Book Review – The Galaxy Game

I have a new book review online. This one is of Karen Lord’s The Galaxy Game. It is a lovely book, but very subtle so I am sure that I have missed things about it. My apologies about that in advance. You can find the review here. It does contain mild spoilers for The Best of All Possible Worlds, but you really need to read that first anyway.

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New Surrealist Anthology

I have email advertising the opening of submissions for, A Galaxy of Starfish, an anthology of modern surrealism. This is a new venture by Andrew Hook whom some of you may remember as running Elastic Press back in the Emerald City days. He did some very interesting anthologies then, and I’m delighted to see him publishing again.

The submission guidelines are here. I see that they are looking for poetry, prose, art and even photographs as well as fiction. The pay rate is lousy, but hey, new company. And there aren’t a lot of markets for surrealism.

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Mythago Wood at Mr. B’s

This evening was the first meeting of the year of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club run by Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights. The book for this month was Mythago Wood, which has always been a favorite of mine.

First up I am pleased to report that the book has not been visited by the Suck Fairy. Despite the fact that I have read all of the books in the Mythago series, and therefore know more than it is healthy to know about Ryhope Wood, the book still worked for me. I still love the idea of Mythic Imagos, and I love Rob’s evocation of the Wildwood.

Also most of the group enjoyed the book too. That’s always a big relief where a book you really like and have enthused about is concerned.

Of course not everyone liked it. As I rather expected, some of the women in the group had difficulty with the Huxleys. It is absolutely true that they are all assholes in varying degrees, and Guiwenneth is their fantasy woman. She’s not real, she’s a Mythago. The only real woman in the book is poor Jennifer, who understandably is unable to cope with competition from an archetypal object of male lust. Horrible people, those Huxleys, but totally believable.

I’ll also accept that the ending is a bit silly. The oak leaf thing is the sort of daft tragedy that would happen in a Celtic myth. It is still daft.

What did surprise me was that a couple of people found the book slow and unengaging. Part of this is, I think, because it doesn’t have much of a plot. The thing that keeps you going through the early part of the book is the mystery of Ryhope Wood itself. If that doesn’t grab you then you have a problem. Of course I think it should grab you, but it seems that it doesn’t work for younger people in the same way it does for me.

The reason for that appears to be that many people younger than me haven’t read any theosophy, haven’t read Carlos Casteneda, haven’t had late night university conversations about ley lines, and so on. The particular mix of science and mysticism on which Mythago Wood is founded makes no sense to them. I guess that dates the book, which is sad. But an interesting discovery all the same.

The book for February is The City and The City, but sadly the group meeting is on the same night as I am doing an event at Bristol University. Hopefully someone will tell me how it goes.

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Miss Universe Does Cosplay

I’m not a huge fan of beauty pageants, especially where kids are involved, though I quite understand the sense of validation that some women, especially trans women, get from them. There just isn’t much for me in them, usually.

Sometimes, however, the clothes get interesting. Via Helen McCarthy on Twitter I found the Pinterest board of Tom & Lorenzo, which features dresses from the National Costume round of the latest Miss Universe. The way that some of the girls and their teams have interpreted “national costume” often looks more like what you would see in a convention masquerade than in a village street. It is all very Eurovision, but world-wide.

Of course, as with Eurovision, many European countries were just too embarrassed to join in. Spain did the best job of staying demure while embracing the fantasy vibe.

Miss Spain

And Albania did a good job of doing something interesting with actual national costume.

Miss Albania

Very quickly, however, things took a turn for the science-fictional. Here’s Kazakhstan.

Miss Kazakhstan

Miss Guyana even brought her pet alien.

Miss Guyana

While Miss Turks & Caicos clearly is an alien.

Miss Turks & Caicos

A lot of the girls, particularly those from the Americas, were embracing their inner bird-people. Here’s Miss Bahamas with some amazing color.

Miss Bahamas

Other girls were channeling their country’s warrior ethic. Miss Japan was not taking any prisoners.

Miss Japan

And putting the two themes together, the standout costume of the competition from Miss Argentina.

Miss Argentina

For the benefit of those of you who want to see all of the costumes (hello Kevin!), you can find them as follows:

Fair warning, however: if you are British or Irish you may die of embarrassment. Then again, at least your girl didn’t do this. Oh, Canada!

Miss Canada

Posted in Costuming | 1 Comment

The Wheels of Government Turn

This afternoon I headed into Bristol for this event, billed at “Government’s Women’s Engagement Event for Lesbian, Bisexual & Trans* Women In the South West”.

