My Readercon schedule

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From July 7 through the 10, I’ll be in Quincy, Mass. at Readercon. For those of you who haven’t heard about it, here’s a description:

Although Readercon is modeled on “science fiction conventions,” there is no art show, no costumes, no gaming, and almost no media. Instead, Readercon features a near-total focus on the written word. In many years the list of Readercon guests rivals or surpasses that of the Worldcon in quality. Readercon is the only small convention regularly attended by such giants of imaginative literature as Gene Wolfe, Samuel R. Delany, John Crowley, Barry N. Malzberg, Kit Reed, and Jonathan Lethem. The program consists of two tracks each of panel discussions, author readings, and solo talks or discussion groups, plus kaffeeklatsches (intimate gatherings with an author) and autograph signings. The program also currently features the presentation of two major genre awards: The Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award for a neglected author and the Shirley Jackson Awards for dark fantasy and psychological suspense.

This year’s Guests of Honor are Catherynne M. Valente and Tim Powers; the memorial Guest of Honor is Diana Wynne Jones. I’m slated to be on three panels, and I’ll be giving one reading. If you are at Readercon, please stop in and say hello.

Friday, July 8, 2 PM:

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Cozy Dystopia

Gili Bar-Hillel, Bart Leib, Shariann Lewitt, Kenneth Schneyer (leader), Sabrina Vourvoulias.

When we think of the world of Harry Potter, what comes to mind first—the magic and childish delights of Hogwarts, with its cozy dormitories and feasts and flying lessons, or its numerous, creeping dystopian elements (even discounting Voldemort!), from the enslaved house elves to Umbridge to the Dementors, which are, frankly, the tools of a fascist state? Can we make an argument that HP is actually more like a dystopia than a fantasy? Even if we’re half joking, there’s still an interesting discussion here: how do these two sides of the wizarding world play off each other, and how do they compare with other dystopian YA? Maybe we need a new subgenre: Cozy Dystopia.

Friday, July 8, 3 PM:

Fantastical Dystopia

Victoria Janssen, Ada Palmer, Andrea Phillips, Sabrina Vourvoulias, T.X. Watson.

Dystopia is popular in YA fiction for a variety of reasons, but why do authors frequently base their future dystopian society on some flimsy ideas, rather than using history to draw parallels between past atrocities and current human rights violations? Is it easier to work from one extreme idea, such as “love is now considered a disease” rather than looking at the complexities of, for example, the corruption of the U.S.S.R or the imperialism of the US? If science fiction uses the future to look at the present, is it more or less effective when using real examples from the past to look at our present through a lens of the future?

Friday, July 8, 6 PM:

Who Gets to Tell My Story?

Keffy Kehrli, Mikki Kendall (leader), Robert V. S. Redick, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Sabrina Vourvoulias.

Some calls for diverse submissions focus on the identity of the author, while others focus on the identity of the characters. What are the differences between the stories that result? Is there something problematic in a cis/het writer taking on a queer character’s story, or a white author with a protagonist who is a person of color? Does it depend on the story they are telling? Their skill telling it? Their awareness/avoidance of tropes? What responsibility do they have toward their protagonist’s community?

Saturday, July 9, 1 PM:

Upcoming

Reading

Sabrina Vourvoulias reads either “El Cantar de Rising Sun” scheduled for the July/August issue of Uncanny Magazine, or “Sin Embargo” which is included in Latino/a Rising (early 2017)

Latino/a Rising ToC announced

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The Latino/a Rising anthology, which will be released by  Wings Press in 2017, has made its table of contents known — and it is magnificent. I am so honored to have a short story included:

Foreword: Matthew David Goodwin

Introduction: Frederick Luis Aldama

Javier Hernandez: “El Muerto: Los Cosmos Azteca”

Kathleen Alcalá: “The Road to Nyer”

Pablo Brescia: “Code 51” (translated by Pablo Brescia with contributions by Matthew David Goodwin)

Pedro Zagitt: “Misinformed” and “Circular Photography” (translated by Nahir Otaño-Gracia)

Sabrina Vourvoulias: “Sin Embargo”

Daína Chaviano: “Accursed Lineage” (translated by Matthew David Goodwin)

ADÁL: Coconauts in Space

Ana Castillo: “Cowboy Medium”

Ernest Hogan: “Flying under the Radar with Paco and Los Freetails”

Junot Díaz: “Monstro”

Richie Narvaez: “Room for Rent”

Edmundo Paz-Soldán: “Artificial” (translated by Heather Cleary)

Steve Castro: “Two Unique Souls” and “Through the Right Ventricle”

Alex Hernandez: “Caridad”

Carmen Maria Machado: “Difficult at Parties”

Giannina Braschi: “Death of the Businessman” and “Burial of the Sardine”

Carlos Hernandez: “Entanglements”

Alejandra Sanchez: “The Drain”

Daniel José Older: “Red Feather and Bone”

Carl Marcum: “A Science Fiction” and “SciFi-ku”

Marcos Santiago Gonsalez: “Traditions”

A writing life: The best of what I’ve published in 2015

From fiction to long-form journalism to commentary, here are my personal favorites of the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve written this year:

Fiction

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The Ways of Walls and Words was published at Tor.com April 15, 2015, and has been selected for a Best of 2015 anthology. More on that as information becomes available.

 

Long-form journalism

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Why do I cast no shadow? Reaction and non-reaction to the police shootings of Latinos — AL DÍA News, May 27, 2015
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Across the Americas, indigenous peoples protest fossil fuel and mining incursions on native lands — AL DÍA News, May 31, 2015
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Devotion in masa The tamaleras of South Philly gear up for a savory sacramental season — AL DÍA News, Dec. 8, 2015
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Nelson Díaz: Not for sale Judge Nelson Díaz has long been engaged in defending civil rights in the public square. Most recently he made history as the first Latino candidate on the ballot of Philadelphia’s Democratic Mayoral primary — AL DÍA News, July 9, 2015
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For African Americans and Latinos in Philly, an unprecedented collaboration Using music and culture to challenge civic disenfranchisement and foster political participation in both communities — AL DÍA News, Oct. 27, 2015

 

Op-ed & commentary

at the Guardian

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Dec. 7, 2015 — Read it here

at Tor.com

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Feb. 2, 2015 — Read it here

at Following the Lede

 Revolutionaries in box braids, stilettos & layers of grunge: Older women in AHSCoven and the Walking Dead

at AL DÍA News

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Dec. 26, 2015 — Read it here
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Nov. 28, 2015 — Read it here
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March 24, 2015 — Read it here

 

One of my stories is on the Nebula awards reading list!

The Nebula Awards Suggested Reading List is produced through the collaborative effort of SFWA’s 1800+ members, with new listings appearing as members make recommendations. For this reason, works are occasionally introduced in error and may later be corrected or removed from the list if deemed ineligible by the Nebula Awards Commissioner. The list is provided to the public as a service in finding the year’s most noteworthy fantasy and science fiction works.

Please note this list is not the preliminary ballot or nomination tally and does not affect the Nebula Award nominations or final results in any way.

tordrawingThe Science Fiction Writers of America’s suggested reading list contains one of my short stories this year: The Ways of Walls and Words, which was published at Tor.com in April of this year.

You can see the full list of recommended works here —voting to narrow down the field to the final ballot is restricted to members of SFWA, but it is a really good place for anyone to find items for a “to read” list!

Including my story, of course. 😈