K. Tempest Bradford

K. Tempest Bradford

Between Boundaries

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Community, Trust, Responsibility, Consequences

Community, Trust, Responsibility, Consequences

This post may be triggering for some as it contains discussions of rape, sexual assault, and community responses to such.

I promised to write this post last week, but unfortunately preparations for BlogHer took up more spoons than I anticipated. Plus, I’ve been dealing with a lot of intense emotions around the issue and it kept me from posting publicly for a while. But I feel it’s important for several reasons, all of which you will understand by the end of this post. I’m placing the bulk of it under a cut, just in case. More »

Gender Imbalance, Again. Mansplaining, Again. Bleh.

Gender Imbalance, Again. Mansplaining, Again. Bleh.

The latest entry in the Gender Imbalance Hall of Fame appears to be Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction edited by Ian Whates. Of the 21 contributors there are 4 women[1].

You may facepalm now.

But, you see, the editor totally knows that this whole gender imbalance thing is a probem. This is why his other anthologies have more women in them! And that makes this all okay.

The thing is, as an editor, it’s almost inevitable (given the aforementioned imbalance) that you’re going to fall foul of somebody’s opinion somewhere. I’ve just released the TOC for Solaris Rising, an anthology I’ve been commissioned to produce for (you guessed it) Solaris. … Already the book has attracted a drearily predictable comment of “How’s that mistressworks thing goin’?” from Nick Mamatas. It’s strange, but last year when I released the anthology The Bitten Word (ten female authors, seven male), nobody accused me of being a feminist. Nor was gender commented on that June when I released Anniversaries (seven female authors, two male). I suspect that next month, when I release a new collection of stories by Liz Williams – A Glass of Shadow – with an intro by Tanith Lee and cover art by Anne Sudworth, no comment will be made then either, nor when I release the next NewCon Press anthology Dark Currents in 2012 – which looks set to once again feature more female contributors than male. The detractors are very selective, it seems.

Shorter Ian Whates: WHERE ARE MAH COOKIES?!!

Someone call the wahmbulance and pick this mansplaier off the ground before he hurts himself.

Footnotes

  1. Oh look, Paul DiFilippo is in it, too! That’s a sure sign of quality… /sarcasm[]

The Unblinking Eye [Part 1, rough]

The Unblinking Eye [Part 1, rough]

The cold open of my TNG/Doctor Who fanfic is done, so I thought I would share it with you all. I also came up with a tentative title. It will likely change.

Okay kids, keep in mind that this is a first draft. Like a really, really first draft. Have fun.

The Unblinking Eye

Captain’s Log, Stardate 46389.2. We’ve just entered the Davien system and commander LaForge informs me that the test of the new subspace field generator will commence within the hour. If successful, the new engine will increase dilithium efficiency three-fold.

“All right, Data. Activate the field.” Goerdi LaForge swept his rolling chair between consoles, keeping track of half a dozen monitors at once. This first test was going to be tricky, and he didn’t want to give the engineering core back at Starfleet Headquarters any reasons to shut him down before he could prove this new engine scheme would work.

“Subspace field activated.” Data stood at Engineering’s central console while the rest of the crew moved between the warp vestibule and their consoles, keeping almost as diligent an eye on the outputs as their boss.

All signs were good, and Geordi was about to give the order to go to warp 1 when a sharp, rushing sound interrupted the normal thrumthrum of the room. It lasted only seconds, hardly enough time for panic to well up in his chest at what might be going wrong. And when it was over a body lay sprawled on the floor.

“What–”

“Intruder alert,” the computer announced in her faux alarmed tone.  More »

Happily Ever After Is Now Out

Happily Ever After Is Now Out

Happily Ever After Cover

The Happily Ever After anthology is now on bookstore shelves (both virtual and physical). You should certainly go pick up a copy if you’re a fan of fairy tales, subversion of fairy tales, mythpunk, and other related things, as this book is FULL of such wonderful nonsense. The table of contents alone is enough to tempt people, and that cover is to die for. Here, I shall make it easy for you:

Amazon | Kindle | B&N / Nook | IndieBound

2011 Write-a-Thon Begins!

2011 Write-a-Thon Begins!

All right, everyone, no more begging for sponsors from me. The Write-a-thon has officially begun and I am hard at work on my stuff. I started writing the fanfic for week 6 even though LeVar Burton did not tweet about us. That’s okay, I know there is plenty of fan love to sustain me.

