Back in 2016, editor Melanie Meadors reached out about my interest in being involved in an anthology she had in the works focusing on stories that defy female stereotypes. I gladly signed on, and later that year in the weeks after the election, I turned in my contribution: a pistol shot of an essay titled “Anger is a Friend to Love.” I’m pleased to know that later in 2018 this essay will be released to the world as part of this amazing collection of fiction and non-fiction.
HATH NO FURY, edited by Melanie Meadors and J.M. Martin, features an introduction by Margaret Weis, a foreword by Robin Hobb, and all-new material from Seanan McGuire, Carol Berg, Lian Hearn, Elaine Cunningham, Gail Z. Martin, Nisi Shawl, William C. Dietz, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Elizabeth Vaughan, Dana Cameron, Philippa Ballantine, and many more.
Mother. Warrior. Caregiver. Wife. Lover. Survivor. Trickster. Heroine. Leader. Hath No Fury contains approximately 20 meaningful stories that defy the stereotypes. In this anthology, readers should expect to find super-smart, purpose-driven, ultra-confident heroines. Here, it’s not the hero who does all the action while the heroine smiles and bats her eyelashes; Hath No Fury’s women are champions, not princesses in distress. Embracing the strong warriors to the silent but powerful, to even the timid who muster up the bravery to face down a terrible evil, the women of Hath No Fury will make their indelible marks and leave you breathless for more.
The book comes out in July 23, 2018, and people can pre-order it here.
This is a boost for a new contest organized by friend of the blog Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad of Islam and Science Fiction
The Islam and Science Fiction project has been running since 2005, we just entered our second decade. While the depiction of Muslims in Science Fiction and Islamic cultures has improved we still have a lot way to go, as is the case with many other minority groups. To kickstart things in this genre we have decided to start a contest centered around Science Fiction with Muslim characters or Islamic cultures (Islam in the cultural sense and not necessarily in the religious sense). We are pleased to announce the Islamicate Science Fiction short story writing contest. The contest is open from today (April 8, 2016) to the beginning of Ramadan/Ramzan/Ramjan (June 8, 2016). The winner will be announced on the day of Eid – July 6, 2016. If you already have a story then be sure to submit it soon, if not then start typing.
Islamicate refers to the cultural output of predominantly Islamic culture or polity. Thus while the culture has its foundation and inspiration from the religion of Islam, it need not be produced by someone who is Muslim. The term Islamicate is thus similar to the term West as it encompasses a whole range of cultures, ethnicities and schools of thought with shared historical experience. The contest is open to all people regardless of their religious affiliation or lack there of. Thus a person of any religion, nationality, ethnicity race, gender, sexual orientation can submit. A collection of the best stories from the submissions will be released as an epub and available to download for free.
The following prizes will be awarded:
First Prize: $100
Second Prize: $75
Third Prize: $50
- The stories must be either set in a predominantly Muslim culture AND/OR have Muslim protagonist(s).
- Short stories in almost any variant of Science Fiction (space opera, time-travel, apocalyptic, reimaging classic themes, techno-thrillers, bio-punk, science mystery, alternate history, steampunk, utopian, dystopian etc) is encouraged.
- No reprints: No simultaneous submissions: No multiple submissions.
- Submission are limited to one per person.
- Since we are talking about short stories, any story with less than 8,000 words will be accepted.
How to submit: Please submit your short story to email@example.com with the subject line Short Story Contest
- Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad: Founder and editor of Islam and Science Fiction, Senior Data Scientist at Groupon.
- Ahmed Naumaan: Dean of College of Engineering, DeVry University.
- Noura Al-Nouman: Science Fiction author from the Gulf.
- Muhammad Handara Hankins: Science Fiction Critic.
- Rebecca Hankins: Associate Professor, Archivist/Librarian, Texas A&M University.
If you have questions about the contest then you can either leave your questions as comments to this thread or email me firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to spread and the word far and wide, we are looking forward to your submissions!
