I was honored to be the Octavia E. Butler Scholar at the 2011 Clarion Writers’ Workshop. On 4/12, I’ll be joining Vonda N. McIntyre and Nisi Shawl as well as several fellow OEB Scholars to celebrate Ms. Butler’s legacy and to raise funds for the Octavia E. Butler Scholarship Fund.
I hope lots of folks will come out and have fun while supporting a worthy endeavor! If you can’t be there, you can still purchase Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars until June 22, 2013. All proceeds benefit the scholarship fund.
Northwest Writers Honor Legacy of Octavia E. Butler – SF Signal.
In celebration of the legacy of Octavia E. Butler, Pacific Northwest writers Vonda N. McIntyre, Nisi Shawl, Dennis Y. Ginoza, Erik Owomoyela, Caren Gussoff, and Rashida Smith will read work inspired by their relationships with Octavia Butler, or stories included in Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars.
These readings will be at Seattle’s world famous sci-fi/fantasy coffeehouse, the Wayward Coffeehouse (6417 Roosevelt Way NE, #104, Seattle WA 98105) on Friday, April 12, at 7PM.
Octavia E. Butler was one of the world’s most respected speculative fiction writers. Butler, an African-American woman, was recognized during her lifetime with numerous awards, such as the Hugo and Nebula, and was the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. Butler made the Seattle area her home in 1999, and lived in Lake Forest Park until her death in 2006.
“… really showcases the variety of talent the scholarship has supported, and, I hope, gives these writers a strong platform for future work. Plus, it’s an $8 ebook whose donation benefits the scholarship fund, so it’s a win all around.”
I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Dennis Ginoza.
I would, at least, like to think of him as my friend; I certainly would not want him as an enemy. He’s a mysterious figure, you see, a bit of enigma, who tends to spend his time (as far as I can tell) constructing alternate universes of often-alarming brilliance and brutality. He is also one of the finest writers I know.
I started my MFA at Pacific University like so many others who’d been praised, perhaps inordinately, in undergrad, eager to prove myself as an exceptional writer. It requires a great deal of energy, that sort of proving, and I am forever indebted to Dennis for relieving me of it in the course of my second workshop at Pacific.
It was here he dropped the bomb that would come to be known as “Euler’s Identity” (later published by Prime Number, and collected in the first volume of its Editors’ Selections). It is the story of a teenage boy seduced by his math teacher and her mathematics, both of them elegant and beautiful and just a bit cruel. Every sentence of this story sings, and every image casts back the internal dimensions of the story like a hall of mirrors.
Trivia– this picture was taken by Doug Anderson at the 2011 Pacific University MFA Summer Residency (the beard left me shortly thereafter, leaving a note that read, “Well always have Forest Grove.”). DYG
Dennis conjures a disturbing tale for Shimmer #16, “Word and Flesh,” and shares a fabulous memory of reading Bradbury.
Tell us how “Word and Flesh” came to be.
I wrote the story during my second week at the 2011 Clarion Writers’ Workshop. I’ve always been fascinated by anthropodermic bibliopegy (binding books in human skin) and knew I wanted to write a story about it. The idea was vague, however, and I was struggling to assemble a coherent plot. As I wandered the UCSD campus mulling over the story, I came to realize how disconcerted I was by the architecture around me. The notion of a city-state dedicated to esoteric pursuits got stuck in my head, eventually becoming the Universidad portrayed in “Word and Flesh.” Once I had that physical setting, the rest of the story came more easily.
Choose from print or digital formats, or get both to maximize the awesome. Excerpts from all the stories (including mine) can be found by clicking the cool cover art below.
Issue 16 has thirteen elegant and original stories. It’s got angels and cakes and a space elevator and a haunted jalopy and a zombie, and even a unicorn. But mostly? This issue is full of love: love for lost lovers and spouses and parents, love for those we can never have, love for freedom and memories and the eternally numinous.
Still, it’s Shimmer, so the course of true love never does run smooth. Terrible loss, shivery revenge, agonizing decisions, heartbreak, despair, and the stabbing pain of hope. It’s all in there, waiting for you.
