The Stroke of Thirteen Discussions Questions – Great Ace Club

Hello Book Friends!

Amy here again! I’ve missed you, but appreciate your patience as life comes at me like a roller coaster! I had to make sure I was back for the spookiest of months though and to read an appropriate book together: The Stroke of Thirteen! Let’s dive into a supernatural mystery for the supernatural month! Or this is our master post of discussion questions, you can make any month have October vibes once more.

When Grace Pembleton inherited her grandfather’s business in rural Pennsylvania, she had no idea what else she was in for. She thought life as a bed-and-breakfast owner would be a quiet one, that the only trouble she’d encounter would be making enough coffee for guests.

What she gets instead is a violent gnome, a resident ghost, a secret society, and continuous brushes with the supernatural. Even with new friends at her side, she struggles to fulfill her family’s legacy of protecting the town.
Then a new threat arises, and it wants Grace.

Spooooky, right?

Happy to be back, so let’s get reading!!

The Stroke of Thirteen Book Links – Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop.org 


Suggested Reading Schedule

  • Week One — Chapters 1-5
  • Week Two — Chapters 6-9
  • Week Three — Chapters 10-13
  • Week Four — Chapters 13-17

The Stroke of Thirteen Discussions Questions Week One

We’re starting out learning all about our characters and location! Let’s talk about the beginning of this book:

-What do we learn about the characters and setting in the opening chapters?

-How does a bed and breakfast make for a great mystery setting? What twists could come from such a setting?

-Do you think the statue is going to play an important part in the coming chapters? What predictions do you have?

-How do Grace and her grandfather differ? Do you think one is more right than the other in how they handle things? Why?

-What do you think about the social media aspect of the book? Does it help you to learn about the characters? What can you learn about Grace from her screen name?

-How does the town differ from other towns? What role does the setting play and how is Grace learning to navigate her family’s history and reputation there?

-Grace describes the town’s energy as attracting these creatures. Have you heard of any towns or places like that? How does it work with what we know about cities with cryptids, like Mothman or Bigfoot?

-Have you heard of any of the creatures in this world? What background do you have in supernatural creatures?

-What predictions do you have about the mysteries of the town? Do you think the incident at the library has anything to do with the murder? Are there potentially other mysteries you see that will tie into them?

-What do you think about Grace, Phee, and Rosie’s friendship?

-Any predictions you have? What makes you think that?

The Stroke of Thirteen Discussions Questions Week Two

The mystery is really picking up!
Let’s pick up to see what happens to Grace next!

– What could the changing weather mean?

– What role does friendship play in the text? Family?

– What kind of tropes does the Septu Club utilize?

– Do you notice anything specific about the death omens? What could each one mean? Do you think they correspond to the hour they happen in?

– Mysteries are famous for having red herrings. Do you think anything so far is a red herring in this book? What do you think are important clues versus red herrings?

– In what ways is the town itself involved in the mystery?

– ”People do not like to remember the bad things they have done.” How does this quote give further insight into the plot? – Does Grace’s family want to remember what they have done or forget? How about the town? The Septu Club?

– How does the history of the town play a role in the present? – What role might Grace have? The other families?

– How are the various mysteries of the town coming together? What elements do you think are most important? How do you think they are going to conclude?

– What do you think about Grace’s father’s secret? What does it mean for Grace? For her family legacy?

– We are starting to get close to the climax! What predictions do you have?

The Stroke of Thirteen Discussions Questions Week Three

We’re officially more than halfway through the book and things are getting tense! Let’s keep going!

-Is Grace going off alone brave? Stupid? Chivalrous? Selfish? What are your thoughts? Would you have done the same in her situation or something else?

-How do you feel when you gaze at the stars?

What do you think you would miss the most if it were your last day on earth?

-How are all the clues coming together?

-What does Jacob’s journal reveal? How does it help or hinder Grace? How does it explain the family legacy?

-Do you agree with Grace? What role does family legacy play when facing long ago hurts?

