Independent Scholar of the Fantastic, Reader, Author, and Editor
Author: BE Allatt
I'm an independent scholar of the fantastic, freelance editor and writer, editorial assistant, and author. I mostly work with SFF texts and autobiographical information, though I have written in other capacities, including producing political campaign materials.
I apologize for it being so long since I’ve updated here. Upon my return from Europe, I discovered that my house-sitter had practically destroyed my home. When I was done cleaning and fixing everything, then I discovered they had also infested my place with bedbugs. And my computer had suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure, which cost me some of my CNM research notes. And then loved ones died. And then the Western holiday season was in full swing. I’m just now catching my breath after recovering my home, which is also my office, and my life after my most-recent European trip.
Fortunately, my brain has very solid recall, so it won’t take too much more than time to recreate the research notes lost when my hard drive failed. I’ve now started to do that work, as I had to wait to do so until I could remove my PC from my home without fears that I might be accidentally transporting bedbugs in the process of having it rebuilt. So, I am wildly behind my intended schedule for posting the conference videos from last summer’s end / fall’s beginning, and the writing of my critical text has also been much delayed. But, it’s nice to be able to get back to work on the CMN in SFF text.
I’ll be sure to drop a note here when I upload 2019 conference videos, for those interested in watching them.
I’m back in Berlin after the Productive Futures conference held by the London Science Fiction Research Community. I had a great time, as they are a very welcoming and enthusiastic group, and was in the audience for many extremely interesting paper presentations, keynote talks, and round-table discussions. Of course I also presented my paper on correlations between social science research on CNM families and CNM families represented in SF fiction. That video is forthcoming; expect it some time next month!
Speaking (or writing, actually) of videos, an unedited and raw copy of my WorldCon Dublin presentation on the amorys in Ian McDonald’s Luna series is about to go live over on my Patreon page as exclusive early access content for my patrons. I’ll still be editing it and adding in PowerPoint slides before hosting it on my YouTube channel, as always, but if you just can’t wait then this is the time for you to become my Patreon patron! It is scheduled to post at 4pm US Central, and my supporting-level patrons are welcome to ask me any lingering questions to be answered in the final version that is posted for the general public.
I have a few days to rest, and then it’ll be time for the 10th annual Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung conference! Shortly after that, I’ll be finally returning to the US to sleep for a week and recover from the MegaCon adventure I’m having. Then I’ll get to work on editing the conference videos for public viewing and writing the remainder of the Questioning Mononormativity text. Well, that’s what I’ve been calling it, anyway; the publisher will probably want some input on the final title. Cheers until next post; tschüs!
As I write this from Berlin, I am almost halfway through my extended European convention and conference trip. WorldCon Dublin was a great time, with many interesting panels attended and wonderful new friends made. I am, however, rather exhausted!
At WorldCon, I had the pleasure of being on three panels and one morning walk session. One panel was on the academic track, where I presented part of my research into Ian McDonald’s Luna series; this paper is titled “Questioning Mononormativity: Love, Sex, and Relationships on McDonald’s Luna.” I anticipate having the video posted sometime in early October, once I am done with all my current travels and conferences. As always, I’ll host the video here from my YouTube channel, so keep an eye out for that announcement, if you’d like to see it or any of my upcoming academic paper presentations.
Speaking of Ian McDonald, I had met him before, at ICFA a few years ago, and it was nice to chat with him one-on-one, however briefly. He gifted me an Advanced Reader Copy of his upcoming novella set in the same future, The Menace from Farside, as it contains yet another look at non-traditional relationship structures found on his fictional Luna. The Menace from Farside comes out in November and I highly recommend it as a fun read, though one can always dig deeper into McDonald’s works to consider societal themes and various literary theories contextualized within.
My three other appearances at WorldCon Dublin included a “Strolling with the Stars” sessions, which was morning walk around the quay. I remain dubious that I am enough of a “star” to be included with the rest of the panel, but I guess winning an award from The Heinlein Society makes me a rising star of some variety. My other two panels on the general WorldCon Dublin track were “Gender and the Writer” and “Fairy Tunes and Ghostly Croons.” The former was a discussion focused on how people of non-binary and otherwise gender non-conforming identities are represented in SFF. The latter was a discussion on the intersection of Irish mythology and Irish folk music, with respect to how ghosts and other spirits appear within the lyrics of such songs. They were both rather fun discussions, though the “Gender” panel was a bit more serious in subject matter and I was somewhat distracted during the “Fairy Tunes” panel by the need to immediately make my way to the port for my ferry upon conclusion of the panel. Still, I would gladly do it all again!
