found family

This weekend I only ended up doing one of my Continuum panels, Queering Space, because I was sick. An audience member asked us the question: what do we look for in sci fi stories that isn’t necessarily explicit queer representation, but rather what themes resonate with us as queer people.

I thought about it for a bit because I wanted to say something positive, because I’m finding lately that I am speaking about what is hard about being queer, rather than what is good about it (of course these discussions are important, but I’m trying to shift my focus onto the positives).

I said found family. A lot of us are estranged, or not out, or our blood families just don’t quite get it. But our found families are safe places, we are loved there without any exception to do with our queerness. They see us for everything we are, and we see them, and there is so much love.

(The audience member then said I had to read Becky Chambers’ books and I’m planning on it.)

I feel like the queer community is a kind of family, and I know it has its flaws and is still not a safe place for everyone. But when there is suffering within that community, we see it, we recognise it, because it’s our own suffering, too. And it does bring us together.

And while the stories that do have the kind of found family vibe to them, may not explicitly be queer, there is a recognition there. The group of characters who have found each other, who love and care for each other in the vast emptiness of space, their ship is full of light and air.

 

PS. if you know books about queers in space that fit this theme, please let me know!

emerging writers festival + continuum con

hey friends, I’m doing some things soon and it’d be real nice if people came. First up is Continuum 13, a fan-run convention for all things nerdy and SFF.

It goes for four days, 9-12 of June. I’ll be there on the 11&12th, on Sunday I’ll be doing a panel about how pronouns other than he and she are used in spec fic. It’s gonna be great. On Monday I’m doing two panels, one on ZINES and another on queers in space. I mean. My favourite things. I’m super thrilled??!??!

For Emerging Writers fest I am doing a couple of things. The first is part of the YA Masterclass on the 15th. Look!!! at!!! my!!! company!!!!! I’m doing a session in the morning about the ~hows and whys~ of YA fiction. (The why is because it’s fucken GREAT)

And on the 17th, it’s school formal time babey!!!! (Again, look @ my company????!) We’re all going to read out some letters to our teenage selves and it’s going to be really embarassing and fun. Pls come and dance with us!

reading matters

The Centre for Youth Literature run a conference called Reading Matters, which is all about children’s literature. It’s a biannual conference and it ran over the past four days. I was invited to speak there and it was The Best. (I could only attend on the Friday, which makes me eternally sad).

There were SO MANY cool people there and I had a blast, so here’s some word vomit.

Continue reading

concrete queers #2

I co-edit a zine called Concrete Queers and our second issue is being launched on Saturday the 8th! Issue #2 is the comedy issue so it’s got has got comedians talking about their craft, people talking about what comedy means to them, as well as queers just bein’ plain darn funny and producing fabulous artwork.

cq2For the first issue, we asked our friends to help us out with submissions and it was amazing. This issue, we opened up a general submissions call and we got some AMAZING stuff from people we haven’t met!!! and now we get to show it all off.

The launch is at the ever-perfect Sticky Institute in the Degraves Subway in Melbourne on the 8th of August from 3-5pm. The Facebook event is here.

Cover image by Mitucami Mituca, design by Tiffany Street.

Long macchiatos and monsters

geekoutSo I have a book coming out today! how neat! It’s part of a collection by Less Than Three Press called Geek Out. Every story is about geeky trans people so naturally it is literally the best collection ever probably.

My story, Long Macchiatos and Monsters, is about Jalen, who is a cute non-binary person who really really likes bad sci-fi movies and is our narrator. They meet P, a too-attractive-for-his-own-good trans man, in a cafe one day after deciding whether or not to skip uni.

The whole story is secretly a love letter to Melbourne.

Melbourne is basically one giant cafe. You leave one cafe and then after a few minutes walking, you stumble into another one. This is why my two main characters meet in a cafe, because there are legit no other places in Melbourne. Everything is a cafe.

lmmb8We in Melbourne are obsessed with coffee for reasons I don’t quite understand, but I am very thankful because it means the coffee is generally great. Even if you don’t drink coffee, you are probably an expert if you live in Melbourne.

