Funded! And further news…

Dear everyone,

Thank you for your support! The mini-fundraiser to help me write an essay/howto on including migrants in SFF funded and overfunded. A total of 20 people donated $201.64 (this already has transfer fees deduced from the sum, which is why it ends with 64 cents). This was well over my target of $150 and will enable me to also pay my beta readers more!

Thank you very much to all backers: Amanda Grondski, Amanda Perry, Ava A. Jarvis, Brendon Soltis, Bryn Greenwood, Kate Heartfield, D Franklin, Jeriann Ireland, Jill Seidenstein, Juliette Wade, Kaelan Rhywiol, Krista Ball, Lauren Wallace, M Sereno, Marisa Fernandez, MJ Cunniff, Nicole Wolverton, Sharmin Abbasi, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Tami Veldura.

Everyone should have gotten their backer rewards, please email me if that’s not the case!

Right now I am scrambling to make a work deadline on the 20th of February, so the essay will probably go live sometime after that! Backers will be listed again on top of it. 🙂

Thanks again for your support, and also a big thank you to all my recent new Patreon supporters – I am only $4 to the next monthly goal and I even had a dream about it. (+ bonus sketch!)

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In the meanwhile, I registered on Instagram and find it nice and relaxing. I am planning on making bookstagram pics for the books I review and I already made the next one, for An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows! Review coming soon, G-d willing. 🙂

Crowdfund my essay about migration and SFF!

*deep breath* I am trying a new thing, please bear with me.

Do you want me to write about how to make SFF more inclusive to migrants?

Do you also want to save me from having to convince people they are not inclusive enough, one by one?
I have been there and done that, over and over and over, for years.

Now you can quickly crowdfund my detailed essay and how-to post!
Also occasionally how-not-to post, to be honest. 😀

How am I doing this?

This is going to be very simple. You send me money via Paypal to writing at prezzey dot net.

You can send it directly, but here is also a cool button for it with social network features and the ability to squee – click and try, it’s fun:

Once I reach $150, I will write and post the essay / howto. You can send me any amount of money and I’ll tally them up. $1 is totally fine. You get the bonus ebooks if you send $5 or more, see below!

For your contribution, you will:

  • Get the essay – if this funds (G-d willing), it will be posted in public, so the entire SFF field gets the essay! It will be long and detailed, because I cannot shut up. 😀 It will be Creative Commons licensed for easy dissemination.
  • Get it dedicated to you – all supporters will be listed right above the essay! (Please put the name that you prefer if it’s not the same as on your Paypal account! If you wish to remain anonymous, please state that explicitly.)
  • If you give $5+, you get a bundle of ebooks I’m currently offering for my $2/month and above Patreon backers (DRM-free mobi and epub). A lot – but not all – of this stuff is available for free, but not in a nice ereader format.
  • If you give $5+, you will also get advance access to my March diverse book buying guide. It will be similar to the January and February ones, except longer because March will be an AMAZING month. I haven’t written it yet, but will probably write it next week. I can help you plan out your preorders and library holds 😀

Why am I doing this?

For me, talking about migration is not only emotionally fraught, it is also politically risky. I have a provisional green card up for renewal in 1.5 years.

I have been talking about migration in SFF for many years. You can read this essay for a sample (originally published in Invisible 2), or follow my Twitter feed for live rants. 🙂 Charles Tan made a storify of one of my Twitter threads on migration that you can read for a sample of those, too. These were all written before the US elections.

In the planned essay, among other points I will specifically talk about how not to bait migrants into doing activism that can be dangerous to them. I see many activists do so unwittingly, and some people not so unwittingly. This essay is something I can do with a reasonable level of calculated risk, on my own time. But it is stressful. It is a lot more stressful than the usual things I do for my blog / Patreon / etc., which is why I haven’t done it before. Financial incentives work well for me 🙂

I’ll also be very blatant. I have had rather baffling interactions with multiple venues on this topic, over a period of years. Two major venues very recently. So if you think this is my extremely extended subtweet specifically about you – it is not specifically about you. This is a much wider, systemic problem. That’s exactly why I’m crowdfunding a how-to essay.

