Saturday, June 29, 2013

Quote of the day

On or around June 6, 2013, it became impossible to consider writing about harnessing the power of Big Data for the humanistic enterprise without contemplating its power for more distinctly inhuman enterprises. Of course, the two have gotten conflated — suddenly people who'd never before heard of metadata are frightened by it, without knowing much about the more useful and benevolent purposes to which metadata can be put — but what the PRISM leaks have made clear is that computational approaches to understanding vast quantities of information have the potential to disrupt and transform our understanding of the culture in which we live.---Kathleen Fitzpatrick, The Ends of Big Data

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Joan Slonczewski and Jo Walton's The Helix and the Hard Road

Every year, WisCon's guests of honor read at Madison's feminist bookstore, Room of One's Own, on Thursday evening. It's the event that officially kicks off the con, and it's always the scene of people who haven't seen one another for months (or even years) reconnecting. I wasn't really aware of those readings until a couple of years after I started attending WisCon. (But then I usually arrived last Friday afternoon.)

Five years ago, Aqueduct Press began its WisCon GoH series, in which collects work by each of the GoHs into a small trade paperback printed in a limited, numbered edition. That has become an annual tradition for Aqueduct.

This last WisCon, Joan Slonczewski and Jo Walton read, Joan from her novel Brain Plague and Jo The Helix and the Hard Road to celebrate Joan and Jo's work. The volume includes Slonczewski’s essay “I Have No Time, and I Must Write” and her short fiction “Tuberculosis Bacteria Joins the UN,” and a previously unpublished collection of Walton's poetry, “The River and the Road.” In addition, the authors talk at length with interviewers knowledgeable about their work: Walton with Lynne M. Thomas, and Slonczewski with Michael Levy.
from the novel she'd just started writing only days before the con. And Aqueduct published

We still have copies available. (These are the only books we don't reprint when the run sells out.) You can purchase them now at for a mere $12. 

I will say this about Jo's newly begun novel: I'm going to be watching feverishly for its appearance. Its biting hilarity promises joy for all of us.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Call for materials for WisCon Chronicles Vol. 8

 by Farah Mendlesohn

I am very pleased to announce that I have been invited to edit this year's Wiscon Chronicles: Volume 8. The title will be Feminism(s), and I invite non fiction and fiction contributions which draw on experiences at this years; Wiscon, and express the diversity of feminist thinking: issues that might be considered include intersectional feminism, issues of race, generation, disability, gender identity, size and class. I want both serious pieces and playful pieces. Art, graphics and music will be considered.

Contributions should fall between 1,000 and 5,000 words long but this is not a rigid requirement.

Proposals are due by 1 August 2013, completed works (and it is acceptable only to send completed work, without a prior proposal) by December 1 2013.

Farah Mendlesohn

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Feminist Voices: The Best of Femspec's Creative Work, the First Ten Years

I'm pleased to announce the release of Feminist Voices: The Best of Femspec's Creative Work, edited by Batya Weinbaum, which collects the fiction and poetry that a jury judged the best published in each of the first ten years of the feminist speculative fiction journal Femspec. Here's an excerpt from Pamela Sargent's introduction:
[H]aving as many outlets as possible for feminist voices is as necessary as ever. I recall that some years after editing the Women of Wonder anthologies of science fiction by women for Vintage, in the 1970s, people would occasionally ask me if publishing such volumes was still necessary. The implied assumption underlying such a question was that this particular battle had already been won. I heard the same kinds of questions asked again after I had edited two new Women of Wonder volumes for Harcourt Brace during the 1990s. What we have, however, isn’t a battle with a decisive end but is instead an ongoing struggle, as recent political controversies have shown, with whatever gains being made often in danger of being rolled back. It often seems that as soon as you’re foolish enough to believe an issue has been settled, that issue once again emerges as a subject for heated debate….

What these dissimilar and individual writers have in common is an ability and willingness to illuminate feminist concerns in their poetry and fiction while viewing them through the lenses of speculative fiction.
Contributors include Marleen S. Barr, Lorraine Schein, Karen Alkalay-Gut, Finisia Fideli, Gina Wisker, K.A. Laity, Rebecca Lesses, Debra Jo Schleef, Doreen Russell, Barbara Minchinton, Glenis Redmond, Susan McLean, Tara Leonard, Phebe Beiser, and Jane Liddell-King.

