• Ren

Postcards from the Cosmic Void #2

This was originally published in my newsletter, Postcards from the Cosmic Void. Subscribe here to get updates early and directly to your inbox!

Postcards from the Cosmic Void

Hello, starship passengers! Welcome to Issue #2 of Postcards from the Cosmic Void! (December 2021)


This is the second author newsletter I'm sending out, and it will probably be the last one of the year. When you get my next letter, we'll be on the other side, in 2022. Wow, that year still sounds extremely fake. And yeah, time is a construct, but there's undoubtedly still something a bit magical about the idea of a new year; a fresh page, full of hope and possibility.


In 2022, my book will finally be flying into the world and into readers' hands around the world. I'll blog about debut year a bit more over the next few months, because I have a LOT of feelings to pour out, but I cannot thank you enough for coming along on this ride with me.


Earlier this month, I wrote about the book's cover journey, and how our brilliant designer came up with the colourful, ethereal mirrored-ship concept to illustrate Under Fortunate Stars. You can read that story here!


And now, here's that gorgeous cover again with a little bit of a twist, because...


Under Fortunate Stars has ARCs!


Advance Reader Copies have arrived at my publisher's office and will soon be scattering out to bookbloggers, reviewers and booksellers for an early look. Eeee!


Here's a photo of the ARC design. Look at that QUOTE on the front! 😍

Three copies of the ARC of Under Fortunate Stars

I'm so happy to see sci-fi readers starting to discover the book and adding it to their TBR for next year. In November, an exciting little writer milestone happened for me when Under Fortunate Stars was featured on its first Most Anticipated List, by one of my favourite booktubers!

Book blogger Rachel of TheShadesOfOrange smiles next to an image of the Under Fortunate Stars cover

Follow Rachel at TheShadesOfOrange for speculative fiction recs and lots of fab book content :)

Preorders & Signed Copies


You can now preorder Under Fortunate Stars at most bookstores (lots of links are on my website!) Thanks so much to everyone who places an early order, this helps debut authors immensely.


Signed copies are available to order at Bakka-Phoenix Books in Canada. If you'd like a signed and personalized bookplate, you can preorder from Brookline Booksmith in the US!


International friends, signed bookplates will also be available from me directly. If you've preordered, there will be an online form you can fill out next year to get a bookplate in the mail, so you can go ahead and order your copy right now from your local indie or any online bookstore :)


✨Under Fortunate Stars will be out in hardcover, ebook and audiobook on May 10, 2022.✨ For (semi)regular posts & book updates between newsletters, follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

Announcing Stelliform Press' New Editorial Assistant Ren Hutchings

News: I've joined Stelliform Press


In personal news, I've recently joined Stelliform Press as an editorial assistant! I've previously been a first reader for Stelliform, and I'm thrilled to get to work more closely on their upcoming titles as they bring more exciting new voices to speculative fiction.


Stelliform Press is a small press publishing out of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, focusing on genre fiction (sci-fi, fantasy and quiet horror) and creative nonfiction that centres climate change and environmental themes. Together, we uplift powerful stories speaking on themes of hope, action, change and humanity.

I'm a Round 9 AMM Mentor!

AuthorMentorMatch Round 9 starts soon!


The mentor list for Author Mentor Match has been revealed, and I'm thrilled that I'll be a mentor in the program for the third time in 2022, alongside so many incredible new and returning mentors!


Author Mentor Match pairs unagented, aspiring writers with mentors to help them with their manuscripts and guide them through the publishing process. Mentors help writers revise their manuscript before querying, give advice and tips on agents, and support through the process.


I can't wait to see what the inbox has in store for me this time around!

What I've Been Reading This Month

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao; Light Chaser by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell; Cambion's Law by Erin Fulmer

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

The cover blurb described this book as "a primal scream" and there is no description more accurate. This was a mindblowing, high-stakes adventure with giant mechs being piloted to fight an alien onslaught, set in a futuristic world inspired by Chinese history. Absolutely incredible characters, a nonstop pageturner of a story, an unforgettable protagonist determined to burn down the patriarchy, and a heartstopper of an ending that demands Book 2 immediately. I think this is my book of the year -- READ THIS PLEASE!


Light Chaser by Peter F. Hamilton & Gareth L. Powell

It's hard to pull off expansive space-opera worldbuilding in a compact story that fits the novella form, but this was deftly done here (along with some cool time stuff, which I always adore!) Amahle, a near-immortal whose life spans millennia, travels the galaxy and retrieves the recorded lives of people who wear memory-collecting collars. Until she starts to piece together a haunting message scattered across the years -- and discovers that a mysterious figure from the past is trying to reach her.


Cambion's Law by Erin Fulmer

Erin was my mentee in 2020 with a sci-fi book, so I'm intimately familiar with her writing. But I've never read her work in the urban fantasy space before, and it was a joy to dive into this pacey story about a half-demon lawyer embroiled in a murder mystery. Determined to fight against the demon side of her nature, Lily might have to embrace her darker side to catch the killer... while inconveniently falling for one of the suspects. An endearing, witty MC, a great supporting cast, and a fun paranormal romance.

Cute Mutants by SJ Whitby


This month, I wrote a blurb for Cute Mutants by SJ Whitby! These books are an utter delight, with a five-volume completed series ready to devour and several spin-off novels in the works. Perfect for YA readers and comics/superhero fans :)

Cute Mutants by SJ Whitby

A queerer, wittier Riverdale with a side of superpowers, rolled in rainbow glitter -- Cute Mutants explodes with voice and sincerity. Whitby's dialogue sparkles from the page, layered with delightful snark and pop culture references. This squad of achingly relatable protagonists and their vividly imagined powers will capture the hearts of diehard superhero lovers and welcome new fans to the genre. —Ren Hutchings, author of Under Fortunate Stars

More books are being added to the series all the time; find out more about the Cute Mutants Universe here!

More Links & Lovely Things

Luminescent Machinations by Neon Hemlock

One of my fave indie publishers, Neon Hemlock, has a new anthology funding on Kickstarter! I love all of their previous anthologies, and this theme is so fantastic.


Luminescent Machinations will be a speculative anthology exploring the limits of machinery, the fragility and power of queer bodies, and mecha in all their forms, exploring the intersections of body, technology, agency and power. Open submissions for the anthology will start soon!


Vulgar History Podcast

The Vulgar History Podcast

History nerd? In need of a new podcast rec with a nice little back catalogue of episodes? Check out Vulgar History, hosted by my friend and agency sibling Ann Foster -- a hilarious, feminist dive into the juiciest, most scandalicious stories from olden times. You can find it on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts

See you in 2022,

Ren