My story, “They Would Only Be Roads,” which first appeared in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology Paper Cities, is now available as an audio recording at Far Fetched Fables
A photo from my recent reading as part of the Literary Arts Festival at Richland College.
Chimpanzee is a finalist for Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year (thriller and suspense).
For those who couldn’t join us at the University of North Texas for my latest reading from Chimpanzee and Noise, here’s a recording—including the Q&A that followed.
Foreword Reviews has included Chimpanzee in their list of the best Fantasy/SciFi of 2014.
When 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.
So 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, and keep up with us on Twitter. We’ll see you in the funny papers.
Craig L. Gidney recently interviewed me for Washington Independent Review of Books. Come join the conversation.
Darin Bradley’s second novel, Chimpanzee, traffics in dystopian themes, but not in the same way as does the plot-driven The Hunger Games or the allegorical/satirical stories of Margaret Atwood. Instead, his world recalls the more subtle work of Philip K. Dick or Chang-Rae Lee.
As with the best dystopian fiction, Chimpanzee taps into many contemporary issues and fears — in this case, everything from the surveillance state to the student-debt crisis. Chimpanzee is a post-collapse novel for those who have become numb to them, and a unique take on a subgenre in sore need of one. The book’s dazzling originality not only helps overcome much of its dryness, it makes it well worth the extra homework.