Tag Archives: Science fiction

International Reading

I’m often asked, recently, what people should be reading that’s non-American or non-British in SFF. Broad topic! Here are some I’ve loved, though. Most of them are from Finland, but you could probably have guessed that already…

 

FINLAND

book cover for Troll: a Love Story by Johanna Sinisalo

Troll: a Love Story by Johanna Sinisalo

Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta

Rabbit Back Literature Society and Where the Trains Turn by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

Collected Fiction and the Quantum Thief trilogy by Hannu Rajaniemi

Birdbrain and Troll: a Love Story by Johanna Sinisalo

The Otherling and Other Stories by Anne Leinonen

the Moomin books by Tove Jansson Continue reading

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2015 Reading

My title is a lie, actually — this is a list of books I’ve read since Readercon in July of 2015, and it’s only the ones that are Hugo-nominable. If it didn’t come out in 2015, it doesn’t make this list because I want to focus on what can be nominated for a Hugo right now.

The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord

Half-Resurrection Blues & Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

Lex Talionis by RSA Garcia

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Just City by Jo Walton

Updraft by Fran Wilde

House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

Of Noble Family by Mary Robinette Kowal

Pocket Apocalypse and Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire

Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor

Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

Time Salvager by Wes Chu

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Only Ever Yours & Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

Last First Snow by Max Gladstone

Uprooted by Naomi Novick

Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

Cold Iron by Stina Leicht

Chimera by Mira Grant

Revision by Andrea Phillips

The Sin-Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Stand Still Stay Silent by Minna Sundberg

Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi (short story “Skywalker” is Hugo-nominable)

The Otherling & other stories by Anne Leinonen (short story “The Skinner” is Hugo-nominable)

Angels & Exiles by Yves Meynard (short story “The Song of the Mermaid” is Hugo-nominable)

Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson (short story “Men Sell Not Such in Any Town” is Hugo-nominable, I think?)

Stories For Chip (full of short stories that are Hugo-nominable)

Octavia’s Brood (full of short stories that are Hugo-nominable)

Queers destroy SF (full of short stories that are Hugo-nominable)

 

I don’t want to get into any reviews or details, at this point, because I don’t really have the time and I don’t know if I’m up for it. I read all of these things, however, and thought they were magnificent and (so far as I’m aware) Hugo-nominable.

 

Other things & stuff:

Maija Peitikainen and Petri Hiltunen did the bid art for Helsinki in 2017, Hugo-nominable under fan artists.

Christopher Jones does amazing work for art for Convergence and is Hugo-nominable.

Nisi Shawl, Bill Campbell, and Carl Engel-Laird are all Hugo-nominable editors, so far as I can discern.

The Finnish fanzine MARVIN (published sometimes in Finnish and sometimes in English) is Hugo-nominable this year. This is the same crew of people who brought us the brilliant and needed articles about the shortage of evil villain bases of operation. We may need to rent co-working space in future, apparently.

 

 

Okay, I lied again, because I don’t want to lose track of what little I managed to track reading this year…

Things I read that aren’t 2015 Hugo-nominable, but that I still tracked:

(The Younger Gods, Michael Underwood, 2014)

(First three novels in the Ex Libris series by Jim C. Hines)

(How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ)

(Too Like the Lightning & Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer — 2016 books)

(Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny)

(Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang)

(A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan)

(Omens & Visions by Kelley Armstrong)

(Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie)

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Arisia 2016 Schedule

I am quite active at Arisia this year (even in comparison with previous years)!

B&w photo of Crystal wearing goggles in Finland

Crystal can wear a pair of goggles like a pro, yo!

Friday at 5:30 pm in Marina 1
SUPERGIRL!

Friday at 7 pm in Faneuil
GENRE FICTION IN TRANSLATION

Saturday at 4 pm in Marina 4
MY FRIEND WROTE A BOOK; DO I HAVE TO BUY IT?

