My Arisia Schedule

Arisia is coming up, and I have a fantastic schedule that I’m really excited about! Check it out!

Saturday January 13

9:00 AM    Grand Ballroom CD    Bad Prose Reading. N.S. Dolkart. An interactive reading of the hardboiled Bad Prose story “The Maltese Pelican” by Alias MacPenname (N.S. Dolkart). Laugh or correct the text, and your turn is over! PG-13
4:00 PM    Burroughs    Technology’s not a Cure: Disability in SFF. N.S. Dolkart (mod), LJ Cohen, Bekah Anderson, LB Lee, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Tikva. Uncanny Magazine’s Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter reached almost all of its stretch goals, and completed funding. Defying Doomsday, an anthology of post-apocalyptic survival fiction that focuses on disabled characters was published in 2016. The conversation around disability in SFF is growing, but there are still many problems and problematic tropes in common use. Where do we, as a genre, need to go to create a better genre for disability representation?
8:30 PM    Douglas   SFF and the Feminine Elder. Lisa Batya Feld (mod), Greer Gilman, Andrea Hairston, N.S. Dolkart (I am super excited to be on a panel with these women. They’re freaking geniuses. I plan to do a lot more listening than talking). As our population ages and more people are living longer lives of greater vigor, older folks remain underrepresented as protagonists in SFF. Older women, in particular, rarely appear even as supporting characters, and often only appear in trope-laden roles we’ve all seen before. What stories break this mold? What stories are there yet to be told for older women in SFF? How do the fem-of-center relate to technologies of life extension or body replacement?

Sunday January 14

8:30 PM    Faneuil    Beyond Metaphor: Explicit Representation in SFF. N.S. Dolkart (mod), Sabrina Vourvoulias, Sarah Lynn Weintraub, Keffy R.M. Kehrli, Steve Berman. There are many SFF works that talk around an issue, rather than facing it head-on. What works are there that directly talk about race, sexuality, gender identity, disability; things that have been addressed in the past mostly as metaphor? Are there any ways we are moving away from only being able to imagine ourselves in our protagonists in vague and subtle hints? What still has to happen before explicit representation works properly for everyone?

Monday January 15

11:30 AM    Hale    Fantasy Reading. N.S. Dolkart, Stephen R Wilk. Authors will be reading their own original works about dragons, mysticism, and epic fantasy. (I will be reading a passage from the forthcoming third book of the Godserfs series, A Breach in the Heavens)
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Writing Update

So, what has the great N.S. Dolkart been up to recently? Working on the next book?

In short, yes, though progress has been very slow. I recently had the unenviable task of writing to my editor to request that we delay publication of Godserfs book three until October 2018 (from an original pub date in August 2018) because I simply haven’t been writing quickly enough. My excuses are valid: new job (salaried, sucking up extra hours until I get used to the routine), house hunt (to move closer to said job), kids who need me to not disappear from their lives…anyhoo, my new first-draft deadline of April 1st is going to be much more attainable than February 1st.

So what does this mean? If you enjoyed AMONG THE FALLEN and are already awaiting the climactic Book Three, you can mark your calendars for October of next year. While you’re waiting, perhaps I can convince you to write a review.

My Readercon Schedule

Next weekend is Readercon, for which I am incredibly excited. How could I not be? Check out the amazing panels I’m on!

Friday July 14

12:00 PM    6    Back from the Dead. Judith Berman, John Crowley, N.S. Dolkart, Nicholas Kaufmann, Sioban Krzywicki (leader). There are many characters in SF/F who die in what appears to be a permanent fashion, only to be brought back from death. Examples, left intentionally vague to avoid spoilers, appear in Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, Daniel José Older’s Bone Street Rumba books, and as far back as J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books. How do the characters interact with resurrection (their own or someone else’s) and in some cases even prepare for it? When do readers feel like this works and is believable and satisfying, and when does it feel like a cheap trick or a cop-out? What is it like to read these stories while grieving, or keenly aware of one’s own mortality?
7:00 PM    6    Race and Historical Accuracy in Cod-Medieval Fantasy Fiction. S.A. Chakraborty, Phenderson Clark, N.S. Dolkart, Tom Greene, Catherynne M. Valente. Too often, we’ve heard the excuse of “historical accuracy” used to explain the lack of PoC in historical fiction. Yet their presence is profoundly felt throughout European history, including in the medieval era so often used or modified as a fantasy setting: Arabic numbers have been used in Western societies for centuries, philosopher Ibn Rushd preserved and notated the works of Aristotle, the Silk Road brought traders and diplomats from all over Asia, and Moors in Spain were credited with promoting astronomy, medicine, and literacy. This panel will discuss how to populate cod-medieval fantasy novels with characters of color who have dimension, depth, and humanity, while avoiding stereotypes of swarthy villains and uncouth sidekicks.

Saturday July 15

2:00 PM    C    Lines of Consent in Fiction. Samuel R. Delany, N.S. Dolkart, Lila Garrott, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Josh Jasper. In science fiction and fantasy, consent is often handled in fuzzy, imprecise ways. Obvious scenarios of non-consent, such as the enslaved house elves in the Harry Potter books, are easily identified as problematic, but less is said about magical destiny that compels an ordinary person to become a hero; inherited magic, rank, or family feuds that empower or endanger a character without their consent; soul mates, who are forced to love and be attracted to each other; werewolves compelled to change shape under the full moon; and other strictures that are so common we’ve come to take them for granted. This panel will discuss work that either explicitly deals with consent or appears oblivious to its relevance, and will explore the writer’s responsibility when placing characters in a scenario (or plot) that hinges on questionable consent or non-consent. Content note: this panel may explicitly discuss violations of consent and their consequences. For the purposes of this panel, trigger warnings and content notes are assumed to be valuable tools that assist the reader.

Sunday July 16

12:30 PM    A    Reading: N.S. Dolkart. N.S. Dolkart. N.S. Dolkart will conduct an interactive Bad Prose reading of his dreadfully-written story, “The Maltese Pelican.”

Judaism and the Godserfs Series

I know I’ve disappeared recently into a black hole of endless work and other stressful things (house hunting, anyone?), but I absolutely have to tell you about these three posts of mine that have come out this month, all discussing aspects of my series’ relationship with Judaism.

The first is over at the Jewish Book Council, where I discuss three biblical passages that particularly influenced my writing. They’re really fascinating passages in their own right, and you should definitely check it out.

The second post at the JBC is even dearer to my heart, a response to a 2010 essay in which Michael Weingrad argued that Judaism was inherently better suited to science fiction than to fantasy. In this response I discuss the thing that I feel to be most Jewish about my series: the complete lack of dualism.

Lastly, I’ve got a lovely post in ReformJudaism.org about how I ended up writing such Jewish stuff anyhow, when I’d always resisted it in college. This one also reveals the idea at the core of Among the Fallenso only read it if you don’t mind some spoilers!

This is Not a Drill

Among the Fallen is out in stores right now! You can go buy it! I also have some great readings and talks lined up, so check out my events page if you’d like to hear me speak and get yourself a signed copy.

Another great piece of news I received recently is that I’ve been accepted as a panelist for Readercon this summer! I love Readercon, so this is really exciting for me. The discussions are always incredibly substantive, and the people are great. Plus Nnedi Okorafor is one of their guests of honor this year, which is so freaking cool. If you haven’t read anything of hers, you should really get on that.