Heads up: New byline

After many years of agonizing and hesitation, I am changing my byline from Rose Lemberg to R.B. Lemberg. This change reflects how my thoughts about my gender and gender presentation have evolved over the years, what I thought was possible, and what I thought wasn’t possible (more things are possible now! That’s good!)

What to call me – I now prefer R.B.

It’s a big change for me at this stage of my career, but a good one to commit to before my first Birdverse book (!!!!) is published in print (it’s a novella forthcoming from Tachyon Press – more detail soon!)

Please adjust your links:

My twitter is now: @rb_lemberg

My personal website: rblemberg.net

Patreon: http://patreon.com/rblemberg

Instagram: @rblemberg

I am likely to update this website more thoroughly this summer as schedule permits.

Forests anthology update: Co-editing

Climbing Lightly Through Forests, the Ursula Le Guin tribute poetry anthology, has been delayed, but it is moving forward. Unfortunately, I had many health setbacks this winter and spring, and have fallen behind on submissions. I needed help, and so I asked Lisa M. Bradley to join me as the project co-editor, and Lisa kindly agreed. I have worked with Lisa before in various capacities, and I am so excited about this collaboration.

Here’s Lisa’s short bio:

A queer Tejana raised on the Texas-Mexico border, Lisa M. Bradley now lives in Iowa with her spouse and their teenager. Her speculative fiction and poetry explore boundaries and liminal spaces: real, imagined, and metaphorical. Her work has appeared in Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, and her first collection, The Haunted Girl. Online, her work has been published by Uncanny, Strange Horizons, and Fireside Magazine. In her debut novel, EXILE, a determined antiheroine schemes to escape her quarantined bordertown.

You are welcome to learn more about Lisa by visiting www.lisambradley.com or checking out her Twitter account, @cafenowhere.

We are moving forward with our decisions on the remaining shortlisted submissions; we hope to have your patience for a little while longer.

New publications

I have neglected updating here – my apologies. I have had so many health setbacks over the last few months; but it’s finally spring here, and so I want to be optimistic.

My science fictional short story “These are the attributes by which you shall know God” has appeared in GlitterShip, edited by Keffy M. Kehrli. You can read the text and/or listen to the narration by Bogi Takács! Maria Haskins’ lovely review highlights it as one of 9 (extra) outstanding stories of March 2019:

Lemberg weaves a beautiful, profound, and dazzling story about language and architectural forms, advanced geometry, Leviathans, philosophy and religion, and about how one human comes to a deeper understanding of the aliens and space itself.

I am also very happy with the publication of my poem “Medusa” at Fireside Magazine, where it was edited by Julia Rios. It is an angry, spoken word poem about immigration, trauma, the desire to belong, and the pitfalls of assimilation. The inimitable C.S.E. Cooney narrates it. I feel so lucky to work with such incredible people.

I’ll try to post more updates here soon.

Poetry + a few other publication updates

I haven’t updated in a while – this semester has been really rough. Meanwhile, a few publication news:

My poems “Divinatory” and “The Fear Tree” appeared in the inaugural issue of The Sycorax Journal.

My poem “archival testimony fragments/minersong” will be reprinted in Best of Uncanny Magazine from Subterranean Press.

My poem “The little mouse elder” was set to music by Kincaid Rabb and performed at the University of Nevada, Reno.

My essay “Don’t Self-Reject!” will appear in The Writer’s Book of Doubt edited by Aidan Doyle.

I sold a Birdverse novella to Tachyon; more on this soon, I hope.

I have been struggling with depression, so everything feels bleak right now.

Update on the FORESTS anthology

I have received many wonderful submissions for CLIMBING LIGHTLY THROUGH FORESTS, the Ursula K. Le Guin tribute anthology, during the open period. I would like to get some more poems to read! Therefore, I am EXTENDING the deadline till December 15th, 2018, 11:59PM Central. Please look at the guidelines and send me your work! 

Regarding submissions I already received: I will respond to everybody who submitted in the next 4 weeks with either a rejection or a hold notice. If you receive a rejection, you will be able to submit again before the extended deadline.

Call for Submissions: Ursula K. Le Guin tribute poetry anthology

Update, OCTOBER 15th: I am EXTENDING the deadline till December 15th, 2018, 11:59PM Central. Please send me your work! 

