Celebrating My Inevitable March Toward Death’s Door (or: Birthday Plans Afoot)

Celebrating My Inevitable March Toward Death's Door (or: Birthday Plans Afoot)

My birthday is a few weeks away and I intend to beat back the evil specter of oldness by acting completely childish that day. I’ll have dessert before dinner, eat fried foods, then smoke a bunch of hookah. We can all pretend that I don’t do these things on a regular basis.

My actual birthday is the 19th, but as that’s a Monday my party will be on the 17th. Details below:

We’ll start off at The Chocolate Room because they have the best chocolate desserts in the city. Then around 6 we’ll walk over to the Atlantic Chip Shop (129 Atlantic Ave between Clinton St & Henry St in Brooklyn) for Fish & Chips, which reminds me of my salad days. *sigh*
After dessert and dinner, we’re going to head over to the lower east side for hookah at my favorite place: Kazuza. (107 Avenue A between 6th & 7th St)
It’s usually really chill and laid back until around 11 or midnight, so I’d like to get there early. Come along if you like hookah or don’t mind the smoke! We’ll try the Blue Mist.
It’s going to be an awesome night of good food and awesome people, so please join for whatever portion of the evening you can drop by.

We’ll start off at The Chocolate Room (269 Court St, Brooklyn) because they have the best chocolate desserts in the city. Then around 6 we’ll walk over to the Atlantic Chip Shop (129 Atlantic Ave between Clinton St & Henry St in Brooklyn) for Fish & Chips, which reminds me of my days living in that famed borough.

After dessert and dinner (around 8:30), we’re going to head over to the Lower East Side for hookah at my favorite place: Kazuza (107 Avenue A between 6th & 7th St). It’s usually really chill and laid back until around 11 or midnight, so I’d like to get there early. Come along if you like hookah or don’t mind the smoke! We’ll try the Blue Mist.

It’s going to be an awesome night of good food and awesome people, so please join for whatever portion of the evening you can drop by.

If you’re going to join us or think you will, please RSVP so I can make reservations and such the week before. If you’re on Facebook, you can RSVP here for dessert and dinner and here for the hookah portion. Otherwise, you can email be via the contact button on my website and let me know.

5 Links Make Up for Radio Silence

I know you all think I’ve dropped off the face of the Earth. Maybe what I need to do is promise a post a day with interesting links. That would at least be something.

  1. Today at Tor.com you can see the latest installment of Tech News For Nerds, a weekly thing I’m doing over that way. This one is all about cell phones and wireless technologies. Netbook fans should take special note of the smartbook section.
  2. My dear friend John Klima is raising money for a new genre magazine showcasing underrepresented cultures. Go vote for his idea and help him win $25K to get started. (Yes, you need money to start a magazine, people. And John is good at it.) It’s a great way to stick it to Norman Spinrad.
  3. Did you know that I’m in an ultra-cool non-fic anthology called Chicks Dig Time Lords? I so am. It’s such an amazing book and filled with all kinds of smart writers and fans and actors and Doctor Who goodness. Women talking about their fan experience across time (and space) and being very smart about what they love and don’t love about the show and fandom. I, of course, wrote a controversial essay on Martha Jones. I know Paul Cornell has the book, I just hope he doesn’t hate me for what I said about Human Nature. Go buy Chicks Dig Time Lords right now and then go listen to the podcast of Hour of the Wolf featuring several contributors and read about our shenanigans the night before.
  4. Speaking of books, remember the list of eReaders I said people should be on the lookout for? Several of them now have full reviews, including the Alex eReader, which is my favorite. If anyone asked me right now which eReader they should buy, I would say the Alex without hesitation. The list of other eReaders is on Tor.com as well.
  5. This weekend I watched the BBC miniseries Lost in Austen and have the following things to say about it: (a) When did it become okay to present fanfic as legitimate television? (b) Does the BBC have only 20 actors? Because I have seen a third of this cast on every show I’ve watched. (c) After the clusterfuck that was Hex, Jemima Rooper and Christina Cole shouldn’t be allowed on screen together again nor should they be allowed psuedo-lesbian encounters because they wouldn’t give them to us on that horrendous show. (d) Jemima is awfully hot. (e) Judging from the 700+ comments for this movie on Netflix, I’d have to say that it’s successful insofaras it’s made people feel strongly that it’s the best thing ever or a piece of crap. (f) Where can I get a job writing badfic for money?

Now back to my regularly scheduled seclusion.

Making My House A Home

Making My House A Home

I’m about to sign a two-year lease on my apartment, finally admitting to myself that I’m here for good and no longer a roaming bohemian. It only took me four years, I feel very proud. :/ Anyway, my apartment still feels very apartmenty because I haven’t decorated — due to my thinking that I might vacate at any second! — and I’d like to change that. I can’t paint, which would be my first choice. I can drape fabric around, but I can’t afford to do so right now.

