On The Guardian article titled “Get Real Terry Pratchett Is Not A Literary Genius”:-

Kari Maaren:- “I am going to write an entire article crapping all over an author whose work I have never read, though I’m obviously an expert on him because I skimmed through one of his books in a bookstore once and found the prose pedestrian. Clearly, this author wrote nothing but trash and never had anything worthwhile to say. Why aren’t we all reading Jane Austen and Gabriel Garcia Marquez? I refuse to accept that anyone might find value in Pratchett AND Austen. It’s obvious that the latter produces only the most thrilling prose and the former only absolute garbage that is turning our brains into mush. The only reason you disagree with me is that you are part of the uncultured mob that is going to destroy the human race. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find a moody novel written in the present tense about a middle-aged man painfully coming to terms with his own mortality. Toodles.”

This sort of wit  comes to Kari a TAD more easily than the rest of us; she provides hilarious interludes avec ukelele at ChiSeries’ monthly readings, and is nominated for a Pegasus Award for Best Filk Song (“Being Watson”), and Best Writer/Composer:- http://www.ovff.org/pegasus/



How Abyss & Apex fared in the 2015 Hugo voting: The Numbers

2015 Hugo Awards Semiprozine presentation

Best Semiprozine Nomination numbers (660 ballots)
229 votes: Intergalactic Medicine Show edited by Edmund R. Schubert 34.7 % (Withdrawn)
159 votes: Lightspeed Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, Stefan Rudnicki, Rich Horton, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant 24.1%
152 votes: Strange Horizons edited by Niall Harrison 23.0%
111 votes: Abyss & Apex edited by Wendy S. Delmater 16.8 %

100 votes Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine Edited by David Kernot & Sue Bursztynski 15.2%
94 votes: Beneath Ceaseless Skies Edited by Scott H. Andrews 14.2%
84 votes: The Book Smugglers Ana Grilo, Thea James 12.7 %
49 votes: Interzone Andy Cox 7.4%
39 votes: Pornokitsch Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin 5.9%

38 votes: Apex Magazine Jason Sizemore 5.8 %
38 votes: Clarkesworld Magazine Neil Clarke 5.8 %
30 votes: Apex John Joseph Adams 4.5 % 30
30 votes: Goblin Fruit Amal El-Mohtar and Caitlyn Paxson 4.5 %
29 Votes: Crossed Genres Bart R. Leib and Kay T. Holt 4.4%
29 votes: Sci Phi Journal Jason Rennie 4.4% 26
26 votes: Escape Pod Norm Sherman 3.9%



In fact our total is almost their combined total…

My Piece, “The Sweater”, is going to be published in The Malahat Review!

My piece “The Sweater” will be in The Malahat Review’s theme issue “Elusive Boundaries: Mapping Creative Nonfiction in Canada.”

I owe this to Nalo Hopkinson, who helped me take this to the next level. But I especially owe this to Nisi Shawl, without whom this would just be a 250-word piece in my diary…

I think the best way to talk about this is to relate what happened earlier this morning and yesterday.

So as I was passing the office of my building’s superintendent yesterday (after screaming and bouncing and muppetflailing etc. all over my apartment), I told him the good news.

This morning, as I was coming back from putting out the garbage, he was about to go through a door on the first floor. He stayed there, watching me, smiling.

“What ya smilin’ ’bout…?” I asked as I approached, smiling myself.

“Good for you. Progress, progress.”

This guy’s seen me at my worst; and in a way, I chronicled this in “The Sweater”. As I told him, waiting for the elevator, and he nodded, knowingly, me ticking topics off: it’s about not having money, sacrificing what you have just to get something nice; going to the food bank; being mentally ill; worrying if a guy’ll ever accept you; not having enough or the best supports; being alone; wondering where the light in the tunnel will go as you enter old age.

All in 1,400 words.

It’s like, the shortest thing I’ve ever written. My genre shit tends to be LONG.

As I told him, walking into the elevator, “At least I can write… at least I can write…”

[EDIT: Wendy Delmater was in integral part of the process, too. She’s mentoring me in all aspects of my writing, and so assumed to be a given my myself (NOT PRESUMED/TAKEN FOR GRANTED!) I don’t even think…. She saw it at its inception, through its many iterations, helped with the painstaking integration of lyrics, then their extrusion (Oh, GOD!) to find something Public Domain…


Pulled from WestIndians.tumblr.com:-

The way that racism operates aesthetically is to neglect or, in extreme cases, erase whoever is not white. In the 1950s, for example, Kodak measured and calibrated skin tones in still photography using a reference card featuring “Shirley,” a white model dressed in high-contrast clothing. Ultimately, Shirley ended up being the standard for image processing in North American photography labs. It didn’t matter if the photo in question contained entirely black people; Shirley’s complexion was still treated as the ideal.