It was part of a government initiative to gauge the views of the nation’s women on a variety of subjects. In other words, it was a sort of focus group. This, dear readers, is how the UK government consults with citizens these days.

I guess I should start by noting that Bristol was somewhat honored. You see, we were the only place in the country asked for our opinions on LGBT issues. Obviously the South West must be an exceptionally queer place. As we were the only such meeting, people came from a long way away. I met a couple from South Wales, and one woman who had come all of the way from Leeds.

There were around 30 of us I think, to represent all LB & T women in the UK. (And yes, similar groups must have represented other groups — the disabled, ethnic minorities and so on — elsewhere in the country.) Gee, I hope we were representative.

Well actually we weren’t, because around a third of the attendees were trans. That has to be more you would expect. Part of it, I am sure, is because so many of us are self-employed or unemployed, so have the time to attend such things. Part of it is that we have so much more to be worried about as far as public policy goes. And part of it is that most of the lesbian and bi- women will have jobs and won’t have the time to attend a Friday afternoon event.

There was only one obvious person of color, though I think two attendees identified as such. That’s a massive under-representation.

I can think of so many better ways to sample the views of the nation, starting with SurveyMonkey, but maybe that wasn’t the point.

We had just two hours, one hour of which was spent on speeches by the invited panel, and half an hour was given over to a refreshment break. Only half an hour was allowed for us to give opinions.

Baroness Jolly (LibDem, Health, House of Lords) chaired the session. For her speech she mostly read from something prepared by her staff. There was a lot of spin in it. In particular it glossed over the Spousal Veto, and the fact that the Governments trans equalities program ground to a shuddering halt when Lynne Featherstone was removed from responsibility for it. I may have had a few things to say. Baroness Jolly gracefully accepted that it is a politician’s duty to take the hit when her staff write fluff for her.

There were four other speeches. My colleague, Sarah-Louise Minter, from LGBT Bristol did a kickass job, making an impassioned plea for a proper diversity policy in schools. I was also impressed by Deborah Reed of Exeter College, who told an anecdote about a vacation to the USA and discovering that Coca Cola World really gets diversity, whereas UK institutions (including hers) are still very much white, cis and heteronormative. The other two speakers, including Carol Steel from Transfigurations, a Torbay-based trans support group, were clearly much less experienced at public speaking and lacked confidence as a result.

For out input we were divided into four groups focusing on Health, Safety, Access to Services and Education. I joined the latter. In theory we had five questions we were supposed to answer. In practice we managed two. When it came time for the groups to give feedback, what our moderator said seemed to me to bear little relation to what we had actually discussed. So here, for the record, are the two points that I made.

Firstly, I am sick to death of cis people doing training on behalf of trans people. We have got a little better over the past few years, in that “LGBT” training does now sometimes actually include T. However, the chances of it actually involving a trans person are low, particularly where education is concerned. That has two effects. Firstly it reinforces the view that trans people are unfortunates who are incapable of speaking for themselves; and second it means that what gets taught may well be ill-informed. Deborah Reed said that they had asked trans people to talk at Exeter College but it proved too expensive. Cue sound of a door being firmly shut in my face yet again.

Second, the only way we will solve any of this — sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, etc. — is if we teach kids about gender, and how gender stereotypes screw up society. I may write something about this for next month’s Bristol 24/7 column.

There were a few other good points raised. Briefly:

– Yes, we need more women governors in schools, and in particular more LBT women.

– Yes, teachers are only human, and can’t be expected to be experts on everything (which is one of many reasons why I love the folks at TIGER).

– And yes, sometimes the trans community it is own worst enemy, with the insistence of young activists on adherence to an ever-shifting set of language rules and terminology.

That was my experience of being asked my opinion by the government. If I sound a little cynical, well I guess I am. I have run focus groups before. I remember well one I did for a government organization in California at the end of which the civil servants complained about how the invited members of the public said all of the wrong things, and they had to find some way to make sure that the next focus group gave the answers they wanted.

The net result of this one will, I suspect, be that the Government ticks a box to say that it has consulted the LBT women of Britain, and that a report will be written that reflects what the civil servants in charge of the program want said.

Posted in Current Affairs, Feminism, Gender | 3 Comments

In Which I Destroy Feminist Science Fiction

I have been boring you on Twitter for days now about the Queers Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter, but I’m going to mention it again because I can reveal that I have a part in it.

