Month: September 2018

Stella – Epic Space Music

This comes from my fascination with space sounds. The space sound samples come from NASA’s Keplar: Star KIC12268220C Light Curve Waves to Sound and Kepler: Star KIC7671081B Light Curve Waves to Sound, both available here: soundcloud.com/nasa/sets/spookyspacesounds

It also comes from my fascination with space ships possessed by alien consciousnesses. So it is also the voice of the dimensionship Stella-Maru.

Spoon Knife 3: Incursions is OUT!

Happy Equinox! Spoon Knife 3: Incursions is OUT in all senses of the word!

I am a pile of melted squee to find myself listed along with these incredible authors.

This volume contains my short story “Heat Seeking Entities,” which is set in the same universe as Hoshi and the Red City Circuit only a few decades before Integration Law passes, and on a much colder world.

SPOON KNIFE 3: INCURSIONS is now available from Autonomous Press. The third volume of the annual Spoon Knife anthology features original stories from Judy Grahn, Steve Silberman, Mike Jung, Dora M. Raymaker, Sean Craven, Verity Reynolds, Ada Hoffmann, Andrew M. Reichart, Alyssa Gonzalez, Andee Joyce, N.I. Nicholson, Alyssa Hillary, Jeff Baker, Alexeigyniax, R.L. Mosswood, B. Allen, Eliza Redwood, Old Cutter John, Melanie Bell, and Nick Walker. Genres range from memoir to wild speculative fiction.

Order direct from Autonomous Press – order the paperback direct from Autonomous Press and get the ebook version for free.

Order from Amazon

Or ask your local bookstore to order it and carry it!

Power, Allies, and Friendship in Hoshi and the Red City Circuit

Protagonists are defined as much by their interactions with other characters as they are by their own actions. Work-shopping the rough “draft zero” of Hoshi and the Red City Circuit through my writing group, a first-chapter comment went: “That Hoshi chooses to work for a police department that once owned her makes her relationship with Inspector Sorreno really complicated.”

Yes, it does. They are friends, and there is mutual respect. But Sorreno is ever in a position of power as both Police Inspector and normal, and the chasm of lived experience has Hoshi ever-cautious of the distance between them–distance which Sorreno, due to her privilege, is oblivious to. Interacting with allies is often like this in the real world–equals in some ways, but in other ways there will always be a chasm more visible to one side than the other.

About a third of the way through draft zero, my writing group had a new comment: “We’ve seen Hoshi interact with people who have more power than her, and with people who have less power than her, but we haven’t seen her interact much with anyone who is a peer, a friend on even footing. What’s that like? What’s would that reveal about her?”

Kelvin always appeared in the second chapter. Thinking about the peer comment though, I ended up including him throughout the story. Kelvin isn’t an Operator, but he’s not entirely a normal either. He’s like my neurodivergent-but-not-autistic friends, or my friends who would be considered an “autistic cousin” as they are closer to my end of the spectrum. He’s an amalgam of a bunch of people I like, and was named after the only person at my baby sitter who was ever a friend to me. His engineering whimsy delights me. He has been marginalized for his occupation, and for his borderline Operator-ness, and for where he chooses to place his loyalties. The chasm of lived experience doesn’t divide them, although they are maligned (and revered) for different reasons; Kelvin is a fiercely wise choice of a friend.

Paperback and ebook available from autpress.com; free ebook with paperback purchase! Also available in paperback and Kindle from amazon.com, from Powell’s City of Books, or ask at your local bookstore.

Review of Hoshi by Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

Kelly Israel provided an excellent, in-depth review of my novel, Hoshi and the Red City Circuit. In it, she breaks down a number of the disability rights themes of the book, and how the story is situated within our current reality. Also, she says, “I found myself obsessively devouring chapters to try and follow Hoshi to the next clue, eager to learn more about how the book’s impossible crime was committed.” So there’s fun stuff, too 😀

Read the full review: Hoshi and the Red City Circuit: An Excellent Debut by a Neurodivergent Author About Neurodivergent Protagonists

Summer Reading: Melissa Scott, Steven King, Mercedes Lackey, me!

I went epic this summer–three “books” that were more like seven. Here are teeny reviews.

★ ★ ★ ★ Melissa Scott – Trouble and Her Friends A friend pointed me to this book because it’s feminist cyberpunk with queer characters, which is pretty much my Thing. As a gen-Xer who grew up in the counter-cultures and technologies Scott riffs off of in her book, I had enormous fun reading this–and had I picked it up back in 1994 (HOW DID I MISS IT?), it would have been an instant favorite. As a 21st century reader, however, old and literarily-jaded, it didn’t age well with how technology, LGBTQ+ rights, or writing styles have developed into what is now close to the timeline of the story. I’m not sure how a younger reader would feel. It may seem naive, or even silly. For anyone keen on the early promise of the BBS, the mystique of the first internet adopters, or interested in the particular flavor of criminalization of sexuality that permeated the late 80’s / early 90’s it will probably deliver. As a writer, it reminded me why I don’t do near-future stories.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Steven King – Different Seasons Novella, novella, novella, novella! This collection of four novellas spawned three movies–one of which, Shawshank Redemption, is on my favorite movie list–and contains what is now one of my favorite stories of all time, The Body. This collection is: 1) Not a mixed bag; every story is excellent; 2) Not for the faint of heart; absent King’s supernatural elements, these stories explore a realistic horror I found far more terrifying; 3) Not trivial; these stories are enormously complex explorations of big questions like…what is freedom? what drives monstrous acts? what lurks on the terrifying, wondrous ledge of adulthood, and what is the price of passage? what are stories, really, living as they do on the ambiguous edge between hope and nightmare? Sooooo good.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Mercedes Lackey – The Last Herald Mage trilogy This is one of the most formative pieces of fiction from my young adulthood, and every now and then I wander back to it, literary comfort food that simultaneously makes me cry and feel uncomfortable because I relate so much to Vanyel. Still. Even now. Yes, parts of the world seem over-simplified or brow-raising to the modern reader (like, what’s with the institutionalized sexism that’s never mentioned?). But I don’t care because what’s not oversimplified is how much these books did–and still do–to keep so many of us, without hyperbole, alive in our most hopeless hours. ♥

Dora M Raymaker – Hoshi and the Red City Circuit Yes, I re-read my own book because it takes so long between the writing and the publishing that I felt a need to remember what I’d even written before I got down to the business of readings and the like. I won’t review myself, but here’s an excellent, astute review from Kelly Israel.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira 2020 Dora M Raymaker
Portland, Oregon