If I take money from readers, I will be my own editor. This of course does not preclude me asking other migrants to read my howto (which I will not ask for free!). But I will not be tone-policed, told not to be offensive to Americans, told that they already are buying an article on non-Westerners (which is not the same as migrants, though I am both), told that I am “insufficiently political”, told that they cannot pay me the same rates as they would to Americans, told that migrants are not a marginalized group, etc. which have all happened to me.

Now you can help turn the tide a little bit, and also I’ll be very frank with you, you can help me pay my medical bills 😉

The money will go to:

  • Writing the essay / howto
  • Paying $10 for everyone I’m asking to beta read it. Probably 2-3 people – migrants with backgrounds different from mine
  • Food and medical bills!
  • Money transfer fees (most Paypal transfers should be free, but not all?)
  • Yes, I pay taxes – this is your reminder that noncitizens are also required to pay taxes (I will need to talk about that in the essay, too)

Extra money will go to extra food. If I get a LOT more, then I will come up with stretch goals and also pay beta readers more!

If I don’t reach $150 but get reasonably close, I will probably still write the essay, but make it a paid resource and not something that is openly available and CC licensed. If you donated, you will get a copy.

If I don’t get reasonably close, I will sit down on the floor and cry! Seriously, if I don’t get reasonably close, there probably won’t be an essay for now 🙁 , but then all backers will get the ebook bundle and the advance access to the March book buying guide, not just $5 and up – as I’d like to give you something for your money.

Spread the word and wish me luck! Every retweet and social media post helps! I’m not on Tumblr, so Tumblr posts especially help 😀

Interesting diverse book releases in February!

I’m running a bit behind with this due to spending two days on dental procedures and breaking my record of time spent at the dentist. Sorry about that… (In case you are wondering where your Patreon money goes – these days it goes to medical bills. Much appreciated and helpful!)

This month has a lot of cool contemporary and/or magical-realist YA releases. I’m not sure why, but that’s how it is!

I really enjoyed doing a similar list last month and it really helped me stay on top of what I’d been meaning to read, so this will probably be a regular feature, just for my own sake. 😀

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Introducing the Trans Poetry Project!

I haven’t been updating in the past few days because I had several deadlines at the end of January. I survived them and now I can introduce you to my newest project! (I am also behind on launching the newsletters, I will try to put out the first one this weekend.)

I started a Goodreads list for poetry collections by non-cis authors: trans, genderqueer, nonbinary, any label is fine as long as the author publicly identifies as not cis. Everyone can come and add books! We are now up to 75 titles, of which I added 38. (Xan West added over 40 – I am super grateful! Thank you everyone who contributed. 🙂 ) There are no topic restrictions, and mixed prose/poetry collections are fine too – see the guidelines I posted on the Goodreads page.

I am planning on reading one of these books each week until I run out. I might not be able to review them at that pace, but I do plan to eventually review a fair amount of them. If you want to join in, there’s already the #translit hashtag for general trans literature, and #transpoetry for trans poetry. I will use #TransPoetryProject for the week-by-week reading and you are very welcome to participate! You can read whatever you want, at this point I’m not organizing group readings. If someone wants to, let me know 🙂 Recommending individual poems on the hashtag is also great + there is also the more general #diversepoems, which I started a long time ago for ANY poem recs by a marginalized author.

Click to read more about my plans + how you can participate + what other related bookish things you can do! Continue reading

[Book review] All Good Children by Dayna Ingram

After a book focusing on viscera, now we get a book about cannibalism! …Kind of. Catching up on 2016 releases in my TBR pile, death seems to be a major theme, and I haven’t even gotten to Lily yet.

