eldritchhobbit: (Pumpkin face)

Here are three excellent new posts that have inspired me to add to my “To Read” list:

“20 Creepy New Books to Read This Halloween”

5 Horror-Themed Audiobooks By Female Authors To Get You Into The Halloween Spirit”

“Boo! The best ghost stories you probably haven’t heard yet.”

***


Today I’d like to share with you a short story that’s refused to let go of me ever since I first read it. The post-apocalyptic setting and shadows of psychological horror make it a good fit for Halloween, I think. It’s a brilliant and deeply moving science fiction tale: “In a Manner of Speaking” by Charity
Tahmaseb.

(The art below is “My Light in the Dark” by FenwickParrody.)

image

Here’s a brief taste:

I use the last of the good candles to build the radio. I still have light. The fire burns, and there is a never-ending supply of the cheap, waxy candles in the storeroom. I will–eventually–burn through all of those. My fire will die. The cold will invade this space.

But today I have a radio. Today I will speak to the world–or what’s left of it. I compare my radio to the picture in the instructions. It looks the same, but not all the steps had illustrations. This troubles me. My radio may not work.

I crank the handle to charge the battery. This feels good. This warms my arms, and I must take deep breaths to keep going. I shake out my hand and crank some more. When buzz and static fill my ears, I nearly jump. That, too, sounds warm. I am so used to the cold. The creak and groan of ice, the howl of the wind. These cold sounds are their own kind of silence. They hold nothing warm or wet or alive.

I decide on a frequency for no other reason than I like the number. I press the button on the mouthpiece. This, according to the instructions, will let the world hear me.

“Hello?” My voice warbles and I leap back, as if something might spring from the speakers.

Nothing does, of course. In fact, nothing happens at all. It takes more than one try to reach the world.

“Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? Can you hear me? I would like to talk to you.”

Perhaps I should try another frequency–or try a little patience. If someone is out there with a radio, might they right now be cranking a handle to charge a battery, or sleeping, or adding wood to their fire? This last is something I must do and soon. The embers grow a bright orange, but the chill has invaded the edges of the room.

Read “In a Manner of Speaking” by Charity Tahmaseb here.

Listen to my Escape Pod narration of the story here.

eldritchhobbit: (Default)
Happy birthday to Frank Herbert (8 October, 1920 – 11 February, 1986)!

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

- Frank Herbert, Dune

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Happy birthday to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August, 1797 –
1 February, 1851)!


“Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”
- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)


eldritchhobbit: (Default)
As guest editor, I am beyond thrilled to share this issue with readers. The amazing works assembled here represent Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Mushkegowuk Cree, Karuk, and Ojibwe Nakawē perspectives. Please check out issue 99 and its related podcast here.


ALL OF THIS ISSUE’S CONTENT IS NOW UNLOCKED AND FREE TO READERS!

eldritchhobbit: (Default)

As guest editor, I am beyond thrilled to share this issue with readers. This project has been a year in the making! The amazing works assembled here represent Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Mushkegowuk Cree, Karuk, and Ojibwe Nakawē perspectives. The stories are outstanding! Please check out issue 99 and its related podcast here.


eldritchhobbit: (Default)


Happy birthday to George Orwell (25 June, 1903 – 21 January, 1950)!

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“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”
― George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)


eldritchhobbit: (Me/Sparkly)
My latest science fiction narration is up on the new episode of Escape Pod: the beautiful story “That Game We Played During the War” by Carrie Vaughn. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

EP581: That Game We Played During the War: Escape Pod
eldritchhobbit: (SW/Obi-Wan/Not Defeat)
My latest “Looking Back at Genre History” is up on the new episode of the StarShipSofa podcast. It’s a standalone piece, but it also serves as a follow up to my recent interview on the My Star Wars Story podcast. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

eldritchhobbit: (Default)
I am beyond delighted to be a featured speaker at Asheville Wordfest 2017: Ten Years of Multiculturalism at the Mic on April 18-23, 2017, speaking about world science fiction. If you're in beautiful Asheville, please do join me! And check out the amazing programming planned for the rest of the weekend!
eldritchhobbit: (Frankenstein)
First of all, happy 199th birthday to what is perhaps my favorite novel and definitely the pioneering work of modern science fiction, Frankenstein! Here are five reasons to celebrate Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley today.



Also, the latest episode of StarShipSofa includes my new "Looking Back on Genre History," part one of a two-part discussion of the relationship of one of my very favorite authors, Lois McMaster Bujold, to fandom (and fan fiction, in particular). Here it is! If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

(And speaking of StarShipSofa, heartfelt thanks to those of you who have helped make Everyone: Worlds Without Walls a reality! We're most grateful to you!)

Last but not least, it seems that I've embarked on an in-depth study of the films of award-winning actor-director-writer Jiang Wen, sort of a personal (and multi-month-long) film festival that also includes reading the popular and scholarly analyses of his work that are available in English. (I've found that his films are kind of dream dining for someone who does intellectual history, though I'm having to brush up a bit on my knowledge of recent China, which, hey, is a good thing.) When that's all done, expect a report, including breakdown of his films with brief reviews/reactions. Consider yourself warned, ha!



I am still recovering from The Ick That Wouldn't Die, but I'm much better than I was. And we're expecting snow tomorrow, which makes me very happy indeed. I hope all of you are doing well, my friends!
eldritchhobbit: (Hitchhiker's Guide)
Happy birthday to Douglas Adams (11 March, 1952 – 11 May, 2001)!

