UPDATE: To read more from Laura, here’s “The Snake Charm”, a prequel story set before the events of Pantomime: http://staticsplit.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/the-first-vestigial-tale-the-snake-charm-is-now-live/
I read Pantomime in a very different form for the first time in the summer of 2011. Laura had submitted to the original Open Door for Angry Robot, and I was (then) one of the readers to assist the editors of Angry Robot in making decisions. I put forward Pantomime because I thought that it was clever, brave and incredibly beautiful, even in what was a rougher form.
Laura eventually submitted a revised and even more stunning version of Pantomime to Strange Chemistry and we had the great honour of publishing it and seeing it garner rave reviews from people who were delighted to see such delicate treatment of what is an incredibly complex subject. On a personal level I learnt much from Laura’s novel. I no longer refer to hermaphrodites. I feel that I have a much more open mind about gender fluidity. And I’m proud that I have started to stand up in defence of a world where everyone is accepted. Laura Lam helped me to do that.
The reason for this blog post is to celebrate the fact that Pantomime has won the Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. We’ve seen Pantomime nominated for a number of awards now, but this is the first outright win and we are delighted for Laura.
Here is a snippet from her acceptance speech:
“When I wrote the book, I worried it wouldn’t find a home. I remember reading Malinda Lo’s number crunching of GLBT characters in YA, and how small a slice of the overall publishing pie GLBT characters had already, and how bisexual and transgender characters were an even smaller percentage of that tiny slice. There were no entries for intersex characters at all. But, wonderfully, the book was picked up. And, wonderfully, I have received messages from all around the world from people who connected with Micah and his story. It has been a privilege to hear from bisexual, genderfluid, and intersex readers who have identified with Micah. It has been a privilege to hear that others have said that they learned a little more about gender diversity and sexuality. Micah Grey has found a home in readers’ hearts and minds, and there’s no place I’d rather him be.”
You can read the full speech here.
We’d also like to celebrate with Laura the fact that, today, she has released the first of at least four stories/novellas that help to build the world and characters that you can find in Pantomime and its sequel, Shadowplay. Here is a link to everything you need to know about The Snake Charm. So go buy!