August 2021 - Dragonfly News

It's our ninth birthday! Discover these cool things in August: Dreamtime by Venetia Welby, a new NaNoWriMo goal, and trying to boycott Amazon as a publisher and author.

Our News

Happy 9th birthday to us on August 13th! Nine years ago, the website became a thing. A floundering thing washed up on a rock. And then it gradually evolved to what it is today. To celebrate, I am finishing the first draft of my new novel, The Stolen Child. Writing the prequel, Back to the Garden, heavily inspired the path to what has become Dragonfly.eco. NaNoWriMo, and the encouragement of the Rewilding Our Stories Discord, have been big motivations as I pen the new novel. Most days I write minimally 1,000 words, and the first draft is nearly complete. To celebrate this birthday, I had previously teased about publishing the third post in my Medium article series, “Around the World in 80 Books,” but the novel took precedence, along with planning for some company soon—and I am still working on the third Medium article, so stay tuned.

Speaking of Discord, it’s the perfect time to join our Rewilding Our Stories. We have an influx of new members, bringing us to over 130 now. We’ve recently taken on two additional moderators, Sara Davis, who blogs at LiterarySara.net, and Forrest Brown, who runs the Stories for Earth podcast. We’re also on the second book in our new book club, reading Jeff VanderMeer’s Hummingbird Salamander. We read fairly slowly due to some of us having big reading lists because of reviews and such, but we’ll be voting on a new book soon!

This month's world eco-fiction spotlight is on Venetia Welby and her novel Dreamtime, which takes place mostly in Japan. The novel is brilliantly complex, emotional, and frightening. Venetia’s writing gets deep and challenges the reader to think about consequences of our way of life.

This is big news for me, but something I’ve been thinking about forever and a day: I have not been happy with Amazon, and our family is boycotting it as much as we can by acting with our wallet. We no longer order anything from there and are not renewing our Prime Movie membership. As an author and publisher, I’m also put into a precarious position. How to sell books if not using Amazon? It has a bad track record with monopolizing the book-selling industry, tax avoidance, animal cruelty, antisemitic content, sweat shop atmosphere in its warehouse, and so much more. Then its founder, billionaire Jeff Bezos, recently spent millions on a personal journey to space that signified a monumental act of frivolity. Although paying for book distribution, as I’ve found, cannot remove Amazon as one of the sellers, among many, I’ve already stopped linking to it for Dragonfly Pub’s titles, removed my books’ Kindle versions at Amazon, downloaded a different e-reader and will no longer buy Kindle books, became an affiliate at Bookshop—which supports indie booksellers—and began using Storygraph, an alternative to Goodreads. Amazon bought out Goodreads after I began using the plug-in for book data at Dragonfly. Currently, I am testing a new API type of plug-in, called BiblioShare, which was developed by Booknet Canada, and you can edit the template to not include big places like Amazon and instead to support more neutral book databases. I like it so far, but who knows when I will ever have the time to retroactively plug it in. I will use it going forward, however. I’ve also done a tiny bit of redesign on the site, if you haven’t been there lately.

Look forward to someone interviewing me, for a change. I talked with Yanas Chewns, of Geekoscopy, about Dragonfly.eco and the concept of eco-fiction. I believe this chat will air in early September, so just watch for it on the site.

Thanks to Book Riot for linking to our site when exploring the wonderful field of BIPOC eco-fiction.

Check out my review of Tobin Marks’ awesome new sci-fi novel, Ark of the Apocalypse, which puts global warming at its focus.

I’ve added a Support Us link to Dragonfly. I do not ask for donations and will never put content behind a paywall or install ads or annoying pop-ups. But ever since our move to Nova Scotia, I’ve expanded my Dragonfly Pub business to include book review and editorial services. So check it out!

I interviewed Emma Reynolds about her new children’s book Amara and the Bats as part of Dragonfly’s Indie Corner author and Turning the Tide spotlights. In early September, watch for a new indie interview with Cai Emmons.

In Other News

So, the IPCC report came out, and Emily Watkins’ newsletter “Heated” helps us to understand it better. Ars Technica also has a good summary with understandable graphs, and NASA just released a new, interactive sea-level-rise tool, which uses updated Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) scenarios. I find these sources super helpful when trying to understand climate science.

Phew boy, I guess we’re all scratching our heads about Florida Governer DeSantis enacting dumb Covid health crisis decisions that are directly causing thousands of deaths (hitting records, too). Well, recently Stephen King, while promoting his new novel Billy Summers, lashed out at the governer on Twitter. According to the Herald-Tribune: “DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, responded to King’s comments by pointing out that he’s a fiction writer. “I do not understand why the public or reporters would look to fiction writers for insights on infectious disease and environmental issues,” Pushaw said in an email.” Maybe it’s because most of us have more knowledge about these things than an actual governer and we’re not actively executing laws that cause death?

I recently saw the above poster on Twitter and thought it might be of interest to Dragonfly’s readers. The email to register for the Zoom event is on the poster.

Grats to Rebecca Roanhorse, who just announced on Twitter: “Black Sun has been nominated for the Dragon Award! Yes, it's in the Science Fiction (not Fantasy) category, no Black Sun is not a space opera despite the word ‘Sun’ in the title. Either way, I'm honored. Thanks, Dragon Awards!” The sequel in the Between Earth and Sky series, Fevered Star, is available for preorder and comes out in April 2022.

Input Mag has a new article about video games and the Anthropocene: “In games, the environmental crisis is just another bedtime story.”

The New York Review has author Nathaniel Rich talking about George R. Stewart’s perfect Storm.

Tor lists five classic SFF novels about environmental disaster, so put on your retro shoes and have a read.

According to Polygon, “There’ll be new Dune stories in the future, no matter how the movie does.” Good news!

Coming in late summer is Lisa Joy’s Reminiscence, starting Rebecca Ferguson, Thandiwe Newton, Hugh Jackman, and Natalie Martinez. The premise, according to Wikipedia, is: “Nick Bannister, a rugged and solitary veteran living in a near-future Miami flooded by rising seas, is an expert in a dangerous occupation: he offers clients the chance to relive any memory they desire. His life changes when he meets a mysterious young woman named Mae. What begins as a simple matter of lost and found becomes a passionate love affair. But when a different client's memories implicate Mae in a series of violent crimes, Bannister must delve through the dark world of the past to uncover the truth about the woman he fell for.”

NK Jemisin’s The Broken Earth Trilogy is being being adapted to film! See our film section.

Resources

In case you’ve missed these exciting resources at Dragonfly, which are constantly being updated, check ‘em out!

  • World’s biggest playlist? Our environmental/nature song-of-the-week playlist, which goes back to 2016.

  • List of eco/climate films and documentaries

  • Eco-fiction links and resources

  • Book database (with nearly 900 titles)

  • Turning the Tide: The Youngest Generation (fiction aimed toward children, teens, and young adults)

  • Indie Corner: New as of mid-2020, we give a hats off to authors who publish independently

  • Backyard Wildlife: A new-ish hidden gem exploring how we are rewilding our own backyard and meadow

  • Artists & Climate Change. This is an extraordinary resource delving into all kinds of the arts focused on climate change. For a while now they’ve been rerunning my world eco-fiction spotlights. Recently they’ve made me a core writer for their team, and I’m both honored and grateful. Look for my “Wild Authors” series there.