speculative fiction


Read PoC//Fantasy and Science Fiction

I only listed one book per author, usually their most popular or highest rated book/series, so make sure to check out their Goodreads page for more of their hardwork!!

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Young Adult//Historical Fiction//General Fiction//Autobiographies and Memoirs

This is like exactly the reading list I’ve been dreaming of

also if I can add to it: Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older, I met him at NerdCon: Stories this past weekend and bought the book and devoured it as close to literally as possible


Celebrate Women Artists in Science Fiction and Fantasy at the Society of Illustrators!


On June 8th, a new exhibit
curated by Tor’s own Irene Gallo and Orbit Books’ Lauren Panepinto
opens at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of
Illustrators, turning a spotlight on the incredibly rich array of
science fiction and fantasy art created by women, from established icons
in the field to new and upcoming artists. Point of Vision: Celebrating Women Artists in Fantasy and Science Fiction will run until August 20th; the opening reception is June 10th and is open to the public.

(Illustrations above by Cynthia Sheppard, Ashley Mackenzie,Julie Dillon, Yuko Shimizu, and Rovina Cai)

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Oooo art! The dramatic angular one is my favourite, I think. 

Go check it out if you’re in NY! 

That cricket hat kind of freaks me out though

And a lot of us on the crew are not straight and are not white, and these topics don’t seem like adult topics to us, because they were part of our experience growing up. The more I work on this show, the more incredible it seems to me that these topics are not usually discussed in media for kids. Kids not only get it, many of them are experiencing it themselves, sometimes with no context to tell them their experience makes sense, and almost always without a fun sci-fi fantasy take on that experience featuring wacky cartoon aliens. I’d really like to rectify that.

Rebecca Sugar, from this interview (via dragoplateau)

Bless you Rebecca Sugar and the magic you bring to our screens and our hearts. 


   I’m reading some fat fantasy book set in Yet Another Faux Medieval Europe. Nothing in this story jibes with my understanding of actual medieval Europe. There’s no fantasy version of the Silk Road bringing spices and agricultural techniques and ideas from China and India and Persia. There’s been no Moorish conquest. There aren’t even Jewish merchants or bankers, stereotypical as that would be.

Everyone in this “Europe” looks the same but for minor variations of hair or eye color. They speak the same language, worship the same gods — and everyone, even the very poor people, seems inordinately concerned with the affairs of the nobility, as if there’s nothing else going on that matters. There are dragons and magic in the story, but it’s the human fantasy that I’m having trouble swallowing.

   It doesn’t matter which book I’m reading. I could name you a dozen others just like it. This isn’t magical medieval Europe; it’s some white supremacist, neo-feudalist fantasy of same, and I’m so fucking sick of it that I put the book down and open my laptop and start writing. Later people read what I’ve written and remark on how angry the story is.
Gosh, I wonder why.

N. K. Jemisin, “How Long ’til Black Future Month?” 
(September 30th, 2013)

This essay definitely stands the test of three years, and I highly recommend reading the whole thing. It’s spectacular.

(via medievalpoc)

N. K. Jemisin has a Patreon now and you should really check it out.

(via medievalpoc)

Fantastic essay full of so many good things, not the least of which is MAKING ME DISCOVER THE AMAZINGNESS THAT IS JANELLE MONAE?!!1one

Go read the article, watch the embedded video for “Tightrope”, and feel the weight lift off your shoulders. Posthaste!

Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages


A really interesting article interviewing five different translators of a book that does interesting things with gender, and how each of them dealt with that: 

In Ann Leckie’s novel Ancillary Justice (Orbit Books: 2013), the imperial Radch rules over much of human-inhabited space. Its culture – and its language – does not identify people on the basis of their gender: it is irrelevant to them. In the novel, written in English, Leckie represents this linguistic reality by using the female pronoun ‘she’ throughout, regardless of any information supplied about a Radchaai (and, often, a non-Radchaai) person’s perceived gender. This pronoun choice has two effects. Firstly, it successfully erases grammatical difference in the novel and makes moot the question of the characters’ genders. But secondly, it exists in a context of continuing discussions around the gendering of science fiction, the place of men and women and people of other genders within the genre, as characters in fiction and as professional/fans, and beyond the pages of the book it is profoundly political. It is a female pronoun.

