Sale: Scattered Along the River of Heaven to Clarkesworld

- 5 comments

Wow, that was fast… Neil Clarke is taking “Scattered Along the River of Heaven” for the January issue of Clarkesworld. I feel… a little awed? I’ve been trying to break into Clarkesworld ever since it came into being (back when Nick Mamatas was still editor); and now it’s happened.

This is the story with pseudo-Chinese poems, colonialism and language that I was talking about earlier, the one where writing the last scene actually wrung me dry. It’s been knocking around my head for a while, ever since Aimé Césaire died: I wanted to write a story about poetry and language and decolonisation and national identity. It took me four years to find the words, and I ended up throwing a lot of personal stuff in it (much more than really makes me comfortable); but I’m proud of it, though a little fearful that it’s not going to be up to scratch. We shall see…

The revised snippet from the beginning (didn’t do much beyond touching it up)

I grieve to think of the stars
Our ancestors our gods
Scattered like hairpin wounds
Along the River of Heaven
So tell me
Is it fitting that I spend my days here
A guest in those dark, forlorn halls?

#
This is the first poem Xu Anshi gave to us; the first memory she shared with us for safekeeping. It is the first one that she composed in High Mheng—which had been and remains a debased language, a blend between that of the San-Tay foreigners, and that of the Mheng, Anshi’s own people.

Many thanks to everyone who took a look at it on OWW and helped me hammer it into shape: Oliver Buckram, L.K. Pinaire and David Kernot. And to the H, who liked it in spite of not understanding the ending at all :) (I fixed that part; now it should make sense for everyone).

January also marks the publication of another piece in which I had a part; but I don’t think I’m not allowed yet to reveal where and when. Watch this page for updates.

5 comments

  1. Congrats!
    Sounds like January is going to be another issue with your indelible input

  2. Félicitations ! J’ai hâte de la lire !

    And yes, Clarkesworld is very hard to break into. Yay! Go you!

  3. He, thanks, Paul:-)
    Laura: Merci! (and I know people who get published into Clarkesworld over and over again. Not my case :) )

  4. Congratulations! Yet another thing to add to the endless reading list….

  5. Thanks, Brittain!

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