Basically what the post subject line says: We See a Different Frontier, the anthology of post-colonial SF that I’m lucky enough to be a part of, is now available in ebook and paperback formats.
So far the book has gotten great buzz from critics. Publisher’s Weekly (which calls my story “haunting”):
Fernandes and al-Ayad, editors of webzine The Future Fire, have compiled an innovative and trenchant anthology of 16 postcolonial speculative fiction stories…all the stories, as Aliette de Bodard says in the incisive preface, center on the voices “of those whom others would make into aliens and blithely ignore or conquer or enlighten.” This is not just an interesting and entertaining collection, but also a necessary, convincing critique of the colonialist tropes that mark many of speculative fiction’s genre conventions.
Locus (which gave my story a “Recommended”):
[T]he anthology does not simply present a series of dreary, bitter polemics. There’s variety here, and quite a few of the stories are entertaining, a lot of fun – particularly for readers who enjoy revenge tales. There is also anger and tragedy, and looks back into history that may open the eyes of some Western readers.
It really is an awesome anthology. I also agree with PW that it’s a necessary one, especially given the conversations that are going on in the SFnal world right now. Check it out.
And an excerpt of my story “A Heap of Broken Images” is under the cut.
Posted in Book launch, Excerpt, Fantasy, Reviews, Science fiction
Tagged alternate history, anthology, excerpt, fantasy, postcolonial sf, science fiction, short stories, sociological sf, we see a different frontier
So a bunch has happened with Line and Orbit in the last couple of weeks (aside from just it being released). Here are a few of the highlights:
And just a reminder: Since I’ve seen a couple of people be all like I WANT MORE IN THIS ‘VERSE there are actually two short stories in existence that provide some backstory for a couple of the characters.
- “Thin Spun”, which was featured in the (fantastic) anthology Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic, and which deals with Kae as a child and a meeting with an Aalim in exile.
- “Starcrossed”, which was published in Help: Twelve Tales of Healing (a benefit anthology for Doctors Without Borders), which concerns Ying the healer and a difficult confrontation with a Protectorate Peacekeeper.
And watch this space for some freebie shorts, which I and my co-author will be posting soon.
And again, to everyone who’s read it and talked it up: Thank you so much. We’re not big names, either of us, so we’re really depending on word-of-mouth to make people aware of this book. And to the people who haven’t read it yet and intend to: The single best thing you can do if you like it is the above. It’s like presents.
I’ve already posted about this in a few places, but what the hell, might as well put it here too:
So I’m sitting on the couch in my parents’ house on Christmas Day evening, watching The West Wing with my brother and sister and dad and surfing around on my laptop, and I see that Publisher’s Weekly has reviewed Line and Orbit. Instant. Anxiety. omg what if they hated it
Moraine (In the Pale Moonlight) and debut author Soem collaborate on a deliciously fulfilling gay sci-fi romance…Readers will fall for the engaging dialogue, wonderfully fleshed-out characters, a sexy and realistic romance, fully realized world-building, and a genuinely interesting science fictional core issue to work through. This phenomenal novel marks Moraine and Soem as authors to watch.
So Merry effing Christmas to me, basically.
Not every review is post-worthy, clearly, but this is the first starred review I’ve ever gotten from PW, and it’s my first novel, so yeah, I’m a little chuffed. Hopefully others like it as much.
Charlie Jane Anders over at io9 has reviewed Circlet Press’s Fantastic Erotica – which includes my SF short “Catch and Release” – and calls it “[possibly] the year’s most dangerous science fiction anthology”. Which is awesome.
So why do I say the stories in Fantastic Erotica are dangerous? It’s not because they feature anything nonconsensual or especially squicky — although sex with a Lovecraftian horror might just weird some people out, I suppose. Nor is it because there’s quite a lot of non-heteronormative sex in here — you’re a grown-up, you can handle that. It’s more that these stories feature authentic characters who are changed and shaped by some weird and outlandish sexual experiences. They struggle with how much control to give up, and how much of their constructed selves to let go of. They discover that much of what they were taught about the world is false or incomplete. Through really hot sex.
Again, Fantastic Erotica is available here in ebook and print editions. Give awesome porn for Christmas!
This is an awesome week for writerly things. First, Heiresses of Russ 2012 is now on sale and it’s awesome. Second, Brit Mandelo has reviewed it over at Tor.com and gives my story a nice little nod:
Sunny Moraine’s “The Thick Night” is a complicated attempt at exploring cultural clashes between the offering of aid and the folks who receive it in rural Africa, while also dealing with the strength and resilience of the protagonist, Mkali, as she survives the murder of her parents to raise her younger siblings, doing what she must because there’s no other choice. Her unexpected romance with the android that she has been given by the American aid workers is tender, but also immensely ethically complicated. Moraine never lets the reader forget that there are elements of slavery or the impossibility of knowing what is “real” for Madini, the android. It’s an ambitious piece dealing with difficult topics in what seems, to my eyes, a respectful way.
