Our Next Book Release

We have some exciting news! We will be publishing JE Solo’s short story collection entitled Nature this year. This new ten-story collection grapples with themes of loneliness, separation, and alienation. These stories take the reader into near and far-flung futures, some bleak, some hopeful, but all revolving around our connections to nature. Stay tuned for news about release dates and events.

AI Human Collaborative Artwork

The author is producing artworks for the collection using different AI generators Midjourney, Dall*E 2 and the synthetic neural network Ostagram. Using text from the short stories as prompts to generate images, JE’s process also involves creating layers with Photoshop, Filter Forge, and the drawing tablet. JE refers to the process as a collaboration:

“Even though the technology is evolving super fast, at this point in time it’s still a conversation between artist and AI, still a collaboration. The human hand is still necessary. Working with this technology raises many questions, though, almost on a daily basis. In a world where anyone can write a prompt that generates an artwork, a piece of music, a photograph, or a video, where is the artist’s place? Do artists become the composers of prompts? Conversely, could we be heading towards a world where everyone is an artist?”

VR Forward Collaborative Project

We’re excited to be part of a larger project examining how virtual reality is interfacing with art across various domains. VR Forward is a series of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality based performances, installations, streams, and presentations featuring work by some of the most innovative Canadian artists, including three of our published HOZ authors: Lisa Timpf, L. X. Beckett, and Yuan Changming.

We’ll be working to bring their stories and poems to life in the form of installations and performance experiences for streaming, and within the online world of Second Life. VR Forward is a collaboration with the BBMC, a Canadian artists collective, and has been made possible through the support of the Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des artes du Canada.

About the VR Forward Authors

Lisa Timpf is a retired HR and communications professional who lives in Simcoe, Ontario. Her poetry has appeared in Star*Line, New Myths, Liminality, Dreams & Nightmares, Polar Borealis, and other venues. Lisa is a contributing author to the House of Zolo’s Journal of Speculative Literature – Volume 2 with the poem “For Laika (The First Dog in Space).” lisatimpf.blogspot.com

Toronto author and editor L. X. Beckett frittered their misbegotten youth working as an actor and theater technician in Southern Alberta before deciding to make a shift into writing science fiction. Their first novella, Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling, appeared in the July/August issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2018, and takes place in the same universe as their 2019 novel Gamechanger. Lex identifies as feminist, lesbian, genderqueer, married, and Slytherin. They are on Twitter as LXBeckett and have a website, the Lexicon, at http://lxbeckett.com/. L. X. is a contributing author to the House of Zolo’s Journal of Speculative Literature – Volume 1 with the poem “Starring you in the Role of the Fourth Rider.”

Yuan Changming works part-time as a produce clerk in Vancouver and edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan at poetrypacific.blogspot.ca. Credits include eleven Pushcart nominations, ten chapbooks, nine poetry awards as well as appearances in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) & BestNewPoemsOnline, among 1,839 other literary outlets, across 46 countries. Yuan is a contributing author to the House of Zolo’s Journal of Speculative Literature, Volume 3 with the poem “Flappy Mephlapperson Migrating.”

Our Next Call for Submissions

We’re also dreaming up our next call for submissions! Since we’re working in virtual spaces and our authors are collaborating with AI to create images to go with stories and poems, we thought it would be interesting to open up the discussion around AI’s incursion into the artistic and creative realms. Stay tuned for the call in early 2023.