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Dwelling in Probabilities - C. Lundoff's Journal

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Anne Bonny
Dwelling in Probabilities - C. Lundoff's Journal
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December 31st, 2016

Where I'll be in 2016

Anne Bonny

The list in progress!


·      Arisia, Boston, MA. Jan. 15-18th. I’m moderating a panel on the Founding Mothers of SFF and helping with the Outer Alliance gathering on Sunday. Otherwise, hanging out and enjoying myself.

·      2016 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event – Jan. 21. I’ll be doing a post on things I have pondered while serving as an awards judge for various writing awards.


·      DevFest MN 2016February 6th, Minneapolis. I’ll be doing a joint presentation on Accessibility and Aging in IT with Twin Cities Women in Tech founder Valerie Lockhart.

·      Inflagranti Delicto: Writing Good Sex Scenes – Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis. February 13, 1-5PM. Class that I’m offering at the Loft; it will need to have 6 or more registrants to carry.

·      Lavender Ink: Writing and Selling LGBTQ Fiction - Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis. February 27, 1-4PM. Class that I’m offering at the Loft; it will need to have 6 or more registrants to carry.


Women Author's Event - Tretter Collection at the University of MN Libraries (joint event with Quatrefoil Library).March 26, 1-4PM. Featured authors include Jessie Chandler, Judith Katz, Pat Schmatz, MB Panichi, myself and possibly Rachel Gold.


AlterConf Minneapolis - Lead Pages, Minneapolis, April 9, 11PM - 4PM. Tech conference focused on diversity issues in IT and gaming. Valerie Lockhart and I will be focusing on making IT-related workplaces more accessible on multiple levels.



·      Au Contraire! 2016 – Wellington, New Zealand. June 3-5th. No idea if I’ll be on programming but hoping to get on a panel or two. Besides, New Zealand! Whee!

CONvergence 2016 – Minneapolis, MN. June 30th- July 3rd. Panels, perhaps a reading.


·      Diversicon 24 – Minneapolis, MN (new hotel likely). July 29th-31st. Jessica Amanda Salmonson is GOH this year. Panels, perhaps a reading.


·      MidAmericanCon II – Kansas City, MN. August 17th-21st. Worldcon for 2016. No idea what I’ll be doing yet, but will be trying for panels, etc.



·      Gaylaxicon 2016Minneapolis, MN. October 7th-9th. Panels and perhaps a reading.

·      Arcana 46 – St. Paul, MN. October 21st-23rd. Panels.


·      TeslaCon, hopefully. For the sheer joy of it. Madison, WI. November17th-20th


May 23rd, 2016

Patreon thoughts

Anne Bonny
So I am thinking about setting up a Patreon when I get back from vacation. For the last several years, I've been working on a series of pieces on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer science fiction. fantasy and horror. These have appeared in SF Signal, Nightmare Magazine and as part of various guest blog tours and I'd like to expand on them and make them into a book-like object on the topic. I do need to make a living at the same time, however, so I know I will end up prioritizing whatever brings in money. And I do better with set deadlines. (And yes, Queen of Swords Press is still going to happen - I had to finish a bunch of other things first). Given those needs, I think Patreon would be a reasonable model for me to use for this project. What I'm considering is something along these lines:
  • A monthly or possibly, biweekly, short essay on a topic related to LGBTQ SFF - queering Gothic fiction, lesbian ghost stories, gender identity and sexuality and worldbuilding, sfnal erotica, a profile of the work of a specific author, being queer in horror movies, TV, etc. This would go to all Patrons at say, the $2 level.
  • At, say, a $5 level, you could make requests for upcoming posts.
  • When I thought I had enough assembled and got to the book creation stage, all patrons would get an ecopy, and high reward levels would include...something else.
Does this seem like something that people would be interested in? My first essay on LGBT SFF Before 1970 is in the post before this one.
Now that SF Signal is in the process of shutting down, I'll be moving all my LGBT science fiction and fantasy posts over here. See next posts on my thoughts for next steps and where this is possibly all going. Anyway, going in chronological order, earliest to latest.

