Jonathan Strage & Mr. Norrell

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Catch Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell on Saturdays on BBC!

I am not an anglophile like Damsel Bruja. I find most popular British television marketed to American audiences incomprehensible, but Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is refreshing, compelling, and dare I say, exciting? The first two episodes aired on BBCAmerica so you can catch up if you start now. I think English viewers are already on episode six?

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is an alternate historical story set during the Napoleonic Wars. The main characters, Jonathan and Norrell are two very different magicians destined to make magic respectable in England again. No longer the stuff of parlor tricks, magic can be applied to aid the war effort. Norrell is nervous, introverted, and socially awkward where Jonathan is a likable idiot whose failed attempts to win over his lady friend are used for comic relief. I’ve never seen anything like this! (No, it’s nothing like Harry Potter–thank god) There’s necromancy, supernatural deities, prophecies, and an unusual wit about the whole thing.

Not a fan of BBC? That’s OK. Apparently Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is based on the bestselling book of the same title by British fantasy/specfic author, Susanna Clark. I’ve only watched the first episode, but my fondness for female sf/f/h/specfic authors will probably lead me to the library this week. Fun fact: it took Susaana Clark TEN YEARS to finish the novel and several failed attempts to get it published. She was told her book was “unmarketable.” Ha. Showed them, right? I love author success stories like these and I can’t wait to read the book.

It’s rare I come across a series with original, refreshing material, but THIS is it. And I’m excited to sink my teeth into Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Set your DVRs, run to your library and watch/read with me. Trailer below.

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Submissions OPEN for Fantasy Magazine!

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Are you a queer writer? This submission call is specifically for YOU! Submissions open through May for “Queers Destroy Fantasy!” at Lightspeed’s imprint, Fantasy Magazine. They’re paying 8 cents per word and are expecting fantasy submissions between 1500-7500 words. Christopher Barzak is guest editing. So…get crackin! And good luck!

Taken from their submission guidelines:

    • Who can submit stories for consideration for the special issue? Anyone who identifies as queer.
    • How do you define queer? Gay, lesbian, bisexual, demisexual, asexual, pansexual, intersex, transgender, genderfluid, genderqueer–if you fit within the QUILTBAG, we want you. Identity is what matters for this issue. (Please note that the “A” in QUILTBAG is for “ace/on the asexual spectrum,” not “ally.” We hope allies will support this special issue, but if you are not yourself queer, please do not submit.)
    • I’m queer. What can I submit? Original fantasy short stories, 1500 – 7500 words.
    • How much are you paying for stories? 8 cents per word for original fiction.
    • How queer does my story need to be? We very much want to see diverse queer representation and queer themes, but we are focused on the identity of the authors and the quality of the story, not the “this much queer content per story” meter.
    • When can I expect a response to my submission? We will endeavor to reply as quickly as possible to submissions, but since assembling the special issue is similar to assembling an anthology, stories being seriously considered may be held until July 1, 2015 to allow our editors to consider everything before making final decisions.
    • How many stories and how often may I submit? Our usual policy of allowing authors to only submit a story once every 7 days is lifted for this issue; so while you may only submit one at a time, you can send in something else as soon as we pass on the first one.
    • What about reprints? Reprints for this issue are by solicitation only.
    • Can I submit a rejected story to LIGHTSPEED (or NIGHTMARE) in the future? All stories submitted to Queers Destroy Fantasy! will also simultaneously be considered for regular issues of LIGHTSPEED (or NIGHTMARE). So if you receive a rejection for Queers Destroy Fantasy!, you can consider that story having been rejected by LIGHTSPEED/NIGHTMARE in general. If we end up with so many good stories we can’t fit them all in the special issue, we’ll take such “overflow” for regular issues of the magazines.
    • Can I submit a story previously rejected by LIGHTSPEED or NIGHTMARE to QDF? Yes. Since it’s a different editorial team, it makes sense to allow them to consider such submissions. So if you have a story previously rejected by LIGHTSPEED/NIGHTMARE, feel free to resubmit it.
    • What kind of fantasy? All types of fantasy–high fantasy, contemporary urban tales, surrealism, magical realism, science fantasy, folktales…and anything and everything in between.
    • Is there anything you’re explicitly NOT looking for? Other than the fact that (a) the story needs to be by a queer author and (b) it has to be fantasy, please abide by the regular LIGHTSPEED/FANTASY guidelines. The only two things that our guidelines for this or any issue of LIGHTSPEED/FANTASY explicitly forbid are (a) erotica and (b) media-based fiction and/or fan fiction. Anything else is fair game.