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The June 2011 issue of Ideomancer is live, and it's full of summer travels: both physical and of the mind and soul and heart.

Cory Skerry’s "Rendered Down" sets us off to sea, and across the thin line between one world and the next. Alter Reiss’s "A Letter from Northern Niaro" narrates a trip into the country, and the distance grown between the person one is and the person one used to be. Finally, Anatoly Belilovsky’s "Chrestomathy", with the misfiring of a bullet, crosses continents and builds a dizzying and breathtaking new history.

Poetry from repeat contributors Megan Arkenberg, Mike Allen, and W.C. Roberts and first-time contributor Shannon Connor Winward rounds out the issue, taking us out to distant, devastated planets; deep into our own skins; back in time, and forward. And our staff reviewers survey a quartet of modern-style mysteries that cross into the Arthurian and the mimetic, and hop across the Atlantic.

We hope you enjoy this quarter’s issue, and if so, please consider dropping something into our tip jar. Ideomancer relies on reader donations to pay its contributors for their excellent fiction and poetry, and even five dollars makes a big difference.

Also, this means we're reopened to fiction submissions, although we are going to be closed to poetry submissions for this quarter, reopening in September.


March issue live!

Spring is springing – slowly – into our back yards and back closets and the backs of our brains alike. So in honour of the best new-old thing that happens all year, our March 2011 issue of Ideomancer has three stories full of slanted spring sunlight; stories light enough to float; stories about beginnings.

Sandra Odell returns to our virtual pages with “Just Be,” a story about a warm afternoon and a simple renewal and just how good that can be. Emily Skaftun’s “Apology for Fish-Dude” starts our feet down a brand new road, and shows how, in some ways, wherever we are we stay the same. Finally, Su-Yee Lin’s “Ascension” takes us, birds and leaves and all, into the sky and sailing off to summertime.

We’re also trying a new-old thing ourselves: a featured poet. Our March featured poet is Mari Ness, and this issue showcases three of her poems – “Grandma and the Puka,” “Nile Song,” and “Soul Street,” as well as an interview on both the art of speculative poetry and her take on the field itself.

All that, as well as a double handful of reviews!

We hope you enjoy this quarter’s issue, and if so, please consider dropping something into our tip jar. Ideomancer relies on reader donations to pay its contributors for their excellent fiction and poetry, and even five dollars makes a big difference.

Until summertime!



Happy new year!

With the end of the year and the beginning of the next come a few traditions, and one of them is critic Rich Horton's year-end roundups of practically every SFF magazine on Earth. He's posted his year-end summary for Ideomancer:

My favorites were LaShawn M. Wanak's "Future Perfect", a woman's look at multiple alternate futures for her and a man she loves; Megan Arkenberg's "The Copperroof War", about the results of an uprising in a vast house; Ilan Lerman's "Saint Stephen Street", about an old man and a young girl in a ruined future; and Sandra Odell's "Afterglow", a short-short, for its unusual depiction of love.

Congrats to all the 2010 authors and poets!

Back in the present, we're still reading for the March 2011 issue, which is shaping up with such shiny things as a featured poet and the usual reviews and bells and whistles. Send us your best. :)


Reviews and interviews and the like.

Ideomancer is in the press a bit this week. So to speak. :)

Skull Salad Reviews has reviewed the December issue, including the poetry, which doesn't always happen with fiction-oriented reviews. Thanks!

Also, csecooney has an interview up at the Black Gate blog about Ideomancer, the process of making our December issue, and some of my personal history with the magazine. It's useful reading for those of you who wonder about how we put together a TOC, why there are so many people involved in this thing anyways, and why we all do this thing.

Happy Saturday!


December issue live!

Here in the northern hemisphere, it's the dark of the year and getting cold fast. The December 2010 issue of Ideomancer is live, and it's a solstice one: stories about, and for, the end of the year and the end — and beginning — of the world.

Becca de la Rosa's "When the Light Left" is a purest solstice story, about darkness and light and dancing. Nadia Bulkin's "Lucky You" breaks the world and then draws us through to the other side; and Stephen Case's "What I Wrote for Andronicus" goes even farther, into death and the afterlife and the end of an afterlife, and through that, into spring.

Our poets this month — Kelly Rose Pflug-Back, WC Roberts, and Liz Bourke — round out the issue with a trio of night flights.

We hope you enjoy this quarter's issue, and if so, please consider dropping something into our tip jar. Ideomancer relies on reader donations to pay its contributors for their excellent fiction and poetry, and even five dollars makes a big difference.

Happy longest night, and we’ll see you in the new year!


We are hiring!


