Re: SFWA Bulletin # 202

Dear Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg,

I am not anonymous. I am not particularly young, either, so I guess I’m not one of the unnamed, insufficiently aged, Y-chromosome lacking horde you’ve created as a target for your smug, self-satisfied dialog in the latest issue of the SFWA Bulletin.

What I am is weary. Weary enough that I’m tempted not to address this at all, to point to Kameron Hurley’s eloquent and impassioned response, or Catherine Tobler’s heartfelt resignation from SFWA, and say there it is in a nutshell.

Weary enough that instead I’m going to be rude. Women of my generation aren’t supposed to be rude to men of your generation; we’re supposed to be reasonable, understanding and respectful of all points of view, even those that seek to belittle us.And I hear you’re lovely people, supportive of women writers, great conversationalists, salt of the earth, and I’m sure in many ways that’s true.

Screw that anyway. I’m too tired to see your non-stop use of the term “lady;” lady writers, editors, publishers as anything but condescending, however gentlemanly it’s meant (and in #202, it’s so constant I can’t but suspect you’re intentionally trying to get a rise out of your soi-disant anons).I’m too tired to be anything but offended at your claiming that those who have the audacity to criticize you are trying to censor you, in a world where censorship means a girl getting shot in the head for daring to become educated, or a country trying to wipe all records and knowledge of an atrocity.

I’m tired because I sing in a choir where a man is offended when I suggest that feminists probably don’t laugh at his jokes because they’re not funny, rather than they have no sense of humor. I’m tired because my daughter won’t jog down her own street in broad daylight because men driving by harass her. I’m tired because my other daughter has had men pluck out strands of her hair because they have a fetish about the color, and a woman’s physicality is, by its nature, public property.Which is why talking about how nice Robert Silverberg looks in a suit – which you didn’t, by the way – is less problematical than talking about how beautiful a lady editor is.

I’m sick and tired and angry about your lowest common denominator whine about being that so-oppressed class, the Old White Guy; your implication that we can’t “handle” a bikini-clad woman warrior (we’ve been dealing with that all out lives; you can’t handle the trope being questioned); and especially your crass comparison of your critics to genocidal dictators (not to mention your not-very-clever Schiklgruber-the-painter dig).

I am not sure if I’m done with SFWA, which is more than its Bulletin and members with 1960s sensibilities. I have a few weeks to decide.

I am fucking done with being polite.

(I can’t seem to insert a link to Kameron so here:


Get Allegories of the Tarot AND Heaven’s Bones

So Heaven’s Bones, the Victorian Ravenloft tie-in I wrote a few years back that’s filled with clockwork angels, insane gynocologists and all manner of weird stuff, is available in audio and e-book – but since it went out of print hard copies are hard to come by and are offered for ridiculous prices from Amazon affiliates. But now you Ravenloft completests can get a hard copy (signed! and I may throw in something else!) with the Allegories of the Tarot STAR package, for $100 – only two left! And you get the anthology and e-books and profound thanks. With two days to go we are over 60% of the way there – help us go over!
Allegories of the Tarot is an Indiegogo-funded anthology consisting of 22 stories based on the Major Arcana of the Rider-Waite Tarot, edited by Annetta Ribken (I am writing the story based on “The Star”). Here’s the cover, just revealed today:

Deborah Ross on Outlander and The Feathered Edge

A few years ago my friend and workshopping-mate, Sheila Finch, mentioned my name to editor and author Deborah Ross, who invited me to submit a story to a follow-up of the Lace and Blade anthologies. People familiar with my work know I tend to get a little, well, weird, and more than a little dark, so I was thrilled to get a chance to try my hand and something a little more cheerful and swashbuckling – and therefore the clever Lilliam, affable-yet-shrewd Lukah, and perpetually clueless Kai were born.

The anthology was published as The Feathered Edge, with stories by Sheila Finch, Sherwood Smith, Kari Sperring, Sean McMullen, Judith Tarr, Madeleine Robins, Shannon Page & Jay Lake, Tanith Lee, Dave Smeds, Rosemary Jarman, KD Wentworth, and Diana Paxson – a stunning line up, and now the Kindle edition is available for $4.99.

Deborah has been profiling the stories and their authors on her blog (mine’s here), and it’s a fascinating account of what goes into an editor’s process when working on an anthology.

(I have to admit I’m tempted to explore how Lilliam gets along with Lukah’s rather fierce sister, and if the penny ever drops for Kai…)

“Maybe the Stars” at Lovecraft eZine and CondorCon

“Maybe the Stars,” an Innsmouth-influenced story and an original at Drabblecast last year, is now online in the latest issue of the Lovecraft eZine.

There was a strange passenger now, not in the cabins or the tiny cells, but in the hold, in the big reinforced cage deep inside Midnight’s Lady’s iron and steel bowels that was sometimes used when a man got drunk and nasty. Midnight’s Lady met a small vessel with one lone ghostlight burning at its prow. There was much low-voiced, urgent talking and scuffling on deck. She’d crouched beneath the lip of the captain’s cabin and listened, hearing at least three different languages and a muffled sound that might have been a dropped load, or a shot. The next morning when she dumped a night-bucket over the side she saw no other ship, but a thick oilslick on the water that flexed an infinity of rainbows this way and that.

