Tuesday 31 December 2013

SF twitfic contest for young writers

To celebrate the recent successes achieved by the We See a Different Frontier: postcolonial speculative fiction anthology, we're going to run another "twitfic" microfiction writing contest over the first couple weeks of the new year. If you are under 20 years old, this is your chance to win a handful of lovely prizes by writing a short story that fits within a single tweet (with space for hashtags) on the topic of colonialism-themed speculative fiction.

The rules:
  • To be elligible to enter, you must not yet have reached your twentieth birthday on the day you post the tweet
  • Your entire story should be under 125 characters long. Post your story in a tweet along with both the hashtags #wsadf #YAscifi
  • Your story can be in any of the subgenres of science fiction, fantasy, horror or even surreal or magical realist, whatever works for you, so long as you include the theme of colonisation from the perspective of the colonized
  • For an idea of what sort of stories themes might work, see the original call for submissions for the colonial SF/F anthology
  • The closing date for entries is midnight UTC on Wednesday January 15th, 2014
  • Prize-winning stories may be used in promotional contexts and other materials for the We See a Different Frontier anthology. All other rights, including full copyright, remain with the authors.
    The prizes:
    • One winner will receive a hardcopy of We See a Different Frontier; a one-year e-book subscription to Crossed Genres magazine; a signed copy of Sofia Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria; a reading slot in the outro of an instalment of one of the Escape Artists fiction podcasts; a copy of Ilike Merey's graphic novel a+e 4ever from Lethe Press.
    • At the judges' discretion, one or more runners-up may in addition be offered e-book copies of the WSaDF anthology.
      The judges:
      The winning story and runners-up will be selected by the panel of judges, made up of:
      • Malinda Lo (author of Ash and Huntress)
      • Catherine Krahe (Alpha Workshop and Strange Horizons)
      • Regina de Búrca (TFF co-editor and YA author)

        Sunday 29 December 2013

        New Issue: 2013.28

        “What is your writing engaging with, if not power, history, social forces, injustice, culture, moral issues, personal fears and interpersonal values?”
        —Stephen Volk, Coffinmaker's Blues

         [ Issue 2013.28; Cover art © 2013 Chris Cartwright ] Issue 2013.28
        Download e-book version: PDF | EPUB | Mobi

        Saturday 21 December 2013

        Acclaim for We See a Different Frontier

        Today's been a good day.

        The We See a Different Frontier anthology has been receiving good press; we're very happy with most of the reviews we've seen, and will be surprised if some of the wonderful stories in our pages don't end up on various awards shortlists in the new year. Sales have also not been bad, for a small press publication. We're delighted with the quality of the anthology, but we're also very happy with the reception it has received.

        Today got even better.

        1. First we learn that Gardner Dozois Year's Best Science Fiction anthology for 2013 contains two stories first published in WSaDF in its pages. This means that, in Dozois's estimation, of the many thousands of SF short stories published in the last twelve months, two of them were in this small press publication. That's a pretty good endorsement. (Table of contents.)
        2. On the same day, as a cherry on the top, BFS award-winning SFF reviews site Pornokitsch listed WSaDF in their five favorite anthologies of the year (which is saying something, as I think it's been a great year for anthologies).
        There have been lots of other good things said about WSaDF in the last few months (see the reviews and endorsements listed on our press page, for example), but today has felt like icing. I'm especially happy that this anthology is being read and enjoyed by general science fiction and fantasy readers, not only those interested in social justice, diversity and postcolonialism who supported the fundraiser last year.

        To celebrate, we're going to run another Twitter writing contest (this time for young authors) just after christmas, with copies of the anthology and other goodies to give away. Watch this space.

        If you would like to find out whether you agree with these acclaimed anthologists and reviewers, you can buy the We See a Different Frontier from all the usual online booksellers. Links again on our press page.

