Stephanie Lai is an Australian author and essayist. She likes penguins, swing dancing, and having opinions. She is a left-handed archer, and an environmental educator. She lives in Melbourne.
Hey penguin fans, this weekend I’m going to be attending the (Un)ethical futures: utopia, dystopia and science fiction conference. My paper, This Oath and This Indenture: Health Care, Stereotypes, and Our Climate Change Dystopia, will be a 20-minute presentation as part of the ‘Climate and Dystopias’ session on Sunday afternoon. I’m so excited to be attending and presenting at this conference.
Tickets are still available, and you should consider coming to experience my feelings on health care in science fiction, because I have a LOT of feelings about health care in our climate change dystopia.
‘The Fall of the Jade Sword’, a wuxia superhero adventure set in Melbourne’s Chinatown in the early 20th century, can be found in Behind the Mask: A Superhero Anthology, Meerkat Press, 2017. I’m delighted to be featured in this anthology with some awesome writers having a lot of fun. This story is a spiritual ancestor to The Dàn Dàn Miàn of the Apocalypse, and was even written well before it, as many ancestors are.
My piece, The Grand Tour Home, can be found in the latest edition of Pencilled In Magazine: The Suburbs. It’s a piece of creative non-fiction looking at suburbs, tourist language, and what it means to go home when you are Chinese-Australian and have suffered the indignity of growing up in Perth’s Eastern suburbs. I am very proud of it, and also it contains illustrations by the gorgeous Rachel Ang!
Delighted as always to have a piece up at Overland. Today, A short history of the dangers of travel writing, a brief look at the history of travelogues, and some criticisms about the clueless, dangerous whiteness of Western travelogues today.
So I’ve been in Singapore three weeks (almost) on my first! ever! residency!, and things are moving along. I’ve got pages of research, and I’ve had some interesting chats, and I have some ideas, but I still have a lot of data to gather.
Being an Australian in Singapore for a couple of months doing research on how sustainable education and awareness takes place, particularly in regards to cultural identity, is hard without existing networks. My focus is on meeting people and chatting with them in person, but that’s not always possible so I’ve developed a basic survey to help with some data gathering.
It doesn’t go quite into the nuance I’m after. I’m really after how traditional communities impact how people interact with climate change and sustainability education, and that can be hard to whittle down from a dozen questions. I’m doing a little bit of compare and contrast – sustainability education in Australia is focused on White Australians, and the assumption is that the standard message (designed for white Australians) works across communities. I know that’s not true, and that’s evident in many ways just from the different language used in Singapore versus Australia. So that’s a part of the compare and contrast, looking at education campaigns.
But what’s getting missed in both countries because of assumptions? What changes are due to geography versus culture versus the different roles of government? I have so many thoughts and there are so many possibilities and options.
Anyway, I’ve developed this basic survey to help with some data gathering. It’s Singapore-specific, and if you’re Singaporean or have friends are Singaporean or whatever, I would be so grateful if you’d do the survey/email me your thoughts/forward it on to your friends.
Cherries in Winter, Rivers in Spring, in In Your Face, an anthology dealing with provocative themes. Cherries in Winter, Rivers in Spring is me exploring the casualness with which we treat climate change, the micro versus the macro, and all the things we don’t talk about in the hopes they’ll go away.
Delighted to have an article up at Overland following the release of the Ghost in the Machine trailer featuring Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi. Space racism: on Hollywood actors & their whitewashing, 2200 words on racism, science fiction, and the Other as Future.
Argh! In 2015 I was in Cranky Ladies of History, an anthology of awesome historical women. The Dragon, The Terror, The Sea is about Cheng Shih, greatest of pirates. Buy the book! It’s a delight of women.
I was delighted to write a rebuttal article for Overland – my first Overland piece! Science fiction saves the world – again!
Illustrated most excellently using an image of Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, talking about how SF has always offered answers (as well as horrors); modern SF isn’t new in telling us how horribly we’re going to die.
In early 2014 I used the CSIRO 2007 climate change projections to develop possibilities for our Science Fiction Climate Change Dystopia, which was published at The Toast. This weekend at Continuum 11: Southern Skies, I talked at length about the science behind our climate change future, and I’ve been invited to speak on a panel at the NSW Writers’ Centre Speculative Fiction Festival in July on this topic, so it seemed timely that I update my essay on imagining Australia’s climate change dystopia.
You can download it: imagining climate change dystopia update 2015.