Archive Page 3

Christopher Barzak joins me to talk about all his latest projects!

Before the interview, a brief correction: last time I failed to mention Kay Holt as co-editor of The Other Half of the Sky. Oops! That anthology of feminist SF stories is co-edited by Athena Andreadis and Kay Holt. In this podcast, I say pick it up if you haven't already. I meant to say check it out! It's forthcoming, so you can't pick it up yet.

*Before and Afterlives is Christopher's short story collection out through Lethe Press.
*One for Sorrow
, and The Love We Share Without Knowing are his novels.
*Birds and Birthdays is a recent collection of three stories and an essay about surrealist art. You can hear an interview all about that with Shaun Duke over on The Skiffy and Fanty Show.
*Jamie Marks is Dead is the movie (currently in production) based on One for Sorrow.
*Christopher teaches at Youngstown State University, and the literary magazine he helped students start is called Jenny.
*He co-edited Interfictions 2 with Delia Sherman, and is no co-editing the fiction portions of the forthcoming Interfictions Online with Meghan McCarron.
*The first issue of Interfictions Online will launch at WisCon at the end of May.
*Christopher will also be at Readercon in July, and he'll have a reading at the KGB Bar in New York later in 2013.

Send feedback to, comment here, or tweet to @outeralliance.

Julia Rios is me! I'm a writer, host of the OA Podcast, editor at Strange Horizons.

John Chu is a writer who recently had a story called "The Water That Falls on You From Nowhere" on

Gillian Daniels is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. She does reviews for New England Theatre Geek and Analytical Couch Potato.

Joan Slonczewski is a professor at Kenyon College. She specializes in microbiology, a topic which also appears in her SF novels. She's also going to be one of the guests of honor at WisCon this year. In the podcast we talked specifically about her books, Brain Plague, and The Highest Frontier.

Things we discussed:

  • The term "Metrosexual" as either a pop culture word for men who care about appearance, or as a term for men who want to experiment with same sex relationships. We had some confusion/disagreement about what this word means. Please share your thoughts!
  • An unfortunately named, but interesting article from "6 Insane Stereotypes That Movies Can't Seem to Get Over"
  • Brokeback Mountain is an example of a popular movie where a QUILTBAG character dies. Silence of the Lambs features a QUILTBAG murderer as the villain.
  • Gillian is not a big fan of Captain Jack Harkness. We agree that he seems like a dangerous fellow to spend time with.

Examples of SF with good portrayals of QUILTBAG characters:

  • The Highest Frontier and Brain Plague by Joan Slonczewski
  • Carnival by Elizabeth Bear
  • Scheherazade's Facade, edited by Michael M. Jones
  • The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
  • "Recognizing Gabe" by Alberto Yáñez
  • Beyond Binary, edited by Brit Mandelo
  • Wilde Stories (ongoing Year's Best series), edited by Steve Berman
  • The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan (one of this year's Tiptree winners!)
  • Machine by Jennifer Pelland
  • Don't Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine by Tanith Lee
  • The Other Half of the Sky, edited by Athena Andreadis and Kay Holt

Audience member points:

  • Queer is a reclaimed slur, and only people who have been called it should be able to use it.
  • Troubled by SFnal worlds in which only QUILTBAG characters are gay white men.
  • Recommendations for Samuel R. Delany and Caitlin R. Kiernan


  • Nebula nominees are announced, and include lots of awesome people, several of whom are OA members and/or come highly recommended for excellent QUILTBAG conten (N.K. Jemisin, Rachel Swirsky, Brit Mandelo, Catherynne M. Valente, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Jay Lake, Cat Rambo...)
  • Tiptree Awards time is here! Caitlin R. Kiernan's The Drowning Girl and Kiini Ibura Salaam's Ancient, Ancient are the winners! The shortlist also has some great stuff including work by OA members Roz Kaveney and Elizabeth Bear.
  • The Galactic Suburbia Award for activism and/ or communication that advances the feminist conversation in the field of speculative fiction in 2012 came out last month. I'm extremely honored to be on the shortlist for the second year in a row.
  • The Lambda nominees are announced, and again with the OA members out in force! Congratulations to all, including Malinda Lo, Roz Kaveney, Steve Berman, Connie Wilkins, Brit Mandelo, and Sean Eads!
  • Hugo nominations are open for a couple more days! If you haven't yet nominated, there's still time, and you could even nominate this very podcast if you wanted to!

