Keffy

everything i do is so fucking amazing that sparks are going to shoot out of your eyes

Category: Fiction

Science Fiction is a Magical Unicorn Genre that Contains No Works

After several years of listening to self-professed science fiction fans and experts talk about what is and isn’t a part of the genre, I have come to an important conclusion. It turns out that even though I have read and written science fiction my entire life, none of what I have consumed is actually science fiction. Here are many of the reasons why:

 

It’s just a story about science/doing science

That science is impossible, therefore it’s fantasy.

The science is too realistic, therefore it’s not science fiction.

Any fantasy elements whatsoever exist in the story, therefore it is 100% fantasy, regardless of any SFnal elements.

If you removed the science fiction elements, it would be the same story!

It reifies the status quo!

It’s not progressive!

It’s too progressive!

I DISAGREE WITH THE POLITICS.

Someone put a different marketing category on it.

The author is well known in a different genre.

The author outsells my friends.

The story has elements of another genre, therefore it’s just a ____ story in space/after the apocalypse / in the future / with aliens.

The author is a woman and therefore it’s just a ____ story in space.

The author is a person of color, and therefore it’s just a ____ story in space.

The author is non-binary, but I don’t understand what that even means, and have considered them to be a woman, and therefore the story must be a romance or something set in space.

I think there were metaphors in it, so it was probably not science fiction.

The author works at a university and has an MFA, so it’s literary fiction.

It provides commentary on the present, rather than pretending to predict the future.

It’s not set in the future.

It’s not set far enough in the future.

It’s set too far into the future.

I don’t like the subgenre, so it’s not really science fiction.

 

With a little bit of thought, and a minimal amount of effort, I’m sure that you will realize that all your favorite, cherished science fiction novels are actually fantasy… or something else entirely. In any case, we should clearly realize that science fiction is, in itself, a myth. There is nothing contained within the genre. The set of Definitely Science Fiction Works is an empty set, and we can all go home now.

What I did in 2015 & eligibility & some books I liked

AAAH, how is it already 15 days into 2016???? If I don’t write this now, I’ll end up putting it off until it’s already 2017. D:

 

Anyway. I spent way, way waaaaaay more of 2015 being sick (hospital, and later pneumonia from a DIFFERENT illness), maneuvering un/underemployment, applying for graduate schools, interviewing for graduate schools, traveling to the east coast and back, moving across the country, and somewhere in the middle of all that, running a successful Kickstarter and starting a magazine (GlitterShip).

Speaking of which, I still owe a LOT of Kickstarter rewards, so, that’s on my “OH NO OH NO DON’T HATE ME” GET IT DONE list for 2016.

I did not have as much fiction out this year as I would have liked, so my “here’s what I wrote that is eligible for you to consider for whatever” is just this:

 

“Singing Wings” in Fireside Issue 27, September 2015. Flash fiction.

“And Never Mind the Watching Ones”  Uncanny Issue 6, Sept/Oct 2015. Novelette.

 

So if you’re inclined to recommend these to others, thanks! If not, please recommend and nominate the works you DID like. (Although, I admit to not feeling much like there’s a point, since undoubtedly the s/r pup organizers will show up to shit all over everything again. Gee, thanks.

 

EDITED TO CLARIFY:

According to the Hugo Award rules, GlitterShip is NOT eligible as a semiprozine because it is eligible as a fancast.

So, if you enjoyed GlitterShip last year and wish to nominate it for Hugos, it is eligible as a fancast.

I am also eligible as best editor short form, but let’s be honest, there are a TON of other editors eligible. Do go look up who is editing your favorite magazines and anthologies!

GlitterShip is a podcast and a magazine. It’s probably eligible for something, somewhere. I know there are Parsec awards that have to do with podcasts specifically, but I haven’t followed those very closely.

 

My reading has mostly been subsumed in reading Tiptree recommendations, and in terms of THAT award you just have to wait until we’re all done with it in March and then the whole jury will let you know.

 

However, here’s a list of 2015 books that I personally enjoyed, and should not be considered an endorsement for anything other than “here are some books from last year that you might like.”

It’s a mix of YA, adult, fantasy, science fiction, collections, comics.

