We’re delighted to announce Stelliform Press’ acquisition of a novella by Octavia Cade, The Impossible Resurrection of Grief. Octavia Cade is a New Zealand writer with a PhD in science communication. She attended Clarion West 2016, has won three Sir Julius Vogel awards for speculative fiction, and is a Bram Stoker nominee. She was the 2020 writer in residence at Massey University, where she wrote this novella. Cade’s previous publications include stories in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, and Clarkesworld. Her first novel, The Stone Wētā, was published this year by Paper Road Press.
This science fiction novella has a complex and troubling emotional core. The third novella from Stelliform Press, The Impossible Resurrection of Grief features a world in which climate change disruptions fray the emotional threads of humanity and raise questions about the many extinctions in which humans have played a part.
Read more about The Impossible Resurrection of Grief below:
With the collapse of ecosystems and the extinction of species comes the Grief: an unstoppable melancholia that ends in suicide. When Ruby’s friend, mourning the loss of the Great Barrier Reef, succumbs to the Grief, the letters she leaves behind reveal the hidden world of the resurrected dead. The Tasmanian tiger, brought back from extinction in an isolated facility, is only the first… but rebirth is not always biological, and it comes with a price. As a scientist, Ruby resists the Grief by focusing her research on resilient jellyfish, but she can’t avoid choosing which side she’s on. How can she fight against the dead and the forces behind them when doing so risks her home, her life, and the entire biosphere?
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Michael J. DeLuca’s cli-fi fantasy novella, NIGHT ROLL, will be released on October 15th and we’re celebrating the novella’s beautifully dream-like ride through near-future Detroit — a ride through the challenges of motherhood in the time of climate change displacements and the gifts of building new communities.
This online event has free, ebook, and paperback ticket tiers because we want EVERYONE to come and engage in this important conversation. We also have fabulous door-prizes to give away. More information about the event is on the launch Eventbrite page.
Night Roll Launch Prizes
We have three prizes to give away at the end of the event: two fiction and non-fiction book packs, and a poster pack. Below, Michael J. DeLuca describes the books and posters included in the launch prizes and why he chose them.
Prize Pack 1: The Brothers Jetstream by ZZ Claybourne & Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown
The Brothers Jetstream
THE BROTHERS JETSTREAM: LEVIATHAN is an effervescent, mind-bending fireball of a book by a guy who is a force, (possibly The Force?), for Black speculative fiction in Detroit. Zig Claybourne is an inspiration and an example to me for what literary community-building looks like. I dare you to walk away from a conversation with him and not feel energized to write. His new book, AFRO PUFFS ARE THE ANTENNAE OF THE UNIVERSE, isn’t out til December or I’d be giving that away instead.
EMERGENT STRATEGY by adrienne maree brown is a spiritual, philosophical, practical, personal instruction manual for surviving and resisting climate catastrophe and entrenched hate. I can think of no better book to be reading at this moment, including mine.
Prize Pack 2: Velocities by Kathe Koja & The Next American Revolution by Grace Lee Boggs
VELOCITIES is Kathe Koja’s second short fiction collection; the title story has a ghost and many wrecked bicycles! Her work is darkly fantastic and often surreal, defies traditional categorization and has a dedicated cult following. Lots to aspire to there. And her punk ethic and persistent sense of humor in the face of all the deeply troubling environmental injustice that has made Detroit what it is definitely influenced the vision of the city I’m trying to evoke with NIGHT ROLL.
The Next American Revolution
THE NEXT AMERICAN REVOLUTION is the book that inspired NIGHT ROLL. It’s got urban community gardening, it’s got activist organizing, it’s got utopian vision. The audacity of hope, the persistence, the patience and resilience in this book are astonishing. Grace Lee Boggs was an activist, intellectual, philosopher, educator and fifty year veteran of the civil rights movement; adrienne maree brown was a protégé of hers. She died in 2015, but I was lucky enough to attend a screening of the documentary based on this book with the filmmakers and another of her protégés, Sharon K. Howell. The documentary is also great; it has beautiful images of Detroit and you should seek that out too.
Prize Pack 3: Detroit City Cycling Map Poster and Print by Jeff Powers
We’re also giving away a poster print of the original Detroit city cycling map from 1896 and a limited-run broadside (pictured here), “A Tree with Strong Roots Weathers the Storm”, by my neighbor and local artist Jeff Powers.
