This month we have tons of news  and two interview guests. David Levine talks about a few of his many short stories, and Dennis Upkins talks about his debut YA novel, Hollowstone.

On the Amina Arraf and Paula Brooks Hoaxes:
*The OA post I made about this last week: Are All Gay Girls Secretly Men?
*Liz Henry at BlogHer: Warnings and Question about Paula Brooks.
*Ben Rosenbaumguest posting on Liz Henry’s personal blog about when it’s okay to pretend to be someone else, and why it’s not when it’s not.
*Liz Henry on her own blog: Notes on Sockpuppetry and Astroturfing (explaining some internet jargon related to hoaxes, and the mechanics of how people perpetrate hoaxes.
*Daniel Nassar at Gay Middle East: The Impact of Audacity: The Amina Story and its Effect on the LGBT People of Syria and (with Sami Hamwi) From Damascus With Love: Blogging in a Totalitarian State.
*Britta Froelicher at The Washington Post: Britta Froelicher, wife of ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus,’ caught in her husband’s ‘hurricane’.

And because it bears repeating in writing: Trans women are not pretending to be women. Trans and genderqueer/questioning people who do not feel safe revealing their identities and need a pseudonymous online identity in which to explore that are not the people who are doing damage here. There’s a giant difference between that sort of thing and the Amina and Paula hoaxes. I think Ben Rosenbaum’s post above does a good job of exploring when and why pretending to be someone you’re not is harmful, so that’s a great place to start if you aren’t sure.

On Feminism and Gender Bias in SF:
*The OA post from a couple of weeks ago: Outer Alliance Spotlight #80: Feminism.
*The SF Signal interview (and large comments thread): MIND MELD: What’s The Importance of ‘The Russ Pledge’ For Science Fiction Today?
*Athena Andreadis voices her frustration: Why I Won’t Be Taking the Joanna Russ Pledge. (Note the comments. I was glad to see Nicola stopping in, and I particularly liked what JGStewart had to say–I feel that’s one of the great reasons for promoting things like the Joanna Russ pledge. You just never know when a basic step like that will reach a particular person and lead to more openness and consideration.)
*Ann Leckie on editorial bias in seven parts! This is a really great in depth look at bias, building on the things she said at WisCon on the editorial bias panel: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

Congratulations to Sacchi Green for winning a Goldie!

On The Writer & the Critic/OA Crossover Episode:
*The Writer & the Critic (in case you want to start listening to one of my favorite podcasts right away).
*I recommended Hal Duncan‘s Spectrum winning story, “The Behold of the Eye”. Read it for free online, buy it in Wilde Stories 2009, or listen to it for free at Podcastle.
*Kirstyn recommended Kim Westwood‘s story, “Nightship”. Buy it in Dreaming Again, or listen to it free at Terra Incognita.
*Ian Recommended Peter M. Ball‘s novellas, Horn and Bleed. Buy them in print or e-book format from Twlefth Planet Press, or get the instant dowload e-book versions from Smashwords.

Warning for anyone who has trigger issues with sexual violence: Horn does contain some graphic rape, which triggered me. I did like the story and find it worth reading, but I would have probably done a bit better if I had known going in that I was going to be reading about graphic rape. It’s not victim-blamey, and it is very much intrinsic to the plot, but you know, it’s still violent and awful because rape is violent and awful. “Nightship” also deals with sexual violence, but it maintains a distance that left me feeling okay. You may have different safe zones and boundaries than I do, though, so I thought I’d mention both. I still recommend these stories to anyone who feels up to reading them before our August episode. I just wanted to give any unsuspecting survivors a heads up about the potential triggers.

On David Levine:
*“At the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting of Uncle Teco’s Homebrew Gravitics Club” — Subverting the sexy blonde stereotype character. Free online!
*”Second Chance” and many other free online stories are linked from David’s bibliography page.
*The 100th issue of Realms of Fantasy contains David’s lesbian plumber story, “Tides of the Heart”. Buy it in print or in digital format.
*David’s short story collection, Space Magic, is available through Wheatland Press.
*David’s Mars Journal chronicling his experience at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. Available together with the journals of David’s other Mars research team members as a book, The Mars Diaries.

On Dennis Upkins:
*Denny’s website, where he blogs all about Hollowstone.
*Hollowstone as an e-book at Parker Publishing.
*Hollowstone in print at Amazon.
*Lee Thompson Young is Denny’s top pick for actors who might play Hollowstone’s main character, Noah, on the big screen.
*Denny is also on LiveJournal as Neo_Prodigy.

Okay, that wraps this monster episode up! If you have feedback, please leave a comment, or e-mail me at I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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