        Saturday 16 November 2013

        Winners of the WSaDF twitfic writing contest

        The results are in! At the end of October/begining of November we held a colonial speculative fiction themed twitfic writing contest, basically asking people to write short-short stories (up to 124 characters) along the lines of the WSaDF anthology. There were many brilliant entries (see all of them collected at the Web Archive or via Twitter search), but after long and in-depth discussion, our three judges (Amal El-Mohtar, Fabio Fernandes and Nisi Shawl) have picked a clear winner and three runners-up. Just look at the spareness and efficiency of this writing...

        The winner

        The runners-up (in no particular order)

        Congratulations to all winners, and thanks to everyone who took part, the lovely judges, and the generous donors of prizes (including Bart Lieb of Crossed Genres, C. Allegra Hawksmoor of Vagrants in the Ruins, and the inimitable Ernest Hogan).

        Tuesday 12 November 2013

        Guest post: Ways of Seeing

        Guest post by Stephanie Saulter

        I’ve been enjoying the stories in the We See a Different Frontier anthology of postcolonial science fiction, and thinking about how I could contribute to the blog carnival that the editors had devised to accompany its release. I’d already written about the constraints on expectation, the presumption of a small and specific sphere of interest, that marginalised cultures can have for the literary output of their own people, and I didn’t want to repeat myself. I’m also aware that, as a person of relative privilege within both my birth country of Jamaica and my adopted homeland of the UK, I’m not particularly well-placed to rail against inequity. Besides, the big injustices are easy to spot. It’s harder to unpick the small, everyday presumptions about what is standard and what is strange, the subtle and mostly unremarked prejudices that inform judgements and guide aspirations.

        Given that the ethos of the anthology is to shift the reader’s perspective from the dominant to the dominated, I thought I would write about just how challenging that can be, both in life and in fiction; and how important it is to explain and persuade, when sometimes what we really want to do is bludgeon and blame. But I couldn’t quite find a way in to what I wanted to say; it all felt a bit amorphous, as difficult for me to pin down in prose as it can be to identify in action.

        And then I went to Bristolcon, and had a conversation that brought it all into very sharp focus.

        Thursday 7 November 2013

        WSADF contributors round robin interview

        Futurefire.net Publishing recently put out an anthology titled We See a Different Frontier, which includes sixteen science fictional or fantastic stories about colonialism, told from the perspective of the colonized. We have brought together almost all of the contributors (authors, editors, etc.) for a circular interview; each participants answers a question, and then in turn asks one of the next in line.

        Aliette asks Djibril:

        For me, We See a Different Frontier is an important watermark in genre, presenting the perspective of the third world/the colonised instead of the usual (white) Anglo-American hegemony. As someone who lives in the UK, how do you relate to this hegemony, and what do you think should be done to counter its effects?

        Tuesday 22 October 2013

        Postcolonial SF/F Twit-fiction writing contest

        If you haven't yet read the postcolonial speculative fiction anthology edited by Fabio Fernandes and Djibril al-Ayad, We See a Different Frontier, here is a chance to win a copy, and a great bunch of other goodies, simply by writing a <140-character microstory.

        The rules of the contest are simple:
        1. Write your colonialism-themed SFF microstory from the perspective of the colonized (full story guidelines as per the original CFS) in 124 characters or less.
        2. Tweet your microstory with the hashtags #twitfic #WSaDF by midnight UTC, November 6th, 2013.
        3. Multiple entries per author are allowed.
        4. Stories will be judged by Amal El-Mohtar, Fabio Fernandes and Nisi Shawl.
        5. One winning microstory will receive a paperback copy of the We See a Different Frontier anthology sent in the mail (an alternative prize of a pb of Outlaw Bodies may be offered if you already own a copy), plus a signed copy of Ernest Hogan's Smoking Mirror Blues, the new Crossed Genres superhero anthology Oomph, and the steampunk anthology Journeys in the Winterlands.
        6. Runners-up prizes will include e-books of WSaDF or Outlaw Bodies, and Oomph.
        7. The winning microstories may be reproduced by Futurefire.net Publishing in promotion for the anthology, but beyond that they belong to the authors.

