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The annual list, updated as new things arise:

January:
February:
  • 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.
March:
  • Quatrefoil Library, Minneapolis - March 26th, 1-4PM. Queer Author Series - readings and signings by a bunch of local authors, including yours truly.
April:
  • 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!
May:
  • 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.
June:
  • Queer Voices Pride Month Reading, Central Library, Minneapolis. June 27th. 5:30-9:00. Reading and Bookfair.
July:
August:
  • Worldcon 75, Helsinki, Finland - August 9-13. Hopefully, programming participant.
September:
October:November:December:

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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.
  • 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.

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Robinson, Kim Stanley. Mars Trilogy, ensemble cast with older characters.
  • 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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Here are suggested books, shows and movies that were mentioned during the WisCon panel, Red as Blood: Women in Gothic Horror.

Gothic Blog: https://gothicfictionblog.wordpress.com/ 

Tor.com talks about Gothic: http://www.tor.com/2012/06/19/whats-gothic-now/

Here's a good primer page: https://www.google.com/#q=Gothic+Fiction

Your friends at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1230.Best_Gothic_Books_Of_All_Time

Gothic Movies: http://www.indiewire.com/2015/10/18-great-films-of-gothic-horror-and-romance-to-watch-before-crimson-peak-112007/

Some suggestions from the panelists and the audience:

Books:

Windward Heights by Maryse Condé

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Affinity and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Respectable Horror edited by Kate Laity

Speaking to the Skull Kings and Other Stories by Emily Cataneo

Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau by Jewelle Parker Rhodes

“The Specialist’s Hat” by Kelly Link

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

 

 

Films and TV:

Crimson Peak

The Orphanage

Penny Dreadful (TV)

Victor Frankenstein

The Babadook

Salem (TV)

The Woman in Black

The Handmaiden

 

 

Comics:

The Girl from Raw Blood by Sarah Vaughn

Dude Watching with the Brontes by Kate Beaton



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 Leaving tomorrow for WisCon, where I'll have a late Friday night reading, two Saturday panels, one on small press publishing and one on women and Gothic Horror and a newly discovered presentation on Monday morning at 8:30 on Aging in Speculative Fiction (fortunately, I have mylaptop with me). A Room of One's Own Bookstore will may have copies and DreamHaven Books definitely has copies of my new collection, OUT OF THIS WORLD: QUEER SPECULATIVE FICTION STORIES in the Dealer's Room. I'll have one or two copies on me as well as copies of RESPECTABLE HORROR, and Jana will have boxes and books in the Art Show.

Queen of Swords Press will be tabling and I'll be reading at the Queer Voices Pride Month Book Fair and Reading at the
Minneapolis Central Library on 6/27. They're doing some great programming this month!

The print edition of SILVER MOON is in progress and is going to be purty! And I should have an announcement on the StoryBundle soon. I also got a bio request for the Helsinki Worldcon Program so fingers crossed for panel assignments. In Sirens Conference news, Nivair Gabriel and I have submitted a round table proposal. I'm also waiting to hear back Diversicon and World Fantasy and have other events in the offing.

In other news, weird foot pain is weird and will get medical attention soon, new toilet is glorious and some day, if it stops raining, there will be new asphalt by the garage. Also, hoping to go back to writing new fiction REAL SOON NOW. 

See you at WisCon?

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Even by my standards, this has been a lively five months. Silver Moon (new edition) is once more out in the world, as is a print edition of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories (see the Queen of Swords Press website for more info and available formats, if so inclined). And mostly right now is a spinning whirlwind of trying to get reviews, trying to do publicity, trying to get things together for events, surviving the world outside, surviving my work place which is currently collapsing and other fun. Next week, I go back to WisCon for the first time in several years so there's stuff to plan there too. Also, two doctor visits, a car part recall, several deadlines and some sundry other things.

