Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. In this edition, I'm writing about the ballad genre with help from scholars Gordon Hall Gerould, David Buchan, Roger deV. Renwick and others, helping you analyse a ballad, and discussing ways to bring ballads to your story craft.
I would add before going on that there are many ballad traditions in the world, each of them rich and nuanced. It would be impossible to write about them all here, so I don't intend to try. Instead, I'll be focusing on the ballads collected in Francis James Child's ten-volume work The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, which are among the oldest in the English language. I would also point out that even this collection of narrative songs represents a complex tradition I can only summarize in a newsletter. So I'll be...more
Hello, and welcome to the Folklore & Fiction newsletter. At the summer and winter solstices, I mimic the sun and pause to reflect on my own creative work. In this edition, I'll be discussing folkloric elements in my new short story entitled "B is for Burned/Every Broken Creature," which was recently released in the F is for Fairy anthology of short fiction.
An Excerpt from the Story
Among the humans, it was said that Óðinn once guided the mighty, eight-legged steed called Sleipnir too close to the Earth, and where his great hoof grazed the ground, Ásbyrgi Canyon came to be. The álfar were not the ancient gods of the North, nor did they worship these holy ones as some of their hálf álfur children did. Neither had they created the canyon with the ship that...
Belated Merry Beltane to you, and welcome to issue #22 of my newsletter, e-mailed to subscribers in May 2017.
"D is for Duel / One Who Dies as a God Dies"
"D is for Duel / One Who Dies as a God Dies" is available now in D is for Dinosaur, the current installment of the Alphabet Anthologies series. Editor Rhonda Parrish asked her authors to record excerpts of their stories for publication on her blog, since most of us couldn't come to the book launch. You'll find mine here, and if you're interested in reading the whole story, you can purchase paperback...more
Merry Samhain to you, and welcome to issue #21 of my newsletter, e-mailed to subscribers on Samhain 2016.
A Book Is Born
The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales is now in print! I'm so proud of this book, and I'm equally proud of Nancy Farmer's cover art and Kimberly Mayfield's cover design. I hope you enjoy reading these tales as much as I enjoyed writing them. Here's where you can buy the collection:
Belated Merry Lughnasadh to you, and welcome to issue #20 of my quarterly newsletter, e-mailed to subscribers in August 2016.
The Longest Road in the Universe Cover Reveal!
I'm delighted to reveal the cover for my forthcoming collection The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales. The art is a piece entitled "The Ash Room" and was originally commissioned from the brilliant Nancy Farmer by Murky Depths for the title story when it was first published in Issue #7 of that magazine. The equally brilliant Kimberly Mayfield of KFX Graphic Design turned the art into a book cover, for which I'm most grateful. Even better, the collection itself will contain the other piece of art commissioned for the title story...more
Belated Merry Beltane to you, and welcome to issue #19 of my quarterly newsletter, e-mailed to subscribers in May 2016.
A Messenger Traveling Northward
In an early fifteenth-century address to a messenger given by Dubhthach Mac Eochadha entitled A theachtaire théid bhu thuaidh (O messenger who goes northwards) and recorded in the Leabhar Cloinne Aodha Buidhe, the messenger is instructed to pass on exactly what is told to him, not missing a word. This means that Dubhthach Mac Eochadha would have recited his message, and the messenger would have learned it by heart. (Literacy in Medieval Celtic Societies, 251) Such was the way of these things, that a messenger would have been required to learn the messages he carried, just as poetry was largely an oral tradition during this time, since few members of...more
Welcome to Issue #11 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Beltane 2014.
The Baddeck Public Library has graciously invited me to participate in its Thursday evening reading series. I'll be there on June 12th from 6:30 to 7:30 reading my forthcoming story 'N Is for Nanomachine', which will appear in the A Is for Apocalypse anthology.
The lovely Jolene Dawe recently interviewed me for her Celebrating Pagan Fiction series! You can check out the interview here. Many thanks to Jolene for her thoughtful questions and for offering me...
Welcome to Issue #10 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Imbolc 2014.
A is for Apocalypse editor Rhonda Parrish has graciously permitted me to share with you a teaser from my forthcoming story in the anthology, entitled N Is for Nanomachine. As you might recall from the Samhain newsletter, I've written an epistolary tale, and this is the first correspondence in it:
VARDIGEN MEMORIAL ARCHIVE
ENTRY: Desans, Madame Chaell Gebares
COURIER: Gresetz, Jederen ID COU-045
CONTAINS: Text and Attachments
There is magma in the music.