All Good Children by Dayna Ingram; Lethe Press, 2016

All Good Children coverAfter Publishers Weekly praised the young adult aspects of this book, I thought I’d read it for my rather underpopulated Norton award ballot. I was really surprised, so if you are like me, I’d better warn you. All Good Children is not only not a YA novel, but even rather cruel for an adult one. That’s not a problem at all for me, I was just very confused! I think the only YA aspect is that one of the three point of view characters (four if you count the prologue) is a teenager.

This is a book in which aliens eat humans. This is not even a spoiler, it’s something discussed upfront and mentioned on the back cover. I have a soft spot for interspecies biological interactions in SF, so I was cautiously enthused by this. Why do they need to eat humans? What are the social consequences? There’s not much discussion of the former (which makes sense – do you talk to your food?), but the latter is shown in considerable detail.
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[Book review] Viscera by Gabriel Squailia

Viscera coverI think I have found the sleeper hit of 2016 and it is full of guts. Literally.

Viscera is a dark fantasy novel – wait, a body horror novel – does it count as horrific if it is presented as “just the way we do things”? – a sword & sorcery satire – a — wait, what? *clears throat* Viscera is a novel that’s hard to categorize. But it certainly contains viscera.

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[Book review] If You Could Be Mine by Sarah Farizan

This is a repost of an earlier review from Goodreads.

If You Could Be Mine coverI read this YA novel for the #ReadProud challenge Week 3. I had mixed feelings about it… It was short and a quick read, with some interesting and sharp-tongued characterization – but not all the character portrayals worked for me. If You Could Be Mine was a novel about forbidden love between girls, but the actual love was somehow missing – the protagonist and point-of-view character seemed constantly annoyed with her love interest, and the two of them barely talked, even about life-changing decisions.

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[Recs roundup] #diversepoems / #diversestories Jan 9-13

My roundups of daily Twitter recommendations are resuming! Get your free stories and poems by marginalized authors by following me at @bogiperson.

As previously, I am trying to maintain 80% free content and at least one new author a week – meaning someone I haven’t featured previously, not necessarily someone who just started writing. 😉

Jan 9: [Poem] [Free] In Lieu of the Stories My Santera Abuela Should Have Told Me Herself, This Poem by Carlos Hernandez; Uncanny, Jan 2017

Jan 10: [Short story] [Free] Wintergreen by Alexis Hall; self-pub, Dec 2016

Jan 11: [Poem] [Free] Inhalations by S. Qiouyi Lu; Strange Horizons, Jan 2017

Jan 12: [Flash story] [Free] A Lumberjack’s Guide to Dryad Spotting by Charles Payseur; Flash Fiction Online, Jan 2017

Jan 16: [Graphic novel] [Nonfiction] [Non-free] [New author] March trilogy by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell.

Reminder: if you are a diverse author, you can send me your 2017 stuff (anything, any length) and make sure it will be in my queue, and also considered for my 2017 year’s best coming in 2018, in print for the first time ever.

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[Book review] Wandering Stars: An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction

(This is a repost of an earlier review from Goodreads. Warning for mentions of sexual violence – I do not discuss it in detail, just mention which story to avoid.)Wandering Stars cover

Several people warned me Wandering Stars was a bad anthology, but there are so few Jewish SFF anthologies that it’s easy to be a completionist – I might as well read all the stuff out there about my own ethnic groups. I’d already read (and disliked) the followup collection More Wandering Stars several years ago, but I was telling myself that maybe that one had the leftovers, and this one would be better.

Well no, this one was possibly worse. It’s old, but that’s no excuse…

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[Book review] Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Ninefox Gambit coverLet’s get it out of the way: asdfghjkl I want to nominate Ninefox Gambit for allll the awards. Hugo, Nebula, you name it. This has been very clearly one of the best novels in 2016, as far as I’m concerned (and I read a lot).

Kel Cheris is a young and promising officer in the military of an immense empire that is organized by manipulating consensus reality. They have their own calendar, which gives them powers, while the heretics the empire fights also have their own calendar, and so on. Kel Cheris teams up with Shuos Jedao, the spirit of a both respected and reviled military general. Can the two of them, working together in the same body, achieve victory – or what exactly does Jedao want to achieve?

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