Cue Joan Jett riff…

January 2nd, 2015

Another very fine review of Karen Memory by Russell Letson in this month’s Locus. It’s not online, but here’s my favorite bit:

“Karen Memory is a delight, a tour-de-force of historical reimagining and character creation, and a ripping yarn full of surprises…”

I’ll take it!

Annual award-shilling, and YBSF32 ToC

December 23rd, 2014

Gardner Dozois has announced the Table of Contents for his THIRTY-SECOND annual YBSF.

I may be in it twice.

This may make up for the cold I’m nursing.

The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirty-Second Annual Collection,
Edited by Gardner Dozois

The Fifth Dragon, Ian McDonald (Reach for Infinity)
The Rider, Jérôme Cigut (F&SF)
The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile, Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean Online)
The Burial of Sir John Mawe at Cassini, Chaz Brenchley (Subterranean Online)
The Regular, Ken Liu (Upgraded)
The Woman from the Ocean, Karl Bunker (Asimov’s)
Shooting the Apocalypse, Paolo Bachigalupi (The End Is Nigh)
Weather, Susan Palwick (Clarkesworld)
The Hand Is Quicker, Elizabeth Bear (The Book of Robert Silverberg)
The Man Who Sold the Moon, Cory Doctorow (Hieroglyph)
Vladimir Chong Chooses To Die, Lavie Tidhar (Analog)
Beside the Damned River, D.J. Cockburn (Interzone)
The Colonel, Peter Watts (
Entanglement, Vandana Singh (Hieroglyph)
White Curtain, Pavel Amnuel (F&SF)
Slipping, Lauren Beukes (Twelve Tomorrows)
Passage of Earth, Michael Swanwick (Clarkesworld)
Amicae Aeternum, Ellen Klages (Reach for Infinity)
In Babelsberg, Alastair Reynolds (Reach for Infinity)
Sadness, Timons Esaias (Analog)
West to East, Jay Lake (Subterranean Online)
Grand Jeté (The Great Leap), Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Online)
Covenant, Elizabeth Bear (Hieroglyph)
Jubilee, Karl Schroeder (
Los Pirates del Mar de Plastico (Pirates of the Plastic Ocean), Paul Graham Raven (Twelve Tomorrows)
Red Light, and Rain, Gareth L. Powell (Solaris Rising 3)
Coma Kings, Jessica Barber (Lightspeed)
The Prodigal Son, Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s)
God Decay, Rich Larson (Upgraded)
Blood Wedding, Robert Reed (Asimov’s)
The Long Haul, from the Annals of Transportation, The Pacific Monthly, May 2009, Ken Liu (Clarkesworld)
Shadow Flock, Greg Egan (Coming Soon Enough)
Thing and Sick, Adam Roberts (Solaris Rising 3)
Communion, Mary Anne Mohanraj (Clarkesworld)
Someday, James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s)
Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)

I see three Hieroglyph and three Reach for Infinity stories on that list, along with two apiece for Upgraded and Solaris Rising 3. Do I detect a brewing Best Anthology award rivathelry for next year?

Which give me elegant segue to my obligatory end of year shilling!

So here’s what I published in 2014.

Among the short fiction, I have to say, I’m particularly proud of “This Chance Planet” and “Covenant.” In case anyone was wondering.

Short Fiction:

“This Chance Planet,”, October 22, 2014 (Ellen Datlow, ed.)
“The Hand is Quicker”, The Book of Silverberg, Gardner Dozois, ed., 2014
“You’ve Never Seen Everything,” The End is Now, John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey, ed., 2014
“Terroir,” Harvest Season, Bill Roper, ed., November 2014
“Covenant,” Hieroglyph,Kathryn Cramer and Edward Finn, ed., October 2014
“No Place to Dream, But a Place to Die,” Upgraded, Neil Clarke ed., September 2014
“Madame Damnable’s Sewing Circle,” Dead Man’s Hand, John Joseph Adams, ed., 2014

Shadow Unit:

Dark Leader,” with Emma and Will
Asylum,” with Chelsea
“Something’s Gotta Eat T. Rexes,” with Emma and Steve


Steles of the Sky, Tor (edited by Beth Meacham)
One-Eyed Jack, Prime Books (edited by Paula Guran)

Starred review from Library Journal!

