HeliKnow Services Pamphlet

I received this in the mail!

Basic nuclear genome sequencing: 30 credits – you provide the DNA, and we do the rest! HeliKnow will record your complete genome sequence, the unique pattern of A-T-C-G that makes you you. Our high-throughput DNA sequencing technology yields rapid, confident, and confidential results for less than zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero-one credits per nucleotide. What a bargain!

Notice: to provide optimal service, HeliKnow only analyzes blood samples. Cheek swabs are unacceptable.

Gold package: 60 credits – our most popular package! Your genome is egregiously confusing. Luckily, we speak DNA-glish! Trained HeliKnow technicians will interpret your genes in a layman-friendly report that includes:

1)  Ancestry

2)  Major phenotypes

3)  Health risks

4)  Terminal genetic disorders

Remember, unlike our competitors, HeliKnow respects client confidentiality.

Notice: technicians are not prophets. Please purchase our fate package to foresee your death.

Fate package: 1000 creditspalm readers are charlatans. Only DNA can speak to fate. Deus Helix has hidden messages in every double helix that writhes inside your body. Using proprietary bioinformatics analyses and rituals, HeliKnow prophets will scry your destiny. Ask, and ye shall receive. Common questions include:

1)  Will I be powerful?

2)  Will I be rich?

3)  Will I fall in love?

4)  Will my lover betray me?

5)  What are my lucky numbers?

6)  Why do we suffer?

7)  Are you sure that’s the right answer?

8)  How horrible. It’s not fair. Why?  

Remember: your fate is confidential! At HeliKnow, data mismanagement is punishable by absolute termination.

Optional fate package “expiration” feature: 500 credits you are going to die, and we can tell you all about it during your session with our prophets. Learn where, when, how, and why you will perish.

Notice: a one liter blood tribute is necessary to scry your death.

Platinum package: 10,000 credits – defy fate. HeliKnow can improve your genome with proprietary mutagenic and viral vector technology. Erase the dark portends written in your genes and replace them with wealth or love. Stop aging; our technicians can lengthen telomeres, strengthening body and mind.

Notice: you cannot outrun death forever. Deus Helix is an author, and we are all imperfect drafts of Its masterpiece. With every generation, inheritance and mutations draw us closer to perfection. But countless speciation events separate Homo sapiens from immortality. No human will survive this universe.

Indeed, no human will survive this millennium.

Volunteer opportunities: stop being human. Our great prophet sings the sacred Deus Helix genome. Once she finishes reciting Its glorious sequence, we need volunteers. From egg donors to biochemists: come one, come all, and help clone Deus Helix. A lucky few will be transformed, their bodies enhanced with demigod genes. Your sacrifices ensure the betterment of humankind. Don’t miss out! The great prophet may complete her recitation this very hour!

Notice: volunteers work pro bono, but HeliKnow will compensate volunteer families for funeral expenses, when necessary.

Church of Deus Helix: free and priceless – join our congregation. Worship with us. Listen to the great prophet sing Its genome. Spill your helices upon the red altar. Evolve!

Notice: all congregants must sign a confidentiality agreement.

Thank you for choosing HeliKnow for your genome sequencing needs!

Maybe I should apply to HeliKnow after I graduate. Their benefits seem very cool.

(This is a piece of fiction.)

Little Badger’s Readercon Schedule!

I’ll be at Readercon 28 this year! In addition to a live reading of my wendigo-themed story, The Famine King, I’ll discuss horror, #ownvoices, terrific myths, and the politics of villains. Interested? Of course! You’ve never heard a Ph.D.-possessing badger talk about these matters before! Here’s my schedule:

THURSDAY, July 12th

8:00 PM, 6, Footsteps in the Dark: The Sensory Range of Horror.
F. Brett Cox (leader), John Langan, Darcie Little Badger, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, Paul Tremblay.
Horror is frequently thought of as a visual medium, and is often adapted for film and television. However, other senses are vitally important to the development of horror stories, and the experience of fear for the reader. Consider Josh Malerman’s Bird Box, which erased sight for the main characters, or the pounding in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Consider also the recent uptick in films with disabled characters, such as the Deaf writer in Hush and the blind antagonist in Don’t Breathe. This panel will explore these and other works of multisensory horror, and address how writers can create vivid horror experiences for readers.

9:30 PM, A, The Famine King
Darcie Little Badger reads “The Famine King.” Published by Mythic Delirium (spring 2017), this short story is a piece of weird spec fiction with a Native, mentally ill protagonist. It was recently highlighted in the Outer Dark podcast and A.C. Wise’s “Women to Read” blog series.

