2017: Year of Baby’s First Eligibility Post!
2017 marks both the year of my first ever professional short fiction sales to SF/F markets AND the year I signed with my agent, the inimitable Thao Le of the Sandra Dijikstra Literary Agency! It’s been a wild, humbling, incredible ride, and at some point, I’d like to sit down and write a proper blog post about the zany querying adventures that led me to a near-two-hour (!!!) Skype chat with Thao one night on the outskirts of Paris, and eventually, to her representation.
Alas, that is a tale for another day! Right now, I am – in that great rite of passage for all hapless baby writers who dip their toes into the world of short form SF/F – going to catalogue the stories I’ve had published in the past year, which comes out to a total of lucky number seven: one novelette, and six short stories (including one flash piece). This is – by virtue of my baby-ness – also my first year of eligibility for the John W. Campbell Award, which is really exciting in its own right!
Links where available – which is almost always! – are included below, along with brief descriptions of each piece, but I’m also happy to provide PDF copies of these stories upon request to anyone who wants to read for awards season. :-) Without further ado, for your generous consideration:
“Hungry Demigods” (12,700 words), GigaNotoSaurus. Available online here.
Franco-Chinese-Canadian urban fantasy set in Montreal: in which a code-switching, beignet-baking, cha siu bao-loving kitchen witch sets out to solve the mystery behind a Chinese curse on an English boy in Quebec. Probably my very favorite – and most personal – thing I saw published this year!
“Cassandra Writes Out of Order” (3,100 words), PodCastle. Available online here.
DC-flavored magical realism with a side of spy story. Some feds in Washington hire a liberal arts-educated, debt-ridden, twenty-something poet-prophet to predict the future of the world. This goes about as well as you’d expect. Sandra Espinoza (voice of America Chavez on Avengers Academy!) does a really fabulous job on the audio narration here.
“The Man in the Crimson Coat” (5,000 words), Apex Magazine. Available online here.
Neo-noir / cyberpunk: in which an ex-vigilante and a pianist walk into a bar, and a great deal of political and personal chaos ensues. Lori Henry (of Black Tapes fame!) performs a podcast narration – produced by the amazing KT Bryski – that’s particularly worth a listen!
“The Moons of Zaaros” (4,800 words), The Sockdolager. Available online here.
Queer girls coming of age and figuring out gender politics during a massive anti-colonial space war! If I could point to one story of mine that I wish got a bit more attention, this would probably be it, as I’m terribly fond of these two heroines, emotionally constipated goobers that they are. Technically part of The Sockdolager’s Winter 2016 special issue, “Women of War,” but initially published in January 2017, which I believe makes this little guy eligible for 2017 consideration (though someone savvier than I should correct me if I’m mistaken about this)!
“To Smoke, From Words” (2,600 words), Secrets of the Goat People Vol. 2: Resistance.
A grouchy Korean refugee and classically-educated member of the Chinese bourgeois try making it among the May Fourth Movement’s new breed of literati. Began life as a super old scribbling of mine that I specifically revised & rebooted for Women Write About Comics’ submissions call.
Caveat: honestly, this one’s more straight historical fiction than anything else – though historical fiction that takes great liberties with twentieth century Asia! The actual speculative elements are extremely light, but exist if you squint, mostly in the form of vague strokes of alternate history and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it magical realism. No online version available for this one, I’m afraid, but can provide a PDF to interested parties.
“Pro Patria Mori” (900 words), New Myths. Available online here.
A short, wry, fantastical tale of reincarnation blues in wake of history’s myriad wars. My freshman foray into flash fiction.
“The Family Business” (5,000 words), Triptych Tales. Available online here.
A very silly contemporary meet-cute fantasy about a surly gay Korean-American boy packed off to the coast of Busan for the summer, who finds a bit more than he bargained for on the island where his eccentric uncle lives. A nostalgic nod to my Fulbright grant days in South Korea, and one of my earliest stabs at SF/F shorts as a form!