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28 January 2016 @ 01:58 pm
Hugo Nominations are now open, and PINs are going out via email! I wrote a bit about why you might want (or not-want) to nominate for the Hugo awards here. If nominating for the Hugos is something you want to do remember you need to buy your membership by January 31, which is coming right up.

Anyways if you are nominating it can be confusing to figure out what is eligible and in what category, so I’ve put together a list of links that I hope will help people.

I know this is lot, but remember you don’t have to know everything about a category to nominate in it. If you read or watched one work in a category and you think it is award worthy you should nominate it!


The official site has a list of categories here

A. C. Wise’s collection of eligibility posts and recommendation posts

Cat Rambo’s eligibility post with links to many other eligibility posts

Renay’s Hugo spread sheet with rec’s for all categories Renay has been organizing this resource for several years. I find it very useful.

Hugo Eligbity Wiki A similar project that is new this year. Looks like it should be helpful.

Other Awards
These are resources to help people nominate for other related awards. Note categories don't always overlap perfectly.

British Science Fiction Association (BSFA)Awards Long list

Ditmar Eligibility List The Ditmar is an award for Australian SFF, the site list things that were published in Australia in 2015.

Reading list for the Nebula Awards

Eligibility Lists for Specific Categories

Lady Business quarterly short fiction recs (Q1, Q2, Q3) The editors over at Lady Business have been running a quarterly poll on the best SFF short fiction. The 1st three quarters are up.

Semiprozine directory A list of things that qualify as semiprozines

John W. Campbell Award for best new writer eligibility page

Hugo Eligible Art 2015 tumblr for the both pro and fan art categories, includes eligible work.

Magazines' Lists of What They Published in 2015
Most of these either include word count or list the stories by Hugo Category


Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Book Smugglers Publishing


Escape Artists (Note podcast of stories are eligible as stories (for the writing) and as dramatic presentations (for the performance.))


Strange Horizons



Technical Stuff
These won’t help you nominate but if you want really geek out about the Hugos here are a couple of super detailed links.

Chaos Horizon A blog that uses stats and data to try and predict the novel category of the Hugos and Nebulas.

kevin_standlee A former (and possibly future) Hugo admin who posts about technical aspects of the awards along with stuff about his daily life.

The WSFS Page at MidAmericon II WSFS, the World Science Fiction Society is the umbrella organization of worldcons. The WSFS constitution contains the governing rules for the Hugo Awards. This has links to constitutional changes from last year that if ratified will become the rules for next year. (Under “business passed on”) This is also were proposals for new constitutional changes will appear as they are submitted.

Know of other resources that should be here? Let me know and I will add them.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/193009.html
22 January 2016 @ 04:19 pm
I read tons of short fiction in 2015, even more than in previous years. This has been a pretty great year for short fiction with great stories form authors I already loved and new to me authors. It has also been good to see many more people talking about short fiction on the internet this year. I hope to see even more of that in 2016.

This year I’ve tried to post few recommendations for stories every month, but now that the year is done I’m posting a list of my very favorites. For your convenience I’ve listed the stories by Hugo category, form shortest to longest.

Short Stories:

“Cat Pictures Please” by Naomi Kritzer
What if the internet was sentient and wanted to help people? This very cute story describes one way it could go.

“The Shape of my Name” by Nino Cipri
Time travel, family and figuring out ones identity all play a role in this beautiful story that I’ve been thinking about all year.

“Monkey King, Faerie Queen” by Zen Cho
The story of what happens when the Money King meets the Faerie Queen. Told in Cho’s wonderful voice with a lot of faithfulness to both sets of mythology.

“It Brought Us All Together” by Marissa K. Lingen
A story about dealing with grief and high school in a plague ridden world. Lingen continues to nail the complexes of relationships. Surprisingly not depressing given its subject matter.

“Pockets” by Amal El-Mohtar
This story is great because of the female friendships and also because when weird shit happens the characters try to understand what is going on using science.

“Even the Mountains Are Not Forever” by Laurie Tom
A wonderful story about history and different ways of preserving it, really struck a chord with my inner historian.

“Let's Have a Talk” by Xia Jia
This Xia Jia’s first story written in English and love that it deals with linguistics. It is also extremely cute.

