Today, Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection, hits the store. Stories by Lavie Tidhar, Pat Cadigan, Brit Mandelo, Elizabeth Bear, Hannu Rajaniemi and more luminaries of the genre–and it also includes my Xuya continuity story “Ship’s Brother”, originally published in Interzone.
Isn’t it pretty?
Art courtesy of Richard Wagner (and many thanks to Andy Cox as always). “The Angel at the Heart of the Rain”, my sort-of-magical-realism piece about war and refugees, will be out in the May issue of Interzone.
Andy Cox let me know that he was buying my magical realism piece “The Angel at the Heart of the Rain” for publication in a future issue of Interzone. Always happy to be published in this magazine
Many thanks to Dom Conlon, Scott Kennedy, Christina Vasilevski and Glen Mehn for the crits–and to the usual suspects Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Tricia Sullivan for the invaluable encouragement and feedback.
At first, you believe it is only a matter of time until your aunt joins you. You huddle in a small flat with your younger sister Huong and two other refugees, washing rice that smells only faintly of jasmine, cutting ginger that has grown hard and tasteless in the cupboards where it was hoarded like treasures–and you think of a home so far out of your reach it might be on another planet.
On the phone, your aunt’s voice is breezy, telling you not to worry–that she’ll find a visa and a plane ticket, that she knows someone who knows someone who can give her a hand with the formalities of the High Commission for Refugees. Behind her, you hear the dull thud of bombs falling like rain on a tin roof–the same sound that swells and roars within your dreams until you wake up in a room that feels deathly silent.
Quite happy to announce that “La Mère des Nefs” (lit. “Mother of Ships”, except “nefs” has a grandeur to it that “ship” doesn’t quite have in French…), the French translation of “The Shipmaker” will be appearing in the inaugural edition of Orbs, L’Autre Planète, a cross between a bound book and a magazine (“beau-livre magazine” as they say in French).
Many thanks to Maxence Layet and Nathalie Barneix and the rest of the Orbs team for the opportunity and the translation–it’s always fascinating to see the process of translation into another language you speak, and this was no exception. Also, I have seen the galleys, and it all looks quite gorgeous. Looking forward to it!
Quite happy to announce that my Interzone story “Ship’s Brother” will be reprinted in Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirtieth Annual Collection. This is, er, pretty awesome? First time I ever sell two reprints to two different Year’s Bests…
You can find the complete TOC here.
-Issue number 1 of International Science Fiction is now available for download (will you look at that gorgeous cover!). With fiction by Joyce Chng, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Marian Truţă
-Received my issue of Interzone, which had “The Flower of Shazui”, a Chen Qiufan story translated by Ken Liu. Very gritty story set in the Shenzhen special economic zone–I really liked the interplay between the characters and the ending, which was sad but fitting.
-Also, please go congratulate the awesome Patrick Samphire on the sale of his Mars Regency middle-grade book, Secrets of the Dragon Tomb to Christy Ottaviano Books
This is part of the Xuya continuity and deals with Vietnamese in space. Snippet (with diacritics added in):
You never liked your sister.
I know you tried your best, that you would stay awake at night thinking on filial piety and family duty, praying to your ancestors and the bodhisattva Quan Âm to find strength, but that it would always come back to that core of dark thoughts within you, that fundamental fright you carried with you like a yin shadow in your heart.
(the sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that I used “yin” instead of the more correct “âm”–Vietnamese yin and yang are âm and dương respectively. I would have used the correct words, but since this was a passing reference and was never ever explained, I thought there’d be more chance of people recognising it)
A few cool news: first, I’ve put together an ebook sampler for my fiction. The idea isn’t to do a short story collection (or even to make money!), but simply to allow people to discover my stuff by browsing through their Kindles and other reading devices. The thing is called Scattered Among Strange Worlds, and regroups my Clarkesworld Chinese/Vietnamese diaspora in space story “Scattered Across the River of Heaven” and my IGMS apocalyptic mermaid tale “Exodus Tides”. Due to exclusivities, etc., it will be available end of July (or possibly a bit later if I have to fight to upload a book on amazon…). Price should be the lowest I’m allowed to set, so 99 cents?
The cover and ebook design is by the ultra amazing Patrick Samphire, who recently launched his own ebook cover and ebook design business over at 50secondsnorth. He blogs about the design and the choices he had to make here, on his blog.
