My Superpower: Patty Templeton

8 Jul There Is No Lovely End

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Patty Templeton to talk about how the power of hoeing history for the strange relates to There Is No Lovely End.


Who likes hoeing history for the unexpected? Me. Dude, I will hoe history ALL NIGHT LONG. Ahem. Hmm. Let me rephrase. I LOVE BOOKS! I’ve written them, written about them, sold them at used and new bookstores, and did a five year stint as a Readers’ Advisor in a public library. I’ve noticed that when I’m reading fiction, it is my fun time. When I’m reading nonfiction – oh man, grab your notebook, girly…because here comes storybrain. All of the sparks for my best stories, and my debut novel – There Is No Lovely End – came to me from reading nonfiction. And not only nonfiction, but sleazy, peculiar, or mysterious nonfiction. I have become a Queen of Queer Antiquities, a Curator of Curious Histories, a Burrower for the Bizarre. Continue reading

Our CONvergence Schedules: Where We’ll Be and How You Can Join Us!

29 Jun

The entire male crew will be at CONvergence this 4th of July weekend.  Why the guys?  We drew straws.  Or it was entirely random.  Whichever sounds more interesting.

In any case, I’ve taken the liberty to compile a day-by-day schedule of all of our activities, whether as a group OR as individuals.  Some things may be added to this in the near future (walk-by sessions, etc.).  See the official CONvergence schedule for details about these panels (and others).

Here goes:


  • 12:30 PM — Mainstreaming of Geekdom (Mike Underwood)
  • 12:30 PM — Godzilla vs. Kaiju (David Annandale and Shaun Duke)
  • 2:00 PM — The Skiffy and Fanty Show (LIVE at CONvergence)(everybody w/ guests Martha Wells and Carie Patel)
  • 5:00 PM — Many Faces of Dracula (David Annandale)
  • 5:00 PM — Shakespeare and Fantasy (Paul Weimer)
  • 8:30 PM — Green is Not Diversity (Shaun Duke)
  • 10:00 PM — Are Zombies Dead (Yet)? (David Annandale)
  • 10:00 PM — Saberhagen’s Dracula (Paul Weimer)


  • 9:30 AM — Where’s the Creature from the Black Lagoon? (David Annandale)
  • 12:30 PM — Author Reading (David Annandale)
  • 12:30 PM — Marvel Film Roundup (Shaun Duke)
  • 5:00 PM — Gaming When You Have a Life (Paul Weimer)
  • 8:30 PM — Signing (David Annandale w/ Martha Wells)


  • 12:30 PM — City Building (Shaun Duke)
  • 2:00 PM — Gender in Urban Fantasy (Mike Underwood)
  • 3:30 PM — Mythology in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy (Paul Weimer)
  • 5:00 PM — Is There Life After ‘Dark and Gritty’? (Mike Underwood)
  • 5:00 PM — How to Structure a Novel (David Annandale)


  • 12:30 PM — Writing Sequels:  Deja vu or Level 2? (David Annandale)
  • 2:00 PM — From Gaming to Writing (Mike Underwood)
  • 2:00 PM — From Gaming to Writing (David Annandale)

Note:  we do plan to have Walk-By sessions this year, but we haven’t put them in the schedule yet.  It’s likely they’ll be semi-random due to our bizarre schedules and the various interviews we’ll be conducting.  The best way to get involved in a Walk-By session is to pay attention to our Twitter feed, which is where we’ll announce full details (location, etc.).

Geekomancer Under Glass – PACIFIC RIM News

28 Jun Kermit flail

As I said on Twitter, this post will be comprised of squee and speculation in the wake of this exciting teaser video from Guillermo del Toro:

So, quick recap. We are promised the following by 2017 -

  • Animated series
  • More comics
  • Pacific Rim 2 (in 2017)

Please pardon me while I flail for a moment. Like so: Continue reading

Book Review: The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu

26 Jun TheDeathsOfTao-144dpi

After being bonded with the alien Tao, making good strides against the Genjix, and becoming a better man in the process, physically and otherwise, you’d think Roen Tan would have it made. Instead, several years after the events of The Lives of Tao, Roen and Tao have self-exiled themselves not only from Jill and their son, but also from the remainder of the Prophus. It’s a particularly painful separation.

