Right – I made it through Continuum, and it’s time to bring back my regularly scheduled blog posts. I have a lot to talk about, but some pretty important life changes came up during the lead-up to Continuum that I didn’t have time to write about at the time, so for context I want to start with a basic round-up of Where I’m At Now.
As thrilled as I am to have Ellie and Benji’s story published, there’s one aspect of the situation that’s been making me sad: I could only find physical copies of Luna Station Quarterly, the all-female (and female-inclined) magazine that published Two Monsters Down in the Dark, for sale through Amazon.
I generally go out of my way to avoid Amazon and their horrifying treatment of their workers, not to mention the tax avoidance, monopolisation of book sales (and, increasingly, everything-else sales), and poor treatment of customers who foolishly thought they actually owned the books they had bought.
So the news I have to share today absolutely delights me.
The lovely Steph over at Bookish Universe has agreed sell Luna Station Quarterly issue 37 (a.k.a. the one with Two Monsters in it) at Continuum SF Convention in Melbourne – and through the Bookish Universe online store!
Pre-orders are your friend – and your bookseller’s friend too
If you want to pick the book up at Continuum next month, I strongly urge you to visit the website and pre-order it online in the coming week. It’s risky for a small bookseller to stock a relatively unknown publication, and the more people they know want a copy, the more copies they can safely order in for the convention.
Over on Bookish Universe, you can buy a copy today for pick-up at Continuum (just select the “pick up” option at checkout). Or if you’re a bit strapped for cash right now, you can email Bookish Universe to register your interest in buying a copy next month at the con.
Either way, please let them know by next Sunday (26th May), so they have time to order it in before the convention.
Alternatively, if you’re not going to be at Continuum, you can just buy a copy online the old-fashioned way* and they’ll deliver it to you anywhere in the world.
*Good grief, did I really unironically type that?
And if you’re reading this in Australia today, hang in there.
Further to my last post on the subject of invisible tapirs, I had a fascinating conversation this week with a couple of allosexual friends who are always happy to talk tapirs with me. The subject: aesthetic attraction.
CW: brief discussion of sexual assault (under the text break)
One of the commonest questions I get around asexuality is, But what does it feel like?
What does it feel like to be asexual? What does it feel like to not experience sexual attraction to anyone at all?
Imagine living in a world where almost everyone hallucinates tapirs. Most of the time, this mass delusion doesn’t cause any problems – people know the tapirs aren’t really there and can usually just enjoy or ignore their visions without it causing problems, apart from the odd embarrassing mishap. So to an outside observer, everyone’s walking around day-to-day just as if they weren’t seeing phantom ungulates around them – only everyone knows that everyone else sees them too, right?
Now imagine you’re one of the 1% of people in that world who doesn’t see tapirs. In fact, you don’t even know what a tapir looks like.
You know there’s something other people experience that you don’t, but you have no real idea of what it is. The best you can do is make guesses based on the way people around you talk and act around the subject of tapirs – and tapirs just aren’t talked about all that much.
In fact, the subject of tapirs comes up so rarely that it’s easy to forget everyone else is seeing something you aren’t.
*cough* You may have noticed there was no blog post last week. There almost wasn’t one this week either, because when I’ve “failed” at something (and so often it’s something like this, a self-imposed goal – weekly updates – that’s being judged by no one but myself) the hardest thing in the world is to return to it.
Maybe if you just never start writing again, no one will notice you’ve stopped, whisper the weasels.
There’s an old joke-cum-truism about being a writer: the fear of a blank page.
I’m well familiar with that phenomenon – I’ve even written about it before.
What I haven’t admitted before, though, is that for me the struggle to put words down doesn’t end when the page is no longer blank. And lately I’ve begun to think that that struggle might be due not to anxiety, but to another species of brain weasel altogether.
I’m aware my recent posts have displayed a certain, um… patchiness. Part of that has been down to the simple fact that the last few weeks have been a frenzy of looking for, applying for, and then abruptly moving everything we own into, a new home. Ah, rental life.
The other big part of my recent distraction has been the ramping up of preparations for Continuum Speculative Fiction Convention in June.
If you don’t know what Continuum is, read on. But if you’re already familiar with Melbourne’s own spec fic convention, I have an even more important message for you.
Following on from last week, this is part 2/2 of my explainer on the major speculative fiction awards that are relevant to Australian SF authors like yours truly.
It turns out that while I was researching and writing up my big awards explainer post last week, Mother of Invention editor (and excellent writer in her own right) Rivqa Rafael was writing her own post listing all the awards MoI is currently eligible for. This led me to the double realisation that a) burying my own eligibility in the middle of my big explainer post was probably counter-productive and b) there’s a whole ‘nother award I didn’t even know about that I should have included.
I still have a lot to learn about this “writer” gig…
So! To I’m going to do a write-up shortly of the Locus Award, and make a second post this week covering that and the Hugos (expanded and split out from last week’s post to prevent it getting just too unwieldy). And in the meantime, separated out from the original post and now with added Locus, here is my list of eligible works for the 2019 awards:
‘Two Monsters’ started out as a technical challenge, but turned into a passion project. I fell in love with the character of Ellie, even as I struggled over many months to get her voice and her story right. It makes me so deeply happy to finally see her and Benji find a home.
You can read ‘Two Monsters’ for free online for the next week only (as well as eleven other SF stories from women and other authors on the femalish end of the spectrum; I’ve already fallen in love with K. Noel Moore’s ‘A Song for Hardy Connelly’ and can’t wait to read the rest). After that you’ll have to pay for a digital or print edition if you want to read it, so don’t dally!