“Forestspirit, Forestspirit” by Bogi Takács
I loved this story for its atmospheric description of a forest, interesting future tech, and awesome post-human neutrally gendered view point character.

“Points of Origin” by Marissa K. Lingen
So this year I became a parent, and I really wanted to read fiction about parenting but there is not much out there. This story is about people in their 80’s who unexpectedly must take care of children. There are a lot of details about the daily stuff. So even though the story is about people who are really different than me it was just what I wanted to be reading.

“The Crane Wife” by A. C. Wise
Beautifully written examination of the mythical animal bride story

“When we die on Mars” by Cassandra Khaw
A lovely story about sacrifice and found family.


“The Animal Women” by Alix E. Harrow
(content note: race in American, violence, attempted sexual assault.) I got really sucked into this story set in the US south about how women’s voices are repressed. It is pretty dark in places but had and ending I found hopeful.

“Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Wind” by Rose Lemberg
This story is set in Lemberg’s Birdverse which I’ve so far only read a few stories, but have really enjoyed those and plan to seek out more. Really enjoyed the complex culture and the family dynamics.

“Ballroom Blitz” by Veronica Schanoes A gender swapped punk retelling of the twelve dancing princesses, but what I really loved about this was how it portrayed characters’ mental health problems.

Geometries of Belonging By Rose Lemberg
Another Birdverse story, but set in a different country than “Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Wind.” This one takes place on the edge of politics but also focuses on found family and healing. There is a character struggling with their gender identity.

“Sacred Cows: Death and Squalor on the Rio Grande” by A.S. Diev
The opening image of this grabbed me and then I was sucked in by the “New Gonzo journalism” voice.

“Fabulous Beasts” by Priya Sharma
(content note: domestic violence, rape, incest) I put off reading this story, even though multiple people recommended it to me because I thought it would be dark, and I was right, but this story was worth it.


Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
This hit a lot of my worldbuidling favorites like strange bio-tech and descriptions of food. It was also just a really fun story that went in directions I didn't expect. I quite liked that the resolution focused on diplomacy not use of force. (But be warned that there is some horrific violence which the author is very effective at getting across how it makes our main character feel.)

Quarter Days by Iona Sharma A fun story set in post WWI magical London. While this London is similar to our own, the magic also makes some things really different. I liked how there were multiple magic systems in the same setting. I also liked the characters and how they interacted with each other.

The Citadel of Weeping Pearls by Aliette de Bodard. (Asimov's Science Fiction Oct/Nov*) Set in De Bodard’s Xuya universe this story features a variety of complex characters trying to understand the disappearance of the Citadel of Weeping Pearls 30 years ago. I love de Bodard’s worldbuilding, especially the food details. I also enjoyed see the characters through eachother’s eyes. (This is very loosely a sequel to On a Red Station, Drifting but could be read on its own and doesn’t really spoil anything.)

*Back issues of Asimov's are unreasonably hard to get a hold of even if you are willing to pay money. However check and see if your library has this issue, or if you are eligible to nominate for awards you can contact the author for a copy.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/192026.html
05 January 2016 @ 08:44 am
In 2015 I wrote several pieces about SFF stories and culture, what is sometimes called fanwriting. I wrote a few things I’m proud of and I hope contributed to my little corner of fandom. So I thought I’d do a roundup of my fanwriting in 2015.

Short Fiction

I read fair amount of short fiction, but I know many people have hard time getting started with the form or finding works to their taste. Too often short fiction recs show up only at the end of the year as best of lists, which can be overwhelming. So I’ve been working on providing recs in less overwhelming format and have tried to post 2-5 rec about once a month. You can find all those posts at my short fiction tag

I also wrote a couple of pieces about short fiction culture and my reaction to it. These are “My History with Short Fiction” and “Continuity and SFF Short Fiction”

I was very pleased to be asked to write about my favorite short fiction of 2014 for Lady Business. You can find that here

Fanish Culture

“The Hugo Awards, Inclusion, and Me” is my reaction to last year’s Hugo issues

“The Canon” was my response to Renay’s essay about the SFF canon and pressure to read books by white men I talked about my personal history with the SFF canon and why I don’t think you need to read it.

