In the category of advance praise (the inelegantly named "blurb"), the very kind and entirely wonderful Michael Bishop had this to say about the book:
"Jessica Reisman’s Substrate Phantoms strikes me as a parsec-pioneering SF novel of the highest pedigree. It exists in a matrix of lucid far-future prose, to wit, fresh English with long-tomorrow noir twists. Every page discloses evolved or augmented human beings against the backdrop of a hermetically radical space station, Termagenti, or the dirt-rich gravity well of a partially terraformed planet called Ash.
Substrate Phantoms presents immemorial human acts in variations as strange as any 21st-century reader could imagine, but always in contexts emotionally resonant. I think it an out-and- out breakthrough, with mystical and sociological roots trailing back to Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End and Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. Indeed, true aficionados of humane hard SF will applaud Ms. Reisman for bequeathing them this beautiful tale of a heretofore uncreated tomorrow." —Michael Bishop, author of A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire
Pre-order the physical book through the Resurrection House page & get a free epub download. Or get it any of the usual suspects, Amazon, B&N, Indigo. Or ask for your library to get it. Mmm, libraries.
If you're a reviewer, you can get a review copy through the Resurrection House page.
I have a little cat in my lap
He is bony in places and
Has shrunk a bit in the last year
As have I
Both of us
A little more fragile
The white parts of his fur
Aren’t always as clean
As they once were and
I have to wash a little schmutz off his nose
He still puts a paw over one of my hands to hold it there
So I must type one-handed
And we both sigh
Only, I think, because there is comfort in a sigh, because it is a breath
I'm on the writing & literature program track, the quiet side of a comicon that features celeb guests, big artists' alley and dealers room, a maker faire, etc.
I'm doing two panels:
Saturday 2:30 - 3:30pm Creative Collaborations - How, Why, and With Whom?
Sunday 2:30 - 3:30pm How to Publish a Short Story
Other than that I'll be around some, and will have some full sets of my SUBSTRATE PHANTOMS postcards, and hopefully, an advance reading copy or two.
What I've decided is that it's everyone's personal responsibility to stay informed and be aware of the outrages being perpetrated daily (which has been the case since well before this egregous uptick in awfulness, btw), to be aware that things perpetrated by these lying fucks are already impacting the lives of people and other animals in serious, injurious, and life-threatening ways. Further to that, here are a couple of links to resources for staying informed, if you don't already:
- Stephanie Leary's Fascism Watch, a good general rundown: http://s-leary.tumblr.com/tagged/
- What the Fuck Just Happened Today: https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.
- The Guardian, which has become my news source of choice (consider throwing some money their way): https://www.theguardian.com/us
I can't let those horrible people take up so much real estate in my brain and imagination, I need it for better, much more attractive, things. Given the state of my lungs and other health issies...I just don't want to waste my beautiful mind on them. And, as it says in this nice little op-ed piece from Arianna Huffington, "The goal of any true resistance is to affect outcomes, not just to vent. And the only way to affect outcomes and thrive in our lives, is to find the eye in the hurricane, and act from that place of inner strength."
SUBSTRATE PHANTOMS is set for a May 16 publication from Resurrection House. I am very thankful to everyone involved in bringing this novel to its best, including my late agent Linn Prentis, her successor Trodayne Northern, Mark Teppo of Resurrection House.
More info at Amazon, Indigo, or Barnes & Noble pre-order pages, and at my website.
It looks like this:
DT tweets a straight-up lie, like taking credit for job creation or economy boosting that’s to Obama’s credit, not his, and mainstream media news orgs repeat or report it unexamined—
CNN entertains questions about whether Jews are human—
DT appoints egregiously racist individual—
Anyone tries to equate the protests and free speech of hate that threatens harm to others with protests and free speech about protecting lives and the environment—
DT appoints individual who is entirely anti-whatever the post is—
DT tweets displeasure with a private citizen and his followers besiege that person with threats—
Organizations and individuals normalize white supremacy—responsible for the worst crimes in recorded history—as if it’s legitimate and can reasonably be part of civilized discourse—
People in a position to standup usefully against him are silenced or say we need to get along, we need to wait and see—
Every affront to justice and our better natures—
Say it loudly. Keep saying it. However you can, with whatever resources you can muster.
Of course, no’s cognate YES must also be liberally (heh, see what I did there?) applied: YES, to art and science, to kindness, to generosity, open minds, learning, teaching; YES to growing our awareness and understanding of others (except hateful bullies and the psychopaths and sociopaths in power those bullies support, none of whom have any interest in growing or learning or understanding back, because NO to victimizing ourselves over and over for a lost cause); YES to the beauty and reality of diversity, possibility, supporting and celebrating all that is good; YES to standing up for each other, for our amazing, precious planet, for animals, and YES to saying NO to individuals and regimes that threaten any of it.
Lost a lot of bright lights from the humanscape, too.
On the personal front, I've had some pretty demoralizing health patches--but, 2016 has also brought a few very goods in my life. SUBSTRATE PHANTOMS found a home with awesome Resurrection House Books and I couldn't be happier about that; I got to go to Sycamore Hill and--painful fingers wrapped like sausages despite--really loved being there and spending time with a bunch of wonderful fellow writers; and the luminous Ellen Datlow bought my Sycamore Hill story, "Bourbon, Sugar, Grace" for Tor.com.
I also got to spend lovely time with my beloved sister for the occassion of her daughter's wedding and have felt the support and love of friends and family.
