WisCon 40, three releases, audio content, & more
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The Monthly Aqueduct

News about all things Aqueductian

Happy solstice everyone, and welcome to our latest newsletter. It has been a week since we returned from WisCon 40 and we are already busy making plans for next year. In the meantime, read on for our con reports and find out about our three new titles, as well a variety of content and events that have reached our radar. Enjoy.


The WisCon Chronicles, vol. 10: Social Justice (Redux),
ed. by Margaret McBride

Cover image of The WisCon Chronicles, vol. 10$15.00 (paperback)
$7.50 (ebook)
Buy now

The tenth volume of the WisCon Chronicles, Social Justice (Redux), edited by Margaret McBride, is out now. The theme of this volume was inspired by WisCon 39's Guest of Honor speeches by Alaya Dawn Johnson and Kim Stanley Robinson. Johnson delivered a cri de coeur: "We need diverse stories, we need a million mirrors of different shapes and sizes. Not just so we can see ourselves. So that they can see us through our own eyes." Robinson exhorted: "We now need to institute global justice and equality for all, for two reasons that bond together into a single reason: It's the right thing to do morally, and it's the survival thing to do."

In her introduction, McBride quotes Grace Paley: "Although writers may not want to be in charge of justice or anything like that, to some extent they are if they really are illuminating what isn't seen."

The volume includes the texts of Johnson and Robinson's speeches, as well as the keynote speech Julie Phillips delivered at the Tiptree Symposium in December 2015, and essays by Cheryl Morgan, Takayuki Tatsumi, Nisi Shawl, Johanna Sinisalo, Kathryn Allan, Ian Hagemann, Sandra J. Lindow, Ajani Brown, and others.

Two Travelers, by Sarah Tolmie

Cover image of TWO TRAVELERS$16.00 (paperback)
$7.95 (e-book)
Buy now

We are happy to announce the publication of Two Travelers, Sarah Tolmie's third title with Aqueduct Press. The first of this pair of portal fictions, "Dancer on the Stairs," tells the story of a woman who wakes up on a stone staircase in a baroque palace, not speaking the language of the place and lacking the chemical signature that allows people to identify each other within a complex social hierarchy. Unable to communicate in words, she resorts to dance. In "The Burning Furrow," a man who runs a diner in present-day America is also a freedom-fighter in the northern, courtly realm of Dinesen. His people are abused foreigners at home, the servants of strangers, bound not by their overlords, but by their world itself, through a ritual known as the burning of the furrows. Only he and his family are free—for a time. Now that time is ending.

"Sarah Tolmie is one of the best new writers I've discovered in a long time. Her writing is a joy to read."  —Amy Thomson, author of Storyteller and The Color of Distance

"Author and professor Tolmie (The Stone Boatmen) delivers an exquisite duo of short stories in this slim volume.... Rich with detail, both stories are imbued with baroque sensibilities, a refreshing deviation from the typical medieval setting. Rather than relying on pure exposition, Tolmie uses the characters' interactions and personalities to bring color to the unique magic of each setting. Tolmie's investigations of identity, place, and personal meaning are a delight to read and a great contribution to the genre."  —Publishers Weekly, April 2016

Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens,
by Eleanor Arnason

Cover image of HWARHATH STORIES$19.00 (paperback)
$8.85 (e-book)
Buy now

Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens collects a dozen Hwarhath tales with commentary by their translator. As the translator notes, "Humanity has encountered only one other species able to travel among the stars. This species, who call themselves the hwarhath, or 'people,' are also the only intelligent species so far encountered. Of course, we interest and puzzle and disturb each other... The stories in this collection were written after the hwarhath learned enough about humanity to realize how similar (and different) we are. Our existence has called into question many ideas about life and morality that most hwarhath would have called certain a century ago..."

"These are magnificent stories, wise, witty, science-fictionally fascinating, moving. This may well end up being the story collection of the year."  —Locus, Rich Horton,  April 2016

This is anthropological science fiction at its best, with only Ursula K. Le Guin rivaling Arnason in cultural insight and in the sophistication, complexity, and evocativeness of her worldbuilding…. Coming as it does from a small press, you may not see Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens included on many lists of the best collections of 2016 as the year comes to an end, but believe me, it's one of them. It may even turn out to be the best collection of the year.  —Locus, Gardner Dozois,  May 2016

Back from WisCon 40
This year the Aqueduct team traveled back to Madison, WI for its annual feminist science fiction convention. Books were sold, panels attended, parties thrown and friends met. You can visit the Aqueduct blog for Timmi's and Arrate's accounts of their experience this year, as well as Timmi's notes on the excellent panel "YES, Our Stories Matter: Encouragement and Support for Creators with Marginalized Identities," moderated by Jaymee Goh, and the three Aqueduct readings.A photo of Timmi Duchamp, Andrea Hairston, Pan Morigan and Nisi Shawl after a reading.
Andrea Hairston's readings available online

Those of you who have attended any readings by professor, playwright, and author Andrea Hairston know that her fiction takes flight when she reads it for her audience. Last May, the NY Review Science Fiction Readings hosted the presentation of her new novel Will Do Magic for Small Change, accompanied by musician and songwriter Pan Morigan's singing with the banjo. A recording of the event is available online. For more readings by her, check out the video for her 2013 Global Science Fiction Conference address, also accompanied by Morigan, and in which she read from her previous work.
Invisible Universe Documentary Fundraiser

On May 25 RAW Space in Harlem, NY hosted an evening of music and literature in support of M. Asli Ducan's documentary Invisible Universe, a project in the works that has so far gathered over a decade's worth of interviews and other materials recording and celebrating the history of blackness in speculative fiction. The event featured readings by author Terence Taylor, who is also editor of the film, and Aqueduct authors Jennifer Marie Brissett and Kiini Ibura Salaam.
Those present had the chance to enjoy two specially edited video clips; one on visionary author Octavia E. Butler and another on Black 1990s sf and horror cinema.
Visit the Fractured Atlas site to donate and help make the documentary a reality before the end of 2016.
Cover image of STEERING THE CRAFTUrsula K. Le Guin on Steering the Craft
In a lengthy interview, Ursula K. Le Guin discusses the new edition of Steering the Craft, her book on writing. She talks about her reasons for substantially revising it (some of which pertain to vast changes in the publishing industry) and notes that it is aimed at serious writers at every stage of their career. She also delivers some fascinating insights into the narrative issues that every writer must grapple with.
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