Thursday, November 30, 2017

Annual Eligibility Post 2017

'Tis the season! 

I was not very prolific in 2017, because I spent a lot of it finishing my dissertation, but I still managed some things!

"Eruption" in Anathema Magazine #2 is a letter of a long-dead woman to her younger brother, who himself is in the twilight of his life, recounting the bloody history of their community. I jokingly refer to it as my #killallmen story but I was inspired by Robert Sapolsky's observations of the Keekorok Babboon Troop. In addressing the very concept of genociding an entire gender in order to start fresh, I also had to think through trauma, from abuse, war, systemic oppression, and how to dramatically transform all of that in a single generation. 

"The Reset" in Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, edited by  Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland, published by Upper Rubber Boot Press is not available for online reading, but if you would like to read it, email me. I considered the consequences of a world that's suddenly "reset" to what it was 30 years ago, mostly to tell the story of a hapless grad student who has a fraught relationship with her parents. It was.... vaguely autobiographical and difficult to write. 

"The Last Cheng Beng Gift" in Lightspeed Magazine #88 is the story of a long-dead Singaporean matriarch (wow two stories about long-dead women) who becomes dissatisfied with the Qingming gifts she receives from her wayward daughter. This was part of a pact to write a fish spa story that I made with Joyce Chng. I think a lot about parental expectations and how sometimes they're a bit like a thousand papercuts, and the scars aren't visible but still hurt later on, and how parents try very hard but still don't get it. It doesn't mean they love their children any less. This one I addressed specifically to an audience of Asian women as the group most likely to "get it," and I feel, based on informal interactions on Twitter, that it got through. It's been really fascinating to see the difference in reception, though...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Upcoming story! "When the Bough Breaks"

Mythic Delirium has just announced their mock cover for their 4.3 issue! The art is by Ruth Sanderson, based on Beth Cato's poem "The Body Made"! 

My short story "When the Bough Breaks" will be available in the January 2018 segment of the web issue. It is based on the Highland Towers collapse of 1993, in my home state of Selangor, Malaysia. This was the first major catastrophe I can remember being widely-televised--Berita Terkini, which usually ran for about 5 minutes every couple of hours, kept popping up on seemingly every single commercial break at this time as more survivors and dead were found. 

In this short story, I tried to evoke the feeling of creepiness that some luxury condos in natural areas have, partly as a result of not being wholly lived in quite yet, partly because wooded areas have landed spirits who are often not happy that humans are moving in! The characters run a gamut of different races and ages. One of the opening scenes is based on a nightmare I had, and in fact the entire theme of the story is drawn from that nightmare. 

I hope you enjoy it when it comes out!