In “On Reviews” I wrote about how I use book reviews a why I rarely read long reviews.


The closest thing I wrote to a book review was “Thoughts on Nature in Uprooted by Naomi Novik” were I discus how the book uses tropes about nature. (NB: spoilers)

Not writing but I also appeared on an episode of the podcast Cabbages and Kings were we talked about world building and immersion. You can find the episode here.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/191475.html
28 December 2015 @ 08:38 am
This month I've gotten more organized and found some time to read short fiction again. So here are a few rec based on what I've read recently.

"20/20" By Arie Coleman A story about doctors who travel back in time to fix medical mistakes. I loved the main characters dedication to saving lives.

"Points of Origin" by Marissa K. Lingen This story about older people who find themselves caring for children unexpectedly really resonated with me.

"When We Die on Mars" by Cassandra Khaw A lovely story about sacrifice and found family.

"The Animal Women" by Alix E. Harrow (content note: race in American, violence, attempted sexual assault.) A powerful story about a girl finding her voice.

I'm now working on finishing up the 2015 short fiction in on my to-read list. Is there anything you think I should be sure not to miss?

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/190997.html
10 December 2015 @ 08:31 am
It is the time of year when I remind you that can nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards if you buy a supporting membership for MidAmeriCon II the 2016 WorldCon. This year supporting memberships are a bit more expensive at $50 each. (Last year it was $40). You will need to have supporting membership by January 31 to nominate. If you had a voting membership last year you can nominate this year. Also if you buy a supporting membership to Worldcon 75, the 2017 WorldCon in Helsinki you can nominate this year, and nominate and vote on the finalists in 2017.

Last year I wrote about why you might like to nominate and vote for these awards. Most of what I wrote then is still true especially the last point about representing diverse groups and tastes. However last year I found the online conversations about the Hugos to be not at all fun. Two interrelated groups of socially conservative fans know as the Sad and Rabid Puppies used bloc voting tactics to control the nominations process. This lead to an explosion of acrimonious online debate, with a lot of name calling, and personal attacks. There are currently rules changes in the works that make bloc voting nominations much harder, but these will not go into effect this year. So I expect that the online conversation about the Hugos will remain unpleasant.

All this means that I can’t whole heartedly ask you to buy membership. On one hand I would really like you to, because it something I’ve enjoyed doing that I think you might enjoy too. Also it would be good for the awards and make bloc voting harder if more people participated. On the other hand I can see how buying a supporting membership might feel like spending $50 to join a flame war. So I hope that you’ll consider voting but I understand why you might not.

My plan for the Hugos this year is to focus on the parts I find fun and avoid the arguments as much as I can. Nominating has always been my favorite part of the Hugo process. Some people worry that they shouldn’t nominate if they haven’t read or watched all the things (which is imposable these days.) Instead I see nominating as a way of sharing great stuff. So if you’ve read or watch only one thing in category but you think that thing is award worthy you should totally nominate it.

I love reading lots of new work, and sharing the good things with my friends. I’m not going to let the Puppies ruin this joy. So I plan to tell you about all my favorite SFF things. I’m going to write about my favorite short fiction published in 2015, and post recs for several other Hugo categories. I hope that whether or not you take part in the Hugos you’ll check some of my recommendations out, and find something you like. And whatever you decide about the Hugos I hope you’ll share some works you liked with me and other people. Hopefully we can all find new to us wonderful things, and focus on the squee.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/190848.html
30 November 2015 @ 04:00 pm
I'm still not reading short fiction at the rate I was pre-baby, but I am reading some, and I have a few recs to share.

First up "The many media hypothesis" by Marissa Lingen What if you's form alternative universes showed up on your social media feeds? As alway Lingen is great at complex family relationships even in this short space. (Content Note: domestic violence.)

I'd also like to mention a novella Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, which hit a lot of my worldbuidling favorites like strange bio-tech and descriptions of food. It was also just a really fun story that went in directions I didn't expect.

