Announcing: The Four Profound Weaves

The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg

My novella The Four Profound Weaves is forthcoming from Tachyon Press in September 1, 2020. It is a story of two trans elders who must learn to weave from death to defeat a sinister ruler who murders rebellious women and hoards their bones and souls. It is set in Birdverse, my award-winning LGBTQIA+ focused secondary world.

Ann Leckie says: “This is one of R’s Birdverse stories, which I’ve recommended before. Their writing is lovely, their worldbuilding wonderful, their characters real and resonant.” Thank you, Ann!!

Tachyon designer Elizabeth Story did a wonderful job with the cover. Thank you, Elizabeth!! There are also gorgeous internal illustrations in this book, also by Elizabeth. And many thanks to my editor Jaymee Goh, and the managing editor Jill Roberts, who were terrific to work with. And of course, it was a pleasure to work with Jacob Weisman at Tachyon.

You can already preorder the book from Amazon, or directly from my publisher, Tachyon Press. The first 50 people to preorder directly from Tachyon will also get a small linocut of the cover, printed on the letterpress, all done by me. It’s going to be gorgeous!

The book also has a Goodreads page 🙂

Some early praise for The Four Profound Weaves:

“THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES is a balm and a call to arms. R.B. Lemberg reassures us that there’s still time to find yourself, no matter how old you are; and they stir our a revolutionary urges to defeat murderous dictators. But this novella is also a finely-drawn, realistic character study of people who love their communities but never quite feel at home in them. And the magical system is a sheer delight. Thoughtful and deeply moving, THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES is the anti-authoritarian, queer-mystical fairy tale we need right now.”– Annalee Newitz

“R. B. Lemberg’s The Four Profound Weaves tells the journey of a pair of aged and appealing wanderers searching for magic, art, identity, and peace. Thought-challenging points-of-view weave together stark violence, intricate powers, and the musings of long and complicated lives. The Four Profound Weaves contains imagery that glows on the page.” –Patricia McKillip

“I am staggered by the richness and intricacy of R B Lemberg’s imagination. The Four Profound Weaves is an intense and emotional story of a journey of change, growth, and courage.” –Kate Elliott

“R.B. Lemberg writes with a luminous pen, spraying light all around their words and ideas.  They create a universe where carpets and cloaks bear history and the future. A perilous chase, with assassins and gods in pursuit, reveals the fluidity of life by following the threads—both bright and dark—that weave together to create a complex and mystical journey toward friendship, family, and love.” –Jewelle Gomez

 Reading the first pages of The Four Profound Weaves feels like being invited into the home of a beautiful stranger. As you sit with these characters and come to know them, you too will feel know. In reading this story about recognition and transformation, I felt recognized and transformed. It’s a fantastic alchemy on Lemberg’s part, and their love and labor shines off the page. I don’t know any writer that could so skillfully take me apart with a story, or put me back together with such care. This was a story I didn’t know I desperately needed.”  –Nino Cipri

“Over the years, R.B. Lemberg, in their prose and poetry alike, has built a world of serpents, deserts, stars, and bones, where transformation is omnipresent and restlessness rewarded. The Four Profound Weaves is a jewel-bright tile in their ongoing mosaic. To read it is to experience apotheosis: but instead of toward heaven, we ascend toward a more total humanity. Weaves is a patient work, at times compellingly kind, at other times merciless. Always, subtly woven. Like the Nameless One in its pages, this book does not—perhaps cannot—pretend to be anything other than what it proclaims for itself: the four profound weaves—change, wanderlust, hope, death. But these aren’t chronological; they’re a pattern, a randomized one—and death is only the middle.” –C. S. E. Cooney

“Lemberg weaves a gripping tale of community, identity, betrayal, and hope. From the sweeping expanse of the desert to the confined splendor of a sinister palace, every page contains wonder. I flew through the story, breathless, needing to see what would come next, and I was rewarded with every twist in the narrative. The Birdverse is lush and gorgeous, even when painful, and The Four Profound Weaves takes the reader on a wild ride through some of the deepest and richest pockets of it.” –Julia Rios

“Nobody in fantasy is doing what R.B. Lemberg is doing. Their work is generous, insightful, and focused on people — older, damaged, queer — whose stories most writers would keep in the background. This is a book about people walking into traps to find themselves, about fumbling out of stagnation and into adventure. Let this be your introduction to R.B.’s world of song carpets, deepnames, and deserts full of roving lovers.”–Isaac Fellman

“Hope is the song, and it’s woven of R.B. Lemberg’s words.” –Scott H. Andrews

D Franklin Defying Doomsday Award

I received good news recently that I am one of the two winners of the D Franklin Defying Doomsday award for my Strange Horizons essay “Sergeant Bothari and Disability Representation in Early Vorkosiverse.” The other winner is Ace Ratcliff.

Here is the writeup in Locus:

Twelfth Planet Press announced two winners of the 2018 D Franklin Defying Doomsday Award, given in recognition of “work in disability advocacy in SFF literature”: R.B. Lemberg for blog post “Sergeant Bothari and Disability Representation in the Early Vorkosiverse” (Strange Horizons 7/16/18) and Ace Ratcliff for blog post “Staircases In Space: Why Are Places In Science Fiction Not Wheelchair-Accessible?” (io9 7/31/18).

The prize is judged by Tsana Dolichva, Holly Kench, and Alisa Krasnostein, and sponsored by D Franklin.

I am really proud and thrilled to have won with this particular essay, which was painful and difficult to write.

New poem in Uncanny Magazine

I have neglected updating this website, but I’m trying to get back to it!

Today I have a new poem to share: “‘Eating Disorder’ does not begin to describe it” in Uncanny Magazine’s special issue Disabled People Destroy Fantasy. This poem is about an eating disorder – but also about Jewishness, the war, immigration, family history, and a bit about turnips. This work is a part of a larger, unpublished poetry manuscript titled Everything Thaws. I have no idea where to send it.

Thank you for reading.

FORESTS update!

I am writing with a happy update – Lisa M. Bradley and I have finished responding to all submissions, and we are now working on contracts. We are very excited — this anthology is going to be wonderful. Thank you to everybody who submitted work – there was so much wonderful poetry to consider, a testament to Le Guin’s enduring importance to so many of us.

We will announce the ToC once the contracts are finalized!

If you submitted work and have not heard back from us, please query ASAP at lembergsubmissions @ gmail

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:


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 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

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!

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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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