Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 14 February 2016 (Character interview: Yasmin-3)

Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors offers a selection of eight-sentence excerpts from writers in multiple genres and forms. Check out the full roster here.

***

The others clapped and laughed, the more so when we took hold of each other for stability–nothing worse than banging lips into teeth–and fell over, because we were concentrating on the kiss, some kind of one-upsmanship turned into something else.

We untangled, laughing, and then one of the others said, “Hope that doesn’t mean the rest of us are going to starve.”

“Not for dumplings,” I said, “but this one’s mine.”

Phila winked at me. “And dumplings too,” he said. “As long as you’re still as quick with the prep.”

Which was the beginning of rather a lot of fun.

Every time I eat a fried dumpling, I remember that kiss, and if Phila were still alive, that would be a happy thing.

***

Speaker is Yasmin-3, Full Clone of the Great Shipwright (Naime). She’s the minor villain of the Ship’s Heart trilogy. Thanks to my writing comrade Lev Mirov, she’s getting her own novel. “Minor villain wreaks havoc on major villain when she discovers she’s been played and finds redemption through her love of sex and fried dumplings.”

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Love in the Time of Starships: not-SF #ownstories stuff we need in SF (Dana Lone Hill. Pointing with Lips)

  • Dana Lone Hill. Pointing with Lips: a Week in the Life of a Rez Chick. Blue Hand Books, 2014.

Source of review copy: e-book from my personal collection.

Short version: This book is not science fiction, but read it because it’s awesome. Writing a book review of something I loved feels like total inarticulate fan-flail … NOW WITH MORE ANALYSIS. So I’ve linked other reviews below, so you can read more. This Book Ate Me and It Was An Awesome Experience. Buy it and it will eat you too. It’s not science fiction, but it’s full of of stuff I want more of in science fiction both as reader and writer.

Long version follows, because you know you want to know more. Continue reading

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Doing the work, getting compensated for the work

For the last two years, I’ve been increasing my engagement on Twitter. As a result, I’ve met amazing writers around the world; I’ve also taken an active part as a member of the science fiction and fantasy writing community. I’ve followed breaking news in the USA and elsewhere, making connections with folks in public health, organizing, and educational communities.

Sometimes that’s about signal boosting. In fact, a lot of the time, it’s about signal boosting.

Sometimes it means speaking up, saying the thing that hasn’t been said yet (which is frequently some variant on “oh hell no, this shall not pass”).

This work takes time and energy, and I’ve been told it’s valuable. I’ve told my younger colleagues that their work is valuable and they need to be compensated. So as not to be a hypocrite, now I’m following my own advice.

If you like what I said, if it helped, if you’ve got some spare change – buy me a coffee. Or two. Cause caffeine is the fuel of revolutions.

Buy me a coffee at ko-fi.com

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 7 February 2016 (Character interview: Yasmin-3)

Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors offers a selection of eight-sentence excerpts from writers in multiple genres and forms. Check out the full roster here.

***

I’ve already stepped out of the shadow of the Great Shipwright. I failed; well, all right, I didn’t want any of it, because it was expected. 

I am afraid that I don’t really exist; I’m wearing someone else’s flesh, carrying someone else’s genes. 

I’m twenty-two. Naime was scarred by that duel when she was twenty-five. I think I will feel real if I make it past the quarter-century mark and that scar does not magically appear on my face. Eyes seek eyes, and I’m not really looking at my face, not the way someone would see it from the outside, not the way it looks when I’m not looking in the mirror.

I’m afraid of the day when I no longer cast a shadow.

***

Speaker is Yasmin-3, Full Clone of the Great Shipwright (Naime). She’s the minor villain of the Ship’s Heart trilogy. Thanks to my writing comrade Lev Mirov, she’s getting her own novel. “Minor villain wreaks havoc on major villain when she discovers she’s been played and finds redemption through her love of sex and fried dumplings.”

