Safety in fan communities

Given that I’m a writer, you might be expecting a post with this title to be about speculative fiction fandom.  It isn’t, or not directly.* It’s about hockey, and the very troubling rape allegation that surfaced recently in regards to Patrick Kane, #88, star winger on the Chicago Blackhawks. When professional athletes are accused of serious crimes, their fans don’t always take it well.  There’s a chorus of innocent until proven guilty and but he’s such a great guy, he signed my kid’s jersey one time and sometimes some pretty gross backlash against the victims of the alleged crimes. As a female sports fan–heck, as a decent-person sports fan, here is what I want to hear from other fans when something like this goes down.  I want to hear, first and foremost, that you hope the victim is okay and being treated well.  I want to hear concern for her, belief in her. I don’t want your first thought to be for the alleged criminal.  He’s a rich, highly privileged person who will almost certainly be fairly treated, well-represented and supported with excellent legal advice, and even if found guilty, may keep his prestigious job and his millions in salary. […]

Read More…

Just in time for Readercon…

Long Hidden continues to garner attention, this time nominated for a World Fantasy Award!  This anthology punches way above its weight in so many ways.  Every story made me proud to be in that company, and the community of contributors has been such a pleasure to meet.  I’m looking forward to seeing some of the #LongHiddenFam at Readercon! What else am I doing at Readercon?  Reading: Friday, 7pm, Inspire Room: Outer Alliance ReadingFeaturing: Nicola Griffith, Kelley Eskridge, Sarah Pinsker, Malinda Lo, Claire Humphrey, Brad Parks, Susan Jane Bigelow, CD Covington, and Jill ShultzHosted by Julia Rios I’m planning to read the opening scene of SPELLS OF BLOOD AND KIN.  I’m so excited to introduce my book to you all!  This will be its first outing! I’ll also go to panels and readings, of course, and hang out in the bar, and in the lobby, and on the party floor.  (And in the back yard of the hotel, where there’s an open green space that is perfect for sparring.  I don’t really box any more, but I make an exception for Marko Kloos.) […]

Read More…

Awards Season Roundup

Are you in need of a few reading suggestions to help fill out your short fiction ballot for the Nebulas, Hugos or any other upcoming awards?  Then this post is for you! Here are all my eligible stories published in 2014: “The Witch of Tarup”, Long HiddenWhile I am super proud of my story, I have to stress that Long Hidden is jam-packed with others that eclipse mine in so many amazing ways.  Each one matters.  It would be entirely just and right if Long Hidden were to sweep all the awards for everything.  Here is editor Rose Fox’s eligibility post to help you fit lots of Long Hidden onto all of your ballots. “Four Steps to the Perfect Smoky Eye”, Strange Horizons (also available as a podcast)This one got a lot of attention!  Niall Harrison rounded up all the reviews on the Strange Horizons blog.  “A Brief Light”, Interzone, issue 252About ghosts, suicide, a chilly marriage and an open window. “The End of the World in Five Dates”, Apex MagazineThis issue also included an interview with me in which I talked about cancer, fate, and the dinner date that gave me the idea for this story. “Lilac Season”, Handsome […]

Read More…

It’s starting to sink in…

When I’m working hard on something, one of the things I like to do is imagine what success will look like.  So I’ve constructed a number of scenarios, over the years, for what it would look like to sell my first book.  They became pretty realistic, what with my career in the bookselling business, my posse of working writer friends, and my own recent time in the short-fiction trenches. In fact, my scenarios had become so realistic that when the call finally came, I split in two: one of me, Business Me, recognized that my predictions had been accurate and was satisfied and pleased and totally unsurprised, and the other me, the one who’s been dreaming of this since childhood, was pretty much like this: That’s Sidney Crosby scoring a hat trick, in case you were wondering.  He looks kind of cheerful about it.  But I’ll tell you all about my recent hockey obsession another day, because the important thing about this post is that I have a book deal. It’s currently called KINSHIP but that’s probably going to change; it’s coming out with Thomas Dunne in spring of 2016.  My agent, Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary, arranged the deal […]

