Farrago’s Wainscot Returns

October 28th, 2014 by Darin

old manWhen we closed down Farrago’s Wainscot in 2009, after our twelfth issue, it was for the usual reasons: time and money. Publishing the ‘zine was a labor of love—we never charged for it, we never really sold advertising (we gave a few ads away there for a little bit), and we paid as much as we could ($20 per story, poem, or article). The online speculative fiction zeitgeist at the time was definitely “weird.” Weird was everywhere. “New,” “old,” “literary” (sorry, that one was our fault), “post-,” “New, new-,” “little” (again, my fault—needed a dissertation title)—we, collectively, couldn’t get enough. Tastes were changing there around Issue 12, and while we were still bringing in our steady readership, we were running out of music festivals and masquerades and tip jars with which to fund the Old Man’s cabinet of curiosities. Steampunk was on fire; hard SF was making an awesome comeback; and urban fantasy was gobbling titles and categories like a 2nd ed. ooze, which was awesome—we were prone to some urban fantasy publications of our own.

So, with heavy hearts, we stopped the project. The lamentations and gnashing of teeth that we received from internet friends and strangers at our passing surprised us. We had quietly gone about our weird business, keeping mostly to ourselves, garnering a few very nice reviews, some Year’s Best nods, and even pocketing the 2007 StorySouth Million Writers Award for “Best New Online Magazine or Journal” and the 2007 Preditors and Editors Readers’ Poll for “Best Fiction Magazine/Ezine”—not to mention the handful of lauds our contributors collected on their own. We were surprised that people were marking our passing, but it was gratifying.

Life went on.

It’s been five years now since Old Man Farrago last put out his shingle. Behind the scenes, we’ve all shuffled jobs a few times, put out a few books, moved around the country, etc. But we’ve never stopped watching what people are buying and reading. What “weird” means today. How the genre pendulum swings from clearly defined to ill . . . and then back. What it means to write speculative or experimental fiction in an age of increasing efforts to include and understand—in an age when so, so much of this work remains to do. At at time when the world is still falling apart. Like it always does.

firebirdSo it is with great excitement that I tell you that I’ve reached an agreement to revive Farrago’s Wainscot—weirder and more challenging than ever!—under the imprimatur of Resurrection House, who will serve as the ‘zine’s publisher. We will release issue 13 on January 14, 2015, and throughout the year, you’ll see some familiar Farrago alums—many of whom have gone on to publish books and garner awards of their own—and you’ll see fresh new voices. “Fresh weird.” There you go—a new neologism for a new era.

We’ll be paying more. $0.06/word for fiction; $20/poem (Hey, that was a fair price even back then). And we’ll be using a submissions manager, so no more strange emails from the communal hive-mind of the old “wainscot.editors” email address. Our new submissions page has all the details, so go click around the site. It’s been given a facelift, and all your old favorites are still there for a re-read before we re-weird next year. There’s another one: “re-weird.” This is going to be an odd year.

So until January, thanks for reading. We’ll see you in the funny papers.

crawfish

Chimpanzee’s Full Cover

June 6th, 2014 by Darin

This’ll blow your eyeballs off…

chimpanzee_jacket

Ad Astra

June 1st, 2014 by Darin

lakeDespite what many of us in the SF/F field have known for many months, I guess I still thought it would be a while before I’d make this post, but I learned today that Jay Lake–prolific, hilarious, helpful, creative dynamo–has passed away.

In 2006, I sold my first short story Jay and Deb Layne for Polyphony 6. It was my introduction into the SF/F field, and very literally the beginning of my professional writing career.

And then in 2007, I and two other of my nobody friends decided to start a weird e-zine, Farrago’s Wainscot. We had no money, no notoriety, and nothing but our desire for quality fiction. I reached out to Jay, and he immediately and enthusiastically gave us “Bird of Leaves” for free. And his participation in our endeavor created a snowball effect. Before long, many others we looked up to and admired agreed to send us material, and our do-nothing little ‘zine went on for a wonderful three years, largely (directly) due to that initial generosity.

I’ve never forgotten that kindness. The Wainscot went on to create professional connections for me that played a large role in the sale of my first novel. There is a direct line of causality between what I’m doing now and what Jay did 7-8 years ago.

And then recently, during a brush with cancer of my own, Jay offered support and encouragement, even as his terminal illness took its darkest, final turns.

He was a kind man and a good human. There weren’t many brighter lights you could orient by, both professionally and personally, than Jay. There still aren’t.

As reported at Jay’s website, “if you’d like to make a contribution in Jay’s name, please make it to

Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
c/o OSFCI
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228″

Ad astra, sir.

Ad Astra

March 13th, 2014 by Darin

10003921_423120527833823_1132495396_n Now that the proper authorities have all been informed, I’m very happy to announce that I’ve accepted a full-time position as an editor at Resurrection House. I’ll be helping out with the usual: acquisitions, editing, production, marketing–you name it. Having done varieties of these jobs for different independent presses and journals over the years, I’m happy to finally bundle them all under one job description. Indeed–my dream job description.

Mark, the publisher, and I are long-time friends, and we’ve collaborated on a number of zany projects down in the creative trenches. I’ve been so thrilled by my own reception as a novelist at Resurrection House, that when the opportunity arose to revisit that experience upon other writers, I just couldn’t say no.

I’ve enjoyed my time in the video game world at id Software, and I’ll certainly miss my friends there. I’m know, however, that they’ll continue the good fight without me. I can’t wait for the rest of you to see what’s forthcoming from the studio.

Now, ad astra!

Free Fiction: Sweet Water

July 11th, 2013 by Darin

Here’s a gem that I’ve been holding onto for a long time. If you enjoyed Noise, you might enjoy this magical realist look at a resource-based religion engineering a dark, exploitative, and uncomfortably familiar society…

Read the rest of this entry »

An Eagle Scout Returns His Medal

July 20th, 2012 by Darin

Martin Cizmar, Eagle Scout, has returned his medal to the B.S.A. in protest over discriminatory practices toward homosexuality.

Update: So has Kelsey Timmerman.

Pirate Radio in Guatemala

April 24th, 2012 by Darin

For all those Noise fans who particularly loved the radio, broadcast, and narrow-band TV business, Boing Boing has a great link to indigenous Mayan communities using pirate radio.

[link]

Writing for id

February 1st, 2012 by Darin

Now that it’s official, I can let you know that I’ve accepted a position as the full-time writer for id software—the revolutionary outfit behind classics like Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, and others.

,

Lois Tilton’s Best Short Fiction of 2011

December 20th, 2011 by Darin

Over at Locus, Lois Tilton has posted her picks for the best short fiction of 2011. I’m quite pleased to see that my story “∞°”—which appeared in Electric Velocipede #21/22—has made the list.

You can read the story for free, courtesy of EV.

The 1670 AM Interview, Released

September 14th, 2011 by Darin

In February of this year, I had the privilege of being interviewed at 1670 AM, an independent, underground AM radio station here in Denton. The experience was fascinating and entertaining, if not a bit drunken—as all such interviews should be I think. I am finally able to share the full thing with you, wherein I discuss Noise, the apocalypse, and writerly identity. The entire thing is about an hour and ten minutes long, and there are a few f-bombs, so you may not want to play it at full volume at work, but therein lies anything you might ever have wanted to know about the novel, Denton/Slade, and how I write.

1670 AM Interview

 

interview photos

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