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Deadline Reminder - New Ceres Issue 3

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the deadline for submissions for New Ceres Issue 3.

If you are intending to submit but don't think you can make the deadline, please contact the editors.

New Ceres Webzine Open for Submissions

Two pieces of news.

Firstly, Twelfth Planet Press now has her own livejournal: twelfthplanet. The time has come for she and I to split blogging locations and go off in our own, separate, livejournalling directions.

Secondly, in celebration of the new account, there are new announcements: New Ceres Webzine now open for submissions for Issue 3. But you have to go read them over there!

It's the weekend!

And what better way to start it than relaxing in a hot bath with choclit snakes and New Ceres Nights submissions. I'm behind you see. I must say ... some of you are having quite a fun time colluding and writing across at each other - and you know who you are and there's more than two of you doing it!

It's actually a lot of fun to read.


Finally. After calling it the New Ceres Anthology for like a year now, Tehani and I have finally settled on the title for the book -

New Ceres Nights will be launched at Swancon 2009.

And ... saucy by title, saucy by nature, I'm thinking that we will be having a swanky little launch for it so don't forget to pack something a bit dressy!!

The other fun thing going on with this project at the moment, apart from working through the final few submissions that are hanging around, is the art work. I've been a bit cheap on art but Tehani is passionate both about artwork and this project and has been pushing all along for a lot of artwork for this book. At the moment we are sorting through submissions as they come in for both cover art and internals and I must admit that I am getting quite excited about this project. I think it's going to be one that I am very proud of.

Of Twelfth Planet Press

Well it really is the ending of the year with all the rounding up of fiction, isn't it? Mirrordanse's Years Best of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy, Volume 4 which covers 2007 material is up on their website.

We are very proud that Lucy Sussex's "Mist and Murder" from New Ceres Issue 2, winner of the Julius Vogel short story award, was reprinted. So too are we proud that Trent Jamieson's story "Cracks" from Shiny Issue 2 was reprinted and is described as "new weird" in the introduction.

The introduction mentions both Shiny and New Ceres:
Of the local e-zines, the new young adult e-zine, Shiny, was the most consistent, producing two strong issues, with standout stories by Sue Isle and Trent Jamieson. The same team at Twelfth Planet Press produced a single strong issue of New Ceres.

(I didn't send Bill the third issue in time because it didn't feature any Australian writers. I didn't realise till Conflux that he was actually a fan of the zine and corrected the matter promptly. There were three issues in 2007 and will be two in 2008.)

Also receiving recommendations in the reading list were:
Stephen Dedman's "Sufficiently Advanced", New Ceres Issue 2
Cat Sparks' "The Bride Price", New Ceres Issue 2
Sue Isle's "The Sun People", Shiny Issue 1

A good year for Twelfth Planet Press. But asides from that, it's a really great table of contents. Volume 4 gives a very strong and exciting overview of 2007 in Australian fiction. It's well worth a read.

On rewrites

About a year ago now, cassiphone wrote me a story for New Ceres Issue 3. It's called "Prosperine When it Sizzles". It's a great story - saucy and naughty and moves the New Ceres world along just a tad. She picks up on the La Duchesse/Pepin pair and has yet more fun.

It's a great story but since we had time, we asked her to "up the sexual tension" in the story a bit, among some other things. So, recently, she sent the reworked version back as it is now going to be in the anthology instead.

And I'm in the bath (which is where I seem to be slushing for this project), lazying back and sipping a coffee in my bubbles and suds (which are not actually unrelated to this particular story) and I come across this:

Damn it, my cock had hardened. I was a bare inch from brushing his hip with it, which would hardly be conducive to civil conversation.

Which, you can't argue, certainly *does* up the tension.

It's just that ... she keeps throwing stuff (and I mostly just mean the "c" word) like that into stories she writes for me - I refer to the shower scene in her story in 2012 - and it makes me blush! Not at the word but at *Tansy* using it!!!

Anyway ... just the average day working on New Ceres.

Sunday Morning Lazing

Did I mention how CUTE the new puppy is? I am TOTALLY going round to my sister's early today to play with her! It's my sister's 29th birthday and she is hosting lunch - HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (She never reads this so I shall just put it out into the ether).

I should get out of bed soon, shower and dress and then wrap her presents.

But it's nice and warm and snuggly. And there are 147 emails to answer. And soooo much work to do. Will be back for a very solid work session this afternoon and evening.

According to T, I am always behind the 8 ball. Yesterday, she thought is was hysterically funny that I don't have an RSS feed. And I don't use tags on my lj (that's very new cause I discovered the tag cloud). And I didn't know what iGoogle is. Now of course I have all these *things* to do in order to have stuff to feed on the RSS, tagging my lj and setting up my iGoogle (Do you have igoogle? What gadgets have you installed?)

