Friday, January 25, 2013

Urban Mythic update

The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic editors, Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber, report:

“It is heart-warming to receive so many subscriptions to our anthology, and we editrixes really do enjoy seeing who has submitted what in these early stages. 

However ...   a staggering one in four subs are risking the reject bin simply because the writer has misunderstood the guidelines; not read the guidelines; or, worst of all, assumed the guidelines don't apply to them.  To give yourself the best possible chance, read our guidelines, especially for style and subject preferences. Anything that ignores these runs the risk of being returned unread.”

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pulp Heroes 2 update

Here's a prelim of the cover for Pulp Heroes 2

Art by the incomparable Les Edwards

Friday, January 11, 2013

Astrologica update

Allen Ashley, editor of our forthcoming anthology The Alchemy Press Book of Astrologica, reports:

“Thank you to all the authors who have sent me stories during the first week that I have been open to submissions. I have made no firm decisions on any story yet but I thought it would be a good idea to let folks know which star signs I’ve received work for and where the gaps are. So: stories received so far for Aries, Pisces, Aquarius and Libra, plus a pan-astrological tale.

I will be happy to receive more entries for the above zodiac signs but if you want to increase your chances a few percentage points, then get your thinking caps on and start to send me stories relating to Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Virgo, Sagittarius and Capricorn. Stories, queries etc to:

For submission details click here. And for help on presenting your manuscript, click here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


The guidelines for Alchemy Novellas state: "We are looking for original, unpublished novellas." Please do not send us reprints. Or if you have something that you think we really should consider, contact us beforehand.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A tip for (new) writers

The Alchemy Press is currently accepting submissions for three anthologies: Astrologica, Pulp Heroes 2 and Urban Mythic. Check via the above tabs for submission guidelines. You'll note that each anthology has its own editors -- who are named -- and their own email addresses.

Here's the tip: when you send in your sub, address your email to the editors by name, or at least as Dear Editor. Then write something like: "I wish to submit my story (title) for possible inclusion in your anthology. Please see the attached file."

These words are not definitive. However, we have received some submissions without the simple salutation and even some without any kind of covering letter. You wouldn't send a manuscript to Gollancz or Tor in such an unthinking manner, so please extend the courtesy to us.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sex, Lies and Family Ties: reviewed

Sex, Lies and Family Ties by Sarah J Graham

Reviewed by Allen Ashley

Set mostly during September 1970, this book will evoke bittersweet memories for anyone who remembers drinking halves of cider or bottles of Kia-ora; painting their bedroom wall orange or purple; listening to early T Rex and mourning the untimely death of Hendrix; describing unpleasant situations as a “bummer” or “heavy vibes”. At the core of the story are three friends – Carol, Syl, and Jac – all aged nineteen and on the cusp of womanhood. It is bookshop assistant and biker girl Carol whose narrative we mostly follow. The occasionally meandering plot reflects her damaged and uncertain psychological state as she inches towards taking control of her own destiny and throwing off the stifling shackles of “Family… something you got lumbered with.” She is a sympathetic though sometimes annoyingly self-centred heroine. The novel has some strongly written scenes, particularly the gripping final chapter as Carol floats adrift through her abusive brother’s funeral and wake before metaphorically swimming to safety. A thought-provoking coming of age story; as well as a snapshot of those difficult times.

Thanks to Allen Ashley for permission to reprint the review. Buy the book from Amazon or other online dealers -- follow the link for details.

Submissions now open

The Alchemy Press has opened its submission windows for the next three anthologies: Astrologica (edited by Allen Ashley), Urban Mythic (edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber), and Pulp Heroes 2 (edited by Mike Chinn). In brief:

The Alchemy Press Book of the Astrologica is looking for stories about the signs of the Zodiac, the characteristics associated with those signs and/ or people born under them. I will also consider stories involving the mythical characters and creatures of the astrological signs, perhaps their history and origin, perhaps their present and future state. Note: I am not saying that one has to believe in the paraphernalia associated with modern astrology; but authors should seek to use some of this as inspiration and underpinning of their narratives.

The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic is seeking contemporary tales with all the magic and wonder of myth and legend, blending modern life with the traditions of folklore from around the world. Whether lurking in dark alleys or brash shopping malls; from shanty towns to the floating cities of Venice, Bangkok or Dubai; swanky riverside penthouse lofts or humble suburban semis, we want to see how the mythic is woven into the everyday. Think Charles de Lint, Terri Windling, Robert Holdstock, Seanan McGuire, Jim Butcher, Kate Griffin, Simon R. Green, Holly Black, Neil Gaiman…

The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 2 is after tales from the arid plains of Mars to the canyons of Manhattan; the foetid jungle to the naked jungle. Demented criminals versus dark heroes with sinister powers. The flash of steel in the palaces of long-forgotten civilizations or along the sterile corridors of impossible spacecraft. Swords against sorcery or sword and planet.

And don’t forget, this year sees the launch of Alchemy Novellas: these will cover almost all areas of Fantasy – that’s heroic fantasy, alternate world fantasy, urban fantasy, supernatural, dark crime and horror. Comic fantasy will be considered but not if it’s a parade of puns or bad gags. We are not fans of zombies or heroic vampires. We will not publish hard science fiction. Essentially, acceptance will be based on how well the novella works for us.

Visit the above links for full details.