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An Update on My "Summer" Reading List

The list is longer and isn’t getting any shorter. I’ve noted which books I’ve read.


The Inheritance Trilogy (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods), by N.K. Jemisin *

The Healing Wars, Book 1: The Shifter, by Janice Hardy *

Radiant, by Karina Sumner-Smith *

Filter House, by Nisi Shawl

Zahrah the Windseeker, by Nnedi Okorafor

Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor *

Dreamblood (Book 1, The Killing Moon; Book 2, The Shadowed Sun), by N.K. Jemisin

The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh

Prophecy, by Ellen Oh

Spirits of the Ordinary, by Kathleen Alcalá

A Stranger in Olondria, by Sofia Samatar

Joplin’s Ghost, by Tananarive Due

The Antelope Wife, by Louise Erdrich * (part, it wasn’t to my taste, so I stopped)

Redemption in Indigo, by Karen Lord

Salt Fish Girl, by Larissa Lai

The Lost Girl, by Sangu Mandanna

American Dragons, edited by Laurence Yep

Fair Coin, by E.C. Myers

Acacia: The War with the Mein, by David Anthony Durham

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, by Olaudah Equiano

Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya

Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed

The Devils That Have Come To Stay, by Pamela DiFrancesco

Lion’s Blood, by Steven Barnes

The Silvered, by Tanya Huff

Carmine Rojas: Dog Fight, by Che Gilson *

Silver on the Road, by Laura Anne Gilman

God’s War, by Kameron Hurley

The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Second Mango, by Shira Glassman *

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, by Genevieve Valentine

Warchild, by Karen Lowachee *

The Three-Body Problem, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu

Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy, by Jostein Gaarder

The Blood of Angels, by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by Lola Rogers

The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco

Kalpa Imperial, Angelica Gorodischer, translated by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Mammoth Book of SF by Women, edited by Alex Dally MacFarlane

The Hope Factory, by Lavanya Sankaran

How to be Black, by Baratunde Thurston

The Stars Change, by Mary Anne Mohanraj

The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate, by Ted Chiang *

Norse Code, by Greg Can Eekhout

In An Antique Land, by Amitav Ghosh

The Grace of Kings, by Ken Liu

Ink, by Amanda Sun

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

Beasts of Tabat, by Cat Rambo

The Lost Sun, by Tessa Gratton

Deathless, by Catherynne M. Valente

Wildefire, by Karsten Knight

Silver Phoenix, by Cindy Pon *

The Chaos of Stars, by Kiersten White

The Book of Phoenix, by Nnedi Okorafor

Silver Phoenix: Fury of the Phoenix, by Cindy Pon

Ancient, Ancient, by Kiini Ibura Salaam *

Skin Folk, by Nalo Hopkinson

The Devil and Deep Space, by Susan R. Matthews

Archangel Protocol, by Lyda Morehouse

Archangel (The Chronices of Ubastis), by Marguerite Reed

Stories of the Raksura, by Martha Wells

California Bones, by Greg Van Eekhout

Serpentine by Cindy Pon

My Summer Reading List

Actually, it's not my summer reading list. It's got forty-eight titles on it, selected from the sixty-three I have chosen for my 36-book goodreads challenge. So it's more of a "some time in the next two years or so" list.

I’ve taken on two reading challenges. One is the goodreads challenge, which is to read a certain number of books in a year. I chose 36. I like to read, I just don’t do it very quickly.
The other challenge is what is being called The Bradford Challenge: don’t read straight white cisgender men for a year. I’m not doing this because I don’t like books by straight white cisgender men. John Scalzi is a favorite. I’m fond of Joe Haldeman’s work. I like David Drake’s books. I’m doing this because I’m interested in reading books by people who aren’t straight white cisgender men. Books by women, books by people of color, books by LGBT people--not an exhaustive range by any means. Books by people from different worlds. Okay, yes, SWCM are from a different world than mine. But there are so many other worlds and I want to visit them.

