Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Philip K. Dick Award Storybundle

Lisa Mason, one of this year's judges for the Philip K. Dick Award, has curated an e-book bundle of novels that have won the Philip K. Dick Award. Gwyneth Jones's wonderful novel, Life, is among these. This bundle will be available for a limited time, from Sept 23 through October 15. Here is Lisa, with the details:

 Above and beyond earning the distinction of the award, this unique and historic collection of eleven amazing books showcases the many-splendored spectrum of science fiction from classic themes to the avant-garde.
Visit the majestic city of the Ascendants in Elizabeth Hand’s Aestival Tide, the spooky abandoned storage closet down the hall in Kathe Koja’s The Cipher, rock-n-rolling San Francisco in 1967 in my own Summer of Love, a Martian colony with a terrible secret in Lewis Shiner’s Frontera, the visionary far future in Walter Jon Williams’ Knight Moves

As always at Storybundle.com, you the reader name your price—whatever you feel the books are worth. You may designate a portion of the proceeds to go to a charity. For the Philip K. Dick Award Bundle, that’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (“SFWA”). SFWA champions writers’ rights, sponsors the Nebula Award for excellence in science fiction, and promotes numerous literacy groups.
The basic bundle (minimum $5 to purchase, more if you feel the books are worth more) includes:
  • Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist)
  • Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner)
  • The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist)
  • Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner)
  • Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist)
  • Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist)
To complete your bundle, beat the bonus price of $15 and you’ll receive another five books:
  • Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist)
  • Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation)
  • Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist)
  • Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist)
  • Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist)
All of these accomplished, traditionally published authors have received recognition and won multiple awards in addition to placing as a PKD Finalist or Winner, and we’re delighted their ebooks are available for the Philip K. Dick Award Bundle. Elizabeth Hand has won the World Fantasy Award (among many others), as has Gwyneth Jones. Pat Murphy has won the Nebula twice, Kathe Koja the Bram Stoker. The list goes on.

If you’re just dipping your toe into science fiction and not sure where to begin or if you’re a long-time fan and reader, this historic and unique collection is an excellent addition to your elibrary, providing world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K. Dick Award Bundle is available only from September 23 to October 15, 2015 and only via Storybundle. The bundle is easy to read on computers, smartphones, and tablets, as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books.

When the bundle is gone, it’s gone. So download yours today!

It’s super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.
Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.
  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of thrilling titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their list. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. The Philip K. Dick Award Bundle features Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
  • Receive extra books: If you beat our bonus price, you’re not just getting six books, you’re getting eleven!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Black to the Future

Notes from Ferguson is the Future Conference at Princeton University Sept. 11-14, 2015

We are all time travelers.The past hasn’t gone anywhere.
America is a haunted house.The future is in every gesture we make.
Science fiction is about figuring out how to be different together.

Ferguson is the Future is/was/will be an on-going moment of magic, community, and brilliance organized by Moya Bailey, Ruha Benjamin, and Ayana Jamieson. These women have serious superpowers. They gathered writers, activists, scholars, musicians, DJs, filmmakers, scientists, and curious folk at Princeton University to activate our blackness, our multi-dimensional, time-traveling blackness. Moya, Ruha, and Ayana called us to celebrate Octavia Butler and the joy of our sci-fi, speculative existence. They also insisted we look for that way out of no way that allows us to survive on-going apocalypse. Moya, Ruha, and Ayana raised money, fed and housed us, and kept us on point as we talked to and with each other. We did not have to provide the context for our being, for our sensibility—it shimmered around us. Everyone agreed—it was a blast, a blessing, a revelation to be activists, artists, and scholars imagining the future we want. Nothing like dreaming and scheming for justice, pleasure, peace, and sustainable abundance.

Before the public conference, writers and activists Steven Barnes, Lisa Bolekaja, Adrienne Maree Brown, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, Walidah Imarisha, Nnedi Okorafor, Daniel José Older, Rasheedah Phillips, Sophia Samatar, Nisi Shawl, and me (Andrea Hairston) gathered for an activist/artist retreat. We were joined  by DJ Lynnée Denise, mixed media artist Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy, and musicians Be Steadwell and Taja Lindley & Jessica Valoris of Colored Girls Hustle . (I call out names, because dear reader, you should go look these folks up. Check out their art and brilliance. Buy what they make.)
Our retreat mission was to:
shake each other up
dream freely
explore craft
refuse the way it is as the way it has to be
skip racism and sexism 101
dance to the music
raise critical questions pertaining to afro-futurism
conjure solutions
support and challenge one another
spark new projects and possibilities
explore the impossible

