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Asking for a friend. No, really. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Asking for a friend. No, really. [Apr. 20th, 2015|05:54 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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A friend is looking for a short story that fits the following parameters: "It's about an autistic girl who is with her mother at a convention, I think, and gets whisked away to Faerie by some kind of imp who implies everything will suit her, and in the end the girl comes back to her mother."

Any thoughts on what story that is/where it might be found? Other discussion of fictional handlings of autism reasonably welcome in the comments, especially if you can flag the "ugh no stop it does not work like that" examples.
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[User Picture]From: rachelmanija
2015-04-20 11:07 pm (UTC)
I forget the title and author, but I think it was published by Strange Horizons about 2-3 years ago. It might have been an alien rather than an imp.
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[User Picture]From: klwilliams
2015-04-20 11:12 pm (UTC)
I don't recognize that story, but for another fictional handling of autism there's "Air Guitar" by Mad Robins in "Tales From the House Band".
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[User Picture]From: reveritas
2015-04-20 11:13 pm (UTC)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, but that's not the story you want, obviously. I don't know what they did right or wrong in the book but it was a pretty good read.
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[User Picture]From: therck
2015-04-20 11:51 pm (UTC)
If you don't find it another way, you might try whatwasthatbook. People frequently ask about short stories there as well as about books. It's not certain that someone would know, but it's a community with a lot of members, so there often is someone who knows.
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[User Picture]From: moiread
2015-04-21 12:02 am (UTC)

We found it! The guess above about Strange Horizons was right. http://www.strangehorizons.com/2013/20130902/rules-f.shtml


Thank you so much for helping me ask around.


On reread, I am not as impressed with it as I was the first time, so if people have better suggestions of short YA-oriented SF/F stories that feature great depictions of autism spectrum disorders, I too would really love to hear them. I'm trying to focus on better representation of various minority groups in the fiction I present to my students.


(Most of the big reading material is locked into the curriculum but I have control over smaller assignments, so I try to make the most of it. Especially since the majority of our student population is female and/or kids of colour. What these kids need with two years of depressing Jack London white-man-against-the-winter stories, I will never understand. Therefore: desi girls in wheelchairs conquering evil, amputee superheroes, and autism in Faeryland. Etc.)

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[User Picture]From: rachelmanija
2015-04-21 12:42 am (UTC)

Diverse anthology suggestions

Kaleidoscope, edited by Julia Rios. Diverse YA sff.

Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk I and II, edited by Joselle Vandefhooft. (Disclaimer: I have a story in volume I.) A fair number of the stories would be fine for teenagers; the majority don't have any on-page sex, for instance.

All three of those anthologies are diverse in regards to disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. I don't recall if any of them are about someone with autism, though.
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[User Picture]From: timprov
2015-04-21 03:45 am (UTC)
Funny: I made my comment above, went up and told Mris I had found the story, at which point she told me it was you who asked, and I said "oh, if I'd known that, I'm sure Chelle would have Googled it herself."

Which of course you were doing at exactly the same time I was.

It's a YA novel (and late in a series) and so probably not useful to your class, but one of the better depictions of autism I've seen in SF/F is Diane Duane's A Wizard Alone.
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[User Picture]From: auriaephiala
2015-04-21 04:52 am (UTC)
_Nobody_ needs depressing Jack London white-man-against-the-winter stories -- especially not teenagers.
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[User Picture]From: moiread
2015-04-21 05:42 am (UTC)
Also, ick, remind me to never use the LJ app again. It puts in all these extra carriage returns.

Edited at 2015-04-21 01:18 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: adrian_turtle
2015-04-21 12:08 pm (UTC)
Is "Changeling," by Delia Sherman the kind of autism in Faeryland you're looking for, or the kind that makes you want to throw it against the wall?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2015-04-21 03:54 pm (UTC)
This essay on narrative devices and the autism voice belongs somewhere in this comment section, so I have put it here.
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[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2015-04-21 04:55 am (UTC)
I recall disliking the Strange Horizons story really strongly when I first read it, and rereading it now I can't remember why. Maybe it felt too self-congratulatory on the part of convention culture to me at the time.

A story with an autistic protagonist which I read at about the same time and which I did like is Nancy Fulda's Hugo-nominated "Movement", which gets me much more in the headspace.
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[User Picture]From: asakiyume
2015-04-21 04:12 pm (UTC)
"Movement" was great.
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[User Picture]From: asakiyume
2015-04-21 04:12 pm (UTC)
I remember that story! But I see others have found it for you.
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