Everything Thaws is coming in 2022

I signed the contract and can finally announce that my poetry memoir EVERYTHING THAWS, about Soviet Jews and permafrost and climate change and stories of the Vorkuta GULAG will be forthcoming from Ben Yehuda Press in 2022. This book has been in development for a few years, after my father passed away – a painful thing to write. It’s about multigenerational trauma and the expectation of not speaking about trauma, and not speaking about many other things, like queerness.

You might be already familiar with this: a poem from this book was published in Uncanny Magazine – “‘Eating Disorder ‘doesn’t begin to describe it.”

I am grateful to Lisa M. Bradley for her insightful commentary on a draft of this book, to Sonya Taaffe for reading and encouragement, to my Patreon backers who followed along, and to Bogi Takács, as ever, for their support.

Reprint in We’re Here: The Best Queer Speculative Fiction 2020

I am very happy to share that “To Balance the Weight of Khalem,” my novelette about a magical onion and migration, will be reprinted in We’re Here: The Best Queer Speculative Fiction 2020 edited by C.L. Clark and Charles Payseur, forthcoming from Neon Hemlock. The table of contents is FANTASTIC, and is reproduced in full below. I am so thrilled to share a table of contents with these excellent people. The magnificent cover is by Sajan Rai. You can find out more, including how to preorder, at the Neon Hemlock website.

  • “If You Take My Meaning” by Charlie Jane Anders (Tordotcom, February 26, 2020)
  • “A Voyage to Queensthroat” by Anya Johanna DeNiro (Strange Horizons, August 2020)
  • “Rat and Finch are Friends” by Innocent Chizaram Ilo (Strange Horizons, March 2020)
  • “Salt and Iron” by Gem Isherwood (Podcastle, May 2020)
  • “The Currant Dumas” by L.D. Lewis (Glitter + Ashes, edited by dave ring)
  • “Everquest” by Naomi Kanakia (Lightspeed, October 2020)
  • “Portrait of Three Women with an Owl” by Gwen C. Katz (The Future Fire, February 2020)
  • “The Ashes of Vivian Firestrike” by Kristen Koopman (Glittership, May 2020)
  • “To Balance the Weight of Khalem” by RB Lemberg (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, March 2020)
  • “Thin Red Jellies” by Lina Rather (Gigonotosaurus, February 2020)
  • “Body, Remember” by Nicasio Andres Reed (Fireside, November 2020)
  • “Escaping Dr. Markoff” by Gabriela Santiago (The Dark, March 2020)
  • “The Last Good Time to Be Alive” by Waverly SM (Reckoning 4, edited byDanika Dinsmore and Arkady Martine)
  • “Monsters Never Leave You” by Carlie St. George (Strange Horizons, June 2020)
  • “The Wedding After The Bomb” by Brendan Williams-Childs (Catapult, April 2020)
  • “8-Bit Free Will” by John Wiswell (Podcastle, November 2020)

The Four Profound Weaves is a finalist for the Nebula Award!

Great news – my Birdverse novella The Four Profound Weaves is a finalist for the Nebula. The book is in astounding company – this is the strongest novella ballot I’ve ever seen – and it is a great honor to be a finalist. I am so happy. You can watch yesterday’s The 56th Annual Nebula Awards Launch on Youtube: this wonderful event included professional audio narrators reading from the nominated works. The Four Profound Weaves excerpt is read by Tori Barron. 🙂

SFWA members can vote, and the winners will be announced at the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, held virtually on June 4-6th this year. I am likely to have some programming at this conference, and will share them as they become available.

Thank you everybody for your support!!!

Climbing Lightly Through Forests is OUT today!

Today, the long-awaited poetry anthology I co-edited with Lisa M. Bradley is out from Aqueduct Press: Climbing Lightly through Forests: A Poetry Anthology Honoring Ursula K. Le Guin. It contains the work of many amazing poets, and you can take a look at the full table of contents in this post. You can also read a 17-page sample of the book on our publisher’s website.

You can get the book directly from Aqueduct. You can also get the physical copy of the book, as well as the ebook, on Amazon (heads up: this is an affiliate link, and I might get a tiny kickback if you buy the book through this link).

This book is a labor of love, and we are so proud of how it came out. It’s a beautiful object full of heartfelt and powerful and delicate and fierce poetry in honor of Le Guin — one of our field’s dearest, most profound voices. I hope you give it a look.

