Long before I read my first romance — literally, years before I read my first romance — I’d read my first, second, third, and probably five hundredth fantasy or science fiction novel. My dad gave me Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern – Volume 1) when I was maybe seven or eight, and I never looked back. So when RWA (the Romance Writers of America) was going up in flames during the holidays, and Mary Robinette Kowal, the current president of SFWA (the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), tweeted:

I was honestly thrilled. Joining RWA was practical, an attempt to get better at the business side of writing, and I didn’t bother to renew my membership after a year. Joining SFWA, on the other hand, was a dream come true for my twelve-year-old self.

Of course, once I’d joined, I didn’t exactly know what to do with my membership. I thought maybe I’d be active on their forums, but I actually felt too shy to comment there. I wanted to vote in the Nebula awards, but between the pandemic and my cross-country trip, I didn’t have time to read all the nominees. I thought about attending the annual conference, hoping to meet some fellow writers, but it moved online because of the pandemic and so… yeah, not gonna happen. But I read the newsletter when it arrives in my inbox, and when one of them mentioned that they were accepting submissions for a story bundle on fantastic beasts, I thought, “Well, Cici?”

I clicked the link, submitted Cici and the Curator, and then promptly forgot about it, because pandemic, heartbreak, life in turmoil, the usual. (Ha.) But I was delighted — really, so thrilled! — when I got an email a while later saying Cici had been accepted.

If you’re unfamiliar with Story Bundles, they’re collections of books, available for a limited time, at a somewhat set-your-own price. I say “somewhat” because the minimum price is $5 for five books, or $15 for 15 books, but that’s a great deal. If you’d like to support authors or the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, you’re invited to contribute more, but that’s up to you. The SFWA Fantastic Beasts bundle is a curated bundle, with titles selected by members of the SFWA, and I’m incredibly flattered that Cici is in the collection, along with titles by best-selling authors like Thea Harrison and Lindsay Buroker, award-winning authors like Susan Forest and Douglas Smith, and a whole bunch more.

I know if you’re reading this blog post, you’ve probably read Cici already — or at least decided that you’re completely uninterested in reading it. But if you like science fiction or fantasy at all, I hope you’ll consider giving the bundle a try. $15 is a really good price for fifteen books and now is a really fine time to support authors.