Today I have finished up a guest blog entry on ecofantasy for Charlie Stross, which you can read here.
I have also prepared for tomorrow’s thoroughly fabulous launch of License Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond, by making sure my reading of my Moneypenny story, “Through Your Eyes Only,” comes in under the five minute limit. I’ve booked a Send My Hair to the Sixties appointment at a place called Blo, and now I’ve also reminded you all that if you happen to be in Toronto, you really would be very very welcome to this shindig. (I tell you this even though, according to math, it increases my chances of winning the bespoke suit ChiZine Publications is giving away as a prize if you don’t come.) It’s at the Pravda Vodka House on 44 Wellington Avenue East. If you don’t want a bespoke suit, you can put my name on the raffle ticket.
(Are contributors even entitled to enter the raffle? Do I know? Don’t burst my bubble, okay?)
Earlier today, Iposted critiques for the last round of the Writing the Fantastic workshop at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Next up: revision exercises! (I do still have a few slots open in the winter session of Creating Universes, Building Worlds, by the way). I have worked on a novel called The After People, fetched food from two separate groceries, and written out some questions for the SFContario panel on economics in genre fiction that I’ll be moderating next Saturday.
I made a salad, drank coffee, ate a persimmon before it had a chance to liquefy and contemplated my upcoming Tor.com review of Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe of XKCD fame. Contemplated in this context is indeed a fancy term for “But she didn’t write a single word yet.”
Emails have been answered. Dishes have been washed.
And, since all this virtue and productivity means I am ignoring my young, I have refilled the bird feeder, which is the modern equivalent of slapping the kids down in front of Sesame Street with some Ritz Crackers.
For the next little while I’ll be putting up the occasional guest post at Charlie Stross‘s blog, which is a marvelous place filled with many wonders. My opener is a “Hi, I’m Alyx” type post, for those of his readers who haven’t heard of me, but it does contain medium-known facts you may not have heard before.
Google’s automatic egosurfing software brought me a listing, on myself, from Order of Books today. This is the sort of thing that happens now and then, and generally I’m grateful if the biographical info pillaged from my site is arranged in a somewhat comprehensible fashion. This particular site would also like you to know that I’m in good company, storywise:
Bujold! McGuire! Lackey! I’ll take it.
A. M. Dellamonica, 2014, photo by Kelly Robson
Here is every single tiny thing I will be doing at SFContario next weekend…
Friday, November 20 – Mass Signing
All authors, all signing, all the time… well, from 8 to 9 PM. Bakka-Phoenix will be on hand to sell books.
Saturday 11-11:30 AM, Room 207 – Reading
Some of you have heard me read my favorite chunk of A Daughter of No Nation, so this menu item is officially still called Alyx Surprise!
Economics in SF – Saturday 12 PM, Gardenview
Economics is frequently overlooked in SF. Do the adventurers simply live on nuts and berries and what they can kill? What do they pay with when they visit an inn or buy a drink? What’s the economic base of different regions? How is trade carried out, particularly between species? Is there still a struggle for resources or has science advanced to the point where anything can be fabricated?
Alyx Dellamonica(M), Michael Martineck, David Stephenson, Hayden Trenholm, Jo Walton;
First Contact in Real Life – Saturday 2 PM, Gardenview
It looks so easy in Star Trek but how could we really establish a common conceptual base to communicate with another species? Sure, we have numbers and the hydrogen atom in common, but how far would that get us with a world of beings who share none of our sensory apparatus
Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, Alyx Dellamonica, Neil Jamieson-Williams(M), Peter Watts;
Author Guest of Honour Interview – Saturday 5 PM. Courtyard
That’s right… I will be grilling Saladin Ahmed about all the things.
QUILTBAG in the media – Saturday 6 PM, Courtyard
Our media may be starting to feature more characters and situations from the queer/questioning, undecided, intersex, lesbian, transgender/transsexual, bisexual, allied/asexual, gay/genderqueer (QUILTBAG) perspective, but there’s still a long way to go. How do we move from tokenism to full inclusion? We’ll discuss favorite characters, new challenges, and available resources for writers and readers.
Alyx Dellamonica, JF Garrard, Bob Milne, and…. Kelly Robson! That’s right. My beloved and I shall be quilting our bags together.
And on Sunday I shall be attending the Aurora Awards.
The Heroine Question is on hiatus for a week, maybe two, as I reboot from World Fantasy Convention, gear up for SF Contario/Canvention 35, and figure out all the things I want to accomplish before A Daughter of No Nation is out on December 1st.
One of the very exciting things on that list is attending the launch of Licence Expired, The Unauthorized James Bond. As you see from this cunning invitational postcard, it will be at the swanky Pravda Vodka Bar. The publishers, World Fantasy Award winning ChiZine Publications, also offer this important info: Costumes and Bond-themed dress is highly encouraged, and there will be prizes for the best costumes.
Drinks! Costumes! Prizes! Incredibly warped fiction with a License to Kill! My story is about Moneypenny, and is called “Through Your Eyes Only.” Kelly’s is an alternate ending for From Russia with Love, and it is sick beyond all measure. How can you pass this up?
“The Glass Galago”
On Wednesday in Saratoga Springs I got to see three variations of this spectacular cover for “The Glass Galago,” which is the third* of The Gales and which will be out in a couple months. Irene Gallo showed me this lush and beautiful Richard Anderson image, and I squealed like a little child newly in possession of all the ice cream.
*The first two Gales are Among the Silvering Herd and The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti.
I am sitting in the hotel room in Saratoga Springs as I write this, checking my UCLA classrooms and talking with my students about what makes a person or non-human character monstrous. They’re asking: is the monstrous always just about making someone Other? Some might say any ordinary person with a defective moral compass–your classic heartless killer or other all-too-human predator– can be a monster. And in non-fiction, that scans for me. If a journalist wants to call Charles Manson a monster, I’m not going to quibble.
In fiction, my taste runs to the more than human monsters. I like for them to have a whiff of the transcendent. In the above series of stories, Gale Feliachild occasionally regards Captain Garland Parrish as monstrous, even though he’s not even remotely evil. He’s overly blessed by nature, you see: impossibly handsome, exceedingly graceful, and good at almost everything he turns his mind to. It’s just about too much. He’s good, but he can easily be jealousy-inducing. We all know people like this: coveting their good fortune makes us feel small, and it’s hard not to blame them.
The current TV version of Hannibal Lecter has an intense aestheticism and is so robustly athletic that he’s as hard to kill as The Terminator. Some of his qualities are appealing–his love is so pure!–and that makes his compulsion to kill and eat the rude all the more awful. And the fact that we can empathize with the idea of quelling the rude, neglectful and genuinely awful people we run across from time to time actually increases the effect… it invites us to consider whether we might not condone more than we should.