We did all that and more in gatherings facilitated by Adrienne Maree Brown, and also in casual encounters sipping port and brandy in the library of Princeton’s guest house or walking down the avenue.
I rarely write blogs, but Timmi asked me. Writing fast (and doing all that I do) is difficult to impossible. I’m dyslexic. I actually don’t have time to write this blog, but that’s why I am writing it. Fast and furious Andrea, was made possible by Black to the Future Conference magic. Time travelers have all the time in the Universe!  
At our retreat sessions we discussed how some people are waiting for us to fail. Some people are eager to laugh at our writing. In Facebook-land and the Twitterverse there is bullying of “social justice warriors,” of POC and women writers. But we created a manifesto, a declaration of our freedom as artists. We don’t have to be perfect or silent, a million times better or silent, bullet proof or silent. We will live out loud and on line while being black, brown, disabled, queer… We will collaborate for each other’s success. We are poised to boost the signal on everybody’s work. We will be vulnerable and not always know what the hell we are doing. We won’t be realistic, we will try for the impossible.
On Monday, we were joined by scholars, Reynaldo Anderson, Netrice Gaskins, John Jennings, Alondra Nelson, Dorothy Roberts, activists and educators from Ferguson, Johnetta Elzie, Deray McKesson, Brittany Packnett, curators and filmmakers, Erin Christovale, M. Asli Dukan, Amir George, Dennis Leroy Kangalee, for an all-day speculative fiction jam. The weave of voices and disciplines, the polyrhythm of perspectives was astounding. Every day we got smarter, got activated. And Monday, nobody wanted to leave! 
With organizers Moya, Ruha, and Ayana, we created our visionary future, an alternative world in the haunted halls of Princeton University. The time together was heady and full-bodied. We carry new superpowers with us now. Change is upon us.

Monday, August 24, 2015

"The genre would have been very different without her": a notable centennial

Today is the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Alice Bradley Sheldon, aka James Tiptree Jr., aka Raccoona Sheldon (August 24, 1915 – May 19, 1987). Since the revelation in late 1976 that James Tiptree Jr. was a 5' 8" sixty-one-year old woman, Tiptree has been a figure of interest more for what Tiptree biographer Julie Phillips calls Sheldon's "double life" than for Tiptree's work. I'm always a little sad to re-discover that many people who know what the Tiptree Award is haven't actually read Tiptree's work. And so I'd like, on this occasion, to quote Jo Walton on that work:

Tiptree was constantly pushing the boundaries of science fiction. “The Girl Who Was Plugged In” (1973) prefigured cyberpunk—it’s one of the three precursor stories, with John M. Ford’s Web of Angels and John Brunner’s The Shockwave Rider. “Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death” made a space for Octavia Butler’s later writing about aliens and sex and identity. “And I Awoke and Found me Here” did the same for Varley—-- for a lot of the writers who came into SF in the later seventies and the eighties Tiptree was part of their defining space, and the genre would have been very different without her. Science fiction is constantly a dialogue, and her voice was one of the strongest in the early seventies, when everything was changing. She wasn’t a New Wave writer, and in many ways she was very traditional, “And I Have Come Upon This Place” could have been written by Murray Leinster, except for the end. She wrote what she wrote and expanded the possibilities for all of us. Science fiction would be very different without her. (What Makes This Book So Great, p. 318.)

To mark the centennial of this great writer, Twelfth Planet Press is releasing Letters to Tiptree, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce.The volumes includes contributions from 35 persons (who, by the way, number several Aqueduct authors), archived letters from Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, and James Tiptree Jr./Alice Sheldon, excerpts from The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of Science Fiction Feminisms by Helen Merrick, an excerpt from The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction by Justine Larbalestier, and an essay by Michael Swanwick.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Armadillocon, with interview

Two weeks ago I attended Armadillocon 37, as the Editor Guest, in Austin, Texas. I had a wonderful, busy time and lots of interesting conversations. On Thursday evening, on arrival I was greeted with warm Texan hospitality and a delicious meal, met my fellow Guests, including Artist Guest Rocky Kelley (who designed the Program Book cover, from which the cool figures on our badges were taken), and was pleased to discover from some of the members a long-running Austin book club that they had read Alanya to Alanya earlier in the month. Friday started early for me, for the con takes their writing workshop, run by Marshall Ryan Maresca, very seriously, and devotes most of a day to it. All the Guests who were writers (Stina Leicht, Ken Liu, James Morrow, and myself) were instructors in the workshop, along with several other writers and critics. The workshop featured, in addition to the usual critique sessions conducted by two instructors and four or five students, three lively panel sessions in which all of the instructors discussed narrative structure, when to shift directions in or jettison writing projects, and, closing out the workshop, aspects of the business of writing.

