Pleased to announce my novelette “A Slow Unfurling of Truth” has sold to Carbide Tipped Pens, a forthcoming Tor anthology of hard SF short fiction. Many many thanks on this one to the marvellous Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Tricia Sullivan, for reading it at the last minute, encouraging me to persevere with it, and their sound advice about writing & life.
It’s set in the Xuya continuity, on an isolated planet called Tài Mệnh which has developed a rather… unorthodox method for testing people’s identities and credentials. The brief for Carbide Tipped Pens was to centre the story around a given science: I picked something I’m exceedingly familiar with, probabilities and applied mathematics. Expect… way too many probability distributions and goodness-of-fit tests, a mindship-human partnership, and funky things with memory encryption and advanced cyphers (also, the usual family/postcolonial/food preoccupations, plus bonus references to The Tale of Kiều :) )
Huong Giang was putting away her trays of instruments when Thoi walked into the room. “Elder sister.” He was out of breath, his youthful face flushed with what seemed like anger or trepidation: Thoi had been in his body for less than a year, and he was sometimes hard to read.
But, new body or not, he still should have known better. “Thoi, you’re not meant to come here,” Huong Giang said. “I made it clear–”
“I know,” Thoi said. “But you need to come, elder sister. Now.” And, after a pause that was rife with implications– “There’s a man that has come here to Celestial Spires–a Galactic.”