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2017-12-31 05:16 pm

Where I'll be in 2017

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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2017-10-16 07:37 pm

Weekend Write-up: Fun and Games and Tabling, oh My

The weekend kicked off not, as I expected on Friday morning with WomenVenture’s Marketplace and Luncheon, but with a surprise invite from the Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota to go to the premier of TPT’s LGBTQ MN history documentary, Out North (airing tonight on TPT) at the Cowles Dance Center on Thursday night. The documentary is pretty good, though there are inevitable gaps. It would have been outstanding to hear something about immigrant queer history, for example, which doesn’t turn up much despite the longevity and legacy of local organizations like Shades of Yellow. I’m sure other folks with more knowledge about the queer history of the Cities as well as the rest of Minnesota will have additional thoughts, but with that caveat, I enjoyed it. Coverage of the early organizations and samesex marriage history is pretty detailed and there are some great interviews with Lisa Vecoli of Tretter, Rep. Karen Clark, Andrea Jenkins, Lou Hoffman and a number of other activists, artists, politicians and religious leaders. I really liked the presentation and I’m hoping they do some more followup posts on their blog or interviews on a different show to add some more depth and voices to it. I should mention that I have a moment of glory during Lou Hoffman’s interview; a number of years back, I wrote an article about the Bisexual Organizing Project for an indie newspaper that no longer exists and there is a brief shot of the paper, the article and my byline. Only problem is that it is the article where the paper misspelled my last name (“Lundhoff”), and thus I will be remembered, I suspect. Oh well, nice to be included.


After that, we headed home and I rose in the wee hours of the morning to head over to run a Queen of Swords Press book table at WomenVenture’s Luncheon and Marketplace at a fancy hotel in downtown Minneapolis. And it was fancy! And likely very successful for some vendors. But not, alas, me. Tables were quite spendy, and we were charged extra for Wifi and parking, and while lunch was good and it was nice to see both my Senators on stage congratulating WomenVenture on its 40th anniversary, it was not a couple of hundred dollars worth of “nice.” I think it would have helped had they not enthusiastically sold us on the “giant crowds eager to spend right before and right after lunch” angle. I sold a couple of books, handed out a few cards and flyers for my November talk at DreamHaven, politely discouraged people eager to send me their latest opus and had some nice chats with the vendors around me, but that was it. I did, however, spend the time fine-tuning my table rap, so there was that.

At 3PM, I had to throw everything together and motor over to the Fairgrounds in St. Paul to set up our table for the Twin Cities Book Festival That part went well, and Michael and Sherry and I got things set up and ready to go for Saturday in time to meet up with Kevin for a nice dinner at ChinDian Café (Indian/Chinese fusion food). Mike showed up early the next day and we zipped back to the Fairgrounds. We were pretty much a table-setup machine so we each had time to make a quick tour. I scored a copy of Edward Gorey’s The Haunted Looking Glass: Ghost Stories, which made me happy.

The day was a whirlwind – I sold a fair number of books and a few mugs, Mike sold some books and we talked to a ton of people. Lots of folks stopped by, including Rachel Gold, Paul Weimer, Charlie Jane Anders Venus DeMars and Joyce Sutphen. I chatted with acclaimed local cartoonist Rob Kirby and bought his latest. And then at the end of the day when we were tired and crispy, Matt and Kevin turned up and helped us load out. So big thumbs up on the TC Book Fest. I’ll definitely look at it for next year. Many thanks to Mike Merriam for being an excellent companion and fine tablemate!

This week is a mad scramble to get the new Emily Byrne book prepped and other stuff before I take off for Sirens next week. Gonna be lively.


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2017-10-14 09:33 am

Twin Cities Book Festival today!

 Twin Cities Book Festival today at the MN State Fairgrounds! Cory Doctorow, Charlie Jane Anders and Malinda Lo are all appearing and Queen of Swords Press will have a book table. Local author Michael Merriam will be signing his new weird Western novella, NOT ENOUGH MIDNIGHTS from 10-5. 
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2017-10-10 11:33 am

Scrambling to get through this week

Apart from national and world events, Ma'at hates Shu this week so it's Kitty WWIII at home. Which means separating them into different parts of the house, all night howling, sneak attacks and a house overflowing with cat pheromones. Whee. It generally doesn't last more than a couple of days but has gone as long as two weeks. Ack. Otherwise, lots and lots of balls in the air. Some should settle soon and then I'll have some good news about Queen of Swords Press, the schedule for next year and such. I'm also getting a new writing website, so I'll post about that soon too. My much beloved previous site was rendered unupdatable and inaccessible through sundry changes in tech so I'm getting something simpler and much easier to navigate. 

