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There is an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for a bilingual anthology, Castles in Spain / Castillos en el aire. It aims to bring the speculative fiction stories that have served as milestones in Spain to English-language readers.

Stark Trek

Jan. 23rd, 2015 01:57 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Stark Trek ...

I bet Tony's bedpost has even more notches than Jim's, of infinite diversity in infinite combinations. Also the ship/captain interactions would be even more awesome because of JARVIS.

Let's see now, obviously Bruce is the chief medical officer, but Hulk is security when he comes out. Steve must be the head of security. Bucky is Steve's second, recently recovered after being reported MIA, but now he's got a weirdly powerful metal arm and holes in his memory. Natasha is probably security too. Clint is so much a scout as well as an assassin, I think he'd be in charge of landing parties. (Ship's casualty rate goes down, enemy's goes up.) He might also man the weapons station on the bridge. Pepper would be the communication officer. Betty for science officer ... but she *transferred* from security and if you mess with her or Bruce, she will rearrange your face and ribcage. Phil has the helm, and never gets tired of using "don't distract the driver" lines when the bridge gets fractious. Engineering has some poor, henpecked redshirt because of course Captain Stark came up through that department and if the ship is really hurt, he delegates the bridge and goes down to fix the engine *personally*.  Also 50% of the crew should be female, the way God and Gene Roddenberry intended.

I would read/watch the hell out of this.  Anyone want to write me some?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I got to thinking about the literary device of a "fixed point in time" that can't be changed by a time traveler -- an event that always happens, an earliest thing that can be changed and beyond that can't be reached, etc.  It usually seems like a deus ex machina copout to me.  (An exception is if the time travel mode itself has a limited travel range, as most conveyances do: a practical rather than arbitrary restriction.)  So then I noodled around ideas that might work better, and thought of ...

Time Jenga.  There are not fixed points in time.  There are load-bearing  points in time.  They cannot be altered while the weight is resting on them, because it pins them in place.  However, you can move things around in other parts of the timespace continuum.  That causes the load to shift, releasing pressure to make some points malleable while pinning new ones down.  A time traveler with a specific goal may be able to meet it directly, or may discover that it is currently stuck and have to figure out what else to change so as to release it.

Basically, it's the opposite of every "don't change anything because butterflies" story ever.  The whole point is to run around making changes that you think will loosen what you're trying to fix ... but without toppling the whole tower or destroying the universe in the process.  Quality in a time traveler, then, is less based on range or subtlety than on an exceptional grasp of temporal physics and connectivity, whether obtained via logic or intuition.  You can eyeball the structure and calculate the load, or you can touch it very delicately to feel for loose pieces.

Except of course that real life is less like the orderly stack of Jenga blocks and far more like a game of Bausack Towers in which God keeps giving you the Christmas trees.
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This poem is from the January 2015 Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] ellenmillion and [personal profile] alexseanchai.  It has been sponsored by [personal profile] chordatesrock. This poem belongs to the Astin thread of the series An Army of One.

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This poem came out of the August 6, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chordatesrock and LJ user Kelkyag. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] librarygeek. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One.

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 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has fleshed out a Creative Jam prompt fill into a complete novella, "Salvaging."  Begin with Part 1.  This is a crossover between Polychrome Heroics and Schrodinger's Heroes, meant as an anchor story that can introduce people to those series.  When a superpowered assassin encounters a baby with superpowers, and a pesky white cat, he's in over his head but determined to keep up.
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This poem is from the January 6, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] librarygeek, [personal profile] thnidu, and LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "furnishing the home" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One. It has been sponsored by Ng_moonmoth.

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In your own space, talk about what surprises you about fandom. It could be a pairing or fandom you never thought you'd like. A fanwork type you never knew existed. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Talk about a talent you discovered you have. Finding folks who are geekier than you, or on the flip side, finding out that there is no one geekier than you. A person who changed your life. The possibilities are endless. Big or small, what unexpected surprises have you found?


The first thing that comes to mind is disappointment.  When I first got involved in fandom, it was dramatically different from mundania, a precious refuge from a lot of the nonsense that makes me dislike most gatherings.  This has sadly diminished over time.  Frex, the rise of the term "cosplay" concurrent with bothering people who are in costume, which used to be just the kind of dressing up that lots of folks did at a con and nobody made an issue about.  I've seen fandom become less welcoming and open-minded, more hostile, and less adept at solving problems.  I miss that camaraderie, that glimpse of a better world.  There are still things I love about fandom, but these days more of them are online than in person.