Saturday at 5:30 pm in Burroughs
CULTURAL ASSUMPTIONS IN SFF

Saturday at 9 pm in Room 666
WORLDCON 75 PARTY!!! (open to all Arisia attendees)

Sunday at 4 pm & Monday at 11:30 am in Independence Room (both sessions)
WORKSHOP TO COMBAT IMPOSTOR SYNDROME

 

Friday at 5:30 pm in Marina 1
SUPERGIRL!
“Although not (as of yet) connected to the rest of the TV DC Universe, the new Supergirl show is both a hit, and a blast to watch. We’ll talk about the first half-season of the show, what it means to have a positive female hero on the small screen as a headliner, and how the creators are reinterpreting a familiar mythos through an amazing new lens. We’ll also discuss the verve Melissa Benoist brings to the title role, and the dual roles played so well by Laura Benanti.”
My co-panelists are Adam LipkinSharon Sbarsky, Gordon Linzner, and Cassandra Lease.
I have already warned them about how much prep I’ve done for this panel. It may be EPIC. I may pull out various feelings about feminism and liking imperfect things. I imprinted heavily on the 80s Supergirl movie when I was a child. Seriously.

Friday at 7 pm in Faneuil
GENRE FICTION IN TRANSLATION
“Cixin Liu’s _The Three-Body Problem_, translated by Ken Liu, won the Hugo for Best Novel. Clarkesworld’s recent foray into translating Chinese SF has brought some well deserved attention to the vibrant body of stories in that country. Haikasoru has made a name for itself translating works from Japanese, and Tor.com has recently published SF stories translated from Spanish. What possibilities do we see in translation of other cultures’ SF? How might this change the landscape of the genre?”
I’m moderating this panel, with Ken LiuJohn Chu, Sarah Weintraub, and Morgan Crooks.
I plan to bring in plenty of stories the Finns have been telling me about SFF translation work, and we shall plumb the depths of what’s out there and what’s coming up in translation. Likely this conversation will include some structural racism of the genre. Good times, I promise you!

Saturday at 4 pm in Marina 4
MY FRIEND WROTE A BOOK; DO I HAVE TO BUY IT?
“This panel will discuss etiquette for friends of authors and other creators. How do we support their endeavors without going broke or feeling obligated to attend every signing. What do we do when we don’t like their creations and are asked (or feel it’s expected) to give a reaction?”
I’m moderating this panel, with participants Timothy Goyette, Kourtney Heintz, Deborah Kaminski, and Archangel Beth.
This is a panel where I will confess all of my sins that are on-topic, so I half hope none of my friends show up … but actually, I promise to give practical as well as funny advice on this topic, as well as address some of the more sensitive aspects of the question. What is friendship, when money becomes involved? This is another aspect of that question.

Saturday at 5:30 pm in Burroughs
CULTURAL ASSUMPTIONS IN SFF
“Recent novels such as *The Three Body Problem*, *The Grace of Kings*, and *Throne of the Crescent Moon* join other works that challenge the cultural assumptions behind mainstream (American and English) science fiction and fantasy. How are these genres being reimagined beyond just making the space cowboys swear in Mandarin?”
John Chu is moderating this one, with Max Gladstone, Kiini Ibura Salaam, and John Scalzi on the panel.
This panel is going to be amazing, and you should come to all of my panels, but this one especially. I love Firefly, and we’re totally going to address Firefly’s racism. Also, I have some book recommendations you all want to get in on! I know where to find all the cool books doing the awesome shit.

Saturday at 9 pm in Room 666
WORLDCON 75 PARTY!!! (open to all Arisia attendees)
We shall offer some Finnish delights (which are totally different from Turkish delight), and some prizes! Some books! Some music! It’ll be great. Come visit us in Room 666, where apparently we still can’t get past the impression that we’ll nickname the Helsinki Worldcon something evil. 😉


I’m also going to be offering TWO FREE WORKSHOPS to address Impostor Syndrome at Arisia.