In the meantime, two huge events this week for Queen of Swords Press and I'm scrambling to get ready:
  • On Friday, October 13th, QoSP will be at the WomenVenture Women Mean Business Luncheon and Marketplace at the Minneapolis Depot. This will be the first big tabling event for the Press. I'll have books, mugs, mouse pads and info out at the table so please stop by and say hi if you're there.
  • On Saturday, October 14th, QoSP will have a Press table at the Twin Cities Book Festival at the MN State Fairgrounds in St. Paul. Author Michael Merriam will be helping me out, as well as selling and signing his brand new weird Western novella, Not Enough Midnights. More books, more swag and chocolate! Come by and say hi!
And for serious fun, I get to scramble to pack up right after the first event, go quick like a bunny to my car and race through early rush hour traffic and the horrors of "Hey, we've closed pretty much everything for construction! Good luck!" (Seriously, our construction season is epically awful right now) to go get set up up for the second event late Friday afternoon! It will be glorious! Or something! I'm sure I'll learn a LOT from this experience. 😏

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2017-10-06 08:08 pm

Guest Blog Post - Author Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

I'm welcoming Sandra Ulbrich Almazan to my blog today as a stop on her blog tour for her new book, Summon the Seasons, Book 5 of her series The Season Avatars.
" Feminism in a Victorian-Like Setting "

The nineteenth century may have seen the first women’s rights convention, but it was also when the cult of domesticity, which extolled women’s place in the home, flourished. Is it possible to have feminism in a Victorian-inspired setting? It helps if you’re creating the world yourself and can build feminism in the foundation, as I did in my fantasy Season Avatars series. The books are set in a country that’s mostly agricultural, but with textile and mining industries. They have steam-powered trains connecting cities and transporting food. The cities have daily newspapers, and the upper classes are starting to use electricity in limited areas. Although Challen is loosely based on Victorian England, I deliberately designed the culture to be more feminist.

One of the most significant differences between Challen and Victorian England is that Challen has a polytheistic religion. There are two gods and two goddesses, each associated with a different season. Although the Goddess of Fall is linked to animals, She also protects the women of Challen. Women can ask Fall for help if they are assaulted by men, and She’ll send animals to protect the woman, attacking the man if necessary. Each deity has three Avatars (though only one is active at a given time) to do His or Her work. Fall’s Avatars are always female, which means there will always be at least one female spiritual leader in Challen. Finally, women who don’t want to marry can pledge themselves as Fallswomen. Men in turn can pledge themselves to the God of Summer and become Summersmen. Sometimes the Fallswomen and Summersmen serve at the Four Gods and Goddesses’ Temple or work for the Avatars, but they are free to pursue other work if they wish.

Other factors in this culture give women more choices than they had in Victorian England. The Four choose Avatars from all classes, so universal basic education is necessary to make sure the Avatars are literate. A University is available for those who wish to pursue higher education. Knowledge about traditional herbs used to prevent or terminate pregnancy is widespread enough to give women some ability to plan their pregnancies.

Even in Challen, it is difficult to remove all traces of female oppression. Upper-class and noblewomen are pressured to marry for money or to further family interests, and contact between unmarried people of different sexes may still be chaperoned. However, a determined woman can work around those obstacles, whether or not she has magic. Four female Avatars working together present a formidable force that few can resist.

Blurb for Summon the Seasons 

Kay might be the youngest, smallest, and least confident Season Avatar, but her weather magic makes her the most powerful of her group. Now that she also can contact the souls of dead Avatars, her quartet has a chance to end Chaos Season permanently. All Kay and her sister Avatars need are three more bones.

To obtain them, Kay’s quartet must travel across Challen, evading the King’s Watch and Selathens who want to protect their demigoddess, Salth, creator of Chaos Season. Kay’s deepest beliefs about her God and her longtime rival, Dorian, will be challenged during the trip. If she loses her faith and newfound courage, she will fail, and the rest of the Season Avatars with her.

