Loose-leaf Links is a feature where I gather together the interesting bits and pieces on sci-fi and fantasy I’ve come across and share them with you over tea. Today I’m giving you a closer look at The Art of Tea‘s Tabitha Blend, which was specially made to go with Livia Day’s novella The Blackmail Blend. Check out my review for my thoughts on both tea and novella.
Defying Doomsday is one of my favourite books of the year so far, so I’m very pleased to see it is getting a local launch. If you’re in the vicinity, the launch is taking place at Harry Hartogs bookstore in Woden on Saturday 6 August at 1pm. Hope to see you there!
Ambelin Kwaymullina’s trilogy The Tribe was on my list of favourite reads for last year and I still recommend it whenever I get the chance. So I was pleased to see it getting some love from Jim C. Hines.
The finalists for the 2016 World Fantasy Awards have also been announced. Letters to Tiptree is up for another nomination (this time in the category of Special Award, Nonprofessional). I’m also delighted to see Kathleen Jennings nominated for Best Artist.
A reminder that voting for the Hugo Awards closes on 31 July.
Community and Conventions
Canberra’s speculative fiction convention Conflux begins on Friday 30 September. A draft program has been posted and organisers are looking for feedback.
Poet Lev Mirov writes about centring minority readers and why diversity is like a mix tape.
Jim C. Hines has taken some extracts from classic SFF and genderswapped the characters. He follows up with a reflection on this exercise, which illustrated to him the insidious ways sexism is present in our language and a few issues with his own work. A useful exercise for all writers, perhaps?
Tim Napper discusses the dominance of US cultural wars in SFF discourse–and discussions on diversity in particular. While I don’t agree with everything he says, he does make some very important points.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw reports on the controversy surrounding Underground Airlines, an SF novel set in a world where the US Civil War never happened. Once again, a white man gets lauded for being daring and new, while the POC authors that did it first are erased.
Ben Winters uses the controversy to take a moment and celebrate writers of colour.
Geoff Ryman has started a fantastic new column over at Tor.com interviewing 100 African SFF Writers (and filmmakers, poets and comic artists). Part One focuses on Nairobi… and is a very long read.
K.J. Charles is one of my favourite romance authors. She’s currently offering two free developmental edits for diverse British romance writers. If that describes you, check out her post for the details.
Ticonderoga have extended their deadline for their Ecopunk anthology. They will now be taking submissions until 31 August.
Another author cautionary tale as Linda Formichelli tells of how she lost $6, 500 by hiring Insurgent Publishing to launch her book.
Jane Friedman offers 5 pieces of writing advice you should ignore.
A new study looks at how what you read affects you. Some interesting points here, though I can foresee this being future ammunition in the literary/genre wars.
Lots of reading lists! YA Interrobang offers Queer YA fantasy written by women.
Mithila Review has your essential reading list of Asian SFF.
Tehani of Fablecroft Publishing offers 30 of her favourite fantasy book series in response to a sub-par “best of all time” list.