Aqueduct has published the volume in both paperback and ebook editions.It can be purchased now through our website (, and will shortly be available in the usual venues selling our books.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Missing Links and Secret Histories: A Selection of Wikipedia Entries from across the Known Multiverse

I'm in the second week of an artist's residency at Centrum, in Port Townsend, and so I've been away from my Aqueduct Press desk. My connection to the internet has been limited (particularly since my netbook no longer seems to be able to connect with any of the sources of wifi here. It's so, so different being here near the summer solstice as opposed to the winter solstice, as was the case with my three previous residencies here. The chief difference is the light-- not just the amount of daylight, but its quality. It's bright and white, rather than golden and thin. I suppose because I associate Port Towensend with that thin, golden light, it didn't occur to me to equip myself with sunscreen. So my nose has been sunburned for days (and is now peeling). Another difference is that instead of high-ish low tides, we're getting some minus low tides, and so I'm getting to see parts of the beach I've never seen before-- including rocks with anemones on them-- and have even been able to walk around Point Wilson to the stretch of beach I usually don't get to see. Also, there's a coffee shop (open only during the summer)! I hadn't realized it was there until the weekend. It's a great place for working over chunks of text.

Besides enjoying wonderful beach walks, I'm getting work done on my novel. (Actually, I sometimes get work done while I'm on the beach-- I carry a pad of paper and a pen in my little backpack, so that I can whip them out and do some new writing while sitting on a log that's turned into driftwood. I suffer twinges of guilt about all the Aqueduct Press work I left on my desk, undone, of course, but since for most of the year I don't often concentrate on my own writing, I'm not having too much trouble forgetting Aqueduct exists for several-hour stretches at a time...

 And yet,  I realized on Friday I needed to find a way to post via my iPad (which I'd never before done-- but can now do because of a handy dandy Google app that apparently won't allow me to cut & paste images into this blog). What happened, you may wonder, on Friday? Why it turns out that Annalee Newitz recommended Missing Links and Secret Histories: A Selection of Wikipedia Entries from across the Known Multiverse, an Aqueduct Press book edited by me, which we launched at WisCon, for her Secrets of the Universe 5 Great SF and Fantasy Summer Reads over at NPR. "Editor Duchamp, a longtime publisher of progressive, independent science ficiton, has put together a wicked and witty sendup of how history is written today -- and how some people and stories are systematically edited out of it..." (The other books she recommends are Lauren Beukes' The Shining Girls, Will McIntosh's Love Minus Eighty, Karen Jow Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane.)

 Missing Links and Secret Histories elucidates these and other mysteries (some admittedly occasionally obscure). It even includes excerpts from lost or suppressed manuscripts scholars have not even suspected exist, such as “The V Manuscript” written by the Marquis de Sade in 1783 while imprisoned in the Chateau de Vincennes, detailing an interview between the Marquis and a prisoner in the next cell calling himself “de Hurlevent,” but whom the Gimmerton Theory claims was really Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights fame.
Here's a brief description of this anthology: Ever wonder who that frequent addressee of Anglophone Nineteenth-century narrators, “Dear Reader,” really was? About Nancy Drew’s mother? Or the true story on which Edgar Allan Poe based his melodramatic “Fall of the House of Usher”? Perhaps it never occurred to you to wonder whether there might have been a relationship between H.G. Wells’ Dr. Moreau and Joseph Conrad’s Col. Kurtz, or why the popularity of fairy attendance waned in the eighteenth century—but

 Contributors include Alisa Alering, John J. Coyne, L. Timmel Duchamp, Kristin King, Catherine Krahe, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Jenni Moody, Mari Ness, Mark Rich, Nisi Shawl, Jeremy Sim, Lucy Sussex, Anna Tambour, Anne Toole, and Nick Tramdack. It's available on our site in both print and e-book editions. It should be available elsewhere very soon if it isn't already.

I'll eventually add some images to this post. But I've lost half an hour trying to do it, without any success whatsoever.  (The handy dandy app isn't quite the real deal, I guess.)

