My Pro SFF Debut!

My story “The Android Graveyard” is live in Terra! Tara! Terror!, along with an amazing lineup of excellent authors! I gotta say, it’s quite the fangirl thrill to see my name listed in a work with Robert freakin’ Silverberg! (They secured a rare reprint.) And it’s also available in paperback now, and that paperback is […]

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A Space Ship Does Not Blow Up on Page Three

Sometimes in my stories, a space ship *does* blow up on page three.  But even then, my work always has something deeper to say, and I find the dismissal irritating.

Every  science fiction writer has something that drives him or her.   For many if not most writers this is the need to pen a story and have it read, usually by means of publication.   A quick visit to the websites of most literary agents or publishers yields one dominant insight into what one must do to achieve this.  Write an engaging story with believable characters and immerse the reader in the story within the first few pages. This is sage advice, if you want these folks to notice your work.   Often they won’t read beyond the first few pages and what they’re looking for is engagement, a powerful plot and character-driven hook.

Notice what’s missing here.   Rarely are you asked what your book is about.  If you are, what they’re referring to is the story line, the narrative structure of the piece.   What’s not being asked is what the book is about in a thematic sense.  What are you trying to say?  They may ask that question once you’ve passed the litmus test of having an engaging opening to  the book, but it’s not what they’re looking for.  This has created an emphasis in the modern science fiction genre where what the book is about in a thematic sense is not nearly as important is this “engagement” aspect.   Many writers these days have little or nothing to say on the thematic front, but they get away with this because their book clips along at a good pace, has engaging characters and cool tropes.   I’ve had published writers tell me that they never think about theme, and others tell me they try to add the theme in after several drafts.  The resulting books, while they might engage and be fun, rarely leave a lasting impression on the discerning reader.

Read the full article at T.K.Boomer.com.

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Diversity in SF/F: A New Resource

I’ve been participating in the LGBTQ Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge for a couple of years now, and I’ve found it a rewarding and worthwhile experience.  The challenge is described thus:

The 2017 LGBTQ Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge seeks to promote diversity and expand horizons amongst readers and writers of speculative fiction.

Read and review books that either:

  1. Are written by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer authors,
  2. Explore LGBTQ themes, or
  3. Feature LGBTQ characters.

Author repeats are admissable.

Remember that we have the LGBTQ Speculative Fiction Resource List here on WWEnd. It is our own resource for finding great LGBTQ books. The books on the list primarily feature Lambda Literary and Gaylactic Spectrum Award winners and nominees.

I have found it particularly challenging to meet the first requirement, however.  While SF/F has traditionally been a refuge of outsiders and non-conformists, authors (understandably, considering the tone of the market) have not always been “out”.  I am looking to compile a list of speculative fiction authors who are.  I’ve started a page, which you can find in my blog’s sidebar or at this link, and I’m asking people to contribute to it.  Please do a little research before offering up a name; the authors who are listed so far are officially out, legally married to someone of the same gender, or specifically have been gender non-conforming in their personal and professional lives.  And thanks in advance for your help!

Link: Diversity in SF/F.

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