2013 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Semiprozine
BCS #145 – Dickinson, MacFarlane, Ordoñez Podcast and Audio Book Giveaway

Posted in: Giveaways, New Issues by Scott H. Andrews

BCS #145 is out today, featuring two returning BCS authors, a guest-narrated podcast, and a giveaway for an audio book!

Seth Dickinson (“Sekhmet Hunts the Dying Gnosis: A Computation” in BCS #143 and podcast BCS 123, “Worth of Crows” in BCS #104 and podcast BCS 090, and one other) offers a new fantasy, “Our Fire, Given Freely,” featuring a puissant steppe warrior clashing with those under her charge.

Alex Dally MacFarlane (“Singing Like a Hundred Dug-up Bones” in BCS #121 and podcast BCS 104; “Fox Bones. Many Uses.” in BCS #99) contributes “Women in Sandstone,” a sinuous narrative of a general, her mother and her daughter, and the cadre of ageless winds that have witnessed eons in this land.

The BCS Audio Fiction Podcast episode is BCS 125: At the Edge of the Sea by Raphael Ordoñez (“Misbegotten” in BCS #113 and podcast BCS 097, and one other), his tale of solitude and its strangeness from BCS #144.  It’s guest-narrated by Michael J. Deluca, who also narrated  “Misbegotten” and Seth Dickinson’s “Worth of Crows,” among others.

In celebration of the milestone of the 125th episode of the BCS Audio Fiction Podcast, we’re giving away an audio book of BCS author Saladin Ahmed’s (“Where Virtue Lives” in BCS #15) novel Throne of the Crescent Moon. Enter the giveaway here.

The ‘From the Archives’ story with BCS #145 is “The Death of Roach” by Spencer Ellsworth, from BCS #85,  a story of bleak desert wandering and self-discovery not unlike “Women in Sandstone.”

Next issue, our 300th story!  And more...

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With BCS Podcast #125, a Saladin Ahmed Audio Book Giveaway!

Posted in: BCS Podcasts, Giveaways by Scott H. Andrews

In celebration of the 125th episode of the BCS Audio Fiction PodcastBCS 125: At the Edge of the Sea by Raphael Ordoñez, we’re giving away a copy of the audiobook of BCS author Saladin Ahmed‘s novel Throne of the Crescent Moon.

Throne of the Crescent Moon was a finalist for the Hugo Award last year.  It’s a vivid and exiting fantasy novel featuring Saladin’s characters Doctor Adoulla and Raseed, who made their debut in his story “Where Virtue Lives” in BCS #15, five years ago this month.

To enter this giveaway, comment on this post (here’s a link to the comment box) and say what your favorite episode of the BCS Audio Fiction Podcast–your favorite BCS podcast story–is, and why. That will enter you in a random drawing for the audiobook.

This giveaway ends Wed. Apr. 23. For the Full Rules, click on ‘Show Hidden Text’ at the end of this post.

To get you started, here are links to the BCS Podcast episodes from 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. And here are just a few well-regarded episodes:

BCS 123: Sekhmet Hunts the Dying Gnosis: A Computation by Seth Dickinson

BCS 121: The Breath of War by Aliette de Bodard

BCS 106: The Penitent by M. Bennardo

BCS 100: Boat in Shadows, Crossing” by Tori Truslow (a finalist for the Parsec Award)


BCS 098: Sate My Thirst with Ink and Blood, by Adam Callaway

BCS 090: Worth of Crows, by Seth Dickinson

BCS 086: The Three Feats of Agani, by Christie Yant

BCS 071: To the Gods of Time and Engines, a Gift, by Dean Wells


BCS 055: The Ghost of Shinoda Forest, by Richard Parks

BCS 041: Memories in Bronze, Feathers, and Blood, by Aliette de Bodard

BCS 039: Mister Hadj’s Sunset Ride, by Saladin Ahmed

BCS 001: Architectural Constants, by Yoon Ha Lee

Good luck!

Full rules for the Saladin Ahmed Throne of the Crescent Moon audiobook giveaway:

You must leave your comment on this Throne of the Crescent Moon audiobook giveaway post. Comments left anywhere else will not enter you in the giveaway.

You must mention an episode of the BCS Audio Fiction Podcast. Comments that do not mention an episode of the BCS podcast will not enter you in the giveaway.

