Pixel Scroll 4/26/17 A Scroll On The Hand May Be Quite Continental

(1) IN A HOLE IN THE GROUND THERE LIVED AN ARCHITECT. The structure replacing Ray Bradbury’s torn-down home is nearly finished. LA Observed interviewed architect Thom Mayne and his wife about the design in “What would Ray think? Thom and Blythe Mayne’s house in Cheviot Hills is almost ready to call home “. Despite the title, it didn’t seem to me the question was really addressed.

Prominent LA architect Thom Mayne razed the longtime Cheviot Hills home and work space of Ray Bradbury to build his own home. Mayne promised the neighborhood and fans a “very, very modest” house that would honor Bradbury in its design. Now that the teardown-and-replace is nearly complete, KCRW’s Frances Anderton, host of Design & Architecture, gets a tour and assesses if the promise was met.

However, the promised fence with Bradbury quotes is there, although you really can’t make them out in this photo from LA Observed.

A metal screen, fabricated by Tom Farage, contains quotes from Ray Bradbury’s writings. The moving gate will eventually have a hedge that moves with it (photo: Frances Anderton.)

(2) THAT TIME GRUMPY AND DOC WENT TO THE MOVIES. Atlas Obscura unearthed “The Movie Date That Solidified J.R.R. Tolkien’s Dislike of Walt Disney”.

…According to an account in the J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, Tolkien didn’t go see Snow White until some time after its 1938 U.K. release, when he attended the animated film with [C.S.] Lewis. Lewis had previously seen the film with his brother, and definitely had some opinions. In a 1939 letter to his friend A.K. Hamilton, Lewis wrote of Snow White (and Disney himself):

Dwarfs ought to be ugly of course, but not in that way. And the dwarfs’ jazz party was pretty bad. I suppose it never occurred to the poor boob that you could give them any other kind of music. But all the terrifying bits were good, and the animals really most moving: and the use of shadows (of dwarfs and vultures) was real genius. What might not have come of it if this man had been educated–or even brought up in a decent society?

… Tolkien didn’t like the goofball dwarfs either. The Tolkien Companion notes that he found Snow White lovely, but otherwise wasn’t pleased with the dwarves. To both Tolkien and Lewis, it seemed, Disney’s dwarves were a gross simplification of a concept they held as precious….

(3) DEMENTOR INVENTOR. Zata Rana, in an article on Quartz, “How JK Rowling Overcame Depression and Went On To Sell Over 400 Million Books”, reminds us that Rowling began to write Harry Potter novels after being diagnosed with clinical depression in the 1990s and her struggles to overcome her depression provides inspiring lessons for us all.

…During this period, her depression took a dark turn, and she considered herself a failure. She had fallen and felt stuck. She even contemplated suicide. Luckily, she found it in her to seek help, and writing became an outlet. The idea for the Harry Potter series had come to her years before on a train ride from Manchester to London. She had worked on a few chapters in Portugal, but she only really found her momentum back in the UK.

Rowling finished the first two books while still on welfare benefits. The dementors introduced in the third book were inspired by her mental illness….

(4) STINKS IN SPACE. The popular video game took a wrong turn when it left the Earth: “Activision admits taking ‘Call of Duty’ to space was a bad idea”.

Right from the very start it was clear that Activision’s Call of Duty franchise had taken a bit of a wrong turn with Infinite Warfare. The initial trailer for the game was absolutely slaughtered on YouTube, and early sales indicated that the game just wasn’t striking a chord with some of its target audience. Now, Activision is admitting what we all knew: Infinite Warfare was a misstep.

In a recent earnings call with investors, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and COO Thomas Tippl revealed that the company wasn’t particularly pleased with how the game sold, or its overall reception….

(5) CAN’T PULL OVER TO THE ROADSIDE. And you know what else is going to stink in space? Blue Origin “Hold on tight and hold it: Jeff Bezos says no potty breaks on Blue Origin space trips”. Here are a couple quotes from a Bezos Q&A session.

