sword-and-laser-tom-merritt-veronica-belmont

So. Dream come true.

No, not the Hugo. Being invited by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt for an interview on the Sword & Laser podcast. I’m a huge fan of their work, and had a blast chatting with them about the Hugo Awards, LonCon 3, the SFF fan community, and working with Kameron Hurley on “We Have Always Fought”.

S&L Podcast – #187 – How to Win a Hugo

Listen to the Episode!

P.S. Sorry for the audio quality. iPhones aren’t great recording devices, apparently.

Wow.

If you’ve seen the results, or watched the Hugo Awards ceremony on Sunday, you’ll know that A Dribble of Ink won the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine. I seriously have no words. Thank you to everyone who has supported A Dribble of Ink throughout the years. If you’re interested, you can watch my acceptance speech, which has been described to me as “adorable” by several people.

In addition to the award for Best Fanzine, A Dribble of Ink also published Kameron Hurley’s We Have Always Fought: Challenging the “Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative”, which took home the trophy for Best Related Work. She also won for Best Fan Writer. Kameron posted her acceptance speeches for the awards on her blog, and they are well worth a read.

I’d also like to extend congratulations to all of the other winners, and, most specifically, to the lovely Mary Robinette Kowal, who was a lifesaver in the craziness that followed the award ceremony, my LonCon 3 roommate John Chu, author of “The Water that Falls on You from Nowhere”, and artist Julie Dillon, who illustrated the masthead art for A Dribble of Ink.

And, finally, if you’re not already reading my co-balloters, The Book Smugglers and Pornokitsch, please go check them out. They’re terrific blogs, even more wonderful people, and I expect them to be on the Hugo Ballot for years to come.

Thank you.

curiosity_by_kuldarleement-d78malffoggy_rings_by_kuldarleement-d7cj6h0in_the_air_by_kuldarleement-d7egmtiresistance_by_kuldarleement-d6gsgosbrofist_from_god_by_kuldarleement-d6ux546northern_lights_by_kuldarleement-d75fz06

Feeling a little cabin-fevery stuck here on Earth? Not rocket ship to take you to the stars and beyond? Estonian illustrator and graphic designer Kuldar Leement can help you out. His gorgeous science fiction art mixes startling imagery with bold, high-contrast colours, and the ability to transport you to the furthest edges of the universe, where boundless imagination lives. The first image, titled “Curiosity” is particularly striking. Leement created as an homage to NASA.

You can find more of Leement’s art on his online portfolio and his DeviantArt gallery.

teresa-frohock-banner-image
Women Made of Chrome

“Jane Navio was a chrome-assed bitch … but she was right.” Up Against It, M. J. Locke

I wish there were more Jane Navios in fantasy. Oh, you see them in science fiction and horror, but not in fantasy. There is an unwritten code that women in fantasy novels must not be older than thirty, or they’re all the grandmotherly types over sixty, but rarely are there any in the forty to fifty range. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but since the 1990s, female characters over forty seem to have faded into the background scenery, and very few are protagonists.

Part of this is our current culture. I see it every time I go online. So-and-so actress is aging well, but only because she appears as if she is ten or twenty years younger. Helen Mirren and Dame Judi Dench are the exceptions to this rule. Both of these ladies have played chrome-assed bitches in their films. They don’t waffle or give long, righteous speeches about women and what they need. They wade right into a situation and get the job done.

The genre community talks about writing worlds that are a clearer reflection of the world in which we live, yet no one talks about the need for older protagonists. People don’t cease to exist after thirty, nor do they turn into fountains of knowledge and wisdom. Old bearded men, who guide young men, or ancient wise women, who are kind and giving, simply don’t exist in abundance in the real world. It’s easy become lost in the wonder of youth, but wonder does not automatically stop after a certain age. Even at fifty, I am still discovering new aspects of self and the world around me.

Like everyone else, older people like to see themselves reflected in the fiction they read. When I posed the question on Twitter one day, people were quick to mention George R.R. Martin’s Catelyn and Cersei as good examples of mature women in current literature, and I can’t disagree. Of the two, I’d say that Cersei falls closer to chrome than Catelyn. They are the biggest reasons I’ve stuck with the series as long as I have. Read More »