December 12th, 2014

* Bear Elizabeth, Karen Memory. Tor. Feb. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780765375247. $25.99; ebk. ISBN  9781466846340. SF

The Gold Rush town of Rapid City is just about what you would expect in a frontier community catering to the mining trade: rough, violent, and full of prostitutes. Karen is a “soiled dove” working at Madame Damnable’s establishment, where she and her sisters in trade serve a more respectable crowd than the poor girls who work the cribs at the waterfront. When one of those young women escapes and runs to Madame’s for help, she brings the wrath of the crib owner, Peter Bantle, on the house. Bantle, in addition to bring a vicious bully, seems to have a device that can control people’s minds.

Verdict Bear (Steles of the Sky; Blood and Iron) pumps fresh energy in the steampunk genre with a light touch on the gadgetry and a vivid sense of place. Karen has a voice that is folksy but true, and the entire cast of heroic women doing the best they can in an age that was not kind to their gender is a delight. Ably assisted by a U.S. Marshal and his Comanche posseman, Karen and the ladies kick ass.

Karen Memory reviewed by Kirkus, and ZOMG let’s see that cover again.

November 20th, 2014

The Kirkus review for Karen Memory is in, and they loved it enough to make my name a terrible pun.


Steampunk: Something of a new venture for Bear, whose previous output (Steles of the Sky, 2014, etc.) has ranged from heroic fantasy to science fiction, often with an embedded murder mystery.

By the late 19th century, airships ply the trade and passenger routes, optimistic miners head in droves for the Alaskan gold fields, and steam-powered robots invented by licensed Mad Scientists do much of the heavy (and sometimes delicate) work. In Rapid City on the U.S. northwest coast, Madame Damnable operates the Hôtel Mon Cherie, a high-class bordello, paying a hefty “sewing machine tax” for the privilege. Here, orphaned horse-breaker and narrator Karen Memery (Bear doesn’t tell us why the book’s title is spelled differently) works among similarly lively, engaging and resourceful girls. One night, Priya, a malnourished but tough young woman, arrives at the door carrying the badly wounded Merry Lee, who escaped from one of the grim brothels operated by brutal gangster Peter Bantle and has since made a career of rescuing other indentured girls from Bantle’s clutches. Madame Damnable’s steam-powered mechanical surgeon saves Merry’s life—but not before Bantle himself shows up, wearing, Karen notes, a peculiar glove that somehow can compel others to obey his commands. Worse, the following night the girls discover the body of a murdered prostitute nearby. U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves arrives with his Comanche sidekick, Tomoatooah; they’re tracking a serial killer who seems to have made his way to Rapid City. The story swiftly knots itself into steampunk-ishly surreal complications, with dauntless (and, by this point, love-stricken) Karen in the thick of the action.

Supplies all the Bear necessities: strong female characters, existential threats, intriguing developments and a touch of the light fantastic.


I’m just gonna put that Cynthia Sheppard cover on everything from now on. I love it so very, very much.

Karen Memory cover reveal!

November 19th, 2014

Taking a break from writing like a fiend to make some more tea and brag! CLICK THROUGH THE LINK AND LOOK AT MY COVER, GUYS!

(Click on the image above for the full, amazing cover art by Cynthia Sheppard.)

bring me the head of H.P. Lovecraft

November 9th, 2014

So, I come to you tonight, on the evening of the World Fantasy Awards, to congratulate the winners–and to talk a little bit about Howie’s Head.

First: Congratulations, winners! I’m thrilled for every one of you! And congratulations, nominees! You get to feel almost as smug.

And now on to the controversy, and my completely personal take on it.

For those of you who don’t know, the World Fantasy Award statuette is a wonderfully grotesque Gahan Wilson caricature sculpture of H. P. Lovecraft. It’s fondly known as “the Easter Island Head,” which should give you an idea of what it looks like, if you haven’t seen one.

It definitely has a bit of the Innsmouth Look, if you know what I mean, which is probably only appropriate.

So, there are people in the community who would like to see the statuette changed, because it honors somebody (H. P. Lovecraft) who was in his work and his life undeniably racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic*. And not any garden-variety systemic racist, either: this was a person whose vicious and frankly nauseating racial determinism and belief in genetic “degeneracy” serves as a foundation for his entire body of work.

It’s existential despair and visceral horror of “miscegenation” all the way down, like a stack of turtles descending into the abyss.

