sorcerers, necromancers, those who peer beneath the veil of mundane reality and put their hands on the levers that move the universe. They see the future in a sheet of glass, summon fantastic beasts, and transform lead into gold…or you into a frog. From Gandalf to Harry Potter to the Last Airbender, wizardry has never been more exciting and popular.

Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams (The Living Dead) brings you 32 of the most spellbinding tales ever written, by some of today’s most magical talents, including Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Robert Silverberg, Kelly Link, and many more.

Enter a world where anything is possible, where imagination becomes reality. Experience the thrill of power, the way of the wizard. (more…)

Read More


Here’s the cover of my next anthology from Night Shade Books, Brave New Worlds, an anthology of dystopian fiction, which is due out in January 2011. The art and cover design is by Cody Tilson.

Brave New Worlds
BRAVE NEW WORLDS cover. Click to see the full cover spread.

Here’s the cover copy:


In his smash-hit anthologies Wastelands and The Living Dead, acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams showed you what happens when society is utterly wiped away. Now he brings you a glimpse into an equally terrifying future — what happens when civilization invades and dictates every aspect of your life? From 1984 to The Handmaid’s Tale, from Children of Men to Bioshock, the dystopian imagination has been a vital and gripping cautionary force. Brave New Worlds collects the best tales of totalitarian menace by some of today’s most visionary writers, including Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

When the government wields its power against its own people, every citizen becomes an enemy of the state. Will you fight the system, or be ground to dust beneath the boot of tyranny?

The contents are not final on the book yet, so I can’t post them yet, but all of the authors on the cover are finalized, so they’re definitely in the book. Like my other recent Night Shade anthologies, the book will run around 230,000 words all together.

Read More

Guest Lecturer at the Odyssey Workshop 2011

I’ll be a guest lecturer at the 2011 Odyssey, The Fantasy Writing Workshop, which will be held June 6 – July 15. My lecture day is scheduled for July 13. This year’s writer-in-residence will be Gary Braunbeck, and other guest lecturers include Theodora Goss and Barry B. Longyear.

Here’s a little bit about the workshop, from my article “Basic Training for Writers“:

Odyssey is a well-respected six-week writing workshop, in which the entire learning process is overseen by one instructor, editor Jeanne Cavelos. “A single instructor guides you through the six weeks, gaining in-depth knowledge of your work, providing detailed assessments of your strengths and weaknesses, helping you target your weaknesses one by one, and charting your progress,” Cavelos said. “Some other workshops provide a series of instructors, which leaves you without any continuity of feedback to help you understand whether you are improving or not.” Odyssey allows students to work on both short fiction and novels, in the genre of science fiction, fantasy, or horror.

Workshop Director Cavelos is a former senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, and Odyssey is the only six-week workshop that has an editor’s guidance throughout. Cavelos says that her experienced editorial perspective is key to the learning process and enables her to help writers find the writing process that will best work for them.

But going to Odyssey doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on being tutored by genre luminaries. Each week of the program, a different guest writer or editor spends a period of 24 hours with the students, providing additional instruction, and Odyssey also features a writer-in-residence who teaches and works with students for an entire week. Past instructors include: Harlan Ellison, Dan Simmons, Ben Bova, George R. R. Martin, and Terry Brooks, among many others. The 2010 writer-in-residence was Laura Anne Gilman.

Fifty-three percent of Odyssey graduates have gone on to be published professionally, according to Cavelos. This is the highest percentage of post-workshop success reported by any of these programs. “I believe the journey to become the best writer you can be is a lifelong one,” Cavelos said. “At the end of Odyssey, your journey will not be done. Yet I’m constantly told by graduates that they learned more at Odyssey than they learned in years of workshopping and creative writing classes. The workshop helps you advance in your journey at a much accelerated rate.”

Cavelos notes that one of the big differences between Odyssey and some of the other workshops is that Odyssey offers an advanced, comprehensive curriculum covering the elements of fiction writing in depth. “With two hours of lecture/discussion each day (in addition to two hours of workshopping), Odyssey students learn the tools and techniques that make powerful writing,” Cavelos says. “While feedback can reveal a writer’s weaknesses, that writer can’t improve unless he has the tools to strengthen those weak areas.”

