So, I’ve finally finished writing this trilogy of steampunk novellas. They still need a little editing from me, but once that’s done, I will need a handful of beta readers to give it a look for me.

Obviously, with the main character being ace/aro and me being not, any ace/aro betas would be awesome, to make sure I haven’t messed it up.

So, if you want to be a beta reader for Lady Ruth, just email me at lucy@lcmawson.com

The email doesn’t have to be extensive. Just “Hey, I’ll beta,” and then I’ll ask how you want to read the books and we’ll go from there.

Commander Fiona Fisher: Whoever thought it would be a good idea to pair my sister up with Cruz needs to be shot in the head.

Admiral Gerald Healey: Please bear in mind that this is for the record, Commander.

FF: [Sigh] Do you disagree?

GH: About shooting someone for incompetence?

FF: So you agree that was an incompetent decision?

GH: They completed their objective.

FF: My sister got shot.

GH: She’ll heal.

FF: That’s not the point. She and Cruz bring out the worst in each other. They stop taking things seriously and they start getting reckless.

GH: Your sister is more comfortable with Cruz than anyone else, which means that she has better control of her powers. You and I both know that she has a tendency to lose that control. One more incident and those calling for her indefinite confinement might have their ammunition.

FF: She’s more comfortable with Cruz because they’re both autistic. Are you seriously telling me that there’s not another autistic soldier you can pair her with?

GH: None that she already knows and trusts. Your sister has a hard time letting her barriers down with anyone, regardless of neurotype.

FF: What about me?

GH: I believe the last time we spoke about this, your exact words were “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being her goddamn babysitter.”

FF: Well, yeah, but if it comes down to me or Cruz, I don’t trust Cruz to keep her reigned in.

GH: Maybe she doesn’t need to be reigned in.

FF: Again, she got shot.

GH: And how many times have you been shot? Three, at my last count.

FF: That’s not the point. They couldn’t have been avoided, this could have.

GH: Look, Fisher, I get it. She’s your little sister and she’s autistic and she never would have signed up if she hadn’t developed powers. But she’s a grown woman who can make her own choices. Her own assessment of the situation is that the mission went as well as it could have, and I’m inclined to believe her. We asked them both if they wanted to stay together, and they said yes.

FF: But this evaluation could override their wants.

GH: It could, but I think they make an efficient and creative team. Given your sister’s technical aspirations before her powers emerged, and Cruz’s natural inclination towards stealth, the two of them have almost every base covered.

[Extended pause]

FF: What about Intelligence? Weren’t they waiting to snap up Cruz?

GH: They were, until the Judge Advocate General had a word with them.

FF: Her mother put them off?

GH: It seems that way.

FF: So, if Intelligence were to want her again?

GH: They would have the ability to recruit her out of the mutant/non-mutant program, if she agreed. In that situation, I wouldn’t demote you into the program. There are a few other mutants I’m having problems pairing up, so I would place her in a larger team with them. Not that it matters; Cruz is never going to let her daughter join Intelligence.

FF: Maybe. Maybe not.

[Door swoosh]

GH: [Sigh] There’s no way this ends well…


AN: So, hey. I’m working on a new sci-fi series called The Phoenix Saga. It’s got everything. There are mutants, aliens, genetic engineering, cloning, love across enemy lines, space cops… It’s got a lot going on. So I thought, while I was working on it, I’d give you guys a quick look at a couple of characters that we’ll meet in the prequel novella (which doesn’t have a name yet, but I’m working on it).

The prequel novella and first book will be launched at the same time (though I might post some of the prequel novella here periodically before the launch), which will hopefully be in autumn, but definitely before the end of the year.

Keep checking back here or on Tumblr (@lcmawson) to keep up to date with more sneak peeks, concept art, cover reveals and launch details.

In order to celebrate reaching 100 followers on Tumblr (for my author blog, at least), I’ve decided to do a giveaway. There are ten copies of the Freya Snow Pup Trilogy (Books 1-3) to win.

And, yes, that does mean that the winners will have Wings (Book Three) a month before anyone else (with the exception of advanced reviewers who get it this month).

The only requirement is that you follow me on Tumblr. And, yes, that does include new followers as well as the original 100.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It has taken me a long-ass time to pick myself up from the floor – where I lay groaning, having given up on TV forever – and write this post.

It’s 2016. Why is this still a problem?

#StopDrivingLucyToDespair2k16

Seriously, though, disability as a metaphor is just the worst.

“This character was refused to see the consequences of their actions, so now they’re blind. Get it?”

“This character has various physical disabilities as well as extensive facial scarring because they’re evil. Their soul is reflected on the outside. Get it?”

“The character was magically cured of their IRL-incurable disability so that we could have this shot of her literally walking away from someone! Seriously, we spent several episodes actually disabling her and having her learn to adjust to her wheelchair for this shot. Aren’t we so f***ing clever?”

(Sorry, I’m still salty about that last one.)

With autism, it’s usually a metaphor for losing touch with humanity and being overly reliant on computers.

UM, OKAY?!?!

Seriously, though, just stop.

Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.

Stop.

Like, let’s just address the first thing, which is how often disabilities are used as a metaphor for how evil/bad someone is.

I had to stop listening to a lot of reviews and discussions around the Force Awakens because a common complaint was “Kylo Ren’s face wasn’t f***ed up when he took off the mask! He’s the bad guy, he should have a f***ed up face.”

We have reached a point of critical mass with this trope where even when film-makers do the right thing and avoid it, most people noticeably miss its absence.

That’s just all kinds of messed up.

Facial scarring is now so synonymous with evil that people are shocked by its absence in fictional baddies.

Do I even have to explain why this is bad?

The next problem is just the use of disabilities as a metaphor is general, even when they’re not a clever punishment or as a reflection of character flaws.

Say, for example, using curing a disability (which is bad to start with) as a way to show the strength of a character in a moment that they creators probably consider feminist, so that they can have a visual metaphor…

(Salt levels still high…)

Look, here’s the long and short of it: disabilities are not metaphors. There is no great reason behind them. They are not a punishment or a reflection of character.

They just are.

Disabled people are just disabled.

Be it because of genetics, an accident, illness…

Being disabled doesn’t tell you anything about me other than I am disabled. It certainly isn’t a metaphor for anything. It’s just a fact.

So, seriously, stop with the painful metaphors. Chances are, they will always be ableist.

And they will always piss me off.

#StopDrivingLucyToDespair2k16