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The annual list, updated as new things arise:

  • Skiffy and Fanty Podcast - I'll be interviewed on this Hugo-Award-nominated podcast about my work in general and about Out of This World and Queen of Swords Press specifically. Date of broadcast is TBD.
  • Quatrefoil Library, Minneapolis - March 26th, 1-4PM. Queer Author Series - readings and signings by a bunch of local authors, including yours truly.
  • Speculations SF Reading Series - April 19th, 6:30-7:45PM. I'll be reading from works new and in progress and such at DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis, MN.
  • Tea and Ghost Stories - April 29th, 5PM. Bingley's Tea Room, Minneapolis. I'll be reading a selection of my various ghost stories, there will be books for sale and excellent tea!
  • Books and Beer Pop-up Store, Lake Monster Brewing, St. Paul. - May 11th, 5:30-9:30. I will be there with the new print edition of Out of This World, as well copies of Respectable Horror and sundry promo materials for upcoming works.
  • WisCon, Madison, WI - May 26th-29th. Programming participant - panels and reading. Wandering about, being authorial and publisherial as well.
  • Diversicon, St. Paul, MN - July 21-23rd. Panelist and returning Special Guest.
  • Worldcon 75, Helsinki, Finland - August 9-13. Programming participant and moderator.

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I need to do a con writeup for Worldcon 75 (it was swell) and a trip writeup (it was mostly good) but am still massively jetlagged and wrangling the aftereffects of a horrible migraine yesterday. Blergh.
But I still have updatey things!

Followup from Worldcon panels:
Older Women in Speculative Fiction: Catherine's book and story list of older women as protagonists in science fiction, fantasy and horror. Sidsel Pedersen had turned it into a Goodreads list that you can add to or use to build a reading list of your own. Catherine has a shorter Goodreads list of her reviews of some of the books in the bibliography.

LGBTQ Science Fiction Goes Worldwide -
Catherine's original history of LGBTQ speculative fiction posts here now here. Her updated versions which include more horror and are longer are being posted on a monthly basis on Queer Sci-Fi and her list of speculative fiction with queer female protagonists cane be found here. The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards have a reading list of early works here (see also the award lists) and LGBTQ Reads for more recent works.

Podcasts - I had a two part interview up at author Heather Rose Jones' Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast. Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 is my work and Part 2 is book recommendations.

More soon!

