It’s Hugo Awards nomination announcement season, so you’ve surely seen more than enough tweets, toots, and statuses about the rad people and things that have been nominated. I have spent most of the announcement day geeking out about the news, because among all the rad things on the ballot, FIYAH is nominated for Best Semiprozine!
Another year brings with it another crop of radical stories worth reading from all across the speculative fiction landscape. It’s also been a kind of a hard year for all of us, one where what we read and write has become in a lot of ways the truest shape of extolling who we want to be and rebutting who we are afraid of becoming.
A lot of that has particularly come from many of the things that I’ve read, which I want to turn into another post where I can truly talk about the length and breadth of good SFF that came out in the year 2018.
It’s also been an intensely busy one for me creatively. Lots of things were either published or cooking this year, which I’m somewhat glad for. If I’m being honest, it’s rather ironic that I wrote so much in a state of such mental and emotional flux that today, in another one of those valleys, I find it hard to just write the blog post about the stuff I wrote so people can read them and possibly consider them worthy of a statue. But ultimately, I’m proud of my output. That I can use my work as a channel for some of those valleys, and at least work slowly through the words when the valley fills with water, is a marked improvement from just last year. And ultimately, I came out with some things that I’m really proud of, and I hope I can make more things like those next year.
But since I should also mention the things themselves, here are some stuff that fell out of my brain this year:
Hey there! I may not have a lot to show for how busy I’ve been in the past few days–lots of performance preparations and private writing sprints to make some short things longer. But here are some things you can look out for in the future:
- I’m one of the commissioned poets for Year Five of Uncanny Magazine! Uncanny is one of my favourite genre outlets, and I’m really glad that they would have me on board. The Kickstarter for Year Five is still on–you can check it out here! If you’re into it, at one of the pledge levels I’ll give you a poetry manuscript critique! (Also, psst, they’re open for subs, but I’mma just tell you that window closes quick so get on it!)
- I’ve also already contributed to some other Kickstarter campaigns! I have an essay and some poetry coming up in The Outliers, the companion zine to the splitbook for Avery Alder’s Dream Askew and Benjamin Rosenbaum’s Dream Apart. I can’t wait for you to see the zine, and the book itself! Both games are radical in every sense of the word.
- I’m also presently cooking up poetry for the launch of John Silence, a weird-fiction RPG about psychic detectives of colour warding off interdimensional beings as nonviolently as possible. I’m having a lot of fun thinking deeply about this, and taking my time, but I think you’ll like what comes of it.
- Also, expect some more of Ben Paragraph choosing his words wisely in the next installment of How to Unmake It in Anglia, coming soon. If you want a sense of what this serial novel is all about, I did an interview with the publisher, Scott Gable of Broken Eye Books, that you can read here.
- In the meantime, I have a poem in the July-September issue of CULTUREGO Magazine. It’s called ‘Gretels’, and it’s about how unsuspecting the fearsome things are. If you wish, you can read it from the site demo for free, but the entire magazine is definitely worth a read.
There are other things that are yet unknown, but I am sure you’ll like… some of them? In the meantime, let me just point you to a project by my friend and comrade-in-the-word, Shivanee Ramlochan.
Other Kinds of Men is a speculative poetry reader she’s undertaking on her blog, where each day in August she endeavours to read, discuss, and share a speculative poem by another poet. As a speculative poet myself, I’m always eager to see my favourite genre verse shared with others, but I’m also so absolutely pleased by her selections, especially the ones that I hadn’t read before. Shivanee is one of the deepest readers I have ever had the luxury of knowing, and I hope especially that those of you who may not know what speculative poetry is or what it can do will peruse this list–I can guarantee you that you will find something you love so much that you will hold it close against you as it opens a gate to another world.
And it should also go without saying that if you haven’t read Shivanee’s debut collection, Everyone Knows I Am A Haunting, then you should fix this severe self-injustice as immediately as you can. It’s an absolutely arresting little volume, one of which I insist everyone should have a copy, worn at the outer corners by rereading.
So that’s all I have to say tonight, I think–wait! Also, if you’re into talking about your favourite fandom things with nice, respectful, considerate nerd strangers, I have a Discord server that I’m slowly populating! Join it and talk me in/out of hosting a large rewatch of Voltron: Legendary Defender as I fight the urge to write an entire treatise on Takashi Shirogane!
Hello there! I’m Brandon O’Brien. I am a performance poet, science fiction writer and teaching artist living and working in Trinidad. This is my blog, where I share work, talk about my process, and generally geek out. Never miss out on new stuff.