Last Day for December Treat Boxes

Hey, it’s November 30th, which means it’s the last day to sign up for December treat boxes. Sweets, soaps, candles, bookmarks. Linked here. 🙂

These help me pay my part-time staff, who help with social media, design work, and more, enabling me to spend more time developing recipes and writing stories.

Eventually, I’m hoping they’ll even let me cut back a bit more on teaching, because as much as I normally enjoy teaching, I do want to spend a little more time writing….

 

Tote Bags and Mutual Aids

A quick note for Oak Parkers that if you’d like to support the work of the mutual aid society AND get yourself a gorgeous tote bag, sweatshirt, mug, t-shirt etc., featuring Marcy Grant’s gorgeous artwork, those are all now available.

I just picked up two tote bags for myself (I picked the royal blue backing, as black is not so much my thing), and am looking forward to using them at local stores when we can freely shop again.

You can also conveniently add a donation to OP Mutual Aid (they’ve been doing a lot of grocery deliveries for families in need) as you’re placing your order. Thank you.

OAK PARK MUTUAL AID-Green Line El Stop tote | Bonfire

Looks like your text is -181 character over the limit. Please shorten it to 200 characters or less. Oak Park Mutual Aid is a coalition of neighbors dedicated to directly caring for one another and those around us in greatest need.

Tentative Publishing Calendar for 2021:

January: Mohanraj and Rosenbaum are Humans podcast launch

February: re-release of Torn Shapes of Desire: Internet Erotica, digital edition, Serendib Press, just in time for Valentine’s Day. My first book, coming back — blast from the past. 🙂

June 1: Vegan Serendib, woot!

Fall (or maybe August, so we can have it out in time for classroom orders? I’m not sure what the ideal timetable is for picture books, when teachers and libraries are placing their orders): biracial child picture book

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TBD: Jump Space collection (Constellation Press)

TBD: Assuming You Survive Fantasy Graphic Novel, Volume 1 (co-authored withMargaret Treanor Frey)

TBD, but I’m thinking December 1: Sri Lankan speculative fiction anthology

Kicking Myself Into Gear

I need to kick myself into gear on the petitions for this election, if I plan to get on the ballot, so here’s my ask, Oak Parkers — please get in touch if you’d like to sign for me. I can put out a clipboard with petitions on my porch (332 Wisconsin), or possibly run one over to you for a masked and socially distanced signing, depending on timing.

Amanda Daly has also kindly offered to circulate petitions for me at the Daly Bagel shop, if that’s more convenient to you — I’ll be dropping some forms off to them later today.

If you’re particularly interested in supporting my campaign and would like to circulate petitions for me, please let me know — I’d love to drop a sheet off to you.

I’m hoping to collect a few hundred signatures before Dec 14, and two weeks isn’t a lot of time. But if I can get 10 circulators who each collect 10 signatures, that will be a tremendous help. Please comment or PM if interested.

The Ballot for Oak Park Village President

Very sorry to see that Dan Moroney has declared his intent to run for Oak Park Village President. Moroney has been, in my opinion, a disaster as a Village trustee in a myriad of ways, and if he actually gets on the ballot, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me about exactly why I think he’d be terrible for Oak Park. He is particularly bad on gender and race, both on the personal and the broad political level.

Cate Readling, Simone Boutet, and Vicki Scaman are the other declared candidates for Village President, as far as I know. Any of them would be immensely better than Dan Moroney.

More on this as the situation develops. If you’re interested in learning more about progressive local candidates in Oak Park, please check out Activate Oak Park:

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Updating My C.V.

Updating my c.v. this morning, because I’m going up for hopeful promotion this year. I really should’ve done it last year, but the pandemic intervened, ah well. I’m currently Clinical Associate Professor; this would be going up to Clinical Full.

(To clarify: I’m not on the tenure-track, but UIC has this rarely used Clinical position, that is mostly for people in the med school, but at one point, there was a provost who thought it would be useful for people like writers, hence my having this odd title. It comes with significantly less pay, but also fewer committee meetings than the tenure-track. Anyway.)