Isn’t it fabulous? Many thanks to Patrick, who’s got a very sharp eye for what works for books covers, and does absolutely freaking gorgeous stuff (and his rates are pretty darn affordable, too). You know you want an ebook this summer
Also, my Chinese-y story “Under Heaven” will be available in Electric Velocipede issue 24, in which I share a TOC with Ken Liu (then again, who doesn’t share a TOC with the ever-prolific Ken? ) and Ann Leckie. You can find the full list of stories here, and their publication date should be available soon.
Finally, I’ve sold my short story “Ship’s Brother”, set in the Xuya continuity, to Interzone for their next or after-next issue. Featuring a ship named after a fairytale character (Mị Nương, aka The Fisherman’s Song. If you’re read the fairytale, you’ll know why). Many thanks to Chris Kastensmidt and the ever-awesome Rochita Loenen-Ruiz for reading it and offering very cogent suggestions!
You never liked your sister.
I know you tried your best; that you would stay awake at night thinking on filial piety and family duty; praying to your ancestors and the bodhisattva Quan Am to find strength; but that it would always come back to that core of dark thoughts within you, that fundamental fright you carried with you like a yin shadow in your heart.
I know, of course, where it started. I took you to the ship–because I had no choice, because Khi Phach was away on some merchant trip to the Twenty-Third Planet–because you were a quiet and well-behaved son, and the birth-master would have attendants to take care of you. You had just turned eight–had stayed up all night for Tet, and shaken your head at your uncles’ red envelopes, telling me you were no longer a child and didn’t need money for toys and sweets.
In other news, packing for Romania in a bit of a panic. More later, but a small reminder you can find me in Bucharest Friday 17:00, at the Calderon Cultural Center, 39, Jean-Louis Calderon Street, sector 2, for the Society of Romanian Science Fiction’s ProspectArt meeting. I’ll be interviewed by the tireless Cristian Tamas, and will read from “Immersion”, a full two weeks before it’s published in Clarkesworld!
-“Casa Jaguarului in Umbra”, aka the Romanian version of “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”, is up at the SRSFF website. Many thanks, as always, to Cristian Tamas and to Antuza Genescu for the translation. There is a French version forthcoming in Galaxies as well.
-Both “The Jaguar House in Shadow” and “Age of Miracles, Age of Wonders” make the 2010 Tangent Online Recommended Reading list . Lots of familiar names on that list, and plenty good stories too.
-And because it’s International Women’s Day, a video with Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Craig:
(even though I’m sceptical about the efficacity of International Women’s Day, I have to say the video sums up a lot of my feelings on the subject)
So, not up to much that I can safely admit (sekrit projects, plus speaking about the novel in progress on this blog seems to curse me to a halt in the writing of the manuscript). To tide you over until the weekend, a few links:
-I’m guessing by now most people will have seen the Amy Chua piece on the Washington Post, about why Chinese mothers are superior. I don’t have much to say about it other than “batshit crazy Asian mother”–and yes, I have an Asian mother, so I can speak from my (admittedly limited) experience. I can see some of the points, and some things Amy Chua mentions are certainly familiar from my own childhood, though not pushed quite this far. My TV time was limited; so was my video game time; neither of my parents were particularly happy when I brought home bad grades, and yes, both of them always pushed me to go further because they believed I could do better. And I’m glad they did it; I’m glad they placed a higher value on education than on sparing my feelings, and nurtured my ambition and drive–to the point where I thought of doing something as crazy as writing in a second language and getting away with it.
But, seriously, not allowing your children to be in school plays, forcing them to play a musical instrument and tormenting your daughter until she gets the piano piece right? Wow. That’s some serious going south here.
Allow me to dig up quintessential Chinese wisdom here, in the person of Confucius: “To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.” Ie, balance and perspective. Something that seems to be missing from all the horror stories about Asian moms (there were quite a few flying around on the internet in the wake of that article).
-Finally, I’ve posted (with permission) on the SFWA forums “Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life”, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s awesome story about expatriation, identity and what it means to be an immigrant in a strange land. Recommended by Richard Horton in his year-end summary of Interzone, and generally quite made of awesome. (and I’m not only saying that because Rochita is my friend). Well worth a read if you have forum access.
EDIT: apparently, the Amy Chua thing is only an excerpt from a larger book, which is intended to deal with the problems of her education system as well. Mea culpa.
EDIT #2: and, apparently, the WJS just quoted the most controversial part of Chua’s book without bothering to add a corrective, because controversy makes for more readers. Great. As I said on LJ, I feel like hitting something, preferably a WJS editor.