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A year in books, Sarah Tolmie in Strange Horizons, and looking forward.
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The Monthly Aqueduct

2016 is at long last coming to an end, and probably none too soon. However, we're aware of the lessons learned and the challenges to come, and look forward to 2017 with determination. Meanwhile, here's a look at our year in books.
Taking Back the Narrative
 
Last month's election results sparked a myriad emotions and thoughts, many of which we in the feminist sf/f community are still trying to make sense of and shape into a plan for the times ahead. Aqueduct author Andrea Hairston, whose novel Will Do Magic for Small Change we published earlier this year, has contributed to our blog with her energising thoughts and literal call to action.

"In the weeks since the presidential election, I have spoken to many artists who worry that they are insignificant in these trying times. In the furor of the moment, we might forget that democracy requires citizens who understand the narratives of their nation, of the world.
The Hopi say: the one who tells the stories rules the world."

Read her invitation to buy a book and the many reasons to do so here.

Meanwhile, in "What now? A Parent in Dismay," author and activist Kristin King calls for the importance of intersectionality and open and democratic organizing.

"We organize. As in, build organizations that can sustain our momentum and carry our positive visions forward for the next hundred years. That’s it. Everything feels hard right now, and it is. People will suffer. A lot. But we keep on going.
And then we win."

Aqueduct publishing director Timmi Duchamp, whose novel The Waterdancer's World is just out, has written several aftermath posts, looking at buzzwords like "echo chamber" and "media bubble" and noting their origins in the usages of big data by corporate interests; elsewhere, she reflects on the moral value of human life as intertwined with environmental disaster.

"I suppose the reason so many people like watching cop shows and reading murder mysteries is because they tend to portray the dominant outcome as a moral triumph, which, when we're reading, we're desperately hoping for. Hence the embrace of words like "Good Guys" and "Bad Guys." In real life, the institutions of law enforcement are only occasionally interested in working for moral (recently designated "social") justice, and the people who call themselves "Good Guys" are able to use the narrative designation to deceive themselves."
 
Sarah Tolmie at Strange Horizons

Cover image of TWO TRAVELERSLast week's issue of Strange Horizons included a triple appearance of our author Sarah Tolmie. You can read or listen to "The Dancer on the Stairs," one of the two short stories that make up her latest book, Two Travelers. Molly Katz's review of it is also available, as well as Maureen Kincaid Speller's interview with Sarah, featuring her thoughts on the Medieval text Piers Plowman and a discussion of her two previous titles: The Stone Boatmen (2014, William L. Crawford Award finalist) and NoFood (2014). In the interview, Sarah muses:

"It must be pretty clear to anyone who reads my fiction that I am a fan of the slow approach. It is, in fact, the slowness of writing—and of reading, which, while not so slow, is at least repeatable—that is its main strength, in my opinion. If you are writing, or reading, you can actually have time to think. Great things are accomplished by thinking, and we hardly ever get to do it any more. Our culture doesn’t value it. It is quite separate from talking. Reading books can prompt much silent reflection, and writing one is an enormous, extended act of silent reflection, unlike anything else I can think of. It is, as far as I am concerned, the greatest pleasure there is."

Pleasures Series 2016
 
Today we begin this year's edition of "The Pleasures of Reading, Viewing, and Listening" on the Aqueduct blog. Keep tuned for daily contributions by authors and friends sharing the joys that culture has brought them throughout 2016.

The Year in Books

This has been a busy year for us and we would like to share its fruits with you. We're pleased to follow up on Andrea Hairston's invitation to buy a book and reclaim the pleasure of reading, and our 2016 list is sure to include a title or two that our readers (whether they're new to what we do or they have long followed our activity) will find enticing, from major novels such as Betsy James's Roadsouls and Andrea Hairston's Will Do Magic for Small Change, to collections such as Eleanor Arnason's Hwarhath Stories: Transgressive Tales by Aliens, Sheree Renée Thomas's Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, and Karen Heuler's Other Places.

We have ventured into smart comedy with Susan diRende's Unpronounceable; time-traveling and speculative poetry with Jean LeBlanc's A Field Guide to the Spirits and Rose Lemberg's Marginalia to Stone Bird; and, for the first time, feminist science fiction from Spain with Lola Robles's Monteverde: Memoirs of an Interstellar Linguist, translated by Lawrence Schimel.

We have expanded our Heirloom imprint with the publication of Judith Merril's The Merril Theory of Lit'ry Criticism, and added a tenth volume to The WisCon Chronicles series with Social Justice (Redux), guest-edited by Margaret McBride. We were also glad to publish Sarah Tolmie once again with Two Travelers, and Timmi Duchamp's new novel The Waterdancer's World.

Finally, with The Cascadia Subduction Zone, we have continued expanding the reach of feminist criticism in speculative fiction, and we are looking forward to releasing the first issue of 2017 next January. Consider subscribing to conveniently receive this coming year's four volumes as soon as they come out, either on the mail or on your inbox.

Forthcoming in 2017

We are pleased to share the covers of two Aqueduct titles that will see the light early next year: Susan W. Lyons's Time's Oldest Daughter, a sparkling retelling of John Milton's Paradise Lost from Sin's point of view; and Cynthia Ward's The Adventure of the Incognita Countess, a steampunk spy story involving Le Fanu's Carmilla the vampire, Martian technology, and healthy doses of lesbian romance... on the Titanic.
Cover image of TIME'S OLDEST DAUGHTER, featuring a symbolist oil painting of Sin with a snake.Cover image of THE ADVENTURE OF THE INCOGNITA COUNTESS, featuring a drawing of a ship resembling the Titanic.

Copyright © 2016 Aqueduct Press, All rights reserved.


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