Sunday at 4 pm & Monday at 11:30 am
Location: Independence Room (both sessions)

“Impostor Syndrome: the feeling that you aren’t really qualified for the work you are doing and will be discovered as a fraud. Many women, People of Color, QUILTBAG persons, and others from marginalized groups deal with this feeling, especially when they’ve been socialized to value other’s opinions of their work above their own. This workshop includes practical methods of addressing one’s own Impostor Syndrome as well as suggestions for how to improve one’s community. Limit 15 (due to room size).”

This workshop is usually given at a cost of $200 per person (or a company pays for their employees to take the workshop). In 2016, I’ve pledged to offer 12 workshops for free to nonprofits, and these sessions are toward that pledge. I care about the Arisia, Inc. community and want to help make fandom a better place. This is one way I’m working toward those goals.

After taking my workshop, participants have reported higher productivity on projects, improved self-esteem, and better capacity to deal with the negative messages society sends so many of us. I love giving this workshop, and want as many people as possible to take it. I hope to see many of you there this weekend!

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So, Du möchtest also über den Ort der Worldcon abstimmen? Hurrah!

(Aka, our German teammates are awesome, and have given us a version of my “Worldcon voting info” post in Deutsch!)

Worldcon ist historisch gesehen eher schlecht wenn es um die Wahl des Ortes geht. Letztes Jahr hatte die LoneStarCon 6130 Teilnehmer… davon haben lediglich 1348 Teilnehmer die Chance wahrgenommen über den Ort abzustimmen. Dies entspricht noch nicht einmal 22% der Teilnehmer.

Die niedrige Teilnahme liegt sicherlich nicht nur daran, aber das Worldcon Wahlsystem ist sicherlich nicht einfach zu Verstehen.

Worldcon ist eine große Sache und viele Dinge sind zu berücksichtigen und leider hat ist das System wie der Ort bestimmt wird nicht immer ganz oben wenn es darum geh Dinge zu erklären. Außerdem, waren laut dem Sasquan Artikel den ich letzten Monat gelesen habe, die letzten fünf Worldcon Entscheidungen ohne Mitbewerber. Vielleicht ist es deswegen verständlich, wieso die Entscheidung in den letzten Jahren nicht so sehr im Fokus war. Ich glaube ich war in mindestens zwei Worldcons involviert, bevor ich gehört habe, daß wir überhaupt abstimmen können.

Aber wir können abstimmen und es hat einen hohen Einfluss darauf, wo die Worldcon als nächstes sein wird. Außerdem ist es die günstigste Variante um an einer Worldcon teilzunehmen.

Nachdem wir Worldcon 2015 mit nur 35 Stimmen verloren haben glaube ich, dass DU Worldcon nach Helsinki bringen kannst. Du und all die anderen die für uns stimmen. Continue reading

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eBooks for Helsinki in 2017! Spread the Word!

Have you heard of Storybundle, and the Weird Fiction ebooks that are a fundraiser for Helsinki in 2017?  Between now and December 24th, you can get amazing indie fiction at a name-your-price rate, and the proceeds help support the bid!  Jeff VanderMeer is also a crazy-awesome person, and will WRITE A SECRET LIFE for three lucky people who purchase the ebooks at the bonus level!  This is a great fundraiser for international fiction, a great opportunity to get awesome indie fiction for a price you can afford, and all-around awesome opportunity to LEARN ABOUT THE LIFE JEFF VANDERMEER PRESUMES TO GIVE YOU!!!

Helsinki in 2017 logo

Who can say no to such a cute polar bear?

Why is this important?

Over at Helsinki bid headquarters, we’re trying to make sure as many Finns as possible can get to conventions around the world over the next nine months.  In particular, as you might imagine, getting lots of Finns to Sasquan is important.  It’s also expensive; the plane tickets are around $1300 according to today’s sale flight sites.  Spokane is not a cheap airport to fly to, apparently!  Your average Finnish fan is an academic writing papers about science fiction; that plane ticket is kinda prohibitively expensive for many, if not most.  (I can sympathize; my round-trip tickets to Helsinki have only cost $750-$850, and that’s not nothing.)

