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NYC feminist science fiction reading


(2004-10-06)

At 7pm, October 14, downtown radical bookstore, Bluestockings (172 Allen St, New York) will play host to an exciting evening of local feminist science fiction. Ellen Datlow (editor, SCIFI.COM) will MC the event with readings from Carol Emshwiller (Carmen Dog, The Mount), Marleen Barr (Feminist Fabulation, Oy Pioneer!), Nancy Jane Moore (Imagination Fully Dilated, Imaginings), and Sue Lange (Tritcheon Hash).

Datlow, formerly fiction editor of Omni Magazine and currently fiction editor for the Sci Fi channel's website SCIFI.COM is a bright star in the field of science fiction. Throughout her years spent editing science fiction, fantasy, and horror, she has consistently raised the standards of these genres, winning numerous awards (Hugo, Bram Stoker, Multiple World Fantasy) and working with such literary giants as Joyce Carol Oates, William Gibson, and Stephen King.

Emshwiller brings a fine literary style to her stories, many of which deal with military issues informed by her experiences in the Red Cross during the Viet Nam war tempered by her involvement in 60s art scene.  Her short story, "Creature" won the 2002 Nebula award. Other nominated works include her novel The Mount (Nebula), and short stories "Grandma" (Nebula) and "Report to the Men's Club" (Philip K. Dick).

Barr, a Fulbright scholar and a pioneer of the scholarly study of feminist science fiction, has devoted over 20 years to the critical analysis of the genre. In 1997 she won the prestigious Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction criticism. She has written numerous  books on the subject and edited journals as well as anthologies of fiction. Her first book of fiction Oy Pioneer! was published last year.

Moore's short stories bring a "clean, tough " style to the table. Her writing, influenced by the fact that she is not only a child of the 60s but a former poverty lawyer, focuses on social and gender identification issues. Her stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and in magazines ranging from Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet to the National Law Journal. Her novella "Changeling" will be published this fall by Aqueduct Press.

Lange's book, Tritcheon Hash, like most of her work is satiric in nature. It has been described as a cross between Douglas Adams and Joanna Russ: humor laced with social comment. Influenced by such writers as Kurt Vonnegut and Fay Weldon, she has a voice unique in both science fiction and feminism.

Feminist science fiction, an offshoot of the larger science fiction genre, questions the gender roles and stereotypes we live under today and, looking to the future, offers alternatives to our current social constructs. A number of notable writers have contributed to the body of work, including Virginia Woolf for her Orlando, which has the main character switching genders midway through the story. Other important authors in the field include Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Joanna Russ, Karen Joy Fowler, Nalo Hopkinson, L. Timmel Duchamp, and Kelly Link. Emshwiller, Barr, Moore, and Lange will be reading from their own works to provide a taste of what this unique, humanistic branch of science fiction offers.

Information on the event can be found at: www.tritcheonhash.com. Directions to Bluestockings can be found at their website: www.bluestockings.com

There is no charge for admission and there's a good chance that yummy refreshments will be served.

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