On Friday evening, the con held its opening ceremonies, during which Toastmaster Stina Leicht introduced the other Guests and delivered a heartfelt speech on the importance of diversity for science fiction. Saturday, at noon, I joined Nancy Jane Moore, Cynthia Ward, and Jacob Weisman of Tachyon Publications in a panel titled "How to Sell a Book to Aqueduct Press"; the four of us talked a lot about independent-press publishing in general, as well as Aqueduct Press in specific. Saturday mid-afternoon, I participated in a game-show format pitting "Pros" against "Fans." I was certain the Fan team would wiped the floor with us--but no. To my astonishment, we routed them. As Stina, who hosted the game, warned us, our job was to guess the answers written on the surveys con-goers had filled out, which needn't actually be "correct." It was a weird experience, I can tell you, when for the category of "Feminist SF Writers," the number-one answer was...me. (Ursula Le Guin was number 2.) In my penultimate programming item, Chris Brown and Madeleine Rose Dimond interviewed me. (See below.) And on Sunday afternoon, I read a portion of "A Question of Grammar" from Never at Home and--because I'd been allotted an entire hour for my reading--had the pleasure of engaging in a fascinating conversation with my small audience.  

The programming was rich in readings, I'm happy to say, even if most of those I attended didn't attract large audiences, not least because there were often two readings going on at the same time, in addition to panels. Of the panel programming, I was most interested in attending the panels on feminist sf (which were well attended)-- one on "classical feminist sf," another titled "Badass, Babe, or None of the Above; Are Women's Archetypes Evolving (or Not) in SF/F Literature?" and "New Feminist SF." In two of these Marguerite Reed adopted the role of contrarian, which nudged the discussion into unexpected places. I also especially enjoyed the panel on Alternate History, with Chris Brown, Madeleine Rose Dimond, C.J. Mills, Katharine Eliska Kimrbiel, and Howard Waldrop.

And of course, as always happens at cons, I enjoyed numerous conversations in the lobby, halls, dining room, con suite, and at the bar in the lobby, filling my head with thoughts I carried back with me to Seattle.  

Although I took notes on the panels I attended, when I got home I discovered I couldn't sufficiently decipher my own hurried scrawl to make sense of them. But, though I can't offer you cogent summaries of the panels I attended, I can offer you the recording Chris Brown made of my Editor Guest interview-- or, rather, a link to it. (Although it is easy to post videos on this blog, audio recordings are something else...) You can find the recording of the interview on my website, here: http://ltimmelduchamp.com/ltimmelduchamp.com/interview-Armalillocon.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Cascadia Subduction Zone Vol. 5, 3

The Summer issue of the Cascadia Subduction Zone is out. This issue features an interview of Celeste Rita Baker by Amal El-Mohtar, discussing the uses of dialect in written fiction, poetry by Alicia Cole, Bogi Takács and Sonya Taaffe, an essay on Samuel R. Delany's Babel-17 by Tananrive Due, art work by Sharon Sutton, and reviews by Rachel Swirsky, Karen Burnham, and others.

In case you've forgotten or don't know, all but the last two issues are available for free download from the CSZ's archives. The new issue is available as a pdf for $3, or a print copy (in the US only) for $5. Subscriptions are $10 for the pdf edition and $16 (in the US only) for the print edition.

 Here's the new issue's table of contents:

 ol. 5 No. 3 — July 2015
The Importance of Dialect:
An Interview with Celeste Rita Baker
  by Amal El-Mohtar
   by Alicia Cole

   by Bogi Takács 

The Drowning of the Doves
   by Sonya Taaffe

Grandmother Magma
Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
   by Tananarive Due

Accessing the Future, edited by Djibril al-Ayad and Kathryn Allan
   reviewed by Rachel Swirsky

Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, edited by adrienne marie brown and Walidah Imarisha
   reviewed by Maria Velazquez

Things We Found During the Autopsy, by Kuzhali Manickavel
  reviewed by Karen Burnham

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science & the World, by Rachel Swaby
  reviewed by Victoria Elisabeth Garcia

Persona, by Genevieve Valentine
  reviewed by Kristin King
Featured Artist
Sharon E. Sutton

