Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mysterion stories on Tangent Online Recommended Reading List

We're excited to report that 4 stories from Mysterion made it onto the Tangent Online 2016 Recommended Reading List.

Short stories

  • “Forlorn” by Bret Carter
  • “Golgotha” by David Tallerman
  • “Cutio” by F. R. Michaels


  • “The Monastic” by Daniel Southwell

Congratulations to those whose stories were recommended!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Boskone 2017

Update (2/3/2017): Unfortunately, there's been a change of plans. Due to a death in the family, we will not be able to attend Boskone this year, so we're afraid we won't be able to host a party. Fortunately, Robert B Finegold has very kindly offered to attend the Boskone Book Party in our stead with copies of the anthology, and there will still be copies with Ian Randal Strock at the Fantastic Books table in the dealer's room.

Join us at this year's Boskone!  We'll be showing off Mysterion at the Boskone Book Party, with--schedules permitting--Mysterion authors Robert B Finegold and Kenneth Schneyer.  We're also throwing a party on Friday night, and Kristin has a reading and is on 5 panels.

Copies of Mysterion will be available for purchase, either directly from us, or from Ian Randal Strock at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers' room.

Here's our complete schedule.  All events take place at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, 425 Summer St.

Friday, 8:00 PM
Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet
E. C. Ambrose (M), Kristin Janz, Jennifer Pelland, James Patrick Kelly, David Anthony Durham
Marina 4 · 60 min · Panel

Mentors, teachers, agents, and editors continuously encounter new authors. These hopefuls possess abilities ranging from brilliant to talented but unpolished to … well, not so much. How do we balance criticism and praise, and to what degree? While it’s our aim to guide emerging writers and to help strengthen their work, is there ever a time to just say no? If so, how?

Friday, 9:30 PM-midnight
Mysterion Party
Location TBD (our hotel room)

Saturday, 9:30 AM
Reading by Kristin Janz
Kristin Janz
Griffin · 30 min · Reading

Saturday, 1:00 PM
Bioethical Issues Raised by SF … and Real Life
Stephen P. Kelner Jr., Priscilla Olson (M), Ken Altabef, Kristin Janz, JeffWarner
Harbor II · 60 min · Panel
Ongoing advances in biotechnology and biomedical research have delivered some important benefits, and promise more. But they’ve also brought ethical concerns, calls for moratoria, fresh regulation — and new moral dilemmas. There may or may not be something wrong with playing God: but are we playing blind? What might we unleash with stem cell research, modified viruses, bioengineered cures, self-replicating nanobots, cloning, and regrowth of organs or limbs?

Saturday, 6:30 PM
Boskone Book Party
Galleria – Stage · 60 min · Event
Join us for Boskone’s Book Party! See what’s just out from authors you love, and discover new favorites. The book party will include E. C. Ambrose ( Elaine Isaak ), Neil Clarke, LJ Cohen, Milton Davis, Grady Hendrix, Carlos Hernandez, Jeremy Flagg, Kristin Janz, Hillary Monahan, Cerece Rennie Murphy, Ian Randal Strock, Christine Taylor-Butler, and more!

Saturday, 8:00 PM
A Muddle of Mad Scientists
Jordin T. Kare, Debra Doyle, John P. Murphy (M), Kristin Janz, John Langan
Burroughs · 60 min · Panel
From Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Faustus, Mrs. Coulter to Dr. Horrible, genre fiction is filled with a long list of the crazily creative geniuses known as mad scientists. Why do we love them? What makes the mad scientist character so appealing in horror, comedy, and everything in between? Join us for a mad, mad discussion featuring some of our favorite screwy scientists/inventors from the past, present, and future.

Saturday, 9:00 PM
Cooking with Chemistry!
B. Diane Martin, David G. Shaw, Kristin Janz (M)
Burroughs · 60 min · Panel
Foodies love to experiment with new equipment and techniques that reformulate their favorite ingredients into exciting new dishes. On the menu: unexpected contrasts of taste and texture, changes in serving temperature, and how to exploit naturally occurring components in new ways. Our panelists discuss chemistry, cooking, and cool culinary science.