Islam and Science Fiction has been a resource in the SFF community for 10 years, and it’s with great pleasure that I got in touch with its founding editor, Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad. Since 2005, Islam and Science Fiction‘s goal has been to gather depictions of Islam and Islamic themes in science fiction and spotlight science fiction written by Muslims. Muhammad has even co-edited an anthology about the topic, A Mosque Among the Stars,with Ahmed A. Khan. In our interview we talk about the state of Islam in sci-fi, its global reach in speculative fiction, and much more.
“We need to talk about diversity,” has been the conversation starter in SF/F as of late. But the best fiction, as the saying goes, shows, not tells. The anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older, reveals representation as more than a tally-count concerning diversity, and highlights how the act of reading across difference can be an intensely immersive experience.
Reading Long Hidden very much felt like sitting in on late-night conversations in a room full of strangers, darting from one conversation to the next. I might not immediately recognize the context of one tale or another, nor did I feel pressure or ridicule for not knowing something beforehand. What was important was recognizing the generosity and trust in which these stories were being told, and letting the conversation flow.
I’ve had the pleasure of conducting such a conversation with Rose and Daniel after my read. We discuss their challenges and joys during the editing process, the logistics of outreach and crowd-funding, and the impact of marginalized voices in the future of speculative fiction.
[Read our interview here.]
Link to Killer of Enemies on Lee and Low’s website.
Nowadays, I read so many steampunk-labeled books that very few retain the innovation factor for me. It’s fine to see tropes that establishes the aesthetic as a subgenre, but it takes a lot to make a steampunk book read fresh to me.
Then, comes along Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac: a book that’a steampunk by way of Mad Max rather than gaslamp London. Killer of Enemies is not just a gulp of fresh air, but a hyperventilating-inducing adrenaline rush. Oh, and did I mention that this young adult book was initially pitched to me as “post-apoc Apache steampunk?” Yeah, let that catchphrase sink in a bit.
[Shoot first, ask questions later. Mild spoilers ahead.]
In the hubbub of the past week, I completely forgot to mention my participation in Journal of Victorian Culture Online‘s Neo-Victorian Studies & Digital Humanities Week 2013. Check out an excerpt below, and follow the jump to read this academic article online.
Thanks to Prof. Lisa Hager and the editorial board of the JVCO for giving me this opportunity.
Steampunk studies is an outlier in Victorian scholarship. In fact, steampunk subculture can arguably be called “neo-Victorian” or even “non-Victorian” in the way that it defies strict adherence to a certain periodization or topic relevance. Steampunk is an aesthetic movement inspired by nineteenth-century science fiction and fantasy. Over the years, however, that umbrella phrase has expanded to include speculation outside of an established time-frame (such as post-apocalyptic or futuristic), outside of the established geography of the Western world, and even outside of history (as with alternate history and secondary fantasy worlds). How can we, then, describe the relationship between steampunk academic work and Victorian studies?
[Read “Steampunk, Technological Time & Beyond Victoriana: Advocacy and the Archive” on the Journal of Victorian Culture Online]
The Steampunk World Anthology is a planned collection of steampunk short stories set in places outside of Europe. Edited by Sarah Hans, this anthology will feature veteran and up-and-coming writers from the science fiction community, including Nisi Shawl, Maurice Broaddus, Alex Bledsoe, and Leanna Renee Hieber, plus many more to be announced. I’ve been asked to write the introduction and James Ng will be doing the cover art. This anthology will be funded primarily by Kickstarter that will be launched in October.
Besides the planned line-up, the gorgeous cover art, and yeah, multicultural steampunk being a thing, y’know what’s also exciting about this anthology? Hans strongly encourages to have writers of color involved as much as possible.
She’s looking for more writers to submit before the Kickstarter launches. According to her blog, she writes:
One problem I’m having is a dearth of stories by writers of color. I’ve invited some more writers of color in the hopes of achieving a better balance, but I could use some more. If you are (or know) a writer of color who might be appropriate for this project, please forward your (or their) name and email address to me at steampunkworldantho(at)gmail(dot)com.
The anthology pays pro rates of $.05/word for original work. I’m especially interested in stories that take place in Africa, the Caribbean, Russia, the far North (think Sweden), the Americas (i.e. Native American tribes), and Australia. I have a lot of stories set in Asia, so a story in Asia will be a tough sell. You’re still welcome to try if you think you have something really stellar.