Sign up for the launch at Eventbrite. We hope to see you there!
This week we held our first book launch for Stelliform’s first book, Sim Kern’s Depart, Depart! The event was an intimate session via Zoom and guests had a chance to ask questions and chat with Kern about their novella and the role of climate fiction in the midst of climate crisis. Five attendees won a sticker pack and ebook prize, and one lucky winner nabbed the “Queer Climate Apocalypse Survival Kit” — a prize we detailed here.
Sim Kern’s Launch Video Available Online
Kern’s Book Launch was recorded and is now posted on their YouTube channel. The full video is embedded below.
Coming Up: Michael J. DeLuca’s NIGHT ROLL Book Launch
Stelliform’s second book, Michael J. DeLuca’s Night Roll will be released on October 15 and we’re planning a launch event for that day. More announcements are rolling out in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned!
Despite the fact that another hurricane is headed toward Houston, we’re having a launch for Sim Kern’s DEPART, DEPART!, a book about a hurricane that destroys Houston. Yes, it is too on-the-nose, but this is the reality of contemporary climate fiction. We are telling these stories in the spaces between climate crisis events.
More details about the online event are on our Eventbrite page, including how to secure either a free ticket, a ticket + ebook, or a ticket + signed paperback of DEPART, DEPART!
But we’re most excited to show you the main prize for the event, which you are entered to win simply by showing up on Thursday September 24 at 7pm EST/6pm CST on Zoom.
Main Prize: The Queer Climate Apocalypse Survival Kit
With any of our tickets and your online attendance at the launch event, you’re entered to win either 1 of 5 ebook + DEPART, DEPART! sticker pack prizes, or the main prize — $100 worth of climate change and queer related art, zines and other goodies from Gulf Coast artists. Read on for more info on the pieces included in the Kit.
IT WAS NICE WHILE IT LASTED Print + HOLDOUTS comic, Book #1
Art and comic by Sarah Welch and @MysticMultiples — a Houston artist duo and self-publishing imprint specializing in risograph comics, zines, and prints. Much of their work focuses on climate effects along the Gulf Coast.
POX ON THE PATRIARCHY Print, GLORY HAND tote, sticker, & X2 SNAKE HEAD Enamel Pin
These items are from @antlerantler aka María-Elisa Heg who is a curator, cartoonist, and organizer living and working in Houston since 2005. She is currently a Curatorial Fellow at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
Sparkly TRANS PRIDE mini-painting, RAINBOW patch, and PAINTED LADIES Correspondence Cards
Painting, patch, and cards are from @lisachowart . Lisa is an artist, illustrator, designer and story maker living in Houston, Texas. Her work strives to connect with young viewers through humor, whimsy and a ton of sass.
RESIST DYSTOPIA Poster
This poster is by @ganzeer. Ganzeer, who gained an international following for his artwork during the 2011 Egyptian revolution, has debuted more than 40 art shows all over the world. This image comes from his graphic novel, The Solar Grid.
ANGELIC SEAL Fashion Face Mask
This face mask is by @RubbberNecking. Linda Mota is a Houston-based artists whose work reflect her own body issues and dreams that used to be aggressive growing up.
PEP TALK ZINE!
Zine by @saracress. “A collection of poems to get you through another day.” Sara Cress is a writer in Houston. She writes poetry inspired by the news for a project called Breaking Poems, which can be found at http://BreakingPoems.com or on http://Facebook.com/BreakingPoems.
Texas Edibles Print
This print is from the Center for Imaginative Cartography & Research. The CICR is a Houston-based creative studio and Risograph press run by Emily Halbardier and Erik Sultzer. Find them at http://thecforicandr.info and on instagram: https://instagram.com/thecforicandr/.
XICANA VEGAN issue #1 & BLM Floral Sticker
Suzy González is an artist, zinester, curator, and educator based in San Antonio, TX. Xicana Vegan is a zine working towards dismantling systems of power and making amazing food while doing it! Find her at: https://linktr.ee/SuzyGonzalez.
FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT, IT’S BLINDING Poem-Print
The poem-print is by S. Rodriguez, a Texas based artist, curator, and organizer. Their work most often explores the nature of bodies, physical, digital, and linguistic. Unfortunately the print was slightly damaged in shipping. Find them on Insta: https://www.instagram.com/blve.azvl/.