 

Radiance – Catherynne M. Valente

Signal to Noise – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Red Girls – Kazuki Sakuraba

Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley

Aurora – Kim Stanley Robinson

I Am Princess X – Cherie Priest

Shadowshaper – Daniel José Older

The Fifth Season – N. K. Jemison

Falling in Love with Hominids – Nalo Hopkinson

Three Songs for Roxy – Caren Gussoff

Cherry Crow Children – Deborah Kalin

The Only Ones -Carola Dibbell

Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho

Planetfall – Emma Newman

The Beyond Anthology: Queer Science Fiction / Fantasy Comics ed. by Sfé R. Monster & Taneka Stotts.

GlitterShip open(ish) for submissions:

What’s all this then!?

I’m starting an audio fic/interview podcast focusing on reprints of queer/lgbtqi-etc fic. Authors do not need to identify as queer to submit their reprints, though queer authors, authors of color, and authors of other marginalized identities, are specifically encouraged to submit.

I’m opening right now to get a few stories to start with, and once it’s running, I will probably (sorry, but I’m broke) do a small crowdfunding campaign to cover a year or so of fiction.

I don’t know how long I will stay open, but either until Nov 30th or I get enough stories I love, whichever happens last. Then subs will close while things get rolling. (And then reopen.)

I want to have a few episodes up before asking anyone for money because I want to show what the ‘cast will be like.

Pay: 1c/word*

Rights: Non-exclusive English language audio & non-exclusive English electronic reprint rights.

Wordcount: 100 – 5000 words

Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, horror, interstitial, speculative, whatever. It’s an SF/F mag, but if in doubt, send it.

Attach stories in standard manuscript format .rtf/.doc/.docx format and send to audiosubs at keffy dot com. Please note in your coverletter if you are interested in being interviewed and if you have a book or something coming out.

 

But what about previously unpublished stories?

At this point I do not believe that I will have the funding to pay a fair or reasonable price for original fiction. I also admit that this is something of a way to limit the scope of the project while I am getting started. If you have original queer speculative fiction, I STRONGLY recommend that you send it to the Lightspeed Magazine Queers Destroy SF special issue, or Vitality Mag. Or any of the science fiction and fantasy magazines listed on The Submissions Grinder.

*If the crowdfunding does well enough that I am able to pay more, authors in the first few episodes will be paid the difference in pay rates.

Machine Washable

I’ve had people ask about this one, so I thought I’d put it up where people can actually read it. The story was originally published in Sybil’s Garage no. 6, and there was an audio reprint in Podcastle. This was my first short fiction sale back in 2009.

Machine Washable
By Keffy R. M. Kehrli

Dear Mom,

Instead of washing a load of clothes, I keep going to the store and buying more underwear.

I know you don’t even believe in weird things like monsters or ghosts, and neither do I, but

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO START!

Okay, look. There is a zombie half of a zombie in my washing machine, so I can’t do any laundry. Part of me feels really bad about not alerting you to this earlier, Mom, but it sounds crazy. I would have called you, but I think that I accidentally dropped my phone in the washing machine. I would just email you, but I know you never check yours.

I don’t really know where to go from here. I mean, it’s kind of like being the kid you thought was so responsible, and then I smash up my your car. Except this is worse because it looks (and smells) nasty.

I mean, it’s not like I haven’t washed any clothes at all. I washed my jeans out in the bathtub last week. In a way it would be better if the zombie was in the dryer, because at least I could hang things up to dry. Then again, can you just imagine how bad that would smell if I turned it on? Okay, so that’s a shitty idea.

The only way I can keep the damn thing quiet is if I turn the washing machine on. I figured that if I put in some detergent maybe it wouldn’t smell so bad and Andrew could come over so we could study. The detergent didn’t help the smell enough, but I keep putting it in since I have to run the washing machine all the time anyway, and it’s not like I can use the detergent on my clothes. It uses a lot of water, though. I guess that’s something else. I know that the idea was that you’d pay for the apartment and I’d pay utilities, but I think I’m going to need some help with the water bill.

I know you’re probably going to wonder how I got half of a zombie into my washing machine, and also which half. It’s the head. The head and one of the arms and part of the shoulder, so maybe less than half but it’s the scarier half. You know, because it’s not like a pair of rotting dead legs are all that scary.

I also have to say that having the laundry machine in the kitchen? Was a really bad idea. When the only thing in there is some dirty socks or maybe my sports bra it’s not that big a deal. When you’ve got to listen to a zombie’s skull go WHUNK-THUNK WHUNK-THUNK, well, then it’s just gross.

