Posts Tagged ‘Beth Cato’

Pushcart Prize Nominations

2016_Cover_BigEvery year choosing which stories to nominate for the Pushcart Prize is difficult. It’s not any easier this year because, despite the fact we only put out three issues instead of four because I’m very aware that this is the final time I will be nominating work from Niteblade for this prestigious award. Difficult as it was, however, I have made my decisions and mailed the package today so they are final and official.

I am pleased to announce that on behalf of Niteblade Magazine I was proud to nominate the following poems and stories for The Pushcart Prize:

Congratulations nominees, and good luck!


Issue #27We are super proud to see several poems and one story from issue #27 of Niteblade show up on Ellen Datlow’s rec list for Best Horror of the Year (volume Seven)!

Megan Arkenberg, “Godfather

Beth Cato, “Bird Girl” (poem)

Sandi Leibowitz,  “Braiding” (poem)

S. Brackett Robertson, “The Dryad to the Woodcarver

On a related note, Ada Hoffmann’s poem from that issue, The Mermaid at Sea World, has been accepted into Imaginarium: Best Canadian Speculative Writing.

So. Incredibly. Proud.

Congratulations, ladies!


Issue #32: What Happened Among The Stars


Issue 32Issue #32: What Happened Among the Stars was released today. In this issue we’ve got farcical science fiction, magical horses, everyday immortals, creeping trees, fairies, close encounters with death and so much more.

Table of Contents:
Small Necessary Things by Angela Enos
Shamaness by Wendy Howe
Jacks by Nicholas L. Sweeney
What Happened Among the Stars by Beth Cato
Monkeyshines by J.B. Rockwell
Carousel Ifrit by Sandi Leibowitz
The Third Sister by Gabriel F. Cuellar
coming home by Senia Hardwick
The Night Wind’s Ballad by Alexandra Erin
The Hanging Tree by Brian Ennis

Available now:

Direct from Niteblade

Pushcart Nominations

2015CoverHomeNominating for the Pushcart Prize is always difficult. Picking six works from all Niteblade has published over the year? It’s freaking tough. If you think I’m exaggerating, take a look over our archives and try to choose the six works you’d nominate from four issues. See? Hard.

This year it was made even more tricksy by the fact I was nominating not only from Niteblade, but also A is for Apocalypse. Luckily for me, I had back-up.

Poetry editor Alexandra Seidel helped me out with the nominations this year. And when I say helped me out I mean she was invaluable and pivotal when it came to making our poem-based decisions.

So with no further ado… this year the Niteblade nominations for the Pushcart Prize are:

Congratulations ladies, and good luck!

10 Things To Know About The Clockwork Dagger

Beth Cato -- photo by Corey Ralston PhotographyFrequent Niteblade contributor Beth Cato‘s novel launched today and in order to help her celebrate we’re pleased to share this guest post —

10 Things to Know About The Clockwork Dagger


#1: It’s not on Earth, but it’s still historical fiction.
The technology, fashion, and grimness are based on post-World War I Europe. This influences everything from the steam cabriolets on the street to the suspicion that the meat at lunch isn’t beef, but horse.

#2: Medicians use healing magic.
My heroine, Octavia Leander, is trained as a healing magi and as a traditional doctor. She uses blessed herbs to draw on the power of the Lady’s Tree.

#3: The Lady is a world tree.
Most people in Octavia’s society regard the Lady as a figure of mythology. They scoff at the idea of a gigantic tree whose roots moor the world and whose omnipresence touches all life on the continent. Octavia fervently believes, but then, her connection to the Lady is quite unusual.

#4: It’s a colorful world.
Caskentia and the surrounding kingdoms and city-states are populated by various skin colors and cultures.

#5: The geography is inspired by eastern Washington.
Familiarity makes for a more realistic world. I lived north of Seattle for several years while my husband was in the Navy, and I miss the area. The topography within the book is similar to that of Mount Vernon on down toward Portland, with additional cameos by Mount Rainier and dry eastern Washington.

#6: There’s a touch of romance.
The chemistry is there, but it’s not the focus of the book. Octavia’s real priority is to stay alive and keep others alive, too.

#7: Old school RPGs play a role, too.
Final Fantasy IV, VI and Secret of Mana were my obsessions as a teenager and their influence has never left me. The Lady is directly inspired by Secret of Mana. Old school gamers will recognize tiny homages hidden within the book.

#8: The Hindenburg helped me out.
I wanted to create a realistic airship for the action in The Clockwork Dagger. The Hindenburg is both tragic and infamous, and there’s extensive resource material to draw from. My airship the Argus uses the Hindenburg’s floor plan cut in half, but many of the room details are almost exact. One significant modification: the boost of aether magic to keep it afloat.

#9: Gremlins FTW.
When I created my own sort of gremlins, I had no idea that the ugly-cute green-skinned critters would become one of the main appeals of the book.

#10: Agatha Christie contributed to the plot.
My mom raised me on Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries. My initial idea for The Clockwork Dagger was “Murder on the Orient Express, on an airship.” Everything else built from there.


The Clockwork Dagger is available today at all the usual suspects:

~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Powell’s ~ Books-A-Million ~

About the Author:

Beth Cato hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair west of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham.

Beth’s short fiction can be found in Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many other magazines. The Clockwork Dagger is her first novel. The sequel, The Clockwork Crown, will be released in 2015.

Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.

