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First, the signal boosting. My pals, Michael and Sherry Merriam, have been wrestling with the after effects of two bad car accidents in six months, plus a host of financial and health set backs on top on that. They are generally swell folks involved in a ton of Twin Cities activities as performers, organizers, attendees and all around supporters, including Pagan Pride, Marscon, MNSpec, Rockstar Storytellers, Speculations Reading Series, tai chi at Normandale Community College, sundry steampunk events, theaters and other things I am no doubt forgetting. In short, great folks and we need them to be doing well. Our mutual friend Kevin has set up a Go Fund Me to help them get out of the financial hole they are currently in; please boost and donate if you can.

Other than this, I am holed up at a friend's house while they are out of town, working on things. Yes, the giant swaying To-Do List of Doom is getting some actual work done on it. And I am writing. More bulletins coming soon.
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Embryonic publisher is learning things! So many things! The IBook version of Out of This World is in limbo between Smashwords and Apple. I'm trying to figure out what the issue is so that I don't have to sign up as IBook vendor; they do not make that easy or painless. Sigh. Out of This World is also now on Overdrive for libraries to order in, but they have to be encouraged to do so. Please, please request it. It will make it easier for the other books and make it more likely that I can afford a print edition. Otherwise, we've successfully achieved Amazon (also Amazon in multiple countries including the U.K., Canada, Japan and India), Barnes & Noble and the aforementioned Smashwords. Anyone shop much on GooglePlay? Is it worth my while to attempt that one too?

1st new story of 2017 finished and submitted! It's an Emily L. Byrne story, an erotic retelling of "Beauty and the Beast." More news as I have it.

Today, Jana and I are celebrating our 23rd anniversary by going to a multimedia choral performance about the life of Civil Rights pioneer, Bayard Rustin. Really looking forward to this!
Speaking of civil rights, we're going to the Women's March on 1/21 in scenic St. Paul. Contact me if you'd like to join our group and head over on the light rail. D.C. looks like it will be amazing and there are so many local marches, it's going to be pretty epic. And that's not including all the events leading up to the inauguration of the Kremlin's Employee of the Month. Fight back however you can and hang in there - we're all going to need each other.

Speaking of which, I have some fannish signal boosting to do. Here's the thing: if we can't help each other out now, we're going to be seriously screwed in 6 months. Boost, kick in whatever you can and boost some more. A lot of little donations get to the same goal as one big one, just saying.

Bryan Thao Worra - famous award-winning Laotian-American poet, current President of the Science Fiction Poetry Society, former local pro and fan, erstwhile guest at Twin Cities  conventions, editor, publisher, writer and...currently homeless and couch-surfing. Please kick in what you can.

Lou Hoffman - founder/organizer/sustainer of the Bisexual Organizing Project and the BECAUSE Conference, coordinator of WisCon's Annual Sign Out autographing session for authors and fans and all around great gal is having health issues at the same time that one of her sons is dealing with some new serious health problems. Please donate here. Elise Matthesen, jeweler extraordinaire, is donating part of the proceeds from her jewelry sales this weekend too.

Jen Riehm - local fan and artist, participant at CONvergence and Anime Detour, is currently homeless with her mom and their cats. Both of the humans are disabled and need some cash ASAP to stay in interim housing while they figure out better options. If you won't donate for the people, do it for the adorable kitties. It's way too cold to be living in your car right now in Minnesota.

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 Trust me, you need this Elisa Chavez poem today. Revenge 

And some signal boosting for local fans in crisis:
Lou Hoffman - family medical bills. You probably know Lou from cons and WisCon or BECAUSE and Bisexual Organizing Project or a host of other things. She's good people so please boost and share what you can.

Jen Riehm - transitional housing fund. This one's on a very tight timeline. Jen and her mom (both disabled) and their cats need to move into a residential hotel until their HUD housing opens up. Jen is an artist and fan and you may know her through CONvergence, Anime Detour and other local stuff. Regardless, it's Minnesota winter and they need a hand hanging in there so please boost and donate what you can.

Thanks for all that you're doing!