Some recent high points:
  • I went to see a fabulous play last night by a new theater company, Prime Productions. Prime Productions will focus on stories about women over 50. Last night's performance was Little Wars, which depicts a dinner party that never happened, featuring Dorothy Parker, Agatha Christie, Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Lillian Hellman, Muriel Gardner and a young woman with a secret, set in Paris  during WWII. Excellent performances, intriguing premise and I look forward to seeing what they do next.
  • Last weekend included a trip to the Franconia Sculpture Park, which is an open-air sculpture park about an hour east of the Twin Cities. It was a beautiful day, which also included a pottery tour, and we both saw a lot of work that we liked. And we got really good chocolate from St. Croix Chocolate.
  • Saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which I liked better than the first one.
  • I have a Daughters of Themyscira jacket coming in the mail, because why not?
  • Am I writing anything yet? No. Lots of editing, overdue on Patreons and a new column. But will be carving out some time at WisCon for writing. Dammit.
  • Current volunteer projects: nothing just yet. I will be going to the local Equality March for Dignity and Pride on 6/11. Check out the website for more information and to find the one near you. This is for LGBTQ+ folks and allies and I know they're looking for volunteers, donations and signal boosts all over.
  • In Queen of Swords Press news, A Room of One's Own Bookstore has ordered in copies of Out of This World for WisCon! Which feels very exciting and real to me, so I'm excited about that.
  • And on a more somber note, along with the passing of multiple acquaintances from fandom, my lovely friend Ama Patterson passed on. She was a warm and beautiful person, as well as a talented writer and the world is a poorer place without her in it. If you have a copy of Dark Matter to hand, I recommend reading her story "Hussy Strutt" in her honor.
And with that. to bed. Hang in there, lovely people.

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Or re-release day, depending on how you want to look at it!
The new edition of Silver Moon has landed and is available in various ebook formats. We have started work on a new print edition and I plan to have it available in time for the Queer Voices Pride Month reading/book fair at the Minneapolis Main Library at end of June, as well as available in all the usual places. I also need to mention that for the month of June, both the ebooks of Out of This World and Silver Moon will be included in a Pride Month Storybundle including works by Melissa Scott and other fine authors, so if you are a reader who prefers to bundle, that opportunity will be coming up quite soon. I'm finalizing excerpts and such even now. So, cool stuff on the horizon!




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Somewhat improbably, seeing as I no longer drink beer or other alcohol and haven't for a number of years now, I'm participating in the first local Books and Beer Pop-up Bookstore at Lake Monster Brewing in St. Paul on 5/11 (tomorrow night or tonight, depending on when you read this), from 5-9. There will be 25 participating authors and one local indie bookstore, Moon Palace Books, representing a bunch of different genres. It should be fun. C'mon down and say hi. I'll be nursing a few sips of beer along with about a gallon of water. :-)
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My menopausal werewolf novel, SILVER MOON, originally came out in 2012. It got some decent reviews, including one in Publisher's Weekly. It debuted at WisCon and John Scalzi let me do a Big Idea post the weekend of the con and a lot of people bought it ("a lot" by small press standards). I talked to a number of book clubs, got on several podcasts and got generally kind responses. The book was a finalist for the first ever Bisexual Book Awards in the Speculative Fiction Category and a finalist for the Goldie Awards for Lesbian Literature in the Science Fiction and Category.


Then my life went to hell in a handbasket for a while. The planned sequel got sidetracked. I broke up with my previous publisher due to irreconcilable differences. Hurricane Mom descended, with the resulting impacts to time, money, energy and sanity. I nearly signed a three book contract for a different series, which got planned out with proposals and all, and then didn't happen because the publisher imploded. Plus, you know, stuff.


Fast forward to 2017, when the world is falling apart, but my personal universe is limping along, so far. I've finally gotten the small press that I've been working on for the last two years off the ground. Queen of Swords Press is about to release its third title; I'm working my way through my backlist (1 novel, 90 short stories, etc.) as well as some stories and books that haven't been released yet. Once I understand a few things a bit better, I'll open up to some submissions and we'll see how it goes. Starting with my backlist enables me to do some fundraising at the same time that I promote my own writing and learn how to do some stuff. So it works out all around, hopefully.


Which brings us back to SILVER MOON. So this was my first published novel. Hell, it was even my first completed novel. I developed it from an earlier novella and I pantsed like a wild thing through it. I had some great ideas, some not great ideas and some "I'm totally getting back to this" moments that never happened. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in miscellaneous problems, some of which got called out in reviews and discussions with readers (my sincere apologies for the more egregious issues). What's new in this version? There's a new cover by Terry Roy (who I heartily recommend). It's about 3300 words longer than the original. I changed a character name and a couple of scenes. I fixed typos and added more description and hopefully, more depth and much better transitions. Is it still basically the same story? Yep. Did I add smoking hot sex scenes between Becca and Erin? Nope. That wasn't the story I set out to write and shoehorning them into this book wouldn't have worked. On the bright side, now I have the outline for BLOOD MOON, the long-intended sequel, in my head and will be getting back to it forthwith. There's a third book that I'm contemplating as well. So, basically, things are going to back to where they should have been in late 2012, only I've written a lot more since then and am arguably a better writer. I completed a different novel in the meantime and have done a bunch of writing on another, so there'll be more books soon.


