20 Minutes Into The Future – What has changed, and what hasn’t?

Hello World returns February 23rd 2021

20 Minutes Into The Future trope has us looking at technology and what it can hold for our futures.

It’s not super often I get to you write you to in first person about myself. But when it comes to our debut novel I feel as if it’s a most. Hello World was originally released just under four years ago. The original idea for this post was going to be about how futuristic technology that Scott used to run around menacing corporate tech giants in the book was now being sold mass market.

And in some ways that is true. Most notably is Amazon’s Echo Loop. Their design is exactly how I pictured Scott’s ace smart ring. And what is his own AI, Hallie, if not a private non-commercial version of Alexa that helps you do crime?

But the nature of the 20 minutes into the future trope isn’t about catching up. As Mystery Science Theater’s Tom Servo says, “Fifty years from now it’ll be three years from now”. Unlike other types of science fiction that predicted flying cards in the year 2000. Stories set 20 minutes into the future don’t predict. They tell you something that is already happening, or easily could be behind the scenes.

Turns out Hello World is as relevant as ever. A story about the interplay between technology and identity.

Now days, ‘being yourself’ is even more commercialized. You are your brand. If possible a corporations would kill off the idea of anonymous. And more often than not, it’s not some evil company directly enforcing that change. It’s us. It’s our digital interactions, self policing. Behavior adjustments we make in order to get more likes, just so we can be connected with others.

People like to think of that all being run by an algorithm. But it’s all from people in one way, shape, or form. The human element is the very thing that companies are unable to fully remove.

Hello World is a story about the actions of individuals. And together what changes the world.

A recent example of ‘internet culture’ banding together to change global markets is Wall Street Bets reddit’s interest in Game Stop stock. Their power was in the camaraderie within those memes that allowed them to group together. Without the digital connection among individuals outnumbering the normal rules of the game they’d be less hedge funds going bankrupt today.

If anything Hello World is even more important today than it had been yeas ago, because every day our digital shadow grows. Our lexicon of internet culture grows and just becomes culture. Especially during covid times where we are using technology to safety stay part, and safely connect, and hopefully continue to subvert those withholding freedom.

Be sure to preorder the new edition of Hello World in paperback and ebook. There’s new edits, formatting, and if I do say so myself the paperback is much better size. If that wasn’t enough there’s an exclusive preview to book two within it!

Valentine’s Gifts For Them – Nonbinary Gift Ideas

Valentine’s gifts for them can be hard to find when every gift guide divides things by gender. To remedy this we asked our nonbinary followers what they wanted this Valentine’s Day as a gift. If you click through you can support the blog and buy something sweet for you binary breaking sweetie.

Top gift suggestions for They/Thems

Notebooks and Pens
Our Top Notebook Pick: Cute Cartoon Cat Journal
Notebooks and the like were the one item that was suggested by a few people. Specially journals that gift quality, but aren’t so nice that they will be tucked away and never used. Our happy medium for this was cute cartoon cat journal. Silly animals make sure the journal isn’t taken too serious, while still being cute. This affordable notebook has multiple animal designs and covers. As a bonus in our opinion: the mistranslated art inside. What better way to have something cute while also suggesting whatever goes inside doesn’t need to be perfect.

Valentine's Gifts For Them

Our Top Pick In Pens:
Sure there Valentine’s heart shape pens or ones that look like blades of grass, but in our opinion you want something that works so your fav nonbinary peep will use it and think of you all throughout the year. That’s say we say skip the bouquet of flower shaped pens and go with golden beauty from Pentel.

The Pentel EnerGel Alloy is affordable for everyone and comes with a gift box. The best feature of this pen is that good for left handers, doesn’t put itself out of the daily use section by focusing the the gift box itself. It’s an all around solid pen under $10 bucks. It’s the only pen I ever saw my partner refuse to get rid of even after it was done with because they liked the weight and feel of it.

