Wow. Another year’s gone. Can you believe it? Time went by so quickly and it’s already time to move on. Seriously, 2019 was a blur. It was also a massive trash fire for a variety of reasons, and I just. I cannot even remember what all happened in 2019. Every month – and some months every day – felt like a decade all on their own.
Now it’s time to look back on good things in the year and what all I accomplished, though. So let’s take a look!
This aro-led, all-queer magical girl inspired novella (20,200 words) is a little more bittersweet than my work usually is, but I’m very proud of it. I have plans and ideas for sequels too, but they’re on the backburner for now. (Available for purchase right now!)
This aro-led cosy SF short story (5,000 words) is what happens if you ask me to write something with no conflict and just go for warm and fuzzy. This is all about friendship and making friends and supporting one another. Also family. (Available for free!)
A rough overview of the state of asexual representation in mainstream SFF literature from 2000-2018, or, That Time I Tried To Write A Really Positive Essay And People Went “Uh, Did You See Those Numbers? They’re Like REALLY Low” At Me A Lot. But the good news is that a) indies exist, b) 2019 saw a whole bunch more acespec fiction published, c) 2020 is going to have EVEN MORE, d) post-2020 is ALSO going to have EVEN MORE, e) I am an imperfect human being and we can add all the books published that I don’t know about to the list as soon as someone who knows about them comes along too and then the list will be EVEN LONGER.
Now available in Twine game format! It is my short story The Little Mermaid retelling/old school adventure game mashup… thing! Comes with more snark, no moon logic (well, mostly), and is definitely interactive as your choices determine whether the Prince lives or dies! (Kind of.)
Finally available on itch.io, Tales of the Little Engine is now available in mp3 format. The audio is recorded by me, though it’s not an audio book. All stories are available as separate recordings.
Patreon Story Perks:
- Sound of Our Prayers
- They of the Alicorn
- Athistonomy and Heklemenes
- Long Ago
- Ode to a Leader
- The Writer
- Unicorns Prancing Through the Woods
- Where I Long to Be
- The Great Bird
- They’ll Ne’er Take from Me
- Eiryn and the Bird
- We’re on Our Side: Aziraphale and Crowley’s Thoroughly Queer Relationship in Good Omens
- To Hear the Breeze Singing: Romance and Sexuality in Becca Lusher’s ‘Sing to Me’
- Subverting Stereotypes: A Look at Asexual and Aromantic Representation in RoAnna Sylver’s ‘Chameleon Moon’
- 5 SFF Books that Introduce Aromanticism Well
- 5 SFF Books that Introduce Asexuality Well
- No Clever Titles
- Queer Frameworks of Language: or, why vocabulary is so important to marginalised groups seen through a distinctly asexual and aromantic lens
- You Can’t See Numbers: Dyscalculia Representation in A Promise Broken
- 8 Decades of SFF with Low, Intimate Stakes
- Several of My Favourite Retellings
- Fairy Tale Favourites
- Writing Asexual and Aromantic (Fairy Tale) Retellings
- On Ace Representation: Perceived Ace-coding and Confirmed Ace Rep
- Some brief musings on American Ruritanian Christmas romances
- On the semantics of “just friends” and “more than friends”
- Lessons I Learned from Serialisation…
- Multilingualism and Culture in Fictional Settings
- Oh, Words, Words, Words…
- Reading with Aphantasia
- Fantasy Is Magic: How Fantasy Saved My Life
- Once upon a time… A Look at Labels in My Work
- Lynn vs Conlangs
- Big Skies, Small Wings
- Balanced by Those Horrors
Featured Post Round-up
As it’s the new year, let’s take a look at all the things I’m expecting to do and accomplish! It’s only the first, so I have no idea what 2019 has in store for anyone yet, so here is my ridiculously optimistic look at what I’m hoping this year will bring and what I’ll be working towards.
While enough books exist that we can make (short) themed lists and can help readers find the subgenre or ideas that they enjoy reading, it is true albeit cliché to say that for many finding this representation is as likely as finding a needle in a haystack. It is impossible for anyone to walk into a bookstore or a library and be directed towards a variety of books featuring representation. Lucky readers may find that a bookstore stocks one or two books. (When I was in Cambridge in 2016, between four major bookstore chains, I could find a grand total of 3 different titles featuring asexual representation and if I had not known what to look for I would have found none of them.)
But also, hi, did you notice how the only characters who get to be openly queer are the secondary if not tertiary ones? (No, Scorpia’s crush doesn’t count. I’ll get to that in a moment.) Because Bow’s dads get to be openly and visibly in a gay relationship, and we can make an argument for Spinerella and Netossa, but Scorpia? Scorpia’s very obvious romantic crush repeatedly gets couched in platonic terms. Catra is her “bestie”. They’re “friends”.
Books that celebrate smaller, more intimate stakes (and shout-out to Eric Smith for introducing me to the phrasing!) and eschew focusing on the larger stakes, though, can feel like they’re far and few between or like they never existed in the first place, which is a shame because people have always written these types of stories too, even won acclaim with them.
The thing about Good Omens that stood out to me most was how incredibly seen I felt. I’d resisted watching it for a while. I had deadlines to stick to! Hugo Nominee material to read! I didn’t have Amazon Prime! I have bad experiences with liking things that are hyped by people talking about it! And then there are the shippers…
Sylver also draws a direct comparison between the way that marginalised people stand against governments refusing to grant them basic rights and the way that many allies do. This is exemplified in a conversation that happens early on in the book. In this conversation, Evelyn is meeting with her white cousin, who is presented as an able-bodied cisgender man, and they discuss solutions to the fact that Parole is, quite literally, on fire. Liam’s plan is to put out the fire and assume that everything will be all right afterwards. As Evelyn points out, however, the isolation Parole is suffering was never about the fire lit underneath them.
Lesbian radical feminists… have done exactly this. We can see in the SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas, for example. We can see it in the way aphobes try to gatekeep heteroromantic asexuals and heterosexual aromantics out of the queer community, the way that bisexual people feel unhappy and unwelcome at Pride events especially if they’re in a perceived m/f relationship, the way that people who are perfectly happy to use ‘gay’ (or even ‘lesbian’) as an umbrella term for the entire community push back against non-homosexual members doing exactly that. We can see it in the way terfs attack and discuss transgender people in general: the way they insist that gender is biological and those who transition are mentally ill.
Nathaniel is my precious son and I am so very proud of him.
That’s it. That’s the whole review.
Just kidding, of course it’s not the whole review.
Welcome back to another instalment of my Asexual Awareness Week mini-series on fictional ace representation. Today I’m taking a quick break from recommending you specific book titles to stop and ask “But where do you FIND them, Lynn?”
Today in something a little different, I wanted to talk about anxiety and me. Specifically, I wanted to talk about some of the ways in which anxiety does – and does not – affect me in the hopes that it’ll help someone else out there too.
Odds and Ends
I… don’t even know what to write here. 2019 has been that kind of year and 2020 is that much of a question mark as I sit here, preparing this for the end of the year. How about I check in on this throughout 2020 instead? It’s such a question mark, I can’t even make predictions on what the year will be like or what it will contain for me.
How about you? What’s your year contained? Good things, I hope.