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A number of you know [ profile] queenoftheskies from LJ, Viable Paradise or conventions like Sirens. She's in a bit of a spot and needs some help. Please donate if you can and boost.

Most of you also know [personal profile] elisem. She needs to improve the accessibility of her home so she's hoping to sell enough of her spectacular shinies to make that a thing. Check out her Etsy here.

I'd also really like to see some movement on a convention making Elise their Artist Guest of Honor. She's does beautiful art, has been a World Fantasy Award finalist, inspires other artists and writers, filks and is an excellent panelist. What are you waiting for, con runners? Let's see those invitations get issued!

I know there's a ton of other folks out there needing a hand, so please help where you can, however you can. We're going to need to help each other a lot in the coming years.

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In the course of fundraising for acclaimed fantasy author Judith Tarr, who's in danger of losing her home and her horses, I've run across a fair number of comments about the "shelf life" of SF/F authors, particularly women, LGBT authors and others when they drop out of the limelight (or never step into it despite the quality of their work). They are not wrong, these folks, so I thought I'd like to start a paying it forward chain of sorts and talk about 10 of the many authors whose work I enjoyed a lot in the course of the last 20 years or so and what they're doing now. I know Tarr isn't the only one who could use a boost (and she's not out of the woods yet, either). Please think about picking up some of their current publications or reviewing some you already have or donating to their Patreons and so forth. And maybe recommend a list of your own to others.

In no particular order:
Laurie Marks. Author of some terrific fantasy novels, many with LGBT protagonists, including Dancing Jack and Fire Logic. The third in her Elemental Logic series, Water Logic is still available from Small Beer Press and rumor has it that the 4th is close to being turned in. She'll be one of the Guests of Honor at Sirens Conference this year.

Melissa Scott. Author of lots of groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy, including award-winning books like Shadow Man, Trouble and Her Friends and other great stuff. She's got some ebooks at Crossroad Press, including some reissues and some newer work, as well as some titles at Lethe Press.

Jody Scott. No longer with us, unfortunately, but her partner is trying to keep her books available and has gotten her quirky classic sf novels I, Vampire and Passing for Human re-released through Digital Parchment Services. Brilliant, funny weird stuff.

Sherwood Smith. Author of historical fantasies and other fun things. Lots of swashbuckling, strong female characters and other good stuff. I'm fond of her alternate Prisoner of Zenda series, which begins with Coronets and Steel. You can find several of her books at Book View Cafe.

Judith Tarr. Historical fantasies and space operas including Alamat and Lord of the Two Lands. Her current titles are available on Book View Cafe, she has a Patreon and she runs a horse camp for writers as well as providing editing services.

Tenea D. Johnson. Author of, among other things, Smoketown, which is set in post apocalyptic Kentucky and features a cast of POC and queer characters; it is one of the best small press sfnal books I've ever read and this is an author you should be following, if you're not already.

Caroline Stevermer
. Co-creator (with Patricia Wrede, also still writing and publishing) of such historical fantasies as Sorcery and Cecilia, which is terrific, as well as the author of a number of novels on her own. You can find
Sorcery and Cecilia and the two sequels at Open Road Media and she has new work in progress.

Pamela Dean. Author of lots of great fantasy, including The Secret Country. She and Patricia Wrede have a collection of their Liavek stories, Points of Departure, available from Diversion Books. Several of her other books are/will be available through Blaisdell Press.

Jewelle Gomez. Author of the groundbreaking African-American lesbian vampire stories, The Gilda Stories, newly released as a 25th Anniversary Edition from City Lights Books.

P.C. Hodgell. Author of the Kencyrath novels, which have really never gotten their due. These are some of the best epic fantasy novels out there. Baen has been releasing the series, which is terrific, but with Baenized covers which tend to alienate the kind of readers who would love the complex world-building, the intricate gender-bending and other wonders of this series. Ignore the covers and buy the books.

So there you go. Some excellent recommended reading, if I do say so myself. Go forth, read, recommend and make lists of your own. Let's boost the signal on some of the more unique voices in the genre.