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 Today is the day we sign books at Worldcon 75 (hopefully)! I'll be in the Author Signing area from 1-2 PM and Rosebud Books will have copies of SILVER MOON and OUT OF THIS WORLD for sale (barring unforeseen circumstances, in which case I'll sell them directly). Please stop by and say hi! I'll also have Queen of Swords Press postcards and such and can talk more about the Press and what's next. #Worldcon75 #authorsigning
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Part 2 for N-Z (see Part 1 for A-M). All listings by author’s last name or creator name.
  • Newman, Emma. Planetfall. Renata Ghali follows her beloved friend to their new planetary home in search of their vision of God, only to have things go very wrong.
  • Older, Daniel José. "The Passing" in Salsa Nocturna and Other Stories. Elderly Latina story keeper fights to keep stories alive and remembered.
  • Page, Shannon Page and Lake, Jay. Our Lady of the Islands. Fantasy with two powerful middle-aged female protagonists, Sian and Arian, who must work together to save their land and their loved ones.
  • Piercy, Marge. Malkah Shipman in He, She and It is a computer programmer in a postapocalyptic future who must work with her daughter and her beloved android to fight cyberpirates and preserve their community.
  • Pollack, Gillian. Ms. Cellophane. Older female protagonist on fantastical journey of self-discovery.
  • Pratchett, Terry. Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg in The Wyrd Sisters, and other Witches novels, are the two older witches (The Crone and The Mother) of Pratchett's wild popular trio of Discworld witches.
  • Rambo, Cat. "Grandmother: Farther Than Tomorrow." Short story about a century-old pirate called out of retirement to save her planet.
  • Randall, Marta. The Sword of Winter. Lyeth is a courier for a dying tyrant she despises, trying to negotiate a chaotic kingsdom and a complex series of plots (I'm reading her age into this; she feels "middle-aged" to me).
  • Rickert, Mary. The Memory Garden. Nan, her friends and her granddaughter come to terms with their pasts, their futures and the ghosts of both.
  • Richardson, E.E. Under the Skin and Disturbed Earth. Claire Pierce, head of the North Yorkshire Police Ritual Crime Unit, takes on the apocalypse and paranormal perils.
  • Rigney, Mark. "Mayor of a Flourishing City" (Betwixt Magazine, Issue 1, 2014). Mayor Janet Bentham will do anything for her city...or will she?
  • Robins, Madeleine. Barbara McGrath in The Stone War is in her early 60s when she has to help rebuild NYC after an apocalyptic collapse (Multiple POV). Zenia Mavroandrades in "The Boarder" (Asimov's, 1984) has to contend with a new and alien roommate.Vivey in "La Vie en Ronde" (Starlight 3) experiences a strange illness that opens a doorway to a new world.
  • Robinson, Kim Stanley. Mars Trilogy, ensemble cast with older characters.
  • Ruff, Matt. Lovecraft Country. Multiple POV. One of the writers for The Safe Negro Travel Guide, Letitia, is in her 40s for much of the book.
  • Russ, Joanna. Abbess Radegunde in "Souls" (Extraordinary People). Older female protagonist who confronts a Viking attack on a medieval convent. Janet Evason in “When It Changed.” Middle-aged protagonist on all-female planet wrestling with the impact of the arrival of male astronauts from Earth.
  • Salaam, Kiini Ibura."Two Become One" in To Shape the Dark. Multiple POV story. Meherenmet and Amagasat struggle for control of the former's destiny, using Meherenmet's apprentice, K, and a creature of her own creation as pawns.
  • Sargent, Pamela. “Heart Flowers.” Post-apocalyptic SF with old female protagonist.
  • Sanderson, Brandon. Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell. Middle-aged  innkeeper Silence Montane has a secret identity as a bounty hunter.
  • Sato, Yuya. Dendera. 70 year old Kayu Saitoh leaves her village to go and wait to die on the nearby mountain, in accordance with custom. But things don't quite turn out that way when she stumbles onto a not-quite-utopian society built by elderly women that is under attack on multiple levels.
  • Saxton, Josephine. "Big Operation on Altair Three" in Despatches from the Frontiers of the Female Mind, edited by Jen Green and Sarah Lefanu (1985). Aging ad exec in a near future dystopia contemplates a career change. See also Magdalen in Queen of the States.
  • Scalzi, John. Old Man's War . Military SF series in which characters sign up for the Colonial Defense Forces in their sixties, never to return to Earth.
  • Shawl, Nisi. Everfair. Multiple POV alternate history/steampunk set in the what would be, in our timeline, the Belgian Congo. 2 of the protagonists are women over 40.
  • Shoulders, Felicity. "Conditional Love" in Asimov's, January, 2010. Dr. Grace Stellar works in a lab facility that "fixes" genetically modified children.
  • Springer, Nancy. Fair Peril, Larque on the Wing and Plumage. Middle-aged female protagonists exploring gender, aging and magic.
  • Starhawk. Fifth Sacred Thing. Post-apocalyptic novel with multiple viewpoint characters, including 98 year old Maya Greenwood.
  • Stirling, S.M. Captain Marian Alston-Kurlelo in Island of the Sea of Time, etc. Alternate history with an ensemble cast. Marian is the middle-aged African-American lesbian captain of a Coast Guard vessel brought to an alternate Nantucket.
  • Tarr, Judith. Khalida in Forgotten Suns is a 40+ year old former military intelligence officer hiding out from her past when she is forced back into service.
  • Valente, Catherynne M. Yume no Hon: The Book of Dreams. Elderly Japanese female hermit as the POV character.
  • Vernon, Ursula. “Jackalope Wives” and “Pocosin” in Apex Magazine. Different older women protagonists in both; Grandma Harken in “Jackalope Wives” turns shapeshifter myths on their heads.
  • Walton, Jo. My Real Children. Alternate history featuring two different versions of character Pat Cowan’s life, starting at its end when she is an elderly woman.
  • Warner, Sylvia Townsend. Lolly Willowes. Middle-aged English spinster sells her soul to the devil in order to become a witch. Fantasy/satire
  • Warrington, Freda. Midsummer Night. Multiple POV fantasy. Dame Juliana is an artist in her sixties struggling to gain mastery over her art and her powers.
  • Walters, Damien Angelica. "When the Lady Speaks." Fortune-teller Marian hopes to use her powers to save her injured daughter.
  • Wells, Martha. Wheel of the Infinite. Maskelle is recalled from a long exile to save her world and the god she serves.
  • Wilder, Cherry. “Mab Gallen Recalled.” Retired ship’s medical officer reminiscing about her life and previous events.
  • Wilkins, Connie. “Windskimmer” in Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic. Two female magic users reunite to stop a magic-fueled environmental plague.
  • Williams, Liz. The Ghost Sister. Female anthropologist comes into contact with a cultural outcast on a distant planet.
  • Windling, Terri. The Wood Wife. Middle-aged woman discovers art and magic in the SW.
  • Winter Well: Speculative Novellas About Older Women edited by Kay Holt.
  • Wonder City Stories - Multiple POV, serial story featuring multiple older women characters including Renata Scott and Suzanne Feldstein. Interludes #1, 2, and 7 feature middle-aged or elderly women as leads (Lady Justice, the Fat Lady, and Pearl Wong, respectively).
  • Wrede, Patricia. Granny Carry/Tenerial Ka'Riatha. Elderly woman who is the magical guardian of the traditions and magic of the early inhabitants of the city of Liavek. Stories collected in Points of Departure.
  • Wymore,Teresa. Darklaw. Erotic epic fantasy with two lesbian protagonists, one of whom is in her forties.
  • Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn. “The Generalissimo’s Butterfly” in Cautionary Tales. Older female engineer has fallen from grace with the dictator she helped keep in power.


Also see this interesting list/discussions on Tor. Com: Where are the Older Women? And Older Women as Lead Characters in Urban Fantasy.
 as well as the following excellent and related essays
Where are the Wise Crones in Science Fiction? by Athena Andreadis, "Hands" by Kari Sperring and "No More Dried Up Spinsters" by Nancy Jane Moore. Harry Connolly also touches upon the difficulty of getting publishers to pick up novels with older female protagonists in his essay Helpless in the Face of Your Enemy.

And honorable mentions, since they are not protagonists, but are fairly unique in postapocalyptic sf, the matriarchal bikers in Mad Max: Fury Road.

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There are now so many recommendations that I had to break this list into two parts! Below, please find Part 1 A-M by author/creator name); Part 2 (N-Z) is in the next post. I’m still taking recommendations (protagonists, only please; not secondary characters). The list is focused on older female protagonists in genre, "older" in this case meaning age 40 and up. To date, we have the following recommendations from online or my own reading:

Part 1 A through M. All listings by author’s last name or creator name.


