Posts Tagged: Science Fiction

Hugo Awards Logo

On Saturday, April 19th, the 2014 Hugo Award nominations were announced, and I’m proud to announce that A Dribble of Ink is represented in two categories: Best Fanzine and Best Related Work.

Best Fanzine

Alongside The Book Smugglers*, Elitist Book Review, Journey Planet and Pornokitsch*, A Dribble of Ink is in the running for Best Fanzine of 2013. If you’ve followed my writing for any time, you’ll know that I’ve long been critical of this category for dipping its pen into the same inkwell too often, so I’m thrilled to be included on a ballot that is guaranteed to see a new winner.

On that note, I expect to get crushed by Pornokitsch and/or The Book Smugglers, but it’ll be fun competition between these friends of mine regardless. Read More »

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Via Tor.com, the list of nominees for the 2014 Hugo Award nominees (with added squee!):

2014 Hugo Award nominees

Best Novel (1595 ballots)

  • Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross (Ace / Orbit)
  • Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia (Baen Books)
  • The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books)

Read More »

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If it wasn’t for unconventional publishing, that would have been the end of the road for Hollow World.

Publishing today is a complicated business full of many options and proponents on different sides vocalizing their path is “the right one” with full-throated conviction. For the record, I see the advantages (and disadvantages) of each. I also don’t think there is a “universal right choice,” just a choice that is going to best fit on an author by author basis.

Currently I’m a ‘hybrid author‘ because I have works available both through self-publishing and traditional routes. What’s more, my traditional routes include both big-five and small presses and there is a world of difference between them.

I think Hollow World, my latest novel, was probably produced in one of the most unconventional ways possible. First it was submitted to my publisher, Orbit. My editor loved the book, but the marketing department didn’t. They need to focus on what sells (and I don’t begrudge this mindset) and currently they think that means military science-fiction and space operas. A classic-style, social science fiction novel such as those written by Asimov or Wells just didn’t fit the bill.

If it wasn’t for unconventional publishing, that would have been the end of the road for Hollow World, and I know far too many authors who have shelved books because they couldn’t get them picked up (or were offered too little). But from past experience, I knew a closed door just means I should look around for an open window. Read More »

Speculative Fiction 2013, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James

With the release of Speculative Fiction 2013 looming, editors Ana Grilo and Thea James have announced the duo responsible for assembling the 2014 volume of the non-fiction essay collection: Renay and Shaun Duke. Excellent choices, if I do say.

One of the major components to the SpecFic collection series, as originally envisioned by creators Justin Landon and Jared Shurin, was to ensure a fresh take on online SFF conversation by featuring rotating editors every year. Renay and Duke mark the third pair of editors to work on the series. Grilo and James feel that their unique backgrounds offer a compelling opportunity for the series. “We strongly believe that Renay and Shaun’s different backgrounds – fandom and academia – can make for a really interesting editorial dynamic,” they said in the announcement.

Renay has been writing SF and fantasy fan fiction, criticism, and commentary since the early 1990s. She serves as staff within the Organization for Transformative Works, co-edits a media criticism blog, Lady Business, and writes columns for speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons.

Shaun Duke is an SF/F writer, a critic, and a PhD. student at the University of Florida studying science fiction, Caribbean literature, and postcolonialism. He currently blogs at The World in the Satin Bag, and is a host on The Skiffy and Fanty Show, an SF/F podcast which is currently running its World SF Tour.

“We selected Renay and Shaun as editors for several reasons that go beyond their awesome bios,” said The Book Smugglers, editors of the 2013 volume. “Namely, we admire their writing and the thoughtful ways that they engage with the speculative fiction community. We’ve been following Renay’s online endeavors for years and it’s safe to say that she’s been an incredible source of inspiration for The Book Smugglers and the way we engage in criticism. Similarly, Shaun never fails to impress us with his thoughtful, well-researched and articulate take on SFF books, films, and his contributions to important SFF community discussions.”

Art by Julie Dillon

I would see queer romance in a different, more nuanced light, complete with a historical perspective that both undercut Card’s work and crystallized the notion of real-world men who loved each other with their bodies as well as their minds.

Hello A Dribble of Ink! I am David Edison, author of The Waking Engine and editor of GayGamer.net, and I am dribbling my ink all over you. Aidan has asked me to talk about my experiences with inclusivity in the gaming world, which is a great chance to look at the differences and similarities with the equivalent challenge in the world of speculative fiction. I’ll apologize in advance for being unscholarly and scatterbrained: these are, of course, sprawling and complex dynamics, and a genuine analysis is beyond both the scope of a blog post and the capabilities of yours truly.

Let’s start with the idea of finding yourself reflected in the creative works you consume. From my personal experience: I encountered a representation of my own queerness in speculative fiction well before I encountered it anywhere else in our culture, especially games. Orson Scott Card’s Songmaster hit me like a ton of bricks at nine, maybe ten years of age. (There is irony to be found there, of course, which is its own post, methinks.) The pedophilia went right over my young head (paging Alanis Morissette and her 10,000 not-actually-ironic spoons, and yet another blog post), but what mattered to me then, as now, was the love. Only a few years later, when I read Mary Renault’s stunning historical novels like Fire from Heaven, The Mask of Apollo, and The Persian Boy, I would see queer romance in a different, more nuanced light, complete with a historical perspective that both undercut Card’s work and crystallized the notion of real-world men who loved each other with their bodies as well as their minds.

For a young queer man, especially a reader, discovering multiple sources of my own nature (which I had realized at a much younger age than 9 years old, though I did not have the words for it) was a lifeline: suddenly I was a part of the world. Moreover, I could decide between different representations of myself and begin building an identity in concert with reality, rather than wondering if perhaps, to my horror, I might be the only one. Read More »