        Monday 14 October 2013

        Guest post: Come For the Science Fiction, Stay For the Romance

        Guest post by Heather Massey

        Chances are high you know about a genre called "science fiction." Chances are even higher you're familiar with a genre that goes by the name of "romance." And chances are astronomically high that you've heard of—wait for it—women!

        Now put romance, science fiction, and women into a blender (umm, not for realz!), and then pour out the contents. What's the result? A genre called science fiction romance (SFR).

        What is SFR? Basically, it's a type of story that focuses on the intersection of romance and science and has an upbeat ending (a.k.a. the "Happily Ever After," another ubiquitous story element I'm betting you've encountered a time or two thousand). There's a whole bunch of women (and a few men) who write SFR. It's a genre for everybody, but is currently often written by women and frequently harnesses the female gaze. So it tends to be a female-centric genre.

        Now, if you'll kindly recall, half of the global population is female. Let's just sit and chew on that for a minute. Okay, go ahead and swallow.

        Saturday 12 October 2013

        WSaDF blog carnival

        As announced the other day, we're running a Blog Carnival to promote the We See a Different Frontier anthology of colonialism-themed speculative fiction, and other authors and works in the area of underrepresented and postcolonial SF/F. (Get in touch if you'd like to take part.) We'll be listing most of the entries herebelow, as well as announcing them using the #WSaDF hashtag on Twitter. Stay tuned for interviews, guest blog posts, reviews, party games, giveaways, and any other goodies we can think of.

        (The anthology can be bought in print from Amazon, or in the main e-book formats from Wizard's Tower. Other venues listed at the press page: We See a Different Frontier.)

        The Carnival:

        Sunday 6 October 2013

        Call for participation: WSaDF blog carnival

        photo by Ryan Uhrich on Flickr
        Futurefire.net Publishing are running a Blog Carnival over this month and next, to help promote the We See a Different Frontier anthology of speculative fiction from the perspective of the colonized, and encourage and celebrate diversity in science fiction and fantasy in all its forms (and especially the intersection of marginalizations). We shall be featuring interviews with and guest posts by many of the authors and editors, contests and giveaways, and we'll welcome guest posts by other in or with an interest in the underrepresented vertices of the speculative fiction world.

        We're calling here for guest bloggers, interviewers, reviewers, bloggers who would like to host guest posts by any of us, and anyone else who'd like to take part in the Carnival in any way. If you'd like to write a short post on any aspect of colonialism or diversity in SF/F for this or another blog taking part in the Carnival; or if you'd like to host a guest post or an interview on your blog; or if you have any other ideas for livening up the party, please do get in touch. (Leave a comment here, or email me, or tweet, etc.) We'd really like this Carnival to help plug other people and projects as well as WSaDF.

        We'll keep a list of all relevant posts and other events in a follow-up to this blog post, and announce everything on Twitter using the #WSaDF hashtag.

        I'll bring the writers and the beer. What music would you like to put on?

        Sunday 22 September 2013

        New Issue: 2013.27

        “There was a time when Patience ceased to be a virtue. It was long ago.”
        --Charlotte Perkins Gilman
         [ Issue 2013.27; Cover art © 2013 Cécile Matthey ]  
        Issue 2013.27

        Download e-book version: PDF | EPUB | Mobi.

        Sunday 30 June 2013

        New Issue: 2013.26

        “We have a beautiful history, and we shall create another in the future that will astonish the world.”
        --Marcus Garvey

        Issue 2013.26
        Download e-book version: PDF | EPUB | Mobi

        What do you think we should do next? I'd love to hear suggestions, nominations, encouragement, offers from the people who really matter: our readers. Would you like to read themed issues (and if so on what themes)? Should we publish less frequently but, say, increase our pay rate? Who would you really like to see co-editing a special issue of the magazine some day? Can't promise to act on all of your suggestions, but we will take them seriously! 