Also, I am happy to report that I met my goal and then some late last night! Hooray :) I still need to update the sidebar with the total, which I will do when I get home this evening. Thank you to everyone who sponsored, your support means the world to me.

I’ll be keeping everyone updated here on the blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Tumblr.

My Final Sponsorship Plea

My Final Sponsorship Plea

The Write-a-thon begins tomorrow. After that, I will stop begging for sponsors and get down to writing. Of course, if someone comes along and wants to sponsor me after that, yay! But I shan’t ask.

So, here’s my final word on this: Right now I have $403 in pledges. My goal is $600. I need around $200 more. That’s actually not much when you break it down.

  • 10 people pledging $20 flat.
  • 7 people pledging $5/week
  • 11 people pledging $6 flat + 3 people pledging $4/week + 1 person willing to give $62

Or some combination thereof.

Even if you can only pledge a small amount, all small amounts help! Click here to do so.

My 2011 Write-a-thon Goals and Challenges

My 2011 Write-a-thon Goals and Challenges

The Clarion West Write-a-thon begins this weekend, but you still have time to sponsor me and to spread the word about my need for sponsors or to look at the fabulous list of writers and sponsor one of them or to join in the fun and become a Write-a-thon participant. So many choices! Anyway, I promised that I would tell you about my goals for the next 6 weeks so you can get all excited about them (or something).

My overall, basic goal is to write between 100 and 500 words every week. The wordcount goal will change each week based on the goals and challenges listed below.

Week 1: I’m going to use a random number generator to pick my wordcount. Then I’ll roll a 6-sided die and divide the overall wordcount by the number that comes up. I’ll take this number (rounded to the nearest whole number), go to the book I’m currently reading, turn to that page, and choose a word on the page to inspire the fiction I write.

Week 2: I will use Wordle to create word clouds from three Twitter accounts, then take the top 2 most interesting words from each account and write a story using them in some way.

Week 3: Sponsor challenge. I’ll give each of my sponsors a chance to pick some aspect of the story: wordcount, character names, location, first line, last line, etc. Depending on how many sponsors/responses I get, this could be split into two stories and be week 4′s challenge as well.

Week 4: TBD

Week 5: TBD

Week 6: Crossover fic. Here’s the deal. LeVar Burton tweeted this picture of he and Alex Kingston together and said she was one of his favorite actresses. I saw that and thought: a Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover starring Geordi and River Song would be so awesome! And Tumblr concurred. Then I thought: It would be even more awesome if I could get LeVar to tweet about the Write-a-thon to get more sponsors for me and everyone else. So here’s my challenge to you, friends and readers: LeVar is aware of my devious plan, but he has not yet tweeted details of the Write-a-thon to his followers. Encourage him (politely!!) via Twitter to do so and I will write this beautiful crossover fic of win. It will be short, yes, but longer than 500 words. Maybe even written in teleplay format. We’ll see.

So that’s my plan for the next 6 weeks. As weeks 4 and 5 approach, I will make decisions about what I’ll write then.

To recap: Please sponsor me! Please sponsor other participants! Please participate! TNG/Doctor Who crossover! LeVar Burton! That is all.

 

2011 Clarion West Write-A-Thon Clarion Call

2011 Clarion West Write-A-Thon Clarion Call

In a little less than two weeks, the Clarion West class of 2011 will begin their 6-week intensive workshop. At the same time, the CW Write-a-Thon will begin. A write-a-thon is a lot like a marathon. Instead of sponsoring someone per mile, you sponsor them per week. If they reach their writing goals for the week, you pledge to send Clarion West a certain amount of money. There are six weeks of write-a-thoning to mirror the six weeks of workshopping at Clarion West.

The deadline to sign up for this event is June 18th. There are a couple dozen people signed up already, but Clarion West needs more folks to sign up and get sponsored to reach their fundraising goals. I think that you (yes, you. No, not that other person, You) should sign up to participate.

