science fiction

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This month we present two stories with musical themes based on our “Sax & Violins (and Other Tales of Music)” prompt. Both of our stories are from returning Kazka Press writers. Charity Tahmaseb brings us a fantasy story featuring “The Girl with the Piccolo” in a world where music is part of war. Our second story, also a fantasy though of a very different flavor, is “Song of Seasons” by Danielle N. Gales. Not a piccolo, here, but a flute and the battle being fought is one much more internal.

We’re currently reading stories for the third and last of our themes inspired by Talking Heads song titles: “Warning Sign.” Submissions are due by the end of the day (Pacific time) on August 20th.

Thank you for stopping by to check out the stories we’ve selected.

-Michael Haynes

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During June I read submissions on the theme of “Life During Wartime”, the first of three linked themes for the summer months. We got some fantastic submissions and I’m very excited about the ones chosen for this month’s issue.

This month we have three stories. Gary B. Phillips’s “Enteral Feeding” weaves echoes of current events into a chilling little horror story. Danielle Gales brings us a post-apocalyptic flavor in her story of “Things Found.” Finally, Bernard S. Gaidasz returns to Kazka Press with his story “Pop Culture” which brings us to a very different battlefield than this month’s other stories. In fact, all three of these stories are quite different from each other and I’m very pleased by that fact.

With July starting we’re now open for submissions on the theme of “Sax and Violins (and Other Tales of Music).” I hope that writers will consider the theme broadly; stories could focus on musicians, instruments, a song or piece of music itself or even be primarily about something other than music but with a musical element as an important — if you will — grace note in the story.

Enjoy this month’s tales and we’ll greet you with music come the first of August.

-Michael

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I’ve always enjoyed time travel fiction, so I had an especially good time reading the submissions for May’s “Slipping Through Time” theme. Maybe it was because of the theme’s resonance with my own tastes, but I noticed that the submissions this month seemed to be especially good. Even many of the ones which were not ultimately selected for publication were enjoyable to read.

I ended up with five stories for this month’s issue. Alex Gorman brings us a tale of “Wasted Youth.” Next, we visit “1116 Santiago Drive” courtesy of Holliann R. Kim and find out what awaits our time-traveling protagonist there. Michelle Ristuccia, who has many literary bases covered between her activities writing, reviewing, and narrating podcasts, brings us the story of one who realized “I Must Be Dead.” Jeff Stehman’s elegaic “Testament” follows and we close out with “The Bleeding Game” by Natalia Theodoridou, who has won awards for her poetry written in Greek and is coming to us with one of her first English-language short stories.

We have new themes posted for the next three months of contests (June, July, and August). They are: “Life During Wartime,” “Sax and Violins (and Other Tales of Music)” and “Warning Sign.” Some music fans might notice a theme there, but you won’t catch me talking about it.

Finally, if I may close with a plug for one of my own stories, one which could have fit in with this issue’s theme of “Slipping Through Time”, my story “Private Memories” was published in May by Daily Science Fiction. If you’re still in the mood for a bit more time-traveling after reading the five excellent stories our authors have provided this month, I hope you’ll take a few more minutes to check it out.

-Michael Haynes

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Our current 713 Flash competition has closed to submissions, and our guest editor, Michael Haynes, is busy making his selections. (He’s already read all of the submissions.) In advance of final decisions, which’ll be going out by the 25th, I wanted to speak briefly to this month’s process.

Stories come into our email here at Kazka. I check the stories to make sure there are no names or other marks that could identify the author. Then I place them into a dropbox folder for Michael. He reads the stories and decides to ‘hold,’ ‘accept,’ or ‘reject’ each story. With each decision, he makes notes in a Word Doc, and I use those notes to create personalized acceptance or rejection emails.

For October’s ‘Love Beyond Death’ theme, we received 45 submissions. Once final decisions are made, I’ll lay out the submission statistics with the new issue, out 1 Oct.