What if I get queasy? Getting sick to your stomach can be a problem on zero-G airplane flights like NASA’s “Vomit Comet,” but motion sickness typically doesn’t come up until you’ve gone through several rounds of zero-G. Blue Origin’s suborbital space ride lasts only 11 minutes, with a single four-minute dose of weightlessness. “You’re going to be fine,” Bezos said.

What if I have to use the bathroom in flight? Go before you go. “Listen, if you have to pee in 11 minutes, you got problems,” Bezos said. You may have to hold it for more than 11 minutes, though, since passengers will board the spaceship a half-hour before launch.

(6) TODAY’S TRIVIA. “What, Me Worry?” Alfred E. Neuman made his debut as Mad Magazine’s mascot by appearing on the cover of The Mad Reader, a reprint paperback published in November 1954. He appeared for the first time on the magazine’s cover in issue #21 (March 1955).

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • April 26, 1956  — The Creature Walks Among Us was released.

(8) THEY STOPPED FOR LUNCH. And didn’t clean up after. Better hope your litter doesn’t last this long. “Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative study says”

A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago __ and maybe they were Neanderthals.

If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago.

Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks.

The earlier date means the bone-smashers were not necessarily members of our own species, Homo sapiens. The researchers speculate that these early Californians could have instead been species known only from fossils in Europe, Africa and Asia: Neanderthals, a little-known group called Denisovans, or another human forerunner named Homo erectus.

This reminds me of my visit 40 years ago to the Calico Early Man Site where Louis (but not Mary) Leakey thought they had found evidence of equally ancient toolmaking. According to Mary, their disagreement over this contributed to their split.

(9) QUESTIONS BIGGER THAN THE EXPANSE. The Space Review ponders the utopian and quasi-religious aspects of space advocacy in “Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids”.

A few years ago historian Roger Launius wrote “Escaping Earth: Human Spaceflight as Religion” in the journal Astropolitics. He noted the similarities between human spaceflight enthusiasts and what we understand as traditional religion. For much of the history of the space age the comparisons have often been blatant, with spaceflight leaders such as Chris Kraft and Wernher von Braun, as well as numerous political leaders such as Ronald Reagan, talking about spaceflight in quasi, or even literally religious terms. Launius observed that human spaceflight, like religion, has its immortality myths, its revered leaders and condemned villains, its sacred texts, and its rituals, rules, and shared experiences. According to Launius, “The belief system has its saints, martyrs, and demons; sacred spaces of pilgrimage and reverence; theology and creed; worship and rituals; sacred texts; and a message of salvation for humanity, as it ensures its future through expansion of civilization to other celestial bodies.”

These religious aspects can be found throughout the writings of spaceflight advocates, the self-styled missionaries of the spaceflight religion. One of the most common arguments for space settlement is to achieve immortality for humankind by moving a portion of humanity to Mars in event of catastrophe. The Space Review regularly publishes these kinds of appeals to transcendence. The advocates argue that humankind could be wiped out by natural disaster—typically a meteor strike—and settling the Moon and Mars would help avoid the species being wiped out (see “Settling space is the only sustainable reason for humans to be in space”, The Space Review, February 1, 2016). Other commonly-cited threats include man-made ones like war and environmental destruction—as if space settlers would not also face the same things in a far more fragile biosphere. The Expanse has highlighted this vulnerability and interdependence with a subplot about food production on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede collapsing because the ecosystem lacks the robustness of Earth’s complex environment.

(10) CHU ON WRITING. In an interview at Outer Places, “Author John Chu Talks Cybernetics, Short Fiction, and Sci-Fi”.

OP: Are there themes or elements you find yourself returning to again and again in your work?

Chu: At a LonCon 3 panel, I joked that all the parents in my stories make unreasonable expectations of their children. That may be truer than I’d like. Certainly, I like to explore the notion of family in its many forms, i.e., family does not have to mean blood relation. The most interesting characters in my stories are likely either navigating relationships with their blood relatives, searching for their family, or both.

(11) PLUS ATWOOD’S CAMEO. An NPR reviewer finds  “Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is Compelling — And Chilling”.