I am seeking submissions for an anthology of poetry in tribute to the life and works of Ursula K. Le Guin. The anthology is tentatively titled CLIMBING LIGHTLY THROUGH FORESTS, and it will be published by Aqueduct Press sometime in 2019.

Ursula K. Le Guin was perhaps most known for her SFF fiction, but she was a prolific poet, with a dozen poetry collections in print (her last poetry book is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press this Fall).

Unlike her big-idea SF, her poetry was often more personal in scope, engaging closely with land and landscape of the Pacific Northwest; much of her poetry is not speculative at all. Le Guin was a complex, prolific creator whose work influenced and touched so many of us.

For this anthology, I am seeking poetry that engages with Ursula K. Le Guin’s life and work broadly construed – including her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. I will be looking for a variety of voices, themes, treatments, and approaches. Both critical and celebratory approaches are welcome, as is anything in-between.

You are welcome to engage with specific books and/or stories, or take it in other directions. Your poems do not have to be speculative, although a speculative element is always welcome. There are no length or style limitations. Very short and very long works are welcome. Experimental forms are welcome. Prose poetry is welcome. Rhymed and formal poetry is welcome. I truly welcome poetry of any kind. Please do not send me short stories or nonfiction, however.

As always, I am hoping to receive poetry from people from a variety of backgrounds. Everybody is welcome to submit! I welcome work from people who belong to marginalized/underrepresented groups and communities,  including from Black people, Indigenous people, and/or people of color, from migrants, from non-Western and non-Anglophone people, from disabled and neurodiverse people, from LGBTQIA+ people, from people of all genders. You do not need to be marginalized to submit. I welcome submissions from new and established voices, seasoned poets and people who never wrote poetry before. Please don’t self-reject!

Where to submit: Please submit up to 3 (THREE) poems to lembergsubmissions@gmail.com

If you are sending a reprint, please indicate where and when it was first published. Your submissions should be titled LE GUIN SUBMISSION: Your last name

Please do not submit more than 3 poems total for this call (you can send them together or separately). Simultaneous submissions are not accepted.

Editorial form of address: since people ask me about this! “Dear Editor” is great.”Dear Rose” or “Dear R.” is also fine. Please don’t call me either Ms, Mr, or Mrs.

Payment: The tribute anthology is a paid opportunity: we are paying $20 per original poem. While I am primarily looking for original poetry, I will consider reprints as well (payrate for reprints TBD).

An important note on rejections: Ursula K. Le Guin’s work and life was important to many of us. It can be heartbreaking to receive a rejection for work that deeply matters to us. Unfortunately, I will only be able to fit a limited amount of poems, and I foresee some difficult decisions to come. Whatever the outcome of your submission will be, please rest assured that I will review it with utmost care, and that a rejection is not a reflection on yourself, your craft, or your personal connection to Ursula K. Le Guin’s work – but simply the reality of publishing.

Submissions period: the anthology is open to submissions (as of July 3rd, 2018), and it will be open to submissions till October 15th, 11:59 Central. Update: I am EXTENDING the deadline till December 15th, 11:59PM Central. I will let you know within 90 days of submission whether your work is accepted, rejected, or held for further consideration.

I’m looking forward to reading your work!

Story and Poem sale

My science fiction short story “These Are The Attributes By Which You Shall Know God” (about aliens and Spinoza and architecture) will appear in Glittership: An LGBTQ Science Fiction & Fantasy podcast, edited by Keffy M. Kehrli.

My poem “core/debris/core” will appear in Disabled People Destroy SF (via Uncanny Magazine). Poetry for DPDSF is edited by S. Qiouyi Lu.

I’m really happy with both of these pieces!


Catching up on various publishing news

I’m behind on pretty much everything, including my publishing news – some of which are rapidly becoming “olds!” Sorry about that. But – better late than never.

My SF short story “How to Remember to Forget to Remember the Old War” (originally published in Lightspeed’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction) will be reprinted in the Sunspot Jungle anthology, Vol.1 from Rosarium Press. This has an absolutely brilliant lineup – I am thrilled.

My first-ever officially published piece of art, “Canada Goose,” appeared in the Temz Review. I loved working with the Temz editorial team – they are wonderful people, and the magazine is well worth checking out.

As an aside, I have not marketed my art specifically before, but I might start doing this if I find a minute to spare. You can find my artwork on Patreon!

