Women Destroy Science Fiction! around the web

Women Destroy Science Fiction! has been out for a few weeks now, and enthusiasm shows no sign of abating.


The limited edition was available at Readercon, and we’ve heard that one vendor sold out, and the other ended the convention with only two copies remaining (and has requested more for future conventions).  And the WDSF! reading that our fabulous Editorial Assistant Jude Griffin put together was standing room only, despite not being a part of official programming and occurring during the dinner hour! I wish I could have been there.

I remain humbled and grateful for the reception this project has received. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and support!

Women Destroy Science Fiction! – T minus 11 hours

Tomorrow morning the limited edition ebook will go out to our Kickstarter backers and contributors.

WDSF! has dominated our lives here for nearly nine months–since the idea came up in September until today. We actually finalized the issue this afternoon–having added a bonus story at the last minute (which you can read about here). But now it’s done.

Thank you to (in no particular order): our backers, our authors, essayists, editors, slushers, illustrators, audio producers, voice actors, supporters, and providers of hugs and reassurance. This was an enormous project, but it felt like more than that–it felt like a movement, one that thousands of people participated in and continue to participate in. You are all amazing. I am so grateful to you, and so humbled by your trust and support. Again, thank you.

Destructively yours,


WDSF cover by Galen Dara
Cover of Women Destroy Science Fiction! June special issue of Lightspeed. Cover art by Galen Dara

In which I am interviewed by GeekMom.com

Women Destroy Science Fiction!

You may have heard about this wee project I’m working on–a special all-women double issue of Lightspeed called Women Destroy Science Fiction! We have a Kickstarter going, which funded in seven hours (thank you!). Now we’ve added stretch goals to include Women Destroy Horror! edited by Ellen Datlow, and Women Destroy Fantasy! edited by Cat Rambo.

This project has been so fun to work on, and the women I’m working with are all so amazingly talented.

Fran Wilde interviewed me about Women Destroy Science Fiction! for GeekMom.com. I gave them a sneak peek at two of our contributors–I’ll reveal more in days to come!

Check out the interview, consider backing the Kickstarter (we have 18 days to go), or take a look at my initial call to arms. The destruction of science fiction is imminent! Are you prepared?

The Year in Yant, 2013 edition

What a weird year it was. Upon reflection, I realize it was a year of Firsts.

My daughter moved out; my sister moved in. My other daughter started sixth grade (IMPOSSIBLE). John went on his first book tour. We went to our first comics convention (which Grace still uses as her yardstick for PURE JOY: “I smiled almost as much as I did at Comicon!”)  I went to the Rainforest Writers Retreat, and John and I both attended the Nebula Awards Weekend for the first time. I made my first sale to Analog, which still seems kind of like a dream except that I have the magazine to prove that it happened. I ran for SFWA office, which was terrifying on a number of levels, but I’m glad I did it. A story of mine was translated into Chinese and sold to the world’s largest SF market. Somewhere in there we accidentally adopted two special-needs cats (one intended, the other an imposter who is currently admiring the hummingbirds from her corner shelf in the office).

I spent three months writing three short stories that ultimately got trunked, a few weeks writing a story for an anthology on short notice (out next year), and another three months writing a novel, which was an exercise in focus and determination. And then my dayjob ate the next three months, and then it was the holidays, and here we are.

I did have two short stories published this year, within a couple of weeks of each other. They are:

In 2014 I’m returning to short(ish) fiction, with a resolution to write a minimum of 250 words a day, which so far I’ve steadily exceeded. Why so little? Because life, I discovered last year, is completely unpredictable, and I never know when shit’s going go sideways, but 250 words takes me about 15 minutes, and I can always find 15 minutes in a day. I’m nearly done with the first draft of a science fiction novella related to my Analog story, and of course I’m working on the Women Destroy Science Fiction! special anniversary issue of Lightspeed,  with a number of amazing women–about which, more soon.

Those are also Firsts, I just realized. A life full of Firsts promises to be anything but boring.