You must post your comment before midnight PST on Wed. Apr. 23. Any comments posted after that will not be eligible.

Each person will be entered only once in the random drawing (even if you leave more than one eligible comment).

You must use a valid email address when you submit your comment (otherwise we won’t be able to contact you if you win).

BCS will conduct the random drawing from all eligible entries. The audiobook of Throne of the Crescent Moon will be mailed to the winner.

BCS is not responsible for comments that get lost or caught in our spam filtering or don’t show up in our system, or email addresses that get garbled or otherwise rendered unusable for contacting an entrant.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter. Participants are providing information to BCS and Firkin Press and not to Facebook or Twitter or anyone else.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in this post or via our Contact page. Good luck!

World Fantasy Award Nominations Close in May

Posted in: Awards Info by Scott H. Andrews

Nominations for the 2013 World Fantasy Awards close soon! The WFAs are a juried award, but three of the five finalists in each category are chosen not by the judges but by reader nominations. Last year, BCS was a finalist for three WFAs, two for Short Story and one for Special Award Non-Professional for our editor, and won for Short Story.

For any BCS readers interested in nominating , here are details on how you can nominate and links to several of our best-reviewed stories of the year.

Nominations close on May 31, so plan to do it soon.

Are You Eligible to Nominate?
If you were a member of World Fantasy Con last year (2013, Brighton) or in 2012 (Toronto), or are a member this year (2014, Washington DC), you are eligible to nominate.

Deadline to Nominate:
Voting closes on May 31, 2014.

How to Nominate:
Go to World Fantasy Convention 2014 — World Fantasy Awards Ballot to find the ballot, as a PDF.  Unlike last year, it looks like there is no online nomination form. But as in past years, nominations may also be emailed to

What BCS Stories are Eligible:
Everything published in 2013, which is BCS #112 through BCS #137, inclusive.

Here are links to a few of our best-reviewed stories of 2012, including which WFA category they fit in (Short Story or Novella–the categories are different than for Hugos or Nebulas). For a list of all eligible BCS stories, click “Show hidden text” at the bottom of this post.

Short Story:

Boat in Shadows, Crossing,” by Tori Truslow (finalist for the BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction of 2013)

Misbegotten,” by Raphael Ordoñez (named to Locus Recommended Reading List)

Cherry Blossoms on the River of Souls,” by Richard Parks (Locus Recommended Reading List and Best SF&F of the Year 8)

On the Origin of Song,” by Naim Kabir (Locus Recommended Reading List and Year’s Best SF&F 2014)

For more information on the WFA categories, see this WFC page. If you’re interested in other eligible short fiction, check out our authors’ other stories in other magazines, like the ones listed in our BCS Authors Elsewhere posts.

Thanks very much for your interest in Beneath Ceaseless Skies!

All World Fantasy Award-Eligible Stories from BCS

Here is the full list of all BCS stories that are eligible for the World Fantasy Awards. Thanks very much for considering us and our stories!


Short Story:


Stitched Wings,” by Beth Cato

Whistler’s Grove,” by A.E. Decker

Kurtana,” by Christian K. Martinez

Walking Still,” by C.T. Hutt


Moreau’s Daughter,” by Holly Messinger

Your Figure Will Assume Beautiful Outlines,” by Claire Humphrey

A Death for the Ageless,” by Margaret Ronald

Forsaken Beneath the Stars,” by Jason S. Ridler


Pheth’s Aviary,” by Matthew Kressel

Not the Worst of Sins,” by Alan Baxter

A Feast for Dust,” by Gemma Files

The Adventure of the Pyramid of Bacconyus,” by Caleb Wilson


Cherry Blossoms on the River of Souls,” by Richard Parks (named to the 2013 Locus Recommended Reading List)

Walls of Skin, Soft as Paper,” by Adam Callaway

Blow ‘Em Down,” by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

On the Origin of Song,” by Naim Kabir (named to the 2013 Locus Recommended Reading List)


The Black Veil,” by M. Bennardo

The Goblin King’s Concubine,” by Raphael Ordoñez

Ill-Met at Midnight,” by David Tallerman

The Study of Monstrosities,” by Greg Kurzawa


The Crooked Mile,” by Dan Rabarts

Artificial Nocturne,” by E. Catherine Tobler

Last Rites for a Vagabond,” by Justin Howe

Gods of the Lower Case: a new tale of the Antique Lands,” by Noreen Doyle


The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen,” by Barbara A. Barnett