Universal Book Link: 

About the Author

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan is the author of the SF Catalyst Chronicles series and the fantasy Season Avatars series. She’s also a QA Representative, a wife, a mother, a Beatles fan, and a member of the 501st Legion, but mostly she’s very tired.

Sandra can be found online at the following links:

website (

blog (

Twitter (@ulbrichalmazan)

Facebook (SandraUlbrichAlmazanSffAuthor)

Goodreads (

Instagram (

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2017-10-01 02:41 pm

Xposted from my Patreon, plus other things

Thank you, wonderful patrons!
I have matched your pledges and donated to the NAACP for September pledges.
So far this year, your pledges have enabled me to donate $275, including matching, to the following organizations working on social justice, civil rights, feminist and environmental issues:

Southern Poverty Law Center
Center for Biological Diversity
Planned Parenthood
Rainbow Railroad

Next up:

ADAPT - disability rights and healthcare direct action
Nature Conservancy Caribbean Projects - restoring habitat and biodiversity
National Center for Transgender Equality - social justice advocacy for transgender people

For folks thinking about signing up, to date, I've posted 4 short stories, 3 essays and 14 resource lists on topics ranging from socially responsible investing to my favorite comfort books, TV and films. $1 gets you 2 resource lists, $3 gives you the opportunity to suggest topics and $6 gets you all of the above, plus an additional essay or story.

NonPatreon stuff:
Accomplished so far today, apart from Patreon organizational stuff: one interview sent in for Lounge Books Horror Month event, about which more soon, one event description sent to DreamHaven Books for vetting.
Next up:

  • reading through the Queen of Swords Press contract to send out to writer in hopes that we can make bookish magic together (first contract as publisher! Am experiencing squee!)
  • Working on Blood Moon, Silver Moon's sequel
  • Writing cover copy and an intro for the new Emily Byrne collection
  • Prepping for Twin Cities Book Festival and WomenVenture events
  • Recovering from Hell Cold so I can go see the Delores Huerta and Billie Jean King movies
  • The health tally: stomach bug last week, Hell Cold this week, persistent should pain. Blergh
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2017-09-24 07:52 am


 Accomplishments for the weekend: 1. I have an executor for my literary estate! Lambda Literary and I made it official; they'll own the copyright and publishing rights to my ouevre when I shuffle off this mortal coil and all. 2. Second Patreon post for the month is away! This month, the recommendation lists are: sfnal works featuring older women as protagonists and fun music to work to. The nonprofit is the NAACP, out there fighting the good fight against racism and for social justice  for decades. 

On a related note, if you are an author with published books and stories, make a will and designate someone or preferably, an institution likely to outlive you to handle things when you're gone. I have a current archive of my work at the University of Minnesota Tretter Collection, as well as donating to several other libraries, which takes care of what's out right now, but not what happens down the road. Some folks designate friends or the literary agencies they work with, for example. Have faith that someone will want to read your work down the road apiece and do some planning. 
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2017-09-22 10:28 am

Happy news! Some thoughts! Maybe a soupçon of artistic bitterness!

 The new edition of SILVER MOON made Book Riot's list of 100 Must-Read Bisexual Books for Bisexual Awareness Week! I am very, very happy about this, not surprisingly. 

And now some background, for those just tuning in. The first version of MOON was released in 2012. It appeared at just the right time to be entered in the first Bisexual Book Awards and the Goldie Awards for Lesbian Lit.  It finaled in both, which was nice, if less nice than winning. Did I set out to deliberately write a middle-aged bisexual female protagonist? Not deliberately. I wanted to write about coming out at middle age, questioning your identity, menopause and werewolves, as you do. I started writing and getting my work published back before indie publishing and a lot of discussions about identity and orientation happened.

Writing a 'bisexual' book was, for most of my early writing career, equivalent to saying, "I'd like no recognition or sales for this book that is not nonfiction or erotica, thanks." Hard to find publishers, no awards, very, very few reviews, very difficult to find an audience. Which is how the first edition of SILVER MOON got slotted into "lesfic," which is short for "lesbian fiction." This is not a bad thing, but it runs into a common genre convention that all "lesfic = romance." So my little book about questioning and changing and finding yourself and turning into an awesome werewolf was not sufficiently romantic for the lesfic market, but too romantic for the fantasy or horror markets. It did okay despite this, but I have some scathing reviews from people who expected a different sort of book. 