Our Top Unconventional Pick

Swords (No, really!)
If you aren’t in circles that meme a lot, you might not know that everyone under the rainbow umbrella talks about the need for a really good sword. Now depending where you leave, and concerns you might have for USPS delivering said weapon, we suggest the next best thing.

gifts for them

Foxflight Studios has several pride armory themed item from shirts and mugs in their Redbubble, or pins and patches available on their Etsy. Their collection can handle any label, even the unlabled love of your life.

Our Top Conventional Pick

Snacks and Candy
For a lot of people the best part of Valentine’s Day is the discount candy after the day. Save someone the hassle of that trip and get them that candy now. Near, far, wherever they are this snack collection is themed for Valentine’s Day and sure to include a treat no matter what mood they are in.

This 45-60 piece care package has some novelty, holiday cuteness, classics, and some new things probably new to most. It’s themed box makes it a great surprise in the mail for the sweetheart you’d like to see in person but can’t this year.

Our Top Pick For Readers

You know we had to mention it, we think the top gift for readers is, well, a new book of course! All our books are LGBTQ affirming, several with non-binary leads. You can get our collection from Amazon, in ebook bundle on our website, or from Bookshop.org. If you go the Bookshop.org you can support physical indie bookstores in these tying times and talk about all the cute coffee / bookstore dates you’ll go on in the future.

We hoped this helped you pick something you really sure your love off! If you think we missed any killer ideas by sure to drop them in the comments section!

ace book club

February’s Book Club: Our Bloody Pearl

Greeting Book Friends, Amy here again. I am excited to begin GreatAce.Club for February by introducing Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Bryn!

February's Book Club

About Our Bloody Pearl:

The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear.

That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs.

Perle was the first siren captured, and while all since have either been sold or killed, Kian still keeps them prisoner. Though their song is muted and their tail paralyzed, Perle’s hope for escape rekindles as another pirating vessel seizes Kian’s ship. This new captain seems different, with his brilliant smile and his promises that Kian will never again be Perle’s master. But he’s still a human, and a captor in his own way. The compassion he and his rag-tag human family show can’t be sincere… or can it?

Soon it becomes clear that Kian will hunt Perle relentlessly, taking down any siren in her path. As the tides turn, Perle must decide whether to run from Kian forever, or ride the forming wave into battle, hoping their newfound human companions will fight with them.


Book Club Dates:

Each week, we will read a set amount of chapters and I will post discussion questions to consider while reading. Everyone is welcome to directly answer those questions on the social media of your choice and also to add in your own thoughts and opinions while reading. We definitely want to hear them as well and share as a community! Make sure to use the hashtag #GreatAceClub so we can all find your posts.

If you want to participate, we’ll be reading the following each week:

February 1-7: Chapters 1-3
February 8-14: Chapters 4-8
February 15-21: Chapters 9-12
February 22-28: Chapters 13-16

Keep an eye out on for the discussion questions at the start of each week! Make sure to follow our hashtag #GreatAceClub for updates and to see what other people are saying about Our Bloody Pearl!

Hello World Cover Reveal

We’ve waited YEARS to have a new Hello World cover reveal! New face, new name, and new paperback format. This is such a great restart on the .Exe series and we hope you enjoy what we think is this serious and seriously beautiful Hello World cover reveal.

Ready? Let’s go!

You can now preorder Hello World in ebookpaperback, or ebook bundle today for the first time!

If you haven’t heard of this series, allow us to introduce you–

When a technology company can buy your personal freedom Scott is a hacker ready to prove that a single voice can be a powerful weapon.

Scott’s skills as a surveillance expert are useful when he’s breaking down firewalls. But hacktivism isn’t enough; he’s going after the holy grail–UltSyn’s Human Information Drives, human assets implanted with cerebral microchips. After digging deeper into restricted databases, he discovers that those who enlist with UltSyn get far more than they bargained for. Plunged into a world of human trafficking and corporate espionage, Scott is determined to find his sister, no matter the cost. But when the information reveals the people closest to him have been working for UltSyn all along, he has to find her–before UltSyn finds him.