You may remember that last year for the Women Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter they asked various people to write personal essays to entertain visitors to the campaign website. I wrote one of those, and as the campaign hit the necessary stretch goals my essay got included in the final book.

Well, for #QDSF Wendy Wagner kindly asked me to contribute another essay. That went online today. Given the title of the book, I felt that it was only fair that I should actually destroy something, so I have trained my queer pink laser canon on a classic text of Feminist Science Fiction, The Female Man by Joanna Russ. If you want to know what I said, go here.

Of course this does mean that I have been kicking TERFs twice in one day. That was a coincidence. Or maybe it is something I do every day, but not as publicly. Anyway, enjoy.

And while you are there, please consider backing the campaign. I’m pretty sure that the stretch goal for including the essays in the final book has been met, but I have this flash fiction story that I’d really love to submit to Queers Destroy Fantasy, should that be open to submissions, and for that book to happen we have quite a way to go.

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Dealing With A TERF Infestation

As some of you may know, Bristol University recently suffered an attack of TERFs. Some of those terribly persistent Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists decided to try to make trans students at the University feel unwelcome and unsafe there. This all blew up earlier in the week and I’ve been a bit busy, so I didn’t manage to do much other than tweet while it was happening. However, there were some great articles in various papers:

Nothing in The Guardian, you will notice, but equally nothing from the New Statesman about how important it is to keep The Menz, meaning trans women, out of female spaces.

Anyway, today I got caught up, and have done an article for Bristol 24/7 on the subject. You can find it here.

Thanks are due to Jamie Cross of LGBT+ Bristol, the student group responsible for the original poster campaign that the TERFs were attempting to parody. He’s dealt with the whole thing really well. Also thanks to Alice Phillips, the Students’ Union Equalities Officer, who has been right on the ball sorting this out.

Of course the TERFs are only concerned with trans women using the women’s toilets. They think we are going there with a view to raping them, rather than with a view to having a pee, which is a rather more likely explanation. The possibility of trans men using men’s toilets doesn’t occur to them, because they don’t think that such people exist. It is rather a shame that bathroom panic concentrates so much on trans women, because trans guys have a real issue with bathrooms. They are much more likely to get beaten up, or worse, if read because they are going into a very male space. If people were really worried about bathroom safety, that’s the first thing I would look at.

Posted in Current Affairs, Gender | 3 Comments

Apex World SF #4

I have received a press release about the 4th volume of the Apex Book of World SF. This one will be edited by Mahvesh Murad who is from from Karachi in Pakistan. Lavie Tidhar is staying on as series editor. Mahvesh already has a fine reputation online, mainly as a reviewer and podcaster. I’m sure she’ll do a great job.

We don’t have a full ToC yet, but the following authors are definitely signed up: S.P. Somtow, Kaaron Warren, Aliette de Bodard, Zoran Živković, Lauren Beukes, Hannu Rajaniemi, Nnedi Okorafor, Andrzej Sapkowski, Karin Tidbeck. That sounds absolutely awesome to me. I’m looking forward to the book.

Posted in Books, Science Fiction | 2 Comments

News From Wizard’s Tower

I’ve just sent out a press release from Wizard’s Tower. This isn’t (immediately) about VAT. It is about two new books that we’ll be publishing shortly.

Well, I say new. They are actually old books to which we are giving new life. Angry Robot has returned the rights to Colin Harvey’s two novels, Winter Song and Damage Time, to his widow, Kate. We’ll be publishing them. Huge thanks to Angry Robot, Colin’s agents, Zeno, for negotiating this, and to Kate for her confidence in Wizard’s Tower.

The initial, plan is to issue the two novels as ebooks. I’m very pleased that Colin’s friend, Gareth L. Powell, and Lee Harris, who was Colin’s editor, have agreed to write new introductions to the books. I’m equally delighted that Chris Moore has given us permission to use the original artwork (though there will be some changes to one of the covers that Chris has requested).

Longer term the plan is to do nice hardcover editions of both books, so that Colin’s family, friends and fans have something nice to remember him by. If all goes well, we may look at doing other Colin books as well.

Colin is a hero amongst the Bristol SF writers and fans, so hopefully Wizard’s Tower is ideally placed to secure and develop his legacy.

Posted in Wizard's Tower | 1 Comment

History – It’s (Mostly) Fun

I used to really enjoy history as a kid, and I might well have taken it up as a career had my parents not so badly wanted me to be a scientist. Running role-playing campaigns allowed me to indulge my passion for a while, but that was a long time ago. It hasn’t really been until I got involved with Out Stories Bristol that I have been able to get back to it again.