Issue #27: The Mermaid at Sea World

Cover_Mar2014_noissnI always think each issue we produce is better than the last, and this is no exception. Issue #27: The Mermaid at Sea World is definitely one of the strongest line-ups we’ve ever put together. You’re going to love this one, I guarantee it!

What if you had power over death? Or, if bleeding could transform you into something new altogether? From dryads to mermaids to lycanthropes to zombies, the stories and poems contained here offer musings on these creatures and much more. So sit down with a cup of tea, a warm blanket, and a book light—these tales will transport you to far-off fantasy worlds and into the forgotten corners of the darkest minds. It is Niteblade, where the strange and unusual lay down their roots.


Bird Girl by Beth Cato
Godfather by Megan Arkenberg
The Dryad to the Woodcarver by S. Brackett Robertson
Hunt of the Damned by David Stegora
The Mermaid at Sea World by Ada Hoffmann
Crossing the Veil by Jamie Lackey
the queen’s pauper by Anna Sykora
You Kill Me by Milo James Fowler
Braiding by Sandi Leibowitz
Hold My Hand by K. A. Mielke

Choo Choo!

Hop aboard the blog train! 🙂

Niteblade published our first issue in September 2007 and we are now creeping toward Issue #21. That will mark our fifth anniversary. Five years, can you believe it? That’s like, a lifetime in internet time, right?

To celebrate we decided to host a small blog train. It starts right here with this post, then tomorrow it will move on to its first stop. Over the rest of the month the train will visit 23 blog entries that all have something to do with Niteblade. C’mon, it’s going to be quite a trip!

Blog Train Schedule:

August 8th: Niteblade News ~*~ Choo Choo!
August 9th: James Dorr ~*~ The Niteblade Blog Train, What’s That? – Jazzy Vampires
August 10th: J.E. Taylor ~*~ We Always Remember Our First Time
August 11th: Aubrie Dionne ~*~ Niteblade Blog Train
August 12th: Beth Cato ~*~ “I Wish”: A Tale for the Niteblade Blog Train
August 13th: Joseph Zieja ~*~ Respecting Your Roots: Niteblade’s Blog Train
August 14th: Ash Krafton ~*~ Niteblade: The Bloooooog Train
August 15th: Marge Simon ~*~ My Love Affair With Niteblade
August 16th: Stephanie M. Wytovich ~*~ All Aboard the Train to Hell
August 17th: Alexandra Seidel ~*~ The Niteblade Blog Train: Poetry Central
August 18th: Brenda Stokes Barron ~*~ Niteblade Blog Train – What a Difference
August 19th: kaolin fire ~*~ Niteblade Blog Train
August 20th: Chris Lewis Carter ~*~ Next Stop on the Niteblade Blog Train
August 21st: Rhonda Parrish ~*~ Control Issues
August 22nd: Alexis A. Hunter ~*~ Niteblade Blog Train: Stop 15
August 23rd: Heather R. Peterson ~*~ The One Website Every Writer Should Know
August 24th: Mark Rigney ~*~ Freight Train, Freight Train, Going so Fast…
August 25th: Sharon K. Reamer ~*~ Niteblade: Let’s Celebrate
August 26th: Sandi Leibowitz ~*~ Horror Mounts
August 27th: Andrew Patterson ~*~ Niteblade Blog Train
August 28th: John Clewarth ~*~ The Niteblade Blog Train keeps on rolling!
August 29th: Pete Aldin ~*~ Because Business is Personal: Why I like Niteblade
August 30th: Amber Stults ~*~ Interviews at Niteblade
August 31st: Jonathan Pinnock ~*~ Happy Anniversary, Niteblade!
September 1st: Niteblade News

James Dorr is going to kick off the train for real over at his blog – James Dorr. Be sure and stop by there tomorrow and read what he has to say 🙂

Niteblade Contributor Interview with Beth Cato

Beth Cato‘s stories have appeared in numerous issues of Niteblade.  Her work is available in print and online.  Beth’s novels are represented by Rebecca Strauss of the McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency.

When did you first recognize yourself as a writer?

When I was four or five years old. I loved books and I made my own at home with scrap paper and staples. However, as an adult I didn’t make a serious commitment until I was 26, stuck at home with a baby, and losing my mind. Writing helped me to find my brain again. Mostly.

What draws you to speculative fiction?

I love the “what if?” element of spec fic. The real world has so many limitations and is often dull. If you bring magic or aliens or the end of the world into the mix, well, you have a different set of challenges to live by.

Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?

Yes. I avoid advice that I MUST write 1,000 words a day or I MUST write so-and-so. Everyone has their own style and it changes over time. Some days you can make 1,000 words and some days you can be grateful for 50. I had to learn to be flexible and forgive myself for falling short sometimes.

Your work has made several appearances in Niteblade.  In the March 2009 issue, Rhonda chose to publish your story, “The Pacifier.”  Is there a story behind how it came about?

I read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road and was haunted by what the book didn’t show. How would a person survive with a baby in a post-apocalyptic environment? What would they resort to in order to stay alive? The trilogy about Jessie and Aaron emerged in those answers.

What have you been working on lately?

I recently acquired a literary agent—and that still boggles my mind—and I’ve spent the past week working on edits. It’s scary and exciting to think of my NaNoWriMo labor of love actually going out on submission to publishers in the next few months.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?

I can say “Niteblade is awesome,” but I’m probably preaching to the choir. If you want to read my Niteblade stories, you can find links in my bibliography at Thanks for having me here!