Top Reviews for Hello World –  Set primarily in London and continental Europe, Hello World takes Hacker Novels and kinda makes it do a 180. Our Protagonist, Scott, isn’t out to save the world. He’s out to get something back for his own cause. He’s a loveable rogue that occasional makes mistakes thanks to his narrow, blinkered view. No matter the path be took I always found myself wanting him to succeed because I knew he’d do the right thing in the end – I also found myself remembering to breathe.

If you need to hear more, check out the full review here!

Seeing as it is also my birthday, I’d love if you could give me beloved debut some love today! 😍

Happy January fellow Ace Book Club Friends!

Welcome ace book club peeps! I’m Amy. It’s certainly already been A Year and the month isn’t even over yet; I started 2021 off by testing positive for COVID despite precautions, and while my case was mild, it still took a lot out of me. I’m eternally appreciative of Rose for their support, love, and patience while I tried to get my brain and body to cooperate with me again, specifically to have the energy to do more than make it through my work-from-home schedule.

Now that my life is getting back to normal, I get to experience the excitement of working with the Great Ace Book Club I can’t wait to read and discuss all sorts of different books by and about ace folks, or featuring diverse groups of characters! Keep your eyes out each month for discussion questions, prompts, and other fun stuff for everything we read!

Join our newsletter at GreatAce.Club by Jan 26th and you’ll get a free ebook to start the year off!

Then I’ll be back with a new book to kick the discussions with a new great ace read for February!

When I’m not working on the book club or reading too many books at the same time, I’m probably doing something related to cosplay or chilling with my husband and three cats. By day, I’m a full time paralegal.

You can find me online at here @dragonbadgerbooks

Twitter at geminidragon_am.

Instagram at geminidragonbadger / dragonbadgercosplays

Or Tiktok: dragonbadgercosplay!

See you again in February!

– Amy

You can find the archive of older book club posts in our archive here.

How to overcome publishing obstacles in 2021

We are back with our co-op approach. At least as much as we all can be in this still very unsettled world right now. I’m sure one of the biggest things this time of year is setting your goals for the coming months. It’s the same with us! There’s so much to think about, and we gotta factor in there will be wins and loses when it comes to publishing obstacles.

Overcome publishing challenges with more than platitudes.

Along with goals we still gotta prepare for the curve balls that come our way. You gotta always plan for the best and the worst and all that’s in between. Our goals at AoC? We want to keep growing and pushing forward with the co-op approach to publishing. We want our authors to have the help and control they desire over their work. Even if you aren’t published with us we want to be able to offer help where we can to improve self publishing goals. There’s a lot of fine details to comb through but it’s something we all are passionate about.

Obstacles? Sadly… Yes. For all us. I’m sure you can guess it. Covid-19. All that comes with it. Some of us are essential workers and still working 40hrs, others are struggling with adjusting to a different life outside of work. The balance can feel uneven. Right now, finding a balance to continue growth under these conditions during such a difficult time is our main hurdle. We can get through it though. We won’t give up. If you are ready for a co-op approach tackling your publishing obstacles to submit to us. We’re ready for you.

This also brings us to GreatAce.Club. The original goal was to be a zero dollar online subscription that featured new authors and delivered you a free ebook from them every month. Sadly the obstacle here is we don’t feel that isn’t sustainable for these authors anymore. And while no one raised any objections, its our goal at Art Over Chaos to put authors first in a way most publishing does not. So this year, Great Ace Club will embraces it’s deep original roots and focus on its book club nature. We’ve lined up a dedicated book blogger to choose a new line-up and steer the discussion questions in a way we’ve never have before. This will give you another way to be a part of our growing community as an author or a reader. So be sure to sign up for that newsletter by clicking here!

How to use Asexuality’s superpower of invisibility.

There’s a long standing joke that Asexuality’s superpower was invisibility. It started as a way to reclaim being made to feel invisible all the time. It was such of a thing that when Assassin’s Creed’s Evie has the master perk of tuning invisible I joked that was her ace canon confirmation. This jokes appear all over and even have Stonewall Nominated nonfiction books named after them in “The Invisible Orientation” which is dedicated to discussing asexuality.