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 #GTMD15 It's Give to the Max Day here in MN - help your favorite local nonprofits get matching funds!
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 PSA for folks going to TC Pride next week - Trinity Works, an exgay ministry hosted by the Northwest Bible College and the First Baptist Church, is targeting the Pride Parade and celebration again. If you run across them, report them to Pride security if you can and check in with Outfront MN if you need support. Remember that some members of our community are more vulnerable than others and there are reports of suicide watches and related horrors from last year's "outreach." 😡

Fundraising notes - please boost and donate if you can:

SF Minnesota is fundraising for Diversicon and for Tales of the Unanticipated Magazine. This is a thing I've been trying to get them to try for awhile now and it would guarantee the future of both for a few years at least if they succeed.

My friend Rebecca Polston is, amongst her other accomplishments, the first African-American midwife to be licensed in MN. She and a collective of midwives are trying to launch a multicultural, friendly to all families, birth center in North Minneapolis. It would be great to see this get off the ground, both for my friend and her group and for the area, where this would be the only healthcare of its kind.

"Normal Lives, Valid Lives" is a new documentary in progress about the successful struggle to force the Anoka-Hennepin School District to address the homophobic bullying that drove multiple children to commit suicide. The fact that parents and activists succeeded makes this documentary even more essential for other fighting the same problems.

And me, well, I'm trying to get caught up. Novel edits are back, progress is being made on Not So Sekrit Project, articles are getting done. Onward! 
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ComiqueCon 2015 Celebrating Women in Comics - a one day celebration of women comics creators in Dearborn, Michigan. Fundraising here.

A Feminist Deck - support the Kickstarter for a deck of playing cards featuring a bunch of cool women engaged in online activism around gaming, comics, development and more! Plus, nice art!

Dead Feminists - a letterpress print celebration of historical feminists including their words and deeds. This is a series of broadsheets (some of which are currently on display at the MN Center for Book Arts) and postcards by Jana's very talented colleague Chandler O'Leary and her collaborator, Jessica Spring. Gorgeous work, great women!

10 days left to support Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel Delany from Rosarium Press!

And finally, a boost for some interesting publishers that I just learned about, Valancourt Books, specializing in out of print Horror, Supernatural and Gothic titles, with a special imprint for gay horror titles. And perennial favorite, Hic Dragones, which is now producing ebooks of Victorian-era penny dreadfuls.

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 It has been a WEEK, which has included the end of Hell Cold, a hellacious migraine and the decision to move my mother into longterm nursing care. She's just not coming back very well from her fall and the staff is very concerned about her reinjuring herself, which seems quite probable. Finances are still semi-hosed, of course, in the sense that I'm still trying to get a problem resolved which is now entering Month 4. We get to start cleaning out her apartment this weekend while trying to convince her this is just temporary. :-(

In other news, I'm concentrating on novel rewrites and my article for "Queers Destroy Horror," in the interests of keeping things sort of manageable. And on Monday, we get the windows cleaned and the sewer line evaluated for replacement. Sure to be good times. I'm doing a "Penny Dreadful" rematch this weekend for sanity preservation.

And signal boosting. One of the best things about living in Minneapolis is Heart of the Beast Theater's  annual May Day Parade and Festival. It's next weekend and I can hardly wait! In the meantime, they're looking for volunteers and donations so please help if you can.

The Con or Bust Auction is in full swing. Bid on the awesomeness!

And as some of you know, I did a writing residency with acclaimed writer Samuel Delany a number of years back, so I'm pretty excited to see this new anthology in his honor. Support "Stories for Chip" and make it happen!

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There's a lot of great projects currently looking for funding at the moment. My picks:

Queers Destroy Science Fiction - 25 days to go to raise the funding for destroying Horror and Fantasy, among other things.

Off the Beaten Path Books is the only woman of color-owned steampunk store in the U.S. Fundraising for long term survival.

Sewall Belmont House - is the home of the Alice Paul Archives and serves as a museum for the movement for women's suffrage in the U.S.. Their Kickstarter failed, unfortunately and the collection is threatened by mold. You can help by becoming a member, donating and/or buying things at the shop (the tea and soap are quite nice, just saying).