Over the past few weeks I have been researching my main talk for this year’s LGBT History Month. It has been a lot of fun, and I have learned a lot about some interesting people, and the way in which different cultures around the world have been accepting or otherwise of gender-variant people. Those of you who can get to Bristol can see the talk on February 7th at the M-Shed.

It has been quite heartwarming to discover just how many different cultures all over the world have been accepting of people like me, and a bit scary to realize that our modern Western culture is one of the least accepting. Probably the least fun bit, however, was seeing how hard cis people work to deny the validity and even the reality of trans people. The accounts I have been reading have been full of amateur psychoanalysis purporting to explain away why trans people are the way they are (none of it flattering). Texts on gender history tend to be written by feminist academics who are particular hostile to trans women. LGB historians insist that all gender variance is evidence of same-sex attraction. And I have found myself wishing I had more language skills because English translations of original sources have a habit of changing or editing out eye witness accounts to as to remove any taint of “immorality” from the text.

Overall, however, it has been a positive experience. I look forward to seeing some of you in Bristol next month, and will try to find other ways to make the talk available. At least, unlike the LGBT Superheroes talk, this one does not rely heavily on copyrighted art.

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Buy A Castle In Spain

Well, not precisely. Castles in Spain is the name of a new anthology, currently being crowdfunded, that will feature English language translations (and the original Spanish*) of some of the very best of Spanish science fiction, fantasy and horror. It is being edited by Mariano Villareal, who is responsible for the Terra Nova series of anthologies, and the translation team is being headed by Sue Burke. I’ve met Sue at conventions before. She’s a very fine translator and I’m sure that she and Mariano will do a brilliant job.

The current contents list is mainly male, but that’s because Spanish SF&F, like most other countries, has been fairly male-dominated in the past. There are stretch goals for additional stories, and hopefully these will allow Mariano and Sue to add more women writers to the book.

Of course for that to happen we all need to back the campaign. You can do so here.

By the way, the Spanish language title of the book is Castillos en el aire, which of course translates as Castles in the Air. I think I prefer that, though I am now earwormed by Don McLean.

* Paper copies appear to be English or Spanish only, but the ebooks will be bilingual.

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It’s Destroyin’ Time

Here I am channeling my internal Ben Grimm. Or possibly my internal Drax. Whatever, it is time to destroy science fiction again. This time we are doing it with glitter.

Yes, as you may have noticed from Twitter, the Queers Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter campaign launched yesterday. In under 24 hours it not only fully funded, it blew through its first stretch goal. There are still 31 days to go, but that’s OK because there are more stretch goals to come. These include funding the companion Queers Destroy Horror and Queers Destroy Fantasy titles. Destruction is good, right?

Why do we need this? Well the first personal essay is up on the campaign page. It is by Michael Damian Thomas who quotes from a 1-star Amazon review of his Queers Dig Time Lords anthology:

“Just another attempt to gain civilizations approval of their flawed agenda. What does LGBTQ have to do with Sci-Fi and Doctor Who and what is there to celebrate? Kinda desperate to me….”

What does LGBTQ have to do with Doctor Who? Oh, that poor, hopelessly sheltered little dudebro. He has no idea. I think we have a duty to educate, don’t you?

In case you need further encouragement, here’s Mark Oshiro:

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Launching the Monkey

This evening I was in Bristol for the launch of the third and final volume of Gareth L. Powell’s Ack-Ack Macaque trilogy, Macaque Attack. As promised in his bet with Twitter, Gareth turned up dressed as his hero. Here is the proof.

Given that Ack-Ack was present, quite a few of us asked him to sign the book rather than Gareth. He has the hang of writing these days. In my book he wrote, “Arse! Fuck! Poop!”. That seems entirely appropriate.

There were, of course, bananas. Also Pat Hawkes-Reed’s banana bread was spectacular. Sadly there was no rum, though most people did go to the pub afterwards.

If you’d like to see some more photos of the event, check out Gareth’s Twitter feed where there is likely to be monkey madness for the next week or so.

Posted in Books, Weird | 1 Comment

Jalada Does Afrofuturism

Jalada, a pan-African literary magazine, has published a new issue devoted to Afrofuturism. There are a few big names in there, such as Sofia Samatar, Nnedi Okorafor and Ytasha Womack, but there are lots of names unfamiliar to me. I’m expecting to discover a wealth of great writers. You can find the issue here.

