News Flash!May 2, 2019

DISPATCHES FROM ANARRES

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The year 2018 marked the passing of the great speculative author Ursula K. Le Guin, a longtime resident of Portland, Oregon.

In the age of Trump, Portland in many ways is like Anarres, the anarchist capital of The Dispossessed—a “rebel moon” of the Left Coast, home to activists, artists, and yes, anarchists. Hence my new anthology, currently under development in collaboration with Portland State University's Ooligan Press: Dispatches from Anarres: Portland Authors Pay Tribute to the Vision of Ursula K. Le Guin.

The submissions period will open on February 1st and close on May 2, 2019; submissions of short fiction ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 words will be considered. Authors must be either current or former residents of Portland, or have a strong connection to the city (please state your connection in your cover letter). Send submissions as Word file (doc or docx) attachment to dispatchessubmissions@gmail.com, and include a short bio along with your cover letter in the body of the email. A small honorarium will be paid upon publication, and reprints will be considered.

In choosing stories, I'll be looking for engaging, well-written short fiction, inclusive of authors from historically marginalized communities, that engages with various aspects of Le Guin’s work, as exemplified by the following books:

  • Empire, colonialism, and indigenous worldviews (The Word for World Is Forest, The Telling)
  • Nonbinary gender and sexuality (The Left Hand of Darkness, The Birthday of the World)
  • Nonviolent resistance (Voices)
  • War and human bondage, and their consequences (Powers, Four Ways to Forgiveness)
  • Culture clashes and unlikely alliances (Rocanan’s World)
  • An anthropological approach to science fiction (Always Coming Home)
  • Patriarchy, matriarchy, and feminism (Four Ways to Forgiveness, The Left Hand of Darkness)
  • The subjectivities of animals (The Unreal and the Real, Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences)
  • The power of words and dreams (the Earthsea novels, The Lathe of Heaven)

Le Guin is a giant of American letters, but her place in the canon will only be assured if we insist upon it. Le Guin herself noted in an interview that the “denigration, omission, and exception” the female writer faces during her lifetime “are preparations for her disappearance after her death." My aim with this anthology is to help to cement the legacy of Le Guin—not only as a giant of American letters but also as one of the most important voices of the Pacific Northwest.

(NOTE: While this project has been greenlighted for development by the Outreach and Project Development team at Ooligan, a final decision will not be reached by the press until the manuscript is complete. Should the press decline to publish the anthology, I will self-publish it.)