I’m supposed to put…

I'm supposed to put together a SF-focused concise bio (with the S. Asian and academic stuff too) this weekend, for Bob to use when he sends out the trilogy on Monday. (ARGH MY BOOK IS GOING OUT INTO THE WORLD ARGH ARGH ARGH I'M NOT READY)

I'm feeling a little weird doing this. Part of it is trying to figure out what I can legitimately take credit for. Bob would like me to include, "founder of the World Fantasy Award-winning Strange Horizons" -- which feels a little odd. Susan Groppi is the one who won the award, not me. It was for her work on Strange Horizons, presumably, which, yes, I did found, along with a bunch of other people. And which I ran for two years before I handed it off to her -- and then she ran it for eight years. I dunno -- do you think it's okay to include that line? Or is it just riding on her coat-tails?

I'm trying to remember what my other SF/F credits are. This is what I have:

  • director of SLF, obviously
  • founder of Hugo-nominated magazine Strange Horizons
  • WisCon 2010 Guest of Honor
  • Tiptree Award juror (significant enough to include?)
Umm...anything else that seems important? I've published a few genre short stories ("Talking to Elephants," at Abyss & Apex and "Jump Space" at Thought Experiments), but that probably doesn't fall under 'concise'. And there's all the stuff I wrote over at Whatever, which I think had some impact in the field (with over 1000 comments), but it feels weird to mention, since it's sort of...a side thing. I dunno.

This is what I have:

Mary Anne Mohanraj is author of BODIES IN MOTION (HarperCollins) and nine other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards and has been translated into six languages. Mohanraj founded the World Fantasy Award-winning and Hugo-nominated magazine, Strange Horizons. She was Guest of Honor at WisCon 2010, received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, and won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. Mohanraj is Clinical Assistant Professor of fiction and literature and Associate Coordinator of Asian and Asian American Studies at UIC, and serves as Executive Director of both DesiLit (www.desilit.org) and the Speculative Literature Foundation (www.speclit.org).


Side note: Bob says it's not time for blurbs yet, but if you happen to be a SF/F author (esp. a YA author) possibly willing to read and blurb my book, please let me know! I'm starting to make a wishlist of names now. Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Sarah Prineas, Swati Avasti, Isabeau Wilce, -- who else do I know...?

4 thoughts on “I’m supposed to put…”

  1. “do you think it’s okay to include that line?”

    Yes, absolutely. One of the things you’re good at is launching ambitious projects, which often go on to function well without you. Saying that you founded a magazine that has since been recognized by the World Fantasy Award and Hugo people is entirely appropriate, and relevant.

  2. If it feels dishonest, take out the “World Fantasy Award-winning” and just say you founded Strange Horizons. Which is true, and either they’ll know what it is and be impressed, or they’ll google it and be impressed.

    Don’t forget you were a Clarion instructor, also.

  3. I would take out the “World Fantasy Award-Winning” part as well, for the reasons you and SKM have stated. You did found it. Susan brought it to that award-winning level.

    I know that I personally would prefer to list what I felt honest about claiming, and the fact that you’re questioning including that part suggests that you feel the same way.

  4. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Hm. I dunno. I thought about it some more, and I think it breaks down into two cases:

    – if I use it in letters to editors, it doesn’t really matter much. It’s true, as Shmuel says, so I think it’s okay with that.

    – but what about more public bios? I was hesitating, but then I realized that if it appears on more public bios, it’ll not only accrue glory to me (which is nice, of course), but more importantly, might really make a difference in how people think about Strange Horizons. A lot of folks probably aren’t aware of that World Fantasy Award, and I’d like them to be, for the magazine’s sake.

    So I think as of now, I’m inclined to leave it in.

    I’d forgotten about the Clarion instructor! But I’m not sure that’s significant enough for a concise bio. Hm.

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