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Several people are writing about their favorite “Women in Genre” this month. There’s even a hastag for it on Twitter if you’d like to see more of the discussion. Haralambi Markov (a Bulgarian writer, editor, pop culture geek, and avid reader) is writing a blog post each day, featuring his favorite women working in speculative fiction.
Today is Day 9 on his blog. Today, he wrote about me.
It basically says that I edit as well as write, and that with both of those together I’m putting out short fiction he thinks people need to read. He also recommends my blog, since I post about being a writer and editor in the midst of a change in how genre – and women in genre – is perceived Plus, you know, trying to balance my career with everything else.
Markov says that when you read my work, you can tell that:
Cuinn lives for genre and Dagan Books is a direct reflection of her passion and love.
That’s true, and I’m tickled that other people can see it. I know I’m at the beginning of my career. I have only put out a handle of books as a publisher, and have maybe twice that number in fiction sales myself. But – I do love what I do. I love spec fic. I love reading it, and I love being a part of where it’s going.
Markov mentions that he hasn’t read very many of my stories, coming to me instead as a reader of the anthologies I’ve edited, so here are links to where you can find a couple of my favorites online:
“Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance” published by Red Penny Papers in their Summer 2012 issue.
“Call Center Blues” published at Daily Science Fiction. Sent to subscribers Nov 2, 2011; posted to site Nov 9, 2011
“Monsters, Monsters, Everywhere”, published by Crossed Genres Magazine in issue #34 (MONSTERS), October 1, 2011.
“Annabelle Tree“, published in the Southern Fried Weirdness: Reconstruction anthology to benefit tornado relief efforts, May 13, 2011.
Click on the story name to read it. “Mrs. Henderson” is playful fantasy bordering on horror without actually being scary. “Call Center” is science fiction, and short – a little less than a thousand words. “Monsters” is sci fi but much creepier than the others. “Annabelle” is magic realism, and is sad but – I hope – beautiful, too.
Please let me know what you think, or if there’s anything you want to see more of. And thank you for thinking of me when you think of Women in Genre.
“Hard reset or soft?” Chance had asked with a tender voice. She brushed the hair away from my cheek and her brow furrowed as she looked, again, at the blackening contusions all along the left side of my face. “Hard this time, right?”
I did that head tilt that I always do when I don’t have the right words. I knew from the way she pursed her lips that seeing me beat up was bothering her but I couldn’t explain that it didn’t bother me. Saying, “Don’t worry, I’m used to it,” seems to make people feel worse somehow. Or they stop caring entirely and I didn’t want that either. Chance was a sweet older woman who always put me under with a gentle touch. Instead of explaining I said, “Soft, please.”
“Why would you want to remember this one, honey?” she asked.
“I don’t really, but it took me three months to learn how to turn at the right time so he did less damage. I should hold on to that.” Which was true enough.
She didn’t argue. I leaned back into the chair while she slipped on a pair of synthetic rubber gloves, stifling a smile at the way they snapped around her wrists, signifying her transition into Medical Professional Chance IF1214. So serious, and of course I giggle. She makes a tiny frown but doesn’t waver as she slides a needle into the back of my right hand, piercing a vein. The drip bag is already hanging and while I know it’s a mix of serotonin reuptake inhibitors, glutamate blockers, and something to equalize my adrenocorticoids, I have never once asked for brand names. If I knew, I would research them, and my innate curiosity is dampened by the fear that being too aware of the chemical processes involved would stop the treatment from working.
Call me superstitious.
Thoughts? I’m about 800 words in on this one, and this bit isn’t the beginning but it’s just after the introduction.
I have a hundred different things to talk about – cons and writing and publishing and life – but I’m also dealing with deadlines (external and self-imposed) so I’m going to try to catch up with everything in bits and pieces. Today I wanted to update you with my television watching preferences.
Though “television” isn’t true in my case, since I watch everything online. I have a tv, in storage at a friend’s house, and I’m going to pick it up soon, but I don’t use it to watch shows. I use it to play Xbox. Just so you know.
But I can get everything I want to watch online via Hulu, Netflix, or other sites, so I’m good there. Right now I’m watching:
- Daily Show – News, satire, and interviews. Perfect.
- Colbert Show – just started watching this again; my writing projects are fairly dark and I needed more comedy in my life.
- Once Upon a Time – I’m a sucker for fucked up fairy tales. It’s got some issues – the main character, Emma, is beloved of pretty much everyone in the entire show, yet is flatly one-dimensional and grumpy to boot. I do like seeing how various fantasy characters get translated into “real world” people, and it gets bonus points for bringing Frankenstein (the doctor, not the monster) into the show.