-How is Grace tackling both the threat to her life and the threat to the town? Are the two connected? How are they separate?

We are ending on quite the cliff hanger! What are your predictions for the last quarter of the book? How will all the loose ends come together?

Do you think Grace is going to be able to stay true to her beliefs and change the culture of the town and her family? Make amends? Fix the town’s energy? We are definitely going to find out!

The Stroke of Thirteen Discussions Questions Week Four

OK! I don’t know about all of you, but the air is finally crisp here, it’s officially spooky week, and I am ready to face some supernatural creatures! Let’s see what was really going on with Grace!

-Are the supernatural beings justified in their feelings about Grace and their want of revenge? How do Nuray and Jamison differ in their revenge plots?

-How did the author drop hints about the statue? Did you expect this twist?

-How was Grace able to solve at least one of the mysteries in the town?

-How does Franklin help to explain some of the other mysteries of the town?

-Has Grace grown by the end of the book? How is she planning to change the town?

-What other secrets do you think the town might hold? Its residents?

-What would you say are some themes found in the book? How does it explore and expand on them?

-The end of the book is the original appearance of Grace and some background on her appearance in Witch Wood. How does having that background affect how you feel about the rest of the book?

Make sure to leave a rating and review of the book if you enjoyed it! Or start reading The Stroke of Thirteen today!

Introducing The 7th Queen

The 7th Queen is the newest tale in the quickly growing Big Bad Magic series. A world where fairy tales combine with the queer coded villains trope. Then gives them all the happily ever after ending they truly deserve.

Join Claudia as she stumbles across white rabbits and discovers a wondrous world of magic.

The 7th Queen Cover - A photo of a women's legs wearing a white and blue shirt with a white rabbit in the foreground.

“We’re all villains here. . .”

You can grab this Sapphic short story set before the events of THE 8TH RANK for free by signing up for Rose Sinclair’s newsletter! Once entered the exclusive story will sent directly to your email. Don’t miss this tale full of wonder and women loving women.

We asked author Rose Sinclair, why writing a series like this was so important to them.

“Before The 7th Queen, and the other stories in the Big Bad Magic series, I did not consider myself a romance writer. I was a science fiction or fantasy writer who might have characters fall in love. That all changed in The 8th Rank, and the upcoming The 9th Pawn. The driving force of these characters is their love of someone else. And within that journey for Mal and Claudia they learn to love themselves.

Because that self love, that acceptance of whatever you desire, and being brave enough to confess that truth in a world that makes you feel monstrous is something often missing. Too often there’s a false dichotomy that says art must be either queer pain or # Positive Vibes Only. That isn’t true to anyone’s life. Retelling fairytales and accepting “villainy” allows readers to not only see these characters in a new way. But maybe be seen themselves.

The 7th Queen is a short story prequel gives me the chance to focus on hope, on the quiet moments between Claudia and Alice. Because it’s often the softness that get’s us through the pain in any world. If F/F can add to the care we have for each other (fictional or otherwise) then I’d be honored if you signed up for my newsletter.

– Author Rose Sinclair

Of The Wild Discussion Questions

Welcome to the Of The Wild Discussion Questions master post! Today we discuss the shapeshifter Aeris. But first, can you believe we’re over half way through 2021? We’ve got six books under our belts, and normally it would be fine for number seven! Instead we think a summer vacation is in order and are bringing freebies back! Be sure you drop your email over at our new GreatAce.Club page get them.

Alright, let’s talk about the Of The Wild Discussion Questions!

If you haven’t read alone with us you can get your copy here in ebook, paperback or free with kindle unlimited.

Description:

Aeris, a shapeshifter of the Wild, steals children from unloving homes and raises them as his own in an enchanted grove deep in the Woods. Under the protective eye of their new guardian, the children absorb the forest’s magic and grow more fey-like than human: some of them sprout mushrooms or flowers while others develop scales or wings.

But the reserve of magic that keeps Aeris and his forest home alive is inexplicably running dry. With his life waning and the dangers of the Wild creeping closer and closer, Aeris will do anything to protect his family, even set his hopes on an unlikely new arrival in the Woods: a human stranger.

