18 Days of Tesseracts: The ALL-OVER the Net Event   Leave a comment

Check out some of the events happening at the 18 Days of Tesseracts:

Join us as we celebrate the Tesseracts anthologies of the past, present and the future.

The Wrestling With Gods (Tesseracts 18) blog will be hosting 18 different guestblogs by the authors of stories that deal with faith that have appeared in the Tesseracts series.  Come every day to read a new post in a discussion of Faith in Scifi and Fantasy, with leanings towards how you might incorporate faith and religious elements in your science fiction and fantasy writing. You might be reading craft-leaning blogposts on how an author tackled faith elements in their writing, or how their story reflects other stories/ novels that have had a similar faith element and how they all tackled that element–tying their story into the larger longer conversation scifi and fantasy is having about spiritual issues.  You might also find tips on how YOU might better incorporate spiritual elements into your writing using a story from Tesseracts–or several– as an example(s).

Each blogpost will tie a Tesseracts story in with the larger conversation that scifi and fantasy has been having with faith, and hopefully will give you, our readers, an insight on craft, and, of course, a way to celebrate the stories and poems in the Wrestling with Gods: Tesseracts 18 anthology.

We will also be tying each of our author’s guest blogposts in with their interview on Corey Redekop‘s blog where he interviews the different authors about their stories–making our blogs complement the ones on his site, we hope, in a cool way.

On the 18 Days of Tesseracts Event Page:

Tesseracts of the Past – on this event page, and on the EDGE Facebook Page, they will be featuring Tesseracts one through 17 and Tesseracts Q over the various days. Learn who the editors were, and the contributing authors. If you are an author of one of these anthologies, feel free to tell them about your contribution.  If you are a fan—you’ll learn about ALL the Tesseracts anthologies appearing above in that splendid montage of Tesseractses.

Tesseracts of the Present – For the 18 Days of Tesseracts we will hosting offline and online events, and doing various blog posts and interviews. This page will be the source of all information, so join up and keep up to date as to what is happening on this page. We will post updates as we go along. Watch the top pinned post for the schedule.

Tesseracts of the Future – we will get further updates from Superhero Universe. Learn what is new and happening in their Superhero world…AND we will be announcing the editors for Tesseracts 20.

And finally.. October 7th join us for an online Tesseracts Meet and Greet party for all who have loved this series, or who have contributed as an editor or author. This event will happen here on October 7 throughout the day and evening. No matter what the time, drop by and introduce yourself, and post a question for people to answer.

So….if you are an author, an editor or a fan of the Tesseracts anthologies, please join the event, and invite everyone you know. Lets see how far we can spread this invitation.  Share the FACEBOOK event with everyone!  Then come back and see what we have for you here, and elsewhere on the web!

Thanks for joining us for the 18 Days of Tesseracts…

Source: 18 Days of Tesseracts: The ALL-OVER the Net Event

Posted September 20, 2015 by jstueart in Mishmash

“For a Look at New Worlds” is up on the Discover Nikkei website   Leave a comment

Concept Art for Martian colony by Ville Ericsson

Concept Art for Martian colony by Ville Ericsson

Can you take Little Tokyo to Mars?  Find out in my second place award-winning short story, “For a Look at New Worlds” up at the Discover Nikkei website.  This story was part of the Imagine Little Tokyo Writing Contest held late last year, sponsored by the Little Tokyo Historical Society.  My story won second place for stories in English in the adult category and asks the question every immigrant knows: what can I take with me when I leave this place? Discover Nikkei has graciously published it.  Very thankful for Imagine Little Tokyo for putting on this great event!


NEW 12-week course, Writing Faith (Spiritual Memoir and Fiction), offered this Fall at First Baptist Church, Dayton, OH   Leave a comment


Writing Faith (Spiritual Memoir and Fiction):

12 week course

First Baptist Church, Dayton, OH.