Basically, I’m writing you because I need a new washing machine and my water bill is pretty high. You can send a check if you want.

Love,
Krystin.

#

Beep.

“No, I am not pulling your leg! After last week, I’ve had enough leg-pulling. There is seriously, for real, an honest-to-God zombie in my washing machine. I don’t understand why you can’t just look at the YouTube video! Anyway, I got a new phone, so call me back. Also, oh my God, could you change the answering machine message sometime? We recorded that when I was, like, five.”

#

From: volleygirl90@gmail.com
To: piglips250@gmail.com
Date: 11-13-08
Time: 18:45

Mom,

I already told you, I didn’t answer the phone last time you called. That was my old phone and it’s still in the washing machine with the zombie. I mean, seriously how many times do you call and I just breathe at you over the phone? Never!

And, no, I don’t need you to come over. It’s not like getting the zombie out is going to fix anything now anyway. I can’t wash clothes in the washing machine ever again — it’s had rotting dead things in it! I started going to the laundromat but it pisses me off, you know? I mean, I used to have a perfectly good laundry machine at home and now I don’t.

And what, call the police? “9-1-1, Night of the Living Dead is happening inside of one of my appliances? I’ll say zombie, they’ll say corpse. I know washing machines aren’t cheap, but I had to spend all my money on the Anthropology 101 text. Please, please, PLEASE help me out!

Yes, I did get your message about the stuff I left in the garage. I don’t really have time to deal with it right now. I’m sorry that Dad wants to clean out the garage this weekend, but it’s not like I have any room in my apartment. Tell him to hold his horses. I don’t see why the boat can’t just stay in the shed a little longer.

Krystin

#

From: volleygirl90@gmail.com
To: piglips250@gmail.com
Date: 11-14-08
Time: 08:32

Get a job! Are you kidding? I don’t have enough time to go looking for a job and study. Would you rather have a few hundred dollars if it means that I might fail? I don’t think so. I don’t understand why you’re being so difficult about this — it’s not like you guys don’t have a lot of money. You were just telling me about how Dad put in a new hot tub!

NO, I didn’t get rid of the zombie yet, and it scrabbles around and moans if I don’t turn the washing machine on. Like I said, I can’t just open the door and let it out. I’m pretty sure there are laws against letting zombies go free.

Plus, it’d really suck if I opened the door and it ate me or something. It doesn’t have a stomach anymore, so it’d just be chewed up Krystin pieces all over the floor.

I broke up with Andrew, by the way. He kept wanting to come over, and I was afraid that he’d think the wrong thing if he saw the zombie. He comes from a nice respectable family where parents don’t force their nineteen-year-old daughters to live in apartments with zombie infestations.

Since you asked, I’m getting okay grades in everything except for Pre-Calc. I think maybe it’s all the time I have to spend going to the Laundromatlaundromat. It’s ridiculous! It doesn’t matter when I go, there’s always some asshole using all the machines and I have to wait like two hours! Last time I went, this guy was washing about ten huge blankets and a giant teddy bear! Who washes a teddy bear, anyway? It was about the size of a St. Bernard.

I guess I’ll see you over Thanksgiving.

Krystin

#

From: volleygirl90@gmail.com
To: piglips250@gmail.com
Date: 11-30-08
Time: 17:11

Mom,

I don’t know where the zombie is! It got out sometime this weekend. I’ve been looking everywhere — under the beds, in the cupboards — everywhere! I even checked the basement of the building, you know, I figured maybe that it went down there because it’s kind of like a tomb.

Don’t worry, I’ll keep the washing machine door closed so it can’t get back in there. Ugh. I’m just going to assume it’s not in the apartment because I’d smell it otherwise, right?

By the way, I still need a new washer. I don’t think running it a few times is going to get this smell out. Before you even ask, Mom, I did think about using bleach. It didn’t work!

I hate zombies.

Krystin

#

From: volleygirl90@gmail.com
To: piglips250@gmail.com
Date: 12-30-08
Time: 09:57

EW EW EWWW!!!

I found the zombie, Mom. I don’t know how to tell you this, but I need a new fridge, too.

Krystin

keffysthingcopy

(Illustration by Victor M. Rosas II.)

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