Welcome to Smugglivus 2016! Throughout this month, we will have guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2016, looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2017, and more.
For this year’s Smugglivus, I want to write about an initiative within the fiction community that we’re calling
The nutshell is simple: write stories that push back against bigotry, oppression, or authoritarianism in some way, and donate the proceeds to an organization that does the same.
The effort is big and decentralized and can be tailored to anyone’s individual business model. My writing group at Bad Menagerie is going to be doing all we can to promote works being released under this model or provide resources for authors who want to do something like this, but we’re not in charge – we want as many people as possible to adapt #FictionFightsBack and run with it.
For today’s Smugglivus, I’m going to talk about a few of the pieces that are already publicizing under this tag. Check them out!
Title: The Andersson Dexter series, starting with Self Made
Author: Darusha Wehm
Organization the proceeds support: The Electronic Frontier Foundation
Why you want to read Self Made: This is a cyberpunk world of enhancements and virtual realities that twists into explorations of identity and self. Oh, and did I mention it’s also a murder mystery? I’m currently reading Self Made, and I’m loving the complex world and characters – I can’t wait to see where it goes next. Get the first book here.
Why the Electronic Frontier Foundation rocks: I’ve been a fan of the EFF for a very long time. Their core mission is to protect people’s rights in a rapidly changing digital world, working to ensure our freedom and privacy in every realm of online interaction. Donate to the EFF here.
Title: RedChip BlueChip
Author: Effie Seiberg
Organization the proceeds support: The ACLU
Why you want to read “RedChip BlueChip”: This is a hauntingly subversive short story about the influences of corporations, advertising, and groupthink. I know Effie personally but am also a huge fan of her writing – she was one of my votes for the Campbell Award this past year! – and I encourage people to check this story out. Read it free, in audio or text, at Escape Pod.
Why the ACLU rocks: The American Civil Liberties Union has been around since 1920 and is BADASS. They have a towering record of taking the government to court over violating Americans’ rights, and they’ve shown absolutely no hesitation in challenging the incoming administration. Donate to the ACLU here.
Title: NASTY: Fetish Fights Back
Editors: Anna Yeatts and Chris Phillips
Organization the proceeds support: Planned Parenthood (20% of proceeds)
Why you want to support NASTY: This project isn’t out yet – it’s currently Kickstartering. But man, does it look cool. An erotic speculative fiction anthology celebrating not only “nasty women,” but everyone who wants the freedom to control our own bodies in whatever nasty ways we want – and take a look at some of the authors already in their TOC!
Why Planned Parenthood rocks: Planned Parenthood provides absolutely vital reproductive health care to women, men, and nonbinary people, including STI testing and treatments, cancer screening, gynecological health, and services related to pregnancy. They do all this in the face of brutal violence and misinformation campaigns. I know that organizations who provide abortion services can be a complicated emotional issue for some, so I think it’s worth adding that Planned Parenthood also prevents more than half a million abortions each year through offering knowledgeable, affordable family planning options and education – well worth supporting for people anywhere on the political spectrum. Donate to Planned Parenthood here.
We’re just getting started – more folks are adding works to the hashtag every day. In the upcoming weeks and months, be sure to keep checking out #FictionFightsBack when you’re looking for some good stories to escape the real world. Let fiction take you away while supporting some very worthy causes at the same time. And authors and creators, please consider yourself enthusiastically invited to keep releasing and publicizing under this tag in whatever way works for you!
And for myself? I’ll be releasing several titles as #FictionFightsBack pieces. In fact, since I’m right here at The Book Smugglers, I’ll conclude by announcing that my Book Smugglers novelette “The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist” is one of them.
It’s a queer retelling of “The Little Mermaid” – so, so queer! – and I’ve already donated my full advance to Lambda Legal, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. All of my royalties for the novelette will be split between Lambda Legal, the Trans Lifeline (a help hotline for trans people), and the Trevor Project (a help hotline for queer people).
Let’s use fiction to change the world.