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What’s Occurring? A Bookish Community Roundup 13/08/2021

Hello bookwyrms. I’ve been thinking of doing something like this for a while and Blogger Appreciation week has given me the kick up the arse I needed. There’s always so many great posts, book reviews, community projects and other good stuff going on that I want to support and direct people to, so strap in cos where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

1. In honour of Peat’s inspirational influence on this post, the first place the Community Roundup is gonna point you to is Peat’s very own Friday Five, this time featuring drinking copious amounts of craft beer or, as Peat puts it, ‘Getting Gazebooed’. Must be one of them southern terms… As always, Peat gives a wonderful roundup of the interesting goings on in the online bookish community over the past week and also gives his thoughts on the ‘Can A Team of Twenty Writers Pump Out a Book a Month if they Just Write a Chapter Each?’ debate.

2. As much as I’ve got into the wider book community since I started blogging, book reviews remain the bread & butter, brick & mortar, solid backbone of the bookosphere and so I thought it might be cool to highlight a Review of the Week type segment here. It’ll probably expand to include more than one in future, lets be honest, but for today let’s stick with the one, and that’s Adrian Gibson’s rolled up review of Jade City and Jade War, the first two books in Fonda Lee’s Green Bone Saga. This review got to the core of why I thought these are two of the best fiction books I’ve ever read. Yep, you read that right. Ever.

3. There’s a couple of awesome Kickstarters running in the book world right now that I’d HIGHLY recommend you check out and unload your wallet into. The first is for In Somnio: A Collection of Modern Gothic Horror Fiction being run by new small press Tenebrous Press (@TenebrousPress on twitterz). I’ve genuinely never been this excited about a Kickstarter before, it looks so effing good! Featuring stories from horror queen Hailey Piper and maddeningly lush artwork and illustrations from a group of fantastically talented artists. I’ve got an interview pencilled in with editor Alex Woodroe in the offing too, so super excited for that. Now go back this Kickstarter!

4. The second Kickstarter I want to nudge you towards is for the dark, the weird, the wonderful Apex Magazine. Due to some unfortunate health issues with one of the stars of small press publishing and the rock that Apex is tethered to, Jason Sizemore, the magazine underwent a bit of a hiatus in 2020 and was relaunched at the start of this year. Unfortunately that means that what had previously been a consistently self-sustaining small press had a lot of its funding dry up. Hence the Kickstarter. Apex is one of my favourite presses and their short fiction magazine is phenomenal. they’ve published weird and groundbreaking fiction from writers like Tade Thompson, Alix E. Harrow, Sheree Renée Thomas, Rachel Swirsky, Fargo Tbakhi, Merc Fenn Wolfmoor, Cassandra Khaw, and many, many others. I’m giving you a gentle (but very persistent) kick up the arse to throw some money at this Kickstarter if you want to see more dark, weird, boundary-pushing science fiction and fantasy published into 2022.

5. This little chat with Kim Stanley Robinson and Lincoln Michel looks very cool. Fiction is obviously fiction and can be read as such, but really it can’t be divorced from the reality that shapes it, and I’m always fascinated to hear authors’ opinions on the stuff they write about, especially in science fiction, a genre that often takes the issues we face now and explores them through a fictional lens. A lot of Kim Stanley Robinson’s books feature a future Earth wracked by the effects of rampant climate change and this kind of fiction engages us on what is now, surely, an unavoidable topic: the future of capitalism and climate change. Plus, both he and Lincoln Michel will be answering audience questions, so get involved! You can register for the event here.

6. Some of you may have seen my review of The Mold Farmer by Rick Claypool earlier this week. A wonderfully weird and dark novella of cosmic claustrophobia and workplace survival horror, about dehumanised workers living in a future under the yoke of an unknowable alien occupation. Well, Rick is running a fascinating-sounding workshop in December called ‘Worldbuilding as Activism: Injustice in Imagined Lands’. Potentially of interest to writers looking to write some social or political commentary into your fiction, or just for the general reader who finds this stuff interesting. As I said in my review, Rick did this very well in The Mold Farmer, weaving it into the narrative of the story seamlessly, so he knows what he’s talking about. Sign up for the event here.

7. Finally, you may have noticed a pretty slick cover reveal on Monday for Thomas Howard Riley’s upcoming fantasy release We Break Immortals. Now that’s some stylish cover art. I’d recommend following Thomas on Twitter (@ornithopteryx), he’s a blast. And if you want to check out the book, there’s blurbs over at a bunch of blogs involved in the cover reveal, including Fantasy Book Nerd and Witty and Sarcastic Book Club.

And that’s this week’s Community Roundup bookwyrms. If you enjoyed this post why not subscribe to Parsecs & Parchment for more news, reviews and bookish chat?


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