“It ain’t all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flying is?”
— Mal Reynolds, captain of the Firefly-class starship Serenity
Around last year’s winter solstice, I mentioned that in 2017 Candlemark & Gleam would launch an imprint of novelette/novella-length digital works. Those checking the submission guidelines must have noticed the stealthy appearance of extra clauses that discuss them. Today, with great pleasure and excitement, I’m formally launching the imprint and opening submissions for such works.
I‘m calling the new imprint The Reckless (a starship that figures very prominently in my own SF saga), willing the defiant moniker to create interesting swirls and patterns. To put it less poetically: the cutoff for SFF shorter works has been creeping steadily downwards, and there are too few venues for novelettes and novellas. There’s not much room for plot layering, character development or background flourishes in 5K. I specified 10K as the upper limit for both my SF anthologies and even allowed some contributions to exceed it; the quality of the results confirms the wisdom of such a strategy.
I’m celebrating the launch by offering a diptych of my own space opera stories as the inaugural Reckless work. Wisps of Spider Silk, First Thread contains “The Stone Lyre” (previously unpublished) and “The Wind Harp” (of which a shortened version was published in Crossed Genres in 2013). Those who buy Wisps of Spider Silk from the Candlemark website will receive an exclusive PDF version with breathtaking interior art by Heather D. Oliver (you can click on the cover to see it in hi-res). Heather also created the lovely original of the central image in The Reckless logo, whose history I discuss in Skin Deep – and whose name, fittingly enough, is The Spirit of the Candleflame.
Beyond Wisps, two more expeditions are already tucked in Reckless shuttles and I await more incoming works agog with anticipation. If you decide to go exploring with The Reckless, I hope the journeys prove wondrous!