Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Nomination Worthy 2018

We're coming back round to the time when nominations for a variety of awards opening up. The Nebulas are already open, the SJVs will be around soon, the Tiptrees have reading recs all year long, and we'll roll on into the Locus, Hugos, WFAs...phew. It can be tough keeping up with them all every year.

2018 is a year I feel I have done some incredibly worthy work. I am very proud of the story I had appear in April's Clarkesworld, "Logistics". Trans person searching for tampons in the apocalypse ftw!

My first Cinrak the Dapper, Lesbian Capybara Pirate story was in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the second will be in "Scourge of the Seas Of Time( and Space)".

My Freddie Mercury tribute story was published in Glittership (now also available in Glittership Year Two anthology form!).

There were also stories published in Giganotosaurus,  "Battling In All Her Finery", and Three-Lobed Burning Eye.

If you thought any of my stories from this year you're more than welcome - nay encouraged! - to nominate them for your favourite award.

Nga mihi nui.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Gnus: WORD Christchurch, two anthos, and a narration walk into a blogpost

Me, with green hair, crewing the signing table
with Dame Anne Salmond at work.
Photo Credit: Official Word Photographer

  • The Word Christchurch Writers And Readers Festival weekend was an absolute delight! I spent a hectic three and a half days sharing my time between performance, volunteering, attending, and hanging out with some awesome people. And got to sleep in my own bed every night! There was a fantastic buzz around the whole event, people saying it was the best yet. Rachel King, special program director Tusiata Avia, and all the Word team put together a fabulous event that I enjoyed every minute of.

    My small part in the plot was reading at the New Regent Street Pop Up Festival on the Thursday night with Ted Chiang, Karen Healey, and surprise guest Juno Dawson. I read two segments from my Clarkesworld story "Logistics". Our three sets were recorded for podcast by Plains FM and are available to listen on download now. Thanks to Ted, Karen, and Juno, and to everyone who came along to listen. Moata Tamaira also did a neat write up here for the Christchurch City Libraries blog.

    I spent the majority of Friday volunteering at The Piano, which I would do again in a heartbeat. Everyone, volunteers and attendees, were in such good spirits. I got a bit of an education in artist communication just being able to quietly watch authors at work on the signing table.
  • "Battling In All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders" from Mad Scientist Journal will be released on October 16, is now available for pre-order. It includes my story "There Is Only The War". You can see the cover and ToC at the link.

    I also did an interview with MSJ, which you can read at this link.
  • "Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space)" from Queen of Swords Press is coming in December, and includes my Cinrak the Dapper story "Search For The Heart of the Ocean". You can see the cover and ToC at the link.
  • A narration by me is up in the latest issue of Glittership. I read Megan Arkenberg's "The City of Kites and Crows".

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Word Christchurch: Science Fiction, Triple Feature, Thursday August 30th

I'm gonna be speaking some of my words at Word Christchurch!

The New Regent Street Pop Up Festival is happening once more, and this year I'm hosting Science Fiction, Triple Feature at Rollickin' Gelato on New Regent Street, Christchurch, Thursday August 30th.

I'll be in the same room as Ted Chiang (!) and my Writers Lounge Lizard friend Karen Healey as we read from our work in three sets from 6pm. It's the perfect place to grab a dessert and enjoy modern speculative fiction.

And hey, ENORMOUS WILL SMITH DOT JPEG gesture at Ted Chiang. Author of "Story of Your Life" which became the movie "Arrival". The man is a modern master, you can't get better than his work. And I'll be on the same podium as him. GET OUT OF HERE.

And my pal Karen Healey is that hard working NZ YA author of "Guardian of the Dead", "When We Wake", and "While We Run". You'll find her everywhere on Word weekend, including interviewing Ted Chiang, Juno Dawson, and part of The Nerd Degree.

For more info on the Word Christchurch New Regent Street Pop Up Festival, here's the Word programme link, and here's the Facebook event link.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

News Update

It's been a while since I've checked in, so here's what's going on in Pickled land lately.

  • I've sold "There Is Only The War" to Battling In All Her Finery: Historical Accounts Of Otherworldly Women Leaders from Mad Scientists Journal. The anthology will be released later this year, with ToC to come.
  • I've sold "Search For The Heart Of The Ocean" to Scourge of the Seas of Time (And Space) from Queen of Swords Press. ToC available here. This is another Cinrak the Dapper, Lesbian Capybara Pirate story. Will be out in December.
  • Pacific Monsters has been short listed for Best Anthology in the British Fantasy Awards. The anthology from Fox Spirit Books includes my story "From The Womb of the Land, Our Bones Entwined". 
  • The Word Christchurch festival is coming up at the end of August. I'll be hosting and reading at the free speculative fiction pop up reading in New Regent Street on Thursday August 30th. Come grab a drink and listen to some locals get all sfnal.
Tired Reading Kitty is Tired

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Talking About "Logistics"

"Logistics" from Clarkesworld Issue 139 has been out in the world six weeks now, and it's been exciting watching the chatter around it. I'd hoped to make an impact because sanitary products is not a theme usually explored in speculative fiction. Here's to more stories about reproductive justice!

Tiffani Angus, the academic whose lecture at Worldcon was part inspiration for the story, interviewed me and was kind enough to let me ramble on about reproductive justice in fiction, toilets on spaceships, and social justice in the sff community in general. You can read the interview over at her blog: "Interview with activist and author AJ Fitzwater"

Charles Payseur has been doing thoughtful and kind reviews of my work this year, and "Logistics" has warranted mention three times in his various review capacities! His Quick Sip review, a shout out in his Patreon (support!) post about queer stories, and in The Book Smugglers (!) X Marks the Spot for May. Honoured and humbled.

