My Feminist Family on the Prairie (yes, men can be feminists, too)
Believe it or not, there is a connection between feminism, bicycles, and fiction. Witness the fiction anthology Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories in Extreme Futures from Microcosm Publishing, an anthology now in its fourth incarnation. I am proud to be an author in the fourth Biketopia, and I’ve got a favor to ask on behalf of all the authors and the publisher.
But first, a little bit about the latter. Microcosm Publishing, whom you can find on Duotrope, on their Web site, and all around the social media sphere, occupies a subversive publishing space—if feminism, LGBT rights, veganism, mental health, and a punk attitude qualify as such. Book titles upcoming or already published by this Portland, Ore., company include: Trump: A Graphic Biography; Cats I’ve Known; Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, IL, 1973-2005; Bikequity: Money & Class; and The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism. For myself, I was drawn to a publishing company that’s been around more than 20 years and supports women who write while making a statement of engagement with our environment, politics, music, feminism, do-it yourself, relationships, and so much more.
Support a Feminist Fiction Endeavor (That I Happen to be Included In)
But there’s a small hitch to Biketopia four. It’s not completely funded. Not yet.
This is where you come in!
There’s a crowdfunding campaign at this very moment to ensure it makes its way into the world. Featuring 11 stories and a batch of reviews that are dystopian or sometimes even utopian, Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories in Extreme Futures awaits full funding.
I cannot speak for the authors in this anthology, but as a writer among their number, I can say that my story focuses on a dystopian future in arid, desolate Colorado. Inspired possibly by subliminal crossflow from too many “Twilight Zone” marathons, I wrote about a protagonist who owns and runs a dusty diner alone but for two canine sidekicks. Then, she meets someone, and everything changes from there. So, pretty simple plot, without giving too much away.
Looking at the other story synopses, I am stoked to read Biketopia four, which includes a few comics within as well. Here are a few story blurbs from the Kickstarter fundraising page:
- In the solarpunk future, will robots have rights, too?
- What is the secret behind some people’s seemingly random plague immunity, and is it okay for them to take your bike?
- When your health is closely monitored during a pregnancy, who gets to decide if bicycling is healthy or dangerous for your unborn child? (text by Microcosm Publishing)
May the Fourth Be With Us, and How You, Too, Can Submit
Please consider supporting Biketopia four via the Kickstarter drive; with a minimum of $10 you get the latest anthology. With a donation of $25 or above, you get all four Biketopia anthologies. The goodies abound, with a variety of levels from which to chose.
I’d be ever so pleased, not just for myself but for the mission of Microcosm, if you’d consider donating to the campaign and checking out Microcosm’s site. In addition to the previous book titles mentioned in the intro, you’ll see that MP offers up ezines to coloring books to stickers for your bike and all kinds of books including self-help and vegan recipes inspired by Morrissey (whose band, The Smiths, are no relation to me, sadly).
Finally, Biketopia five is, ahem, gearing up for action, too. Through March 1, you can submit your feminist-inspired science fiction (though you need not be female or identify as such) stories of 2-6K words, to Biketopia five, with a theme of “Intersections.” In fact, they say “We especially welcome submissions from writers of color and transgender and nonbinary writers, and seek stories that portray more diverse perspectives than are classically found in sci fi.”
So, get on that seat and ride your creativity into worlds unimagined!