A Wholly Remarkable Book


“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Don't Tread)
Blech! Very sick here. So many are! The ick is making the rounds. 'Tis the season, I suppose. My husband is two weeks into it and he still has little voice and lots of coughing. I'm just in week one, full of antibiotics. Joy! /Whinging

I hope all of you are well, my friends!

Here are several cool Calls for Papers for anyone so inclined:
* "Special Edition of Fantastika Journal" (incorporates the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but can also include alternative histories, steampunk, young adult fiction, or any other imaginative space)
* "Representing Rural Women"
* "Stranger Things: Eighties Nostalgia, Cynicism and Innocence"
* "Science Fiction Beyond the Western Canon"

Most of all, I just want to share the news about an amazing and inspiring project created by StarShipSofa's Districts of Wonders network, one I'm deeply honored to be a part of: Everyone: Worlds Without Walls, a speculative fiction anthology of new and diverse voices from around the globe. I invite you to check it out!

eldritchhobbit: (Read more science fiction)
Happy birthday to Jules Verne (8 February, 1828 – 24 March, 1905)!

Jules Verne Statue


"The sea does not belong to despots. Upon its surface men can still exercise unjust laws, fight, tear one another to pieces, and be carried away with terrestrial horrors. But at thirty feet below its level, their reign ceases, their influence is quenched, and their power disappears. Ah! sir, live--live in the bosom of the waters! There only is independence! There I recognise no masters! There I am free!"
- Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)
eldritchhobbit: (Books)
Happy birthday to the father of modern dystopian fiction, Yevgeny Zamyatin (1 February, 1884 – 10 March, 1937)!

We


So, take the idea of “rights” and drip some acid on it. Even the most adult of the Ancients knew: the source of a right is power, a right is the function of power. Take two trays of a weighing scale: put a gram on one, and on the other, put a ton. On one side is the “I,” on the other is the “WE,” the One State. Isn’t it clear? Assuming the “I” has the same “rights” compared to “WE” the State, is exactly the same thing as assuming that a gram can counterbalance a ton. Here is the distribution: a ton has rights, a gram has duties. And this is the natural path from insignificance to greatness: forget that you are a gram, and feel as though you are a millionth part of the ton…
― Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (1924)
eldritchhobbit: (Tecumseh)
My "The Once and Future Chief: Tecumseh in (Science) Fiction" appears in this month's Apex Magazine. I'm so delighted to be featured in such fantastic company! This special double issue is available in ebook form for $2.99.

eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/John & Sherlock computer)
How about Sherlock!?! Wow. Okay, on to links...

I had the pleasure and privilege of narrating a very powerful science fiction story, "In a Manner of Speaking" by Charity Tahmaseb, for Escape Pod. This one will stick with me a long time (in a very good way). One of the podcast listeners on the Escape Pod forum called it "*so good*. Like, be late to work because you have to hear the rest of the story good." I agree. My narration went online this week on Episode 556. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

In other news, the Hocus Pocus Comics website is aliiiive! Aliiive, I say! You're invited to check us out. Thanks!

eldritchhobbit: (Coffee)
Happy birthday to E.M. Forster (1 January, 1879 – 7 June, 1970)!

yellow is happiness


“He broke off, and she fancied that he looked sad. She could not be sure, for the Machine did not transmit nuances of expression. It only gave a general idea of people -- an idea that was good enough for all practical purposes, Vashti thought. The imponderable bloom, declared by a discredited philosophy to be the actual essence of intercourse, was rightly ignored by the Machine, just as the imponderable bloom of the grape was ignored by the manufacturers of artificial fruit. Something 'good enough' had long since been accepted by our race.”
― E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops (1909)
eldritchhobbit: (Rogue One/Baze smiling)
It's time for my annual navel-gazing post, in which I take stock of the year beyond my university teaching for my own information/edification.

So here's my reading, podcasting, and published work this year.





Below the cut: lists! )
eldritchhobbit: (Elsewhere)
Today my first narration for the Cast of Wonders podcast is available on Episode 221. I read the wonderful tale "The Jungle Between" by Holly Schofield. If you listen, I hope you enjoy! This is the final dinosaur-centric episode in the podcast's "Dinovember" celebration.

Just in case Cast of Wonders is new to you, I should mention that it's a Young Adult fiction podcast featuring tales of the fantastic. ("The Jungle Between," for example, is YA science fiction.) It's a terrific podcast, and if you know any young people or adult lovers of YA literature, I encourage you to share the news about it. Cast of Wonders is part of the Escape Artists family of podcasts.

eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Luke/Watching You)
I am counting down the hours until Rogue One!


In other news...

Here are some interesting links I wanted to share.

- from Science Fiction Ruminations: "Three SF Short Stories Pre-1969 by Women Authors"

- from The Baltimore Sun: "Newest 'Poe Toaster' to Return for Edgar Allan Poe's Birthday Tribute"

- from The Atlantic: "The Science Fiction that Came before Science"


And in personal news..

My latest "Looking Back on Genre History" segment -- which is about Firefly, Serenity, the Frontier Thesis, and Ron Glass -- is now up here at StarShipSofa. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

Last year I filmed some videos about Star Wars for the Learn Liberty project with the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. Two of these went up on YouTube last year ("Star Wars: Does Fear Cost Us Our Liberty?" and "Star Wars: Behind the History"). Now the other two are available on YouTube: "Good and Evil in Star Wars" and "Warrior, Librarian, Jedi Master."



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