Tag Archives: sf

diamond dust: an introduction to some short fiction reviews

What’s this all about? There was recently a lot of discussion in SFF fandom about how the world needs more shortform fiction reviews. I read a lot of short spec fic. This seemed to be a pretty obvious match; in fact, it’s one reason I relaunched this blog, and I must say I was heavily inspired by what Bogi Takács and Amal El-Mohtar have done with regards to reviews/recs.

For a bit of background, in the last few years, I’ve found reading longform fiction difficult,1 but shortform fiction is something I find much easier to handle and fits a little bit better into my lifestyle these days. Along with the easing up on the brainissues, I have lunch breaks that suit themselves really well to several thousand words of narrative, for a start. At the same time, online speculative fiction publishing has skyrocketed recently (this list by Jha is super-handy as a goodly chunk of the venues, and more are coming all.the.time.), and a lot of the work coming out of there is not only excellent but considerably more diverse and more interesting to me in topic and concept than most of the novels I can get my hands on at my library. I’ve been signalboosting my favourite stories over the last year or so on the #lunchread hashtag on Twitter, but really needed more space to talk about some of them.

Because of that, this will really be more of the recommendation type of review, mostly because of the nature of the medium: I stop reading stuff I don’t really like. If it’s bad, it’s gonna have to be really bad for me to bother blogging about it. I enjoy other people’s wtfery reviews (uh, a lot, actually…this is probably a bad thing) but don’t generally have the energy to do them myself unless I’m really fucking angry.

Also, to tweak a turn of phrase from Martha Jones: I read what I like.2 I don’t read as much fantasy as I ought, and I’m fond of what used to be called (with derision) ‘social SF’, particularly stories that deal with worldbuilding, culture, language, all forms of marginalisation.  Military and hard science SF aren’t super-interesting to me unless they deal with the human impacts of those things.

So yes, on with the reviews. I’ll make that a different post, I’ve gone on long enough here and these stories deserve their own space.


  1. I suspect this is anxiety related; I have a hard time watching fictional television as well–even stuff I know I like. 

  2. Why is there not a GIF of this bit from DW S3? Fandom, you have failed. 

ISO Representation. Must Love SF.

In meeting and greeting at WisCon this past weekend, I was asked if I would participate in Hack Gender, perhaps regarding my dissertation…which, if for some reason you didn’t know, is a self-reflexive documentary exploring women and the identity of being a science fiction fan. Fortunately, in a preliminary review of the eleven (!) interviews I managed to get, I found a common thread or two, which I think will form my argument later on in the documentary. Therefore, if you don’t want to be spoiled for the doc itself, or you don’t want to have my initial mindset influence your later interview, stop reading now.

Also, a disclaimer: these thoughts are not fully fleshed out, and I haven’t had a load of time to chase them round to conclusions yet. I may overgeneralize, I may run into problematic areas, and I may mess up, but I hope to have at least uncovered a little theory by the end of it. Comments and thought and calling me out, all welcome.

Continue reading ISO Representation. Must Love SF.