AHhh ... much to do! Better get going!

Write lots today!!!

I plan to do my first round edits to Shiny 5 and go through the New Ceres antho ToC as it currently stands. Among other things.

New Ceres Issue 1 is free for download

Did you know that Issue 1 of the New Ceres ezine is free for download and always will be?

You can download it from here and it contains the first of the George Gordon stories by Dirk Flinthart.

The full table of contents:
"Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright" by Maxine McArthur
"Scandal at the Feast of Saturn" by Tansy Rayner Roberts
"She Walks in Beauty" by Dirk Flinthart

From the New Ceres Papers
"Tale of the Veramaurs"
"Touring the Galaxy - A Guide - Vol 34, New Ceres"
"Biology of New Ceres"
"Lady C's Proper Composure in Society"
"Postcards from Georgiana"
"Planetary System"

The shared world of New Ceres (and surrounding system) is copyrighted under Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5, some rights reserved.

The writers and artists who contribute their works to New Ceres retain the copyrights to their individual works of art or writing, and must be approached individually for permission to reprint or otherwise use these works.

The standard contract for the New Ceres webzine requires all writers to release the original characters, worldbuilding details and history contained within their individual works into the shared world of New Ceres, for common use.

And some information on the project at large:

During the war that left Earth uninhabitable, refugees from the doomed planet fled to the outer colonies. Many of them found their way to New Ceres, a planet that embraced the Age of Enlightenment almost two hundred years ago, and has not yet let go.

The water may be green and spaceships may be landing on a regular basis, but New Ceres is a planet firmly entrenched in Eighteenth Century culture. Offworld technology is strictly forbidden to anyone outside the government, and powdered wigs are in fashion.

New Ceres initially appeared in 2006 with a second issue of the webzine following in 2007. The New Ceres project is set in a shared world where writers are free to play with genre, characters and worldbuilding. Tansy Rayner Roberts created the eyebrow-raising duo of La Duchesse and Pepin in her story “Scandal at the Feast of Saturn” in Issue 1 which Lucy Sussex picked up and ran with in her award-winning story “Mist and Murder” in Issue 2. This much-loved pair will be back for more scandal, this time in print in the upcoming New Ceres Anthology. Dirk Flinthart's George Gordon from “She Walks in Beauty” (Issue 1) will also reappear and in the meantime you can catch him in his new novella Angel Rising. Kaaron Warren brings some of the darker shades of New Ceres to light in her offering, “Tontine Mary”.

New Ceres isn't just about the characters we have grown to love. It's also about the undercurrent of dissent as an underclass is created through the mass absorption of refugees as seen in Stephen Dedman's “Sufficiently Advanced” (Issue 2) and Cat Sparks' “The Bride Price” (Issue 2). It's about the power and the glory of the Lumoscenti (Jay Lake's “Tower the Sun”, Issue 2) and it's about trying to control the unknown (Maxine McArthur's “Tyger Tyger”, Issue 1). For me, it's also about the coffee houses and the dresses (as seen in various pieces of 'nonfiction').

New Ceres is an exciting project. Each writer has stamped their own claim on pieces of this world and its story. Where will they take New Ceres next? Find out in New Ceres: the anthology! This book is scheduled to be released at Swancon 2009. A limited hard cover print run of 50 will accompany the standard print run.

Good science in sciene fiction!

Courtesy of flinthart is a lovely article (here), or bit of one anyway, that reminds us of a certain suave male New Ceresian resident:

Artificial electric eel cells could be implanted in the human body to generate power for medical implants and other small devices. That's according to new research by American scientists, which suggests it's possible to build artificial cells replicating the electrical behaviour of electric eel cells.

New Ceres Podcast

I now have the podcast from Issue 1, New Ceres uploaded on the site. You can download it here. Tansy Rayner Roberts reads her story, "Scandal at the Feast of Saturn". This is the first story in at least a three story series. Lucy Sussex gives us the second instalment in Issue 2 so this podcast is worth listening to before reading that. Plus, Tansy has a really lovely reading voice.

The second podcast will be available soon.

And in the meantime, have you pressed my shiny new button yet?


New Ceres Reviews are coming in

Thanks to those who are helping me to get the word out:

benpayne lists the reasons why you should read New Ceres

benpeek has some nice things to say about the project too: (mostly that it's cheaper than porn).

martinlivings is offering a deal - send him your receipt for purchasing Issue 2 and he'll send you the prologue to his sequel to Carnies. Look! He even set up a new email address with newcerespimp @ martinlivings dot com. Fits in so well with stephendedman's story in the issue.

capnoblivious is also offering a deal - he'll buy a copy for the the first four people who email him.

Both issues rate a 4 out of 5 from bluetyson who wrote two fantastic reviews on the weekend for the first and the second issue using his fantastic one sentence format.