        Monday 1 April 2013

        Recommend some non-straight/white/male/anglo SFF anthologies

        When looking for new speculative fiction by or about people other than the generally over-represented straight, able-bodied, white, anglophone, rich, cis male, my search began with looking at themed anthologies in the area. Stories I liked, I looked for more by the authors; other magazines an anthologies they were in, novels by them, etc. By way of the beginnings of a reading list for others trying to do the same thing, I'll try to compile here a list of anthologies that specifically cater to SF/F fiction and/or criticism by, for or about women, quiltbag, people of color, etc. This is a very incomplete list; I'll add more as and when suggestions or corrections are made in the comments, via Twitter or email (the more intersectional the better).
        • Jack Dann, Wandering Stars: an anthology of Jewish fantasy and science fiction. Harper, 1974. (Also More Wandering Stars, 1981)
        • Pamela Sargent, Women of Wonder: Science Fiction Stories by Women About Women. Random House, 1974. (Also More Women of Wonder, 1976 and The New Women of Wonder, 1978.)
        • Virginia Kidd, Millennial Women. Delacorte Press, 1978.
        • Camilla Decarnin, Eric Garber and Lyn Paleo, Worlds Apart: An Anthology of Lesbian and Gay Science Fiction and Fantasy. Alyson Publications, 1986.
        • Janrae Frank, Jean Stein and Forrest J Ackerman, New Eves: Science Fiction about the Extraordinary Women of Today and Tomorrow. Longmeadow Press, 1984.
        • Pamela Sargent, Women of Wonder, the Classic Years: Science Fiction by Women from the 1940s to the 1970s. Mariner, 1995.
        • Pamela Sargent, Women of Wonder, The Contemporary Years: Science Fiction by Women from the 1970s to the 1990s. Mariner, 1995.
        • Eric Garber and Jewelle Gomez, Swords of the Rainbow: Gay and Lesbian Fantasy Adventures. Alyson Publications, 1996.
        • Lawrence Schimel, Things Invisible to See: Gay and Lesbian Tales of Magic Realism. Circlet Press, 1998.
        • Helen Merrick and Tess Williams, Women of Other Worlds: Excursions Through Science Fiction and Feminism. University of Western Australia Press, 1999.
        • Debbie Notkin, Flying Cups & Saucers: Gender Explorations In Science Fiction & Fantasy. Edgewood Press, 1999.
        • Nicola Griffith, Bending The Landscape: Science Fiction v. 1: Original Gay and Lesbian Writing. Overlook Press, 2000. 
        • Lee Martindale, Such A Pretty Face. Meisha Merlin, 2000.
        • Sheree R. Thomas and Martin Simmons, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora. Warner Books, 2000.
        • Connie Willis and Sheila Williams, A Woman's Liberation: A Choice of Futures by and about Women. Warner Books, 2001.
        • Andrea Bell and Yolanda Molina Gavilan, Cosmos Latinos: An Anthology of Science Fiction from Latin America and Spain. Wesleyan University Press, 2003.
        • Lucy Sussex and Judith Buckrich, She's Fantastical: The First Anthology of Australian Women's Speculative Fiction, Magical Realism, and Fantasy. Sybylla Co-operative Press, 2003.
        • Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan, So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial visions of the future. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004.
        • Sheree R. Thomas, Dark Matter: Reading the Bones. Aspect, 2004.
        • Richard Labonte and Lawrence Schimel, The Future is Queer. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007.
        • Justine Larbalestier, Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century. Wesleyan University Press, 2006.
