Aka the shiny… Art courtesy of Nhan Y Doanh, and cover layout thanks to Janice Hardy–thanks to both of them for putting up with my (short-term) deadlines and producing such beautiful things. (MC is Linh; the older woman in lower right-hand corner is Quyen. Slightly more detailed view of the original watercolour is here if you’re interested, since Doanh had to cut bits of it off to fit the cover format).
The ebook should be live on amazon within a day or two if I didn’t screw up the Kindle upload…
(and remember you can still get the limited edition hardback with Melissa Gay’s artwork direct from Immersion Press, while stocks last…)
Today is the release date for The Other Half of the Sky, Athena Andreadis’s and Kay Holt’s amazing anthology of space opera with female protagonists (with Elena Tsami’s stunning cover art). Contains my postcolonial Xuya continuity story “The Waiting Stars” (with mindships, and attack drones; and cousins making snarky comments at each other), as well as stories by Ken Liu, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Nisi Shawl, Vandana Singh and many other fine writers.
You can buy direct from Candlemark and Gleam here, either the physical copy or the ebook (and physical copies come with a DRM-free ebook), or on amazon. If not in the US, check the Book depository here.
And, if you still need extra motivation, check out the reviews, interview and excerpt website here.
Tentative title: “The Frost on Jade Buds”
On the comms-image, Chi looked much as Thuy remembered her: tall and thin and dour, almost skeletal, as if what had had happened to her in her youth still stifled her metabolism–and, in truth, perhaps it did. Neither Thuy nor any of the family–or, indeed, any inhabitant of the Scattered Pearls Belt–really knew the full extent of what happened to her, or how to reverse it.
“You look well, elder sister,” Chi said. The words would have suited the imperial court; would have been appropriate for an elder of Chi’s generation. There were other, more familiar ones, more suitable for the sister’s of one’s blood; and Chi could have used them. She could have pretended to care. But of course she no longer bothered.
With two mindsships–and orbitals–and horrific weapons!
And why, yes, I procrastinate by writing Xuya mindship stories (well, OK, not quite procrastination, it was a commission). Now to clean up the mess of the first draft…
-Damien G Walter very kindly names me as one of 20 most promising young novelists in this Guardian article. The company is kind of… impressive, to say the least.
-Over at The Shake, Zucchini Bikini reviews On a Red Station, Drifting::
All in all, I highly recommend this book, both for itself and for what is represents – a different way of writing hard sci fi, a way that includes and magnifies stories and pasts that haven’t been represented well in this genre before.
-Calvin N. Ho on “The Stigma of Immigrant Languages” (a phenomenon I would hazard is not limited to the US).
For everyone who missed it yesterday on twitter, I can confirm there will be an ebook of On a Red Station, Drifting, for sale on amazon (and on other platforms if I work out the principles of the thing. Have only ever done Kindle for Scattered Among Strange Worlds).
The e-edition should have a different cover than the paper book, and Immersion Press will continue to sell that as a limited edition hardback (just as a reminder, there were only 200 copies of those printed, and they’re going fast, so if you want to grab one, head over to their website). It will be a self-published edition; release date will be May or beginning of June, depending on how much energy I have and how soon we can get the new cover done.
Watch this space for more news as I have them.
New story, set in the same world as “Immersion” (sort of) and my Other Half of the Sky‘s “The Waiting Stars”. Tentatively titled “The Weight of a Blessing”, around 6000 words long.
On her third visit to Sarah–on the last occasion that she sees her daughter, even if it is only in V-space– Minh Ha says nothing. There are no words left, no message of comfort that she could give her.
Instead, she takes Sarah’s hand, holds it tight until the last of the warmth has leeched from her body into her daughter’s–and braces herself for the future.
Even in the visitors’ V-space, Sarah looked awful–thin and wasted and so ethereal that Minh Ha wanted to take her daughter home and ply her with rich dish after rich dish to bring some fat back on her bones. But, of course, it was too late for that–had been too late for this, ever since the much publicised arrest and the even more publicised trial, all the grandstanding that had brought a taste of bile in Minh Ha’s throat.
Now to let it rest for a bit before taking a hammer to it :p
I started writing On a Red Station, Drifting after one too many readings of the Chinese classic Dream of Red Mansions, and musing on old literature.
It’s no secret that “classical literature”, at least the brand taught in French schools, is overwhelmingly male and concerned with “male” affairs: wars, violence, fatherhood, father/son relationships… I found the same preoccupation prevalent in SFF, to a point where it became unsettling–it’s a subject covered by Ursula Le Guin in her Language of the Night and by Joanna Russ in many of her writings. One of the things that drove this home for me was seeing the statistics compiled by Martin Lewis for the Clarke Award (among the highlights: around 90% of the books had at least a male protagonist, a good quarter featured no women main characters at all, and a good 81% of the books had the protagonist kill someone, while only under half the protagonists were in a stable happy relationship).
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.”
A reminder that pre-orders are open for my limited-edition hardback Xuya novella “On a Red Station, Drifting”, and that you save £3 off the cover price of £10 if you preorder–see here for details, including a sampler scene from the book!
(and if you’re still hesitating, there’s a more detailed review over here by @requireshate)