Upcoming, I have the London Science Fiction Research Community’s Productive Futures conference, where I will present on how consensual non-monogamies seen in science fiction texts can subvert normalized modes of consumption as well as production. Following that, I have the 10th Annual Conference of Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung, the German Association for Research in the Fantastic, which this year is focused on the Romantic Fantastic and aims to look at how relevant fantastic utopias are in terms of “the dichotomy of critical realism and ahistorical escapism” prevalent in fantasy texts that utilize romantic literary tendencies. My paper for the GFF will be looking at unintended consequences of such fantasy texts, in how they can diversify representation in characters and authorship. Or, something like that. It’s hard to sum it up as neatly as most of my academic papers.
My blog posts here are likely to remain sporadic for the next month or so, partly due to lack of time and / or wifi connections, as well as being affected by fluctuating energy levels and available “spoons” left after all the physical demands of making my way around places that are not always the most accessible locales. But it’s been a great adventure so far, and I can only hope that the remaining adventures on this trip will contain fewer cancelled and delayed trains and other travel connections! Regardless, I’ll keep on keeping on and overcoming whatever obstacles pop up in my path. Thanks, as always, for reading and otherwise keeping up with what I’m doing! None of this would matter half as much to me if I was the only one who cared about it.
The programme team for this year’s World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Dublin, is now available through their website. I’m so excited to be participating in four events!
As it currently stands (which is always subject to any necessary last-minute changes dictated by the needs of the overall programme), my schedule is as follows; all sessions listed below are 50 minutes long:
Thursday, 15 August – 15:30 (3:30 pm) Decolonising, Point Square: Odeon 6 (academic panel) with Natalie Ingram and Professor Fiona Moore
I’ll be presenting my paper, ‘Questioning Mononormativity: Love, Sex, and Relationships on McDonald’s Luna’
Friday, 16 August – 09:00 (9:00 am) Stroll with the Stars, CCD: Ground Floor Foyer with Zen Cho, David D. Levine, Michelle Sagara, Kate Heartfield, and Paul Cornell
Sat., 1 August – 17:00 (5:00 pm) Gender and the writer, CCD: Wicklow Room-1 (discussion panel) with Dr Nick Hubble (Moderator), Dr. J.S. Fields Ph.D., Vanessa Rose Phin, and Jasmine Gower
Monday, 19 August – 11:00 (11:00 am) Fairy tunes and ghostly croons, CCD: Wicklow Room-4 (discussion panel) with Carol Connolly (Moderator), Marguerite Smith, and Daniel Kelly
I do not yet have schedules for London Science Fiction Research Community’s Productive Futures conference or Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung’s annual conference yet, but I will update here when I have any information on those programs. I am sure the good folks in charge of those events are busy building some wonderful academic conferences for this year.
I hope to see some of you in Dublin, London, and / or Berlin this summer!
I am so thrilled to announce this anthology is now available for purchase! In it, you will find 120 pieces of flash fiction on this year’s theme, including my very own first published piece of fiction. Go check it out!
Queer Sci Fi has just released the annual QSF Flash Fiction anthology. This year, the theme is “Migration.”
1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.
2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.
3) Movement from one part of something to another.
Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.
Migration feaures 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.
