562 Notes

My point was that in a country that has become so extraordinarily diverse, we still imagine a white writer as the universal writer – and that absurdity is becoming almost unsustainable. I visit high schools all the time. When I look at the kids that are coming up, they look nothing like the writers that we’re all running around calling the voice of this country. Despite what we would like to think, the lag time between what a culture recognizes as its country and what the country is, my brother, is quite extraordinary. Outside of a few strains, I feel like the literary apparatus still thinks of this country very much in the 1950s.

45 Notes

Speculative Fiction 2014: Announcement and Call for Submissions!



Speculative Fiction: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary is an anthology that celebrates online science fiction and fantasy non-fiction and its influence on the community. Each year, a collection of the anthology will be curated by…

33 Notes

THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOT is varied and finely crafted




On his More Red Ink blog, editor Marty Halpern writes about his current assignment, The Very Best of Kate Elliott.

The beauty of any “best of” collection is that it allows the reader to experience the full expanse of the author’s writing and story telling. And, if the collection is indeed worth its (literal) weight, then the book will hopefully have some small treasure, a story unfamiliar to the reader, even if the reader is one of the author’s biggest fans. That was true of The Very Best of Tad Williams (see my November 13, 2013 blog post); and it holds true on my most recent project, The Very Best of Kate Elliott, both from Tachyon Publications.

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This is a lovely post whose kind words I much appreciate, but I’m actually re-blogging this because I cannot get over how unbelievably fabulous this piece by Julie Dillon is — no matter how many times I see it and even though it is my wall paper on my desktop AND I have a framed print of it hanging in my house AS WELL (you can get a framed print also at Julie’s INPRNT store), it just blows me away the way she uses color, light, and the flow of line to spectacular effect.

2 Notes

This is Lexie Madison’s story, not mine. I’d love to tell you one without getting into the other, but it doesn’t work that way. I used to think I sewed us together at the edges with my own hands, pulled the stitches tight and I could unpick them any time I wanted. Now I think it always ran deeper than that and farther, underground; out of sight and way beyond my control.

This much is mine, though: everything I did. Frank puts it all down to the others, mainly to Daniel, while as far as I can tell Sam thinks that, in some obscure and slightly bizarro way, it was Lexie’s fault. When I say it wasn’t like that, they give me careful sideways looks and change the subject — I get the feeling Frank thinks I have some creepy variant of Stockholm syndrome. That does happen to undercovers sometimes, but not this time. I’m not trying to protect anyone; there’s no one left to protect. Lexie and the others will never know they’re taking the blame and wouldn’t care if they did. But give me more credit than that. Someone else may have dealt the hand, but I picked it up off the table, I played every card, and I had my reasons.

The Likeness by Tana French. SO awesome (and reviewed here).

5627 Notes


Medievalpoc: Fiction Week!

Back by popular demand, starting this Monday (June 30), Medievalpoc will be showcasing works of Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction and much, much more. Book reviews, thematic essays, discussions about representation in these genres, and resources for writers will all be included.

Previous Fiction Week Posts

Submit your favorite works of fiction here! Your original works of fiction are welcome, as well as links to stories hosted online, book reviews, thematic essays, or your favorite book covers featuring characters of color.

5 Notes

At one point when reading Barricade it struck me how there were only but a few women present in this narrative. The three main characters (two men, one woman) travel around Britain for weeks and they meet dozens of people and barely any of those are female. This world seems to be populated mostly by “he” (soldiers, survivors, fighters, scientists, workers, heroes and anti-heroes ) with the occasional “she” (pleasure “bots”, incompetent supervisors, victims, a kindly old woman, a dead wife and one rapist) thrown in for good measure.

Where are all the women in this world, I asked myself, how can you imagine a whole future and not imagine women in it?

Ana read Barricade by Jon Wallace and the book is pretty awful. 

10 Notes

Awesome cover is awesome. Go here to learn more about this upcoming YA novel (and to enter the giveaway)  

Awesome cover is awesome. Go here to learn more about this upcoming YA novel (and to enter the giveaway)  

621 Notes


Dinosaur propaganda 


Dinosaur propaganda 

35 Notes

Too often, using dialects or foreign languages in fiction is demeaned as a trick. Often, the implication is that those words are optional and that the writer can simply remove them or water them down without doing harm to the story. That view gives short shrift to the experience of anyone who understands the dialect or foreign language in question.

What’s actually happening when a story spans multiple dialects is much more interesting. To explain, at least by way of a parallel, I’m going to talk about the history behind the orchestration of The Carousel Waltz from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Carousel:

In American musical theater, the composers rarely orchestrate their own scores. Even those composers who have the skill rarely have the time while they are writing a show. More often than not, they hire orchestrators to turn their score into something that instrumentalists in a pit can play.

The great Robert Russell Bennett was originally supposed to orchestrate the whole of Carousel. He orchestrated parts of the score, including the 8-minute long Carousel Waltz that opens the show, before dropping out due to prior commitments. Don Walker took over. He did the much of the remaining work himself as well as farming out pieces of the score to other orchestrators. Carousel has a lot of music.

Months after the show opened on Broadway, Richard Rodgers asked Don Walker to reorchestrate the parts of the score that Robert Russell Bennett had originally orchestrated, including the Carousel Waltz. Walker would eventually replace most, but not all, of Bennett’s work with his own. Some of Bennett’s work still remains in Carousel but not his orchestrations for the Carousel Waltz (which is now lost).

The new theatrical orchestration of the Carousel Waltz obviously had to match Carousel‘s existing pit instrumentation, but Rodgers also needed an orchestration suitable for an upcoming concert performance. Rodgers did not want Walker to write two different orchestrations. Rodgers wanted one orchestration which incorporated a set of additional instruments. Without those instruments, the instrumentation matched that of the Carousel pit. With those instruments, the instrumentation matched that of a concert orchestra.

The result had to be an orchestration that sounded complete and satisfying either way. Those additional instruments had to sound integral to the waltz when they were used. The waltz couldn’t sound like it’s missing something when they weren’t used.

Don Walker is quoted as saying, “This was the hardest thing I ever had to do.”

Now, this is just a parallel, not an analogy. Whereas listeners might reasonably experience that orchestration both ways, readers either understand a foreign language or they don’t. However, like how the orchestration of the Carousel Waltz must be compelling in either instrumentation, a story that makes use of dialect or foreign language must be compelling either way. Non-fluent readers must never feel as though something is missing but fluent readers must never feel as though anything is extraneous.

The text tells two different, albeit related, stories. They both have to work for their respective audiences.

8968 Notes


Magnificent 19th-Century Library Shelves 350,000 Books

Feast your eyes on the elegant grandeur of the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura (known in English as the Royal Portuguese Reading Room or the Royal Cabinet), a 19th-century library in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Constructed from 1880 to 1887 under the direction of architect Rafael da Silva e Castro, the magnificent library has the distinction of holding the largest and most valuable collection of Portuguese works outside of Portugal, with over 350,000 volumes filling its countless bookshelves.

This was right next door from my university and I spent many days there researching and working. <3