One searing scene features Offred’s memory of Aunt Lydia, the abusive headmistress who trains new Handmaids, quoting scripture and shocking the women with cattle prods. Eventually, she explains their duties as breeders. “You girls will serve the leaders of the faithful and their barren wives,” says Aunt Lydia, who cites Tinder as one source of the moral turpitude that has caused God to create the infertility crisis. “You will bear children for them. Oh! You are so lucky!”

(Atwood, who also served as a consulting producer on Hulu’s series, pops up in one scene from the first episode, where she slaps Offred for being slow to respond during an indoctrination session.)

This is a world of 1984-style paranoia and doublespeak. On the surface, it’s a placid, polite community that just happens to have black-clad guards with machine guns on every corner. But beneath that veneer is a world of grim desperation, fear and oppression. Women are stripped of husbands, children, jobs, their own money and control over their sexuality.

(12) MARVELS AND MARTYRS. Carmen Maria Machado reviews The Book of Joan for NPR.

One of the pleasures of The Book of Joan is its take-no-prisoners disregard for genre boundaries. Its searing fusion of literary fiction and reimagined history and science-fiction thriller and eco-fantasy make it a kind of sister text to Jeff VanderMeer’s ineffable Southern Reach trilogy. Yuknavitch is a bold and ecstatic writer, wallowing in sex and filth and decay and violence and nature and love with equal relish. Fans of her previous novel, The Small Backs of Children, will recognize these themes and their treatment.

(13) HELL’S JINGLING BELLS. And the BBC tells us why Milton should be more widely read.

…Ricks notes that Paradise Lost is “a fierce argument about God’s justice” and that Milton’s God has been deemed inflexible and cruel. By contrast, Satan has a dark charisma (“he pleased the ear”) and a revolutionary demand for self-determination. His speech is peppered with the language of democratic governance (“free choice”, “full consent”, “the popular vote”) – and he famously declares, “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven”. Satan rejects God’s “splendid vassalage”, seeking to live:

Free, and to none accountable, preferring

Hard liberty before the easy yoke

Of servile Pomp.

(14) SOME LIKE THE LIGHTNING — SOME DON’T. Two perspectives on Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning.

TRIGGER WARNINGS for discussion of ciscentricity, allocentricity, intersexis, and gender essentialism, and for quoted anti-trans and anti-intersex slurs apply to the following essay, as well as SPOILER WARNINGS.

Too Like the Lightning has been feted and critically acclaimed, and now nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel. I read it back when it first came out, after hearing about how well it supposedly handled queerness, and especially gender in the context of queerness, from a number of people whose opinions on the topic I usually respect; I did not agree with these assessments. I’ve been asked a number of times to discuss more fully my issues with the presentation of gender in the novel, so, with the Hugo Awards now open for voting, it seems like this might be the moment, to let voters see what this particular genderqueer person thought of the presentation of gender in the book. For context, I’m a bisexual nonbinary person and my pronoun is they….

Hi! I’m trans. I’m queer. I would like to talk about trans characters who end up dead in the course of story, or queer characters who are not the heroes of the story, and why that is frequently completely all right with me; and why the frequent labeling of works as “problematic” for not portraying trans (etc.) characters as paragons of virtue is itself a problem….

Now, I can completely sympathize with someone, especially a trans or nonbinary someone, noping out of Palmer’s novel due to the use of pronouns. I am personally of the opinion that you can refuse to leisure-read a book for any reason you damn well please, and I can see why that would hit a sore spot. (To reiterate: we’re talking about leisure reading here, things you read of your own will.) But I do not agree that Palmer’s worldbuilding here was problematic, and I do not think she should have been discouraged from writing this future….

“But is it hurtful?” you ask.

I feel this is the wrong question.

Individuals are hurt by whatever hurts them. And that’s not always something an author can predict–given the number of individuals in this world that’s a losing proposition, to try to write a work that never hurts anyone. I was not hurt by Palmer’s exploration of gender and society and use of pronouns, but again, trans people are not a monolith; and I want to be clear that people who noped out of the novel because of the pronouns (or any other reason) are entirely within their rights. I do think she was doing something interesting and definitely science fictional and that that’s fine, and that she should not have been prevented from writing with this device.