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The UK Takes A Stand On Conversion Therapy

Today the UK Council for Psychotherapy is meeting with the Department of Health to launch an agreement on actions to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK. You can find the UKCP announcement here.

While this is generally good news, there are two things to note about this. Firstly it applies only to conversion therapy intended to alter the sexuality of the patient. There is no mention of the sort of cruel treatment suffered by Leelah Alcorn and other trans children. Secondly, the practice of conversation therapy will not be banned, only officially discouraged. I’d like to address these two points.

On the question of the inclusion of trans therapies, it is important to understand that the wheels of government move very slowly at times. All of this was put in place long before Leelah’s story became headline news. Also the Memorandum of Understanding that UKCP produced was written in response to a government request that specifically limited the question to sexuality. Some therapists, in particular the good folks at Pink Therapy, definitely want to extend the discussion to gender issues.

There are multiple possible explanations for why gender isn’t yet included. It could be that the same TERF-driven policy makers who came up with the Spousal Veto are also responsible for keeping trans people out of this initiative. However, there is also the problem that being trans is still listed as a mental illness in the major international directories, whereas being gay is not. While trans people are still officially deemed to be “sick”, it will be very difficult to stop people from trying to “cure” us. The World Health Organization will be publishing a new edition of their directory this year and I have some hope that it will address that problem.

By the way, it was inclusion of being trans in these directories of mental illness that got trans people included in the driving ban in Russia. I see from the Moscow Times that the Russian Health Ministry has tried to clarify their position. It is pretty clear that they went by the international definitions of mental illness in deciding who to ban, and they now claim that trans people will be allowed to drive as long as nothing in their condition makes it unsafe for them to do so (which basically means giving a lot of leeway to the police and courts).

As to the question of banning these treatments, Dominic Davies of Pink Therapy has a very interesting blog post on the subject. He lists three reasons why he thinks an outright ban is not advisable.

Firstly he raises the specter of “religious discrimination”. I’m not hugely impressed by this. If a Christian group cited the story of Abraham and Isaac as justification for sacrificing children no one would think they had a leg to stand on. Driving your children to suicide through torture should be treated in the same way. However, I do accept that there would be a big PR problem if an outright ban were advocated, because the Daily Malice would be right there with the religious discrimination argument.

Secondly he raises the issue of definition. This is a fair point. All sorts of people offer “therapy”, and by no means all of them are accredited in any way. Actually enforcing a ban would be be very difficult. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t have one, it just means that it would not work as intended.

The best argument is the one that a ban would make offering any help difficult and dangerous. The blog post notes that 1 in 6 of the UK’s professional therapists admits to have either offered sexuality conversion therapy or referred a patient to someone else who practices it. This means that a lot of (presumably very scared) people are coming to therapists asking for treatment. Davies argues that if a ban is in place then practitioners are likely to refuse to help the patient at all because of the risk of being struck off for offering a banned treatment. If conversion therapy is merely officially discouraged then the patient can be treated, and hopefully can be helped to view their sexuality in a much more positive light.

Anyway, as I said above, this is definite progress in the right direction. Also the Pink Therapy folks promised me via Twitter that they would continue to fight for trans issues to be added to the Memorandum of Understanding. More power to them.

Posted in Gender, Health | 2 Comments

Translated Fiction Survey

There is a project going on at Bristol University at the moment that is looking at translation of literature from smaller European nations. As part of this they have a reader survey on SurveyMonkey. I am sure that they would be very grateful if you all filled it in. You can find it here.

By the way, there will be an academic conference at the university on the same subject in September. If anyone is interested, the call for papers is here.

And for local and London people there are a few other, less academic, events listed here.

Posted in Academic, Translations | 3 Comments

The Representation Project

Much of the conversation in the round table last night revolved around how solving issues such as rape and harassment will require us to tackle deep-seated problems with the way human society works. This has to start young, and it has to involve tacking the media. I’m in the process of writing an article about this for my next Bristol 24/7 column, but in the meantime I saw a tweet from my friends at TIGER Bristol today that pointed me to an organization I had not heard of before, but which seems very promising.

The Representation Project is a Bay Area based charity whose mission statement is as follows:

Using film as a catalyst for cultural transformation, The Representation Project inspires individuals and communities to challenge and overcome limiting gender stereotypes so that everyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation or circumstance can fulfill their potential.

