Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Andrea Hairston's Lonely Stardust: Two Plays, a Speech, and Eight Essays

I'm pleased to announce Aqueduct Press's publication of Lonely Stardust: Two Plays, a Speech, and Eight Essays by Andrea Hairston. Feminist sf readers primarily know her as the author of Mindscape (winner of the Carl Brandon Society's Parallax Award and shortlisted for the James Tiptree and Philip K. Dick Awards) and Redwood and Wildfire (winner of the James Tiptree Award and Carl Brandon Society's Kindred Award). Those who've attended WisCon, IFCA, and Readercon will also know she writes (and performs) fabulous essays, eight of which appear in this collection. The speech mentioned in the title is her GoH speech for WisCon. Andrea has long been a writer, director, and performer of plays as well, and Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre and Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. Not surprisingly, given Andrea's interests and cast of mind, her plays are science fictional, and two of these, "Hummingbird Flying Backward" and "Lonely Stardust," are included in the collection.

How to sum up the collection as a whole? I can only try:  Lonely Stardust: Two Plays, a Speech, and Eight Essays brings us the texts of nine marvelous works of scholarly performance as well as two works of drama in which the fantastic shows us the way through despair. In several of the pieces here, Andrea's sharp, visionary eye examines Hollywood blockbusters and finds a great deal to think about, even as she impatiently slices through hackneyed received views that do popular culture and its fans no favors. Taken together, these essays and plays broadcast a message of hope and intelligence that defiantly insists that our ability and desire to tell stories defines our humanity and is one of our most valuable resources.

This collection, for me personally, is an exceedingly valuable resource. Andrea's vision, though infused with hope and love, never ever pulls its punches. I can't tell you how happy I am to be publishing it.

Aqueduct will be selling Lonely Stardust through our website at a reduced price until June 1, 2014, its official date of release. The e-book edition is also available there now.  

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