And we'll see how things go from there. Many thanks for the folks who believed in me and my werewolves and have been encouraging me all along! You rock!

Also, I should note that the ebook versions of both SILVER MOON and OUT OF THIS WORLD; QUEER SPECULATIVE FICTION STORIES will be featured in a Pride month Storybundle featuring works by Melissa Scott and other fine writers so please stay tuned for updates.
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Or it would be pictures if Dreamwidth wasn't fighting me every step of the way.

New edition of Silver Moon coming soon!








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I'm headed back to WisCon for the first time in a couple of years. I've got a reading and a couple of panels and will be floating around. I will have the new print edition of Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories with me and will try to make it available in the Dealer's Room as well. Invite me to tea or breakfast ot such. My attention is drawn to shiny things, chocolate and good tea, just saying. :-)

Friday:
  • 10:30PM - Yes We Are Internet (Conference Room 4) - Group reading by Robyn Bennis, Seth Frost, Aimee Ogden and Catherine Lundoff (I've never met these folks other than on Twitter, so we will be living up to the name)
Saturday
  • The Business of the Small Press (scheduled)      Sat, 10:00–11:15 am     Conference
Moderator: J. Boone Dryden. Timmi Duchamp, Catherine Lundoff, Michael Damian Thomas
Small press publishers, whether just starting out or long-time owners, come to talk about the challenges of getting started and sustaining the business. What's the nitty-gritty that readers and writers don't get to see? How are contracts drafted? What legal know-how is needed? How do you balance the books?

  • Red As Blood: Women and Gothic Horror (scheduled)     moderator     Sat, 1:00–2:15 pm     Caucus
Moderator: Catherine Lundoff. Emily B. Cataneo, Katie Sapede, Cath Schaff-Stump , Sheree Renée Thomas
Women figure prominently in classic Gothic horror as victims, protagonists, or villains and Gothic horror has had a profound influence on fantasy as a genre (Tanith Lee and Angela Carter, to name a couple of examples.) Television shows like Penny Dreadful and films like Crimson Peak help keep the subgenre alive and appealing to new generations. What makes Gothic tales so appealing? What do we see as the future for Gothic tales and what would we like to see more/less of?
Monday:
  • Catherine Lundoff, Presentation. Assembly Room, 8:30-9:45AM
  • Aging in Speculative Fiction - Aging is subject to a wide range of magical cures and fixes in the genre as a whole. On the one hand, older characters in genre can be powerful (and/or oppressive) authority figures. At the same time, older characters are subject to sacrificial redshirting or are rendered invisible. Works that include older women as protagonists are still a rarity (and the number of older LGBTQ+ characters and/or older women of color is considerably smaller) despite a number of factors that should have brought greater changes in representation over the last couple of decades.
Come say hi!
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I'll be reading from my story "A Splash of Crimson" from RESPECTABLE HORROR and from "Medium Mechanique" in OUT OF THIS WORLD at Bingley's Teas in Minneapolis at 5PM today. It's Bingley's Teas first anniversary as a tea shop/salon so there are other fun festivities planned. I recommend dropping by some local indie bookstores for Indie Bookstore Day or checking out  the Guillermo del Toro show, "At Home With Monsters" at the MIA (closing soon!) on the way over, since Bingley's is down the street from the MIA on 26th. I will be steampunking out but costumes are not obligatory. :-)
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Volunteering for Dining Out for Life today! Eat out in Minnesota to support the Aliveness Project's programs for folks living with HIV/AIDS.
And I'm down at Buster's on 28th in Minneapolis for lunch and dinner if you want to come say hi and support good stuff.
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My new book, Out of This World: Queer Speculative Fiction Stories, is out in ebook formats now and will be out in print on 5/1.  That translates to:
Amazon
Smashwords
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
IBooks - search on my last name in the iTunes store.
Overdrive for Libraries - Hennepin County Library has copies available for check out and your local library can order it in too!

Queen of Swords Press info:
Note that Queen of Swords press now has 2, count 'em 2 titles out! With a first print edition and a new version of Silver Moon on the way!
Website
Twitter - @qospress
Facebook
Queen of Swords Press has a monthly newsletter that you can sign up for on the website.

Me:
Website
Twitter - @clundoff
Facebook (as me), also as Author/Editor Page
Goodreads
Google+
Pinterest

Me, as Emily L. Byrne, AKA erotica and erotic romance writing Me:
Facebook Author page
Twitter
Blog
Emily's booklist is also available on my Goodreads profile above.

