A Score of Roses Link Roundup

(image from the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook. I took this from Saladin Ahmed’s Twitter, and I’ll properly attribute it when I’m not posting from a phone.)

There’ve been a couple of mentions of my story “A Score of Roses” recently that I wanted to share with everyone, because I’m a shameless self-plugger. I’ve been found out!

Jonah Sutton-Morse has been doing some fantastic analysis of stories in Long Hidden. I particularly enjoyed his take on Jamey Hatley’s “Collected Likenesses.” He’s given my story a long look as well, using the lens of “Safe Spaces”, which he clearly defines as spaces in which to absorb the story without having to be assaulted by lazy stereotype, storytelling, and trope:

A Score of Roses […] is, viewed baldly, a story about what could be described as a broken family, where the child is growing up with only one parent present, the other absent with no clear indication when or if she’ll return.  But mostly it’s an incredibly tender story about parents falling in love and passing on their strength and identity to their children.

Read more at his blog, Yelling at My Bookshelf.

This next find was fortuitous, because I’ve recently started listening to any decent podcast that I can get my hands on.

Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond over at The Writer and The Critic do a great critique (and a critique of a critique at that) of Long Hidden, during which they talk about my story–and the controversy surrounding a certain Strange Horizons review, which I talked about in this post.

Some of the highlights relevant to this post: McDermott thought that the dialogue I used was “beautifully done” and you “could hear the people talking”, and she recognized one of the central issues regarding discounting dialect as invalid or “incorrect”: language is fluid, and there are many ways to represent it–and review representations of it in literature–thoughtfully. The two also talk about the larger discussion of systemic biases, privileges, and the influence of these biases and privilege. They spend a fair bit of time highlighting three really awesome articles that tackle the issue of inclusiveness and thoughtfulness regarding diversity and otherness in reviewing Fantasy and Science Fiction works:

It’s worth listening to the whole podcast, though. And especially the beginning, where the hosts talk about Class-based narratives in High Fantasy, something that I’m also probably going to analyze in the near future. I’m happy to hear any kind of feedback on my story, but it’s still kind of surreal to hear people who actually have been doing this kind of thing for a long time talking about and around my story.

As always, pick up Long Hidden if you haven’t, already. It’s worth your time.

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