a garden in riotous bloom
Beautiful. Damn hard. Increasingly useful.
other gardeners 
24 June 2017 22:07 - 2017 Locus Awards Winners

Posted by admin

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation has announced winners in each category of the 2017 Locus Awards.

The Locus Awards are chosen by a survey of readers in an open online poll that runs from February 1 to April 15. We welcome and invite everyone to vote in the poll. Our recommended list for 2016 can be found here.





  • Revenger, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz; Orbit US ’17)








  • Tor.com
  • Analog
  • Asimov’s
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Clarkesworld
  • F&SF
  • File 770
  • Lightspeed
  • Strange Horizons
  • Uncanny


  • Tor
  • Angry Robot
  • Baen
  • DAW
  • Gollancz
  • Orbit
  • Saga
  • Small Beer
  • Subterranean
  • Tachyon


  • Ellen Datlow
  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Gardner Dozois
  • C.C. Finlay
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
  • Sheila Williams
  • Navah Wolfe


  • Julie Dillon
  • Kinuko Y. Craft
  • Galen Dara
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Donato Giancola
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan
  • Charles Vess
  • Michael Whelan



Winners were announced Saturday June 24, 2017 during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle WA. Connie Willis served as MC for the awards ceremony. Additional weekend events included author readings with Connie Willis and Carrie Vaughn; a kickoff Clarion West party honoring first week instructor Daryl Gregory, Clarion West supporters, awards weekend ticket holders, and special guests; panels with leading authors; an autograph session with books available for sale thanks to University Book Store; and a lunch banquet with the annual Hawai’ian shirt contest, all followed by a Locus party on Saturday night.

For more information about the Seattle event, and for Locus Awards and Locus Workshop information, see the 2017 Locus Awards Information page.

Posted by Editor

by Anthony Izzo

Next to people wondering where a writer’s ideas come from, the question I hear most is “How do you find the time to write?” Currently, I’m working on my 18th novel. Like many other writers, I hold a day job. With a 9-5 job, family obligations, and other responsibilities, how do you find time? I have two recommendations that will help carve out time during the day to pursue your writing.

Conduct a Time Audit

If I had to guess, I’d say the biggest time waster for most writers is television. Social media might come in a close second, at least for me. I enjoy binge-watching a good series as much as anybody, and there are some fantastic shows out there. But is gorging on Netflix helping you with your writing goals? I’d say no. This is where a time audit comes in.

I’d suggest looking at how you spend time over a two-day period. Look for times when you could be writing. For example, you might come up with something like this:

  • Get up early before work. Spend a half hour writing.
  • Lunch hour at work. Fifteen minutes to eat. Forty-five minutes of writing.
  • Eliminate a half-hour television show at night. Write.
  • Half hour before bed. Write.

That’s quite a bit of writing time available during the day. I can write about 500 words in a half-hour, which is doable for most people. Using those time slots during the day, you can pile up a lot of words. I did an audit of my own time and found I had over two hours during the day, and that’s with being in an office from 7 a.m.- 4p.m. during the week.

Put Together a Portable Writing Station

I’d also suggest taking advantage of down times, such as sitting in doctor’s waiting rooms or waiting for your kids’ sports practices to end. In order to do this, it helps to have your writing ready to go. I have an accordion-style folder in my bag I take to work. In the folder I carry 2-3 notebooks, multiple pens, story notes, photos I’ve clipped from magazines, and a plans for marketing/promotion. I typically write longhand when I’m writing in public and type it on the computer in the evening. However, you may want to carry a laptop or tablet with you.

During the day, using shorter writing sessions, you could:

  • Write 1-2 pages of rough draft
  • Outline your next few scenes
  • Jot down ideas for your next story/novel
  • Compose a blog post

The great thing about writing is that you don’t have to write in long stretches. If you can train yourself to take advantage of shorter time frames, you’ll find the words will pile up. Even spending a half-hour per day on writing can yield two pages per day (at 250 words per page). Over the course of the year, that’s two average-sized novels.

If you really want to write, take a hard look at where your time goes. I think you’ll find there is time for writing. We all tend to let that time get away from us. By conducting a time audit and making your writing portable, you can fulfill your writing goals.


Anthony Izzo is the author of 18 thrillers, among them The Dead Land Trilogy and The Damage Factory. He enjoys writing tales of mayhem involving anything from zombies to psycho killers to murderous shapeshifters. Anthony has also served as a judge for the Buffalo Dreams Film Festival screenplay competition. He recently had a story appear in the military sci-fi anthology “SNAFU: Future Warfare.” Anthony holds a B.A. in English from D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. When not writing, he likes playing loud guitar, reading crime novels, and spending time with family. He makes his home in the Western New York Area.



23 June 2017 14:00 - Signatory

Posted by Fonder

The evidence mounts.

This comic brought to you courtesy of my amazing patrons. Special thanks to:
Karen Carpenter, Gary Cooper, Dan Cunningham, Colin Dellow, Giz, Reece Hall, Yuliya Levina, Jonna Märijärvi, Coté Nicholas, and Scott

Posted by JenniferP

Hello Captain,

My distant friend Sally and I went out to dinner and she started asking me about my past relationships. I’ve known Sally for over a decade and she’s never pried into my dating life. I told Sally I wasn’t interested in dating anyways as I am looking for a job and like to online date or meet people through work. She tried to reason me out of all of this which seemed troubling.

A couple weeks ago Sally had a birthday party. She had put the event on Facebook. After our dinner, Sally texted me that her friend John saw me on the invite list and became “interested” in me. She said he might hit on me at the party ( he did not show up). This made me uncomfortable as I hate flirting with strangers. It’s odd but I’ve never even flirted with someone who’s become my boyfriend.

I also don’t trust Sally’s judgment at all. To be blunt I’ve met her friends and they aren’t horrible but they’re the “I don’t suffer fools gladly” type.

John has also been asking Sally about me. He wants to know when I’ve found a job and want to meet him. I have never indicated I want to meet John. I’m refusing, there’s something odd about a person in their late twenties being this invested in someone because of their FB profile. I rarely if ever post on FB. He is also asking me out through my friend which seems manipulative.

Do you have script suggestions?


– No thanks stranger ( female pronouns)

Dear No Thanks, Stranger!

I do have script suggestions! And other suggestions!

Step 1: BLOCK that John dude from Facebook and then go ahead and find him on all social media platforms you use and preemptively block him there. Not unfollow, not unfriend, not “hide feed” – BLOCK. Also, consider temporarily changing publicly visible avatars to something other than your face, and locking down security/visibility of any photos of you that are out there. Make sure there is nothing out there to feed his fantasies.

If that seems mean or harsh or unfair, let’s remember: You’re not interested in him at all, you’re already vaguely creeped out by his attention, you are losing nothing from your life by cultivating your internet garden as you see fit. The way he’s monitoring you, asking for updates about your life, and trying to get Sally to set the stage for him but not talking to you directly is odd and he needs to stop it right now, so, help him out with that.

And if this is all projection/matchmaking by Sally, oops, you blocked a total stranger who doesn’t actually know who you are. Not a big deal at the end of the day.

Possible Reaction: John will get the message and leave you and the entire topic of you alone. Good news everyone! This Choose Your Own Adventure Story ends here!

Probable  Reaction: John will notice what you did immediately and he will contact Sally to see what happened. Sally will then ping you to talk about John and his Johnfeels of rejection. (If this happens, please keep reading Step 2)

Step 2: Tell Sally that the whole John thing made you really, really uncomfortable and you don’t want her to set you up for any more “hitting on” scenarios or act as your romantic go-between. Also you’d prefer to keep your information completely private where John is concerned, so, you’d appreciate it if she didn’t update him on your job search or your life or pass on requests from him.

Possible Reaction: Sally will say, “Oh wow, sorry for making you uncomfortable, I get it, don’t worry about a thing.” If this happens, keep enjoying whatever you enjoy about your “distant friendship” with Sally! Here endeth this Choose Your Own Adventure Tale! Yaaay!

Possible Reaction: Sally will be hurt that you didn’t appreciate her matchmaking efforts or feel bad for John and think you’re mean for rejecting him and she’ll double-down on John advocacy. If this happens, please continue reading Steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Do not give Sally reasons for your rejection of John. “I prefer not to.” “I’m just not interested.” Don’t pick apart his actions or his undesirable qualities or give excuses about being busy – she’ll use whatever you say to convince you to “give him a chaaaaaaaance.”

Step 4: If Sally continues sharing your info with John and trying to play matchmaker in your life after you’ve said “no,” block Sally or, if you’re reluctant to do that after 10 years, put her in that Facebook-Jail thingy where she can’t see any of your posts for a good while.

If you miss Sally you can always dig up her number down the road (and get her a copy of Austen’s Emma for the next gifting holiday). If John wanted to ask you out he could have come to the party, had a normal conversation with you and said “Hey, want to grab a drink with me sometime?” without all the fanfare. He could have also asked Sally straight up for an introduction (and respected your resulting “no thanks” when and if it came). He could have sent you a friend request and a note that says “I’m a friend of Sally’s, I saw you on the invite list, mind if we connect here?” Even if he’d chosen a less creepy and roundabout method of getting in touch, you’re not interested, so, farewell, John, we hardly knew ye.

For those who like to matchmake (I sometimes like to matchmake, especially “you live in the same city and I think you’d make good friends” matchmaking), I recommend asking the people in advance, like, “Hey, I’d love to introduce you to a friend of mine who lives in your city/does what you do for a living/reminds me of you/keeps sending me the exact same Twin Peaks memes that you send, I think you’d really get along, would that be cool?” and then if it is cool with both people I make a quick introduction and then I get out of the middle of things – the people will either find their own conversation or they won’t. If it’s not cool, I drop the subject. The matchmaker’s ego and investment in the outcome < the interest and wishes of the matchmakees.

Posted by Richa

This Coconutty Black Eyed Pea stew with Cauliflower and Potatoes is hearty and delicious. Instant Pot Black Eyed Pea Curry with vegetables. Saucepan Option. Gobi Aloo Lobia Vegetarian Black Eyed Peas Recipe. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Nut-free

This coconutty Black Eyed Pea stew with Cauliflower and Potatoes is hearty and delicious. Instant Pot Black Eyed Pea Curry with vegetables. Saucepan Option. Gobi Aloo Lobia #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #nutfree #recipe| VeganRicha.com

This simple Black eyed pea curry is perfect for a weekday dinner. Black Eyed Peas often get overlooked with the popularity of chickpeas. But these humble beans are smooth, delicious and cook much faster (and also cause less gaseous issues).

This curry has simple spices and some coconut. Add vegetables of choice and put it in an Instant Pot, pressure cooker or saucepan and enjoy a hot flavorful curry over Naan, flatbread, or rice/grains. If you have sambhar masala blend, that goes really well in this stew. The dish is finished with a tempering of toasted cumin and curry leaves. You can leave the curry leaves out if you cannot find them and use cilantro instead. This Gobi Aloo Lobhia ( Chawli/Raungi) curry is easy, has a different flavor profile from the North Indian Black eyed Pea curry and is versatile.

The toasty cumin and curry leaf tempering adds a fabulous finishing flavor to the dish. You can make the tempering in the IP itself and reserve some to use as garnish later. For variation use mustard seeds, Make it with other beans or chickpeas and play with the spices. 