Suggested Of The Wild Discussion Questions Schedule:

  • Week One: Chapters 1-5
  • Week Two: Chapters 6-10
  • Week Three: Chapters 11-14
  • Week Four: Chapters 15-17
  • Week Five: Chapters 18-End

Remember to always feel free to share your favorite quotes, book pictures, etc as we read on top of answering the discussion questions. You can join in the fun anytime with the #GreatAceClub hashtag.

Week One:

I’m personally a sucker for found family. Let’s get started to discover how they find each other and grow!

  • Why do you think found family often resonates with the LGBT+ community?
  • What do you think of what Aeris is doing for the babies and children he rescues?
  • How do we see magic already in these early chapters? What might change as the magic disappears? What might Aeris have to do to keep his children safe? What would you do in his place?
  • What type of parent does Aeris seem to be? How does he take care of his children?
  • What is the significance of the baby not changing?
  • Do you think that the Tall Ones have something to do with the disappearance of magic? Why might they be so interested in Aeris and his children?
  • What kind of world do you think Aeris rescues the children from? Is it a world like ours, a fantasy world, or something in between? Do you think one world is more forgiving than another?
  • Do you have any predictions about what will happen next? Why? What are you hoping to see?

Week Two:

Ready to continue Aeris’ journey to keep his family safe! Let’s get started and see what happens to the magic protecting his home and to his family.

  • What secrets do you think Aeris is keeping? What effect could these secrets have on his family?
  • What are we learning about the outside world from Aeris and the failing magic? What kind of world might his children have come from?
  • Share some predictions you have about William. What role could he have for The Woods?
  • How does the magic seem to work in this world?
  • How are both like regular human children and different? How does Aeris foster a sense of trust and love to help the children be more like regular children?
  • What do we learn about Aeris’ sexuality in this section? How do we learn it? Does his response feel similar to your own experiences?
  • What do you make of Aeris’ response to William? Does he seem to trust him? Why might he not trust him? Why might he grow to trust him?
  • How do magic and technology intermingle? What do you think of Aeris’ description of the city?
  • What do you make of Aeris’ and William’s conversation? What do we learn about each of them?
  • How are William’s fears about taking over for Aeris the fears that any future parent might face? How are they fears that anyone who steps into another role might face? Have you ever felt fear or nervousness like William does?
  • What significance does it have that William doesn’t feel like he deserves a family? Why might he feel that way?
  • How does Aeris’ analogy about family being a garden resonate with William? How do you feel about it? Would you agree or disagree with his sentiment?
  • What predictions do you have?

Week Three:
I’m still loving this book and am excited to finish everything with you! Let’s dive into some magical universes and forget about the strife of life!

  • What do you think the Tall Ones want with Aeris?
  • What kind of fairy tale motifs are present in this book? How does Aeris fit into those motifs? What kind of archetype does he represent? What about the Tall Ones? William?
  • Do you think that Aeris’ choice not to tell the children what is going on is a good one? Does it make sense? Do you think the children are better off not knowing, or should he share with them?
  • Should Aeris allow himself to be sad in front of the children? Why or why not?
  • How are Hori’s fears something all children worry about? How might it particularly resonate with queer people?
  • What do you think of the growing relationship between Aeris and William? How does Aeris appreciate William in ways he isn’t used to?
  • How do the children help William?
  • What does the fruit mean for the children? For William? For Aeris?
  • How is the relationship between Aeris and William changing? Do you have any predictions?

Week Four:

  • We’re moving through the rest of the book! What is going to happen between Aeris and William next? And the children? Will the Tall Ones make another appearance? Let’s read on and find out!
  • What do you think caused the change in William? How might Aeris have caused it?
  • How does Aeris’ magic help people become what they truly are? How is that reflected in children? In William?
  • What do you think Sen’s transformation means? How is it both like and not like the transformation William goes through? Like the children’s original transformation?
  • How do the Tall Ones’ reaction to William being Wild similar to what William has faced before as a trans man?
  • How does William’s Wild status change the way we perceive the story and its characters? Especially Aeris and his feelings for William?
  • How does Aeris help the children heal? What does his magic and steady presence bring them that they were missing before?
  • How does Aeris perceive himself and William that is so different from how William perceived him?
  • What do you think William realized? What solution does he see that Aeris is too close to perceive?