  • Asimov, Isaac. Dr. Susan Calvin, robotics expert in I, Robot, etc.
  • Bailey, Robin Wayne. Bloodsongs (Frost Saga, Vol. 3). Frost is a female warrior who spends most of the first two books as a young woman fighting supernatural battles. At the end of book 2, she settles down, retires and has kids. Bloodsongs has her coming back from retirement as a middle-aged woman to fight her biggest battles yet.
  • Bear, Elizabeth. Lady Abigail Irene Garrett in New Amsterdam. Middle-aged female supernatural detective in steampunky NY, series of linked stories. See also Bone and Jewel Creatures and the Jenny Casey series (Scardown, etc.).
  • Bennett, Robert Jackson. City of Stairs and City of Blades. General Turyin Mulaghesh is a career soldier who gets brought in to deal with crises, military, magical and combinations of both. She’s one of several protagonists in the first book but is the main character in the second.
  • Berman, Ruth. Bradamant's Quest. Middle-aged female knight on a quest (sequel to Aristo's Orlando Furioso).
  • Bernobich, Beth. Nocturnall. A queen saves her husband from a magical assasination attempt, but at what cost?
  • Bishop, K.J. “Vision Splendid” in Baggage: An Anthology of Australian Speculative Fiction.
  • Bujold, Lois McMaster. Paladin of Souls. Ista is a middle-aged dowager queen on a quest to combat a god-driven curse affecting multiple generations of her family. Also, an older Vicereine and former Betan Admiral, Cordelia Naismith is the protagonist of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.
  • Charnas, Suzy McKee. Dorothea Dreams. Magical realist novel with elderly artist protagonist.
  • Cherryh, C.J. Downbelow Station. Interstellar battleship commander Captain Signy Mallory negotiates battles and a complex political situation. Also, Ajiji-Dowager Illisidi in the Foreigner series.
  • Connolly, Harry. A Key, An Egg, An Unfortunate Remark. Urban Fantasy. Vampire hunter  Marley Jacobs comes out of retirement to solve a supernatural murder.
  • Cooper, Constance. "The Carnivores of Can't-Go-Home" in To Shape the Dark. Botanist Dr. T must solve a murder mystery on an alien planet.
  • Cornell, Paul. The Witches of Lychford. 71 year old Judith Mawson has to gather allies to protect the boundary between worlds.
  • Cross, Helen. "Fur" in Wolf-Girls. A different spin on menopausal werewolves (an idea whose time has come!)
  • de Bodard, Aliette. "Crossing the Midday Gate" in To Shape the Dark.
    Scientist Luong Thi Dan Linh is recalled to court and an uncertain welcome by an AI after twenty years in exile, the result of vaccine development gone wrong. 
  • Dyer, S.N. "Sins of the Mothers" in The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, (May, 1997). Protagonist's son (given up for adoption as an infant) approaches her about creating a clone of himself from her eggs.
  • Elgin, Suzette Haden. The Ozark Trilogy. Magic-working Grannies uphold the social order and dispense wisdom in a confederation of planets modeled on the Ozark culture of the southern Midwest. Responsible of Brightwater, protagonist ages over the course of the books.
  • Eliott, Kate. Black Wolves  Dannarah is a 59 year old reeve Marshall  for most of the book, and a key player in a shifting political landscape. (Multiple POV)
  • Emschwiller, Carol. "Grandma" in Report to the Men's Club and Other Stories. An adolescent is inspired to take on her grandmother's superhero role.
  • Fenn, M. "Chlorophyll is Thicker Than Water" in To Shape the Dark. Dr. Susan Yamamoto and her wife, Dr. Hina Okada, must foil a corporate saboteur out to steal their ground-breaking botanical research.
  • Fforde, Jasper. The Woman Who Died a Lot. Literary Detective Thursday Next enters middle age and a whole new set of adventures.
  • Files, Gemma. Experimental Film. Middle-aged former historian Lois Carns invesitages the death of an early woman filmmaker and gets sucked into a world of ghosts and monsters.
  • Fowler, Karen Joy. Narrator of “What I Didn’t See.” What I Didn’t See and Other Stories by Karen Joy Fowler.
  • Frohock, Teresa. Miserere. Multiple POV fantasy novel, including demon-ridden Rachael Boucher, who is in her forties, when the lover who abandoned her returns to pull her back into a war against the Fallen Angels.
  • Gilman, Carolyn Ives. Dark Orbit. Saraswati Callicot is a scientist on a mission to travel light years across space to explore new planets, but neither the planet Orem or her crewmates are what they seem to be.
  • Gladstone, Max. Last, First Snow. Elayne Kevarian is a 50-year old Craftswoman and veteran of the God Wars who must contend with foes new and old.
  • Goldstein, Lisa. Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon. Widowed bookseller Alice Wood works with Christopher Marlowe to rescue her son from Faerie.
  • Goto, Hiromi and Loup, Celine. Shadow Life. Forthcoming graphic novel featuring an elderly queer woman battling Death.
  • Grotta, Sally Wiener. The Winter Boy features an older woman, Rishana, who mentors and protects a young man in order to make him one of their tribe’s leaders.
  • Hambly, Barbara. Dragonsbane, Dragonshadow, Knight of the Demon Queen and Dragonstar. Middle-aged witch Jenny Waynest must contend with dragons, demons and threats to her loved ones.
  • Henderson, Zenna. “The Deluge.” Old female alien experiences the end of her world.
  • Hopkinson, Nalo. The New Moon's Arms. Calamity Lambkin, middle-aged POC protagonist in Caribbean setting, rescues a magical sea creature.
  • Jemison, N.K. The Fifth Season. Essun is an orogene, someone who can control the earth's energy, as well as a middle-aged school teacher dealing with unimaginable tragedy.
  • Jones, Heather Rose. The Mystic Marriage, multiple POV includes Jeanne de Cherdillac, patron and lover of the female alchemist Antuniet Chazillen.
  • Kagan, Janet. Mirabile, featuring Annie 'Mama' Jason Masmajean as an ecological troubleshooter on a colony world.
  • Kerr, Katharine. Lady Lovyan in Daggerspell and other Deverry series novels.
  • Klass, Fruma. "The Way We Were" in Triangulation (July, 2014), includes seven characters (four women, three men) living in a retirement home for indigent old werewolves. "Jennifer's Turn" in Gathering the Bones features a 68-year-old woman dealing with Social Security in 2020.
  • Kowal, Mary Robinette. "The Lady Astronaut of Mars." An aging female astronaut is torn between one last mission and staying with her dying husband.
  • Krasnoff, Barbara. “Red Dybbuk” (Subversion); “The Seder Guest” (Crossed Genres 15) and “The History of Soul 2065” (Clockwork Phoenix 4) all feature older female protagonists.
  • Kress, Nancy. Tomorrow's Kin. Middle-aged female scientist Marianne Jenner is amongst the first to meet the aliens who have just landed in NYC. (Multiple POV)
  • Lanigan, Susan. "Ward 7" in To Shape the Dark. Neurological scientist Vera Ragin is driven to experiment on herself to find a new way to detect disease, over the objections of her employer and her much younger lover.
  • Le Guin, Ursula. "The Day Before the Revolution" in The Wind's Twelve Quarters. Laia Asieo Odo is an elderly anarchist leader whose ideas are about to come into fruition. See also Le Guin’s Four Ways to Forgiveness and the character Tenar in Tehanu
  • Lewitt, Shariann. "Fieldwork" in To Shape the Dark. Geologist Irene Kolninskaya Taylor must journey to Jupiter's Moon Europa to investigate the disaster that killed her mother and her team and which still haunts her.
  • Locke, M.J. Up Against It. Jane Navio is the colony resource manager on an asteroid colony. (Multiple POV).
  • Lowell, Nathan. The Tanyth Fairport Adventures (Ravenwood, Zypheria's Call, The Hermit of Lammas Wood). Tanyth Fairport is an elderly herbalist and witch who goes on a quest to develop her powers and save those she holds dear.
  • Lundoff, Catherine. Silver Moon. Becca Thornton learns to embrace her inner, and outer, menopausal werewolf when she joins the local all-female werewolf pack.
  • MacAvoy, R.A. Tea with the Black Dragon. Middle-aged female protagonist goes on a quest with a magician who may also be a dragon.
  • Marley, Louise. Mother Isabel Burke in The Child Goddess is a medical anthropologist trying to save the child leader of a lost colony from an interstellar corporation.
  • McKillip, Patricia. Iris in Solstice Wood (multiple POV). Also, arguably, Sel in The Tower at Stony Wood.
  • McIntyre,Vonda N. "The Mountains of Sunset, the Mountains of Dawn" in The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy (February, 1974). Old female alien wants to experience flight for the last time before dying when a young male alien approaches her and wants to mate in order to transition to adulthood.
  • Modesitt, L. E. The Soprano Sorceress. Middle-aged college professor Anna Marshall finds herself in a parallel world where her musical talent gives her magical powers.
  • Moffett, Judith. "Surviving." Janet is a middle-aged psychologist, trying to come to terms with her failure to "save" and civilize Sally, a young woman raised by apes after a plane crash.
  • Moon, Elizabeth. Remnant Population. Ofelia is an eighty-year old grandmother making first contact  with hostile aliens on a new world. See also Moon’s Serrano Legacy series, which feature a number of older women as POV/primary characters.
  • Moraine, Sunny. "Thin Spun" in Hellebore and Rue: Tales of Queer Women and Magic Lakshmi is a wise woman, exiled from her people for having loved too well. Intriguing story of intergenerational cooperation and redemption.
  • Murphy, Pat. The Falling Woman. Liz Butler is an aging archaeologist who can see people in the past and talk to Mayan ghosts, but has less success communicating with her estranged daughter.
  • Myers, Jenn. All the Growing Things. Graphic novel about an elderly gardener named Maude who takes on monsters and solves mysteries.