This fundraiser helps us get Finns where we need them.  Where they can convince people that voting is important, that this vote will put more WORLD in WORLDcon, and that we will have a truly AMAZING Worldcon if Helsinki in 2017 wins.  You can help us.  Please do.

And read some awesome fiction while doing it.

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Näin äänestät Worldconin Helsinkiin (How to Vote for Helsinki Worldcon, in Finnish!)

We’ve been translating voting instructions and information about Worldcon into a number of different languages, after my post a few weeks ago.  Here’s the version in Finnish, courtesy of Sarianna  Silvonen!

Image of voting ballot

Vote early, vote once!

Edellytyksenä Worldcon-jäsenyys

Aivan ensimmäiseksi sinun on liityttävä sen vuoden Worldconin jäseneksi, joka pidetään kaksi vuotta ennen sitä vuotta, jota haluat äänestää. Worldconiin voi liittyä tukijäseneksi (supporting membership), jos ei pääse itse tapahtumaan, tai varsinaiseksi jäseneksi (attending membership). Jonkinlainen voimassaoleva jäsenyys kuitenkin tarvitaan, jotta voi äänestää. On erityisen tärkeää varmistaa, että liityt nimenomaan kahta vuotta aiemman Worldconin jäseneksi. Jos sinulla on tämän vuoden Loncon3-jäsenyys, et valitettavasti vielä saa äänestää Worldconia Helsinkiin vuodeksi 2017, koska nyt on vasta vuosi 2014. (Tänä vuonna saa kuitenkin äänestää vuoden 2016 Worldconin  pitopaikaksi joko Kansas Cityä tai Beijingiä.)

Worldconin jäseneksi voi liittyä usealla eri tavalla, mutta jos olet ensimmäistä kertaa asialla, jäsenmaksu kannattaa maksaa netissä. Jäsenyyksien hinnat nousevat tapahtuman lähestyessä, joten jos olet päättänyt liittyä jäseneksi, ei kannata odotella. Jos satut käymään jossain conissa, jossa Worldconin edustajat ovat paikalla, jäsenmaksun voi yleensä myös maksaa suoraan heille. Joskus conissa ostetusta jäsenyydestä saa alennusta, joskus ei. Netissä kuitenkin Worldconin sivuilla pitäisi olla kohta nimeltä ”Membership” tai ”Registration”, josta pääset maksamaan jäsenmaksun.

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Reading Now (or Soon), and Psyched For It

On the one hand, telling people what I’m reading or about to be reading is a sure way to start a conversation.  On the other hand, telling the internet what I’m reading when I converse with so many authors is a little worrisome.  If you read this list, and if you’re an author, and if you’re not on this list, please assume it’s because I didn’t remember to list that amazing book you’ve written?  (Always attribute to stupidity before attributing to intention …)

That said, here’s what I’m reading or about to read:

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson.  Someone I’ve met through Readercon, Alaya’s always seemed very nice in person.  Her book is what I’m actively reading *right this second*.  It’s really, really good so far.  This book is nominated for the new YA Award at Detcon, and I’m a sucker for YA.  Aside from that, though, it’s a novel about future Brazil and technology and a society ruled by centuries-old women.  What’s not to love?

The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson.  Tove Jansson is a famous Finn for her Moomin Family characters, and I love those adventures too, but Jansson apparently wrote several adult novels.  This one was only translated into English this past year, so I decided to grab a copy (and bought several extras to give away at events for Helsinki in 2017).

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor.  This book is officially not yet available in the US, but it’s already out in the UK, so I was determined to get my copy.  Nigeria and alien encounters — how could I miss this?  I *loved* Who Fears Death (despite the book alternatively scaring the shit out of me and making me cry).  I had the privilege to listen to Nnedi read from that novel when she won the Carl Brandon Award for it in 2010 or 2011.  Basically, after that, I had to read everything obtainable written by Nnedi.

Systems Fail by Hiromi Goto and N.K. Jemisin.  These two amazing women were the guests of honor at Wiscon 38 this spring, and they both had amazing guest of honor speeches.  If you haven’t read them yet, do so now:  Nora Jemisin’s speech here and Hiromi Goto’s speech here.  You can now understand why a book of fiction, essays, and interviews by these two women is high on my list of things to be read.