Also this month I finished reading CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA ed. Zen Cho. I love Cho's work so when I heard she was editing an anthology I decided to check it out even though I generally dislike cyberpunk. Anyways, this book made me realize that I have no idea what cyberpunk is. Like I couldn't point any one story and say "not cyberpunk" but on the other hand I wouldn't have called most of these stories cyberpunk if I came across them in another context. Some of these stories felt like as non-Malaysian I didn't have the background to fully understand the worldbuilding, but I just kind of went with it. There were some good stories here and some not to my taste.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/190409.html
02 November 2015 @ 11:12 am
So I've been trying to post some short fiction rec every month, but I had a baby on Oct 14 and have not been in the right mindset to read any short fiction all month. I'm slowly getting a bit more brain for non-baby things so I hope to have recs again next month.

In the meantime please tell me about any short fiction you are excited about in the comments. (So I can add to my ever growing to-read list.)

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/189526.html
01 October 2015 @ 07:25 am
Well the last month has not been great for my short fiction reading. I have read far fewer stories than I normally do.

Anyways I do have one rec. "A Short History of Migration in Five Fragments of You" by Wole Talabi Content note: Slave trade. This is a mostly historic story with a bit future at the end. I liked how it addresses the impact of the past on the present and future.

Also noteworthy: "Milagroso" by Isabel Yap I don't quite buy some of the world building in this one, but I'm happy see more fiction about food. It hit all the right emotional notes for me.

I've you want more recs Lady Business has just posted the Q2 Short Fiction survey results. Lot of things to check out!

Also I've just stared reading CYBERPUNK: MALAYSIA ed. Zen Cho. I've only read two stories so far but I'm enjoying it. It's written for a Malaysian audience so I'm sure I'm missing stuff but that's ok.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/188577.html
01 September 2015 @ 08:04 am
Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Wind By Rose Lemberg This the first story form Lemberg’s birdverse that I’ve read. Really enjoyed to complex culture and the family dynamics.

”Ghost Champagne” by Charlie Jane Anders This is bit creepier than what I normal rec, but it totally hit me right in the feels.

“Her Pound of Flesh” by Cassandra Khaw A fun (and a bit creepy) deconstruction of rescue tropes. Features women rescuing other women who don’t want to be rescued and have their own ideas.

I’ve also been reading Cranky Ladies of History ed Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely, which is an anthology of historical fiction about non-conforming women. Most of the stories are historical fiction but a few are historical fantasy. I’m enjoying it so far.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/187641.html
24 August 2015 @ 07:39 am
So Worldcon was this last weekend and the Hugo Awards results were announced. The World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) which sets the rules for worldcons and the Hugos also had a meeting to discus changes to how things are done. So I spent a lot of the last few days paying attention to the con.

One of the things that was decided is that the 2017 con will be held in Helsinki. It looks like it will be a great con. I'm having fantasies of attending and visit UK friends on the same trip. But I don't really know what my life will be like in 2017 so just fantasies for now.

Mostly I'm feeling meh about the Hugo results. The voters declined to vote for slate works but that gave us very little to celebrate. I'm seeing a fair number of people putting a positive spin on events, but I want to celebrate great works of SFF not the defeat of internal factions. So I'm left just hoping that more people will nominate next year. In the meantime I'm going to continue recommending awesome short fiction.

The WSFS society declined to ratify Popular Representation a constitutional amendment that would have let supporting members of worldcon (like me) have more say in the governance of WSFS. I'm very disappointed with this. WSFS people keep saying that the cost of Hugo voting is expense because we are buying a society membership not just voting rights but if that is the case I want a say in how the society is run. Plus I'm discouraged by some of the unpleasant things people at the meeting said about supporting members.

Two potential changes to nominating procedures were passed this year. (To go into effect they will also have to pass next year.) I think I'm in favor of “E Pluribus Hugo” which is like an instant runoff system for nominations, and opposed to "4 and 6" because I don't want few nomination slots. I'm please to note that WSFS is making progress getting rid if the 5% rule.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/187288.html
30 July 2015 @ 10:10 am
It’s time for more short fiction recs. Right now my to read folder is lot emptier than it was this time last month, but I expect it to expand again when August zines come out.

Before I get to my recs I wanted to mention that over at [community profile] ladybusiness there is round up of favorite short fiction form the first quarter for 2015. Worth checking out for recs. Also at the end of the post their link to their second quarter survey if you have stories you loved and want to share.

