En français dans le texte: French rights to House of Shattered Wings sold to Fleuve Editions


En français dans le texte: French rights to House of Shattered Wings sold to Fleuve Editions

So… I’ve been sitting on this for a while and was told there was actually no problem in announcing it! Pleased to announce that The House of Shattered Wings will be published in French by Fleuve Editions, with a translation by Emmanuel Chastellière.

More info when I have it.

(and I’ll go back to feeling unaccountably nervous about it. There’s something very different to selling a book in your home country, eep)

Coming soon… Obsidian and Blood ebooks


Coming soon… Obsidian and Blood ebooks

Just a quick update because people have asked: as you may know, the Obsidian and Blood rights have reverted to me. Have been busy with lots of things, but the plan is to release them as ebook soon-ish (it doesn’t all go through me so precise timeline to be confirmed later ^-^)

They’re going to have super new covers designed by Jonathon Dalton and Melanie Ujimori (with art direction by Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein). To whet your appetite, here are a few of the glyphs Jonathon designed for the cover of Servant of the Underworld…

We Are Not Fictional: on Default Assumptions and Worldbuilding


I’ll preface this with a “erm, not going to make a habit of posting only rants to this blog” (if you don’t want a rant, I’m over at Over the Effing Rainbow, talking about definitions of Science Fiction and French libraries. Or you can check out Sunil Patel’s review of The House of Shattered Wings, here). But still…

I’ve blogged before on the uses of history and other sources as inspiration–it’s a very handy way to learn some things that are radically different from the ones that you’re used to.


But I’m getting a bit weary of the assumption that a “cool” feature of a society in a book must necessarily be fictional– must necessarily be a feat of invention and worldbuilding by the author, rather than something that exists here, now; something that is  the daily reality of millions of people. To take just one example: pronouns that codify a complex hierarchy at the same time as gender (or are hierarchical and gender-neutral) aren’t a cool alien feature of a language I (or some other author) have made up. They exist today (in Vietnamese, in this particular case, and in some form or another in French, Spanish, etc.). Similarly, people who exist outside the gender binary aren’t aliens, or living in far away societies (generally meant to be the “weird” Third World rather than our “civilised” climes). They’re here, now. They aren’t invisible.

I… I don’t know if I have a solution to this, to be honest. It’s a thin line between genuinely not knowing and perpetuating erasure–and I can’t say that I’m not guilty of doing this, too.

It’s just… erasure is exhausting. It’s exhausting to see, again and again, assumptions that the entire world must follow Western Anglophone norms; that every language must behave like English [1], that every food stuff must be US/UK; that every single culture has the same gender demarcations and boundaries as the Western Anglophone world–that, if you don’t follow these norms, you’re weird. That you’re other, alien, forever not welcome, your society used as inspiration to showcase the odd and fictional things people get around to on other planets, in other imagined pasts (with the attendant niggling feeling that you’ll be fine as long as you remain cool and fictional, as opposed to here, close, in your face, every day).

And I know genre isn’t like that–that, at its best, it shows us wonderful and new things, the best of what could be, of what could have been. But sometimes I really wish people would look things up.

Sometimes… sometimes it gets to the point when I want to punch something, or at the very least crumple some paper really hard (I have a lot of paper right now, as I’m trying to sort out a plot chronology for The House of Binding Thorns ^-^).

Be right back. I’ll be playing Neko Atsume for a bit.

[1] Pro-tip: if you’re going to make up a language, it’s helpful if you can speak other languages. If you don’t, then research some? (and it’s helpful if you don’t limit yourself to Germanic or Romance languages, because outside of the language family you’ll find radically different features–like my hierarchical pronouns)

Two brief things, including Lovecraft/WFA


I’m struggling a bit with posting at the moment (aka “will this darn book fall into place plz %%%%”), hence the radio silence…

In the meantime,  a few brief things:

-I rant a bit on translations, non-Western non-Anglophone works here (thanks to Charles Tan for collecting the tweets).

-And a few brief thoughts on the Lovecraft/WFA trophy thing (expanded from here). I fully recognise the significance of Lovecraft to the genre, the vividness and enduring success of the mythos he has created. I have no issue whatsoever with people reading and enjoying him. I have strong issues with people saying “oh, but he wasn’t really racist, he was a man of his time”. I also take issue with people who think he should be read and enjoyed and you’re not making a proper effort if you don’t.

See… The only book of his I tried to read was The Shadow over Innsmouth. I was a kid at the time, not very well-versed in messages, and a lot of problematic stuff in fiction sailed right by me. But the entire novel is so clearly based on a deep, abiding horror of mixed-race people as eldritch abominations that I threw the book across the room–and trust me, that isn’t a thing that happened very often.

And the thing is… with Lovecraft, it’s not only the racism. I read and enjoy plenty of books where the author had some problematic attitudes. The reason I can’t read Lovecraft–it’s because his fear of the Other, his disgust at “unholy blood mixing” and non-white people–all of this is what fuels his work. The sense of existential dread, the terror that drives one mad–to me, it’s so very clearly and so deeply rooted in his racism that it makes trying to enjoy him, insofar as I’m concerned… well, a bit like fighting through treacle (and being regularly struck across the face as I do so), and I have a lot of other things to do with my time.