Side Rant: how is it every year I swear I’m not doing this Christmas overspending crap and then somehow I do? Stupid cookies.

Side Rant Correction: I didn’t actually spend that much on gifts as I didn’t have that much to spend, but I did overspend on lunch at work, a problem I’m still working on.

Anyway! The thing I’ve always done when wanting to make my house feel more like a home is put up art. When I left Texas in 2005 I left behind a LOT of art, so I hope to have enough money in January to get that shipped to me. That won’t be enough for the whole apartment, though. So here’s my wish for 2010:

I would like to cover my walls in awesome postcards and inexpensive, medium-sized art prints. I’m going to need help with the postcard bit, though! If you happen to have a cool postcard lying around with some beautiful art or funny message or something else awesome, and you don’t plan to put it on your wall, will you send it to me? And if you come across one at a museum or cafe or something between now and mid-February, please send me those, too! Make postcards of your own art or projects or events? Send ’em! Funny notes on the back are encouraged.

The address to send is below. This P.O. Box only lasts until February, so send everything ya got before the 15th.

K. Bradford
P.O. Box 66
New York, NY 10018-9998

When all of the cards are in, I’ll take a picture of the result.

Last Drink Bird Head Awards — I Am A Gentle Advocate

Last Drink Bird Head Awards -- I Am A Gentle Advocate

I haven’t posted to this blog in a long while, sorry. My job is pretty intense (but awesome) and I have a million other projects and jobs going on, which means my fun time is limited. Or I’m just tired. But some fairly significant things are going on and I’ve been extremely remiss in mentioning them.

A big one is that a few weeks ago Jeff Vandermeer emailed to tell me that I was one of the first nominees for the Last Drink Bird Head Award. This is a new award he and Ann Vandermeer came up with that focuses on service in the genre community. “The purpose of the awards is to celebrate those in the genre community who enrich us with their time, energy, and words, often for causes greater than themselves.” The categories are:

  • Gentle Advocacy
  • Tireless Energy
  • Promotion of Reading
  • Expanding Our Vocabulary
  • International Activism
  • Special Achievement

I was nominated in the Gentle Advocacy category: In recognition of individuals willing to enter into blunt discourse about controversial issues…. The awards were given out at World Fantasy and, despite being up against John Scalzi and Nick Mamatas, I won! Yay!

I actually hadn’t expected to, so I didn’t prepare an acceptance speech, though I did give one. But if I had prepared one, I would have said a lot more stuff. First that my fellow nominees are completely worthy of this award as well. Nick in particular since he’s one of the people who taught me the benefits of being fearless and saying what needs to be said when shit is really wrong in the world.

Second, that the award and the awardees acknowledge that it’s not always easy being a Gentle Advocate, an activist, or someone who repeatedly engages in discussions and debates of heated topics. It does help when people have your back, even if they’re just the lurkers in email. I’m fortunate in that I have many people at my back who aren’t shy about being vocal about it, including the Vandermeers and Scalzi and Mamatas. Having people around you who you’re confident will tell you when you’re wrong and aren’t afraid to back you up when you’re right is the key to sanity. I have tons of people like that, and I appreciate the hell out of all of them.

Last, I’m really proud to be the first recipient of this award and glad that it exists, because there are so many others deserving of it, and I’ll be really happy to see them nominated in the future. And thanks again to Ann and Jeff for the honor and for creating the Last Drink Bird Head Awards.

You can see the list of all the nominees here and the winners here (along with pictures of the award). Everyone listed is well-deserving and awesome.

Help, Help, I’m Bein’ Oppressed!

Nick Mamatas is always trying to get me to start some shit so he sent over this link to Kathryn Cramer’s blog[1]. Normally I would ignore this crazy person, but I figure many others are going to comment on this or may already have, so I’ll throw in my 2 cents.

Cramer is apparently bored or something because she’s decided to stir the fires of RaceFail again. This time she’s proposing a panel for WisCon (a convention she no longer attends because of its “encouragement of Fail fandom”) called “More Oppressed than Thou.” Because, don’t you know, there are two kinds of oppressed people: those who have actually been beaten up by cops and those who only have a theoretical understanding of their oppression. You think I am kidding but I am not.

I’m sure that I, a black woman living in America, have never, ever experienced oppression. Oh no. But I read about it in a book and that makes me all self-righteous and stuff.

I know the answer to this, but I can’t help asking why it is that people like Cramer are always the ones to start up the Oppression Olympics. Next she’ll be whining about how her Irish ancestors couldn’t get a job or something.

You would think that attitudes like Cramer’s (and Shetterly’s — yes, he makes an appearance in the comments) wouldn’t even require a response because they’re so ridiculolus. However, going by reports I’ve heard about a certain other convention[2] that I know Cramer and those who agree with her view of Racefail attend, I know that we can’t just trust that right-thinking people won’t be taken in by this nonsense.