But ‘invisibility’ is not a trait exclusively asexuality’s superpower. I’ve talked before about bi erasure and how that too renders someone’s identity invisible.

As of writing this, Supernatural ended after 15 seasons last night and there is lot of behind the scenes story to talk about where most people just laugh it off as queerbaiting to be mean. But it is truly a case of queer process as well.

Because if 2020 has taught me anything it’s that the process we make as a community in huge part is done by otherwise unknown queer people showing up and and fucking running full speed at something. If and when caught or where tip toeing is needed say a “Legacy” show owned by The WB. It becomes an Elementary school style red light green light game.

Queer writers and actors under contacts are often reduced to near morse code proxy of liking tweets. For example Misha going back and liking his own tweet from 2013 after Castiel being queer was made canon in 2020 to confirm that he did indeed attempt to reassure a nervous queer fandom now and then.

At the start of this year I had a celebrity encounter that also played out in this fashion. The more known a queer person is as queer the less freedom to create radical change they have. To those who stick it up dedicated to added representation gain it in inches.

Even this blog is under more scrutiny because it is now considered by some as a “big name player” despite just being a tumblr blog. Our perceived tone becomes an issue, if one of us is hurt and says ow, we get dehumanized. How dare we as activists show a pain. We basically get told “You can’t say ow in public you’ll scare the kids. You can’t make waves, it will scare off new allies.”

And I tell you all of that because that’s in spaces where money is not exchanging hands. There’s no “Man” paying our salary no “Corporate is here today” visits. No network demos, no cons planned around the fandom. Once you add that all in, you have something well… supernatural.

For the seven years I’ve been an asexual activist the general main focus of everyone within the community was awareness. But we must never forget that invisibility is asexuality’s superpower.

I wish it was something that wasn’t needed. That we could freely be, and do, and write the tv scrips we believed in without subtext. If you haven’t been spotted. Pick a lane and drive like hell. But sometimes to make progress you have to be spy-like and plant seeds of change in the things you do when no one is looking.

If you’d like more on this and how it relates to television shows further check out occamshipper on tumblr for some really killer commentary on the capitalist feedback loop that social media creates with a fandom. Or read more about asexuality and fandoms on our blog.

Asexual characters in sex scenes – Should You Do It?

This is actually a cross post from the Fuck Yeah Asexual blog, since I always find the subject of asexual characters important and thought it should be shared in a new format here.

It started with an anonymous ask that went like this:

“I have been seeing a lot of smut with asexual characters having sex. I understand that some Asexuals will still have sex. But I don’t get why some Ace people want more Asexuals in smut. Isn’t that like wanting Gay people in heterosexual smut? I just don’t understand the defense of non tagged asexual characters in fanfiction.”

Here’s our answer if asexual character’s should, well, do it:

We can agree content should be tagged appropriately to help people find or avoid it. The anon’s question is wildly dismissive of the aces. People they already fully acknowledged exist. Why should one person get to see their experiences represented but other’s can’t? Why must we deny expectations of a singular ace experience. Since it would deny the lives of so many people in our own community.

More importantly, we should we never insist on a narrative that contributes directly to our own oppression. One that would ensure allos, allies, and aphobes walk away with a tremendous misunderstanding of asexuality. One that encourages a narrow understanding of what asexuality is. We were there for this type of asexual exception before. We worked for YEARS to shut it down, to spare future aces. So know learn it now: this attitude that aces can never engage in sexual things is one of the most violent tools in the aphobe quiver.

The not so cute sleight of hand attempt at equating the very existence of the fictional asexuals in sex scenes as always wrong makes it clear that the anon asker desires a world where aces are a stereotype. You’ll find no support for that here, and we will not cast stones at aces writers who do write sexual content.

There should be discussions on the number of stories that feature ace characters who are sexless and those who aren’t. Concern about the difficulty of finding the content that does exist due to inadequate tagging are also very understandable complaints, and we’re sympathetic to them.

