Tag: the jaguar house in shadow

Xuya page (and questions thread)


Have had a couple questions about my alt-history universe Xuya (where the Chinese, the US and the Aztecs share North America), I decided to take the plunge, and transcribe my notes into a more legible form. I figured that with three stories out (two in Interzone and one in this month’s Asimov’s, the universe had cemented well enough that people might want extra explanations.

So behold the brand new spiffy Xuya page: all you’ve ever wanted to know about Xuya (well, not quite yet, but it does have a few pointers about the chronology, where the stories fit in there, and a few items of general interest).

BTW, since I’ve locked the comments on the page, this post here is as close as it’s getting to the official question thread–in the (unlikely[1]) event that you have any interrogations about Xuya-related stuff, ask in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer.

[1] I’m a natural pessimist, and those are only short stories after all, with a small audience…

State of the writer


…slowly recovering from post-novel ennui. Showed Matthieu one story I wrote back in April, and wrote a zillion addresses on wedding invitations (my hand, it hurts). Also made some nice spring rolls involving salad, coriander and a variant of a cha siu/xa xíu (aka reddish BBQed pork). I’m starting to get the hang of this cooking thing.

Also worked on a Sekrit Project, which I should be allowed to make public soon.

Finally, look at this: the TOC for the July 2010 issue of Asimov’s, which includes my Xuya novelette “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”. I can haz pretty cover (with my name on it, w00t).

“The Jaguar House, in Shadow” to Asimov’s


This is the bit where I’d go for a liedown were it not early morning here…

I’ve sold “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” to Asimov’s. It’s a novelette set in the Xuya universe (where China discovered America before Colombus, the same as “The Lost Xuyan Bride”, “Butterfly Falling at Dawn” and “Fleeing Tezcatlipoca”, not to mention novel Foreign Ghosts, currently with my agent). It focuses on the Aztecs in Greater Mexica, and the Jaguar Knights, elite spies and manipulators caught in the bloody aftermath of the civil war. Complete with blood sacrifices, crazy priests and hallucinogenic drugs.

The mind wanders, when one takes teonanácatl.

If she allowed herself to think, she’d smell bleach, mingling with the faint, rank smell of blood; she’d see the grooves of the cell, smeared with what might be blood or faeces.

She’d remember–the pain insinuating itself into the marrow of her bones, until it, too, becomes a dull thing, a matter of habit–she’d remember dragging herself upwards when dawn filters through the slit-windows: too tired and wan to offer her blood to Tonatiuh the sun, whispering a prayer that ends up sounding more and more like an apology.

Wrote the first draft of this in Brittany last summer (somewhat amusingly, the previous sale I made to Asimov’s, “The Wind-Blown Man”, was also written in Brittany, so there’s clearly something in the air here). I workshopped this on OWW, where it got very helpful crits from Christine Lucas (silverwerecat), Rachel Gold and Swapna Kishore.

If anyone wants me, I’ll be in the flat, jumping up and down and making incoherent noises.