Fast forward to this year and I had the chance to make some very necessary updates to the original book and re-release it. Re-releases are not popular with book awards or reviewers so there are still some significant challenges. Also, when you release a book into Smashwords, Ingram, etc., your choices are "gay" or "lesbian," not "considering bisexuality" or equivalent. But it seems to be finding some of its people and for that, I am very grateful.

Artistic bitterness, because I promised! So 7 books, 90 or so short stories, several juried awards, most of them queer-specific, articles and so forth should make me semi-famous, right? Sometimes! And yet! I'm literally looking at two upcoming events in my own city where I've been passed over as a guest. Deliberate malice? Probably not. But I'm too old/too female/too small press/too whatever, so somehow my work doesn't count and I spend a fair amount of time as an "also ran."

Some fun stories: when MOON first came out, I did a reading with a hot young lesbian author and local bi conference organizers very enthusiastically and purposefully ignored me and invited her to come and perform at the conference.


Not too long thereafter, I had a contretemps with a con com member from an unrelated con when I asked why my number never came up for writer GOH. I was offered a quid pro quo arrangement in which I could be writer GOH...if I slept with that person. It was not, of course, clearly laid out that way, but after I politely refused, I strongly suspect that the person they did ask for the next year was not asked to put out for the privilege. So, good times. I don't talk about the bad stuff as a rule because I'm a "living well is the best revenge" kind of gal, but yes, weird crap happens to me too. This kind of stuff, the publications that are looking for a specific "own voice," just not mine, which then turn around and choose a writer who riffs off my work, and all that other fun stuff, does sting, and I won't deny that.


But you know what? Someone thinks my work is good enough to put on a list of "must-read" books, I got some lovely fan mail from an unexpected source about some of my nonfiction, I'm working on a couple of new books and I've got some upcoming opportunities that I'm excited about. Take that, brain weasels and bad crap! And thanks, lovely Book Riot reviewer, for giving some great tools to combat the "why do I keep doing this to myself?" blues.

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2017-09-17 08:36 pm

What I'm up to...

  • Revising new Emily collection, Desire, before sending out for proofing. Over halfway there.
  • Working on Blood Moon, the sequel to Silver Moon.
  • Latest Out of the Past column is done and up - we're in the 1980s now, people!
  • 1st Patreon post of the month is out and away
  • 5th reading of the year is done. Went reasonably well.
  • New short story, "Firebird" is out in Renewal, the new Queer Sci-Fi anthology of flash fiction
  • Prepping for next round of events
  • Trying to sell my World Fantasy membership for San Antonio - please let anyone who's interested know
  • Various Queen of Swords Press things
  • Day jobbery and related
  • Stuff. So much stuff.
  • Also, saw "Wonder Woman" again last night. I didn't catch this the first time but when Etta Candy is talking about engaging in a "spot of fisticuffs" when it comes to women's suffrage, she makes a gesture that looks like a jujitsu move. All kinds of awesome, assuming I'm right.
  • Going to a staged reading by Prime Productions tomorrow night. Productions by and about older women - loving them so far.
  • More stuff. Also volunteering for Clare Housing (local nonprofit assisting homeless folks with HIV/AIDS) this week - yay!
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2017-09-13 08:40 am

New Release Day - Renewal is out!

My new story "Firebird" (bi apocalyptic, horror of a sort) is out today in Renewal, the new Queer Sci-Fi anthology from Mischief Corner Books! Details below. Lots of familiar names in this one - should be a fun read.

Press Kit – Renewal

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books

Author: Various – see Authors section below

Cover Artist: Gus Li

Length: 196 pages

Format: eBook, Paperback

Release Date: 9/13/17

Pairing: Various – covers many pairings and identities

Price: 4.99, 16.99 paperback (b/w illus); 28.99 (color illus – avail 9/16)

Series: SF Flash Fiction Anthologies – Book Three

Genre: Sci Fi, Paranormal, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Mainstream

Blurb: (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out,
run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.


Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Brown

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer

Buy Links, Etc:

Mischief Corner Books (info only):


Barnes & Noble:




A.M. Leibowitz, A.M. Soto, Abby Bartle, Aidee Ladnier, Alexis Woods, Andi Deacon, Andrea Felber Seligman, Andrea Speed, Andrea Stanet, Anne McPherson, Bey Deckard, Brigitte Winter, Carey Ford Compton, Carol Holland March, Carrie Pack, Catherine Lundoff, CB Lee, Christine Wright, Colton Aalto, Daniel Mitton, Dustin Blottenberger, Dustin Karpovich, E R Zhang, E.J. Russell, E.W. Murks, Ell Schulman, Ellery Jude, Eloreen Moon, Elsa M León, Emily Horner, Eric Alan Westfall, F.T. Lukens, Fenrir Cerebellion, Foster Bridget Cassidy, Ginger Streusel, Hannah Henry, Irene Preston, J. Alan Veerkamp, J. P. Egry, J. Summerset, J.S. Fields, Jaap Boekestein, Jackie Keswick, Jana Denardo, Jeff Baker, Jenn Burke, Joe Baumann, John Moralee, Jon Keys, Jude Dunn, K.C. Faelan, Kelly Haworth, Kiterie Aine, Kristen Lee, L M Somerton, L. Brian Carroll, L.M. Brown, L.V. Lloyd, Laurie Treacy, Leigh M. Lorien, Lex Chase, Lia Harding, Lin Kelly, Lloyd A. Meeker, Lyda Morehouse, M.D. Grimm, Martha J. Allard, Mary E. Lowd, Matt Doyle, Matthew Bright, Mia Koutras, Michelle Browne, Milo Owen, Mindy Leana Shuman, Naomi Tajedler, Nathan Burgoine, Natsuya Uesugi, Nephy Hart, Nicole Dennis, Ofelia Gränd, Patricia Scott, Paul Stevens, PW Covington, R R Angell, R.L. Merrill, Rebecca Cohen, Redfern Jon Barrett, Reni Kieffer, Richard Amos, RL Mosswood, Robyn Walker, Rory Ni Coileain, Rose Blackthorn, Ross Common, S R Jones, Sacchi Green, Sarah Einstein, Shilo Quetchenbach, Siri Paulson, Soren Summers, Stephanie Shaffer, Steve Fuson, Tam Ames, Terry Poole, Tray Ellis,  Vivien Dean, Wendy Rathbone, Xenia Melzer, Zen DiPietro, Zev de Valera

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2017-09-10 04:16 pm

Sundry updates

After some consideration, I have realized that I cannot do 3 events in October, virtually back to back, then turn around and do World Fantasy in San Antonio in November. I'm bummed to not get to hang out with some awesome folks, but what between being in constant pain and wrangling odd crud since I got back (I'm on the mend, but slooowwwly), wrangling expenses and limited vacation time, I have to be somewhat realistic. So I have a WFC membership at the $150 rate and a transferable hotel room reservation - let me know if you're interested.

the good news is that I'm going to Arisia in January instead! Looking forward to seeing my Boston area and East Coast friends!

Other than, I'm wrangling stuff and getting prepped for my reading on 9/15 with author Rachel Gold at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis, Queen of Swords Press tables at the WomenVenture Women Mean Business Marketplace on 10/14 and the Twin Cities Book Festival on10/15, followed by Sirens on 10/26-10/29. And some other events before and after. And writing - new books coming soon, more Queen of Swords Press stuff coming soon and more stuff in general!

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2017-09-07 08:08 pm
Entry tags:

Worldcon, Part 2 - The Nonconvention Trip

We flew into Reykjavik, Iceland, on Saturday morning after an overnight flight, which is always fun, by which we mean that other thing. But despite some sundry setbacks, we made it to the bus and got to our hotel. They were kind enough to let us into the room early and we dropped stuff off and then went hunting for brunch. It was a holiday weekend so a lot of places were closed or had irregular hours, but we found a nice little café nearby and enjoyed a good meal. I particularly loved the bathroom décor, which included a barred window piled high with…stuffed rats. Hey, port city humor, gotta love it. After that, we wandered around and around and down to Culture House, which is a museum/contemporary art gallery. 

 And by then, I had walked my feet into the first exciting set of enormous blisters for the trip. I had bought new walking shoes for the expedition and a second pair of broken in shoes that felt okay on my arthritic toes, but that, alas, was not enough. So limping through Scandinavia on bleeding and generally swollen feet was a thing that happened. At any rate, we went back to the Hotel Holt, which is a fabulous old pile in the artsy section of Reykjavik, filled to the brim with the former owner’s art collection and antiques. These were gloriously eclectic so there was a lot to look at. We also enjoyed our meals (one dinner, three breakfasts) there and our room was reasonably comfortable so wins all around. 