        • Gene van Troyer and Grania Davis, Speculative Japan: Outstanding Tales of Japanese Science Fiction and Fantasy. Kurodahan Press, 2007. (See also Speculative Japan 2: The Man Who Watched the Sea, 2011 and Speculative Japan 3: Silver Bullet, 2012.) 
        • Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad and Ahmed A. Khan, A Mosque Among the Stars. ZC Books, 2008. 
        • Lynne Jamneck, Periphery: Erotic Lesbian Futures. Lethe Press, 2008.
        • Catherine Lundoff, Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades. Lethe Press, 2008.
        • Paolo Chikiamko, Ruin and Resolve: Pinoy SF for Charity. Rocket Kapre Books, 2009.
        • Lavie Tidhar, The Apex Book of World SF. Apex Publications, 2009, and Apex Book of World SF 2, 2012 (ABWSF 3 forthcoming 2014).
        • Connie Wilkins, Time Well Bent: Queer Alternative Histories. Lethe Press, 2009.
        • Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, The Dragon and the Stars. DAW Books, 2010.
        • JoSelle Vanderhooft, Steam-Powered: Steampunk Lesbian Stories. Torquere Press, 2010. (Also Steam-Powered 2, 2011)
        • Paolo Chikiamko, Alternative Alamat: Stories Inspired by Philippine Mythology. Rocket Kapre Books/Flipside, 2011. 
        • Kay T. Holt and Bart R Leib, Fat Girl in a Strange Land. Crossed Genres Publications, 2011.
        • Catherine Lundoff and JoSelle Vanderhooft, Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic. Lethe Press, 2011.
        • Lee Martindale, Ladies of Trade Town. Harphaven, 2011.
        • Helen Merrick, The Secret Feminist Cabal. Aqueduct Press, 2011.
        • Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti, Diverse Energies. Tu Books, 2012.
        • Grace Dillon, Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction. University of Arizona Press, 2012.
        • Kay T. Holt, Winter Well: Speculative Novellas About Older Women. Crossed Genres Publications, 2013.
        • Eduardo Jimenez Mayo and Chris N. Brown, Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic. Small Beer Press, 2012.
        • Michael M Jones, Scheherazade's Facade. Circlet Press, 2012.
        • Hannah Kate, Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny. Hic Dragones, 2012.
        • Jason Erik Lundberg, Fish Eats Lion: New Singaporean Speculative Fiction. Math Paper Press, 2012.
        • Nick Mamatas and Masumi Washington, The Future is Japanese. VIZ Media, 2012.
        • Brit Mandelo, Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction. Lethe Press, 2012.
        • Alicia McCalla, Possibilities. ffpincolor books, 2012.
        • Anil Menon and Vandana Singh, Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana. Zubaan Books, 2012.
        • Radcliffe and Stacia Seaman, Women of the Dark Streets: Lesbian Paranormal. Bold Strokes Books, 2012.
        • Charles Tan, Lauriat: A Filipino-Chinese Speculative Fiction Anthology. Lethe Press, 2012.
        • J.Y. Yang and Joyce Chng, The Ayam Curtain. Math Paper Press, 2012.
        • Athena Andreadis and Kay Holt, The Other Half of the Sky. Candlemark and Gleam, 2013.
        • Josie Brown, Daughters of Icarus: New Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy. Pink Narcissus Press, 2013.
        • Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade, Steamfunk! MVMedia, 2013.
        • Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade, Ki-Khanga: The Anthology. MVmedia, 2013.
        • Ivor W. Hartmann, AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers. Storytime, 2013.
        • Nisi Shawl, Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars. Carl Brandon Society, 2013.