Week Five:

Ending on a cliff hanger is always a good way to make me excited to pick a book up again! Let’s see how William decides to solve Aeris’ magic issues!

  •  What do we learn about Aeris at the end of the book?
  • How does the author use different styles to express what is happening to Aeris? William? The Tall Ones?
  • How has Aeris been struggling without realizing it? What does he learn from William?
  • How does Aeris’ family continue to grow and change? What might he do differently with his children going forward?
  • How will William staying make the family stronger? How will Aeris and William likely balance each other?
  • What did you take from this book? What might others take from it?

VARIABLE CURRENT Cover Reveal

Can’t keep a good hacker down, Scott and Sonia are back! Check out the cover reveal for VARIABLE CURRENT by Rose Sinclair & Alexandra Tauber. Variable Current is the second novel of the .Exe duology that started with HELLO WORLD.

Ready to see the newest beauty for this series?!

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Variable Current Cover Reveal launch!


Book Description:
After the death of a tech giant, thousands of augmented workers fight for their place in the world.

Anonymity is a powerful level of protection, and now everyone knows Scott is the infamous Hello World hacker. But taking down UltSyn wasn’t enough; he gotta make a living legally or throw away the thread of sanctuary he’s been granted.

After following the rules for months, Scott realizes someone is aiming to bring back the human rights nightmare he worked so hard to take down. But when Sonia throws in her support for reform, he must convince everyone of the truth — before UltSyn returns.

Variable Current is the last book in the .Exe duology. This novel features an story about a queer hacker trying to go white hat, and living past the moment you get everything you want.

You can pre-order today and it will be automatically delivered to you on October 26th, 2021!

Unburied Fables Discussion Questions

Welcome to the GreatAce.Club round up, below you’ll find all the Unburied Fables Discussion questions. Also included is a suggested reading schedule, but as always these posts are designed so you can read at your own pace.

Suggested Reading Schedule:

Week One –  Handsome & the Beast, The Grateful Princess and Odd!

Week Two – Expectations, Li Chi and the Dragon, & Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes

Week Three – Glass Mountains – Brenna – The Last Lost Boy

Week Four –  Dark Matters & The Suns of Terre

Handsome & the Beast
The first story in the anthology is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast!

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • One common aspect of fairy tales is repetition. What effect does the repeated line “Fate might have heard” have on the narrative?
  • How do the characters respect the rules of fairy tales? What rules did you notice?
  • What significance do the colors of the rose and uniform have?
  • How does Handsome grow and change?
  • How do the various rooms and dreams hint at the true nature of the castle and the Beast?
  • ”Sometimes there is more goodness in the hearts of Beasts than in those of people.” This is a significant quote in the story; what meaning does it have in a greater context? What is the significance of the person being perceived as a Beast? How does Handsome see through that? And how is it also significant that Handsome is handsome while the Beast is a beast?
  • What impact does Handsome’s speech have?
  • What kind of happily ever after does this tale have?
  • If you had to pick a moral for this tale, what would the moral be? Why?

The Grateful Princess
The second story in the anthology is based on an Estonian fairy tale called The Grateful Prince.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • What common fairy tale tropes do you notice? How does the author utilize them?
  • How do we see Tuline falling for Lind? How does the author take this common trope and make it gay?
  • How does this story utilize repetition? What effect does it have on the plot and pacing?
  • What role do strangers play in fairy tales? How is this a reflection on real life and how are characters’ various reactions to strangers a lesson for children?
  • How do Lind’s actions show her own feelings for Tuline?
  • What kind of happily ever after does this tale have?
  • Tell me about the life you imagine Tuline and Lind having together.
  • If you had to pick a moral for the story, what would it be? Why?