I sort of felt like I hadn’t done much of anything in the last year, publication-wise, given pandemic, but in fact, there were some things, esp. since we list forthcoming publications that have been accepted. So that was nice to discover. 🙂 Sometimes you have to pause and actually count the things you’re doing….

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Books:
Jump Space (short stories), forthcoming 2021, Constellation Press
[title redacted] (picture book), forthcoming 2021, [press redacted until we make official announcement]
Vegan Serendib, forthcoming 2021, Mascot Books
Sri Lankan Speculative Fiction anthology, forthcoming 2021, Serendib Press (publisher)
Three Kings (co-author), 2020, Tor Books

A Feast of Serendib, 2019, Mascot Books

Fiction:
“Moon Maid,” forthcoming, Joker Moon
“Among the Marithei,” forthcoming, Asimov’s
“Silence and the Word,” excerpted in Desi Eros, 2020
“Plea,” Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum exhibit, 2020

“Paper Star,” The Decameron Project, 2020

Nonfiction:
“Three Fights,” How We Are, 2020

An Anthology of Sri Lankan Speculative Fiction

And while we’re talking about book projects and presses, I’ll note here that I’m planning to publish an anthology of Sri Lankan speculative fiction in 2021. I haven’t put together a call yet, and there are fair number of details to be worked out, but I’m excited to bring together homeland and diaspora authors in a collection that showcases our best work.

I’ve already confirmed a story of Yudhanjaya Wijeratne’s for inclusion (which reminds me, I have to go pick up a copy of his “The Salvage Crew”ASAP, looking forward to sinking into it over the holidays), and I’m hoping to secure stories from a host of other fine authors.

I always wanted Serendib Press to publish people other than myself, and I think I’m finally in a position to start moving forward with that. Really pleased that our first project along those lines will be a Sri Lankan one; it just feels so appropriate. 🙂

Now I just need a title. Dammit. (Suggestions welcome.)

(And if you’re a Sri Lankan speculative fiction author, please drop me a note at mohanraj@mamohanraj.com — I want to be sure you get a copy of the call for submissions when it’s ready.)

Jump Space

While I’m announcing things, I think I may not have announced that I’m thrilled that Jed Hartman’s Constellation Press will be bringing out a collection of my Jump Space stories next year. Working title: “Jump Space”, because titling is hard.

I admit, it does feel a little odd announcing it as a publication, given that I’ve been dating Jed for 20+ years. 🙂 But he has a very critical eye, which is why he did such an amazing job as senior fiction editor at Strange Horizons for so many years, and already, as we discuss the order of the reprints, and what new stories I’ll be writing for this, I feel tremendously relieved that he’ll be editing this book. He’s going to make it beautiful, and much better than I could have made it on my own. All hail excellent editors.

Constellation Press only does digital editions, so I’ll be shopping the book around to small presses who do print when I have the chance. If I don’t find a publisher there, we’ll bring it out ourselves at Serendib Press. But regardless, I’m super happy about it all.

The road to writing and publishing a novel in this universe has been a slow and bumpy one, interrupted by cancer and a pandemic. But I think this story collection will be a coherent and solid project, and I’ll be very glad to have it out in the world.

Fall 2021 Picture Book

It looks like I’ll have a picture book coming out in fall 2021, which is exciting. 🙂 More details when the press is ready to announce, but I’m just delighted. And I think it’ll even come out while my niece Savreen is still of an age to enjoy it, which is particularly pleasing. It’s about a little girl growing up in a biracial family.

The Element of Fire

I was feeling the need for comfort reading yesterday, but I wanted something new, and Martha Wells didn’t have another Murderbot book out yet, and I’ve read all her Raksura books, so I decided to go back and try her first series. The first book is “The Element of Fire”.

She did something a little odd with it — the first 10% or so of the book, her main character mostly isn’t in. You get a bunch of other characters, most of whom don’t seem very likable. I had a little bit of trouble sticking with it — there was a lot of political maneuvering and somewhat wanton killing, etc., that felt sort of House of Cards-ish, which is not my kind of thing.

But then you start getting to know the main character, and you get to know the other characters better, and the likable parts start becoming clearer, and then I was hooked.

So mostly writing this out in case anyone else is a Martha Wells fan and might bounce off the opening to this. I’m all-in now.