LGBT Science Fiction and Fantasy Before 1970

While most overt portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) characters didn't appear in SF/F and H until after the early successes of the Gay Liberation Movement in the 1970s, that didn't mean that there was no depiction of homosexuality in genre before then. Of course, the majority of early L, G, B or T characters were coded, implicitly but not openly gay or bi. Homosexuality was illegal nearly everywhere and could carry severe legal and social consequences if it was discovered. Characters portrayed same sex interest with a significant glance, a passing comment or a bit too much interest in another character.

Early science fiction and fantasy writers who experienced what one of Oscar Wilde's lovers called "the love that dared not speak its name" and wrote fiction about it paid dearly for it. William Beckford, the gay author of the Orientalist fantasy The History of Caliph Vathek (1786), began his life as one of the richest men in England and ended as a bankrupt disgrace in France. A century later, Wilde himself, author of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), The Canterville Ghost and assorted fairy tales, would be imprisoned on sodomy charges and end his life a broken man.

In contrast, Sheridan Lefanu was able to write about a lesbian vampire in the classic vampire tale "Carmilla" (1872), but Lefanu was heterosexual and the lesbian relationship in his story is equated with death and destruction.

It would be another fifty years before bisexual author Virginia Woolf paved the way for   subsequent positive portrayals of LGBT characters with her time travelling fantasy novel Orlando in 1928. In Woolf's novel, Orlando changes genders from male to female, then chooses to present as male for much of the rest of her/his four hundred year long life. Both men and women are attracted to her/him on multiple levels, making it a groundbreaking work for SF/F, though it is generally classified as literary fiction.

Author Olaf Stapledon's superhuman protagonist John Wainwright in Odd John (1936), also has positive relationships with both men and women before embracing asexuality. This was one of the more positive portrayals of homosexuality and bisexuality to appear during and shortly after World War II.

The negative portrayals, unsurprisingly, outnumbered the positive ones and generally equated homosexuality with Nazism. One of the better-known examples, Katharine Burdekin's alternate history about the Thousand Year Reich, Swastika Night (1937), is a vision of a Nazi society built around homosexuality and misogyny. Another alternate history, Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here (1935) touches on some of the same themes, linking homosexuality to Nazi totalitarianism.

The 1940s were, unsurprisingly, a bleak period for positive portrayals, corresponding with the overall attitude amongst pulp fiction editors and society at large that a character was better off dead than gay. Readers looking to find less dire fates for LGBT characters had to wait until the early 1950s when horror author Shirley Jackson included several female characters who can be easily read as lesbians or bisexuals in such novels as Hangsaman (1951) and The Haunting of Hill House (1959). Theodore Sturgeon cast a ray of hope with his classic story "The World Well Lost" (1953), about two aliens in love and the intolerance they face. It is considered to be the first open sympathetic depiction of homosexuality in science fiction.

The later 1950s and 60s ushered in more positive portrayals of LGBT characters by such famous names as Fritz Leiber, Theodore Sturgeon, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Edgar Pangborn and Robert Heinlein. The dramatic social changes of the 1960s impacted the science fiction and fantasy genres as they did everything else, inspiring a new generation of writers as well as creating new audiences. The decade also saw the early publications of the first openly gay and lesbian genre authors of the modern period, including Samuel Delany, Joanna Russ and Thomas Disch.

Their stories and novels, as well as those of other progressive writers in the field, paved the way for new perspectives on sexuality and gender in science fiction, fantasy and horror. If you're interested in learning more about the early years of LGBT SF/F, I recommend the excellent reference book Uranian Worlds: A Guide to Alternative Sexuality in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, edited by Eric Garber and Lyn Paleo (G.K. Hall & Co, 1990) which covers the topic through 1989.