Continue reading: Instant Pot Black Eyed Pea Curry with Cauliflower, Potato – Gobi Aloo Lobia

The post Instant Pot Black Eyed Pea Curry with Cauliflower, Potato – Gobi Aloo Lobia appeared first on Vegan Richa.

Posted by admin

The shortlist for the 2017 Prix Utopiales Européen Jeunesse has been announced.

  • Jungle Park, Philippe Arnaud (Sarbacane)
  • L’Effet Ricochet, Nadia Coste (Seuil jeunesse)
  • L’éveil, Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu (Gulf Stream)
  • Le jardin des épitaphes, tome 1: Celui qui reste debout, Taï-Marc Le Thanh (Didier jeunesse)
  • New Earth Project, David Moitet (Didier jeunesse)

The winner of the Utopiales “European Youth Prize” will be selected by a three-person jury and announced at the Nantes International Science Fiction Festival, to be held November 1-6, 2017. The Utopiales website is currently under construction. For more information, see their official Twitter account.

Posted by JenniferP

#TFG = #thatfuckingguy

Ahoy, Captain!

I would appreciate any advice you could give on supporting a friend (female pronouns) who is not yet ready to leave an unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend. This has been an ongoing issue for about 2 years, but something happened a few days ago and I could use an outside perspective.

I would describe the boyfriend as coercive (in past conversations she has alluded to having sex with him just so that he will stop begging, even when she doesn’t want to) and one of my big concerns is that Friend will be extremely isolated in our current city without me. I think he looks through her phone and computer, so I pretty much assume that he could read any written communication I send. I censor myself in written communication with her and we only have frank conversations when we go for walks in the nearby park. He often invites himself along to things we have planned and it feels like he is monitoring our friendship. He also makes controlling comments, but when I call them out, he always says, “I was just joking. [Friend] knows I’m just joking. She’s amazing and the best thing ever…etc.” They live together, but he does none of the domestic work and will only do paid work (freelance) when she nags him.

A couple times a year, she will reach a boiling point and tell him to shape up or she will leave. He will improve for about 2 weeks and then go back to the status quo. Her work/school schedule has been grueling the past few years and she hasn’t had the energy to deal with the inevitable fallout of a breakup. Most of our one-on-one conversations end with me reiterating an offer that she is always welcome to stay at my apartment when she is ready to leave. She’s not blinded by love or anything, just doesn’t feel like there is a good way or time to exit the relationship. He is currently estranged from his family and not really working, so she feels like if she dumps him, he will have nothing. One of my priorities is staying in her life, so I don’t want to overstep and give her boyfriend ammunition for isolating her further. Her parents think her boyfriend is fantastic and her other close friends live in other cities and are busy with newborn babies.

A couple days ago, I ended up spending about 30 minutes alone with her boyfriend while we were stuck in terrible traffic, on our way to pick her up and go to an event. I don’t enjoy his company and generally avoid spending time with him. Our one-on-conversation (mostly him doing a monologue) was frightening. He was delusional, paranoid, and unable to remember things I had said 5 minutes earlier. I had to repeatedly remind him where we were going and why we were going. He was extremely animated in his conversation and was looking at me while he talked and not the road, often swerving at the last minute. His ranting mostly focused on how the [creative] industry was scared of his success and how “they” wanted to keep his [art] away from “the people” and that this was a huge mistake because “the universe was going to revolt” if they didn’t get access to his [art]. At first I thought he was joking and just being overly full of himself, but he was completely serious. He then segued into how his estrangement with his family was a concern of the Catholic Church. Apparently, him “stepping out of line” is crumbling the foundation of the church by upsetting the established hierarchy. At several points, he referred to himself as royalty and referred to his lifelong “fame” that comes with being part of his family. Before you wonder, you have no clue who he is. His “fame” comes from the local and state politics his family is involved with in one of the poorest states in the country.

This grandiose sense of self and paranoia about “the establishment” trying to prevent him from success is worrisome. There were also times when he said things that I know for a fact aren’t true, but he seems to have fully convinced himself of this alternate version. I have considered that he may have been on drugs during that conversation, though that possibility does not alleviate my worry. He does not believe in therapy, though Friend has suggested it to him many times over the last two years.

I have already sent Friend a vague text and we are getting together this weekend for a walk where we will be able to speak more frankly. I just feel powerless to help and that my support has fallen woefully short. I don’t know how to be a supportive friend in this situation and I’m really worried that he is acting like this with her on a regular basis. It was exhausting for 30 minutes, I can’t imagine what it is doing to her longterm. I don’t think he is violent now, but think he could become violent if she breaks up with him. I feel like Friend is the frog in the pot of water, slowly boiling to death. She’s been unhappy, but the decline has been gradual so there hasn’t been a catalyst for her to jump ship.

I know I can’t make her leave, but I do want to make sure I am there for her if she needs support. Any words of wisdom to help me be a good friend in this situation?

-Helpless & Worried (female pronouns)

Dear Helpless & Worried,

I think you’re doing as well as you can with this. You’ve figured out how to communicate with her around his possible monitoring of her electronic conversations. You’ve made it clear that you’ll be a landing place when and if she leaves him. Let me refer you to some past posts that deal with the issue of being a good friend in a basically impossible situation.

Let’s address the elephant in the room:

Without diagnosing this dude (seriously, no “It sounds like x!” comments, please, we don’t actually have to narrow it down), the grandiosity, short-term memory slips, and erratic driving behavior he displayed might correlate to a number of mental health conditions that all have one important thing in common: They will not get better and will most likely get worse without focused regular psychiatric care & medication. You and your friend both might benefit from calling or texting the support folks at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), describing what you experienced with this guy, and seeing what they recommend. Your friend can’t make him get treatment, nor can you, but their support resources for “family members and caregivers” might be able to walk her through what she’s dealing with and have checklists and methods for coaxing reluctant people into treatment.

Important: If you’re ever dealing with someone who is having the paranoid sort of delusions and they are getting very upset and agitated, it doesn’t help to try to convince them of what’s real or deny the truth of what they are describing. They are experiencing whatever it is as if it’s real, so it’s better to validate their feelings until you can get them to Help or Help to them. You don’t have to participate in the delusion yourself, so try “I don’t see any spiders, but that must be a truly awful sight” or “I don’t hear anything, but that must feel really strange and scary.” Be honest about where your own perceptions differ but validate and comfort the upset feelings the person is having without arguing them out of feeling them. Source: A NAMI-created education session for friends/family/loved ones I went to back when Mr. Awkward was hospitalized a few years ago for a bad episode with his bipolar disorder .

It’s a sad, true fact that one can be a clingy, controlling, abusive jerk who needs to be dumped and have some pretty serious mental health stuff going on. Correlation is not causation. Even if he gets treatment (unlikely, since he “doesn’t believe in therapy”), your friend will most likely be better off without this guy in her life, and I don’t want to suggest that she’s responsible somehow for making this happen or that she needs to stay until his mental health is stabilized. Just, knowledge is power, and also, support resources who are not you are useful things to have.

I’m now going to stuff that elephant back into a tightly sealed container, because he didn’t write to me and she didn’t write to me and this is about you and the limits of what you can do here.

If you ever witness an episode like the one you did, when you’re safely out of the car it’s okay to say, “You are not making a lot of sense today, and your driving was very erratic. You seem really not okay to me, like, maybe there’s something going on that a doctor should take a look at.” Say it directly to him as gently and directly as you are able. He may argue that he doesn’t believe in therapy or “Big Pharma” or whatever, which, okay, cool. Don’t talk about therapists or psychiatrists, use the generic catch-all of “doctor.” “I think you should make an appointment with a doctor and tell that person you’re having problems with memory and concentration, especially when driving. Dude, get yourself checked out – if it’s nothing, then why not rule it out?” He sees you at least nominally as a friend, so, use that and speak to him the way a friend would.

He 99.9% won’t go. On some level he suspects that if he goes to a doctor then “They” or “The System” will know there’s something bigger going on. That’s okay. Say it anyway, offer to be the driver on the way back – “I just don’t feel safe with you behind the wheel after what I just saw, and it’s even more worrying that you don’t remember what happened, why don’t you let me get us home, I’d feel much more comfortable” – and if he won’t budge, definitely find your own transportation home. Don’t make it about all future rides or ultimatums, just take it one ride at a time – Right now, you’d feel more comfortable if someone else drove. And in future conversations with him, if those happen, you can keep referring back to that particular night that you personally witnessed (instead of the shitty behavior you know about). “You don’t remember, but when we were in the car that night, your behavior was very disturbing. I really, really hope you’ll talk to a doctor about it. There’s no shame in trying to get to the bottom of something like that so you can feel better/drive safely/put my & girlfriend’s mind at ease.”

If he doesn’t listen to you or seek treatment, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. Sometimes speaking up about an issue isn’t about convincing the other person, it’s because it’s good for you to not stay silent. It’s good for you to name what’s happening, to remind yourself that it’s not normal, to remind yourself what you witnessed and experienced, and to put that out there in the world and not just silently fret about it.

When you next talk to your friend, another thing you can do is accurately and honestly describe what you saw. Talk about the behaviors, especially the scary driving, and talk about how they impacted you. You won’t be riding in a car with the boyfriend as the driver any more and you recommend that she doesn’t, either. He could have killed someone. He could have killed you. He could kill her. This is a very big deal and it can’t be waved away.

You can also talk about the grandiosity and the memory lapses and the other strange behavior you observed. Message: “I think there is something very serious going on with him, and he needs serious help – more help than you can possibly give or be expected to give.

He doesn’t believe in therapy so of course he won’t want to go and she’ll doubtless raise that objection. Your script is: “I think this might beyond our friendly neighborhood therapist, even. This is serious doctor stuff.” Then give her the NAMI resources or whatever else you’ve found and that our nice commenters recommend.

Then, here’s your script for the one big serious talk:

“You are my friend forever, and I always want to see you. If you ever need a place to stay, a listening ear, a ride, whatever I can give, it’s yours. I will keep making communication safe between us and making time for these walks when I can see you. 

I am seriously worried about you the longer you stay in this relationship. I think it is draining the life out of you, and I don’t think it’s your responsibility to support and help this guy even one minute longer than you already have. I think that he needs help that you can’t give, and the longer he tries to make you his girlfriend/mommy/financial support/mental health care substitute/pacifier, the longer he will delay seeking that care. I think it’s okay for you to call in medical professionals here, or think about contacting his family to see if they can help somehow – I think things are that serious and that they’ll only get worse from here. I know that’s overwhelming to contemplate, but if things stayed just like they are now and didn’t get any better, how long would you stay? Another year? Another 5 years? Forever?

In the end, only you can decide what’s right for you, and I trust you to take care of yourself and make a good decision about what to do. You don’t owe me a breakup with him, you don’t owe me anything but being my friend. You do what you need to do, and if you need me, I’ll be there, no questions asked.

That said, I can’t ride in a car with him anymore, anywhere. I have to make that boundary for my own safety. And I can’t pretend the way he behaves lately is normal or okay with me. I also don’t want him inviting himself along on our plans anymore, so what do you need from me to help make that happen?”  

Your friend will have some stuff to say, so, listen to her.

