The Sunday Post for October 4, 2015

Writing Better Trans Characters

Cheryl Morgan offers guidance on writing trans characters on Strange Horizons. Her audience here is SF writers, but nothing in her advice should be limited to that genre. Any writer could benefit from this read.

I reject the idea that trans characters should only be written by trans people because cis folk are bound to get it wrong. While there are some really fine trans writers, there simply aren't enough of us in the world to do what is needed. We have to be part of all fiction, not just fiction that we write ourselves.
Future Reading

Craig Mod, one of the best investigators we have into the form of the book and how it is changing, looks here at the future of reading, and the formats we may be reading in. This is a delightful, deep, and personal essay. Highly recommended:

From 2009 to 2013, every book I read, I read on a screen. And then I stopped. You could call my four years of devout screen‑reading an experiment. I felt a duty – not to anyone or anything specifically, but more vaguely to the idea of ‘books’. I wanted to understand how their boundaries were changing and being affected by technology. Committing myself to the screen felt like the best way to do it.
Why We Need to Build More Diverse Worlds in Fiction

We’ve been talking about diversity this week quite a bit on the SRoB. Bernard Hayman took a look at diversity in world building recently over at The Toast.

What we learn about our own reality can often prove as fantastic or strange as anything in fiction. Anyone who has spent hours on a Wikipedia bender that starts at “toothpaste” and ends at “Tesla coils” understands that part of the appeal is not simply understanding the “what” of a thing, but the “why” and the “how.” Fiction encourages readers to engage with the reality we already know with our views slightly tilted — to see the world we live in with fresh eyes. The imagining and understanding of new worlds can encourage us forward in the real world, towards a different or better state.