Some recommended reading (not mentioned above):

A Mirror for Observers by Edgar Pangborn (1954)

"Mr. Wilde's Second Chance" by Joanna Russ (1966)

"Aye, and Gomorrah" by Samuel Delany (1967)

"The Two Best Thieves in Lankhmar" by Fritz Leiber (1968)

Les Guérillères by Monique Wittig (1969)


May 20th, 2016

 A PSA for the good of the order, directed at those of you who've been socialized to avoid conflict to one degree or another and regularly use social media: there is no rule that says that you have to put up with crap. You are not an evil human being if you unfriend, block, mute, filter, unfollow, etc. people who value their own feelings infinitely more than yours and feel obliged to insist that you do the same. This is true about political fandoms, sfnal fandoms, gaming, comics, tech, insert your subculture here. Placating them will not help: they will just demand more. Trust your instincts to distinguish between someone who respects your boundaries, but wants to have a discussion, vs. someone who wants to make you feel like shit so they can feel "right." The latter are not your friends or people you need in any portion of your life (even the relatives. Especially the relatives.). 
End of lecture. Hang in there, folks (directed at those of you getting a lot of garbage lately).

May 16th, 2016

So what am I up to?

  • Frenzied scramble to get everything in place for going to New Zealand.

  • Frenzied scramble to deal with work release that should have gone in March, only it got delayed until now, right before my vacation.

  • Frenzied scramble to get second big pass on editing project and editing notes done and organized to turn over to author before I leave town.

  • Frenzied scramble to get one more story rewrite done and another story submitted before I head out (which will get me to 4 subs in the past 5 weeks or so. Not too shabby).

  • Ongoing nervous eyeing of mailbox to see when Secret Project edits are going to land...so that I can add them to another frenzied scramble.

  • Taking time out to rage about the cancellation of Agent Carter and the wanton destruction (but renewed. Why? who knows?) of Sleepy Hollow. Plus additional pissiness over failure to pick up  a version of Nancy Drew featuring Sarah Shahi by CBS because "too female."

  • Yard stuff, house stuff, health stuff. The latter included good news from various tests, plus potential good news for a thing I would like/need to do when I get back.

  • Work on Press? See above. Maybe a few things before I go.

  • Question. I am noodling on the idea of a Patreon. Would folks reading this be interested in pledging for a monthly post on a history of SF/F/H with an LGBTQ focus? Author profiles, discussions of works, trends, related stuff? Since SF Signal is closing, I'll be moving my survey articles over here so that I have a backup in case their archiving doesn't work out so I was thinking it might be a good time to look at expanding that project to something that could grow to booklength.

  • Back to scrambling. Whee!

May 8th, 2016

In the course of fundraising for acclaimed fantasy author Judith Tarr, who's in danger of losing her home and her horses, I've run across a fair number of comments about the "shelf life" of SF/F authors, particularly women, LGBT authors and others when they drop out of the limelight (or never step into it despite the quality of their work). They are not wrong, these folks, so I thought I'd like to start a paying it forward chain of sorts and talk about 10 of the many authors whose work I enjoyed a lot in the course of the last 20 years or so and what they're doing now. I know Tarr isn't the only one who could use a boost (and she's not out of the woods yet, either). Please think about picking up some of their current publications or reviewing some you already have or donating to their Patreons and so forth. And maybe recommend a list of your own to others.

In no particular order:
Laurie Marks. Author of some terrific fantasy novels, many with LGBT protagonists, including Dancing Jack and Fire Logic. The third in her Elemental Logic series, Water Logic is still available from Small Beer Press and rumor has it that the 4th is close to being turned in. She'll be one of the Guests of Honor at Sirens Conference this year.

Melissa Scott. Author of lots of groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy, including award-winning books like Shadow Man, Trouble and Her Friends and other great stuff. She's got some ebooks at Crossroad Press, including some reissues and some newer work, as well as some titles at Lethe Press.

Jody Scott. No longer with us, unfortunately, but her partner is trying to keep her books available and has gotten her quirky classic sf novels I, Vampire and Passing for Human re-released through Digital Parchment Services. Brilliant, funny weird stuff.

Sherwood Smith. Author of historical fantasies and other fun things. Lots of swashbuckling, strong female characters and other good stuff. I'm fond of her alternate Prisoner of Zenda series, which begins with Coronets and Steel. You can find several of her books at Book View Cafe.

