The Kickstarter is Accidentally Launched

Eep! I accidentally hit launch on our podcast Kickstarter, when I hadn’t planned to launch until November 15th, so I could build a little pre-launch excitement. I immediately wrote to Kickstarter to ask if they could un-launch, but they haven’t written back yet, and now we already have a backer, so I think maybe we should just go with it?

Please check out our Kickstarter for a new podcast, “Mohanraj and Rosenbaum are Humans”, featuring me and my co-host Benjamin Rosenbaum.

This is not how I’d normally launch a Kickstarter, so please forgive my slightly end-of-semester, year-of-the-pandemic scatteredness. It’s actually going to be great, I swear. 🙂 There’s a little trailer video at the link — check it out!

https://www.kickstarter.com/…/slf-podcast-mohanraj-and…

(and would appreciate any likes, comments, shares you care to hand out, for visibility!)

The Winner of the 2020 A.C. Bose Grant

Congratulations, Asha Thanki!

2020—The Speculative Literature Foundation and DesiLit are pleased to announce that Asha Thanki is the winner of the $1000 2020 A.C. Bose Grant.

Thanki’s winning piece is titled “Somewhere in Bombay, a Fog Descends.” Thanki is a fiction writer and essayist living in Minneapolis, where she is completing an MFA at the University of Minnesota. She is the winner of the 2019 Arkansas International’s Emerging Writers Prize and a finalist for Redivider’s 2020 Beacon Street Prize. Her work has appeared in Platypus Press’ wildness, The Common, Catapult, Cosmonauts Avenue, Hyphen, and more; more information can be found at ashathanki.com.

Read the story here: https://www.arkint.org/asha-thanki

Grant info: http://speculativeliterature.org/grants/slf-ac-bose-grant/

Like a Mini Convention

Recorded a three-hour podcast session with Jed Hartman and Benjamin Rosenbaum this morning — oof. We were talking about drafting and revision and workshops and I guess we had a lot to say. It’s so great, talking with them, but I’m also always kind of drained afterwards — it’s intense, sort of like attending a mini convention. I’m hiding in the shed now, and am going to give myself a few hours of silence, I think. Although first, I need to talk to Jed about a thing. 🙂 But then, silence and grading and course prep and maybe a little revision of my own…

Congratulations to Strange Horizons

Super-proud to hear that Strange Horizons has won an Ignyte Award for Community (for Outstanding Efforts in Service of Inclusion and Equitable Practice in Genre) — so great to see people appreciating our magazine.

20 years of wonderful work — congrats to all the hardworking staff, the writers and artists, and well, everyone! 💖💖💖

The IGNYTE Awards

for novel-length (40k+ words) works intended for the adult audience WINNER | Gods of Jade and Shadow – Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey) for novel-length (40k+ words) works intended for the young adult audience WINNER | We Hunt the Flame – Hafsah Faizal (FSG BYR)* *BYR: “Books for Young Readers” for

An Interview with Minal Hajratwala

Here’s a really fun interview I did with Minal Hajratwala at the very start of the Portolan Project — we talk about attending Clarion, about South Asian SF/F, and much, much more. At this stage, I wasn’t set up for video yet, so it’s just audio, which you can listen to or read!

“South Asian work in particular, it’s interesting because I feel like…a modern South Asian science fiction sensibility, if there is one, is still forming. And of course we’ve talked about this, how diverse South Asia is, so many different strands. So whether you can even say there is “a South Asian sensibility” is disputable. But at the same time, I do think that South Asian countries have this deep wellspring of myth…and religion, which is nothing if not speculative. To me, that’s the definition. We don’t know things; therefore, we will speculate about how reality is constructed. And so drawing from that is this really fertile ground that I think people are still just beginning to tap into.”

Minal Hajratwala

“South Asian work in particular, it’s interesting because I feel like…a modern South Asian science fiction sensibility, if there is one, is still forming. And of course, I mean, we’ve talked about this, how diverse South Asia is, so many different strands. So whether you can even say there is “a South Asian sensibility” is disputable.

Tasveer South Asian Literary Festival

I was excited to attend Tasveer literary festival in Seattle, but they’ve had to go virtual this year. The plus side to that is that it’ll be much easier for all of you to attend, especially since it’s free!

I’ll be on a panel about South Asians writing SF/F, which is going to be super fun, and the other panels look terrific too!

The festival runs from Oct 20 – 25; my panel is Saturday the 24th, 12 – 1:30 Pacific time.

“Speculative fiction – a broad category that includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more – has long been a space for writers to imagine alternatives to our world and our circumstances, whether in outer space, magical realms, or right here on Earth. TSAL, in partnership with the Plurality University Network, is thrilled to host a conversation with Mary Anne Mohanraj, Mimi Mondal, Salik Shah, and Iona Datt Sharma about what those new worlds and futures look like in their writing and work.”

Registration (free) and full schedule here: https://tasveer.org/tsal

Woot!

The Illinois Arts Council has awarded the SLF a grant for $1700, which will be a big help as we continue to build out the Portolan Project.

Huge thanks to our Development Director, Cee Gee, who battled through Covid to get our application in on time. (The first time we were applying for an IAC grant, so it was a lot of new work for us, and she carried it.)

Thanks as well to our UIC spring interns, Darius Vinesar and Emmanuel Henderson, who helped us research and build out a database of grants we should be applying for.