Last year I didn’t do the write-a-thon because I had far too much to do work-wise to commit to anything and didn’t have much time to find sponsors. Thus, I completely understand if other people have the same doubts. But, in thinking about this the past couple of days, I realized that there are ways to do this that don’t require an huge time commitment. Setting micro goals instead of big huge ones; allowing myself to be a little bit silly, experimental, or completely off the wall; taking challenges from others.

I have some ideas on how to pull this off (and will share them with you in time), so I’m ready to commit to participating in the write-a-thon. Thing is, I’d really like to see at least 20 more people join me in this effort. I know many of you are busy, have stuff going on, and have stress in your lives, just like me. So think about it in these terms: do you have 30 minutes a week to commit to writing? Do you know three people off the top of your head who will sponsor you and pledge a little to Clarion West because they love you/are awesome? If the answer to both is yes, then you’re set. Yep, 30 minutes, 3 people — that’s all it takes.

Now we come to the portion of the post where I sweeten the pot a little. Usually with fundraising things such as this it’s customary to offer prizes to people for pledging money. I’m going to do something different, because my goal is to get people to sign up. So, anyone who participates in the Clarion West Write-A-Thon, has at least 3 sponsors OR has at least $100/week in pledges, and meets at least 4 out of their 6 weekly goals, will be entered in a drawing for a free eReader.

The eReader in question is the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition, out this month. If you want a taste of it, there’s a hands-on post here. On Monday or Tuesday there’s likely to be a full review.

I have some other new or like new gadgets in my possession that I may be able to offer up as well, but the Kobo eReader is for sure.

Some disclaimers: I don’t work for Clarion West or represent them. This drawing is being run solely by myself with products I own personally, not offered by any corporate entities. I plan to choose the winner based on random number generation — a digital version of pulling a number out of a hat.

Excited yet? Good. The first step is to head over to the Write-A-Thon sign up page to join. The next step is to find at least three sponsors. Ask them to pledge a certain amount each week if you meet your goals or to pledge a flat amount if you meet all of your goals over 6 weeks. The last step is to decide what your goals will be. I’ll tell you mine next week.

Holla back, people. Raise your virtual hand if you’re in this with me.

[WisCon 35] Oh Crap, I Haven’t Figured Out What I’m Reading This Weekend

[WisCon 35] Oh Crap, I Haven't Figured Out What I'm Reading This Weekend

I was supposed to do that. Um.

Maybe I’ll read The Birth of Pegasus. Or Until Forgiveness Comes.

*looks at newish stuff* Fie.

[WisCon 35] POC Safer Space Breakout Sessions and Discussions

[WisCon 35] POC Safer Space Breakout Sessions and Discussions

The Safer Space for POC at WisCon 35 is a room set aside for con attendees of color to have in-group discussions about issues surrounding speculative fiction, feminism, fandom, and convention-going. By issues I do not mean “problems” (just to be clear). There are some conversations that need to happen within a group that only concern the group, and for the second year in a row WisCon is officially acknowledging this need and providing official space for it.

The Safer Space for POC is located in the Solitaire Room — just off the lobby behind the restaurant. The location is marked in the Program Book.

Con attendees of color are free to use this room as a lounge/chill space, just as with last year. Come hang out when you’re not attending a panel, between panels, during lunch, whenever. This year the hotel is providing coffee and tea service throughout the day.

In addition to the lounge aspect, I’m also encouraging people to use the Safer Space as a place for breakout sessions, standalone discussions for small groups, and post-panel de-pressurization. Is there a conversation you’d like to have with other POC about an issue relating to SF, feminism, fandom, media, or literature? Would you like to continue a panel with a smaller, POC-only group? Then I encourage you to use the Safer Space, because this is exactly the reason it exists.

If you already know that you’d like to use the space, great! Please leave a comment with details (what your discussion/breakout session is about, time) and be sure to let people at the con know. Flyers are useful. Even if you don’t have an idea now, you may get one at the con. If so, just invite folks to the room. Even if there are already folks inside, there will probably be enough room.

This isn’t a super structured effort, just a way to ensure that people know that they can use the room for these purposes. There are no hard and fast rules. Just that the space is reserved for POC.

I’ll update this post with activities posted in the comments and there will be a list in the room at the con.

Update: Known Breakout Sessions and Discussions

Friday

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Authors of color bookswap — facilitated by Oyceter
Pre-meet-up before the big dinner in case there are antisocial people who like to dip their toes in the water first. Bonus topic: Rant about Tiger Whatevers in the media!

