sff

/Tag: sff

Hopepunk.

I don’t want to see stories of the future in which humans are treated as slaves, in which millions are murdered to disguise the kidnap of a plot token, in which torture is treated seriously as an intelligence-gathering technique, in which violence against women is used as “character development”, in which the othering of non-white people is considered “world-building”…

I want a socially responsible science fiction, that is self-aware, that knows it is a powerful tool for affecting public opinion – and not just at the behest of corporate paymasters. I want a science fiction that scorns shit right-wing concepts like evo psych and alpha males and eugenics. I want a science fiction that tells good stories and does so responsibly. I want a science fiction that doesn’t abandon its ethics or its artistic integrity in pursuit of the bottom-line. And I want a science fiction readership that accepts partial responsibility for the shit content that is produced, that demands more [responsible] content and rewards it by consuming it in sufficient numbers to make it profitable.

Ian Sales on better futures.

Amen.

2018-04-20T09:00:05+00:0012th October, 2018|Tags: culture, fandom, pop culture, sff|3 Comments

Science fantasy.

You know, I believe that. I believe that the human race belongs in space. It might be silly, it might be naïve, but I know people who believe all sorts of ridiculous things that do a lot more damage. I don’t acknowledge any vengeful God the Father. I don’t believe in a great Rapture to come. I do believe that if we are spared, if we spare one another, we will make it to the stars.

Not you and me personally, of course. By the time the species sorts its shit out enough to think about sending starships full of adventurers to distant planets, we’ll be too old to get on them, but I’ve met some kids recently who might not be.

Laurie Penny on being lost on space.

2018-04-19T11:59:04+00:009th October, 2018|Tags: pop culture, science, sff|1 Comment

Today Big Mood.

Man isn’t it great Doctor Who is finally back on TV after seven years. Man, those seven years where it didn’t air were tough, but they’re over now, so woohoo!

2018-10-08T13:16:21+00:008th October, 2018|Tags: pop culture, sff, tv|Comments Off on Today Big Mood.

Castle Rock was like… the uncanny valley of Stephen King. Just that weird combination of familiar and not-quite-right, blended enough to be off-putting. And not in the way the show runners intended.

Like, I didn’t… dislike it, exactly, but it’s just odd seeing something all dressed up in the trappings of King while being very fundamentally Not King.

2018-09-17T08:00:28+00:0015th September, 2018|Tags: pop culture, sff|13 Comments

Wyrdverse, Conflux, and Kickstarters (oh my)!

Oh no. It’s That Time of the Year again, the time when… (looks around nervously) … things happen.

Thing #1.

I formatted a book! Wyrdverse: Tales of the Wyrd is an anthology of short stories from the, well. Wyrdverse. These aren’t new—you may have previously read them on my website—they’re just now… collated better.

Wyrdverse is currently available super-cheap from Amazon, although if you’d like to snag yourself a free copy you can do so from the princely sum of your email address, by signing up to my book news mailing list.

Oh, and because the whole purpose of this exercise was to practice using Indesign, a print version of the book (in all its extensive, 80-page glory) should be available sometime in the next few weeks. So… keep an eye out for that.

Thing #2.

Speaking of awesome books you should buy (or, rather, back) right now, Crossed Genres’ Resist Fascism speculative fiction anthology is in the final days of its Kickstarter. From the official description:

RESIST. ANY WAY YOU CAN.

The world is in turmoil. The world is always in turmoil, but in recent years, people have seen violence and hatred become proud instead of ashamed. What meager rights we’ve fought for are being deliberately eroded. And the vulnerable have any help stripped away. All of this is happening openly and without fear of reprisal. And the worst perpetrators are some of the largest governments of the world.

Resisting the spread of fascism is as important now as it was 75 years ago. And there are many effective ways to resist.

For full disclosure, friend-and-all-round-awesome-person Rivqa has a story in this anthology, and I have read it and it is boss. So if you, too, would like to read a boss story about found family and Jewish jujitsu IN SPACE, then you should go smash that pledge button, as the kids on teh YouTubes say.

Thing #4.