And,  sidelined as they have made themselves out to be, Roen and Tao’s side are in a relatively weaker position now, and the stakes are higher than ever. The Genjix are winning their long secret war against the rebellious Prophus. More and more of the countries of the world are falling under covert Genjix control. It’s everything Jill (and her own Quasing Baji) can do to keep things from slipping too badly.

In The Deaths of Tao, though, that might not be enough, as the Genjix have a new rising star in their ranks and a seemingly tantalizing approach to an old, old dream. Not the ancient dream to escape Earth, but a different desire entirely… Continue reading

Listening To My Ancestors

24 Jun

Author’s note: This blog post will be a little bit different from the usual SFF in SEA variant.

Recently, I was rocked by a wonderful and startling revelation from my dad about his grandmother. My great grandmother was a herbalist and a travelling physician. From his tone, I could tell my dad admired her. She had “ben shi”, ability, talent. She could do stuff.

Yet, my grandmother, my great grandmother’s daughter, wasn’t that forthcoming. She let out her stories in weak spools. She didn’t talk about things that made her sad. According to my dad, she quarreled with her mother who forbade her to leave for Nanyang (the Chinese term for Southeast Asia). My grandmother left for Singapore soon after that. Imagine the wounds still unhealed, the words left unsaid, unvoiced. My grandmother passed away last year.

My paternal grandparents came from Hui’ An, Fujian. Isolated from the mainland, Hui’ An still retains characteristics of a minority group in China:  the women’s clothing are unique and more reminiscent of clothing from Indo-China. The Hui’ An people are nominally Han Chinese. They are a coastal people, fishing and harvesting/farming oysters as part of their livelihood. At the same time, the women folk work at granite mines. Still deeply patriarchal, Hui’An society has women working at the coast and at the workshops while men idle away at tea houses. As a result, the women are tough, resilient and innovative. Continue reading

209. South African SF Roundtable w/ Alex Latimer, Lauren Beukes, and Sarah Lotz

23 Jun

Terrifying malls, time traveling serial killers, and renegade spaceships, oh my!  Authors Alex Latimer, Lauren Beukes, and Sarah Lotz join Julia and Shaun for an in-depth discussion about South African SF, from the influences of Apartheid on contemporary SA literature to the film industry to fandom and publishing.  You won’t want to miss this one!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 209 — Download (MP3)

Show Notes:

  • Our Guests
    • Alex Latimer (Author of numerous picture books and The Space Race, which involves apartheid, nuclear weapons, and a race to the moon)
    • Sarah Lotz (Author of The Three, which is about plane crashes and creepy kids. Also writes under other names)
    • Lauren Beukes (Author of several books including The Shining Girls, which is about time traveling serial killers, and the forthcoming Broken Monsters)
  • Additional Notes:
  • Where to buy SA books:
  • Author recommendations:
    • Diane Awerbuck — Home Remedies (recommended by Alex)
    • Louis Greenberg — Dark Windows set in future South Africa
    • Something Wicked magazine
    • Bloody Parchment anthology and Bloody Harvest anthology
    • Jungle Gym magazine
    • Andrew Solomon — Tokolosh Song
    • Edyth Bulbring
    • Henrietta Rose-Innes
    • Alex Smith
    • SA Partridge
    • Nerine Dorman
    • Liam Kruger
    • Miranda Sherry Black Dog Summer (like The Lovely Bones, but set in South Africa)
    • Sam Wilson

You can also support this podcast by signing up for a one month free trial at Audible.  Doing so helps us, gives you a change to try out Audible’s service, and brings joy to everyone.

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

This Katamari Feels Limericksish

23 Jun Gears for Queers

(That’s probably because you rolled up nothing but Limericks about exciting things!)

I’ve been like a magpie lately, collecting shiny things from here and there. There’s no unified theme to this post, except everything in it is an awesome idea. So I decided to force a theme in a way that will likely yield terrible results:  Limerick writing! I am making these all up on the spot, and giving myself no more than 5 minutes to do each one. So, hang on tight; this may be a bumpy ride!

Gears for Queers Continue reading


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