Check out the full review. Also check out the whole book. Seriously, it’s awesome. The lineup includes Lisa Nohealani Morton, Nalo Hopkinson, Amal El-Mohtar, An Owomoyela, and Laird Barron, among others.
I definitely want to pick up the Muse Monday thing I used to do wherein I would write about writing, but I’m not quite there in my head yet, and I have a feeling I’ll have a chance to do a lot more of that as promo for Line and Orbit heats up. So for now have some delicious treats.
- This is seriously the month of Publisher’s Weekly for me; three anthologies that I’ve had the privilege to be involved with have garnered positive reviews (one starred!):
- Scheherazade’s Facade: Fantastical Tales of Gender Bending, Cross-dressing, and Transformation – “Gender is flexible and surprising in 12 stories of characters transformed by the trappings of a different sex…each one is guaranteed to make the reader question the roles and qualities often assigned to gender and sex.”
- Fantastic Erotica: The Best of Circlet Press 2008 – 2012 – “This brilliantly imaginative compilation of short, steamy tales of contemporary and period fantasy, fairytale, future dystopia, and space opera, chosen from Circlet’s e-book anthologies by a popular vote of readers, succeeds both as speculative fiction and as erotica.”
- Heiresses of Russ 2012: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction – “Showcasing a mix of authors, from superstars like Nalo Hopkinson to promising newcomers like S.L. Knapp, this solid, well-chosen collection will be enjoyed by genre fans of all genders and orientations.”
- Author Nathan Bransford with the publishing process depicted in gifs. To it I say: accurate. Much. Except I can’t even speak with firsthand experience about the agent thing (hopefully only yet). That’s the thing: what Bransford is showing is the best case scenario.
Line and Orbit is getting a happy ending and it’s still taken two years and change and a shit-ton of angst from the date of completion to get it published.
- Harbinger is still not finished. It’s close. I have an awful feeling that it might remain “close” for a couple more weeks. At least.
- I’m teaching Introduction to Sociology this semester with a heavy SFnal component. For those interested in one person’s take on this, I offer my syllabus.
It seems I have a fan in Daisiemae over at Night Owl Reviews; she’s given In the Pale Moonlight four and a half stars and named it a Top Pick, and has some perfectly lovely things to say about it.
For a novella that falls just under forty pages, it really packs a lot of punch. I was happily surprised that even though it is a shorter story, it really doesn’t read like one. I thought the story was creative and beautifully written and I really hated to see it come to an end.
I’m very happy you enjoyed it, Daisiemae. Thanks very much for the review and the extremely kind words.
Night Owl Romance has given Hieros a really lovely review, for which I thank them heartily. Reviewer Daisiemae says that it definitely won’t be the last thing she reads from me–thanks very much, Daisiemae! That’s great to hear. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book.
Somewhere in there I got married and went on a two week honeymoon, but I’m back with some news: My long short story/shortish novellette that also happens to be a novel prequel, “Thin Spun”, has been accepted to Flyleaf Press’s anthology Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic. Also, my science fiction retelling of “The Fisherman and the Jinni” from 1001 Nights, “Catch and Release”, has been accepted to Circlet Press’s Like a Veil: Erotic Arabian Nights anthology.
And Three Dollar Bill Reviews has given Queerpunk a very nice nod, including some love for my story:
A close second for my favorite, “Upload” by Sunny Moraine, is the piece that’s doing the most work on actually addressing the issue of queer identities in cyberspace. In a stunning vision of cybersex reimagined, two women reunite and transcend and become, in coming, something truly beyond two women in love. Clever and visual and compelling … Moraine manages to tackle questions of lesbian connection and empowerment, and how they change in the absence of physicality and organic connection. All in the middle of one truly hot sex scene.
So that’s all pretty goddamn awesome, I think.
Miss Rat has kindly reviewed Queerpunk and has some nice things to say about my story “Upload” (it’s tied for her vote as second strongest of the anthology).
I find the sex here reasonably hot – in part because I can’t predict how it’s going to go … Data transfer as orgasm is interesting, and works reasonably well.
She also feels that the really interesting part is just starting as the story ends, which I don’t entirely disagree with–I think I maybe had more there than fit comfortably within the maximum wordcount, and maybe that’s a storyline I’ll return to and flesh out more fully at some point.
Thank you, Miss Rat, and I’m glad you enjoyed the book.