Books I’ve read so far this year, in no particular order:

The Inheritance Trilogy (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods), by N.K. Jemisin
Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor
Warchild, by Karin Lowachee
Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia; Silver Phoenix: Fury of the Phoenix, by Cindy Pon
The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate, by Ted Chiang
The Second Mango, by Shira Glassman
The Healing Wars Book 1: The Shifter, by Janice Hardy
Radiant, by Karina Sumner-Smith
Carmine Rojas: Dog Fight, Che Gilson

I started to read The Antelope Wife, by Louise Erdrich, but found it not to my liking. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reading or that no one else will find it to their liking.
I’m currently reading Ancient, Ancient, by Kiini Ibura Salaam

Books on my to-read list, in no particular order:

Filter House, by Nisi Shawl
Zahrah the Windseeker, by Nnedi Okorafor
Dreamblood (The Killing Moon, The Shadowed Sun), by N.K. Jemisin
The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh
Prophecy, by Ellen Oh
Spirits of the Ordinary, by Kathleen Alcalá
A Stranger in Olondria, by Sofia Samatar
Joplin’s Ghost, by Tananarive Due
Redemption in Indigo, by Karen Lord
Salt Fish Girl, by Larissa Lai
The Lost Girl, Sangu Mandanna
American Dragons, ed. By Laurence Yep
Fair Coin, by E.C. Myers
Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, by Olaudah Equiano
Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed
The Devils That Have Come to Stay, by Pamela DiFrancesco
Lion’s Blood, by Steven Barnes
The Silvered, by Tanya Huff
Silver on the Road, by Laura Anne Gilman
The Three-Body Problem, by Cixin Liu (trans. by Ken Liu)
The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, by Genevieve Valentine
Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy, by Jostein Gaarder
The Blood of Angels, by Johanna Sinisalo (trans. by Lola Rogers)        
Kalpa Imperial, by Angélica Gorodischer (trans. by Ursula K. LeGuin)
The Mammoth Book of SF by Women, ed. by Alex Dally MacFarlane
The Hope Factory, by Lavanya Sankaran
How to Be Black, Baratunde Thurston          
The Stars Change, by Mary Anne Mohanraj
Norse Code, by Greg van Eekhout
In an Antique Land, by Amitav Ghosh
The Grace of Kings, by Ken Liu
Ink, by Amanda Sun
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami
Beasts of Tabat, Cat Rambo
The Lost Sun, Tessa Gratton
Deathless, Catherynne M. Valente
The Chaos of Stars, by Kiersten White
The Book of Phoenix, by Nnedi Okorafor
thirteen o’clock, by David Gerrold
Skin Folk, by Nalo Hopkinson
The Devil and Deep Space, by Susan R. Matthews
Archangel Protocol, by Lyda Morehouse
Archangel (The Chronicles of Ubastis), by Marguerite Reed

Not one of these people is a straight white cisgender male. I have not excluded all men: I have not excluded all straight men, I have not excluded all cisgender men, and I have not excluded all white men. Nor do I believe that my choice of reading material will in any way hurt the careers or income of any of the straight white cisgender men whose books I won’t read this year. There are plenty  of books by SWCM that I want to read. I just won’t do it this year.
She's right.

Originally posted by vixyish at "So what am I supposed to do about it?" #YesAllWomen

This is a post I’ve been thinking about making since way back when John Scalzi posted “Straight White Male: the Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is” (a little over two years ago, I now realize. Wow.) He wrote a follow-up article to that, in which he answered a number of frequently-asked questions. The last question & answer in that follow-up was this:


12. You wrote the article and pointed out the straight white men live life on the lowest difficulty setting. Okay, fine. What do I/we do next?


Well, that’s up to you, isn’t it? What I’m doing is pointing out a thing. What you do with that thing is your decision.


That said, here’s what I do: recognize it, and work to make it so the more difficult settings in life becomes closer to the one I get to run through life on — by making those less difficult, mind you, not making mine more so.


I’ve spent time on and off ever since then thinking about more specific answers to this question.


I’m thinking about it again in the wake of the UCSB shootings. I watched Elliot Rodger’s final video about the “Day of Retribution”, and I read his entire 140-page manifesto. (I’m not linking them, and if you choose to watch and read them, be aware that the content includes hate speech, misogyny, and graphic descriptions of torture.)


His motivation for killing both women and men was misogyny. He explicitly states that he wants to kill women for not giving him sex, and men for getting to have sex with women when he “deserved it more.” He states this over and over. Yet there are still people trying to claim he’s “just one crazy guy.” It’s “just one isolated incident”. Or that he just hated all humanity.


(There was definitely racism and classism in his motivations as well. But the overwhelming, driving force here was misogyny-- his hatred of women.)


The #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter was created in response. The misogynistic violence of Elliot Rodger was not an isolated incident. Another such incident happened in Stockton literally within hours of the UCSB incident. Another happened just a month ago. Do some google searching. Male violence motivated by hatred of women is a regular occurrence.


