Solarpunk has become established as a progressive, proactive, optimistic, climate-aware, politically aware field of speculative fiction. As solarpunk authors imagine the future, how can they make sure that future includes everyone? How can solarpunk develop and showcase remedies not only [to] the climatological errors of the present and past but the social flaws of oppression, bias, and exclusion?
Many theoretical economic systems have been proposed by economists, academics, and writers. Some of those cross the line—if there is a line—from theoretical economics into speculative economics. What are some of the more interesting and entertaining possible economic systems that could form the basis of speculative stories, from utopian SF to dystopias and horror? What makes a depiction of a fictional economic system feel plausible?
Featuring Sioban Krzywicki (moderator), John O’Neil, Malka Older, Michael Cisco, and me.
Here, for my own convenient reference, I post my schedule for WriteFest 18.
The Resistance Will Be Written: Writing as Activism
Panelists: Michael J. DeLuca, Kari Sutherland
Friday, May 4th, 11:30 – 12:30
Throughout history, literature has served as a method of protest and a means of change, and the current day is no different. How can writers use their literary practice to engage with and respond to social unrest? In what ways can literature help shape the arc of history towards justice?
Writing from More than One World: Bilingual and Multilingual Writers Speak Up
Panelists: Saadia Faruqi, Lorenzo Martinez
Friday, May 4th, 3:15 – 4:15
Languages all have their own distinct rhythms, storytelling traditions, and cultural contexts and subtexts. Our panel of multilingual writers discuss the experience of writing in multiple languages, the influence other languages have on their English work (and vice versa!), and more.
Submission Tools for New Writers
Panelists: CP Heiser, Michael J. DeLuca, Holly Walrath, Karen Bovenmyer
Saturday, May 5th, 8:30 – 9:30
Ready to submit your work but have no idea where to start? Join a team of editors as they guide you through the confusing and often contradictory process of getting published. Where can you find places to submit? How do you keep track of your submissions? And what happens once someone says yes?
Sunday Morning Roundtable and Q&A
Sunday, May 6th, 10:00 – 11:00
Location: Studio #6 (Breakroom)
Join your fellow Writefest attendees for a Sunday morning roundtable and discussion with remaining writers, editors, or agents! We will close out the festival with some final comments and discussion and give you a chance to ask those last lingering questions.
Behold, it is my schedule for ConFusion 2018. I’ll have print copies of Reckoning 1 and bookmarks with a code for $2 off Reckoning 2. And…something to read. And also opinions, and ideas. Plenty of those. And a glimmer of hope, if I can muster it.
See you there?
1pm Saturday Isle Royale Reading: Stacey Filak, Andrea A. Phillips, Michael J. DeLuca
1pm Sunday Interlochen Hopepunk in the Age Of Resistance
Author Alexandra Rowland defines hopepunk as the opposite of grimdark: “Hopepunk says that kindness and softness doesn’t equal weakness, and that in this world of brutal cynicism and nihilism, being kind is a political act. An act of rebellion. Hopepunk says that genuinely and sincerely caring about something, anything, requires bravery and strength.” What are the stories that inspire us to reject cynicism and fight for the good in this broken world?
Hey! How are you? I hope you’re weathering all this horribleness okay (and if you’re not, please let me know if I can do anything to help).
It’s been awhile, I know. Time for an update.
I’ve been neglecting the Mossy Skull in favor of a certain publishing venture I’ve embarked on. If you’re here, you may have heard of it. Reckoning is an annual journal of creative writing on environmental justice. I started on it last July; the first issue came out in December. The submission deadline for the second issue is the autumnal equinox, September 22nd.
It’s going well, I think. I’m learning. I’m paying reasonably good money for amazing work that might not have found a home otherwise, or at least not earned its creator quite as much. I’m getting to know some of those creators a little, by interviewing them and working with them. Some of them are getting to know each other. It’s even possible that at right this very moment someone is making something beautiful and thoughtful they might not have made if Reckoning didn’t exist. And of course I hope somebody somewhere is reading it all and being amazed and inspired.
But it’s a hard thing to assess as a whole, at this early stage.
I’m trying hard not to be glib.