When it comes to the statue, I… have mixed emotions. I personally would love an ugly stumpy Howie head in my living room, whether it were to be me or that boy I like who were to bring it home. My reasons for this are personal and illogical and completely subjective:

First, frankly, I love Gahan Wilson. I have a complicated relationship with Lovecraft, but his work was formative for me back in the day, and arguing with his racism did win me a Hugo. More objectively, he is one of the people who created the foundations of fantastic fiction and the modern genre of fantasy.

And… the World Fantasy Award is something I’ve aspired to for decades. I’d love to create something that was found worthy of this recognition someday.

In short, I have a deep personal affection for the ugly old thing. I covet it, the way I once coveted a shiny rocket ship. (I kind of covet a cube of lucite with some planets in, too, but I’ve never been nominated for one of those.)

What other major genre award comes with a dead-serious warning not to put it in your fishtank? (It kills the fish. Which is, again, only appropriate.)

But…here’s the thing. I consider Nnedi Okorafor a friend, and I also consider her to be one of the best writers in the genre today. And she’s a recipient of this award. (Interestingly, the year she won, the best novel nominees included two other black female writers.) Her essay on the topic is here.

Go read it.

I’ll wait.

Whatever my personal affection for the ugly little lump of fish-poisoning pewter is, my feelings can’t compare with the conflict that people like Nnedi feel when honored for groundbreaking work like Who Fears Death (Go read that, too, but finish this first, there’s not much left.) with a statuette that is a constant reminder of, in her words: “The fact that many of The Elders we honor and need to learn from hate or hated us.”

My attachment to the current statue can never be as important as that.

I understand from twitter that the WFA committee stated this year that changing the statuette is under consideration. Scott and I had a conversation about this in the car not long ago, and one of the things we talked about is that one way to resolve some of these conflicts between tradition and attempting to be decent human beings would be to establish a rotating stable of heads, as it were.

I’m a huge fan of the brilliant Octavia Butler, but I’m not sure she’s a good choice for this particular honor: not only was she predominately a science fiction writer, but she’s a terribly recent loss to the field and remains a much-beloved and mourned friend of many.

But even if we continue to honor writers who have been gone for at least twenty years–or longer–there are a number of people who could be recognized: Fritz Leiber, C.L. Moore, Scheherazade, J.R.R. Tolkien, T. H. White, Hope Mirrlees, and Sutton E. Griggs, to name a few.

Gahan Wilson’s still around, you know.

*He was also mentally ill, and I suspect some of his incredible churning fear of the Other stems from that mental illness. Which is not an excuse in any way for things like the poem Nnedi quotes.

The following is an open letter to my friends and colleagues who are established members of the science fiction and fantasy community.

November 6th, 2014

It’s easy to lose control of a narrative. It’s a little bit harder but not all that difficult, if you have the skills for it, to seize control. To construct a convincing narrative–whether that narrative happens to be true or not–and manipulate your audience into investing in it–into believing it–whether that narrative happens to be true or not.

It’s not even that much harder to create so much social pressure, to engage in so much goal-post shifting, that the very target of your narrative begins to believe it herself. This is one of the ways in which sick systems work: we impose a narrative on someone else, and then force them to conform to it.

When one individual does this to another, we call it emotional abuse.


Isn’t it curious how often someone who is attacked by the wielder of an abusive narrative is held accountable for everything they may have ever done or said–whether in anger, or in their cups, or just in a moment of carelessness? Editing blog posts, taking down twitter feeds or websites, scrubbing the past, apologizing–all of these are cause for redoubled vituperation. Anything the victim says can be spun, questioned, deconstructed using opaque logic to create any sort of hammer the abuser wishes to swing.

And yet, there are abusers who consider their own right to edit to the narrative sacrosanct. What is past is past; what is true today is only true so long as it facilitates the abuser’s narrative. The goalpost shifts and the gaslight flickers.

On the internet, we call those people trolls, but–colorful as it is–the word is a euphemism. What we are really talking about here is predators. Abusers.

Whether they’re in it “for the lulz” or for the social capital, they’re there to exert power and cruelty over people. They’re there to justify their own existence by making others pay for theirs.

To an abuser, motive–which normal people who are not writers call, “What I actually meant, not what you are twisting my words to mean.”–does not matter. All that matters is that the abuser finds a way to control the narrative, to control and hurt the victim, and to “win” the engagement. Winning, in this case, means the other guy experiences pain. And then gives up, gives in, lets the abuser have their own way.