Odd
(Psst, Amy here. this is my story! :D) The third story int he anthology is based on the fairy tale Rumplestiltskin.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • Bragging is also a common fairy tale trope. What role does bragging play in the story? How could that trope be used to teach children lessons?
  • In what ways is the king very like men in positions of power? How does he use this against Sofia?
  • It is important for Sofia to remain true to herself in this story. In what ways does she defy the king, his expectations, and the expectations of society to stay true to herself?
  • How does Sofia’s curiosity help her?
  • What types of repetition do you see in this short story? How do they play into the plot?
  • What future do you imagine for Sofia?
  • What other fairy tale tropes did you notice? How did they impact the story?
  • What kind of happily ever after did this story have?
  • If you had to pick a moral, what would it be? Why?

While I know the questions are set up by story, I wanted to take a moment to talk about fairy tales and see what the three stories we’ve read so far have in common! Other than happily ever afters, of course!

  • What are common fairy tale tropes you see in all three tales? What predictions do you have for tropes we might continue to see?
  • Which tropes are your favorites? Which are less so? Why?
  • All three of the stories involve some kind of stranger; why do you think strangers feature so prominently in fairy tales? What lessons can be learned from the way the various tales deal with meeting strangers?
  • How do the various strangers act towards the protagonists? How do they act in return?
  • We often think of fairy tales as always ending happily, but they quite often do not. How do these tales create happily ever afters? What does that mean for the queer community?
  • How do fairy tales teach us to be true to ourselves? How is that important for the queer community and how do these three tales highlight the importance of being true to yourself?

Expectations

The next story in this anthology is a wave to many different fairy tales, but mostly The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • What common fairy tale elements and tropes are present in this story? How does the author change them to be LGBT+?
  • One of the things that frequently gets criticized in fairy tales is how female characters, or female presenting characters, are often more prop than person with very little agency. How do we see this in this story? How do we see the same lack of agency in Aldric?
  • One of the themes that seems to be in all of the stories so far is the importance of being true to yourself. How does Aldric embody this? Shireen? Giselle?
  • How does the phrase “money can’t buy happiness” apply to this story?
  • If you were going to choose a moral for this story, what would it be? Why?

Li Chi and the Dragon

The next story in the anthology is a retelling of the Chinese fairy tale, Li Chi Slays the Serpent

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • How does this fairy tale show some real life prejudices?
  • Characters in fairy tales often do well because they are clever and think outside the box. How does Chi do this? What are some other examples we have seen in earlier tales or in other traditional fairy tales?
  • How is love a common motivation in fairy tales? How does Li Chi’s love help her to volunteer and face the dragon?
  • What future do you imagine for Chi?
  • If you were going to choose a moral for this story, what would it be? Why?

Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes

This story is based on Cinderella.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • What role do fairies, or the fair folk, often play in fairy tales? How do characters’ reactions in both traditional and modern fairy tales affect the fairies?
  • Like Expectations, Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes features a person who could be twins of the main character. Why do you think this is a fairy tale trope?
  • How does everyone live happily ever after?
  • How do you think the characters’ futures might play out?
  • If you were going to choose a moral for this story, what would it be? Why?

Now that we have read six of the stories in this anthology, let’s take a moment to talk about them and about fairy tales in general!

  • One of the central themes that threads all the stories together so far is the need to be accepted and understood for who you are. Why do you think this resonates so much?
  • What other common tropes do you see in each of the stories?
  • Fairy tales often have a fairly predictable plot structure. How does that come into play with the retellings?
  • Many of the characters in these stories are aro/ace. One of the most common endings to fairy tales is the male and female characters falling in love and getting married. How does having aro/ace characters change this? What kind of endings are we seeing instead of love + marriage? How are these endings just as happy as the standard fairy tale?
  • What are some other fairy tales you want to see retold? What kind of queer endings would you want to see?