“Reckoning” is, I think, a lovely word with quite a breadth of applicability; I feel like I see it used more and more these days, partly as a result of the ascendancy of a certain gumball-colored sociopath, but also it seems it’s the way the collective consciousness of the human race was already going. We’re being asked to take responsibility for the consequences of our actions, or the lack thereof. We’re trying to figure out what that responsibility looks like. This is what I wanted Reckoning to be about. But it becomes clear that publishing Reckoning and a reckoning with my own life and choices are separate undertakings, and one can’t take precedence over the other.
Here, then, by way of an update, and hopefully as a stopgap for the ongoing benign neglect I expect this blog to suffer for a good while yet, is how I’ve been reckoning of late.
I moved away from my huge, loving family and the elite liberal socialist utopia of Massachusetts for the post-industrial, post-working-class kleptocracy of Southeast Michigan. I did this for economic reasons: it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to live here, because no one wants to. Plus my wife got a very good job for the equivalent of which on the east coast competition would have been prohibitive. We were able to make this move at all only because of our privilege. We’re white; we have expensive east coast liberal educations and loving family with the long-term economic benefits of same. And I am aware of this privilege, the extent of it, only because I moved here. The distance allows me to see the stratification of this country for what it is. Did I start Reckoning because of it? Yeah, probably.
I bought a hundred-year-old former church parsonage for one fifth what the equivalent would have cost in the Boston suburbs where I grew up, and therefore could afford to outfit it with solar panels despite active discouragement from my new state and energy utility. I’ve had them for three years and am nowhere near earning back my investment.
I converted my barren food desert of a lawn to a permaculture food forest: apple and cherry trees, elderberry bushes, blackberry brambles, native grapes, hops, asparagus, nettle, strawberries.
I wrote, workshopped and revised a novel. I sent it out to a few agents, then got too wrapped up in Reckoning to follow through, and now it languishes.
I leased an electric car and spent a few months convincing my utility to let me plug it into the solar panels.
I joined my local government. I volunteer on my town’s environmental resources committee, trying to convince a bunch of working-class white Republicans to recycle. It sucks.
I voted for Hillary.
I sold a story to BCS, a weird western set in turn of the (twentieth) century Michigan, stuffed full of references to the Grateful Dead and the Great American Songbook. It comes out in July or thereabouts. Apparently I also get to read the podcast.
Speaking of podcasts, Far Fetched Fables will be running “Asleep in the Traces” sometime soon.
I gave a bunch of money to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center and etc.
Readercon is next weekend. I’m excited. I signed up for the utopian fiction track, which I think I also kind of sort of helped suggest, after last year’s eco-futurism panels went so well, and which fits quite serendipitously with my new project, Reckoning Magazine. It’s a literary journal themed around environmental justice…but let me say more about that in a week.
In the meantime, here’s my panel schedule, including a reading of some utopian fiction of my own.
Friday July 08
11:30 AMReading: Michael J. Deluca.Michael J. Deluca. Michael J. Deluca reads “#Anon and the Antlers”, a short story that came out in Orthogonal SF Volume 1 this winter.
Saturday July 09
12:00 PMThe Apocalypse Is Already Here; It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed.Michael J. Deluca, Haris Durrani, Paul Park, Vandana Singh, John Stevens. Countless cultures and peoples have experienced, or are presently experiencing, apocalypses: invasions, genocides, civil wars, natural disasters. Why do so few apocalyptic science fiction novels acknowledge that worlds have already ended? How does the experience of reading those stories change depending on one’s personal or familial connection to recent apocalypses? If science fiction moved away from the idea of a globe-spanning apocalypse to explore smaller, localized, but equally devastating apocalypses, what might those stories look like?
3:00 PM What Good Is a Utopia? Michael J. Deluca, Chris Gerwel, Barry Longyear, Kathryn Morrow (leader), Andrea Phillips. If an author sets out to write a utopia, several questions arise. Character and interpersonal conflict can drive the story, but how do you keep the utopian setting from becoming backdrop in that case? Were the Talking Heads right in saying that “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens”? And how do you showcase how much better things would be “if only”?