Tuesdays, 5:30-8:30pm,  Sept 1-Nov 17, 2015. (Shared Potluck)

How do you write about your spiritual journey–about how you have changed, the difficulties of living a spiritual life, the joys?  Are there things that need to be said to our children, family or friends or the world?  This course will explore writing spiritual autobiography, biography and memoir as well as writing fiction.  No previous writing experience needed, but those who like writing and reading and would like to deepen what they know should feel very welcome.  All faiths and seekers welcome.  Readings provided.  Weekly shared potluck dinner.  You’ll deepen friendships over food and writing.  Whether you are writing for yourself, your family, or for others who might find inspiration or understanding in your story, come join this 12 week journey and learn how to write memoir and fiction and explore how we wrestle with faith.  Learn to help other writers find their voice and become better writers.  Create this writers workshop with us–a workshop that could stay stable, and offer a great resource, for many years to come. Writing Faith is taught by Dr. Jerome Stueart, author, editor and writing teacher with 20 years teaching experience in writing. Sept 1- Nov 17, Tuesday evenings.  There is a $120 fee for this course, or $10 per session, and scholarships available. See Rev. Jason Alspaugh at FBC Dayton for more information or call the office at 937-222-4691. Limit 20 participants.

Readings provided include Anne Lamott, Kathleen Norris, Mark Doty, John Updike, Faith Adiele, Annie Dillard, Virginia Stem Owens, Andre Dubus, and many others.

Posted August 4, 2015 by jstueart in Mishmash

Imaginarium 4: Table of Contents revealed   Leave a comment

10982867_10153036781103855_735786566531418969_oVery honoured to be chosen to work with Sandra Kasturi of ChiZine Publications as a guest co-editor for Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing which features, yes, as advertised, the best speculative writing of Canadians from 2014.  This will be published in September, I think.  Follow the link above to see the Table of Contents.

Believe me, there were more amazing stories and poems than we could have possibly picked for one volume. These were hard choices, some of them, frankly, excruciating–but a 600 page volume was something that ChiZine said wasn’t possible for us at this time.

Congratulations to all who were chosen for this volume.  There is a significant list of Honourable Mentions that you’ll see in the book.

Damn, but Canadians are writing well.  That’s all I can say.

So happy too to have Margaret Atwood writing the Introduction to this collection.

For the Table of Contents please follow this link:

Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing

Grief Counselors Ready for Sunday’s Game of Thrones Finale   1 comment

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Reoters: [Dayton, Ohio]  Dr. Harold Finnegan says he’s cleared his calendar on Monday and Tuesday as HBO has called him and 27 other local colleagues to be ready for distraught fans of the hit HBO TV series.

“We’ve sorta been warned,” he told us over the phone.  “We’ve each received The Fax,” he said.  He says it like you’d expect someone to talk about a subpoena.

The Fax: Sent by showrunners DB Weiss and Daniel Benioff, the Fax contains what is going to happen on Sunday night’s Finale episode and includes deaths, violence, even the words to “The Rains of Castamere”.  They sent this fax to major cities around the US to prepare for the unprecedented outpouring of grief for at least two beloved characters on the show (and several not so beloved ones).  We were not able to see the Fax ourselves.

“Cincinnati and Columbus and Toledo and Cleveland are prepared as well,” he told us.  “There are hundreds of us who were asked to clear calendars for the whole week.  I was able to ask other clients who had lost loved ones to hold off for another week or so and allow me to take Monday and Tuesday, at the very least, and reserve them exclusively for the fans of this show.

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Gambling with Belief: Revealing Character through Religious Advisors, Prophets and Fanatics   Leave a comment


(For more of these Explorations of Faith in Science Fiction and Fantasy, see Wrestling with Gods blog where this was first published)

[SPOILERS if you have not yet seen last Sunday’s Game of Thrones episode “Dance of Dragons”]

Sunday’s Game of Thrones shocked many with its depiction of a father who decides to sacrifice his only daughter and heir to his name in order to Win the Throne.  George RR Martin may not have put it in his books yet—but he did tell the showrunners, DB Weiss and Dan Benioff, that this was definitely coming.  I don’t want to address the level of violence in the show.  I think its characters are appropriate to their world.  We have seen beheadings, slayings, burnings, stabbings, as well as rape, mutilation, etc. from good and bad characters.  This is the world Martin has written, so by those rules this is how our characters react to crisis and achieve goals.  It is profound then that level, compassionate heads are in short supply these days (and being mounted on spikes every season).  I count Tyrion, Doran, Jon, Samwell, Varys, Margeary, Olenna, and a handful of others as being the people I would listen to if I lived in Game of Thrones.  The Hound and Dario might have the most practical means of getting through this world alive, but I wouldn’t want to become them, so I wouldn’t want them as advisors.

