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"