Friday, July 20, 2012

Celebrating Inclusive Spec-Fic and Poetry with A Zombie Anthem

It's no surprise that speculative poetry and fiction are growing to include more diverse points of view.  In this kind of writing, everyone gets to define "normal" in their own way.  As we as a species learn to value our differences, spec-fic offers an excellent platform for working out our unconscious (and conscious) ideas of how we can view the "other" as "just another one of us."  Here we can teach ourselves how to see all humans (and perhaps someday all robots and aliens) as "normal."

So along these lines, I have to say how happy I am that my poem "A Zombie Anthem" was picked up by Eye to the Telescope for their July 2012 themed issue of LBGTQ Speculative Poetry.  The poetry reflects a range of moods, concepts, and experiences which play with the whole notion of gender.  Also, keep your eye on this "Eye" since ETTT has a different editor for every issue, which offers up its own kind of diversity in themes and styles.

In the process of submitting for the above, I encountered some publications I didn't know were out there.  This is hardly an exhaustive list, but I thought I'd mention one or two.

Back in January, Stone Telling produced Bridging: The Queer Issue. This speculative poetry quarterly has been inclusive since its inception, stating, "we are especially interested in seeing work that is multi-cultural and boundary-crossing, work that deals with othering and Others, work that considers race, gender, sexuality, identity, and disability issues in nontrivial and evocative ways."

The speculative fiction magazine The Future Fire has published feminist and queer themed issues, and actively "seeks stories by women, people of colour, LGBTQ folk, and other groups under-represented in genre fiction."  They have an upcoming issue requesting "new stories told from the perspective of the colonizedWe want the cultures, languages and literatures of colonized peoples and recombocultural individuals to be heard.  We want stories that neither exoticize nor culturally appropriate the non-western settings and characters in them."

The twice yearly publication Collective Fallout is "dedicated to queer-themed sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery and other speculative short fiction, poetry, and art.  We hope what you find here opens your minds and makes you think about what queer literature means to our culture. It is not just entertainment. It is a teacher and a tool. It is a statement of past, present, and future."

The Outer Alliance is a group of "SF/F writers who have come together as allies for the advocacy of LGBT issues in literature. Made up of individuals of all walks of life, our goal is to educate, support, and celebrate LGBT contributions in the science-fiction and fantasy genres."  Their site offers news, links, and updates on upcoming themed issues of interest.

Of all the publications I've run into so far, the "encouraging diversity" award goes to Expanded Horizons.  Now I consider myself a very inclusive and welcoming individual, but EH has a list of types of diversity I had not even considered.  I mean it.  Beyond issues of gender, ethnic background, the physically and mentally disabled, they specifically call out those who are "otherkin" and those with unusual sensory perceptions.  The success of this approach is evident in their May issue, of which every single story is unique and engrossing.

I'm always looking for more.  What inclusive speculative fiction journals and resources are your favorites?

Pax, all

Image Credit:  Chalk Rainbow, by Pink Sherbet Photography, on Flikr via Creative Commons, CC 2.0

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