Next episode will be an interview with Christopher Barzak. In the meantime, send feedback to, leave a comment here, or tweet to @outeralliance on Twitter. Thanks for listening!

The Queer SF&F Panel from Arisia, with Julia Rios, Don Sakers, and Connie Wilkins

Don Sakers writes reviews for Analog, and has written several books. His website is Meerkat Meade.

Connie Wilkins writes and edits speculative fiction , and has an erotica alter ego named Sacchi Green. She co-edited Heiresses of Russ 2012 with Steve Berman, edited Time Well Bent: Queer Alternate Histories, and most recently, has a story in The Mystical Cat.

Things we discussed: Lethe Press -- Steve Berman publishes works by a number of authors including Tanith Lee and Melissa Scott.

Queers Dig Time Lords -- a book of essays about Doctor Who by QUILTBAG fans. This book will come out in June.

Examples of good, complex characters: *Lesbian werewolves from Silver Moon (recommended by Connie) *Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who (recommended by Don) *Helen Magnus from Sanctuary (recommended by Don)

Examples of how stereotypes can be used well: *Promises, Promises by L-J Baker (recommended by Julia) *Xena: Warrior Princess (recommended by audience *Not QUILTBAG, but for SFnal/geek stereotypes: Galaxy Quest and The Big Bang Theory (recommended by Don) *Terry Pratchett's Monstrous Regiment (recommended by Connie) *"The Women Men Don't See", "Houston, Houston, Do You Read?", and "The Girl Who was Plugged In" by James Tiptree Jr. (recommended by audience)

General Recs: Connie: Nicola Griffith, Alyx Dellamonica, Malinda Lo, Tamora Pierce

Don: Geonn Cannon's Railroad Spine (MC pansexual female airship captain)

Julia: Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories by Sandra McDonald (read one story free at Strange Horizons), Fly Into Fire by Susan Jane Bigelow, "Recognizing Gabe" by Alberto Yáñez

Audience member recommends: Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Joss Whedon's Characters

Audience recommends Ellen Kushner (Swordspoint and The Privilege of the Sword)

Julie Andrews recommends Beyond Binary, anthology of genderqueer and sexually fluid speculative fiction edited by Brit Mandelo

Connie Recommends Scheherazade's Facade, fantastic tales of Gender Bending, Cross-Dressing, and Transformation edited by Michael M. Jones

Julia Recommends Machine by Jennifer Pelland (trans audience member seconds the rec)

Jennifer Pelland recommends Lyda Morehouse's Archangel Protocol books

Gillian Daniels recommends Kissing the Witch, collection of nested fairy tales by Emma Donoghue

Audience recommends SteamPowered Lesbian Steampunk Stories edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft (Connie seconds the rec)

Connie recs Hellebore and Rue, anthology of lesbian magic users edited by JoSelle Vanderhooft and Catherine Lundoff

Audience recommends Laurie Marks and Diane Duane. Same audience member has Problem/Rec for Lois McMaster Bujold because she writes interesting QUILTBAG characters, but they don't read like people audience member knows in real life. Looks at gender in really interesting ways, but, for instance, bisexual characters let audience member down.