At their blog, Brigid Keeley has done a long, thoughtful analysis. Thank you so much.

And Maria Haskins takes a look in 9 Extra Stellar Short Stories I Read in April at her blog.



Thursday, April 5, 2018

Clarkesworld, Issue 139, April 2018


[Image: Will Smith, a black man with short hair in a black suit, gesturing towards the Clarkesworld April issue cover of a small spaceship moving towards a fantasy city made of bulbous, eye-like protrusions. The cover has my name on it]

Friday, March 23, 2018

Something Something March Update

This year feels like there's positive steady momentum. Probably a mix of a steady uptick in published stories, a change to my writing approach, and lots of positive feedback.

Writer's and Readers 2018 went awesome. My session with Charlie Jane Anders was a great discussion on the themes of disability and diversity in her work, Ursula K LeGuin's legacy, climate change, and the future of queer speculative literature. Charlie Jane and I had a great chemistry, and I'm so proud of the conversation we delivered. Live Artist Tara Black drew a cartoon of our event, and Elizabeth Heritage wrote the review to go with it at the Booksellers blog. Thanks Charlie Jane - I really loved hanging out with you! May we meet up again sometime in the future. The NZ Festival team were very supportive for a small time writer like me, and I really appreciate the opportunity to try out my festival chops at such a big time event. Thanks to Mark Cubey who was full of energy and support, and to Rachael King (yo, Word Christchurch 2018 is gonna be awesome!) for putting my name out there.

Reviews have been happening of my most recent work. Big shout out to Charles Payseur and his Quick Sip Reviews. He's reviewed three of my most recent works:"Through the Eye of the Needle" and "Granny Death", as well as "From the Womb of the Land..." at Book Smugglers new X Marks the Story short fiction review blog. Charles gives such incisive and thoughtful critiques, and does great work filling the niche of short sff fiction reviewing. Jason Sanford also had nice things to say about "Granny Death".

My Big Deal of the year is only a few days away, with "Logistics" going live at Clarkesworld in their April issue. I am incredibly excited to share this story with the world (I think it's my best to date), as well as be featured on a platform like Clarkesworld. What happens when you need tampons and gender confirmation surgery after the apocalypse? Follow Enfys through post-phage Europe to find out...

The SJVs are this coming Easter weekend as well, and I'm short listed in the Short Story Category for "From the Womb of the Land...". So if you're a SFFANZ member or going to Conclave, don't forget to vote.

And to wrap up, a bow tie cat pic:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February Stuff: Giganotosaurus and Glittership and NZ Festival Oh My

Things are happening at A Rate this month, my bow tie is spinning.

First up: I will be interviewing Charlie Jane Anders (!!!) at New Zealand Festival Readers and Writers Week. "Beautiful Fantasy" is Saturday, March 10 at the Festival Club. I'm stunned and delighted to be asked by the Festival to undertake this task. Nervous as all get out, this is a Big Deal for me. And, hehe, I'm described as a "speculative practitioner". That's going into my bio from now on.

Second up: "Through the Eye of the Needle" went live at Giganotosaurus on February 1. Enormous dragon Kitahniaa is trapped in a magical prison by the mysterious Mistress who uses female (and in the case of Kitahniaa, non-male) practitioners of magic to her own evil ends. There Kitahniaa meets Riena, who can do amazing things with needle and thread. Do they trust each other, or is it simply another trick to strip the once great dragon of what remains of their dignity?

Third up: "Granny Death and the Drag King of London", my Freddie Mercury tribute story, is live at Glittership! I also did the narration for this, and it was so much fun finding the voices of the characters. I'm all a-fluff this story found a home at Glittership. Set in the days after dear Freddie's death, and imbued in the panic of the AIDS crisis, drag king Lacey deals with rejection, trauma, and death badly. Is she too so close to death she's seeing some weird demon lady crashing funeral buffet tables?

2018, you're doing A Thing. Yeek.

Freddie Mercury, Live at Wembley, 1986.

Monday, January 29, 2018

I Did It

Forty rejections and eight years later, I've sold a story to Clarkesworld.

It's a strange combination of can't even excitement and being able to breathe again.

I've had Clarkesworld on my Must Do list since the beginning, because they're one of my favourite magazines to read, and I respect the vision Neil Clarke has for the work he publishes.

It's a big hill to climb, which might make it easier to climb the next and the next...(one down, four other Must Do venues to go).

The story is called "Logistics", and is about Enfys, a non-binary person, searching for sanitary products in a post antibiotic resistant apocalyptic European wasteland. It's like "Even the Queen" and Joanna Russ on steroids. There's a lot of discussion about necessary bodily functions and how to cope when you can't just pop down to the supermarket for tampons.

It's partly inspired by a lecture I attended at Worldcon by Tiffani Angus of Anglia Ruskin University, talking about the deficit of femme health issues covered in speculative fiction. People still get their period and carry pregnancies during difficult times, trans people will still need medication and care, so what does that look like in the future or in an apocalyptic world where sanitation, health care, and access to medical needs has changed or is perhaps non-existent?

The story is so far set to be published in the May issue of Clarkesworld.

"Logistics" is not the only publication coming out soon. My base of stories soon to be published has crept up on me because I don't blog as often, but this year is starting to look good. "Through the Eye of the Needle" will be up at Giganotosaurus on February 1st (three days!). I've also got stories pending at Beneath Ceaseless Skies ("The Wild Ride of the Untamed Stars"), Glittership ("Granny Death and the Drag King of London"), and Three-Lobed Burning Eye ("Fault Lines").

A good start to the year, eh.

Happy Cat sez "Hey 2018, how you doin'?"