Anyways here some stories I read recently that I think are worth checking out:

”Sigrid Under the Mountain” by Charlotte AshleyNorse mythology(ish) story focusing on the lives of people who stay home while the heroes are of adventuring.

“It Brought Us All Together” by Marissa Lingen A story about dealing with grief and high school in plague ridden world. As always Lingen nails the emotional details. That makes it sound like a depressing story but it is really not.

“A Silly Love Story” by Nicole Cipri What it says on the tin. Sweet and heartwarming.

“Snakes” by Yoon Ha Lee A kinda creepy story featuring sisterhood and space.

Older story rec: "Mountain Ways" by Ursula K. Le Guin One of my favorite bits of Le Guin's Hanish universe is the planet O, which has complex four person marriages. This story is set there and explores what happens to people with different desires.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/185997.html
27 July 2015 @ 07:56 am
So as long as I've been a reader I've been a reader of SFF but I didn't always love short SFF. I want to talk a bit about my history with short SFF and how I came to enjoy reading and recommending it.

When I was a teen online short fiction had not yet taken off, so the ways to access short fiction where the few remaining print magazines or anthologies which were mostly reprints. I did know that the magazines existed, as saw them for sale at my local SFF bookstore, but I never was moved to buy one.

I did buy and read a handful anthologies. I would read them like novels stopping in the middle of stories. (I hate doing this now.) I tended to choose anthologies based on themes. I remember their being lots of anthologies with titles like “magical cats” or “women with swords.” Anyway these were a bit hit or miss for me, I liked some of the stories, loved a few, but most didn’t move me.

Then in my late teens I decided I was going to read all the written fiction that had won both a Hugo and a Nebula award. I think as a way to expose myself to more older SF. Anyways for this project I included all the short fiction winners and tried to track them down. I generally found them in anthologies. Many were first published in print magazines, which were not easy to track down, but anthologies featuring re-prints were more accessible. Having got a hold of an anthology containing at least one piece of short fiction for my project I would generally read the whole thing. I still didn’t find a lot of short fiction I loved, possibly because these volumes were not very diverse.

I never quite finished the Hugo and Nebula award winning fiction project, but after it tailed off I went back to reading the occasional anthology. I was aware of online short fiction for a while before I started reading it. I was reluctant for a long time to read fiction on a computer screen, and I also didn’t have good way to fit reading short fiction into my reading routine.

What finally got me to start reading short fiction was becoming a Hugo voter. I thought I should really try to read at least a few pieces of short fiction and see if there was something I thought was award worthy to nominate. My first year I just read short fiction form other people’s best of the year list, but I found a few authors I wanted to follow also decided to try and keep up a bit more by following a few online magazines. So I stared reading some short fiction throughout the year, and I’ve slowly been following more authors and more magazines. More recently I’ve joined twitter and started getting recs that way as well.

I’m continuing to read short fiction not out of a sense of duty but because I’ve found that I really enjoy it. Right now reading short fiction is great way to find new and/or marginalized authors who are pushing the genre(s) in interesting directions. However the proliferation short fiction can also be really intimidating and overwhelming. So to try and help other people find the things that I enjoyed I’ve started posting recs here.

So that’s how I slowly became more involved in reading and rec'ing short fiction.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/185583.html
22 July 2015 @ 08:20 am
I'm interviewed in the most recent episode of Cabbages and Kings. We talked about immersion and worldbuilding, and I got to geek out a bit about ecology. The episode is 30 minutes long. Go have a listen if you'd like.

Cabbages and Kings is a fairly new podcast that I've been enjoying. (I've also been chatting with the host, Jonah Sutton-Morse on twitter.) All the episodes are 30 min or less which nice change from most SFF podcasts which are long and rambling. Currently there are lots interviews which feature people talking about their history with SFF and aspects of the genre they are passionate about. There are also some episodes that are in depth looks at books, I'm quite found to the two part episode on Ancillary Justice which talks a lot about theory of mind.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/184851.html
Tags: , ,
20 July 2015 @ 08:00 am
So Renay wrote an excellent essay on the Canon and the pressure to read things by white men. It’s really great and you should go read it.

