book club: these constellations will be yours

Okay new series here at No Award: Once a month (or so) we’re going to review short stories written by non-white SFF authors. Short stories because they’re easier to fit into our schedules, and also we’ll make sure they’re accessible online so you can read them.

This month, These Constellations Will Be Yours, by Elaine Cuyegkeng. Strange Horizons, 7 August. 5000 words of a space opera fairy tale about Filipino oracles and the galleon trade.

Disclaimer: Stephanie totally adores Elaine and got pushy about this being our first review. (Liz also adores Elaine and didn’t have to be pushed very hard.)

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Handmaids Down Under

Quokkas, I really enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale. Both book and (2017) adaptation. (The ’80s movie is streaming on Stan – do we need a liveblog? Maybe we need a liveblog. But we’ll also need wine. I mean, I’ll need wine.)

One of the things I enjoyed is that, like a lot of Canadian science fiction — sorry, Margaret Atwood, speculative fiction — it leaves space in its worldbuilding for the rest of the world to exist. Even within the narrow confines of book!Offred’s perspective, we know that Japanese tourism and gender relations maintain the current status quo, or something close to it, and the wider perspective of the Hulu series gives us glimpses of Canada and Mexico.

Sometimes I wonder what that kind of extreme patriarchal dystopia would look like in Australia, given that we were colonised by Georgians and Victorians instead of Puritans.

And other times I wonder, well, while the USA has collapsed and Gilead has formed out of its ashes, what’s happening back home?

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Continuum: SFFH with Asian characteristics

This is not a panel write up; it’s more of a rambling meander of panels I was on and panels I witnessed and thoughts I had along the way. It includes recommendations. But all of it is talking about Asian (mostly Southeast Asian) science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Thanks to Creatrix Tiara (sorry, Adeline coined this term!), I’m referring to Oz-based PoC involved in SFFH as Fae of Colour and I have no regrets. Hopefully you also have no regrets.

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In Conversation: Joyce Chng

Joyce ChngBorn in Singapore but a global citizen, Joyce Chng writes mainly science fiction and YA. She likes steampunk and tales of transformation/transfiguration. Her fiction has appeared in Crossed Genres, The Apex Book of World SF II, We See A Different Frontier, Cranky Ladies of History, and Accessing The Future. Her YA science fiction trilogy is published by Singapore publisher, Math Paper Press.

Joyce is heading to Perth for Swancon in April, and Steph recently spoke with her about food, privileging experiences, and haunted makanan.
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Guests of Honour of colour for Australian cons

We are not the boss of you, or of your SFF con, but we think that Australian cons can do better in finding diverse creators to be guests of honour. (We do not exclude cons we’ve personally chaired from that.) But it’s not uncommon to try to think of a potential guest, and go completely blank. Names, how do they work?

So here is an incomplete list of non-binary, female, and male local and international people of not-whiteness who you could consider inviting to your con.

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This Again: “Asian Flavours” in SFF

It was a big weekend, and Liz and Steph were pretty distracted by the AFLGF (and also Steph had a busy Singapore weekend), so somehow we managed to miss the theme of Canberra’s SFF con, Conflux, this year with three white guests:

Chinese watercolour-style design of a monkey and some poorly-painted mountains forming the Conflux 12 logo

Three white guests, and the theme ‘Red Fire Monkey.’

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Liveblog: Star Trek: The Next Generation – “Death in Winter” by Michael Jan Friedman

Not the usual sort of thing we blog about, not the usual sort of thing I read. But this is special. This, my friends, is the tie-in novel where Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher finally hook up.

And since one of my great regrets in life is that I didn’t liveblog the Voyager novel where Janeway is brought back to life (after being fridged in a TNG novel because Picard didn’t have enough Borg-related angst) and then makes out with Chakotay on the battle bridge, I persuaded Stephanie to let me liveblog it.

(It went like this:

Me: Hey, can I do this?

Her: Sure, why not?

Tricky negotiations required, Picard would be proud.)

[Steph really needs to know more about Janeway and Chakotay making out tbh]

Beyond the cut: a bullet point recounting of the plot, with stream of consciousness digressions and also some gifs.

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