Climbing Lightly Through Forests is launching on February 1st!

Climbing Lightly through Forests: A Poetry Anthology Honoring Ursula K. Le Guin, edited by Lisa M. Bradley and myself, is launching on February 1st, 2021! Here is a link to the book on our publisher’s website , and you can also read a sample of the book there. We are so proud of this book, and of the wonderful poets who contributed work to it.

You can already preorder the physical copy of the book on Amazon, and buy it there as an ebook. (heads up: this is an affiliate link, and I might get a tiny kickback if you buy the book through this link).

Trans & Nonbinary Book Club: The Four Profound Weaves, with R.B. Lemberg

I am going to be discussing The Four Profound Weaves at the wonderful ARGO Bookshop tomorrow, December 10, 2020, at 7pm Eastern – more details at this link! There is also a Facebook event page. Hope to see some of you there!


We are thrilled to have author R.B. Lemberg joining us for a discussion of their wonderful debut novella, The Four Profound Weaves

Transgender elders Uiziya e Lali and nen-sasaïr must travel through the desert and learn to weave from Death itself in order to defeat an evil tyrant in this compelling tale set in Lemberg’s award-winning Birdverse universe. Annalee Newitz says: “Thoughtful and deeply moving,The Four Profound Weaves is the anti-authoritarian,
queer-mystical fairy tale we need right now,” and the Argo agrees. Come join us for a Zoom discussion of the book on Thursday, December 10th, at 7 PM Eastern! Sign up as always by emailing events @ argobookshop . ca. All welcome – you can come even if you haven’t read the book, but spoilers will be likely!

R.B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their work has appeared in LightspeedStrange HorizonsBeneath Ceaseless SkiesUnlikely StoryUncanny, and other venues, and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards.

Award Eligibility 2020

Dear readers – I have not done an Award Eligibility post for a few years, but I am doing it this year. This has been an incredibly rough year, but an amazing one for speculative fiction. I hope that you will find some of my own works worthy for award consideration. Here are the highlights:

Novella: The Four Profound Weaves (Tachyon, September 2020) – the first long-form Birdverse book in print. This is a book about two trans people in their sixties, who must learn to weave from death to defeat an evil ruler, and learn that it isn’t too late to truly begin their lives. In a starred review, The Library Journal called the book “A beautiful, heartfelt story of change, family, identity, and courage.” For more reviews and accolades, please visit the Tachyon Publications page for the book.

Length: novella (under 40k)

Eligible for: Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy.

Novelette: To Balance the Weight of Khalem (free to read at Beneath Ceaseless Skies). A tale migration, queer love, and magical onions, with a nonbinary trans protagonist. Charles Payseur writes: “It’s a beautiful story, stunningly built and intimately rendered.” 

Eligible for: Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy.

Poem: “Stone Listening,” in Strange Horizons.

I’ve been putting most of my poetry on Patreon in recent years, but this poem is an exception. I am proud of it, of what it does and what it says, and hope you check it out as a part of rounding out the year.

You can also check out Solitary Goose: A Pandemic Poem – free to read on my Patreon.

Audiobook of The Four Profound Weaves is now available!

The audiobook of The Four Profound Weaves is out on the world! Enjoy the amazing cover and narration by Paul Boehmer. 🙂

An audiobook cover for the Four Profound Weaves, featuring a bird

Le Guin Feminist SF Fellowship

This is finally public – I have been awarded the 2020 Le Guin Feminist SF Fellowship sponsored by the University of Oregon Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA). The fellowship is awarded “to encourage research within collections in the area of feminist science fiction.” Locus reported about it here.

My project focuses on Le Guin’s poetry, and it has grown out of the retrospective essay on Le Guin’s poetry that I wrote for Climbing Lightly Through Forests, an anthology of poetic tributes to Le Guin which is co-edited by Lisa M. Bradley and myself. I’ve done a lot of research already, and a lot of writing which did not fit into the retrospective. In addition to poetry collections, I have also been looking at her chapbooks, and some of her translation work.

I can’t wait to go to the University of Oregon to do archival work at SCUA. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, the archives are closed to outside researchers. I am looking forward to the trip, and will keep you posted on the results.

Many thanks to my spouse Bogi Takács, as well as Lisa M. Bradley, Kate Elliott, and Jeremy Brett for your support and encouragement.

