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Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Saturday, September 03, 2016
I'm always excited to find a resource for gay sf/f/horror fans or content. Here's one of the biggest ones I've encountered! There's also a link to it in my SciFi News sidebar, in case you forget to bookmark it now.
From the site:
Welcome to Queer Sci Fi. We’re a blog and website that’s all about LGBT characters in science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and horror fiction. We’re dedicated to promoting the inclusion of LGBT characters in these genres.Keywords: gayscifi, gayfantasy, LGBTscifi, LGBTfantasy, gayhorror, LGBThorror, queerscifi, diversityinsff.
We started the site in January of 2014, with the intent to create a community for writers and readers of LGBT-themed speculative fiction. We post regular discussion topics, news, book announcements and reviews. We have an AWESOME Facebook discussion group. We offer a database of calls for submission, publishers, writing experts and much more. And we also have our own critique section on Scribophile.
Stick with us as we grow and add new features!
Monday, August 29, 2016
For the sequel, Sons of Taldra, I wanted to go back and explore that race. And why not make them shapeshifters who attack Valchondria? The idea of a past encounter with shapeshifting beings in the past sounded like Native American mythology, and I found that reading more of it helped me flesh out the invaders.
Though the spelling varies, yee naaldlooshii is a Navajo term for skinwalkers; it means “with it, he goes on all fours.” These creatures can take any animal form. They have glowing eyes and actually enter into people’s bodies by looking into their eyes. Some aspects of yee naaldlooshii stories appear in the book, though I can’t discuss that too much without spoilers.
I decided to go with the name Naadloosh, singular or plural, with Yee Naaldlooshii as the name of their home world. I limited them to just a few specific forms, but they can usually change at will, like in the Navajo stories. I also added some new twists to them, but again, spoilers.
Shapeshifter tales aren’t limited to the Navajo, but their version became a strong influence on my aliens. Native American storytelling offers rich, important looks at how various tribes explored their universe. Some links follow.
Monday, August 22, 2016
The problem with no countries is that I couldn’t refer to them as American Indians or Native Americans. And even First Nation or First People seemed a little off, though I considered them. Many Native peoples use those terms, but many other people wouldn’t recognize them. I settled for calling Taldra’s family (and many other characters) red-skinned. It worked for most readers, but some asked “As in red paint”? I didn’t mean it as racist in any way, and it’s a term many Natives use, so that wasn’t a problem, but it still didn’t quite get the idea across.
For Sons of Taldra, I went more into Taldra’s background and decided she is Iroquois. That didn’t conflict with anything in the first book, since I had never identified her lineage. More on that choice in a moment.
When I wrote the fifteenth anniversary edition of Degranon, I added references to other Native nations as well. I decided Taldra’s spouse was mostly Iroquois but with a dash of Navajo. The Navajo provide some of the mythology for Sons of Taldra, as I discuss in the blog entry The Navajo Influences on the Aliens in Sons of Taldra.
Back to my choice. The Iroquois have lived in the New York area for centuries, so that works with Taldra being one, and with her son Telius encountering Iroquois on the other side of the temporal doorway. My alternate reality might establish them even earlier than real life, though.
The Iroquois are a largely matrilineal culture, while the Taldra novels feature strong women throughout, often in leadership roles. Those parallels helped me make the characters come alive.
Though it’s a long-running debate, many people believe the Iroquois Constitution influenced the US Constitution. Some links about that topic follow in the list of resources below. That appealed to me because the Taldra novels focus so much on the Valchondrian government, with Taldra becoming Leader and impacting its laws. So, even if readers might disagree over the historical accuracy of that influence, it still resonates as part of my world-building.
No one in either novel actually says it, but I imagine events took place that caused the varied Iroquois to unite as one people under a Constitution. Other people travelled there from lands they sometimes referred to as North and South Turtle (North and South America, adapted via Native terminology). As Valcine became a trade center, other people kept joining them out of necessity, until the world united as Valchondria. It all seemed ideal, until the Degrans and the Maintainers rose. Read Degranon and Sons of Taldra to find out what happens from there.
More importantly, please take the time to learn from and about the creative, amazing Native cultures that we so often ignore or mistreat in the real world. They’ve inspired my writing, and I can’t begin to acknowledge their struggles or their accomplishments.
Please also see the Degranon/Sons of Taldra glossary.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
From the blogger:
"I'm Georgia, from Australia. This is my blog for the LGBTI+ and gender diverse community. I'm passionate about equal rights, medical science and helping others. I provide advice, post news and resources. Sometimes I may put up some personal posts. All articles/news/resources and photos I share I do not own (unless otherwise stated). I ensure that I credit/source everything I share."