Renay’s essay made me reflect on my own history with the SFF classics. As young teen I got the idea that it would be good for me to read classic SFF. I’m not sure where, as I wasn’t a very social reader at the time – or rather I didn’t have a lot of people to talk to about books, and I wasn’t really active online back then.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, a very liberal place, and I had access to great bookstores and libraries, yet I still fell into the trap of thinking that classics where written by men. It’s not that I didn’t read books by women, but I didn’t think of them as classics. (I’m afraid I didn’t read much by POC at this stage.) Often the older stuff by women and POC was out of print. Why was it easy for me to find Stranger in a Strange Land, Ringword, and I, Robot, but not The Female Man or Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand? I’m angry that this was the case. My younger self was deprived of books she would have enjoyed, and got a skewed picture of the genre as a result. It took until my late teens when I was online and actively looking for feminist stuff for me to find classics written by women, but that was my second wave of classics reading.

Having read quite a few “classics” I now only want to read things because I think I will enjoy them, not because I ought to read them. Which isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy older books, or that this type of research can’t be enjoyable. But I’ve had enough, and I’m not going to be pressured into reading things just because other people think I should.

I want to tell readers like Renay that they also shouldn’t have to read anything that they don’t enjoy. I don’t want people to have to wade through the sometimes quite egregious levels of sexism, racism and other failures to see people besides straight white cis men as fully human. Being constantly talked down to, misunderstood, or just erased hurts. There are a lot of good reasons to avoid older SFF or at least tread very carefully.

But I understand wanting to read older stuff to put newer works in context. I love history myself and even my hobbies like reading tend to lead me into historical projects like reading older works. So what I want is for people looking back at older work to find more than just white men. I want Russ and Wilhelm to be just as easy to stumble across and Asimov or Niven. I want them all to be in print, for books by marginalized groups to take up self-space in bookstores, on reading lists, to be discussed as classics. We are failing newer fans and ourselves when we create with a one sided canon.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/184744.html
06 July 2015 @ 01:24 pm
Well, I feel like I haven't got further behind on my short fiction reading over the last month or so. That feels almost like progress. Here are a couple of things that I read that recommend:

"Forestspirit, Forestspirit" by Bogi Takács Lovely descriptions of forest, cool agender post-human protagonist.

"Let's have a talk" by Xia Jia Xia Jia's first story written in English it is of course about linguists. Also very cute.

Also I've been reading the Queers Destroy Science Fiction special issue of Lightspeed Magazine (June 2015). I don't like it quite as much as last years' Women Destroy Science Fiction, but it is pretty great with lots of short fiction and interesting essays. Of the the work that is available online I'd like to recommend two shorts:

"勢孤取和 (Influence Isolated, Make Peace") by John Chu

"Madeleine" by Amal El-Mohtar

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/183424.html
I just finished Uprooted by Naomi Novik and I have lots of thoughts about how nature is portrayed in the book. I think these are a bit spolier-y so I'm going to put them under a cut. (ETA: Having written this it is really very spoiler-y)

My thoughtsCollapse )

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/183197.html
02 June 2015 @ 02:15 pm
I'm not quite sure how it got to be June already, but it is. Here are some links to short stories I've read and enjoyed recently. Also welcome new people form Jade Lennox's Dreamwidth Friending Meme.

"The Crane Wife" by A.C. Wise Beautifully written examination of the mythical animal bride story.

Ossuary by Ian Muneshwar Really cool story from the point of view of an A.I.

"Ballroom Blitz" by Veronica Schanoes A punk retelling of the 12 dancing princesses.

Acrobatic Duality by Tamara Vardomskaya A story about sports and identity

"Out of the Rose Hills" By Marissa Lingen Roses, and women who aren't princesses, and shadows.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/182549.html
07 May 2015 @ 11:12 am
I haven't done a short fiction rec post in a while. Recently my to-read folder has been growing much faster than my read folder. However here I are few things I've read since the last post that I wanted to rec.

"The Shape of My Name" by Nino Cipri I don't want to say much about this story because I enjoyed learning the issues as I read it, but it is lovely and features family and time travel.

“Monkey King, Faerie Queen” by Zen Cho I've mentioned this before but not it a short fic rec post. I massively fan girl Zen Cho and this story is awesome. Basically what is says on the tin Monkey King meets the Faerie Queen.