End of part 1, A through M – see Part 2 for N-Z. All listings by author’s last name or creator name.


Aug. 8th, 2017 07:36 pm
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Just got in today and am wildly jet lagged. There are pix of Reykjavik on my Facebook page so this may be a good time to send a friend invite my way!  Schedule otherwise -
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My Worldcon Finalized schedule:

Pronouns, who needs gender pronouns?

Wednesday 17:00 - 18:00, 102 (Messukeskus)

Lately in SFF, as well as in the real world, the use of gender pronouns have become problematical when referring to trans and intersex people and many writers have struggled to find ways--using "they", using feminine pronouns as the default, inventing pronouns. However, there are many languages, including Finnish and Turkish, that do not come with gender pronouns, so does not have this mainly indo-european language-specific issue. What can SF writers learn from native speakers of languages that just don't DO gender?
Cenk Gokce (M), Johanna Sinisalo, Catherine Lundoff, Kelvin Jackson, John Chu

Signing: Catherine Lundoff
Thursday 13:00 - 14:00, Signing area (Messukeskus)

LGBTQ+ Speculative Fiction Goes Worldwide
Friday 11:00 - 12:00, 101a&b (Messukeskus)

Panel discussion on gay, lesbian, bisexual. transgender and queer representation international works of speculative fiction.
Catherine Lundoff, Laura Lam, Keffy R.M Kehrli, Kat Kourbeti (M)

Older women in genre fiction
Saturday 10:00 - 11:00, 101c (Messukeskus)

Genre fiction has tons of grizzled soldiers and space captains in their 40s and 50s, but where are the ladies at? Young Adult has its share of teenage heroines, but where are the adult women?
Catherine Lundoff (M), Delia Sherman, Liisa Rantalaiho, Helena

Curse your sudden but inevitable romantic subplot! The panelists talk about the romantic subplots in fiction they just love to hate!
Saturday 13:00 - 14:00, Rauhanasema (Messukeskus)

Daniel Starr (M), Caroline Stevermer, Catherine Lundoff, Elli Leppä

The full schedule is here and it looks amazing. I will have books for sale there as well. Please track me down and say hi if you're going to be there!