ETA: I'm home now, and have been able to upload the images in the usual way.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Unfaithful Cyborgs by Andrea Hairston

Pan Morigan and Andrea Hairston

Pan and I had a blast at Wiscon. We have now recovered from traveling across the country. (Two weeks to get over flight cancellation and midnight bus rides!)
My mind is still stirred up from the panels, the Guests of Honor, the hallway rants, the family reunions--the ghosts and spirits too, whispering in my ears. I was lucky to be on the CYBORG IDENTITIES Panel  with Sunny Moraine, Scott E. Gould, and Lettie Prell. We had a marvelous conversation with an engaged, articulate audience about the legacy of Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto.

Sunny Moraine mentioned a man who went offline for a time period and didn’t find the real life nirvana that supposedly awaits those who unplug. I’ve been thinking about this anecdote and our confused relation to technology. The Internet is often viewed as the CAUSE of good or evil effects—mass addictive zombie behavior or successful revolution against oppressive regimes. The Internet as an effective tool facilitates revolution perhaps and also allows addiction (we get a dopamine hit for those I Likes), but CAUSE? That’s a powerful word.

The Internet is mythologized and mystified, maligned and worshiped. It brings wonders and joys and is also calibrated for predatory capitalist monetizing of humans as commodities. The Internet facilitates creative exchange across land and sea, shrinks time and space, and offers us public access to each other. Big Data is a treasure trove for pattern freaks, and human beings are serious Pattern Masters! (Read the Octavia Butler books for a SF meditation on this.). However, despite reverent claims for Big Data, information isn’t wisdom, and Smart Devices shouldn't make us lazy and dumb. We need struggle and serendipity; we need mistakes. Convenience is highly overrated and a wicked marketing tool. Information isn’t knowledge or wisdom. Abstract formulations aren’t the same as concrete experiences--everything can’t be written as an algorithm. But Online experiences are as much a part of REALITY as any other experience.

We are cyborgs, animals incorporating our tools/technology into our bodies and altering/creating the universe we inhabit and that produces us. Story is one of our most powerful, world changing, universe altering technologies! The story of the Net is magical, mythic.

Are we getting the stories we desire?
Do we have the technology we want?

I need a Smart Device that doesn’t interrupt my flow, that supports my creative capacities—not one that replaces them with the paint by numbers version. I need Smart Devices that challenge me and other folks to go beyond comfort zones and like minds to engage in a radical reckoning with difference.

Perhaps our tech and tech platforms are dominated by the same empire ideologies that allowed for colonization of the planet (and contribute to the ongoing destruction of diversity— deadly empire monoculture)?  So what are we doing with that?
In her Manifesto, Haraway notes that Cyborgs “are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins.”

We make the meaning. So what are the ideologies behind, around, running through the Internet? How do we choose to use the Net, to structure it? The Net has never been neutral.  However, a predatory capitalist calibration of our technology is not inevitable--it is not the last word.
I’ll be considering unfaithful cyborgs in my next novel, Archangels of Funk.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The WisCon Chronicles, Vol. 7: Shattering Ableist Narratives, ed. JoSelle Vanderhooft

I'm pleased to announce that the seventh volume of the WisCon Chronicles, Shattering Abliest Narratives, which JoSelle Vanderhooft edited, is now available through Aqueduct's site in both trade paperback and e-book editions. The trade paperback edition is accompanied by a CD providing e-pub, mobi, and pdf editions of the text, including material supplemental to the print edition.(You can purchase it here.)

In science fiction and fantasy, just as in the world we all inhabit, disability is often misunderstood, maligned, and disregarded, even by fans (as well as people in general) who are committed to social justice, anti-oppression, and equal representation for all in sf/f fandom. In the spirit of WisCon’s continuing mission to boldly go where no con has gone before in breaking down barriers, this volume of the WisCon Chronicles seeks to smash ableist narratives that keep disabled people from full participation in the present we inhabit and the speculative futures we hope to create. Contributors include Andrea Hairston, Debbie Notkin, Nisi Shawl, Josh Lukin, Ann Keefer, Tracy Benton, Jesse the K, B.C. Holmes, Beth Plutchak, Elise Matthesen, and Nancy Jane Moore, among several others.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Josh Lukin's "Pity Is Shadowed by Contempt"