And then, in the aftermath of this talk, as you go forward in this friendship, here’s what I want you to do:

Make your friendship about something other than “helping” and “supporting” her in regards to him. Make your friendship about how much you like her and want her company in your life. In practice, this means:

  • It’s okay to redirect conversations about him. “You already know what I think, so, what are you asking?“What do you think you’ll do?” “How do you want to handle that?” 
  • It’s okay to nope out of some conversations about him and not make all the time you spend together time that you chew on the gristle of her relationship problems. “Ugh, that sucks, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that, but I’ve reached my Dude-talk limit for the day.” U R Not The Asshole Whisperer.
  • It’s more than okay to recommend that she see a therapist or counselor. He’s the one with big, dramatic issues, but if she’s being drained dry by him, her having a safe place to talk and an advocate for herself within the mental health system is not a bad thing at all. You don’t have to be her sole outlet.
  • I know you’re worried about her becoming isolated from having other friendships and relationships, but I’m serious about not getting in a car with him again, not ever. It’s okay to keep that boundary. “If Dude is driving, sorry, I can’t make it, but I’ll see you at the usual time for our walk.”
  • Get out of the role of being the only mentor/advice-giver/”the okay one” or whatever. Make it a point to ask her advice about things that she’s good and knowledgable about. Ask her for help with things that she’d be good at helping with. You can’t make “getting her out of the relationship” the project of your friendship with her for a lot of reasons, not least because it takes the average victim multiple attempts to leave before they actually do.
  • Make sure there is a fluffy/fun/positive/enjoyable thing that you share and talk about, whether it’s trading books or watching a favorite show together or a shared hobby or your weekly walks or texting cute animal photos. If he’s monitoring her communications (BAD, VERY BAD, RED FLAG) you having an innocuous conversation topic is a good thing, but it’s also important that you enjoy your friendship with each other as much as possible.
  • I hate that this is a thing, but referring to your time together as Girl Time!!! and planning really female-coded activities for when you hang out can help somewhat in minimizing how much he tags along to your plans. “Sorry, this is Lady Time! No boys allowed!” sometimes translates better for misogynists than “Steve, you’re not invited!”
  • Lady-Time Expanded: Is there a way for the two of you to join an all-woman choir or sport or other hobby group that meets periodically? Community for her, community for you, no That Guy.

If you’re doing that stuff, you’re doing the best you can under the circumstances.

While this is all going on, I also want you to take excellent care of yourself. Don’t neglect your other friendships and your social life. You need friendships without this abusive jerk hanging out in the background all the time. Don’t neglect your career, your finances, your education, your housekeeping. Above all, don’t neglect your own enjoyment and pleasure in life. Taking care of people and supporting them is great, but when your power to change a situation is as limited as it is here, making sure you can disengage is healthy.

This is all so imperfect. The mental health system is imperfect. Someone else’s relationship troubles are completely unfixable by you, and abusive people poison everything around themselves and the person in their grasp. You can’t make yourself like him, there’s only so long you can lie and pretend around him, and there’s only so long you can make vague soothing noises. There is no great, wonderful, awesome, brilliant way to handle this, there is only telling the truth and offering what you can safely offer.

22 June 2017 13:40 - Munich Meetup June 28

Posted by JenniferP

From Hannah, the organizer:

We will meet in the Michaeligarten beer garden in Ostpark on Wednesday
28th June at 18.00. If it is raining, we will postpone and meet on
Friday 30th instead. If the weather looks bad, we will discuss on the
“Munich?” thread on the forums whether or not to postpone, so check in
there for a decision.

The nearest U-Bahn station is Michaelibad on the U5. You can bring
your own food into the beer garden or buy food there, although you
won’t be able to bring in drinks.

I will bring a teddy bear to put on the table so people can find us.
If you need to get in touch, you can post in the “Munich?” thread on
the forums or email me on hannah.in.munich@gmail.com.

Thanks so much!

Have a good time!

Posted by admin

The 2018 World Fantasy Convention (WFC) has announced the addition of special guest Aliette de Bodard, joining Guests of Honor Michael J. Walsh and Tom Kidd.

WFC 2018 will be held November 1-4, 2018 at the Baltimore Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore MD. The theme is “Ports in a Storm.”

Attending memberships are currently $175. For more, see the World Fantasy Convention 2018 website.

20 June 2017 04:01 - Pride 2017

Posted by Robot Hugs

New comic!

My thoughts for 2017 pride. Be safe, everyone!


Posted by Editor

by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

WorldCon in Helsinki is THE social event of the year, and we’re all really looking forward to it. However, for many people, it might be the first time traveling to a country where English is not the native language. This can be nerve-wracking because it is impossible to know what to expect. In a vague attempt to help, I’ve created this ten-point list of how to cope.

1) Research before you go. Read articles. Pick up a travel book. If you are comfortable with Reddit, browse through https://www.reddit.com/r/helsinki/ or even take part in https://www.reddit.com/r/Worldcon75/ and get to know people before you even arrive. Use Google Street View to explore your neighborhood. Look up the address and phone number of the American consulate. Install Duolingo and practice five minutes of Finnish a day for four weeks.

2) Immerse yourself in culture. It’s extremely rare to meet someone in Helsinki who does not speak English, so save your study time for exploring Finnish history and literature. There’s plenty of speculative fiction in English by Finnish authors including Leena Krohn, Hannu Rajaniemi, Emmi Elina Itäranta, Antti Tuomainen, Jyrki Vainonen, and of course, Tove Jansson’s Tales from Moominvalley!

3) Relax. You can get by with pretty much no research at all. One important thing to understand about continental Europe is that the Brits have been traveling all over it for generations, insisting on their right to be 100% British. If you feel like things are going wrong, fake a British accent. It might not fix the issue but it will at least ensure that the Brits get blamed instead of us.

4) Search Google for specific questions. You’ll be surprised at how many things are documented in detail and Google as a search engine is particularly good at finding the discussions where someone else has asked this before. I end up with long lists of things to look up, ranging from public transport to etiquette to neighborhood gossip. At worst, if you don’t find any information, it either means your question is too specific (“What’s the plumbing like at Aleksanterinkatu 33?”) or, more likely, it is simply not an issue and you can wait until you arrive. If you are really nervous, look up tourist information and try mailing them to ask. Pretend it is for a novel, if you like. I’ve asked about everything from “How easy is it to find parking in city center on a Sunday?” to “Whom should I contact to talk about indigenous plants in the 1880s.”

5) Smile. People say you can recognize Americans because they are always smiling broadly. In Europe, my smiles are one of my defining features. Hell, as a Californian, even New Yorkers are bemused by my insistence at smiling at everyone. Smiling is a fast way to signal that you are a tourist. It also helpfully lets people know that you are laid back and not one of those WHY DO YOU NOT DO THINGS LIKE WE DO AT HOME shouty tourists. It can give you an air of mystery. If you smile constantly, locals might assume that you are on drugs. Embrace this: it’s as good an explanation for your confusion as any.

6) Don’t get offended. People won’t greet you happily. They won’t ask you how you are. They won’t insist that you have a nice day. This does not mean that they are upset at you. They are not putting you down nor are they deliberately being rude. It’s just a standard transaction and it is not at all personal. Just keep smiling until they start to look nervous.

7) Plan to disappear. You probably don’t have any reason to visit Helsinki again. You can be stupid. You can fulfill every stereotype of the brash tourist. You can admit that you are completely lost. You can do everything wrong and embarrass yourself to death and it will not matter: you will never see these people again. Speak to strangers on the street. Ask questions.

8) Eat anything. It’s easy to make assumptions of how dinner works and I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen people stumble at this hurdle. “But they must have Swiss enchiladas here, we are right next to Switzerland!” It can be confusing, especially if you are craving carne asada. The harsh truth is that your chances of decent Mexican food in Europe are slim and none. The more laid back you can be about what you eat, the easier it will be. But also, if you are hungry and confused and just can’t face negotiating any more foreign things, then forget being cool and slip into McDonalds. I won’t tell anyone. Once you are fed and watered, you’ll find everything else easier to deal with.

9) Don’t panic. Thousands of Americans pass through Helsinki every year. There is NO WAY you are going to be the worst. If you avoid referring to architecture older than your country as “cute” and make a point of speaking slowly and avoiding slang then you are already a step ahead of most tourists. If you ask questions, rather than announce what you think you already know, you’ll be in the 99th percentile.

10) You’ve been invited in like a vampire; it’s too late for them to turn you away now. The Helsinki team worked VERY HARD to get the bid, knowing that Worldcon is extremely biased towards the US. You are their treasured guest. They want you in Helsinki. They want your trip to be successful. There are Finnish people on every street corner who are hoping that you are having a good time. You may not need to ask for help, but if you do, know that they are there and that they care.

Above all, plan to make friends. I’m looking forward to seeing you there and so are a whole lot of other people. It’s going to be fantastic.


Sylvia Spruck Wrigley was born in Germany and spent her childhood in Los Angeles. She emigrated to Scotland where she guided German tourists around the Trossachs and searched for the supernatural. She now lives in Tallinn where she writes about plane crashes and Estonian air maidens, which have more in common than most people might imagine. Her fiction was nominated for a Nebula in 2014 and her short stories have been translated into over a dozen languages.  Her first novella, The Borrowed Child, was published in 2015 by Tor.com and is available now at all good book stores. You can find out more about her at http://www.intrigue.co.uk/

20 June 2017 17:52 - 2016 Sidewise Awards Nominees

Posted by admin

The nominees for the 2016 Sidewise Awards for Alternate History have been announced.

Short Form

Long Form

The Sidewise Awards have been presented annually since 1995 to recognize excellence in alternate historical fiction. This year’s panel of judges comprises Stephen Baxter, Karen Hellekson, Matt Mitrovich, Jim Rittenhouse, Kurt Sidaway, and Steven H Silver. Winners will be announced August 20, 2017. For more, see the Sidewise Awards website.

Posted by admin

The James White Award Short Story competition has announced this year’s shortlist:

  • “The Cut”, Elsie WK Donald
  • “Don”, Steve Dubois
  • “The Morrigan”, Stewart Horn
  • “The Dying Glass”, Cameron Johnston
  • “Skin and Bone”, Beth Plutchak
  • “May the Pain Guide You Home”, Daniel Roy

The James White Award is open to previously unpublished stories between 1,000 and 6,000 words in length by non-professional authors. The winner will receive £200 and publication in Interzone, and will be announced next week.

For more, see the James White Award site.

19 June 2017 20:19 - 2017 ESFS Awards Winners

Posted by LocusHQ

The European Science Fiction Society (ESFS) Hall of Fame Awards, Achievement Awards, and Chrysalis Awards winners were announced during the 39th Eurocon on June 17, 2017, in Dortmund, Germany.

Zoran Živković of Serbia was named European Grand Master. Other awards winners and nominees are below.