Saturday

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM Breakout Session immediately following this presentation: Steam Around the World: Steampunk Beyond Victoriana (8:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Assembly)

Sunday

11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (Lunch Break): Con or Bust Meetup — Kate Nepveu, CoB organizer, will be in the space to answer questions and listen to your feedback. If you received money from Con or Bust this year, you’re also invited to stop by and meet fellow recipients (and Kate, if you’ve never done so).

5:15 PM – 6:00 PM: Breakout session immediately following this panel: FAIL! (4:00 PM – 5:15 PM: Capitol A)

As things are getting started today, this will be my last update of this post. However, if you wish to know if there are any additional breakout sessions planned, just go to the Solitaire room and look for flyers or a schedule.

[WisCon 35] POC Dinner

[WisCon 35] POC Dinner

It’s that time of year again. You know, when a young girl’s thoughts turn to wild unicorns and orcs frolicking together and eating things? That’s right, the WisCon POC dinner is on, baby.

Here are the deets:

  • When: Friday, May 27th, 5:30 – 7:30PM
  • Where: Private Dining Room of the Dayton Street Grille (the restaurant inside the Madison Concourse Hotel). If you haven’t been there before, just ask the helpful folks at the front desk or the host station.
  • Who: If you are a person of color attending WisCon, you’re welcome to join.
  • Important Things:
    • If you’re on Facebook, please click here to RSVP. We want to get a mostly accurate count of how many people are coming so the restaurant can plan accordingly. If you’re not on Facebook, RSVP in the comments.
    • Tell other POC and ask them to RSVP as well.
    • Please come as close to 5:30 as you can. We want to be done by 7:10 so that Nisi and anyone else can get to the Opening Ceremonies.
    • Bring cash! This is important (see update below).

Update: We’ve now set the menu for the dinner. This year we’re doing a buffet instead of a traditional sit-down to facilitate mingling and to accommodate those who might be late. Buffet items include:

  • Fresh seasonal fruit
  • Mixed greens with shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers with our housemade balsamic vinaigrette and ranch dressings
  • Asparagus, shrimp and orzo salad [might end up being vegetarian - i.e. no shrimp]
  • Grilled breast of chicken with Portobello mushrooms and caramelized shallots
  • Sliced sirloin of beef with brandy green peppercorn sauce
  • Rosemary-roasted red bliss potatoes [vegan]
  • Sautéed zucchini and tomatoes [vegan]
  • Fresh breads from our bakery
  • Assorted petit fours and finger tarts

Since this is now a catered event/buffet, there’s a set price for dinner. The minimum required to eat is $20. However, if you can pay up to $30 we’d appreciate it. We’re doing a bit of funky math here to keep costs down for everyone and because I don’t know exactly how many people are coming.

If you absolutely cannot afford this, drop me a note, please.

Technology Meetup at WisCon

Technology Meetup at WisCon

I’m almost completely sure I did not see a netbook panel for WisCon this year (had to go though aaaaalllll the items the other week). Would anyone have interest in an informal technology meetup at WisCon where folks can talk about their netbooks, tablets, phones and other cool tech, others can ask questions and play with said cool tech, and we can pow wow about the tech we care about and why? There’s got to be some sort of feminist theme in there, right?

Your Favorite Descriptions

Your Favorite Descriptions

In preparation for the WisCon panel on “How To Describe Nonwhite Characters Sans Fail”, I’m looking up descriptions of characters in my favorite books to analyze what I like about them and why they work. I’m hoping to bring some concrete examples of literary awesomeness so we can keep the panel balanced between “this is why describing people this way is a problem” and “here are non-faily descriptions, learn from the best.”

I have a few already, but I’d love to hear about your favorite character descriptions as well. Not just of characters of color  — though good examples of such are very much welcome — but phrases or passages that stuck out for you, that created clear or powerful pictures in your mind. No need to limit yourself to SF; show me your romance, your mystery, even your poetry! (Be sure to include the author and origin.)

And Now For Something Completely Awesome

And Now For Something Completely Awesome

Hugo Award nominations were announced yesterday and this shiny book got a nod in the Best Related Work Category:

That’s right! Chicks Dig Time Lords is a Hugo nominated work! I am so incredibly happy, yay!

