Hi friends! Bit of a late announcement, but if anyone’s going to SPX next weekend, I’ll be tabling with Amy Chu and her crew! Here’s what I tentatively plan to print, mostly 8x11 but a few freebie postcards as well.
If you really want a print of something that isn’t listed…
The Wadsworth Atheneum, Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection. See Also: Ellis K. Waterhouse, The Dictionary of British 18th Century Painters in Oils and Crayons (Woodbridge, England, 1981), p. 348.
The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassai Barahal touches on many of the events of the three Spiritwalker books, in Bee’s own words and illustrated by her sketches. The journal reveals a number of details about goings-on that Cat never saw: Bee’s true feelings about Andavai and his relationship with Cat, a surprising deal she tried to strike with Camjiata, the real reason she married Caonabo. Getting her point of view on events, when the books are so strongly from Cat’s perspective, provides a more complete picture of what was really going on. But fun as those details are, there are two even better reasons to read this story: the interactions between Bee and Cat, and the gorgeous illustrations.
Because this isn’t just a story, it’s a conversation.
Ms. Bardugo, I loved your first books, but I was terribly disappointed to see you give in to political correctness in Ruin & Rising. You had a great story and then you ruined it with unnecessary lesbianism. Authors don't need to make statements, they just need to write good books. I hope you'll remember that in the future.
I was really tempted to ignore this because I don’t believe in giving anon wangs a platform, but the term “unnecessary lesbianism” made me laugh so hard that I caved.
Authors can write good books and make statements. I’m going to make some statements now. (Get ready.)
Queer people and queer relationships aren’t less necessary to narrative than cishet people or relationships. In fact, given the lovely emails and messages I’ve received about Tamar and Nadia (and given the existence of anon wangs like you), I’d say making queer relationships visible in young adult fiction is an excellent—and yes, necessary—idea.
I do agree that story trumps statement or we’d all just write angry pamphlets, but queer people exist both in my world and the world of the Grisha trilogy. I don’t see how including them in my work is making a statement unless that statement is “I won’t willfully ignore or exclude people in order to make a few anon wangs happy.” If that’s the statement I’m making, I’m totally down with it.
Also, I’m going to take this moment to shout out Malinda Lo, Laura Lam, Alex London, David Levithan, Emily Danforth, Emma Trevayne, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Cassandra Clare, and to link to Malinda’s 2013 guide to LGBT in YA. Because why just give attention to bigots when you can talk about awesome books and authors instead?
Quick question to the general populace: who wants to join my band Unnecessary Lesbianism? I only play the triangle, but I know we’re going to make it big.
Isn’t this lovely. I’m really honoured to be on Leigh’s list which has all authors I love and respect (as I do Leigh herself). I was just reading an interview with David Levithan, who has helped change the face of children’s publishing, and he talked about this very thing and listed several authors he loves and admires too:
I think, while there is still a long way to go, that it is really beautiful we can talk about this, and celebrate it, and have a lot of authors and books to talk about, and come together in love and respect and hope for a changing world despite, you know, the absolute raving bags of seagull poop who talk of writing about love as ‘scandalous’ ‘for sales’ ‘to make a statement’ ‘to be politically correct’ or whatever other absolute obvious nonsense they talk about to disguise the fact that the hatred in their own hearts makes them uncomfortable and they just want the discomfort to go awwwwwwway.
Quick question to the anon: how on earth does two people loving each other make a book ‘not good’? How and why does it *ruin* a book for you? And if it does… the whole world is full of so many different loves. If it does, the whole world is going to be ruined for you. Unless you change. I hope you do, because until you do, it’s not the world that’s rotten and twisted: it’s you. Not the world, not stories, not authors, not characters, certainly not love, but you, you, you.
I hope you’ll remember that in the future.
ahahahahahaha unnecessary lesbianism!
bigotry gives you a stupid.
Okay, totally in love with the phrase “unnecessary lesbianism” now.
If you like far future science fiction pie with a delicious fantasy cherry topping, complicated cultures coming together like tectonic plates, a story where a young woman gets to be exceptional but also learn about herself and be stronger than ever before, have sex with hot dudes who respect her without being judged for it or slut shamed, a complicated intergalactic mystery with multiple types of cultures, and lots of political machinations, then Jaran is the book for you.
These Lady Business reviews do a great thing wherein they talk about what the reader loved and what didn’t work for the reader—that’s how I read books and so I really appreciate reviews that talk about books the way I think about them in my head as a reader (and as a writer).
I was thrilled at first to see this image - a pre-modern Black woman artist, portrayed at work! But then I saw this:
Although this black artist appears to be wearing a dress, it is likely to be a male figure. As the scholar Sheldon Cheek explains, the artist wears an earring and a silver collar, both common articles worn by black male servants/slaves in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, the collar traditionally indicating slave status. Women rarely, if ever, wore the silver collar. The artist also appears to be wearing a silver “shackle” on the arm.
Ugh. Pretty awful.
I think we should all be pretty critical of what’s written about this painting. Especially the part you’ve quoted above about how they have assigned the gender of the artist in the painting. I find it bizarre that something that is supposed to indicate enslaved status (not gender) somehow trumps this person wearing women’s clothing (that’s also a woman’s hat to the best of my knowledge).
The Americas, including Brazil, have a long tradition of transgender and third gender people. This is one of those images from the past that falls quite easily through the cracks because it is a collection of “exceptions”; it doesn’t fit nicely into categories that have been created and therefore, it’s more or less ignored.
