Cirsova Summer Special Out Today! + Tangent Online Review

Our Summer Special is Out Now!

Check out this review on Tangent Online.

The Ghost of Torreón
A strange experiment gone wrong has granted Professor Rigoberto “Beto” Caminante an extraordinary power—the ability to “ride” radio waves!

The Bullet From Tomorrow
A mysterious visitor claiming to be from the future has a simple job for Private Investigator Butch Norton: sabotage an airplane to prevent World War III!

The Star-God’s Grave
A young sorcerer’s apprentice steals a starship from his master… only to be pressed into the service of a pair of space hussars to undertake a perilous quest!

Bleed You Dry
A simple news assignment—talk to the reprobate son of an aloof dying billionaire—leads one small-town reporter down a trail of death and madness!

The Last Fortune of Ali al’Ahmar
No search for treasure is ever easy, but the hoard of a legendary pirate sought by a shifty client steeped in sorcery may prove tricky for even Sudah’s tough crew!

An interstellar war has spilled onto the planet Halcyon, where humanity finds an unexpected ally in their fight against an alien race and their sinister masters!

front cover only


Submissions are Open!

We’re accepting Submissions now for Cirsova volume 2.

Details are here.

We’re looking to acquire ~100K words in text in total. That’s enough to fill two issues of Cirsova.

Payment is .0125 per word. That’s less on the short end than we used to pay, but more on the long-end. [mostly it keeps our expenses flat, which we need on such a tight budget, as opposed to when we paid a .01 cent bonus on the first 2500 words and costs fluctuated based on the number of stories rather than actual wordcounts.]


Black Gate Magazine Spotlights Cirsova in Their Summer Short Story Roundup

Last we saw them, with Issue #1back in April, I wrote “If this is what the first issue looks like, I expect future ones will blow me away.” Having just plowed through the 108 pages of #2, count me blown away.

One of the ongoing conversations about writing these days is the place of narrative storytelling. Personally, I’m for more of it, and it’s clearly something editor P. Alexander favors as well. If you prefer stories like tone poems, or with deep introspection, this is probably not the publication for you. Action, adventure, and vivid scene-setting are the hallmarks of every story.

Read the whole thing here:

Or better yet, back us on Kickstarter for issues 3 & 4!

Cirsova Anthology Update! (Looking for SFF Writers!)

Things are moving along quickly.  I’ve received an unexpected and impressive level of interest in this project which bodes well. I’ve already received a few submissions and have a couple of awesome pieces locked in.

I’ll be keeping the FAQ updated as stuff comes up.

Several people have been asking about deadlines.  It’s not a hard and fast deadline, and if things take an unexpected drop-off I may extend it, but your best bet would be to get submissions in by the end of October.  Currently, I am be reading pieces and making offers in the order that I receive them.  So, the sooner the better.

Short Reviews – The Venus Evil, Chester S. Geier

The Venus Evil by Chester S. Geier appeared in the Summer 1947 issue of Planet Stories (Vol 3. No 7).

I’ll admit that the first few times I saw the title, I kept wanting to read it as “The Venus of Evil”*, which sounds pretty hot. That missing “of” aside, “The Venus Evil” is a pretty classic example of planetary sci-fi horror. I’d actually go so far as to call it “Lovecraftian”; not “let’s fly a B-2 into Yog Sothoth’s face” Lovecraftian, but actual creepy gross horror of the unknown Lovecraftian.

Like many of Lovecraft’s tales, The Venus Evil is a survivor’s account. Only one man of a three man scientific expedition to Venus has made it back alive, and this is his account of why he killed one of his fellow crewman and why he is not facing any sort of disciplinary action for doing so. What follows is a story of greed and bizarre and monstrous creatures.

Probably what Geier best achieves is conveying the unknowable and indescribable nature of alien life; all we can do is compare it to the known, but it is so uncannily different from the known, our notions end up betraying us. Something can look like a small deer, but it is certainly not a deer. Something can look like a beautiful butterfly, but it is certainly not a butterfly. And something can look like a valuable gemstone, but it is certainly not the egg form of a vampiric quasi energy based life form. Oh, wait, nevermind, maybe it is.

I wouldn’t call this one of the “greats” of the genre or anything, but it certainly would’ve made a more than decent episode of Star Trek or the Outer Limits. Unfortunately, this is another one of those stories that you’re probably not going to find unless you get your hands on this issue of Planet Stories. According to SF Encyclopedia, Chester S. Geier “was one of the more prolific Pulp-magazine writers, [but] his short stories have never been collected in book form”. At least two of his other stories from Amazing are available on Project Gutenberg, though, so you might look for those.  Additionally, several stories released under the name Gerald Vance in the late 40s were Geier’s.

*: In fairness, it IS in the same issue as “The Martian Circe”, which I will talk about soonish.