World Fantasy Award nominee review: “The Devil in America” by Kai Ashante Wilson / Reseña del nominado al Premio Mundial de Fantasía: “The Devil in America” de Kai Ashante Wilson

Correction: There was a change in the World Fantasy Award nominee list below on July 11th. Kai Ashante Wilson’s story, reviewed below, was moved to the novella category. Ursula Vernon’s “Jackalope Wives” was added to the short story nominees. 

The World Fantasy Award nominees have been announced, and I’m reviewing the short story nominees here, just as I did this year’s nominees for the Nebula Awards. The World Fantasy Awards will be presented at the World Fantasy Convention in November. Nominees are selected by a combination of votes from registered members of the Convention and the discretion of the judges. Winners are ultimately selected by the judges. And the nominees are

swarmIf you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’ve already reviewed Alyssa Wong’s “The Fisher Queen” here. Among the other nominees for the World Fantasy Award, the first I read was “The Devil in America” by Kai Ashante Wilson, who reportedly abstains from social media, so check out this interview with him at the blog Push–voices into the spotlight. Continue reading

Dealing with race and conflict among characters in a fantasy novel / Lidiar con razas y conflictos entre personajes en una novela de fantasía

I set my novel aside for a while during the holidays knowing that I was too distracted to do much, but this week I forced myself to set down and focus again. I can’t decide if the break has given me a better perspective or has just made me hypersensitive, but after rereading the last few chapters, I had to ask myself whether or not I was writing a racist SF novel. If I am, is that a bad thing (i.e. does it diminish the story I’m trying to tell)? And, if so, how do I fix it?

Chittorgarh Fort is one of several sites in India that inspired the fantastical realm where my novel is set.

Chittorgarh Fort is one of several sites in India that inspired the fantastical realm where my novel is set.

Let me give you some context. The novel is set in a world called Ascarya Erde, where all the humanoids recognize they are of the same species (although there is some disagreement as to whether the mountain people should be considered a separate species because of physical differences) and all venerate their ancestors.  There are also humanoids who are no longer considered human; they lost their morality/consciousness/sanity or had it stolen from them and are now asuras, rakshasas, oracles. And there are also non-humanoid species with the capacity for language and communication with humanoids, including giants, wolves, Zhoukoo. It’s a big crowded world! Continue reading