Every year, the Carl Brandon Society, whose goal is to increase diversity in the field of science fiction, presents scholarships to two students of color accepted to the prestigious Clarion and Clarion West writers’ workshops. The scholarships, named in honor of the brilliant African-American writer Octavia Butler, pay workshop tuition and housing fees for the recipients. Since 2007, they have made it possible for eleven students to attend the workshops.
Give a little, get a free ebook.
If you contribute a mere $8.01 to the scholarship fund, you can download Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars, an ebook anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories by these students — the voices of the new generation of writers of color in speculative fiction.
Edited by Nisi Shawl, Bloodchildren includes an introduction by Nalo Hopkinson and a memoir by Vonda N. McIntyre of her friendship with Octavia Butler, which began when they were students together at the Clarion Workshop in 1970.
The collection includes ground-breaking stories by Indrapramit Das, Shweta Narayan, Caren Gussoff, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Lisa Bolekaja, Chris Caldwell, Jeremy Sim, Erik Owomoyela, Dennis Y. Ginoza, Mary Burroughs, and Kai Ashante Wilson.
You can get a sneak peek at what’s to come in the issue with our trailer (below). Author Helena Bell, along with her brother, has also put together a marvelous project for her Shimmer #16 story, “In Light of Recent Events I Have Reconsidered the Wisdom of Your Space Elevator,” which you should view here.
I am impossibly excited about this issue, and you get to see it all soon! Preorder in your preferred format!
I’ll be doing some panels at Chicon 7: The 70th World Science Fiction Convention, August 30 to September 3. My inclusion is obviously a mistake of some sort (I suspect a distracted intern) but as I’m too socially awkward to correct the error, I’ve gone ahead and booked a flight to Chicago.
Thu 6:00:pm – 7:30:pm
The Short Story as Testing Ground
Discussing the role short stories has and will play in the genre of science fiction and fantasy, from proving ground to promotions to the merits of writing and reading short stories. We’ll explore where the genre is headed, whether its early popularity is enduring (is anyone reading them anymore?) and the influence of contests and electronic publishing on the genre.
Betsy Dornbusch Brad R. Torgersen D.H. Aire Dennis Y. Ginoza Vylar Kaftan
Fri 9:00:am – 10:30:am
New Writers Session 3
A panel for new and debut authors to discuss their work and careers.
Brad Aiken Dennis Y. Ginoza Hugh Howey Janet Catherine Johnston Michael Coorlim
Fri 12:00:pm – 1:30:pm
F*** Your Knight and the Horse He Rode in on Part Deux: Fantasy Series Not Based on Medieval Europe
A follow-up to last year’s irreverent panel of young writers challenging the predominance of medieval-inspired settings in fantasy.
Christopher Kastensmidt Dennis Y. Ginoza Elizabeth Bear T. L. Morganfield
Fri 3:30:pm – 4:00:pm
Writer Under Glass #24
This isn\’t actually a panel, but a stunt. Writers volunteer to sit in a certain place for 30-40 minutes each and write serially on a collaborative story. Each takes up where the previous left off throughout the run of the convention. The resulting manuscript will be printed out only once, signed by all the writers, and entered into the charity auction as a contribution from all the writers. Con attendees can watch the writers at work–this has to be done in public like Harlan Ellison\’s writing in shop windows–but may not harass them. The attendees can watch what\’s being written in real time on a remote monitor. The story is complete at the end of the con and no other copies will be made without consent of all the writers who participated.
Dennis Y. Ginoza
Sat 4:30:pm – 6:00:pm
Quantum Physics Meets Magical Realism
The way in which Quantum Physics describes the universe seems more and more to enter the realm of the fantastic. Where does reality end and fantasy begin?
Catherynne Valente Dennis Y. Ginoza Karen Burnham Mr. Magic Realism/Bruce Taylor Tim Stoffel
Mon 9:00:am – 10:30:am
Faith in Science Fiction & Fantasy
Faith can take many forms besides organized worship of a Higher Being, and yet, not a single Earth culture known to us exists absent a faith system in some form. What is the importance of faith in motivating human beings and in creating realistic worlds? What are the things people put their faith in? Magic? Science? Laws? Government? Wealth? Fame? Not a debate of the validity of ideas but a discussion of their value and use as motivators for all of us.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt Dennis Y. Ginoza Isabel Schechter Randy Smith