Glass Mountains
Glass Mountains is based on The Black Bull of Norroway, a Scottish folk tale.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • Magical elders are a common fairy tale trope and something we’ve seen a few times through this anthology. What do you think are the traditional reasons for this? What might magical elders mean to LGBT+ youths?
  • Fairy tales almost always feature morals, often about being kind to strangers. What do you think is the historical context of this? How do we see it play out in Glass Mountains?
  • Numbers play a role in this story, as well as repetition. What does this do for the narrative?
  • How does switching from past to present change the pacing of the story and answer questions before they’re asked?
  • How do the characters have a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of this story? Why?

Brenna
Brenna is a retelling of Ferdinand the Faithful and Ferdinand the Unfaithful, a German fairy tale.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • Why do you think the color red is so common in fairy tales?
  • Once again, we are experiencing an elder guiding a younger person on their journey. Why would this be important for younger LGBT+ youth? Is it something we have seen in previous fairy tales in this collection?
  • Quests are another common theme in fairy tales; what quests are Brenna given to complete? How does one influence the other?
  • How does this story have a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of the story? Why?

The Last Lost Boy
The Last Lost Boy is a retelling of Peter Pan.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • How does the author capture the spirit of Peter Pan through the character of the same name?
  • How does changing the setting to a modern setting change the story?
  • In what ways have neither Peter nor Will grown up?
  • How is this story different from some of the others in the anthology?
  • How do the characters have a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of this story? Why?

Now that we’ve read the short stories for this week, let’s talk about them as a whole!

  • Another common theme we’re seeing in some of the stories are elders who are either queer coded or at the very least are there to help guide the queer main characters. Why might this be? Why is this a fairy tale trope, but also why does this possibly mean so much to queer youth?
  • How do all the happily ever afters resonate? What similarities do they have? How are they different?
  • How do we see other common fairy tale tropes in these stories? How are they reworked into something new or utilized to help the characters get their happily ever after?
  • What are your thoughts on the stories we read this week? Do any stick out to you? What have been some of your favorites? What makes them your favorites?

Dark Matters

The second to last story in this retelling is a retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • How does this story combine science with fairy tale? What does that add to the overall narrative?
  • The main character goes on a journey to find something that feels “just right.” How could that be an allegory for coming out?
  • How does the author use some tongue-in-cheek humor and description to tie the fairy tale into gay culture?
  • How do the characters have a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of the story? Why?

The Suns of Terre

The last short story in this anthology is a retelling of Prince Darling.

  • What background do you have with the original fairy tale?
  • What elements of the original does the author change?
  • What elements are kept the same?
  • How is this story different from some of the others in this anthology? What makes it work as the final story?
  • The story deals a lot with what it means to be a good person. What do you think it means to be a good person? Do you think that something like the ring on the characters’ heads would actually work? What other ideas do you have?
  • What do you think of each of the characters’ actions? What were some good choices? Bad? How does that make the characters more human?
  • How do the characters learn to accept themselves and each other?
  • How is the theme of change and changing oneself essential to the LGBT+ community?
  • How do the characters end up with a happily ever after?
  • What would you say is the moral of the story? Why?

Now that we’ve finished the book, let’s talk about the last two stories and the collection as a whole!

  • What were some common themes and motifs that showed up in all or most of the stories? Why do you think those were so common? How are they important for fairy tales and also for the LGBT+ community?
  • Why are fairy tales a good medium to tell queer stories?
  • How do the last couple of stories differ from the rest in the collection? How do they still meet all the fairy tale criteria?
  • What were some of your favorite stories? Why?
  • What are some fairy tales you think could have a queer retelling? What makes some of those other stories perfect for this setup?
  • Why is it so important for queer people, and especially young queer people, to have stories with happily ever afters?
  • How are these stories a direct response to the “bury your gays” trope we see so often in media?
  • This anthology was released in 2016; how have things changed since then? How have they stayed the same?
  • Be sure to share some pictures or quotes you really enjoyed with the #GreatAceClub tag!

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!

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 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.