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Letters to Tiptree

 Today Twelfth Planet Press released the list of contributors to their forthcoming anthology, Letters to Tiptree, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Alexandra Pierce, and The Los Angeles Review of Books published The Women You Didn't See: A Letter to Alice Sheldon by Nicola Griffith.You can check out the star-studded list and preorder the book at http://www.twelfthplanetpress.com/products/ebooks/letters-to-tiptree. The book is scheduled for release on the centenary of Sheldon's birth, August 24.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Photos from WisCon 39

I tend to forget to take photos at WisCon, except for those I've gotten in the habit of doing-- chiefly of the Aqueduct Press-organized readings. Partly this is because I don't like to take photos without first getting permission from those who will be clearly identifiable in the photo (which pretty much rules out most candid photos), partly because I tend to get so caught up in talking to people that I forget. On our first night at WisCon, I remembered to take a photo of the window of Room of One's Own (which I of course stared admiringly at before entering the store), and a photo of Kath, Arrate, Nisi Shawl, and Margaret McBride at dinner. (Tom was leaning in back in his chair, & so, like me, who was talking the photo, is invisible.)
Hmm. Actually, you can see Tom's arm, the napkin in his lap. The food was Peruvian, and we were all in an exuberant mood and rejoicing at being all together again and attending another WisCon.

Friday, I took a picture of our tables in the Dealers Room. Kim Nash took the photo so that all four of us could be in the photo: this is what it the center part of the table looked like before the doors to the Dealers Room were opened:
Reading on Saturday were Anne Sheldon (who read several poems and an excerpt from Adventures of the Faithful Counselor, Mary Anne Mohanraj (who read from the introduction of The WisCon Chronicles Vol 9: Intersections and Alliances, Jackie Hatton (who read from Flesh and Wires, which Aqueduct Press will be releasing later this year), Andrea Hairston (who read from a novella), and me (who read a portion of "The Forbidden Words of Margaret A., which has just been reprinted in Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's Sisters of the Revolution):

And reading on Sunday were Eleanor Arnason (who read from The Daughter of the Bear King, which Aqueduct recently released in an ebook edition), Nancy Jane Moore (who read from The Weave), Therese Pieczynski (not an Aqueduct author, but one who writes very much in the spirit of Aqueduct and who read a teaser from a story that had everyone on the edge of their seat), and Lisa Shapter (who read from her novella A Day in Deep Freeze, which Aqueduct published this spring, and who prefers not to be photographed).

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I want to sing Jacques Brel and read you a passage of lesbian steampunk romance adventure from my forthcoming novel, Everfair.  All you have to do is show up at Gay City in Seattle on Thursday, July 2, 7 p.m. and listen.

Here are the details.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 10-- Call for materials

 Call for Materials

 The WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 10:  Social Justice (Redux), will be edited by Margaret McBride. She has issued the following call for materials:

"One thing I admire in Ursula K. LeGuin's writing is her willingness to publicly examine and change her way of seeing the world and her fiction (as in Tehanu, published almost 20 years after The Earthsea Trilogy or the 1976 "Is Gender Necessary?" followed by the 1989 "Redux" version of that essay). I hope The WisCon Chronicles 10 Social Justice (Redux) authors will have the same attitude, for we seem to bring up problems of social injustice so often.  Mary Anne Mohanraj, who edited The WisCon Chronicles 9,  focused on social justice issues in her introduction, as did several included essays. The fiction and WisCon 39 guest-of-honor speeches by Alaya Dawn Johnson and Kim Stanley Robinson focused on multiple aspects of social justice: environmental collapse, need for reduced population, and climate change; violence against women; racial inequality in publishing and elsewhere; gender issues, including reproductive rights; inequality of income and power; etc. Yet current newspapers or blogs about Ferguson or gay marriage or our own science fiction community show that we must continue to address such issues in fiction and elsewhere (I hope in WisCon Chronicles 10!). The "redux" aspect of the volume might include essays on how terms used in debates about social justice could be problematic.

"I am particularly interested in how science fiction is addressing social justice, especially the idea that environmental programs need to include equality for women and minorities. Essays examining the fiction of any past guest of honor at WisCon or Tiptree Award winner or any science fiction that looks at environmental concerns or diversity issues would be appropriate, also. 2016 will be the 40th year for WisCon, so personal memories from guests of honor, committee members, and also people new or long-time to WisCon will be considered, even if not linked directly to social justice issues.

"Please submit essays, personal remembrances, poetry, short fiction for consideration by September 30, 2015 to mcbride@uoregon.edu."