Tag: xuya

New Xuya novella forthcoming from Subterranean: The Tea Master and the Detective

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New Xuya novella forthcoming from Subterranean: The Tea Master and the Detective

I’ve been sitting on this forever but am super happy to report that my novella The Tea Master and the Detective will be coming out from Subterranean Press in March 2018, with lovely art by Maurizio Manzieri.

This is my “Xuya meets Sherlock Holmes” book: in a galactic empire infused by Vietnamese culture, a detective and a mindship must team up to solve a mystery. Very loosely inspired by A Study in Scarlet, if Holmes were an eccentric scholar, and Watson a grumpy decommissioned war mindship. I had lots of fun writing this: it’s full of digs and references to classic Sherlock Holmes, plus all the detective stories ever. It turns out that grumpy mindship is best mindship when it comes to writing! Also, gender swapping everyone made for rather fun situations (the ending had me tearing out my hair but I’m so happy it all worked out).

Many thanks to Fran Wilde, Genevieve Cogman, Tade Thompson, Liz Bourke, Lynn O’Connacht, Ava Jarvis, Stephanie Burgis, Seth Gorden, Samantha Henderson, Fran Wilde, Likhain, and Kate Elliott. As well as to John Berlyne, Yanni Kuznia, Geralyn Lance, and everyone involved with the book (I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone!).

And special thanks to Vida Cruz, Victor Fernando R Ocampo and Tade Thompson for helping me with cover copy!

Here’s the summary:

A new novella set in the award-winning, critically-acclaimed Xuya universe…

Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appareance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow’s Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow’s Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow’s Child with her.

As they dig deep into the victim’s past, The Shadow’s Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau’s own murky past–and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars…

Available for pre-order now as a lovely signed hardbound edition, coming out March 2018: it’s a limited print run so I don’t know how long it’ll last (my last limited edition chapbook sold out rather fast!). You can hop on to the Subterranean website to check it out and get your very own copy!

Where to Buy


Preorder Now

Free Xuya story: Crossing the Midday Gate

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Free Xuya story: Crossing the Midday Gate

There’s a new Xuya story up at Lightspeed Magazine: “Crossing the Midday Gate” was originally published in Athena Andreadis’s wonderful To Shape the Dark. It’s now been reprinted, and you can read it free online.

It’s about intergalactic plagues, vaccines, court intrigues and second chances–and what to do when the entire world changes around you. Also badass older women bacteriologists ftw.

Read it free here.

Things I researched for this were numerous, but the original seed of this was Waldemar Haffkine and the Mulkowal deaths, stemming from contaminated anti-cholera vaccines [Wikipedia].

Last day to nominate for the Hugos!

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If you still need ideas/stuff to read at the last minute I’ve collected my recommendations here.

The short version: please consider Likhain (sample above) for your Best Fan Artist ballot, and Tade Thompson for the Campbell. And because I’ve repeatedly had the question: insofar as I can tell, the Xuya universe series is eligible in the Best Series category (meets the total wordcount and had 3 new volumes released in 2016: take your pick between “A Salvaging of Ghosts” , “A Hundred and Seventy Storms”, and “Pearl” in the excellent anthology The Starlit Wood–you can read the first two free online, or you can check out the Cheat Starter Guide to Xuya)

Citadel of Weeping Pearls cover and release details

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Hadn’t gotten around to this yet, but here’s the cover for The Citadel of Weeping Pearls, my Xuya novella that was a finalist for the Locus Awards in 2015.

It will be available March 28th 2017 from all major retailers (and in print through Createspace) thanks to the JABberwocky Books Programme.

Art and cover design by Maurizio Manzieri.

The Citadel of Weeping Pearls was a great wonder; a perfect meld between cutting edge technology and esoteric sciences—its inhabitants capable of teleporting themselves anywhere, its weapons small and undetectable and deadly.

Thirty years ago, threatened by an invading fleet from the Dai Viet Empire, the Citadel disappeared and was never seen again.

But now the Dai Viet Empire itself is under siege, on the verge of a war against an enemy that turns their own mindships against them; and the Empress, who once gave the order to raze the Citadel, is in desperate needs of its weapons. Meanwhile, on a small isolated space station, an engineer obsessed with the past works on a machine that will send her thirty years back, to the height of the Citadel’s power.

But the Citadel’s disappearance still extends chains of grief and regrets all the way into the fraught atmosphere of the Imperial Court; and this casual summoning of the past might have world-shattering consequences…

A new book set in the award-winning, critically acclaimed Xuya universe.

More info about the book, including excerpt!

Recent publications

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Just a quick note that my Xuya short story “The Shipmaker” is now reprinted at Clarkesworld. This was the first of the mindship sequence (AIs incubated in human wombs and becoming part of human families). Bit of nostalgia for this one: it won me my first major award (British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Short Fiction), and was also the first story I wrote that had actual Vietnamese characters (more accurately, Vietnamese immigrants in a Chinese-dominated society. But still).

Also, my longer Xuya novelette, “Pearl”, a retelling of Da Trang and the Pearl, is available as part of The Starlit Wood, Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe’s anthology of retold fairytales. More info here.

A Salvaging of Ghosts in two Year’s Bests

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Quite happy to announce that my Xuya BCS story “A Salvaging of Ghosts” is going to be reprinted in Jonathan Strahan’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (complete TOC here), and in Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (complete TOC here courtesy of Lavie Tidhar).

It was originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies for their science fantasy issue: you can read it online here.

New short story: “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” in Uncanny Magazine

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New short story: “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” in Uncanny Magazine

My Xuya short story “A Hundred and Seventy Storms” has been published online as part of Uncanny Magazine‘s July/August 2016 issue. Aka “wow I hadn’t actually used Kepler’s Laws in a long, long time” (I needed to do some quick and dirty planetary design. Was very proud I remembered most of 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.

You can read it here.
You can also buy the issue it’s part of (which has Cat Valence, Sabrina Vourvoulias and many other fine folk) here.

Many many thanks to Stephanie Burgis who read it in record time, as well as to everyone who suggested life changing events when I asked on Facebook (I needed something against which to set the story)–particularly Kari Sperring who came up with large weather events.

And yeah, this is based on my experience of giving birth to the Librarian, at least the bit where I was lying down, tethered to an IV and in pretty strong pain (epidural came too late so I essentially gave birth on a light dosage of painkillers. There were… a couple of really not fun moments).

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…)