Cover Reveal: Dennis Mombauer’s THE HOUSE OF DROUGHT

Today we teamed up with Locus Magazine to unveil the cover for our latest title, The House of Drought by Dennis Mombauer. The cover is by Rachel Yu Lobbenberg, the artist who previously did Octavia Cade’s The Impossible Resurrection of Grief. Rachel has once again delivered a gorgeous cover! The House of Drought is now available for pre-order, to be shipped in July.

We also have a delightfully creepy cover reveal trailer for you:

About the Book

Cover of Dennis Mombauer's THE HOUSE OF DROUGHT, featuring a woman in shadow and smoke, holding a sepia-toned house in her outstretched hand. The image is framed with golden rice stalks.
Cover art by Rachel Yu Lobbenberg

A HAUNTED HOUSE FOR THE CLIMATE CHANGE ERA. On the island of Sri Lanka, at a colonial mansion between the forest and the paddy fields, a caretaker arrives with four children in tow after pledging to keep them safe. When violent thugs storm the house demanding that Ushu repay his debt, young Jasmit and the other children hide in an upstairs bathroom where a running tap opens a gateway to escape. But the Dry House is not the only force at work in the place where the forest and the estate meet—something else stirs in the trees, something ancient, something that demands retribution.

The Sap Mother bides her time, watching and learning from the house’s inhabitants. She burrows beneath the foundations of the Dry House, hungry for atonement. Pulled between these warring powers, Jasmit must choose between saving those trapped in the mansion’s bulging stomachs and preparing the house for when the Mother emerges again.

About the Author

Dennis Mombauer lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he works as a consultant on climate change and as a writer of weird fiction and textual experiments. He is co-publisher of a German magazine for experimental fiction, “Die Novelle – Magazine for Experimentalism.” His first English novel, “The Fertile Clay,” is scheduled to be published by Nightscape Press in 2022. He has also published a collection of short stories under the title The House of the Dark Whale. Find Dennis on Twitter @DMombauerWriter.

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Post-Open Call Acquisition News

We opened a submission call for unsolicited manuscripts in September 2021. That call closed at the end of the year and our reading team got to work selecting seven manuscripts to be published in 2022, 2023, and 2024.

We’re so excited about these stories, we’ve made some teaser trailers to share the vibes with you all. If you want to watch all seven teaser trailers in a row, a playlist is available on Youtube.

2022 Titles

Weird Fishes by Rae Mariz, August 2022

Arboreality by Rebecca Campbell, September 2022


2023 Titles

Another Life by Sarena Ulibarri, May 2023

Sordidez by E.G. Condé, July 2023


2024 Titles

The Jaguar Mask by Michael J. DeLuca

Carbon Fingerprints by Mehitabel Glenhaber

Untitled Collection by Octavia Cade


Other Forthcoming Books

These new acquisitions will be published in a schedule already stacked with incredible climate fiction titles, including Sim Kern’s debut YA trilogy, which begins with Seeds For the Swarm in November 2022, with the sequel and conclusion to the series published in 2023 and 2024 respectively. We also have a creepy, beautiful, and cutting indictment of colonization in Sri Lanka coming with The House of Drought by Dennis Mombauer in July 2022. In 2023, Arwen Brenneman’s A Murder of Angels examines the earthly effects of a billionaire space cult. We’re so excited about all of these books!

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Stelliform Press Awards Eligibility 2021

If you’re nominating for the Hugo, Nebula, or other awards for 2021, consider the two titles we published this year: THE IMPOSSIBLE RESURRECTION OF GRIEF by Octavia Cade, and AFTER THE DRAGONS by Cynthia Zhang. Read more about these books and their reception below.

THE IMPOSSIBLE RESURRECTION OF GRIEF by Octavia Cade
Category: Novella (23,000 words)
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror

Image of the cover of THE IMPOSSIBLE RESURRECTION OF GRIEF on a background of flowers. An excerpt from the Landfall review by Shana Chandra reads: "Cade is warning us through THE IMPOSSIBLE RESURRECTION OF GRIEF that we too will become ghosts if we continue to turn our Earth and seas into a graveyard. In this way, her speculative fiction begins to feel not so speculative." Below a Stelliform Press logo, further text reads "Octavia Cade's THE IMPOSSIBLE RESURRECTION OF GRIEF is eligible for awards in the novella category.

Cade’s novella received a many glowing reviews, one of which was written by Alexander Pyles and published by the Chicago Review of Books.

Novella Synopsis

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?

AFTER THE DRAGONS by Cynthia Zhang
Category: Novel (47,000 words)
Genre: Fantasy

The cover of AFTER THE DRAGONS is featured on a background picture of a sunset silhouetting two young men surrounded by flying dragons. Beside a Stelliform Press logo, text reads: "After the Dragons is a soft place to rest, but laid on a solid foundation of a quietly radical concept." The text is an excerpt from the Ancillary Review of Books review by Leah Rachel von Essen.

Cynthia Zhang’s debut novel received a stellar review from Leah Rachel von Essen for The Ancillary Review of Books and was featured on BuzzFeed as one of August’s Best books.

Novella Synopsis

Dragons were fire and terror to the Western world, but in the East they brought life-giving rain. Now, no longer hailed as gods and struggling in the overheated pollution of Beijing, only the Eastern dragons survive. As drought plagues the aquatic creatures, a mysterious disease—shaolong, or “burnt lung”—afflicts the city’s human inhabitants.

Jaded college student Xiang Kaifei scours Beijing streets for abandoned dragons, distracting himself from his diagnosis. Elijah Ahmed, a biracial American medical researcher, is drawn to Beijing by the memory of his grandmother and her death by shaolong. Interest in Beijing’s dragons leads Kai and Eli into an unlikely partnership. With the resources of Kai’s dragon rescue and Eli’s immunology research, can the pair find a cure for shaolong and safety for the dragons? Eli and Kai must confront old ghosts and hard truths if there is any hope for themselves or the dragons they love.

Both novellas are available for purchase here, or wherever books are sold.

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Announcement: Ren Hutchings is Stelliform’s new Editorial Assistant

Graphic with photo of Ren Hutchings. Text reads: Announcing Stelliform Press' New Editorial Assistant, Ren Hutchings.

Ren Hutchings started in September with Stelliform and has provided invaluable insight as we read manuscripts during our open submission period. Ren is eager to take on more responsibility and is stepping into the role of Editorial Assistant.

Ren is an SFF writer, writing mentor and freelance editor. She spent most of the past few years working in game dev while plotting twisty space books. She loves weird mysteries, pop science, elaborate book playlists, and pondering about alternate universes. As a first reader, Ren connected with Stelliform’s environmentally-focused message and the powerful stories their writers are bringing into the world, speaking on themes of hope, action, change and humanity through speculative fiction. Ren’s debut novel, Under Fortunate Stars, will be published by Solaris in May 2022.

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Announcement: Stelliform Acquires Sim Kern’s SEEDS FOR THE SWARM in a 3-book Deal!

We are super excited to announce that we will be bringing you not only Sim Kern’s first full novel, but three of them! The first book, Seeds for the Swarm, will be released in late fall 2022, with books two and three following on a yearly schedule.

Image of a Publishers Marketplace Deal Report. Text reads: Environmental journalist and author of DEPART, DEPART! Sim Kern's SEEDS FOR THE SWARM, in which college students discover a terrible secret about the future climate tech they're researching and turn on the school's billionaire backers, to Selena Middleton at Stelliform Press, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, for publication in fall of 2022, by Mariah Nichols at D4EO Literary Agency.

We’re delighted to work with them again on this ambitious, radical, and very much needed story. More details to come as we have them.

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