Cold, Cold War,” by Ian McHugh

A Sixpenny Crossing,” by Don Allmon

The Penitent,” by M. Bennardo (named to the 2013 Locus Recommended Reading List)


Singing Like a Hundred Dug-up Bones,” by Alex Dally MacFarlane

Our Dead Selves Lie Like Footsteps in Our Wake,” by Jeff Isacksen

The Clockwork Trollop,” by Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald

The Barber and the Count,” by Michael Haynes


The Mermaid Caper,” by Rich Larson

Blood, Stone, Water,” by A.J. Fitzwater

Armistice Day,” by Marissa Lingen

Blood Remembers,” by Alec Austin


A Family for Drakes,” by Margaret Ronald

Bakemono, or The Thing That Changes,” by A.B. Treadwell

Sate My Thirst with Ink and Blood,” by Adam Callaway

The Crimson Kestrel,” by Leslianne Wilder


Boat in Shadows, Crossing,” by Tori Truslow (finalist for the BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction of 2013)

Misbegotten,” by Raphael Ordoñez (named to the 2013 Locus Recommended Reading List)

Death Sent,” by Christian K. Martinez

The Crows Her Dragon’s Gate,” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew


The Language of True Things,” by Nick Scorza

Beheaded by Peasants,” by James L. Sutter

The Coffinmaker’s Love,” by Alberto Yáñez

Now Ix, He Was a Lover,” by Hannah Strom-Martin


On the Weaponization of Flora and Fauna,” by Alec Austin & Marissa Lingen

The Clay Farima,” by Henry Szabranski

Two Captains,” by Gemma Files

The Drowned Man,” by Laura E. Price

The Stone Oaks,” by Stephen Case




Else This, Nothing Ever Grows,” by Sylvia Linsteadt

Dreams of Peace,” by Dana Beehr


Thanks very much for considering our stories!

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2014 Locus Reader Poll Closes Soon

Posted in: Awards and Accolades, Awards Info by Scott H. Andrews

Voting in the 2014 Locus Reader Poll closes next week!

Anyone can vote–you don’t have to be a subscriber to Locus. Works from Locus‘s Recommended Reading List are listed in the poll, but you can also write-in anything you find worthy.

BCS had four stories make Locus‘s Recommended Reading List for 2013. Those stories are listed in the Reader Poll“The Penitent” by M. Bennardo; “On the Origin of Song” by Naim Kabir; “Misbegotten” by Raphael Ordoñez; “Cherry Blossoms on the River of Souls” by Richard Parks.

You can also write-in other works, from BCS or any other magazine. Here are some of the best-reviewed BCS stories from 2013, and which category they fit in (short story, novelette, etc). One to consider writing-in is “Boat in Shadows, Crossing” by Tori Truslow, in the novelette category; it is a finalist for the British SF Association Awards.

BCS itself is also listed for Best Magazine or Fanzine.

The poll covers a lot more than just short fiction–also novels, first novels, artists, and more. Check out the poll listings and show your support for the authors and works that moved you in 2013.

The deadline is Apr. 15–Tuesday.  So plan to cast your vote before then!

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“Boat in Shadows, Crossing” Podcast in StarShipSofa

Posted in: Awards and Accolades, Awards Info, BCS Podcasts by Scott H. Andrews

StarShipSofa, the Hugo Award-winning fanzine and podcast, this week is including in their episode #331 the BCS podcast reading of Tori Truslow’s story from BCS #113, “Boat in Shadows, Crossing.”

It’s part of StarShipSofa‘s annual special presentation of audio versions of the finalist stories in the “Best Short Fiction” category of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards.  “Boat in Shadows, Crossing” is a finalist this year for the BSFA Awards.

Check out this StarShipSofa podcast and episode #331, even if you’ve heard Boat in Shadows, Crossing” before here on BCS. It’s a great story and a great audio reading–featuring four of our BCS guest narrators, and the reading was a finalist for the Parsec Award. StarShipSofa‘s episode also contains one of the other BSFA Short Fiction nominees, a story by E.J Swift. And they remind you that if you’re eligible to vote for the BSFA awards, you can do so here by Monday, April 14.

