Essays

Design a Spaceship

Design a spaceship. Or a space station, if you prefer. Imagine an artificial planet, or a galaxy. But start with a spaceship. Start from nothing except the vacuum of space. Sketch it with a freshly sharpened pencil across the blue-green lines of graph paper, or model it in three dimensions, dragging your mouse to shape […]

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We Are Not Your Backstories

(Content Note for discussion of self-harm and suicide.) The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley taught me that gangly, self-conscious girls could become heroes; not damsels, but knights and dragon slayers. Robert Heinlein’s Friday introduced me to pansexuality, sex without shame, and the joy of multiple partners. Like most, I discovered myself through the […]

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Now I Survive

“This visa is expired. Please step to the side.” This could have been the opening to a spy thriller or a rollicking cyberpunk novel, full of chase scenes and neon lights. It certainly felt cyberpunk, being hustled back through the airport to a waiting taxi, surrounded by over-enthusiastic grifters and uncaring security guards. I cried […]

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Being Invisible

“The Lessons of the Moon” (published in Accessing The Future: A Disability-Themed Anthology of Speculative Fiction, edited by Djibril al-Ayad and Kathryn Allan) is in part a story about me and my body. How I coped with loss and disappointment, and the realization that I am disabled. I wrote a protagonist who chooses, in their […]

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Science Fiction as Community

I cannot think about my disability identity and my love of science fiction separately. They arrived in my life together. While some people have loved SF since they were children or teens, I’m a late bloomer—I didn’t start seriously engaging with SF until I was in my mid-twenties, which was also when I experienced a […]

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