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  Exploring Dark Short Fiction #3: A Primer to Nisi Shawl   Purchase Here  

Exploring Dark Short Fiction #3: A Primer to Nisi Shawl

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Praised by both literary journals and leading fiction magazines, Nisi Shawl is celebrated as an author whose works are lyrical and philosophical, speculative and far-ranging; “ . . . broad in ambition and deep in accomplishment” (The Seattle Times). Besides nearly three decades of creating fantasy and science fiction, fairy tales, and indigenous stories, Nisi has also been lauded as editor, journalist, and proponent of feminism, African-American fiction, and other pedagogical issues of diversity.

Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to her work, the third in a series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction. Herein is a chance to discover—or learn more of—the vibrant voice of Nisi Shawl, as beautifully illustrated by artist Michelle Prebich.

Included within these pages are:

  • Six short stories, one written exclusively for this book
  • Author interview
  • Complete bibliography
  • Academic commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD (former humanities chair and professor of the year, Seton Hill University)
  • . . . and more!

Enter this doorway to the vast and fantastic: Get to know Nisi Shawl.


And read about the Primer Series HERE!


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  Hardback ISBN-13: 978-1-949491-09-8   Edited by Eric J. Guignard  
  Trade Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-9989383-4-9   Short Fiction authored by Nisi Shawl  
  ebook ISBN-13: 978-0-9989383-5-6   Commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD  
  Library of Congress Control Number: 2018932288   Illustrated by Michelle Prebich  
  First edition published December 17, 2018   Published by Dark Moon Books  
  Number of pages: 234 (about 59,500 words)   Made in the United States of America  
  Cataloged at ISFDB here      
  * Download the Press Release HERE! *  
  Wonderful exposition about each of the stories, allowing the reader to immerse further into the meanings behind each tale, and connect with the author.   The Big Thrill Magazine  
  Nisi Shawl’s text is an illuminating inquiry. The illustrated primer is richly speculative and highly philosophical—a fascinating and pedagogical book hued with Africanism.   Aurealis Magazine (issue #122)  
  Nisi Shawl is a talented brillant writer... stories that balance the feeling of folklore with surrealism.   Postcards From a Dying World  

• Introduction by Eric J. Guignard
• Fiction Stories by Nisi Shawl
   o   The Beads of Ku
   o   Otherwise
   o   Just Between Us
   o   At the Huts of Ajala
   o   Street Worm
   o   Conversion Therapy


• About Nisi Shawl (A Biography)
• Essay: Why Nisi Shawl Matters
• In Conversation with Nisi Shawl
Written On The Water: An Essay by Nisi Shawl
A Bibliography of English Language Fiction for Nisi Shawl
• Academic Commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD
• Illustrations by Michelle Prebich


Nisi Shawl

Author, Nisi Shawl


Nisi Shawl (they/them pronouns)’s dozens of acclaimed stories have appeared in Analog and Asimov’s Magazines and in anthologies ranging from the groundbreaking Dark Matter series to Salon’s online Trump Project, among many other publications. Their story “Vulcanization” was selected as one of twenty offered in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. Though best known for their short fiction, Shawl wrote the 2016 Nebula finalist and Tiptree Honor novel Everfair, an alternate history in which the Congo overthrows King Leopold II’s genocidal regime. Everfair was hailed by Karen Joy Fowler as “luminous” and “original,” a “wonderful achievement.” Ursula K. Le Guin described Shawl’s 2008 Tiptree Award-winning short story collection Filter House as “superbly written.”

In 2005, Shawl co-wrote Writing the Other: A Practical Approach with Cynthia Ward. This book is now considered the standard text on diverse character representation in the imaginative genres, and it forms the basis of their years of online and in-person classes offered under the same name. They are a founder of the inclusivity-focused Carl Brandon Society and has served on the Clarion West Writers Workshop’s board of directors for nineteen years.

Since the turn of the millennium, Shawl has reviewed books for The Seattle Times, their local daily newspaper. They also occasionally freelance reviews for Ms. Magazine, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. They contribute monthly columns to The Seattle Review of Books and to Tor.com—the latter column expanding on their seminal 2016 “Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction” essay.

Shawl edits the reviews section of the feminist literary quarterly The Cascadia Subduction Zone. In the past they edited and co-edited several fiction and nonfiction anthologies such as Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany; and Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler; both finalists for the Locus Award. Currently they're in the final stages of editing New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color, to be published in March 2019 by Solaris Books.

They live in Seattle, near a lake with enticingly strong currents, and take frequent walks through the neighborhood with their mother June and cat Minnie, at the pace of an entitled feline.

Nisi's bibliography (through Spring, 2018) is listed here: A Bibliography of English Language Fiction for Nisi Shawl

  And check out these other great Dark Moon Books titles!         
  Exploring Dark Short Fiction #1: A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem   Exploring Dark Short Fiction #2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren   Exploring Dark Short Fiction #4: A Primer to Jeffrey Ford   Exploring Dark Short Fiction #5: A Primer to Han Song   Exploring Dark Short Fiction #6: A Primer to Ramsey Campbell      
Nisi Shawl