“Immersion” published in Clarkesworld

- 4 comments

And you can now read my story “Immersion” at Clarkesworld. This is the rant against globalisation, tourism and cultural imperialism that I wrote in a single sitting (but after 3 weeks of intense reflexion :) )

It’s dedicated to the awesome writer and friend Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, without whom this story wouldn’t have come to be (and I also owe massive thanks to her for suggesting I flesh out Quy a little bit more). Thanks are owed also to Glen Mehn, who volunteered to read it in spite of my warning that it was unkind to white men [1]; and to the Villa Diodati crew: Ruth Nestvold, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, Floris M Kleijne, Stephen Gaskell, John Olsen, Nancy Fulda.

It’s, er, another of those ambitious pieces where I’m unsure if I succeeded or fell flat on my face; if you have a minute to read it and comment, I would love feedback on how it strikes you.

In the morning, you’re no longer quite sure who you are.

You stand in front of the mirror—it shifts and trembles, reflecting only what you want to see—eyes that feel too wide, skin that feels too pale, an odd, distant smell wafting from the compartment’s ambient system that is neither incense nor garlic, but something else, something elusive that you once knew.

You’re dressed, already—not on your skin, but outside, where it matters, your avatar sporting blue and black and gold, the stylish clothes of a well-travelled, well-connected woman. For a moment, as you turn away from the mirror, the glass shimmers out of focus; and another woman in a dull silk gown stares back at you: smaller, squatter and in every way diminished—a stranger, a distant memory that has ceased to have any meaning.

Read the rest at Clarkesworld!

The issue also includes fabulous writers E. Catherine Tobler, An Owomoyela, and non-fiction by VD co-conspirator Stephen Gaskell, Daniel Abraham and Jeremy L C Jones. Quite an impressive lineup!


[1] I mean, it does contain the line “their faces an unhealthy shade of pink, like undercooked meat left too long in the sun” :D :D

4 comments

  1. The prose is lushly gorgeous, imagery vivid, social commentary dense and assured, and your characters memorable, however briefly they might be sketched. Technically – may I say, I’d probably adjust for overuse of a certain single word. 45 occurrences in that small space feels like a lot. Then again, the offending mot is the title of the piece, so I guess that makes it okay! <3

  2. John, aw, thank you so much for your feedback! And oops, I hadn’t realised “immerser” cropped up so often… Will keep an eye out for over repetition in the next story :)

  3. Congratulations! I’m at work now, and thus don’t have time, but I will go and read it at my leisure and report back.

  4. Aw, thank you, Jennifer!

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