Published novelists who are Odyssey alumni include New York Times best-selling author Carrie Vaughn (six books published by Warner/Grand Central, and one forthcoming from HarperTeen), Barbara Campbell (three-book deal with DAW), Lane Robins (sold two books to Del Rey and two to Ace), Elaine Isaak (two books sold to Harper), James Maxey (four books sold to Solaris Books), and David J. Schwartz (major book deal with Random House); in addition to this, Odyssey alumni have published over 650 stories in a variety of anthologies and magazines, such as Asimov’s and Realms of Fantasy.

Applications for early admission are due January 31, 2011. The final deadline for applying to the workshop is April 8, 2011.

Read More

Do You Have the Restless Urge to Write?

Well, DO YOU? Because Bennett Cerf wants to know! Or he did want to know, oh, 50 years ago or so.

Do you have the restless urge to write?

This looks totally silly, right? Some kind of scam to take advantage of new writers? Well, guess who Bennett Cerf was: only one of the founders of the LARGEST ENGLISH LANGUAGE BOOK PUBLISHER IN THE WORLD (Random House.)

Do you REALLY have the restless urge to write?

Okay, so let’s see what writers were affiliated with this. ROD SERLING? ROD freaking SERLING?? (Of Twilight Zone fame.)

I wasn’t familiar with any of the other names, but several of them at least do seem to be successful writers of their era:

  • Faith Baldwin: “a very successful U.S. author of romance and fiction, publishing some 100 novels, often concentrating on women juggling career and family. The New York Times said that her books had ‘never a pretense at literary significance’ and were popular because they ‘enabled lonely working people, young and old, to identify with her glamorous and wealthy characters.'”
  • Bruce Catton: “an American journalist and notable historian of the American Civil War. He won a Pulitzer Prize for history in 1954 for A Stillness at Appomattox, his study of the final campaign of the war in Virginia.”
  • Rudolf Flesch: “an author, readability expert and writing consultant who was a vigorous proponent of plain English in the United States. He created the Flesch Reading Ease test and was co-creator of the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test [anyone who’s used Microsoft Word has likely run into this. —JJA].”
  • Other authors: Bergen Evans, Mignon G. eberhart, John Caples, J. D. Ratcliff, Mark Wiseman, Max Shulman, Red Smith.

(Strangely, the first three of the authors I looked up all died in 1978. COINCIDENCE??)

Oh, but LOOKEE HERE. My scam radar was not off after all. It seems there was a considerable scandal over the Famous Writers School’s business practices. The expose—“Let Us Now Appraise Famous Writers”—written by Jessica Mitford*, appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1970, and because we live in the future, you can just click through and read it right now. Snippet from Wikipedia: “Several of the Guiding Faculty attempted to defend the school’s practices, with Faith Baldwin saying ‘Oh, that’s just one of those things about advertising…. Anyone with common sense would know that the fifteen of us are much too busy to read the manuscripts the students send in.'” Yes—how silly that anyone would assume that the writers on staff would READ the manuscripts the students send in.

Man, I don’t know about you, but I’m dying to get my hands on a copy of this aptitude test.


*Mitford also wrote an expose on the funeral industry—which I haven’t read, but sounds fantastic—called The American Way of Death.

Read More

THE LIVING DEAD 2 Website Now Live!

The website for my new zombie anthology, The Living Dead 2, is now live. The url is

On the site, you will find 8 stories in their entirety, available both as regular web pages and in a downloadable ebook sampler (currently available in epub and pdf format, with additional formats forthcoming from the Baen Webscriptions store). There will also be 36 different author interviews with the contributors. They’re scheduled to appear daily, starting today, with the final one scheduled to run on Oct. 4. And last, but not least, you can also read the introduction and the header notes to each story in the anthology. (Okay, maybe that IS least!)

The anthology features all-new, original stories by zombie masters Robert Kirkman, Max Brooks, David Wellington, Brian Keene, Jonathan Maberry, Carrie Ryan, John Skipp, and Mira Grant, for a grand total of FORTY-FOUR STORIES. This includes a mix of originals (27) and reprints (17) (none of which have ever appeared in a zombie anthology before).

