I am not yet a Nebula Award nominee…

…but this feels as good: the hardworking folks over at Apparition Lit nominated “They Are Still Building It” for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award:

The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards honor outstanding works of science fiction, fantasy and horror which include significant positive explorations of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered characters, themes, or issues.

It’s especially rewarding because I didn’t set out to write a story about queerness; I wrote about climate change, the mental and emotional costs of activism, and what it means to be deeply in love.  In early drafts, the central couple were cis/het, but as the characters took shape, they defied tropes and identified themselves as two married women.  Who is the writer to argue?  Importantly, their sexuality and gender isn’t the sum of who they are, but a piece of the puzzle.  Unique and individual.  Relatable and universal.  If I’ve represented their experience in a way that feels accurate, respectful, and positive, there’s no better validation.

The full list of nominees will be available soon!  Meanwhile, you can read my story along with others in Vol. 3 of Apparition Literary Magazine.

And if you like queer-themed speculative fiction, may I also recommend Broken Metropolis from Mason Jar Press?

Advertisements

Monday Night Lit #18!

Just in time for Election Day in the U.S. of A., my flash fiction piece “Race to the Bottom” has arrived in Monday Night Lit #18.  If you have two minutes after you’re done voting in the lesser of two evils, take a look.  It might even elicit a wry smile.

“They Are Still Building It” Appears in Apparition Lit Issue 3: Vision

I’m so excited to announce that the Vision issue of Apparition Lit has arrived, with my contribution, the short story “They Are Still Building It.”  If you’re up for some magical realism with eco themes, please check it out. The e-mag is available through Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

More to say, but for now I want to take a moment to shout out that absolutely bee-yoo-tee-ful cover art “Honeycomb” by Julie Dillon.  It is no mystery that Julie is a multiple Hugo- and Locus-award winner.

Book Review – Aphro-ism

Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two SistersAphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters by Aph Ko
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five stars because everyone should read and consider it.

For some years, sisters Aph and Syl Ko have been blogging under the title Aphro-ism about black veganism (and other related topics); Aph also started the Black Vegans Rock! website. I knew of them, but hadn’t sat down with their thinking before this book. Here they collect and revise some of the key posts from the blog.

One of the running themes is the human-animal binary, a conceptual framework that they trace to the colonial, Enlightenment era. As such, the term “human” signifies not only a member of the species homo sapiens, but a culturally specific view of the ideal human: male, white, European, [capitalist]. In this mode of thinking, anyone who deviates from this standard “human” falls — to greater or lesser degree — into the Other category “animal,” essentially exploitable and marginalized.

Thus, the Ko sisters argue, animal advocates and anti-racists must disturb and re-imagine this binary. It’s a challenging task, and the essays presented here are only a starting point. Aphro-ism isn’t a historical investigation, or a presentation of the alternative modes of thinking that the human-animal binary cries out for — and it doesn’t purport to be. Instead, the book is a an attempt to fully understand the conceptual problem that lies at the heart of animal exploitation and white supremacy. Along the way, Aph and Syl pause to comment on trending topics, like the Black Lives Matter movement, the killing of Cecil the Lion, and the rise of social media stars. Their writing style is inviting and sharp, with Syl diving perhaps more often into the heavy philosophy. [Reading her pieces, I often felt like I was back in grad school.]

As a sincere attempt to re-think a problem, you won’t find that changing one’s mind, or harboring doubts, are signs of weakness here. Nor do Aph and Syl insist that their way of thinking is the only workable approach, but they find that it is the most workable approach for them. It is an approach that I believe has the power to re-inspire vegans and animal activists old and new, provided we are ready to understand the roots of racism and to care about human beings as fiercely as we care about chickens and rabbits. As Carol Adams does in the afterword, I urge you to read it with an open mind and open heart.

View all my reviews

Complimentary Fiction

The good folks over at Ares Magazine are making one fiction selection available online — completely free — for each issue.  You can read my novella “Mr. Pell,” from Issue #3, and check out their online exclusives in the Ares Online tab.

The Compassion Anthology is here!

My short story “Phoenix Cross” was recently reprinted in the summer edition of The Compassion Anthology!  This issue’s theme is compassion and appreciation for the natural world, and I’m pleased that a story about (mostly) domesticated farm birds made the cut.  You can check out the story online, and if you are so moved, consider donating to the art fundraiser for The World Wildlife Fund.

I’d like to express my thanks to my friends at Ashland Creek Press for submitting the story.  You are champions for all species.

Be nice to Mama Earth

Mother’s Revenge has arrived!  This anthology of eco-revenge fantasies features my short story “It Wants to be a Swamp,” about the things that can happen on a Metro platform.

Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to earth-saving organizations such as Water is Life, Union of Concerned Scientists, the Sierra Club and the Clean Air Task Force.

Check out Scary Dairy Press for more weird tales and dark fantasy, and think about heading over to Goodreads to leave a review.

The Penmen Review

Big thanks to Rebecca LeBoeuf for featuring Among Animals 2 in the latest issue of The Penmen Review!  Contributors Rachel King, Catherine Evleshin, and Anne Elliot each talk about their stories, along with yours truly.

New Year, New Anthology

My new short story “It Wants To Be a Swamp” will appear in the upcoming anthology Mother’s Revenge from Scary Dairy Press — fine publishers of dark, bizarre, and strange fiction.  As the editors describe it: “This is a passionate anthology about Mother Earth taking her world back from the humans and teaching us a lesson.”

Intrigued, aren’t you?

Upcoming Book Readings

“Phoenix Cross” is making the rounds of the DMV, one administrative district at a time!

I.e., after reading at the wonderful Potter’s House in the District last October, I’m heading across the Maryland border on January 7 to Robert Harper BooksThen, on February 8, I’ll be joining friend-to-equines and historic fiction writer J. Bowers at One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia.  Check out her devastating story “Shooting a Mule” in Among Animals 2.

Details and dates:

Robert Harper Books
6216 Rhode Island Ave
Riverdale Park, MD 20737
Saturday, Jan 7, 2pm

One More Page Books
2200 N Westmoreland Street #101
Arlington, VA  22213
Wednesday, Feb 8, 7pm

If you’re in the neighborhood, come down and get a book, get a signature, or get a firm handshake.

« Older entries