Oh, and while you’re in the spending money mood,1 Mother of Invention is on sale! From the blurb:

Knit robots, build spaceships, and shape the future.

Extraordinary short stories about gender, artificial intelligence and the art of building something new. Mother of Invention features the work of Seanan McGuire, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Nisi Shawl, John Chu, Justina Robson and more.

Awesome? Yes. So what are you waiting for? Buy like a hundred copies and you’re set for presents to give out to all your friends, enemies, and loved ones at every birthday, anniversary, and culturally appropriate religious celebration for the indefinite future. Let’s all knit a softer, warmer robotic future together.

Finally… Thing #5.

Conflux! It’s coming, and I will be there. You can even come hear me blather on about narrative in the panel Play to write: what tabletop and video games can teach writers of fiction. And by “me” I mean “Rivqa and Elizabeth“, and by “blather” I mean “make interesting and intelligent points while trying to ignore their drooling co-panellist (i.e. me).”

Sound great? Of course it does! See you there.

  1. … I know, I know. ^
2018-09-12T08:15:44+00:0012th September, 2018|Tags: book news, books, conflux, cons, fandom, gonzo author stories, sff, wyrdverse, xp|3 Comments

Just who does win the Campbell?

So, apropos of yesterday’s post I decided to see who does, in fact, actually get nominated for (and who wins) the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Note that the data below was primary collected from Wikipedia. The “unknown” slices in the pies are because I didn’t go “deep doxxing” for biographical details, in the cases where nominees didn’t have obvious internet presences (e.g. Wikipedia pages, well-known social media profiles, etc.).

At least 76% of all Campbell award nominees are American.

All Campbell award nominees by nationality.

42 American winners, 4 Canadian, 1 British.

All Campbell award winners by nationality.

So, in other words: Who wins the Campbells? Americans, basically.


Other bonus fun facts (all caveats about unknown details applying):

  • The Campbell has been awarded since 1973.
  • In the first decade of the award, there was one Canadian winner (Spider Robinson in 1974), and one British nominee (James P. Hogan in 1979).
  • The first nominee I could find outside of the “US-UK-Canada” triad was Tobias S. Buckell, in 2002 (although note he currently lives in the US).
  • All known non-US-UK-Canada nominees are from the 2000s.
  • Nominees are about 37% female-identified to 49% male-identified (with 12% unknown, 2% nonbinary-identified).
  • Winners are 51% female-identified versus 49% male-identified.
2018-09-05T13:25:50+00:0027th August, 2018|Tags: fandom, sff, worldcon|7 Comments

Welcome to your authentic Hugos experience.

A couple of years ago, I was at an Author Event listening to a Big Name Editor talk. Let’s refer to the editor as “You”, just to be confusing.

So. You are a big name SFF editor, who publishes well-known, well-regarded annual collections of the “best of” variety. You have won multiple Hugo and World Fantasy awards, to name just a few. You are, for the most part, visibly a member of some, but not all, of the most privileged groups in society.

What I remember most about You speaking is the way You mentioned, quite offhandedly, that You never do blind or slush submissions for anthologies any more. You feel You don’t “need” to, because You have been in the scene for decades and You know it and are an identified tastemaker. Instead, when You’re putting together an anthology, You approach the authors You want to include. They rarely say no. I mean, why would they? You’re You, after all.

Like I said, this was just one little throwaway comment in a bigger, much longer and far-reaching conversation. Yet every time I think about things like diversity in SFF, or inclusion, or slates or cliques or whatever the Outrage Du Jour happens to be… I think of You, and Your comment. Because, here’s the thing. Those authors You include? The ones You choose to represent as the “best of” Your industry? These authors are, almost exclusively, already well-established big names. They’re also almost exclusively like You, demographically speaking.

Incidentally, I don’t read Your anthologies. After all, they’re always filled with the same handful of authors writing the same handful of stories. And they just aren’t my thing.

Funny, I guess. The way that goes.

2018-08-22T08:41:32+00:0022nd August, 2018|Tags: books, hugo awards, publishing, sff|1 Comment