Josh Lukin's "PITY IS SHADOWED BY CONTEMPT": AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNE FINGER has been posted at Wordgathering. Having read a book of short fiction by Anne Finger and having published Josh's "Ishmael in Love: Anne Finger and the Reclamation of Disability" in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, vol. 2, 1 (which is available for free download at‎), I had to run right over to read it when he mentioned to me that it had been posted. In his introduction, Josh writes:

Activist, educator, and cultural worker Anne Finger has long been prominent in the U.S. disability movement. The author of three volumes of fiction and two memoirs, she has served as President of the Society for Disability Studies, written for Disability Studies Quarterly, and contributed to countless disability anthologies and conferences; at present, she is the board president of AXIS Dance Company, among the first dance companies to welcome disabled performers. In addition to disability-specific work, her career of activism extends from the 1960s peace movement to the Occupy movement: she has marched on the Pentagon and helped to shut down the Port of Oakland.
Finger's first book, the 1988 story collection Basic Skills, contains several disability-themed works, two of them drawing on her childhood experiences of polio. Her 1990 memoir Past Due: A Story of Disability, Pregnancy, and Birth, integrates accounts of her early life, her social activism, and her experiences at the hands of the medical profession, both as a polio survivor and as the mother of a baby in intensive care. In the process it explores the impact of sexist and ableist oppressions on her life and mind, and dramatizes her struggles with them. Her 1994 novel Bone Truth, incorporating a number of autobiographical elements, tells a story of a woman considering motherhood and struggling to frame a narrative explaining her own life and her difficult parents, particularly her abusive father. Among many other things, it is a historical critique of masculinism on the Old and New Left. With 2006's Elegy for a Disease: A Personal and Cultural History of Polio, Finger produced an anti-individualist memoir, one that integrates her own experiences and feelings into a wealth of social and historical contexts. The stories collected in her 2009 Call Me Ahab, like Elegy, aspire to reveal the breadth of disability culture. The volume is a postmodern tour de force that re-envisions the experiences of legendary disabled characters from art, fiction, and history, through a disability-justice perspective.
The interview covers a good deal of feminist and activist territory. Here's just a morsel to pique your interest:

 JL: Then comes "Abortion" (1985), which contains the line, "'The flight from freedom,' my fingers snapped, 'the rise of the right-wing, the … it's not exactly freedom we're fleeing from … it's a half-way revolution, a quarter turn.'" How it felt in the late Seventies when we weren't getting the revolution we were hoping for.

AF: Right, right. And also that sense of having abortion rights but not having much that went along with it, and not having achieved the revolution in gender relations that we'd hoped for, trying to put that whole stew of things together.

JL: And not having achieved the revolution in class relations which would give abortion rights a context in which—

AF: Yes, and very specifically there, I'm thinking about a lot of the loneliness that people experienced. The lack of connection, and the isolation that people feel, and the lack of a sense of community, and the way that freedom can sometimes feel like more isolation, more being cut off, creating so many choices that you end up alone.

JL: The end of "Abortion" goes through the metafictional analysis that will become one of the glories of Call Me Ahab. It talks about the drama of the story, explains how real-life events were altered to turn it into a work of fiction, and ends with "a slogan, an image, a moral: and with a plea to reimagine our language, to tell and tell our stories again, until we have words to echo our lives." Needing new narratives and cutting through the received narratives. I keep hearing that in connection with what Occupy and other radicals today are trying to do. Can it be done? Can new narratives reach people?

AF: Oh absolutely. I just think we always have to be off-balance. We always have to realize that whatever story we tell, it's never going to be the final story. Until the end of the human race, which I guess will be the final story, but only by happenstance. I think of it in terms of disability studies, that whatever point we come to, we're never going to come to a final understanding, we're never going to come to a final resting point, we're always going to be needing to see that, whatever we've created, it's silenced some people, it's excluded some things. And to just constantly be aware of that exclusion. And I think the same thing in terms of finding that language to speak. It's always going to be partial, there's always going to be a kind of yearning at the edges, a sense that we haven't fully articulated things.