Each year, hundreds of writers send in stories for the Queer Sci Fi flash fiction anthology. Here are the opening lines from some of the stories chosen for the 2019 edition – Migration:
“Darkness has substance. It is tangible; different shades within the black, sounds, a taste. It is accompanied by self-awareness of time and thoughts, even when other senses fail.” —Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker
“The sky has been screaming for five straight days when the shrimps come to take us away. They’ve been boxing up the others and hauling them off. Now they’re here for us, soaking wet, dragging cords and crates behind them.” —Shrimpanzee, Sionnain Bailey
“Allister always had faultless hair. He’d comb and gel it to perfection while gazing in the mirror. One day a pair of eyes stared back.” —Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr
“On her sister’s wedding day Ari noticed that one of her ears had migrated to her hand. It was right after her high school crush, Emily, arrived with Cousin Matt.” —Playing It By Ear, Aidee Ladnier
“The wound was fatal. Their vessel wouldn’t live much longer. This is what came from leaving loose ends. Frantically they sought out a new vessel to migrate to. “ —The Essence, by L.M. Brown
“That night, we were sitting in the bed of her daddy’s old pickup truck and the radio was playing the best song. We had a pack of cigarettes between us and her hand was almost touching mine. The wheat field was silver in the moonlight. When they came, we weren’t surprised, just disappointed that our time was up already.” —Our Song, by Lauren Ring
“Willow said she was my wife, but I knew it wasn’t her, not the right her, anyway. Sure she looked like her with olive skin and bright pink hair. She even smelled of mango flowers, just like I remembered, but there was something about her smile that was slightly off, something about when she said she loved me that didn’t sit well in my old heart.” — They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre
“Agnes is eight when she first sees the river. Cutting its way through town, the only thing she knows not coated in coal dust. She sticks her toes in, comes home with wet socks and a secret. See, the river hadn’t been there yesterday.” —Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz
“Terry twirled in her green synthsilk dress, looked at her reflection, liked what she saw. She felt good in her own skin, for maybe the first time.” —Altball, by RE Andeen
“The thing was in the corner. It had come through the window and had slid down the wall. Scratch went the sound. The noise of a hundred nails clawing at the wood. Nails of white bone. Alex pulled the sheets up quickly, covering every inch of skin and hair in a warm darkness.” —Whose Nightmare, by Jamie Bonomi
A hundred and twenty authors are included in Migration:
Butterflies, by A O’Donovan
The Return, by A.M. Leibowitz
A New Spring, by Aaron Silver
Universal Quota, by Abby Bartle
The Call of Home, by Adrienne Wilder
Starfall, by Adrik Kemp
Playing it By Ear, by Aidee Ladnier
Rabbit, by Amanda Thomas
That Does Not Love…, by Andi Deacon
Inborn, by Andrea Speed
Saving Ostakis, by Angelica Primm
A Dawn Wish, by Antonia Aquilante
Diaspora, by Ariel E. James
Transmigration, by Ashby Danvers
Across the Mirror, by Ava Kelly
Between, by BE Allatt
The Speck, by Bey Deckard
The King of the Mountain Cometh, by Bob Goddard
Before and After, by C. A. Chesse
Home, by C.A. McDonald
Too Much Tech, by C.L. Mannarino
Ze Who Walks Into the Future, by Carey Ford Compton
The Gate, by Carol Holland March
Our Last Light Skip, by Chloe Spencer
Passage, by Christine Taylor-Butler
The Perils of Pick-Up Lines, by Colton Aalto
Parched, by Crysta K. Coburn
Changeling Dreams, by Damian Serbu
Destinations, by Dave Creek
Another Job, Another Planet, by David Viner
Thiefmaster Rosalind’s Apprentice, by Devon Widmer
A Weight Off Their Shoulders, by Diane Morrison
Once a Year, by Dianne Hartsock
Mettle, by Die BoothForever Bound, by E.W. Murks
They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre
Til Death Do Us Part, by Elizabeth Anglin
Little One, by Eloreen Moon
GBFN, by Emilia Agrafojo
The Long Distance Thing, by Ether Nepenthes
Call My People Home, by Evelyn Benvie
Jace vs. the Incubi, by Eytan Bernstein
A New Tradition, by Foster Bridget Cassidy
The Curious Cabinet, by Ginger Streusel
Ready, by Hank Edwards
The Albatrosses, by Harry F. Rey
A Boy’s Shadow, by Helen De Cruz
Portrait of a Lady, by Isobel Granby
Beam That Is In, by J. Comer
The Hunt, by J. R. Frontera
Repeating History, by J. Summerset
Neil’s Journey, by J.P. Bowie
Homeward Bound, by J.S. Garner
Whose Nightmare?, by Jamie Bonomi
A Moment of Bravery, by Jessie Pinkham
Laetus, by Jet Lupin
Where You Go, I’ll Follow, by Joe Baumann
Ambrose Out of Ash, by Jonathan Fesmire
Shooting Modes, by Joshua Darrow
TerrorForm, by Juam Jocom
The Curse, by Jude Reid
Throwing Eggs, by K E Olukoya
Fly, by Kayleigh Sky
The Keep, by KC Burn
Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr
The Risks and Advantages of Data Migration, by Kim Fielding
Irreversible, by kim gryphon
Looner, by Krishan Coupland
The Essence, by L.M. Brown
Our Song, by Lauren Ring
O Human Child, by Lisa Hamill
Goodbye Marghretta, by Lou Sylvre
Choices, by LV Lloyd
Endangered Species, by M Joseph Murphy
Planet Retro, Unplugged, by M. X. Kelly
Elemental, by M.D. Grimm
To Wish on a Love Knot, by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
Firebirds, by Marita M. Connor
Breeding Season, by Mary Newman
Kooks at Home, by Matt McHugh
Spring, by Mere Rain
Into the South, by Mindy Leana Shuman
Not How We Planned It, by Minerva Cerridwen
What Is Left Behind, by Monique Cuillerier
How Far Would You Go for the One You Love?, by Nathan Alling Long
Innocence, by Nathaniel Taff
Heart and Soul, by Nils Odlund
Tides, by Patricia Scott
Killer Queen, by Paula McGrath
Genesis, by Pelaam
If Pigs Could Fly, by Penelope Friday
Click, by R R Angell
Be Kind to Strangers, by Raina Lorring
Altball, by RE Andeen
Far From Home, by Riley S. Keene
Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker
Night Comes to the Bea Arthur, by Rory Ni Coileáin
Tonight is Austin’s Nerd Nite for July! Doors open at 7:30 pm at The North Door, and the talks begin at 8. I’m not sure if I’ll be first, second, or third in presentation order, but I’ll be up there, talking about my current research. I’m so excited to return to the Nerd Nite stage!