And, if I am allowed to say: well deserved! Lynne and Tara put together a really solid lineup and the fan response has been overwhelmingly positive. I hope that remains the case as Hugo voting commences :)

On equally happy notes, I see a lot of friends scattered throughout the nominations, but I wanted to give a special shout out to fellow Altered Fluidians N. K. Jemisin and Saladin Ahmed. Ms. Jemisin’s first book, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, is on the best novel list and Mr. Ahmed is up for the Not A Hugo Campbell award for best new writer.

I posted the whole list over on the ABW and noted that there are quite a few women on the list, more POC than I’m used to seeing, and many “new” or young writers, which is an achievement for the Hugos. Can’t wait to see how the winners balance out on these fronts.

My WisCon 35 Schedule

My WisCon 35 Schedule

How To Describe Nonwhite Characters Sans Fail
Sat, 4:00–5:15 pm | Wisconsin

M: Mary Doria Russell, K. Tempest Bradford, Moondancer Drake, Amal El-Mohtar, Rachel Virginia Swirsky

How do we get beyond “Her skin was the color of a delicious Coca-Cola?” What metaphors, similes, techniques, and descriptors are less problematic when describing nonwhite characters’ physical bodies? We’re starting from this post by Jed.

How to Respond Appropriately to Concerns About Cultural Appropriation
Sun, 1:00–2:15 pm | Wisconsin

M: Victor Raymond, K. Tempest Bradford, Mary Doria Russell, Geoff Ryman, Rachel Virginia Swirsky

At WisCon 33, the Carl Brandon Society taught a course which reviewed the basic concepts around race, colonial history, and cultural appropriation, along with a discussion of ways to build a vocabulary to discuss these topics. Let’s use that background to discuss what would be appropriate, considered, thoughtful responses by authors to concerns that their work contains cultural appropriation.

SIBLING OF REVENGE OF NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL[1]
Sun, 2:30–3:45 pm | Wisconsin

M: K. Tempest Bradford, Amal El-Mohtar, Michelle Kendall, Victor Raymond, LaShawn M. Wanak[2]

Back for a third go-round, by popular demand! Writers of color working in F/SF face unique challenges, it’s true. But, at the end of the day, being a “person of color” is only one aspect of what makes up our identities as writers. While it’s very flattering to asked to be on panels, most of these panels never crack the ceiling of Race 101. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice for multiple writers of color to sit on a panel that isn’t about race at all? Here’s our chance to do just that. So, what are we gonna talk about, instead? Practically anything! Presented in game show format, SIBLING OF REVENGE OF NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL brings together writers of color to get their geek on about any number of pop culture topics—none of them race related.

Reading: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Shapeshifting, Teleporting, & Conjuring….[3]
Sun, 4:00–5:15 pm | Conference 2

K. Tempest Bradford, Neesha Meminger, Nnedi Okorafor, LaShawn M. Wanak, Ibi Aanu Zoboi

Is Science Fiction the New Reality?[4]
Mon, 10:00–11:15 am | Caucus

M: K. Tempest Bradford, Richard Chwedyk, James Frenkel, Naomi Kritzer, Shira Lipkin

Star Trek offers a vision of the future that includes personal, networked communicators, talking, intelligent computers, and the tricorder, a portable, hand-held networked computing device. Today we have cellphones, IBM’s Watson,and the iPad. Are we already living in the science-fiction future? What does this mean for writers of speculative fiction?

I’m also going to do my best to coordinate the POC dinner for Friday.

Footnotes

  1. YOU GUYS. I am super excited about this panel. I’m collecting ideas on topics from my wonderful co-panelists right now, but excited suggestions are indeed welcome. Also welcome: ideas on how to do the game show aspect of things this year. I’m considering water guns…[]
  2. Did I mention how much I heart my panelists?[]
  3. I are intimidated.[]
  4. So, check out the list of panelists there. Yeah. And I get to moderate. Bring popcorn.[]

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Vitae

I'm a writer, most often committing acts of genre (fantasy, science fiction, and other stretches of the imagination). You can find my short stories in many and various magazines and anthologies and podcasts. In addition to being a writer I also engage in activism and fandom -- often both at once.

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