My Real Children by Jo Walton.  I love imagining the road not taken.  A book about two roads possible, colliding into one reality?  I love this concept.  Can’t wait to read this book.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine.  I am embarrassed to admit that the only words of Valentine’s that I’ve read are her blog and twitter posts.  I am very much looking forward to this book, a story of twelve sisters, dancing, and fairy tales.

Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal.  I’ve been tearing through this series like there’s no tomorrow.  And perhaps there isn’t a tomorrow!  What will happen next to the “glamorous” Vincents?  What new scientific/magical discovery will save the day?  These books are addictive.  Fourth book in the series.  I think I read the first three over the course of four days.

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord.  Karen was the Guest of Honor at Acon 7  this spring, and I spent several amazing hours conversing with her about Worldcon, science fiction, the universe, and everything.  I am psyched to read her book, and hope it’ll be even half as great as talking with her in person was.  The reading she did at Acon was amazing.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.  I know Scott through Readercon and Worldcon, but I’ve been hearing about his books forever.  It’s time to take the plunge!  I look forward to this adventure, and hope Scott isn’t reading this, because then he’ll know that I haven’t yet read his books.  I look forward to having an informed opinion by the time I see him next!

Indexing by Seanan McGuire.  I *think* I’ve read everything else that Seanan has written.  Maybe.  She’s so damn prolific!  It’s hard to be sure if I’ve caught it all.  This book is a new urban fantasy which turns fairy tales into reality.  Totally my cup of tea.  🙂

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, edited by Bill Campbell and Edward Austin Hall.  I met Bill Campbell while at Wiscon 38, and we got to talking about Afrofuturism.  I actually don’t know the second thing about Afrofuturism, it turns out, and since my friend Pablo is running the Afrofuturism track at Detcon, it behooves me to read this book very quickly.  So I can hopefully not be an idiot in the future.

The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke.  I met Glenda while at Worldcon in Australia (I know! I got to go! It was awesome!).  She’s an Aussie author whose Watergiver series definitely hooked me that summer.  I’m psyched she has a book out in 2014, and had to obtain it as soon as I heard.

Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty.  Travel guides for the undead, and New Orleans.  I’m totally there.

Salsa Nocturna Stories by Daniel Jose Older.  I’ve had the privilege of listening to Daniel read stories at Readercon and at a party for Helsinki at Wiscon.  They are creepy, and honest, and completely engrossing.  I’m really looking forward to reading the printed work, although I may have to read it aloud to myself, now.  😉

Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone.  He writes interesting things online (his blog is a good read).  He attended Vericon this year and seemed cool.  Plus I offered to have tea with him on Twitter.  That deal probably only works after I’ve read his books.  Luckily for me, his books are about killing gods.  Sounds awesome to me!

Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard.  Here’s another person whose words I love online (and I talk with her on Twitter; she’s cool!).  I just have somehow not yet read her work in print.  This is going to change, and soon.  I obtained this book last week, and I am psyched to read about Aliette’s Aztec murder mysteries and gods walking the streets.  I just hope she’ll forgive me for not reading it before now!

New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear.  This book is from 2008, so I’m almost certainly the last person to be reading it, but I confess my sins and my intention to repent.  Well, inasmuch as reading this book could be considered at all the opposite of sin.  😉

Great People Decisions by Claudio Fernandez Araoz.  I bought this book for professional reasons, and put it aside for a while, but find that the more I work with volunteer teams, the more I’m thinking about what I read in it.  So I need to actually finish the book.  Nonfiction isn’t usually my cup of tea, but this is important stuff.

 

What else is in my library?  You can always look at my books on Librarything.com, although maybe that’s only accessible if you log in.  Anyway, I have updated the fiction section (tagged “entertainment room” for locating purposes) pretty recently.  The children’s lit section has a few more piles to be added, and the reference and nonfiction books are not really up-to-date at all.  Baby steps, I guess.

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