Thursday, August 10, 2017

Upcoming fiction in SUNVAULT

Sometime in the summer of 2015, I was tinkering with a story idea and asked my dad, "if you could go back thirty years and remembered everything that happened, what would you do?"

I was thinking something along the lines of, what stock markets would he invest in, or what different career moves would he make. But no, he said something completely different, way more personal, and laughed. Then relented and said he'd pay more attention to my grandparents, his parents, to make sure they didn't suffer declining health as soon as they did. 

My response to this question, and the little exchange we had after, is in my upcoming story "The Reset," in Sunvault: Tales of Solarpunk and Eco-speculation, forthcoming from Upper Rubber Boot Press. The story starts thus:

"It is now five years after the Reset. I have stood trial for my complicity in it and come away innocent."
I drafted "The Reset" in a single day. I had the kernel of an idea from the morning's conversation with my father, and for lunch, I packed my laptop and went to a new-ish cafe near my house. (SS 15 has seen a lot of new cafes open over the last 14 years since I left home. My favourite of these cafes closed down a year before, alas, so I had to try out someplace new.) I ordered a chicken chop and a pot of tea, settled down on a low couch with a coffee table, and started to write.

I finished the draft within four hours. I also managed to not cry in public.

It took me several months to place this story, and each time I tweaked it some more. It was a hard process because the emotional core is so complicated and I just didn't know how to communicate it. I hope it gets through. It's a weird and complicated and fraught core. I hope you like it.

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation will be available Aug 29, 2017. You can pre-order it through various means, and there is a drop-down menu of indie bookstores across the United States and Canada! Support local bookstores! *waves flag*

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New fiction! "Eruption"

Anathema Magazine #2 is now up, which means my latest short story, "Eruption" is now up and available for reading online! 

I wrote "Eruption" in Week 3 of Clarion, under Andy Duncan. For some reason all the stories that day were somewhat of a similar theme: mine is essentially a misandrist utopia (I call it my #killallmen story); another classmate wrote a misandrist dystopia (in which boys are locked in a giant enclosure for a certain time); and a third wrote a somewhat misogynist attempt to establish a utopia free of women (but in ways that also harmed young men). It was a day

This story combines two ideas I had floating about: the story of a woman slowly succumbing to mental degradation, which surfaces a lot of terrible memories about the founding of her city, and a story of an underground slave people rising up to destroy their oppressors. It is inspired partly by this 1906 illustration by William Balfour Ker and a dream I had:

with added "the floor is..." meme
I've never read the novel that the illustration is supposed to be for, but I might sometime in the future. 

#killallmen as a hashtag often gets criticized or derided by men as being misandrist, boohoo feminists are showing their true violent colours. MRAs often ignore the reason why it's a joke. I wanted to think through what it would mean to actually carry out a genocide of an entire gender known for its violence and oppressive history, what it would take, what kind of consequences there would be. The establishment of a utopia is never an uncomplicated thing.

I hope you enjoy "Eruption"

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Table of Contents--The WisCon Chronicles Vol. 11: Trials by Whiteness

What with stress, depression, anxiety, dissertating, diabetes, and WisCon, I haven't had energy or time to think beyond a day. But getting to WisCon41 was wonderful because it is so life-affirming, even if I managed to do exactly zero panels and spent most of my time either sleeping, walking, eating, socializing, or working on my dissertation in the lobby. Which as it turned out was a good thing. 

Amidst all that, THE WISCON CHRONICLES VOL 11: TRIALS BY WHITENESS was out! I found it first in Room of One's Own, and at the Aqueduct Press table! It's beautiful! It's shiny! It turned out even better than I expected!! And more importantly, IT IS NOW AVAILABLE!!!

Here are my brilliant brilliant contributors!! 

WisCon40 GUEST OF HONOR SPEECHES
Nalo Hopkinson
Justine Larbalestier
Sofia Samatar

OUR IMMEDIATE VICINITY
WisCon40 Opening Ceremonies: WisCon is my Family Reunion -- Kat Tanaka Okopnik
All Our Relations -- Nisi Shawl
Who Is Safe? -- Beth Plutchak
Legacy of the Past and Foundation for the Future -- Isabel Schecter
On WisCon, and Who is Allowed to Feel Welcome -- K. Tempest Bradford
Navigating WisCon 39 as a Local POC on the Ground or, A Tale of Two WisCons: WisCon 39 & WisCon 40 -- LaShawn Wanak
Five Scenes Between WisCons -- Kat Tanaka Okopnik

WHITENESS MYRIAD FORMS
Being Jewish, Being White? -- Veronica Schanoes
Where in the WORLD is WorldCon?: A Twitter Thread -- Crystal Huff
Ansibel (excerpt) -- Tea Hvala
Far Away Enough to Count: Ansible Q&A -- Tea Hvala & Jaymee Goh

TOUCHING WHITENESS
asian flavours -- Joyce Chng
The Long Arm of the West -- Nibedita Sen
The Lies You Learned -- S. Qiouyi Lu
I Used to Call Myself a Coconut -- Susheela Bhat Harkins

OUR DEFIANT SELVES
"Entralink": A Quilting Q&A -- Annie Chen & Jaymee Goh
Science Fiction for My Failing Heart: On the Purposes of Speculation in Adverse Circumstances -- Regina Yung Lee
Rolodex -- Mark Oshiro
Mammie Don' Left the Plantation [and Took the Good Seasoning with Her]--How WisCon Helped Me to Stop Cleaning Up White People's Messes -- Jennifer Cross
Advice for the Broken: Curating Weaponized Love Amongst the Multiply Marginalized -- Medieval POC

Many thanks to Timmi Duchamp who gave me the honour of editing this WisCon Chronicles volume!! I am still vaguely breathless that she let me get away with the title. 

Also many thanks to Kath Williams, my managing editor, whose efficiency is something to be marveled at! I learned so much about editorial workflow from her. Also since she was the one preparing the proofs, she very patiently went along with my harebrained ideas, such as having Crystal Huff's Twitter thread on chairing WorldCon, and laying out Tea Hvala's story excerpt in two languages, Slovenian and English, on opposite pages. I wanted a very wide range of work and possibilities. I think fondly of past volumes which have included panel reports and comics! 

Special mention goes to Annie Chen who joked about making me a quilt instead of writing me an essay, and because I suffer from sarchasm, I said, "that sounds awesome! Do it!" and this is how we ended up with such a beautiful cover! She then donated the quilt to the Tiptree Auction, where Sumana Harihareswara wrapped herself in it as auctioneer and sold it off for $210! 

I hope you enjoy it!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Appearance: "Science Fiction is For Everyone" Panel

I'll be on a panel to discuss science fiction and multiculturalism next week! Here are the details:

Science Fiction For Everyone: A Multicultural Discussion

Date: April 25, 2017
Time: 2.30pm
Venue: Tech 110, Los Angeles Harbor College
Moderator: Denise Dumars
Panelists:
Steven Barnes, SF writer, NAACP award-winner
Bryan Thao Worra, Laotian-American writer and president of Science Fiction Poetry Association
Gregg Castro, Salinan-Ohlone activist and SF consultant
Stephanie Brown, Mills MFA, Clarion 2010 grad

This event is hosted by the Cultural Equity Workshop of the LAHC! I'll have copies of The Sea Is Ours for sale, and should be able to spend some time signing. 

(I'll also be at the campus early-ish, since the kind hostess arranged a ride from Riverside for me. If anybody wants to say hi earlier, take me to a place with good eats, or a quiet place to work, that would be appreciated!)