The free stories, which you can find here, are:

  • The Skull-Faced City — David Barr Kirtley
  • And the Next, and the Next — Genevieve Valentine
  • Flotsam & Jetsam — Carrie Ryan
  • Mouja — Matt London
  • Who We Used to Be — David Moody
  • The Days of Flaming Motorcycles — Catherynne M. Valente
  • Obedience — Brenna Yovanoff
  • Rural Dead — Bret Hammond

Read More

Lightspeed Seeks Advertising Manager

We’re looking to fill the following position at Lightspeed Magazine.

Advertising Manager and/or Advertising Representatives

Necessary skills: The ability to contact and facilitate the purchasing of advertising space by 3rd parties for the Lightspeed Magazine website.
Duties: Maintain the advertising network tools, add new ads, remove old ones, and respond to advertiser questions.
Benefits: Commission-based. Inquire further.

If interested, contact publisher Sean Wallace at

Read More

Harlan Ellison Praises Lightspeed’s “Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro

Legendary author Harlan Ellison recently read this week’s Lightspeed story—“Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro—and posted this rave review on his website’s forum:

– Tuesday, August 17 2010 12:43:42


Remarkable. And in the purest intensity of the word: powerful.

You may quote me.

In any year in which “The Best” stories in this genre are selected, Adam’s “Arvies” would be a certainty for adulation.

I, in truth, read it three times, straight through.

This is a grand talent operating at top-point efficiency. Even to spend an evening with intelligent friends discusssing the underlying moralities and categorical imperatives of this deeply wrought story, is to spend an evening letting creativity lave your intellect.

I understand it will appear in LIGHTSPEED Magazine, of which I know not; but Adam-Troy should be in my wake here, somewhere, giving you the info where to get this special narrative.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

If you also know not of Lightspeed Magazine, the homepage is, and you can find “Arvies” here.

Obviously, hearing that an author as influential and distinguished as Harlan Ellison loves a story you’ve published is an incredible honor and hugely flattering. But that the praise for this—shall we say…dangerous—story is coming from Harlan Ellison, editor of what is quite probably the most important anthology in the history of science fiction—Dangerous Visions—well, in that case, it goes quite a bit beyond that.

Read More

My 2010 Readercon Schedule

I’ll be at Readercon (July 8-11) on Friday and Saturday next week. Here’s what I’ll be doing as a program participant:

Friday 6:00 PM, Salon F: Panel

The Bonus DVD in Literature.  John Joseph Adams, Jim Freund (M), Marty Halpern, Robert V. S. Redick, Sarah Smith.

Brandon Sanderson has posted “author commentary” on a chapter-by-chapter basis for all of his major fantasy novels. Steven Hall wrote “un-chapters” for every chapter of his published book _The Raw Shark Texts_ and has scattered them in the world and online. And Catherynne Valente recorded audio “author’s commentary” for several chapters of her online YA novel _The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making_. How does the presence of authoritative commentary change the reading dynamic? Does it affect the sense of closure and satisfaction that is conventionally experienced when we reach the end of a story? Will a proliferation of such bonus material create more
informed readers, or simply ones less willing to work to understand a story? And how does the idea of a “published work” change when different readers may have experienced less or more of it, depending on how much bonus content they have experienced?

Saturday 11:00 AM, ME/ CT: Panel

The New and Improved Future of Magazines (Part 2).  John Joseph Adams, John Benson, Leah Bobet, Robert Killheffer (L), Sean Wallace.

After last year’s “The Future of Magazines” panels, participant K. Tempest Bradford wrote: “The magazines and anthologies that I love tend to have editors who have taken the time to examine themselves or their culture, to expend their knowledge of other people and ways of being, to open their minds. These magazines and anthologies contain far more stories I want to read by authors of many varied backgrounds. As I said, it’s not fully about print vs. online, it’s about better magazines and books.” This time, creators and proponents of both print and online magazines collaborate on determining ways that any genre magazine can create a brighter and better-read future for itself, using Bradford’s comment as a launching point.

Saturday 12:00 Noon, Vinyard: Kaffeeklatsch

Read More