I’m going to be at Condorcon in San Diego this weekend. The theme is There and Back Again: Journeys in Fantasy and Science Fiction (which tailgates nicely with the current inkscrawl theme; see what I did there?)

I will be heading down Friday by train (yay Family Pass!), and back Sunday. All my stuff is on Saturday:

1 PM Poetry Workshopping (Maybe Journey Poems?)

4 PM Getting the Victorian Era Right (Did even the Victorians manage that?)

8 PM Delphic Circle (“Our circle of mystics will answer your questions, building word on word to hilarious results” – this sounds like fun!)

Let me know if you’ll be there!


On the badness of SF poetry

On the Amazing Stories Blog, Paul Cook’s posted an entry titled Why Science Fiction Poetry is Embarrassingly Bad, which (predictably, given the title) fairly critical of Science Fiction poetry as a genre. There’s lot to be critical about much SF poetry*, certs, but what’s problematic about his essay is that, as he says, he’s looking at SF poetry in “the three main short fiction journals in the field: Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Analog.” He does go on to dissect one poem from SF Poetry, he says “is literal, realistic, and usually–unless it’s rhymed and metered–lacks any lyrical cadence within its delivery.”

The problem with his thesis, of course, is that the scope of the poetry he examines is vanishingly small. The three magazines he cites by no means comprise the face of SF poetry, and it’s a bit odd that anyone claiming knowledge of the field would think so.

I suspect from his response to some of the comments that Mr. Cook is not interested in having a conversation with anyone but the imaginary angry and defensive SF poets who “take themselves very seriously and would quail at the remarks I’ve just made” that live in his head.** I’m not pointing at the post to boost the kerfluffle-factor, but to mention that in the comments that people have offered a lot of links to and examples of SF poetry venues, as well as discussion of the nature of SF poetry (Mike Allen, Mari Ness, and Marie Brennan*** are especially smart here) that might be of interest to people curious about the field who do not think that reading three non-poetry journals makes them an expert.


*Many are bad! Some are mine!

**I may be wrong! I hope so!

***Not an SF poet ™

The House of Forever Reviewed at Amazing Stories

At the Amazing Stories blog, Diane Severson Mori has posted a rather wonderful review of my poetry chapbook, The House of Forever, along with a most excellent reading of one of the poems from the book.

Also, “Beside Calais” from Strange Horizons has made the Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List, along with some other short fiction that makes me happy to even be in the same room.

inkscrawl Submissions Open Friday

This Friday, February 1, submissions will open for issue 6 of the short-form speculative poetry magazine, inkscrawl.  I invite any and all to submit speculative (i.e.: having some fantastic, science fictional, or mythic flavor) poetry 10 lines and under.

Please note that is issue has the theme of Journeys. I’m looking for journeys outward and inward, to the stars, to the past, to the dragon-pit, to the false paradise.  I’m looking for epics and tiny little tales. I’m looking for you to take me somewhere

How epic can you get at 10 lines and under? I invite you to read NE Taylor’s 2-line poem “Sarcophagus” (which appears on at least two poetry editors’ recommended lists for 2012) and see.

Guidelines are here, and submissions will be open through April 30.

2012 Poetry Recommendations

Rose Lemberg, editor of Stone Telling and owner of Stone Bird Press, has been collecting various speculative poetry editors’ recommendations of poetry published in 2012 (not poems they had edited, written or published). So far she’s posted the selection of Adrienne Odasso, Amal El-Mohtar, and Alexa Seidel, and today I weigh in with recs for poems by Alex Dally MacFarlane, Amanda Reck, Elizabeth McClellan, David Edwards, and Gwynne Garfinkle.

The House of Forever reviewed

Sandra Lindow (an awesome poet herself) reviews The House of Forever at the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s website, saying: Rhysling-award-winning poet Samantha Henderson is comfortable with the incomplete, the hidden, the broken and the layered. That’s what makes her poems so compelling.

A somewhat more mixed review by William Howell of Sabotage Reviews is here

Another publication from Raven Electrick Ink, the compilation anthology Spec-tacular, gets a great review here (with well deserved kudos for Jude-Marie Green’s retro “Hula Hoop”).

Dawnbringer and Heaven’s Bones as audiobooks

My Forgotten Realms novel, Dawnbringer, is now available as an audiobook at Audible (read by Christina Thurmond), as well as my Ravenloft novel, Heaven’s Bones (read by Tavia Gilbert). The sample of Heaven’s Bones is especially shivery.

I did know that Wizards of the Coast was planning a mass release of Forgotten Realms audiobooks this year, but it’s a nice surprise that they also released the Ravenloft books, especially since the Ravenloft novels (as far as I know) aren’t in print.

By the way, I’m seeing that copies of Heaven’s Bones are available from $11 to $270 (?!) from dealers, and know someone who paid something like $30 – If you’d like a print copy, please let me know; I’d be happy to fix you up quite reasonably and sign it, even, with my own name if you insist.