Tag: xuya

Xuya novelette “Memorials” reprinted in Apex Magazine

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Xuya novelette “Memorials” reprinted in Apex Magazine

My novelette “Memorials”, originally published in Asimov’s,  has been reprinted in Apex Magazine‘s June 2016 issue, alongside fiction by Mary Pletsch, Douglas F. Warrick, and a novel excerpt from the awesome E. Catherine Tobler.

Virtual realities, powerful aunties, and trafficking in the dead. Also, three-colour chè. Because.

Snippet:

Cam finds Pham Thi Thanh Ha in her house, as she expected. By now, she doesn’t question the aunts’ knowledge or how they came by it. She does what she’s told to, an obedient daughter beholden to her elders, never raising a fuss or complaining– the shining example of filial piety extolled in the tales her girlfriend Thuy so painstakingly reconstitutes in her spare hours.

You can read it here.

Sale: “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” to Uncanny Magazine

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Pleased to announce my Xuya short story “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” will be published in Uncanny Magazine. Mindship and perihelial storms on a particularly unpleasant planet. This is the story for which I brainstormed important life milestones on Facebook–many thanks to everyone who answered, and especially Kari Sperring for coming up with the “huge climatic event” that inspired this story. Thanks as well to Stephanie Burgis who helped me fix the ending.

Also, I hadn’t actually thought I’d ever dust off Kepler’s Laws for short fiction :p (as in actually jotting down numbers and doing calculations. I’ve used them for rough estimates but never actually done proper maths with them)

Snippet:

This is the room where The Snow like a Dancer dies, year by year and piece by piece.

When they wheel in the cradle where she rests, she always thinks–for a bare, suspended moment–that it will be all right, that it will all end well–and then nausea tightens around her, and the white and stark walls seem to press down on her, unbearably sharp, a faint memory of Third Aunt and Cousin Lua asleep, and the incessant noise of machinery monitoring her, drips and feeds hooked into her broken, disconnected limbs.

 

Two stories

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Two new Xuya stories (no, I’m not chain-writing them! Just haven’t had a chance to blog about writing lately).

“A Game of Three Generals” (to be published in a forthcoming thing)

Every day is the same: Song Ha gets down to the refectory and spoons rice porridge into her mouth, feeling the salty taste of fish sauce against her palate–there used to be something subtly wrong with it, wasn’t there? But now it’s a familiar beat like a syllable in a poem–a daily counting out–she’s not sure exactly what, but it’s important that she doesn’t lose count.

“A Hundred and Seventy Storms”

This is the room where The Snow like a Dancer dies, year by year and piece by piece.
When they wheel in the cradle where she rests, she always thinks–for a bare, suspended moment–that it will be all right, that it will all end well–and then nausea tightens around her, and the white and stark walls seem to press down on her, unbearably sharp, a faint memory of Third Aunt and Cousin Lua asleep, and the incessant noise of machinery monitoring her, drips and feeds hooked into her broken, disconnected limbs.

And my brain has also decided that what I really need is a dark thriller story featuring Asmodeus and Samariel from The House of Shattered Wings/The House of Binding Thorns. I’m 1200 words into it and wondering why the heck I signed up for it (but the words are cool though! Small mercies…)

To Shape the Dark now available

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Just a heads-up that Athena Andreadis’s fabulous anthology of female scientists, To Shape the Dark, is now available from Candlemark and Gleam.

Contains my Xuya short story “Crossing the Midday Gate”, about intergalactic plagues, vaccine developments, and the cost of pride and principles…

Buy Now

Fundraiser for Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (Xuya stories!)

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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.

Drafts, Nebulas and ARCs of House of Shattered Wings

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Have been up to a number of things (including baking and preparing for the upcoming Nebula Awards, aka “eep, my first over-the-pond flight in 2 years! [1]). BTW, I don’t know how much I can publicy say about that, but there’ll be shiny book-related stuff at the Nebulas, so if brace yourself if you’re attending :p (also me in a Gothic tailcoat, looking snazzy. And jetlagged).

Not much book stuff, but I’ve been focusing on shorts: answering proofreader’s queries to the upcoming “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” (in the Oct/Nov. issue of Asimov’s (the short version of this is that one should never put the simu-ghosts of 24 dead emperors in the same story unless one is prepared to do a lot *more* work to keep them straight and separate), and writing a couple new pieces!

Among them is this one, which is, er, mostly a retelling of this legend as a Xuya story (it’s always fascinated me. Mostly because I can’t imagine wasting away on an obsession, I guess).

Snippet:

In Da Trang’s nightmares, Pearl is always leaving­­–darting away from him, towards the inexorable maw of the Sun’s gravity, going into a tighter and tighter orbit until no trace of it remains­­–he’s always reaching out, sending a ship, a swarm of bots­­–calling upon the remoras to move, sleek and deadly and yet too agonisingly slow; to do anything, to save what they can.

Too late. Too late.