"The Universe, Sung in Stars" by Kat Howard A short pretty story about music and stars.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/181432.html
21 April 2015 @ 08:33 am
So the book I’m reading has a moor and also some trees. I was confused for a while because moors shouldn’t have trees on them, but I eventually figured out that there is forest next to the moor. I’m still ecologically skeptical about this arrangement but at least there aren’t trees on the moor.

My ecological skepticism comes from my understanding of the concept of succession. Put it its most simple form succession means that plant communities are always in flux and that larger species will invade areas of smaller species. So grassland will become scrubland and scrubland will become woodland. Unless there is some reason why it can’t. Reasons include climate, grazing animals, fire, and soil conditions. For example before Europeans arrived the great plains of North America remained grassland because the plans were regularly burned by Native Americans and grazed by bison.

So when my book has moor next to the forest I wonder why the trees don’t take over the moor. I mean I could come up with several plausible reasons, but I’m finding myself distracted form the story by wondering about the ecology.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/180017.html
17 April 2015 @ 07:58 am
I bought my first Worldcon supporting membership a few years ago so that I could nominate for and vote on the Hugo Awards. For years I had been reading blog posts about how disproportionately few women and people of color showed up on awards lists. The writers of these post talked about how the Hugos in particular were given out by a relatively small and not very diverse group of fans. These activists urged people like me to join Worldcon and nominate the works (often by women and people of color) that we loved.

I wasn’t sure that my vote could make a difference and or that it would be worth the money. What finally convinced me to go for it was Renay, of [community profile] ladybusiness writing enthusiastically about her experience voting. She made it sound fun. So I joined LoneStarCon3, and starting thinking about what to nominate. At the time I knew online short fiction existed but I didn’t read much of it. I read several end of the year recommendation lists and was able to find and nominate some stories that I loved. That year only a few things that I nominated were on the final ballot and I don’t believe any of them won. Still I enjoyed reading for nomination and voting and talking about the works so the next year I bought another supporting membership and did it again.

I don’t think my nominations were any more successful last year, but watching the awards ceremony at home on my computer I felt elated. Seeing so many powerful speeches about the value of inclusion made me feel hopeful about the genre and the state of the world.

My participation in the Hugos is political. The personal is political, and what I read and love is very personal. However I want to make clear that no one has ever told me what to vote for. Lots of people have recommend things for me to read, but I’ve only nominated works that I loved and thought were worthy of the award.

Anyways I’m uncomfortable with how some fans are valorizing Worldcon. I’m glad so many people have found it welcoming, but I also hear many stories form people who felt unwelcome at Worldcon and in Fandom in general. Diversity fandom has been saying for a long time that Worldcon and the Hugo Awards could and should be more inclusive. I don’t think we should ignore these problems just because people we disagree with politically are now also saying that they feel excluded.

Yet, I don’t think the problems of inclusion in Worldcon and SFF fandom are unfixable. In fact many of us have been working to fix them. We’ve been encouraging our friends to vote. We have been reading things we loved and telling people about them. In the last year especially there has been an explosion of projects to increase the visibility and discoverabilty of short fiction. I’ve been trying to help in my small way by blogging about short fiction that I liked and recommend.

I’m angry that after diversity fandom has been working for a more inclusive fandom for years and years, white men are attacking the Hugo Awards process because they don’t feel included. Many of us have felt excluded, but we haven’t tried to attack the awards. Yet instead of trying to build communities and create change these people are throwing tantrums and breaking things. I wish they would destroy less and build more. They could do many things to build community instead of breaking what others have built. For example: start their own projects to recognize and review short fiction they think is great; create spaces for the voices they want to see more of; recommend that people vote and tell them about things they should consider voting for; or even make their own award! That’s what diversity fans have been doing.

Still despite the current mess I am grateful to the fans who have reached out to me and encouraged me to participate. Sometimes the process has made me sad or angry, but overall participating in the awards has been a positive experience. I’ve read great things I might not have read otherwise. I’ve talked to new people. So I plan to do it again next year.

Crosspost from: http://forestofglory.dreamwidth.org/179826.html