- Grimm – of the two fairy tale shows, this one’s my favorite, as it mixes Grimm’s Tales with a Portland police procedural. Dark, bloody, sexy, fun.
- Alphas – eh, I loved season one, and I’m still watching season two (in theory) but I’ve got three episodes in the queue I haven’t gotten to yet. I’m afraid I may be over it.
- Haven – Inspired by a Stephen King short story, mixes people with powers/curses, a police show (sense a trend?), and some great actors.
- Castle – I go back and forth on this. Last season I was over it, but then a few people recommended this season as having gone back to what made earlier seasons good, so I gave it another chance. I won’t make time to see it, but if I’m bored/sleepy/have time to kill, I’ll catch up.
- Go On – I’m normally not a sitcom girl, but this has Matthew Perry and John Cho being snarky and adorable and talking about sports, so I’m in.
- The occasional (as I can catch one, or at least find recaps of) Houston Rockets game.
- I’ve seen some great movies lately, like Before Sunrise and Indie Game: The Movie
What I like about Hulu and the rest of those sites is that I don’t have to be tied to a schedule. I couldn’t keep up with any of these shows if I had to sit in front of a screen at a certain time. I often go days without watching anything, and then watch a couple of hours worth at once when I get the time.
Anything I’m missing out on?
The other night I was talking with an author (who happens to be a person of color and a first-generation American) about colonialism and whether views about previous invaders/colonizers change over time. While I am lucky enough to have grown up in an area that was ethnically diverse, as a white person born in the US to parents who were not immigrants, I won’t ever have the same view of the world that he does. I’ve always been able to find common ground with people who are not white, as individuals, since we all have parents and siblings and first loves and bad breakups and so on in common. You know, regular people stuff. But I realize that I don’t quite understand the experience of hailing from an oppressed people, as a general concept. Not deep in my bones and blood, not understand it because I lived with it or know it like I know the color of my hair or the shape of my fingers.
This matters partly because I know and care about people of color and I don’t ever want to behave or think in a way that’s dismissive to them. It also matters because I am a writer of SF/spec fiction that assumes a future with more representation for people of color. I have to be aware that I’m creating stories which portray a variety of characters, including people that I have no direct personal experience of being. For the same reason that I sometimes have male readers check stories which feature a male main character – because I want to be sure that it’s coming across the way that I meant it – I want to learn as much as I can about the colonial experience in order to accurately render those characters in my work. I may never have perfect understanding, but that’s no reason not to try to learn.
My fiction reading is actually diverse and getting more so over time, so what I’m looking for at the moment is essays, blog posts, discussions, etc, on colonialism, decolonialism, and post-colonial viewpoints in speculative fiction. (more…)
Tomorrow, at dawn, you are going to be shoved through a doorway that opens into a world you have never seen. You do not know if the world you are about the enter will be tropical or arctic, desert or jungle. You may emerge in a dawn-history swamp snarling with giant reptiles; you may slither on the ice of a world gaunt beneath the fading light of an aged and lonely sun…
Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons* in 1955, TUNNEL IN THE SKY is part of Heinlein’s “young adult” series of books. Since the accidental discovery of gate travel, an overpopulated Earth was shipping its hungry citizens off as quickly as it can, colonizing the Universe (or dying, trying). A degree in an off-planet career path, like colonial lawyer or emergency doctor or expeditionary leader, would mean the difference between being a subordinate, a working-class member of the group, or someone trusted with a leadership position.The bulk of the characters in the book are 17 or 18 years old, with a few in their early twenties and a few more about 15. The only adults are shown, briefly, at the bookends of the story. A group of 100 or so students, from three high schools and one college, are about to take the final exam in their Outworld survival course. With no one to guide them, they’re on their own – and the price for failure is death.
Instead of surviving for ten days and being called home, the kids find themselves waiting … and waiting … and waiting. Eventually they gather together to make a new society for themselves, since the old one seems to have forgotten all about them. Though there are elements of Lord of the Flies, this is a kid-friendly book, and Heinlein keeps the death and gore down to a warning level. You see enough to take their predicament seriously, but not enough to turn this into horror. In fact the narrator, Rod, has an easy-going way of talking and thinking that keeps the story from becoming too scary and helps propel it into an adventure story. Think Swiss Family Robinson, instead.
How does the book, 57 years old, come across to a modern reader? (more…)