 Sunday was intended to be our queer history walking tour day, but the tour company cancelled on us due to sheer volume of tourists, so instead we wandered around some more, went to Volcano House and other fun places, then met up with Minnesota artist Sishir Bommakanti for dinner. Sishir’s father is a former coworker and current friend of mine, hence the connection, and Sishir was in Reykjavik on an art fellowship. He’s got shows up at MCAD and Greylab now of his horror-influenced art – I recommend checking it out! He’s very good (also, a fine and pleasant dinner companion). After dinner, we went our respective ways, in our case, to take a long stroll up the sculpture walk on the waterfront to the Harpa (big landmark concert hall) for “The Icelandic Sagas: The Greatest Hits,” which was mostly hilarious. Then it was back to the hotel to catch some zzzs before getting up to go to the Blue Lagoon on Monday. 

Blue Lagoon was blue, rocky and very crowded. I found the experience overrated, kind of like bathing in lukewarm pea soup. But we can say we went. After that, we headed back to the hotel, cleaned up and wandered down to the Reykjavik Pride headquarters, at the sign of the rainbow unicorn. We bought a few small odds and ends, then went in quest of dinner. An enterprising young man who had just opened his new restaurant that very day beckoned us in with samples and we had a nice dinner and chat with him. Overall, Reykjavik was charming and kind of reminiscent of Wellington, NZ. I would not go back again during high tourist season though - the country is really not built for the amount of traffic it's seeing and it shows. Though I might make an exception for Pride, which looks amazing.

The next day was the ever-popular  "Rise at the crack of dawn to trundle down to the bus station and catch a bus to the airport." Reykjavik Airport is not for the faint of heart and there were sundry issues before we could check in. After some unpleasantness, we managed to get on the plane and head off to Helsinki. About 5 hours later, voila! New country, next round of time zone adjustments. And off to another hotel, this time by taxi because I wimped out. I was quite right, as it turned out, since negotiating the trains and trans with luggage was a challenge. At any rate, the hotel was pleasant, though further from the main train station than we hoped (only an issue because of my feet, which got rapidly worse over time). After unpacking, we strolled out to the esplanade, hit the farmer's market for dinner, ran into folks, then collapsed back the hotel (after I stuck the swollen hamhocks on the ends of my legs under the shower for a bit).

The esplanade and Helsinki harbor were gorgeous, which was good because we were back there the next morning to catch a ferry to Suomenlinna Fortress with A.J. Fitzwater and other fine folks from the Con. The Suomenlinna tour was quite lovely and interesting and I heartily recommend it if you find yourself in Helsinki, especially on a nice day. From there, we went on to lunch, followed by a tram adventure! Apparently, "This tram has been rerouted. Please get off here and wait for the next one." translates splendidly, even into languages you don't understand. So we got off, after I double-checked with the driver, and immediately ran into the charming Caroline Stevermer and one of her friends. Hilarity ensued. See Part 1 for the con write up.

Apart from clothing shopping at Boutique 52 (thanks, Elise!), the next not con-related thing that we managed to do was the Tom of Finland Walking Tour, which we attended in lieu of going to the Hugos because we’re like that. We met our tour guides in the bar of the hotel that used to be the Sibelius Institute, where the artist used to play piano and watched a short documentary on him. We then got a tour of his old cruising grounds, an apartment where he used to live, a sex shop that sold Tom paraphernalia and whose owners knew him, a fabric store that sold Tom fabric designs (all made in Finland!), more cruising grounds, the Post Office for Tom of Finland stamps and finally, a coffee shop that served us Tom of Finland coffee. Our tour guides were charming and had lots of info as well as questions about being queer in the U.S.; Finland just legalized samisen marriage this year so they were pretty excited about that. And Tom is a remarkable cottage industry in Finland - a recent biopic is the highest-grossing film in Finnish history, queer men cosplay his characters on the esplanade, there are stamps and coffee and sheets and fabric and potholders and postcards and picture books and…a Tom of Finland dildo. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything quite like it. :-)

After that, there was more con. Then on Sunday night, we set sail for Stockholm on a cruise ship. We shared a berth with A.J. and I ran into author Kyell Gold and one of his friends on the ship so we all ate together and hung out. The scenery was gorgeous, the boat enormous and mazelike and the meals a tad overpriced. But at breakfast in the morning, the coffee choices were a. Moomin coffee or b. Tom of Finland coffee because Finland is awesome. Also, the islands in the Baltic between Finland and Sweden are beautiful. I'm very glad we sailed even though I was pretty groggy when we got there.