Speaking of Patreon, I have published a new Birdverse short story as a stretch goal. Titled “The Book of Seed and the Abyss,” this is a Birdverse Kabbalah story with an all-queer and trans cast (as usual in BV), about the mystical power of language and letters. It features a golem and a book thief. You can access this story for a $1 pledge.

I will have a bunch of additional cool news about short stories and poetry soon.

Ursula K. Le Guin tribute anthology

It is official – I will be editing an anthology of speculative poetry in tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin’s life and work, for Aqueduct Press. I will also be contributing a retrospective essay on Le Guin’s poetry; she was a prolific and wonderful poet, and I feel her poetic work is not celebrated enough in SFF. I am planning to open to submissions in May. I am working on a call to subs, and will post it here when I have it. The easiest way to get updates on this project is to follow me on Twitter at @roselemberg


Award Eligibility Post 2017

Updated  and expanded Jan 30.

Dear friends,

This award season, I would like you to consider only one piece  for awards – the Birdverse novella A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power  in Beneath Ceaseless Skies  (Part I, Part II), and you can also listen to an absolutely epic podcast/audiobook by C.S.E. Cooney.

“Portrait” is eligible as a Novella for Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Award.

The trans/bigender narrator, the powerful but very tired Old Royal, meets their match in a dangerous stranger traveling through the sands.

This piece is unabashedly queer, kinky, and non-binary. CWs for power exchange, pain play, advanced discussions of consent, discussions of past abuse and trauma.

Portrait is one of the best things I have ever written. It is the most ambitious thing I’ve published to date, and by far the most nuanced. This novella means a lot to me. I would appreciate your reading and, if you think it is worth noticing, your votes.

It is on multiple award recommendation lists this year:

It is on the SFWA recommended reading list (Novellas)

2018 Nerds of a Feather Hugo Award Longlist

An Incomplete List of Great Reads from Others – Fran Wilde (lists Portrait under Novellas)

Aliette de Bodard’s Awards Consideration/Recommendation Post

Aimee Ogden’s 2017 Reading list (Novellas)

Jason Sanford’s Recommended Reading List (Novellas)

Nin Harris’s Recommendations for 2017

Charles Payseur’s 2017 Recommended Reading list at Quick Sip Reviews).

Maria Haskins’ 2017 Suggested Reading list (Novellas)


What others say:

“One of the best novellas of 2017 is “A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power” by Rose Lemberg in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. An intricate masterpiece which I will be nominating for the Hugo and Nebula Awards.” – Jason Sanford

“a gorgeous and poetic novella of fallen stars and magic, exploring power, consent, desire, and pain.” A.C. Wise’s My Favorite Novels and Novellas of 2017

“I would recommend Rose Lemberg’s amazing novella, “A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power” (Beneath Ceaseless Skies), a masterpiece of worldbuilding that brings together two very different characters with vastly different histories, and tracks the consequences of their meeting–effortlessly rich and romantic, laden with worldbuilding that both feels familiar and strange, this definitely stuck with me long after I’d read it.” – Aliette de Bodard, Book Smugglers

“I have followed Lemberg’s Birdverse series of stories for several years now. I think this is the best one yet. A rich, strange novella of falling stars, millennia-old star-guardians, shapeshifters, lions, and flying carpets.” Vanessa Fogg, It’s a Jumble

“This summer Beneath Ceaseless Skies published [Lemberg’s] story “A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power” … I highly recommend it.”  – Ann Leckie

“I may not be able to give this more than five stars on Goodreads … but, in my heart, Rose Lemberg gets all the damn stars in the sky.” – Avery/Book Deviant

“Stunning… this novella is one of my favorite reads…” (Charles Payseur; full review at Quick Sip Reviews)

“This non-binary centered novella has supermages and spies and ghosts and I adore the ways those things are interwoven into a narrative that is so much about consent and kink and trauma.  This is my favorite book that has come out in 2017, the one closest to my heart. I love it dearly. It means the world to me. “-  Xan West

“Lemberg’s prose is spellbinding… Love, transformation, magic, lust, longing, pain and desire – so many threads are woven together in this tale. Breathtaking storytelling.” – Maria Haskins

Thank you very much for considering this piece.

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R.B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their work has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, Uncanny, and other venues, and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards.

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