If anyone’s hesitant to be critical, maybe you should also note that both the articles linked above make claims that slavery in Brazil was “less harsh” than other places. What???
How many of our assumptions are being projected onto this painting? Are the “contradictions” present in it a product of the painting itself, or is the problem with the categories we try to place it in? How many layers do we have to fight uphill through when we even look at this image? After all, History teaches us:
women weren’t artists
Black people weren’t artists
Black people were enslaved
Enslaved people didn’t do anything of worth
Transgender, genderqueer and third gender people didn’t exist before the 1960s
white people control how Black images are perceived, but not the other way around
gender must be immediately perceivable and fit into our categories of “male” and “female”
^ So this is the baggage we bring with us when we look at this image. We look at this painting, and we actively search for indicators that allow us to continue to believe the above assumptions.
If we take away those assumptions, if we try to move past them and see this portrait with new eyes, what are we left with? Whose History do we see here? Maybe it’s mine; maybe it’s yours.
I’m in England right now (soon to depart for France) and I realized I’ll have a couple of days in London to poke around before I fly back to the US on Sept. 10th, so hey, why not see if my favorite contemporary visual artist has anything on display currently, right? And I find that her first ever solo exhibition in London, a huge walk-through installation piece (photo above) titled Diluvium, is going to be opening at the Korean Cultural Center on Sept. 13th. Yeah, three days after I fly out. So no offense, Europe, but I’m kind of on team Bárðarbunga at the moment.
In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin invites authors Kate Elliott and N.K. Jemisin on to the show to talk about reader, writer, and publisher bias. How do our own blind spots influence the choices we make? How does that impact society? How can we do better?
Worldcon will be huge and full of stuff. Fantasycon is a small, informal convention. Both will be great, and it is not too late to buy memberships. I hope to meet many readers and writers there.
Of additional interest: I will have postcards of the cover of the Tachyon collection of my short fiction (The Very Best of Kate Elliott) with its FABULOUS Julie Dillon cover. I will also have a few postcards signed by Julie, which I’ll be giving out at my reading at Loncon.
For those of you overseas who have been unable to order The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal due to the truly high shipping international shipping costs, I am bringing 15 copies with me (to sell); all are signed by Julie Dillon. I will definitely have them on hand when i sign on Friday at noon at Loncon.
At Fantasycon I’ll be giving the con a print of each of the Julie Dillon color illustrations (one of each, there are two): the dragon, and the Amazons for the con to give away. I will have a second set of prints at Loncon but I haven’t yet decided how to use them as a reward. Probably I will tweet a question and the first person to find me and answer will get a print.
(If you know people read you who may attend either of these conventions please RT)
I participated in a podcast this afternoon through the auspices of SFSIGNAL website, moderated by Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates, and featuring Tad Williams, Laura Resnick, Felix Gilman, blogger Sarah Chorn, and myself.
We talked about the influences on modern epic fantasy.
At the end each of the authors was asked which of our books or series we would most like to see turned into tv/film and who we would cast.
So NATURALLY I said, “I bow to Tumblr’s wisdom in this, and would like to see the Spiritwalker Trilogy turned into a series with Jessica Sula* as Cat, Keke Palmer or Ruth Negga as Bee, and the popular favorite Aldis Hodge as Andevai, also a Brazilian model whose name I can’t remember as Rory.”
So: Thank you, Tumblr.
* It’s possible that I said Jennifer Sula, in which case I apologize.
The podcast should go live this coming Monday at SF Signal.
On my second day in the new town, I went to Best Buy to buy a telephone. In the store, I asked a salesperson, “Do you have old fashioned telephones as opposed to cellular phones?” He knew exactly what I meant and pointed me in the right direction.
The battle between Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor in Beleriand, and Morgoth, the Dark Foe of the World, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.
“For the rocks rang with the shrill music of Fingolfin’s horn, and his voice came keen and clear down into the depths of Angband; and Fingolfin named Morgoth craven, and lord of slaves. Therefore Morgoth came, climbing slowly from his subterranean throne, and the rumour of his feet was like thunder underground. And he issued forth clad in black armour; and he stood before the King like a tower, iron-crowned, and his vast shield, sable unblazoned, cast a shadow over him like a stormcloud. But Fingolfin gleamed beneath it as a star; for his mail was overlaid with silver, and his blue shield was set with crytals; and he drew his sword Ringil, that glittered ice.” - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion
Maybe this is a crazy question, but how did Europeans know what Africans looked like? I know that some of the paintings here are of North Africans/Middle Easterners, but others clearly depict people born south of the Sahara. I've heard of Prester John but I never imagined that medieval Europeans were aware that Prester John would have had brown skin. Am I missing something?
Like. There are a lot of things I could say here. But I’m just going to do my best to answer your question, and the answer is either very simple or very complicated, depending on your current point of view.
1. “They” knew what people with brown skin looked like because people with brown skin had been there literally THE ENTIRE TIME. Some (and father back, ALL) of “them” had brown skin themselves.
2. “People with Brown Skin” and “Europeans” are not separate and mutually exclusive groups.
3. No matter how far back you go, the mythical time that you’re looking for, when all-white, racially and culturally isolated Europe was “real”, will continue to recede from your grasp until it winkles out the like imaginary place it is.
We can just keep going back. In every area, from all walks of life, rich and poor, kings and peasants, artists and iconoclasts, before there were countries and continents, before there were white people.
The time when “EVERYONE” in Europe was White does not exist. They knew what people with brown skin looked like because they were there. They knew what “Africans” looked like because they were there, and they weren’t “they”, they were us, or you. I think what you’re missing is something that never existed.