You will not understand this; the way it flows, bright and hot, through the cavern of the ear...
Welcome to Issue #9 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Samhain 2013.
Harbour Con-Fusion in St. John was great fun. I had the opportunity to work alongside actors, artists and writers of local, national and international repute, deliver and attend panels and enjoy the company of other geeks and nerds. Many thanks to the staff for its hard work and hospitality!
The Ruin of Beltany Ring
I've enrolled The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales in the Kindle MatchBook...
Welcome to Issue #8 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Lughnasadh 2013.
I'm off to Harbour Con-Fusion in St. John tomorrow, where I'll be a guest writer and panelist. I'll have copies of The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales on hand along with a few recent anthologies and magazines my work has appeared in, and I'll also be running special, two-hour panels on physical and cultural worldbuilding. Hope to see you there!
The Ruin of Beltany Ring
My first collection continues to do well and is now available for...
Welcome to Issue #7 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Beltane 2013.
My new poetry and short story collection The Ruin of Beltany Ring: A Collection of Pagan Poems and Tales is now available in paperback and Kindle editions! To celebrate, I'm offering two promotions:
- Kindle users can download the collection for free today, May 1, 2013 at Amazon.com by clicking here.
- Goodreads members can enter to win an autographed copy of the collection between May 1-31, 2013 by clicking here. ...
Welcome to Issue #6 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Imbolc 2013.
Scheherazade's Facade is now available in paperback and e-reader editions! Early reviews are in as well, and my story The Daemons of Tairdean Town has been favored with positive comments:
"Stories I found of special mention: “The Daemons of Tairdean Town”, by C.S. MacCath, which has both the most sympathetic portrayal of genuinely religious people I’ve ever seen in SF and the most telling subversion of religion." - Kellan Sparver
"Her Tangh-i-ness has a soft spot for ugly, crippled girls....
Welcome to Issue #5 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Samhain 2012.
Before I write anything else, I want to thank all of the Hal-Con volunteers for their gracious welcome and hard work. Hal-Con is a massive undertaking, and these volunteers put it on without any compensation whatever. Not only that, they do it brilliantly. It was a genuine pleasure to attend this year both as a guest and as a fan.
My panels went well at the con, and the feedback I received afterward was positive. My only regret was the lack of time for more discussion of the material with panel attendees. I'm already thinking about future topics and how I might pare them down to leave room for conversation; I enjoy teaching, but I like it best when everybody gets to chime in! If you missed the panels or simply need links to...
Welcome to Issue #4 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Lughnasadh 2012.
I am delighted to report that my short story entitled, Yundah, which originally appeared in the December 2005 issue of PanGaia, will be reprinted in The Shining Cities: An Anthology of Pagan Science Fiction.
The first review for Scheherazade's Facade is in, and Publisher's Weekly...
Welcome to Issue #3 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to www.csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers
on around Beltane 2012.
I am delighted to report that my poem entitled, "When I Arrived, This Is What She Said", which appeared in the autumn issue of Goblin Fruit, has been nominated for the 2012 Rhysling Award in the Short Poem category. A full list of the nominees can be found here. The winners of the Rhysling Awards will be announced at Readercon 23, where I will be in attendance and...
Welcome to Issue #2 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to www.csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Imbolc 2012.
Twilight of the World Sea People is making the rounds to prospective agents as I complete final edits on the draft. By March 1st, I expect to be working on the outlines for Books II and III of the trilogy; Rise of the World Sea Stewards and the novel that shares the trilogy's name, World Sea Legacy. Afterward, I'll spend a little time putting together a ten-thousand foot view of the Sacred Assassin and Motherland trilogies that follow it in the Petals of the Twenty Thousand Blossom series. I hope to be drafting Book II by mid-March, at the latest.
I'm delighted to report that the critically-acclaimed anthology...
Welcome to Issue #1 of my quarterly newsletter, posted to www.csmaccath.com and e-mailed to subscribers on Samhain 2011.
Twilight of the World Sea People is now a completed draft, and I'm hard at work on revisions. I hope to send the novel out to prospective agents soon. More on this at Imbolc.
My poem entitled, "When I Arrived, This Is What She Said" is now available in the autumn issue of Goblin Fruit. Of interest, the sound backdrop of the piece contains part of a traditional Gàidhlig milling song I sang with friends at the An Cliath Clis milling frolic last spring. If you're interested, you can watch a video of the...