On the cusp of Dalit History Month, a collection of essays and letters to Octavia E. Butler, edited by Dalit writer and editor Mimi Mondal, has been nominated for a Hugo Award recognising Science Fiction and Fantasy literary works and achievements.
Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler, a collection of essays and letters to the pioneer of Afrofuturism published by Twelfth Planet Press, has been nominated for a Hugo Award in the ‘Best Related Work’ category, making editor MIMI MONDAL the first writer from India to be a Hugo Award nominee. As Senior Editor of Luminescent Threads, and also a host of the Galactic Suburbia podcast, which has been nominated for ‘Best Fancast’, ALEXANDRA PIERCE is a nominee in two categories.
Released in 2017, Luminescent Threads celebrates a woman who was not only a pioneer of the science fiction genre, but who paved the way for future African American writers and other writers of colour. To compile the collection, Senior Editor ALEXANDRA PIERCE and Editor MIMI MONDAL curated original letters and essays, including some reprints, from contributors with a special connection to Octavia Butler.
Butler’s influence is keenly felt in the outpourings of love and gratitude found in the letters. “We’re thrilled with the support and coverage received for this important book so far,” said ALEXANDRA PIERCE, Senior Editor of Luminescent Threads. “It seems to have opened up whole new conversations about Octavia’s work and the outpouring of love has been great to see.”
MIMI MONDAL, co-editor of Luminescent Threads and one of a very diverse team of writers and editors at Twelfth Planet Press. “Luminescent Threads is a lot of firsts—the first book with my name on its cover, the first publication for several of its contributors, one of the first international literary award nominations for a Dalit at all. As a tribute to Octavia, and featuring many diverse voices, this is an important nomination for people of colour.
“More than anything, I see this as a validation that our voices and our presence matters to the larger Science Fiction and Fantasy community, since so many of us grew up believing and/or being expressly told that they don’t, that ‘people like us’ don’t belong in science fiction. We made a book about a famous author but it isn’t a biography; it’s about her impact and inspiration, written largely in first person by people whose lives were directly altered by it. It’s a dynamic book; a first-person evidence; an act of the subaltern speaking in their own words. Thank you for receiving us with love.”
Praise for Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia E. Butler:
“Twelfth Planet Press, which enjoyed success and a bagful of awards with Letters to Tiptree in 2015, has collected more than 50 memoirs, tributes, letters, and essays, along with one interview… It’s a lovely tribute, and the fact that it’s also something of a gallimaufry may be what makes it the most appropriate way of documenting Butler’s importance, in both personal and literary terms, to whole generations of writers, and especially to women and writers of colour.” Gary K Wolfe, Locus Mag
“Luminescent Threads is an inspiring and creatively produced outlet for those who have been influenced by one of the pillars of the science fiction canon. This book is not only for fans of Octavia Butler, but also for fans of science fiction in general, and for those interested in learning how the genre has gotten to where it is today, especially with the rise to prominence of so many female and diverse authors. As a reader, a writer, a woman, a person of color and a lifelong fan of Octavia Butler, I’d definitely recommend it.” Alison Akiko McBain, Milthila Review
For a full list of contributors, and further information about the collection, visit the Twelfth Planet Press website.
Notes for Editors:
For all press queries, photos or to arrange an interview with members of the Twelfth Planet Press team, please contact Miriam Rune: firstname.lastname@example.org | 07740 339 628 | @MiriamRune1
High resolution photos: https://goo.gl/jtWdT5
Senior Editor ALEXANDRA PIERCE is a teacher, editor of the award-winning Letters to Tiptree and co-host of the feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy podcast ‘Galactic Suburbia’ alongside Alisa Krasnostein and Tansy Rayner Roberts. Winner of the Hugo Award for ‘Best Fancast’ in 2015, and five-time nominee of the same award, Galactic Suburbia has also been awarded the Aurealis Award: Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award (now Convenors’ Award for Excellence) and the Ditmar Award for ‘Best Fan Publication in Any Medium in 2011 and 2016.
Editor MIMI MONDAL is a Dalit writer and editor from India. She was formerly an editor at Uncanny Magazine and a junior editor at Penguin Random House India. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Tor.com, Words Without Borders, The Book Smugglers, Daily Science Fiction, PodCastle and Scroll.in. She was the 2015 Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholar at the Clarion West Writing Workshop and the 2013 Commonwealth Scholar in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling, Scotland.
Australian Publisher TWELFTH PLANET PRESS seeks to challenge the status quo with books that interrogate, commentate and inspire. While showcasing the depth and breadth of Australian fiction to a wider audience, Twelfth Planet Press aims to provide opportunities for fiction written by female writers, raising awareness of women’s voices in science fiction, fantasy, horror and crime genres.