January Roundup

by Kayla Whaley

In an effort to keep better track of my life, I’ve decided to start posting monthly round-ups of notable things I read and any news or publications of mine that came out. Hopefully you’ll find some interesting tidbits in these posts!

Recommended Reading

 

Books

THE SUMMER PRINCE by Alaya Dawn Johnson is a stunning sci-fi set in a futuristic Brazil. Several hundred years after the world as we know it ended, June Costa is an artist in Palmares Tres. When she meets Enki, the newest Summer King destined to die within a year, the two start a blistering campaign of art-as-revolution. A fascinating look at art, politics, technology, order, tradition, and ambition, this is one of the most fully formed sci-fi worlds and compelling sci-fi stories I’ve read. (Also, it’s hella queer. Just queer all over the place.)

In DELICATE MONSTERS, Stephanie Kuehn creates yet another darkly beautiful study of humanity. The language is magical, but it’s the characters who will haunt you. Sadie, Emerson, and Miles all have fascinating individual stories but it’s the ways in which they converge and interact that make this book unforgettable. I’m hesitant to say much about the actual plot because I think it’s best to go in with as little information as possible, but suffice it to say you may not want to read this one right before bed.

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE by Brittany Cavallaro doesn’t come out until March, but you need to put this one on your TBR right now. It’s the only book I’ve ever read that can be accurately described by “cute as all get out” and “contains quite a lot of hardcore drug use.” The premise—Sherlock Holmes’s and John Watson’s descendants meet at boarding school and solve murders together—is fantastic, but the execution is even better. And Charlotte Holmes is already in the running for my favorite character of 2016.

 

Essays

There’s only one link in this section, but you’ll find a veritable treasure trove of essays within. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! Kickstarter is kicking ass, and as part of the campaign, they’re posting daily essays by people of color about genre fiction, writing, reading, identity, and so much more. Some of the authors included are Alyssa Wong, Aliette de Bodard, Julia Rios, Ken Liu, and S. L. Huang. I sincerely recommend taking the time to read through every essay already posted, then checking back regularly for the rest to come. And make sure you donate to the Kickstarter if you can while you’re there!

 

Poetry

I read barely any poetry this month (and no short stories—whoops!), but the one I did read was exactly what I needed. “Questions to Ask Yourself Before Giving Up” by Kaitlyn Boulding is beyond comforting and a lovely meditation on self-care that I’m sure I’ll come back to again and again.

 

News and Publications

I HAVE AN AGENT!! I’m so thrilled to be represented by Beth Phelan of The Bent Agency, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

My essay, “Nobody Catcalls the Woman in the Wheelchair,” about street harassment as a disabled woman and the exclusionary language feminism tends to use to discuss street harassment, was published at The Establishment. It was also reprinted at the Huffington Post and linked to on Autostraddle.

Issue 8 of Uncanny Magazine included my poem, “tended, tangled, and veined.” It’s about names, roses, living glass, gender, and identity. It was also read beautifully by Amal El-Mohtar on the Uncanny Podcast.

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