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First of all, thanks to everyone for the many boosts and donations to author Nisi Shawl, who's been dealing with a family medical emergency this week. She says it's been a big help already. If you'd like to do something to help Nisi out longer term, Aqueduct Press is her publisher and books make great holiday gifts, just saying.

In other news, both KFAI Radio and Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater are in dire financial crises and need all the love they can get. Both are Twin Cities institutions that provide amazing multicultural programming and events, including the annual MayDay Parade so beloved of us Twin Citians. I think Give to the Max Day helped but not enough to clear either institution out of issues brought on by changing corporate donations, underwater mortgages, weather delays and the other things they've had to contend with over the last few years. If you support their work, think about gifting donations in someone's honor/memory. Now would be a very good time.

And personal post: still haven't gotten to a TeslaCon post but it was  lovely and I'm still kicking myself for not getting pix of the amazing mechaparrot that moved around and chirped when you petted it. :-)
I've turned in two posts for SF Signal, including the latest in my series on LGBT SFF. The later needs a few tweaks (it's so huge I need to cut it into two halves) but it's coming soon. I'm also plugging away on novel revisions and a couple of new stories. Other Me (Emily L. Byrne) continues to have a fab year and has just had her 4th acceptance for the year, thus far. Plus I'll have a reprint, as me, in Best Lesbian Erotica 2015. Hoping to have a good writing week, depending on weather, health, Elderly Parent and related. Send good thoughts, please!

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First, the signal boosts. There are, at last count, only 14 surviving feminist bookstores in the U.S, down form 100+ in the 1990s. One of them, Portland, Oregon's In Other Words Bookstore and Community Center (featured in Portlandia), and needs both volunteers and cash immediately to stay afloat. Please boost their Indiegogo and contribute if you can.

On a less dire note,despite historical evidence that women were the first brewers, they've been shoved out of the booming microbrewery business - only an infinitesimal number of the new brews are made by, let alone owned by women . Sidhe Brewing is out to change that ratio and is raising funds to open a new taproom and pub in St. Paul, MN. Women-brewed and women-operated, plus the east side of St. Paul really needs a destination location, just saying.

Speaking of fields where women were founders and once considered major players, there's a
Kickstarter for a Notable Women In Computing playing card deck (2nd edition). The woman behind the deck is hoping to get them into schools and programs working with girls training for STEM careers.

Last, but not least, me! I'm doing a reading of recent work at DreamHaven Books, Art and Comics tomorrow (10/22) at 6:30. Details are here. I'll be reading from Blood Moon and from a new regency-style space opera and from something else. Plus, entertaining stories, cookies and going out afterwards.

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First, the signal boosts:
Eye of Horus Metaphysical Books and Supplies in Minneapolis is getting booted out of their current space at the end of this month. They need to raise $9k to move and one of the owners, Jane, just got diagnosed with cancer. The Eye regularly supports fans as well as providing a great base for interesting workshops and readings. Please
boost and donate.

Writer Tressa Green and her family are in danger of losing their home to foreclosure despite working 3 jobs between them. They need to raise enough money to hold off the sheriff. Writer/artist Lisa Cohen is heading up a benefit auction on
Google+ or you can donate directly.

My wife, Jana Pullman,  is teaching beginning book repair at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the class isn't full yet. Boosting for those interested, since this normally fills up.

My latest SF Signal post on "LGBT SFF in the 1990s" got a nice shoutout in the Lambda Literary news, along with a short obit for Frank Robinson.

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Lesfic author (and fine human being) Baxter Clare Trautman and her wife lost their home and one of their dogs in a house fire last week and they could use some more help. Many thanks to everyone who's donated and boosted so far!

Book blogger/reviewer Rachel Smith of the paranormal site
Bitten by Books and her hubby have to move across country this weekend. She's been ill, he's out of work and her mother and one of their dogs have all died this month. This is a woman (and her family) who really needs to catch a big break. Rachel helped me out with nice reviews of Night's Kiss and Haunted Hearths when they came out and I know she's helped a bunch of other authors with promotion so it would be nice to see her get more support. Please donate if you can and boost. Every little bit helps, in both cases.

