News: SF Signal & Special Needs in Strange Worlds

SF Signal is, in my opinion, as good as it gets for SFF fandom. It’s the website I’m endlessly jealous of. Their content and team of writers is top-notch and they’ve won two Hugo’s to prove it. Everyone in the SFF world knows who SF Signal is. They are, simply put, amazing.

Yesterday I was contacted by John DeNardo from SF Signal. He asked if I’d be willing to join the SF Signal team as a regular contributor. He explained that I could have a weekly or bi-weekly column revolving around one central topic, or I could review.

I jumped on it, in a sort of thrilled and panicked way. SF Signal is amazing and they want me! Little old me! This is the Bookworm who says over and over again that she’s not interesting or clever. Shock of shocks, they want this boring person to contribute on their illustrious website. I spent a few hours hemming and hawing over my various options. I wasn’t really thrilled about reviewing over there, because I review here and why be redundant? I can be nice and boring over here. On a website like SF Signal I want to try very hard to be at least partially interesting.

Then I had my vision.

I run Special Needs in Strange Worlds during the month of May. It’s an incredibly popular series which I truly wish I could elaborate on, and spend more time with. Special Needs in Strange Worlds is dedicated to shining a light on a very underexposed and incredibly important topic very near and dear to my heart. I love the discussion it generates, and the new perspective it gives the genre I love. The fantastic thing about all of this is that now that my own debilitating health issues (cancer, paralyzing back problems, etc) are over (I never, ever thought I’d see the end of that very dark, very depressing tunnel), I actually have the time and mental capacity to really focus on my website, my website/genre goals, and my various passions the way I’ve wanted to, but have been to sick to, for years.

I hope that makes some sense.


SF Signal is offering me a new outlet with a huge readership that I can use to explore Special Needs in Strange Worlds as much as I want. I offered to do a bi-weekly column focusing on applicable book reviews, author interviews, guest posts, commentary, and whatever else I can dream up. I sincerely hope this column takes off and that people actually read and enjoy it. I’m quite terrified that this effort of mine will absolutely bomb and it will be beyond humiliating to bomb on a site as incredible as SF Signal.

So, here’s what all this boils down to:

1. SF Signal offered little old me a position to be a regular contributor on their website (squee)!
2. I accepted said offer.
3. I will continue reviewing general SFF over here on Bookworm Blues, like I have been for three years.
4. I will move Special Needs in Strange Worlds over to SF Signal, where I will have a bi-weekly column exploring as many aspects of this important issue as I possibly can because, hey, now I have longer than a month to do it.

When will this excitement start? I have no idea. I’ll keep you posted. I just wanted to let you know the developments so you can all pretend to be as thrilled as I am.

And, lastly, if you have suggestions for this column, please share them.

24 Responses

  • Squee! Awesome! Gratz! And stop worrying, you’ll do great.

  • Wow, and I was just suggesting to John that you come onto a podcast.

    Well done, Sarah. Well done!

  • Thanks for the kind words, Sarah. I hope we live up to your expectations! 🙂

    @Paul: I’ve had bookworm blues on my radar for a while and I’m always looking for worthy contributors. What clinched it for me was her Authors Welcome post which echoes my own thoughts on the matter.

  • Ashley

    Congratulations! That is so exciting. What a great opportunity to explore as much as you want!

  • Congrats! This is going to be awesome! I love reading the Special Needs in Strange Worlds posts when you run the feature, and I’m going to love reading regular columns on SF Signal just as much. And from a kind of selfish and personal view, as someone who’s had prior and ongoing health problems both physical, mental, and emotional, it’s great to shine the spotlight on authors and characters to whom I can sometimes relate a little more in that regard. Makes me feel a little less alone, which I’m sure is the point.

    Long comment is long, so I’ll just say it again: congrats, and I look forward to seeing what you’ll do with this spot!

    • Thank you so much. I LOVE Special Needs in Strange Worlds. My disabled brother is the person who got me into SFF, and having experienced live being basically paralyzed, and going through a debilitating cancer battle for 2.5 years has really impacted my perspective that Special Needs in Strange Worlds is an important column that really NEEDS to have some light. It’s such an important issue, and I’m so so so glad to be able to really explore it as much as possible on such a popular, important, high quality website.

      And I agree with you, one reason why this issue is so important to me is because it makes so many people feel less alone. It helps us relate to characters that are like us.

      How empowering is that?!

  • Wow, so awesome! Can’t wait to see what else you can add to Special Needs in Strange Worlds with the time and resources it deserves.

    • Thanks, Kendra! I know you are a huge supporter of Special Needs in Strange Worlds. I hope it takes off!!

  • I apologize because I’ve never heard of Bookworm Blues before now, but I will say congratulations! I know SF Signal is a big step. I’ll be reading!

    • No need to apologize! It’s easy to miss my small, dusty corner of the web. 🙂

  • That’s awesome news, Sarah – congrats! Looking forward to seeing you over at SFS 🙂

  • Welcome to the gang, Sarah!

  • Very deserving. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  • Congrats! I think it’s a great idea.

  • Well I’m a little late to this party, aren’t I? But congrats on a great development in any event. A column on SF Signal sounds like a great way to keep Special Needs in Strange Worlds alive all year round, as it should be.

    See you on the other side, Sarah! 🙂

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