Chana Porter presents "The Seep" (in conversation with K.M. Szpara and Katherine Duckett)

Thursday January 23, 7:00PM

@ Red Emma's

“The standard canard is that utopian settings are boring, monolithic, didactic, and make for bad fiction. How lucky we are to have Chana Porter to blow such nonsense out of the water with this moving and beautiful book.”

—CHINA MIÉVILLE

A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s fresh, pointed debut is perfect for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and Carmen Maria Machado.

Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.

Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.

Chana Porter is a playwright, teacher, MacDowell Colony fellow, and co-founder of The Octavia Project, a STEM and fiction-writing program for girls and gender non-conforming youth from underserved communities. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently at work on her next novel.

K.M. Szpara is a queer and trans author who lives in Baltimore, MD, with a tiny dog. Kellan's debut alt-/near-future novel, DOCILE (Spring 2020, Tor.com Publishing), explores the snowballing debt crisis, consent, and privilege, and can be described as "really gay". He is the author of "Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time," a Hugo and Nebula nominated novelette about a gay trans man who's bitten by a vampire. More of his fiction can be found in venues such as Uncanny, Lightspeed, and Shimmer. You can find him on Twitter at @KMSzpara.

Katharine Duckett is the author of Miranda in Milan, a Shakespearean fantasy novella debut that NPR calls "intriguing, adept, inventive, and sexy." Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Uncanny, Tor.comApex, Interzone, PseudoPod (where her story "Beneath Their Hooves" was the 2018 Fan Favorite Story of the Year), and various anthologies including Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction and Wilde Stories 2015: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction. She served as guest fiction editor for Uncanny's Disabled People Destroy Fantasy issue, and is an advisory board member for The Octavia Project 


More upcoming events

Hey everyone—in partnership with Verso Books and The Democracy Collaborative, we are moving forward with this event online! Join us virtually by registering here — we'll be sharing the recipe for our truly excellent Green New Deal cocktail on Instagram in advance of the event so we can all convene as originally scheduled, and raise an alcoholic/nonalcoholic glass together as we hear from Daniel and Thea about how we fight for the planet in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. 

REGISTER NOW

A Planet to Win explores the political potential and concrete first steps of a Green New Deal. It calls for dismantling the fossil fuel industry, building beautiful landscapes of renewable energy, and guaranteeing climate-friendly work, no-carbon housing, and free public transit. And it shows how a Green New Deal in the United States can strengthen climate justice movements worldwide.

In the twenty-first century, all politics are climate politics. The age of climate gradualism is over, as unprecedented disasters are exacerbated by inequalities of race and class. We need profound, radical change. A Green New Deal can tackle the climate emergency and rampant inequality at the same time. Cutting carbon emissions while winning immediate gains for the many is the only way to build a movement strong enough to defeat big oil, big business, and the super-rich—starting right now.

We don't make politics under conditions of our own choosing, and no one would choose this crisis. But crises also present opportunities. We stand on the brink of disaster—but also at the cusp of wondrous, transformative change.

“A Planet to Win comes at the perfect moment, challenging us to find hope and build a more just world in the face of catas-trophe. The authors outline transformative solutions to the climate crisis that are economically viable and politically possible—if we organize and fight to win.”

—Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, Sunrise Movement

“The climate crisis presents an enormous, existential challenge to our species. But we don’t have time to be overwhelmed. The enormity of the task requires even bigger ideas, strategies, and tactics. In this book, some of our sharpest, most lucid voices on climate make a critical intervention in the burgeoning movement to save our planet. Read their book and join the struggle.”

“Urgent, clear-eyed, and energizing, this book is a powerful example of the radical collaborative thinking we desperately need to avoid climate dystopia and win a world where the many can survive and thrive.”

“Climate change is now deadly serious; that’s why this deadly serious book is so welcome and so crucial right now. No more nibbling around the edges—it’s time to actually seize this moment.”

“An excellent orientation to the ecological crisis we face and the Green New Deal that is the necessary start of our response. This book puts its finger right on the pulse of our moment.”

A searing exposé of the effects of the mass incarceration crisis on families — including the 2.7 million American children who have a parent locked up

In The Shadow System, award-winning journalist Sylvia A. Harvey follows the fears, challenges, and small victories of three families struggling to live within the confines of a brutal system. In Florida, a young father tries to maintain a relationship with his daughter despite a sentence of life without parole. In Kentucky, where the opioid epidemic has led to the increased incarceration of women, many of whom are white, one mother fights for custody of her children. In Mississippi, a wife steels herself for her husband’s thirty-ninth year in prison and does her best to keep their sons close.

Through these stories, Harvey reveals a shadow system of laws and regulations enacted to dehumanize the incarcerated and profit off their families — from mandatory sentencing laws, to restrictions on prison visitation, to astronomical charges for brief phone calls.

The Shadow System is an eye-opening account of the way incarceration has impacted generations of American families; it delivers a galvanizing clarion call to fix this broken system.

"My brother was imprisoned for 30 years. I know firsthand just how devastating the impact of imprisonment is on a family. Sylvia A. Harvey's The Shadow System is an emotionally powerful and devastating analysis of how the prison system punishes and profits from families caught in its clutches. This urgent book makes us aware that some of the heaviest costs of incarceration are borne by children and families."—Michael Eric Dyson, New York Times bestselling author

Advertising Shits in Your Head is a new toolkit that calls adverts what they are—a powerful means of control through manipulation—and highlights how people across the world are fighting back. Co-authors Matt Bonner and Vyvian Raoul (UK) will diagnose the problem and offer practical tips for a DIY remedy. This session and book is a call-to-arts for a generation raised on adverts which offers practical solutions and guidance on how to subvert the ads.


Advertising Shits in Your Head provides a history of the practice (going back to the early ‘70s), alarming research and theory on the effects of the industry, advice about how to take part (including legal information) as well as several stunning case studies. This is essential reading for all who want to fight back against the ‘most powerful and sustained system of propaganda in human history.’“
—Jamie Kelsey-Fry, New Internationalist




Five of the authors featured in this essay anthology discuss their work: Peter B. Levy, Say Burgin, Kristopher Burrell, Laura Warren Hill, and Crystal Moten

Did American racism originate in the liberal North? An inquiry into the system of institutionalized racism created by Northern Jim Crow.

Jim Crow was not a regional sickness, it was a national cancer. Even at the high point of twentieth century liberalism in the North, Jim Crow racism hid in plain sight. Perpetuated by colorblind arguments about “cultures of poverty,” policies focused more on black criminality than black equality. Procedures that diverted resources in education, housing, and jobs away from poor black people turned ghettos and prisons into social pandemics. Americans in the North made this history. They tried to unmake it, too.

Liberalism, rather than lighting the way to vanquish the darkness of the Jim Crow North gave racism new and complex places to hide. The twelve original essays in this anthology unveil Jim Crow’s many strange careers in the North. They accomplish two goals: first, they show how the Jim Crow North worked as a system to maintain social, economic, and political inequality in the nation’s most liberal places; and second, they chronicle how activists worked to undo the legal, economic, and social inequities born of Northern Jim Crow policies, practices, and ideas.

The book ultimately dispels the myth that the South was the birthplace of American racism, and presents a compelling argument that American racism actually originated in the North.