Happy New Year to  you, and as the saying goes: May the best of the past year be the worst of the next. Onward!


“Transfer of Ownership” to appear in China’s Science Fiction World

Illustration © Galen Dara, used with permission
Illustration © Galen Dara, used with permission

Science Fiction World is a Chinese magazine reputed to have the single largest SF readership in the world. Thanks to the excellent work of translator Geng Hui–who is renowned for his translations of such luminaries as Ted Chiang, Kate Wilhelm, and Ursula K. LeGuin–my Armored story “Transfer of Ownership” will appear in SFW in 2014.

Many thanks to Geng Hui for his work on this, and to Ken Liu for introducing my work to him.

(China! One million readers! ::muppetflail::)

The Drabblecast features “The Revelation of Morgan Stern”

Drabblecast #299 cover illustration by Jerel Dye
Cover illustration by Jerel Dye

When I met Norm Sherman at Worldcon he mentioned that he’d really enjoyed “The Revelation of Morgan Stern” in Shimmer #16, and asked if he could run it on one of his podcasts. Naturally, I said yes, and sent it over when I got home. I’ve been so busy lately that I didn’t even realize it had been released until yesterday!

Norm always does a great job, and this is no exception. (I love that he gave a nod to the Shimmer team for putting together such a great magazine.) And the art that accompanies it! Jerel Dye‘s illustration is wonderful.

Drabblecast #299: The Revelation of Morgan Stern

You can still buy the original Shimmer #16 in ebook form (the print edition sold out!). And if you’d like to read how the story came to be, I blogged it here.

The Epic Saga of Yoda the Cat

In June we went to the local cattery and fell in love with this tiny, sickly little black smoke kitten with sea-green eyes named Yoda. Yoda let me pick him up, pet him, carry him around, and was generally a very mild-mannered and sweet kitten. Yoda was from a household that refused to neuter their pets, and so Yoda and his sister were both deeply inbred and had chronic health problems which the shelter felt made them unadoptable. His sister was easily recognizable, being twice his size, and very skittish, more feral than not–she would bolt if anyone took even a step toward her. But Yoda was mellow and sweet. He’d had a rough go, in and out of cages his whole life, and we believed that we could give him a good home.


We went back for Yoda the following week. He had recently been back in isolation again due to illness, and had been taken from his original home not once but twice, so initially it didn’t seem odd to me that he was perhaps a little more hidey than last time we saw him. Getting him into the carrier was a challenge–he was really trying hard not to be caught. At one point I went and looked for his sister to make sure we had the right cat. But there she was, on the highest perch in the sun porch, so Yoda was probably just having a bad day. Linda, the woman who runs the shelter, emailed one of her volunteers who had taken a liking to Yoda to give her the good news. Then she gave us the single piece of paper that they had as documentation on him and sent us on our way.

Yoda had a much harder time adapting to his new home than we anticipated. He hissed and hid, and even after the first couple of weeks when he was finally willing to come out while I was in the room, he’d bolt and hide again if I moved toward him. Unfortunately he had a persistent upper respiratory infection and I knew we absolutely had to get him to the vet. In the process of getting him into the carrier he completely wrecked my office and bit the living hell out of my hand (documented here–PSA: CAT BITES ARE NOT TRIVIAL). We now refer to the incident as the Murder Attempt, or The Time Yoda Tried to Kill Me. He acquired the nicknames “Murderkitten” and “the Manticore” after that.


Frankly, my feelings were hurt–he seemed to like and trust me at the shelter, but clearly he no longer did. All I could do was try to be patient, give him his space, and let him work out our relationship on his terms. After a couple of months he finally found his voice, and became a very vocal little thing. He is getting to know the dogs, who he has absolutely no fear of. He’s taken a few tentative steps out of the office. He even lets us pet him, if he’s in a very specific spot on the bookcase and sleepy enough. From where he was in June, this is all massive progress.

Except that this isn’t Yoda.

John went to the cattery two weeks ago and showed them video of Yoda being his newly-talkative self.