When translating Ancillary Justice into other languages, the relationship between those two effects is vital to the work.

After reading a comment by the Hungarian translator, Csilla Kleinheincz, posted on Cheryl Morgan’s blog, we wanted to know more about this. We invited the translators of the novel into Bulgarian, German, Hebrew, Hungarian and Japanese to discuss the process, with particular interest in the translation of gender. What emerges is an insight into the work of translators and the rigidity and versatility of grammatical gender in the face of non-standard demands. Where necessary, translators turned to innovative and even inventive ways to write their languages.

(Read the whole thing.)

Previously about gender in Ancillary Justice

This is SUPER COOL! I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately about the challenge of gender-neutral pronouns (and speech more generally) in languages like French or German which are just crammed with grammatical gender, and this addresses the issue in a way I never even considered. I wish my German was up to the task of reading this book in more than one language (actually, I wish I could read Bulgarian, because of all the approaches, that one seems the most exciting to me)!

Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages

It is said that, during the fantasy book in the late eighties, publishers would maybe get a box containing two or three runic alphabets, four maps of the major areas covered by the sweep of the narrative, a pronunciation guide to the names of the main characters and, at the bottom of the box, the manuscript. Please… there is no need to go that far.
There is a term that readers have been known to apply to fantasy that is sometimes an unquestioning echo of better work gone before, with a static society, conveniently ugly ‘bad’ races, magic that works like electricity and horses that work like cars. It’s EFP, or Extruded Fantasy Product. It can be recognized by the fact that you can’t tell it apart form all the other EFP.
Do not write it, and try not to read it. Read widely outside the genre. Read about the Old West (a fantasy in itself) or Georgian London or how Nelson’s navy was victualled or the history of alchemy or clock-making or the mail coach system. Read with the mindset of a carpenter looking at trees.
Apply logic in places where it wasn’t intended to exist. If assured that the Queen of the Fairies has a necklace made of broken promises, ask yourself what it looks like. If there is magic, where does it come from? Why isn’t everyone using it? What rules will you have to give it to allow some tension in your story? How does society operate? Where does the food come from? You need to know how your world works.
I can’t stress that last point enough. Fantasy works best when you take it seriously (it can also become a lot funnier, but that’s another story). Taking it seriously means that there must be rules. If anything can happen, then there is no real suspense. You are allowed to make pigs fly, but you must take into account the depredations on the local bird life and the need for people in heavily over-flown areas to carry stout umbrellas at all times. Joking aside, that sort of thinking is the motor that has kept the Discworld series moving for twenty-two years.

“Notes from a Successful Fantasy Author: Keep It Real” (2007), Terry Pratchett.
(via the-library-and-step-on-it)






so I’m looking at short story publishers (fantasy)