Kodak’s film was so bad at capturing the different hues and saturations of black skin that when director Jean Luc Godard was sent on an assignment to Mozambique in 1977, he flat-out refused to use Kodak on the grounds that its stock was “racist.” Only when the candy and furniture industries began complaining that they couldn’t accurately shoot dark chocolate and brown wood furniture did Kodak start to improve its technology.

— Morgan Jerkins, The Quiet Racism of Instagram Filters

Why you won’t see affordable housing being planned.

Pulled this gem from the article “Why Your Rent Is So High and Your Pay Is So Low by Tom Streithorst

If they wanted to drive down rents, government could fund the construction of public housing, as they did during the Golden Age. More quality housing would increase its stock, and with supply rising to meet demand, prices would fall. This would be great for young renters, bad for middle-aged property owners, bad for banks. Thus it is not likely to happen.


I’ve gotten 900 solid Twitter followers at least, so here’s a celebratory snippet.

My protag goes to visit an Obeah Woman, with reservations.


As I put on the jumbie bead bracelet, the weight of the air suddenly disappeared.

I fingered the bracelet on my wrist. “So. This would help me?”

“It’ll protect you. But it will also help you have some control over those… dreams, as you call it. Pierce that fog surrounding you.”

“So there’s no way I can rid myself of it?”

The Obeah woman’s mouth widened into a knowing smile. “Yuh bite off more than you can chew, eh? You want to go back to the old monster you were before? Where things were simple? You didn’t have to think about right or wrong, because it didn’t matter to you? Having to care is not fun?”

Her smile faded. “No.”

I could feel my features growing stony. I could tell she saw them growing stony, too. I grabbed her by her forearm.

She took hold of my forearm with the most casual of motions but stopped me as surely as if I’d been suddenly bonded to the earth. I struggled. My arm burned. It’s not my flesh she was hurting, but something bad or broken inside me. Maybe the brokenness and I were so close I couldn’t tell the difference anymore. She let go and I collapsed, falling to my knees but afraid to move for the moment. I was breathing heavy all of a sudden.

Her eyes studied me.

“Try going to someone else to fix it. They’ll probably just tell you you have a loa.”

I got to my feet. I folded my arms. One of them felt bruised. I rubbed my arm unconsciously to soothe the residual burning.

Her expression softened. A hand thoughtfully went to her chin.

“Think of it this way. How else would you be able to trace the way to who sent this Adze to you? If it is in you, a part of you that you can’t consume, then trace its thoughts. It knows. It has an interest in its safety, in its self-preservation. It made its presence felt here today. Use that to your advantage. Work with it?”

My face wrinkled in discomfort.

“But that’s not what yuh want, is it. You jus’ want it gone?”

I stared at this elder long. I nodded. If I have to, I’ll trace the path some other way, somehow, than have this happening.

“Arrite. I have things to do. If you have need of me… come again.” The knowing smile reappeared. She turned away.

I parted the beaded curtain, and showed myself out.

Marriage proposal Between The Imperial Houses Of Ethiopia And Japan

From http://egyptsearchreloaded.proboards.com/thread/1826/marriage-imperial-houses-ethiopia-japan#ixzz3haPaXuDK


By Andrew Laurence
Other than Haiti’s successful fight for independence from France in 1804, the only other non-European nation to successfully repulse European colonial intentions, before Japan’s use of full scale modern weapons against Russia in 1905, was Ethiopia’s defense against Italy in the 1896 Battle of Adwa. While the rest of the world was being dominated by European interests, it was Ethiopia and Japan whose resistance stood out as African and Asian stalwarts. The 126th ruler of the Solomonic Dynasy Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, and the 124th monarch of the Jimu Dynasty Emperor Hirohito of Japan, represented longstanding cultures led by royal nobility. So when it was heavily reported that Lij Araya Abebe, a nephew of the Emperor, was looking for marriage from a young noble lady from Japan it caused great trepidation among the European powers.
Ethiopia and Japan had been communicating for some time concerning their economic and political interests. While accompanying the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Blattengetta Hiruy Wolde Selassie, on a trip to Japan in 1930 to sign a Treaty of Friendship and Commerce, Lij Araya apparently became enamoured with the people of Japan as did others who were impressed with their rapid industrial development and wanted to take the relationship one step further. When it was reported that the “prince” of Ethiopia was interested in marriage with a Japanese woman aristocrat, Mr. Sumioka Tomoyoshi, and other businessmen, saw an opportunity to increase relations between the two countries.

