Tag: as the wheel turns

As the Wheel Turns in Lightspeed Magazine

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As the Wheel TurnsAs part of the promotion for the launch of John Joseph Adams’ EPIC anthology (more info here), you can now read my short story “As the Wheel Turns” (associated author interview is here). This is, er, another instance of a time machine story–written well over 4-5 years ago and in a style that I don’t think I could reproduce now, even if I tried. But hey, it got me into an anthology with Ursula Le Guin and Kate Elliott!

In case you’re wondering, I wrote this by drawing on the stories I read/was told as a child–it’s not strictly accurate historical China so much as a fairytale version of it, coupled with my misunderstanding a couple of things because I was very young when I heard said stories (and also the fact that Chinese culture != Vietnamese culture, though they of course share a bunch of common tropes/myths/etc.). But I still have a fondness for the story; it’s not every day you get to write a story with multiple reincarnations of the protagonist. Do tell me what you think of it.

(if you were at WFC, this is the story I read the first third from at the EPIC group reading–I know some people asked me if they could find it elsewhere, and I apologise for completely blanking on the fact that Lightspeed was going to reprint it…)

In the Tenth Court of Hell stands the Wheel of Rebirth.

Its spokes are of red lacquered wood; it creaks as demons pull it, dragging its load of souls back into the world.

And before the Wheel stands the Lady.

Every soul who goes to the Wheel must endure her gaze. Every soul must stop by her, and take from her pale hands the celadon cup, and drink.

The drink is herbs gathered from the surfaces of ponds, tears taken from the eyes of children, scales shed from old, wise dragons. To drink is to forget, for no soul can come back into the world remembering past lives, or the punishments meted out to it within the other Courts of Hell.

No soul.

Save one.

Read more.

Sale–As the Wheel Turns

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Meant to post about this earlier, and then it slipped clean out of my mind (July wasn’t a good month for my brain-alignment).

I’ve sold “As the Wheel Turns” to GUD for their issue 6 (Spring 2010), a short story of multiple lives in a Chinese universe (complete with karmic wheel of rebirth, psychopathic ancestor spirits, and random Barbarian invasions).

It was workshopped on OWW under the title “Dai-Yu’s Choice”, where it received feedback from the usual suspects: Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Linda Steele (who was kind enough to crit it in tremendous detail), and Chris Kastensmidt (whose unshakable faith in that one proved right). Thanks everyone for helping me whip it into shape!

EDIT: posted this a little too quickly, and forgot about the uber-awesome Marshall Payne, whose line-edits were super-helpful, as usual.

Prologue: the Wheel
In the Tenth Court of Hell, stands the Wheel of Rebirth.

Its spokes are of red, lacquered wood; it creaks as demons pull it, dragging its load of souls back into the world.

And before the Wheel, stands the Lady.

Every soul who goes to the Wheel must endure her gaze. Every soul must stop by her, and take from her pale hands the celadon cup, and drink.

The drink is herbs gathered from the surfaces of ponds, tears taken from the eyes of children, scales from old, wise dragons. To drink is to forget; for no soul can come back into the world remembering past lives, or the punishments meted out to it within the other Courts of Hell.

No soul.

Save one.