Some of the Political SF discussed at Readercon

I was privileged to moderate an excellent panel during this year’s Readercon that dealt with the life cycle of speculative fiction. Several books were mentioned, both in the description and during the panel, and I thought I might list them here, beginning with books by the folks on the panel. (If you were there and I’ve left any out, please let me know and I’ll add them.)

Panelists

Dennis Danvers
Author of The Watch, which Publisher’s Weekly described as “A philosophical inquiry with a basic moral point.”

Alexander Jablokow
Author of Brain Thief, which Publisher’s Weekly described as “a celebration of Americana diner schtick.”

Sabrina Vourvoulias
Author of Ink, of which Latinidad wrote, “If Margaret Atwood were Latina, this eerily believable depiction of where U.S. immigration policy is heading is the novel she would have written instead of The Handmaid’s Tale.”

T.X. Watson
Story “The Boston Hearth Project” will be in the upcoming Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation.

Books cited (links are to Wikipedia):

Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
Kindred by Octavia Butler
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
The Year of the Quiet Sun by Wilson Tucker
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Triptych Tales – The Anthology: 2017

triptych-tales-anthologyI was very pleased just now to get an email informing me that an anthology of stories from the website Triptych Tales has just been released — an anthology that includes my (hopefully creepy) story “The Waterbug.”

Triptych Tales specializes in “stories that take place in our world, our world with a twist, or our world as it could be in the very near future.” (The way U.S. politics are going these days, I’m beginning to feel like I’m living in “our world with a twist,” but that’s a blog entry for another time.) Besides my story, there are stories by a variety of excellent authors such as Liz Kershaw, David Steffen, Kenneth Schneyer, and others.

Right now, the anthology is available in Kindle and print versions through Amazon; I’m told that an ePub version is in the works.

Enjoy!

Upcoming anthology from Triptych Tales

Triptych Tales 2016 CoverTriptych Tales is one of the online publications that I’ve been lucky enough to have sold more than one piece to. It’s worth checking out: It publishes science fiction, fantasy and non-genre short stories which, in the words of the editors, “take place in our world, our world with a twist, or our world as it could be in the very near future.”

And, of course, to fit its name, there are always three stories on the home page.

So why am I talking about it now? Because Triptych Tales is coming out with a print/ebook anthology of stories published in past issues called Triptych Tales: The Anthology 2016. It will include my story “The Waterbug” along with some excellent fiction by James Aquilone, Sarina Dorie, Melissa Mead, Rati Mehrotra, Ken Schneyer, David Steffen, Anna Yeatts and others.

More details as I know them. Meanwhile, here’s a link to The Waterbug if you’d like to read it online.

Yay! My story “Sabbath Wine” will appear in Clockwork Phoenix 5!

CP5_cover_mockup_small-200x300I’m very pleased to announce that my story “Sabbath Wine” has been sold for the upcoming anthology Clockwork Phoenix 5, edited by Mike Allen (@mythicdelirium, for the Twitterites).

This is the third Clockwork Phoenix that I’ve had work appear in; “The History of Soul 2065” appeared in Clockwork Phoenix 4 and “Rosemary, That’s For Remembrance” was in Clockwork Phoenix 2.  But there’s no way I take my submissions to one of these for granted — when I sent in “Sabbath Wine,” I was incredibly nervous (even though I am rather proud of that story) and incredibly delighted when I’d heard that it had been accepted.

The full table of contents and publishing date hasn’t been revealed yet –that should come soon. Meanwhile, congrats to all my new anthology-mates — I’m looking forward to reading all your stories!

Didja know that women were closer to the primitive than men? Didja? Hah?

Sometimes, it’s fun — and occasionally necessary — to see where we came from so that we can have some perspective on today’s battles. Just by chance, browsing through a table of free used books, I picked up a science fiction novel called Sign of the Labrys by Margaret St. Clair, copyright 1963. I don’t remember ever reading one of her works (although I read so much science fiction/fantasy when I was a teenager that I may simply not remember the book). But besides the interest of reading something new that was published back then, I knew I immediately had to take the book when I turned it over and looked at the blurb on the back cover.

And had to show it off. This was considered a positive way to market a skiffy book by somebody who was female and actually admitted to it by not changing her name or using initials. Women are writing science fiction! Really! And because they are closer to the primitive than men, they possess a buried memory of humankind’s past! So this has gotta be a great book!

(Actually, this is apparently one of the earliest uses of Wiccan themes in a speculative fiction novel, so the marketing is understandable. But still…)

I bring you, ladies and gentlebeings, 1963:

"Women are closer to the primitive than men."
“Women are closer to the primitive than men.”

Subversion is going out of print: Last chance to get a copy!

SubversionIt’s hard to believe, but it’s been three years since Crossed Genres published its first stand-alone anthology titled Subversion: Science Fiction & Fantasy Tales of Challenging the Norm.

I was lucky enough to have a story in that anthology — The Red Dybbuk, about how the spirit of a revolutionary woman affects her granddaughter and great-granddaughter. I was especially lucky because there were so many other wonderful stories in that book, by authors such as Daniel Jose Older, Kay Holt, Cat Rambo and many others.

The book will be going out of print as of December 1st, so this is your last chance to get a copy. And I recommend it — not only because my story is in it (although I can’t say that doesn’t have some responsibility for this blog entry <g>), but because it’s simply a good anthology. As my grandmother would have said: Give a look.

Reading: Eugie Foster’s Mortal Clay, Stone Heart

For someone who writes only short stories (when I’m not obsessing on the latest Chromebook), I’m embarrassed on how many good short story collections I tend to miss. I count among them Eugie Foster’s Mortal Clay, Stone Heart and Other Stories in Shades of Black and White. The collection of eight short stories, which was published in 2011, is the first I’ve read of her work, and it won’t be the last.

Interestingly, while authors tend to reserve their stronger work for the back of the book — and there isn’t a weak one in the bunch — in this case, my favorites were up front. The first, “The Life and Times of Penguin,” immediately caught me; a bittersweet tale from the point of view of a balloon animal (yes, really!).  The second story, “Running on Two Legs” was equally well written; it concerns a woman who can understand the speech of animals, but only when she’s in medical trouble.

Not all the stories have to do with animals, either toy or real. But all are emotionally compelling, dealing with our relationship to each other and to our own pasts and futures.

Surprisingly, the only story that didn’t work for me was the title tale, possibly because I’ve never been all that fond of romances, which the short story “Mortal Clay, Stone Heart” essentially is.

But otherwise, this is an excellent collection — I heartily recommend it.