A long macchiato here is two shots of espresso with a circle of frothed milk on the top. I also work as a barista, and this is my least favourite kind of coffee to make.

P’s coffee order is a long macchiato because he is a pretentious asshole (In a good way. I do love him). Jalen’s order is a plain an’ simple latte, because they’re not a jerk.

“Can I try it?” I ask.

He raises an eyebrow, grins. “If you’re brave enough.”

We swap coffees and I smell his. Bitter, warm. I take a
sip and oh, god, this was a mistake. It barely touches my tongue before the taste is everywhere. I scrunch up my mouth and we swap back.

“You’re disgusting,” I choke out before  drinking some of mine to wash down the taste.

“You can talk, you milk-drinking pleb.”

We are very serious about coffee here.

You can buy Long Macchiatos and Monsters right [here] if you would like! Less than three dollary dos for a story about super cute hilarious trans cuties kissing that is all secretly about my love of coffee and Melbourne.

ps. Cecil Wilde’s story in the collection, Defying Convention is legit super cute.

Review: No Limit by Holly Childs

nolimit_webThe blurb of No Limit (2014) says it’s told in “sugar-rush prose” and this sums it up pretty well. This is a novella that kind of reads like you’re browsing the internet. You’ve got twitter open, tumblr, you’re IMing ten different people and writing a few emails at the same time.

Ash, our main character, is on a connecting flight from Auckland when a volcanic eruption begins and her flight is grounded indefinitely. Is it the apocalypse? Maybe. She’s not going to die at the airport, so she gets a taxi out of there.

There’s not a lot of action and we mostly watch as Ash travels with people she barely knows (including the dream girl she passed at the airport) around a city she doesn’t know. There are apocalypse parties, bathroom orgies, internet cafes. There’s twitter, tumblr, skype, facebook, texting. This is how you write about the internet.

The prose can be intense, super vivid, with sprawling sentences:

After walking super slowly for about twenty metres in absolute blackness, dark enough that Ash can’t tell if her eyes are open or closed, and Mack is having flashbacks to his shit dad preaching on the horrors of death’s kingdom, and Ash has to spit the Skittles out of her mouth because they taste to intense without colour, and Mack thinks that maybe this is the final solution–after all that, they turn a corner and see rainbow oscillating light illuminating a pile of bricks from behind a gap in the wall and the beat gets louder, louder. (p45)

The book is only eighty five pages long and Childs sustains the fierce style throughout, any longer and it may not have worked.

Another super great thing is all the queer representation — almost every character is either non-hetero or non-cis and it’s never really a big thing. No labels are really used and sometimes that can read terribly, but here in this clever, fast-paced, surreal maybe-apocalypse world, it works.

No Limit is published by Hologram and you can buy it here.

5/5 stars

Issue #1 of Plunge Magazine

Plunge magazine is a new e-zine that publishes short genre fiction and poetry about queer women. Issue one’s theme is Women and Mythology. It’s available online for free, and you can find it here:

plungemagazine.com

This is the magazine that I won the competition for! My piece is in the flash fiction section and is called The Keepers.

My prize for winning the competition was the piece of art that’s on the same page as my story and isn’t it PRETTY. It’s the coolest thing to have someone read your work and then create something. I am still swooning.

Here is a thing that I wrote

Plunge Magazine (genre fiction starring queer ladies! Get on it!) had a flash fiction contest not too long ago and I entered it. The prompt was:

Write a myth for the unnamed and many-named goddess/unaging being of transitions, between seasons, death and rebirth, child to adult. She walks among us, without consorts or lovers, but not without friends. Write a story, poem, or faux-meta up to 500 words about this goddess/being.

And now the entries are in the newsletter and you can read them all and vote here. There will be two winners (and I would like to be one of them).

So you should all go forth and read some cool stories (there are only five, so it’s not a lot of reading) and choose the best one which is mine! Not that you know which one is mine, but it would be cool if you voted!