This is an excellent time to dive back into story blogging, not to mention reading. The Nebula Award nominees were very recently announced, and I have some catching up to do. The only one I’ve read so far is Ursula Vernon’s “Jackalope Wives”, which I shared at the time.
A couple of centuries of national pride and the gentle glow that history casts on winners have given today’s U.S. citizens a rather staid view of the radicals and revolutionaries who built a country from former colonies. Not only did they wage treasonous war against their king, but many of the crafters of our constitution were religious radicals. There were Quakers and Methodists and Christians who rejected the authority of the Bible.
There were also deists among the people who shaped our government. In his recent book, Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic, philosopher Matthew Stewart tells their story. He traces the strains of deism in Enlightenment thinking and shows how it shaped our country.
Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.
Friends of mine run Uncanny Magazine, which raised its first year of operational costs via Kickstarter. Having sold them an essay for the issue that comes out this upcoming Tuesday, I had a chance to preview the whole issue. It’s glorious. You’ll want to read it. It’s full of stories, poems, and essays with what I’ll call, with no cynicism or irony, “heart”.
For all that, the sentiment that resonated with me the most strongly came from the editors themselves. Halfway through their fully funded first year, they used their editorial to talk about funding a second. They offer subscriptions, and they’re looking into other funding methods as well. (Use them if you want to help good people fund good speculative writing and theory.) What they don’t want to do is run a second Kickstarter.
“We would prefer not to run another Kickstarter. Although Caitlin loves dressing up and everybody loves Space Unicorn swag, Kickstarters are exhausting”, they say. Having just finished a Kickstarter last week, I agree with them.
You’re nearly out of chances. The Kickstarter ends this Thursday. Right now, it’s only 51% funded, and if we don’t fund the Kickstarter, we won’t have a conference. If we do fund, but you haven’t bought your ticket through the Kickstarter, the price will go up.
Don’t just listen to us organizers. There are plenty of people out there who want to tell you why you should come to Secular Women Work.
Our speakers have done amazing things, and they demonstrate that you can come to activist work through many paths and interests. Check out our interviews with them. Mandisa Thomas wants to provide community and other support for the people much secular activism leaves behind. Lauren Lane has spent the last several years demonstrating that she’s not only capable of riding the tiger, but she can steer the beast as well. Desiree Schell figured out at an early age that she wasn’t okay with the world being fundamentally unfair, and she can tell you what she’s done to fix that.
We’re not rushing to fill our slate of workshops, because we want your input on what we should offer, but we’ve set up a few we think are important. The Ada Initiative will help you stop impostor syndrome from getting in your way when you want to get things done. Jessica Kirsner of the Secular Student Alliance will help you develop a fundraising plan for your project. A local professional photographer will provide you with a headshot for free as part of our media training.
Once upon a time, someone, or several someones, told us we had to do a Jeff Speakman movie. They suggested The Perfect Weapon as peak Speakman. The only problem was that we’d already done Miami Connection. I won’t say we won’t repeat bad, because zombie movies, but even we have our limits.
So we found one better (worse): Deadly Outbreak. No, not Outbreak, but the film made the next year to cash in on the popularity of the still-not-very-good epidemic movie by adding terrorists and martial arts. Really, there are endless variations on bad.