It saddens me deeply that some people within communities I consider essential to the health of my industry and my social group (they’re largely the same thing, that being how both publishing and the internet work) use those communities as camouflage to hide abuse, as springboards to facilitate it, and as cheering sections, god help us all, to reward them for their most violent behaviors.

You can often spot them because, instead of going after people with a great deal of social capital and perceived strength, they go after those who are marginalized, young, at the cusp of their professional careers, or struggling with a setback. They go after people who would seem natural allies, who would trust them, who would take their violence much more personally than somebody who actually despises them or to whom their opinion means nothing.

These predators gaslight; they reversion the truth; they have an explanation for everything. And all of it piles up to make you feel as if you’ve lost your grip on reality. As if nothing you perceived was the truth. You think their narrative doesn’t make sense, but other people buy it, and because memory is fallible, you start to buy it too.

They’re not there to teach, to elevate, to change the system. On some level, they don’t want the system changed–because if it were, where would they go to get their kicks?

You can see ‘em leading the pitchfork-wielding mobs in Gamergate. And right now, you can see ‘em attacking a group of predominately new, predominately less-established, predominately female, predominately brown members of the science fiction and fantasy community.


I am not saying that internet social justice work is inherently abusive. I’ve engaged in a certain amount of internet social justice work myself. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to confront people, or to be angry about injustice.

I’m pretty angry about a repeated pattern of injustices myself right now. And I’m sad. And I want the abuses to stop. I’ve been holding my peace to allow the victims to come forward and make their own statements, because I believe it is my place to speak out in support of them, not to influence what they might say.

That has begun to happen.

That is why I am going to directly address the actions of three colleagues who, to my knowledge and from firsthand accounts, have been colluding to behave in an abusive, unprofessional, gaslighting fashion against vulnerable people.

I have considered Alex Dally MacFarlane a friendly acquaintance and a respected colleague, and I am most upset to learn of her part in bullying Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and others. (Among other things, she’s released private emails between Tricia Sullivan and RH/Bee without Tricia’s permission.) I’m saddened, and I’m tempted to defend her; we’ve been internet acquaintances for years. And yet, I must choose to believe the victims.

Tori Truslow I met for the first time this summer in London and exchanged a few words in passing. Benjanun Sriduangkaew (Bee) I have never met, but I knew of her as a friend of a friend and somebody whose work I’d encountered and thought well-written but as yet unformed. We participated in an online round-table on food and SF together.

Requires Hate never got a lot of consideration from me. I don’t think she ever came after me personally, and while I knew she was awful to a number of friends, well, sometimes people are awful to writers. I will totally cop to having made fun of her as a sad little troll on more than one occasion, but my general attitude was “haters gonna hate.”

I knew she was an abusive person. I didn’t know how abusive, or how long it had gone on, or in how many forums. I didn’t know how many people she made complicit in her abuse, or tried to. I didn’t know about the chilling effect her abuse has had on the art and discourse of women and people of color, of whole communities. And I certainly didn’t know about her association with Alex and Tori, and this summer when the rumors started flying about Bee I was one of the people who defended her, because the evidence presented at that time basically amounted to, “They’re both Thai and both activists.”

I thought it was racist and ridiculous.

I was wrong.

I also happened to speak with several friends, about half of them women of color, at Loncon and 9 Worlds who each independently told me that they had had a miserable summer. None of them mentioned why. I had been traveling and largely off the internets since May, and I did not make the connection that they had been having the same miserable summer for the same reasons.

I was wrong about that, too.


I am not an expert on the subject but I certainly believe, from reading Bee/RH’s work and from talking with people who are experts on the subject, that she has an intimate knowledge of Asian cultures and certainly lives or has lived in Hong Kong and Thailand–or has access to people who have.

I am, however, an expert on the subject of abusive relationships, of abusers, and of drawing boundary lines around them. I know that Benjanun Sriduangkaew is a pseudonym. Why should we believe that the Bee persona is any more authentic than the Winterfox one?

Can we believe any single thing Bee/RH tells us? Bee’s claimed to be in her thirties; now she claims that her RH behavior was teenage malfeasance. She was talking about Tolkien on in 2001 under her Winterfox identity, and yet she claimed as Bee that she hadn’t read any fantasy before 2011.

She’s laid claim in various incarnations to a variety of backgrounds. She works pretty hard to erase her backtrail, but this is the internet and traces remain.