Stockholm is a very pretty, very expensive city. We took a cab to our hotel, then wandered over (more walking! Yay!) to a design/tea shop in a ritzy part of town for tea and lunch. The tea was to congratulate A.J. on their recent Vogel Award win - a tradition we started in New Zealand last year. :-) Swedish high tea is heavier on the nonsweet stuff but is quite tasty. After that, we wandered back along the Drottninggatan, which is a pedestrian mall and major shopping thoroughfare.

We found an Astrid Lindgren statue in the park across from the hotel (much smaller statue than the Strindberg one). And the park itself was lovely. Dinner was good, sleep was good and then we got up the next day and walked for blood ever looking for our damn tour bus. I hated my feet and life and anyone who suggested walking further but we did finally find the right stop and the city was pretty fabulous from its upper deck. We went to the ABBA Museum and soaked in all things ABBA for a few hours.

Then we took the water taxi to Old Town, which was epic and lovely and historic. We checked out the charming gay coffeehouse, the science fiction and fantasy bookstore, innumerable shops and parts of the Royal Palace, including the armory where we saw Queen Christina’s coronation coach, before meeting a local author and artist for dinner. Then we headed back, leaving A.J. to chat with her friend, did some frantic packing and foot showering and went to bed. The next day was a last wander of the neighborhood before heading out to the airport, flying to Reykjavik, scrambling between planes and heading home.

Overall, nice people, interesting countries, cool history, lovely scenery, utterly exhausting and fairly painful, through not fault of the countries visited. I’m still a bit loopy and worn down so while I admire my ambition in planning this trip, I think I stretched us too thin. I hope to go back some time and visit each at a more leisurely pace.

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2017-09-03 07:49 am

Two bits of good news!

 I am ridiculously pleased about this! SILVER MOON just got an Honorable Mention for the Rainbow Awards. If I'm remembering correctly, this is the equivalent of "finalist" in its category, but can be an end state. I'll find out in December. I will also note that the original version didn't final for this award so I'm feeling even better about the new edition. 😃 The Rainbow Awards, thanks to Elisa and company, raise thousands of dollars for LGBTQ+ groups every year and I'm a former judge, so I know how much work goes into this. Really lovely way to start my Sunday!

Also, back in June, I was part of a StoryBundle that raised a nice chunk of change for Rainbow Railroad, an organization that helps get imperiled LGBTQ folks to safety around the world. This week, they announced that thanks in part to all their recent donors, they were able to rescue 31 queer Chechen men and bring them to safety in Canada! Huge thanks and much love to everyone who helped make that possible!
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2017-08-25 09:30 pm
Entry tags:

Worldcon 75 Write-up Part 1

I’m splitting this into two parts because it would otherwise be huge. It may still be huge, but shorter huge this way.

We arrived at the con after a couple of days in Reykjavik, Iceland, and a tour of Suomenlinna Fortress. By then, my feet were covered in blisters and were quite sore (despite the new walking shoes I acquired for this trip), which was NOT FUN. It also turned out that our hotel was about a 15 minute walk/limp from the trains or trams to the Expo Center, where the convention was taking place, then a 20 minute ride + a short walk after that. Given that, having a scheduled event every day of the con meant that I didn’t get to see as much of Helsinki or of the convention as I would have liked it. Sigh. But still, there was lots of fun to be had!
Day 1 was our “Gender Pronouns: Who Needs Them?” panel. Some nice MN fans had already tracked me down to let me know that the con had more attendees than room space (this changed a bit by Day 2 when they got more rooms and swapped some things out) so I knew I needed to turn up early for panels. And there were so many people! Second-biggest Worldcon, in fact, which was pretty cool. I got through registration painlessly (Pat Cadigan hugged me!), ran into friends in the lobby and located the official con bookstore, Rosebud Books, in the Dealer’s Room. Having confirmed that they were willing to peddle my books once I brought them in, I headed off to brave the crowds at the panel room in a bid to be sure I was on time (while the other panelists and the moderator waited for me in the Green Room. Oops.).