  1. Tor, cream of the crop. 25 cents a word. Stories can be read for free (YES). Slowish response time at ~3 months. Prefer under 12k, absolute maximum is 17.5k. Don’t bother if it’s not highly professional quality. SFWA qualifying.
  2. Crossed Genres. 6 cents a word. Different theme each month (this month’s is “failure”). Submissions must combine either sci-fi or fantasy with the theme. Response time 1 month. 1k-6k, no exceptions. SFWA qualifying.
  3. Long Hidden, anthology from CG. 6 cents a word. 2k-8k, no exceptions. Must take place before 1935. Protagonist(s) must be under 18 and marginalized in their time and place. Must be sci-fi/fantasy/horror. Deadline 30 April. Response by 1 October.
  4. Queers Destroy Science Fiction. Sci-fi only right now, author must identify as queer (gay, lesbian, bi, ace, pan, trans, genderfluid, etc, just not cishet). 7.5k max. Deadline 15 February. Responses by 1 March. You can submit one flash fiction and one short story at the same time. (My network blocks the Lightspeed site for some reason, so I can’t get all the submission details. >_>) Probably SFWA qualifying?
  5. Women in Practical Armor. 6 cents a word. 2k-5k. Must be about 1) a female warrior who 2) is already empowered and 3) wears sensible armour. Deadline 1 April. Response within three months.
  6. Fiction Vortex. $10 per story, with $20 and $30 for editor’s and readers’ choice stories (hoping to improve). Speculative fiction only. Imaginative but non-florid stories. 7.5k maximum, preference for 5k and under. (I kind of want to support them on general principle.)
  7. Urban Fantasy Magazine. 6 cents a word. 8k max, under 4k preferred. Must be urban fantasy (aka, the modern world, doesn’t need to be a literal city). 
  8. Nightmare. 6 cents a word. 1.5-7.5k, preference for under 5k. Horror and dark fantasy. Response time up to two weeks. SFWA and HWA qualifying.
  9. Apex Magazine. 6 cents a word. 7.5k max, no exceptions. Dark sci-fi/fantasy/horror. SFWA qualifying.
  10. Asimov’s Science Fiction. 8-10 cents a word. 20k max, 1k minimum. Sci-fi; borderline fantasy is ok, but not S&S. Prefer character focused. Response time 5 weeks; query at 3 months. SFWA qualifying, ofc.
  11. Buzzy Mag. 10 cents a word. 10k max. Should be acceptable for anyone 15+. Response time 6-8 weeks. SFWA qualifying.
  12. Strange Horizons. 8 cents a word. Speculative fiction. 10k max, prefers under 5k. Response time 40 days. Particularly interested in diverse perspectives, nuanced approahces to political issues, and hypertexts. SFWA qualifying. 
  13. Fantasy and Science Fiction. 7-12 cents a word. Speculative fiction, preference for character focus, would like more science-fiction or humour. 25k maximum. Prefers Courier. Response time 15 days.
  14. Scigentasy. 3 cents a word. .5-5k. Science-fiction and fantasy, progressive/feminist emphasis. 
  15. Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. 15 cents a word. 3k maximum. Any sci-fi/fantasy, they like a literary bent. (psst, steinbecks!) They also like to see both traditional and experimental approaches. Response time two weeks. 
  16. Beneath Ceaseless Skies. 6 cents a word. 10k maximum. Fantasy in secondary worlds only (it can be Earth, but drastically different—alternate history or whatever). Character focus, prefer styles that are lush yet clear, limited first or third person narration. Response time usually 2-4 weeks, can be 5-7 weeks. SFWA qualifying.

added some more!

reblog for my writer followers who sleep at night 😉

Clarkesworld has really fast turn around time and pays 10 cents a word for your first 4k, 7 cents a word after that, up to 8k and Kate Baker will read your story, which is a fantastic bonus.

Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show has a strict PG-13 rating guideline and pays 6 cents a word.

Interzone accepts stories up to 10k in length. Not sure what they pay, though.

Thanks! I added them to the post. 

(For people who want to save/reblog, that’s here.)

My new short story published in Redwing!

Big news! I’m very proud and excited to announce that my short story, A Hand of Palaver, has just come out in the new anthology Redwing by Grace&Victory Publications! It’s a story of four travelers who play a game of cards in the woods one night, and then Things Happen. I’m really happy with how it came together, so if you want to check it out, the ebook is available for sale at these fine places: 

– Kindle: this Amazon link

– Kobo: here you go

If you read it, let me know what you think! 


Pumzi – dir. Wanuri Kahiu // Kenya

In a dystopian future 35 years after an ecological WWIII  has torn the world apart, East African survivors of the devastation remain locked away in contained communities, but a young woman in possession of a germinating seed struggles against the governing council to bring the plant to Earth’s ruined surface.

This looks gorgeous!! I love the idea of discovering imagined worlds that spring from different perspectives. Going to try to get my hands on this movie!