Hall of Fame Awards:

Best Author

  • Dario Tonani (Italy)
  • Juraj Červenák (Slovakia)
  • Yana Dubynianska (Ukraine)
  • Marc Elsberg (Austria)
  • Cornelia Funke (Germany)
  • Jon Courtenay Grimwood (United Kingdom)
  • Vilma Kadlečková (Czech Republic)
  • David Luna (Spain)
  • Victor Pelevin (Russia)
  • João Rogacian (Portugal)
  • Ljudmila Rubleuskaja (Belarus)
  • Gheorghe Sasarman (Germany, nominated by Romania)
  • Yavor Tsanev (Bulgaria)

Best Artist (tie)

  • Aurélien Police (France)
  • Judith Clute (United Kingdom)
  • Igor Baranko (Ukraine)
  • Paolo Barbieri (Portugal)
  • Adrian Chifu (Romania)
  • Katsiaryna Dubovik (Belarus)
  • Milan Fibiger (Czech Republic)
  • Reinhard Habeck (Austria)
  • Michal Ivan (Slovakia)
  • P.J. Lynch (Ireland)
  • Victor Mesquita (Portugal)
  • Swen Papenbrock (Germany)
  • David Rubín (Spain)
  • Sergey Shikin (Russia)
  • Peter Stanimirov (Bulgaria)

Best Magazine

  • SuperSonic (Spain)
  • Angle Mort/Blind Spot (France)
  • Dracus (Bulgaria)
  • Helice (Spain, nominated by Romania)
  • phantastisch! (Germany)
  • RBG-Azimut (Ukraine, nominated by Belarus)
  • Schrödinger’s Cat (Russia)
  • UBIQ (Croatia, nominated by Slovenia)
  • XB-1 (Czech Republic, nominated by Slovakia)

Best Publisher

  • Tracus Arte (Romania)
  • Argo (Czech Republic, nominated by Slovakia)
  • Atlantis (Germany)
  • Azbooka (Russia)
  • Bard (Bulgaria)
  • Delos Digital (Italy)
  • Family Leisure Club (Ukraine)
  • Mireille Rivalland/L’Atalante (France)
  • The O’Brien Press (Ireland)
  • Orbit (United Kingdom)
  • Septime (Austria)
  • Valdemar (Spain)

Best Promoter

  • Ian Watson (United Kingdom)
  • Ugo Bellagamba (France)
  • Michal “Shade” Grečner (Slovakia)
  • Jukka Halme (Finland, nominated by Russia)
  • Cristina Jurado (Spain)
  • Václav Pravda (Czech Republic)
  • Dragić Rabrenović (Montenegro)
  • Sorin Repanovici (Romania)
  • Yura Shevela (Ukraine)
  • Yavor Tsanev (Bulgaria)

Best Translator

  • Natalia Osoianu (Russia)
  • Marco Crosa (Italy)
  • Manuel de los Reyes (Spain)
  • Jan Kantůrek (Czech Republic, nominated by Slovakia)
  • Paviel Kaściukievič (Belarus)
  • Bernhard Kempen (Germany)
  • Serhii Leheza (Ukraine)
  • Patrick Marcel (France)
  • Oisín Ó Muirthile (Ireland)
  • Mihai Dan Pavelescu (Romania)
  • Elena Pavlova (Bulgaria)

Achievement Awards:

Best Work of Fiction

  • The Call, Peadar O’Guilin (Ireland)
  • Screams, Horror Writers Club Lazarus (Bulgaria)
  • God’s Eye, David Luna (Spain)
  • Venus: The Indomitable Planet, Pavel Shubin (Russia)
  • Noaptea în oraș, fără părinți, Dănuț Ungureanu (Romania)
  • Angeli di plastica, Emanuela Valentini (Italy)
  • Prinzipat, Dirk van den Boom (Germany)
  • DNA, Serhii Zhadan, et. al. (Ukraine)

Best Work of Art

  • Cover for The 1000 Year Reich, Juan Miguel Aguilera (Spain)
  • Cover for Beyond the Planet of the Wind, Franco Brambilla (Italy)
  • Daogopak, Oleksii Chebykin, Maksym Prasolov (Ukraine)
  • Illustrations in WIKA Tome 2, Olivier Ledroit (France)
  • Cover for SFada cu literatura, Catalin Negrea (Romania)
  • Gran Hotel Abismo, Marcos Prior y David Rubín (Spain)
  • Cover for Screams, Peter Stanimirov (Bulgaria)
  • Design for series by Clark Ashton Smith, K.A. Terina (Russia)

Best Fanzine

  • CounterClock (Sweden)
  • Ansible (United Kingdom)
  • Exodus (Germany)
  • Ezine terror 2015 (Portugal)
  • Gazeta SF (Romania)
  • Journey Planet (Ireland)
  • Nemedian News (Czech Republic)
  • Présences d’Esprits (France)
  • ShadowDance (Bulgaria)
  • SuperSonic (Spain)

Best Work for Children

  • Chasodei, Natalia Scherba (Ukraine)
  • Tekmovanje Slikanic, Ljudmile Conradi (Slovenia)
  • El Vosque, Sergio Morán and Alicia Güemes (Laurielle) (Spain)
  • The Ring of the Nibelung 3: Siegfried, Elena Pavlova (Bulgaria)
  • Schneeflockensommer, Barbara Schinko (Austria)

Best Internet Publication, other than a fanzine

Best Dramatic Presentation

  • Boy 7 (Germany)
  • Down Below the Reservoir (Ireland)
  • Hardcore Henry (Russia)
  • Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (Italy)
  • Mykyta Kozhumiaka (Ukraine)
  • Stories From Another Time (Bulgaria)

The Chrysalis Awards:

  • Romain Lucazeau (France)
  • David Luna (Spain)
  • Sarah Maria Griffin (Ireland)
  • Doina Roman (Romania)
  • Hanuš Sainer (Czech Republic)
  • Natalia Savchuk (Ukraine)
  • Aliaksei Shein (Belarus)
  • Miro Švercel (Slovakia)
  • K.A. Terina (Russia)
  • Alexander Tsonkov (Bulgaria)
  • Emanuela Valentini (Italy)

For more information, see the ESFS website.

20 June 2017 07:04 - Vegan Barbacoa Mushroom Tacos

Posted by Richa

Vegan Barbacoa Mushroom Tacos . These saucy Barbacoa Tacos are super easy and versatile. Use the sauce with beans, lentils or other shredded vegetables for variation. Vegan Barbacoa Recipe. Gluten-free Nut-free Soy-free Recipe.

Vegan Barbacoa Mushroom Tacos . These saucy Barbacoa Tacos are super easy and versatile. Use the from scratch chile sauce with beans, lentils or other shredded vegetables for variation. #Vegan Barbacoa Recipe. #Glutenfree #Nutfree #soyfree #Recipe #veganricha | VeganRicha.com

These Saucy Tacos with Barbacoa mushrooms are perfect for the Summer. For these Barbacoa tacos, I use mushrooms as the vegan substitute. The Sauce for the tacos is made of guajillo chiles which add a gorgeous color and smoky sweetness to the sauce, some chipotle peppers for additional smokyness and heat, some spices and caramelized onions. The mushrooms are cooked for 30 minutes in the sauce to absorb all of the flavor and get tender. Try not to eat up all the mushrooms right from the pan!

You can also use other vegetables or beans with the sauce. Toss veggies in the blended sauce and bake until tender. Or simmer some black beans, chickpeas or lentils along with some chopped veggies in the sauce for 15-20 mins. Serve in tacos or make a Bowl with roasted veggies, onion, lime. Many options! Saucy, Juicy and amazing . 

Barbacoa is a process of slow roasting meats that are served in tacos. The term has evolved over time to include fusion barbecue styles.  Mushrooms make a great substitute to add texture and soak up the sauce. Jackfruit would also do well. Or just some beans/chickpeas/lentils simmered in the sauce. Make these Tacos to start the Summer. 

Continue reading: Vegan Barbacoa Mushroom Tacos

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20 June 2017 00:35 - June 24: Atlanta Meetup

Posted by JenniferP

From the organizer, Cat:

Hello Awkwardeers in Atlanta!

On Saturday, June 24, I will be going on a walk in the Inman Park neighborhood, starting at the Inman Park MARTA station and just walking around admiring houses and gardens and exploring any little neighborhood parks I come across for about an hour. Pokemon Go players welcome!

I’ll be at the station’s bus area at 9:15am and depart at 9:30am, because any later and things will be getting quite hot. I will be holding a rainbow plush Cthulu toy while waiting at the station. I have a long brown braid and glasses.

There is free parking at the station if you are coming by car. If it is pouring rain that morning you can assume the meetup is canceled but if you are unsure I will also post in the Friends of Captain Awkward forums meetups thread if I cancel.

Note: I know this meetup will not be accessible for everyone, this is just what I felt like doing this month. I tried to make May’s meetup 100% accessible and will do so again next time. If you want to host your own meetup for June or at any other time, please do! The more the merrier!

Have a great walk, Atlanta!



19 June 2017 19:09 - 2017 Ignotus Finalists

Posted by LocusHQ

Finalists for the 2017 Ignotus Awards (the Spanish equivalent of the Hugo Awards), honoring the best works published in Spain last year, have been announced:

Novela extranjera (Foreign Novel)

  • El problema de los tres cuerpos [The Three-body Problem], Cixin Liu (Ediciones B)
  • La gracia de los reyes [The Grace of Kings], Ken Liu (Alianza)
  • La casa de arenas movedizas [Quicksand House], Carlton Mellick III (Orciny)
  • Relojes de hueso [The Bone Clocks], David Mitchell (Literatura Random House)
  • Futuros perdidos [Lost Futures], Lisa Tuttle (Gigamesh)

Cuento extranjero (Foreign story)

  • “Fotos de gatitos, por favor [Cat Pictures, Please]”, Naomi Kritzer (SuperSonic 9/16)
  • [Acerca de las costumbres de elaboración de libros en determinadas especies (The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species]”, Ken Liu (Cuentos para Algernon Año IV)
  • “El aria de la reina de la noche [The Queen of the Night’s Aria]”, Ian McDonald (Cuentos para Algernon Año IV)
  • “La reina pescadora [The Fisher Queen]”, Alyssa Wong (Fantífica 6/16)
  • “Siete maravillas de un mundo pasado y futuro [Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World]”, Caroline M. Yoachim (SuperSonic 4/16)

Novela (Novel)

  • Pétalos de acero, José A. Bonilla (Hermenaute)
  • La hora de los desterrados, Pablo Bueno (Sportula)
  • Hijos del dios binario, David B. Gil (Suma de letras)
  • La polilla en la casa del humo, Guillem López (Aristas Martínez)
  • Laberinto Tennen, David Luna Lorenzo (El Transbordador)
  • Fractura, Dioni Arroyo Merino (Apache)
  • El dios asesinado en el servicio de caballeros, Sergio S.  Morán (Fantascy)
  • La última bruja, Mayte Navales (Almuzara)
  • Róndola, Sofía Rhei (Minotauro)

Novela corta (Novella)

  • La tienda del señor Li, Abel Amutxategi (El Transbordador)
  • El ojo de Dios, David Luna (Apache)
  • “En tierra extraña”, Felicidad Martínez (La mirada extraña)
  • “Fuego cruzado”, Felicidad Martínez (La mirada extraña)
  • Travesía, José Antonio García Santos (Premium)

Cuento (Short Story)

  • “Primera sangre”, Israel Alonso (SuperSonic 9/16)
  • “La aventura de las gallinas de Sclater Street”, Alberto López Aroca (Archetypal Magazine)
  • “La segunda muerte del padre”, Cristina Jurado (Cuentos desde el otro lado)
  • Pedro y la pulsera mágica, Juan Antonio Fernández Madrigal (El Transbordador)
  • “Un problema abominable”, Vincent Stamford (Archetypal Magazine)
  • “La aventura del banco de niebla”, John H. Watson (Archetypal Magazine)