“That’s not Yoda,” said the woman who had sent him home with us. “That’s his sister. Yoda is still here.”

::record scratch::

Remember in Good Omens, how Crowley was responsible for the proper placement of Baby A, Baby B, and Baby C, one of whom was the Anti-Christ?

Yep. There was a third kitten, the same size as Yoda, but as skittish and fearful as their other sister. We hadn’t seen her on any of our previous visits, because she was a very talented hider. That’s the cat we came home with.

Linda said that there was a lot of confusion when her volunteer returned to work.

“I thought you adopted Yoda out?” the conversation began.
“I did! Two weeks ago.”
“I don’t think so…Yoda’s still here.”
“No, I’m certain. They said it was him, too.”
“I’m pretty sure Yoda is still in room 7.”

After a couple of days of observation, they were sure of it.

“So who did I send home with them?!” Linda asked.
“It must have been Amber.”

We all adapted quickly: Amber–formerly Yoda, lately the Manticore–had her nickname shortened to Cora, and plans were made to go back for her brother. Yesterday we did. He’s grown a lot in the past three months–he’s longer, but still sick, severely underweight and lanky. He’s still sweet and just kind of bewildered. He’s currently in isolation in Grace’s room, where he’s made a perfectly snug hideyhole for himself in the folds of an egg-crate mattress being stored beside the little sofa.

The real Yoda
The real Yoda

So, a happy ending. And there’s more: Cora’s case of mistaken identity got her a home in the nick of time. This week their larger and more capable sister was moved to the feral sanctuary, where she’ll spend the rest of her life. Cora would have gone with her, had she been there. Instead she’s here with me, with a new planter of cat grass to nibble on, a comfy sofa to nap on and sneeze all over, and a bunch of humans who hang on her every meow.

storySouth Million Writers Award “Notable Stories of 2012”

I was delighted to learn this week that my story “The Three Feats of Agani” has been included on the storySouth Million Writers Award “Notable Stories of 2012” list. Agani is turning out to be the Little Death God That Could. :)

Many thanks to the readers who nominated it and to the preliminary judges who selected it. If you’d like to check it out for yourself, you can read it or listen to the podcast at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

The best person I know


From Twitter, Friday night:

Peta Freestone ‏@PetaFreestone 15h
Who is the best person you know? Why are they the best person you know? #SeriousQuestion #EntirelySubjective

Christie Yant ‏@inkhaven 15h
@PetaFreestone My husband. Because he always assumes everyone is as good and motivated by kindness as he is. Often to his own detriment.

Peta Freestone ‏@PetaFreestone 14h
@inkhaven Thank-you. If I only get one answer to that question, I’m glad it’s this one.

Two years ago today, I got to marry the best person I know. I still can’t believe my sheer dumb luck.

Happy anniversary, John. I love you. <3

In which we learn that cat bites are not to be !@#$ed with.

Last month I adopted a new kitten. His name is Yoda. He came with that name, which naturally felt like destiny, since we already have a Chewbacca.


Cute little thing, isn’t he? He’s had a rough life. He was removed from his original home twice for neglect, and has been sickly his whole life, in and out of cages at the shelter where he could be isolated while he recovered. He’s about a year old (so not really a kitten) but he’s maybe half the size of Maya, the smaller of our other cats.

Since we got him home he’s been very slow in getting comfortable, and has so far only let me pet him once. His digestive problems disappeared as soon as we got him on a specialized diet, which was a good sign. Here he is in his favorite hiding spot under my printer:


He’s had the sniffles for a while, and it seemed to be getting worse. Last Wednesday he seemed to really be having trouble breathing, and I decided I could not wait any longer to get him to the vet. I got the cat carrier out. I put food at the back of it and waited. He went right inside to eat, so I started to shut the door. He bolted faster than I thought possible.