Not all men menace women. But all women have been menaced by men. It really is that simple.


“So what am I supposed to do about it?”


I’ve seen this question phrased in various ways, from the sarcastic “yeah? so what?” to the genuine “I don’t know how to help.”


Here are my thoughts. I think they apply not only to sexism and misogyny, but to racism, transphobia, homophobia, and ableism. So even if I don’t say so every time, please understand that I’m referring to all oppressed groups here.


1.  LISTEN.  Listen to people when they’re talking about their own lived experiences. You might feel like you’re being told “just shut up.” What you’re really being told, asked, begged to do is “shut up and listen.”


This means not dismissing a woman’s concerns about her safety as silly or overreacting. It means not dismissing someone’s objection to a racist remark as “too sensitive” or “but it was just that one racist guy.”  It means not dismissing, period. Our tendency-- all of us-- is to assume that if we don’t see it, it doesn’t really happen, or it’s really rare. (Just today I had a man on Twitter telling me that because he’s never heard anyone joke about rape, it must not be that common.)


The first time I read women of color talking about white women always wanting to touch their hair, like they’re some exotic pet or something, I was shocked. I was like who the hell even does that. I’d absolutely never heard of it before. And yet, it happens to women of color all the goddamn time. I didn’t go “oh, it was probably just that one weirdo,” even though I’d never heard of it before.  Because they know their own experiences better than I do.


Listening also means thinking about what you’re hearing. Think about how many women are saying these things happen to them. Think about what it would be like to have them happen to you daily. Most importantly, think about your own behavior. Which leads me to...


2. Don’t get defensive.  So many men interrupt women’s conversations about their own experiences with “but NOT ALL MEN…!”  So many white people interrupt POC conversations about their own experiences with “but NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE…!”


Look, if you have genuinely NEVER done the harmful thing they’re talking about, then you don’t need to get defensive, because it’s not about you. And if you ever have done the thing they’re talking about, then you should stop talking and think about how to make sure you stop doing that thing.


To go back to my example above, I’ve never asked a black woman if I could touch her hair. It’s a gross, rude, othering thing to do. I also did not go “hey hey *I* never did that!” in the mentions of the WOC that were talking about it on Twitter. What would be my point? Why should they care? They still have to deal with white women who do.  My “LOOK AT ME I’M A DECENT HUMAN BEING” doesn’t help them. It doesn’t make them feel better. It doesn’t change their experience in any way, except that now I’m making their conversation about me. (And I’m also implicitly asking for praise just for being a decent human being.)


It’s uncomfortable to hear about a harmful behavior and ask yourself, “wait, do I do this? Have I ever done this?” Defensiveness is a common knee-jerk reaction to avoid feeling that discomfort. But that discomfort is important. Stop a minute and let it do its job.


If you are one of the not all men or not all white people or not all cis people or what have you, that is absolutely awesome. I’m not being sarcastic here. If you would never dream of doing the harmful things you see being discussed, I’m really glad. Unfortunately, when people are talking about their experience of the harmful thing, it is not the time to say so.


3.  WITHHOLD YOUR APPROVAL OF HARMFUL BEHAVIORS.  So the first two things didn’t feel very active, did they? Here’s some ACTION you can take!


Men: if you’re in a group of other men, and one of them makes a sexist remark-- rape joke, sexist joke, catcalling women on the street, the kind of thing that as a good guy you’d never do-- don’t give your approval. This means don’t laugh, don’t smile, and also don’t be silent. Say something. “Hey man, that’s not cool.” “That’s not funny.” Something to explicitly show that it’s not okay.


White people: same deal. Racist jokes among co-workers? Slurs used in casual conversation? “Don’t say that, it’s racist.”


"Why does it matter? It’s just a joke, right?" Wrong.


Sexism, racism and the rest aren’t about hurt feelings. They are about big pictures. Overarching cultural and social systems that are in place to benefit certain groups at the expense of others. There’s a ton of evidence out there. Wage differences for the same jobs for women vs. men, for white people vs. POC, for cis people vs. trans people. Incarceration rates for drug crimes (mostly black) vs. actual rates of drug use (mostly white). Start googling and keep going until you can’t handle it anymore.


But it isn’t like there’s one old white guy out there controlling it all, one board of directors we can fire and be done with it. Huge systems aren’t controlled like that. Huge systems are made up of people. Individuals. How many are we on this planet by now? Seven billion I think?