Connie recommends "The Thick Night" by Sunny Moraine (also of note: Sunny's queer space opera novel co-written with Lisa Soem, Line and Orbit is now out)

Don recommends Shadow Man by Melissa Scott, and the works of Marion Zimmer Bradley

Audience member recommends Roz Kaveney's Rhapsody of Blood, and Nalo Hopkison's The Salt Roads

Connie recs Bordertown

Don recs Tiptree Award and Gaylactic Spectrum Award

Audience recommends S.M. Stirling's Nantucket series and Dies the Fire

Julie Andrews recommends TV series Lost Girl, and Australian TV series Outland, which is, alas, only available in Australia

Audience asks for YA QUILTBAG non-issue books. Recs for Malinda Lo, and Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand.

Resource lists for YA: Rachel Manija Brown's list Yes Gay YA, and Lee Wind's I'm Here, I'm Queer, What the Hell Do I Read?

Don's Act Well Your Part and Lucky in Love, not genre, but gay YA romance in a setting where being gay is not an issue.

General recs for Circlet Press and Crossed Genres

News (after the panel)

Panel Notes from three other Arisia Panels (Trans* and gender variant SF, Asexuality in SF, and Beyond Binary)

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ALA Rainbow and Over the Rainbow lists of QUILTBAG Books

YALSA lists of books (includes Radiant Days) and graphic novels (includes A + E 4ever) for teens.

Crossed Genres submissions call fro QUILTBAG anthology, Fierce Family.

Call for papers for special Feminist SF issue of ADA journal.

House of Commons passed first vote for same sex marriage in the UK. Not done yet, but an encouraging sign.

JoSelle Vanderhooft talks to me about her new novel, Ebenezer. The book is a retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, but with a lesbian protagonist.

One of JoSelle's inspirations was Transforming Scrooge by Joseph D. Cusumano.

JoSelle and I will both be at Arisia at the Westin Waterfront in Boston the week after next (the 18th-21st of January, 2013). There will also be an Outer Alliance snack time hosted by Connie Wilkins on Saturday the 19th from 2pm-4pm in room 1167. Please do say hello!

I talked with Sofia Samatar about her story, "Selkie Stories Are For Losers" back in OA Podcast #24. That story is now online at Strange Horizons. You can read it, or listen to the brand new Strange Horizons Podcast, which is hosted by Anaea Lay.

The Interstitial Arts Foundation is starting an online magazine soon! Christopher Barzak (one of the magazine's fiction editors) has the details on his blog.

Lots of OA-friendly cons coming up! Joan Slonczewski is a guest of honor at WisCon from the Nicola Griffith and Kelley Eskridge are Guests of Honor at this year's Westercon in Sacramento from the 4th to the 7th of July, and Catherine Lundoff is a special guest at Diversicon in Minneapolis from the 2nd to the 4th of August.

Please send feedback to or mention @outeralliance on twitter.

Michael M. Jones joins me at the World Fantasy Convention to talk about Scheherazade's Facade. After the interview we have a small OA member showcase and a little bit of news. For full show notes visit

Gaylaxicon was the 5th-7th of October, and we had a smashing live podcast panel with Lyda Morehouse, Jeff Eddy, Kyell GoldGary Russell, Zan Christensen, and Barbara Schulz! This podcast gets the explicit tag for some talk about sex (but it's probably no worse than PG-13). For complete show notes, visit

--NOTICE: Unfortunately the complete show notes for this episode have been lost. We're very sorry for the inconvenience, and encourage you to listen (and buy the contributors' works!) anyway.

Nnedi Okorafor, Anyaugo Okorafor, Jim Hines, and Sofia Samatar joined me at WorldCon to talk about how we can change the conversation to help make our community more inclusive. After the interviews, we have an OA member showcase of favorite WorldCon moments.

Nnedi and Anyaugo Okorafor
*Here is Nnedi’s website, and here is her post about Lovecraft and the World Fantasy Award.
*Zahrah the Windseeker is Anyaugo’s favorite of Nnedi’s books because it’s about a girl who goes on an adventure. Anyaugo would like to seem more mystery and adventure books with young female protagonists, so, if you’re a writer, take note!
*Who Fears Death won the World Fantasy Award and the Carl Brandon Kindred Award.
*Akata Witch is Nnedi’s most recent novel, and was a finalist for the Norton Award this year.”
*Andrea Pinkney was Nnedi’s first editor.
*Virginia Hamilton was a celebrated children’s book author, who wrote some fantasy, but wasn’t really recognized for that aspect of her work.