Who one listens to—having good advisors—is a form of power, no different than a Valyrian sword, I will say.  We all cheered when Dany and Tyrion met because, frankly, Dany could use some good advisors. Her decisions have been erratic–as she seeks to maintain power in a desperately sinking cultural situation.

I want to highlight three “gods” or specifically, three “speakers” for their gods who have become either advisors or powerful people themselves, and ask questions about the ideas that Martin brings out (or the showrunners highlight).  I want to look at how an author might use religion or faith in his or her work to mirror, echo, or highlight something in our own culture.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted June 10, 2015 by jstueart in Mishmash

The Seven Deadly Sins of Religion in Science Fiction (from io9)   4 comments

Back in 2009, Charlie Jane Anders published a nifty blogpost on io9 in the midst of the BSG finale, last of the LOST episodes, and after the aftermath of Heroes, about how NOT to put religion in your science fiction.  Things she was tired of seeing, but also things she believed you might also be tired of seeing.  The blog post still feels relevant, though you can argue her points.  It challenges us to come up with ways to avoid putting faith in science fiction badly.  Try putting one of your “deadly sins” of putting religion in science fiction (or fantasy) in the comments section here–and let’s see if we can come up with our own version of this list.


The 7 Deadly Sins of Religion in Science Fiction.  

Religion is a huge part of science fiction – and it makes the genre better and more fascinating, as Battlestar Galactica proved. But there are seven mistakes SF should avoid in portraying the spiritual realm.

BSG wouldn’t have been nearly as epic if it hadn’t included spiritual themes from the beginning. The inclusion of religious elements added a way bigger scope and grandeur to the story of humanity’s last remnants struggling to survive – and it was realistic, since you’d expect people to be asking the big theological questions in that situation.

In general, religion and spiritual topics are a huge part of science fiction – if you’re really determined to avoid them altogether, you’re probably stuck with a few golden age novels, and a handful of Lost In Space reruns. But just like other science fiction elements, like first contact, time travel and space battles, science fictional religion can be done well – or it can be cheesy and weird.

Here are seven mistakes science fiction sometimes makes in handling religion (and I freely admit I was influenced to think about this by all the comments on Annalee’s final BSG recap and some of our other posts):

1. The cargo cult. Yes, I know, the gods really must be crazy. But I’m really sick of stories about primitive peoples who discover high technology and start worshipping it. Or the descendants of high-tech people, who have become primitive and started worshipping their ancestors’ technology. Like the Ewoks worshipping C-3PO, or the desert people worshipping the spacesuit in Doctor Who‘s “Planet Of Fire.” There’s usually an undertone of “See? This proves religion is teh stupid.” Also horrible: robots worshipping the people who made them, or aliens worshipping humans. Or aliens worshipping Ferengi.

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Religion In Science FictionEXPAND

2. The cheap Jesus. There’s nothing wrong with having a messianic figure in your science fiction – I’m not trying to take all the fun out of everything here – but don’t just pull the Jesus imagery out of thin air and expect it to mean something. Yes, I’m looking at you, crucified Neo. And I’m looking at you, Jesus H. Baltar. (And even though I love the ending of Doctor Who‘s “Last Of The Time Lords,” I’m also looking at you, floaty cruciform Doctor.) The indispensible TVTropes website has a great list of “random religious symbolism tossed in for no reason” moments.

3. The dumb space gods. Whenever we actually meet a god or gods in science fiction, it’s almost always a letdown. (There are exceptions – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine managed to have our heroes meet the timeless Prophets inside the wormhole, without ever losing their mystique.) Usually, though, when we meet a god or a godlike alien, it’s a cheesy old guy with a funny beard. Or it’s Jodie Foster’s condescending dad.

For the other 4 deadly sins…. seek out this link:  http://io9.com/5185748/the-7-deadly-sins-of-religion-in-scien


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