Hutt Hijinks, Flights of Foundry... this one's all about the events

(Not quite all! There are other things as well, but yknow...)

Hello everyone, and a particular welcome to new subscribers. It’s lovely to see you here! These remain weird and difficult times all round and I hope you’re managing as best as circumstances make it possible.

It’s the end of summer here in Aotearoa and I’m clinging to the last bits of sun, making the most of my scheduled afternoon reading break on the deck.

Upcoming Events

I’m delighted to be speaking at Lower Hutt’s Mystery in the Library event in May. It’s a series I was hoping to be part of last year before… well… everything happened, so I’m really excited to get a second chance and talk along some great folks.

Not nearby? I’ll also be speaking at the virtual Flights of Foundry convention, on a panel called “Creating Accessible Worlds”. I’ve been wanting to be on a panel like this forever and I’m alongside some amazing people. I’m looking forward to seeing some of you there!

I’ve been reading…

…oh my god, I’ve been reading. It all started getting slightly overwhelming actually. I’d been stepping up the pace so I could put forward nominations for the Hugo Awards, and then I purchased this incredible bundle from Tachyon (highly recommended, by the way, you still have a day or so to get it), and then as a SFWA member I got my paws on the packet of Nebula Award nominated works to read before voting, and then I put all of these on my Kindle and uh wow.

That’s a lot of books.

We shall not speak about what is piled up beside my bed.

So what have I been enjoying recently? I’m currently reading A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher - it’s about a young wizard/baker who gets caught up in a murder investigation and then wider politics. It’s a great book - I really love how Kingfisher combines serious questions - do we trust the police? how can power systems get corrupted? - with the cosy and humorous (bread magic!) without sounding dismissive or flippant.

I read an advance copy of Octavia Cade’s The Impossible Resurrection of Grief - it’s a beautiful and unsettling - at times actively disturbing - story of our response to climate change, including jelly fish, genetic manipulation, and clockwork birds.

My partner and I finished listening to this incredible reading of Maria Dahavana Headley’s translation of Beowulf. Highly recommended - there’s some amazing and well chosen speakers in there! I also recently enjoyed The Other Side of the Mirror by Jamie Sands - a queer paranormal detective story, the first in what promises to be a really fun series.

Fantasy and Science Fiction Giveaway

I’m excited to team up with a group of Fantasy and Science Fiction authors for this giveaway! If you’re on this newsletter you’ve likely already received a copy of my current freebie, First-years and Familiars (stick around for future freebies!) - now go check out the whole range of free books on offer.

Substack concerns

This part of the newsletter is less pleasant, unfortunately. I picked up Substack as a newsletter platform last year and it’s really worked for me in ways that others haven’t. Unfortunately the broader way it’s been operating has been, well, bad. You can read more in the work Sarah Gailey and Annalee Newitz have been doing to bring it to wider attention.

So this leaves me in a not-great situation. I don’t use Substack’s paid features but using them to distribute content is a kind of support for them. On the other hand, I have concerns about many of the alternatives, and can find them hard to use. So I’m not making a decision just yet. If I move, I’ll make it as painless as possible for you to follow me. In the meantime I just want you to know I’m aware of the situation and now happy about it.

Ugh! Why must people?

Here’s a picture of my cat as a cleanser.


Lastly, a quick reminder that Microscopes and Magic is out now for all your witchy sapphic reading fun. Take care of yourselves!