Most of Queen of Swords Press blogging will likely be out here for a bit. I'm still getting my proverbial ducks in a row.









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 Happy Earth Day! Happy Science March or river cleanup or whatever project you are doing today!

A couple of years ago, I started an annual Earth Day post on things we were doing to make our household greener. In looking back, I may have skipped a year or two there, but now seems like a very good time to revive the tradition. Some of these things may be useful to you and yours if you're looking to get greener. I also do it for me since it's a way to remind myself of what we've done so far and what I'd like us to tackle next.

It is worth noting that we've spent years on this, making a few changes every year. My goal has been to add something new every year, which we are on track for. I will also note that most things on my list have had a direct cost savings in the longer term, particularly the ones with start up costs. But there are also things we can't do because of finances or the state of our yard and so forth, such as growing our own veggies (our trees shade much of the yard) and there are things that stay in the planning stages for years at a time while I figure out budgeting and so forth. We also own our own home in a very urban environment in a city which supports a lot of green programs and I've done quite a bit of research and planning on all of this to approach greening wholistically.

What we've done so far:
  • Switched light bulbs to compact fluorescents and LEDs as they burn out.
  • Had extra insulation blown into some of the walls.
  • Replaced the interior windows throughout the house.
  • Committed to buying the bulk of our groceries at the local coops and farmer's markets.
  • As each appliance died in our 100 year old house, we upgraded to a more energy efficient version. In the course of 20 years, that's the washer and dryer, the stove, the AC, the fridge and the water heater. We're eyeing the ancient octopus furnace for the future.
  • Installed a solar-powered fan in the attic which keeps the house at a more even temperature so we use less AC in the summer.
  • Replaced old electric and plumbing setups with more efficient ones. Last year's much needed new bathroom sink and shower cut our water and gas bills, for example.
  • Organized our reusable bags, put a set in each car and committed to using them for nearly all shopping.
  • Recycling and composting. Minneapolis has really ramped up their recycling program and added a new citywide composting program. We already did some at home composting and are continuing to do that while participating in the city-wide programs. In addition, we look for reuse and donation opportunities for everything we want to get rid of that's usable: clothes go to clothing swaps as well as donation bins, books go to libraries and benefit auctions, jewelry to benefit auctions, reusable computing equipment to organizations that refurb and donate it, etc. At this point, we compost and recycle much more than we throw out.
  • Replaced our collapsing front retaining wall with medium-sized rocks and bee-friendly organic plants (see below). We hired a local woman-owned green landscaping firm for this and they did a terrific job.
  • Committed to not using pesticides or herbicides on our yard.
  • Switched to green de-icer and grit in the winter to melt ice.
  • Committed to not driving anywhere a few days out of the month, carpooling more and taking public transportation when we can. We also have meat-free days once a week or so. Biking is not a option for us physically and scheduling-wise, we still need two cars for the moment, but I hope to go down to one car and car sharing in the future and we walk a fair amount.
  • Carbon offsetting, particularly for plane flights and longer road trips. We started including this in our trip budgets - when we went to New Zealand last year, for example, New Zealand Air and one of the B&Bs we stayed at offered some options for local organizations doing tree planting and environmental restoration so we kicked in some money toward those. When we take road trips, I donate a few bucks to the Nature Conservancy or Minnesota Tree Trust to offset the gas that our relatively-efficient roadtrip car burns off.
  • Installed a rain barrel for the nonwinter months (yes, we have one). Also multiple bird feeders and a bird bath.
What we've done new for this year, so far:
  • Switched our electric bill to 100% wind power (check out utility programs and solar garden shares in your area if you're not in MN or Colorado).
  •  Had our yard dedicated as a "Pollinator Friendly Patch" by the City of Minneapolis - we'll be planting more bee and butterfly-friendly plants this year.
Next up:
  • Replacing our ancient toilet with a water-efficient one and replacing it.
  • Starting work on refurbishing our attic to make it into an office space and make it more energy efficient.
  • Replacing our driveway to improve rain run off and drainage.
And that's it for now. Feel free to share the things that you're trying!
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Today is Give OUT Day in the U.S., the only national day of fundraising dedicated to LGBTQ+ nonprofits. At the best of times, organizations run by and for queer folks are wildly underfunded. That's programs that provide trans folks with legal support, LGBTQ+ kids with anti-bullying resources, support for queer safe spaces, food banks for folks with AIDS/HIV, suicide hotlines, scholarships, housing for queer elders, legal advocacy for employment discrimination, support for queer immigrants and refugees, the list goes on and on. And under the current administration, all these programs and organizations are expected to double down and provide more support and more services. I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but one of our larger local straight-run nonprofits just dropped its entire queer youth support program because they wanted "to bring their focus," which means that any help those kids were getting has to come from elsewhere. Which is turn translates to LGBTQ+ communities and better allies stepping up. I donate what I can every year and tonight, I'm going to go do a volunteer training for the Aliveness Project's Dining Out for Life benefit next week, which raises money for advocacy and support for folks living with AIDS/HIV.
in the meantime, I also donated to the PFund Foundation, which gives scholarships and funding to LGBTQ+ folks who are leaders in their communities throughout the Upper Midwest; Outfront MN, which does advocacy and support for LGBTQ+ folks here in Minnesota; Third Wave Fund, which funds queer youth and feminist activist groups; Charis Circle, which sustains Charis Bookstore, Atlanta's fabulous feminist and queer bookstore and its many events and groups; and BiNet USA, the umbrella organization for national groups run by bisexual folks.
there's lots to choose from! Please check out the site, donate what you can and post!
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Doubling down on the Doing of ALL the things!

