Diversity in SF/F: A New Resource

I’ve been participating in the LGBTQ Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge for a couple of years now, and I’ve found it a rewarding and worthwhile experience.  The challenge is described thus:

The 2017 LGBTQ Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge seeks to promote diversity and expand horizons amongst readers and writers of speculative fiction.

Read and review books that either:

  1. Are written by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer authors,
  2. Explore LGBTQ themes, or
  3. Feature LGBTQ characters.

Author repeats are admissable.

Remember that we have the LGBTQ Speculative Fiction Resource List here on WWEnd. It is our own resource for finding great LGBTQ books. The books on the list primarily feature Lambda Literary and Gaylactic Spectrum Award winners and nominees.

I have found it particularly challenging to meet the first requirement, however.  While SF/F has traditionally been a refuge of outsiders and non-conformists, authors (understandably, considering the tone of the market) have not always been “out”.  I am looking to compile a list of speculative fiction authors who are.  I’ve started a page, which you can find in my blog’s sidebar or at this link, and I’m asking people to contribute to it.  Please do a little research before offering up a name; the authors who are listed so far are officially out, legally married to someone of the same gender, or specifically have been gender non-conforming in their personal and professional lives.  And thanks in advance for your help!

Link: Diversity in SF/F.

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Is Pulp Fiction Making a Comeback?

It seems that I’ve been hearing an awful lot about pulp fiction, especially pulp sci-fi, recently!  All of a sudden it’s like everyone’s talking about it!  As I’ve mentioned, I’m doing some writing for the Tales of the Stellar Deep RPG, which is clearly rooted in pulp sci-fi and horror. All of a sudden people are discovering Conan, Andre Norton, and Edgar Rice Burroughs again.  Doctor Who is in a Renaissance of fandom.  Just today I discovered that Tor Books is doing a giveaway of an Allen Steele book on Goodreads, Avengers of the Moon, which is described point blank as “pulp-inspired.”

I think we may be tired of “grim for grim’s sake” in our literature; certainly there’s enough to keep us busy in politics and economics if we want grim things to discuss!  Perhaps just like people in the Depression and the War Eras, we’ve had so much of our fill of the grimness of the world that we’d rather take our minds off things for a while, and read about heroic deeds of daring-do, where we know the hero has to survive because otherwise would would happen in the next book?  Maybe we’ve had enough adventure in our lives now that we have finally gotten over the idea that “darker” means “more sophisticated” and therefore “better.”

I love pulp science fiction!  So many things that have become so important to the genre originated in those little pulp books!  I would love it if this were true!

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Winner of My Contest Giveaway!

This weekend at the By Any Means Necessary Author Takeover I offered up a contest giveaway: And the winner is: Jeff Russell! Winning Quote: “You should learn to live as if you didn’t exist.” ~ from Once Upon a Time in the West. Other Entries: “Well, you’re a romantic bastard, I’ll give you that.” ~ […]

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A Weird West Playlist

Do you ever wonder what writers listen to when they write?  For me it depends on the nature of the story I’m telling, and its setting.  For the Wyrd West Chronicles I like to listen to spaghetti western theme music, epic fantasy and game music written in a similar style, a handful of steampunk music that isn’t too electronic sounding, and dark country.  You’ll find that a lot of this list comes from other Weird West settings or Space Westerns.

You’ll notice that a lot of the songs on the list were composed by Derek & Brandon Flechter, who write epic music for use in different genres and who post their work on YouTube.  They have granted me permission to use their Western music in the audiobook versions of the Wyrd West Chronicles!  I’ll be working on the audiobooks as soon as each novelette comes out, and I’ll be making them available on DriveThruFiction and my Bandcamp site.

In the meantime, enjoy the playlist!

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The Weird West

I didn’t realize when I started writing my Wyrd West Chronicles that there was actually a genre for this!  No new ideas under the sun, I guess; but then again, it seems that my take is just a little bit unique.  Less dark overall than the usual depiction; more high fantasy.

Speaking of which, I’ll be releasing the first story, “Showdown,” on the Spring Equinox!  That’s March 20 this year.  It’s in the final editing stages and I’m just waiting for the cover image.  When I have all that, you’ll be able to get it by pre-order.

There’s Space Western for The West In Space!, and there’s Cattle Punk for The West meets Steam Punk. The Weird West is for when The West meets the supernatural.

Read full article at TVTropes.

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