Monday, November 21, 2016

LosCon 43 panels!

I'm going to be at LosCon43: Starship LosCon! Click for my schedule of panels, and come out to see me! I'll also be tabling for the Eaton Special Collection of UC Riverside. We'll be showing off some of our items, and telling you all about the cool science fiction research that you could be doing with us!

HIDDEN YOUTH release and illustration!

My latest publication is Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History! And the book is officially out November 21, 2016!

My story "A Name to Ashes" will be the second story you'll read in the book, and it has this marvelous illustration by Alice Meichi Li! Alice is a Chinese-American artist based in New York City, and we talked a little about representation over Twitter. I love the illustration so much! Here is the black-and-white version you'll see in the book:

© Alice Meichi Li!
My story is about a young clerk who accompanies the historical Chen Lanpin on what would be known as the Chinese Commission to Cuba of 1874. Excerpts from the results of this report have been translated. I first learned about it when taking a class on race and racism in the United States, in which the professor gave us a transnational view of how slavery and indentured servitude created rifts and alliances between various groups. Our textbook for this segment of the course was Lisa Yun's The Coolie Speaks. I came across the Denise Helly translation, from 1993, through a generous donation by a professor who happened to have it and didn't need it anymore. (It is now extremely expensive to buy.)

This is a Hungry Ghost story. I got really tired of how white Westerners portray Hungry Ghost Month (I suppose it is a day these days in most places, but in Malaysia it is, still, culturally speaking, a whole month!!!) and I really wanted to write a story about the coolie trade, which I hadn't known about. The English translation of the report was extremely exhausting to read, because it's mostly a catalog of death and dying. But it's also about naming the people who died, reclaiming them, refusing to let their lives be written over. Many of these coolies were hoping that the commission would send word back to the families of their fallen. Almost all of the names in the story were drawn from actual instances recorded in both these books. You can read more about the story in this post.

I haven't had time to read the rest of the stories yet, but I'm really excited to be in an anthology with P. Djeli Clark! I'm a huge fan of his blog and his pop culture commentary, and his latest short story, "A Dead Djinn in Cairo" is a delight!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

"Mana Langkah Pelangi Terakhir" goes live!

Interfictions Online, a journal of interstitial arts, has released their latest issue! This issue includes an interview with Tade Thompson by Sofia Samatar, poetry by Neile Graham and Jeanne Hall Gailey, as well as a new short story by Nino Cipri

I'm so pleased that my story, "Mana Langkah Pelangi Terakhir? (Where is the Rainbow's Last Step?)" is in such great company!

"Langkah Pelangi" is inspired by a dream I had in which I found a friend in a jail far away from home, and the last I saw of her was in a sampan punting off to sea. I get home to discover that she has died, and been mythologized. And I thought, wouldn't that be kinda crazypants to live in a work where the collective imagination could have so much power, that a dead person could become a myth that never dies? What if that was literal?

I had a lot of trouble with this story. It bounced off a couple of places, and each time I revised it, and then revised it some more upon a friend's feedback, and then again after some time had passed. I'm very glad it found a home! Thanks so much to the editors who gave it a chance. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Forthcoming publications

I don't usually announce when I've signed a contract, and tend to announce future publication news only when I have a Table of Contents to share, but it's coming into the last quarter of 2016, and I'm putting together my CV and had to count up my forthcoming publications. The other day I thought I had three. But no, upon further reflection, I actually have four. 

"Mana Langkah Pelangi Terakhir," translated one way into "Where Is The Rainbow's Last Step," will be out in the Fall issue of Interfictions Online. It is about what might happen in our world where, if enough people dream the same thing and relate the same stories enough times with enough conviction, even if it isn't true or possible, it will come true. Our heroine is a journalist trying to make sense of this in light of a colleague's re-appearance. I tend to forget about this one because it's already fall so I kind of think it's already out, except it's not, just yet! 

"A Name To Ashes" will be in Hidden Youth: Speculative Stories from the Margins of History, the follow up to Long Hidden, edited by Mikki Kendall and Chesya Burke. A young clerk joins the Chinese Imperial Commission to investigate the coolie trade in Cuba and find a missing sibling. It is inspired by Lisa Yun's The Coolie Speaks.

"The Reset" will be in Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, edited by Bronte Wieland and Phoebe Wagner. A young grad student is caught up in her professor's unfortunately successful experiment to 'reset' the world to its physical state 30 years before, and she observes and deals with the consequences. This was inspired by a conversation I had with my father. 

"The Last Cheng Beng Gift" is my latest sale, and to Lightspeed Magazine! Written in my first week of Clarion, this story is about a matriarch in the afterlife who receives an unsatisfactory Cheng Beng (or Qing Ming) gift from her wayward daughter. Apparently "disappointing children" is a recurring theme in my fiction! Perhaps that can be the title of a future collection. 

I'm all giddy for when these stories come out so I can share them!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"Crocodile Tears" goes live!

My short story "Crocodile Tears" is now live at the Lightspeed Magazine website!!!

In addition, I got a little author spotlight as well! Thanks to my editor Wendy Wagner, and to EIC John Joseph Adams for publishing this!!