Thank you to StarShipSofa for including the BCS Podcast and “Boat in Shadows, Crossing” in their special episodes honoring the BSFA finalists, and for their kind words about BCS and the BCS Audio Fiction Podcast!

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BCS Authors Elsewhere – Sriduangkaew, Steinmetz, Ó Guilín Podcast

Posted in: BCS Authors Elsewhere, Reprints by Scott H. Andrews

Peadar Ó Guilín’s story “Heartless” from BCS #84 has been reprinted at Podcastle as an audio podcast. It has a vivid and strange world; give it a listen.

Other BCS authors with stories appearing elsewhere recently include:

Congratulations, all!

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BCS #144 – Sriduangkaew, Ordoñez, Sriduangkaew Podcast

Posted in: New Issues by Scott H. Andrews

BCS #144 is out today, featuring two returning BCS authors, new cover art for the spring season, and a guest-narrated podcast.

Benjanun Sriduangkaew (“The Crows Her Dragon’s Gate” in BCS #118 last year) returns to BCS with the novelette “Golden Daughter, Stone Wife,” a story of passion and loss and solitude. Raphael Ordoñez (“Misbegotten” in BCS #113, and one other) offers “At the Edge of the Sea,” a tale of solitude and its strangeness.

The BCS Audio Fiction Podcast episode is BCS 124: Golden Daughter, Stone Wife by Benjanun Sriduangkaew, guest-narrated by Folly Blaine, who has guest-narrated past BCS podcast episodes including BCS 120: Pilgrims by Ann Chatham and BCS 104: Singing Like a Hundred Dug-up Bones by Alex Dally MacFarlane.

The new cover art for BCS #144 and the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere is “After the Giants War” by French artist David Demaret.

The ‘From the Archives’ story with BCS #144 is “Blood, Stone, Water” by A.J. Fitzwater, from BCS #118, a story of solitude and passion not unlike in mood “Golden Daughter, Stone Wife.”

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New Cover Art: “After the Giants War,” by David Demaret

Posted in: Cover Art by Scott H. Andrews

Starting with BCS #144 tomorrow Apr. 3  (and the BCS #144 ebook available on Kindle and Weightless Books right now), our new cover art is “After the Giants War” by French artist David Demaret.

"Ruins," by Stefan Meisl

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A New Real World for BCS

Posted in: About BCS, Editorials, Special Issues by Scott H. Andrews

BCS is proud to announce our expansion into a real world new to our pages:  urban fantasy.

This vibrant segment of fantasy fiction has countless imaginative authors and dedicated readers, who savor tales of vampires, werewolves, troubled teenagers, and hardscrabble young adults, all moving through the gritty vividness of our own contemporary, real, modern world.

Der Erlkoenig, copyright Shalen Hamar

“Der Erlkoenig” by Shalen Hamar

Character-driven stories set in these tangible, familiar, real worlds can be just as entertaining as literary adventure fantasy, and can comment just as profoundly on what it means to be human.  If a roof-scaling thief or a clockwork airship captain or a battle-seared knight can explore our human condition, then why not a vampire hunter werewolf or an undead barista or a demon from the suburbs?

This gorgeous artwork, “Der Erlkoenig” by Shalen Hamar (used by kind permission of the artist), is a great example of literary urban fantasy–a work of classic fantasy literature reimagined in an urban fantasy context.

Locus online last year credited BCS with raising secondary-world fantasy short fiction “from the midden of disdain.”  Now we will raise urban fantasy short fiction from the dumpster of disdain.  We will give literary urban fantasy short fiction its own dedicated home.

Starting this summer, BCS will feature one urban fantasy theme issue every month, with custom commissioned artwork, including animated images and even short movies.  The podcasts in these literary urban fantasy issues will include a new podcasting medium that no other magazine in the field to our knowledge has done:  video podcast narration.  Now not only will you hear the narrator read the story, but you’ll also be able to see them read the story; to watch them at the microphone as they express and emote the author’s vision for their world and characters.

We look forward to bringing our readers this rich facet of fantasy fiction, written with the same literary flair and focus on the characters as all BCS fiction: literary urban fantasy.