Author Eugie Foster is back in cancer treatment, when her insurance company permits it. There isn't another fundraiser that I'm aware of, but I'm sure that she'd love to sell a few more books. Her latest.

And finally, the Twin Cities Antiquarian and Used Book Fair starts tonight at the Fairgrounds. It's somewhat less posh than it sounds - I've bought books in the under $10 range and seen first edition of Jane Austen on the other end of the scale. Plus, Ken Saunders, the book guy from Antiques Roadshow will be there and since Jana's fangirling, I gather he is indeed all that.

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Twin cities bookseller, convention organizer (Diversicon, Arcana, CONsarnit) and fannish mainstay Dave Christenson is successfully battling Stage IV colon and lung cancer. Dave sells books at ABE and Dave's partner, Abby, sells antiques on ETSY and while things are not dire, they could do with some more support as Dave enters another couple of months of chemo. Please check out their stores (links below) and spread the word. Thanks!

Abby also has a serialized novel on Kindle - "The Cougar and the Sea Dragon"

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Publisher Maggie Bonham of Sky Warrior Books was badly injured last week in a riding accident. She needs to raise money to cover her medical expenses. Please donate if you can and boost regardless -

You can also buy a book or two. I can cheerfully recommend the anthology "The Feathered Edge" and Laura Underwood's books and am certain there are other fine reads out here -
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The Friday before Easter is a huge protest day at Planned Parenthood affiliates around the country. It's hard and dangerous for the staff and for their patients. Volunteer and/or Pledge a Picketer to show PP you care -

Every May, the Mayday Parade is a harbinger of Spring for the Twin Cities. Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater pulls together a huge and wonderful parade and a celebration for all the communities in the Cities. This year, they're operating under a huge budget shortfall and they need our help. There's a benefit next week and several neighborhood organizations including the Seward Coop are pitching in. HOBT estimates that if everyone who comes to the parade and the ceremony in Powderhorn Park donated $5, they'd be set for this year and years to come.

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First, author, educator and amazing human being Kate Bornstein has suffered a reoccurance of her lung cancer. She needs help with travel expenses and care. Please donate and spread the word.

On a personal note, my trip is going reasonably well. Yesterday's interview was a blast. Today, we checked out a Japanese bookstore, the Broadway show "Kinky Boots" and dinner with the ever-charming D.L. King. There have been some ups and downs, but overall a good trip thus far. Hoping to get in some museuming tomorrow and Friday.
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For folks in the Twin Cities area, there will be a reception honoring my wife, MN Book Artist of the Year Jana Pullman, at the Open Book tonight from 5:30-7:30 PM. She's got a lovely exhibit in the second floor gallery (the one in the downstairs gallery is quite nice too, even if she doesn't have a book in it :-). It's free and it's always a nice party. Plus Jana books are spectacular.

Con-or-bust, the annual fans of color assistance project is open for bid tomorrow (2./9/13). I'm offering signed copies of Silver Moon, Hellebore and Rue and A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories as a 3 book package. Bid early and often! Many lovely things and a great cause.

Worlds Without End is doing a Women in Genre read and review challenge - read 12 books by female authors you've never read before and review them. Reviews are entered in a monthly poll and winner get prizes.

And again for Twin Cities folks, Theater Unbound, our terrific local theater that features plays written and directed by women, is doing a short plays festival later on this month. Really looking forward to this one.

In a Catherine-specific update, lost my wedding ring, probably permanently, this week. Hoping the restaurant staff turns it up but that hope is dimming. :-((( Otherwise, it's been planning for our International Women's Day radio show and some revisions to a short story I want to send out next week. Plus day job and errands, of course,

I did finish reading Whipping Girl by Julia Serano and highly recommend it. (My reviews go out on Goodreads under my own name).

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My 2013 Lesfic Appreciation Event post on finding inspiration from historical women has gone live - check out the tag link to view the other posts

You can also view my post from 2012's event on lesbian protagonists in sf/f -

Signal boost - author Sue Bolich has just found out that her cancer has returned. She's interviewed by author Larissa Naic about her books (available at B&N and Amazon) and her health on the new BU Broadpod podcast - give it a listen and please buy a book or two if you can


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