Judith Tarr. Historical fantasies and space operas including Alamat and Lord of the Two Lands. Her current titles are available on Book View Cafe, she has a Patreon and she runs a horse camp for writers as well as providing editing services.

Tenea D. Johnson. Author of, among other things, Smoketown, which is set in post apocalyptic Kentucky and features a cast of POC and queer characters; it is one of the best small press sfnal books I've ever read and this is an author you should be following, if you're not already.

Caroline Stevermer
. Co-creator (with Patricia Wrede, also still writing and publishing) of such historical fantasies as Sorcery and Cecilia, which is terrific, as well as the author of a number of novels on her own. You can find
Sorcery and Cecilia and the two sequels at Open Road Media and she has new work in progress.

Pamela Dean. Author of lots of great fantasy, including The Secret Country. She and Patricia Wrede have a collection of their Liavek stories, Points of Departure, available from Diversion Books. Several of her other books are/will be available through Blaisdell Press.

Jewelle Gomez. Author of the groundbreaking African-American lesbian vampire stories, The Gilda Stories, newly released as a 25th Anniversary Edition from City Lights Books.

P.C. Hodgell. Author of the Kencyrath novels, which have really never gotten their due. These are some of the best epic fantasy novels out there. Baen has been releasing the series, which is terrific, but with Baenized covers which tend to alienate the kind of readers who would love the complex world-building, the intricate gender-bending and other wonders of this series. Ignore the covers and buy the books.

So there you go. Some excellent recommended reading, if I do say so myself. Go forth, read, recommend and make lists of your own. Let's boost the signal on some of the more unique voices in the genre.

May 4th, 2016

My annual post, for those inclined to follow me elsewhere:
  • Website
  • I blog here and xpost to LiveJournal (some media heavy posts only go on LJ)
  • Most of my political posts, news alerts and spontaneous snark go on Twitter (@clundoff)
  • Cat pictures, community blog posts, assorted stuff goes on Facebook. I have also just added an author/editor page which will be all about my writing, appearances and related.
  • I also review books that I'm reading on Goodreads, post sporadically on Google+ and even more sporadically on Pinterest. Like many other people, I have an unused Ello profile.
If you're also interested in erotica/erotic romance writing me, Emily L. Byrne, she can be found at:

April 28th, 2016

It has been a culturally enriching week so far. Sunday night, I went with friends to see Lasso of Truth, a play about Wonder Woman's origins staged by Walking Shadow Theater Company and the Workhaus Collective. Interesting staging and excellent performances, though some of the scenes went on a bit too long – it switched from Marston’s BDSM ménage a trois relationship with the women in his life who inspired Wonder Woman to a contemporary woman inspired by Wonder Woman to a series of cartoons about Gloria Steinem’s successful efforts to force comics publishers to make Wonder Woman super again in the 1970s. It made for some really interesting, if somewhat overlong, theater, but I’m glad I got to see it.

Insert a couple of and evenings of mad work scramble, plus editing project and a bursitis flare-up and we arrive on Wednesday’s expedition to the Walker Arts Center for a free screening of “Love and Friendship” which is based, not on the actual story written by Jane Austen in her early teens, but on her epistolary novel, Lady Susan, written in her later teens.

So how was the movie? A tad uneven. I take my Austen pretty damn seriously (by which we mean that I find her wildly amusing and brilliant and have read all her available work, a lot of the critical analyses, multiple histories of the time period, a bunch of her contemporaries and so forth. Basically, I know more about Austen than most folks who haven’t made a career out of her work). The movie adapts the original epistolary form of the story and keeps some of Austen’s wording, which is a very good idea. Kate Beckinsale, on her third Austen-related film (including  Emma and Cold Comfort Farm, which is also Emma- adjacent), is terrific as Lady Susan, but other cast members range widely in their comfort with their roles. Chloe Sevigny is not terribly good and seems lost, Stephen Fry is wasted, as is Jemma Redgrave in part because it’s a short film so there’s not much to work with and they’re on too briefly. Costumes and settings are quite good. Pacing is a bit off and it dragged at the beginning and in the middle to a greater degree than an hour and a half long movie should have. But overall, the good parts were strong enough that I would give it a 6.5 or 7 on the scale of 10, 10 being outstandingly good (A&E/BBC Pride and Prejudice or Now I Have Found It, the Tamil version of Sense and Sensibility). 1 is the epically awful adaptation, such as PBS’ fairly recent Mansfield Park (known as “Jogging Fanny” in our household because she runs everywhere when not giggling or talking horse racing with Tom) or the Guthrie Theater’s dreadful Pride and Prejudice, in which Lydia frequently broke the fourth wall to explain the terrible complicated humor and plot to the presumably dull elves in attendance. The latter also featured rewritten dialogue by the artistic director and the playwright, because you know, any random dude can write better dialogue than Austen, amiright? Cue scathing sarcasm.