If someone really, really needs me to explain why her position is a load of horseshit I will. But please tell me that the majority of my FList already knows…

Footnotes

  1. I did not anonymize the link because I don’t care if she knows I’m talking about her. If you’re clicking from your FList and don’t want to even have your screenname show up on her stats, use this link.[]
  2. yes Fourth Street, I am talking smack about you[]

Enmity Online

No, this is not about online fights.

As many of you know, I have a story in the latest issue of the Hugo award-winning zine Electric Velocipede. The editor asked if he could put my story online in its entirety to tempt people into buying the whole issue. I said yes immediately because I heart having my stories both online and in print.

Today it went live, so you can check out Enmity on the EV website. I hope you enjoy. This was my first Mythpunk story (before I even knew what Mythpunk was!). I was inspired by the stuff I learned in my creation myths class. Like Black Feather, I drew from many different versions of myths and many different myth traditions. It’s pretty cool the connections you can find by just looking for common elements and symbolism.

2009 Hugo Award Night of Win

2009 Hugo Award Night of Win

Though I am not fond of WorldCon, I do wish I could be there tonight to party with the Hugo winners. Many people I know and love to pieces won tonight:

  • BEST NOVELLA: “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
  • BEST SHORT STORY: “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two, also: audio version)
  • BEST RELATED BOOK: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John Scalzi (Subterranean Press)
  • BEST EDITOR, SHORT FORM: Ellen Datlow
  • BEST SEMIPROZINE: Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal
  • BEST FAN WRITER: Cheryl Morgan
  • BEST FANZINE: Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
  • BEST FAN ARTIST: Frank Wu

I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen a Hugo winner list made of more win. Special congrats to Weird Tales for breaking the million-year Locus winning streak and to my main man, John Klima, for his fanzine win. I am dancing in my living room and singing at the top of my lungs in praise of all y’all.

Two Things Make a WIN

Two Things Make a WIN

These two things have nothing to do with each other, I just happen to be posting about them at the same time.

1 — io9 reviewed Federations and Charlie Jane liked it quite a lot. She had nice things to say about my story specifically:

There are also a few delightfully snarky stories which deconstruct, and in some cases satirize outright, the idea of a civilization made up of civilizations, and these are among the book’s standout stories. … K. Tempest Bradford’s “Different Day” imagines the Earth being contacted by not just one, but three different alien races within the same interstellar group, each with its own agenda.

I think I will make a button that says “delightfully snarky.”

2 — Also, the World Fantasy nominees have been announced and you should just click here to see, because the awesome on this list is very strong. I will call out some things I’m particularly happy to see: Filter House, Paper Cities, and “A Buyer’s Guide to Maps of Antarctica”. Yay for Nisi and Ekaterina and Catherynne, but they are not the only ones. The special awards pro and non-pro have some really, really extraordinary names competing.

This ballot is something to get excited about, unlike certain others I could name.

And… that’s it!

Carl Brandon Society Award Nominations

Carl Brandon Society Award Nominations

The Society would like me to inform/remind you that nominations for their 2008 awards will be open until September 1st. CBS administers two awards, the Parallax Award is for an outstanding speculative fiction work by a self-identified writer of color and the Kindred Award is for an oustanding speculative fiction work dealing with race and ethnicity. You may nominate the same work for both awards.

To nominate, click here.

I urge you to check out this list of stories published in 2008 on the CBS wiki. It’s still growing, and some of the work listed there is available for free online. I will also sneakily mention that I had a story pubbed in 2008 which is, yes, available to read for free online.

Write-a-thon Week 4: BLARG

Write-a-thon Week 4: BLARG

So, the Write-a-thon is chugging along and all and I completed my revision of What Fairy-Like Music Steals Over The Sea and will send it out to Weird Tales shortly. But MAN, this last week was hard!

I don’t remember if I blogged this (I know I Tweeted and FaceBooked it) but I got a call about a month ago from my old job, Laptop, asking if I wanted to return, but in a different capacity: editorial instead of web. I’m now an associate editor whose job includes fact-checking and testing, which is different than what I’m used to but also very exciting.

Luckily, returning to a place I’ve already worked meant that the first week was less about getting to know people and settling in. But I’m learning the fact-checking process for the first time, so it’s been a very full and busy week. Plus, there was the special Clarion West KGB reading and preparing for my salon and… yeah.

But I got the writing done when I could and didn’t burn myself out completely.

Another cool thing that happened last week was an interview I did with Jeff Vandermeer about the WaT went up on Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog. I was thrilled when Jeff asked me to do this and very happy with the way it turned out. Plus, OMG I am on an Amazon blog being interviewed!

In essence, last week was a very good week. Plus, the weekend before I got to see many of my peeps at ReaderCon, which was equally wonderful. My life? Is good.