Pleased to announce my Xuya short story “The Days of the War, as Red as Blood, as Dark as Bile” has been published in Subterranean‘s Winter 2014 issue. It’s also a sequel of sorts to my novella On a Red Station, Drifting, with a cameo from one of the characters (and a mindship).
I’m inordinately pleased with this story, which was inspired by the animal guardians of the four cardinal directions in Vietnamese mythology, and typed while the snakelet was 2 weeks old (an achievement in and of itself ). You can read it here.
Very pleased to announce I’ve sold my story “The Breath of War” to Scott H. Andrews at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, for the special science-fantasy month in March. It will be in good company, since contributors include Yoon Ha Lee, Rachel Sobel, and Seth Dickinson, who had couple amazing pieces in BCS and in Clarkesworld last year.
I’ve always loved reading science-fantasy, so it was really nice to be able to write a story in that sub genre. Involves quite a bunch of pregnancy scenes–because obviously we don’t have enough pregnant women in SF!–spaceships, and a rather peculiar form of rock carving, loosely inspired from Vietnamese jade carving and a legend about carving a dragon… Many thanks to Daniel Franklin for assuring me the thing wasn’t irretrievably broken (and for answering in record time).
More info here, including a snippet. Sort of set in the Xuya universe, I guess, though I’m damned if there’s a rational scientific explanation for the happenings on the planet Voc (then again, I’m a writer, I suspect I could always make one up).
The cover art I show is the one for the issue of BCS, a piece called “Sojourn” by Philippine artist Ferdinand Dumago Ladera.
On a more personal level, I go back to work on Monday–part time at first and then almost full-time. It’s probably going to be very weird, as I haven’t been into work since mid-July…
It’s been a while since I had that news, actually, but quite pleased to announce that I’ve sold my novelette “The Frost on Jade Buds” to Ian Whates’ Solaris Rising 3. The book should be out by Loncon 3, and hopefully there’ll be some sort of launch event around then.
“The Frost on Jade Buds” is set in the Xuya universe, in an asteroid belt on the edge of the Dai Viet Empire; and it deals with the aftermath of a terrible war, and the fallout from the powerful weapons employed then. Very loosely inspired by the use of Agent Orange and land mines in the Vietnamese/American war, which are still a problem today.
As usual, many thanks on this one to Ken Liu and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, who had fantastic comments to help me straighten out my first draft.
I’ve sold it to Subterranean Online for a future issue. Many thanks to Yanni Kuznia for the invitation, and to Gareth L Powell and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz for the feedback (extra thanks to Rochita for putting up with my total absence of a brain). It’s set in the Xuya continuity, some time after On a Red Station, Drifting (and even has a returning minor character from that novel). Features mindships (of course), the Four Saintly Beasts, and the Vietnamese concept of “duyên” (wonderfully economical concept, a headache to translate into English though!). Also, I actually wrote this while feeding the snakelet nonstop, which is probably worth a zillion achievement points all by itself…
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.
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.