This film does a swell job of contrasting Austen’s dialogue with that of a contemporary writer who thinks he’s every bit as funny as she was, fair warning. This has mixed success.

Which leads me to the part where it was a free screening and we decided to stick around for the chat with the Producer/Writer Whit Stillman, in part to ask about the title. So we get two older dudes sitting around discussing Austen, which in my experience, doesn’t bode well. There are exceptions, but it’s very rare. This was definitely a mixed bag. Stillman is also getting a novel published this fall, that novel being a sequel to Lady Susan from the perspective of a male character who he invented. I mention this because Austen wrote entirely from women’s perspectives and you only see the male characters through their eyes. If it feels like I’m suggesting that one reason having a couple of middle-aged white guys sit around talking Austen unsupervised by more knowledgeable parties is that one generally gets a lot of a. trashing of romance elements, b. missed points and humor and c. a desperate desire to insert themselves or someone like them into the text because it’s not about them, I am, in fact, suggesting this. And that pretty much describes most of the talk.

 It wasn’t  the worst I’d sat through, but Stillman managed to insert several factual errors about Austen’s life and glossed over all the juvenilia…including Love and Freindship (her original spelling). I did ask what he was thinking re: the title change at the Q&A and pointed out that folks familiar with Jane’s work found the title change confusing, which got me a lengthy defensive answer about why the original story was shit and why he hated name titles, but hey, he did find the current title “Austeninian.” Well yes, that would be because it was HER title. At any rate, my friend and I had a good laugh and will probably go see the film again to see if it improves on further acquaintance.  It opens in theaters in a couple of weeks but my advice would be to skip the Q&As or any talks by the producer unless there’s something specific you’d like to rile him up about or have a question only he can reasonably answer.

Tonight’s adventure is a continuation of our annual dine out all day for Dine Out for Life, a national benefit for organizations working with people with HIV/AIDS.  Breakfast was at the Colossal Café in Minneapolis, lunch is elsewhere and dinner tonight will be at The Pourhouse where they are doing a burlesque extravaganza fundraiser. Should finish out the week nicely!

April 22nd, 2016

Acknowledging Earth Day

Anne Bonny
This is an annual post that I try to remember to do in honor of Earth Day. It's an update on whatever changes we've tried to implement in the last year to reduce our ecological footprint. The ones that saved money in the long run are noted as such.