Jim Hines
*Here is Jim’s Website, and here is his Hugo speech (complete with a picture of the glass!Hugo).
*Here’s the post about The Wolves, the Pig, and the Retarded Bunny, and the one where Jim poses like Urban Fantasy heroines.
*All of Jim’s books, including the Princess Series and Libriomancer can be found in his online bookstore.
*Jim also mentioned How to Be a Fan of Problematic Things.

Sofia Samatar
*Here is Sofia’s Website.
*“Girl Hours” and “Snowbound in Hamadan” are two of Sofia’s poems, which appeared in Stone Telling.
*Sofia’s first novel, A Stranger in Olondria, is available for pre-order through Small Beer Press.
*Sofia has a shorts story with a lesbian protagonist forthcoming in Strange Horizons.

Our OA member showcase this month featured favorite WorldCon moments from Lynne Thomas, Rachel Swirsky, Kelly Lagor, C.D. Covington, Brit Mandelo, Kyell Gold, Cat Rambo, Cliff Winnig, and Catherine Lundoff. Next month’s episode will be recorded at Gaylaxicon!

Bart Leib and Kay Holt joined me this month to talk about what kinds of stories they like, how they work as a team, and their future plans for Crossed Genres.

We have a great hour long talk surrounded by news at the front and a showcase of OA members’ answers to a specific question at the end. For once, our show notes are really small, too!

*Catherine Lundoff posted some great notes on a Bi Science Fiction and Fantasy Roundtable she took part in this month.
*To buy awesome books, or learn more about submitting to the magazine or any of the anthologies they have coming up, visit Crossed Genres.
*Here is the old woman salsa dancing video I mentioned. And here is a video of the old woman gymnast Kay mentioned.
*And here is the blog post about England that Shaun Duke mentioned in the end of the podcast.

Liz Hand joins me to talk about her work, especially Radiant Days, Available Dark, Illyria, and Near Zennor (the last of which won a Shirley Jackson Award the day after our chat). After the interview, several OA members tell us about art and artists that inspire them. This podcast has an explicit tag! Take heed if you have reasons to worry about that sort of thing!

July brings us Readercon each year, and it’s usually got a wealth of OA-relevant activities and events. This year the guest of honor was Caitlin R. Kiernan, we had an OA meetup with lots of great people, and I had the chance to interview Elizabeth Hand the day before she won a Shirley Jackson Award. We mostly talked about Radiant Days (which was just nominated as a Rainbow Book), but we did drift into some of her other works as well.

This episode gets an explicit tag because of a few instances of salty language and mature (or immature, heh) content. If your delicate ears are offended by such things, take heed! We also talked a little bit about sexual violence, which didn’t get into graphic details, but which I figured I should mention here in case anyone out there finds that sort of thing too triggery to deal with, even without graphic detail.

After the news and the interview, we finish up the episode by hearing from a variety of OA members about some of the artists and specific works that have influenced and inspired them. This was a a really fun set of data to collect, full of interesting stories.

*Sexual assault crosses all gender identities and sexual orientations. Here is a personal account by Jim Hines of his own recent experience.
*The Shirley Jackson Awards happened at Readercon, and Elizabeth Hand was a winner! She’s in fabulous company on that list of winners and nominees, too.  Congratulations to all!
*Sally Ride died this week. She was not only the first American woman in space, but also a QUILTBAG astronaut, who had a 27-year relationship with a female partner.
*The Rhysling Awards for speculative poetry were also announced recently, and the top winners in both the long and short form categories were OA members! Congratulations to Shira Lipkin and Megan Arkenberg!
*The Prometheus Awards for 2012 have been announced (ceremony to take place at WorldCon in Chicago), and Delia Sherman is a winner! Her YA novel, The Freedom Maze, also picked up the Norton Award during the Nebula weekend in May.

