Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Writing: Your (Nerdy) Lit News Round Up! by Emily Ramser

With all kinds of Comic Cons going on this summer, it’s not surprising that a lot of the writing news right now is kind of wonderfully nerdy.

Research Says That Reading Fiction May Encourage Empathy

According to a study published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, reading fiction simulates a kind of social world, which in turn helps the reader to grow in understanding and empathy. The research found that those who read narrative fiction compared to others reading non-fiction scored higher on the “Mind of the Eyes Test,” which has participants view 36 photographs of people’s eyes and pick the emotion that is being felt by the person in the photo.

SFWA to Admit Game Writers Starting This Year

Those who write narratives for video games, tabletop role-playing games and cards will be able to join the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Applications open for these writers on August 1st.

Say Hello to The Big Book of Science Fiction

Everyone from The Verge to Salon is talking about the 1000 plus page anthology. The book includes over 100 different stories from writers from over two dozen different countries. The anthology is heralded as “the ultimate collection” of science fiction. It starts with a piece written in 1897 by H.G. Wells and closes with a 2002 story by Johanna Sinisalo. The anthology was edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. It’s currently available for $25.00 on Amazon. As a self-proclaimed nerd, I’m super excited about this anthology and know as soon as I get my next paycheck, I’m buying it.

Speaking of new books in the science fiction and fantasy fields, check this next publication out.

Famous Harry Potter Fan Fiction Author Publishes Book

Laura Hancock, better known as Lena Phoria, has self-published a story she converted from her fifty chapter Harry Potter fan fiction. While online, the fan fiction received over one million hits and close to 3000 reviews.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, make sure you’ve preordered Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, which comes out on July 31. Also, keep your ears and eyes open as negotiations are currently underway to bring the play to Broadway.

This next piece of news isn’t quite as nerdy, but it’s still pretty awesome. As a queer writer, I’m particularly excited about it.

The Rise of Queer Fiction

The past year has caused a kind of renaissance of LGBTQIA+ literature, according to Out Magazine. Queer writers and queer works of literature are becoming increasingly popular, winning various awards and garnering attention. James Hannaham’s Delicious Foods won the PEN/Faulkner Award. Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings won the Man Booker Prize. As well, authors such as Jericho Brown, Saeed Jones, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Garth Greenwell and Darryl Pinckney are attracting more and more attention to LGBTQIA+ literature.

Emily Ramser is an undergraduate studying English, Creative Writing, and Religion at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing and is expected to graduate in May of 2017. Some of her inspirations include Thornton Wilder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bhanu Kapil, Andrea Gibson, Gabriel Gudding, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gail Simone, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Check out her black out poetry collection I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me. You can find more of her work at her blog.

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