So please signal-boost and submit! We can make this happen!
Haven’t done one of these in awhile, but here are some pertinent links for sci-fi & steampunk-related events and causes…
First of all, this month in the US is African/African-American History Month. Beyond Victoriana has done features relating to this event in the past (check out our stuff on Black Victoriana in 2010 and African/African-American Heritage series in 2011) and this year I want to spotlight a venture by Alicia McCalla: The State of Black Sci-Fi 2012 blog carnival. She along with several other writers talk about where they see black sci-fi right now and where it is going. There’s a lot of food for thought on all of the contributors sites; so please check them out at the link. Plus, a shout-out to Valjeanne Jeffers’ post on why she loves steampunk and Balogun, the author of the steampunk/alt- hist book Moses: the Chronicles of Harriet Tubman, wrote about why he hearts steam too.
The annual Con or Bust Fundraiser is now open! Started by fans from the feminist convention WisCon to help raise money for people to color to attend SFF conventions, Con or Bust has raised thousands of dollars in support of a more diverse fandom since it started in 2009. You can read more about their history and go ahead and bid on some awesome stuff!
Did you know that Steampunk Magazine #8 has just come out? Well, if you don’t have a copy in your hands right this second, you can buy one or download the issue from their website.
A bit old, but the book Postcolonialism and Science Fiction is coming out, and i09 posted an excerpt from the introduction. I’m intrigued.
Emilie P. Bush, friend of the blog, has a children’s book coming out on Feb 28th: Her Majesty’s Explorer. The illustrations are adorable, and you can see them in the book trailer below.
Did you know that my intellectual comrade-in-arms Jaymee Goh is hosting a monthly series of interviews with people of color in steampunk? Already, she’s interviewed Native steampunk Monique Poirier, Maisarah Abu Samah, editor of the Singaporean steampunk anthology Steampowered, and author Stephanie Lai.
Speaking of interviews, I recently did one with Decimononic about steampunk jewelry. At first, I was honestly puzzled why they’d request me, but Jose and Irene are both jewelers from Spain who are running a series of interviews that explores the various ideas associated with steampunk and art. So I end up talking a lot about the historical formation of subculture, cultural appropriation, and my love of Russian things. Check it out here.
So, if you’re here then you probably like steampunk, but you’re also probably just a little tired of seeing the same old English professor or American cowboy riding his clockwork horse to save western civilization. Me too. And after following the Racefail discussions back in 2009, I set out to create a steampunk series that would be different in every way I could imagine.
I started with research. Lots of it. I learned everything I could about the history and cultures of North Africa and the rest of the Mediterranean to create a time and place for my series that was original and fantastical, and yet thoroughly grounded in reality. Instead of drawing new maps, I looked at ancient maps. Instead of inventing emperors and wars and nations, I discovered the real ones from history (although none of them had appeared in my high school classes, disappointingly). And I carefully knitted them all together as the backdrop for my stories.
Here’s what I came up with.
The Engine was created by “W. Grove” and appeared in A Mexican Mystery (1888) and The Wreck of a World (1889). Nothing is known about “W. Grove” apart from his British citizenship. Both novels are moderately entertaining, and are early examples of the Revolt Of The Machines subgenre of science fiction.
A Mexican Mystery is the diary of John Brown, a Scottish locomotive engineer who is sent to Mexico to oversee the construction of a new railway line for the “new Emperor” (implicitly the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph). Brown is sent to the small town of Xiqipu, which will be the location of his headquarters during the project. It is in Xiqipu that he meets Pedro da Luz, the local engineer for the project. Da Luz is a descendant of Montezuma and is independently wealthy, and although proud still welcomes Brown to the project. Brown, for his part, sees that da Luz is close to brilliant and respects his intelligence. Brown goes off to the front of the line, which is high in the mountains, to oversee its construction. Da Luz, meanwhile, stays in Xiqipu and works on his special creation. The Emperor is holding a contest for the best new locomotive, and da Luz intends to win the contest.