That’s not actually what the anon asked however. They specifically lashed out at their own community–not the fictional representation, but the real, living, human aces who create or ask for or enjoy that content. Their complaint *as worded* is not a gripe about the fiction landscape, it is an attack on real people, and one that directly mirrors specifically oppressive movements among aphobes.

The anon didn’t ask for sympathy in their difficulties with finding the kind of stories they want to read. They asked us to join them in leveling vitriol against “aces who want [the content anon doesn’t like]” and against aces who “defend [portrayals of their own lives].” That is absolutely not a conversation we will participate in. Especially given how closely it echoes aphobic arguments that do things like deny any ace the right to consent, put forward rape apologia, exclude aces from relationships of any kind, and homegenize and dehumanize the entire community. Let alone echoing the very schisms that have haunted this community since it’s inception.

There’s a lot of history behind this question.

We’re more than happy to encourage conversations like the one this anon wanted to have. Or about how best to accommodate those experiences and where things might be falling short. But that will not happen at the expense of our own community members.

We can have good faith with each other even after comments like this which can read as harsh. Here’s proof of that as the original anon came back and added the following:

“Hey! I was the Anon about Aces in smut. I’m really sorry if I hurt you in any way. I am trying to learn more about Asexuality after one of my friends came out to me recently and was talking about that subject specifically. I am a pretty young lesbian and am trying to learn more about the entire LGBT+ community. Thank you for responding, I appreciate your time! Again I apologize for any hurt I caused, that was by no means my intention. I hope you have a good day!”

Dew adds, Hey thanks! I really appreciate the follow up on this. I know I came out swinging on that ask, but you unintentionally hit on some very tender points. In some really specific ways that unfortunately mirrored attitudes that have historically been very dangerous for the ace community.

But I’m really glad to hear that the underlying motive for that anon ask was ignorance and not malice. Please know that ignorance is not a character flaw; it’s the natural state of humans and easily changed. It sounds like your heart is in the right place and you’re eager to learn more so that you can be a better ally to your friends. That’s awesome, and if you want some more resources on how to approach this topic with a better understanding of ace community history and respect for the diversity of ace experiences.

Others brought up that they actually trust aces writing this more than others. Dew went on to say: There’s definitely a wide range of the quality of depictions of asexual characters of all sorts of experiences. It can be easier to trust ace-spec writers to be coming from an informed and respectful place.

I would of course caution that this doesn’t fall perfectly across clean lines based on the identity of the writers. Nor dismiss the efforts of allies who also approach the subject respectfully. (Recall that the broader aspec community does include allo members!) Nor discount that aces can also externalize their own possible struggles with internalized aphobia.

However, it can be particularly cruel to dismiss the efforts of ace writers. There are valuable discussions to be had about the differences in writing asexual characters from and internal vs. an external perspective. Especially considering how plentiful misinformation and erasure are.

When people suggest that only aces should write asexual characters we have disagree with that blanket statement.

Fuck Yeah Asexual doesn’t stand for stark divisions across identity lines. We can and should talk about what constitutes a respectful portrayal, where the common pitfalls are, and what damage can be done from irresponsible or misinformed understandings of ace experiences without this level of insularity. Not every ace will magically produce a great ace character, and not every allo will magically produce a terrible one.

If only reading works by other aces is a boundary you want to set in your own life, please do so! As I addressed in the previous ask, there are patterns in play that make that an understandable choice.

We won’t, however, support extrapolating that boundary out until it cuts off anyone who isn’t asexual (and this effort nearly always wants to exclude the wrong “”kind”” of asexual. People must be free to write about aces in ways that don’t push way questioning folks or all the allies-in-the-making who won’t ever learn what their mistakes are because we’ve isolated ourselves from them. Nothing good or productive comes from broadly applying that kind of us vs. them approach to entire communities. – Dew

There is absolutely room to talk about the behavior of allosexuals in regard to their fandom treatment of canon asexual characters. There’s also absolutely room to talk about some publishers making a fetish-like “Demisexual For You” trope. Which is a perversion of the biphobic “Gay for You” trope.