Sunday, 10:00 AM
Chemistry: Spec Fic’s Critical Compound
Milton Davis, Kristin Janz, Mark L. Olson (M), Justine Graykin, Steven Popkes
Marina 2 · 60 min · Panel
It’s got a long history within speculative fiction, but it’s often overshadowed by biology, physics, and astronomy. From transmutating metals to creating fuels, gunpowder, poisons, and (in The Martian) oxygen, chemistry is often the unsung science of our genres. We’ll discuss chemistry’s practical aspects, and how they are successfully applied within a story. We’ll also look at a few bang-up examples where the science went wrong …

Monday, January 23, 2017

Awards Season

As some of you know, nominations are now open for the Hugo and Nebula awards. To assist any readers wanting to nominate their favorite stories from Mysterion, we've assembled a list of award-eligible stories, sorted by nomination category.

Short story

  • “When I Was Dead” by Stephen Case
  • “Forlorn” by Bret Carter
  • “Too Poor to Sin” by H. L. Fullerton
  • “Golgotha” by David Tallerman
  • “A Good Hoard” by Pauline J. Alama
  • “Yuri Gagarin Sees God” by J. S. Bangs
  • “Cutio” by F. R. Michaels
  • “Yuki and the Seven Oni” by S. Q. Eries
  •  “Ascension” by Laurel Amberdine
  • “The Physics of Faith” by Mike Barretta
  • “Horologium” by Sarah Ellen Rogers


  • “The Monastic” by Daniel Southwell
  • “Of Thine Impenetrable Spirit” by Robert B Finegold, MD
  • “The Angel Hungers” by Christian Leithart
  • “This Far Gethsemane” by G. Scott Huggins
  • “Cracked Reflections” by Joanna Michal Hoyt

The other four stories are reprints, and do not qualify for this year's award nominations.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Arisia 2017

Enigmatic Mirror Press (i.e., Kristin and Donald) will be at Arisia in Boston next weekend!  Come to our party on Saturday night (check the party board for room number), or stop by our table in the Artist/Author Alley on Sunday and Monday.  We'll have copies of Mysterion for sale, and free cookies.

Arisia 2017
January 13th-16th

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christmas Sale

We're currently discounting Mysterion by 20% for the paperback, for $13.59, and 40% for the ebook, now $5.99, from now through Christmas. If you haven't yet gotten your own copy, now's a good time. Or buy copies as Christmas presents!

See our Buy page for more information.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mysterion Goodreads Giveaway

We are currently giving away 10 copies of the Mysterion paperback on Goodreads. Click the link below to enter.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Mysterion by Donald S. Crankshaw


by Donald S. Crankshaw

Giveaway ends November 25, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, November 7, 2016

World Fantasy Report

We spent the last weekend in October at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio. Here's what happened.


We had to get up around 5 am so we could fly from Boston to Columbus. Donald tried to nap on the plane but didn't really manage. We made it to the hotel around noon. Just in time for lunch at the hotel restaurant, Market Stand Cafe. Kristin got the Banh Mi sandwich with a side of fruit (pineapple, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon), and Donald got the French Dip sandwich with fries. We're trying to avoid eating french fries at conventions, for health reasons, but Donald doesn't like melon and they didn't have the option of substituting a salad. Kristin's sandwich was decent, once she pulled out the well-past-their-prime cilantro sprigs, but the fruit looked as if it had been cut up the day before. Kristin decided that we wouldn't eat here again, because of the mediocre food and the paucity of healthy alternative side dishes. 

Then we delivered copies of our book to Chris Edwards of Tigereyes Press, who had offered to sell them at his table in the dealers' room. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel room, where Kristin did some writing and Donald took a nap.

After attending a reading by our friend, Rajan Khanna, who read from an original, unpublished story, we came back to the room, where Kristin and Donald both wrote (Donald inserting jokes into the story he and Kristin co-wrote, Kristin working on her novel).