Other things planned and on the schedule: Reykjavik - "Icelandic Sagas: Greatest Hits in 75 Minutes" at the Harpa, several museums and bookstores and Blue Lagoon.
Other things in Helsinki: Tour of Suomenlinna Fortress and the Tom of Finland Walking Tour
Stockholm: The ABBA Museum, afternoon tea at Svenskt Tenn and a hop on/hop off bus tour of Stockholmd

It promises to be fun! And we are leaving the kitties and the house in good hands with a visiting friend and our drop-in catsitter so they will be all loved up when get back and will scarcely that we're gone. If you're going to be at Worldcon, please say hi!

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So many things! I'm embarking on draft 2 of my current gaming tie-in story -- more info when I can share it -- and now the sink is backed up, in a totally unrelated but tiresome event. At least I got the pesto made before that happened. Oooph.

Last weekend's shenanigans included Diversicon 25, which was...a mix of things. Hanging out with Melissa Scott was lovely and I got to introduce her to a number of my friends, who were all thrilled to meet her. We had lots of good conversations and a couple of fine panels. I also got to see some other friends who I haven't seen for far too long so that was lovely as well. On the less lovely side, a contingent of the Frenkel Fan Club turned up and apparently shared their enthusiasm with the room at large at the memorial panel for John Rezmerski (who definitely did not share their enthusiasm), Michael Levy and a longtime Diversicon fan. I missed the "fun" because I was on a competing panel, which was probably just as well. I also had to "guard" Melissa from some importuning which resulted in sulking. So many eyerolls. Never insist that anyone read your work when they are clearly otherwise engaged and are sending out very clear signals that this is not the time or the place. This is even more annoying when you clearly have the wrong person to begin with and are refusing to acknowledge it. There were some other behavior "issues" as well, and given that and all the recent deaths which I think made it a much lower energy and less pleasant con than some previous years, it was a hard weekend. I hope they can turn it around for next year.

In other news, I have seen Valerian and been mostly unimpressed. Pretty though. And trip planning is moving along. I've added a trip to Blue Lagoon, a Tom of Finland walking tour, a tour of Suomenlinna Fortress and we're discussing a tour of Stockholm and of course, tea. And the Abba Museum. Good times!

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 My Diversicon schedule - this also will include the traditional Saturday at 5ish autographing 
Saturday, July 22
4:00-4:55 PM, Krushenko's Annex (Northern Pacific)
Panel: You've Got Magic on My Crime Scene!--Police Procedurals in Fantasy
Catherine Lundoff, mod.; Melissa Scott, Phyllis Ann Karr
Sunday, July 23
3:00-3:55 PM, Main Stage (Soo Line)
Bidding Farewell to the Red Shirts and Side Kicks: LGBTQ Protagonists in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Catherine Lundoff, mod.; Melissa Scott
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KFAI's Fresh Fruit (longest running weekly Queer radio show in the country) did a feature on the Pride Month Queer Voices reading at the Central Library. Featured are co-curators Andrea Jenkins and John Medeiros, and two south Minneapolis writers: Anthony Ceballos and myself. Queer Voices is also the longest running Queer reading series in the country, so it's a pretty cool way to celebrate! 
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 Next "Out of the Past" column up at Queer Sci-Fi. These are expanded from my original SF Signal posts, FYI, and I'm planning on increasing the timeline and talking about specific authors and works and such.


I am having a writing anniversary today! I've have just had my 20th story accepted for a Year's Best antho! I'm defining these as edited anthologies from a given year or publication with "Best" in the title.

So far, that's:

Best Lesbian Romance 2009 and 2011

Best of Luna Station Quarterly

Heiresses of Russ 2011

The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica - Vols. 4, 6 and 9

Ultimate Lesbian Erotica (Alyson Publications) - 1999 and 2001

Best Lesbian Erotica (Cleis Press) - 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017


And possibly something I'm forgetting, but hey, we'll call it even. At any rate, it's a milestone and I'm pretty proud of it. :-)))


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 Author Christopher Rose interviewed me about Queen of Swords Press, where we've been and what's next on Curiousful.
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This is a phrase I run into a lot, generally with regard to certain kinds of author events: conventions, workshops, festivals and the like. New writers (or ‘new to the writing social scene’ writers, who are not necessarily the same people), new pros and other creative type folks get told a lot of things about visibility, networking, establishing themselves…all of which may or may not have anything whatsoever to do with actually selling work or meeting anyone who can help make your work sellable. And we don’t talk a lot about the subjectivity that goes into that phrase; all careers are not created equal, all access is not equal, and I can have a completely different con than someone else in a different social demographic or fandom.


Some of these things are based on personality as well. The cool, zillion person con that is mostly media-based that you adore may not be the place for your quiet, introverted professional editor pal.  You may regard the quiet con where everyone plays games and talks about books as excruciating. Whatever the experience that you’re looking for, deciding just how an event is going to help your career and trying to drive toward that is in your best interests.


 That said, I thought I’d try coming up with a checklist for what might make a given event “good for your career” from a writing-related professional perspective. Things that impact what I prioritize: I write in a range of genres and generally go to a couple of literary or at least nonsfnal events each year, so those are factored in. My average year: 2-4 readings (bookstores, libraries, bars, etc.), 4-6 science fiction conventions, 1 convention that is not an sfnal convention, 1-3 podcasts, 2-4 guest blogs, radio, miscellaneous appearances, 1-2 sundry writing-related events. I am an award-winning small press author, editor and publisher (no awards on the publishing yet, but the day is young, as it were) and I have been writing and publishing since the mid-1990s. I am also a middle-aged cis female who is white, mostly able-bodied and loud about being queer (all of which can impact event experiences as well as which kinds of events I attend or get invited to attend). In addition, I am reasonably extroverted and an experienced moderator and panelist.


