Wow, August was so busy! I had a delightful month, performing, being on panels, performing some more, and also having a lovely vacation in Ireland! More on Ireland in future missives (including a future podcast!)—one thing I did on my vacation was get a photographer to take some professional photos of me, and I also recorded an interview with her about her creative process. That’s coming in a little while, once I have the pictures to share.
If you saw me read at Worldcon, you’ll know I read two different short things. Both of them are now available to everyone!
A Larger Reality 2.0
The first thing I read at Worldcon was a very short piece of science fiction I wrote for Libia Brenda’s second A Larger Reality anthology. A Larger Reality 2.0 is now live online, and you can play through the website like a game, or download an ebook version to read offline as a book. This is unlike anything I have ever been a part of before! It’s a combination of art, fiction and non-fiction, all inspired by a few different science article Libia sent to the contributors to get us started. It’s beautiful! It’s also totally free! Click the link above or the picture below to go get yours!
Image description: the cover art by John Picacio for A Larger Reality 2.0, an image of a face in a cosmic setting, with a cybernetic lens over one eye. Text next to the illustration reads: “A timeline in which we don’t go extinct / A larger Reality 2.0 / Un universo en el que no nos extinguimos / Una realidad más amplia 2.0 / A hybrid anthology / Antología híbrida / Edited by: Libia Brenda / Image/Imagen “Mañana es hoy (Tomorrow Is Today)” by John Picacio.
My story in this one is called “Communicable”. It’s just 350 words (because that’s the limit Libia gave us!) and it was inspired by an article about bacteria fishing in their dead friends’ DNA to become stronger and evolve. I was sick for the entire month of June, so this article really resonated with me! The amazing Andrea Chapela (who has just won two Mexican national literary awards!) translated my story into Spanish, and I love her translation.
Keep Faith Anthology
The second thing I read at Worldcon was a short story I wrote for an anthology called Keep Faith, which was edited by Gabriela Martins. Gabhi is a Brazilian writer and editor who specialized in YA and fantasy. She pulled together 14 queer YA and Speculative Fiction authors to create this anthology about the intersections of queerness and faith. Why? Because someone she knew had recently been shut out of their family and church after coming out as gay.
Image Description: The Cover of the Keep Faith anthology, with the title in yellow on a rainbow background and pink hearts floating upwards.
When this sort of thing happens, it’s deeply painful for the person who wants nothing so mach as to be loved and accepted for who they are. Even worse, it can often leave queer people in sudden financial straits, as it did for this person. Gabhi wanted to bring some other members of the queer writing community together to offer some hope through their stories and through donating all the proceeds from this anthology to one person in need.
I didn’t know most of the writers involved in this project before I agreed to write for it, but I feel lucky to have participated and gotten to know some of them a bit through the process. It’s a real community effort, and another project with some truly wonderful stories in it!
This one isn’t free, but it is available for everyone to buy on Gumroad here.
Image description: A quote from my story in the Keep Faith anthology. White text on a rainbow background, reading, “You matter. Your voice matters. Your life matters.”
My story is called “Ten Steps to Becoming a Successful Vlogger” and it’s structured like a non-fiction advice article. In fact, you can actually use all the ten tips in the article! It’s actually practical advice! But as you read the article, you learn a bit more about the person writing it, and the world they live in, which is … not quite our ordinary world!
Over at The Quiet Pond, there is a roundup of author insights on each of the stories in the anthology, in case you would like to learn more about the whole thing!
The Skiffy and Fanty Show Live at Worldcon
Image description: The Skiffy and Fanty Show logo with a green alien head representing science fiction (skiffy) and a grey unicorn head representing fantasy (fanty).
Finally, the third thing I did at Worldcon that is now free for everyone to enjoy is a live recording of The Skiffy and Fanty Show. We had 5 members of the team together in Dublin, including Brandon O’Brien all the way from Trinidad! Our special guest Linnea came from Sweden, so we had three countries represented in our discussin of the Nicolas Cage action movie, Next.
This is for one of the Skiffy and Fanty Show’s Torture Cinema episodes. In these, we all watch a bad movie and then everyone submits one thing they like and one thing they dislike about it. It’s a very silly time, and you don’t have to have watched the movie in order to understand the podcast. We give you a rundown of the plot (which means, yes, we thoroughly spoil it—but these are bad movies, so it shouldn’t be too terrible to have the details summarized for you!).
Thanks for reading! If you are a paid subscriber, look out for an audio version of my A Larger Reality 2.0 story later this week! If you are not a paid subscriber, you are more than welcome to sign up and get that audio story in your inbox!