Ideomancer is looking for two new junior editors for fiction only. Slush wrangler wannabes should be VERY familiar with our magazine and know the styles of fiction we publish. Our guidelines state: Ideomancer publishes speculative fiction and poetry that explores the edges of ideas; stories that subvert, refute and push the limits. We want unique pieces from authors willing to explore non-traditional narratives and take chances with tone, structure and execution, balance ideas and character, emotion and ruthlessness. We also have an eye for more traditional tales told with excellence.

We are especially interested in non-traditional formats, hyperfiction, and work that explores the boundaries not just of its situation but of the internet-as-page.

In addition to reading slush weekly (usually fewer than eight stories per week), you may be asked to work with a writer to help polish his/her work. Editors also help out with publicity and funding initiatives.

The position will require a 30-day commitment during an open reading period, at the end of which either of us (you or us) can opt out if we don't feel we're a good fit.

Please contact us via the publisher (at) ideomancer (dot) com address by Sunday, November 21, 2010 if you are interested in giving us a try. Tell us why you are interested in slushing for us in particular, and remember that our current editors' work is not eligible for publication in Ideomancer, nor is this a paying position. We all do this gig out of love.

Thanks, and look forward to your interest!

The Ideomancer Speculative Fiction team


September issue live!

The September 2010 issue of Ideomancer is live, and it delves into some off-kilter relationships: how they go subtly right, or wrong, and what we do about it.

Sandra Odell's "Afterglow" takes an aspect of love and need and transforms it into something literal and disturbing; Lenora Rose's "It Shall Come to Pass on a Summer’s Day" hops through time, showing the complications of a narrative that’s usually rendered simple; and Catherine Krahe's "Fairest in the Land" takes on the most interesting, and maybe most neglected phase of a relationship: after it ends.

Our poets this month — Rachel Swirsky, David Kopaska-Merkel, Mikal Trimm, and Ann K. Schwader — round out the issue, and books reviewed include Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death, George Mann's Ghosts of Manhattan, and Douglas Smith's Chimerascope.

We hope you enjoy this quarter’s issue, and if so, please consider dropping something into our tip jar. Ideomancer relies on reader donations to pay its contributors for their excellent fiction and poetry, and even five dollars makes a big difference.

See you in December!


[Atlas of Imagination] Mars on Earth

The remote locale, barren landscape and harsh weather of Devon Island, coupled with the presence of the Haughton impact crater, give it a number of correspondence points with the landscape of Mars--so many that the scientists of the Haughton-Mars Project have, for years now, been using it as a Mars-analogue in a series of experiments.


Research topics include Mars greenhouses, Mars ice drilling, and Mars surgery (as conducted by medically untrained team members, remotely guided by Earth surgeons, with a twenty-minute communications delay).  The human factors experiments are the ones that intrigue me the most--they remind me of the kind of hypothetical play I enjoyed as a child, in which my brothers and I would create routes around the house without using the floor.  Although I have not yet found myself without a floor, it is entirely possible that the explorers currently working on Devon may find themselves on Mars one day, and it's heartening to know they'll have experienced analogues for what they might find there.

[Atlas of Imagination] Tree Bridges

The idea of tree bridges--trees encouraged to grow in such a way that their living roots span a chasm or river--charms me to no end.  Tree bridges imply patience and generational planning; they're aesthetically lovely; and perhaps best of all, they're a reminder that humans and our environment aren't separate and hostile entities: we live in the world, we shape the world, the world lives in us.

Does anyone else remember the many, many stories about our future vacations on the moon? We'd make our way there, of course, via the mythical space elevator. Sadly, this great invention has yet to come to be.

NASA scientist Jerome Pearson first proposed the elevator in 1969 and continued his work on it through the 70s, additionally providing research to Sir Arthur Clarke for his novel The Fountains of Paradise. While there was some earlier work by a Russian scientist, Yuri N. Artsutanov, it was Pearson's article published in the journal Acta Astronautica that made the elevator famous.

And what a journey it would be! The average distance to the moon is 238,857 miles, or nearly ten trips around the Earth at the equator. There has been much work on this as a concept but as of now, there's no actual work on the structure. The comparable size and reach of the structure requires the device to be both extremely light and supportive of a great weight.

And therein lies the problem. As of now, there's no such material. Most recently, in 2007 there was a Space Elevator contest, which offered a five million dollar prize to a group which managed the development of such a technology. While no team took home the prize, a group from MIT placed first with a nanotube entry that seemed very promising.

In fiction, it's easier. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise certainly made the concept famous, but there's been more than just his work. Artists and illustrators too, have been inspired by the idea.

And where can we go from here? Only up, of course.