Regarding the WFA bust in particular: it’s not that I think Lovecraft should be forever cast beyond the pale of acceptable. I mean, come on, genre has had plenty of people who were, er, not shining examples of mankind, and I personally feel like the binary of “this person was a genius and can do no wrong/this person is a racist and can therefore do nothing of worth” doesn’t really make for constructive discussion. (but see above for the “we should give everything a fair chance” fallacy. I’m personally not particularly inclined to give reading time or space to a man who thought I was an abomination, and I will side-eye you quite a bit if you insist I should). It’s more that… these are the World Fantasy Awards. They’re not the H.P. Lovecraft Awards, so there’s no particular reason for him to be associated with them: doing so just creates extra awkwardness. And finally, for me, Lovecraft is primarily associated with horror: the fantasy genre has moved on from that definition and is now much broader than that, and quite beyond the issue of racism/etc. it’s always felt a bit weird to me that a horror writer should be the face of the award. Changing the trophy recognises that.

I don’t know what they’re going to do with the bust. I’d be very much in favour of something abstract like unicorns or dragons or whatnot, because the trouble with exemplary figures is that they seldom stand the test of time, and I don’t want us to have the same kind of conversations we’re having now in twenty years’ time about the new “face” of the World Fantasy Awards. Or maybe a rotating design of best fantasists, or something. The French Imaginales Awards used to have a Plastic Puss-in-Boots trophy, which is kind of kitsch and cool (don’t know if it’s still the case because I haven’t gone in a number of years). Just saying :)

(comments closed, sorry, because I just have no time and very little in the way of energy).

Quick update on the fundraiser for Rochita


ETA: WE’RE BACK UP!!!! Thank you everyone for your patience.

Dear Funds for Rochita Backers,

Thank you so much for your donations, rewards, and other generosities thus far. This money goes a long way in helping Rochita sort out her affairs. On her behalf and the behalf of the campaign team, we are very grateful.

However, we now need to ask for your patience. We are aware that GoFundMe recently took down the campaign sometime during October 28 and we are doing all we can to gather the reason and to get the campaign up and running again. Please do not worry, as we still have access to the funds and have records of the donors. We will keep the updates coming as we learn more.

Again, thank you all very much for the outpouring of love and support for our dear friend and valued member of the SFF writing community.

(crossposting this very quickly from Vida Cruz’s Facebook. I currently don’t know why the campaign was pulled but we are looking into it).

Tail end of the European mini-tour


(well, sort of! Italy and the UK, and now France and the Netherlands!)

I’ve updated the programme for my attendance at Utopiales in Nantes this weekend and Eschacon in Amsterdam Nov 5-7. Come say hi if you’re around, I’ll be quite happy to chat and sign stuff.

As Zen says , Eschacon is now associated with a great deal of sadness, as writer Rochita Loenen-Ruiz has lost her husband and the father of her children last week.

The fundraiser we set up to help her through this time of need is still ongoing–we have got a lot of cool rewards and are aiming for stretch goals (which include things by Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein & Melanie Ujimori, and unpublished short stories by Ursula Vernon and Elizabeth Bear). Please check us out and help.

Fundraiser for Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (Xuya stories!)


Writer & friend Rochita Loenen-Ruiz is currently going through a tough patch–I can’t go into specifics because it’s not my story to tell, but right now she and her family could really use some financial help.

We’ve set up a fundraiser here:

And, hum, I know people have been asking about hard-to-obtain Xuya stories? If you donate to this, you’ll have access to an exclusive ebook which features three Xuya stories which aren’t online: namely, “Fleeing Tezcatlipoca”, “Two Sisters in Exile”, and “Memorials”.

(Apologies for the generic cover, I put that together in ~1h yesterday evening. I can guarantee you that the text content is prettier!)

And also to printable colouring sheets by Likhain. And you’ll be entered into a draw for more prizes including signed books, ebooks, and magazine subscriptions.

UK trip!

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UK trip!

So… will be briefly in the UK (London/Manchester) this weekend, for the Gollancz Festival.

My full schedule (and the face-to-face schedule of all events) is here: note that both Manchester on Friday and London on Saturday have sold out, but there are still spots for the Sunday event. Though sadly I can’t do the mass signing on Sunday, as I have to get home.

There’s also an online event if you can’t make it to any of these: the schedule is below (and yeah, some of us will be waving trying to look smart in the bus Friday afternoon :) )


Cover art goodness


Cover art goodness

Two lovely covers today:
-Above, Athena Andreadis’s To Shape the Dark, an anthology focused on women scientists (and a follow-up to The Other Half of the Sky, which included my Nebula Award winning story “The Waiting Stars”). Contains my Xuya story “Crossing the Midday Gate” (epidemics! Cranky old women scientists! Ethical dilemmas and disastrous choices!), and work by Vandana Singh, Gwyneth Jones, and countless other luminaries. Check out the TOC here!
-And Yanni Kuznia’s A Fantasy Medley 3, which includes my Dominion of the Fallen novelette”The Death of Aiguillon” (the illustration includes my main character, Huyen, and… hum, let’s just say that if you liked the Dragon Kingdom in The House of Shattered Wings, there’s some related coolness in this story). Pre-order info here.

Free stories: In Morningstar’s Shadow


Free stories: In Morningstar’s Shadow

I originally made In Morningstar’s Shadow available as a reward for people who had preordered The House of Shattered Wings (and shifted quite a few copies, thanks to everyone who took advantage of that!).

Since the book has been out for a while (a month which feels like a lifetime, wow), I figured I would make it available for free, as a sampler of what you can get if you buy the novel.

You can either download files below, or go to most online retailers and get it for free. Please note that I’ve done my best to encourage Amazon to price-match, but I can’t promise that all the countries followed suit: it’s free for sure in the US and UK, or you can download the MOBI file directly below if you can’t find it for free in your part of the world.

Download Now: EPUB | MOBI.
Download from retailers:

Download now.

Or read online here.

(and if you’ve read the novel and want more short fiction set in the same universe, why not check out Of Books, and Earth, and Courtship, the adventure/courtship story featuring Emmanuelle and Selene?)