Disabled people are here, now. We are everywhere. Based off the media we encounter and consume, that might not be readily apparent. The system fails us. Our bodies and our persons are so often misrepresented, shut down, shut out. Our stories are so rarely told.
When we put up the call for submissions for Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction we only asked that authors identify as disabled. We encouraged people to write stories exploring disability, but we didn’t require it. Despite that, the vast majority of the work we received featured disabled characters. Disabled writers and readers are hungry for their narratives to be out in the world, not always in stories that focus on disability and its multifaceted dynamics, but simply to be there, to be seen, to be heard, to belong and to be recognized as having stories worth telling. Others are asking for those stories, too. While those tales our important, it is crucial to recognize that our narratives focusing on something other than disability are not lesser tales, or any less important. Disability is a part of who we are, it informs our work, even when it doesn’t feature prominently. Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction as a project showcases both work that has disability as the focus, and some that doesn’t, and that is as it should be.
Working on this project was, for me, fulfilling and affirming, and it gave me such pride and joy seeing the work other disabled people are bringing to our field. It allowed me to collaborate with a remarkable group of people, especially my co-editor-in-chief, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry. Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction is a contribution we—the editors, the writers, the poets, the podcasters, the interviewers, the publishers, the artists—make to the field. It is our efforts, our thoughts, our narratives offered up to spark conversations about and around disability, and we hope you will enjoy and engage with all of it as passionately as we did.
© 2018 by Dominik Parisien