(15) CLASSIC WHO. Michael O’Donnell contributes an “it’s always new to someone on the internet” news item, a Doctor Who documentary, 30 Years In The Tardis posted on Vimeo by the director Kevin Davies around a year ago. It was originally broadcast by the BBC in 1993 to celebrate the Doctor’s 30th anniversary and never repeated (although it was included with one of the Doctor Who box sets).

Part 1:

Part 2:

(16) WELCOME TO KARLOFFORNIA. And A.V. Club remembers when “Thriller turned classic pulp stories into terrifying television”. (A post from 2014.)

… “As sure as my name is Boris Karloff, this is a Thriller!” was the catchphrase associated with Thriller, the horror anthology hosted by the craggy, silver-haired Englishman who in 1960 was still the world’s most emblematic scary-movie star. Rod Serling’s nervous energy animated The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock’s laconic drawl set the tone for his eponymous suspense series. Karloff was a natural choice to join their ranks: He let viewers know what they were in for just by saying his name….

Here is the prosaic chain of events by which Thriller came to meet Weird Tales: Frye’s associate producer, Doug Benton, asked writer Charles Beaumont (The Twilight Zone) for his ideas on material to adapt for Thriller. Beaumont suggested the pulp magazine and steered Benton to superfan Forrest J. Ackerman, who owned a complete set. Ackerman wouldn’t part with his trunk of back issues but agreed to loan them to Benton, a few at a time. Benton set out to track down authors and rights, and so Thriller began to offer relatively authentic screen versions of many key Weird Tales authors: August Derleth, Harold Lawlor, Margaret St. Clair, Fredric Brown, Henry Kuttner, and Robert Bloch. Only Lovecraft was missing.

(17) PASSING GO. Atlas Obscura goes inside the history and geography of the iconic game: “Touring the Abandoned Atlantic City Sites That Inspired the Monopoly Board”.

One of the last traces of old Atlantic City is the Claridge Hotel. Found on the corner of the two most expensive properties on the Monopoly board—Park Place and Boardwalk—the Claridge was known in its heyday as the “skyscraper by the sea.” Opened in 1930, it had an Art Deco opulence that wouldn’t be out of place in midtown Manhattan.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Cat Eldridge, Michael D’Donnell, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

Machado Wins 2015 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants

Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado

Fiction writer, critic and essayist Carmen Maria Machado has received the Speculative Literature Foundation’s 2015 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants.

The $500 Diverse Writers grant is intended to support new and emerging writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. — those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing / publishing process.

The $500 Diverse Worlds grant is intended for work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background.

The two $500 awards support any purpose that writer recipients may choose to benefit their work.

Carmen’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, AGNI, NPR, Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as other publications. Her stories have also appeared in the Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Best Women’s Erotica. In 2015, she was awarded the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship, and was nominated for a Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and lives in Philadelphia with her partner.

Carmen is “thrilled to receive the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Diverse Writers & Diverse Worlds grants this year.” She is an adjunct teacher and a freelancer. Her recent projects — stories, a novel-in-progress, and a book-length essay — have been stalled as she tried to make ends meet. The grant will give her “space to cut back on quite a few freelancing assignments in the upcoming year,” enabling her to spend more time with these projects.

The combined grants received a total of 97 applicants. Ten finalists were named for each grant, as well as three honorable mentions. Receiving the Diverse Writers Grant Honorable Mention are Kathrin Köhler, Sara Rivera, and Jane Ann MacLachlan. Honorable Mention Awardees for the Diverse Worlds Grant are Kathrin Köhler, Sussanah Betts, and Shawn Frazier.

The grants are designed to facilitate completing new, in-progress work (rather than recognizing already published work). Preference is given to book-length works (novels, collections of short stories).

The 2015 jurors for the Diversity Grant were Meghan Riley, Candace West, Leah Bobet, Anne Molnar, and Malon Edwards.

