She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Three short lines, fired over social media in response to questions of why Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor of the United States Senate on February 7th, 2017, for daring to read aloud the words of Coretta Scott King. As this message was transmitted across the globe, it has become a galvanizing cry for people of all genders in recognition of the struggles that women have faced throughout history. To me, it is also serves as a reminder of the cyberpunk nature of our everyday lives, as technology can weave our hearts and minds in unity toward a greater cause.
And, as many have pointed out, these three lines read as if they are the opening passage to an epic and ageless tale.
March 8th is International Women’s Day, which the United Nations describes as “when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political.” More than celebratory, International Women’s Day is aspirational, striving toward a more gender-inclusive world. Speculative fiction has had an impact in fostering this egalitarian dream through creative expression and critique. After all, science fiction in particular was born with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, written in the “Year without a Summer” while tumultuous storms raged over Lake Geneva. This dream was the utopia penned by Muslim feminist Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain in her 1905 story “Sultana’s Dream”, and the same year Charlotte Perkins Gilman published Herland in Forerunner magazine. In the decades since, women have provided some of the most crucial and insightful voices in our community.
International Women’s Day is also inspirational. In collaboration with colleagues Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Lee Harris, Liz Gorinsky, Marco Palmieri, and Miriam Weinberg, we have assembled this flash fiction collection featuring several of the best writers in SF/F today. Together these authors share unique visions of women inventing, playing, loving, surviving, and – of course – dreaming of themselves beyond their circumstances.
Look forward to:
- “Our Faces, Radiant Sisters, Our Faces Are Full of Light!” by Kameron Hurley
- “God Product” by Alyssa Wong
- “Alchemy” by Carrie Vaughn
- “Persephone” by Seanan McGuire
- “Margot and Rosalind” by Charlie Jane Anders
- “Astronaut” by Maria Dahvana Headley
- “More than Nothing” by Nisi Shawl
- “The Last of the Minotaur Wives” by Brooke Bolander
- “The Jump Rope Rhyme” by Jo Walton
- “Anabasis” by Amal El-Mohtar
- “The Ordinary Woman and the Unquiet Emperor” by Catherynne M. Valente
Starting March 8th, enjoy these new stories inspired by the words “Nevertheless, She Persisted”, and may we all chose to persist, together, for a more just society.