Small inconsistencies are human. Not knowing who the hell you are from day to day is a sign of a constructed persona.

I am curious: has anyone in the community ever met a person who identifies themselves as Winterfox/Requires Hate/Benjanun?

I know it’s weird and rare, but this sort of thing does go on. Predators exist. Con artists exist. Abusers exist. People pretend to be other people. Sockpuppets proliferate. They fact that most of us wouldn’t actually consider it–or wouldn’t do it in a concerted manner with intent to harm–doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.

Bee/RH has moved from internet community to internet community for the past ten years or so, starting fights, preying on people, abusing and threatening and gaslighting people, getting people to confide in her and then using their private confessions of anger to control them. She claims to punch up; what she has really done is grind already marginalized writers and fans into the dirt so she can hop up on their heads and elevate herself a little.

At this point, I think it’s an open question whether the individual known as Benjanun Sriduangkaew/Requires Hate/Lesifoere/Pyrofennec/ValseDeLaLune/Winterfox/Winterfennec/ACrackedMoon/how does one person even have time? actually even exists as an independent person, rather than as some sort of bizarre matrioshka doll made of socks.

I would not be surprised if “something terrible” happens to “Bee” soon, given the failure of the unconvincing victim narrative she’s been attempting to build. Munchausen’s By Internet (“pseudocide”) is a frequent outcome in cases like this.

Whatever her background, the fact remains that this individual has had a major chilling effect on discussion and promotion of works presenting diversity in our genre.

She’s not the victim. She’s an abuser.


I know Requires Hate has apologized. I know that the narrative she’s spinning is that she was young, that she’s changed, that she’s seen the error of her ways.

I don’t believe her.

Abusers apologize.

They blame others for their actions, too, or claim that they’ll change. And that’s why I don’t believe in these sudden, convenient, alleged “impersonators” who perpetuated her worst abuses. I do believe that people with a pattern of multiple abuse in multiple venues gonna sock, and gonna troll.

I believe that she is a abuser, and a bully, and that she shifts the narrative to protect herself and continue her abuse. I have spoken with a number of people I trust, including women and people of color, and I know for a fact that her bullying and vituperation continued in back channels into the summer of 2014. I know that she has engaged in whispering campaigns including character assassination and false allegations, some of them provided to editors or convention organizers. I know this because Athena Andreadis told me, in specific, and Athena’s story is supported by the pattern of events and by conversations I’ve had with people who were inside Bee’s circle of influence.

I know (because the stories of Athena and Rochita and Tricia Sullivan and Rachel Brown and other women who have chosen to remain anonymous match up with evidence still available to anybody with Google and some patience), that definitely Alex and possibly Tori supported this, and that everyone involved did and said some really unprofessional things–to and about other women writers, and to women writers of color, in specific.

I know, because of the sheer number of people who have come forward with substantially similar stories, that the evidence supports the idea that RH/Bee has exhibited a pattern of abuse entirely above and beyond her vituperative reviews, a pattern that continued at least into the summer of 2014 and quite probably to the present day–long beyond when she claimed she had reformed in her apologies.

I can’t say what her motive might be, but a couple of obvious options do present themselves. The writers that Requires Hate went after were predominately women, predominately early career or midlisters, predominately women of color. People she might perceive, frankly, as competition. Or as potential allies insufficiently toeing her party line.

She policed their behavior. She told them how to write, and what to think, and what to say about books in reviews. When they did not conform to her demands, she set out to make them miserable or damage their careers. She intimidated marginalized writers into silence–on topics they had every right to speak out about, topics relating to their own identities.

It is worth noting that one of her tactics is to (personally or through intermediaries) attack readers and reviewers to suppress conversation about books of which she does not approve–such as works by Cindy Pon and N.K.Jemisin. It is worth noting that these works are disproportionately by women, people of color, and other marginalized writers. And that these writers were disproportionately early-career or emerging.

Those readers and reviewers must be considered her victims as well. Many of them are likely to have been people of color, given the nature of the communities she damaged. It becomes painfully obvious that her goal was never to support a diversity of voices, but suppress and suborn it.

That speaks to me not of activism but of a desire to police and control through intimidation.

I believe she, Truslow, and MacFarlane are and have been working together as a sort of Mean Girl Posse to control and intimidate others, and that MacFarlane and Truslow are currently playing Bad Cop and letting… I don’t even know what to call her… play Sadder But Wiser.