When discussing the awards, Carmen wrote, “Searching for stories by and about people like me, and stories by and about people who aren’t like me, can be a grief-laden, exhausting process. The Diverse Writers/Diverse Worlds grants give writers resources for their work that explores and explodes the status quo. This expansion of the literary landscape is good for everyone.” She added, “I would encourage any writer applying for grants and fellowships to be persistent — doubly so if you find yourself in the exciting but frustrating position of being a finalist or runner-up. Every single writing fellowship/grant/etc. that I’ve received, I’ve gotten after being rejected for it at least once (often, more than once) and after coming very close in years prior. There’s an element of unpredictability to this process — who is on the committee or jury, for example, or who is in the applicant pool with you — and those things change, and sometimes those changes work in your favor. But also when you apply to things persistently, your work, too, is changing — becoming stronger or sleeker or weirder, coming more into itself. And sometimes those things you can’t control work in your favor, and the progress of your writing works in your favor, and there’s a perfect storm. So keep applying — you never know what’ll happen.”

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[From the press release.]

NYRSF Readings Feature Machado and McGuire from The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy

Carmen Maria Machado, John Joseph Adams and Seanan McGuire at the NYRSF Readings. Photo by Mark Blackman.

Carmen Maria Machado, John Joseph Adams and Seanan McGuire at the NYRSF Readings. Photo by Mark Blackman.

By Mark L. Blackman: For over two decades (this is its 25th season), the New York Review of Science Fiction Readings Series has presented some of the best American (and British) science fiction and fantasy.  On the evening of Tuesday, November 10, 2015 (there is no Veterans Day Eve), it did so literally, spotlighting The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015, and featuring two writers from that anthology, Carmen Maria Machado and Seanan McGuire.

The event, held at the Series’ current venue, the Brooklyn Commons Café, sensibly located in the borough of the same name and convenient to public transportation, kicked off as usual with a welcome from producer/executive curator Jim Freund, longtime host of WBAI-FM’s Hour of the Wolf radio program on sf and fantasy.  (The show broadcasts and streams every Wednesday night/Thursday morning from 1:30-3:00 am and worldwide at wbai.org, and for a time afterwards may be heard on-demand as well as an RSS feed for podcasts.  There is no escape.)  Tonight’s readings, he reported, were streaming live via Livestream, where they would remain archived for a period of time.  (Catch them by going to Livestream.com and searching for NYRSF.)  Further thanks were due Terence Taylor, sf/fantasy writer and video producer.

Next month’s readings, held, as were November’s, on the second Tuesday, December 8th, Freund announced, would be the Series’ traditional Family Night, equally traditionally featuring the family of Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner.  Finally, he thanked the audience for contributing (readings are free, but there is a suggested donation of $7), as the Series pays to rent the present space and an anticipated Kickstarter campaign to fund the season has not yet happened, then turned center stage (there are now spotlights!) over to guest host John Joseph Adams.

John Joseph Adams. Photo by Mark Blackman.

John Joseph Adams. Photo by Mark Blackman.

Adams, the editor of many anthologies (he’s been called “the reigning king of the anthology world”), including Wastelands and The Living Dead (which were spotlighted at past NYRSF readings), as well as the editor and publisher of the magazines Nightmare and the two-time Hugo Award-winning Lightspeed, and a producer for WIRED’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, has been absent from the Series for a while.  His return was in his capacity as series editor of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy.  For several decades, he explained, distinguishing it from similarly-named tomes, Houghton (pronounced “Hootin’,” like what a Southern owl does) Mifflin Harcourt has been annually publishing a “Best American” series showcasing the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction.  While sf and fantasy stories have been included in past editions, this is the first time that there is a volume devoted to the genre.  Adams, naturally, feels that our genre can stand up to the best fiction out there, “but that’s preaching to the choir,” he paused, regarding the audience.  Joe Hill, an award-winning author in his own right (whom his parents are is no secret), was the guest editor of this inaugural volume, which contains 20 stories, equally divided between fantasy and sf.  (There will be a second.)  Concluding, he introduced Seanan McGuire, the first reader of the night, whom he asserted is in every one of his anthologies.