Things done prior to April, 2015 (house is gas for heat and dryer, electrical for everything else):
  • Converted most of the light bulbs to compact flourescents or LEDS as they burned out - some upfront cost but definite electrical savings
  • Had additional insulation blown in the walls in some rooms  - reduced heat bills
  • Had external windows replaced - cost a mint but better in the long run for comfort and heating. Definitely reduced our heating bill.
  • Replaced several appliances with Energy Star versions - washer and dryer most successful for reducing electricity and heat bills - upfront costs, long term gains on water, heat and electric
  • Signed up for Xcel's Windsource program - small upfront cost
  • Started composting yard waste  - small up front cost
  • Installed a water barrel in the warmer months - some water savings on bill, small upfront cost
  • Started working from home a few days out of the month to reduce commuting - small savings on gas
  • Recycle items for citywide recycling as well as donating usable items
  • A minimum of one day a month where we don't drive anywhere. More challenging, given the need to run errands, go to the nursing home, etc., but last year I spent an entire week in Denver without a car, and we both spent 5 days in Chicago on separate occasions carless/using public transportation, plus a few extra days here and there so it balanced out. Last year, I think we managed more than 1 day a month of no driving.
  • One day per week meat free. Gets shaky when we're pressed for time but usually manage a couple of days a week with only one serving of meat. Lots of local fruits and veggies and related products, particularly in the summer - we buy organic from the farmer's markets and co-ops, etc.
  • Ongoing support for green businesses, everything from solar-powered and organic to reused and recycled stuff to green cleaning to bike-delivered tacos.
  • Put Esse Reusable Bags CarryAll Totes in each car. Small upfront cost and vastly reduced plastic bag usage.
After April, 2015 -
  • All of the above still in effect
  • Had a solar fan installed in the attic to even out the house temperature and humidity - upfront cost, too new to know how effective it will be but is supposed to reduce electric and heat bills
  • Signed up for Minneapolis' new compost program - between the no sort recycling and the compost program, we've reduced our trash by at least a third
  • Tried to get in the drawing for MN Solar but didn't get the tax rebate. Planning on insulating and redoing the attic instead. Our gas bills are much higher than our electric (though still below average) so this seems like a better move. Upfront costs but should pay off in the long run.
  • Redid back stairwell in marmoleum for less off gassing - prettier stairwell and sealed off ancient, scary linoleum, so a good thing, but with upfront costs and no direct payoff other than adding to house value
  • Put out a bird bath and new bird feeders in the back yard. Makes us very popular - some upfront cost
  • Had the front yard landscaped - less watering and more bee-friendly plants, cost was substantial but adds to house value, plus other benefits
  • Started doing carbon offsets for trips by donating to MN Tree Trust and The Nature Conservancy. I can't do huge amounts at a time, so this tends to be a series of small donations. I'm building it into our trip budgets to make sure we can keep doing it.
  • Switched most of our grocery shopping to the new co-op near us - less driving, supports fair wages in an area that was a food desert. And, despite our initial concerns, proving less expensive than the main co-op in a more affluent neighborhood.
  • Replaced the coffee maker with a more efficient one that uses less power, water and coffee. Upfront cost: about $100, but will pay for itself.
  • Hired Two Bettys Green Cleaning for once a month house cleaning. Local women-owned company that hires artists, writers and musicians for a fair wage and benefits, uses all organic cleaning options. Upfront cost is pretty reasonable, especially given the payoff for my sanity.
  • Also looking into for this year: Roman shades for insulation, water efficient sink and toilet.
Onward and upward! And open to suggestions, apart from going car-free which is not a possibility at this time.

April 21st, 2016

RIP, Prince Nelson Rogers

Anne Bonny
So this is a hard one. I was bummed about Bowie, but Prince, Prince was a hometown guy from my adoptive hometown, Minneapolis. He shopped at the same record store we did, went to local restaurants, you could run into him on the street, I knew people who went to school with him, he owned First Avenue for awhile. I loved his 1980s and much of his early 1990s work - he did songs about Ronald Reagan and nuclear war, dancing through the apocalypse, dysfunctional family dynamics, consensual sex, the works. Iconic lesbian musicians Wendy and Lisa were in his band, The Revolution, and were a couple and he was cool with that (that didn't last, but it was the 1980s so having it happen at all was a THING). He presented a new vision of masculinity and dated Sheila E. I used to play him on my campus radio show in St. Louis all the time. Hell, he even pops up in the book that inspired us to move here, Emma Bull's War for the Oaks ("Nobody's cuter than Prince!"). For a lot of us, he got to be symbolic of the coolest things about living in Minneapolis, even after he got more conservative and became a Jehovah's Witness. He was still the Great Purple One and many folks here adored him for it.

So be kind to his fans today and spin up a few of his classics. Remember him for his best; he earned it.

Purple Rain, live


Let's Go Crazy

And, of course, since Vanity passed on recently too: The Vanity 6 with the original version of Nasty Girl.
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