Monday, May 30, 2016

How to Spot a GoH in the Wild

[David Attenborough Voice] Here we see the usually solitary Writerus Specficitus preparing to enter the social environment of the year, a ritual called the Au Contraire natcon over Queen's Birthday Weekend in Wellington, interacting with their peers in an intricate dance which involves much hooting, wallering, and imbibing of libations.

This particular example of Writerus, a member of the Feministus Honourabalius, is preparing an even more advanced performance of hollering, and their official schedule will be enacted thus:

  • Saturday 10am, panel: Gender Diversity and Sexuality in Science Fiction and Fantasy:
    Gwendoline Nelson (convenor), Andi Buchanan, Catherine Lundoff, AJ Fitzwater, Celine Murray, Cas Wanden
  • Sunday 9am, panel: Live from Au Contraire 3, Podcasting and Narration
    Peter King, Dan Rabarts, Michael Parry, AJ Fitzwater
  • Sunday 10am, panel: All the Punks
    Dan Rabarts (convenor), Darusha Wehm, Gerry Huntman, AJ Fitzwater
  • Sunday 1pm: Guest of Honour Speech
  • Sunday 2pm: At the Edge Book Launch
    Dan Rabarts, Lee Murray, Marie Hodgkinson. With Paul Mannering and AJ Fitzwater
  • Sunday 8pm: Sir Julius Vogel Awards ceremony
From previous observations of  Writerus in the wild, strangers are advised to approach said species Honourabalius with an open mind and the convention policy at heart. If said Honourabalius cannot be found in any of the mentioned environments, check the hotel bar as this is often a favourite place to retire to for casual hooting.

As always, please do not poke Honourabalius with a sharp stick, they have been known to bite, especially upon waking or if they haven't eaten in quite some time.

Sharpen up your hooting skills, and wade into what is sure to be a grand time amongst Writerus Specficitus this weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Story Release: "Atlas" is out there in the world

Cover art for Shimmer Magazine
Issue 31 May 2016, of two muscular
women engaged in combat
There are moments. A terrible event. The right inspiration. The right encouragement. The perfect story.

"An Atlas in Sgraffito Style" was born from earthquakes and Clarion. After many drafts (6? 8? I've lost count now), and no small amount of blood, sweat, and tears, it found a home at Shimmer Magazine. I wanted to use beautiful language to describe tragedy, the colour and life, and the forgotten people who rose up from the dust to take back what remained of their world, even when it was being eaten bit by bit by the darkness. Yeah, there are a lot of metaphors for the politics, street art, and class war that came out of the earthquakes.

I am such a sucker for great titles (a little bit of Tiptree in me I suppose), and when I came across the concept of sgraffito while researching street art, I knew I HAD to work that word and concept into the story. Sgraffito is a technique mostly used in plaster or ceramic work, building up layers then scratching through the top layer to reveal colour and/or texture beneath. This is the perfect metaphor for the story and Christchurch: a city scratching through the rubble to bring something beautiful up out of the destruction.

This is the best story I've written so far, and I'd really love to see it go a long way. It had the privilege of being beta'd by Catherynne M. Valente, one of my literary heroes, and it definitely flourished under her careful eye. My Clarion class also gave it the tough fisk it required. Thank you so much to Shimmer badgers Elise Tobler and Beth Wodinski for believing in my story and finding a place for it in their magazine.

Shimmer Magazine Issue 31 for May 2016 is now available, including stories from Arkady Martine, Bentley A. Reese, Rich Larson, and Rachel Acks. Each of the stories will be released online during May and June, with Martine's "All the Colours You Thought Were Kings" available now. "Atlas" will be available online from June 14. If you can't wait until then to read it and all the other fabulous stories, the magazine is available in e-formats for just $US2.99.