McGuire is the author of more than a dozen novels and (“literally”) uncounted short stories; she was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and in 2013 became the first person ever to appear five times on the same Hugo Ballot.  (No “Puppies” were involved; McGuire has two “abnormally large blue cats.”)  “I am not a subtle beast,” she declared at one point, lifting her leg to display her bright orange sneakers.  Her offering was her story from the collection, “Each to Each,” which originally appeared in Lightspeed Magazine’s Women Destroy Science Fiction! issue.  Fitting in with the theme, the story centered on a U.S. Navy all-woman crew of submariners patrolling and charting the seabeds (in this instance the Pacific), “the most valuable real estate” of the future era.  For their mission, the women (dubbed “military mermaids”) have been modified for the depths, surgically and genetically altered (likely irreversibly) – their musculature has been transformed, bones have been cut away, and they’ve been given gills and some fishtails – modeled on a variety of sea creatures, from sharks to lionfish, jellyfish and eels.  (Their psychology, it would appear, has correspondingly shifted away from human.)  No Disney little mermaids they.

Seanan McGuire and Carmen Maria Machado at NYRSF Readings. Photo by Mark Blackman.

Seanan McGuire and Carmen Maria Machado at NYRSF Readings. Photo by Mark Blackman.

During the recess, there was a raffle for, appropriately, a copy of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015.  Adams then presented the second and final reader.

Carmen Maria Machado is a Nebula-nominated fiction writer, critic, and essayist.  Her story from the anthology, “Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead,” unusually was framed as a Kickstarter campaign; aptly, its first appearance was in Help Fund My Robot Army!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects (ed. Adams).  It is not a “heartwarming sibling reunion.”  The narrator is trying to raise the funds to travel to the portal to the titular realm to chase after her “ungrateful wastrel” (the campaign understandably omits that term) younger sister; she is not dead, but has, essentially, crashed a party.  Oddly, the motivation for her pursuit is to tell her that their parents have died (the details of their death are also fudged for the campaign).  The story was laugh-out-loud funny … until its final sad turn.

As customary at these Readings, the Jenna Felice Freebie Table offered giveaway books, and cheese and crackers were on hand, along with leftover Hallowe’en candy and even Hallowe’en-themed fortune cookies (“A creepy crawly will be on your shoulder tonight” – does a housefly count?).  For beverages and other wants, the Café was a few steps away. Copies of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy were available for sale and autographs, as were McGuire’s CDs.

The capacity crowd of about 65 included Melissa C. Beckman, Richard Bowes, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Amy Goldschlager, Barbara Krasnoff, John Kwok, Wrenn Simms and Terence Taylor.  Following more photos and schmoozing, Freund, the guests and some members of the audience adjourned to the Café.

Adams, Machado, McGuire at NYRSF Readings 11/10

John Joseph Adams presents writers from The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, Carmen Maria Machado and Seanan McGuire, at the New York Review of Science Fiction Readings on November 10.

Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado is a Nebula-nominated fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, AGNI, The Fairy Tale Review, Tin House’s Open Bar, NPR, The American Reader, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. Her stories have been reprinted in several anthologies, including Year’s Best Weird Fiction and Best Women’s Erotica. She has been the recipient of the Richard Yates Short Story Prize, a Millay Colony for the Arts residency, and the CINTAS Foundation Fellowship in Creative Writing. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and lives in Philadelphia with her partner.

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire is the author of more than a dozen novels, and uncounted short stories. Her latest work, A Red-Rose Chain, was released in September 2015. Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed (as Mira Grant) was named as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2010. In 2013 she became the first person ever to appear five times on the same Hugo Ballot.

John Joseph Adams

John Joseph Adams

John Joseph Adams is the series editor of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as many other anthologies, such as Wastelands, The Living Dead, Brave New Worlds, Operation Arcana, Press Start to Play, and The Apocalypse Triptych. He is also the editor and publisher of the magazines Nightmare and the two-time Hugo Award-winning Lightspeed, and is a producer for WIRED’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor—a leading writer in the field—then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected—and most popular—of its kind.

The event at the Brooklyn Commons Cafe (388 Atlantic Avenue) begins at 7:00 p.m.