Nevertheless She Persisted is a sci-fi/fantasy flash fiction collection featuring unique visions of women inventing, playing, loving, surviving, and – of course – dreaming of themselves beyond their circumstances, according to the event’s page at Tor. It was the reaction of some world-class authors to the statement made when Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor of the United States Senate for reading the words of Coretta Scott King last month:
She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Yesterday, on International Women’s Day, a number of those authors ran with it, turning an attempt at subjugation into the inspiration behind a collection of stories you absolutely need to read. And you don’t have to pay a penny to do so; they are posted online at Tor, free and accessible to all. Enjoy, and perhaps even be inspired; I certainly was.
Humble Bundle is a great way to get some amazing deals on nerd-centric stuff and support charity at the same time. As an example, right at the moment their home page actually redirects you to their current Game Maker Bundle, with over $1,880 worth of software to let you create your own games and distribute them online, which you can pick up for less than $13. They don’t normally do that, but I think they got excited when even at such a low price they crossed the 2 million dollars in sales mark. That one is still going on for a day or two, but there is another deal you ought to check out: Sci-Fi by Real Scientists, with the charity being the Sci-Fi Givers Fund. That charity fund is one of several being run by the SFWA, and supports all the other funds, including the legal and health care funds, and their educational and grant system. If you are as addicted to reading as I am, this is an excellent way to help the independently employed authors (what, you never heard the expression “don’t quite your day job”?) keep doing what they are doing. The deal only runs for another week yet, until the morning of the 28th, and the e-books download to all the standard formats, so whatever computer or tablet you are running they will read just fine.
Most of these are classics, meaning more than 50 years old, although some are noticeably more recent; but there are so many excellent books included here that pretty much everyone will find goodies for their ears and brain. The collection of links is from Openculture’s Free Audiobooks Archive, and it includes the works of Issac Asimov, JG Ballard, Frank L. Baum, Jorge Luis Borges, Ray Bradbury, William S. Burroughs, Lewis Carroll, G.K. Chesterton, Arthur C. Clarke, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Philip K. Dick… and that only takes us through a few of my favorites out of the first four letters of the alphabet. You can stream these in realtime or download them to load into your favorite media player or burn them to disc if you still have a CD player in your vehicle. There are a ton of free radio drama/audio book resources available online, and this one is a great way to get started.
Over on the PotterMore site, J.K. Rowling has returned to the world of Harry Potter for a new short story that reunites now-adult Harry with his old friends. You can read the full story here on PotterMore after registering, or over at Today Dot Com without the registration process. She is a wonderful writer, the Potter series is amazing, and I am hoping for lots more from this fun universe. Thanks to Open Culture and another double dozen sites for the heads up on this one.
There is an Indie Game Maker Contest that starts today and runs to the end of June, and the software to build your game is available dirt cheap this week only. The grand prize is $10,000, and the development system and the games run on Steam, for the best in online game play. To get your game development software hit the Humble Bundle site and pay what you think is fair for the package. They have tiers for those who exceed a certain minimum, with more content added as various levels are passed, but those amounts are very small. In addition, every project Humble Bundle has on offer is tied to a couple of charities, and you can select who gets what percentage of your purchase/donation. This is another variation on crowd funding, and one that I have been really impressed with, since it allows you to access some excellent stuff (including a Book selection for those of us addicted to reading) for not a lot of money. Their offerings change every week, which does put you under something of a time constraint, so you might want to consider joining their mailing list to be reminded each time new stuff comes out. I should also mention that Steam also provides the Steam Workshop, where you can learn how to create, and then upload and share your own game content for games like Duke Nukem 3D, Lords of Football, Skyrim, Legend of Grimrock, Left 4 Dead II, and a few hundred others. Any of these projects is worth checking out; all of them together? That’s a no-brainer in my book.
Eileen Gunn has an excellent article published in Smithsonian Magazine about the history and nature of Science Fiction’s relationship with science and discovery. Titled How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future, it is a thoughtful piece by an expert on the topic. It includes quotes from some of the best known authors in the field supporting or expanding on her points, and not all of those points are as comfortable as we might wish they were. I suspect this was commissioned as part of The Future Is Here Festival taking place next month at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.