I had to start blocking his hiding places off. That took a while. Meanwhile, he completely panicked. He threw the books off my shelves trying to get behind them. He knocked the lamp off my desk trying to get out the window. Pretty much anything that could be knocked over or strewn around, was. He got to the window and promptly got his claws stuck in the screen, because he had never let me touch him so I could trim them. I carefully got him unhooked, and I thought we were home free, but then he saw the carrier again and this time jumped for the closed half of the window. I was able to retrieve him from there, and again thought it was about over–and then he transformed into a twisting, hissing, biting, scratching, fanged tornado of doom. He sank his teeth into me, and HARD. All I could think was Oh shit I need to get this cat off me.

photo (2)

I managed to get him into the carrier at that point, and then the adrenaline let-down set in and I just shook as I rinsed my hand in the sink. I couldn’t really tell how bad it was at first. And in the picture it doesn’t look too bad, but those holes and that tear are deep. This happened at noon.

Brooke Bolander told me to go to the ER immediately. I didn’t listen. She warned me about cats’ native bacteria and the extremely high risk of infection. I still didn’t listen.

By nine o’clock that night, my hand was swelling and oozing pus. I promised Brooke I would go to Urgent Care first thing in the morning.

photo (3)

By 6 o’clock the following morning, half my hand was swollen and it hurt like hell. I went to Urgent Care. This picture was taken 20 hours after the bite:

photo (6)

They gave me an injection of Rociphen and an Rx for Augmentin, an antibiotic I’d never had before. That was Thursday. Friday morning I was back at Urgent Care, with my hand now looking like this. You can see where the doctor had marked the boundary of the infection the previous day:

photo (4)

Another Rocephin injection. I was told to continue with the Augmentin, and was given an Rx for a pain killer. I had laid in a supply of yogurt and probiotic supplements, since I’d been told the Augmentin was high-test stuff.

Saturday I got up and my hand was noticeably better. But by noon, I was experiencing the side effects from the Augmentin where in the the documentation it says “stop taking Augmentin and call your doctor immediately. Do not take over the counter medications for the symptoms.” I called my doctor immediately. She did not call back.

By Saturday night I was so sick I was actually scared. I called our health insurance’s Nurse Healthline, and she told me I could either wait to go to Urgent Care first thing, or go to the ER now. Urgent Care didn’t open until noon on Sunday, which was thirteen hours away and also roughly when my daughter’s birthday party would start. So we went to the ER, where they switched the Augmentin to Doxycyline and told me it was fine to take OTC meds. (They did not help even a little.)

Sunday and Monday I could not eat without pain and having to immediately spend long periods of time in the bathroom. On Tuesday we added vomiting and nausea to the pain and extreme lower GI distress. I left work early and went back to Urgent Care, where I was cleared to quit the antibiotics since my hand was clearly now infection-free and the wounds were healing up nicely. Wednesday was more of the same, but by Thursday I was starting to feel a lot better. Today is Friday, and I feel pretty much normal apart from the sore hand. (That one on the knuckle really hurt!)

Laurel Amberdine and Amanda Davis suggested that I accidentally adopted a juvenile manticore, which is how we’re now referring to him. (“Honey, did you feed the manticore?”)

All of this is to say: If you are bitten by a cat, RUN DON’T WALK to Urgent Care and get on prophylactic antibiotics immediately. Anywhere between 50% and 80% of cat bites become infected. As Brooke put it, “They’re like fluffy little komodo dragons. Closest thing to being venomous without the actual venom.” My doctors (all three of them) concur. I’ve had cats since I was a kid and I had no idea. I was talking to a friend who actually rescues feral cats, and she had no idea. My sister is an EMT, and while they covered wild animal bites in her training, nobody ever mentioned cat bites.

And it turns out that I was quite lucky. Brooke pointed me to this article about someone who ended up having to have surgery because the infection ravaged the sheaths of her tendons.

Meanwhile, Yoda spent the week in hiding. You’d think I bit him, the little monster. But yesterday he came out and played with some packing tape, and I think we’re back on the road to friendship. And I’ve even stopped having to remind myself that he’s cute.