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New Year’s Post: on radio silence, the Grim Reaper, and false cheer

Yes, it’s a month late for Gregorian Calendar New Year, and a week early for Lunar New Year.
This is about the blog posts you didn’t see from me in the second half of 2015. I’ve been a whole lot busier on Twitter; I’m currently learning to Storify so I can feature some of those conversations. Meanwhile, there are drafts for a lot of blog posts on my Evernote folder for blog posts. Some of them you will never see in their original form, including some reviews.
Here’s why.
I look back at those posts and their false cheer makes me sick to my stomach. Last year I dealt with a whole lot of bad-faith people in SFF fandom, even as I saw my mentor through her final passage out of life.
She was a civil rights veteran who died in poverty. I paid her veteran’s pension. That didn’t prevent her dying 20 years early due to years of doing the work of the just, which mostly doesn’t carry health benefits.
There’s a memorial service yet to be held, and I haven’t been able to do that. Because there’s not much I can say to anybody (beyond the small circle of those who actually did show up) besides “Where the fuck were you?” or “Yeah, I know what she’d have to say about your track record.”
I could have done with the help, really. But I had the honor of being her good luck. She had rock-solid faith that when you serve the universe, it comes around and helps you. So I’m making that act of faith myself.
The cool feathered shadow of the Angel of Death is an amazing corrective to fears of merely mortal evil. As my great-aunt memorably put it:
Life is too short for bullshit.
Having been nose-to-lack-of-nose with the Reaper more than a few times in the last years, I am done with humoring people who don’t back up what they say. I am done with people who disappear other folks and then want cookies as “allies.” See #AccessibleCons for just one example. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been U.S. law for over two decades, and yet SFF con-runners still think the law doesn’t apply to them. They can’t manage the most basic, 101 accommodations for folks with visible disabilities, let alone those with chronic pain, hidden disabilities, or any of the plethora of conditions that exile people to the outer darkness of Not Really Human.
So a fourth New Year’s resolution:
I will tell the truth. I absolutely will not kiss ass or make nice to people just because they’re in a position of power. Having spent 30 years in Minnesota, I know that Nice frequently masks the abyss.
Ugly things happened in my first forays into SFF fandom, both in the late 1980s and now. Go away for 25 years, come back, and nothing’s different except that the ones on the shit end are now swapping stories thanks to the internet. Those witnesses are getting vicious pushback, because this could be the End Times for the universal rule of whitedude mediocrity.
So I’m going to talk about some of those, because I’m really really REALLY done pretending that we’re all friends here.
This year’s goal: tell the truth.
I’m going to die but I sure as hell don’t want to die a liar.
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Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 31 January 2016 (Character interview: Yasmin-3)

Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors offers a selection of eight-sentence excerpts from writers in multiple genres and forms. Check out the full roster here.

***

I walked out and I kept walking. I didn’t mean to do that, but my legs wouldn’t let me go back. I walked up the path over the Inland Sea, past the rise where Phila’s sister landed the skimmer with the tower-and-starship that’s Temn’s personal seal, past the bare spot where you can still see the char, where Phila died.

I walked past the refectory, past the two pillars that date from the journey-ship, down the road to the fast-train station. Stared out at the sea and down the track, turned slowly in a circle, as if some vortex had taken me.

It’s done. It’s done, and fucking Yasmin the grubber will be Captain. 

And I’m … nobody. Yasmin-3, not even the only one of my afterthought of a name, not Naime because Naime is dead; Naime is dead and I am dragging her flesh around, and I am tired. 

***

Speaker is Yasmin-3, Full Clone of the Great Shipwright (Naime). She’s the minor villain of the Ship’s Heart trilogy. Thanks to my writing comrade Lev Mirov, she’s getting her own novel. “Minor villain wreaks havoc on major villain when she discovers she’s been played and finds redemption through her love of sex and fried dumplings.”

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Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 24 January 2016 (Character interview: Yasmin-3)

Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors offers a selection of eight-sentence excerpts from writers in multiple genres and forms. Check out the full roster here.

***

Of course what I regret — do I even have to spell this out? — Phila is dead.

And every time I think about that grubber, Void take her, the one who stole my name, saying, “He wouldn’t know a proper pre-flight if it bit him in the ass”– before the crash, but I still don’t forgive.

Oh and I watch her soar to the top of the class, it’s pretty certain she’ll have a Captain’s commission, everyone says.

They take the very best of the class, the very top layer, when it’s a new Ship. It’s been growing, under construction, overhead most of my life. I don’t know how I feel, about that, but the idea of that grubber having what my face and name and very flesh have been meant for all my life–even if I never wanted it.

Because now I’ve washed out of spatio-temporal physics, because I failed the Jump simulation, because I walked out and didn’t come back, when the instructor started talking about diamond-pointed attention and I have had just enough of that, people lecturing me all my life about what I have to be.

Void take them all.

***

Yasmin-3, Full Clone of the Great Shipwright and minor villain of the Ship’s Heart trilogy. Thanks to my writing comrade Lev Mirov, she’s getting her own novel. “Minor villain wreaks havoc on major villain when she discovers she’s been played and finds redemption through her love of sex and fried dumplings.”

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