 Stuff Elizabeth Hand Mentioned
*Liz compared Merle Tappitt (the protagonist of Radiant Days) to Jean-Michel Basquiat.
*The article that John Rockwell wrote about Patti Smith in the New York Times came out in March of 1975. Later, he reviewed the album for Rolling Stone magazine.
*Growing up, Liz felt that female role models for writers seemed depressing and/or self-destructive. She mentioned Jean RhysDorothy Parker, and Isadora Duncan. As a teen, she found herself looking more toward male role models like The Beats and Arthur Rimbaud.
*Patti Smith showed Liz what a woman might do creatively, and the song “Gloria” from her first album, Horses, raised the hair on the back of Liz’s neck when she first heard it.
*Lucius Shepard spoke at some point about “the arrogance of the poet”– something Liz thinks Patti Smith and Arthur Rimbaud both have.
*The Complete Works of Arthur Rimbaud translated by Paul Schmidt was Liz’s Bible in her teen years.
*Amanda Palmer is an example of someone, who, like Merle in Radiant Days, worked very hard for a long time to become a successful artist.
*Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie) is an example of someone who (like Rimbaud, Liz suspects) went from wild youth to conservative adult. Liz’s ideas about Rimbaud’s later life have been partly shaped by reading several biographies of Rimbaud, including Alain Borer‘s.
*Illyria is Liz’s book that most closely captures the essence of her friend who influenced and inspired her from a very early age.
*Liz is glad to see more YA books with gay protagonists, like David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy.
*In the 1990s, Liz and her friend Paul Witcover teamed up to write a comic for DC called Anima. The main character was bisexual, but the series was cancelled before they got to explore that as fully as they would have liked.
*Errantry: Strange Stories is Liz’s forthcoming collection, which is currently available for pre-order at Small Beer Press. Her Shirley Jackson Award-winning novella, Near Zennor, is one of the pieces within. She’s also working on the third Cass Neary book, Flashburn, and a new YA novel, Wylding Hall.
*Liz and her partner, John Clute, will be Guests of Honor at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in Toronto, Ontario.

Art and Artists that Inspired OA Members
*My example was Liz Phair’s first album, Exile in Guyville.
*Sarah Pinkser: Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend.
*J. A. Pitts: RUSH, especially the song, “The Pass”.
*Jennifer Thorne: Loreena McKennitt.
*Mira: Toulouse Lautrec, in particular these three paintings. Mira also recommends the works of Remedios Varo.
*Trisha J. Wooldridge: The Crüxshadows.
*Angela Korra’ti: Elvis Presley.
*Sam Fleming: Mike Oldfield and Sky (the John Williams Ensemble).
*Claire Humphrey: Tracy Chapman, especially “The Lover”.
*Keffy Kehrli: The Requiem (goth/industrial podcast), VNV Nation, Sarah MacLachlan’s “Black”, and Ceremony.
*Catherine Lundoff: The Grateful dead, Heart, The Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, Boiled in Lead, Steeleye Span, Garmarna, and Hedningarna.
*Kyle Aisteach: Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime.
*Brandon H. Bell: Gish by The Smashing Pumpkins, and Ten by Pearl Jam.
*Heather Tumey: Laurie Anderson, Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Dorothea Lange, Annie Liebovitz, Patti Smith, Pablo Picasso, Nina Simone, Me’Shell NdegeOcello, Oumou Sangare, Le Tigre, Sleater Kinney, Muddy Waters, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Andre Segovia, Miles Davis, Mozart, and PJ Harvey.
*Andrea Speed: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Tod Browning films, and the music group Mr. Bungle.

Thanks to everyone who came to the OA meetup at Readercon! Here’s a bonus photo for anyone who took the time to check out the show notes. An impromptu line formed of people who wanted Claire Humphrey to sign their copies of Beyond Binary! Very exciting.

