Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction – Guidelines

The Destroy series is something I’ve admired since it first began with Women Destroy Science Fiction back in 2014. Lightspeed magazine did phenomenal work with the series, and I was thrilled and deeply honoured when Uncanny Magazine took over the project for Disabled People and asked me to be the Guest Fiction Editor. I’m privileged to be working with a wonderful team, and we’re all very excited to move ahead with the project.

The guidelines for Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction are now live at Uncanny Magazine, and we hope people will share them widely. As we indicate in the guidelines, we are hoping to receive guidelines from a broad range of disabled creators:

We welcome submission from writers who identify themselves as disabled. Identity is what matters for this issue. What kinds of disabilities? All of them. Invisible and visible. Physical disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, mental health disabilities, and neurodiversity.

We will be open to submission from January 15th to February 15th, 2018. Please read the guidelines and submit during the submission window.

We’re all tremendously excited about the project and we are eager to read your work!

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The Starlit Wood Essay at Powell’s and interviews

In conjunction with the paperback release of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales Navah and I wrote a brief piece for Powell’s discussing fairy tales. Joining us are Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone, Aliette de Bodard, Genevieve Valentine, and Seanan McGuire. In it everyone discusses the importance and resonance of fairy tales, as well as their impact.

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The wonderful Angela Slatter is also running interviews with our authors on her blog. The interviews are ongoing, so check back from time to time, but so far she’s posted those with:

Starlit Wood Paperback and Best Horror Longlist

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Last year, almost exactly to the day, the hardcover of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales was published and Navah and I began our editorial journey together. Of course the actual process started much earlier than that, but the publication of the book was a monumental achievement for both of us, individually and as a team, and it marked our first collaboration.

Today The Starlit Wood came out in paperback. This edition takes all the beauty of the hardcover and delivers it in a more affordable (and flexible!) package. The wonderful design folks at Saga also put an awesome stepback cover with much of the praise.

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In addition to the various award wins and story reprints I’ve already shared, a few days ago Ellen Datlow posted her longlist of honourable mentions for the Best Horror of the Year series and four stories from Starlit made the list:

  • “In the Desert Like a Bone” by Seanan McGuire
  • “Some Wait” by Stephen Graham Jones
  • “The Thousand Eyes” by Jeffrey Ford
  • “When I Lay Frozen” by Margo Lanagan

We are both incredibly proud of this book, and critical response has been tremendous. Thank you all for your enthusiasm! We hope you’ve enjoyed the book, and if you haven’t read it yet consider picking up the paperback!

Feature in local newspaper

Le Vision, the local newspaper in my hometown of Rockland, ran a two-page feature on me earlier this week. I haven’t seen the printed version yet, but the online one is available here.

I visit Rockland every few months when I’m down to see my family, and the town holds a very special place in my heart, so it feels pretty special to have such a feature. The newspaper also ran a short article on me last year when Clockwork Canada was first published. This one focuses mostly on The Starlit Wood, the award nominations and wins, and discusses my health at length. There’s even a mention of my new tattoo! It’s quite a nice feature. The journalist, Alexia Marsillo, was very kind. We did the interview just a few days after the surprise party for my 30th birthday, so we discussed that too.

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On Reaching 30

I turned 30 today. This is a huge milestone for me.

For a long time I didn’t think I would live to be 30. It was the goal, the distant point I hoped to reach. If I made it that far I imagined I would have lived a good life.

After yet another concussion in April, which brought about the worst depressive period of my life, things took a turn for the worse. It got so bad I almost didn’t make it.

BUT now here I am, at that legendary signpost. 30. And you know what, I feel more alive than ever.

When I was younger I never imagined my health would improve. I was often angry, depressed about my condition, and I rarely told others how I felt. A common coping mechanism, but a dangerous one.

Over time I believed I was a burden to the people I loved. It was only in my head, but I felt guilty for wanting to do things I liked, for spending money on anything that made me happy. I felt I didn’t deserve it.

I wish I could tell my younger self, “You shouldn’t feel guilty for being the way you are, for being alive. You have every right to be here.” Even though others tell you that, it can be hard to believe.

Now, at 30, I can say I’m truly happy being who I am, what I am. I have the love and support of my family, my friends, my partner. I love what I do, and I feel fulfilled doing it.

I’m disabled, I still have a lot of health issues, and there are things I can’t do, but I made it to 30, and now I want to make it to 40, 50, 60, to whatever. In recognition of that, and as a celebration, at the end of the month I’m starting on the sleeve tattoo I’ve wanted for years. It will be made possible with the help of some of my friends and family, as my birthday gift.

The sleeve will consist of illustrations from Tainaron, by Leena Krohn, my very favourite book. The book’s exploration of metamorphosis, and of embracing the strange and the unusual, helped me to better understand who I am, and to love myself more.

I’ll keep you all posted on how the process goes.

But in the meantime, thank you all for helping me reach this point. And for any of you doubting your self -worth or worrying that you might not make it, just know that you matter, your voices matter, and you absolutely deserve to be here.

Fan Expo

Fan Expo Canada starts tomorrow! The fine folks at the Toronto Steampunk Society were kind enough to invite me again this year and give me a table. I’ll be sharing the space with the awesome Rebecca Diem, same as last year. Kelsi Morris will also be there selling her Shirley Jackson Award-nominated anthology Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories, in which I have a story, “Where Roots and Rivers Run as Veins.” We’ll also have a variety of books from Exile Editions on hand, including my Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction, and I’ll have copies of The Starlit Wood. 

On Friday Rebecca and I will be on a panel about steampunk fiction in room 712. Feel free to join us!

We’ll all be posting throughout the con, so keep up on Twitter @domparisien, @KelsiGrammar and @kthnxbex.

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Hugo WIN for Amal El-Mohtar

Amal El-Mohtar has added yet ANOTHER recognition for her wonderful story “Seasons of Glass and Iron” from The Starlit Wood. Her story has now won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the Locus Award, in addition to her other numerous nominations. Congratulations, Amal! We are so proud of you.

Amal wrote about her win here, including the beautiful welcome her family gave her on her return from Helsinki. She’s already been interviewed several times for the win, both in newspapers and on CBC. Check out the post for all the links.

The full list of winners is here. As several news sources have reported, women dominated the Hugos. It was a really good year for Science Fiction and Fantasy. Congratulations to all the winners!