I've been involved in an online forum where somebody was discussing a book and used the term "mental illness," and somebody else fired back, "You know, this is a really offensive term, and people in the mad pride movement or the psych survivor movement don't like this terminology" ;and there's been a very interesting conversation about terminology. The idea that we're going to come up with the perfect term — I understand why people can have a very strong reaction to the term "mental illness," and the dangers of it; and I understand that maybe at times it makes rhetorical sense to deploy that, and that we always have to be aware and we always have to be negotiating those things.

JL: We need words for things, and the dream of a pure language isn't going to happen; and so we'll always have our scare quotes and brackets and strikethroughs and footnotes and the like.

AF: Exactly.

JL: There's a story in Basic Skills called "A Tragedy" — originally published as "Our Tragedy" (1985) — which has the line, "We were no short-haired, thin-lipped Maoists out to offer ourselves up as the vanguard to Providence's working class." But you talk a lot about the asceticism of the radicals and their grandiose self-image.

AF: And I have mixed feelings about that. Because any revolutionary change has to come about by being really unreasonable. It has to come about by people being driven. It has to come about by people being grandiose. And at the same time that grandiosity and that unreasonableness has to be tempered. And the work of tempering that has to happen within movements. And it's hard to live with.
Now go read the complete interview here:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Podcast of the Squaring the Circle event at the Seattle Public Library

As promised, the Seattle Public Library has posted a podcast of the May 9 event in which Ursula K. Le Guin and Mariano Martin Rodriguez discuss translating Gheorge Sasarman's Squaring the Circle and read tales from it in both English and Spanish. You can download the file here: Happy listening!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Links for early June

--Autostraddle profiles Andrea Hairston in Eleven Women of Color You Should Know and Admire.

--My story, "The Fool's Tale," which engages with Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, appears in the June issue of Lightspeed Magazine, along with an exceedingly crunch interview with me. (I promise you, some of those questions made me sweat.)

--Vonda N. McIntyre has just posted at Bookview Cafe about the event launching Squaring the Circle at the Public Library last month. She has three more photos in addition to the one of Ursula Le Guin signing a guitar.

--Gay City News has an article on Richard Bowes by Kelly Jean Cogswell, titled "Time Traveling with Richard Bowes." She muses that in his books, "gender doesn't stay on its assigned track," then concludes:
In another recent book, “The Queen, the Cambion, and Seven Others,” Bowes takes on fairy tales, plunging further into the ambiguities of time and gender. Here, he narrates most of the stories from a female point of view, and he seemed a little puzzled, telling me about a writer who asked him why — and how — he pulled it off. “There’s no trick to it,” he responded. “All the characters are still me.”
--My review of Karen Lord's The Best of All Possible Worlds has gone live at Strange Horizons.

--If you haven't already, you'll want to check out two excellent recent posts by Kameron Hurley: Dear SF Writers, Let's Chat about Censorship and Bullying, and We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative.

The Simons Foundation blog has an entertaining article by Natalie Wolchover, Is Nature Unnatural?, reporting on a cosmological controversy among physicists that the confirmation of the Higgs Boson has only exacerbated.
“Ten or 20 years ago, I was a firm believer in naturalness,” said Nathan Seiberg, a theoretical physicist at the Institute, where Einstein taught from 1933 until his death in 1955. “Now I’m not so sure. My hope is there’s still something we haven’t thought about, some other mechanism that would explain all these things. But I don’t see what it could be.”
Physicists reason that if the universe is unnatural, with extremely unlikely fundamental constants that make life possible, then an enormous number of universes must exist for our improbable case to have been realized. Otherwise, why should we be so lucky? Unnaturalness would give a huge lift to the multiverse hypothesis, which holds that our universe is one bubble in an infinite and inaccessible foam. According to a popular but polarizing framework called string theory, the number of possible types of universes that can bubble up in a multiverse is around 10500. In a few of them, chance cancellations would produce the strange constants we observe.
--The US Justice Department has launched an anti-trust court case charging Apple with colluding with the world's top publishers to bump up the price of e-books. The Guardian reports:
The closely watched trial will review evidence from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and other Silicon Valley luminaries. Though the company does not face a fine, it could face damages in a separate trial by the state attorneys general if found guilty.

The outcome could shape what deals online retailers can make with content owners. The DoJ is seeking a block on Apple engaging in similar conduct in future. The company denies any wrongdoing and its lawyer dismissed the case as "bizarre".