The Project was started by Jennifer Siebel Newsom after she showed this film at Sundance. Obviously, being a media-oriented California charity it is big on celebrity endorsements and fundraising, but it does appear to be trying to be intersectional. Their website includes some interesting infographics, several of which focus on issues of race. I was particularly struck by the fact that only 6 of the top 500 grossing films of all time feature a woman of color as the lead. And of those the top five are all animated.

The project’s latest campaign is getting people to take a pledge as follows: “I pledge to use my voice to challenge society’s limiting representations of gender.” That was pretty much a no-brainer for me, because it is what I do. The video that they produced to support it (see below) contains a mention of Laverne Cox. Also Ms. Newsom’s husband has as good a reputation on LGBT rights as one can hope to expect from a successful California politician. All of which is encouraging.

In any case, I am firmly of the opinion that if we can get away from the hierarchical notion of gender with which we are currently inflicted then much of the opprobrium directed at people who are seen to flout gender norms will evaporate. More power to you, Ms. Newsom. Go kick some Hollywood ass.

Oh, and while I am on the subject I was delighted to hear a few days ago that Geena Davis has started a new film festival that is specifically aimed at highlighting diversity in the industry. I look forward to finding out about new trans-themed films and talented trans film makers.

Posted in Feminism, Movies | Leave a comment

Round Table on Violence Against Women

This evening I took myself into Bristol to the offices of The Bristol Cable, where I participated in a round table on the subject of violence again women. Assuming all went well, this will be podcast sometime soon. My fellow panelists were as follows:

My thanks also to Yaz, our facilitator, and to Drew and Arvind from the Cable for making it happen.

I’m not sure how much useful I had to contribute beyond assuring listeners that the local police do take hate crimes seriously, and talking a bit about why transphobic hate crimes happen. However, I was happy to reinforce the general feminist message. We did also briefly discuss the Reclaim the Night marches, and I was pleased to note that the Bristol march was free of TERF harassment.

Probably the thing that stuck in my mind most from the discussion was Emma’s figures on who is responsible for sexual abuse. Your chances of being raped by a stranger are only around 5%. In contrast, 29% of rapes are committed by family members, and a further 29% by a current or former partner.

I should also note that Folami is absolutely awesome and is doing a very brave thing in fighting back against revenge porn. Laurie, Stavvers, Bri — if any of you happen to be reading this, check out her website and get in touch because she needs help & support.

Posted in Feminism | Leave a comment

Philip K. Dick Award Nominees

The nominees for this year’s Philip K. Dick Award have been announced. They are as follows:

  • Elysium, Jennifer Marie Brissett (Aqueduct Press)
  • The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter, Rod Duncan (Angry Robot)
  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, Meg Elison (Sybaritic Press)
  • Memory of Water, Emmi Itäranta (Harper Voyager)
  • Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches, Cherie Priest (Roc)
  • Reach for Infinity, Jonathan Strahan ed. (Solaris)

Two of those books featured in my Review of the Year post at Aqueduct Press.

Emmi Itäranta’s Memory of Water is a great little book provided that, as a science fiction reader, you can get over the fact that a world that is desperately short of fresh water has forgotten all about desalination technology. I’d recommend it to anyone but the most hardcore SF types.

The other book I have read is Elysium, which I actually had a review almost finished for. So I have finished it and posted it, here. The short version is that it is a really exciting, and innovative work, slightly marred by a horrible negative stereotype of a trans character.

I’m sure that Jonathan Strahan’s book is really good too. It has an amazing Table of Contents. The others I know less about, and will have to look them up. The PKD is a really good award from that point of view because, by focusing on paperback-first publications, it often catches books that the publishers are not pushing hard and we don’t hear much about.

Posted in Awards, Books | Leave a comment

That Time Of Year Again

I see from Twitter that people are complaining about writers listing their award-eligible work again. How refreshing and innovative. Not.

As many smarter and more eloquent people than me have said before, the people who get bullied into remaining silent by these campaigns are the very people who most need the publicity. So in solidarity with the many people out there who will be worried about putting their names forward, here’s my eligible fiction.

“Something in the Water”, published in Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion (Wizard’s Tower).

“The Dragon’s Maw”, published in The Girl At The End Of The World, Book 2 (Fox Spirit).

Having said that, I note that my story is by no means the best in Airship Shape. I’d be kind of embarrassed if it got nominated, but you should buy the book and judge for yourselves. The story in Girl At The End Of The World is much better. You might want to buy that book too, if only to tell me that I’m full of it.

Posted in Awards, Writing | 3 Comments