On the other hoof, I've discovered some cool new things over time.  The whole enemies-to-lovers thing took a while to develop into the major force that it is today.  It's a favorite dynamic, so I'm really glad for that.

I never would've expected the rise of hobby-editing as such a prevailing force either.  What started as the first-readers that many writers had privately has grown into a very public pool of beta-readers, which is to say, people who edit friends' stories for fun.  Or even strangers' stories, some of them.  Since the big publishing houses are nearly moribund, I'm happy to see a thriving supply of effective editors who can handle contemporary literature, whether purely fanfic or the original material that often results from fanwriters expanding their activities.

Some very dear friends have come through fandom, or share fannish interests with me.  [personal profile] janetmiles[personal profile] haikujaguar[personal profile] ellenmillion[personal profile] k_a_webb, and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer leap readily to mind.  I'm grateful for those connections.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I saw some friends doing this ...

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

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This poem is from the September 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] whuffle. It also fills the "mutation / transformation" square in my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to The Blueshift Troupers project.

WARNING: This poem contains allusions to childbirth and other messy, unpleasant biological processes.

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Here's an article about an interesting feature of the Star Trek universe:

Something that is really great about Star Trek, is that when a character notices something is amiss, and they are the only one to see it, the rest of the crew doesn't just dismiss their concerns offhand. You aren't saddled with an episode of the character trying to convince everyone else that what they saw / heard/ felt was real. Everyone else believed them right away. They've probably already started running scans, and started trying to help their friend, instead of treating them like a child.

And it never matters what character it is. Their concerns are ALWAYS valid
.

It's a spacer virtue.  In space, you can't afford to ignore little things like that.  Space will kill you if it can.

That is the default setting for most of what I write.  Sometimes there are outside or unsympathetic characters who are indifferent to someone's observations or needs, but team members consistently support each other.  More often than not, if somebody points out a problem, other characters will start working on how to solve it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... with any ten books or similar cultural items from history, including lost ones.  [personal profile] dialecticdreamer is offering readers a chance to make a cache in the Heliodrax world.  I've already posted mine.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article explains how scientists created a new species of lizard not by genetic engineering, but by crossbreeding.  The hybrids are typically not fertile but can reproduce by parthenogenesis.  Whiptailed lizards can wind up with two sets of genes from different species.  But apparently some hybrids are sexually fertile because there have been species with three and even four sets of genes -- created by a monogenetic male mating with a female who has multiple sets.

Most of the time I posit that interspecies sex would not produce viable or fertile offspring in science fiction.  But several times I've written a basis for interspecies procreation, and it tends to be because the alien species is predisposed  to reproduce with the assistance of a different species.  On Earth, for example, there is the cuckoo; and now this, with actual crossbreeding.  It would be interesting if the alien species had the parthenogenesis option.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came from the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] corvi. It also fills the "vandals" square in my 9-11-14 card for the Halloween Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

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The following poems from the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my LiveJournal profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods.

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This poem came out of the November 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth and [livejournal.com profile] siliconshaman.  It also fills the "holding one's ground" square on my 9-29-14 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth.  It belongs to the series An Army of One.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Imagine the kind of future you'd like to live in.  Read it, write it, paint it, buy it.  Challenge the status quo.  Rock the fucking boat.

If you look at what I'm writing, you'll see a lot of interaction among diverse characters.  They use their different cultural backgrounds to solve problems in creative ways.  You can see alternative justice methods, different economies, all kinds of governments.  It's not just in science fiction; I do that in fantasy too.  But my leading SF projects, Schrodinger's Heroes and The Blueshift Troupers, are both very strong on diversity and less-violent problem solving.  So is another that I helped inspire, Nine for the Nebula's Heart.  For me it really comes out of something that Martin Luther King, Jr. said to Nichelle Nichols about playing Lt. Uhura: "You show that we SURVIVE."  That's the kind of SF I grew up with, not this modern dystopic shit that looks like the news.

We survive.  The people I put in my futures are the faces of all my ancestors.  I may be pinkish on the outside right now, but well ... I can pass for white, until I open my mouth.  Read me and the true colors show right through.  These are the kinds of world I want to live in.  I want my future back.

What are some of your favorite SF futures?  What are some of your favorite writers or works of color?

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