Antología (Anthology)

  • Archetypal Magazine, Alberto López Aroca, ed. (Academia de mitología creativa Jules Verne)
  • Sucesos extraños, José Luis del Río, ed. (Apache)
  • La mirada extraña, Felicidad Martínez (Sportula)
  • Cuentos desde el otro lado, Concha Perea, ed. (Nevsky Prospects)
  • Cuentos para Algernon Año IV,  VV. AA. (Cuentos para Algernon)

Libro de ensayo (Related Book)

  • El libro de Satán, Carlos Aguilar & Frank Rubio (Hermenaute)
  • H.P. Lovecraft, el caminante de Providence, Roberto García Álvarez (GasMask)
  • Richard Matheson: El maestro de la paranoia, Sergi Grau, ed. (Gigamesh)
  • Homo Tenuis, Francisco Jota-Pérez (GasMask)
  • En regiones extrañas, Lola Robles (Palabristas)

Artículo (Article)

  • “Algunos monos que usted debería conocer”, Jane Chase (Archetypal Magazine)
  • “All Your Short Are Belong to Us”, Elías F. Combarro (SuperSonic 4/16)
  • “Editoriales independientes en España: ¿el futuro del género?”, Cristina Jurado (SuperSonic 4/16)
  • “Escritoras españolas de ciencia ficción”, Lola Robles (SuperSonic 4-9/16)
  • “Jack el Destripador: Asesino pulp”, Andrés Peláez Paz (Jack el Destripador)

Ilustración (Illustration)

  • Ana Díaz Eiriz, for the cover of Alucinadas II, Sara Antuña & Ana Díaz Eiriz, eds. (Palabaristas)
  • Sergio Bleda, for the cover of Archetypal Magazine, Alberto López Aroca, ed. (Academia de mitología creativa Jules Verne)
  • Enrique Corominas, for the cover of Futuros perdidos, Lisa Tuttle (Gigamesh)
  • Sergio Bleda, for the cover of Jack el destripador, Curtis Garland (Academia de mitología creativa Jules Verne)
  • Cecilia G.F., for the cover of Juguetes rotosJosé A. Bonilla (Dilatando mentes)
  • Pilar Leandro, for the cover of TravesíaJosé A. García Santos (Premium)

Producción audiovisual (Audiovisual Production)

  • El ministerio del tiempo
  • Neo Nostromo
  • Retransmisión de la EuroCon 2016
  • The Spoiler Club
  • Los verdHugos

Tebeo (Comic)

  • Providence, Jacen Burrows & Alan Moore (Panini)
  • Galaxia Bramford, Fernando Cámara
  • Hoy me ha pasado algo muy bestia, Julián López & El Torres (Norma)
  • ¡Universo!, Albert Monteys (Panel Syndicate)
  • I.D., Emma Ríos (Astiberri)

Revista (Magazine)

  • Barsoom
  • Catarsi
  • Delirio
  • SuperSonic
  • Tártarus

Sitio web (Website)

Winners will be announced at the 2017 Hispacon, to be held November 17-19, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. For more information, see the Asociación Española de Fantasía, Ciencia Ficción y Terror (AEFCFT) website.

Posted by LocusHQ

Central Station, Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon) is this year’s John W. Campbell Memorial Award winner for the best science fiction novel published in 2016, and “The Future is Blue” by Catherynne M. Valente (Drowned Worlds) is the winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short fiction of 2016.

Other finalists were:

John W. Campbell Memorial Award

Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award

  • “The Art of Space Travel”, Nina Allen (Tor.com 7/16)
  • “Seasons of Glass and Iron”, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
  • “Touring with the Alien”, Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld 4/16)
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “The Visitor From Taured”, Ian R. MacLeod (Asimov’s 9/16)
  • “Things with Beards”, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld 6/16)
  • “Project Empathy”, Dominica Phetteplace (Asimov’s 3/16)
  • A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

The awards were presented during the Campbell Conference held June 16-18, 2017 at the University of Kansas Student Union in Lawrence KS.

Posted by Richa

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Avocado and Lemon Oregano Olive oil dressing. Lemon Garlic Dressing brightens up this Summery Quinoa Salad. Perfect to make ahead and serve at Picnics. Vegan Gluten-free, Nut-free Soy-free Recipe.

Vegan Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Avocado and Lemon Oregano Olive oil dressing. The Lemon Garlic Dressing brightens up this Summery Quinoa Salad. Perfect to make ahead and serve at Picnics. Vegan Gluten-free, Nut-free Soy-free Recipe | VeganRicha.com

This Salad hits all the Summery notes. Crisp Arugula, juicy Cherry tomatoes, Avocado, fluffy Quinoa all dressed in a refreshing Lemon Garlic olive oil dressing. Simple ingredients, incredible together. 

The salad comes together quickly and also stays crisp for upto 4 days. For longer life, keep the dressing separate. Add other ingredients such as chickpeas or toasted nuts to make into a meal, cucumber, zucchini, other greems for variation. 

Continue reading: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Avocado

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16 June 2017 17:36 - Splatterpunk Awards Founded

Posted by LocusHQ

Horror authors Brian Keene and Wrath James White have founded the Splatterpunk Awards to “honor superior achievement in the sub-genres of SplatterPunk/Extreme Horror fiction” in novel, novella, short story, collection, and anthology categories.

The 2018 jurors are Tod Clark, Gerard Houarner, Mike Lombardo, Monica J. O’Rourke, and David J. Schow. A new lifetime achievement award, the J.F. Gonzalez Award, will be selected by Keene and White.

The awards will be presented at Killercon 2018 at the Wingate by Wyndham Conference Center in Round Rock TX, August 24-26, 2018. For more, see the Killercon website.

16 June 2017 17:03 - Atwood Wins Peace Prize

Posted by LocusHQ

Margaret Atwood will receive the 25,000 2017 Peace Prize from the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers and Booksellers Association). First awarded in 1950, the prize is given to “individuals whose literary, artistic or academic work has served to advance the cause of peace.” The administrative board says, “Atwood has demonstrated a keen political intuition and a deeply perceptive ability to detect dangerous and underlying developments and tendencies.”

The prize was announced on June 13, 2017 during the Berlin Book Days and will be presented at a ceremony at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 15, 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Posted by JenniferP

Hello Captain!

My issue feels so petty, but it’s seriously giving me anxiety…

I am fairly close friends with an older male coworker. He is very into bike riding, and over the years has tried to get me on board with his hobby. I’ve been fairly straightforward in telling him that it really isn’t my thing, and reaffirmed this just a few weeks ago when we were out together. Coincidentally, he was leaving the next day for a big cycling trip. While he was gone he texted to ask me what my hat size was and, thinking nothing of it, I replied.

I came in to work the next week to find, of all things, a brand new bike helmet on my chair. WTF?! I thanked him for it, but reiterated that I was making no promises as far as using it, but joked it would come in handy if they sky fell in at work. He responded that he understood, and then immediately asked it the helmet fit. I ignored the question.

Then a few days later he shows up in my office, and tells me that we’re picking a night after work for a short, 30 minute ride. I commented that he really doesn’t listen, and he laughed.


I am really frustrated and angry, and don’t appreciate being strong armed into doing something I very clearly said I don’t want to do. This guy is a good friend, and I don’t want to make him feel bad, but at the same time I am (maybe unreasonably) miffed about this. I’ve been getting way better at saying no and pushing back, but saying no and pushing back is just not working here. I don’t know if this matters at all, but he is older and married, and I am a younger married female- our relationship has always been platonic, but he has put a toe over the line a few times with regard to references to my looks, and comments about marrying me if he were younger.

Please help.

Thanks in advance!
No Means No

Dear No Means No:

He is being so fucking weird, intrusive, aggressive, and oblivious that I want you to immediately absolve yourself from ever worrying about “making him feel bad” about this. HE is making YOU feel bad, and then making you do extra emotional labor to worry about his feelings.

I suggest that you take the bike helmet, still in its box, put it back on his chair with a note that says “Thanks, but I don’t ride bikes.”

Other options: Donate it. Put it in the garbage.*






When he comes to weirdly talk about it with you (and he will), say: “I do not know how to make myself clearer: I am not interested in riding bikes with you. I know you mean to be thoughtful but your ‘gift’ and subsequent insistence on planning a bike ride is making me very uncomfortable. What will it take for you to understand that this is not something I ever want to do?

If it hurts his feelings or he gets weird about it (which he will), OK. GOOD. FINE. If he wanted to avoid hurt feelings he could have listened to you the first time you said “No thanks!” and the at least 27 times you’ve said no since then. You saying “no” to riding bikes at this point is “hurting his feelings” like you holding a fork and him running across a room to impale himself onto it is “stabbing him with a fork.”

Then, if he ever brings up riding bikes with you again, say a flat “No” and move away. If he retaliates against you at work in any way, document all this stuff and report his ass to HR. I’m serious. It’s great that y’all have been work “friends” all this time, but he is the one killing that friendly vibe by trying to force his hobby on you.

Incidentally, when I think back to the (non-zero)(always gross)(never pleasant or cute or friendly) amount of times that older male coworkers or older male customers or old men in general have said “I would totally marry you if I were younger, heh heh!” to me I wish I’d had the guts or wit to have said something deeply crushing in return, like “I think that you think that’s a compliment, how interesting” or “Yikes, there‘s a mental picture.” Mostly what I did was cringe away and wait for the earth to mercifully swallow me while Geezer McPatronizing laughed at my embarrassment. Dudes, especially older/old-ish dudes, this is never the “compliment” that you think it is. Never. Even if you are an “adorable” old Grampa with a mustache talking to a precocious 16-year-old at her diner waitressing job and everyone in this story is from the South where theoretically people just put up with this bullshit and pretend to find it cute, just shut up about your alternate timeline marriage offers, forever.

In short, friends listen to you when you say “no thanks!” If he can’t hear you loud and clear, he’s not acting like your friend, and that’s not your fault.


*Wasteful, I know. Who cares. She doesn’t want the fucking bike helmet and sometimes you need to get a thing out of your life more than you need to spend time and emotional labor finding the perfect disposal solution.


16 June 2017 13:30 - Blinds

Posted by Fonder

Like a moth to a flame.

This comic brought to you courtesy of my amazing patrons. Special thanks to:
Karen Carpenter, Gary Cooper, Dan Cunningham, Colin Dellow, Giz, Reece Hall, Yuliya Levina, Jonna Märijärvi, Coté Nicholas, and Scott

Posted by Editor

by Mark Niemann-Ross

At the 2017 Nebulas, I presented what we’ve learned about running a reader series in Seattle and Portland with hopes of assisting anyone interested in running a series in their home town. I’m following up that presentation with this written summary; let me know if you find it useful or have any further questions.

Let’s start with an overview of the Portland and Seattle series. Four times a year, we invite authors to read their work in front of an audience. We start at 7pm and run until 8:30 pm. Each event features three readers, each reading for twenty minutes. We include a break after two readers and time at the end for question and answer. You can find a complete schedule on the SFWA.org site at https://goo.gl/fff45j. Readers mostly come from the Pacific Northwest, they are invited to read at both Seattle and Portland events, and can expect audiences of somewhere between twenty-five and fifty people.