Some basic questions to ask yourself:

·      Why am I going to this event?

·      What do I hope to accomplish there?

·      What am I planning on doing at this event to make those things happen?

·      What do I hope will happen afterwards?



Why am I going to this event?

·      This is a big one. I often go to things because I’m invited in, rather like a vampire. But I might also be there to see friends, to be on panels, to do readings, to meet with editors or publishers or writers, to see how a conference in a different genre is set up, to teach a workshop and/or to sell books. None of these things cancels out any of the others and I might go to a bigger event in hopes of accomplishing them all.

·      Sometimes, my assessment of why I’m at a given event can change once I’m there. Maybe I have a panel and a reading but can’t get an audience that responds to me. Or I have an option for selling books but no one’s buying. Then I try to regroup and consider the other options. Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn’t. There are bad years, bad cons and bad days for pros, as well as good ones. You have to evaluate what you’re dealing with and any options for improving it (this generally gets better with practice). Sometimes, that’s going back to your room for a day and writing. Always keep that in mind as an option.


What do I hope to accomplish at this event?

·      Set yourself a small, manageable goal if you’re new to conventions – I want to be on my first panel or do my first reading, I want to attend a writing workshop, I want to meet a specific pro, I want to meet two new people, whatever, but give yourself some options for things to do.

·       If you’re more familiar with the convention scene, set your self some bigger goals or more goals: I want to sell more books, I want to go to all the publishing panels, I want to organize a local writer’s networking event, I would like to meet a professional I admire, etc.


What am I planning on doing at this event to make those things happen?

·      If you want to be on convention programming, did you volunteer for panels? Generally speaking, suggesting panel topics at the brainstorming stage is helpful if you want to be on programming. Want to do a reading? Can you organize with a group of writer friends? Again, it makes it easier for most programming committees to accept a group that’s already set up than a complete unknown.

·      Doing a reading series or a bookstore is generally a matter of talking to whoever curates the series or the bookstore owner and seeing what they’re looking for. Hint: it is super, super helpful if they can recognize you as a semi-regular audience member or customer.  Be polite, ask about the venue and the event, buy books – sooner or later, these things make you look more appealing.

·      Want to connect with other pros, including agents, editors and publishers? Being polite is helpful, being knowledgeable and respectfully enthusiastic about their work is very helpful. If they are jerks to you, go do something else with better human beings. Being a jerk back will not help you. Don’t overstay your welcome if people clearly want to socialize with each other at the bar, don’t follow agents around like a puppy, don’t slip your manuscript under the door of the editor’s bathroom stall, etc.


What do I hope will happen afterwards?

·      You hope to meet an agent and send them your book at their request, you hope to meet an editor and sent them a story or a manuscript, you hope to be super charming at a room party for a different con and get invited to be a guest, I hope to sell and autograph 5 books, I hope to be a guest on a particular podcast or reading series. Again, set yourself a goal, but be flexible about it. What if the agent gets the flu or the publisher is not the person you thought they were or they’re simply not interested in your work? Have a backup plan for something you want to see happen next.



Have I been able to make this work for me? Some of it. Not all the time, not at every con. I list interest in chasing agents awhile ago because that’s not a path I picked for myself. There are pros who I’ve encountered enough times that they drive me up a tree. There are fans who do likewise. I generally pick who I want to run around them and schedule with them beforehand. But I still try and drive a goal or two at each event.  A convention that I regard as “good for my career” at this point is generally about a combination of the following: 1. Book sales, 2. Follow up events or something that directly benefits my writing career (an anthology invitation, for example, is my gold standard), 3. Some form of networking that involves meeting some new people or cultivating a closer relationship with people I want to know better, and 4. A good conversation or three. #4 is about my sanity. This stuff has to stay fun or it gets to be too much and you burn out.


I recommend reading Jeff VanderMeer’s Booklife for ways to approach all this. I learned a ton from it. 


So what’s worked for you so far? How do you define a convention or other event as being “good for your career”?

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I thought I had posted a couple of days ago, but apparently it was all a dream. So, catching up:
  • DreamHaven Books, Comics and Art now has signed copies of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories and Silver Moon: A Wolves of Wolf's Point Novel!
  • Sent off books to the Hennepin County Library to see if they'll pick them up for the catalogue (they requested them at the Queer Voice Book Fair) and Quatrefoil Library now has a copy of Out of This World. They'll have the new edition of Silver Moon soon too!
  • Emily L. Byrne is doing a week long fundraiser for the terrific sex ed website, Scarleteen. Comment on her blog post and she'll make a contribution at the end of the week.
  • Knife's Edge and Out of This World are on sale at Smashwords this month for 50% off.
  • I added another panel to my Worldcon 75 schedule and will update when I have the finalized details, got a reservation for a Tom of Finland Walking Tour of Helsinki (scheduled opposite the Hugos, alas), scheduled an LGBT history walking tour of Reykjavik, scheduled more stuff in more places, because yay!
  • Started work on Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon again.
  • Sold an Other Me reprint (details coming soon).
  • Turned in a blog interview for Queen of Swords Press, which should be up soon.
  • Finished some pitches for a new gaming tie-in project, about which more soon if one gets accepted.
And on a personal note:
  • Foot problems, migraine, annual ear infection - all in the last couple of days.Whee.
  • Bookseller Dave Christenson was able to rehome some books for me, which is great! More shelf space and some trip cash (and check out the rest of his catalogue!)
  • Our accountant is dealing with the weird IRS letter saying we didn't claim something, something which is clearly recorded on our tax forms.
  • Went to a MN Lynx game on Thursday - they beat the L.A. Sparks in a tight and excellent game.
  • Went to Park Square Theater last night and saw Better Off Dead: A Nero Wolfe Mystery, which was quite entertaining.
So yay, full life, trip looming, plans in the works.
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Our LGBTQ StoryBundle ends tomorrow - thus far, we have raised over $1000 for Rainbow Railroad and their program for LGBTQ+ refugees. This is pretty amazing - many, many thanks to everyone who bought or boosted the bundle! You can still get it tonight, if you've been putting it off, BTW. Some good reading in this batch.