The stories in Issue 1 get the following:

"Tyger, Tyger Burning Bright" by Maxine McArthur:
Alien beastie or beastly alien? (3.5 out of 5)

"Scandal at the Feast of Saturn" by Tansy Rayner Roberts:
SF illegal. Write porn. Avoid implications of dead people. (3.5 out of 5)

"She Walks in Beauty" by Dirk Flinthart:
Blonde bombshell agent vs Electric patriot poet. (4 out of 5)

But check out the rest of what he has to say about the format of the webzine here.

And Issue 2 was just too much to be summed up in one sentence, it seems:
The stories are again all good. This is really quite surprising, but it did look like a good lineup. That is 100% so far for above average stories over the 2 issues. The rest of the review is here but the highlights:

"Mist and Murder" by Lucy Sussex:
Droll detective dame finds spooks suspicious, suggests science instead. (4 out of 5)

"A Tower to the Sun" by Jay Lake:
A dying monk ensures his successor is a good choice, amidst some really extreme methods to get a better suntan. (4 out of 5)

"Sufficiently Advanced" by Stephen Dedman:
A brothel has a case of do the robot for me, then do me, or even just do the robot, which is against the technology laws. Commonsense dealing is required. (4 out of 5)

"The Bride Price" by Cat Sparks
A man of the New Ceres noble class out to procure a suitable wife encounters refugees on his flight home, and shows class nobility. (4 out of 5)

Saving one more review for its own post.


2007 New Ceres Reading Period Open

We are looking for fiction of any length, and short “non-fiction” articles that explain an aspect of the society, history or world of New Ceres. We anticipate that the contents of the first several issues will be a combination of solicited and unsolicited works.

Submissions will be open to writers in any genre. The only proviso here is that your work must exist within the context and reality of the world. We are equally happy to see swords at sunset, romance, space opera, humour, social comedy, horror …there are as many variants as there are writers.
You can pick up characters already within or create new ones. You can have entire storylines within a corner of this world that is your own. You can write in any genre (almost - we do not pay for anything that cannot be viewed by a general audience) and use any word length to a maximum payment of Aus$300.

Anything. Well, almost anything. No erotica or excessive violence. You can use themes that have already partly been explored, just as long as your story is well told and does not copy what is already there. Just make your story your own - we do not want stories that simply copy the life histories of characters already in our world. Given the recent history of New Ceres, there is a high likelihood that lots of people from Earth would end up there, out of necessity. And not only from Earth. New Ceres has *so* many possibilities. Explore them.

If you are submitting an unsolicited work, please take the time to read Issue 1 of New Ceres in great detail. Also explore the worldbuilding details available from the New Ceres website. Substantial aspects of New Ceres will be left unfixed to allow our writers to add their own original touches, but it’s important that your story not contradict anything that has already been set in stone.

On the other hand, if your story is brilliant, our editors will happily work with you to ensure that the details correspond with the other works of New Ceres canon.

New Ceres pays 5¢ (AUS) a word for fiction up to a maximum of Aus$300 per story. We pay between Aus$10 and Aus$20 per piece for non fiction articles.
How can I submit?Unsolicited stories should be formatted to standard manuscript guidelines and sent as an .rtf to between 10 May 2007 and 1 November 2007 ONLY. All unsolicited stories received outside these dates will be deleted unread. There will be a further reading period in 2008.


WE got slush!

So the New Ceres slush has started coming in and now I'm too scared to read it. Now I'm gonna have to reject stories - which is all great in theory, till you have to write the slips. I'm told I'll get over it and I'm sure I will but..

We took this little idea, gillpolack and I and we said what if ... what if people liked it? What if people wanted to play with it? What if we could do this?

And now people have. They've read it. They've liked it or not liked it. And they've written things in the world. It's a strange feeling to have connected with people that way.

And um ... now I'm sure I have reading to do.


New Ceres Issue 2!

Gosh, hasn't this year flown? Already an announcement for New Ceres Issue 2.

New Ceres pays 5¢ (AUS) a word for fiction up to a maximum of A$300 per story. We pay between A$10 and A$20 per piece for non fiction articles.

How can I submit?
Unsolicited stories should be formatted to standard manuscript guidelines and sent as an .rtf to ceressubs@gmail.comThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it between 14 November 2006 and 22 December 2006 ONLY. All unsolicited stories received outside these dates will be deleted unread. There will be a further reading period in 2007.


Read Issue 1:


New Ceres reviewed on Tangent Online


I hope that in future issues, the writers of New Ceres will actually dig into the problems a 200-year-old society based on the Enlightenment would have, and maybe take more risks when it comes to social taboos. It’s easy to say someone is a fop or dandy, but to let them actually be gay is much more complex and creates a truer sense of the polarized life in the Enlightenment period that New Ceres is trying to explore.

