Podcast Episode 28: What Good Is a Sad Backhoe?

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Welcome back to the Reckoning Press Podcast! We surface briefly from hiatus to bring you the last piece of fiction from Reckoning 6, Luke Elliott’s “What Good is a Sad Backhoe?”, read by the author. This is one of the most relentlessly hopeful-in-the-face-of-everything stories in the issue. We are all going to need a lot more like this. I daresay you need it right now.

First, may I briefly update you as to Reckoning’s status?

We won four Utopia awards!
Hooray! Congratulations to Priya Chand, Remi Skytterstad, Leah Bobet and Cécile Cristofari!

The fundraiser this summer was a success (and will be low-key ongoing)! You donated enough to raise our rates to 10 cents a word in 2023, and to help us qualify for public charity status! Thank you! Read more at reckoning.press/support-us.

Our special issue on bodily autonomy, Our Beautiful Reward, edited by Catherine Rockwood and with vulva monster cover art that is just… mwah… is available for preorder as of today! It comes out in ebook on October 16th, and as usual, new content will be appearing online weekly thereafter.

And then Reckoning staff will get to work in earnest putting together Reckoning 7, our oceans issue, edited by Priya Chand, Octavia Cade and Tim Fab-Eme, which comes out in the new year. After that: maybe back to a regular podcast.

For now:

[Bio below.]

“What Good is a Sad Backhoe?” by Luke Elliott

Podcast Episode 27: A Song Born

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Hey, yes, it’s me, Michael J. DeLuca, and today on the Reckoning podcast I will be reading you what turns out to be the last of our Utopia Award nominees that will appear here, Remi Skytterstad’s novelette about the colonization of the Sami people of Norway, “A Song Born”. We had six nominations total, but the last two are for Tracy Whiteside’s artwork series “Too Hot to Handle”, which is awesome but doesn’t translate well to audio, and for Reckoning 5 itself, thanks to editors Cecile Cristofari and Leah Bobet, without whom we wouldn’t have been able to bring any of this amazing work to light.

As with Oyedotun’s story last week, though I have had ample help from Remi, I must ask you to bear with my clumsy pronunciation and assume responsibility for any f-ups.

Voting for the Utopia Awards is open now through August 21st. Please go vote? You can find the link here at reckoning.press or on twitter.

And our fundraiser is still on, and I’m very pleased to announce we have passed the threshold that will allow us to raise payrates to 10c/word, $50/page for poetry. Hooray! And thank you! Now we get to move on to other worthy goals like paying our staff more than the token honorarium they currently receive, and putting out a print edition of Our Beautiful Reward, our forthcoming special issue on bodily autonomy, edited by Catherine Rockwood. We have now laid eyes on the vulva monster Mona Robles made us for the cover, and it is brain-scramblingly good. You can find out how to help make that happen at reckoning.press/support-us.

[Bio below.]

“A Song Born” by Remi Skytterstad

Podcast Episode 26: All We Have Left Is Ourselves

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Welcome back to the Reckoning Press Podcast. Today, I, Michael J. DeLuca, am going to read you Oyedotun Damilola Muees’ PEN Robert J. Dau Prize Winning and Utopia-nominated story, “All We Have Left Is Ourselves” from Reckoning 5. I going to need to ask you to bear with me. This heartbreaking story about living with the consequences of corporate environmental exploitation is written in a culture and an English vernacular far from my own. I’ve had help, I’ve been practicing for this, psyching myself up. Oyedotun says my pronunciation’s not bad, it doesn’t have to be perfect. All my time reading Nigerian twitter at 5AM instead of writing is about to pay off!

Voting for the Utopia Awards is open now through August 21st. We’ve been podcasting the nominated work over the past few episodes, and next week if all goes well I’ll have Remi Skytterstad’s nominated novelette, “A Song Born”. Please go vote; you can find the link at reckoning.press or on twitter.

Our fundraiser is still on, we are oh so close to being able to raise payrates to 10c/word, $50/page for poetry, and I have been out in the woods and fields collecting blackberry prickers in my hands so I can offer Patreon supporters some delicious wild preserves. Don’t let my suffering have been in vain! Just kidding, I love it. Anyway, you can read about the fundraiser at reckoning.press/support-us.

[Bio below.]

All We Have Left Is Ourselves by Oyedotun Damilola Muees

Podcast Episode 24: On the Destruction and Restoration of Habitats

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Hi, it’s me, your nominal host, Michael J. DeLuca. Today on the Reckoning Press podcast we have for you Reckoning 7 nonfiction editor Priya Chand introducing and reading her Utopia-nominated essay, “On the Destruction and Restoration of Habitats”. This is the first in a series of what will hopefully be five episodes highlighting work from Reckoning 5 nominated for the inaugural Utopia Awards.

The Utopia Awards, organized by Android Press as part of CliFiCon22, will be up for public vote between August 1 – 21, and winners will be announced at the conference in October. We really hope you’ll listen and be inspired to vote. I’ll include links to the voting pages here once they’re live.

My pitch for Priya’s essay is as follows: she’s doing what solarpunk fiction projects, and she’s encountering the complexities and conflicts of the real world making that work harder, more fraught. It’s the work we all need to be doing. Follow Priya’s example.

Also, in case you missed it: we’re having a fundraiser! We’d love to pay everyone better and give more folks a chance to feel invested in this undertaking while making more cool stuff and amplifying more radical, revolutionary, restorative ideas. There will be rewards! Take this opportunity to sport some antifascist, pro-environmental justice Reckoning bling. Maybe win a personal critique of your writing from one of our editors. Or encourage our staff to generate some bespoke educational content on how to make the world a more livable place from right in your own backyard or local biosphere preserve. Come on over to reckoning.press/support-us to learn more.

[Bio below.]

“On the Destruction and Restoration of Habitats” by Priya Chand