2016: Year in Review

Written by Redfern on 29/12/2016. Posted Under: News.

And thus concludes everyone’s favourite year. Thankfully my intense denial has rendered me immune from horrifying global events as thoroughly as though I were in my own lead-lined bunker, though with fewer rotting canned goods and slightly more daylight. Though I’m certain 2017 won’t disappoint in terms of increasingly less abstract horrors, for now I’ll be looking back at some of my favourite events from what has actually been a pretty successful year. You know, aside from all the bombings, shootings, and spreading collapse of liberal democracy.

So with all that put securely and irresponsibly out of mind, I bring you…

January: Forget Yourself was re-released by LGBTQ publisher Lethe Press!

FYSet in a sealed-off land without memories, Forget Yourself follows Blondie as she struggles to find the world she must have known, alongside a hundred fellow amnesiacs. Forgetting gender, forgetting sexuality, forgetting all the rules of outside, what are they able to build?

Thanks to Matt Cresswell for the wonderful cover design, and I’m very pleased the novel has received positive feedback and a significant engagement on Goodreads.

More information about the novel is available on Lethe’s website: http://www.lethepressbooks.com/store/p326/Forget_Yourself_.html

 

February: The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights at Other Nature Berlin

12715982_10153370625586658_2747806652050071978_oHuge thanks to Other Nature for what turned out to be a fantastic event, and to everyone who turned up to listen to me attempt convincing Welsh accents for an hour.

Special thanks also to writer RM Vaughan for sharing an excerpt from his latest release Bright Eyed: Insomnia and its Cultures from Coach House.

This was far from the only reading this year, but it was a fantastic event.

 

March: Threesome: Him, Him, and Me was released

threesomeA fantastic anthology edited by Matthew Bright and containing all manner of stories relating to male trios. I’m honoured to have contributed the afterword, titled Greedy, Deviant, and Perverse: Living and Writing a Trio Relationship:

There are no blueprints for being in a three-way relationship. There are few self-help books, novels, movies, role models, or even greetings cards for those with two partners. But with each passing year there are more. For every novel, TV show, and short story which shows our lives, our culture gets a little richer, and the lives of those different to the norm become a little bit easier. It is stories which provide us with hope for the future, and which for each new generation drive change the previous would scarcely have believed possible. Ultimately it is stories in which we find freedom—especially for us greedy, deviant, and perverse people with two boyfriends.

 

March #2: ‘Polyamory and the New Struggle for Civil Rights’ was published in Guernica

GuernicThough this has been a busy year writing-wise, I’m immensely proud to have this nonfiction piece in Guernica, on a matter which is of great personal importance to me, as well as to thousands of poly families without legal and social representation. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to get the word out there.

 

April: Interviews!

13103531_1105786416110674_8770472093644129975_nApril seemed to come with an abundance of interviews, from Strassenfeger magazine to Mark William Lindberg’s insightful interrogation, which can be read here.

“This is going to sound very much like a meme your aunt just shared on Facebook, but think about what type of life you want to lead, and then live it. Be weird, make up your own traditions, and always be kind to people. You never know what they’re going through.”

 
 
 

May: ‘Polyamory and the Social Politics of Sleep’ was published in Van Winkles

polysleepAnother article of which I’m extremely proud, and I’m thrilled Van Winkle’s chose to publish my piece arguing that it is sleep, not sex, which truly brings about social change.

“How and where and with whom we sleep defines both our personal relationships and our social standing.”

 

June: Britain did something incredibly stupid

June #2: The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straight was a finalist for the Bisexual Book Awards!

GiddyDeathIt was a fantastic New York-based event and I’m pleased to have met some fantastic organisers and writers. I’m also thrilled to have had the opportunity to read from my novel, and to have been up against some incredible fellow finalists:

  • The Ambassador’s Wife by Jennifer Steil, Doubleday
  • The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights by Redfern Jon Barrett, Lethe Press
  • Goddess by Kelly Gardiner, Harper360/HarperCollins
  • The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North, Blue Rider Press/Penguin Random House
  • The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch, Harper Books/Harper Collins

 

July: I was a guest on the wrote podcast

WROTESpecial thanks to Baz Collins and Vance Bastion for having me on for the episode “Hell is Being a Conforming Adult”, which can be listed to here.

I’m also thrilled that they’ve invited my terrifyingly deep giant’s voice to be a part of Wrote’s monthly roundtable discussions.

 

August: I turned 32, which officially makes me the same age Brittany Murphy was when she died.

lulu

Goodbye again, Luanne.

 
 
 
 
 

September: My short story ‘The Ocean, We’ was published in issue 51 of Sleek Magazine

Sleek51The Ocean, We is a poetry-based speculative story about a group of people who flee those on land to merge their bodies with the ocean:

“We rush through the warm murk
From the high sun-sprinkled dazzle
Down we rush together, the ocean we
We plunge; the cold ever-growing
To the biggest beasts of the cold low low
Then upwards, we
the rock ground lifts
The sea shrinks small
To river.”

 

October: I was selected as a judge for the 2017 Bisexual Book Awards

I was really pleased to have been asked to join next year’s Bisexual Book Awards as a judge!

 

November: America did something even worse than Britaintt

November #2: Roundtables!

November was a time of much discussion, for pretty much everyone. Not wanting to be left out, I took part in two roundtable discussions in November: The Future Fire’s look at polyamory (it’s been a poly-heavy year!) can be read here.

“As a writer I’ve found that speculative fiction often grants us freedoms the present can’t allow, a space in which alternate ways of living can gain a greater sympathy from the reader than one which might conflict with their idea of how things should be done right now. Somehow ‘what can be’ is less threatening than ‘what we can change more immediately.’ I think that’s the reason polyamory (along with a whole host of other issues) turns up more frequently in future-based fiction. My first novel Forget Yourself was speculative for that exact reason, as were many of my short stories. People approach speculative and science fiction with an open mind.”

November also marked the first time I was invited to Wrote’s roundtable discussions, looking at queer responses to the election of Donald Trump to some far-off land called America. It can be listened to here.

 

Demember: Onwards and somedirectionwards

This month has been spent working on a number of projects for 2017, each of them tempting my tendency to drastically overwork. Still, hopefully there will be exciting things to announce in terms of fiction, nonfiction, and even the art world, all as I willfully ignore the pattering of machine gun fire and cleansing rain of nuclear warheads.

Until then, apocalypse-fans!

– 2016fern