5 July 2016

Readercon! Uncanny Magazine! And I am teaching an online course!

Hello! I hope your spring and early summer have been excellent. I went to Writefest in Houston, Texas and the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) in Orlando, Florida before settling in for a few months of working hard at home.

Right now today, Uncanny Magazine Issue Eleven is out, and I am super excited about the poems and the reprint story in this issue. There are two excellent poems by Jessica P. Wick and Ali Trotta examining witches from different perspectives. They're very different, and yet in a way, I like to think of them as in dialogue with each other. The third poem in this issue is by the excellent Bryan Thao Worra and is lovely as well. The reprint for this issue is one of my very favorite stories: "Travels with the Snow Queen" by Kelly Link! I love the way this takes on familiar fairy tales and upends their narratives to give the women in them more agency and supportive friendships. Hurray!

Readercon is THIS WEEKEND!!! What!?!? How did that sneak up on me so fast? I'm on four panels, and if you happen to catch any of them, please do say hello!

Thursday July 07--8:00 PM BH Bees!
Max Gladstone, Natalie Luhrs, Julia Rios (moderator), T.X. Watson.
From the serious scientific question of colony collapse disorder, through the also-serious metaphoric House of Evil Bees of Captain Awkward, to Chuck Wendig's ridiculous #facebees, bees seem to proliferate among the interests of our genre community. Why? Are we in it for the honey or the sting, or is it the combination that attracts us?

Friday July 08--1:00 PM BH Seriously, Enough: Tropes in YA We'd Love to See the Last Of
Lena Coakley, Maria Dahvana Headley, Nicole Kornher-Stace (leader), Julia Rios.
YA tropes (obligatory romance! love triangle! high school drama!) are pervasive and limiting. We seem to feel that books marketed to all other age groups such as preschool picture books, early chapter books, MG, and adult can be about anything, but that YA readers' imaginations are assumed to be so narrow that if those tropes aren't hit upon in the text, teens will find nothing in the book to relate to. How did this came about and why does it persist? It is an insult to the imaginative capabilities of teens. We can do better.

Friday July 08--3:00 PM 6 Steven Universe
Susan Jane Bigelow, Max Gladstone, Bart Leib, Kate Nepveu, Julia Rios (leader). How has a cartoon show meant for children so thoroughly captivated some of the most interesting adult SFF writers we know? Our panelists will dig deep into what makes Steven Universe work so well for the different ages of its audience and try to glean some tips from how it packs such huge amounts of story into very short episodes. Warning: There may be singing.

Sunday July 10--1:00 PM BH Power, Wealth, and Economics in Writing and Plotting Romance
Max Gladstone, Ada Palmer, Tom Purdom, Julia Rios, Terence Taylor.
There are many modern romances with a wealthy man and a woman who isn't, and many with both male and female partners with money, but few with a wealthy woman and a man who isn't. Does the wealth disparity create a power dynamic similar to the one that was inherent between men and women in pre-modern society? Modern romances frequently imitate and reuse formulas and tropes from romances written in pre-modern society when an inherent power tension between empowered men and comparatively politically/economically dis-empowered women existed. Do these power differentials still exist or do modern romances artificially recreate the same kinds of tensions and stresses by writing about the very wealthy? Why wouldn't reversed roles be as compelling in a modern romance? What happens when other genders are included or polyamorous lifestyles are considered? Is the wealth disparity the be-all and end-all of romantic settings? How do wealth and other types of modern power work in modern romance, and how does it relates to pre-modern ideas of romance?

So, Readercon should be A LOT of fun! And FINALLY: I am teaching an online course! Starting later this month, you can join several other fabulous writers to learn all about Making Your Inner Editor Work for You! This course is offered through Writespace, the wonderful organization that hosted Writefest in Houston. Everyone I've met through Writespace is fantastic, supportive, and passionate about writing and encouraging other writers. I am thrilled to be teaching for them! Here's more course info, including how to buy tickets.

That's it for now. Next up will be WorldCon in August in Kansas City! More details on that when I have them!