Last week, I was interviewed by author Heather Rose Jones for her Lesbian Talk Show podcast. we had a fund discussion about my work and historical inspiration. That should go live in August. In the meantime, check out her blog and her show.

Last night, I read with a bunch of other authors at the annual Queer Voices Pride Month reading at the Minneapolis Central Library, sponsored by Intermedia Arts, the Hennepin County Library and Augsburg College. This year, there was a resource and book fair, along with the reading. The traffic and mass transit deities conspired to keep our crowd smallish, but the readings were very good, I sold a few books and I got interviewed for the KFAI Radio show Fresh Fruit (airing soon). I made the evening for one of my editors by reading from the magazine he edited (Raymond Luczak, Callisto), which was fun. I also got some nice feedback on the story I read from the audience and the ASL interpreters, which was very cool. One of the great things about last night's reading was the diversity of voices: over half the authors were authors of color, several authors were trans or genderqueer and at least one publicly identified as having a disability. More than one author identified as Muslim American. And the singing was lovely. I also got to see some friends, so I would definitely count the event as a success.

In upcoming events, Rachel Gold and I will be reading together at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis in September and I'm talking to Quatrefoil Library and DreamHaven about possible events later on this year. Speaking of DreamHaven, I just typed up my first Queen of Swords Press invoice for them: they'll be carrying Silver Moon (new edition) and Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories as of tomorrow evening! If you know an indie bookstore that might be interested, please send them our way. I'll be posting a bookstore contact to the web page in the next day or two here.

I've also got some new writing projects in the offing. And there's still time to pledge my Patreon for this month (proceeds going to the Southern Poverty Law Center).

And on a more fun note, I'll be at the Twin Cities Antiquarian Bookfair on Friday, shopping for books. Book dealer (and all around swell guy) David 
Christenson will be selling from books from the Lundoff Collection as well as some of Jana's fine bindings and boxes so be sure and stop by the Fairgrounds to check things out. I'm also hoping to do a Lark Toys run with friends, to be followed by 2 days of writing, with only minimal editing and other tasks. Fingers crossed that works out!

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Queen of Swords Press will be tabling at the first ever Queer Voices Pride Book Fair at the Minneapolis Central Library on Tuesday 6/27, from 5:30-6:30. Then Catherine Lundoff will be one of a group of writers who'll be reading short excerpts of their work from 6:30-8:30ish. Come down, say hi and perhaps, pick up a book or two! We'll have copies of Out of This World and Silver Moon, as well as Queen of Swords Press mugs and some other fun things.
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Silver Moon: A Wolves of Wolf's Point Novel, is back in print! As noted previously, there are some changes from the original edition: new cover, new subtitle, character name change, the new version is longer and so forth. The story has not been changed nor have the main characters. It's available in all ebook formats. In print, it's available from
Indie bookstores and libraries can order it through Ingram. I'm working toward selling it directly via the Queen of Swords Press website, but we're not there yet.

Speaking of Queen of Swords Press, I just got an acceptance from the Twin Cities Book Festival for October so be sure and look for us there. I'll also have print copies of Silver Moon and Out of This World next week (6/27) at the Queer Voice Pride Month Reading and Book Fair at the Minneapolis Central Library.

Our Pride Month StoryBundle is still chugging along and we've raised nearly $1000 for Rainbow Railroad so far! 9 more days to go.

Other than this, life is a bit of mixed bag. Mystery Foot Pain turns out to be arthritis, which is very annoying. I'm nursing things along but will have to skip going to Pride because I need to get everything settled down before Helsinki, etc. The current round of house projects have wrapped up so now we're on to planning the next ones. I have some fabulous friends, and there we have it. Off to bed now in hopes of getting a decent night's sleep/

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Nivair Gabriel and I did some brainstorming for a Sirens Con round table called "Kissing the Witch: Fantasy Women as Lovers" and we just heard that it's been accepted! I'm the official moderator, but Nivair definitely gets half the credit, especially since if she hadn't poked me about doing programming the night before proposals were due, I wouldn't have done anything. 

And I got preliminary programming assignments for Worldcon 75 in Helsinki!
This may be subject to change, of course.

Pronouns, who needs gender pronouns?
Wednesday 17:00 - 18:00, 102 (Messukeskus)
Lately in SFF, as well as in the real world, the use of gender pronouns have become problematical when referring to trans and intersex people and many writers have struggled to find ways--using "they", using feminine pronouns as the default, inventing pronouns.  However, there are many languages, including Finnish and Turkish, that do not come with gender pronouns, so does not have this mainly indo-european language-specific issue.  What can SF writers learn from native speakers of languages that just don't DO gender?
Cenk Gokce (M), Johanna Sinisalo, Catherine Lundoff, Kelvin Jackson, John Chu

LGBTQ+ Speculative Fiction Goes Worldwide

Friday 11:00 - 12:00, 101a&b (Messukeskus)
Panel discussion on gay, lesbian, bisexual. transgender and queer representation international works of speculative fiction.
Catherine Lundoff, Laura Lam, Keffy R.M Kehrli, Kat Kourbeti (M)

Older women in genre fiction

Saturday 10:00 - 11:00, 101c (Messukeskus)
Genre fiction has tons of grizzled soldiers and space captains in their 40s and 50s, but where are the ladies at? Young Adult has its share of teenage heroines, but where are the adult women?
Catherine Lundoff (M), Delia Sherman, Liisa Rantalaiho, Helena

More stuff on the horizon, as usual.