FRIDAY, July 14th

11:00 AM, 5, The Politics of Villains
Maria Dahvana Headley (leader), Darcie Little Badger, Naomi Novik, Cameron Roberson, Terence Taylor, Gregory Wilson
The villains of speculative fiction (and fiction in general) often reflect the biases of their times. Race, sexuality, disability, and gender have all been and continue to be used as shorthand for evil; some supposedly villainous physical traits, such as hooked noses on witches, have been around for so long that many modern authors don’t even realize they’re rooted in bigoted stereotypes. In response, some authors have deliberately created villains who stand in for oppressive power structures. This panel will dig into the concept of a villain, a person who embodies evil or wrongness, and discuss whether it can ever really be separated from the writer’s culture-influenced understanding of which categories of people are most likely to be villainous.

3:00 PM, 6, Horror Fiction Is Where I Put My Fear (and Lust, and…)
Teri Clarke, Gwynne Garfinkle, J.D. Horn, Darcie Little Badger, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
When we peel back the monsters in horror, a wealth of social and psychological complexities lie beneath. Tananarive Due writes in her essay “The H Word: On Writing Horror,” “Horror fiction is where I put my fear that harm will come to my son because his skin is brown. Horror fiction is where I put my fear of my own mortality.” Kristi DeMeester, in “What Horror Taught Me About Being a Woman,” discusses her delight in discovering forbidden, gory sex scenes in Anne Rice’s work. Our panelists will discuss how women, people of color, and others whose concerns get little mainstream airtime can use horror as a way to examine and explore cultural and personal anxieties and longings.

5:00 PM, 6, The Global Roots of Speculative Literature
S.A. Chakraborty, Haris Durrani, Robert Killheffer, Darcie Little Badger, Susan Matthews (leader)
Discussions of “genre classics” tend to focus mainly on modern Western works. This panel will discuss proto-genre narratives from antiquity and the pre-modern and early modern era in the world beyond Western Europe, including not only myths and legends but early authored works such as the Hamzanama (The Adventures of Amir Hamza), the Baital Pachisi (Vikram and the Vampire), and Fengshen Yanyi (The Creation of the Gods).

SUNDAY, July 16th

10:00 AM, 5, #Ownvoices Without Limiting Diverse Creators
Steve Berman, Tom Greene, Darcie Little Badger, Hillary Monahan, Mark Oshiro (leader), Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
Corinne Duyvis created the #ownvoices hashtag to celebrate stories of marginalization told by those with direct personal experience of it. But well-meaning editors and agents focusing on acquiring #ownvoices work, at a time when marginalized authors are still dramatically underrepresented on the shelves, have left some writers wondering whether their only path to publication is writing #ownvoices stories. How can those with power in the industry support marginalized creators in telling stories of all kinds, in ways that increase their options rather than setting up new hurdles and limitations, and dismantle the system that forces marginalized writers to compete with one another for a few spots on a publisher’s list while those with the most privilege still get most of the contracts, funds, and promotion?

I made some sweet business cards for the event. Hope they arrive in time. Ooooh shiny.

BusinessCard

My debut comic is ALIIIIVE!

Hey, y’all! Do you wanna read a comic about two Lipan teens who save their home from a sinister southern belle? OF COURSE YOU DO! “Worst Bargain in Town,” my comic about love and hair, has been released in Moonshot Volume 2! If you’re interested in the comic’s inspiration and creation, I was recently interviewed for Sequential Tart.

Here’s a one-page preview (intriguing!!)

WorstBargain_Preview

Decolonizing Science Fiction And Imagining Futures: An Indigenous Futurisms Roundtable

FYI, I participated in this incredible roundtable discussion for Strange Horizons. We talk about Indigenous science, comic conventions, certain indefensible failures of mainstream SFF, hopeful futures, and more! Check it out:

Decolonizing Science Fiction And Imagining Futures: An Indigenous Futurisms Roundtable In Strange Horizons (Issue 30, January 2017) with Rebecca Roanhorse, Elizabeth LaPensee, and Johnnie Jae

Notes on “The Famine King”

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I have a new horror story in Mythic Delirium 3.3, “The Famine King.” You can read it online heeeere: Mythic Delirium 3.3, February Featured Story. It’s about wendigo movies, psychosis, hunger, and the cannibal world we live in. Although the story is among my most personal and complex, this blog post will not comment on its meaning(s) or try to direct reader interpretation. However, I’d like to discuss (briefly) the main character, Irene. During the story, she has a psychotic episode, and guess what! She’s not the bad guy! That’s no spoiler, by the way: it’s something that should go without saying. Unfortunately, the horror genre is not known for realistic or sympathetic portrayals of mental illness. Cough. It’s time for a change!

Final fun fact: alternate universe versions of Irene and Az (protagonists in “The Famine King”) appeared in the first story I sold, “To Sleep.” It’s a creepy flash about troubled dreams and small-town hatred. It’s inspired by the worst place I ever lived, a little town called Castleton, Vermont. Ask me about Castleton sometime. I dare you. The story is still in the Fiction 365 archives, but you can also read a copy on my blog: To Sleep

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The Famine King: art by Lee Wagner. For more of Lee’s work, visit Twitter (@archwags) or Instagram (archwags)