Essays

The Future Is (Not) Disabled

“The future doesn’t belong to you,” a friend tells me, when we walk home together one night. Not in those words, of course. Rather, he talks about scientific advancement, genetic manipulation, and how soon, we won’t have disabled people anymore. We can fix you. We can fix those who can’t be happy because they don’t […]

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BFFs in the Apocalypse

The ableist world would like us to feel alone. At fourteen years old, recovering from massive medical malpractice and teaching myself to walk again, school was Hell. I was mocked, had my books thrown, and when I staggered, boys would often “bump” me to try to topple me over. It’s easy to think I was […]

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Disability and Fiction

I’m writing this in the corner of an empty house, my aging laptop propped up on a retired army duffle bag found at the surplus store. When Elsa reached out to me and asked if I could write an essay on disabilities and fiction I was elated (Uncanny Magazine is awesome and I’ve loved the […]

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Dancing in Iron Shoes

Space Unicorns, I leave you with a Question. I have an open-door policy when it comes to able-bodied writers asking me questions about disability and the crafting of disabled characters. Whether it’s specific questions about disabled experiences, or a borrowed detail here and there to help build a nuanced disabled character. Any writer working on […]

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Homo Duplex

What often makes literature meaningful is that the reader can see themselves in the text, whether through a skin tone they share with the characters or a temperament or a locale, whether a particular familial dynamic, or even if they find in the text a simulacrum of their own psyche. To see oneself twinned, depicted, […]

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Give Me Heroism or Give Me Death

Pain and fatigue are everywhere in speculative fiction. The more dramatic the stakes of the story, the more likely you are to witness the protagonist dragging their broken, battered body through a slew of ridiculous challenges to succeed. From Frodo and Sam entering the caldera of Mount Doom to Ripley fighting evil aliens for her […]

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Unlocking the Garret

It’s in the stereotype. The artist of tempestuous temperament who drinks to excess as he stumbles, lean and tuberculotic, up the winding steps to his garret. Van Gogh cut off his ear. Plath put her head in the oven. The artist is passionate; the artist is mercurial; the artist is mad. Sometimes stereotypes do hold […]

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