        Annual anthologies:

        • Heiresses of Russ (various editors). Lethe Press, 2011-. Annual anthology of best lesbian speculative fiction from previous year.
          • cf. Wilde Tales (annual anthology of gay SFF).
        • Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar, Philippine Speculative Fiction. Kestrel. 2005-.
        • Sword and Sorceress
        • Warrior Wisewoman



        • Crossed Genres Publications (multiple themes, but all books and magazine also promote inclusiveness and underrepresented groups)
        • Dagan Books (ditto)

          Saturday 16 March 2013

          FeministSF and IWD

          As most people who have cause to interact with me over fiction or reviews at TFF know already, I'm running a little behind on everything at the moment, so writing this post only 8 days after International Women's Day is actually slightly ahead of the curve, by this month's standards...

          A while ago I found lying around a few copies of a flyer that we made to call for stories for the Feminist Science Fiction themed issue of TFF (published as TFF 2010.19). We did have better flyers, which I think we sent to WisCon 2009 and elsewhere, but this is the only one I apparently still have copies of:

          (Click through for a readable version of the text.)

          My first thought when I looked at this, nearly four years later, was "Why am I apologising for the word 'feminism' in there?" Maybe that's a bit strong—I just wanted to make it clear that a "feminist SF" issue didn't have to be only stories about and by women—but I think I was a bit sensitive and defensive about the topic at the time. A female friend at the time had recently said something to me like, "I don't think you mean feminist; you mean feminine. Feminism did great things in the 1960s, but we don't need it any more, do we?" (While obviously I disagree with that, and the introduction to that feminist issue in part answered that question, I also don't want to start preaching to women about what feminism should or shouldn't mean for them.)

          I'm also not sure I entirely agree with my formulation in that call for submissions that all speculative fiction that addresses issues of sex, gender, sexuality and sexual identity falls under the category of feminist. On the one hand, there are plenty of themes within the gender/sexuality area that are not in themselves specifically feminist (masculinity, m/m queer stories, etc.), so my attempt at a broad church was maybe a bit too woolly. On the other, the most interesting feminist writing is that which is properly intersectional, which recognises that male privilege and discrimination against women do not exist in a vacuum, but intersect significantly with racism, trans- and homophobia, classism, linguistic dynamics, cultural imperialism, colonial privilege and ableism. So yes, all of those things belong in feminist science fiction.

          There will never come a time when feminist science fiction is not welcome at The Future Fire.

          Although the CFS for the themed issue was from several years ago, and in some ways it served its function which was to raise awareness of the fact that we're very interested in including more fiction from a feminist perspective and featuring a more equitable balance of male and female authors, I would like to end this IWD post with a call for submissions—or a call to arms—of sorts: we'd love to receive more feminist speculative fiction, especially intersectional feminist stories, in TFF. Come up with stories that challenge not only one but several hierarchies; write stories that show in a radical light the full variety and beauty of the world, rather than just the straight, white, anglo males who fill the Masterworks and Mammoths of our genre; send us stories that are militant, angry, amazing, pushy, hilarious, challenging, mind-blowing, astonishing, useful, beautiful, feminist, postcolonial, intersectional and new.

          Sunday 20 January 2013

          We See a Different Frontier: ToC

          We're delighted to be able to announce the beautiful table of contents for the We See a Different Frontier anthology of colonialism-themed speculative fiction co-edited by Fabio Fernandes. We're really looking forward this hitting the bookshelves at the beginning of July 2013.
          • Preface by Aliette de Bodard
          • Introduction by Fabio Fernandes
          • The Arrangement of Their Parts, Shweta Narayan
          • Pancho Villa’s Flying Circus, Ernest Hogan
          • Them Ships, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
          • Old Domes, J.Y. Yang
          • A Bridge of Words, Dinesh Rao
          • The Gambiarra Effect, Fabio Fernandes *
          • Droplet, Rahul Kanakia
          • Lotus, Joyce Chng
          • Dark Continents, Lavie Tidhar
          • A Heap of Broken Images, Sunny Moraine
          • Fleet, Sandra McDonald
          • Remembering Turinam, N.A. Ratnayake
          • Vector, Benjanun Sriduangkaew
          • I Stole the D.C.’s Eyeglass, Sofia Samatar
          • Forests of the Night, Gabriel Murray
          • What Really Happened in Ficandula, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz
          • Critical afterword by Ekaterina Sedia *