Read More…

Walking Alone

I have a new story up at Strange Horizons: “Four Steps to the Perfect Smoky Eye” is about “girls and the men who claim to protect them” (in the words of @sarahbbrand, who summed it up better than I could!) It is strongly rooted in my own experience.  In a way, all stories are, but this one has some pretty literal moments. I’ve spent ages labouring over this post, trying to describe the experience of growing up in St. Catharines, in the years when Paul Bernardo was hunting girls my age.  Trying to describe a taxonomy of fear. There was the killer, but there were also boyfriends who got demanding, classmates who got pushy, teachers who got handsy.  There were men in the library who made casual conversation and then wanted to know where I lived.  There was that friend who got drunk and held a knife to my face that time.  There was that guy in our class who murdered his girlfriend. And there were our fathers, some of whom offered protection in some traditional ways (rides to school, threats to keep boyfriends in line) but in exchange, demanded control of our wardrobes, reading habits, friend choices, sexualities, our […]

Read More…

My Detcon1 Schedule

Two cons back to back: the life of a writer is never dull (except for the parts where it’s ass-in-chair for twelve hours straight and you’re researching population data from 1883… never mind). I’m doing lots of panels at Detcon1–come say hi!Thursday, July 177pmThe Very First Thing: Story TitlesNicolet A Friday, July 183pmCurrent Voices: LGBT Authors & ArtistsAmbassador Salon 2 6pmGender Roles in Genre FictionAmbassador Salon 1 Saturday, July 1910amThe Classics: Written SF/F/H Mackinac West 4pmDisabilities in Genre FictionAmbassador Salon 1 […]

Read More…

Readercon and all things Long Hidden!

Readercon is all about Long Hidden for me this year!  Wondering where to find me, editors Rose Fox and Daniel José Older, and many of the other authors?  Here are a whole bunch of places you can meet us, get books signed, ask questions and celebrate: Friday, 3pm, Embrace Room: Group ReadingRose Fox (leader), Claire Humphrey, Michael Janairo, Ken Liu, Sunny Moraine, Daniel José Older, Sarah Pinsker, Sofia Samatar, Sabrina VourvouliasCome and watch me read from “The Witch of Tarup”, which begins, “Every town has its witch, or so the Midsummer Ballad says, but I had only lived in Tarup a fortnight and I did not know who the witch might be.” Saturday, 3pm, Enliven Room: Editors Rose Fox and Daniel José Older will delve into their work editing the Long Hidden anthology. Saturday, 9pm, Envision Room: Long Hidden Party! Open to everyone, and there will be food, including vegan and gluten-free snacks. Where else you can find me: catching up with all the amazing people at this amazing con.  It’s become one of the high points of my year for as many reasons as there are attendees. […]

Read More…

Writer Blog Hop

Fellow writer Nicole Winters tagged me in this blog hop–the idea is to have a chain of writers all answering questions about our process and tagging other writers we know to do the same.  Nicole’s post is here–thanks for tagging me, Nicole! 1) What am I working on/writing? I always have some short fiction on the go.  At the moment, I’m revising two stories, which are both very dark–one is about magicians who cut the tongues out of doves, and the other is about a dishonourably discharged soldier waiting out the war and anticipating her army’s defeat. I’m also putting the finishing touches on my second novel, which has been through several drafts; it’s so close to being done that I’m now planning my third novel, which will either be the one about lesbian railway gunners, or the one about the immortal alcoholic badass Gus Hillyard. 2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre? I have a foot on each side of the mainstream/genre line: I almost always include an element of magic or the fantastical, but I don’t focus on it as fully as some other speculative writers, choosing instead to centre on the emotional journeys […]

Read More…

Release day for Long Hidden!

Long Hidden is one of the most amazing projects I’ve had the pleasure to participate in.  I’m honoured to be in the company of such great writers–and so excited that the book is finally available to purchase. I can’t be at the launch party in New York tonight, but maybe you can–it’s at Alice’s Arbor, from 4-6 pm, and a number of the other writers will be there! Check out this gorgeous Julie Dillon cover: My story is called “The Witch of Tarup”.  It’s set in Denmark in 1886.  I was lucky to have a fantastic primary source: a memoir written by my great-great-grandmother, and translated by one of her sons.  (Disclaimer: none of my family are witches, as far as I know!)  Here’s how it begins:Every town has its witch, or so the Midsummer Ballad says, but I had only lived in Tarup a fortnight and I did not know who the witch might be. […]

Read More…

In which we have art!

Look at this beautiful illustration–by Richard Wagner, for my story “A Brief Light” in Interzone #252.  I love the mood of it: I want to say “haunting”, which is a metaphoric word usually, but in the context of this story, it’s literal. This is my second story for Interzone, and like the first, it has ghosts in it.  It’s also about love, loyalty, family, unfinished business, inheritance, and creepy birds. […]

Read More…