The issues related to starting a reader series can be summarized with an acronym; VRBA. (Like VRBO [Vacation Rental By Owner] but with an “A” instead of an “O.”) Those letters stand for: V for “Venue,” R for “Readers,” B for “Books,” and A for “Audience.”


The venue is the most difficult part and we’ve learned several success factors from experience and surveys. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good venue; noisy venues without parking will bring your reader series to a quick finish.

Important considerations, in priority order, are: ambient noise, parking/accessibility, food, beer/wine, and cost.

Noise: Don’t run your reader series in a coffee shop with a cappuccino or frappuccino machine in the same room. Every time someone orders a fancy drink, that machine will prevent the audience from being able to hear the speaker. Coffee shops are tempting – but problematic for this reason.

Both Portland and Seattle reader series happen in bars with separate event rooms. These separate rooms prevent drunks from disrupting your reading and muffles the ambient kitchen noise. Unfortunately, this may cost something to arrange; I’ll discuss it below in the section on costs.

Parking/accessibility: Personally, I was surprised how important this is to our attendees, but it makes sense. If someone can’t get to the event, they won’t attend the event. Some attendees will ride the bus, some will bike, some will drive. When you pick your venue, look for a parking lot with handicap parking spots and easy distance to the bus. Remember that SFWA events should be handicap accessible.

Food, Beer, and Wine: Most people will show up after work and they’re hungry. Some want dinner, most want a drink. Importantly, it’s what keeps the venue interested in having you come back. We’ve been told the reader series are profitable for the venues and they are delighted to have 25 hungry and thirsty people suddenly show up.

Cost: Venues have different policies for how much they charge for use of the room. Some venues will give the space to you for free. Some will charge. We pay $100 in Portland, Seattle gets their room for free.

I would caution about hotels with catering fees. Many hotels will ask for an assurance of one or two thousand dollars in food and alcohol sales. If your attendees are big drinkers this can work out, but if your attendance busts for an evening-an unexpected snowstorm, for example-then your credit card will pick up the difference.


We look for a mix of well-known authors alongside up-and-coming authors. Big name readers help pull larger crowds and generate sales for our booksellers. We prefer readers local to the Pacific Northwest, but are always hoping to coordinate with anyone traveling through our area. When necessary, we give priority to SFWA members.

We are currently scheduling almost a year in advance. We avoid conflicts with major conventions, but we try to coordinate with author book releases and tours.

We are primarily looking for good performers. Reading in front of an audience is theater. Some authors do it well, some do not. I highly recommend taking a public speaking class, theater workshop or review Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Tips for reading fiction out loud” at https://youtu.be/hg7xY_vLL54.

We do not pay travel or expenses. Sad, but that’s the reality of the budget. We do what we can to provide back bedrooms to defray the cost of travel.


In today’s brutal bookstore market, it’s difficult to get a bookseller to attend. But it’s important! Form a partnership with a local bookseller, make sure they know how much you love them. Remember that from their perspective, it’s a lot of work; they haul a bunch of books to your venue, set up, play with money, stay up late, then pack up and head home. Booksellers are really important because they can handle distributed books.

In Seattle, The University Bookstore has been an honored long-time partner. In Portland, we’ve been unable to find a bookstore partner and instead rely on a private individual (Brad Wheeler – our hero!) I provide authors with the option of bringing their own books and selling on consignment, or I will purchase the books at retail cost from a local bookseller on my own credit card. Books that don’t sell are returned; the bookseller is ok with that.

Don’t forget to acknowledge the bookseller. Point out where the books are located. Repeat this several times. Provide time for autographing. Many booksellers may want to keep a few autographed copies for later sales.


Think about how you will announce your reader series and get an audience to attend. Our most successful method is word of mouth. Friends attend because their friends are attending. The local library has entire sections about how to build word of mouth, some of that advice is useful.

The second most productive method of advertising is our Facebook page. We don’t buy advertising, instead we just simply note the event as a calendar listing. Our audience tells us they watch this closely.

Third most productive is emails from SFWA. SFWA maintains an event calendar application very much like Eventbrite. You can publish your event and invite people. They can sign up for notifications that are automatically sent out by the system. You’ll need help setting this up, but we’re happy to do it.


Running a reader series isn’t difficult but it does require persistence. Be sure to let us know you’re doing it, we’re interested in helping you out with authors, encouragement, and other support. We really want you to succeed.

When you’re ready to get started, contact me, Mark Niemann-Ross. I’ve got useful insights and a willingness to coach you through the process.




Mark Niemann-Ross is a Portland-based writer of hard science-fiction with an emphasis on the impact of technology on society. His short stories have appeared in Analog Magazine of Science Fiction and Fact as well as Stupefying Stories. He is currently working on his first novel, a murder mystery solved by a refrigerator.

In his other earthly instantiations, he works in the software industry, plays jazz bass, raises chickens and has a big mouth billy bass that recites political speeches.

Posted by janet

There is no more positive trend in modern parenting than the increasing involvement of fathers. This uptick in paternal engagement has been obvious in my parent-child classes where there have been many more dads in attendance in recent years. Sometimes they’re even the partner that shows up most regularly.  It has also been apparent in my private consultations, messages, and emails, and in social media discussion groups like “Raising Babies Magda’s Way,” which focuses on exploring Magda Gerber’s RIE approach. A mom named Sarah posted a query in that group that sparked some intriguing and insightful responses from several engaged fathers and they allowed me to share them here:

SARAH: Can we hear from the dads in the group?

I read posts and have real life discussions that make me think that some dads don’t think RIE is manly enough (my wording).

What attracts you to RIE? What are some challenges you face as a dad practicing RIE? What would you want other dads who are skeptical of RIE to know?

PHILIP: What attracts me to RIE is that it sees value in  infants from Day One — and not just because they’re interesting to watch, but because of the learning process that is taking place. I’m attracted to the focus on our children’s need for freedom and boundaries within a relationship.

My biggest challenge is being able to share it with other families. It’s kinda weird for a dad to be into helping other families with their kids.

Lastly, my best argument for the power of RIE is my interactions with kids. My brother was very skeptical until I went to visit and he got to hear how I interacted with his son. It’s something that’s hard to put into words. A lot of men need to be able to hear the tone of voice, because they’ve never heard someone relate to a child in that way before. Probably why men respond to Janet’s podcast.

CHRIS: I first came across Janet Lansbury’s blog when my daughter was one year old after looking for some information on building self-esteem. I used to be a parent who thought timeouts taught discipline and endless praise raised self-esteem. I really wish I’d come across RIE earlier, but better late than never.

I’ve faced challenges getting my wife on board (which I did) and getting the odd comment from others when I sportscast, but I’m always happy to explain where I am coming from, or just push on should they disagree with how I do things.

When it’s come up in conversation with other dads, they’ve always been surprised that I don’t use timeouts or any form of punishment, or let my kids watch TV. I talk about the benefits I see in my children, the more trusting relationship and the fact that it’s much less stressful for me. That seems to get people interested (dinner times are no longer chaotic like they used to be).

I’ve also explained to friends why I don’t punish, distract or dismiss a child in distress, and why it’s important to validate their feelings. It’s easy enough to get an adult to relate to a time their feelings were invalidated and how it felt. “If you were crying, you would expect sympathy and support from me, not for me to dangle a shiny toy in your face or tell you that you’re ok, it’s not a big deal, you’ll be ok.”

DION: As a Christian father, I have two very good examples of what it means to be “manly”…Jesus Christ and my own father.

As most people know, Jesus was not “manly” in our modern sense of the word. He wept openly, he preached love and acceptance, and he cared deeply for those closest to him. But his strength was one that built others up and guided them. A real man loves and guides, giving to others of himself so that they may become better men and women themselves.

My dad was a tremendous example to me. He taught me traditional manly things: how to throw a ball, how to drive a stick, how to defend myself against bullies… But he also taught me that it’s okay to have feelings, that it’s okay to cry, and that loving those close to you is a manly thing to do.

Because of all this, RIE just makes perfect sense to me.

EDWARD: Thanks for the post.

I was drawn into RIE through Faber/Mazlish, who I thought provided life changing tips on how to better respond to my kids, but not much of the logical scaffolding behind it. It really blew my mind when I first heard Janet suggest on her podcast that we “roll out the red carpet” for our kids’ emotions. I’ve stayed with RIE because it’s paved the way for me to be deeply connected with my children, to ensure their psychological safety with me so they feel free to share with me about their lives.

My biggest challenge is pushing against the idea that punishments or consequences are necessary in the parent-child relationship, which is an idea that men carry around more than women.

I would want other dads to know that validating emotion is simply acknowledging that a child is having a certain experience, an experience that only the child can know. Letting your child navigate their emotional waters with your watchful support is like helping your kid ride his or her bike. You expect them to fall lots of times before they get it right. Berating them for not getting it right the very first time they get on the bike seems silly and outlandish, and the same goes for berating your children for not being able to regulate their emotions when they are little.

I think some misinterpret RIE as having the [primary] goal of “being in touch with your feelings,” and perhaps that’s why the idea of RIE not being “manly” may come into play.

But RIE is so much more than that. For me, it is about setting a rational foundation for life. Being in touch with one’s feelings is part of that for sure, but the foundation of respect is far deeper. Respect means respect for the individual, as an individual. It means being able to trust one’s own mind and judgment and being efficacious interacting with the world and people around you.

KYLE: To me, RIE is a way of acknowledging my children’s strength and competence, which allows them to develop independence and self-reliance in a developmentally appropriate way. But for me it is also an anecdote to some of the more toxic aspects of masculinity. It reminds me to be open and empathetic, to allow others (and even occasionally myself) to freely express their emotions, and it is helping me break my habit of always trying to be the fixer. (Helping, but I ain’t there yet.)

SKIP: I don’t think what attracted me to RIE or the challenges are likely much different than for women. But there are some things about RIE that might appeal specifically to many men. (Please don’t construe any of this as implying men are one way and women another — I actually think when it comes to gender differences there’s no end in variation, and nurture is vastly more determinant than sex.)

When I talk to dads who are not really on board, there are a few things that seem to resonate with them. The main one is that RIE is all about fostering independence and confidence. It’s also easier to have a central role as a co-parent, because the respectful approach won’t result in baby being hyper-attached to mommy, leaving you second-fiddle (making things worse by having to be Mr. Good Times so you can also feel as cherished). By carefully reading one or two books and practicing RIE, you can pretty quickly develop some solid parenting legs and be really grounded in fundamental principles of caring for baby. These principles can be applied to almost every situation, even if you did not grow up thinking and dreaming about caring for babies. In fact, there are some RIE skills that may actually come easier for Daddy. For example, women may have a hastier intervention response to crying and baby struggling. And lastly, with both parents fostering a RIE experience, you will likely be happier because you will have a better relationship with your kid. And you’ll be a prouder papa because you’ll know that you helped create the conditions that enabled her to get so far on her path to awesomeness.

ME: You all ROCK! Happy Father’s Day!

Two of these dads, Philip (Mott) and Sean (Saulsbury), share more of their insights on blogs that are worth checking out. Philip’s is HERE and Sean’s is HERE.