But it worked out and the panel was pretty good, if a tad short. Due to the overcrowding issues, panels started ending 10-15 minutes early so that people could get to the next event. Understandable, but kind of disappointing if one was one something with a lively discussion. This was one of those panels; we covered a lot of ground about linguistics and genre and why speculative fiction in English wrestles with new or just plain different pronouns and people said nice things afterwards so it felt like it went well. After that, we embarked on the great dinner expedition to find the vegan Vietnamese café with Charles Stross, his wife, Feorag, Heather Rose Jones, Paul Weimer, my spouse and some lovely friends of Heather’s. Good conversation, eventually good food, pleasant company and then we had to go back to the hotel because we were exhausted.
It should be noted that I ran into people I knew everywhere I went so there were meals and tea and hanging out and just sitting around and wandering the Dealer’s Room and so forth throughout the weekend. It should also be noted that I’m still a bit jet-lagged, that we went through 3 countries in 11 days and I met many people, which means I forget names, when we chatted and so forth. Please do not take this personally – it’s me, not you. For realz.

Day 2 was my signing, which was short and sweet and featured nice chats with Natalia Barron, Kathryn Sullivan, Heather, Elizabeth Bear and other nice folks. I also signed 2 books! Then GRRM showed up with his entourage and life was so much dross. Sadness. Ah well. Do I remember what else I did? Not really. Went to a panel and talked to folks, lots of folks. I met up with a friend from high school who I haven't seen since we graduated and we drank tea and equivalents and got caught up. Ran into some people I knew from the Nebula Weekend in Chicago and/or online and enjoyed a tasty dinner while dissecting the writing life. Staggered to the train, limped back to the hotel, slept.

Day 3 was the LGBTQ Worldwide panel, which went okay but I think could have been stronger. This was definitely one of those panels where I think an additional 15 minutes would have made a difference. But so it goes. Writer Bob Angell showed up for it and we got to go for lunch afterwards, which was lovely. From there, I zipped off to a boutique that Elise had recommended and acquired some rocking new work tunics - Boutique 52, for those curious. Dinner was somewhere tasty but not memorable. I talked to a lot of people, but didn't make it to a lot of con.

Day 4 was two panels, both of which went really well - good discussion, lively audience engagement, large attendance, all the things one looks for in panels. I had lunch with Caroline Stevermer, then spent a couple of hours hanging out with Ginn Hale and Nicole Kimberling of Blindeye Books talking about life and small press publishing. Then I got to hang out with the crew from Outer Alliance that evening, and Julia Rios afterward, before heading hotelward in the pouring rain. Frenzied packing and clothes drying, then collapse ensued.

Day 5: packed and ready to go, bags stored at hotel, met up with editor and author Kate Laity while Jana checked out the botanical gardens. Found out that all my books sold. Met up with author A.J. Fitzwater and boogied off to the hotel after tearful farewells.

Got to the ferry terminal in good time and headed for Sweden! Next up, the nonconvention portions of the trip.

Thoughts: good con overall, lots of great folks, pleasant panels, cool things to see (at least what I saw of them). Down sides: one panel location wasn't on the con maps, shortened panels due to space issues. Otherwise, the location was good and mostly accessible, from what I could tell. Lots of restaurants and public transportation nearby and Helsinki was grand. Would travel to again, 10/10.

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2017-08-19 05:06 pm

Older Women in Spec Fic updates, Podcast news and other fun

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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2017-08-10 07:02 am

Book Signing Today at Worldcon 75!

 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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2017-08-10 12:00 am

Old(er) Women in SF/F - book and story list - Part 2 for N-Z

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, Jen. The Ninth Rain. Explorer Lady Vincenze "Vintage" de Grazon and her companions are drawn into a magical conspiracy to revive an ancient empire. Multiple POV.
  • 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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2017-08-10 12:00 am

Old(er) Women in SF/F - book and story list Part 1 A through M – see Part 2 for N-Z

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.
  • Goodin, Laura. After the Bloodwood Staff. Sibyl Alvaro meets Hoyle at a used bookstore and proposes an adventure that more than either bargain for. Multiple POV.
  • 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.
  • Holmqvist, Ninni. The Unit (translated by Marlaine Delargy). Dorrit Weger expects to live out her few remaining days in the Unit where the single, childless and jobless live until their organs are harvested, but then everything changes.
  • 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.

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2017-08-08 07:36 pm
Entry tags:


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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2017-08-02 08:45 pm

Worldcon 75 - Helsinki and points nearby

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!