A sip of Cthulhu!

Next month the anthology Swords v Cthulhu will be released. It looks like it’s chock full o’ fighting, tentacles, and all around fun!

My story in the anthology, “Ordo Virtutum,” is inspired by the life of Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th century Christian mystic. If you like Lovecraftian adventures packed full of adorable nuns, this is for you! And if you’re the impatient type, right now you can read a tiny teaser from the story on the publisher’s website.


Win a copy of Starspawn!

Lovers of adventure, mayhem, and all things tentacular:

You’ve got just one week to win an advance copy of Starspawn over at Goodreads—so click “Enter Giveaway” below!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Starspawn by Wendy N. Wagner


by Wendy N. Wagner

Giveaway ends July 07, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

After you enter, if you still need some tentacles to keep you entertained, here’s a picture of Montgomery, a (now retired) octopus educator at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport Oregon.

Photo by the Oregon Sea Grant.


If you’re a Pacific Northwesterner looking for some extra nerdy fun this weekend, be sure to check out Westercon, held here in Portland this year (at the Doubletree Hotel, Lloyd Center). Westercon is hosted by the annual summer steampunk convention, GearCon, so think of the weekend as a big, delicious sundae of steampunk, SF, and fantasy fun.

Unstaged reaction to hugging Totoro. Photo by Remy Nakamura.
Unstaged reaction to hugging Totoro.
Photo by Remy Nakamura.

As a giant nerd, of course I’ll be there. I never miss a chance for fun. Who can forget the time I saw Totoro and totally freaked out?


Here’s my schedule for the weekend:

Saturday, 7/2:

More Than Just Black and White: Humanizing Heroes and Villians
12 pm , Roosevelt room
Heroes and villains can’t be all good or evil. Join the panelists for a lively discussion of favorite heroes and villians and what makes them so interesting and learn how to craft complex and relatable characters to give your stories emotional impact.
with Carol Berg, David Boop, and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff.

Violence in Fantasy
2 pm, Jackson room
Battles, torture, swordfights . . . why do we see so much violence in fantasy literature? Is it a requirement? How much is too much? Do you as a writer have limits? Does every epic have to end in a battle?
with Anthony Pryor, Jim Doty, and John Shirley.

Sunday, 7/3:

10 am, Multnomah room
Come hang out and drink hot beverages with me! I’ll be joined by writers A.M. Brosius, Erica Satifka, and Sharon Joss.

Wendy N. Wagner: solo reading
12 pm, Madison room
Before you grab lunch, spend half an hour having your ears tickled by my melodious voice. Nothing whets your appetite like a story!

The REAL Milady

If you’ve read Skinwalkers, you’ll know Jendara and Vorrin spend a lot of time traveling on board Vorrin’s ship, the Milady. Here’s a photo of the real-life tall ship I modeled her after:

The Lady Washington
The Lady Washington – photo by Jan Eklof

The Lady Washington sails out of the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport. This photo was captured at the Port of Coos Bay—the closest “big town” to where I grew up.

Milady is about 80% the size of the ship in the photo: just right for a small family business. The real ship is a replica of the Lady Washington built in 1787. She was the first tall ship to make landfall on the west coast of North America.

And never fear: the beautiful Milady will be appearing in Starspawn as well!

Nothing says “spring” like Lovecraft

As a horror reader (okay: horror lifestyle enthusiast), I feel like horror is always in season, but some flavors are more tastier at different times of the year.

Summer? It’s for slashers and serial killers.

Fall? Ghosts.

Winter? Supernatural monsters.

But spring is for Lovecraft.

There’s nothing like sitting on your couch while it’s drizzling outside, the flowers starting to bud, the birds chirping cheerfully, and reading about some loathsome New England horror, preferably with tentacles.  I’ve done most of my Lovecraftian reading and writing in the spring, too–it just feels right!

If you’re looking for a good spring read, I hear that the anthology Autumn Cthulhuwhich includes my short story “The Black Azalea”–has started going out to Kickstarter backers. “The Black Azalea” is one of my favorite pieces, so I can’t wait for people to start reading it. And while it’s set in October, I feel it’s a delightful spring read.

I hope you’re all reading good things, creepy or not!

Queers Destroy Horror! makes Tiptree Long List

Every year the James Tiptree, Jr Award announces its winners, its honor books, and its long list of recommended reading. While the Tiptree award isn’t as famous as, say, the Hugo, it’s been my dream to make the long list–it’s always a great collection of literature digging into what makes gender tick.

Needless to say, I’m delighted to see last year’s editorial project, Nightmare‘s Queers Destroy  Horror! special issue, get a shout-out. I’m so proud of all the writers, staff, and volunteers who worked so hard to put the book together!


Going international!

azilum1If you live in Hungary and you love Lovecraft, there’s a new magazine to check out—Azilum. It’s an actual paper magazine, edited by Gábor Somogyi, and while I have no idea if it’s a good read (Hungarian was definitely not a foreign language offering at my high school!), I’m pretty excited to have my story “Curvature of the Witch House” reprinted in their inaugural issue.

If you’re not in Hungary, you can still read “Curvature” in the archives of Innsmouth Magazine.

While I’ve had work translated before, this is my first foreign Lovecraftian reprint, so I’m one happy nerd!


Hugo Nominations have opened!

Wow, is it really award season again? Last year’s award season was chaos and pandemonium, but I have high hopes that this year, the science fiction and fantasy community will have a friendly discussion about their favorite genre. If you had a membership to WorldCon last year or have a membership this year, you can nominate work. Awards can make a huge difference in a writer’s career, so get out there and nominate the pieces you love! For more information, visit the MidAmericon’s Hugo award site.

I had a lot of short fiction come out this year, but most of it was horror, so it’s not a great fit for the Hugo awards. Of course, I did work my butt off in the editorial world, and one awesome fan site recommended me as a nominee for Best Short Form Editor (Thanks so much, Nerds of a Feather!). I guess I am eligible!

Seriously, the editorial categories of the Hugo awards often get very few nominations or votes, but editors do a lot of heavy lifting in this field. If you love a magazine’s work, give their editor a shout-out when you make your nominations! And if you like a book, you can often find its editor listed in the acknowledgments at the back of the book. I’d love to see short form editors like John Joseph Adams, C. C. Finlay, and Scott Andrews get recognized this year, and I adore the work of long form editors like Liz Gorinsky, Nick Mamatas, and Paizo’s own James Sutter.

Let’s make the Hugo Awards a celebration this year. It’s not really about who wins–it’s about how much we love SFF!

STARSPAWN has a cover!


Look at Jendara, leaping straight into danger!

Here’s the cover text as it appears on the Paizo website:

The Stars Are Wrong

Once a notorious pirate, Jendara has at last returned to the cold northern isles of her birth, ready to settle down and raise her young son. Yet when a mysterious tsunami wracks her island’s shore, she and her fearless crew must sail out to explore the strange island that’s risen from the sea floor. No sooner have they delved into the lost island’s alien structures than they find themselves competing with a monstrous cult eager to complete a dark ritual in those dripping halls. For something beyond all mortal comprehension has been dreaming on the sea floor. And it’s begun to wake up…

The book is due out in August.

The wonderful cover painting (which wraps around the cover—it’s really terrific!) is by Jesper Ejsing.

Here’s a bigger look at that great monster:

starspawn cover LRG

I make words happen.