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Sirens Newsletter—Volume 13, Issue 7: September 2021

This month:

It’s now less than a month until Sirens 2021! If you’ll be joining us in Denver, have you prepped your packing list? Assembled your masquerade outfit? Practiced your auction-bidding voice? If we won’t be seeing you this year, we hope to keep you involved with your Sirens community online and, as ever, through the exploration of the amazing work of women, nonbinary, and transgender people in fantasy literature and other speculative spaces!

COVID-19 Updates

With the pandemic ongoing, we’ve made some changes and instituted some protocols to ensure that Sirens 2021 can take place in person. Most notably, we’ve canceled Sirens Studio for this year and are folding some Studio programming into the conference schedule. We are also requiring that all attendees show proof of full vaccination and a negative viral test for COVID-19 taken less than 72 hours before the start of the conference. Attendees will also be required to wear masks in conference spaces.

We’re continuing to work on other ways to make the conference as safe as possible, including encouraging social distancing and sanitization practices. We hope that all attendees will take the appropriate measures while traveling to and from Sirens in order to protect yourselves and others.

For more information on these policies, please see our detailed post. If you have questions, contact (help at sirensconference.org).

A Siren’s Voyage

As the Sirens adventure draws nearer, we know that many of you may be feeling a little… weird about the prospect of traveling, staying in a hotel, socializing with a group, and otherwise recovering aspects of pre-pandemic life. To that end, we’ve been taking you through A Siren’s Voyage, a series designed to help familiarize or re-familiarize yourself with who we are, what we do, and what kind of experience you can expect at this conference.

Feeling Safer

Part Four: Feeling Safer addresses the concerns unique to attending a conference in the middle of a pandemic. What is Sirens doing to reduce risk? What can you do to protect yourself and others? In this post, we review our policies and protocols and make some suggestions to help everyone travel safely and smoothly.

Books

Book Recommendations and Reviews:

  • Our final installment of this year’s Reading Challenge feature series focuses on the theme of “Finding Home.” Characters in speculative fiction may travel far and wide, among the stars or through portals or across continents, but every hero needs a home: a place or a person where they can find safety, comfort, and a respite from the trials of the world.
  • In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the US, we’ve assembled a list of 10 new speculative books from Latinx authors, an update to last year’s list of fifty Latinx authors and books.
  • Getting ready for Halloween and want some books to get you in the mood? We’ve got two lists to fit the season! Catherine Lundoff has assembled a list of books celebrating queer monsters and magic featuring lesbian vampires, ghost dogs, gay werecockroaches, and more, and J Koyanagi presents six tales of speculative horror that will have you wanting to leave the lights on!/li>
  • We also have a list of 5 Queer YA Novels that bring escape and comfort, gathered for us by Julia Ember.
  • This month’s Read with Amy feature explores Helen Oyeyemi’s newest novel, Peaces. This story of strangers on a train will make many readers think of Agatha Christie, but Amy warns us to recalibrate our brains for Oyeyemi’s thought-experiment-cum-adventure story that explores the question: “What does it mean when the person you most want to perceive you…simply doesn’t?”
  • Need more new reads? Our September Roundup gathers all the speculative fiction new releases by and about women and nonbinary folk that we could find!

That’s it for September! The Sirens team hopes to see you in Denver next month, but whether we do or not, we hope you’re set for a wonderful, book-filled fall!

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Questions? Concerns? Please email general queries to (help at sirensconference.org) and questions about programming to (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

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