Queen of Swords Press publishing achievements: 
  • Found a new way to lock myself out of the website, after figuring how to successfully hack the WordPress database to fix the first problem. Yay. This impacts me, but not visitors, FYI.
  • Submitted both books to the Rainbow Book Awards
  • Contacted OutlantaCon about advertising 
  • Hired a contract book publicist
  • Put out a second book
  • Produced the monthly newsletter (sign up at the website)
  • Tonight: learn how to set up a print book for IngramSpark
C. Lundoff, writer and editor:
  • Wrote and submitted a flash fiction piece to a contest
  • Finished and sent out my first Patreon post of the month
  • Began heavy revising and updating of LGBTQ SFFH history posts for new Queer Sci Fi column on the topic
  • Prepped for reading tomorrow night at DreamHaven Books
  • Tried to get on more programming at an upcoming con
  • Made progress on SILVER MOON edits, as well as other editing project. SILVER MOON is getting revised but not will not be a completely new book,FYI
  • Books and Beer Pop-Up Bookstore event on May 11, 5-9PM is officially a go! More details coming soon. Lake Monster Brewing, "My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors" style event.
And more stuff ahead!
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 Author Anne E. Johnson interviewed several members, including me, of Broad Universe, an organization which promotes women writing science fiction and fantasy for the website WomenArt. We talk about some of the issues we've made in the field and some of the things we need to move forward on. Good stuff! 😃
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 For those just tuning in, reports are coming out of Chechnya (a Russian-controlled "subject state" in Eastern Europe) that the Chechen government is rounding up gay men and either executing them or putting them in a secret prison where they are being held and tortured. Current estimate runs to over 100 folks targeted so far and other queer folks are also very much at risk. All Out is an organization based in NY that is helping groups on the ground who are trying to get folks out of Chechnya. I've supported All Out for a couple of years now and been pretty impressed with their ability to mobilize support for LGBTQ+ folks in different countries so if they say they can rescue some people, it's definitely worth boosting and throwing a few $ their way. #Chechnya go.allout.org/en/a/Chechnya

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The following is a series of emails exchanged between editor Sigrid Ellis and the Odyssey Con Com. I have Sigrid's permission to repost. Since I don't have Odd Con folk's permission, I'm taking out their names and contacts but leaving the email text in. Know that I dearly want to include them but not wish to sidetrack this into a discussion of how "mean" I'm being to them or equivalent. Think of these exchanges as a primer of what not to do and how not to respond when folks attending your event tell you why you have a problem with safety at your event.
Sigrid:

Hello,

 It came to my attention today that the programming for this year's Odyssey Con has a couple of folks who've engaged in antisocial behavior at Wiscon. Specifically Richard Russell and Jim Frenkel.

 I've attended Wiscon for years, and have personally experienced and witnessed behavior from both of these men that does not support the ideals to which I hope we all subscribe. Russell has, for years, made explicitly and openly racist remarks during panels he ran. Frenkel has serially harassed multiple women for years and was finally successfully reported for it.

Neither of these men behave in a manner that supports an open convention that welcomes all fans.

 To accept them at your convention is a worthy thing to do. They can continue to grow and change and become the better human beings we all hope them to be, in a community where they have not yet acted so poorly. I thank you and your convention for this; everyone deserves a space in which they can try to improve.