Readercon OA Meetup

That’s all for now! If you have feedback, e-mail me at, leave a comment here, or send a message to the google group.

Malinda Lo leads Neesha Meminger, Katharine Beutner and Julia Rios in a panel discussion on Heteronormativity in YA Dystopian Novels. This panel was recorded on the 27th of May at WisCon.
The panel runs slightly over an hour, and there’s also about 10 minutes of news and notes surrounding the panel.

*Lee Thomas‘s The German won the Lambda for SF/F/H.
*Catherynne M. Valente swept three categories in the Locus Awards! Gary K. Wolfe also won one for his book of critical essays, Evaporating Genres.
*Congratulations to all the Ditmar and Chronos award winners, including Alex Pierce, Tehani Wessely, Ian Mond, Kirstyn McDermott, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Kim Westwood.
*Sacchi Green picked up a Goldie for her erotica collection, A Ride to Remember.

Clarion Write-a-Thons
*Lots of OA members are participating. You can support them by donating or cheering them on. Here’s a handy guide.

About the Panelists
*Malinda Lo writes YA novels with queer protagonists, including Ash (a lesbian retelling of Cinderella), Huntress (in the same world as Ash, but during a different time period), and the forthcoming Adaptation. She proposed and moderated this panel.
*Neesha Meminger writes YA novels, including Shine Coconut Moon, Jazz in Love, and Into the Wise Dark. She’s also a mother, and has read and discussed YA Dstopians with her daughter.
*Katharine Beutner is the author of Alcestis (a lesbian retelling of an ancient Greek myth), and she teaches creative writing and literature at the College of Wooster in Ohio. She’s actually taught an entire class on YA Dystopians.
*Julia Rios is the host of the OA Podcast, and also writes fiction and poetry (to date, no YA, though), and is a fiction editor at Strange Horizons.

Stuff We Mentioned During the Panel
*The Hunger Games — an enormously popular YA Dystopian trilogy.
*Paolo Bacigalupi’s well-intentioned Kirkus post, which upset people, and his follow-up, which helped to make things better.
*The OA post with all the QUILTBAG YA Dystopian recommendations
*Ilsa Bick’s Ashes is (like The Hunger Games) an example of a YA Dystopian Survival Story
*Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker is an example of an Environmental Dystopian
*Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies and Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron are examples of Futuristic High Concept Dystopians with Authoritarian Governments.
*We’re focusing on Closed Worlds with Arranged Matches in this panel, like Matched by Ally Condie, and Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Kate notes that in most of these, the hero comes from outside the closed world and convinces the ordinary heroine to rebel. In the end, they tend to start new worlds together (echoing Adam and Eve in the end of Paradise Lost). We hear that there may actually be gay people in the second Lauren Oliver book.
*In Across the Universe by Beth Revis, the teen couple are actually the only people of the same age on their generation starship, so they have no other mating options.
*Neesha read The Chrysalids in high school.
*Purity Balls are the modern dances where daughters attend with their fathers and pledge to abstain from sex until marriage.
*XVI is a YA Dystopian in which all girls are meant to be sexually available at the age of 16.
*Kate mentioned Pamela Regis’s A Natural History of the Romance Novel as a good resource for understanding the structure and evolution of the romance genre.
*Target Women is a series of humorous video clips in which Sarah Haskins dissects marketing trends aimed at women. I specifically talked about the Yogurt Edition (though there are many very good ones).
*An audience member recommended Flora’s Fury by Ysabeau Wilce.
*There’s another trend in YA Dystopians toward childbirth and breeding control. These include Bumped by Megan McCafferty, Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien, and Wither by Lauren DeStefano.
*Neesha recommends Audre Lorde’s Uses of the Erotic: the Erotic as Power.
*Brave New Love and Diverse Energies are YA Dystopian anthologies, both of which contain QUILTBAG content.

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