But honestly the media we’ve gotten from a main stream source has been from allosexuals inspired by aces, ace works, and ace activism. It’s more of a conversational story feedback loop. That’s the nature of all media.

If you wish you view the asks in their original context you can via that day’s archive. https://fuckyeahasexual.tumblr.com/day/2020/11/20.

Trans Books Recs for Awareness Week!

My mom actually reminded me of this week, which is quite wholesome.  Since GLADD is celebrating trans awareness as well as TDOR this year, I wanted to do one of my fav things — and talk about trans books. This post is about my fav trans books so if you are in the mood for a new read I hope this helps. 🙂 

All Time Favorite In Trans Book: 

Dreadnought (and it’s sequel) has not only the own voices quality when it comes to trans representation being included, but the plot is too intertwined with the experiences of being trans and being a part — or pushed — out of a community. 

Runner Up In Fav Trans Books:

If I Was Your Girl is the winner of a Stonewall Book Award and several others. This contemporary book has a lot of heart. While I don’t remember it’s plot as in detail as the last I remember feeling like it was a gift. Insight to a “less complicated” (as I believe the author says in the back) trans experience I do not share. This book probably has the only acknowledgments that I remember afterwards. That were incredibly important to include because they reminds us that real people are always more complicated and diverse.  

Trans Books Honorable Mentions: 

Okay, and maybe some mixed media because it can’t be about books 24/7.

Did you know in Watch Dogs Legion you can just find trans aces walking around doing their things? That is until you ask them to fight against a police state. Watch Dogs Legion’s representation is at one level so throw away text based. And at another an innovative choose your own adventure hero experience. I get a spark of joy when I see a random character with bio that reads: ‘Had Gender Affirming Operation’, “Looked for Trans Friendly Therapy” or “Purchased a They/Them Pin”. It’s not Ubisoft’s first trans character, but the random endless amount of trans playable non-playable characters in WD:L reminds me how just anyone can be trans.

There’s Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver and Rose Sinclair’s books that both always seem to include ace and transgender characters. (If not trans ace character within them.) There’s Unburied Fables which is a-spec focused charity anthology with several fairytale retelling that are about trans characters. And I wish more of Anne Chivon’s poetry was in print so I could show you really kick ass non-binary poems.

That fact that big and small trans awareness efforts are being done across the media landscape (including emoji now) makes me so hopeful that people will someday soon stop pretending that there’s not enough of us to matter.

Did you know the creator of the transgender flag Monica Helms also wrote novels? I haven’t read any of them, I just think that’s so cool and fantastic. That might be since the top the listed reasoning for making the trans flag’s stripes mirrored was so no matter how you fly the flag it’s still right. Symbolizing that there is no one way to be trans. Sorry for the longer post than planned but say can I say: Trans is beautiful

Art Over Chaos Publishing Signs Cora Ruskin’s Debut Novel

11/10/2020 – Art Over Chaos publishing has acquired Cora Ruskin’s aro ace #OwnVoices YA debut, Other People’s Butterflies. In this mixture of Harriet the Spy, and Gossip Girl, Gwen Foster is mystified by all the relationship drama of her classmates, so after falling out with her best friends she is inspired by her favorite spy novel and develops an unethical hobby of collecting gossip about her classmates in an effort to understand them better – but when an unknown social media account is spilling all the secrets Gwen is collecting, she must make the transition from amateur spy to amateur detective to stop whoever it is.

Cora Ruskin’s other work is being a part-time MSc student of Science Communication and at a charity that helps victims of crime. Writing gets squeezed in between the two. She has a novella published in The Fantasist and a poetry chapbook published by Dancing Girl Press. She lives in Bristol, England, with five housemates and a very messy kitchen.  

Publication for Other People’s Butterflies is slated for 2021.  
Follow Cora Ruskin on Twitter or visit our author page!

Pride 2021 Update: Other People’s Butterflies is available now in ebook and paperback!