But I am concerned about them being on your programming. That seems to indicate a certain level of endorsement of them, and their views, that I find troubling. Particularly when Frenkel is on a panel about how to be an adult, and Russell is on a panel about social justice going too far. I am concerned that they will ... double down, if you will, on their previous positions.

None of us can know the future, of course. And I always hope for the best, from everyone. But I would hate for Odyssey Con to find itself in the midst of another controversy with these men at the center. And I would hate for your guests of honor to develop a poor opinion of Midwest fandom.

 And I would hate, above both those things, for your attendees to suffer harassment or worse from panelists you selected, for those attendees to slink away from fandom ashamed and hurt and humiliated, unsure of what they did to draw such negative attention from men Odyssey Con put in positions of power and authority.

I hope, very much, that you have assurances that you can believe from Frenkel and Russell. I hope, very much, that you know, completely, that they will not harass or molest anyone at your convention.

 I am concerned. I hope my concerns are groundless.

 I wish you all the best,

 Sigrid Ellis

Con com response:

Dear Sigrid,

Thank you for your courteously expressed letter of concern.

I have been personally acquainted with both Richard and Jim for many years, and, as program chair, I am 100% certain that they will both conduct themselves in responsible and appropriate fashions. Both Jim and Richard have made valuable contributions to Odyssey Con for years and I expect that they will, given the opportunity, continue to do so for years to come. I believe Odyssey Con has a good record as a friendly and welcoming convention, which we intend to maintain.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write. I particularly appreciate your careful expression of your concerns. I am confident that they will be proven groundless.

 


More con com response, this time with the actual harassment policy included. Because, you know, you just put the words on paper. They don't mean anything.

Sigrid,

Thank you for your concern. We have as a con-com discussed the issue of harassment and have taken careful steps to allow for people who have been harassed to have a safe space to inform the convention staff and procedure in place which includes escalation to an ombudsperson if necessary.

 

The following is a copy of our harassment policy which is on our website and also in our program book:

Harassment Policy

It is the intention of Odyssey Con to create a safe, friendly, welcoming environment where fans of science fiction and fantasy can interact with one another in a respectful manner. We will not tolerate harassment of any kind, including but not limited to:

-stalking
-intimidation
-offensive verbal comments
-physical assault and/or battery
-harassing or non-consensual photography or recording
-sustained disruption of panels, signings, and other events
-bathroom policing
-inappropriate physical contact
-unwelcome physical attention

in relation to, but not limited to:

-race
-color
-nationality
-gender and/or gender identity
-sexual orientation
-age
-body size
-disability
-appearance
-religion

Our policy applies to everyone at the convention. Exhibitors, Attendees, Speakers, Guests, Professionals, Staff, and Volunteers are all subject to our anti-harassment policy.

"No" means "no." Not "Maybe." Not "Ask me again later." If, when responding to someone, you mean "Not right now" or "Ask me later", please say that. If you ask and don't hear something like that, drop it and move on. If a person engages in harassing behavior, Odyssey Con staff will take prompt action in any form they deem appropriate, including, as warranted, expulsion from this year's con, banning from all future Odyssey Cons, and calling the police.

Keep in mind that you may not know someone, including what might offend them, as well as you think you do, and the possibility that you may be making someone around you uncomfortable or unintentionally giving offense. If you're not sure, ask.

Please be aware of personal space in sitting or speaking with other people. If someone asks you to back up or give them more room, please respect that.

If ANYONE does something that makes you uncomfortable, ask them firmly, but politely, to stop. Be honest and don't try to spare their feelings, but be as civil as possible. They may not realize they are making you uncomfortable. If they persist, please report the incident to the Convention Security staff, who can be recognized by their bright yellow badges. In addition someone can always be found at the Registration Desk during registration hours, or in the Security office marked clearly on the map in your convention program book.

Remember: Cosplay is not consent. If you would like to take a picture with or of another fan, always ask first and respect that person's right to say no. Be respectful, be nice, be cool and be kind to each other.

Our goal is to create a fun, safe, welcoming, event where fans of all kinds can come together and enjoy themselves. As fans ourselves, we understand the importance of creating a safe space for everyone who attends Odyssey Con.

 Thank you again for your concern,

Me: note, if you will, the disconnect between above and the decision to put a known serial harasser, one with decades of accumulated bad rep, on your con com as Guest Liaison. Then to put him on programming with a GOH who has already notified you that they have had problems with that person in the past. Never do these things.




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