To learn more about RIE parenting, please check out these resources:


Your Self–Confident Baby by Magda Gerber and Allison Johnson

Dear Parent: Caring for Infants With Respect by Magda Gerber

Pikler Bulletin #14 by Dr. Emmi Pikler

My books: Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting and No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame (both available on Audio)







My posts, especially RIE Parenting Basics,  Magda Gerber’s Gift to Grown-Ups and 9 Parenting Words to Live By

Check the RIE website for classes in your area: http://rie.org



I wonder what they think I’m talking about.

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15 June 2017 23:32 - Midyear Writing News!

Posted by fozmeadows

We appear to be halfway through 2017 already, which is surely some sort of cosmic accounting error. To compensate, here is some writing news.

I’m thrilled to have won the 2017 Ditmar Award for Best Fan Writer in my third year of nomination. I didn’t write as much last year as I would’ve liked, all things considered, but I was proud of what I did produce, and especially now that I’m back in Australia, I’m honoured to have something like this to show for it.

As of April this year, I’m now a semi-regular contributor to the awesome Geek Girl Riot podcast. My segment is called Foz Rants, which is fairly self-explanatory, and covers whatever I feel like yelling about at the time. The whole podcast is pretty spectacular, so give it a look!

I have a new essay out in The Book Smugglers’ Quarterly Almanac: Volume 4. It’s on slipfic and the definition of genre, and contains some thinky-thoughts I’ve been trying to pin down for a while.

Finally, I’m extremely excited to have three short stories in Issue 3 of The Fantastist Magazine – ‘Letters Sweet as Honey,’ ‘Mnemosyne’ and ‘The Song of Savi’. Though different in terms of style and genre, they’re loosely thematically linked, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they’re received both individually and as a sort of triptych.

And with that, back to the studio!

Posted by JenniferP

Dear Captain Awkward,

I participate in a small sport, with several branches. I am both a referee and a ‘player’ in this sport. (If you see any inadvertent clues as to the sport, please could you edit them out?)

At the club where I practice, lots of people know that I referee, and often ask me questions about the rules. I don’t mind these questions, and enjoy answering them, it’s part of why I love being a referee, and part of what has helped me become one of the country’s (UK) most senior referees in one branch of the sport.

In one of the smaller branches, I’m actually getting quite good – in fact I’ll be representing my country at a world championships later this year. This is my first time at an international event, and unsurprisingly, I have ramped up my practice.

My problem is when I have gone to the club to practice, and other club members start asking me questions. It generally starts out OK with just one question, but that inevitably turns into “but what if [related but slightly different situation]?”.

How can I politely let people know that they have crossed the line from a welcome short question and answer into an imposition? Especially when the line is crossed quite quickly. I want to end the conversation as soon as possible while still making it clear I’d be happy to answer short questions in future? This is complicated slightly by the fact that I’m an introvert with extreme shyness, and anxiety. And having to tell someone no feels like confrontation to me and brings my anxiety right up! Also, these people are my friends, and answering questions starts off as a nice way to interact with people I like.

On a slightly extended note (feel free to edit this out if you prefer), an example was this weekend. I was pretty tired after going for a run first thing, and then spending all morning at practice. I had broken for lunch and was making a cup of tea in the clubhouse. A Lady from the club started asking me questions about the new dress code, and I replied with a sensible answer. But she kept asking the same question “could I wear this, could I wear that”. I felt like I had to keep answering. I did walk away, when I was too tired to keep standing, and had actually gone and sat down on the other side of the clubhouse but she followed me and started asking what local competitions would be suitable for her daughter. I said outright several times that I didn’t know about junior competitions, but she kept on asking and asking and asking. Captain, I was soooo tired, and this was my lunch break! I just wanted her to go away. This is an extreme example, as the lady in question doesn’t pick up on social cues very well, so I might need something more pointed for her.

Thank you for your lovely blog, I have really enjoyed reading since I discovered it a few weeks ago.

All the best,
Trying to Practice (she/her pronouns)

Dear Trying To Practice,

I say this as a fairly soft-spoken, young-ish appearing, reasonably affable female person in a “I’m here to answer questions and teach you stuff!” profession where students have sometimes followed me into the bathroom to ask questions. Sometimes you just gotta say “I’d love to answer all your questions, but… “

  • “…I need this class break to organize my notes, can you email me or schedule an appointment if you need to sit down and talk it through?”
  • “…I need my bathroom time to be alone time, can we talk about it when we’re back in class?”
  • “…I need to think more about their question, can they remind me next class?”
  • “…I don’t know that off the top of my head, but the Library/Post-Production Center/Audio Suite/Professor in charge of that specialty is a good resource. Can I assign you to research it a little and report back to the class next week? Thanks!”
  • “…so sorry, I have to tune you out for a sec before I lose my train of thought (a real possibility for me). Can you remind me of your question by email when we’re back in class?

I want to help people out, I want them to feel comfortable asking me questions, and sometimes I really, really need that 10 minutes or whatever to not be in on-demand information dispenser mode, and I don’t think I’m being rude or a bad professor by setting that boundary.

For you this could translate as:

  • Great question! I can’t chat about it right this second, today is my practice day. Remind me next time I see you/Email me/This is a great person-who-is-not-me to ask if you need an answer today. Gotta run!” 
  • I don’t know the answer to that off the top of my head, sorry! I’ve got to put my head down right now and finish my lunch, if you look into this let me know what you find out.
  • I don’t know anything about junior competitions, sorry. That’s a great question, I wish I could help. I’m so sorry to cut you off – I need to wolf down my lunch right now so I can get back to practicing, good luck finding out what you need to know!”

Consider also, especially with the person who follows you around the club to ask questions:

  • Needing to step out and make a phone call or “a phone call.”
  • Needing to step away and get something from your car. That something might be a second of peace and quiet to eat your lunch.
  • Needing to step away to catch a member of the club staff and ask them a question while you have a spare moment. If this person follows you, great. “Hey Terry, Taylor here had a question about the new uniforms, maybe you can help her out!” + then flee!
  • Headphones are the introvert’s friend!

Sometimes people are taken aback when you set this boundary but in my experience 99% of the time the person says “Oh, of course, sorry!” and it’s not a big deal. They either follow up with you later, or it wasn’t that important in the first place. If someone does make a big deal along the lines of “you MUST help me RIGHT NOW or ELSE,” the problem was not you.


14 June 2017 04:01 - Pride Animals

Posted by Robot Hugs

New comic!

I hope you all like your official animals. I know there isn’t one for everyone. Please feel free to nominate your own.


14 June 2017 19:05 - Dark Carnival Closing

Posted by LocusHQ

Jack Rems, owner of Dark Carnival Bookstore in Berkeley CA, has announced the store will be closing due to declining sales. No date has been specified, but Rems told Berkeleyside, “I need to pay bills, so as long as by selling off stock we are generating more than it costs [we will stay open].” He also expressed his gratitude for all his long-term customers and encourages people to partake in the store’s “progressive sale,” where all stock is being offered at a 20% discount.

Dark Carnival has been in business 41 years. Its sister location, The Escapist, will remain open.

Posted by Lou Doench

Hey There Readers! Summer vacation is upon us and things have become super duper busy around these here parts. What with a weekend full of yard work behind me and a week away at Camp Quest Ohio for me (betting on whether I get eaten by a bear closes at 11:59 pm Saturday) I figured I would toss you folks some midweek links to keep everyone reading until/if I come back.

We have a cultural obsession with how we interact with our mobile devices. You can’t swing a dead cybercat without hitting an article bemoaning parents with their noses in their iPhones missing the quintessentially precious moments, like when little Billy shoved a garden slug up his own nose. That’s why it was refreshing to read this piece by Dad Blogger and E-migo Aaron Gouveia, I Put the Phone Down to be ‘In the Moment’ with My Kid and it was a Huge Mistake.  

From the Dog Bites Man desk… Texas Sees High Rate of Teen Births Despite Abstinence Only Sex Ed.

Speaking of Sex Ed. Teen Vogue bypasses the middleman and gets straight to the point in How to Masturbate if You Have a Vagina. 

Secretary of Education and Wicked Witch of the Midwest Betsy DeVos seemed to indicate in Senate testimony that it is not the job of the Department of Education to protect LGBTQ students.

Watch Your Mouth Around My Kid!

I should probably explain that I’m not exactly proud of my dirty mouth. But, I’m not embarrassed by it, either. There are worse things that could come out of my mouth.

And, often, there are worse things said in the presence of my son.

I imagine you asking, “what’s worse than an f-bomb in the presence of a two year old?”

I’m glad you asked. Here are just a few “toddler friendly” examples:

“Boys don’t wear make up.”

“Don’t cry. You’re just being silly.”

“Wouldn’t you rather play with a truck than that doll?”

“You can’t wear pink.”

Here’s the deal. Saying “poop” when I drop something or “fudge” when I suddenly realize I’m late for a meeting I forgot about might offend some people because those kinds of words have been deemed inappropriate. But, no one is going to get hurt. On the other hand, telling my son that he should ignore his feelings or avoid otherwise harmless activities could hurt him.To his core.

Study Finds Every Style Of Parenting Produces Disturbed, Miserable Adults (From the Onion of course, sarcasm filters activate)

Atlas Obscura is looking for those children’s books that only you seem to remember.

I agree with Matt on this one…

Featured Image Credit Abby Doench… click here for a larger version 😉 she spent a whole day looking up those flags

Posted by Richa

Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Cajun Cauliflower. Cauliflower is tossed in homemade Cajun spice blend and baked, then served over easy creamy Garlic sauce Penne Pasta. Vegan Garlic Pasta Recipe. Can be Nut-free gluten-free.

Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Cajun Cauliflower. Cauliflower is tossed in homemade cajun spice blend and baked, then served over easy creamy Garlic sauce Penne Pasta. Vegan Recipe. Can be Nut-free gluten-free | VeganRicha.com

This Easy Pasta comes together quickly and makes an amazing meal. Toss the Cauliflower in Cajun spice blend and put it in the oven to bake. Boil the pasta, simmer the sauce to thicken and fold in the pasta. Put it all together, garnish with parsley or basil. Perfect!

This dish came about when I remembered some friends had recommended a dish with Cajun chikin over Creamy pasta (way back when). It was a popular dish at a neighboring restaurant. For a vegan version of that dish, I made this creamy garlicky pasta sauce with roasted and minced garlic, which makes a great pasta by itself or can be used as a garlic mac and cheese sauce. The Cajun spice blend is magic. Rub it all over the cauliflower, bake and try not to eat the entire helping.

The baked Cajun Cauliflower is amazing! Make just that and serve it with a cooling dip as a starter or appetizer. The garlic sauce is easy and cheesy. Add elbows to it and make into a mac bake, covered with breadcrumbs mixed with smoked paprika or some of the cajun blend. So much Flavor!

Continue reading: Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Cajun Cauliflower

The post Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Cajun Cauliflower appeared first on Vegan Richa.

14 June 2017 00:12 - The Art of Story Mechanics

Posted by Editor

By Kate Heartfield

The late Robert M. Pirsig, in his famous book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, wrote with some anxiety about the split between “classic” culture (maintaining a motorcycle) and “romantic” culture (riding a motorcycle). He was wrong about some things, but it’s certainly true that many people are creative in one way and not in the other.