I don’t know about you, but the best answer I’ve got is that to change the system you have to change the minds of the people it’s comprised of. Sometimes that means one mind at a time. Not all of them, alas, but enough of them to tip the balance, enough of them to have a majority of people saying this is wrong, this is not the way it should be. Enough to take control of the system and change it.


And things like jokes and casual catcalling normalize the attitudes that keep the system in place. They normalize the status quo. They say it’s okay to keep thinking of the group being joked about as other-- or to just keep on not thinking of the group at all. Erasure helps keep the system in place too.


Worse, they tell the people who are racist, or sexist, or violent, that it’s okay. One example: actual surveys have shown that men who admit to forcing women to have sex when they didn’t want to (a surprising number of men will admit to this as long as the word “rape” isn’t used) believe that it’s a normal thing that all men do. They don’t know you’re laughing because it’s “just a joke.” They genuinely believe you’re laughing because you do it too.


Fan pages for Elliot Rodger existed within hours of the news breaking. Go and look at the number of commenters who cheer him on for what he did, if you can stomach it. It’s not just a joke.


Don’t join in. And don’t give your silent approval. Speak up.


4.  Use your privilege for good.


Look, women have been speaking out about these things for decades, and the men who need to hear it aren’t listening. Sad but true: men are more likely to listen to other men.  White people, cis people, straight people, able-bodied people, the same applies. You have pull here. Talk about these things.


Some people have a certain amount of privilege. I have some, as a white woman. Nobody’s asking me to apologize for being white or for having white privilege. But one of the things I can do with that privilege is this: I can engage with other white people about issues of racism. POC have to deal with racism every goddamn day and I can’t even imagine how exhausting that is. While it’s appalling that a white person might listen more to me than to a woman of color, I can still lend my voice. I can’t speak for POC, nor should I ever try to. But I can say “that’s not okay” when someone makes a racist comment. I can call out cultural appropriation when I see it. I can say “you should listen to this POC/you should read what they have written.”


I can also remind people that saying or doing a racist thing doesn’t make YOU a racist; it makes you a person who made a mistake that needs fixing. Hey, I’ve made mistakes too! From racist assumptions about athletes, to wearing bindi, to being ignorant of words like “g*psy” and “tr*nny”. I wasn’t always good at listening, either. It took me a while. And it took some people in my life who were willing to talk about it and keep talking.


There are lots of other ways to put your privilege to good use. Voting for measures that move us toward equality. Voting for politicians whose policies don’t disproportionately disadvantage oppressed groups. Teaching your children, if you have children or are a teacher, clergyman, or other authority figure-- all children, not just the girls-- about consent, bodily autonomy, and fairness. Teaching open-mindedness and compassion and empathy. (Empathy can be and needs to be taught.)  Speaking out to your administrator or PTA against sexist dress codes in your school. Writing to your Congresspeople about reproductive rights, racist sentencing laws, poor ADA compliance. Going to movies and reading books and comics that feature women, POC, queer, disabled, and/or trans people as major characters; using your dollars to let media creators know that diversity can and will sell.  You take it from here. Use your imagination.


I confess that my first introduction to Spider-Man was via The Electric Company, but I still feel I’m geek enough that yeah, I’m gonna go there: remember “with great power comes great responsibility?”


How about we use our privilege with some responsibility too?


That’s my answer. That’s what you can do about it.


TL;DR: use your privilege for good.



Originally posted at http://vixy.dreamwidth.org/790778.html.
I am very pleased with this. Now I get more good stuff to read and a t-shirt.

Originally posted by suricattus at Ladies, Gents, and Readers of all Identifications, WE HAVE FUNDED!
The next two Sylvan Investigation titles are a go. I repeat, they are a go....

*does happy meerkat dance*
Bless you all, the backer and the boosters.

And, with 48 hours to go, we still have a chance of hitting the next stretch goal, where you get to see me delve into the sordid, sordid world of Cosa Nostradamus reality television....
Originally posted by suricattus at As is standard around here: cats. And books.

and now, Your Daily Reminder (4th of 5 in a series)

We're in the final days and still a bit short of the goal...

Literally, only a bit short.  As in $485.  With 55 hours (tick, tick...) to go!

So, if you enjoyed the urban fantasy of the Cosa Nostradamus, this is how to keep it alive. Also, the opportunity to dedicate the books to yourself (or a loved one) is still available as a backer bonus!

