Thursday, July 04, 2013

[Poem] The Robo Sutra to appear in Expanded Horizons

Expanded Horizons has just accepted my poem "The Robo Sutra" for the July edition.

The mission of Expanded Horizons is "to increase diversity in the field of speculative fiction, both in the authors who contribute and in the perspectives presented. We feature speculative fiction stories and artwork, as well as essays about speculative fiction and fandom from diverse points of view."

In their mission statement, they explain further:
"Speculative fiction is an uncomfortable art – it is a tool by which we artists push readers and viewers outside of their comfort zones into the truly alien, and in so doing, help them to face themselves and grow as human beings. Excellent speculative fiction depends upon excellent “perspective shifting” skills- the same “mental muscles” we use when we learn to live, work and play with people from different racial, ethnic, cultural and sub-cultural backgrounds. In forming Expanded Horizons, we aim to push the field of speculative fiction out of its own “comfort zone” toward increased inclusion of, and comfort with, diverse perspectives, backgrounds and points of view.

It is comparatively easy to ask “what if?” about an alien culture that is labeled “fictional” than it is to learn to see through the eyes of those people who are different from us in our own neighborhoods and communities. In the real world, we have to take risks- and we can’t close the book if we don’t like what we see. But the speculative fiction community enjoys a challenge, embraces the “alien” with child-like curiosity. What if the readers and writers of speculative fiction applied their “perspective shifting” skills not just to the story on the page, but also to their own communities? What if speculative fiction itself aimed to push readers, writers and editors alike toward appreciating actual diversity with the same enthusiasm as we approach fictional diversity?

What if?"
"The Robo Sutra" breaks ground I believe as the first poem to discuss Laotown and our efforts to create Laobots who improve automation at the world's largest padaek factory without violating the 3 laws of robotics. Which is harder than you'd think with padaek. But I hope you enjoy it when it comes out!

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