My paper proposal for the London Science Fiction Research Community’s Conference was accepted. So, it looks like I’ll be adding a third conference to my summer Mega-Con Trip in Europe! Finances are rather tight, so feel free to become my patron on Patreon or donate to my Mega-Con Trip funds via PayPal. I could use the help!
I’ve added a new tier on Patreon, in anticipation of beginning to start working on the YouTube series I have in my head, though I know that it is unrealistic to think that I might get much done on the in the next five weeks before I leave for my European Mega-Con Trip. But, my patrons at the Basic and Contributing levels will get sneak-peeks at some of my presentations before I present them in Europe, as well as sets of all of my PowerPoint presentations on my Questioning Mononormativity research as I build them!
Wow, I have been so busy that I forgot to write a blog post here to keep it all up to date.
First off, I’m thrilled that my ICFA40 presentation, “Questioning Mononormativity: The Identity Politics of Polyamory in the Popular Fantastic,” is finally edited and up on my YouTube channel! I’ve managed to figure out how to edit a closed captions track into my videos, so I expect I’ll be working on one for my WorldCon76 talk in the near future. You can find my ICFA40 presentation on my YouTube channel, on the Videos page here on my site, or by simply clicking here.
I’ve added another conference to my upcoming European trip this summer, the 10th annual Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung conference, also known as the GFF. In English, it translates to the “Association for Research in the Fantastic,” but everyone still calls it the GFF. This year, the GFF is holding their conference from September 18th-23rd in Berlin. I’m so excited! I’ll be presenting a discussion titled “Increasing Diversity of Representation: An Unintended Consequence of Fantastic Utopias.” The preliminary schedule has been released, but my time slot could change. I’ll be sure to announce it here when it is confirmed.
I’ll have some time in Europe between WorldCon77 and GFF10, mostly in Berlin. I’m not entirely certain yet what I will do with all that time, but I may add yet another conference in between the two I already have scheduled. As always, future details can be found here!
I’ve updated my CV as listed here on my site. It’s still really boring reading, but if you’re curious about some of what I’ve done, studied, and otherwise accomplished, then that’s a good place to look.
As for the stuff that isn’t listed, I’ve been hard at work trying to put together a book proposal, while also helping a first-time author prepare to self-publish their first book. It’s so rewarding to assist someone in realizing their dreams, and also working alone to realize my own goals and aspirations. I love what I do. And I love challenging myself to learn more about things like website creation and management, video editing and captioning, and other ways to better represent myself online. And, of course, much of it will come in handy when I finally launch my educational YouTube series (more on that in the future).
If you’d like to help support my efforts, please consider becoming a Patron of my work on Patreon. You can find me there as, naturally, “beallatt.” It’s still sparse and in development, but I’m working on it! I have a lot to learn about running a Patreon page, but I never shy from a learning opportunity or a challenge I decide to tackle. Of course, another way to help support me, one that costs you nothing but a few seconds, is to “like” my videos on my YouTube channel and to subscribe for notifications of future videos. Once I have enough support on YouTube, I’ll have more options when it comes to content creation on YouTube, so that’s a vital source of support.
If you’re still here and reading, thank you so much for taking the time to keep up to date with all my goings-on. I couldn’t do this without your interest; I wouldn’t spend all the time I do on it if there wasn’t some interest. So, thank you!