Me too.



New Ceres was just reviewed over at Horrorscope.

It's a really good review and I'm really excited that the vision came across so clearly.


On reading

So, I did it. I took the book that I have been complaining about most recently and I kinda said I was done with it. I ended up doing what capnoblivious suggested and put it away to get back to later, and know that I never will. It takes much momentum to take a book out of my bookshelf (unless in the to-read shelves) to read. It seems a little left open to me but ... means I'm not dragging it around with me and have crossed it off my list.

Life is too short to read bad books. And the only way I'm really going to help myself drop the completism is to negotiate ploughing through crap book at the expense of having spent that time on a really great book. The ineffectualness of that strikes me. Plus there are heaps of good books out there yet to be read!

I've been listening to the feedback on New Ceres. There seems to be two streams to it - first those who don't like reading online, don't like the font or the colours. There's not much really to be gained from that. curufea, ashr501 and gillpolack look away ... I *am* looking into changing the software. I never found ijoomla to be that easy to use nor that flexible. Apparently it will be useful in dealing with subscribers, forums and the online shopping. But maybe we can hybridise something. Anyway, if you don't like reading online, it's not going to matter what I publish, you won't read it. I'm trying a new formula to small press because I'm not convinced that the current hard print version works. And yes, there are small press pubs out there, but how many last multiple issues - like into the teens or twenties. I can think of 2? I think you need a run of issues of that order to find your feet, establish your market and product. Those kind of running costs are not something that I want to subsidise for that timeframe - and by looking at the number of other zines that last that long, I'm guessing not a lot of other publishers do either.

So that's the idea behind the online. It also allows us to play with the media and try and offer a magazine that is different to what a hard copy can give you. I don't see the point in scanning something onto the screen and offering the same product. What we have is some extra nonfiction that adds some material to the background behind the fiction. We have an ongoing wiki documenting the world behind the stories - to maintain consistency. And we will also be having forums where writers and readers can interact, float ideas and expand the worldbuilding. I see that as beneficial to a writer who is working on something but wants to take dibs on an idea or make sure their version of events will be set in concrete for when they come back to submit their story. I also like the idea of everyone, readers included, owning the world and having a say in what the overarching story is.

So, what *is* the story? That's kinda the point - the very question. Some feedback I have seen has commented that they don't get a full idea of what has happened and how what is presented in the 3 fiction works has come to pass. I see that as the entire point and where the fun jumps off from. I, personally, am really interested in the politics well prior to the current timeframe. Maxine McArthur's story is set hundreds of years prior to the other two and I think hints at some politics at work. I'd love for her or someone else to pick up where she left off - what is the Tyger? Where did it come from and who is it working for and why? Her story gives lots of hints at what settling on New Ceres was like for the rural areas and how there is a very clear separation between them and the cityfolk and the bureaucrats - lots and lots to be explored there.

The background material gives some hints as to how the refugees come to be on New Ceres - the current period being a time of transition for both the New Ceresians and the refugees. In Tansy Rayner Robert's story we get a hint at what that is like through the refugee couple who appear at the feast. I'm not saying that I like the post-apocalyptic or post-war story, cause you know I don't, but that's definitely something I'd love to see explored - what were the galactic politics going on? Why did Earth get destroyed? And what was that like for the humans? And of course, I must admit to massive curiosity as to the background of a very conspicuous character in her story - who *is* Pepin?

In Dirk Flinthart's story there's a huge hint at other goings on - but it's towards the end so I don't want to spoil it for you. This "She" who "Walks in Beauty" - she's got me thinking, that's for sure.

Bu the thing I like most about this world, and the fact that very little of it is carved in stone yet, is that there's so much scope for writers to go off in completely new directions we hadn't thought of. The reader period opens soon and I'm kinda looking forward to reading the slush (see how much of a newbie I am!) and seeing what others come up with.

Does anybody speak Spanish?

I think I might have been reviewed:

Actually, using my French, I think it's mostly my media release and the submission guidelines and payment.


New Ceres to launch

Issue 1, New Ceres ezine
Countdown to launch: 10 days

In the meantime, here's what's happening to Ceres

From August 21, 2006

Is Ceres an asteroid or a planet? Although a trivial designation to some, the recent suggestion by the Planet Definition Committee of the International Astronomical Union would have Ceres reclassified from asteroid to planet. A change in taxonomy might lead to more notoriety for the frequently overlooked world. Ceres, at about 1000 kilometers across, is the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Under the newly proposed criteria, Ceres would qualify as a planet because it is nearly spherical and sufficiently distant from other planets. Pictured above is the best picture yet of Ceres, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope as part of a series of exposures ending in 2004 January. Currently, NASA's Dawn mission is scheduled to launch in 2007 June to explore Ceres and Vesta, regardless of their future designations.


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