Then we went out to eat at Marcella's, an Italian restaurant. We got antipasti small plates of Brussels sprouts, calamari, and funghi (mushrooms), plus crispy potato and pesto shrimp pizzas. The pizzas were flatbread style, and really good, but the antipasti were just okay. The Brussels sprouts hadn't been cooked long enough and were still too hard. Unfortunately, many people are still overcompensating for all those years when Brussels sprouts had to be boiled into submission before they were considered ready to eat.

After dinner, we returned to the room to write and work on this blog post.  Finally, we went to the hotel bar, to meet with friends and make new ones. (If you go to a science fiction or fantasy convention just to attend panels and lectures, going to bed early every night, you're missing out. The only way to get to know people is to hang out at the bar or at various parties thrown by groups attending the convention.) Donald introduced himself to one of the panelists for the panel he would be moderating on Sunday. Kristin tried to order a Negroni at the bar, but they didn't have Campari, so she had to drink bourbon instead.

And no, this post won't just be reporting on the restaurants where we ate, the writing we did, and Donald's attempts to nap. Probably. Hopefully, we'll be able to catch some panels and/or parties tomorrow.


We slept in on Friday, and then went to Bareburger for lunch. It's one of those upscale local artisanal burger places, serving meats like elk and bison in addition to mundane beef and turkey (veggie options, too). Kristin had the Grindhouse burger, Donald had the El Matador burger, and we shared an order of the crispy Brussels sprouts with Manchego cheese, which were amazing! Donald also had onion rings. Kristin gave him a hard time about it (although she did have to admit that they weren't fries), but then went and got a Mexican chocolate milkshake. Following Kristin's bad example, Donald had a root beer float for dessert.

We wandered around the dealer's room for a while, looking at all the books (and jewelry!) for sale. Donald was able to talk to two more of the folks who were supposed to be on his Sunday panel. It turned out that one of them really didn't want to be on the panel, and asked Kristin to take their place (they did clear it with con programming, once Kristin said she was willing). So now Kristin not only had to be up for a 10 am panel on Sunday, she also had to be awake and prepared to entertain an audience.

Next, we went to a panel that our friend Frederic Durbin was on, called "Our Favorite Monsters and Why We Love Them." Fred brought up some good points about how differently night time was viewed by pre-Industrial civilization, encouraging anyone who writes about civilizations that don't have artificial lighting at night to read the book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past. Overall, we did feel that the panelists may have tried too hard to humanize all monsters, without allowing for the fact that some monsters just want to eat you.

Next on our agenda was a reading by our friend Matt Kressel, followed by the Clarion West party. Kristin attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in 2008, and the annual party at World Fantasy is an opportunity for alumni and instructors from different years to connect with each other.

Later that afternoon, Donald did some writing (Kristin was still at the party), before we headed to dinner at Lemongrass. This was one of those pan-Asian places that serves both Thai food and sushi. It was pretty decent, even though Kristin can sometimes be a bit snobby about places like that. They didn't overcook the shrimp, which is always nice.

Friday evening was the open signing--everyone at the con could grab a spot in the ballroom and sign books, and hey, we were at a con and had books we could sign for folks. Unfortunately, no one really wanted our signatures . . .

After the signing, we went to a party promoting the 2018 World Fantasy Convention, which will be in Baltimore (2017 is going to be in San Antonio). There was another party across the hall to celebrate the release of The Starlit Wood, an anthology of cross-genre fairy tale retellings, but that one was really crowded, so we didn't even try to get in (although Kristin had wanted to stop by, since one of the editors is a fellow Canadian, and Max Gladstone from her writers' group has a story in the anthology). It turned out that the 2018 in Baltimore party had better drinks anyway, including a good selection of microbrewed beers and some single malt Scotch. We saw Fred again at the party, and Raj and Matt along with our friend Mercurio D. Rivera (who's in the same writers' group as Raj and Matt), and John O'Neill of Black Gate, and a number of other people we knew.