I come from a long line of mechanics and tinkerers, but I didn’t get the gene. Not for me the pleasures of making something work. As a kid, I did well enough in math class, but I always felt like I was cheating. I was very good at memorizing how to follow a process, but I never really understood the underlying truth of what I was doing.

I’ve always been a writer, but I’ve never been a tinkerer.

Until now.

In March, I started working on a contract for Choice of Games. I’ve never written interactive fiction before, and other than a bit of BASIC and HTML, I’ve never coded before. I’m having a lot of fun. And for the first time in my life, I’m learning how to tinker. It’s already having an effect – a beneficial one, I think – on all of my prose, including the non-interactive stories.

The day I signed the contract and sat down to begin telling my story, I felt adrift for a moment. Choicescript, the language I’m using, is easy to learn and there are many resources for the beginner. So I understood pretty quickly what each command would do, the function of each tool. But what were the rules for using those tools? Which ways of using those tools were wrong, and which ways were right?

That’s when I had an epiphany: When my code works, it works; when it doesn’t, it doesn’t. There are more or less efficient or elegant ways of doing something, and there are many examples to follow, but when it came down to it, I had the freedom to kludge my scene together any way I wanted. Although my editor will appreciate it, nobody really cares how clever my code is. What matters is the story that emerges from it.

Or rather, stories.

That moment of freeing myself from rigid concepts of right and wrong was also a useful reminder about storytelling.

We writers often treat our works-in-progress like imperfect versions of Platonic ideals, as if the Story Council has the ur-copy of every novel in its big library in the sky and we’re just trying to make our version as close to that as possible. We polish, and refine, and all of that involves making choices. Is this better than that? Will putting the exposition in Chapter 2 work better for the character arc than putting it in Chapter 3? If only someone would give us the answer key!

George Saunders recently described his writing process as a series of instinctive decisions: he imagines a meter on his forehead with P for Positive on one side and N for negative on the other. In a binary conception, every change moves the needle one way or the other. Good or bad, right or wrong. Decisions are not value-neutral. Edits move the novel closer to its potential greatness, until it either achieves that greatness or the deadline arrives.

With interactive fiction, the writer is making choices, but based on what works rather than what’s right. It might seem like a fine distinction, but acknowledging that more than one possibility can work at any given plot point feels a little subversive.

It’s a good reminder that editor or beta-reader feedback is only useful insofar as it helps us make the story work in the way we want it to work. There’s no right way to build a motorcycle: there are more elegant ways and less elegant, more powerful and less powerful, less expensive, more expensive, bigger or smaller, quieter or louder.

Sometimes, the well-meaning person giving you feedback is trying to tell you how to turn your motorcycle into a helicopter.

There are examples to follow and tricks of the trade, but there’s no one right way to tell a story. Story structure, like any engine, is amenable to tinkering.


Kate Heartfield’s short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Daily Science Fiction and elsewhere. Her website is heartfieldfiction.com and she is on Twitter as @kateheartfield.

Posted by admin

The Lambda Literary Foundation announced winners for the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”), celebrating excellence in LGBT literature in a wide variety of categories, including some of genre interest.

LGBT SF/F/Horror

Other nominees of interest included The Midnight Star, Marie Lu (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers) in LGBT Children’s/Young Adult and Coils, Barbara Ann Wright (Bold Strokes) in Lesbian Romance.

The awards were presented at the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Ceremony held June 12, 2017 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.

Posted by JenniferP

Hey Cap,

Hopefully this is any easy one for you (and maybe your community?)

If you were a ten year old boy who just came out to your mom, what would you want her to do or say? What could the mom do to support him?

He came to me crying and handed me a note that said, “I think I’m gay.” I pulled him on my lap and asked why he was upset. He said he was worried I would be disappointed. I said, “Oh please. I’m disappointed when you push your sister. This is just normal.” Then he asked if I could ask a family friend who is gay about how he knew he was gay. So I sent him an email, and I’m pretty sure he’ll talk with my son but I’m not sure how best to support him.


My first thought is “I love this story and your son!” You’re going to hold onto that note forever, right? And someday when he’s a grownup you’ll give it back to him along with a heartfelt letter from you about how proud you are of him? Yes? Yes.

giphy (15).gif
Image description: An animated .gif of a rotating, pulsating rainbow heart. 


PFLAG (“Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays”) is an organization that does a lot of education and activism around making the world safer and more welcoming for gay and transgender kids. If you want to get informed and get involved in things like making schools safer, protecting your son and other kids from bullying, and meeting other parents and kids where you live, they’ll be a great resource for you. One of the best things about organizations like this is that you can learn a lot about the subject without making your son (or your family friend) do all the work of teaching you. For example, the NYC PFLAG chapter has a massive recommended reading list for parents, including This Is A Book For Parents of Gay Kids by the wonderful team behind Everyone Is Gay.

If you search for “resources for gay kids” where you live, see what else you turn up. Everyone Is Gay has a state-by-state guide of groups, friendly churches, camps, and events in the U.S. Is there a youth center or camp, a chorus or sports league, a drop-in or mentoring program, an all-ages Pride event, a safe place for counseling and sexual healthcare as he gets older near you?

Readers, are there any really kid-and-parent-friendly websites or books that you like?

And, when you came out to the people close to you, is there anything someone said or did that made you feel especially safe and loved and supported? Can we give this mom and other parents a road map for how to do this beautifully and well?

Posted by janet

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I idolize someone who can approach the sensitive topic of caring for children with an egoless, open mind. I’m especially impressed when these are grandparents, because they’ve raised their own children already and yet are open to learning as much as they can, and maybe even doing things differently with their grandchildren. I can only hope to be one of them someday.
That said, I jumped at the chance to share Gaynor’s story, which she related as a comment on one of my most read posts: The Key to Your Child’s Heart. The post is about the powerful and sometimes miraculous effects of simply acknowledging our children’s feelings. Gaynor shared:

“I have an amazing example of how well acknowledging works. My daughter was out of town for four days, and my hubby and I kept her daughter, Via. My daughter’s flight home arrived late Sunday night, so she and her husband spent the night with us. Via had been happy the whole time at our home, so Monday when Via became unusually emotional, I was puzzled.

Her mom was busy packing up things to go home, so I sat down on our couch, eye level with my 22-month-old granddaughter and gently said, “Via, I see you’re upset. You may not have all the words yet to tell me why, but I can see that something is bothering you. Maybe you’re sad that you’re leaving our house, or confused about Mommy leaving and coming back home.”

She immediately melted into me and hugged me tightly, as if she understood every single word I said. And as I read your article, I realized she probably understood the main aspect: I acknowledged her feelings.

And that was that. She got into her mom’s car and took off without a fuss.

It was such a huge moment for me to see how truly effective acknowledging a young one’s feelings can be. They just need to know we’re TRYING to understand them as they attempt to communicate fears, desires, independence, etc.” 

As Gaynor discovered, acknowledging “works” when…

We are genuinely curious and interested in a child’s perspective and experience.

Our intention is purely to understand and connect.

We are calm rather than fearful or impatient.

We aren’t attempting to say the right words in order to calm or fix the feelings.

We ask or suggest what children might be feeling, rather than labeling their feelings for them.

Acknowledging is the very best way to bond with children because it proves:

We don’t judge
We accept them wholly as is
We are their safe place
They don’t ever need to feel alone in their thoughts and feelings

Thank you again, Gaynor, for sharing your beautiful story and photos!

Posted by admin

Winners of the 2017 Kurd Laßwitz Preis for best German science fiction works and translations have been announced:

Best German SF Novel

  • Omni, Andreas Brandhorst (Piper)
  • Moonatics, Arne Ahlert (Heyne)
  • Der Bahnhof von Plön, Christopher Ecker (Mitteldeutscher Verlag)
  • Helix, Marc Elsberg (Blanvalet)
  • Alles außer irdisch, Horst Evers (Rowohlt)
  • Sternentor, Matthias Falke (Begedia)
  • Im Nebel kein Wort, Frank Hebben (Begedia)
  • Vektor, Jo Koren (Atlantis)
  • Das Universum nach Landau, Karsten Kruschel (Wurdack)
  • Unsterblich, Jens Lubbadeh (Heyne)
  • Blumen vom Mars, Gabriele Nolte (self-published)
  • Ein neuer Himmel für Kana, Karla Schmidt (Wurdack)
  • Babylon, Thomas Thiemeyer (Knaur)

Best German SF Short Story

  • “Suicide Rooms”, Gabriele Behrend (Exodus 10/16)
  • “Die Stadt der XY”, Dirk Alt (Exodus 4/16)
  • “Acapulco! Acapulco!”, Andreas Eschbach (Exodus 4/16)
  • “Vor dem Fest oder Brief an Mathilde”, Marcus Hammerschmitt (Nova 6/16)
  • “Das Netz der Geächteten”, Michael K. Iwoleit (Gamer)
  • “Thuban”, Hubert Katzmarz (Zwielicht Classic 3/16)
  • “Emukalypse”, Niklas Peinecke (Gamer)

Best Foreign SF Work Published in German

Best SF Translation Into German

  • Galaktische Mission [The End of All Things], John Scalzi, translated by Bernhard Kempen (Heyne)
  • Morgengrauen [First Light], Linda Nagata, translated by Helga Parmiter (Cross Cult)
  • Mr. Sapien träumt vom Menschsein [Barren Cove], Ariel S. Winter, translated by Oliver Plaschka (Knaur)
  • Der lange Weg zu einem kleinen zornigen Planeten [The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet], Becky Chambers, translated by Karin Will (Fischer Tor)

Best German SF Graphical Art

  • Greg Ruth for the cover of Lagune, Nnedi Okorafor (Cross Cult)
  • Lothar Bauer for the cover of Die Bibliothek der Tränen, Christian Kathan (Beyond Affinity)
  • Lothar Bauer for the cover of Hauptsache gesund!, Ralf Boldt (p. machinery)
  • Lothar Bauer for the cover of Nova 6/16
  • Dirk Berger for the cover of Phantastisch! 7/16
  • Matin Frei for the cover of Das Ende des Regenbogens, Vernor Vinge (Cross Cult)
  • Mark Freier for the cover of Vektor, Jo Koren (Atlantis)
  • Das Illustrat for the cover of Unsterblich, Jens Lubbadeh (Heyne)
  • Stas Rosin for the cover and illustrations of Exodus 10/16
  • Markus Vogt for the cover of Exodus 4/16

Special Award For Outstanding Achievement

  • Ralf Boldt, Sylvana Fryberg, and the team of MediKonOne

Special Achievement Award For Longtime Activities

  • Herbert W. Franke

No award was given in the Best German Audio Work category.

The award ceremony will take place during PentaCons, a symposium on science fiction literature to be held at the Palitzschhof in Dresden, Germany on November 4, 2017.

12 June 2017 19:15 - Derr Wins Bisexual Book Award

Posted by admin

The Bi Writers Association (BWA) announced winners for the 5th annual Bisexual Book Awards during a ceremony at Westbeth Artists Community in New York City on June 10, 2017. The awards included a Speculative Fiction category:

Speculative Fiction [Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror/Etc.]

For more information, including the full list of categories and finalists, see the BWA website.

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