In court Monday Buterman argued Apple rallied top publishers to fight off Amazon's $9.99 per book deal for new releases and bestsellers. They then used that deal with Apple to renegotiate with Amazon, threatening to pull titles if they did not get a better rate. Buterman said customers paid "hundreds of millions of dollars more than they would have," because of the agreement.

The five publishers have already settled with the DoJ. The trial judge has urged Apple to follow suit, after looking at evidence including emails from Steve Jobs to James Murdoch, then head of News Group-owned Harper Collins. Jobs, who died in 2011, told his biographer: "We told the publishers, 'We'll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30% and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway.'"

Apple is being represented by Orin Snyder, one of the US's top lawyers whose other clients have included Facebook and Bob Dylan. Snyder told the court Apple had done nothing wrong. He said the government was taking emails out of context to make "sinister inferences" and that Apple had fought hard with the publishers in negotiations.

"What the government wants to do is reverse engineer a conspiracy from a market effect," Snyder said.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler

I'm pleased to announce the publication of Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler, an anthology edited by Rebecca Holden and Nisi Shawl, which Aqueduct Press is releasing in trade paperback and e-book editions. Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler celebrates the work and explores the influence and legacy of the brilliant Octavia E. Butler. Author Nisi Shawl and scholar Rebecca J. Holden have joined forces to bring together a mix of scholars and writers, each of whom values Butler’s work in their own particular ways. As the editors write in their introduction:
Strange Matings seeks to continue Butler’s uncomfortable insights about humanity, and also to instigate new conversations about Butler and her work — conversations that encourage academic voices to “talk” to the private voices, the poetic voices to answer the analytic… How did her work affect conceptions of what science fiction is and could be? How did her portrayals of African Americans challenge accepted assumptions and affect others writing in the field? In what ways did her commitment to issues of race and gender express itself? How did this dual commitment affect the emerging field of overtly feminist science fiction? How did it affect the perception of her work? In what ways did Butler inspire other writers and change the “face” of science fiction? How did she “queer” science fiction? In what ways did she inspire us and motivate us take up difficult subjects and tasks? In other words, what is her legacy?”
Earlier this week Publishers Weekly ran a review of Strange Matings:
This noteworthy anthology—published by a feminist small press in memory of Butler, an African-American science-fiction author—consists of a wide-ranging selection of sometimes-dense scholarly essays, highly readable reminiscences and personal essays, poems, correspondence, photographs, and interviews. Though she wasn't prolific, Butler (1947–2006) produced several important novels (Kindred, Lilith's Brood, Parable of the Sower) and short stories (“Blood Child,” “Speech Sounds”) that changed the genre of science fiction and helped empower many new SF writers of color. Highlights of this anthology include “Gambling Against History,” Susan Knabe and Wendy Gay Pearson’s queer reading of Kindred, Butler’s seemingly heterosexual time-travel/slave narrative; “The Spirit in the Seed,” writer, performer, and Ifa/Orisha priestess Luisah Teish’s heartfelt recollection of her discovery of Butler’s early novel Wild Seed; reminiscences by genre writers Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, editor Shawl, and Nnedi Okorafor about what Butler and her work meant for their careers; and scholar Shari Evans’s “From ‘Hierarchical Behavior’ to Strategic Amnesia,” undoubtedly the most perceptive essay yet written on Fledgling, Butler’s final novel. Readers unfamiliar with the author’s fiction should start with her novels, but her many devoted fans will find this volume highly satisfying.
Nisi and Rebecca organized a panel at WisCon on the book, which included the two of them plus Candra Gill, Ben Rosenbaum, and me. It was, at moments, deeply emotional for audience and panelists alike. Rebecca also presented a talk based on her paper. I have an essay in the book myself--which I presented at WisCon in 2008; at that time, the book had been accepted for publication by a university press. The editors turned to Aqueduct to publish it when the university press flaked out on them (something that is happening with academic presses with alarming frequency, and by no means a reflection on the quality of the book). One last thing I should mention: Strange Matings boasts numerous photos of Octavia Butler, black and white in the print edition, full color in the e-book editions. You can purchase Strange Matings now through Aqueduct's website.