On Saturday, we went to two panels: "Sword and Sorcery Today: Still Slashing Away", and "New Findings in History and Archaeology: How Do These Inform Fiction?"  These were both very strong panels.

Scott Andrews, the editor of Beneath Ceaseless Skies and a friend of ours, was on the first, and he defined sword and sorcery as more the blue collar version of fantasy, where the characters are mercenaries working for beer money, while epic fantasy is more about the fates of kingdoms or even the whole world. But aside from the stakes, sword and sorcery often has a different feel--it's more about loners and individuals than about factions and nations. Mercedes Lackey, one of the Guests of Honor at this year's convention, was also on the panel.

The second panel featured Eric Flint, David Drake, S. M. Stirling, Rhiannon Held, and Rosemary Smith (Drake and Stirling were on the earlier panel, too). They reminded us to: 1) at least do a minimum of research, and 2) remember that the state of historical knowledge is constantly changing, so what people now believe about the past may change in twenty years, and no one expects fiction writers to be at the cutting edge of archaeological research. They also pointed out that too much historical accuracy can throw readers out of the story too, if you include a correct detail that most readers don't know (the fact that ancient Roman shields were made out of plywood, for instance). 

Then we went to Frederic Durbin's reading, from a weird western in the upcoming anthology Discovery. It was quite good, with a really strong and distinctive voice, and we look forward to reading the rest of the story.

At some point, Kristin went back to the dealers' room to buy several books and a pair of earrings. We also looked at the work on display in the Art Show.

We had dinner at Wolf's Ridge Brewery, which was excellent but had very small portions. Good if you're not too hungry. (Earlier that day, we both had brunch at Double Comfort, but not at the same time. Kristin often gets up earlier than Donald, and is hungry while he's still sleeping. Kristin had the chicken n' waffle, while Donald sampled the chicken fried pork cutlet (also on a waffle). This was also a good restaurant and much cheaper than Wolf's Ridge, with more substantial serving sizes; probably not as healthy though, with all that Southern fried food.)

After dinner, we attended the Art Show reception and then went to the Baltimore in 2018 party again, since we'd had such a good time the previous night. Donald didn't stay too late because of our panel first thing in the morning the next day. Kristin thinks she stayed later, but we're working on this post a week after the fact and can no longer remember whether that's true.


We got up in time to attend our panel, "How to Make a Small Fortune in Specialty Publishing (Starting with a Large Fortune)". Aside from Donald and Kristin, we also had Jeremy Lassen of Night Shade Books and Tod McCoy of Hydra House. Unfortunately, Yanni Kuznia and Robert Sawyer couldn't join us. It was a good panel, less because of Donald's moderating (though we will note that, unlike many panels, he kept this one on topic), than because of the range of perspectives represented.

That was pretty much it for the con. There was a banquet on Sunday afternoon, followed by the World Fantasy Awards ceremony, but we didn't go. We've often gone in previous years, but the banquet food is always mediocre and overpriced, and neither of us really enjoys award ceremonies (we don't even watch the Oscars).

We had Mexican food at Nada for lunch (pork belly tacos for Donald and carne asada tacos for Kristin), and dinner at The Eagle (another Southern place specializing in fried chicken--Kristin had a quarter chicken with dark meat, Donald had the blackened shrimp po boy, and we shared orders of spoonbread and stewed collard greens with ham hocks and bacon). Both of these places were quite good, and reasonably priced. For breakfast, Kristin ate at the hotel restaurant again. It was pretty average. They did have a really good herbed chicken sausage, which seemed to have been made in-house.

We don't usually include photos from restaurant men's rooms, but this display from Nada is worth a closer look.

We did spend some time before dinner hanging out at the bar, but avoided stopping by the post-con party people were talking about, since we had to get up at 3:30 am on Monday for the flight home.

That's about it. We had a great time connecting with everyone, and hopefully were able to get the word out about Mysterion to more people who didn't yet know about it.

Our next convention will be Arisia here in Boston, in January. If you're planning to attend (and who doesn't want to visit Boston in January?), let us know!