They’ve never come after me, to the best of my knowledge, so I feel comfortable standing up and saying all of this.

Of course they wouldn’t come after me. I wasn’t vulnerable to them.


Nick Mamatas (a true chaotic neutral, and one of the internet’s great drama farmers) has been positioning his defense–if you can call it that–of RH/Bee as a defense against her inevitable blacklisting.

Let me make it plain: I’m pretty plugged in in this community. The only place I have heard of this alleged blacklist is as a talking point raised by RH/Bee, Nick, and RH/Bee’s other defenders. I have certainly heard of one or two people saying, “She was awful to me or someone I care about and I won’t work with her.” I have even more frequently heard of people telling other people the truth–that Bee is RH and RH is Bee.

Telling the truth about somebody is not blacklist, libel, or slander. Deciding you won’t work with somebody is not a blacklist. A blacklist is an organized effort, with threat of consequences, to keep somebody from ever working in this town again.

Sort of like the abusive treatment RH/Bee was leveling against reviewers who reviewed books of which she did not approve, or that she and Alex were bringing to bear against Athena Andreadis for the crime of telling RH/Bee that Athena thought her best course of action was honesty.

It’s curious how, again and again, this person levels accusations against others for doing exactly what she herself has done.

Likewise, where’s the proof of the alleged doxxing against RH/Bee? The only place I have heard of it is from her and her supporters. A cursory Googling suggests, in fact, that her real name is still not a matter of public record.

So it seems unlikely to me that anybody has released her address and other private information publicly, which is the definition of doxxing.

I am not willing to say she can’t reform, but I think a continued long-term pattern of obvious change is necessary before I am willing to trust the apology of a person who has literally lied to everyone about everything for literally thirteen years. Especially as she has apologized before, as Winterfox and as Requires Hate, and it doesn’t seem like those stuck.

So let me make it even more plain: I’m not calling for a blacklist of Benjanun Sriduangkaew. I’m not calling for a blacklist (like that would even work in SFF, where we have as a community inherited a kind of weird pride in stubborn idiosyncratic wrongheadedness we call “contrarianism” from our forebears) of Alex Dally MacFarlane, either, or of Tori Truslow.

I believe their work should be published as it merits, and as editors see fit to pay them for it. I believe that they should be eligible for award consideration as they deserve it in the eyes of those who select for awards.

And while I also believe that the community I belong to should know that the person publishing under the pseudonym Benjanun Sriduankaew has behaved in an abusive and predatory fashion, I have no interest in focusing on her–or in centralizing her redemption narrative.

What I would like is for our community to take this opportunity for positive action. I believe that the people Bee/RH has harmed should be given as much support and aid in healing as practicable. I believe that potential future victims should be warned. I believe those who may feel trapped by her should be protected. I believe those whom she has abused should be helped to connect with one another as they desire.

I believe their voices should be listened to, if and when they choose to come forward. I believe that the people who have been silenced by this campaign of bullying should be given as much space to speak as they would like.

I believe that, on an ongoing basis and pursuant to our dawning understanding as a community of the need for harassment policies and a pro-active stance against bullying, we–the established members of the science fiction and fantasy community–need to make safe spaces where people who have been bullied and harassed can come forward and find strength and solace, as well as safety.

I believe we need to respond to this series of events in our community by making more space for marginalized voices, and promoting young writers, women writers, and writers of color.

My concern lies in protecting the vulnerable. We, the established members of the science fiction and fantasy community, owe a debt of care to emerging writers and marginalized voices, and those are the people who have specifically been targeted by this predator. We owe them shelter and consideration. Frankly, we need them more than they need us, because they represent our future as a genre and as a community.

Moreover, we owe it to our emergent writers to create a space where bullies cannot silence them, police their writing and their identity, and make them feel unsafe. I’m not just talking about the RH/Bees of the world here, but the Jim Frenkels as well. We need to let our emergent writers know that the Benjanun Sriduangkaews and Alex MacFarlanes of the industry have no power over their careers–really, functionally, literally no power.

To do this, we need to be willing to shine some light in dark corners and to slap some bright paint around the predators and missing stairs. We need to make space for the voices of those writers and the readers who wish to engage with their work.

To those emergent writers: If you are bullied, harassed, abused, or threatened, there are people in the community who will believe you, and who will stand up for you.

