John Klima let me know this afternoon that he was accepting “Heaven Under Earth”, a sort-of-Chinese SF novelette for Electric Velocipede. Yay! Very much thrilled to be in such a lovely magazine again.
This was very much a group project given the number of rewrites it went through… Many thanks to everyone who took a look at it: Justin Pilon, Marshall Payne, Patrick Weekes, Oliver Dale, Pam L. Wallace, and the VD gang: Ben Rosenbaum, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Floris Kleijne, Stephen Gaskell, Sara Genge, John Olsen, Jeff Spock, Ruth Nestvold, Chance Morrison, and Deanna Carlyle
Husband’s new spouse is brought home in a hovering palanquin decked with red lanterns, its curtains displaying images of mandarin ducks and kingfishers–the symbols of a happy marriage.
First Spouse Liang Pao has gathered the whole household by the high gate, from the stewards to the cooks, from the lower spouses to their valets. He’s standing slightly behind Husband, with his head held high, with pins of platinum holding his immaculate topknot in place–in spite of the fact that he’s been unable to sleep all night. The baby wouldn’t stop kicking within his womb, and the regulators in his blood disgorged a steady stream of yin-humours to calm him down. He’s slightly nauseous, as when he’s had too much rice wine to drink–and he wonders why they never get easier, these carryings.
With gender changes. And babies. Also, red kites.