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“Welcome to Skeleton Hat, where the writer’s struggle is real, and we’re two struggling writers trying to figure it all out.” Hosted by Selena Chambers & Paul Jessup. Available on Spotify, iTunes, or here: https://bit.ly/2WyKT3E

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LOST TRANSMISSIONS: The Secret History of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Desirina Boskovich. Published by Abrams Image.

Includes my essay “Celebrity Robots of the Great Depression.”

Book Descriptions: “A fascinating illustrated history of lost, overlooked, and uncompleted works of science fiction and fantasy

Science fiction and fantasy reign over popular culture now. Lost Transmissions is a rich trove of forgotten and unknown, imagined-but-never-finished, and under-appreciated-but-influential works from those imaginative genres, as well as little-known information about well-known properties. Divided into sections on Film & TV, Literature, Art, Music, Fashion, Architecture, and Pop Culture, the book examines Jules Verne’s lost novel; AfroFuturism and Space Disco; E.T.’s scary beginnings; William Gibson’s never-filmed Aliens sequel; Weezer’s never-made space opera; and the 8,000-page metaphysical diary of Philip K. Dick. Featuring more than 150 photos, this insightful volume will become the bible of science fiction and fantasy’s most interesting and least-known chapters.”

 

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MECHANICAL ANIMALS: TALES AT THE CRUX OF CREATURES AND TECH, edited with Jason Heller, published by Hex Publishing.

A speculative fiction safari that riffs on the traditional ideals of automata to explore our strange and competitive relationship with the natural world. Biomimicry is no stranger to literature, with canonical authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hans Christian Anderson, and Jules Verne setting the tone for a trope that has expounded and expanded upon what exactly separates humans from the animal kingdom as well as the boundary between machines and living beings. Featuring 15 original stories by today’s top science fiction and fantasy authors and contextual mecha-fauna essays by artist and Insect Lab Studio maker, Mike Libby, and SF encyclopedist and author Jess Nevins, Mechanical Animals presents a biomimicry menagerie of animalistic machines that will blur the lines between what is and isn’t nature’s design.

Contributor’s Include:  Mike Libby, Jess Nevins, Tessa Kum, Delia Sherman, Maurice Broaddus, Sarah Hans, Lauren Beukes, Jesse Bullington, An Owomoyela, Stephen Graham Jones, Hans Christian Andersen, Molly Tanzer, Aliette de Bodard, Nick Mamatas, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kat Howard, Michael Cisco, Adrian Van Young, Robert T. Toombs, Joseph S. Pulver, Jr., Alistair Rennie, Jules Verne, Caroline Yoachim, Carrie Vaughn

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SISTERHOOD, edited by Nate Pedersen, published by Chaosium is forthcoming this year. It includes my story, “The Veils of Sanctuary,” a Bas Bleu tale centered around a lost Sappho poem and dance performance about Medusa á la Salomé. Featuring Beatrice Vail, my fictional tribute/composite of Maud Allen, Isadora Duncan, and Mata Hari, this is my lit-nerd love letter to the women of Modernism, the Underworld Goddesses, Medusa, Sappho, (and Paris):

“For instance, I imagined that based on the few footnotes found on Vail’s work as a poet and performer, that somehow she was following in, if not recreating the molpe practices of Sappho and her followers who performed their poetry with music and dance as the first instance of transcending realities through ecstatic expression.

While it does seem like she performed, no account of any performance exists. The committee, as you know told me she was less than a historical spectre, and have never supported my thesis. Only, you, Dr. J—, have dared to imagine with me, and here we are, holding hands at the seance. 

Speaking of, I do think exploring the theory that she was involved in some sort of espionage is interesting and is a thread worth seeking in this research. It is interesting how almost all of her contemporaries—Isadora Duncan, Maud Allen, Colette, and Mata Hari (who was actually executed!)—were eventually persecuted as strongly as they had been adored, and how at the center of the parallels lies the discarded veils of Salomé.

I did find one letter from Maud Allen telling Vail she was too intellectual and “people will think you hate men. Silly girl, men are the money.” So perhaps she was not welcomed in the dancing halls. She was, however, welcomed at the salon of Nathalie Barney—where it seems she gave an exclusive performance complete with sets and costumes based on “several conclusion I have drawn about the seven gates of Ishtar and discoveries of unknown writings of the Tenth Muse,” she writes to Barney. It seems Barney was over-moon at the performance. “

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