Basically, I believe Requires Hate should be treated the same way we as a community treat Theodore Beale/Vox Day: as a dangerous missing stair whose abuses and bullying should be taken seriously, and not justified by the fact that either or both of them may be covering their pathological behaviors under a veil of ideology.

But I also believe that we can use this opportunity to uplift the marginalized and the victimized, and that is where our future as a community shines.


*Blog comments will be closed. I will not respond to messages regarding Winterwhatever, because she’s her own problem now. I don’t want to talk to her or about her.

All of my available energy for this subject from this point forward is going to signal boost writers, editors, and readers of diverse backgrounds and diverse books.

A safe, moderated space open to the victims of bullying has been provided at Laura Mixon-Gould’s blog.

Karen Memory and Icon

November 3rd, 2014

I’m home from Icon, where that boy I like and I had a wonderful time. It’s a great little con in Cedar Rapids, relaxing and full of fun people, and I AM TOTALLY NOT GETTING CON CRUD AT ALL.

Also, it turns out Jim C. Hines is a pretty darn good photographer in addition to all his other skillz.

Good. Now that that’s settled, on to some news! Karen Memory got a great review in Publishers Weekly, which follows. (It gives away some stuff we were planning to keep off the cover, but such is the review life.)


Bear’s rollicking, suspenseful, and sentimental steampunk novel introduces Karen Memery (“like ‘memory’ only spelt with an e”), a teenage “seamstress”—that is, a prostitute—at Madame Damnable’s Hôtel Mon Cherie in Rapid City. This Pacific Northwest city of an alternate 1878 is home to airships, surgical machines, and other mechanical wonders that can also be put to horrific use. As Karen meets and begins to fall for Priya, another sex worker who escaped from evil pimp Peter Bantle, they learn that Bantle has more dark plans than brothel competition. U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves and his Comanche partner, Tomoatooah, also tie Bantle to the gruesome murders of some of Rapid City’s most vulnerable women. Bear (The Eternal Sky) gives Karen a colorful voice, sharp eyes, and the spunk and skills necessary to scuffle with bad types as well as to win over people whose help she needs. Her story is a timeless one: a woman doing what is needed to get by while dreaming and fighting for great things to come. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Feb.)

New story, and new titles too!

October 23rd, 2014

My Moscow Metro dog organlegging story, “This Chance Planet,” is live at!

(I would have mentioned it yesterday, but I was on airplanes.)

And now that I’ve dropped a giant graphic in your internets and presumably have your attention (art by Robert Hunt), it’s time to reveal some titles! The titling gnomes have finally prevailed in their epic battle with der Fehlerteufel, and Eternal Sky 4-6 (collectively known as The Lotus Kingdom) have grown beautiful titles ripe for harvesting.

Or something.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my next three fantasy novels.

The Stone in the Skull

The Red-Stained Wings

The Origin of Storms

Get it while it’s hot!

October 15th, 2014

For everybody who has emailed me looking for the out-of-print Whiskey and Water in ebook…

We baked you an Urban Fantasy storybundle! Contains a previously unpublished Jim Butcher Harry Dresden collection, along with books by me (Elizabeth Bear), David Farland, Kevin J. Anderson, Vicki Petersson, Carole Nelson Douglas, Michael A. Stackpole, P.N. Elrod, Peter J. Wacks, and Rhiannon Paille.

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you feel generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of five books in any eBook format—WORLDWIDE. If you pay $14 (or more, if you feel generous), you’ll get the five bonus books as well.

Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. We’re currently featuring The Challenger Center, Mighty Writers, and Girls Write Now.

The Urban Fantasy bundle runs for three weeks only. Whiskey and Water is out of print, so this is the only ebook–and the only non-used version–available. Also, Kevin J. Anderson’s Working Stiff, Vicki Pettersson’s The Reordering, and the Harry Dresden Working for Bigfoot books are not available anywhere else.

And Whiskey and Water features brand new cover art by Jenna Kass.

The initial titles in the bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

Neon Noir by Carole Nelson Douglas
Nightingale by David Farland
Whiskey and Water by Elizabeth Bear
Working Stiff by Kevin J. Anderson
Villains by Rhiannon Paille

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $14, you’ll get another five books:

The Reordering by Vicki Pettersson
Tricknomancy by Michael A. Stackpole
Hair of the Wolf by Peter J. Wacks
The Devil You Know by P. N. Elrod
Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher

The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle, Nook, and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books, but after the three weeks are over, the bundle is gone forever