Colin writes, "Parvus Press is funding IF THIS GOES ON, an anthology of political science fiction on Kickstarter. The anthology is edited by Cat Rambo, author and president of the Science Fiction Writers of America. It features thirty original stories dealing with the long-term impact of the policies and politics of our current elected leaders. Contributors range from long-time authors of SF like Nisi Shawl and Andy Duncan to award-season favorites Sarah Pinsker and E. Lily Yu and relative newcomers like former NFL Kicker Chris Kluwe." Read the rest
Celebrate International Women's Day in stfnal style with Nevertheless She Persisted, a free anthology of original flash fiction by some of science fiction's leading women voices, from Catherynne M. Valente to Amal El-Mohtar to Jo Walton to Nisi Shawl to Charlie Jane Anders to Seanan McGuire to Alyssa Wong to Kameron Hurley -- and more! Read the rest
Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Fiction Company has released a report detailing the dismal state of representation of black writers in the science fiction and fantasy short fiction market . Despite increasing efforts to boost representation of people of color generally, the prospects for black writers, specifically, have not been improving. According to the data (which is available in a publicly accessible Google spreadsheet ), out of 2,039 stories published in 2015, only 38 were written by black authors. The report is accompanied by a series of essays in reaction to the report by Nisi Shawl , Troy L. Wiggins , Mikki Kendall , Justina Ireland , and Tobias Buckell ; as well as an interview with N.K. Jemisin . Fireside's editor, Brian White, has also written an editorial detailing some steps that Fireside is committed to taking to counter our own biases and help fix this huge problem." Read the rest
Science fiction titan Nalo Hopkinson appears in this week's Geek Guide to the Galaxy podcast, talking about race, diversity, and sf. Read the rest
Two of these should make you smile, one should make you shake your head.☣ School Principal Contacts FBI After Student Throws American Flag Out A Window [Techdirt] Middle School Principal Robert Archuleta from Espanola, NM thinks that there's a federal statute against flag desecration. He's wrong. He thinks veterans died to defend the flag. He's wrong about that too. People die to defend the things the flag symbolizes, like the First Amendment.
☣ Sriracha Boss On Trademark: Mmmmm, No Thanks [Techdirt] Huy Fong Foods CEO David Tran never filed a trademark on his family's famous Sriracha sauce, and he doesn't plan on it either: he sees every Sriracha-alike as a compliment and validation for his products. No one else in the industry (including the goofy people in the C-suite at Tobasco) can figure it out. Tran does a daily search to look for new Sriracha-style products, each of which brings a smile to his face. (see also)
☣ How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens The first sf anthology about the immigrant experience, featuring Sarah Pinsker, Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu, Bryan Thao Worra’, and Pinckney Benedict. Pre-order on Amazon now. Read the rest
Publisher Steven Saus sends us a Kickstarter for "a diverse steampunk anthology from your favorite award-winning authors, including Jay Lake, Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu, and Lucy A. Snyder." Read the rest
Mary Robinette Kowal sez, "Many authors struggle to write beyond what they know and write the other. While conventions are tackling this material, there is frequently not enough time to delve into this tricky and nuanced skill. The Writing the Other Workshop and Retreat is designed to have lessons and conversations at a more advanced level. By pairing it with a retreat, we give the participants an opportunity to work on projects in a nurturing environment. This weeklong event gives you one on one time with the instructors David Anthony Durham, K. Tempest Bradford, Mary Robinette Kowal, Nisi Shawl, and Cynthia Ward." Read the rest
Clarion West's Nisi Shawl writes,
Thanks for Your Generous Response to Clarion West Dorm Burglary
Due to the swift and generous response of the SF community, Clarion West has now received nearly enough money to replace the four student laptops stolen July 4 from rooms at the workshop residence. Clarion West staff, volunteers, and students all express their thanks for your very timely help. They especially want to thank BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow, Jay Lake, and many more for their generosity and for alerting others to the need for money and laptops. Donations began coming in from around the world just hours after the theft.
"If we collect funds that are much in excess of the cost of replacing the stolen computers, we will return them proportionally to the donors," said workshop administrator Leslie Howle. "The use of PayPal makes this relatively easy to do." She added, "We are all overwhelmed, and the students are immensely grateful. They were devastated by this theft, and it's been amazing to see the community rally to support them."
Eileen sez, "Aqueduct Press has posted its 2007 finale: 22 year's best lists from some of the liveliest and most political of speculative fiction writers and critics, including Nicola Griffith, Kelley Eskridge, Rebecca Ore, Jeff Ford, Eleanor Arneson, Cheryl Morgan, Nisi Shawl, Cat Rambo, Josh Lukin, Lucy Sussex, L. Timmel Duchamp, and Eileen Gunn."
There's plenty of oddball stuff you've never heard of here -- and it sounds superb.
Read the rest
A View from the Chuo Line by Donald Ritchie. Printed Matter Press, 2004. I bought this slim collection in September, on my last night in Tokyo, at midnight in an all-night bookstore, and read it on the plane going home.
The stories in it are very short, very precise, often from a woman's point of view, or a child's. They are structured around the characters' small, internal epiphanies rather than plots, and, although they are set in present-day Japan and deal with present-day issues, they read like tiny slices of life from a film by Yasujirō Ozu: the essence of Fifties Japan thrust into the 21st Century. They are written from within a particular character's point of view, and they do not in any way meet the reader's eye.
They might even be called character studies rather than stories. I don?t know why I like them, but I do, as I liked Richie's peculiar memoir The Inland Sea, part travelogue, part. The voices and concerns of the characters remind me of Mai, the protagonist of Geoff Ryman's Air, which I also read this year.
Steve sez, "The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, of which Octavia Butler was an Advisory Board member, is holding a public memorial at the Museum tomorrow at 7:30 PM, including readings of favorite passages from her writings by fellow local science fiction authors."
We are deeply saddened to announce that science fiction writer Octavia Estelle Butler passed away in Seattle, Washington on Friday, February 24, 2006. Octavia served as an Advisory Board member of The Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame and was a treasured advisor and supporter of our mission. Her advice, knowledge, and candid humor will be greatly missed.
The museum will host a memorial gathering to honor and celebrate her life and work on Thursday, March 2nd at 7:30 p.m. on Level 3 of SFM. Local science fiction authors will read favorite passages from her work and speak about her life and influence. Speakers include Greg Bear, Joel Davis, L. Timmel DuChamp, Eileen Gunn, Rahwa Habte, Brian Herbert, Leslie Howle,Vonda N. McIntyre, Nisi Shawl, and others. All are invited to attend.
(Thanks, Steve!) Read the rest
A book for writers tackles the tricky issue of writing characters of other racial backgrounds, sex, or sexual orientation.
Last month, I blogged about Pam Noles's wonderful essay about the difficulty of being a black sf writer in a largely white field, and about white writers' reluctance to attempt to portray people of color.
Tamu Townsend sends in information about this small-press book from two talented writers who tackle the subject head on with practical advice for writers who want to write "the other" and get it right.
Writing the Other: A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward is now available from Aqueduct Press for $9 a copy. Based on the acclaimed "Writing the Other" workshop, this book includes essays and exercises that help authors create believable characters with diverse backgrounds. Race, religion, and age are among the differences covered in the book's hands-on approach.
Nationally, the workshop has drawn praise from established professional writers such as Suzy McKee Charnas and Mary Freeman Rosenblum, as well as talented beginners such as David D. Levine. To read their comments, please visit the workshop's website.
Writing the Other [Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward/Aqueduct Press]