Good things happened in the world, too, and will continue to do so, evil dystopic abusive bullies in power despite--unless of course that giant meteor takes us all out. Until then, however, it behooves us each to be the best and kindest--to ourselves, other humans, other animals, and the environment that sustains us--that we can be, in whatever ways that we can encompass.
If you must use alt-right, it's neo-Nazi alt-right, or fascist, racist, hate is our brand alt-right. Those are the correct terms. Use them. Or just use Nazi, because, despite sophistry about neo vs. old-style, or about how some are nazis and some are KKK and others are just 'white nationalists,' Nazi is still, in terms of aims and behaviors, correct. See also: worst element of regressive evil in humanity, right there beside Isis. They are not the future, they are the worst of the past. Not the "children of the sun," the children of hate, they create nothing but misery for others.
This is not normal. We cannot move forward with these people. I know that sucks; we all want our normal lives back. But perhaps you should go look at some pictures and reports from Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and other documentation of Nazi Germany's normalization of 'alt-right' philosophies, go look so you can see exactly what it is you're enabling.
Then stand up, call it out when you see it or hear it, don't allow it take hold in your community, in your life, in your own self. Take whatever nonviolent action you can, make our systems of law and our checks and balances work for us. Hold the media to task when they enable--and they're doing it now.
Speak up. However it is that you can. Whether it's encouraging or facilitating real conversation and critical thought as an educator; making art; calling out silent acquiescence to fascist, abusive, racist, misogynist, ableist behavior; organizing, writing letters, going to protests, signing petitions, making phone calls; providing support to the most vulnerable or to organizations doing good work; subscribing to news orgs and then demanding truly clear headed, real reporting from them (hint: If they use 'alt-right,' correct them and tell them not to do the Nazi's rebranding PR work for them).
If you think this is an overreaction, please behold my psychic powers: you are white, have some financial resources, and are probably not Jewish (though the phenomenon of individuals punching themselves in the face exists widely. See: white women who voted for Trump). And then think about how Nazi Germany ultimately turned out for everyone in that country. Hint: not good. And if you are a white person with some financial resources, it's so fucking important for you to stand up, speak up, and not remain silent.
This kind of action, is what Trump, in all his corrupt, delusional, thin-skinned self-aggrandizement, represents for everyone who is not one of him. (He has financial stake in that pipeline.) The list of what these people don't actually care about is: everything and everyone but their own power and deluded self-interest.
And by the way, a majority of Americans picked Hillary; she won the popular vote by roughly two million.
I'm not saying run around like a chicken with your head cut off; I am saying don't accept this as normal. Yes, continue to live your life, but live a reality of kindness, compassion, love, speaking up for what's right, taking action, dancing, singing, celebrating what's worth celebrating, giving back, engaging in joy, and don't let the slimiest, nastiest elements of human society raise a flag of hate and horror over us all.
ETA: Here's an online curriculum: WHO, IF NOT YOU?
How you can intervene when witnessing racist assaults
Day 1 in Trump's America
Welcome to Trump’s America: 87 reports of people bullied by emboldened bigots — and the list is growingHow to Intervene in a Racist Attack
This is not a fucking drill, people.
So, I've managed for years with scleroderma and its complications not to get any of the horrifying infected finger wounds I saw pictures of early in my diagnosis. But now I have such horrifying pictures of two of my own poor fingers, my right hand pointer and middle fingers, in fact, and Wednesday of this past week disappeared into a miasma of early morning freakout, emergency rheumatologist visit, wound care center sojourn, and new prescriptions for yet more pharmaceuticals. My life is fun.
I'd show you the pictures but they really are horrifying. Hopefully we caught it soon enough and it will heal now and I won't lose any digits.
Also, I'm a wimp about pain and there's a lot of whimpering over here.
I see all that other people go and do and accomplish while they are being, and I look for some profound, meaningful, useful, or at least comforting perspective and insight, to help myself help myself. I feel like I have work that’s worth doing, writing-wise, and living that’s important to me to do, and joy I want to give, receive, experience, share. But of course it’s not super important to anyone but me.
I want to swallow a small bio-printer and have it print me new lungs. Or have the scleroderma relax its hold and my lungs stop getting worse, just stop here so I can still do things, even if I get out of breath and have to stop and rest while doing them.
I want to curl up and cry and have some great, beneficial love hold and hug me inside and out. I want to not feel so alone with this, and every decision and task that faces me. But I have felt alone since I was six and realized parents weren’t always there, were in fact quite absent, that nobody was or would always be there and no one was protecting me, and I am so used to feeling alone that it’s become hard for me to let anyone that far in, that close.
I am thankful for the cats, who cuddle up to my heart, purring, soft and warm, every day. I am thankful for my friends and loved ones, who are there for me, I know, to whatever extent they are or can be. But it would be nice to have a person who was here for me in a more physical, pragmatic way.
I am afraid, and I don’t want to be alone.
I’ll be strong again, at some point, resilience is a thing—until it’s not, I guess.
But, meanwhile, Resurrection House (I have, elsewhere, called this press redoubtable, and it is) has acquired my novel SUBSTRATE PHANTOMS for its Arche Press speculative fiction imprint!!! No, really, !!! Substrate Phantoms is far future science fiction, set, to begin with, on a space station plagued by a strange haunting. It's currently slated for a winter/spring 2017 release, and I can't wait for people, for you guys (you're people!), for everyone to read it!
Been waiting to use that book ship icon for myself for a long time. Mega happy face, people.