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SILVER MOON is going to be in print again! Release date is 6/16/17 and Terry Roy has done another amazing job on the interior. Seriously, this and Out of This World are some of the prettiest small press books I've ever seen (even if I do say so myself). I highly recommend her work!

The Pride Month StoryBundle is moving along nicely - it's raised over $500 in the first couple of days for Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian nonprofit that helps LGBTQ+ folks around the world escape persecution. We've got another 18 days to raise some more money though, as well getting some good books out in the world. Please check it out and boost if you're not inclined to buy (or even if you are!).

Apart from this, it's been a bit of a rough weekend. Back spasms that started on Friday afternoon, plus migraines and continued foot pain (I'm getting it checked out this week) and a truly hellacious storm front moving through town meant that I missed Equality March and Rally in St. Paul. The weather was bad enough that they called it on the March, but did hold the rally. It looked like fun but it's likely just as well as I stayed home. Overall, it's been a weekend of whittling away at the giant To-Do list; I'm thinking I need to look at carving out a weekend a month to work on stuff because it's the only way I'll make progress. We'll see if I can swing that.
Apart from that, I did get to go see Wonder Woman earlier this week and I loved it. Now to see if I can get one or two more things done before I fall asleep.

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It’s some indication of how the last week or so has gone that it’s taken me this long to do a con report. Whee! At any rate, Friday was a mad rush of driving across Wisconsin to land at the hotel in time to rush Jana off to the Art Show to set up, drop off a box of post-surgery Catherine clothes for the Clothing Swap, check in, register and all that.

I should note that this year was a very emotionally fraught for me: I attended WisCon for 25 years in a row, then stopped going for a couple of years after the Frenkel debacle. I lost some close friends over how the convention committee at the time handled/mishandled the situation and its aftermath. Several people that I did programming with or hung out with, including poet John Calvin Rezmerski, writer Ama Patterson and author Mike Levy, died in the last eight months. One or two folks who I would be perfectly happy to never see again for the rest of our lives inevitably showed up. And then, unsurprisingly, there was some emotional processing with other people, about which I still have mixed feels. Given all this, I had a pretty decent con, with a few hiccups.

Friday night was a nice dinner with friends from Boston, a brief collapse and a short party tour followed by my reading with the nice folks who added me to their group. The reading went reasonably well – good attendance, interesting stories and my chocolate emojis were super popular. Some friends from Iowa showed up , as well as some other folks I haven’t seen for a few years so a good time was had reuniting. Saturday morning was the Farmer’s Market tour, followed by the Small Press Publishing panel. I had cleverly noted the time as 10:30 and was late, so I spent my intro apologizing, but apart from that, it was an okay panel from the standpoint of panelist and audience engagement. And I may have picked up a short term consulting gig from it, so that was all good.

Jana volunteered at the Art Show a fair amount, while DreamHaven Books (yay!) ended up taking my books for sale. A Room of One’s Own Bookstore supposedly had the books, but didn’t bring them to the con, which was frustrating. And alas, also not the first time I have had this or similar problems with them. But so it goes and I will go back to not depending on them for any at convention sales and stick with working with other folks instead. It wasn’t a great book sales weekend for me, in any case, which wasn’t too surprising since I didn’t have a big book release and hadn’t been there for a while.

Saturday afternoon featured the Red as Blood: Women in Gothic Horror Panel, which was terrific. I had fun moderating and both the (very full) audience and the panelists were very engaged. See my previous post for recommendations. I definitely want to do a panel on this theme again. Plus, I got to follow it up with hot tub time, which made for a lovely afternoon. Dinner was spent in the pleasant company of a charming couple that I met on Twitter and everything was all good…

Until I got back to the room and opened the program book and noticed that were more numbers than I expected next to my name. Wacky hijinx ensued as I learned that I was scheduled for a presentation on Aging in Speculative Fiction at 8:30 Monday morning that wasn’t on my personal schedule. This also meant that while I had the right laptop with me, I had no connectors for hooking it up, but more on that later. Sunday was a nice day, spent in the company of friends and getting lovely feedback on my gaming tie-in writing for the Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary anthology The Cainite Conspiracies, which I was in last year (and learning that I’ll likely have an opportunity to write more gaming tie-in work soon, which was a very nice compliment). I went to a panel on the idea of borders, physical and cultural, and liminality, which was quite interesting, hung out at the Art Show, visited friends and bought things  in the Dealer’s Room and prepped for my crack o’dawn presentation on Monday. Also, more hot tub which I really needed, and another nice dinner with friends old and new.

Monday was also Jana’s birthday, but she dutifully helped pack up the car and came to watch me attempt a presentation with no laptop connections (I waved my arms about and said ‘Imagine a pretty picture!” occasionally), despite heroic efforts by the convention AV person and the hotel staff. It apparently wasn’t too bad of a train wreck and people stayed and asked questions and giggled at my jokes and signed up for AlterConf in Chicago. We then whisked Jana off to birthday breakfast at a nearby pancake place that the awesome Caroline Stevermer suggested (she was, as usual, quite right). Then it was back for frenzied packing, preregistering for next year and so forth.

The trip home included a stop off at the International Crane Foundation, which is always delightful, and birthday pie and lefse wraps at Norske Nook in Osseo, Wisconsin. We also made it home at a reasonable hour despite rainstorms. So did I make it to any of the big stuff (opening ceremonies, etc.)? Nope. Do I regret that? A little. I was pretty sore and tired when we arrived so I erred on the side of relaxing a bit and working instead of trying to Do All the Things. I still had fun and got to see lovely people, so that made it worthwhile. I’m trying to think of WisCon as a new convention, rather than the same one that I went to for 25 years. It makes some of the holes where people are missing somewhat easier to cope with, and makes the snafus less surprising. I would definitely say that I met more new people than I have met at a WisCon in years and I think that’s good. I am cautiously optimistic about next year! Huzzah!


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