Yes, there are remoras. And crabs. And er. Angst. A lot of angst 🙂

Also, a brief reminder that today is the last day for getting a signed ARC of The House of Shattered Wings, my Gothic dark fantasy of a devastated Paris, fallen angels and political intrigues (and dead bodies, because this is a Bodard book :p): enter here!

[1] I think of it as prep for this summer, where I’ll be flying to Spokane on a *much* longer journey aka 3 connecting flights and 17 hours of zombie-inducing state…

Sale: “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” to Asimov’s

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Sale: “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” to Asimov’s

Quite pleased to announce I’ve sold my novella “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” to Asimov’s for their Oct/Nov 2015 issue, aka “Xuya meets time-travel”. More info (including rough cover copy) here.

It’s about the same length as On a Red Station, Drifting, so more of a short novel, really (34k words); with four POV characters and a fairly complex plot that includes an entire imperial court, thirty-two dead emperors emulated on complex hardware, and a science laboratory in a derelict tea-house; and a lot of familial relations and moral quandaries. Basically, if you liked On a Red Station, Drifting, you’ll probably love this one (and it has a cameo from Linh, too!). And if you didn’t like it–it’s a way more ambitious piece with a bigger scope, so maybe more to your taste *g*

This blog will now lapse back into darkness while I sort out my childcare and my copy edits simultaneously (hint: neither of them are particularly efficient…)

Some of the references in the names of Xuya mindships

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Some of the references in the names of Xuya mindships

I shared this on twitter recently, but I thought I’d repost here for those who weren’t around on Sunday.
A few years ago, I started the custom of naming Xuya mindships after literary allusions or metaphors–because, in a society where literary culture is still very important and scholars drive the creation of mindships, it felt like a natural process. Of course, if you’re not familiar with Chinese/Vietnamese culture, a lot of these probably fall flat–so accordingly, I’ve provided a summary of those references I can remember.

“The Frost on Jade Buds” (in “The Frost on Jade Buds” in Solaris Rising 3) comes from a proverb that I can’t remember exactly. I think it’s beauty cold enough to shatter jade.
“The Tiger in the Banyan” (in “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”): the tiger in the tale of Cuội, who uses banyan leaves to heal her dead cub (in the version I remember, the tiger lays her dead cub in the hollow of the banyan tree, which always made more sense to me when you consider what a banyan looks like
“The Dream of Millet” (in “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”): a dream Lã Động Tân/Lü Dongbin had while his millet cooked, which convinced him to renounce the world and become an Immortal.
“The Sea and Mulberry” (in “A Slow Unfurling of Truth”, in Carbide-Tipped Pens: in Vietnamese, “sea and mulberry” means a big upheaval in the affairs of men (from a Chinese legend where every thirty years, the sea turned to mulberry fields, and the mulberry fields to the sea).
“The Turtle’s Citadel” (from “The Waiting Stars” in The Other Half of the Sky): Âu Lạc, a citadel that was built with the help of the Golden Turtle Spirit (the walls kept collapsing until the king called for the help of the Golden Turtle, who led him to an evil spirit nearby). The citadel was also defended by a magical crossbow made with one of the claws of the Golden Turtle, and could not fall so long as the crossbow remained there (there’s another reference to this tale in “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls”, where a mindship is called “The Turtle’s Golden Claw”).
“The Cinnabar Mansions”(from “The Waiting Stars” in The Other Half of the Sky): basically a creative English translation of 紅樓 “Red Chamber” (from “Dream of the Red Chamber”).
“The Fisherman’s Song” (from “Ship’s Brother” in Clarkesworld Magazine): the song of Trương Chi, which earned him the love of a mandarin’s daughter, and later her tears after his death. I was this close to making it “The Fisherman’s Lament”, but I thought it was a bit pessimistic a name to give a midship 🙂

NB: In On a Red Station, Drifting, of course all the stations are named after the Three Blessings in Vietnamese/Chinese: Longevity, Prosper(ity) and Felicity (Good Fortune).

“Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight” in Clarkesworld Magazine

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“Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight” in Clarkesworld Magazine

My story “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight”, is now out in Clarkesworld for their issue 100 (and big congrats on this milestone). The TOC looks fabulous, with stories by Tang Fei, Naomi Kritzer, Kij Johnson, Zhang Ran, Catherynne M Valente, Jay Lake, Damien Broderick, and Karl Schroeder. Read the story here (there’s also an audio version read by the fabulous Kate Baker, here).

Author’s notes here.

“A Slow Unfurling of Truth” in Carbide Tipped Pens

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“A Slow Unfurling of Truth” in Carbide Tipped Pens

Just a quick note/reminder that my novelette “A Slow Unfurling of Truth” is now available for sale, as is the rest of Eric Choi’s and Ben Bova’s hard SF anthology Carbide-Tipped Pens. It’s a Xuxa story about my field of expertise (well, OK, I have many such. But what I graduated in was Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, with a strong focus on probabilities). If you want to know how to do robust authentification when changing bodies, look no further 🙂

(also, wow that TOC)