Untitled Photo Print by Ryan Francisco
Ryan Francisco is a Houston based photographer. With her body of work, she invites viewers to seek their own hidden connections within her photographs. Find Ryan on Insta: https://instagram.com/rfranciscophoto/… and the web: http://rfranciscophoto.com.
Join Us on September 24 to Officially Launch DEPART, DEPART!
We’ll be chatting about climate fiction and giving away these cool prizes. Don’t miss it! Click through to the Telling Climate Stories in a Climate Crisis on Eventbrite to get your tickets. See you soon!
This post is the second in our series sharing the Stelliform Team’s favourite books. Part 1 of the series is here.
As a new press still in its first year, we are a small team publishing a select number of books. At this early stage of Stelliform Press’s existence, our readers provide sounding-board conversation and support for the EIC. But that kind of support is informed by the books our readers have loved. We share some of those in this blog post.
Kristen Shaw, Editor and Reader
Future Home of the Living God – Louise Erdrich
This novel takes place in a future in which evolution has stalled (and some say is moving backward); in an effort to preserve humanity as we know it, the government cultivates a dystopian environment in which reproduction is highly controlled. I love this book because it reflects on issues of reproductive rights and freedoms, the relationship between human societies and nonhuman ecologies, and provides an Indigenous perspective on the Anthropocene that pushes against common tropes often visible in apocalyptic/dystopian literature.
Annihilation – Jeff Vandermeer
In Annihilation, a group of women scientists go on a trek into Area X: a mysterious, uninhabited stretch of wilderness in Florida where expeditions have been disappearing (or, their members return with amnesia and severe medical problems). This book is my perfect combination of weird, terrifying, and intelligent as hell. Although I enjoyed the whole Southern Reach trilogy, Annihilation has a special place in my heart. I continue to be captivated by this book upon each re-reading and it has made me rethink the relationship between humans and nonhuman ecologies.
The Only Harmless Great Thing – Brooke Bolander
This lyrical alternative history novella combines the history of the radium girls with the narrative of a community of sentient elephants to tell a story that is unlike anything I have read before. This novella is heartbreaking but it is also an important call to action that draws attention to how the current global economic system leads to the exploitation and destruction of so much human and nonhuman life.
Wind-Up Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi
Set in the 23rd century on a world devastated by climate change and controlled by biotech and corporate interests, Wind-Up Girl is another example of a novel that perfectly balances emotionally complex characterization and political commentary. Despite being set so far in the future, it is an instance of sff that uses the future to reflect on the present in its exploration of globalization, agriculture, and the commodification of human and nonhuman life.
The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
The first book of N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy is a sprawling, epic fantasy set on a planet that experiences a period of catastrophic climate change every few centuries. Exploring issues around race, caste, gender, and climate change, and populated with memorable characters and settings, I love this book because of how incredibly dense and intricate the world building is, because of the power and the nuance of the political commentary, and because it is straight up fun and entertaining to read.
Rae Stoltenkamp, Reader
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Reading this was the first time I read a book and realised social injustice was not just related to skin colour.
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison’s lyrical language and a heartrending plot which had me reaching for the tissues. I found this read particularly poignant as I always envied my cousin’s green eyes since mine are a boring brown.
Senor Vivo & The Coca Lord – Louis de Bernières
This is my absolute all-time favourite when it comes to Magic Realism. Stonking plot, fantastic characters, fabulous writing style and a twist which had me openly crying on the top deck of a London bus.
Parable of the Sower – Octavia Butler
Never have I read science fiction and felt like I was actually reading current non-fiction as much as with this book and its sequel. My main advice – don’t read either this or the sequel during a pandemic.
When Rainbows Cry – Rae Stoltenkamp
Cheekily, I’ve chosen one of my own for the final book in this list because it’s about a world fighting back against environmental catastrophe. Young people are my protagonists and the earth’s very able helpers as I feel it will be down to them to save us from the disaster we’ve set in place.
What are your Cli-fi, Speculative, or Literary faves?
We’d love to hear from you – if you’ve read any of these books, did they leave a lasting impression? What other books would you recommend?
Be sure to check out last week’s list and commentary and stay tuned for next week’s instalment, a post from Stelliform’s Proofreader and Editorial Consultant, Jacqueline Langille, discussing some favourite environmental books and films.