Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Read my flash story 'Sibyl' in Wattpad's Literary Fiction Network Anthology. 'Sibyl' first sold to the science fiction venue, Nature's Futures. It's not the first time I've sold SF to literary venues.
Genre is only a construct.
Authors: if you're interested in being published in this anthology you can find the guidelines by clicking on the arrowhead on the image on Wattpad's blog.
Sunday, 16 November 2014
Very pleased to see my Nature story 'Glass Future' published in Wonderwaan. They also asked me to do an afterword for the story, something that hasn't happened much. And as a reader I love reading these. So I'll post it here, in English:
A few elements combined when I wrote 'Glass Future.' I was reading a collection of Philip K. Dick's short stories when I became inspired to write a story about precognition. This theme occurs regularly in Dick's work ('The Minority Report' for example, but there are many others.) It's also a fascinating question for me. Are we set on the road of predestination? Sometimes I decide one way, sometimes I decide the other.
The second element was reading about Deinococcus radiodurans which has been charmingly nicknamed Conan the Bacterium. This is one hardy microorganism. Deinococcus is an extemophilic bacterium which can survive extreme environmental conditions and has been named by The Guinness Book of Records as the world's toughest bacterium. Deinococcus has multiple copies of its genome and an extremely efficient DNA repairing mechanism.
That got me thinking: what would happen if humans were gene-modded to have multiple copies of their genome in their cells. The final element was the situation. I wanted to combine the science and the science fiction in a very real-life situation. The ending of a relationship seemed an interesting arena to explore the notion of precognition.
If that tempts you, you can read 'Glass Future' in Nature, the original publication here.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
获奖作者：Deborah Walker，文章常见于 Nature 杂志及其他杂志，博客：http://t.cn/R7n77dY（需翻墙），科幻小说有136篇，真是一位好勤奋的作者！本期微信投票中奖作者是王迪同学，看到微博请微信联系小编哟！
Last month I took part in SFComet contest. Along with three Chinese and one Australian authors I wrote a story to the prompt 'Part-time Beggar' my story was then translated into Mandarin and entered into the October contest.
My story won.
I'm thrilled. I'd like to thank my translator, he or she must have done a wonderful job.
I'd also like to thank the vampire squid, who's physiology provided inspiration for my main character alien.
If you're interested in taking part in SFComet's monthly contest to Bring the Best of World SF to You, find the guidelines here.
Sunday, 9 November 2014
in which I admit I that need your help
Get a hobby
To write, one must write
Nothing but a sorry phony
That proves nothing
Still think you’re incompetent?
The open door
Through the door
High with a little help from my friends
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
I write YA and MG science fiction and fantasy. In fact, I’m supposed to be finishing up the last touches for the paperback edition of a YA space opera right now.
Instead, I’m editing an anthology. And I’m ok with that.
The project started with a simple question on facebook: Any recommendations for YA science fiction or fantasy with a female MC, without a romantic subplot?
It was harder to answer than it should have been. Friends brought out a lot of beloved stories with strong female protagonists… but then remembered. “Oh, yeah. I guess they do end up together.” “Right, I’d forgotten about that whole theme.” “Well, it’s not a huge part of the plot, but…”
Not that these aren’t great books, but it started feeling like it’s not valid for a young woman to go on a hero’s journey without also finding true love along the way.
The conversation turned to look at books for younger readers, and here we ran into a startling statistic:
According to a 2011 study of 6,000 children’s books, only 31 percent had central female characters, and even fewer featured main characters of color.
That’s of all children’s books, but from our admittedly unscientific review of middle grade science fiction, it doesn’t seem far off.
A genre that’s supposed to inspire us towards a bright future isn’t making space for half the population’s dreams. Boys go and have adventures, girls are to be defended, or prizes to be won, and the landscape is very, very white.
This can’t be healthy.
Sally Ride, first woman in space and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, famously said:
“Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.”
Girls need to read stories where any number of possible roles are modeled for them. Just as importantly, boys need to read stories where girls are active participants in adventures. And children of all colors and backgrounds need to know the future includes them.
It’s time for a bigger universe.
We've got a great collection of 20 stories from amazing authors, ranging from Nebula and Hugo winners to relative newcomers to the field. 90% of the stories in the anthology are brand new, and 80% have central female characters. We don't have girls who are prizes to be won or waiting to be rescued. All of our heroines and heroes are on their own adventure, not a side note in someone else's. Our characters are white, black, Asian, Latino. Human and robot. Everyone belongs here.
Deborah has a story in the anthology too! When I asked her to elucidate on why she’s participating, she gave me this great quote:
A science fiction story is a pathway leading into a possible future. Let's help our young people along the way. Let's show them that no pathway is barred to them because of their gender. Let's make our characters as gloriously diverse as real life and show our young people that they can walk into whatever future they want.
A Kickstarter campaign is underway to help finance the publication of this important anthology. So far, backers who believe in the importance of diversity have committed over $2800 in support of the project, and the anthology has been chosen as a Kickstarter Staff Pick. Backers have a number of options, including pre-ordering copies of the 2015 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, donating copies to schools or being listed in the back of the print and digital version of the book as a supporter.
*The study is “Gender in Twentieth-Century Children’s Books: Patterns of Disparity in Titles and Central Characters.” (http://gas.sagepub.com/content/25/2/197.full.pdf+html) The results are also discussed in this Guardian article. (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/may/06/gender-imbalance-children-s-literature)
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
I have been placing some of my reprint stories on Wattpad. This is a site where writers share their works with a potentially huge audience. I've seen stories with millions of reads. I'm not there yet!
It does seem that these stories are freely accesible by everyone, so placing your stories there appears to lose you first publication rights. But of course that's not a problem with reprints.