Moving Hosts

(Not about symbiosis, sad to say.  Or maybe it is.)

In an effort to run less software myself, and having decided that WordPress was the right way to go for this blog, I have moved from a self-hosted WordPress instance onto WordPress.com.  (A hundred bucks a year was a small price to pay to not have to be personally responsible for taking updates every time someone finds a security hole in WordPress, which is sadly often, and it will cut down on the amount of time I spend spam-whacking too.)  All of the content should still be here, and all the links will hopefully continue to work.

Let me know if anything does break in the comments or at kellan.sparver@gmail.com.

Fake Christmas Tree

From Ursula Vernon:

xmastreedino

Bob the hamster was pleased with his new Christmas tree. It didn’t drop needles, it wasn’t a fire hazard, and it didn’t look fake like all those cheap plastic ones.

It did wander off occasionally, but it always came back when he filled the food dish.

I am feeling in a surprisingly Christmassy mood, so I thought I’d do this. Merry Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, and if you’d like to duplicate the image on your blog, feel free!

This made me smile, and I hope it brightens your day too.

What I'm Reading, Queer SF Anthologies Edition

“Room 506,” he said, as he stood up.  “And if you’re not there by nine, we’re starting without you.”

Given that I’m interested in representations of bisexuality in literature, especially SF literature, I was interested in  Scheherazade’s Facade, edited by Michael M. Jones, a collection of “stories of those willing to blur or transcend the traditional gender roles.”

Although publisher Circlet Press is most well-known for their SF and fantasy erotica, this is their first release on their new Gressive Press imprint, which “publishes sex-positive science fiction/fantasy outside the binary, which celebrates genderqueer, genderbent, transgender, polygender, bisexual, bigendered, and other identities outside the boxes set by mainstream understandings of gender and sexuality.”  Which is to say that, while these are often very sexy stories, they’re not erotic stories per se.

It’s a really refreshing anthology for me.  I didn’t like everything in it, and nothing blew me away, but nothing bored me either, and that’s really saying something.  A few of the stories, bless their hearts, bothered me but provocatively, and I’d much rather something fail provocatively than mundanely.

Stories I found of special mention: “The Daemons of Tairdean Town”, by C.S. MacCath, which has both the most sympathetic portrayal of genuinely religious people I’ve ever seen in SF and the most telling subversion of religion.  “Kambal Kulam”, by Paolo Chikiamco, for being pure crack-fic.  “Keeping the World on Course”, by Tanith Lee, for the symmetry of it.  “Going Dark”, by Lyn C.A. Gardner, for being genuinely all of cool, sympathetic, and creepy.  “The Cloak of Isis”, by Sunny Moraine, for the sheer beauty of its writing.  “How to Dance While Drowning”, by Shanna Germaine, for creepiness.  “Treasure and Maidens”, by Sarah Rees Brennan, for identification right up until the last page or two.  And “Lady Marmalade’s Special Place in Hell”, by David Sklar, for sheer exuberance.

A lot of these stories are still working out the usual narratives of queer stories — the closet, coming out, transitioning, social opprobrium, unsupportive parents, and at least one AIDS story.  While a lot of us are still wrestling with those things, I want to see stories too which take queer relationships as fact and try to figure out what’s beyond the usual narratives, because that is, for the lucky among us, increasingly part of our reality as well.  (Queer people who are watching their culture fragment as it gains mainstream acceptance can commiserate with SF fans who are watching their culture fragment as it gains mainstream acceptance, and vice versa.)

Even if it doesn’t go as far as I would like, it’s an excellent and provocative anthology.  Highly worthwhile.

List of Gay Male SF Writers

Limited to published authors.  Presented as a public service, in no particular order.

  • Arthur C. Clarke (added 2013-11-6; how did I forget?)
  • Samuel R. Delany
  • Hal Duncan
  • Thomas M. Disch
  • Rahul Kanakia
  • David Gerrold
  • Geoff Ryman
  • Steve Berman
  • Clive Barker (added 2012-12-12)
  • Richard Bowes (added 2012-12-12)
  • Gregory Maguire (added 2012-12-26)
  • Kyle Aisteach (added 2013-12-26)
  • David Gerrold (added 2013-12-27)

Not pictured: Alberto Yáñez, Aleksandr Voinov (bisexual)

That’s… seven nine ten eleven thirteen.  Who am I forgetting?  (The SFWA member directory lists 1747 members.)

(Thanks to Bogi TakácsCharles A. Tan, et al.)

Why I Write

Scott Lynch responds to a critic who accuses him of political correctness (emphasis mine):

What you’re really complaining about isn’t the fact that my fiction violates some objective “reality,” but rather that it impinges upon your sad, dull little conception of how the world works. I’m not beholden to the confirmation of your prejudices; to be perfectly frank, the prospect of confining the female characters in my story to placid, helpless secondary places in the narrative is so goddamn boring that I would rather not write at all. I’m not writing history, I’m writing speculative fiction. Nobody’s going to force you to buy it. Conversely, you’re cracked if you think you can persuade me not to write about what amuses and excites me in deference to your vision, because your vision fucking sucks.