(also, t-shirts.  And cookies!)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/980297055/sylvan-investigations-work-of-hunters-an-interrupt

and for those of you who missed the first novellas, a reminder of where you can find them:
DRM-free digital (or with DRM from Amazon, B&N or Kobo),
the omnibus print edition
audio.
This is a project worthy of support. Also, if it's funded, I get a t-shirt. If you're enthusiastic enough about supporting the project, you can get a t-shirt.

Originally posted by suricattus at Your Daily Reminder (3rd of 5 in a series)
And so, we're in the final days and still a bit short of the goal...

Literally, only a bit short.  As in, under $700.  With a little under three days to go...

And yeah, I've finished fleshing out the outline, and have written the first scene.  Because once I start thinking about Danny and Ellen's voices, I can't not.  It's like the best kind of sickness...

So, if you enjoyed the urban fantasy of the Cosa Nostradamus, this is how to keep it alive. Also, the opportunity to dedicate the books to yourself (or a loved one) is still available as a backer bonus!

(also, t-shirts.  And cookies!)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/980297055/sylvan-investigations-work-of-hunters-an-interrupt


and for those of you who missed the first novellas, a reminder of where you can find them:
DRM-free digital (or with DRM from Amazon, B&N or Kobo),
the omnibus print edition
audio.
Same words, still true.

Originally posted by suricattus at Your Daily Reminder (2nd of 5 in a series)
And so, we're in the final days and still a bit short of the goal... I'll be blunt: I love these stories and I want to keep writing them. But the only way I can realistically carve out enough time to write two novellas these days is to know that the bills will be paid that month. So if we want to see more Sylvan Investigations this year, this is the way it can happen.  We're so close....

(unless a patron wants to swoop in and offer me $4,000 off the bat? Yeah, I didn't think so)

So, if you enjoyed the urban fantasy of the Cosa Nostradamus, this is how to keep it alive. Also, the opportunity to dedicate the books to yourself (or a loved one) is still available as a backer bonus!

Need another, genre-positive reason to support this series? This is a series with two minority characters as the leads [Danny's mixed race, Ellen is black], as befits the cultural jumble that is NYC....

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/980297055/sylvan-investigations-work-of-hunters-an-interrupt
Originally posted by suricattus at Your Daily Reminder (first of 5 in a series)
And so, we're in the final days and still a bit short of the goal... I'll be blunt: I love these stories and I want to keep writing them. But the only way I can realistically carve out enough time to write a novella these days is to know that the bills will be paid that month. So if we want to see more Sylvan Investigations this year, this is the way it can happen.  We're so close....

(unless a patron wants to swoop in and offer me $4,000 off the bat? Yeah, I didn't think so)

So, if you enjoyed the urban fantasy of the Cosa Nostradamus, this is how to keep it alive. Also, the opportunity to dedicate the books to yourself (or a loved one) is still available as a backer bonus!

Need another, genre-positive reason to support this series? This is a series with two minority characters as the leads [Danny's mixed race, Ellen is black], as befits the cultural jumble that is NYC....

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/980297055/sylvan-investigations-work-of-hunters-an-interrupt

Kickstarter

Because wood_dragon says it so well.

Originally posted by wood_dragon at Kickstarter
No, not for me. I don't often put these on this journal but, selfishly, I want to read these stories.

Laura Anne Gilman (suricattus) is kickstarting two new stories in her Cosa Nostradamus universe.

In her words:
THE WORK OF HUNTERS and AN INTERRUPTED CRY follow the adventures of PI Danny Hendrickson (human mother, faun father, 100% Attitude) and his partner/assistant/student Ellen, a human with magic she doesn't understand and can't contain. As private investigators, they work the space between the magical and the Null world, where people can - and do - get lost...

In my words:
Danny and Shadow (aka Ellen) are a great team. They aren't perfect (and wouldn't it be boring if they were) but both are willing to risk everything to save lives and help. You want magic, sardonic humour and great stories? You've come to the right place.

If you have a few dollars to spare, please consider backing this. The funding period ends February 14th. Wouldn't a successful Kickstarter be a great Valentine's gift for the author?

Sylvan Investigations: The Work of Hunters and An Interrupted Cry 

Update to NaNoWriMo, Day 25

Validated! Novel, that is. 55,301 words. Not that the story is finished. But I have my purple bar! (Doesn't show here, but I have it!)

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