In 7,900 words Ozzie M. Gartrell’s The Transition of OSOOSI gives us a cyberpunk story of an audacious idea to eradicate bigotry.
Mal is a “Citizen American, a native-born U.S. citizen with all the second-class rights thereof.” (p. 44) He’s also a visionary who in the process of following that vision alienates everyone important to him. Seeking entry into the world of the elite Anansi community, Mal pitches an idea so provocative he is questioned about how far he’s willing to go to make it happen.
None of us should be shocked at the treatment Citizen Americans receive at the hands of True Citizens. But it is shocking, and heart breaking. The transphobic treatment of Mal’s twin Mar in a favorite restaurant, the casual racism of being pulled over by a True Citizen cop, is all too common. This is what it is to be black in America.
With shades of William Gibson‘s cyberpunk classic Sprawl Trilogy, the best of current hacktivist culture, and a nod to West African mythology, Gatrell places themselves on the path to an interesting career of bold writing.
Downloading empathy into every True Citizen using stolen tech is a truly courageous idea. How else do we make changes to systemic bigotry?
It’s all a bit much right now. I know you know. Everything is in constant flux as though 2020 is the biggest, twistiest roller coaster morphing at every turn into something worse. Nothing fits any more and all we can do is try to hang on and not fall off.
It’s not easy for me to admit my reading and writing have fallen into an abyss of 2020 proportions. Rectifying it feels Sisyphean. But every once in a while, something happens which drives me to the keyboard, ’cause I gotta share it.
From what I’m reading, ConZealand was an epic cluster of celebrating old white male authors both living and dead. A gross old white man who fancies himself a bestselling author couldn’t be bothered to learn how to pronounce the names of Hugo award finalists, and turned the ceremony into a “let’s talk about me” nightmare. SF/F twitter is pretty lit up about this.
It’s heartbreaking, and infuriating, to hear about this year after year after year. I left fandom once because of the gatekeeping, but I’m back now, and since I don’t give a fuck anymore about what the keepers think they’re doing I’m going to do my thing. This latest fiasco made me decide to work harder on getting my writing jam on and to lift up the really excellent work I consume.
The pain I see from those given such utter disrespect at the Hugos sent me running to FIYAH Literary Magazine screaming, “Take my money!”
Partway through issue #13 and … FIYAH, I’m glad I met you.