A number of trade missions were arranged to Ethiopia where the Japanese farming interests sought to secure some 500,000 hectares of land for cotton and other products, and land for immigrant families to settle. Emperor Selassie had recently signed a new constitution largely based on the Japanese model. Some young Ethiopian progressive intellectuals called “Japanizers” had been arguing that Japan was a good model for modern development and supported marriage between the upper classes of the two countries. Many Japanese nationalists thought it was necessary to unite the colored races against the white.

Mr. Sumioka impressed Lij Araya and quickly set up arrangements for a wife to be found. Advertisements for select woman in Japan were circulated. Many young ladies were attracted to proposition of marrying this handsome, royal, single Christian and about sixty applications were received. The first choice fell to Ms. Kuroda Masako who was the daughter of Viscount Kuroda Hiroyuki, a descendant from the former Lord of Kazusa. Trained in the English language and athletic, she immediately took up studies in Ethiopian culture and believed herself to be the first of many to immigrate to Ethiopia.

Unfortunately for the couple, as word spread of the impending marriage, alarm bells were going off all over Europe. Ethiopia’s envoy Daba Birru, who served as an interpreter for Wolde Selassie, continued negotiations in principle for arms, and engendered the goodwill and some needed supplies from Japan. Italy was jealous of Japan’s potential alliance with Ethiopia. Russia tried to convince other European countries of the threat of an African-Asiatic force. Italy implicated Japan in sending weapons and military training to Ethiopia. England and France became concerned that their stakes in the region would be threatened. As business negotiations began to increase, both the Japanese and Ethiopian governments became concerned about the negative publicity. Already, rumors circulated at the League of Nations about opium farming in Ethiopia.
Due to Japan’s increased trade with African countries, European media reported Japan as the “Yellow Peril” and a threat to their economic interests. Japan tried to cut its losses and attempted to find common ground with Italy on business dealings in China. Japan promised not to interfere with Italian interests in East Asia. It also encouraged importation of Italian wine and an exchange of students and teachers between them. Ultimately,

very little business did come about between Ethiopia and Japan due to a lack of investors and government precaution.
Alas, the “fairy-tale” marriage between the “African prince” and “Asian princess” was not to be. The symbolic threat of this union was too much too ignore. Who knows what might have become of such an alliance. As it turned out, Japan’s joining with the Axis Powers of Germany and Italy in WWII turned out to be a losing hand to say the least. Ethiopia could certainly have used the support of Japan in its fight against Italy’s attempt at colonization. On the other hand, would race prove to be a strong enough factor to prevent the European interests in Asia and Africa?
Mr. Sumioka, instrumental in arranging the whole affair, was reported to have received a Commander Class of the Order of Menelik II by Emperor Haile Selassie I, and predicted an Ethiopian victory over Italy. Not much was ever heard again of Ms. Kuroda who insisted her marriage should go on as planned. Blattengetta Hiruy Wolde Selassie, often referred to as the father of Amharic literature, and extraordinary diplomat, was a great supporter of the alliance with Japan and went into exile in England with the Emperor during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia. He eventually died there in 1938. Daba Birru gave himself over to the Italian side.

Lij Araya Abebe would go to the United States and work with Dr. Melaku Bayen in fundraising for the Italian war effort in the African American community and with the Ethiopian World Federation. He served as ambassador to Greece and Minister of Public Works among other positions in the Imperial government. He eventually married Woizero Mulumebet Abebe, sister of Crown Princess (later Empress-in-Exile) Medferiashwork Abebe, and had a son, Lij Amde Araya. He passed quietly in a Virginia suburb of Washington, DC in 2002.
(Primary source: Dai Nihon, Tokyo by Hiruy Wolde Selassie, 1934. Secondary source: Alliance of the Colored Peoples: Ethiopia and Japan Before World War II by Joseph Calvitt Clarke III, Professor Emeritus of History, Jacksonville University, Florida.)
Andrew Laurence is president of the Ethiopian American Cultural Association.