Until then, thanks for gracing us with some truly wonderful submissions.

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Welcome to our September 2012 issue, what we’re calling Volume 2, Issue 1. It’s the beginning of our second year as a publishing house, and we’re excited to have made it to a second year. We began with 713 Flash Fiction prompts, published Bronies (which has had some nice reviews), began a short story feature, opened the California Cantata anthology, and relaxed our 713 Flash guidelines to allow more flexibility to writers. (Also, we upped our 713 Flash rates to $10 a story). All in all, a successful first year.

However, we’re looking to up the ante.

In this issue, you’ll find some excellent fiction. We’ve always published great stories, but the pieces this month have raised the stakes. All of our writers this month are new to the Kaz, and we hope you’ll welcome them warmly.

Also in this issue, you’ll notice a new anthology call titled At Year’s End: SFF Holiday Stories. It’s our first anthology where we’re paying 5 cents a word per story. Here’s what we’re looking for in our anthology call:

  • 500 word (or less) stories set against year-end holidays (Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Samhain, Bodhi Day, New Year, Chinese New Year, Watch Night, Pancha Ganapati, Saturnalia, The Invincible Sun, etc.)
  • Science Fiction / Fantasy (SFF) themed

Stories are due by 2 November 2012, so we hope you’ll give us a try with your holiday stories. Email submissions to kazkapress[at]gmail.com, subject line: At Year’s End. Don’t forget to include a 100 word bio with your submission. We aim to reply within 15 days. Publication is slated for 3 December 2012–just in time for holiday orders!

Last, we’re really excited to announce that long time Kazka contributor, Michael Haynes, is guest-editing our October issue’s 713 Flash contest. He had this to say about the theme ‘Love Beyond Death.’

The best thing I can say is: surprise me! There are some obvious directions this theme could take: ghosts, other paranormal beasties, personality-on-a-microchip/uploaded-brain type stories, etc. I’m not saying I won’t take those if they’re great, because we want to provide great stories for the contest’s readers. But if I’ve got the choice between a great ghost story and a great story that took the theme in a direction I couldn’t have anticipated and that made me say ‘Wow!’ I know which one I’ll pick every time.

So send us your best flash fiction (713-1,000 words inclusive) on that theme to kazkapress[at]gmail.com between 1 September and 20 September 2012 (California time).

We’re also taking submissions to our California Cantata anthology until the end of September. One cent a word on that call.

Thanks for reading our stories and sharing them with your friends. Your support means everything. [And if you're looking for another way to support us, check out our advertising options. Get your message in front of our readers!]

Option 1: For $3 USD a month, you can be a sponsor of a 713 Flash Fiction story. Each month, we feature between 1-10 flash stories, and a link advertising your book, your blog, or your services will be displayed before and after one story.

Option 2: For $5 USD a month, you can be a sponsor of a short story. Each month, we feature between 1 short story, and a banner (created by us or you) advertising your book, your blog, or your services will be displayed before and after one story.

Option 3: For $5 USD, you can get a 1/4 page advertisement of your book, your blog, or your services in the Kazka Press Monthly .pdf and .epub magazine. This magazine will be available to download for free for our readers, and your ad will find them as they read our issue.

Option 4: For $8 USD, you can get a 1/2 page advertisement of your book, your blog, or your services in the Kazka Press Monthly .pdf and .epub magazine. This magazine will be available to download for free for our readers, and your ad will find them as they read our issue.

Option 5: For $12 USD, you can get a full page advertisement of your book, your blog, or your services in the Kazka Press Monthly .pdf and .epub magazine. This magazine will be available to download for free for our readers, and your ad will find them as they read our issue.

Thanks again. Enjoy (and share) our issue!

Best,

L. Lambert Lawson
Editor and Publisher,
Kazka Press

P.S. A big thanks to our readers Ted Wilson, Karen Hamilton, and Travis Alderman.

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