Cover reveal and ToC for Climbing Lightly Through Forests

Lisa M. Bradley and I are happy to announce the lineup and cover of Climbing Lightly Through Forests, a poetry anthology honoring Ursula K. Le Guin. Forests includes our introduction, work by many wonderful poets, and a retrospective of Le Guin’s poetry. The anthology is forthcoming from Aqueduct Press in January 2021. It was an absolute honor to work on this project. Congratulations to all the poets! This is going to be beautiful.

Table of Contents

NOT AN INTRODUCTION, by Lisa M. Bradley and R.B. Lemberg


1. Wind and Water
“Dear Ursula” by Edmond Y. Chang
“Where Are You?” by Jo Walton
“Wind Writes the Water” by Roger Dutcher
“Distance, Interval” by MJ Cunniff
“In Latin, foris” by Christopher Phelps
“The Forester’s Stratagem” by Neile Graham
“Redwood Houses” by Amelia Gorman
“Galloping Hooves” by Tricia Knoll
“Kudzu” by Stephanie Burt
“Pacifica/evergreen” by Hal Y. Zhang
“The Other Lives” by Sonya Taaffe
“Of Winter and Other Seasons” by Kiya Nicoll
“Might as well say I’m the words she read” by Betsy Aoki
Poet Stumbles upon the Ten Thousand Things” by Brandon O’Brien

2. Rebellions
“Speculative Fiction” by Linden McMahon
“Sound Science” by Hal Y. Zhang
“Upwards Toward the Light (a found poem)” by Rachel Swirsky
“Physics” by Ursula Whitcher
“Dream Logic” by Ada Hoffmann
“The Trees Are Waiting” by Gita Ralleigh
“We Dream the Future in Our Songs” by Eva Papasoulioti
“Atmospheric Inversion” by Kim Goldberg
“The Keystone Out of Your Arch” by Sonya Taaffe
“Tolk” by So Mayer
“On the Long Road Back” by Aimee Ogden
“The Day before the Revolution” by Izzy Wasserstein

3. Bodies and Boundaries
“Icarus” by Thoraiya Dyer
“From the Ansible, a Voice” by Charles Payseur
“The Topography of Ambition” by Wendy Howe
“Frost Ascending” by Kendra Preston Leonard
“Ossify” by Jennifer Mace
“Keepsake” by A.J. Odasso
“Gebbeth” by A.Z. Louise
“A Headful of Hair” by Leah Bobet
“Evening (terza rima)” by Susannah Mandel
“And So if You Go Down, You Go Down Whole” by Jeanelle D’Isa
“ode to illness” by Gwynne Garfinkle
“The Place Where We Don’t Touch (To Therem Harth rem ir Estravan, from Theirs to Thine)” by Xian Mao
“An idea of boundary” by Shweta Narayan
“Concern (a found poem)” by Brandon O’Brien
“The Brown Thing” by Sofia Samatar

4. Kin and Kind
“Subjunctivitis (or: a Stratagem of Mortality)” by Margarita Tenser
“The Scent of Green” by Sandra J. Lindow
“Dancing at the Edge” by Margaret Wack
“Until the Ships Came” by Nicole Field
“Song of the Guardians of the Rainbow” by Ana Tapia, translation by Lawrence Schimel
“The Humanist Chaplain Watches her Daughter Walking through the Herb Garden” by T.D. Walker
“Couch Burning” by Tania Pryputniewicz
“My 1980” by Stephanie Burt
“On Reading Le Guin” by Mary Soon Lee
“Earthsea” by Bernard Horn
“Time Is Being and Being Time” Eva Papasoulioti
“Lessons from Mother” by Lynne Sargent
“A Metaphor of Sparrows” by Erin K. Wagner

5. The Farthest Shore
“Journey” by Lyta Gold
“Dragon Haiku” by Mary Vlooswyk
“The Ineffable” by Valeria Rodríguez
“Cat’s Canticle” by David Sklar
“Reincarnate” by Kate Boyes
“Spring” by Nisi Shawl
“Note To Ursula K. Le Guin” by JT Stewart
“Oregon: Local News” by Tricia Knoll
“There Must Be Darkness” by Catherine Rockwood

“The Poetry of Ursula K. Le Guin: A Retrospective” by R.B. Lemberg

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R.B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their work has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, Uncanny, and other venues, and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards.

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